Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Life or something like it

If only I had the ability to come up with blog titles that are not already movie titles. In this case we have a 2002 movie with Angeline Jolie that I am sure I've never actually seen, let alone hear of.

And I should add my customary line on how so infrequently I've gotten to posting entries here. Life has not been entirely sparing me to do frivolous activities like this and I've taken to spending more and more time doing nothing more than anything.

However, there is suddenly also so much to write about. There's to write about my conference poster that somehow managed to get itself completed, printed and reach the conference in time, if only barely. There's to write about how I've started treating office as an extension of iit and why my manager might be feeling like my advisor in iit. There's to write about how I actually got round to taking a girl out to a concert and dinner, even if it was entirely platonic and the band in question turned up a whole two hours late and us leaving after just two songs. The realisation that I am at that point in life where childhood friends suddenly start announcing that they're getting married. And what about the fact that you really don't want to change to fit into what is called the industry but that you'd rather find a place that accepts you as you are. The irony of finding that the television you got shipped all the way from home to your flat goes dead the moment you switch it on. The fact that I might never get over leaving 4 years of college life behind. That money so subtly affects things around despite you having a lot lot more than you'd possibly need.

Now that I've come down to writing out practically everything that floats around my idle head, let me just go on. It's just that sometimes my empty head just turns into this emotional pumpkin (okay, I have absolutely no idea where I got that metaphor from).

That parents are sometimes underrated and nothing in words can really express the amount of love and care they are capable of giving, not withstanding how badly you hurt them sometimes. How, they can completely understand you like the closest friend you have bringing the age and generation gap to nought. That, however old you are, there is
always something you can learn from them.

Also, I increasingly find that girls live in a completely different world, where the rules are written differently. That while one of your friends decides to marry someone she's really known only over phone and im, another of your friends is about to marry someone her parents found for her and who she knows absolutely nothing about. That while one girl hopes that she doesn't find her marriage boring, another is okay to getting married as long as she is allowed to work after marriage.

Meanwhile, this is my sixth month at work, a time that has flown as unnoticed as a sleepy semester in iit. I'll be turning 22 this 21st and given that I have a couple of bad deadlines on the 20th and 27th, it'll be a steal if I can get enough time out of office and hang out somewhere with friends. And Microsoft (no, I work at Amazon) is hosting yet another mega-party this weekend.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

SQLite is Hipp

Richard Hipp is THE most down-to-earth person I've seen whose also a software engineer. I just watched a video of his talk on SQLite, his embedded SQL engine in a C-library.
Google Video: Hipp on SQLite

Watch the video, read up atleast a part of the stuff on and SQLite on wikipedia and don't fail it to try it out, atleast at the sqlite commandline program. And you'll know what I mean.

But most of all, it is the simplicity of the person that awes me. If I wrote something like that, I'd be conceited as hell. Maybe, I'll never get round to doing anything cool. To top it, his program is Public Domain not even GPL. Which means he doesn't care who uses it, what they do with it or if they even tell him about it, as long people use it. In the video, he cites the example of all these companies that got to him to accept small sums of money and sign on a piece of paper that the program is actually free of a license.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hi-Tech City

Here lies my immediate future. Unfortunately the photos are from the not so recent past, so large tracts of what is now concrete are still mud.

long time

reaaaally long time
since I last posted. Life has gone through some ups and a lot of downs, reaaally major downs, in this period. IIT life has come to an end, I still can't believe that I've left the place I've now thought of as home for four years. The last few months at IIT felt exactly like i felt when I was leaving home for the first time to join IIT way back in 2002. I have still not been away long enough for nostalgia to hit me but it will come soon.

I'll get back to the senti later. For now, I am at Amazon in Hyderabad as a Software Development Engineer whatever that means. I am put up at a pseud-max guest house of sorts until this weekend and then I am screwed. I was to look for an apartment in the last week or so that I have been here and that is the last thing I've done :( Work has been sort of boring the last week except for the weekend where I went back to doing night-outs (i went back to iit and dear old vigil for some very suspicious reasons). Then I had a rather frantic monday where I spent 5 hours in the mumbai domestic air terminal and finally took a bus to Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, I have noticed a severe downward trend in my IQ, me listening and my seeing. I have a very distinct feeling that I am entering what is more familiarly called the period of senility :P Maybe I'd had recovered some of my youth and splendor :)) byt the time I write my next post here.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

number lock blues

PC changed the combination to this lock a couple of months ago and I forgot to ask him what he'd changed it to. And now he's gone home. So today I sat down and starting from 000, tried every combination until I found the one that opened the lock. And that was at 959, if only I'd started at 999 and counted down.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Vihar lake photus

Vihar lake and Powai Lake sandwich the IIT Bombay campus and while powai lake is small and dirty, Vihar lake is a mighty god awesome lake(that happens to be a prohibited area as it is the main source of water for the city of Bombay). Up until recently, there was nothing to stop us iitians from going to the lake (though it is illegal) and lots of us used to. However after a few panther/leopard attacks and other issues we've had a 10 foot fence separating the institute from its sylvan neighbours. In a month or lesser Vihar lake will get completely cut off from iit :(

Meanwhile, a few of us went swimming in the lake and here are a few photos of a place that only a few people have seen and fewer will ever get to see again.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

performancing for firefox

As usual, I go about searching for new ways of spending my time and I came upon this decent firefox extension that allows me to post to livejournal and blogger simultaneously.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Hanakapiai Beach Warning Sign

Saw this awesome photo on wikipedia, it is on the wikipedia Swimming page.
Another interesting line from the page
"Swimming is a popular technique to move unaided through water"

Sunday, April 16, 2006

wiki comparision

I did some familiar wiki hopping today. WikiMatrix is a very good place to go to if you wish to compare the plethora of offerings out there. Another site is OpenSourceCMS where you can very conveniently use the demo installations of practically every free/oss cms/wiki available.

As for my top wiki's (in no particular order)
dokuwiki, moinmoin, twiki, (i have used these three) and pukiwiki, pmwiki and oddmuse
dokuwiki in particular is being used a lot in our computer science department.

these stand out because they are foss, have file based backends, have flexible markup, infinite features, will run on any web-server with php and are under active development. check out the link in the title to see a list of features.

Friday, April 14, 2006

me and kartik dasa

just to make him happy :P (and there's bokaro boy jha in between)
and i believe i am looking good :)) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

4 years of Computer Science

4 years is a long time, especially when you are only 21. And when you spend those four years trying to get a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, you've got to make something of all that time. Anyway, this posting is not about me :)
Sometime back I got thinking, I've been sitting around on my ass the last 4 years while the world of Computers has been going ahead at full gallop. Having entered CS after the dot-com boom in a period where the whole industry was entering a fresh period of stability, expansion, outsourcing and innovation; I decided I'd make an effort to list out what I consider are the big things that have happened to the field. So here goes (in no particular order).
[This is a work in progress]
  1. The Google expansion/invasion/phenomenon. google maps, mail, desktop, earth, picasa, scholar, suggest, reader, gtalk, news, personalised home, video, groups, directory. (half of these are google acquiring other companies)
  2. Flickr and the new paradigm for photo albums.(also Zooomr)
  3. Apple's ipod and the more recent revolution in ipod related products.
  4. Firefox and the rebirth of the browser war, triggerin the recent release of IE7.
  5. RSS/Atom feeds, podcasts, screencasts, newsfeeds, blogging.
  6. Wikipediathe revolution in collaborative, open, free editing and publishing.
  7. The veritable explosion of GNU/Linux distros bordering on the insane. Ports to PPC/Mac, Live CD's, Ubuntu, redhat's fedora makeover.
  8. The 'survival' of Windows against the onslaught of gnu/linux. Doomsday predictions for ms windows not coming true :P inspite of Windows XP turning 5 years old. Longhorn (vista beta) is out for a long time, waking up the taste buds but vista is delayed meaninglessly on security concerns and stuff until 2007.
  9. IPv6
  10. AJAX, triggering the mighty awesome happening that is Web 2.0 .Web based services have reached a whole new magnitude and ajax leads the lot in the creation of web-enabled products.
  11. The processor wars, Intel v/s AMD. 64 bit computing on the desktop, x64 kicking itanium in the ass, dual-core.
  12. The GPU wars, ATI v/s Nvidia. Massive logic on the graphics card that eclipses the fastest cpu chips. SLI technology, SIMD to use gpu as coprocessor.
  13.,, and scores other highly successful community sites dishing out services we never imagined possible.
  14. The continuin war against software patents (in europe). Meanwhile, DRM is up and about.
  15. Voip makes it out of skype and into gtalk, yahoo, msn and everybody. SIP is here.
  16. IBM who made the first PC, sell their entire pc business, lock stock and barrel to lenovo.
  17. Solaris goes open source. Sun gets into the free software bandwagon too late for their own good. Open Solaris is now out there.
  18. wi-fi and bluetooth come into their own.
  19. Mobile phones go HUGE in India. Mobile phones start having graphics cards and processors of the kind computers of a few years ago.

Monday, March 20, 2006

firefox extensions

I've been using firefox since its early beginnings ;) but never got round to seriously using any of the extensions, guess I was happy within firefox itself. Every time I installed some extension, I would run into some problem or the other and after a major fiasco with the session saver, I totally ditched all extensions.

Recently however I have been using some ultra-neat extensions that make my browsing life a lot easier.


I keep switching between a bunch of proxy servers, our main squid proxy, my socks tunnel to bypass the main squid proxy, a local squid that does my authentication and a squid that is hosted in the hostel area. Before switchproxy came along, life was a nightmare and I had to manually edit the proxy settings everytime I needed to change.


Refcontrol again was an extension that I searched for in an hour of need. I was like 'hacking' ;) into some poorly written jsp based server that maintained authentication and a bunch of other stuff by checking referrers. I was wondering if I'd need to hack up some http request code when I found refcontrol that makes the whole process trivial.


rss and atom feeds have been around for some time, but I never went beyond firefox's live bookmarks. I was too lazy to install a separate aggregator. Anyway, I found Sage, and have since fallen in love with it. Slashdot, Digg, google news and a bunch of blogs are now a click away to a pretty and cute sage generated page.


Reveal is the only one of my eye-candy extensions, and were it not so cute, I would have scrapped it the moment I installed it. What reveal does is that it makes a page of thumbnails of all your windows/tabs. It does a lot more, but that is the bottomline, totally worth cheking out.


just check the link out

DOM Inspector

DOM inspector comes builtin in firefox, you choose to install it when you install firefox. If you know what DOM is, you can guess what the dom inspector is. It has been in mozilla and firefox since forever and is extremely useful for any web developer.


Adds a host of functions to, like session management(that works), merging windows, locking tabs etc.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

the world moves on

web 2.0 is accelerating at a deadly pace and I have a sinking feeling that I am falling behind a train/truck/whatever that I never managed to get onto.

after a long long time, I go tech hopping today on the net and discover an almighty load of new stuff that I barely knew existed

I thought apache was the whole world, okay, allowing for iis and thttpd. Suddenly I discover LightHttpd. Then go a little round and round reading up its wonders. Meanwhile i hear about zeus, tux, boa etc etc.

Ruby on Rails, fastcgi, memcached etc etc. I discover that LAMP is not the only web-development stack available. SOmbody writes about rubyonrails and talks about stuff like Java/JSTL/Spring/Hibernate/MySQL. And I thought jsp/servlets on Tomcat was all that java and web-devel had in common :)

New Ultra Cool sites:
Zooomr takes on the almighty flickr and zooomr is the product of a 17yr kid! Let some big guy buy him out and the kid will not have to work for the rest of his life :P
Writely in the news because of the google takeover.
Google's feed reader: once again, i am late if knowing what google has been upto.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Midway through the treat season

and totally strapped of cash :(
Expenses of close to 10K on treats to friends, wingies, cousins and friends. More coming and I have few to no ways of convincing my parents that they have to give me money.

Meanwhile, Chandak (who got into lime group @ $85000, UMD and UNC) and Behjat (who got into sarnoff and UMD) treated us at this wonderful place called TIAN at Juhu. this is a purrfect place for a treat esp when people are in for a cocktail(/mocktail) or two. Their pub has a great ambience and you can always do down to their Indian or Oriental restaurants for a wonderful dinner before you go home and sleep. The service is excellent and they gave a 10% discount and topped it off with a card that guarantees 10% off everytime we visit.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I have been dead for the last infinite number of days. Quite a bit has happened meanwhile. Some nice people at Amazon found it prudent to recruit me. My grades decided to go northward. Life decided to smile at me and long lost friends from school are getting in touch with me. So in general life is good, back on track and I am not complaining as much :)
Also the realisation that my days at IIT are now rather badly numbered has awakened a zeal that existed only shortly in the first few months after I got here. Also, watching Rang De Basanti yesterday reminded me that life here is what I will miss most after I get out. So I am back at the swimming pool, awake instead of asleep, taking charge of a few things and blogging this totally useless post.