Friday, July 17, 2009

Shreya's Top 3 Tamil Songs

I love to listen to Shreya Ghoshal's tamil film songs. She is an amazing singer with very good voice and modulations. Though she is not in very good form in the recent times, she has given us some delightful songs in the past. Here is my pick (top 3) of Shreya's renditions in Tamil. I recommend these songs to anyone who is a fan of Shreya.

1. Uruguthey Maruguthey (Film: Veyil)

This is an excellent melody by GV Prakash, made much better by the great singing of Shankar Mahadevan and Shreya Ghoshal. It is a typical folk melody reminding one of Ilayaraja's songs and is sure to appeal to everyone. Shreya's pronunciation is spot on and her great modulations make anyone love this song.

2. Unna Vida (Film: Virumandi)

This is a soul touching melody by the one and only Ilayaraja. I can not think of any other female singer singing this song as good as Shreya. I normally do not like Kamal's singing that much. But he too does a fine job with this song. He complements Shreya very well. This song is a real treat to the listeners.

3. Munbe Vaa (Film: Sillunu Oru Kadhal)

This is a typical AR Rahman melody. Shreya adapts to this song very well. Though her pronunciation is not that great in this song, she compensates by perfect rendition. However, the male singer Naresh Iyer is not upto the mark. Shreya just takes this song to another level which made this song a blockbuster.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Federer - The Greatest Ever !

My last year wish has come true now. Federer has answered my open letter by winning both the French Open and the Wimbledon. Federer has 15 Grand Slam titles now. It was a pleasure to see him regain his No 1 ranking in doing so. One should not take any credit from Federer, who played wonderful tennis, saying that Nadal was not around to defend his No 1 rank. The great Sampras himself confirmed after the Wimbledon final that Federer is the greatest ever to play Tennis. I feel proud in watching Federer play with passion all through my life. As I am just 4 months younger to Federer, I could follow his career from the start and he has been a great inspiration for me in life. I had the opportunity to witness the history being made in the Wimbledon last week.

Federer fought very hard in the classic Wimbledon final, with Roddick in amazing form. Federer was not at his best by any stretch of imagination. However, he hung around without giving up anything to Roddick. I felt that he was a bit over confident in the final. The way Federer won 6 straight points from being 2-6 down in the second set tie-break, I could not do anything but admire the true champion. The back hand cross court flick which saved the first set point was Federer at his very best. Federer had the advantage of serving first in the last set which aided him. Similar situation arose in the last year's classic final with Nadal where Nadal had a similar advantage. In the final set, pressure would always be on the player serving second. Roddick did incredibly well, however, to take the final set to 30 games. Federer's big serves also helped him big time in the final set.

I want to shed some words for the other contenders in this Wimbledon. In fact, I personally felt that the way Roddick approached the Wimbledon final, he deserved to win as much as Federer. Roddick has improved his game over the past one year. Federer tried to rally the ball to his back hand and came to net many a times in the first set. Quite often Roddick passed him without much trouble. Such shots were very rare from Roddick's rocket 3 years earlier. In ground strokes, Roddick matched Federer in every point.

I liked the way Roddick played against Murray in the Semi-final. The whole stadium was against him. Still Roddick won against all odds. I sincerely feel that Roddick has it in him to win many more slams in the near future. As for Murray, I tend to think that he is Tim Henman Version 2.0. This much hype, even when Murray has not even won a slam yet, is not going to help Murray by any means. I thought that Tommy Haas played far better than Murray in this Wimbledon.

I think that no can ever break the Federer's record of 21 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals. He has been very consistent with his performance and he has been a real icon for any one who wants to excel. As a die-hard Federer fan, I salute him and I wish he plays many more great matches in the coming years. It would be great to see Nadal return in US open. With Federer playing without any pressure, having achieved almost everything, it would be fascinating to watch a Federer-Nadal final again. I can not wait for the US open 2009.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fedora 11 -Review

I am an ardent fan of Ubuntu Linux distribution. It simplifies the desktop of the user so much that one can not go and try another linux distro after trying Ubuntu. Ubuntu crashed in my laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad T60)last month after I tried to do some crazy thing in that. I burnt the DVD of the latest Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) to reinstall in my laptop last week. Though the DVD was detected, I could not install it on the laptop.

Around that time, I could locate the latest Fedora 11 in the repository. Fedora 2 was the first linux distro I had tried 5 years back. It was very hard to use for a novice that I started hating linux after a point. Ubuntu again made me appreciate the open source and I became a fan of Ubuntu for the past 5 years. I simply admire the spirit behind the every successive release of Ubuntu. As I screwed up Ubuntu 8.10 in my laptop and failed to install Ubuntu 9.04, I decided to try out the all new Fedora 11. Here is the review of the OS.

Fedora 11 is a more advanced compared to the Fedora 2 I used 5 years back. It is as good as ubuntu in all respects. Fedora 11 has all the latest software releases like KDE 4, Firefox 3.5, OpenOffice 3, Thunderbird 3, etc. Apart from these I was surprised to see that it had OpenCV which is a computer vision library. All these come in the DVD itself.

I had some initial trouble installing other softwares like mplayer and codecs for Totem. However, when I figured out that I had to install rpmfusion to make these work, I became more comfortable with installing new open source softwares. I liked the Gnome desktop more than the KDE one as the KDE just tries to mimic Windows and falls flat. I somehow made the system tray occupy the entire panel in KDE. I still can not find out how to bring it to original shape. Such problems occur if the GUI becomes more and more mouse dependent.

Appearance wise Gnome desktop sports the traditional blue color as is the case with all Fedora releases. The default background images are stunning. Battery comes to around 2 hrs when fully charged. I am also able to use my Intel Core 2 CPU on demand using an applet in Gnome panel. I am able to install most of the open source softwares using YUM. It is as good as apt-get if not better.

Though I was required to fiddle with the OS for initial 2-3 days, now I am quite comfortable with Fedora 11. The performance of linux is amazing as always on my laptop. It takes less than a minute to boot or to shut down, while the vista takes more than 3 minutes either to boot or to shut down. The programs also run very fast compared to that of windows vista as the on demand CPU function makes optimal use of CPU.

On the whole, I like this release of Fedora and this one made me change the wrong myths I had after using Fedora 2. I still can not compare it with the Ubuntu 9.04. My lab system still has Ubuntu 8.04 running on an Intel Xeon. Performance-wise both Fedora and Ubuntu are equally good. However, I think Fedora is more robust than Ubuntu in sticking with the traditional linux more closely. Now that Fedora also has a stunning user interface, it is impossible for me to choose between Fedora and Ubuntu. I love both. Having said that, I strongly recommend Fedora 11 to any one who wants to enjoy the spirit of open source in his/her laptop/desktop.