The non-Gmat side of Zaphod!!

May 21, 2008

After a long time wanted to write a post...was looking for some gaps in my blog site which I could fill. Naaah!! It's almost there...may be a lot more will come when I start applying next year. So thought why not talk about me. All you guys know about me is that I am a frustrated soul, who took the GMAT outta frustration and just killing time by blogging...hardly!!

I will apply to some really good schools next year, such as Stan, Kellogs, GSB chic, HBS (stop laughing....will you? ) Meanwhile I will just work at my current company which makes short painted tales using its own proprietary software...which is some kick-ass piece of coding. You can check out my company's site here : AURYN
Hopefully in a month we'll roll out yet another short painted tale for kids (which will have my name in the credits too :D )

I love my gadgets!! And I love talking about them too! :D If i didn't have a love for them...prolly I wouldn't be working as hard. After a long tiring day or week I totally rely on them to relax me. Playing with them keeps my mind sharp and adds zing to my life.

My most beautiful possession is my Camera...I just love it. Its a Canon EOS digital rebel XTI aka EOS 440D. I have a modest assortment of lenses as well to go with it which I have collected over time. I got a 18-55mm kit lens with it...which I have never used.
I also got a 17-85 mm IS lens with it...which is an invaluable lens. Image stabilization is kick ass and the range is very useful especially when I am traveling and clicking random pics and don't bother to change lenses. Its a value for money, and is a must. The picture quality is not stunning, but you can click some really nice photos. Its not really fair to compare it to a prime lens or a L-series lens. It works very well at f8 if you are into landscape photography. Good thing is it can couple as a macro lens too...Its not a true macro lens (meaning 1:1) but its nonetheless good.

Recently I got a 100mm Macro lens and 70-200mm L f4 non-IS lens. They simply ROCK!!! 100mm is just impressive....the macro pics are STUNNING!!! And its said that its the sharpest lens canon makes. All reviews, everywhere tell you the same story. The other good thing about this lens is that you can do normal portraits and landscapes too. Not really meant for it...but nevertheless if you feel your subject is treated well at this focal range (which becomes 160mm in my camera) it would turn out to be sharp and impressive.

70-200 f4 is an L series lens....shall I say more...and its not like the other tele lenses...which become soft at is sharp, meaning SHARP, at all focal lengths. The color quality is has the typical canon L lens feel to it, obviously. Its not heavy or big. But you lose out on IS. But mostly I do my photography in good light conditions and 200mm (which become 320mm) is not too tough for me to handle, I get good shots even hand held (blur due to shake is a probabilistic take 2-3 shots and you will end up with a gud sharp pic)

My camera kit is not extravagant (compared to some really rich enthusiasts)...but its balanced and I am happy and will be happy for a quite a while.

The camera + kit lens (700$)
17-85mm 550$
100mm 450$
70-200mm f4 550$

Check out my album if you really want to verify if it's really worth the money :-D

The next best thing I have is my ALTO...not much in terms of specs...actually it comes at the low end of things...but but s really really comfortable. Long drives are fun, you can hear the engine noise...i don't keep the A/C most of the times and it's the breeze which I want on my face. Very cheap to maintain, good mileage. Not good for rear passengers...but who cares!! I am single! I put my camera and tripod in my car, fill it up and zoom. One of the crazy things i have done in my car is I made a trip to Ajanta Ellora in a day, 710 kms, 14 hrs of continuous driving :D

Ok so next in line is my a kid I cudn't have asked for more than a hero this time I got a bike of my choice. I have a firefox viper which rocks! for 17000 I get Shimano tourney gears, 21 speed, Disc brakes for front and rear and lotsa other jazz. I make my office run on the bike which comes to around 16 kms!! And since you can't leave it in the parking lot (its damn too costly for a bike!!) I carry it 5 floors to my balcony :D I love it!! It helps me stay fit and when I want to I can go offroading with my camera.

Then come my laptop, which is a Dell Precision M6300. The specs are really good. 4GB RAM, Ge Force Quadro FX and HD display (Infact more 1920 X 1200) Since I work wth Maya and Adobe products, needed a good display and great performance. This machne rocks. The performance is awesome and the display is just stunning! It was heavy on my pocket (2500$ +) The bad things...hideous by design and painfully heavy (especially when I have to carry it on my back and bike to the office :( )

Then comes ICE (In Car Entertainment). I am a music lover and I don't mean noise. I have to have my music pure. I have a set of JBL GTO97 in the rear and Illusion electra component speakers for the front. It gives me a good range right from the lower to higher frequencies. And the clarity is awesome. The HUD is Pioneer (wid USB support) so I can connect my antique Ipod to it as well...the total damn thing cost me 17000 bucks which is more than I initially planned...but who cares!

Other random stuff which help me keep myself busy are my LEGO robotics set and my RC Lambo :D

What would life be without these toys! As its rightly said...when boys become men, they don't stop playing...the toys get faster, bigger and expensive :D

Share your hobbies and passions too!! Btw photography helped me a lot durng my GMAT helped me take my mind off things and just chill...

Ciao! I enjoyed writing this post...and btw thanks to all you guys who buy stuff from here...I use the amazon referral to buy my gadgets from ironic!!

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  1. Anonymous3:08 PM

    Hi Mukul,

    great choice dude :) i too have the same slr, but wanted to get some perspective of the lenses before buyin any. Your comparison will certainly help.
    And also, ur blog is really amazing as anyone can get inspired to crack gmat after reading this.
    I am also following ur blog for my gmat. Its in july so am in the third week of preparation. Can u pls tell me the last 18 days of the two schedule. It will greatly help.
    Waiting for a response.

  2. yeah! i can giv u some gyan on that :D

    And what bout the last days of prep....there are two posts part 1 and part 2.....part 1 deals has the last 18 days schedule....mainly tests!


  3. Anonymous3:44 AM

    Hi mukul,
    thanks for the prompt response mate... I am an amateur but photography is my passion. I want to get the best lense out there, a macro probably, but it will be too costly for me now i guess. So saving money to buy that... And one more thing dude.... I read all ur posts n when i do sc from og 10/11, the accuracy keeps on decreasing.:( I have completed 3 blocks on sc but still the accuracy is 66%. Please give me some basic tips if you can for improving accuracy. Am shit scared about the consequences if the same continues!!!!!! Also, went through Rajat_nda notes, are they of any help... I mean if am unable to remember all the rules , should i follow his approach of a formula for remembering the sc rules? Will that help? Or is there any better workaround?
    Waiting for a response.

  4. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Great site..thank you

  5. hi mukul,
    I'm Swapnil...I plan to give my Gmat in feb next year and hv bought the following books-acro essays,og 11th editiom,kaplan 800,kaplan verbal guide,og quant guide,barrons gmat.
    It would be great of u if you cud guide me how to start about with the proceedings(this will be my first attempt and hv no experience in mba sstudying since i'm in my graduation 3rd year)and what to do after what..I hope for a positive response from u.
    Thank u

  6. Swapnil!

    guess its already told in my earlier post as to how to schedule your studies...
    Even if some of your books dont match with my recomended can still map it and it shud do...

    Hope that helps!

  7. Hey, Great blog on GMAT. Specially the schedule outline.

    do you happen to have Kaplan800 soft copy too to share ?? thanks mate

  8. Hi

    I have followed your advice in parts and thank you for the information. My gmat is on July 12th. Let us see what I can do.

  9. All the best Ankur!! Hope u do well! Keep us posted!

  10. Hi Mukul, I am thoroughly impressed by your blog! I too am an MBA aspirant and understand that a good GMAT score is the key to it. However, I am not from an engeneering background and maths has never been by favourite subject! would you have some tips which i culd use to score in my Quantative sections?

  11. Anonymous1:58 AM

    Hi Mukul,

    Too good a blog to miss by any GMAT aspirant.....great work man......and ATB fr ur applications, though with 770 i doubt if you need any of it :)

  12. Nice to know you have interesting hobbies... I'm sure the B-school interviewers would love to hear about them (or at the least, they'll help you network, once you are in :)

    I love hiking, biking (got myself a vool Specialized Allez Elite, with Shimano 105s and partly carbon), long distance running and of course, Photography. check out my blogs when you have a chance, for some more on these!

  13. Hey Mukul

    I chose to write a comment here since nothing excites me more than photography and my car (alto, of course). Heck I had quit working for a year to pursue photography and films. But we'll talk abt it some other day.
    I am preparing for GMAT and in my effort to contribute Im planning to initiate "collaborative studying", an open house on weekends for anyone who wants to contribute in this process of conquering GMAT. Would really appreciate if u can have a look and comment. Do lemme know what u think.


  14. Hey

    Thanks for responding to my note. I appreciate the words of encouragement. I will surely keep you posted once my initiative gains momentum and seek ur advise as well.

    Thanks a bunch

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