Posted by: rajivblr | January 31, 2011

Romeo and Juliet on Facebook

Ask any couple, and he or she will, after blushing and hemming, vouch with confidence that good communication is the bedrock on any thriving relationship. This opens up an interesting case for us to examine the relationship between communication modes and romance, especially in the olden days.

Clearly if we have to believe the movies that we have watched, Romeo and Juliet (The epitome of romance) had poor communication between them leading to a grave situation which they finally found themselves in. apparently they used messengers, who were either killed/shot dead or who would wander away to sell the hot stories to tabloids. The letters reaching too late or sometimes never at all. Naturally most love stories died in the budding days because of poor communication, and a cry rose for advanced communication modes.

Postal services would have helped romances better, letters laden with long poems, prose, perfumes and heart shaped diagrams would have caused much joy to Juliet and Romeo, but there is still one problem with postal services, letter though, they always outlive the romance and pop-up in tattered conditions at fragile moments in matrimonial life, causing distress, bad words and divorce. Romeo and Juliet divorced?? Not a good advertisement for any service that is promoting romance.


To avoid these tattered letters, Romeo and Juliet could have used the ubiquitous STD/ISD booths. They could have spoken for as long as their hearts and pockets allowed them to, planned better and run off into the romantic sunset locations without this poison business. Or, if they had waited for more, they could have used emails, which could have averted all the tragedy.


Romeo and Juliet could have easily created email id’s with user names like “crazylover123”, “tender rose” and maintained a secret liaison without anyone’s knowledge, with the exception of “Server not responding” messaged could have been sent and received for quick and clear action on either side. A well worded email b’cced to all, and they would have remained happily married ever after.


Cell Phones? Even better. Why send a mail, which if forgotten to delete, could bring a lot of inconvenience, Also they could sit next to each other and sweetly speak to each other. SMSes could be used only for forceful messages, and since all villains would be busy fidgeting with their cell phones, there wouldn’t have been any problems of any sorts.


But no communication mode can beat Romeo and Juliet being on Facebook or Orkut or Twitter. Connect, propose, marry, upload pictures and videos on both accounts and everyone in the world knows right then…. Broken hearts, happy families, friends, many birds with one post…. A more efficient method is yet to be found though…

Apart from benefitting the cause of romance, my big theory is that Romeo and Juliet would have lived much longer if they have been Facebook, Orkut or Twitter. Juliet could have just tweeted minutes before consuming poison and Romeo and his 100 odd friends (and their 2000 friends) and 1000 followers would have known instantly. They would have done something and set everything right, right away.


The downside is that Romeo and Juliet (800 friends) would not have attained their cult status. If one was to change their status as single after a small tiff, we would instantly know that Romeo was single, and that Juliet also by default, and that would have brought an end to all…

Posted by: rajivblr | March 29, 2010

How to identify if a machine is a VM?

Dedicated to my Fellow IT and Support Folks 🙂

Virtualization is now a critical component to an overall IT strategy. It will be the most important technology in IT infrastructures and operations going forward and dramatically change how IT departments manage, buy, deploy, plan and charge for their services.

As more and more organizations embrace virtualization, and with support for products running on a Virtual infrastructure increasing exponentially, One of the important things for us would be to identify if our deployment is on a Virtual infrastructure or not. Though this information can be got from the customer themselves, it would be smart on our part, to find it out ourselves.

There are a lot of vendors in the market, as clients may be running a virtualization platform on their client systems. Knowing what platform a MAC address relates to may help in identifying the offending system(s). Here is a rundown of common MAC address organizationally unique identifiers (OUI) and their associated platforms to help with the identification of virtual machines on the network:

Company (Vendor) Products MAC unique identifier(s)
VMware ESX 3, Server, Workstation, Player 00-50-56, 00-0C-29, 00-05-69
Microsoft Hyper-V, Virtual Server, Virtual PC 00-03-FF
Parallells Desktop, Workstation, Server, Virtuozzo 00-1C-42
Virtual Iron 4 00-0F-4B
Red Hat Xen 00-16-3E
Oracle VM 00-16-3E
XenSource 00-16-3E
Novell Xen 00-16-3E
Sun xVM VirtualBox 08-00-27

Since we are mostly a VMware shop, I happened to check this against most of my VMware Serves and all the VM’s had a MAC id starting from the one I specified in the table. Apart from the table above, there are different ways of identifying a VMware system.

On Windows, the msinfo32 command(at the run prompt) will tell you the “System Model” as a “VMware Virtual Platform” or if you have access to a  machine, check if you can see the VMware tools icon in the system tray(again on windows)

For *nix users, you hve the famous “ps –ef | grep vmware” command to check if the vmware guestd process is running, which identifies it as a VMware machine.

I am sure there are lot of other ways to identify a Virtual Machine, but the ones listed above are the one’s that I am aware of (or ones I was able to get on the net) If anyone else knows other techniques, please feel free to contribute.

For more information on the OUI’s please refer to

Posted by: rajivblr | March 11, 2010

Draggggging It Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Mornings are the toughest…. You wake up; try to make some tea…  go for a walk, but it doesn’t help… U come back and try to make some coffee this time, and it seems to be the toughest phase of your life or day rather….

Yes it’s the first day, morning rather, after you had decided that you would give up smoking.  On the back of your mind is a movie playing of all the preparatory talk that you did with yourself about how tough the first day/morning will be and, if you can successfully get through it, then the rest will be easy.  Else if not, the on and off throat pains, abnormal weight loss, or the absent mindedness, or even your girlfriend complaining about the stink in your breath and denying a kiss J or even being ruined the chances of becoming a father.. yada  yada  yada ,

But finally the urge to smoke just seems to build itself to a crescendo and you have finally lost the battle.

You step out and buy your first pack of cigarettes for the day. The smoke after that is like making up with the friend you had almost lost.

But you tell yourself, you will quit smoking one day. That one day is defined for many people in many different ways, a day you suddenly don’t feel the urge anymore, a day you felt really ill after smoking, a day when the cigarette did nothing to you. So till that day arrives, the affair is not over.

Smoking really is an intensive affair, you are having with yourself, so, till the relationship turns sour, you don’t feel like ditching the love of your life..

Even after 5 years into this relationship, I am still knowing this entity and its smoky form still enchants me. So, I am still in love….

A friend of mine tells me that I am no quitter, to console me when i break my resolution to stop being in this relationship. But, the bottom line is “Quitting is tough”

I should confess, if not for anything else, the govt has helped a great deal in my effort of severing this dicey relationship. Pictures that say how harmful this lover is appeared on it form one fine morning, but it worked against me. The feeling of being in love, there is always a thrill of the forbidden fruit.

It is not that help is not at hand, A lot of “quit smoking” tips and nicotine patches and gums are available in the market to cope up with the breakup.

However, it won’t be statutory on my part to not include that smoking is terribly injurious to health but you just drag on with the relationship. Finally I did give up smoking and drinking and It was the worst fifteen minutes of my life….

There is so much that comes to mind when I think of “running” as a sport. But, words fail me when I try to pen that down. All I can say is that, it is fast becoming a passion and it’s a high that almost makes me feel SUPER HUMAN!

I have always believed that God has blessed each one of us with a finite number of heart beats. Running or too much of vigorous activity of any sort seemed like a huge wastage of that blessing. Earlier, the longest of my walks would be @ home while I shuttle between the refrigerator and the television. If it wasn’t for that distance, there was hardly any walking!

Things have changed since then. And HOW!?

In a week’s time I conquered, what I thought was the toughest hurdle, waking up early for the training. It was important that “I go running early in the morning, before my brain figured out what I was upto!”

Preparing to run a marathon requires a long-term commitment of time and planning, but the payoff is better health, an improved mental outlook and higher confidence level. My cousin, who is also a great buddy and my trainer, helped me realize the fact that most participants do not run a marathon to win. What is more important to most runners is their personal finish time and their placement within their specific gender/ age group. But, as is the case with all rules, there are some exceptions and finishing the race is what matters to those runners.

Ten steps easy…ten steps hard….twenty steps easy…twenty steps hard…one hundred steps easy…one hundred steps hard…  this is an effective training mantras and was thought by Jack Daniels. Jack Daniels, who? I wondered if someone had come up with the punch line to get a good punch from the famous brand of whisky :-). Much to my surprise I learnt later, that J.D. is the world’s best running coach, scholar, exercise physiologist, athlete researcher and coach who does it the right way – with scientific data.

I realized running is a sport where there are no other opponents except for one’s ability to bear pain! For some it is a painful ego-trip, a sport where something so intangible like pain is quantified and measured … in units like seconds, minutes, inches, and miles…!

As I write this article, I have completed 2 Marathons and am training for the next one which is the Bangalore Ultra, for the 25Kms (in Miles?). It is not going to be easy, I know. The punch line says it all “Its Tough; Are you??”

To conclude, If you want to experience another life….. Run a Marathon!! From finite number of heart beats to experiencing another life, I am amazed by the transformation, and now running is just not another thing I do… It’s a passion. There is no such thing as a perfect run! There’s always a limit to push … that extra bit of effort to put. And that’s what makes running what it is!!