Ideas and Opinions

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Anna University Dogma

I heard about these recent rules at Anna university, imposed on the students. As an alumni of that institution I am all pity for the students who study there. So what are those rules:
1. Students shouldn't use Cell phones and if they do so, it would be confiscated.
When I was a student there, the Economics didn't work out well for me nor for many, to actually carry a cell phone around. But things have changed, Cell phones have become an important form of communication. Its no longer just a priviledge, it is a comfort that technology has brought to mankind. Being a premier technology institution in India and well reputed, they should understand the fact that Times have changed. Here is the deal, in our times, the only way that any information reached us from outside was traditional snail-mail or a phone call to our hostel, which we can only receive if the warden/watchman (or any responsible hostel in-mate) picks it up. Then, they are left with an infuriating task of shouting in the hostel hall, "Room no 61 .. Senthil ...". You can imagine who easy things would be if you have a cell phone. If there are so many advantages with cell phones then what is the problem: General nuisance during the class when it goes off. So if that is the actual problem, then why don't they change this rule as
"Switch off your cell phones, before the class!"
The idea of devoiding the students of an important communication link all the time is complete madness.
2. Dress code - Big deal, I don't care what you dress as, Its what you think and what you are capable of. I have 2 examples - Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Did they emphasize themselves with a dress code when they started their company ? Didn't they turn out really well, to a position as to where they are now? Let me ask this question other way round, by making your students wear the dress that you specify, are they going to understand and apply the nuances of a technology, or perhaps invent the next generation computers based on Quantum Mechanics, just because you are wearing a neat Louis Phillippe formals? What you wear, really doesn't matter, it's what inside you, what you can! So cut the crap and just abolish this rule.

There are probably many other rules that students are facing right now, but I could only get to know about these. I read this post by Alaphia, who interviewed the VC at Anna university and felt the need to write something on my blog as an Anna Univ Alumni. I sincerely hope the plea gets to the president and normalcy gets restored back at Anna University.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Yamaha Home theather System : Review

After a few weeks of thought and research, I zeroed on a home theater system and bought and installed it a week back. It is a Yamaha NS-P436 6.1 Channel Speaker system and a Yamaha HTR 5840 6.1 Home theater receiver. Just before a month, my knowledge of home theater system was very limited and now I know a little. I got this desire to buy one when I experienced the home theater sound at my friends place. He had the same Yamaha NS-P436 but a HTR 5740 receiver, slightly older model. Well, as usual i set out to search and read reviews on the internet for a good home theater system. With a constrained budget, I thought it would be wise for me to simply buy a Home theatre in a Box. There were a lot of 5.1 home theater systems but I wanted a 6.1. So the options were very limited in the Box side. The ones that were there were too big, which means i can't carry it to India. Onkyo had a fine 7.1 model for $400 but it was too heavy, the whole set was 115 pounds. Even their simpler 6.1 model was heavy and the subwoofer was as big as a suitcase. I didn't even consider Bose for the price (it started from $999!). So I decided to build my home theater by buying speakers and receivers separately. The final choice I made was what I started with, my friends configuration ! I didn't get a HTR 5740 so I got the next level model HTR 5840. The speakers are neatly designed and compact enough to be carried back to India. The whole unit weighs a total of 45 pounds (about 20 Kg). It costed me a total of $450, and bought them off the internet.
Highlights:
Speakers : 2 Front Speakers - 100 W each. 1 Center main speaker - 100 W. 3 Surround rear speakers 100W each and a Powered Sub woofer - 100 W. Total output - 700 W.
Receiver - Has it all - Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic , Pro Logic II, NEO DTS ... all of it! Plus several sound settings. The unit needs a little manual reading, but once you know the basics it is really easy to use ( atleast for all your basic needs). For a detailed spec, please check the Yamaha website.

The verdict, I have only one word - Fantastic. I probably haven't experienced much home theatre before but this is really superb. I watched two great tamil movies over the weekend - Chandramukhi and Virumaandi. Chandramukhi rocked ! Superstar's stunt effects were all over my house. The first intro scene was sensational and gave me a feeling of watching it in a theatre in Chennai (Devi theatre). The sound effects were awesome. The climax song - Ra Ra was amazing. While I was watching, I really got a doubt if I was disturbing my neighbour. So during one of the songs in the middle of the movie, I walked upstairs to the apartment above mine and spoke to them politely if I was disturbing them with my movie. Guess what! they heard nothing. I have to give full credits to my apartment design folks, the acoustics is just phenomenal which enabled a superb setting of the system. I also watched a movie on my Cable and since the Set top box had a digital audio out, I was able to watch the movie "The Bourne supremacy" in Dolby Digital. The sound was simply pristine and stunning.

So if you are out there searching for a Home theater with a good sound experience and easy on your pocket and want to carry it back to India, this would be a really good choice.

Caution: Prolonged exposure to high powered sound effects will cause damage to your hearing. I always keep it between -20 to -30 db, it is good enough and the overall sound experience simply depends on the acoustics of your room rather than the speaker volume.