Friday, December 28, 2007

It's on its way!

Right now a Nikon D80 is on its way to my apartment!!

:-S But the lens (Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor) is getting delayed... Amazon says they'd ship it as soon as it becomes available... So I'm going to have to admire the looks of the D80 for few days before I can admire its output.

I also bought a Nikon branded backpack for the camera together with an extra Li-Ion battery and a Sandisk Extreme III 2GB SD memory card.

I'm going to miss a macro lens for a while... but hopefully not for long.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sleepless in Milwaukee

The first week or so since I came here, I didn’t had much of work. So I was able to get over the jet lag and work on the initial settling down.

But then it struck. We ran in to a release and I had to work late in to the night and get up early in the morning for status update calls. Most of the days I’m getting less than six hours of sleep.

What’s worse is that I’m still not doing any coding. Part it of has to do with the fact I came over here towards the end of the first phase of the project. So I didn’t want to dip in to the coding at the last moment. So what’s left apart from coding isn’t that attractive. You know, writing technical documents, sitting in long and boring calls, and speaking with people who like long boring discussions etc. etc.

My financial situation is kind of stable now. The per diem check had arrived last Friday to my earlier address and I was able to go pick it this Monday. But now, I don’t have time to go deposit it to the account. So the camera is still pending.

Amidst this entire busy schedule, I managed to watch few movies as well :)… Sleepless in Seattle - the 1993 classic of Nora Ephorn staring Tom Hanks, The Bourne Ultimatum of Paul Greengrass staring Matt Damon, and Namesake the latest film by Mira Nair staring Tabu, Irrfan Khan and Kal Penn. And if you were to ask me, I’d say Namesake is the best out of the three. Tabu is my favorite actress of all time and her performance in the film is one of a kind. Oh.. and I finished watching Prison Break season 3 up to episode 8 as well.. :”>

Sunday, December 16, 2007

How long has it been?

It's been two weeks. But still no photos... I'm yet to buy a camera. The money I had was put on for settling down. I'm yet to settle though. I need to buy a car. Need to take US driving license etc. etc.

I hope I'd get some free time after this week. So hopefully I could feel more settled by January. So those of you who are waiting for photos may have to wait some more time..

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Moved in

I rented an apartment at Sunset Ridge last Saturday and moved in today. The sole reason for delaying the move is I didn't had internet at this place. Now I got a 1.5 MBPS connection. Hopefully I'd get a mobile by the end of this week.

But apart from that, I'm running in to a financial crisis. I still didn't get my per diem and the money I brought with me is running out fast. If I don't get some money by next Monday, I'm doomed.

I've already missed quite a few photo opportunities, so would buy a camera as soon as I could spare thousand five hundred bucks on it.

Friday, December 07, 2007

End of a week

It's been a week since I came to Milwaukee, WI, USA. This time, things wasn't as smooth as it was the last time I came to US.

To start with, I found out just as I landed in Chicago that my VISA petitioned had expired without me knowing that there's a renewal for that. Then, my flight to Milwaukee got canceled and I had to spend all the cash I had with me on taxi's. To top it up, my luggage got delayed and I had to buy cloths etc. to survive till it arrived three days later.

And then, when I went to open an account with JPMorgan Chase Bank, which is the closest bank to the place I'm staying, they started to ask for various address verifications etc. Which I didn't had to the last time with Bank of America. And when finally they did open an account for me.. they misspelled my name x(... and didn't include my SSN in the records.. x( !@#$%..

So apart from all that, I'm suppose to share an corporate apartment with another fellow till I find accommodation for myself. I hate sharing houses, especially with people I don't know. This bugger is not that bad or any thing but I'm irritated by certain things.

Housing poses another problem.. I looked around a bit and all one bedroom apartments costs around $800 to $900. That's without furniture, internet etc. and the price excludes water, electricity and gas. So if I go for a apartment that costs $800, then I'd be spending about $1000 per month or a little bit more on accommodation. Where as shared accommodation would cost less than half of it. But I'm willing to bare that cost for the peace of mind.

Right now I'm sharing a car with my QA lead, mainly because I need a car for finding apartments and daily groceries etc. and sharing is cost effective. And the fellow isn't they type who'd make it a bad experience. So I'd probably stick to that sharing agreement for some time till my financial situation becomes good.

But the problem right now is that I haven't received per deum as of yet, so I'm running out of money pretty fast. And I'm afraid that it would get delayed more, judging by the experience I had so far with the bank.

I was hoping to buy a Nikon D80 as soon as I come here. But it seems it would have to wait for another month at least.

One thing which runs smooth is that I'm not that busy with the office work. I do have to stay up late in to the night to communicate with my offshore team and get up early in the morning for a status update etc. but during the day, I have enough time to attend to finding apartments, preparing documents for logistics etc.

Which reminds me, I have to file a reimbursement request for that taxi ride..

Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm in Milwaukee

I came to Milwaukee, WI on last Saturday.

As usual the flights were really long and boring. This time I flew to Heathrow, and then to Chicago. My flight from Chicago to Milwaukee was canceled due to bad weather but by the time it was canceled, I had already checked in the baggages for the flight and couldn't get them back. So I took a cab to Milwaukee from the Chicago air port leaving my baggages behind. It was a cross state drive of about two and half hours which cost $290.

The following day I called the Milwaukee airport to find out whether my baggages have arrived. They wanted me to come there to identify the baggage as there were too many !@#$%... So I took a cab again and went to the local airport to find out that my baggage is not there!

I didn't had any cloths in my hand luggage so I went to a local outlet store and bought some cloths and returned to the apartment. All this cost me over $450 within two days. Now I'm totally broke and have only couple of suits till they find and return my baggage.

To top every thing, it's damned cold here so I can't walk around to get to know the place.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Just came back from Yapahuwa. Amma (mom) wanted to go there for ages... finally took her there today.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


After weeks of tire and stress, I'm at home letting myself chill down.

Sithira and NC came over on Saturday and we headed to Wasgamuwa on Sunday. It was a welcoming getaway for all three of us. And it turned out that it would be the last trip that all three of us would go as bachelors!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Finally I'm going to be out from my current project, which is like the worst project I've ever worked on, not only because of the technology aspect of it but immensely because of the way the project is managed. People who work, has to work 24X7 without complaining and for the people who doesn't, there's no impact at all. I've already gotten myself in to enough trouble by speaking up against the way the things were managed so I'll refrain from going in to detail here. But the above picture tells the story.

From next month onwards I'd be on a new project, which I've been involved from the side for some time now. It's a banking application developed in .NET 2.0 and has some serious multi threading, remoting and webservices. With the involvement so far, management seems to be fairly good as well. So I'm looking forward for it now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu

I watched Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu of Kamal Hasan on Wednesday. It wasn't as good as I expected. Was extreamely long and a less natural compared to good movies of Kamal Hasan.
It was good to pass time with :D

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Brought ADSL

I brought SLT ADSL to my home in Kandy.

The connectivity right now is pretty impressive but SLT is one of the worst service providers in the region when it comes to their customer care.

I didn't buy any hardware from them as I wanted to go for a Linksys router so they just wouldn't give me their configurations! Luckily I got them from Prabath and there were quite a few blogs around giving out the settings as well.

On Saturday, I managed to connect but the connection was not stable and it was damn slow as well. So I called to complain and they said the connection is not given yet! I called back on Sunday and received the same response. But I managed to get connected twice. So I went to SLT Teleshop in Kandy on Monday and asked them what the heck is going on... Then they said the connection was given on Sunday and lodge a complain for disturbance in the line.

I went back home and started to pack to come back to Colombo. Then I received a call from SLT maintenance and the person on the line straightaway asked me how many lines I have in parallel. I said none. Then he asked me how could that be possible!!! I told him that I've connected the router straight to the wall outlet and it's not sharing the line with a phone. Then he went on to say that it must be a configuration error and can NOT be a problem in the line. I got pissed off by his arrogance and the rude manner so I gave him a piece of advise on customer care as well as the technical details of ADSL and hang up.

Then at around 7PM suddenly the link got up and every thing started to work out of the blue!! So I stayed back, taught amma (mom) and appachchi (dad) how to play with IM and email. Updated all the virus guards, spam filters, security updates etc. etc. in my home machine and came back around 11PM.

Hmm... checked during the day today and it seems to be working fine for now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On your mark, get set, write code...

Usually, when I'm in a project, I pretty much get a good understanding of the domain and a thorough understanding of the requirements before I start to code. But this time, it's been a totally different story.
We are suppose to deliver a project on Friday and non of us in the team has a enough understanding of the domain or the requirements... we pretty much followed the instructions that the customer gave and wrote an ever changing set of requirements according to an ever changing design. It's an miracle that we made it this far and it would take more than an miracle for us to deliver this on time.
Basically most of us spent 16+ hour work days for the past few weeks because of this issue.
If some one ever ask me how a project should not be run, I'm experiencing the exact thing right now.
But after this, I'm going to be working in a cool new application involving more on architectural work... but my fingers are crosses :D

Friday, October 26, 2007

Prabath's last day

(Picture taken in 2006 September)

40 Months ago, on 1st of July 2004, Prabath and I started work at Virtusa. We both were in the same project for three years straight and passed so many milestones together.

Prabath is a person who can take on any challenge and overcome that in style. Every constraint is just another reason to be motivated for him. He always kept his head up and kept things rolling until he reached his targets.

He's a heartiest friend on whom I would trust my life with.

Today is his last day at Virtusa. His absence would be much felt in the years to come, as a top notch techie as well as a great friend.

I wish him all the best in his life...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Eagle's Ridge - Hatton

Last weekend our team went on a trip to Eagle's Ridge in Hatton. That was like the worst trip I ever went on. All the alcoholics got drunk and brought out their animal behavior and about five or six of us were there with nothing to do but walk around. There wasn't much to see or do. But I managed to capture some pictures.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Coding at last

After a frustrating period of creating documents that doesn't make any sense, I'm back to coding. The design isn't the best but I'm making the changes I feel like to make it more digestible.

When I go through a period of non coding I get so bored and frustrated and every thing gets so miserable. But starting to code is like seeing the sunshine again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lhotka’s theory is against the theory I understand

I’m so bored with the work that I have at the office so I’ve taken on to reading quite a lot. I started with WF and at the same time started to read “Expert C# 2005 Business Objects” by Rockford Lhotka.

In the first chapter itself, while describing business objects, Lhotka states that “So, a business object that represents an invoice will include not only the data pertaining to the invoice, but also the logic to calculate taxes and amounts due. The object should understand how to post itself to a ledger, and how to perform other accounting tasks that are required. …” (Second Edition – Indian reprint : page 23)

I disagree.

An object should be an abstract representation of an entity or a concept. An object should represent one and only one entity or a concept. The contracts the object may have with other objects should be strictly in need to have basis.

Lhotka states the invoice should contain the logic to calculate taxes. Tax is a concept independent of an invoice entity. The responsibility of invoice with regards to tax is only to support the following two functionalities. 1.) Provide the taxable values 2.) Accept the tax values and use them against the taxable values. The invoice should not even know who does the tax calculation. It should expose the above mentioned functionality in terms of events and methods in the public interface.

Lets take a brief look at the problems that would arise when we implement the tax concept inside the invoice. To start with, it’s difficult to manage. Every time the tax calculation methods are changed, or a new tax is introduced you have to change the code in your invoice and test every functionality that’s associated with the invoice. Secondly, think of security, tax calculation is likely to require more security than the invoice as it could be accessing financial resources, and invoice is an object you are likely to pass around in your application. Not a good combination to go together. And thirdly, this implementation require the invoice object to have contracts with other objects which are required in tax calculation, which further complicates the manageability and possibly impact the structure of the application.

The second thing is, Lhotka states that the invoice object should understand how to post itself to a ledger. It is acceptable for an invoice to know which ledger it is posted in, but to be able to post itself to a ledger, it needs the knowledge of the ledger before it’s actually posted to it. Which is conceptually wrong. The invoice in Lhotka’s example is having a contract to a ledger before it actually gets posted to it. Secondly, posting an invoice to the ledger is neither a responsibility of an invoice nor of a ledger. An invoice should support being posted in a ledger and perhaps hold a reference to the ledger after it’s posted. And the ledger also should support posting invoices to it. But the responsibility of actually doing the act of posting is a responsibility of a third object.

Having such unnecessary contracts and responsibilities in objects causes manageability issues as well as design issues further on. For example if the action of posting an invoice to a ledger becomes more complicated in the future that requires modifications to the invoice class. And if these changes require access to other objects which the invoice by design does not have access to, it’s going to require some risky structural changes to the application as well.

Any thoughts?

Friday, September 21, 2007

An inconvenient truth

About couple of months ago, I bought the documentary DVD titled “An Inconvenient Truth - a global warning”.
I knew global warming is an issue and I knew things are at a critical stage and we are already late in taking actions to stop. But watching this documentary made me actually realize how scary things really are.
Al Gore, a former Vice President of United States is doing one of the best presentations ever in this DVD. It’s a must watch for every one.

Check this link for more info about the DVD

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Starting it all over

It's been some time since I moved in to a place with fixed line telephone and my office firewall unblocked blogger. So I could have really blogged earlier than this if I wanted to... But I didn't feel like it up till now.

Things have been generally okay but could have been much better. To put aside personal life, which again could have been much better, work has been as boring and frustrating as it could be. I enjoy solving design puzzles and writing code. But that's exactly what I don't get to do these days.

The company is more focused on engaging in enterprise level business even at the stake of not following proper engineering practices, and that conflicts with my interests.

Friday, July 13, 2007

May have to abandon my blog

Our MIS leadership, after pathetically proving how inefficient and incompetent they are during the last couple of days, has decided to block access to blogger (including many other commonly accessed sites/blogs - not to mention some banking sites) from our network. And I do not have an internet connection at home. So that may well mean that I am forced to abandon my blog, unless I find a house with a fixed line telephone, so I could blog from home.

So folks, if this is the end, thank you so much for reading my blog over the past 3+ years and making comments. I got to know many nice people through the blog and wish them all the best in their lives.

Any one could reach me at

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Beauty beneath the skin

Exposure : 10s (manual)
Aperture: f/3.5 (manual)
focal length: 27.5mm
ISO: 50 (manual)
Metering mode: Evaluative
White Balance: Custom
Focus mode: Manual

Friday, June 29, 2007

Pain relief clinic

So I finally gave in to my sister and went to the pain relief clinic at the NHSL to show my back this morning.

The place was stinky, congested and very poorly ventilated. And the minor staff was rude, dumb and ignorant.

I felt really sorry about the elevator operator who sits in the dark, hot and smelly elevator pressing six buttons for eight hours per day. That job must really suck.

I had to open a file in order to get in to the clinic. So I went to the office to do so. It was a room full of piles of paper files. And a couple of rude and lazy looking men were occupied in selecting them. I stood there till it was my turn, but soon realized it’s not the way to get things done there, because dozens of stinky and dirty people surpassed me to get their “files” (Is being poor an excuse for not being clean?). So I realized waiting for the turn is not the way to go. It took more than five minutes for the person there to write my name (P. M. Bandara) on the file. I’m not extravagating. It really took that time. And I bet even he couldn’t read his hand writing.

After all that, I made it to the doctor. Who actually was quite nice - hmm.. She examined me and said it can’t be something serious and is probably caused by my posture and injected something in to my spine. Now that hurts!! She also directed me to a physiotherapist.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Google calendar SMS support for Dialog and Celtel

Perhaps it's old news for most of you, but Google calendar now supports SMS alerts for Dialog and Celtel subscribers in Sri Lanka. I find it really cool. I can synchronize my outlook calendar in to Google calendar and have it send me SMSs reminders.

More than for me, this should be really useful for those busy people on the move. try it out at

Monday, June 25, 2007

Yasas interviewed

Yasas is a good friend of mine who started his career at Virtusa in the same project with me. Soon he opted to change his career track to BA to become undoubtedly one of the best business analysts in the business.

Recently Debbie Timmins of ACS interviewed him in her blog. You could read the interview here.

You could also visit Yasas’s blog here.

The Sri Lankan train commuters

They seems to share some of the characteristics of Sri Lankan trains don’t they?

They walk out of the station as a stalk, they don’t stop for traffic (neither vehicles nor other people crossing their path) and they never seem to evolve fast enough.

Some times, when I get a little bit late to come to office I get to experience this train effect. A train arrives at the platform close to WTC around 7.10 A. M. and the passengers start to storm the road for several minutes. Not even the policeman at the zebra crossing is able to stop them. They just continue to cross the road in a stalk and all traffic has to stop.

Getting caught in middle of that crowd is equally frustrating when you walk as well. They walk too slowly but they wouldn’t let you walk overtaking them. They occupy the whole pavement and would jam your way some how.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Date time : 06/24/2007 5:53:12 PM
Shutter speed value: 1/251 s
Aperture value: f/3.5
Focul length: 72mm
Focus mode: Manual
ISO sensivity: 50
White balance: Auto
Optical zoom: 12X

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cow's milk and water

Couple of days back, I saw 500ml tetra packs of full cream milk by Kotmale dairies at Cargills and took couple of them home to try out. It was pure milk with no added flavors. I had one this morning and it was OK.

I always wanted to drink a lot of fluid in the morning because it's supposed to be a healthy habit. But I could never drink more than one cup of water, but I drank the whole 500ml of milk. So that's good.

Thinking of doing it every morning, I checked the price of it. It was just Rs. 35/-!!! Now a 500ml bottle of mineral water costs Rs. 40/-...

So milk is cheaper than water...

සිංහල වියුම

මෙච්චර කල් බ්ලොග් කරල සිංහලෙන්නුත් ලියල බැලුවෙ නැත්තම් හරි නෑ නෙ

Sunday, June 17, 2007

To hell with the doctors

I’m supposed to be seeing a doctor right now. But I’m much happier sitting at the office. I hate having to go to a doctor and avoid it when ever possible, because doctors here (including my sister) don’t have any respect to the patients. Most doctors think they are a super breed or some thing and don’t have any socio-cultural empathy

Anyways, I’m having this back pain for almost a year now. It started off as a mild pain on the upper part of the spine in last august and by October it got really worse. It started to feel quivers through my spine and legs. First I thought it was the cold but then realized it’s the back. So I stopped working out and started to wear a back supporting belt. I had it till April and then it became kind of hyper sensitivity in the back. Now it’s almost gone but I get the pain when I lift some thing heavy or make a sudden awkward move.

All this time I’ve been avoiding going to a doctor, because baring the pain is much comfortable than baring the arrogances of Sri Lankan doctors. My sister made an appointment for me this morning and was to come with me to this pain relief clinic in the hospital. But she got late to turn up, so I took the chance and came to office.

To hell with the doctors.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Four years back, .NET 1.0 was relatively new. I had started to read and play with it from the beta so I was pretty good when the 1.0 was out. When I started professional development in mid 2003 I was on top of the business.

One of the luxuries in smaller companies is that you get to work with what you want - at least most of the time. That allows you to use the latest technology in day today work. But in large IT service companies that’s not the case. Most of the time they take over upgrade or maintenance work.

So even though I managed to keep myself up to date after joining Virtusa, my work had always been in older technology; but it had at least been .NET. By the time .NET 3 was released, at work I was just migrating a .NET 1.1 code base in to 2.0.

But now it seems as if things are to be worse. There’s VB6 maintenance project in the horizon signalling to come my way…

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My love of Tamil music

Couple of days back, I made a comment on Parthi's blog about A R Rahman's music. But he seems to have thought I was being extravagant. But the truth is, I listen to Tamil songs more than I listen to Sinhalese or English. So I gave him a glimpse of my Tamil Music collection. And today thought of writing how it all started.

I never was a music lover. I had several hundreds of MP3s in my machine but never listened to them regularly. During late 1999 or early 2000, my good friend Shamik (yeah Muslim) brought his hard disk to be backed up to mine. In there was a huge collection of Tamil MP3s. I played couple of them randomly and was touched deep in my heart by the fascinating music. Of cause I didn't understand any words. It was just music for me. I decided to keep the MP3s and listened to them much often.

After some time I realized that since I do not understand the words, I could concentrate on anything else while listening to them (Which I couldn't while listening to Sinhala or English) and more over, that music always had a soothing effect on me. It made me calm and happy. So I became an Tamil Music lover - they were in my car, in my phone, at home and at office.

BTW, I like Tamil movies too

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tell what you will do, do what you told you would do, say so if you couldn’t

Many software companies use fairly matured and evolving project delivery processes. Most of those processes could be tailored to suit individual projects. But we often see projects that runs in to misery, and worse, there are projects that have 100% process compliance and still runs in to misery - and some times fails!

The main cause as I see is project managers think process is like law. So if they fail to follow it, they cheat. They lie, produce forged documents and do every thing in their ability to mislead the process auditors. In this process not only they jeopardize the project, but burn out the resources and risk demolishing the moral of the team members. They do not realize that it’s not something measuring their competency or performance but a simple guideline to aid their work.

Lying to a process auditor is like lying to a doctor. No matter how humiliating it is, you got to tell the truth. In a service oriented company, delivering a quality service on time is the key to good business. And a process is there to guide that delivery. If things go out of track, they need to be identified and rectified.

Friday, June 08, 2007

If I blog about this...

I was accused of blogging about politics and terrorism just to attract traffic. No hard feelings - I'm excited to see more traffic, but I write what ever that comes to my mind when ever I feel like writing it down. When people read them and comment, there's a little excitement in it. But I don't think what I write about politics or the terrorists would have any impact on the system or the situation in the country. Nor do I expect to change the way people think. It would be bonus if they ever do.
There had been many a discussions in this blog on the terrorist issue (No it's not ethnic and that's my stance) and how it should be handled. Every one had their say and then that's that.
The current news highlights are on eviction of Tamils who are from NE and could not provide a viable reason for staying in Colombo from the lodges. I'm tempted to write my view on it, even when it serves no purpose.
  • Why were they here in the first place? Why did they left their homes to come live in lodges in Colombo?
  • How on earth do they afford paying for lodging, food and all other expenses? They do not work here. Can't presume they earned that much money while in NE.
  • What do they do here? If they aren't working or learning, why are they in Colombo for months? How and on what do they spend their time?
Anyways, that's that and I'm having a issue with how Microsoft Resource Schema 1.3 and 2.0 stores OcxState. There's a difference but I can't find it documented any where...

Monday, June 04, 2007

The rights of terrorist suspects in Britain

Gordon Brown, who is to succeed Tony Blair as the next British prime minister, is proposing to triple the length of pre-charge detention period for terror suspects. So that's going to be 90 days. And he also plans to make amendments to the laws so phone tap evidence can be used in court.

search google for more

Human rights organizations again seems to have found a bone to byte on. I won't blame them, they need funds to keep the organization and they wouldn't receive funds unless they oppose a government.

But what we must understand is that every country who are facing terrorist threats are forced to make such compromises which indeed would violate human rights to ensure national security. It's about safeguarding the lives of the people in a country.

Mega zoom effect

Scattered thoughts of memories

I would try to make some thing out of this as much as I could. But be warned these are raw thoughts.

We remember things happened in the past. There are some we love remembering and some we wish we didn’t. Usually memories are triggered by some sort of incident, it could be some thing we see, some thing we hear, some thing we taste, some thing we feel through touch, some thing we smell or some generation of thoughts.

But why do we remember them? There are a lot of things that we do not remember even if we want to. We have memories that makes us hurt, memories that makes us happy and also strangely enough memories that are neutral.

Theoretically there is some sort of an attachment to these incidents that makes them remembered. So that means we are attached to those unpleasant incidents as well.

When a memory arises in our mind we tend to keep thinking about that. So generations of thoughts are populated on an incident which happened in the past. And those thoughts are mostly based on how we perceive those incidents at the moment the memory arose. So over time, how we perceive an incident could very well change. So it is possible, over time, our memories of a certain incident to change. So logically, old memories could very less be different from fantasies.

So, it could be that we cultivate our thoughts in memories.

If you read this far… you would care enough to share a thought of your own.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Spending time with parents

For the past couple of months I was unable to spend much time with my parents. So this weekend I came to Kandy and spending four days with them. So I won't blog much till next Monday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mistranslation of Rathana theros speach.

The heading "Tamils don't belong to Sri lanka, they should fight in Tamilnadu- Rathana thera" in lankaEnews website is a slight mistranslation from the Sinhalese.
The monk is implying that Tamils has their origins in Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka is the home land of Sinhalese. Check the star gallery link in the same site and you would understand the standards of the site.

Got promoted

Yesterday I received my promotion letter to Associate Technical Lead, as usual back dated to April 01st.

I joined Virtusa on 01st of July 2004 as an Associate Software Engineer, had my bad times, good times, low performance times, high performance times and every thing in-between with three consecutive promotions.

Three years is a long time to be at one place compared to my career history. But I'm happy I could hold on to it. Looking back I'm happy about where I am today but the future stands full of potential.

Monday, May 28, 2007

One too less white van

The claymore mine in Rathmalana yesterday killed at least six (6) civilians including two females and injured more than 16 including children. Amnesty International or any other human rights activists doesn't seem to bother much about that. Perhaps it's not to the best interest of their funders.

Our country is at war. Enemy has it's roots in our society. Security forces along can not be held responsible for protecting civilian lives. It's the responsibility of every peace loving person in this country to be on alert and act upon anything suspicious. Perhaps more information from the public and/or another white van could have prevented yesterday's bloodshed.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Movie marathon

Yesterday I went to MC theater hoping to watch Spider Man 3. The darn queue was halfway down the second floor. (Compare that to less than 50 audience for Sankranthi - who said there aren't any movie goers any more?) So bought couple of DVDs and headed back home. Rocky Balbova and Babel.

First watched Rocky Balboa, this was release while I was in the US and I was longing to watch it. But couldn't make up the time. It had the most common story line ever for boxing and martial art movies. The main character for one reason or another wants to fight the ultimate fight (most of the time with the bad guy world champ), he train hard with a fight plan and wins (or loose) marginally at the last moment (just before the bell of the last round). Nevertheless, Rocky Balboa was still a worth watch.

Rocky after wining world heavy weight championship couple of times is retired in to doing a small restaurant. His kid is grown up and rarely ever visits him because he(son)'s having a personality crisis. His wife's dead and he's still miserably missing her. He's bored with life and spends his time telling old time stories to his clients at the restaurant. He helps people and still is the champ in the hearts of his fans. A sports channel screens simulated fight between the current world champion (who's never beaten and haven't found a match yet - disliked by the fans) and rocky in a program. Motivated by that Rocky reapplies for a license to box again. He was planing to fight in small fights but the now disparate managers of world champ invite him for a exhibition match with the world champ. Rocky train go for the fight, box all 10 rounds and marginally loose by split decision. Unlike most of the movies of this nature, very less time was taken to show how he practice. Much was taken to show his loneliness and his good nature. The final fight was given enough weight. All in all, I like it. But wouldn't call it great.

Babel, well - good story wasted by bad cinematographer. It's more like "Asoka Handagama" type...

“Sankranthi” - the bankrupted Sinhalese Cinema

I hadn’t watched a Sinhalese film for ages, probably I swore myself not to watch one again the last time I did. So yesterday I went to see “Sankranthi” a movie by Anuruddha Jayasinghe, staring Sangeetha Weeraratne, Bimal Jayakody and W. Jayasiri.

Dr Gerard (W. Jayasiri) a Primatologist with Phd s from an american university is studying the behaviour of apes in jungles with a nature photographer Sunimal (Bimal Jayakody). They spend a prolong amount of time in jungles leaving behind Pam (Sangeetha Weeraratne) young wife of Dr. Gerard. Apparently Pam is couple of decades younger to Gerard and starts off an intimate relationship with Sunimal.

It’s the perfect story for a porn movie I guess, but the only nudity the movie had was the posterior of Bimal and Jayasiri, which was disgusting and totally out of place for the movie.

I have seen cinematographers making use of much shorter and stupider story lines, so apart from the ill witted story, the director sucks too. The movie was dull and was a total waste of time and money.

I’m yet to see a “digestible” Sinhala film after Jayantha Chandrasiri’s “AgniDahaya”….

Friday, May 25, 2007

Heated at work

There is a power outage at the WTC and the entire building doesn’t have air conditioning. The computers, UPSs and we - humans, haven’t stopped emitting heat though…

It’s pretty hot here and difficult to breath as well.

Update: forgot to mention, there are no windows here - no air circulation

Ranil's fault or Mahinda's fault?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bombing at the doorstep

Came to office around 7.15, had breakfast, checked mail and the syndications. Then slowly started with day's work when I started to receive IMs from friends asking about a bomb blast in Fort, where my office is.

I didn't hear a thing, but the IMs were too many for it to be a false alarm. One said it was in front of the harbour. I get a clear view of the harbour, so I took a look, nothing seemed to be moved. Hmm...

Half an hour later, it's in the front page of my iGoogle!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Anonymity and Screen names in blogsphere

Modesty and fear are the main factors that make us behave the way we do. We control our expressions of anger, hatred, disgust, lust etc. because of them. Anonymity provides the opportunity to be free from the need to be modest or feared to express their true opinions. It also shows the true character of a person. Most of the anonymous comments we see in blogs are expressions of such depressed opinions.

When the anonymity of those people is lost, they get hyper defensive of their acts as they know in the back of their minds that their true tarnished personalities are being exposed.

People who present themselves with screen names are often just being defensive of their opinions than being guilty conscious about it. They represent their personality with grace unlike the anonymous. These people wouldn’t mind exposing their true identities to those they trust.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Localized web

It amazes me how many websites provide localized contents these days, it's quite more than I would have imagined.

I'm working on a application that should be supported in several languages including Japanese and French. So often, I have my regional settings set to these languages. And when I browse the web, I get pages in those languages...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Me and my cameras

During my childhood, my brother had a camera, first a Konika auto focus point and shoot one and then a Zenit SLR. I loved them, however hardly ever was allowed to use them. Then I had a point and shoot camera of a brand I don’t recall. All I did with it was - point and shoot. Then there was a Canon point and shoot camera my sister brought from Japan… can’t remember making much use of it either.

Then I bought a mobile phone with an inbuilt camera - a Nokia 6230i with a 1.3MP camera. I shot a fair deal with that one and felt the need for a *real* camera. Perhaps it was the digital factor that made me addicted for shooting. So when I went to US last year, the first thing I bought was a Canon PowerShot S2 IS with 12X optical zoom. I needed more optical zoom for some reason but I seldom use the mega zoom. S3 was just released by that time but I wasn’t convinced it is worth for the extra $80.

I shoot a lot with it and go out solely to shoot as well. Among other things I’ve figured so far are the facts that, I got a lot to learn and I should have invested on a dSLR. Hmmm…

Sunday, May 20, 2007

How you find me

It’s quite interesting to know how and where from my visitors come. There are like 40~50 visitors (unique IP) everyday who just type in or use a bookmark. Probably syndicates count in here as well. Then there are another 50 or so coming from, or Another 20 or so comes from sites that have linked to my blog. An interesting 15~20 come from search results every day as well. Search criteria that had directed here yesterday were
“Tamil Elam”
“Tamil blog Canada”
“sri lanka blog”

Interestingly, some IPs have visited me 20 times during yesterday!

Most of my visitors come from Sri Lanka, second highest is shared between Australia and United States. There are some regular visitors in the UK and the Middle East as well.

Being pissed off in the morning

I wish I could keep my head cool all the time. Being angered creates more suffering for me than any one else. But that’s how things are. Perhaps I don’t meditate enough. Even the monk told me so yesterday…

Any ways what made me angry this morning is the dumb head neighbor of ours (I hate having neighbors - doesn’t every one?). I had to pick up my sister at 7 this morning. I got up late and had to hurry so didn’t lock the gate as I was leaving. The idiot came out from no where and very rudely said “make sure you ‘close’ the gate when you go out” (no “please” - no smile). I was in a hurry as I said so just said “yeah sure” and walked away without locking it.

We, living in an apartment complex, share the same gate with our neighbor. There were times when they (neighbors) just take the darn padlock with them for days and we weren’t able to lock the damned thing. But this bugger had the nerve this morning to tell me what to do. I was in mood to tell him a thing or two when we came back but the bugger wasn’t around - that prevented some thing that could have been a really bitter experience for the rest of our stay there.

So what made me cool off later? It’s the friendly stray dog I feed with biscuits every morning. She came on to me smiling and wagging her tail. She probably sensed I was in a bad mood so she made sure I feel better before attending to the biscuits. Isn’t that wonderful? The animal had more sensibility than that human.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

You might want this

I’m intentionally avoiding commenting on certain posts these days. Because I’m pretty sure, if those discussions last any longer, every one would need one of these

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mahinda and the agreements

One thing I don't like about our president is his signing of agreements with every jockey he could set his eyes on. I mean, it's been hilarious, so has been politics in our country for quite some time.

But seriously it's hard to say, to which agreement he stick to. And it's even more difficult to believe all these parties and people agreed to his "Mahinda Chinthanaya". But again for politicians here, it's about power than policies. So what's said in the document must not really matter for them as long as they get in the power they wanted.

Try finding it yourself first.

Yesterday, some one from another team came to our cubicle and asked:

“machan, have you heard of ‘firehose state’ in SQL sever”

I goes,

“Nop, never heard, did you try google?”

“No, I thought you guys would know”


So I type “sql server firehose” in google. (Actually in ;) ) and dalaaa… here comes the first link, with the answer to his question. So had he really googled, he could have solved his issue before standing up and walking to our cubicle.

The truth is, for a software engineer in a service oriented company like ours, there could be very little technical issues that are left unsolved. And google, would almost always direct you there to the answer. What are there for us to solve are only the business problem and the environment issues specific to the solution we build.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

In what way were you discriminated?

Since there are a lot of Tamils who believe they have been discriminated because they are Tamil, and I’m still in the stance that the discrimination was purely geographical, I would like to know facts. What discrimination did you face because of being Tamil?

Australian Cricket and Microsoft

These two has one thing in common at least, no matter who shouts foul, they get their job done.

I’ve been receiving countless number of emails requesting to sign petitions and send mails to ICC etc. about this squash ball issue. Okay he had a damned squash ball in his glove - not fair. But it’s over now. They won and we lost. Its one thing to fight for some thing rightfully yours and it’s another to fight for some thing that could have only had a slight advantage. It wasn’t the damned squash ball that hit the ball in to right places. It was the man having it in inside his glove.

Perhaps those who are still not over with the squash ball thing could write a stupid game like “kill bill” named “ball ausies”. So you could all have that sense of pleasure that you beat the Australians.

Aren't preventing these worth loosing our rights for?

I hate having to stop at the check points. And I know there are people who face greater difficulties than that because of the security reasons. But I believe that process help prevent at least few of these massacres. Isn't it worth all that? It is for me at least.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Fuel price hike and us

Fuel price equate to cost of living. There for it’s not only vehicle owners who feels it when the fuel price go up. We blame the government, government blame the crude oil market, opposition says the government is wrong and we support the opposition.

No matter who rules, the percentage from my salary I spend on fuel has increased constantly. Hmm…

There had been two major issues in this country which has been the trumps for the politicians after the independence; war and cost of living. But none ever successfully countered either of them so far.

Americans pay less for fuel. How come? Probably because they have oil there and they own a fair share of the oil market as well. But nevertheless they are also investing a great deal on alternatives. What do we do? Can we do any thing at all rather than blaming some one?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Who’s right is this?

Yesterday during the Emergency debate Mr. Kajendran, a TNA (pro LTTE political party) MP said ‘Our Air force would be used to attack enemy targets’. When he uses the term ‘our’ he was referring to the LTTE, a terrorist organization banned in many countries of the world. What right does he have to make such terrorist threats in parliament?

All MPs takes oaths to safeguard the unity of the country and oppose its division. Apart from breaking that auth Mr Kajendran has openly admitted that he’s a member of LTTE.

Decision lies ahead.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Tamil Elam you want

For the history I know, the northern part of Sri Lanka has been under constant attack from Indian invaders - mostly Tamil. So time to time they have been ruling the north but eventually a southerner would go and win back the land. Let it aside so the historians could debate on whose native land is it. Put aside the manipulations of Tamil minds to make them want a separate country.

I’m pretty sure there are Tamils who honestly believe north and the east of Sri Lanka is their’s. The reason is not I ponder about neither the fact whether it’s possible.

Let’s hypothetically think that they get the separate country. Done. No war. There’s a border separating south from north and east.

The south - the smaller Sri Lanka retains it’s capital and all the critical cities of economical importance. All the industries which produce the income would prosper without the war and more investors would probably come because the war is no more. Tourism would flourish and so forth.

But what would be the situation in the “Elam”? Right now, the LTTE gets most of it’s funds through illegal business like arms smuggling, drug trafficking and stuff like that. Would the economy of the Elam be based on these? Irrigation and farming would be one option but could they run a country just with that? Surly Norway, Canada and other pro-LTTE community would provide funds for uplifting other industries. But do they have the resources to invest those funds on? They now don’t have a proper educational system nor a proper governance structure. Surely, some of the educated Tamils now abroad would come to help. But how effective would it be? Hmm… to top all, there could be political battles and a misery in the administration. And that’s like only the economical aspect of it. What about the social aspect? There’s a huge gap left there as well.

All in all, I think what they are fighting for is a worse misery than what they are already in.


Everybody captures the front, Niluksha had the nerve to capture the back...

Sinhala Buddhist Racism and Politics and my stance

EDIT: I have matured since this post, and I do not believe in what I speak here anymore.

As much as I like Udaya Prabath Gammanpila of Sihala Urumaya (note: not Hela Urumaya) to be the president, I know he’s more to mature. Nevertheless I vote him. Is he a racist? Yes. A Sinhala Buddhist racist.

So why do I vote a racist? There are three reasons why.

Sinhala Buddhist racism does not discriminate other races or religions. Buddhist teachings are to equally honour all other religions the same as Buddhism. Had they really tried to understand what Sinhala Buddhist racism is, all other races would have welcomed it more.

I’m not voting a political party nor a person but what a person or the party represent. I believe collectively the political view of Sihala Urumaya is close to mine. If the leaders of the party is to divert from that view - that’s their option. If the party as a whole is to divert from what it represent that the option of its leaders as a whole. To whom I vote would still be a logical decision I make. If I feel the party still represent what I believe in, I shall vote. If not I would look for other’s who does. But leaders leaving the party, or few things going the wrong way wouldn’t really change any thing in what they represent.

I believe Udaya and Champika at least believe in what they say and honestly want to do it. And their arguments seem logical to me. They are willing to take constructive criticism and are willing to accept if they make mistakes. They are very less corrupted than any other politician in this country.

Finally on monks doing politics, I believe it’s not right. Monks are supposed to dedicate themselves to achieving nirvana and to guide lay men on the same path. That’s the sole reason why any one should become a Buddhist monk. To get away from the complexities and attachments of lay life and to live a more simple and purified life, meditating, advising and preaching lay people on dhamma which lord Buddha preached.

But over time the values of being monks have perished and Buddhist monks or rather people pretending to be Buddhist monks have engaged in various activities which Buddha explicitly prohibit them from. To imply how much we have come to live with the malpractices of monks, treating patients as doctors is explicitly prohibited for monks by lord Buddha. But how many monks do we know who does this? Some even engage in activities considered indecent even for lay people. So given that, politics isn’t that bad… yet that doesn’t mean its right. A monk should be a monk.

Monday, May 07, 2007

So they've been talking

Lot of ms geek blogs started to bitch about Silverlight over the past few weeks. I don't have a clue what the heck it is. There was a time when I read a lot and knew every thing that happened out there; relevant to MS development at least. But now I'm more focused on few things and only have a clue about the others. But I always know where to look for when I need information or guidance. In this case, I was clueless - So I looked for information.
While most bloggers were all bitching about it, very few were actually posting useful information.
Merill linked to this and ScottGu posted this
So the all new name "Silverlight" is actually for the WPF/E which every one was talking about for quite some time now. That made things easy. I knew what WPF/E was. Hmm..
So you know what... Bill Gates just might rename his children when they graduate... Yeah - really he could..

Friday, May 04, 2007


"In Colombo, a young woman was drowned when she fell into a large water hole in the centre of the pavement at Wijerama Mawatha. The hole was not visible since the whole pavement was covered by flood waters. She has been identified as S. M. Anoma Gunadasa. A woman teacher, Thilini Palihakkara, attached to the Royal Institute was electrocuted in Slave Island. She had fallen into a pit that was covered with water and tried to get out of it by holding on to a damaged lamp post which was electrified. In the Kirillapone market a man died when lightning struck him during the morning rains. At Nagoda, in Galle, a brother and sister were buried alive by an earth slip." - news

"Scepter and crown
Must tumble down
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade."

"Now when a man is truly wise,
His constant task will surely be,
This recollection about death,
Blessed with such mighty potency."