Nisadas

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Archive for February, 2009

Proposal for future Indian ODI tours of Sri Lanka

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The glorious thing about the internet is that even non-experts like myself can plough on and put forward silly notions on any variety of subjects. Therefore, allow me to present my proposal for future ODI visits by the Indian cricket team to Sri Lanka:

In future, there will be no need to fly in all the members of the Indian team. Instead, the captain of the team can be flown in with a bunch of tourist-journalists. The journos will be given full access to the rest of the country so that they can write about stuff the rest of the world doesn’t know much about.

On the day alloted for the match, M&M (M. Dhoni and Mahela, not our beloved spin-twins Murali and Mendis) will be escorted to the ground. After the usual talk about the pitch and the conditions, they will have the toss. Unlike any other occasions, we will have conch-blowing, drummers and even lighting of the oil lamp to herald this magnificent moment.

Once the toss has been called, the winner will have his hand shaken by the rest of the congregation. The man of the match will be chosen from a couple of names shuffled about in a cricketer’s helmet and the cheques for winning the match and other awards will be handed over as part of the ceremony.

This in turn will result in such low overhead that Small and Medium businesses can afford to sponsor the series, perhaps on a match-by-match basis. I haven’t figured out how the exposure can be fully utilised without the willow and the leather in play, but I’m sure the talents of the creators of Sri Lanka’s Dancing Stars can be put to good use. By saving over six hours per day of people’s time, productivity will increase, while there will also be a significant saving in terms of bandwidth due to lower usage of Cricinfo‘s live scorecard facility. Families will be happier for their fathers/sons/brothers/husbands being home earlier instead of dallying by the big screens at Abans/Singer showrooms on their way home.

Why do I say this? A brief look at the results of the last two series in Sri Lanka:

Table 1: Results by who won the toss
Ground Toss won by India won Sri Lanka won
RPS Colombo India 5
Sri Lanka 2
Dambulla India 2 1

What about that aberration where India won a toss and Sri Lanka won? Well, that’s because MSD didn’t know that batting first works at RPS, not at the Rangiri Dambulla stadium. Let’s look at the matches by who bats first:

Table 2: Results by who bats first
Ground First Bat India won Sri Lanka won
RPS Colombo India 5
Sri Lanka 2
Dambulla India 1
Sri Lanka 2

But seriously, have we forgotten that barely two years ago our boys were in the world cup final with Australia? Well, apparently so. This is in no small part due to the fact that the team that made it into the finals in 2007 displayed a lot more courage, intensity and overall flair than what most of us cricket-mad Sri Lankans saw in the recent past. It hurts to be beaten on home turf.

I can only hope that the itinerary for the rest of 2009 proves to be more fruitful for our team.

The tables in this post are my first in a blog post and are thanks to the tutorial at Web Design from Scratch.

Written by Dulan

February 9th, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Sri Lanka,Thoughts

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Making presentations

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During my days at Vesess, making presentations was pretty much 80% of what I did. Design support was from Prabhath, while tweaking the overall focus was done with Lankitha’s support.

My experiences in debating lent themselves to an advantage in presenting in front of an audience, which sometimes led people to think I had an innate talent in presenting.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Being an inherently shy person and a Geek to boot, social interaction was never my forte. That is probably why my mother encouraged me to join in debating and Interact. During my stints in both organisations in school, I studied my seniors as well as others in how they presented themselves, developed relationships and handled situations. These self-taught lessons would thereafter be mashed together with my own perspectives to define my own style of doing things.

So while I may have had some experience in speaking in front of an audience (which in many cases is the biggest hurdle of them all), I was by no means an accomplished presenter. However, thanks to the internet I was able to expand my learning and thought I’d share some of my favourite resources with you:

  1. Seth Godin did an ebook called “Really Bad Powerpoint”. A google search would yield the .pdf file, while his article can be found here.
  2. Garr Reynold’s did a summary of a book by Dr. John Medina – “Brain Rules” – on Slideshare, which can be found here.
  3. Garr Reynold’s site “Presentation Zen” does a good job of highlighting the work of one of arguably the world’s best presenters – Steve Jobs.
  4. You can watch Steve Jobs demo the Macintosh in 1984 on Youtube by clicking here and you can watch him demo the iMac here. Both are interesting to watch. If at all, I identify with Steve not so much in terms of presentation skill, but in terms of receding hairline…

On a completely unrelated note, many thanks to Jack Point for linking to some cool retro songs!

Written by Dulan

February 7th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Defragmenting with Contig

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Lifehacker did an article on Windows performance myths sometime last year which mentioned that RAM optimizers/defraggers were the equivalent of snake oil.

However, the benefits of defragmenting the hard disk haven’t been debunked yet (or at least not as per my cursory googling), so my obsessive weekly/monthly defrag runs haven’t been in vain.

One tool that would be of use in keeping a well defragmented hard disk would be a simple command-line utility called Contig. This doesn’t help very much in putting files towards the beginning of the partition like other defraggers, but when you have a few files that are regularly fragmented (thus causing delays in file access) Contig can help ease the trouble by addressing only the specific files affected.

I generally run Contig after first using the built-in Windows Defragmenter tool to see what files have the highest fragmentation. I then run Contig on these files (generally my Personal Mail folders – .pst files) to ensure that they form contiguous files and therefore should increase system performance.

Do you defragment your hard disk? What do you use for that purpose?

Written by Dulan

February 7th, 2009 at 11:36 am

Posted in Geek,Thoughts

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