Monthly Archives: August 2007

No faith in Palm anymore…

Engaget posted an editorial about what is wrong with Palm and what they need to do to fix the situation: Dear Palm: It’s time for an intervention. It is very revealing that a lot of the comments on that editorial are from Palm users who have lost faith in Palm. I have not sent a comment there but you can count me among the group of those who have lost faith. I’ve owned two Palm devices, only one of which was a cell phone. The way things are going, it is likely that for my next smart phone, I’ll be looking at another platform than Palm.

eBags did right and honored its price matching policy…

eBags’ price matching policy really works! I posted a few days ago an item in which I was venting my frustration with eBags. For details you should read that post but basically I felt eBags was not honoring its price matching policy as posted on its web site. After publishing my post, I sent an email to Jon Nordmark, CEO of eBags. His email address is published right there on eBags’ web site and I figured that if he publishes it, he must want people to contact him if they have problems. So I sent him an email detailing my troubles. I did mention that I had published a post on my blog about it and that I was going to contact The Consumerist about my experience. He replied by email almost immediately and was quite apologetic. He said he would take care of the situation.

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The necessity of memorization

One of my projects this summer was to start memorizing the verses of Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā. At cruising speed, I’m able to learn about one verse a day… which is not too shabby considering that in the AIIS program last summer the memorization rate was 2 verses a week. It is an unfortunate fact that during the most part of my Sanskrit studies, memorization was not a priority for me or my teachers. I’m not saying that my teachers did not ever have us memorize anything. I did memorize some vocabulary and some declension tables in my classes in Western universities. However, in the Western setting especially, memorization was a fairly limited and artificial affair. After my experience this summer, I am convinced that the memorization of actual texts is a desirable element of learning Sanskrit and should be present from the earliest stages of learning.

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Table manners

Yesterday my wife and I had dinner at Madras Palace, a local Indian restaurant. I had a paper dosa and decided to eat it the way I was taught to eat food during my stay in Pune last summer: I used my right hand exclusively. No utensils. That earned me a few curious looks from people passing by our table.

Cleaned up the theme

As much as I liked the theme I selected to give a style to my blog different than the default style, I had some issues with it. I took 20 minutes today to make it more appealing to me. I especially disliked the font selection and I was not happy with the way the front page displayed recent posts. I like it much better now.

eBags not honoring its price matching policy

Update 2007/08/20: eBags responded positively. See this post.

Don’t you hate it when you buy something at a store and then you find a few days later that the very store where you bought the item lowered the price of that item? If the retailer has a price guarantee, then you’re in luck. You can contact them so that they’ll honor the terms of their guarantee. At the very least, you’ll get the item at the new price and sometimes you can get even more than that. Well…. that’s the theory. In practice, it is usually pretty hard to get them to honor their guarantees. I’ve had a particularly bad experience with eBags recently and have yet to get them to honor their price matching policy.

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More adventures in Indian cuisine

I’ve written before about my pitiful dosas and how I learned that I really need to spread the batter. I’ve since bought an actual tava… which does help but not that much. I’ve also experimented with rava dosa and found the batter to be thinner. It requires a different kind of handling… gentler. And then tonight I made idlis for the first time. Results were so so but that is to be expected for a first try. I bought a plastic contraption that can be used in the microwave to steam the idli batter. (Purists are probably going to have a fit after reading that.) It contains 3 levels of idli molds. The batter at the top and the bottom levels were well cooked but those in the middle were a bit crumbly. I’ll have to adjust the cooking time to take care of this.

This weekend: uttappams. (Nothing new, I’ve made some before.)

Using Firefox profiles for security

We all know that if we want to use our browsers securely, we should turn of java, javascript, extensions, and all the rest. Sounds good in theory but in practice turning all that off means turning off some of the really useful tools available on the internet. For instance, if you don’t have javascript turned on, you can forget about using Google Maps. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to give that up. So my attitude so far has been to think keep all those features on despite the risks entailed. But there is a functional solution to that problem.

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