Montreal => My first impression

I had been waiting for a long time to put my first impression of Montreal here on my blog. Most of it is taken from the mail I wrote to my friends describing things which intrigued me.

I am in Montreal now and its awesome, simply the word is awesome. Here everything is very different from how I had been used to seeing or doing. I have a Mcgill Id card saying I m a trainee with them which also is my key to 12 libraries, doors of most of the buildings on campus. My mentor is very cool, relaxed and pro. He has cultivated good stress freework culture in our lab and is very helpful too. We have lunch together in the kitchen of our lab 😀 which has cutlery, microwave and fridge. We have talked about different topics and he is a New Yorker himself who bikes to his office in our lab :).  Every where they have the chilled water dispenser which throws the water upwards(which I find a bit weird and uncomfortable to drink from), as on our Delhi airport.  The lab is super cool, I have uploaded some pics on my google and facebook, please have a look. Here it seems that real money is spent on Research and Projects.

My LandLord is an french canadian guy, who is very different and loves Palak Paneer 😛 and loves to laugh :D. My housemate Sebastian Knotz, is an Austrian guy, who is going some civil service work for an year here. He is living in with his girlfriend. He is quite outgoing and social. I have developed good friendship with him and we often go out to clubs and house parties. The only Indian I know is Archi bhaiya, who is ‘Mummy Ji’. He is very accommodating, helpful and fun to be with. Doon school kae bande hai!! 😀

Name of my lab is Center of Intelligent machines (CIM), McGill. My project is a mobile application(on both platforms, iOS and Android) which helps blind users to explore their surroundings. It is not a navigation app, it helps blind users by providing added audio cues through special headphones so that they can hear the normal sounds in the surrounding plus the added info that the device generates depending on where they are walking. The Iphone part is pretty cool, and I am working on its android port so that we can have the same quality on both devices. Google is one of our funder and it has a blind employee who uses our app. I went to meet him the second day after I started here 🙂 The Google office was pretty cool too. It had the Google map of downtown Montreal imprinted on the floor with the reception centered at the address of Google, Quebec

One major difference is street etiquette. People here are generally very rich, or at least for us their way of living is. Public transport can be used by obtaining one card, OPUS card. You can travel anywhere, as many times as you want, you can just take a Months add-on in the card which is for 70$ on a 10$ card and u are good to go anywhere in Montreal. Its all very seamless and easy. Every time you enter the bus, the driver will bid you ‘Hi/Bonjour’ and a ‘have a good a day’ while your are leaving. But the most preferred mode of transport is bikes, bicycles if you may..   Every one is on a bike, a guy with an expensive suit, a beautiful lady with any kind of dress, may it be a single piece dress, jeans or skirt  or anything else, guys without any upper clothing to guys with full sports cycling gear on..speeding through the roads. Its awesome. All the pedestrians only cross the roads on zebra crossing and ya literally its the way I imagined, a car driver will stop the car in front of you and bid you to go first.. 🙂 Also, these bikes are very common inside building offices, my mentor, Jeff brings his on the 436th room on the 4th floor of our building. 🙂

Buildings etc..Houses have no fan and are mostly made of wooden flooring completely.Everyone leaves computers and laptops open, lights open (Huge wastage of electricity, which I dont like !! ). No one cares, as papa says, its a electricity rich country so, I guess it shows clearly :P. But Most of the houses have the brick layer outside which gives the city a beautiful look. McGill Campus is more like as we see in wonder land, or Hogwards. 😛 Here the grocery stores are huge..HUGE..I went to one and it had, like 6-7 choices of onions, have you ever seen any other kind except the one we use? There were 12-15 types and brands of milk, 1% fat, 3.25% fat, cream for coffee and what not.But things are quite expensive here a compared to India.  Also one og the Cineplex that’s like everyone’s favorite has 20 odd screens :O. There are many museums
and big parks you can visit and spend your weekend at.

Food
Here you can find all sorts of food. Specialty of Montreal is Poutine.I still have to try it. Pizzas suck here. They dont have good pizza places, goa was much much better :P. I had sushi, and its awesome. They do give you chopsticks as well which I learnt to use in like 5 mins ;). Bagel is very famous. The coffee places are awesome, you will find then flooded always. They have wifi, ppl do all sorts of stuff there; Study, Work, Surf the net, News and also make love 😛 My food experience is a bit lacking , I couldnt try much, but will be upto some good treats soon. Havent gone to any indian stores yet.  Yogurt Ice cream is also very common here.

I miss my friends and family a lot. I try to keep in touch with them as much as possible. Sometime its a bit lonely, but I keep myself busy to prevent myself from get that mood swing. I still imagine, if I had my college friendes here with me. Things would have been crazy and wild!!!!! I miss my college masti as well. 😦

Also, I know for sure I will change in a lot of ways after I go back. I am learning a lot here and its not only professional but about different cultures, etiquette, standards and much more.
Cheers!!

This is how it is.. 🙂

Guest lecture at Spectra 1.0

We were invited for a guest talk in the Inter-College IT competition Spectra 1.0. We got a overwhelming response, contrary to what we had expected :P. We got a warm welcome by Mr. Sumit, the coordinator of Spectra 1.0. He was the one who invited us there and he happened to be a lecturer.

We had lunch with Sumit. I got to know that its a 2 day event where colleges were participating. I also posed him a question, why is the venue a Commerce college for an IT fest. Its actually because the college also has BCA and MCA students.Our talk was in a nice hall which had all the arrangements we required and there we were greeted with roses 🙂 the usual way.

Jatin gave brilliant introductory talk. He had really set the stage for me. I was happy to see the crowd interacting with him. Jatin asked a question to the audience, “What is android? Lets make a definition from the pool of information you give me!” And people started shooting words..”Open Source”, “Mobile OS”, “Based on Linux kernel”, “Works on many devices”…. We both were impressed. And Jatin with full enthu completed the talk. The last punch of his was the Tom cat joke 😉 can’t be stated in public. 😛

I started with an example Man Builds Android App To Propose To Girlfriend Story.That was totally spontaneous and gave me a break through. Everyone was now listening to what i have to say. 😛 “A tool to propose your girlfriend, why not?”, “I also wana learn it!” was the attitude. After that it was a smooth ride.

We publicised our workshop,’KickStart Android’. Distributed the course details and the Brochure to Sharmila Ma’am and Sumit sir. Sumit sir was our point of contact. We explained the concept to both and they were motivated to send their students for the workshop. Sharmila ma’am gave us the token of appreciation, which were Parker pen m/ with Swiss knife.


I personally feel its a great achievement for me and a stepping stone for much more to come. Although I was a student, everyone at spectra 1.0 treated me with all the respect and gratitude they would have given to someone else.I would also like to thank Bedekar Sir to give us this opportunity and guide us to give an awesome talk.

Cheers!!

Are you an android user?

Finally up with the registration form and the sexy HTML5 based page to popularise our concept.
With the help of Swapan Purkait(Nettech

It was all done in two days. I did discuss my idea with swapan and he seemed interested. He started guiding me and i thought it would be greate if we could associate it with nettech. Nettech.in has become a brand with huge following, no doubt about that.

So we, me and P. Selvam, built the nice webpadge using HTML5, javascript and CSS3. He handled all the javascript part and I took reposibilty of the design and the looks. The end product is really awesome and I love it. Many of my friends have also given amazing reviews about it.

As selvam says,” It feels good to see things materialise and get them working, finally ! “.

I can’t reveal the idea now, as ‘instructed by the head office’. But for sure i can tell you that, if you ‘Are an android user!’, this is a great opportunity for you to earn money in your free time. Do register with us. All i can say is ..Visit http://nettech.in/android if you haven’t already. 🙂

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Same as Apple to Pixar!

This is my new blog and what happened to the old one was unfortunate and depressing..One fine day Hardik, the one whom i share my hosting with, told me that your site is apparently down. It was showing a error message that Database could not be found. When i investigated the becoz, i was shocked to see that the database has vanished into thin air!.. Reasons are still unknown. I felt as if i had gone bankrupt. All the effort and time I had spend on my previous version was lost. All the content was gone, as if i had never written anything.I just couldn’t help myself as the backup was never created. “So stupid of me!”, I thought.

But then the inspirational story of steve jobs being fired from apple came to my mind. “I still loved what i do” This is what Steve jobs thought after he was fired from the company [APPLE] which he himself build and  took it so high. This feeling of his made him start Next and Pixar. I Guess you know about PIXAR which is one of the best Animation Sudios in the world.  Same is the case, I love what I do.

A lesson was learnt, that you should have backups and organised backups..I had linked my blog with my google reader so, the blog posts automatically got posted in my google buzz stream. I have tried to find and get back  as many posts as i could. I was missing my blog a lot, so here i am back with my blog in a different design and structure. Lets see how it unfolds.

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Testimonial by Lovereen

If I had to sum up Friendship in one word, it would be Nehil or the so called jungly. Nehil is my bestest friend, my buddy, my google, my meanoooo, my motivator, my nahul and I don’t know what all. I remember the first time I ever talked to him was at fiitjee’s test series during school days, he seemed to be a total douche and a nerd. The next time I talked to him was on phone back in the first year of college. And then the story began, me bugging him for endless hours. I promise I am never ever ever going to leave your side. So like it or not, you are screwed and chained to me for the rest of your life. 😉

Nehil is a person of perseverance and hard work. Vivacious is probably the best word to describe his personality. He is the brainiest, coolest, most rational and talented person I have ever met. I have seen Nehil work for hours and hours at end. He is a very quick devoted learner and he has mastered all the bullshit in every other thing, he is like an expert. I am from computer science department but I look up to him for all my doubts, believe me or not there has never been a single instance of silence when I ask him a question. He insults me because my questions are usually dumb but still he tells me the answers.

Nehil hats off to your patience and endurance to my constant cribbing – “mein dukhi hun”, “tu bahut bura hai”,”im a very good girl”,”mein toh shona baby hun”. Well as a matter of fact I’m very serious about the last one I’m really a “shona baby”. 😛 You understand me so well that you know exactly what to do when I say “aur bata”-change of topic. You are one creature that never gets angry or sad, I have no clue how you manage that, but keep it up. The best thing about you is even if you have exams you always, without fail pick up my call and at times bear with me for hours. I am so lucky to have you as a friend who is so selfless and brainy to the core. You are my personal search engine. Why should I google when I have a database of information a call away.

My relationship with Nehil has been mistaken by many for the clichéd boyfriend girlfriend relationship and both of us don’t give a damn, because we know exactly who we are and we don’t feel the need to explain it to others. We both are very frank with each other, if I do something wrong he tells it on my face without a teeny bit of hesitation. His way of motivation is very different, its sarcasm! My gawwd he can really be sarcastic, but by the end of the day I do realise that I’m just wasting my life doing nothing so I get all rejuvenated and then and then I doze off.. 😛 BUT wait for it next day I wake up, new day and it all works, he gives me lots to think about. Well well well not to forget all my those kind of doubts end up in Nehil’s hands and there is never that awkwardness in discussing “the topics”, and I really like it that way.

Now this person, this piece here will play TT, tennis even if he has exam the next day, even if it is raining or even if he is sick. He is just crazy about sports and so enthusiastic. And I love this spirit of yours. And yes how can I forget you and your passion for CS!! Seriously dude you can multitask – CS and my call, brushing and my call and at times sleeping and my call 😛 You know how to handle the deadlines and herculean amount of pressure and you handle it really well without whining about it.

Nehil kindles the burnt out fire in me, puts some sense in my dense dumb brain, he makes me feel happy and cared for all the time. I know it for fact that he is “THE ONLY ONE” who can make me laugh when I’m sad or angry. After he came into my life, my life has atleast become 60% li8, I’m trying for the rest 40%. 😀

Two years into knowing you and I have never met you personally but I don’t need to see you to believe in you. I’m very sure that you will become someone great and all renowned one day and don’t you dare forget me. 😛 cheers and as the rule says- no best of luck. Do well and I’m really proud of you.

“I asked God for a rose and He gave me a garden. I asked God for a drop of water and He gave me an ocean. I asked God for an angel and He gave me you! “ ….Thanks for being there 🙂

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