Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To vijesh, as per your wife's orders

From: Revathi Priya <> Wed, May 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

To: Vijesh K <>, Abirami Rajendran <>

Rava dosa recipe
1tsp of oil
Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
Dry red chillies(broken into small pieces)

Heat oil in a large pan(you end up making the batter in this one). Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, broken dry red chillies and asafoetida and let it splutter a bit and then switch off the gas immediately.

Measure out equal proportions of Semolina/rava and Rice flour(with one normal sized cup, you can make upto 8 dosas). Mix them both with the seasonings that is already there in the pan(Make sure the gas is turned off). 

Add 1 cup of butter milk(or diluted curd) to it and keep mixing. Add about 2 glasses of water(approx) until you get a really watery consistency

Now comes the fun part. Add 2 large tbsp(15 mls approx) of Diet-Coke to it. One that has a lot of fizz. This helps to set the batter quick.

Keep it aside for 10-15 mins.
Diet-Coke Rava Dosa

Heat the tava real well. And pour the batter on it. Since this batter is very very watery, you are not going to get a perfect circle and the batter wont spread well like normal dosa-batter. So when you pour it will form small holes on the surface, which is okay. Pour more batter and lift and move the tava to spread the batter(DO NOT trying spreading it using the laddle that you use to pour the batter coz that wont work. It will form lumps. So spreading the batter is only by pouring more batter and shaking the tava itself). Let it cook for a good 3-4 mins and turn it when you notice that it has browned.

Enjoy :)

I was given the sample photo that needs to be kept as bench mark. Such is life!
Diet Coke Rava Dosa recipe rights: Revathi Priya

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nikon D90

After pressing the shutter release button ~13,000 times, I was strongly convinced that it was time for an upgrade.

Why did I need to upgrade? - Simply the point & shoot was not fulfilling my need. The need of total control over the composition of the picture and the lens focal rings were not doing what I wanted them to do. A need for bigger and better sensor. Less grains on a low light photo even after cropping. Options for variety of shots from wide angle to telephoto.

Firstly I was aligned with Canon or Nikon, because they were the top two brands and nothing outside it pleased me. Second I needed to carefully list down my needs, so that I can pick the right camera. This was a long process. Finally shortlisted these camera bodies,

  • Canon 50D
  • Canon 7D 
  • Nikon D90
  • Nikon 300s

My wedding photographs were a deciding factor in selecting the brand, body and the series of lens that I would go for. The photographer we hired had a Nikon D300, Nikon D700, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 50D and a whole lot of lens. But after carefully studying the output, I totally fell in love with Nikon.

Finally I got a Nikon D90 body and 18-105 kit lens. This camera had all features that I was looking for including 12.4 megapixel, well built body, controls and video capabilities. Nikon 300s and 18-200 lens pair was over shooting the budget and the learning curve is pretty steep. So far I'm pretty happy with the output and the performance. 

Thanks to my wife for this.She has started to love the sound of the shutter. 
Image Source

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Longest substring 0's & 1's

Given a string containing 0's and 1's. One would need to find the longest sub-string such that the count of 0's is equal to the count of 1's in the largest sub string.

0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

Here solution is either 0 1 0 1 0 1 or 1 0 1 0 1 0.

Monday, May 17, 2010 #fail

After the sudden spree of agents booking of tatkal ticket, it has become an easy thing to see 64 odd tickets vanish around 8:03am (sigh!). So we decided to book the tickets in for the travel to my home town. Soon after the failed attempts in IRCTC, we queried, few tickets available in one or two buses. One travels called Sangita, claimed in bold letters, "executive A.C. bus with 2+2 seater". Price of the ticket was Rs 930. First, I have never seen a bus ticket so pricey, second never booked bus ticket for ages. So we took the call and booked the tickets.

Friday, 9:45 PM Koyembedu bus terminus.
As the auto was nearing the bus terminus, traffic started to move inch after inch, we got down and decided to take a walk. (nostalgia of Majestic, BLR traffic). A mob of people were waiting to board their respective buses. Soon our bus was announced and we moved to board it.

On the first sight of the bus, I did not believe it was our bus and I started to look around for another volvo. Didn't spot any. Soon I inquired about the bus and where it was heading. Was shocked, when he said 'Yes, it was the bus'. It was a normal bus with sliding window and the interiors forcefully remodeled to work as A.C. bus. Sigh! Normal push back seat. Adding to it, AC duct right above our seat was broken and it was chilling the spine. Soon I had to stuff my hand kerchief to control it. Seats that bend unevenly, broken air conditioner from which the defrost water started to drop on the head, -cramped leg space and ...

Trouble did not stop there, one passenger learnt that he had got a high priced ticket (Rs1200/-) and started to yell that he was cheated. But no one listened, soon he demanded that they screen a movie on the t.v. since he had paid so much money. So they started it at 11:00 PM, and movie ended at 1:30 AM and we had a pit stop at 2:15 AM for break. Finally tried to sleep around 4 AM and the bus reached at 8:00 AM.

So who is to be blamed for these high priced tickets?
One thing is clear, the Sangita travels guys said that he got Rs 450/- for the ticket, rest the agent kept for himself. So is it to be blamed to hike the price on demand? Unknown! Bottom line, start planning early, sucks and I don't recommend it and I will try avoiding it at any cost.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Array of single & double bytes

@arun_ragh asked me this interesting question.

Given an infinite array containing single and double byte entries in random order. A one bit flag is used to identify if the given entry is single or double byte. If the first bit is set to '1' then its double byte number else if its set to '0' then its a single byte number. Given a pointer to a number somewhere the middle of the array. One needs to find if the previous entry is single or double byte.

Note: There are cases where one would not be able to find out the solution. But assume there exists a possible solution.