Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twin Spark Initial Review

I know, the thunderbird twin spark has been out since ages. But until recently, I hadn't had the pleasure to check it out. So a couple of weeks ago, I managed to trade my bike for a t-bird twin spark for a few kilometres, so that I could see how it performed. Though I couldn't quite check out it's performance, because my reputation preceded me, and the only condition the bike came with was that I would ride slow, so lets just call it my first impression. The very first thing you notice when you ride a TB is that it's awfully quick off the line. Unlike it's predecessor, it is no longer as sluggish as it used to be, owing mostly to the new unit construction engine, with it's in built gear box, which not only helps in providing power to the wheels more efficiently, it also reduces the weight a lot. In fact the bike was so jumpy, that even in the third and fourth gear, popping the clutch would cause you to lurch back. I don't think this TB is gonna have any problems popping it's front wheel up, especially because of the way the clutch feels. If I am not mistaken, they have managed to squeeze out an extra BHP from the engine too, which only adds to the fun. Apart from this, the engine too was rather smooth, and it's silent purr, did have a slight thump to it, if you cared to listen for it. Enfields have always been a little slow off the mark, but this machine is here to vitiate such beliefs, and from what I hear, even the 500 Lean Burn Bullet Machismo struggles to keep up with it's initial acceleration. The ride itself is quite comfortable too, if you set the shock absorbers to be a little softer than the default company setting. Though I didn't lean much at corners, later on when I was scraping my own bikes foot pegs, the TB riding just behind me too, I hear, was scraping it's... main stand. The bike is also quite fuel economical, giving a fuel economy of nearly 40 km to a liter. It's unit construction engine (UCE) which combines the gearbox and the engine into one single unit, does look cute too. A wonderful bike indeed. If you own a TB, or have already ordered one, I suggest you stop reading this post right here. As for the others, do please keep reading. The drivetrain on this thing is no doubt awesome, but it does have it's faults too. The mechanical clatter due to the tappets is surprisingly loud, and is may be even amplified due to the absence of a sonorous exhaust note. Next comes the low range power. At extremely low revs, the bike is rather jerky, and it does not seem to have the power to pull through. Oh! and I am comparing it to the older TB. If I compare it to my bike, when the two of us were riding along, I was in my 4th gear (the final gear of my bike, an electra) while the TB had to be in it's 3rd (out of 5 gears) and was still struggling with the low speed. Now I could have been in any of my 4 gears at that speed, the TB though had just 2 gears for that speed, 2nd n 3rd. Remember the jumpy clutch I was talking about? Well if u were riding fast, the jumpy clutch would have been nice, but riding slowly, who wants a jerky ride? One problem I have always had with thunderbirds is the handle. Now I don't mind the sissy handlebar, but there is something wrong about it, at least for me. When you are seated comfortably in it's seat, and you put your hand on the handle, I have to get my elbows together and then turn my wrists outwards, in order to hold the handle bar properly. Even without the bike if you try to position your hands in that manner, you would know how uncomfortable it is. After barely 5kms, my wrists were hurting, and I swapped the bike for my own at a red light. Now I would like to clarify, that my arms are in proportion to my body, and nor am I excessively tall. But the only condition under which I can hold the handle properly is when I am seated in the pillion's seat. Coming to the gearbox, firstly it's on the wrong side, or rather the right side for you non-bulleteers, not a major problem here. But I seriously wonder what the hype was all about. I'd heard that the shifts were silky smooth, but I wonder what they were comparing it to. My six year old electra has a softer, smoother gearbox and with far less false neutrals. I wonder why they have put in a tachometer in the T-Bird. It's not like one of those hairdryer on wheels that you can get excited by the revs it attains. It's an enfield man, the best you can get is probably is a 6K on the tacho, how exciting is that? One thing that cannot possibly miss your eye is the length of the silencer. I mean it ends about 3-4 inches behind the rest of the bike. I hear that if you get rear-ended, the bend pipe (the pipe connecting the silencer to the engine) tends to come out of he exhaust manifold. The overall build quality is also quite... well enfield-like. The alignment of the front mud-guard of the bike I saw for example didn't quite match up with the front wheel. The paint quality isn't the same that it used to be till five years ago, when the paint seemed to have depth. There were even some clearance issues somewhere in the rear of the bike, where there was the sound of metal hitting metal each time the bike went into a pothole. Remember I called the new UCE cute? Well if I wanted a cute ride, I'd rather buy a kinetic blaze. Bullets are supposed to look mean. Now the big question, would I recommend the bike? Well if you have never ridden an enfield and would like to get a flavour of what it is like to almost be a bulleteer, this is a bike for you. I know this bike isn't perfect, but then neither is any other bike in the market. You are gonna enjoy riding this bike. As for the others, you'd have to be a fool to buy this bike. I mean it's as expensive as a 500cc (plus or minus a grand) and only half as fun. Isn't it obvious as to which bike you should go in for? As for me, I am happy with my slow ride, taking it easy.

EDIT : Apparently the T-Bird also has a little problem with the rear brakes. The bike tends to get pulled towards one of the sides under severe braking. The bike I rode had really loose rear brakes, and on being asked, my friend replied that he couldn't handle the bike when it skidded, so he had loosened it's rear brake. Another thing is that Enfield has continued to use the ribbed front tyres (the tyre with round threads, and no lateral grooves), which to tell you the truth are pathetic and tend to loose grip even with drum brakes, so one really has to be careful while braking, with this bike.

EDIT 2: Okay, I have figured out why the bike can't pull when the revs are low. In fact it was a glance at the bike's specifications that explains it. My bike, an electra, produces 18 bhp of power @ 5000 rpm with 32.6 Nm of torque @ 3000rpm, while the old t-bird produced 18 bhp of power @ 5000 rpm with 28 Nm of torque @ 3500rpm. That is why the old t-bird wasn't that great at low revs. The new t-bird though has more power like I had mentioned ie, 19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm with 28Nm of torque @ 4000 rpm. Like you can see here, the torque is the same as the previous t-bird, but it is now available at a higher rpm. It's like having everything to bake a cake, but all of it placed at the highest shelf in your kitchen. Now since I couldn't rev the engine that much, I couldn't quite find any of the power. Another thing is that the bike I was riding had a lot of racket from the tappets, despite not being ridden hard. I wonder what happens to the tappets when you start revving the bike like crazy. (Note for those who do not get this point: The clatter by the tappets is caused by the loose tappets and tappets have a tendency of loosening themselves if you rev a lot.)

EDIT 3: The other day I was the pillion on the same bike, the bike crossed a 100 with about 200Kgs of rider n pillion, with ease, though the one thing I realized was the exhaust note wasn't the most pleasant ones. I've heard 100 cc bikes with better exhaust notes. Even when we entered a tunnel, where I expected to hear a nice beat, there was none. I'd also like to add that the tappet sound was cured. BTW I do like the T-bird n would probably prefer one over my bike.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The butterfly killer

Hmmm... it has been a pretty long time since I put up a post, it is not that I had lost my ability to blether, but just because for some reason I simply because I couldn't complete any of the posts I started off with. So what's new? Well nothing much, life as a whole sucks, not because of some incident that happened, but well it simply does. One thing I have realized is that when the good times decide to leave me, they really go for good. So, a couple of months ago, I had a serious crash. Man I spent more than half of what my bike is worth, getting it repaired. Hell, I even got a new engine for Tres (that's Tres Cinquante, my bike). I wish my dad had bought me that 500cc I had almost convinced him to. Then one day he walks up to me and told me that because I wasn't such a decent rider, I wouldn't be getting the bike. He said he'd stand on a busy street with me, and if I could point out one rider who rode like me, he'd buy me the bike. And this was after I always slow down before I reach home. Moral of the story, I was (apparently) fast even after I slowed down. Any way, now that I have a new engine, I am forced to ride slow. Kinda breaking a horse, I would have to run in my bike. I did a maximum of 45km/hr for the first 500km, n now I am up to 80. Where was I? Oh yeah, the crash. I was doing around 75km/hr, riding in the center of the road, wondering whether I should overtake the small truck, driving more towards the right of the lane. Then all of a sudden, the truck swerved to the right into the lane for the on coming traffic. A split second later I knew why, when I noticed a pink blur in front of me. The truck was trying to avoid the lady on a pink scooterette. I registered 5 frames, and then time started back again. Frame 1: the pink blur. Frame 2: the terrible sound of the impact in my ears, my stomach on the speedo console. Frame 3: head on the ground (I went over, god bless the helmet), the sound of a screeching tyre (who the hell applied the brakes). Frame 4: I am on my back, sliding on my back-pack , looking at the friend who was in front of me speed away, with me hoping that he'd heard me crash and would stop to help me up, the familiar sound of metal on asphalt (after all, I am a frequent crasher). Frame 5: I am still on my back but facing the opposite side, the bike still sliding behind me, bleeding oil, all over the road (I am sorry Tres). No offence, but lady riders (and drivers to for that matter) truly scare me. For one, they have absolutly no control over their vehicles, and change lanes with no regards to other people. No one but lady drivers/riders and heavy vehicles can bully me around on the road. I am one of the most stubborn riders on the roads, and I take my bike to within an inch of the car next to me and keep it there till the other driver doesn't back off, but when it comes to lady drivers, ypu don't mess with them. Secondly they have no perception of speed and are reaaaally bad at anticipation. I have seen women on scooties doing 60km/hr with their legs dangling off the sides. Coming back to the lady I crashed into, she obviously made an error judging the speed of the truck that was in front of me. I went into her full throttle, which broke my front wheel and had caused the front tyre to lock (stopping the wheel from spinning) amazingly, my bike still maintained it's course, but unfortunately the impact coupled with the extreme breaking because of the locked wheel caused me to go over the handle bar. I landed on my head and rolled over to my back where I skidded on my bag, knowing exactly how a turtle, sliding around on it's shell, would feel like. Luckly no serious injuries for me n after about a month of rest, I was back on my feet. Running in an old bike is an experience in itself, but the one thing I realized was that 45km/hr is a really bad speed if you like butterflies. For some strange reason, whenever I rode at that speed, I clipped atleast a butterfly every 8-10 km. Day or night didn't matter, neither the area where I rode. The buterflies, simply kept coming at me. Even now, when I sometimes ride at 45, I do hit a butterfly or two, but only at that particular speed. Before I say goodbye, I'd like to add, that if you ride, always wear a helmet, because of it wasn't for my helmet, I would definitly have lost a major portion of my scalp in the numerous accidents I have had. Oh n if you happen to be riding at 45 km/hr, don't forget to pull your visor down unless you want butterflies in your face :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How to throttle a throttle

I've said it before and I say it again, I am a speed addict. Typing my last post, I got a brainwave of limiting my throttle, in order to keep my speed under control. It's a kind of crude speed limiter, but effective, none the less. What I have basically done is that I've limited the amount that I can twist my accelerator, which is kind of like fixing a wedge under the accelerator pedal of your car, except this is not quite visible. Okay, so here's what I did :-


Remember the carburettor??? The one I had opened up in one my previous posts?

Well get it off. (Instructions in previous post, if you are new at it)


Now unscrew the top, the part where the accelerator cable goes in.

Take an small piece of plastic tube or something else that's rigid, and about an inch and a half or two long. I chopped off the back end of an old pen refill. Though I would have preferred to have used a long screw, filed off its thread, and sawed off it's head. That would have been a better thing to put inside a carb, but since the carb isn't supposed to heat up, I used the refill. Edit: The top of the carb is in fact really cold, especially during the rains. Also another thing you could put in here is one of those round PVC conduits, if you can get your hands on a small piece of it.


Now place the chopped off piece of the refill (or whatever you are using to restrict the movement) inside the spring.


Carefully put back the carb, making sure everything goes back in smoothly. Don't try to force anything in. If you are new at opening your carb, It'd be better if you went through how to open a carb explained in this older post.

Once you close your carb, you can check out how much you are restricting the bike by checking the amount you are restricting the air flow. The fuel being used is proportional to the air being allowed. This image shows the position during idling.


And this is the position with the full throttle, after adding the restrictor. Notice I have set my bike to run at 50% power (IMO that's 25% too much). Once again, you can see how much the full throttle opens up on 100% on my previous post. If the accelerater doesn't turn at all, the restrictor used it too large. If it opens up more than 50%, or the amount you want to limit it, it's too small.
Put the carb back onto the bike and you have got yourself a speed limiter. I have done extensive testing on my bike and have even had a fall in the process. At 50% restriction, the bike is still quite peppy with a solo rider, but a bit sluggish with a pillion. The initial pickup is compromised, and starting up an incline with a pillion could require more effort. The top speed attained on straight piece of road was 95km/hr (though it took really long to attain, I'd rate the crusing speed to be 75-80). Mind you my bike levels out at a 100-110 otherwise. With a pillion, the top speed drops to 85km/hr (Crusing speed of 60). Top speed with the pillion otherwise is the same, 100-110. Inclines with a pillion may require an upshift. I couldn't find a perfect dry road for the burnouts, since it has been raining. The only dry piece of land I found and the burnout left my bike 6 inchs below the ground level, which required me to take my weight off the bike to get it out. The gearwise speeds are as follows

Gear Top speed unrestricted Top speed restricted
1st 45 40
2nd 65 60
3rd 90 75
4th 110 95

I had tuned my bike to perform, so it is doing really well despite being restricted. You get used to the amount of power you have and eventually you start shifting gears better and you forget that you have limited your accelerator. All in all, I am quite satisfied with the restriction. I will be adding the average if n when I calculate it. My bike currently has a fuel economy of 22-25 kmpl.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The longest skid

I just love riding my bike, and I do occasionally like to screech my tyres, but I respect the rubber. The other day, I was a little wound up, n there is nothing like riding to loosen yourself. Riding down an empty road, all of a sudden, this car comes out of a side lane, spots me, n brakes right in the middle of the road. 80... 70... crap... I'm gonna crash... screeeeeeeech... I don't wanna crash... 60... 50... move lady... move outta my way... screeeeeech... 40... 30... okay, I am gonna survive if I crash at this speed... screeeeeeeech... 20... 10... I'm gonna make it... sreeeech... 0 KM/Hr Ah I finally stopped. And guess what, I had a smile on my face when my bike finally came to a stop. The lady in the car who had turned white, must have thought I was crazy, but I had always wanted to do a 100 to 0 with the rear wheel locked, but my respect for the rubber intervened. This entire episode lasted for atleast 4-5 seconds, since my tyre started screeching. All this lady did was stare at me. I am not trying to be a chauvinist, but I hate lady drivers (at least all the confused ones). (To prove that I am no chauvinist I would also like to add - apart from them, there are cab drivers, and bus drivers too on my hate on the road list. And if I am driving (rather than riding) guys like me (when I'm on a bike) also fall into my hate-list.) Luckily my tyres were set up for the rains (low on air pressure=more grip), and I stopped a meter from her car. I wonder why people freeze, like deer caught in a pair of headlights, and I don't mean just on the road. I for one have this thing where I freeze during orals, interviews, and whenever I am in the limelight. In fact I choke quite a lot. Each time I need to think up something, my brain freezes, my face turn red, and I can't recollect even the most basic of things. Reminds me of Marshall Mathers (Eminem) from 8 Mile, where he is referred to as a Choke artist. Coming back to bikes, I also did my first wheelie the other day. Actually it was a handful of hops. This friend of mine (actually the kid brother of a friend of mine, lets call him The Chimp) clung to me when I was on my friend's bike, insisting on getting on a ride. But my friend (whom the bike belonged to) n I were leaving, so in order to get the chimp off I threatened him with a wheelie, n when he still didn't get off, I gave the bike a little gas n popped the clutch, hoping that the sudden acceleration followed by intense breaking would scare him off. Turned out I had underestimated the bike (which was a pulsar 200) n up went the front wheel. I asked the chimp if he wanted to get off the bike, n he refused. That is when I did a series of hops, kinda like Dr Dre's souped up low rider (hopping on hydraulics of course) from that video of him n Snoop Dogg, Still Dre. Man, I used to love hip hop, but now my choice of music has changed a lot. I am more into the blues these days. The blues do me good, especially while riding, keeps me slow. I am seriously considering putting a throttle limiter on my bike. I can easily do 80kmph without opening more than 25% of the throttle. Opening it any more and it's just guzzling fuel. Though in my case I keep it at either full or no throttle.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Memory memory everywhere, too many things to share

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I recently got back a lot of my old stuff and I am deluged in nostalgia. It's good to have your old stuff back, brings back memories from the good ol' days, but it is then that you realize that most of this stuff is there just because of it's sentimental value. I mean I was doing fine without any of it, but now that I have it, I am just not able to convince myself to dispose it off. All it has done is clutter my room. What is one supposed to do with stuff like this. They should have places called memory banks, where you can store all you priceless possessions, and go have a look at em whenever you feel like seeing them. That way, you'd have someone else taking care of your junk for you. Though I'm not so sure if it should be called junk in the first place. Right now I am staring a my glo-friend which someone gifted me when I was 9 months old. It still glows in the dark. I used to place it under my pillow each night before sleeping. It's totally insane that I remember so much about where each and everything in my house came form. Sometimes I wonder if people are supposed to remember so much. Remembering eventful things is fine, but how is remember things which have no consequences whatsoever justified? Anyway, coming to the other memeory thing, my system now has more memory too, a lot more memory. I managed to knock off a couple of items off my list of desirable objects. I've added a 250GB hdd for taking care of my hoarding needs. And then I added a GB of RAM too. Apparently, Vista is still not as fast as XP was. It still takes ages to install software on it, or even doing stuff like enabling and disabling the LAN. And because of my tweaking skills, the memory usage which used to hover around 450mb earlier, now is at 650mb. What a waste, adding a GB and utilizing a mere 200mb of it Though the memory thing has helped me get started with the whole Linux things (More hdd space => more place for installing systems). My Linux blog is now alive. There are a lot more things I'd like to blabber about, but I this would have to suffice for now. I feel really sleepy all of a sudden. But do visit my Linux Blog, that's an order. Oh! n it's from a seperate ID, so you wouldn't be able to go there from my profile.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A trip down memory lane

My parents recently were cleaning up my room in our abandoned house and they stumbled upon some of my old stuff that they thought I would like to keep, and brought it along. Amongst it was this yellowing piece of paper with a few lines printed on it, that I wrote for the school magazine, as a conclusion to our class poem (Most of which too was penned down by me). Oh n please don't try to imagine me as one of those really creative people, I wrote the poem, only because there was simply no one else to write the poem. It's is probably one of the first thing I had ever written, and I can think of a million ways to improve it now. Anyway, here's the crappy poem that I could not even claim credit for.

Bon Voyage

Today's the day, we must all be on our way;
And to god must we pray, that from our path may we never sway;
Today our class is as weak as glass, and will soon be shattered away;
Poetic sound that I may, is just because of my dismay;

Shed not a tear, for the task ahead is shear;
And may be too much to bear, but a smile you must always wear;
For our friendship do not fear, we shall surely meet some year;

And why should I lie, to bid you goodbye;
Is though oh my! and may our friendship never die;

AdiĆ³s amigos!

By -Wolfestine

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Addiction revisited

What it addiction??? It is something that you do, that you do not need to do yet you have to just do it. According to dictionary.com, it's the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. And today I discovered that I was addicted to the most unlikeliest of things, the morning newspaper. I got up a bit early for a Sunday, and like every other day, I went to get the days newspaper, but it wasn't there. It was 7 n I decided to wait, n I was pacing up and down the road, waiting for the newspaper guy. Finally at 8, I had given up hope n had my morning glass of milk without the paper. It was then that I realized that how much I needed the newspaper. I considered going out to buy it, but gave up the thought out of sheer laziness.
Is it just me or has the quality of the newspaper (Times Of India) gone down. The comic strips have had the same strips printed since I was 12. I don't read the comic strips anymore, I just glance through em. I am yet to come across one that I haven't read since the last 5 yrs. I now subscribe to a few comic strips online instead. Even R. K. Laxman's strip, and the other one that's there has repetitions. I did go through the e-paper today instead, but it's not at all fun. It only reminded me I had missed the Formula 1 race again. Just the other week, there was an entire page that was a repetition from the previous days paper. It was the section called Times Trends and in case you really like that section, do check out the last page of the Classifieds section, that is where you can find it on most weekdays that you have the classifieds section on.
This was me a week ago, I forgot I was writing this post and come next sunday (yesterday) I was reminded of this post as my paper didn't show up again. What is it with the paper guy and Sundays? Is it his day off? Any way, I didn't repeat last weeks mistake and sent for someone to get me the paper. I am at home n my parents are away for a fortnight, so I have to take all the tough decisions :D Any way, the paper cost 5 buck, which is considerably more than what I remembered it to be. May be because it was the Sunday paper. It was filled with crappy news, n crappier gossips. I read a few reports that made me sad, some kid who couldn't cycle in the common wealth games because he was run over by an under-age driver. There was stuff about people who were duped, people who were rioting, people urging others to fight for their cause. It's really depressing sometime. They should probably put news relating to tragedy and crime on seperate pages/sections. I switch over to the Mirror, which is being provided as a complimentry copy for the past... damn it, it's been so long that I can't even remember. Being a Tabloid, it is usually entertaining, but the cover story here too was that of the CYG dream being shattered. I wonder how the paper has survived this long without having to face the wrath of the Thakreys. With the images as well as the investigative reports they publish in the papers, I wouldn't be surprised to read about their offices being trashed. Though it is probably the power to influence the readers that provides them this immunity. Any way, crappy or not, I am in a sense addicted to it, n i need it with a glass of milk each morning. Another one of my addiction.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Opera 9.5??? Was it ever in for the browser wars?

Infinity shared this post on google reader, right after I posted the firefox post. So this post says Opera 9.5, the fastest and most powerful browser available, but I beg to differ. I downloaded Opera 9.5 and installed it. The address bar was below the tab toolbar, crap. So this was supposed to be the fastest browser. I used one of my posts as the test page, I loaded the page 5 times in my firefox 2.0.0.14 and Opera alternately. Opera took a consistent 35 seconds to load the page fully without any cache, while firefox loaded the page between 29 and 35 seconds each time. I know what some of you ppl might say, cmon man, this ain't how you measure browser speeds, there are a lot of parameters you check. In case you want to point me to this, let me point out that it is an outdated test on configurations which aren't meant for the new softwares. And this link here, it clearly states that Opera is faster in loading time, but what am I gonna do saving a 100 miliseconds loading a javascript if the browser can't retrieve the script fast enough? Let's just forget the whole speed thing. I used the browser a bit and the magic wand (a button for remembering login details, that fills n automatically logs you in) feature was one of the cool features in it. I opened up gmail n the first thing I noticed was that it loads up the old version of gmail, or atleast that's what I assume, since the new loading page that gmail has put up did not appear and there was no option for reverting to the older version of gmail. I checked it out in my IE6 and the same thing happened there too. I wonder why. And another thing I noticed was that the drop down thing that blogger has in its archive, it acts kinda funny. When you click on it, the page reloads sometimes and sometimes the page strangely scrolls up or down. Next I tried installing a widget on it, and it did not work. I donno, I am not impressed with the browser. For me, firefox rocks, and apparently even for my blog visitors. My stats shows me that the from the last 500 visitors (excluding me) 2% used opera, which us the same number as those who used konquerer, 3% used safari , 24% used Internet explorer n the rest 69% used firefox. Though this doesn't reflect the browser of choice accurately. Before I started blogging about my OS n all, the stats were pretty closely matched for IE n Firefox, with a close fight always going on between the two of them, and there was no Opera anywhere.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Firefox world record

Okay, It is final now. Mozilla has finally announced the release date of it's stable version of firefox 3. The other day I was looking for a certain add-on for my firefox 2 (no I am not a big fan of beta versions) and the add-on site, it already has certain add-on meant only for firefox 3, I had to install an older version for my firefox 2 (Older versions don't bother me as long as they are functional). My point being people are already making my browser the older version even before the next version is released. Any way for those of you thinking Duh! What's the deal about firefox... I'd like to say duh! dude, have you ever tried using add-ons with your browser? Okay, so what's new about this new about this new version? The only feature I liked was that you don't have to remember the names of the sites you have visited before. Check out this video to learn all that firefox 3 would have to offer. Oh n I almost forgot, don't forget to download firefox on the D-day (17th June '08) and help them set a record.

Download Day - English

Thursday, June 5, 2008

TINA

Yesterday the government of India announced a hike in fuel prices whereby petrol prices were increased by a colossal 10% (and a slightly lesser increase in diesel prices). Although it was a move that has been anticipated for a long while, especially since the crude oil prices have reached a whooping $135 a barrel, this hike was received with a lot of opposition. People in some cities even took to the streets to protest against this hike. Even to opposition parties seized this opportunity to deliver a blow to the ruling coalition government. But what could the government have done? How long could it have sustained the losses from subsidizing petroleum products? With crude oil prices expected to breach the $200 a barrel mark by the end of 2009, I don't suppose it'd be a viable option for long. With the country's petroleum companies going broke, because of the government restricting their prices, things were really getting out of hand. Although the government was kind enough to offer subsidies to the public sector retailers, private retailers like reliance continued to sustain losses and were forced to shutdown their pumps. Now, Reliance plans to start exporting petroleum products to the lucrative European markets, in order to earn profits. It would be ironic that the nation would have significant diesel exports as well as imports. Although this hike would have a negative impact on the economy and increase inflation rates, as the effects of the hike actually trickle down into the system, it should have a positive impact on the environment, by forcing people to be more sensible when it comes to fuel consumption. I wonder if it was just a coincidence or did the government purposely choose the world environment week to announce the fuel hike? This rise in price, doesn't quite affect me, because I used to get fuel worth 500 bucks each time n I still will put in 500 bucks worth of it :P On a more serious note, my monthly budget went up by about 150-200 bucks (Thats in rupees(INR)) :( Was this increase in price avoidable? IMO, TINA (There Is No Alternative).

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Blabberer is dead, long live the Blabberer

Like I have already mentioned in my first post, I started blogging because my mind was being bombarded with thoughts, and this was supposed to be my outlet. Unfortunately, I haven't been posting posts as often as I would have liked to. What's worse is that most of my blabber, as I call it (because it filled with digression and like someone recently pointed out, I write in one big block of text, which is actually a subconscious thing, but IMO, it adds to the whole blabber theme), is now filled with details of my latest passion, exploring linux. The outlet of thoughts that I had, had been hijacked by this latest craze of mine. So I have decided, it is high time I started a new blog (where I am yet to start posting) for the all the geeky stuff.
Even though I have not been posting that often, my mind is still under siege. I wake up everyday with the same thoughts that I had slept with. Man I need to reset. I need a fag. It is ironic that I feel the urge to light up on the World No Tobacco Day, but a cigarette really does reset your mind. Sigh! It's been nearly an year n a half since I pulled in my last drag from a fag, but I still feel like having just one last puff whenever I see a lit cigarette. But I am smarter now, I know it isn't worth it. Anyway I still get up like someone had put me hibernate the night before, with all thought right where I left them. Man i need to reset. I need booze. Told ya I was smarter now :P

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dream on

A few days ago, a really terrible thing happened to me. There I was facing my kryptonite and like superman, I crumbled. It was awful. I had never felt more miserable. But all of a sudden, poof! everything's gone. Turns out it was a nightmare, and now I was awake. Life goes on as usual, D-day (the day I was to face my kryptonite) comes again, this time in real, but what the... Everything happens just like it happened in the dream. Argh! No no no! this can't be real. And then again poof! Turns out I never really did wake up. I mean I did wake up but only in my dream. Wow! how bad can life be? I was having nightmares in my nightmares. I was scared now. Then yet again D-day came, I choked n I crumbled again. I am just waiting to wake up. I hope I wake up again.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Blogger wouldn't post comments

Yesterday I was trying to reply to a comment on my blog when the reply just wouldn't get submitted. I copied the comment to post it later and in the mean time typed down the reply to another comment, but this time, when I clicked submit, it worked. I went back to the first comment and tried to post it again, but to no avail. Then I thought maybe the comments have a limit, like those orkut scraps, I hacked off a major part n tried again. Success. Pasted the next part n posted it, and it wouldn't post. So I chopped off the last line this time, n again had no problems posting it. Now came the last last line, I pasted the last line, clicked post, and the page would reload, with no indication of any change, with my comments still in the text box. Damn it! Why can't I post comments on blogger? Carefully analyzing the comment, I realized I had made an error with the HTML element required for using italics. I had used two </i>'s instead of a <i> and a </i>. Such a silly mistake, and it wouldn't post the comment. It wouldn't even give a preview. Couldn't they raise an exception if they noticed a mistake in my HTML elements? What's more, is that in the year 2008, people are still expected to know HTML tags to use basic formating in their comments. Isn't it high time that they replaced the text box with a rich text box? Or at least raise an exception on the users typo, in the meanwhile. IMO Blogger sure could do with some improvement.

PS: It does post an exception in the post for when I tried to post it. It says:

Your HTML cannot be accepted: Closing tag has no matching opening tag: </i>

Looking for an escape from the escape characters. Google people could you please have a look at this bug?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fedora Core 9 Live Preview

Okay, so yesterday Fedora Core 9 was released, in two flavours, one a Gnome 2.22 and the other a KDE 4.0.3. I googled the two desktop environments and after finding inconclusive results as to which of the two is better, I decided to try out the K Desktop environment since my current Ubuntu (Gutsy) uses an older version of Gnome and I do intend to upgrade it the hardy release, which too is equipped with a Gnome 2.22 DE. So anyway, I downloaded the FC 9 installable live CD for x86_64 and burned it onto a CD. Rebooted and waited patiently for the Live OS to boot. Unlike Ubuntu's live it didn't ask me a million questions about my hardware and the settings I wanted to keep, so far so good. While the OS was loading its various components, I instinctively clicked on the detailed view, only to realize that it required my approval for loading most of the components. I chose to hide the details just to check if it prompted me for my response in that mode, but it didn't. So I went back to the detailed view and strangely most of the times I had to enter 'Y' twice. Baah! it finally loaded after what seemed like a million 'Y's. Okay, it looks cool, except for the giant sized KDE panel which I am sure quite a few not-so-young linux users would appreciate. Here is the screenshot of the default screen with the main menu open and set on applications.

Notice that cool search option like that in Vista, Nice. So I typed firefox in the search window but nothing turned up. Browsing through the options showed Konqueror as the default browser. Of course, how silly of me, KDE remember. We'll come back to Konqueror later. Next I checked if my drives mounted on it's own. Yup, all the drives, NTFS, FAT32, and ext3 showed up. I create a textfile in the NTFS drive, just to see if it is write enabled, click it once to select it n then double click it. 3 Kwrite instances open up. Damn it! I hate single click for opening. Now for the important stuff, the default music player. Click click, okay a music player and a media player. But none of which would play a MP3 file. This must be because of the lack of open codecs, which I had read about somewhere. FC 9 KDE live is slightly below the Ubuntu Gutsy (the predecessor to the latest Ubuntu version (hardy heron)) live at the moment. Then I click on the install to hard drive button and my system went catatonic for a while 5 minutes. When it finally came back from the dead, it asked me for a few of those settings which I gave but I aborted the install when it asked me about the drive to install it on. I opened Konqueror and went to google, for which the browser took my permission to accept the cookies. I opened about 4 tabs and my desktop environment crashed and then recovered in a couple of minutes. Now I'm up to 10 tabs but it is running fine. But there is something wrong about this browser. Firstly the JavaScript doesn't work. I checked and it is enabled. So gmail is running in the HTML mode right now, and I have to refresh it to check my mail. Even the blogger create post is working in the HTML mode. Also, the alignment on the page is not perfect. If and when I install this OS the first thing I do after I install the codec library for MP3s is installing firefox. I think It wouldn't be fair to judge this OS on the basis of how its live version ran and it would only be fair to compare it with the latest version of Ubuntu, and not an older one. So I am going to end this post without giving my comments on whether I liked the distro or not. You can get your own copy of Fedora Core 9 from here. I will surely post more details when I install and compare the two distributions.


For a detailed review check out Fedora Core 9.


For more linux reviews check out my linux blog.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Here I am, on the road again


Well, as you can probably see, I've made a couple of itsy-bitsy changes to the layout of my blog. There is a static background image now and the width of the divisions of the main post area is more. No these aren't my own ideas, I simply copied the ideas from Red Queen's Blog n Infinity's Blog. Thank you both of you. If somebody is reading this, could you please comment on whether the text is readable of should I revert back to one of blogger's themes? Oh n BTW, the theme's called Turn the page after the Metallica song since after I finished working on the image, the first words that came to my head were Here I am, on the road again.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

How To Clean The Carburettor of a Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 350cc

A carburettor (also spelt as carburetor, and will be referred to as carb. from now on, not to be confused with carbohydrates) is a device which mixes the fuel and air, before the mixture enters the engine. It is the carb that changes the amount of fuel entering the engine and in turn manipulates the power that you get. Often when you get fuel from an unreliable pump, there are chances that impurities enter your fuel tank, which would eventually end up in your carb. The first time I opened my carb, I did look for instructions for opening it on the internet, but didn't find any. So now that I am experienced enough to open n reassemble my carb, I thought why not put up a post for the newbies. Before working on machine parts, I think it is important for you to remember the following things :
  • Always open a nut/screw with the appropriate tool. The spanner/ratchet should be of the exact fit on the nut. Also the screw-driver should fit in the groove right.
  • Take care of the nuts and washer that you open. Don't lose or mix em up. If possible make use of a tray to store all your nuts.
  • While tightening nuts/screws, make sure that the first few turns should be made by hand and not with a tool. Use a tool to force a nut and you will surely ruin the threads.
  • While tightening nuts/screws make sure you don't leave any loose, or the vibration wold make them fall off. Tighten em too much and you could ruin the thread.
  • Certain tools require lesser force than others to operate, like a rubber gripped screwdriver is simpler to use than a regular one, or a ratchet requires lesser force to operate than a spanner. Make sure you do not apply too much force while using these tools.
Now where were we? Yeah, the carb. Ok, I am using a carb. called VM24 from Mikcarb, which is a standard carb for any 350cc cast iron Royal Enfield.Make the carb accessible by removing all pipes and cable that are obstructing your work space, like the pipe (1) from the airbox. Unscrew the nut (2) holding the carb with the input manifold. Also, loosen the screw (3) holding the hose coming from the air filter. Pardon me for the filthy carb, but cleaning it is a tedious job, and as far as the insides are clean n all the orifices are open it really doesn't make any difference. Also, I started of by taking decent pics, but eventually, as my hands got dirty, the quality of the pictures started decreasing too.
Now coming to the other side, unscrew the nut (4) barely visible, after you have pulled out the fuel pipe (5) coming in from the tank.
Remember to close the fuel supply coming from the tank before you pull out the fuel pipe. Also, remember that when you pull out the pipe, a little fuel (6), that is there in the pipe is going to get spilled. So put out that cigarette before you start removing your carb.
Pull the carb back in the direction shown. In some of the older models, the nut (7) holding the tank in place might restrict the movement of the carb. If you are unable to remove the carb, you might have to open up the nut.
Now all that holds the carb is the accelerator cable (8) to remove which you'd have to unscrew the top part (9).
As you unscrew the top part, you will notice a spring (10) pop out.Take out this cylindrical thing (11) (the name of which I just can't remember) which manipulates the amount of air in the mixture, carefully.Be careful while you pull out the cylinder so as you don't bend the needle (12) that controls the amount of fuel that goes in. Clean the cylindrical part of any deposits (13)

Now that the carb is off, look on the underside, and you will notice four nuts holding the bottom part of the carb in place. This bottom part contains fuel, so hold the carb upright at all times. Unscrew the four screws (two of which are shown in the picture (14), (15))The bottom part in now out. Notice that a part of the packaging (16) from my carb is missing. It happened because I wasn't careful while I was putting it back, a long time ago. This bottom half is basically your carb's reservoir. This is why your engine runs for a while, even after you have cut off the fuel. Notice the muck (17) that has accumulated at the bottom. This is what blocks the jets (will explain what it is later) of the carb. Now it's time to remove the your float (19). A float is a device used to cut off the fuel when the reservoir gets full. If your carb leaks fuel when the engine is off and the fuel supply is on, it is because this system is malfunctioning.Carefully put the pin n float aside.Once you remove the float, a tiny projection (20) would be now visible. This is your float pin, the part that actually plugs the hole from which fuel flows into the reservoir.
Carefully slide out the float pin (21) and clean it.
This it what a float-pin looks like. Clean it and make sure it isn't rusting. If in case it is, don't forget to clean the rust too. It needs to be as smooth as possible to slide up and down to allow or stop the flow the flow of fuel.
Okay now it's time for the jets. There are usually two jets in a carb. One is the Idling jet (23) which basically is the orifice through which the minimum amount of fuel that goes into an engine at all times, flows. While the pilot main jet (22) is the orifice for the fuel when you make use of the throttle. I am only going to unscrew the pilot main jet for now, but if you want you could open your idling jet too, which resides in side the small pipe. This is what the pilot main jet looks like when it comes out. Clean the tiny hole that you see in the middle with a pin. This is the thing that you need to change, to get more power out of your bike. When you put a bigger jet, you simply allow more fuel to flow into your engine. This process is called up-jetting. Although it has an effect on the mileage the bike give, it is one of the cheapest ways of getting more performance.
The float which we had removed earlier also requires cleaning. I make use of paper (not sandpaper) to clean the float. Paper is abrasive enough to clean the float, but not enough to damage it. Notice the difference in a two sides, one (24) cleaned with paper, the other (25) with a piece of cloth.
If the outside of your carb is as filthy as mine, and want to clean it, you could use kerosene and a toothbrush to do so. Although the extra fuel in the reservoir can also be used to do so, experience tells me that brushes do not survive for long (read over a minute) wen exposed to petrol.
Assemble everything back together.
When you look in from the top, you'll notice a small (possibly sharp) projection (26) which is not quite visible in this image.
That projection in the last picture was to guide this cylindrical thing up and down the shaft. Make sure the grove (27) coincides with the projection. Don't force it in. Look I forgot to clean this thing up. Also make sure that the rubber packaging (28) fits in properly. Remember, never to force this part in. Also take care of the needle.Fit back top part which is connected to the accelerator cable. And check if the carb is working when the throttle is given. Notice the 3 positions of the throttle I have photographed the carb in. Full throttle, not restricting the airflow at all, half-throttle and the airflow is partially restricted, no throttle n there is very little space for the air. BTW it was very difficult for me to take this picture with the carb in one hand, camera in the other n me precariously holding the throttle against my leg.
Fit the carb in the hose from the air filter (29)
Pull it back n fit it in the two bolts meant to hold it in place.
Fit back the nut (30) and put back the fuel pipe (31)Tighten the nut (32), and the screw (33) and put back the pipe to the air box. Start her up, n the engine should sound smoother than before.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Installing GRUB on a USB drive

About a month ago, I finally bought a flash drive (a 4GB one) for myself, to replace the antique 256MB MP3 player. As this was intended to be a pen drive and not an MP3 player, it supported USB booting. Unfortunately, each time I plugged it in, the flash drive became the default hard disk, since it apparently had priority over SATA disks for booting. Now you might say I could simply set the SATA drive as the preferred hard disk for booting, but once you remove the drive, and the BIOS detects that it is missing, it no longer keeps a track of the flash drive, plug it in another time and it tries to boot from the flash drive. I did try looking for a way to disable USB booting, but to no avail. I couldn't locate it neither in the motherboard manual, nor in the BIOS itself. I could have probed the matter a bit more, but then I decided to install a GRUB in my pen drive. After all, it takes a mere 170KB, I could install a regular OS in this thing (4GB pen drive). Okay so here's how I did it.
Plug in the drive and make sure it has a file system, format it if it doesn't.
Make a folder called boot in the root directory of the pen drive. Or simply execute the following command in your terminal.
sudo mkdir -p /media/drive_name/boot
Of course, needless to say, you'd have to replace drive_name with the name your drive is mounted with.
Now you have to copy your grub to the boot directory you created. Use the following command to do so.
sudo cp -r /boot/grub /media/drive_name/boot
Now, there is a need to activate the GRUB prompt, to do so simply type
sudo grub
You will notice that the GRUB prompt (GRUB>) appears. Now we need to find where all the GRUB exists. In order to do so, type in the following in the GRUB prompt.
find /boot/grub/stage1
What this command did was that it looked for a file called stage1 (which I know exists in the grub directory) and reports where all it found it. This is what the output should look like,
(hd0,0)
(hd1,9)
Now to check out which of the hard-disks is the pen drive. Type in
geometry (hd0)
and it displays something like
drive 0x80: C/H/S = 3841/33/63, The number of sectors = 7987200, /dev/sdb
Partition num: 0, Filesystem type is fat, partition type 0xb
Okay, since I have set my pendrive as number hdd1, this is it. If you see more than one partitions, chances are this is not your flash drive, check out the next one that showed up, until you have found the one that you are sure is your pendrive. Now you don't want to rewrite your MBR when there is not the need to do so, do you?
Now that I know the hdd and partition name (hd0,0) in my case which would be different in your case, we need to specify the grub we need to install in the MBR by:
root (hd0,0)
Now to write the stage1 of the GRUB onto the boot sector of the USB, which would be different in your case
setup (hd0)
which would give a message like
setup (hd0)
Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... yes
Checking if "/boot/grub/stage2" exists... yes
Checking if "/boot/grub/fat_stage1_5" exists... yes
Running "embed /boot/grub/fat_stage1_5 (hd0)"... 17 sectors are embedded.
succeeded
Running "install /boot/grub/stage1 (hd0) (hd0)1+17 p (hd0,0)/boot/grub/stage2 /boot/grub/menu.lst"... succeeded
Done.
Do I need to tell you that you are done once it says done? Well actually, I wasn't quite done here, but if you weren't facing the problem I was, this is your exit. Type
quit
If you were, then I'm afraid you'd have to read on, since this is the main reason for writing this post. You see, each time you plug in your pendrive, the hd0 and the hd1 get messed up, because the boot order changes. So now, if your pendrive was hd1 like it was initially in my case, it becomes hd0 when it becomes the primary hdd. So now you need to change the grub in your pendrive to modify make this grub run. In order to allow you to make changes to all its files, type in this command in the terminal
sudo chmod -R 777 /media/usbdisk/boot/grub
Disclaimer : What ever I did from here were my own instincts, you could follow the steps since it worked for me, even if the steps don't work, they worst case scenario would be that you mess up the GRUB you copied, that didn't ever work (But make sure it doesn't work before you mess with it)
Now in the grub folder, in the boot folder you made in your pendrive, you will find a file called device.map I simply interchanged the assignment of sda (the hard drive) with the sdb (the pen drive). Then in the menu.lst file, replace the drive numbers with their appropriate ones, like in my case, hd(0,9) was replaced with hd(1,9) in the case of linux booting, and hd(0,0) was replaced by hd(1,0) for the Windows Vista bootloader. But don't let this confuse you, my boot procedure is really messed up. I have a windows vista bootloader which manages XP by default and I added Linux to it using easy BCD. Let me finish my exams n I will sort things out. Instead of replacing the drive number in each place, you could add something like
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
which simply changes the mapping dynamically. It works, but you have to put it before each root instruction in the menu.lst Any way I guess that is it. In case anybody reading this needs any help, I am pretty sure I'd be proficient with stuff like this by then (going by the number of people who visit this blog). Though it would be a nice idea to join a good community, and ask your doubts there, because there are a lotta knowledgeable people out there, willing to help you with your problems.


Do visit my Linux blog

Monday, April 28, 2008

It really whips the Llama's A$$

As I have already mentioned before, I have now abandoned my windows (XP as well as Vista) installations, and have taken a liking towards Linux (Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon distribution) The one and probably the only problem I have faced with Ubuntu so far is choosing the right music player. After over a month of using, Ubuntu, I was satisfied with the default media player I had been using, Rhythmbox. It was then I realized how used to winamp I had actually become. Although I usually enqueue all my music in my playlist I do sometimes like to make my own playlist too sometimes, a big hassle with Rhythmbox. In the past month I did try to look for an alternative for Rhythmbox, but none were of my liking. So yesterday morning, I started a hunt for the best media player for Ubuntu for AMD64, I specified AMD64 because finding stuff for this version is tougher than it is for the Generic 32bit (i386) one. The first place that I went to look for a player was the add or remove application utility, for obvious reasons, ease of installation n guaranteed compatibility. But lo and behold, the player which apparently looked and worked like winamp, called XMMS player had problems showing text on the buttons. Uninstall time. Next up came Amarok which was pretty much like Rhythmbox. I am not saying that any of these players are bad, just that I was more used to Winamp. So anyway I decided I needed winamp, or nothing else would suffice. Google, Google, n there it was (tears of joy in my eyes) WINAMP FOR LINUX, but wait a minute, what is that, Winamp 3 alpha for linux, last updated 6 years 6 months ago. Damn it! I'll try it out anyway, winamp 3 wasn't that bad, so what if it's an alpha version. Click, download, ok, Woohhaaa!!! WTH? Its a what? A .RPM file. Now what? Google, Google, use alien to convert to a debian package. Oh i know what that is, that is one package you can double-click to install... Sigh of relief. Terminal, sudo blah blah blah, ERROR ERROR... Now what did I do wrong? An hour later it finally struck me. Oh Crap! 6 years 6 months ago there probably wasn't any AMD64, (Checked it out on Wikipedia and I was right. The first AMD64-based processor, the Opteron, was released in April 2003.) that means that this version was meant to be run with the AMD64 version, would have i been better off had I installed the generic i386 version? Naah, 3yrs after I buy a 64bit PC I am using a 64bit OS with it, I shouldn't be having second thoughts about it. But I think I read somewhere there are support libraries you could install to get the generic versions of the softwares to run. Argh! that's why I didn't switch to linux earlier. All about coming out of your comfort zone. Now what? Lets try out wine. Wine is this really cool application that builds this layer which provides support for software meant for windows. Behold, apparently you aren't safe from dll hell even while using Linux. There are a couple of other such softwares I had heard of too, but since Google makes use of wine in it's Picasa for linux, I figured it would be good enough. Went to wine's official site and discovered that a newer version of the package was available there, than that was there in the repository. Installed wine, followed by winamp. Started winamp, and it works, but wait, where have all the title-bars (the bars with the close minimize and maximize options) disappeared? There aren't any borders for the windows either, to distinguish between two windows. CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE (restarts X) Uninstall. Next came winamp lite 5.53, but it had the same problems. I looked for an older version of winamp n found a 2.9 something Installed it n it worked :)the title bar look a little odd n there was a border there for the winamp window, but it was working. I wasn't satisfied. Uninstall, reinstall new version, uninstall compiz (desktop manager) and now the new version works. Now I am satisfied, enqueued all my songs, pressed J (for jump to file) n the damn thing crashed. Uninstall, Reinstall old version, enqueue songs, J... It crashed again. For the first time I was wondering why I had installed linux. Now to reinstall compiz, but it simply wouldn't reinstall. I remembered I had purged a few folders manually, why do I do such things? Google, Goolge, try this command, Sudo apt blah blah blah and it worked. Now my system is back to normal again. Now I'll stick to the repositories. It was then that I found Beep Media Player(BMP). It looked and felt a bit like winamp, even though it lacked the media list. A little research showed that it was in fact based on the XMMS player. J and the search menu popped up. Great. The features it lacked included the lack of support for WMA format. I did find loads of plugins for it, including those for playing WMA, but they are all in the .TBZ format, and using the TAR utility to extract the package gives a failure. I have kept the files aside for when i learn how to install em. Then came Beep Media Player Experimental(BMPx), a successor to BMP. It had those iTunes type looks I really hated, but the one thing it had was a really cool Internet Radio. It supported all the formats I required too. But it wasn't much of an improvement over Rhythmbox. The hunt continued and then next came Audacious, a fork of BMP. Tried it out n it is just what I wanted. J n the jump to window opened up B and the next song started playing. This is it, I have finally found the ideal player. Audacious Rocks \oo/

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Objects of desire

What is life without materialistic desires? It is only human to want and acquire more, and I am no saint. Though this list does contain what I desire at this frame of time, I am certain, that some items on this list would be struck off before I acquire em, and am pretty sure that a lot more would replace them in due time, for it is desire that fuels a man. So here's a list of objects I desire :

1. Numero Uno on my list of desirable objects wouldn't come as a surprise to those of you who know me. Yes, it is a bike, and yes it is a bullet. It is strikingly similar to my current ride, though it is a lot better. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the 500cc lean burn Bullet Machismo. Although I am going to try to convince my Dad to buy me one, please don't be surprised if I show up on a 350 Bullet electra (new, not my current one) instead.

CTD (Cost to Dad) : Rs 1,15,000/-

2. Numero Dos is something I have already mentioned on my blog. It is a 250GB internal hard drive. I would love to go in for a SATA after I have seen the significant difference in data transfer speeds, but since it would be my secondary hdd, I wouldn't mind going in for a PATA if there is a significant price difference.

CTD : Rs 3000/-

3. Numero Tres comes something which is fueled by my passion for bikes. I believe in safety while riding, that is why I always wear a helmet. But there is a lot more safety equipment that one should use. I am talking about an armoured jacket, the kind with shoulder, back and elbow protectors. At the moment I have identified two companies that make the cheapest protective jacket, DSG and Cramster.

CTD : Rs 4500/-

4. Number four (Uno, dos, tres was all the Espanol I knew, thanks to Ricky Martin) wasn't that easy to decide, but I settled for something similar to number three in a sense. It is a jacket all right, which could be used for protection while riding too, but I want it otherwise too. I am talking about a leather Jacket.

CTD : Rs 5000/-

5. For number five, I come back to computer peripherals. This is something I have been borrowing from a friend each time I needed to use it, but when I heard of its cost, I just had to add it to my list. This, as you see in the picture is a DVD writer. Of course, if and when I buy my 250 GB hdd, this device would not be required for a while after that.

CTD : Rs 1100/-

6. Coming back to bikes, I have always wanted one of those snazzy helmets. My helmet of choice would be a full-face one with a visor and a peak. Most people think that a peak is useless, but it is really effective in cutting down the sun's glare. On the other hand, an improperly designed peak, at high speeds puts a lot of pressure on the neck.

CTD : Rs 5000/-

7. Next up comes RAM. My PC runs on a mere 512mb of RAM and a little more memory would do it good. I have just two slots on my motherboard and the manual that came with stated that I could fit in only 1GB DDR RAM. So i guess the maximum I could go up to would be 2 GB, though 1.5GB wouldn't be too bad either.

CTD : Rs 2000/-

8. Last but not the least, I have always wanted to own a bicycle. I did have one as a kid, and like my motorcycle, I rode it hard. The only thing was that it wasn't mine. It was my sister's, who hadn't ridden it. It was one of those cycles with a sissy handle bar. But luckily, most guys had such bikes and the bike wasn't pink or something ;) it was white n blue. Then when we shifted to the capital, my bike was taken away, since it wasn't safe for kids to ride cycles there. I did set out to check out the bicycles available in the market, a couple of years ago, but unfortunately none were available in my size. They were all too small. This is probably the last thing I would go n buy if i had the money (lest I be thought eccentric), but it is one thing that I would always desire.

CTD : Rs 3000/-