Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nostalgia - The TV Video Games

A friend of mine on Facebook had shared a pic couple of days ago which evoked a sense of nostalgia within me. And that's what inspired me to write this post. It was the picture of Mario trying to jump over the Dragon which is coughing up fireballs and kill it, to save Princess Peach. 

Image Courtesy: Google Images
After going through so much trouble of killing the dragon, the girl says, "Thank you Mario! But our Princess is in another castle". And we had to go through that all over again. 

Image Courtesy: Google Images
But it was so much fun playing these TV video games, we never used to get bored. Me and my brother with all my cousins used to play these games all day and sometimes all through the night. Being a kid in the Nineties was so much fun, much before the advent of the PlayStation, XBOX and the PC Games. 

My favorite game used to be Spartan X. I was the absolute champ in that game. I still cherish it. :)

Image Courtesy: Google Images
I got my first video game back in 1995 after nagging my Dad to buy it for a long time. In those days these things used to cost a lot, like Rs. 3,500 and for the purchase of the ROM, we needed to shell out extra. Just the 64 in 1 ROM used to cost like 800 bucks. In the coming years these things became very cheap and by the year 2000 we used get these TV video game console for less than 500 bucks. And 64 in 1 ROM had become as cheap as Rs. 50

Now, they have completely vanished from the market but they still give us sweet memories whenever we think of those days as a kid playing the video games. 

I was just checking online whether we can still play these games on the net; I'm sure many of you might have come across it already. We can download these 64 in 1 ROM's or any other ROM and start playing these games and relive our childhood all over again.

Let me just post the download links of the 64 in 1 ROM and its Emulator file and give a brief description on how to play the game below:

You can download the 64 in 1 ROM file here.

You can download the Emulator file for the 64 in 1 ROM here.


Procedure:

1) Click on the above links and download both the files.

2) Extract the 64 in 1 ROM file and place it in a folder. (Downloads folder in Google Chrome, by default)

3) Extract and install the Emulator file.

4) After installing the Emulator file, you will get an installed file icon, (which has Mario's pic on it) double-click on that file, run it and a window opens up.

5) Click on File and select Open and Play ROM - Click on the file name which says 64-in-1 [p1].pes and open it.

6) And Voila! You see the 64 in 1 screen where you can play any of the games which you would have definitely played in your childhood. Use the Up and Down arrow keys, Shift to go to next page and Enter key to select a game and play. I'm sure you will find a way and relive your childhood again.

I am doing that right now! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rahul Dravid's speech at Sir Don Bradman Oration - My Thoughts


Rahul Dravid on Wednesday, Dec 14 became the first Indian to deliver a speech at Sir Donald Bradman Oration in Canberra.

You can watch the whole speech here:



Well, my thoughts on my Idol's awe-inspiring speech at the 2011 Sir Donald Bradman Oration might have come a day or two late. That's only because I was left completely speechless by Rahul's amazing oratory skills, his dignity, his modesty, his integrity, his humility, his pride, his knowledge about the game and its history, his wittiness, his meticulously chosen words, his thoughtful and considered observations... well just about everything. It was an absolutely brilliant speech, one of the most compelling and insightful speeches I have ever listened to by a sportsman. It took me almost a day to recover from that awesomeness, so I finally started to jot down my thoughts about that speech.

Humbled as Dravid was for being the first foreigner to deliver the Sir Donald Bradman Oration speech at The War Memorial in Canberra held every year to celebrate the life and career of the greatest Cricketer to have ever played the game, Sir Donald Bradman.

He started off by talking about the bond between India and Australia which goes beyond Cricket pitches. Much before Indians and Australians were competitors on the pitch, they were comrades off it, who fought wars together. Dravid also took some time to remember the unknown soldiers from both countries who laid down their lives in the war.

Next, Dravid spoke about how the great Don who never having played a single Test match in India still is the most venerated Cricketer. Later he went on to share some anecdotes and fun stories about Bradman, some of it were very witty and had the audience in splits.

Bradman passed away on Feb 25, 2001 just two days before the historic Test series between India and Australia were to begin. Dravid thought Bradman would have loved to watch that series which is now considered as one of the greatest ever in the history of Cricket.

Dravid continued to talk about the India-Australia rivalry over the past decade which Australia dominated. He said India was the only team to stand up to the Aussie domination and the quality of Cricket played between two sides has been uplifting and exhilarating and also sometimes controversial. And hence whenever the two sides meet the anticipation and expectation is immense. And so in the coming two months of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, players on both sides will want to deliver their best.


If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. 
Image Courtesy: Google Images
Now let’s glance upon some of the issues that Dravid touched upon:

 At the moment, to much of the outside world, Indian cricket represents only two things - money and power.

He chose to speak about how Indian Cricket which is perceived by the outside world as only representing two things, Money and Power. He said this one-dimensional, often clich├ęd image relentlessly repeated is not what Indian cricket is really all about. Rahul gave quite a few anecdotes and explained how the wealth generated by Indian Cricket by million-dollar deals and television rights had actually transformed the game of princes and well-to-do businessmen into that of the people, whatever their language, background or financial standing. This was beautifully demonstrated by an illustration of diversity now found within the Indian dressing room. He compared Indian Cricket’s growth in the past 10 to 15 years with that of the country itself. Due to the revenues generated since the past two decades, the standard of play has improved and so has the facilities and the game has spread to various other parts of the country and not just the big cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi etc. Dravid gave examples of some success stories like Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag, Munaf Patel and Umesh Yadav who have made it big and have earned a place in the Indian side, coming from small towns with no proper facilities.

India has played 227 ODI's at home; the October five-match series against England was the first time that the grounds have not been full for an ODI featuring the Indian team.

Rahul also touched on many other relevant issues concerning the game of Cricket including dwindling of crowds in International Cricket, which in his words has reached an "alarming" state in the past few years. The reason for it being flaws in scheduling of Cricket matches, unnecessary ODI's being played which don't have any context. Or maybe it was spectator-fatigue. Whatever the reason maybe, he said the fans have sent a clear message and it’s high time something needs to be done to rectify it. He also explained how empty stands do not make for good television viewing, which in turn will affect the television ratings. And the fall in ratings will make the advertisers eventually looking elsewhere. He said it’s really important to give the average Cricket fan what he deserves; disrespecting them is like disrespecting the game itself.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

Next he spoke about another important aspect of the game which is bringing the game down, corruption. In-spite of strong anti-corruption measures, the internet and other modern technologies will always be a step ahead of any anti-corruption regulation. So, Dravid suggested that the onus should be on the players themselves to be willing to be monitored and regulated closely even if it means giving up a little bit of freedom of movement and privacy. He also suggested players not to say no to dope tests and also undergoing lie-detector tests as an option to tackle corruption. It would certainly help the innocent come clean.

Charting out a clear road map for all the three formats is a challenge.

Dravid next touched upon another important aspect of the game that is balancing all the three formats of the game. He explained how a series containing 2 Tests, 7 ODI’s and a few Twenty20’s thrown in will only hinder the true development of the player and also throw the scheduling completely off gear.

No one ever fell in love with Test cricket because they wanted to be a businessman. Not everything of value comes at a price.

He stressed Test Cricket is the gold standard and the bests of the game know this is the format their greatness as a Cricketer will be judged by. And so, Test Cricket needs to be protected. He suggested a few measures in this regard:

1) Day-Night Tests
2) Test Championship
3)Taking the game to smaller cities or playing in grounds which have smaller capacity
4) Or maybe reviving some old Cricket venues

He also called for cutting down on the number of ODI’s played which don’t have much context, rather he suggested the focus should be on the main ICC Tournaments like the World Cup and the Champions Trophy. This would ensure that all 50-over matches would build up for those tournaments and will also cut down on the number of ODI’s played. The matches which will be played will also have a context.

For Twenty20’s Dravid said it has its best place as a contest between domestic teams or clubs. A view shared by many dignitaries in the crowd including the Cricket Australia Chairmen, past and present.

Before concluding, Dravid said, it was still possible to feel the same rush of excitement that accompanied his first boundary, first catch, or first victory. He said every Cricketer should cherish it and hang on to it.

After enthralling the audience for over 40 minutes with a wide range of topics like issues of money, attendances, formats and corruption, everyone rose to applaud a brilliant and insightful speech on the spirit of Cricket by a Legend whose oratory skills are as classy and masterful as his batting itself.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I am a Cat Lover and I am Proud!

Alicia wants her dinner early. So she is setting the time appropriately.

My baby posing for the cam :)
Dear Cat Lovers,

The day is finally nearing, the day which made me a lover of cats from a guy who was not a big cat person in general. That is the day when I found my baby Alicia. It was on Nov 16, 2008 when I found her and my whole perception about cats and animals in general changed forever. Now I am proud to say that I am a cat lover and an animal lover.

I just want to remember this day as Alicia's birthday. Even though the real birth date of Alicia is not known, maybe she was a two and a half month old kitty when I found her.

It will be almost 3 months since Alicia went missing and it saddens me to this day that I haven't found her back. So I urge all cat lovers to come together and support this cause and celebrate this day in remembrance of Alicia.

Please attend this Event and wish Alicia a Happy Birthday. :)

Thank You,
I Love Cats

I had written this more than two years ago after I lost my beloved cat named Alicia, an adorable little kitty who was solely responsible for my love for cats. Miss her so much. :(

I had posted this note on the eve of her birthday in my fan page on Facebook called I Love Cats, dedicated to my baby Alicia. It has close to 50,000 likes now.

Recently I celebrated Alicia's 4th Birthday and 3rd in her absence. It's been 28 months since I saw her last but I still miss her so much. It breaks my heart she is not with me anymore. Hope she is safe wherever she is and a good cat loving family is taking care of her.