Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last blog of the decade.

Hello all,
A lot has happened in the past four months, and it's high time I did blog about it. As the title suggests, this would be the last blog of the year, and of the decade too, hence there's the end-of-the-year wrap-up section following.
As for the gadget guys around, I recently bought a Seagate 1TB HDD. It's impressively small and sleek enough to fit in between my system cabinet and one of the speakers, which is barely any space IMO. I also purchased an also-run webcam with basic features since my dad's been going around the country all too often these days. And a replacement for my old Intex Headphones: Frontech (forgot the model).


My Phone's working okay, but I'm unable to find an 8GB M2 card around here. I could go to one of those nasty little basement stores, but I'm not guaranteed of reliable stuff down there.

Rant on Seagate External Hard Drive:
Starting with the price, it's quite surprisingly economical, costing around 5 grands (rupees). Owing to the high capacity and high transfer speeds, there's an external power supply. Compared to the other external hard drives, this one is bigger by about two times and has got more vents. The transfer speeds are quite impressive, almost as fast as the internal drives, and makes my PC look airy with lots of space :P
The hard drive comes with a bunch of softwares which could do a variety of things like creating auto-backups, encrypting files stored in it, and creating virtual space and thereby securing a part of the drive, just like false bottom of a draw. One also gets a movie-making software, which isn't any different from our good old windows movie maker.

--

My friend recently received a Nokia N97 on his birthday (amazing!) and I got some chance to play around with it. Actually, I had to tutor him on how to use half its features. Well, he's indeed a little nervous about the phone, thanks to the cost!
Talking about the phone, it's got a very attractive slide system. The touch screen adds to the goodness, but isn't as sensitive as the iPhone, and the stylus is a potential damage weapon to the screen. I'd recommend not to use it if you're invoking a paint-like software (don't remember the name, duh!)
Otherwise, N97's got an excellent music interface and great speakers. The highlight of this phone is the FM transmitter. One could set their own frequency on the phone and relay songs with a radius of 10m. It's particularly useful when one wants to listen to songs from his phone while driving...or when its party-time :) I tested this system vigorously for the quality; I played Radiohead in it, and was quite impressed. As far as how Radiohead is, I'll come to it later ;)

--

My guitar lessons have finally ended. I mean, not completed, but ended i.e., my guitar instructor/teacher has returned to the US after completing his mission here. We had a nice farewell, and he gifted my bro (and figuratively, me) a new guitar :) Since then I and my brother have been covering various songs, mostly from Radiohead. We haven't found a good guitar teacher yet, but I've been lately taking online lessons from Warren Lain on youtube.

Apart from that, I've been mostly studying as the JEE comes closer and closer. Tomorrow will be 2010, a BIG step closer to the bang-day! I've improved over the period of past few months, scoring pretty well and staying fairly certain of scratching into the college. Although there's still a long long way to go before I'm satisfied.


Best of 2009

And so has another year gone with all its exciting and contrastingly dull events. However one may refer to it, one more circle around the sun, or one more year closer to its end, it's finally 2010, and I'm glad it is.
On personal opinions, I would say 2009 went the fastest for me since I was very busy with studies and also the strange act of balancing many other things. Surprisingly, I've listened to more music than ever, watched more number of movies than any year in the last decade, and (obviously) studied much more!

Moving on to my personal charts,

*All that I shall be talking about need not have released in 2009, but come across by me in 2009.
**I'm not making a end-of-decade chart since it would all be concentrated around 2008-2009 even if i made one.

Music:

Top 10 albums of the year:

10. Homogenic - Bjork
9. Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth
8. The Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
7. Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin
6. Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division
5. Is This It - The Strokes
4. Revolver - Beatles
3. Kid A - Radiohead
Runner: Turn On The Bright Lights - Interpol
I came across this album not more than a month back, and it steadily rose up my favourites with every listen.
'Turn on the bright lights' is Interpol's debut album released in 2002.
Beginning with the dark Untitled, Interpol takes us through fast paced tracks, amazing ballads and thought provoking lyrics. Though the band's line-up is nothing much but electric guitars and pick-basses, the lead is melodic, and music is difficultly tight! It did keep up to my friend's words "the album will grow over you like an e^x graph."
Must Listen: Untitled, Obstacle 1, NYC, Hands Away, Leif Erikson

Winner: In Rainbows - Radiohead
Two Radiohead albums have made it to the top 5.
Starting with a groovy song with icy beats, the album progresses into britop and then in for some soft and abstract songs, then coming to win my heart with Faust Arp and Reckoner, further proceeding on with dark but soothing stracks such as House of Cards and Videotape. From the guitar point of view, the album has got a LOT to learn from, right from the first track till the last one! Some of the songs have surprisingly simple bases, which, I wish, had struck me.
In Rainbows in an excellent album and does feel like a rainbow in the sky; every track has it's own greatness and also sums up the band's journey across various music styles from The Bends.
Must Listen: 15 Step, Bodysnatchers, Nude...hell, listen to the whole album!

Top 10 tracks of the year:

10. Wilderness - Joy Division
9. I Might Be Wrong - Radiohead
8. Obstacle 1 - Interpol
7. Actor Out of Work - St.Vincent
6. Silver Rocket - Sonic Youth
5. Untitled - Interpol
4. Alone, Together - The Strokes
3. Tomorrow Never Ends - Beatles
Runner: Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin -- Although I had first listened to it in 2008, I actually knew about it only around March 2009. Ever since the first listen, it's been at the top. One of the most optimistic song that takes you through the entire process of consolation. Lyrically, it's a song to worship. The lead guitar and guitar/drum sync is incredibly beautiful! I listen to it every time I'm a bit depressed.

Winner: Paranoid Android - Radiohead -- I remember Reetesh had suggested last year that I listen to it. It was a a so-so song for me then. But in course of the twelve months that went by, the song grew over me faster than a massive and destabilized hydrogen fusion reaction.
Beginning with a very jazzy, and indie beat, the song progresses into angst laden melodies, then entering the heavy bit with Jonny's blasting solos..the song then undergoes a massive slowdown only to get faster again with a bang! Every bit of the song gives me goosebumps and not a day goes without listening to it. Greatness!

--

Movies:

English:
I haven't watched many movies lately, thanks to the academic priorities, but of those I've watched,

Nominees:
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • 2012
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the crystal skull
  • October Sky
Runner: October Sky
October Sky is a pleasant movie about four high school boys living in a town supported by a coal mine. Inspired by the launch of Sputnik at that time, they set out to build their own rocket. The fun-filled journey with good deal of obstacles make the movie memorable. Another great aspect of the movie is that I could relate myself to the characters and their pressures at various stages, such as performing in academics, making an earning, etc.

Winner: A Clockwork Orange
One of the most thought provoking movies I've ever watched. The only other movie that impressed me as much was The Dark Night, which topped my chart last year :) The highlight of the movie is it's plot that is strong enough to make the viewer ignore many of it's shockingly perverse scenes. A must watch for anyone who can tolerate a perverse atmosphere (almost everyone, that would be) :P

EDIT: I haven't watched the two great movies of 2009: Inglorious Basterds and Avatar. I wish I did.

Hindi (Indian):

As I mentioned before, I've watched more number of Hindi movies than I did before..in the theatre, I mean.

Nominees:
  • Dev D
  • Kaminey
  • 3 Idiots
Runner: Kaminey
An excellently narrated story of twins whose lifes are disjoint, but very much intertwined. Inspired by Tarantino flicks, it's an offbeat, yet a very catchy movie with a never-seen-before (in India) plot that thickens with every passing scene.

Winner: 3 Idiots
I'm still running out of words to praise this masterpiece. It was the perfect ending for 2009 and released at a very strategic time when half the student population of the country is busy preparing for one of the most toughest exams mankind has seen. It's just as amazing as Kaminey with excellent plot, but also has an underlying message important for a happy life.

--

I've hardly read any books. The only two I did this year were The Last Theorem by Aurthur C. Clarke and The Theory of Everything by Stephen Hawkins.

Wish you all a Happy New Year which shall go just as fast with fewer bad moments greater success events!
I'm off!

Templar AKA Sumanth






7 comments:

Viveck said...

Your teacher gave a new guitar as a gift? He must be awesome :D

From In Rainbows, I have listened to Bodysnatchers. I like it! Paranoid Android was the best song for me of Radiohead. When I first heard it, it was a so so song for me too, but then I started loving it :P

You liked 2012 very much that it's in your nominee list? Aamir Khan always strikes in the end....at least since last 3 years :P

Templar said...

Yeah, no matter how many people I might learn music from, he's one of those unforgettable mentors who just walked past my life!

Paranoid Android has been quite a hit among my classmates and relatives!

2012 climbed up to the nomination since I missed many other great movies. Although I still consider it a waste of time, I'd definitely recommend people to watch it, and realize that better movies can be made, with ease :P

Aamir seems to follow the old adage "The slow and steady, wins the race."

Reeteshifier said...

Nice! I have E66 and am on it half of the time. WiFi is a must have feature for all phones now :)

I didnt watch any of those movies neither did I hear any of those songs, haha. No comments :P

But I'm pretty sure they were awesome :D

Templar said...

E66 is an a nice one too! One of my classmate's got it.
True, Wifi is a must have feature. I intend to get a wifi enabled phone once I join college.

Ravi Shankar said...

One of your better presentations sumanth! I am fascinated by the price of your External hard disk! You got 1TB for just Rs5000! Thats wonderful! I am also planning to buy one, please give me suggestions and mail me giving details about the stability of the system in presence of the external hard disk.(If you have time.)

Moving on, Nice review about the movies. Hindi genre was good. I cannot comment on English movies as I have not watched any :(

Your guitar teacher is as benevolent as a teacher can be! Its a pity that he is not teaching you anymore.

Keep blogging!

Templar said...

1TB Seagate External drive costs just as much, without negotiations! Try somewhere around the Paradise area, that's where I got it.
My computer is perfectly stable with the Drive connected. The only problem I faced was that there were all four of its softwares loaded into the startup, and I had to remove every one of them to make my system boot faster.

Although I haven't watched any of the leading English movies that released in 2009, I've got a feeling that the Bollywood movies went deeper into the people than the English. I'm not sure how true it is, though.

It feels good to hear praises of my guitar teacher. Yes, I miss him on every Monday afternoon when we had a meet at his house for lessons, and more of jam-sessions around his departure.

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