April 05, 2008

My brand new blog

I'm starting a new blog called Techno Bliss at wordpress.com.

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July 12, 2005

Form Data Saving Script

I just stumbled on the following:

Auto-Save Forms

This script saves all text in forms to a cookie for you as you type. If you any reason you lose the data in the form (eg your PC crashes, your session expires, etc), you can click the "Repopulate Form" button and your text will be restored.

Which seems like a good way to implement my form data saving proxy idea.

Posted by binduwavell

May 24, 2004

SanDisk getting close to a recent idea

I just stumbled on the following:


which is a step toward my recently posted idea.

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May 15, 2004

Business cards with psedo-invisible ink

Imagine this situation: You are at a meeting, someone asks for a card, you open your wallet pull out an individually wrapped business card, you open the package and notice that the card is blank, you write your name and number on the card. Over the next 5-10 minutes your logo and everything else show up on the other side of the card due to light reacting with a special invisible ink!

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May 11, 2004

Dwight D. Eisenhower

An amazing quote by an X president:

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.

more quotes from quotationspage.com

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May 10, 2004

Idea: CF WiFi Proxy

Another open source idea :) why not create a compact flash (CF) card which behaves as if it's a memory card to the hosting appliance. It would actually mount a remote file system over WiFi. It could have a reasonable amount of local memory that would function as cache, but eventually all data would be stored on a remote system.

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Home on the Range

Well I've been home for almost a month! Amazing... I finally got around to getting my photo galleries updated. I lowered my standard a bit this time around in order to provide a better idea of what my journey has been like, even if the photos are a bit out of focus/have mist on the lense/etc :) You can see the galleries here.

In order to provide complete coverage of my trip, I'll back up a bit. I did head up to Paihia and dove on the Ranibow Warrior. It was a very interesting wreck above the water and reasonably nice underwater, although I was COOOOOOLLLLDDDD :) Not actually that bad (I'm sure all the European divers on my list will be bombarding me with COLD stories now ;) but enough to detract from the dive. I then went to Poor Knights Island and did a couple of dives. The first one was absolutely fantastic. I totally loved the underwater setting, we spent most of the time in a swimthrough that was gigantic, just noodling around. I had two buddies who were into taking photos so we didn't swim a whole lot, just explored, looked around. The rocks were covered in something that looked a lot like lichen... I'm not sure if there is underwater lichen or if it was some form of coral. It was everywhere and loads of colors and textures. Everything was in-tact. Such a different experience to diving in Thailand and Indonesia where you are always having to deal with the devistation wrought by dynamite fishing.

After diving Poor Knights, I headed back to Aukland for a few days. Which I mostly spent on the internet starting to look at work possibilities.

The night before I flew home, I finanly got a copy of Tim Guest's book My
Life in Orange
. Tim and I lived in a few communes together while we were growing up and this is his story... So in a way it is my story too... I ended up reading it on the plane, got through the whole book between Aukland and LA. I laughed, and cried, I struggled to understand, and I enjoyed stiring up old memories. We had a lot more experiences in common than I realized. And yet I feel that the effects of our childhoods was quite different for each of us. What it is to be individuals! I found Tim's pros alternately very tender and cuttingly direct.

When I got home to Boulder, I had a great appartment waiting for me. I have mostly moved in. I'm right next to the heart of down-town, and somehow I still have an empty lot next to me with loads of wild flowers in it! I have an internet connection and I'm in the process of re-launching my consulting company. I'm working on an eCommerce solution with Pekoe Sip House, which is a gourmet tea shop here in town. And I'm in the process of moving rupda.com to a new server and portalizing it. This is a community site for kids that grew up in the Osho commune...

I'll probably make one more post to this weblog in the next week or two and then I'll let it go dormant. I'll leave it up on the net as a testement to my journey, but future rants will go to my company weblog which is currently under development.

Many of you are old friends. Thank you so much for staying connected while I have been on this amazing journey. Some of you are friends I have met along the way. You guys, please keep in touch. If you visit the US, come stay with me! Or just drop me an email every now and then :)

This journey has been such an amazing experience. I've met so many wonderfull people, I've seen so many amazing things. I've lived on beaches, eaten in 5 star hotels, I've drunk tea with street people, fallen in the ocean with my clothes on in a drunken stuper, hiked mountains and traversed canyons to see spectacula sunrises, I've been on all sorts of transport from planes and helicopters to mules, motorcycle taxies, boats, trains and of course busses. I've eaten so many new things, from Paroda and Egg Curry (breakfast) in Kerala, rice with raw eggs (gross! breakfast) in Japan, to Circadas in China. I've had fantastic food from street stalls in Bangkok and I'll never forget the pancake man or the samosa man from Koh Tao... Stinky Tofu in Taiwan... I've enjoyed tea culture on 5 continents. I've been to markets selling clothes, cattle, food, flowers, jewlery, "antiques", fish and just about anything made of wood or plastic! I've read nearly 100 books, from Harry Potter to Confessions of an English Opium Eater. I have no idea how many temples I've seen, but the number is astronomical! I've been touched by people who are a world away and yet they feel so close. Above all I have found a ground inside myself which feels firm. But not too firm! ;)

I'm excited about what the future holds. Thanks again, for hanging out with me on this journey, and please keep in touch!

Very Much Love,

-- Bindu

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April 19, 2004

Changing Etiquette

I thought you were supposed to whisper if you talked in the library... Apparently I'm way wrong with respect to cell phones... I have been in the library for 10 minutes and already overheard 3 cell phone conversations at full volume...

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April 14, 2004

Form Data Saving Proxy

I wonder if anyone has created (I have googled and not found this) a personal proxy server that saves the results of web post and get requests. This would be great for folks who write long emails in yahoo/hotmail etc, click send and then something bad happens, screwey net connection, etc and they loose the whole email! This is the bane of net cafe operators the world over. A simple solution would be to pass all web traffic through a local proxy which saves form data either for a configured period of time or maybe a set number of requests back... Then allow folks to recover the form data, even if they have to copy and paste, at least they won't have lost that email that took 2 hours to write :)

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April 09, 2004

Spontanious Combustion or Hell on Earth?

Any speculations on what might be causing this?

MSNBC - Blazing mystery is straight from the 'X-Files'

Spontaneous fires started in mid-January in the town of Canneto di Caronia, in about 20 houses. After a brief respite last month, the almost daily fires have flared up again even though electricity to the village was cut off.

An endless flow of scientists, engineers, police and even a few self-styled "ghostbusters" have descended on the town, searching for clues to the recent spontaneous combustion of everything from fuse boxes to microwave ovens to a car.

The blazes, originally blamed on the devil, have not hurt anyone...

Full Article...
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South Island WOW!!!

Yet again, it has been ages since I posted. So I'll try and keep the following breif (for my sake :)... here are the highlights...

From Milford, I headed to Queenstown. Which was really dissapointing! The setting was beautifull, but the town felt like it had lost its soul.

Wanaka on the other hand was lovely! Also a great setting... great cafes and shops, friendly locals, wonderfull walks. I picked a hitchhiker up when I was driving from Queenstown to Wanaka and we went and hiked the Rob Roy trail... ~4 hours to an amazing glacier with loads of waterfalls... lovely walk... lots of parrots :)

The next stop was Fox Glacier... I was there for one full day and it was the first day in 3 weeks when they were able to take helicopters up on the glacier!!! WOW!!!!!! I had no idea that ice could be so blue or so big or so dramatic... (I guess I had an idea, but up close it was AMAZING!)

From fox, I headed up the west coast, did a one day Jade carving workshop... at Bonz'n'Stonez... Also a great experience, wonderfull thing to do on a rainy day :)

Lots of driving up to Golden Bay which is the north west area of the south island. I stayed at a lovely backpacker near the Pancake Rocks and then made it up to Motueka for a cool day of sea kyaking in the Abel Tasman park...

Made it up to a super cool backpacker called Shambala (Thanks Wade!!!). This was the lovliest hostel I have ever stayed in. The whole place was run with alternative energy, the garden was lovely, loads of sculpture, private beach that was deserted for 2 hours in both directions... In their info book, they recommend going to Wharariki Beach, which was one of the lovliest beaches I have ever seen! Wow, ~6 seals within 2 meters playing with eachother for 20 minutes! amazing caves, amazing dunes.... the weather was iffy, but again, it just made the whole experience even more magical!!! I hope the pictures come out :)

My next major stop was the Hopewell backpacker in Marlborough Sound, which was also really amazing! (Thanks Marie!!!). I spent most of a day out on the sound fishing (didn't catch a thing, but it was fun anyway :) I also read "Dead Famouse" by Ben Elton, which was recommended by one of the owners... Very cool murder mystery that takes place during the filming of a reality TV show.... I have to say that these shows apeal to me much more comming out of a book than out of the telly :)

Next stop Kaikura, I was hoping to go SCUBA diving with seals or at least whale watching, but the weather started getting really bad! so I had to just skip it.

I headed back to Christchurch... Had a couple of relaxed days... spent a really lovely afternoon with one of Jess' friends who works in antarctica... Yo Anne, hope you have a safe trip home! :)

This afternoon, I flew back up the Aukland. I have a week, not sure what I'll do... I'm going to look into diving on the Rainbow Warrier wrek... or at least visiting the bay of islands... I don't feel very motivated though... I'm really excited to be heading home so soon!

Loads of Love,

-- Bindu

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March 17, 2004

Hello from New Zealand!

So much to report since my last post.

I have booked a ticket home on April 16th, so all of you in and around Boulder, I'm looking foward to seeing you soon!

I arrived in Aukland on the 1st of March and spent a couple of days orienting, booking a rental car, airline tickets to Christchurch, etc... Not much to report about Aukland, except a lovely Greek meal and quite severe culture shock! The latter being mostly to do with prices and my trying desperately to translate Hello, Thank You, Yes, No, etc into... English... yikes ;) My brain would try desperately to translate and then realize none was necessary... made me feel sort of dizzy.

Christchurch is a nice town. I esp. enjoyed the Botanical gardens. But didn't feel drawn to spend tons of time. I picked up my rental station wagon (equiped with bed, bedding, stove, pots, plates, table, tent....) and headed out to Akaroa which is about 100k east and south of Christchurc. It is a little town on the edge of a lake that formed when the ocean broke through the walls of a double volcano... Akaroa held my first NZ Experience! Swiming with the Hector's Dolphins! We suited up and headed out toward the ocean. We found a bunch of dolphins and jumped in... OH MY GOD!!!! It was sooooooo cold... For the first 5 minutes I couldn't figure out how someone had gotten me to pay money for something so painfull! However, after about 5 minutes the numbness (just kidding) settled in and I had a wonderfull 40 minutes swimming, diving, singing (apparently it attracts the dolphins) with the dolphins... It was really lovely!

Rather than stay in Akaroa, I decided to head south and see if I could find a camp ground... By 8:30, I stoped at a cafe to ask for directions to a camp-ground and found out that there wasn't one for a long way... and I was almost out of petrol... and no petrol stations were open... Some locals invited me to stay at their house... how cool! I felt a bit too much like a charity case and also really wanted to spend my first night in the car on my own... So I headed out of town in the direction I wanted to be traveling in the morning and pulled off on a small road by a river, and just camped about 2k down the road... Was lovely, woke up to the sound of water, birds chirping, and a lovely pink sky!

I headed down to the Otago Peninsula (just east of Dunedin). Checked into a realy great backpacker (McFarmers) and then headed out to search for Penguins. We saw a few, but they were far away... The next day I went to my second NZ Experience :) there is a Penguine sanctuary on the peninsula, so I went and had a tour... Very cool! I saw the yellow eyed penguins... they were shedding so landlocked for a month... The tiny blue penguines were out at sea when I was there so I didn't get to see them... I hope to catch them somewhere else along the way.

From Dunedin, I took the Southern Scenic Route through the Catlins region... Wow! Spent my first night camping by an estuary, then ended up spending a few days setting up a computer to do network traffic shaping at the local internet cafe... I know I'm a geek, but it was fun! :) Incidentally, the weather was not very nice all of these days, so it worked out well :)

From Owaka, I headed into the Catlins proper. I spent several days meandering through small villages, beaches, waterfalls, walking tracks, caves, petrified forrest... What a stunning area and sooooo few people! I have read that NZ has just under 4 million people and 80 million sheap... It definately feels that way! I especially enjoyed walking along deserted beaches looking for Paua (sp?) shells and lovely stones, and walking in the forests (which apparently cover 30% of NZ)... The forests here smell so wonderfull compared with the ones in Colorado. I'm sure it has to do with the moisture in the air here, but it seems like there are new wonderfull smells every few feet... wow! The land here feels very old and also very pristine! Well the land that hasn't been turned into grazing land... but even that feels very wild.

From the Catlins, I headed through Invercargil to Manapori where I booked onto an overnight cruise of Doubtfull Sound with the fantastic Deep Cove Charters. Chris runs a small (max 6 passengers this is compared to the other option which carries 70 passengers) yacht that is fantastic! The weather was very overcast and drizzly and somehow it just made the whole experience even more cozy and magical! We went fishing, Chris put on SCUBA gear and came up after 10 minutes with about 8 HUGE crayfish! We had crayfish for lunch and some blue cod that we caught for dinner! There were two other guests on the boat... it was super fantastic! I woke up to the Sound of Silence! Everything was sooo still.... Thanks so much Chris!!!

Yesterday I drove up to Milford Sound very slowly and then back down to Te Anau for a rather boring glow worm cave tour. The drive up to Milford was really great, as were some hikes along the way. The scenery is a bit like the Morain(sp?) park in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountains and vallys are very clearly created by glaciers. I schedule a day off today to send email, walk around the lake, read, plan the next few days, etc.... Feels very luxurious! Tomorrow, I'm heading up to Queenstown/Wanaka...

That covers most of the large things that I've done so far, but doesn't feel like it comes close to describing what an amazing country this is. In some ways it is very much like England. The size, the way that fields and roads are "planned"... Villages... Pubs... Meat pies... And yet there are so few people... And there seemes to be a much wider diversity of flora... and quite different fauna :) It is very green and clean. The beaches are wonderfull... there are loads of birds... oh and you can get fush and chups everywhere... and they are gooooood! :) The people here are quite friendly and the services although sparse are mostly very good value (not necessarily cheap)! It's a bit strange being in such a developed country and having to plan where to get cash and petrol because there are 100k gaps in services... this is mostly charming rather than annoying!

Very much Love!

-- Bindu

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February 29, 2004

Use "spam filtering" to sort news feeds

Simple idea... use Basian (or similar) filtering to classify newsfeeds (see Feedster, FeedDaemon, etc) Basically you just need to keep track of a similar number of news stories that you are interested in vs. ones that don't do it for you... Train the filter with this information and (then let it rip on classifying your news items for you.)

You end up with very high level control based on the feeds that you subscribe to, and then much finer control based on filtering... Seems a little better than the categorization thing folks are doing now... mostly you probably don't care what category a news item is in, if it is interesting...

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February 28, 2004

Timeless Thailand

So my journey is nearing it's conclusion. Today I'm heading to New Zealand for about 6 weeks then (tickets willing) I'll be heading home! Strangely, I'm feeling a little odd about heading back into western civilization. Two main reasons, firstly; I'm used to the Asia travel style -- sounds like NZ will be very different, secondly; it sounds very expensive. However, those two reservations asside, I'm extremely excited to see NZ, the amazing countryside, the people, the cool tourist activities (maybe sky-diving, black-water rafting, and yes the sheep... OK I'm not that excited about the sheep, but it must be a feature of the country with a population of just under 4 million people, and I have heard estimates of as many as 80 million sheep!!! :)

Since leaving Cambodia, I have been hanging out with Wade in Bangkok. Not much to report except that we have enjoyed hanging out. Yesterday, we went out to The Ancient City. Which is a pretty huge park (roughly shaped like the country) with bigatures (large scale modles) of a lot of Thai monuments. It's an interesting way to get a feel for what Thailand has to offer and a great place to take photos. We rented bicycles and meandered around for a few hours. It was opened in 1963, the brain-child of a wealthy business man from Bangkok, apparently he envisioned this park as a means of offering cultural healing to the world. Although I'm not quite sure how... In any case, there were very few tourists, and it was quite an interesting place to spend a day!

Goodbye, Thailand, Hello New Zealand!


-- Bindu

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February 20, 2004

Thailand to Cambodia

After enjoying an afternoon and evening in Trang (very nice town!), I flew up to Bangkok. I stayed at a great hostel not the cheapest or cleanest place in town (don't assume it is expensive or dirt ;), but definately the coolest place to hang out with other travelers... I spent about a week sorting out a trip to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat and getting my teath worked on every day.... yikes :) I went to a very nice clinic that has very modern equipment and a really nice office. Compared to the US, prices were very reasonable and the dentists were fantastic! Everyone spoke great English and they were really gentle...

So that was probably pretty boring ;) but Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples has been really lovely. I flew from Bangkok directly to Siem Riep, which meant that I completely bypassed the road system in Cambodia, which I must confess gives me the heebee geebees ;) I am staying at a nice B&B in Siem Reap that's run by an English couple... It's their first season, and they already have great staff and a really friendly setup!

My first full day here, I hired a car and a guide for a solid introduction to some of the main temple complexes. We went to Ankor Wat, which is amazing, but I have to admit that I was not quite as awstruck as I thought I would be. I had imagined it bigger and more grand... I guess that comes from going to places like Orchha, Kujaraho and the Taj Mahal in India and some of the amazing temples in Japan... Still it is a very impressive stone mountain and with some really good sculptures. And I was more impressed on my second visit (day 2) when I didn't have the overblown expectations ;) The external stone at Angkor Wat is sandstone, some of which has lasted remakably well over the last 1,000 years. I think the ground are about 1.3km by 1.5km... which is HUGE by any standard. There is a moat that's about 300m wide then a large grass area with two stone libraries and two modern (16th century) Budhist temples. Apparently this area would have housed thousands of dancers and monks and grounds keepers, etc when the temple was in use. Then you get to the main structure. Which basically has several concentric walls with courtyards. The first wall has some really nice baise relief (sp?) sculptures. Mostly stories from Hindu mythology, but also some stories about the life of the king who built Angkor. All over the temples here there are carvings of lovely women called Apsara. There are two forms, either dancers or servers (apparently not servants... i.e. everyone was paid). The structure is setup with it's walls facing each of the primary directions. The top most enclosure has towers on all four corners of the walls and a larger tower in the center. These five towers are supposed to represent Mt. Meru, which is the 5 peaked mountain where the Hindu gods are supposed to live.

Most of the temples here are Hindu... There are several Budhist temples, but they were mostly defaced, presumably by Hindus, I beleive sometime in the 16th century. Our second temple was Banteay Srey, which is a very small temple that is unique in that it is made from mostly red and yellow sandstone. Also the sculptures are everywhere, and they are really lovely. Although it was small, and we didn't spend that much time there. It was my favorite temple. Again, it is hindu and it has the 5 towers, like Angkor Wat. But it seems to have a lot more of a Hindu mystical spirit enfused in it than any of the other temples (for me :)...

Temple 3 was Ta Prohm, which is famouse because they have not completely removed the jungle, so this is an amazing opportunity to see how nature and time can eat away at someting as fleeting (in eternal time) as a solid strong temple... If you have seen pictures of Angkor with trees growing out of or on temples, they are probably taken here... Also the cover of the Cambodia Lonely planet is taken here... I think this temple is one of the Buddhist temples that was re-apropriated by the Hindus a while back.... So all the Bodhisatvas have been chiseled out and lingas were placed where the Buddha statues used to be.... Quite a shame...

I wish I was here near the end of rainy season, rather than just before it... it's dry, so the trees look like they are having a hard time, and the temples that have ponds or that are built inside ponds... look a little bleak.

Temple 4 was Bayon, which used to have 54 towers, each one with 4 huge Buddha faces (one facing each primary direction) topped by a lotus flower. Apparently there are now about 34 towers... This place is probably my second favorit temple... So impressive, and the faces are so expressive... Fortinately when the Hindu reaction (that's what the guides all seem to call the defacement) happened, they took the Buddhas for faces of Brahman, so they survived... WOW!!!!!!

So that was day one, and I spent two more days looking around, revisiting places, etc. I have seen so many beautiful things over the last few days... however, today I stumbled (with the help of a very nice 12 year old cambodian girl) upon two Apsaras that she called Queens. They were bigger than the others, they were in very good condition, they even had diamond (not sure if they were real) jewels in their belly buttons, and they were stunning.... they were hidden down a few tunnels at a temple called Preah Khan... looked after by an old woman with black teeth... she provides insense and candles for people to pray... what an absolutely amazing, amazing experience!!!! All of it, the young girl, the old woman, the lovely statues, the insense, the praying... wow!!!!

Very much Love,

-- Bindu

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