What to do with my Android Phone?

In the beginning, it was all about the smartness, of how much more I could do with it than my Sony Ericsson W810i, of how much like an operating system it felt, instead of a firmware. It was a wild journey trying to fish out apps that could justify the smartness of the phone. Then came rooting, which gave more control over it, giving the power of administering the phone to my hands so that I could decide not only what I wanted, but what I did not want as well. That was rooting to me. To remove anything that I did not want. Then came framework mods to alter how a few elements baked into the OS would look and feel.

Somewhere about this time, I changed from a South Korean Galaxy S with paltry support to a Galaxy Nexus; the world of pure Android. It felt more open and submissive than Samsung’s version of Android and I was rather spoilt with choices about what I can make of it. Plain rooting seemed just that, too plain. Enter the world of custom ROMs. Although I had tried a couple of ROMs on my earlier phone, it never really felt that it was different. But with the support available to the Nexus, I could only imagine where the horizon was.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus stayed with me for just the right amount of time before giving way to Nexus 4, a marvel of a phone. It looked deviously simple, devilishly calm but performed with the enthusiasm of a race horse. Tie this with the firm control that I want to exert on what is running on the phone, you get a device which is quick to respond, acts unlike other Androids and becomes an extension of myself. But the problem now is, I don’t know what I can do with it anymore.

I have automated quite a few tasks that I have a false sense of them not working. Dismissing an alarm tracks my sleep and enables the phone to interrupt me now that I’m not sleeping. Shaking it will un/silence it for those moments where you don’t have to fumble with the buttons or worse, icons. Apps and contacts get backed up automatically with BT Sync. It knows that I’m home and disables lock screen, conserves battery by connecting to Wi-Fi/3G only when I want to.

The bottom line is that despite the bland looking interface that I’ve crafted for it, it is a sophisticated automatic setup under the hood. So, now that quite a few things are taken care of, l have to use it like others do: to talk, text, email, play games and listen to music, everything that I could do without a super-smartphone. I want to find a way where I can use it to prove to myself that neither I nor it have reached the horizons of smartphone capability. That clearing the blocks opens the road, and you just have to drive.

But drive to reach where?

That, is the right question without a convincing answer.

Yet.

Flutterbys

It is not everyday that the dormant insides of an unwilling dim witted guy is filled with flutterbys. It required a night at a bar filled with gorgeous women, shouting conversations amidst a sea of noise, and some light alcohol to get things worked up and trigger the chemistry hormones. And need I say, the heart isn’t in its place anymore! Its like there is a source of dull heat inside, akin to mild a high, brimming the rim of the head and bathing you in an anticipatory excitement. Senses don’t seem to be subservient, flooded by their own hallucinations. I was afraid, I would forget that such emotions existed. Goodness gracious, I still am a human.

Ghost Writer

Its been really long time since I was into blogging. It was a very energetic time when I was brimming with ideas to share with the world, to find people who would think on the same lines. I had a rosy time writing away article after article, and, I had an excellent motivation to write. My best friend was writing, too. He saw my first blog post and started writing. Then, in a sequence of one-upmanships, we were in a positive feedback cycle and tried to outdo each other.
Both were writing about different topics mostly, and at times, we wrote about the same topic too. It was interesting to see the kind of readership that our blogs developed. There were marked differences in the backend though. My blog was getting a lot more discussion than his, and his was getting a lot more traffic than mine. Both of us cribbed about not having what the other had. And so, stats decided our behavior and we slowly stopped working on our blogs regulary.
Funny how things happen. As long there was no expected return/reward, there seemed to be a free flow of thoughts, materializing into works/words of art. The moment we started wondering about the stats, there seemed to be a greed for attention. It dictated our topics, keywords, commenting behavior, and eventually, writer’s block. It’s been more than 5yrs since I started that blog. I still do write very occasionally and keep it from dying. It continues to live today as a residue of my short-bursts of enthusiasm, as a plaque to the Ghost Writer in me.

*$s

If the title didn’t intrigue you enough, it just means Starbucks. This post is to supposed to be a memoir of my first *$s experience. I’m taking the pain to write about it and so, it must be a memorable one. 🙂

The scene: Sunday Evening. Term Paper presentation due the next day. Bored as hell reading through IEEE papers in the library. Kinda irritated by two guys whispering to each other in (probably) Persian. I go out for a walk into the cold November evening in Tucson.
What happens in this setting? The micro shivers running through the body feel great, but I can’t enjoy them long enough. There is a *$s just outside the library.
I’d never been to a *$s before as I am not a guy for coffee. But the micro shivers demanded something hot and not-sweet. So, I decide to bless *$s with some good business.
I stand in line for ~5min, all the while going through the menu. I decide upon a latte, and then on Chai latte and finally on Gingerbread latte. It was my turn before I could let my mind drift again.
Everything goes well. Finding hot (undergrad) chicks is a welcome change to my saturated brain. I almost despised *$s for such a “fast” service when my name was called out. It had to end so fast. Anyway, I had to return to work on my presentation.
Couple of steps into the library, someone is calling out my name in a strange accent and I turn around to find the person who served me coffee. It seems that he accidentally made me the wrong coffee. Ignorant me would never have known, as you know, it was my first time at *$s.
So, he offers to re-make my coffee and takes my cup from me, ushers me into the barista again, treating me to a fresh dose of goodness of pretty (undergrad) chicks.
Couple minutes pass and he returns with the coffee that I actually ordered, apologizing again for the goof-up and gave me a card to enjoy a beverage next time, but on the house. Free Coffee. Yay! 😛

Cold November evening. Hot chicks and great coffee. Good enough first time experience.

Stuck between past and future

TL;DR: I’m headed to the US for higher education and this is a story/rant/khichdi of emotions and some light headedness of flight.
I’m at the Bangalore airport waiting to board my flight to London, and then to Chicago, and then to my home for the next two years, Tucson, Arizona, US. Reminiscing the past sitting in this waiting area has brought mixed emotions to me now, just after seeing off my family members. It is hard to feel elated for securing an admission into university of Arizona as well as morose for leaving behind my whole world, both at the same time.
I will remember this moment for a long time, when I am stuck in a limbo, caught between dreams that await to be realized and the pillars on which I dreamt of them. Parents, brother, friends, relatives, cousins, life, love, work, school, college and many other chunks of memories are melting me and flowing through my mind, forming tiny streams of emotion held together by my forced, stupid will to not appear too emotional.
That being the wet and teary side of my sorry, it seems like I’m also stuck in a muddy part, between a mediocre wannabe genius past self, and an opportunity to learn from my mistakes and construct my future self. Thanks to my spectacular memory, I’m yet to figure out why I feel about my last, the way I expressed in the last sentence. So, not forgetting what happened is good place to start my reconstruction.
Talking to friends, reading stories, watching movies about it and imagining as much as I could has not prepared me enough for the plunge that I’m taking now. Nonetheless, this is a new leg of my journey, just into my 26th year of existence. (Wow!! The number makes me feel old.) That seems a lot of time, but now, 4hrs into this flight to London is seeming like forever, despite 6+ hours that I’ve to spend in this flight alone. I am not able to think anymore about the contents that I could possibly fill this post with. I’m hoping that my homesickness won’t persist longer than its duty demands to remind me of it.