Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vizag to Bhubaneswar

Car rallyists ride atleast a thousand km each day for days on end ...! I can imagine the fun especially if I recount my 464 kms of NH 5 from Vizag to Bhubaneswar by my Car. First of all this was an entirely new and exciting expierance for me although my coursemates have driven far greater distances. Secondly..the fun was doubled because I was doing this alone..yep all alone for the 400 odd kms.

Now , there is nothing very special about driving on a highway but somethings are important like starting early . I had planned on 5 but somehow could not make it out before 530 . By the time I was out on the highway it was 6 . Very pleasant wintery morning ..and sun rising on my right as I headed towards bhubaneswar. I intended touchin Srikakulam (arnd 100 kms frm Vizag) and stopping for breakfast however as soon as I neared Srikakulam , suddenly I felt that lets stop after the next 100 ..and so on it went till I hit a bad patch of road near Ganjam (in Orissa) . There I took a break ..stretched myself , refilled , had a soda and off I went again.
The ride was sheer pain till around 100 kms after Ganjam ..however the last 100 kms to Bhubaneswar were sheer pleasure with awesome highway and well behaved traffic(well..if u honked enuf they wud lissen)..

Long drives like these are a rarity for people like me and some of my freinds had told me that I shud take someone with me for either safety or boredom sake. I am ok on the safety part but boredom? naaah...! I dont think long drives bore me. For this this particular drive was about as good as it gets ...wind in my hair(or watever is left of it)..some nice ghazals and just me and the engine. How much better could it get? No one to disturb my thoughts one to pass unnecessary comments on the scenery ..and no one to stop me untill I wanted to stop. The freedom of the drive was worth the safety part.

Two things that I would take away from this trip ..

1. The Dzire is an extremely stable car . Which means that even at 120 km/hr u really do not feel the speed(its as stable as its at 40-45 ...and sometimes you actually get careless)In fact there were times where I was shocked to see the speedometer well past hundred when I had been thinking that at most it would have been 60-80..

2. Secondly , Contrary to my perception ..truck drivers were the most dilligent of traffic rule followers while tourist sumos/carriers and busses were the worst offenders.

Lastly ..I have realised that I love driving and that too alone...Its a pleasure I would want to take further..Drive to mumbai..mmm..lets see!!)..or Leh???

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shopping For someone

Have you ever been asked something like " err..yaar I want to buy a laptop..can u just guide me..?" and then you tag along with the guy to help him select his object?
Well I have been asked quite a lot of times ..esp for things like music systems and Computers ..Even for USB flash drives. Its ok and I enjoy it. I like going to an electronic lets rephrase that " I love being in an Electronics showroom" ...and my pleasure is doubled when the sales guy is a guy who is also interseted in Electronics. (actually I only buy from technical shops where I and the salesman can talk out the details..and he actually takes pain to explain me the details of whys and why nots )

So this one time I went "lappy shopping" with a junior of mine. He wanted a Laptop as he wanted to have a net connection(I was taken aback that he had survived without one till now..anyway). And his budget..was lets say 30 K.
So on the way I tell him all the funda of the fact that its the RAM and bus speed that counts otherwise any 64 bit processor is cool the fact that if there is a trade off between RAM and HDD capacity ,go for RAM...

So now we start the survey. This is where it gets interseting. While I am going thru the data sheet of various computers he is busy asking the dealer as to freebies with each laptop..! He wants a laptop bag instead of a shoulder sling..etc etc.
Then I ask him if he is interested in the datasheet of comparision of models?

He replies back.".sir koi farak nahin padta ! Koi bhi chalega as long as I can "do" net!!..bas bag acchi milni chahiye"

I look back at him in a Zen like trance? What the fuck!! Processor , HDD, RAM and Bus speed se farak nahin padta par bag ke type se padta hai? And buddy a Laptop bag(the best of It..costs max 1500 and here you are buying a machine worth 20 times ..

Thats what I think...and I feel kind of let down also that I studied so much for this guy..Anyway with such situations I have this tendancy to suddenly detach and smile. Smile because the situation itself is funny ...Its funny when somone is so superficial. But then what can make such a situation tragic is your attempt to "educate". I never never never try to "educate" without invitation...My expierance says that its trouble.

So I smile and say.."Definitely ,nice choice ..a back pack bag is an intelligent choice..that looks better plus you really dont need that much investment on RAM or HDD..after all you are not going to do cluster processing"....!

The innard story

The best part of buying a car is getting to know how the system works.I mean , yes , driving is fun ..especially on highways but for me the real excitement is in visualizing the system . I mean its like this. ..Suppose i press the accelerator...I visualise it as pulling a fuel rack that opens a pin in a slider , this pin regulates an orifice which in turn increases the fuel into the carbouretor, and in turn the injectors.
That makes perfect sense to me.
But wat is more interesting to me are the way the electrical connections are routed . This I had a chance to observe when the car showroom was fitting my car with music system , power windows etc etc.

Power Windows-Firstly, its not as complex as I thought it to be. When you open the inside cover of your car door the entire paraphernalia is right on front. The windows actually rest on a padded cross jack. This cross jack has a semicircular wheel attached. So when you operate to roll yout windows up or down you are actually operating this semicircular wheel which raises the jack.
Now lets assume you have a motor and a microswitch which does the same ..i mean rotating the semicircular wheel..Voila ----Power windows

Central Locking- This is slighltly more elaborate. Because this requires a mechanical connection between the actuating motor(its basically a solenoid) which pulls the lever of the lock . The trick is in connecting all four doors connections to one box(its placed on the front right door) . This box is operated by RF signals from your remote/Central locking key. Of course there must be a encryption in the signal or you could be opening up the entire parking lot ;)

Music System- This is a piece of cake. Its like putting a DVD player in your CPU slot. Jut remove the dashboard cover and plug it in. The tough part is in wiring the speakers right. White cables are already prelaid from the system JB to all over the car. If you lift the covers at the side of ur feet(outer) you will find a line of white and orange wites..these are speaker wires. And yes there are extra wires in care you want an Amp inbetween..AWESOME isnt it?

Next time a write up on engine Servicing..But then I have to complete 1000 kms (already reached 450 in 4 days)..SO lets wait