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Random Tales of Total Geekery

Archive for November, 2007

Darbadar kya chuh gomutz: A repository of delightful koshur woh-woh’s for all occasions

Posted by Q on November 10, 2007

After 25 years of research, I’ve reached the inescapable conclusion that Kashmiris are one damn fine abusive race. Don’t believe it? Just watch out for any Kashmiri parent going hell after leather for their kyaz-chukh-na-paraan offspring who are all naturally adczots. the only reason they don’t get hauled up by Red Cross is that are damn funny at it! Imagine trying to portray nang mot as an irredeemable loss of childhood innocence, eh ? Since, i am the prototype beem ruudiuyo na kansi hund cze types, here’s to the crafty buggers and their collection of delightful pieces of linguistic ding-a-lings that are thrown at the thick skins of their own koshur kids

Now, there are just 4 main types of woh-wohs:

  1. Those dealing with character assassination
  2. Falling objects leading to loss of face
  3. Associating with misery/penurious conditions
  4. And just irritating kids sticking it in your nose types.

In no order, here are the examples.

Now, most mothers start off after their irritating kids with the more wailing ones like :

  • hata goi kya (what now?)
  • (kol) Darbadar chuk gomut/ darbadar kya chekh gamach (wanderer! desultory time-waster)
  • khar (moron)
  • ponz (monkey)
  • mot/nang-mot/khin-mot/gus-mot (not sure actually, its often a term of endearment too… but how can a gus-mot be lovable, beats me!)

If the kid however, is as recalcitrant as ever, they escalate to..

  • adchot/adczot (idiot)
  • beem roduyo na kansi hund che (not afraid of the old man anymore)
  • manchawan kat/mandchhavn kot [embarrassing goat! man! they bring goats (kats) in every conv.]
  • matzar chu aamut/tulmut (making everyone miserable)
  • tasrup chui (not sure..is there an english translation ?)

Now, this is strictly for smaller fry. As the kid becomes bigger and meaner, his future and career are thrown open to everyone:

  • Hangul hue chuk gomut (like someone big, mean and slow)
  • Kol hakhuraa hyu goam agaaid (same)
  • Kol mushraan hyu (something these Mssrs. Hangul, Hakhur & Mushran must have done in their lives to be such eternal examples of wasted youth)
  • kol brehasnatt/yahay chuk brahis natta hue gomut (bird brain! this brahis natta would’ve been quite a guy)
  • mein chuk kal phatravavaan (drives me nuts)
  • matczar chu tulawaan (drives me nuts again..just more colorful and attuned to a cribbing tone)
  • monjj chuk thippaan (very funny! dunno what it means though..but damn funny)
  • raatmogul (night crawler)
  • Vaeraan gomut (have become a wild ass)

Now, misery is a very powerful force in kashmiri folklore. Neighbors are frequently described as follows:

  • temis payee treth (heaven’s fall on him)
  • fakeer kott (son of a poor gun)
  • zar chu gomut yemis (something’s gone inside him…darker than saying mandalas manzh chu kyum chyamuth)

If these don’t work, often character assassinations are invoked:

  • shikas/shikaslad/shikaslada etc (bastard?)
  • taavan paye temis (heaven’s furies be upon him…in a more vengeful tone)
  • taawanzad (bastard again?)
  • hai cze tapael/tapail (curse you, you idiot)

Ancient Gaul was afraid of falling sky, Alexander was afraid of falling sick, fall is a season which brings forth most allergies in US….notice anything common? ha! koshur kats knew the secret of the deadly curse of falling things, esp. body parts. Useful thing to have in your arsenal too. sample the following:

  • pyayi buth vasith (may your face fall down)
  • pyayi nas wasit (may your nose fall down)
  • kaangar payee (may your kaangar, the coal-fired heater inside your phiran, fall down. Don’t ask me, whats supposed to happen next )
  • pyoi kal gandur wassit (hehe..something funny falling down)
  • tse peyi gardan wasith (may your neck fall down…eh? how??)
  • paiya kal vasith (face falling again)
  • pyayi kalhir vasith (more colorful way of face falling)

it’s hilarious..english translations are such a hoot! Anyway, ever since i’ve deciphered these deadly curses, my language skills have actually improved 😉

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The importance of being HTML

Posted by Q on November 4, 2007

HTMLOr, adventures in converting a saved-from-MS Word html file into a readable (& proprietary) BBeB format of Sony Reader.

Since taking the Reader to work everyday, my To-Be-Read pile, is under considerable attack – a one hour journey either ways is extremely good time for gobbling up a book in 2-4 sittings. Since the Reader cache memory is still too under-powered for instant viewing of new books, i try to convert each txt/html/lit/doc/pdf/etc. into .lrf for easy viewing

And, as Art Speigelman says, here my troubles began…

You see, the problem is conversion. My laptop currently plays host to a wide array of converting utilities which include:

  1. ABC Palm converter (for pdb into everything else)
  2. ABC Lit to htm converter
  3. BBeB Binder (for converting txt/html into BBeB)
  4. Book Designer (editing txt/html/pdb etc)
  5. CLit (hehe) (.Lit to html)
  6. Dreamweaver 8 (don’t ask)
  7. HTML Book Fixer
  8. v HTML merger (for combing 2+ html files into 1)
  9. lib prs500 (ofcourse)
  10. PDB Reader Converter
  11. Mozilla Seabird
  12. Page Breeze Html editor

Now, the usual sequence of events, if i were to be lucky enough to find & download the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone trilogy by Gregory Keyes would be:

first up, i’d discover that the gentle soul who has scanned and proofed the release has done it in three different formats for all three. So the first book is MS Word-to-html, second is RTF, third is non-garbled HTML. So, my ubermensch el geeko instincts kick in:

  • the first book is first opened in MS Word> saved as RTF>> Results in file size ballooning to 4 MB
  • Second approach, Open file in Mozilla Firefox> Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C>New html page in Dreamweaver 8>Ctrl+V>>Says insufficient space to handle operation
  • Third approach, Open file in Mozilla Firefox> Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C>New html page in seabird Html composer>Ctrl+V>>>>Results in an inactive Laptop for 2 mins>character entity reference kicks in> tad difficult to read a character set of &
  • Fourth approach, Open File in Book Designer>clean up HTML>Prepare for second pass surgery from HTML book Fixer (which doesn’t allow _ or [ in filenames)>File rejected for too many errors
  • Fifth approach, Open File in BBeB Converter to try direct conversion>System stalls for a couple of minutes and Operation exits
  • Sixth & Final, Open file in IE> Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C> New HTML page in Page Freeze>Ctrl+V>Save As Keyes, Gregory – The Briar King (v1.1) .html>>Open in BBeB Binder>Save As LRF>Save successful!

Total time taken in figuring out the proper way = 45 minutes

The second and third files did not take as much time. I prefer using the two-pass approach of Book Designer > BBeB binder, whenever it works out. But eventually, it takes me 1 hr to completely transfer 3 files from my Laptop to the Reader in a format of my choice. phew! talk about work.

The same story repeats over a Dozois Gardner Sci Fi collection (16th edit.). The file is a humungous, horrifyingly huge 6 MB unpacked RTF. i pass it through Wordpad to clear unnecessary formatting, save it as a new file from Sea-bird HTML composer, and then manually edit the html to add a Table of Contents and then convert to lrf from BBeB.

Which brings me to the whole point. HTML is without a doubt my favored format for storing files, it has the neatness of a simple txt, gets your formatting done like an RTF, keeps images in check like a PDF and does not change styles. It’s no wonder that idpf, the Open Source format now accepted as the Industry de facto standard is based on an XML architecture (basically XHTML + CSS).

In ebook piracy also, fans usually prefer to bring out new releases in HTML. The only problem being that multiple editors with various degrees of efficacy abound, leading to a huge chunk of files having dirty formatting.

For the reading device makers, i hope some thought into input device formats is also being undertaken. It’s clear that the versatility of html makes it stand head and shoulders above other formats (and no DRM too, hurray!), but unless the pains of conversion are brought under control, there is very little scope for the ebook market – it shall remain a playground for us enthusiasts.

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