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I am now retiring this blog.
I now have two new blogs:

* My solution architect blog  at
* My author blog at

Please update your bookmarks.
Thanks for visiting
Rajiv Ram


Hooker Blonde

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Love this blonde. Tastes great


Two Blondes from Belgium

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It is not often that one pays $15 for a six pack of ale but if you are spending it on either of these Blonde ales from Belgium, it is money well spent.
Alligem,  is a smooth excellent beer with a mild after-taste. It is not too bitter and has a thin texture for an ale. According to the website, it won a medal at the Luxembourg fair in 1951. I can assure you that it lives up to its reputation even today.
Leffe also blonde and from Belgium packs a great distinct flavor of its own. Both of these are excellent beers amd are heartily recommended.
And yes, they go great with a few helpings of the Superbowl!


Movie Review: Avatar

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Watching Avatar at Jordans IMAX was in every sense as spectacular as one could expect. The 3D effects were spectacular, with an astounding quantity of details packed into every frame.

The storyline is in every aspect built on the typical boiler plate, used in many movies like Dances with Wolves.  The hero goes into a hostile territory, does soul searching are realizes that the evil is not where he ended up but from where he came from. He falls in love and stands up for what he believes in.

Then there are the usual cliches of developing a respect for nature, a nadir where defeat seems inevitable when the protagonists and his cohorts find the strength to stand up for themselves.

The minority who has not seen the movie are well advised to check out the scenes and contemplate the creation of effects of the movie rather than trying to get into the story. Director James Cameroon has indeed scored a big win in creating a beautiful world with human-like beings and wild beasts more fierce than any legends of the past have created.

Even the "normal" world where the protagonist comes from looks impressive in 3D with mamouth robots, futuristic fire power and sophisticated aircrafts. Indeed the critics were right when they said that it has changed movie making forever.

Cameroon has revived 3D and has struck a big home run for the film industry, in bringing back the movie experience to the theatres. We are already seeing the aftermath of this in that the two forthcoming Harry Potter films and the epic "Clash of the Titans" are all coming out in 3D.

In the meanwhile, Sony plans to bring the 3D experience to our living room, which is, as many pundits predict a risky move for the ailing electronics giant.

One other thing I liked about Avatar is that it did not take too may cheap shots always seen in other 3D movies, like bullets and daggers aimed at your face and the like. There is no need for such gimmicks anyway. The scenes are most impressive enough by themselves.

Except for Sigourney Weaver, there are hardly any big stars in the movie. This is probably a good thing, for the real star of the movie is the techhology that made it. Sure enough, there will be more like Avatar and there almost certainly will be a sequel. Hopefully, the screenplay for the sequel will be more imaginative than this one.

Nevertheless, I heartily recommend Avatar. It is not a movie to be missed.


Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes

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I have been a huge fan of the cocaine addicted, cigar smoking eccentic sleuth for several decades now. From savouring the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the stellar portrayal of Holmes by Jeremy Brett in a great BBC TV serial, I have seem many renditions of Holmes. I also liked many Sherlock Holmes movies I downloaded from the public domain.

Over the weekend, I got to see this rendition of Holmes, played brilliantly by Robert Downey Junior. While Sir Conan Doyle may not be happy with this screenplay, that is not close to faithful to any of his works, Downey's Holmes is every bit as eccentric as his maker intended him to be.

Supported by a stellar cast that includes Jude Law as the not-so-bumbling Holmes' sidekick, Dr. Watson and Rachel McAdams who plays Holmes' love interest, Downey delivers a spectacular performance. This combination of Holmes and Watson are every bit as comfortable when it comes to brawling the bad guys as they are in intellectual analysis of a crime.

Extremely well directed by Guy Richie, the movie has memorable action scenes and impressive special effects. With an interesting plot, the movie is fast pased and gripping till the end.

My only complainabout the  movie is that the villain was not menacing enough. The  movie leaves behind the promise of a sequel that will revisit the rivalry between holmes and his arch rival, Dr. Moriorty. Hopefully this Doctor will be more fiendish than the one played by Mark Strong. Despite this minor setback, Sherlock Holmes is a must see.


Savouring Open Solaris

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Open Solaris

Open Solaris
Thanks to the virtual box, I got to sample Open Solaris. Yes, it is not the latest, greatest version but it is the only image I could find for the Virtual box.

I love the azure blue background. The GUI and the layout have a striking resemblance to Ubuntu Linux. The distro comes with firefox, thunbderbird and a number of games and many of the other applications found in Linux distros. One other gizmo on Open Solaris a windows-like task manager. Well, for now, I'll stick to Linux, Mac and Windows


Savouring Flavors of Linux: EasyPeasy

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With the proliferation of Linux across severl platforms,it is no surprise that there is one targeted for the netbook market.

EasyPeasy is a distro specifically designed to run on Netbooks. Like most major Linux distros EasyPeasy comes with numerous offerings including office tools, several games, audio and video tools and encryption support.

All of this is neatly arranged in a slick desktop. This distro is indeed worthy of your netbook.