Monthly Archives: June 2008

ATI party had “talking heads”

THE RECENT ATI gig in Old California must have been quite an affair. A megageek writes to tell us that at the cocktail party held there, he was in conversation with some other geek about shaders and the like, when an attractive Berkeley student tipped up.

Apparently she, like many another, had been engaged by ATI’s PR to engage in social intercourse with the media. The megageek was annoyed, seeing as he was engrossed in social intercourse with another geek about shaders and the like.

The conversation turned to San Francisco and the subject of skiing came up, as well as chit chat about the town and that.

This event bears all the hallmarks of former, now current AMD spinner Chris Hook, from Canadaland. Former readers of the INQster will recall not only that Charlie Demerjian attended his wedding, but that when he was based in Europe he caused Mike Magee to fall off his stool at a Hampstead hostelry.

We haven’t heard from Chris since he found himself drafted back to North America. But it does sound as if he still has a flair for party PR, by all accounts.

Laundry wars hit impasse

THE CLEAN pair of shorts that the Centre of Laundry Excellence wrongly assumed needed to be laundered have tipped up again, in as pristine a state as they left our custody.

But in another move in the Laundry Wars, the laundry bag in the closet that said removal of the laundry bag would attract a fine has gone. We haven’t taken it. We presume it’s gone out to be laundered.

Everything else is going well. We  bought a couple of shirts yesterday  – they still have their sales tags on, so we presume they won’t be laundered as long as they don’t stray into No Man’s Land. No Man’s Land being any region where any piece of fabric could be construed as being laundry, we presume. This is Laundry Warfare and only the bravest cotton picking soul ventures into No Man’s Land here.

It’s not raining cats and dogs in Bengaluru

THE FIRST TIME I came to India was 30 years ago in 1978, and with a very few exceptions the only dogs here were street dogs – often in a very poor state and living off what they could forage. Very few people kept pets. There were also very few cats 30 years back, and that hasn’t changed.

But in modern day India a lot of people keep dogs as pets. Every morning, after the hoopoo bird has given me my early morning call, I go out on the balcony of the centre of laundry excellence and watch the proud owners of their pooches giving them an early morning walk.

Some of the guys walking their dogs also carry a big stick. This, I think, isn’t because they are going to beat their dogs or because they’re worried about early morning raiders – the streets of Bangalore so far seem very safe to me.
No, my suspicion is the sticks are there to ward off the street dogs.

After all, if your healthy and fit Alsatian is in heat, the last thing you want is for it to have a chance encounter with a street dog and you’re left with a litter.

Gazing from the balcony of the office, I’ve seen this time and last a dog with all the appearance of being pregnant or of just having a litter. She has to make do with what’s to forage on the street or in the wastelands off the streets.

The contrasts could not be greater. I have never owned a dog as a pet, but have feelings for all mammals. How do you distinguish between rich Dogdom and poor Dogdom?

Oh, and the cats. A very rare sighting is a cat in Bengaluru or anywhere else I’ve been in India in recent years. The ones that survive have to be canny. Not many seem to survive. Go figure.

There was a big Yahoo party down at the Oberoi tonight. Heck! Why not?


Laundry wars take unexpected twist

HERE AT the Centre of Laundry Excellence in Ole Bengaluru we thought we had seen it all. Oh no we hadn’t.

It only took a day or so before the Laundry Wars began again, but with a vengeance. Arriving here from BIAL on Tuesday morning at about 5:30AM, we managed to grab an hour or two of well merited kip. We donned our “polo” (geddit?!?) shirt and our shorts, confident that in an hour or two we’d be on our way to another day at the IT Examiner.

And so we did. Foolishly, we left our perfectly fresh shorts and “polo” shirt on top of our bag, thinking that having decked a dirty shirt, pants and socks, this would be enough to placate the Laundry Goddess. No! Arriving back tonight from a hard day at the orifice, the shorts and “polo” shirt had gone – presumably swallowed into Her Maw, while here we are with a freshly laundered shirt and a pair of socks. The blue shirt, by the way, has gone through so many laundering processes that it is beginning to look a bit grey.

We opened the cupboard in case the missing items were in there. No! Instead in there is a laundry bag saying that if anyone removes the laundry bag from the room, there will be a penalty to pay!

We will keep you up to date on the state of the Bengaluru laundry wars at this fab hotel – have no doubt about that at all. Our cunning plan of only bringing four shirts, two pairs of breeks, four skivvies and eight socks seems to be misfiring already! This hotel is becoming quite famous! 

Bengaluru is full of pretty pakshas

PONDERING the roar that is new Bengaluru today, my eye spotted a bird which I’ve never seen before. It’s not the screaming one that wakes me up at 5AM, but which I spotted by accident. It’s not the raptors that fly in the sky, nor is a crow. Nor for that matter is a finch.

It is a strange bird, around the size of a British Starling, but with green wings and a brown body, and a tiny little voice. If only I had managed to snap the thing before it flew off to pastures new.

As I said last time I was in this beautiful city, if the authorities are not careful, they will destroy the trees, the plants, the butterflies and the other flora that decorate this Karnataka paradise.

Everywhere around you is the sound of trees being felled, of drills being wielded and of metal being welded. If India wants an example of what can be done to a city, it need look no further than Shanghai. I stayed there earlier this year in the Pudong “district”, and the only other living creature apart from humanoids were four forlorn sparrows.

The last thing Bengaluru needs is three more ring roads. But I would hazard a wager if such things were permitted here, that three are already planned. It’s a garden city by default, and needs to be kept that way. Which is obviously just my humble opinion. Money often wins in this world.

Nvidia and the eggs – revisited

HAD A CHAT with old Charlie Demerjian at the INQster this morning about Mr Peddie’s post and the matter of eggs in the face.

Charlie tells me that sure enough the conversation was real, but after Mr Derek Perez laid down the guidelines for how to have a deep and meaningful conversation with Nvidiazilla, Charlie rejected them totalismo. At which point, rather than throw eggs at Demerjian, Derek just lost it.

Charlie said he was chatting to Jon Peddie about this stuff at the ATI conference at Computex and our darling debonair graphics analyst embellished it, quite colourfully we believe.

Is all well that ends well? We think not. Not yet, anyroadmap as we used to say at the INQsteria.  

Inquirer hack gets Nvidia eggs in face

DASHING DEBONAIRE GRAPHICS GURU John Peddie has a tale of the unexpected up on his bog.

He reports on an unlikely meeting between Derek Perez, swashbuckling PR from Nvidia and Charlie Demerjian, pepsibuckling former protege of yours truly.

Nvidia’s Perez, according to Peddie, lost his rag with Chuck and threw a plate of eggs right over Demerjian’s face.  Or so the story goes, here. 

Nvidia has long had a bit of a probbo with the INQster – dating back to when I was still herding the crazy freelancers and Fudo fell out with Jen Hsen, or was it the other way round? Anyway, it’s not normal business practice for PRs to throw eggs in journalist’s faces – the boot, so to speak, is usually on the other foot.  

In Terminal Five you feel half alive

FLEW OUT yesterday to Bengalaru and I was a Terminal Five virgin, because BA has finally switched practically all of its frights to the new big place at Heathrow.

I was lucky enough to be in one of the lounges and they’re certainly massive enough – you have clear views of what look like carefully cultivated acres of dull grey stones, and above you are girders, girders and more girders.

But there’s something about the place that makes you feel like you’re in a Jean-Paul Satre novel – I felt either half alive or half dead, and most of the other passengers looked that way too. And most of the staff for that matter. There’s something very very soulless about T5.

That feeling is even more pronounced in the vast shopping mall that is T5. Endless rows of glossy shops less than half full, and such a feeling of space above that you’re reduced to what you are – an insignificant little bit of data being shoved at vast expense into silvery tubes and shipped out to points on the moral compass.

And so after nine hours or so, we arrived at BIAL – you’ll recall that we were one of the first to fly out from the new Bangalore airport. Lobbed in at 4AM in the morning, we found immigration and everything else to be painless – despite large queues of people, we were all “processed” politely and swiftly so before a twitch of a lamb’s tail, we were facing the Louis Vuitton sculpture once again.

And at 4:45AM, the drive into Indiranagar from the BIAL airport was hitch free and swift – we made it back to the Centre of Laundry Excellence in only an hour and five minutes.

I am going back to Bengaluru

BY MID-WEEK, I will be back in Bengaluru – a fine place.  I noticed on PR Wire that a “French Connection” shop has opened up at the airport, so I will be able to buy my Gitanes when I fly out again, no doubt.

Even though the monsoons hit India a week or two back, Bangalore remains pleasant.  The highs are acceptable and the lows mean there won’t be a huge problem freezing at night, while we still have a touch of frost here in Blighty from time to time.

We are looking forward to a resumption of the laundry wars and the 30 second walk to the orifice which actually takes 15 minutes as you wait for the opportunity to dash across the roads and become  Bengaluru road kill.

More especially, we are looking forward to chatting to our IT Examiner staff once more, and following the ancient editorial tradition, bringing them something back from our foreign trip to Blighty. Currently we have the famous “summer cold” we Brits get when the sun fails to shine in the morning. These rhinovirii are so adaptable!  



Examiner hack caught in Gorkha riots

YOUNG IT EXAMINER REPORTER SUBHANKAR KUNDU went back to his village during this week – it’s in West Bengal – a lengthy two day journey there by Indian Railways, a day there and two days to get back.

Except it’s not like being a journalist for the INQ, being a journalist for the Examiner. Apparently there are Gorkha riots in West Bengal, which make it very unsafe to travel.

It makes travelling on the London Metropolitan Line (banner above includes Wembley Stadium – Ed.)  seem like a very pleasant dream. As the oldest existing civilisation in the world India has seen it all. China would be the oldest existing civilisation in the world, but it had its Mao tse Tung period, and the “Cultural Revolution” changed a lot of things, init?