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Parkinson Hofstadter Douglas

Parkinson's Law: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."

Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter's Law into account."

Douglas Deadlines: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

PS: Is this the first use of the phrase "Douglas Deadlines" to refer to deadlines that whoosh by?

See also: http://www.academicproductivity.com/2007/parkinsons-law-and-productivity/


Presyn likhne ki tammanna abb humare dil main hai
Dekhna hai jor kitna apni research work main hain
-- PhD lene ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai by Sushant Sharma

winged migration

appughar has always been a good wingman... but I never realized he would take it to such awesome heights!

Have fun chasing wings dude!


PS: this gives a new connotation to winged migration

the light within

The flame,
feeble yet radiant,
benign yet powerful,
fights against the darkness,
yet has a shadow right beneath itself.


One of my all-time favourite photographs, that I have taken. It has been my 'Net icon since 2003.
the light within in my flickr.

flash from the past

I have an OLD National PE-301 fully manual flash. I usually use it with my OLD Pentax K1000 film SLR. I recently tried it out with my Olympus E-510 DSLR and it worked perfectly!

This flash is so old that there is hardly any mention of it on the Internet. It was made in 1976, no wonder!! The flash is older than me :-)

Of course, I need to set my camera to manual exposure and calculate aperture manually by estimating the distance-to-object and following the guide on the back of the flash. But I am already used-to this with my manual film SLR.

It is a good strong flash that I can happily reuse 32 years after it was manufactured! Now that is what you call standardization and backward compatibility.

I wonder how much of equipment we buy today will be reusable three decades from now...


Originally posted at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/olympusesystem/discuss/72157605699353228/72157605732284325/

of travel and gadgets

Quick updates from my side:

I'll be traveling to the US soon for a conference. First trip to the US and third trip outside India (and counting!).

I bought an Olympus Evolt E-510 10MP Digital SLR Camera! With two kit lenses: Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 and Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6. Yippie! The package cost me $655 from Amazon.

Some reviews of this camera:Check out the photos on Flickr's Camera Finder shot with the E-510.

Anybody in or around Raleigh-Durham, NC or Chicago, IL or NJ/NYC want to meet up? Reply here or drop me an email on vipul DOT mathur AT gmail.

Back to work for now!



Ever wondered why the asterisk is the wildcard character for zero or more characters?

Hint: It is the answer to everything. You just have to know how to asc the question.
More hints: http://vipul.livejournal.com/34734.html 101010 0x2A \052

This occurred to me after seeing hiddenharmony's status message (101010) on gtalk.

professionally silly

The following is quoted from a credit card payment alert email. The quoting is verbatim, except for masking out the numbers.

The pymt date for your card **************** is **-**-**.The TotalDue isRs????.?? and Minimum Rs???.??.Pls send the pymt early to avoid chrgs.

SMS speak has infested even the strictly professional interaction. What kind of a message is the credit card company sending to its customers by the use of such silly language? Just imagine that this is a template-generated mail sent out regularly to all customers!

Is this a lost cause? Does anyone even care?

PS: Don't even get me started on the punctuation blunders there!


Originally uploaded by Chocolate Geek.
Spend some time listening to the wind,
where the butterflies dance and the flowers sing...


flickr upgrade weirdness

I finally decided to take the plunge and get a Flickr pro account for myself. Clicked through their upgrade procedure till the point where it says "Ok! I am ready to pay". Clicking on that took me to the familiar Yahoo "password verification" page. Entered my password and submitted... only to be redirected back to the same page.

At first I thought that I might have mis-typed my password, so tried again---with the same result. So I was stuck in some sort of "verification loop". Tried with a different machine, and different browser, but no joy. Sounded like an issue to me, so headed over to the Flickr help forums. Found three threads there [1] [2] [3] that talk about the same problem (so others were facing it too!).

As it turns out, the issue seems to be limited to people behind network proxies. I do not have any non-proxy network access [4] (Home and work are both on campus at IIT Bombay). So I am completely stuck, unable to buy a Flickr pro account.

I am also disappointed by the fact that a fix, for an issue that apparently is faced by a large number of people trying to give their money to Yahoo, still remains to be "in the works" for about 8 months now [1]. The suggested solution is to "try another network".

I have read the explanation that the issue is related to the proxy (in my campus) caching the result/cookie, when it should not. But why is being behind a proxy a problem only with Yahoo Wallet payments? I regularly use my credit card over the same network for a myriad of services, though this is the first time I am trying to make a payment for a service (Flickr) that uses Yahoo Wallet to process payments (and does not give options to use other payment gateways).

So dear Yahoos and Flickreenos (who happen to read this): any suggestions, or do I have to take my money elsewhere? I really love Flickr, and would really, really like to get a Pro account---if only Yahoo would accept my money ;-)

[1]: http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/44717/
[2]: http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/50191/
[3]: http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/53770/

[4]: Note that I prefer not to use (for safety/security/reliability reasons) a nukkad cyber-cafe or an open wireless network to do a credit-card transaction. Too often have I been bitten by "mysterious errors" in credit card payment due to unreliable networks. They usually get resolved, without any loss of money, but rarely without hours of haggling and battling with "customer care" and "help lines".