Powerpivot

Very excited about the reporting capabilities built into Office 2010 beta..
Trying to familiarize myself with it .. tried installing PowerPivot. Seems you must have XP SP3 pre-installed (not documented in the help files) before you installed Project Gemini.

I’m still waiting for my SP3 updates to complete…

Rights. or is it right?

I read an interesting article yesterday here, the results of a poll that suggests that over 80% of the 27000 people who were part of the survey from all over the globe, suggest that the Net is a “Fundamental Right”.

My idea of fundamental rights was a list of some words that you had to memorize, & be able to recite to pass your school exams. I can’t remember one fundamental right or duty enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Or any other country’s constitution for that matter.

I began to think as I write this if I know what I hold to be my own fundamental rights, my private Constitution. I struggle with the  thought, but here’s a feeble attempt:

  1. Right to decide what to do with my life & discover my own destiny.
  2. Right to enjoy life & all that it has to offer
  3. Right to learn more about anything that catches my fancy.
  4. Right to my personal beliefs, & to change them.

This list is by no means comprehensive, & is something I have consciously set out to discover. I realize that these Rights also come with Duties or Action.

My personal role model, Ben Franklin had a list of 13 virtues he attempted to live is life by (you can read about them here), which he had a very interesting way of tracking. In his autobiography, he mentions how he would try to live each one of them for one week. Over the course of 52 weeks, he would have tried (& his achievements & life tells us he mostly succeeded) each one of them four times, he also tells us he tracked his results very diligently for quite a long period. (Reminds me to read the book once again, I don’t seem to recollect some important details!)

Stertor

It was a warm day.

The air was thick & sticky, like a bowl of porridge.

The train was packed with people heading back home. Some kept fanning themselves to cool down. Others tried to get busy with their books or iPods or computers. Minds were feeling as dull as the heat that numbed it.

Then suddenly came the staccato of machine gun fire. Jerked into action. Those unfortunate enough to be seated at the windows ducked for cover. Everyone else did too, not wanting to get a stray bullet in their ear.

The firing continued. People peering from their hiding places. Nearly everyone had ducked. Most were safe.

Most, except one young, bearded fellow. Had dark glasses on. Well dressed. Polished shoes. Head leaned against the window. Unmoving.  Was he hurt? Did he get the gunfire? Where is he hurt? Do we need to pull the chain & stop  the train?

& then came the sound again. Louder this time. The silence in the train car was deafening. Were they following someone? Everyone was looking out the window, trying to identify where the tanks & guns were.

Attention went back to the young fellow. He was breathing. Deeply & regularly.

Sleep is a wonderful drug. Snoring isn’t!

Color. (or is it colour?)

I tell whoever asks me questions about color, that I’m color blind. Aesthetically challenged.  I can’t distinguish between bottle green & dark green. Sky blue & light blue. Hues. Saturation. Very confusing for me. & I thought to myself, this perceived disability to identify colors will get me out of those exciting shopping trips too 🙂

Of late, however, the color is back in my life. The train journey can take the credit. I can’t deny that the beautiful sights along the way are all in multi-color. & so too are images on computer screens!

On the train back from work a few days ago, I eyes-dropped (sure, that is a word too!!)  into my fellow passenger’s open laptop screen, a huge bloke who tried really hard to let me have a third of my seat so I could sit as comfortably as possible, while he occupied all of his & two thirds of mine. But I digress.  He was, I gathered from his conversations on the phone, & the database application that he was Alt+tab-bing in between reading this fascinating piece, a database administrator responsible for reports.  He was reading an article on how color & hues make a dramatic impact on the information being conveyed. The vast difference in eye sight, including the users demographics & their ability to comprehend information in color.

Train.. of thought…

It has been two weeks since we moved to our new home in the countryside.

I cycle to the train station every morning, & then take the train to work. Two stops to the first changeover station. Two more to my destination. Thousands of people along the way. Or is it hundreds? Never counted, but it sure seems a lot.

The journey is beautiful. Like life, I think. Chugging up a mountain. Along a riverbank. Over the river on a bridge. Alongside a fishing spot. & onto the city. With its hustle & bustle & whistle.

The passengers on the train fascinate me. Very interesting. I watch some of them. As I’m sure some of them watch me too. Nosy Rosie. Want to know everything about everything. Like me. Like them. Like most of us. Hovering under the veneer of social behaviour. Each nose appearing to be buried in his own little device. A book. An iPod. An iPhone. An iMeMyself gadget. Some reading. Some pretending. Deep in thought. Or deep in sleep. Thinking? Of the day(s) gone by? Of day(s) to come? People? Things? Money? Planes? Fear? Happiness? Childhood? Children? Parents? Who knows?

Occasionally, laughter. Fills the compartment. Like a breath of fresh air.

Fresh air also comes in when the train doors open at stations. To let people get off. Or to let people in. & soon it is not so fresh. Both, people & the air.

Some frantically typing away at their keyboards. Others deep in slumber. Faint noises from earphones. Sometimes musical. Mostly not.

On the train, I read. Books. & people. Sometimes they make sense. Mostly they don’t.

I wonder why…