Thursday, 25 October 2007

Tuesday, 11 September 2007


Originally uploaded by [Rohit]
Everything has been made with the help of office stationery. The hat is made out of a coffee cup and a large clip. The eyes and mouth with the help of thumb tacks. There is also the paper Shuriken and paper square.
The one on the right was exclusively made by me. The left one was made by my office mates after I left.

Friday, 31 August 2007

The state of affairs

Almost an year back, when I had just gotten out of college and started working, a junior of mine had asked me if I could write something for the CS magazine. I remember it was around 9 p.m and I was still in office because there was nothing to do at home. When the request came in, I started right away. The result was this. They say it was published in the magazine, but I don't know who read it or what the response was. I didn't get much of feedback.
Most of the impulsive things which I have done, in retrospect look dumb and not well thought out. This though, surprisingly, is not one of those cases.

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Exporting e-books to the Nokia E50

The E50 has a large display and a PDF viewer. This makes it ideal to read books on the phone. The only problem is that the display is not as large one would want to have (one page of the document won't fit completely on the screen and you be able to read it) I have just managed to export few Saki books from Project Gutenberg to my phone in a "readable" way.

This is how I did it:

Tools required:
1. xemacs (vi may also do)
2. Cute PDF Writer (to print out onto PDF files)
3. Abiword (MS Word should also work)


Choose your e-book from Project Gutenberg. Download the text file. Now, we could directly print out the text file onto a PDF (using Cute PDF writer) and put it onto the phone, but you will realize that you won't be able to read it comfortably. You will either have to zoom in too much and then scroll left-right, or be satisfied with extremely small fonts.
There is where emacs comes in. We strip the right margin so that the text gets spread out vertically rather than horizontally. This is what I did:

M-x auto-fill-mode (return)
M-x set-right-margin (return)
20 (return)
C-x h (return)

The text would have grown vertically. Now copy all of this text onto Abiword. Again we could have directly printed out the PDF from emacs itself. But again thats not satisfactory. The fonts are not cute enough. Let AbiWord format the text, then print the file onto a PDF using Cute PDF.

Transfer the file onto your phone! You should be able to read the book without needing to scroll left and right at 95% zoom. If the book still doesn't fit correctly onto the screen, then do a "Zoom->Fit to screen" and then do a "Zoom-To %" and give 95. That should fix it.

The ad broker

"The ad broker looks to focus on lowering energy costs, improving its parallelized code and boosting component life spans rather than messing with things such as VMware and GPGPUs (general purpose GPUs)."
Guess whom we are talking about? .. Google! This is the first time I heard anyone call Google an ad broker. Takes out all their sting :)


Sunday, 24 June 2007

Trip to Bombay

Distributed gifts to my kid cousins

Traveled in the local

Attended a workshop in IIT-Bombay

Met the new Addy

Came back to Bangalore

Saturday, 16 June 2007


Now that I have a fancy camera phone, I thought it would make sense to finally renew my Flickr pro account.

Monday, 11 June 2007

My new phone

Behold the Nokia E50.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Cheeni Kum

I didn't like it. Maybe it was because of that 6 year old kid in the movie - the one having blood cancer - I found her very irritating. Or maybe its just too much of Amitabh Bachchan.

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Microsoft Surface

The demo is too cool. Its a surprise that such a thing comes from Microsoft. I think this is going to be the next big thing.

Saturday, 26 May 2007


Cartoon courtesy: Penny Arcade.

Shootout at Lokhandwala

The movie is so immature that I could figure out that I'm going to regret watching it within the first 2 minutes. The direction is amateurish. The editing haphazard. The actors are not good either. I wonder why so many famous actors would have done such a shitty movie; maybe for the money. In fact I would rate this lower than Spiderman-3.
Don't go and watch it!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007


Linux-the Academic Microsoft Windows
The holy trinity: Linux, gcc, and Netscape.
Of course, it’s just another orthodoxy.
These have become icons not because of what they are, but
because of what they are not: Microsoft.

Rob Pike (Systems Software Research is Irrelevant)

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

We care for you

Expected time of departure: 11:10 P.M
Actual time of departure: 1:10 AM

Not only did I wait for more than 2 hours (oh.. I came early) for the bus to come, when I asked the bus driver to explain the delay, I got a slurred (yes the driver was drunk) reply that the bus was not late.

KSRTC caring for your time and life.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Spiderman 3 sucks

The movie reminded me a typical 80's Bollywood movie. Its 3 hours long. Has plenty of emotional sequences. Confused parallel unconnected story lines. And at the end someone else takes the bullet for the hero and refuses to go to the hospital while he is dying a la "मुझे hospital ले जाने से कुछ नही होगा। मै यही ठीक हूँ।" Add around 8-10 Anu Malik songs and you would have a Bollywood masala movie.
My suggestion? Go watch Bheja Fry instead.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

I want one of these

I'm a child in a developing country ... gimme one.

I hate laptops in general, but this one (OLPC) looks quite tempting. Its $ 100, but its only available through government agencies. The hardware is not brutal, and I don't know what I will do with one of these, but I sure will want to buy it.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Tonsillitis returns

:-( I had it when I was a kid and now it's back again.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Bheja Fry

Excellent movie, had me all rolling over with laughter.

NUnit + NCover

Deadly tools. Do use: NCover, NUnit. Usual recipe is to run your unit tests from within NCover and check how much code your unit tests are covering. This can even uncover silly mistakes where a test is not being run because you forgot to put the "[Test]" attribute.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

After a while she remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.
- Alice in Wonderland

Binary search ... anyone?

Friday, 13 April 2007

Mac OS X Live CD?

Just take a look at the number of Live CD distributions you have for Linux: Countless. In fact that has now become the de-facto standard for performing installations. It is a safe way to introduce a new user to the features of the operating system. It is ready to use out of the box (well.. most of the times).

But, if you see, there are no Live CD distributions for either Windows or Mac OS X. Now for Windows, it may not make much sense to have one (every other desktop user has used it). But for Mac OS X, this may be the way to go. Becoming a Mac fan-boy is easy... once you have used it. But that in itself is a challenge because of the steep price tag. So does making a cheap Mac OS X Live CD make sense? No.

Today, where desktop environments (Aqua, Beryl, Aero) are becoming more and more fancier, will the transfer rates supported by a CD/DVD ROM do? I don't think so. Also what stops anyone from copying the CD and distributing it? (Ans: No one, at least in India)
Maybe the way to go is USB. Sell bootable USB devices which are more or less mass storage devices, with the operating system on it. The device will be protected from tampering and illegal copying. And of course the packaging should be sexy. Sell it for a price of say 15K (with around 4 gigs of storage) and people should be tempted.

For Apple this would be a stripped down Mac Mini. Of course, what is left to see is how much the USB 2.0 transfer rate will be a bottleneck.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The Linux journey

The first Linux system I installed was Red Hat 6 back in the beginning of the 21st century. Which is the time when Linux was not sexy. We (me and my brother) had a 1 gig hard drive and we had somehow managed to squeeze both Windows 95 and Linux into that. Although I couldn't do much on the system, we didn't have sound or internet (yeah, I had a dial-up connection that time), but we did have a desktop. This lasted only for a few days, because slowly we got tired of sacrificing space for Linux and not being able to play games (Quake 2 Demo used to be my favourite apart from Age of Empires 1).

College saw another bunch of distributions. I started out with Red Hat 7.x; got sound and display to work and dumped it for Fedora Core 1. I got everything working in FC 1 too, but I got tired of the package manager (I don't know if its better now), so I did the unthinkable: I installed Gentoo.

It was not an easy ride, but in the end I had a pretty decent system to boast of. So other than the hours and hours I spent compiling stuff, I had no complaints at all from Gentoo. It was sleek, lean and mean. The best Linux system I have had till date. It was during this time I first learnt how to recompile the kernel. Not only that I tried to make it smaller. Packing in only what I needed into the kernel.
I would have never given away all my blood and sweat, but that is what happened. A freak accident wiped out Gentoo and I neither had the time or energy to make one again. But I thought that this is a good time to try out Ubuntu.

Ubuntu was good. Very good in fact. It worked out of the box. No hand tweaking of config files was required. Installing applications was a breeze. Moreover they shipped it to your doorstep for free! Only down side was that gcc, gdb etc was not installed by default. But that was OK. No big deal.
Ubuntu got wiped out when I completed college and parked my computer back at home.

But I guess there is always this thing with Linux distributions (or maybe with me). Most of them don't work out of the box. You have to go into the system, to get it working. Most people would say that this is a bad thing for Linux. Yes, maybe, for home users. But for engineers, developers and hackers, I guess this is what pulls them towards it (Of course, I don't say this is the topmost reason). It is that itch; that there is a problem and (surely) a solution, and I (will) want to find it.

And it is happening to me again. I installed something new called: archlinux. Took me two days and a lot of jugglery to get it working. But somehow, I'm drawn back to Ubuntu ...

Saturday, 24 March 2007


So now corporations are awash with non-autonomous thinkers.

"I don't know. What do you think?"
"I don't know. What do you think?"
"I don't know. What do you think?"
"I don't know. What do you think?"
"I don't know. What do you think?"
"I don't know. What do you think?"

Courtesy HTBC