Sunday, February 12, 2006

KTWV 07 Issue 08: Besides sharing an alma mater...

I recently had an email from 75er David C. King who resides in Toronto, Canada.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that besides sharing a common alma mater, we had another thing in common, our love for the Apple Mac computer. David has been a Mac lover since 1990 - me from 1984.

Here is the "mess" I work in. The headphones allows me to wander around the house and garden listening to the various US Liberal Talk Show programs for which I run a ratings blog and also the great collection of Oldies I have in my iTunes. The cheap Lexmark scanner cum printer helps me get things done quickly. Not visible is the second headphone assembly, a scanner for scanning slides and negatives and another printer for higher print resolution.

Cellar arrangement for working Macs

In my cellar I also have the first computer I ever used, when I joined the University as a Researcher, the Apple IIc which I later bought at a disposal auction for about Euro 80 along with the original Philips Monitor. I have my first computer purchase for myself, my Mac PowerBook 170, which still works and is great. I bought a second one and used it to repair the original. Then I acquired a couple of MacPlus computers (for about Euro 5 each) followed by an iMac and an eMac (which I got for Euro 120 under insurance when a Power surge burnt out my iMac). I was given a Performa 6400 for doing some work for a friend and I acquired another Performa 6400 as it is such an excellent computer of the past.

But I found David had outdone me. He reported that he has a Mac SE, a Mac Plus, a Mac SE 30 (perhaps 2, he says), an original Mac LC, a Mac IIvx, and assorted others of the same vintage. He also has a Performa 6400, a 9500 (2 of them) running the Mac OSX operating system, an original iMac Bondi, a G3 B&W (one of his daughters uses one at home and another uses her's in the University), and a G4 Sawtooth, and his son at University also has one of these. David thinks that he probably has a 185c as well. Besides, he has lots of hard drives and even a HP mainframe server that he got to work with his Macs.

What David is describing is almost the state of the Microelecronics Laboratory, University of Oulu, in 1992 when I left, where all the really good research work was being done on about 30 Macs of different flavours, in the laboratory. The oldest Mac was still managing the Xray Analsis equipment.

We did not have to ever employ a service engineer as the Macs never gave any trouble. I did a round on a Saturday morning to ensure that there were no problems - and it took me no more than about 2 hours to ensure the next week was smooth sailing for everyone.

I wonder how many of you also preserve your Macs with the due diligence that David and I do?

I know that Arundhati Roy wrote her first bestseller "God of Small Things" on a Mac (she s not a Stephanian but her husband and two kids were).

Thursday, February 09, 2006

KTWV 07 Issue 07: Great site of Stephanian Photographs

Just discovered a great site with lots and lots of pictures from Stephania.

I wish someone would explain the purpose of the site to an old timer, as it is obviously meant to be a site for Stephanians. Do I, as a 63er qualify?

The great pictures are located at a site called but I wish someone would take the time to caption the photographs.

After all these years, much has changed. Although I can recall many of the places, such as scenes from the dining room, there are many places that are unrecognisable.

This is not meant as a criticism, but only to help us old foggies like me who have not visited the college for probably the last 30 years to get our bearings. For instance, in our time,there were two places where we could play table tennis - in the JCR and in a shed at the gate of Rudra Block. From the shot on the site, where the present table is is quite a mystery!

I copied one picture and have been trying to work out exactly where everything is.

SSC Site Plan

I then realised that this is an old drawing. I would be very glad to know which year this Site Plan was made. It was obviously prepared a few years after I left in 1963 but it is before the second half of the Mukerji Block was built. The plan shows that it was under consideration.

Thanks for all the great photographs.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

KTWV 07 Issue 06: Problem solved

In my last post I posed a problem about the photograph about our oldest online Stephanian, B. G. Verghese, and his charming and beautiful wife, Jamila.

As I sat here in the cellar, with the -20 C outside, racking my brains, the beauty of the Apple Mac Grab application suddenly flashed through my mind.

Presto, I was able to get the complete picture, in all its beauty, just from the Preview, and I am able to present to our great audience the wonderful Stephanian couple, George and Jamila.

B. G. Verghese and Jamila Verghese

Photo is copyright BGV & Jamila,
till I am advised otherwise, and it is duly acknowledged

Here are the real toast of our college - BGV and Jamila Verghese!

KTWV 07 Issue 05: Our Oldest Stephanian online?

I had a pleasant email exchange with B. G. Verghese, known to most as BGV, probably the oldest Stephanian online.

He was in the college in the late 40s and early 50s, and his wonderful wife, Jamila, was also one of the earliest lady Stephanians of the early 50s.

BGV's writings, which graced the pages of many Indian newspapers, and his service to the nation as Press Secretary to an Indian Prime Minister, have been a beacon in my life.

An intriguing fact about this photograph is that in the preview in my picture folder, I can also see the absolutely beautiful Jamila standing beside BGV with a lovely red rose tucked behind her ear. But the picture, as I see it in all the image display programmes and as uploaded, is only of BGV.

Can any computer savvy Stephanian solve this problem so that I can upload the entire picture as seen in the Preview?

BGV told me in our correspondence that the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of our college concluded on February 1st, and a volume of 24 essays by alumini that he edited, entitled "Tomorrow's India: Another Trust with Destiny" was released on the occasion. He mentioned that many of my contemporaries were probably the authors included in the book.

Could I humbly request someone in Delhi to send me a copy for my archives - all costs will be met by me!