The Archives

Varun's Dark Machine on YouTube

Sunday · 24 Sep 06 · 01:33 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

Varun's stop-motion animated short film, Dark Machine is now available for you to watch on YouTube!

The film, directed by Varun, is a very stylish work, utilising toys as characters.  The lead characters face off against a giant monster in this video, set to Linkin Park music.  This is great stuff indeed!

So what are you waiting for, watch Dark Machine now!

2 comment(s) for this post.

Site Themes Operational!

Sunday · 24 Sep 06 · 01:29 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Another feature on this site is now operational — the site themes!  There's a link called Customise now appearing on the menu, and from here you will be able to alter the look of the site.

Currently there are only two themes available — the default one (which I call "2006 The Reloaded") and a new theme called "Minimalist (Version)".  Check it out and let me know what you think!

1 comment(s) for this post.

Art Gallery Online!

Sunday · 17 Sep 06 · 05:07 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Art

I spent most of yesterday working on the Art Gallery for my site, and I am very pleased to announce that it is now operational!  Have a look here, there are currently 34 pictures available, featuring works done from 1994 to present!

Some time ago, Tobias Münch mentioned the launch of my site on his kotogoto.  And he mentioned that I took the comments system "to the next level" with the features I had added.  Well, when I was coding this Art Gallery, I thought, why not apply that principle here as well?  So there are two new features that set this system apart from what was there previously.

Firstly, you'll notice that you can add comments on any drawing of mine!  This is possible because I wrote the code to show/accept comments in such a way that it can be "plugged in" to any section of the site.

Secondly (and this is one feature I am really proud of), when you click on a link to view a piece of art, the image will be intelligently resampled to fit on the page!  This is accomplished using PHP's image handling functions based on the GD library.

So go ahead, visit the Art Gallery, check out the new features, and feel free to add comments where you see fit!

1 comment(s) for this post.

Movie Review: Basic

Wednesday · 13 Sep 06 · 02:43 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

Sometime back, I watched the John Travolta/Samuel L. Jackson thriller Basic on DVD.  A review I later read described the movie as having "all twists and no plot", and I was actually inclined to agree.

However, I was chatting with my friend Kamal a few days ago, and he had a lot of praise for the movie.  So I decided to watch the movie again, and things were definitely better the second time around.  I've added a review for the movie.  Check it out and add your comments.

Another cool thing to note: A couple of days back I added a simple redirect for the movie review pages.  The current movie review URLs are different from those used in the previous version of this site — this meant that the "external review" links I posted at the IMDb for certain movies would be broken.  Well, now if an old URL is used, the right page is automatically loaded, instead of giving you a 404 error.

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At BlogCamp, Day 2

Sunday · 10 Sep 06 · 10:47 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Had a great time at BlogCamp yesterday.  I gave a 20 minute presentation about this site itself (wiki entry here), and came to Tidel Park today as well for Day 2.

  • Award-winning photographer, Sharad Haksar gave a great presentation.  Samples of his work he showed were simply amazing (you can see these pictures on his site as well), and I would definitely recommend you have a look!  He said he uses a 22-megapixel camera for his work and is considering upgrading to a 39-megapixel one!
  • Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was a special guest at the event, and his talk was really interesting and insightful.
  • Someone pointed out this site — Beggr, about someone begging on a "Web 2.0" compliant website!
  • Lots and lots of laptops here — I checked out my site on Swiftfox/Linux on Akash's laptop, and on Safari/Mac on Jace's laptop (thanks).
  • Live webchat with Robert Scoble via Skype happened in the afternoon, people participated through IRC and Skype virtually as well.

Note: This post was made between 10:47 AM and 2:30 PM.

1 comment(s) for this post.

All about CAPTCHAs

Thursday · 7 Sep 06 · 01:28 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Tech

The CAPTCHA which I wrote for the comments system on this site turned out to be more troublesome than I thought.  Ganeshan made an interesting comment about it earlier — saying that it would keep out spambots as well as those with low IQs!  Addition and subtraction were okay, but even I started dreading the multiplication questions, and had Windows Calculator open just in case.  Who ever thought multiplying two 2-digit numbers would be such a pain?  (I once got a question with an answer that was something like 7378!)

Anyway I've simplified the whole thing now.  You'll only get single digit numbers, but to keep things interesting I've made them signed integers.

And don't worry, there won't be any zeroes causing any "division by zero" errors.  This also means the numbers aren't truly random, but they get the job done I guess.

Coincidentally, today, Slashdot had this very interesting discussion on CAPTCHAs, with some nice ideas on implementation.  I found Tim Tucker's idea of an anti-CAPTCHA very intriguing as well.

11 comment(s) for this post.

BlogCamp this weekend

Wednesday · 6 Sep 06 · 01:06 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

I'll be attending BlogCamp this weekend.


Varun and a few of his friends are coming down to Chennai for the event as well.  Looking forward to a great experience over those two days...

1 comment(s) for this post.

And we're live!

Tuesday · 5 Sep 06 · 01:37 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

After many, many days of hard work, I present to you Reloaded!

After four years of being online, a redesign was definitely due for this site, and that's exactly what I did over the last one month or so.  Only, I didn't expect that it would take this long — because of the new features I've implemented and because of the improvements I've made all over the place, this was almost like building everything from scratch again!  My PHP, MySQL and design skills certainly got a major workout in the process of the redesign — but I can safely say that I learnt a lot during the past one month or so.  It's been a labour of love.  At the end of it all, I am extremely happy with the way things turned out, and am very proud to present to you this updated website of mine!

But wait, you say — where are the drawings and where is the movies list?  Unfortunately, I haven't got those pages ready yet.  They should be done soon.  I went ahead and launched the site anyway, because, why deny access to the completed sections of the site for the sake of a couple of unfinished sections?  As time progresses, the menu on the left will certainly grow and new content should show up very soon.

Anyway, enough with the talk — please have a look around, and give me your feedback.  You can write comments on practically everything that is available on this site, so I would encourage you to use this feature to let me know what you think.

9 comment(s) for this post.

Progress on the site

Sunday · 3 Sep 06 · 08:59 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

I got a lot of good work done on the site in the past days.  I'm very pleased with the visual design — this is something different from what I have done in the past.  On the coding front, I've finally implemented a comments system, which allows visitors to post comments on not only these blog posts, but also to movie reviews, drawings and Doom reviews (and any other page I decide to add the facility to).  Content-wise I am getting everything ready now, and hopefully, the site will be online and viewable by everyone, by tomorrow evening.

1 comment(s) for this post.
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Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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