The Ghosh in the Machine

Published Date
01 - Feb - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2006
The Ghosh in the Machine
Technology elicits different reactions from people. Most would consider it just another part of our lives; however, there are those that live in utter fear of it, simply because they do not understand IT and are averse to learning from scratch. Then there are people like Anindo Ghosh, who seem to live and breathe technology.

As employees of Digit, we often find that everyone else around us away from work is just not "into" technology as we are, and are often bored of our constant chatter about the latest hardware and technologies. Thus, it's no surprise that in the rare occasions when we chance upon a like-minded stranger who loves machines more than anything else, we often end up yakking away excitedly while the world around us looks on in bewilderment.

We met Anindo purely by chance. He's the CTO of Agilisys (, a leading technology and business process services provider in the UK and India. With his corporate profile, most would not think of Anindo as a hardcore technology enthusiast, and it's a good thing we met him away from work and out of his business suit!

The Man
Anindo is 35 years old, used to be an underground street car racer in Delhi, is a well-known photographer and has an absolute obsession with technology. That would be our one-line description of him, though we know it doesn't do justice.

Do a Google search for "Anindo Ghosh" and you will find his photography online; visit his house and you will see the geek side of him. Like any other geek, Anindo loves games. "I'm not into blood and gore filled FPS games. Give me a simulation game any day," says Anindo. It is strategy over shoot-'em-ups, and the stack of games lying near his computer tells the story, most notably The Sims 2, with all expansion packs!

We noticed that all the software and games lying about were originals, and asked Anindo about piracy. "Perhaps your readers might be a little surprised to know that I buy all my software, but that's just how I like it," says Anindo. Perhaps more Indians need to work for a software technology and services company, in order to better understand how and why piracy is evil.

A nifty portable media player-Anindo's Archos AV300 Mobile DV recorder

"You don't buy any FPS games?" we asked. "I just bought Quake 4, but all that blood and gore is not for me, so I promptly gave it to my brother," says Anindo, and goes on to describe the gore in Quake 4 with a nauseated expression. Oh well, you can't win them all!

Apart from being a noted photographer, Anindo has been involved in technology consultancy and writing for several years. He has been a consultant for over a decade in the field of network design and implementation, and was the brains behind India's first ever cyber café and Web telecast a decade ago. His technology addiction forces him to buy games and gadgets by the dozen, and is something his friends and better half have given up trying to explain.

Anindo's technology addiction forces him to buy games and gadgets by the dozen, and is something his friends and better half have given up trying to explain.

His Machine
Eager to get a peek inside his machine, which has a glass face and some funky UV laser lights that gave his room an eerie blue tinge, we finally popped open the cabinet and Anindo gave us his now (in)famous "two dollar tour"!

A WorldSpace Radio with a data connection also lets you use the data port for upto 128 Kbps of receiving incoming PC data

The first thing you notice is the lighting, which is tastefully placed and not too in-your-face. Looking past the lights, we caught our first glimpse of something unique-a very strange-looking heat sink and cooling solution. "That's an Asetek VapoChill Micro Extreme CPU cooling solution that I got from the UK," says Anindo, reading the questions forming in our minds.

Asetek is a leading company in vapour and liquid cooling solutions in the UK, you can visit their site,, for more information and products available.

Anindo loves his VapoChill cooling system and says it's helped him keep CPU temperatures lower by almost 20 degrees, especially when he's overclocking.

Overclocking? The word brings excitement to us Digit guys, and we immediately demanded to know more. "What have you overclocked, and by how much?" we demanded.

"The motherboard I have, the ASUS P5WD2 Premium, is a dream to overclock with. I mounted a dual-core Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840, 3 GHz CPU on the board and managed to overclock it to 3.9 GHz. It ran perfectly for over two hours before it blue-screened. After a lot of trial and error, I discovered that 3.3 GHz was the ideal speed at which performance was improved and temperature could be controlled easily," says Anindo. Not bad, we thought: a 10 per cent increase in clock speeds is an admirable feat indeed.

The Epson PictureMate is Anindo's printer of choice!

We noticed that there were two RAM strips, both covered with copper heat sinks. When we asked about that, Anindo said, "Those are 1 GB, 667 MHz Transcend sticks-I used to have four of them, totalling 4 GB, but I didn't notice any performance improvement. Instead, all I noticed was an increase in power usage and heat generation!"

Since we knew he had played Quake 4, we looked at his graphics card next. Though we could tell immediately that it was an ATi X-800, we were more interested in the weird-looking contraption that was slotted in place below it. Anindo told us it was a Cyclone dual-fan cooler that he had picked up for his overclocked graphics card.

"While overclocking the graphics card I noticed the temperatures soaring to 90 or 95 degrees Celsius, and the peak rated operating temperature is 110 to 120 degrees! I knew I needed separate cooling for the graphics card as well, so I bought this Cyclone cooler," says Anindo. The only problem he had with it was that it occupied two PCI slots.

The Garmin GPSmap 60c is a compact GPS device

He also has a heat sink-cooler combination with dual fans and temperature controlled cooling for his Hitachi D722 250 GB SATA II hard drive. Needless to say, here's one person who takes system cooling seriously! He also plans to cut a blowhole into the top of his cabinet and add a fan there to control airflow even better.
His Advice
We asked Anindo what advice he'd like to give other technology enthusiasts from around the country.

An i-mate Pocket PC keeps Anindo connected while on the move

His response was, "Look, when it comes to hardware and components, it's pretty much what you can afford that decides what you buy. If you have the money to splurge, all you have to do is find a place to buy the latest offerings. Yes, I know even that can be a challenging task at times, but it's simply a question of a little extra time and money. I've found that if you're willing to pay premium, you will always find a dealer that's willing to 'import' things for you-whether from a different city or from abroad.

The 8-megapixel SLR-type Minolta DiMAGE A200 with 7x optical zoom

"The sins I find people committing are with regards to their cabinets, power supplies and, more often than not, absolutely no planning for airflow. Cabinets need to be spacious and airy, and you need to calculate how much power your system will use before buying a power supply.

Cabinets need to be spacious and airy, and you need to calculate how much power your system will use. Planned airflow is something no one can "buy" for you.

"Planned airflow is something no one can buy, and you'll have to concentrate on this yourself. Make sure all your wires are out of the way, preferably located high up near the CD/DVD-ROM drive, which doesn't need that much cooling anyway.

The PC 
ASUS P5WD2 Premium motherboard - Rs 17,000
Intel Pentium EE 840 3 Gig (OCd to 3.3) - Rs 15,000
ATi X800 Cyclone cooler - Rs 28,000
2 GB 667 MHz Transcend RAM - Approx Rs 12,000
Hitachi D722 250 Gig SATA II HDD - Rs 6,000
Asetek Vapochill Micro Extreme - Bought from the UK
UV lasers, light accoutrements - Bought from the UK
Antec Super Lanboy  cabinet - Rs 5,500
Antec Truepower 2.0 550 watt power
supply - Approx Rs 6000
APC BackUPS RS1000 - Rs 1,000

"I also found that using rounded wires was a lot better for airflow than standard IDE cables. Then there's the need to actually map the airflow in the system and pinpoint how you can get cooled air to flow towards all the components that need it, such as the CPU, graphics card and hard disks. Also remember to make sure that any lighting you put into the cabinet uses as little power as possible and generates minimum heat."

His Plans
People like Anindo are rarely satisfied with the technology they possess. As a result, it's time to go shopping at least once a year for a new system. Being an ATi fan, he wants to buy a CrossFire-ready motherboard in the future, and says that he will stick to Intel processors-as always.

He also mentioned that he would love to try liquid cooling solutions using water and liquid nitrogen as well! "If the current PC is a beast, the next one will be the king of beasts!" avers Anindo.

With better dual core CPUs and multi-CPU boards on the horizon, coupled with dual-graphics card solutions and the availability of the more eccentric RAM-drives to replace primary hard drives, you can see the gleam in Anindo's eyes when he thinks of his next system. His only response to our simple question, "Why?" was a smile and the clichéd one-liner "I have a need, the need for speed!" Clichéd it may have been, but it was a succinct and honest reply…

Unlike most of us Indians, Anindo buys only legal games and software

Whatever the new technology, a handful of enthusiasts will always be ready to buy, even if the performance gains don't merit the increased price. It's people like Anindo, the early adopters of new technology, who drive demand in the market.

It's rare that we come across people as enthusiastic as (or more than) those of us at Digit, and we'll make sure we tell you every time we do. Stay tuned to this space to read any follow-ups on people passionate about technology. If you have done something as crazy, write into us-we'd love to have a chat! 

Team DigitTeam Digit

All of us are better than one of us.