Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all. Another wonderful year ends, one of the memorable ones in my life. Hopefully things would be even better in this new Year.

Not everything was great today. I went to this shop "Kitchen Affairs" in the evening cause my mother wanted some specific spices. While she was searching for the spices, the billing counter caught my attention. Two brand new iMacs. Wow I said. It was only yesterday, I was at The Deck, India Habitat Center to have lunch with Karan, Maanick and Nisheeth. Even there the payment counter had caught my attention. They were using an ancient PC running a DOS based billing software. My reaction was: Pathetic!! I commented to Maanick that the least they should be using is a GUI with a decent interface. Nevertheless I was so glad that at least this shop owner (or maybe the cashier) has "some taste". But since I had never seen a cash counter using Mac before, I had never seen a Mac Billing Software in the real life (movies, yes I might have seen a few times). So I moved my enormous body slowly towards the iMacs and when I looked at what was running on that I was terrified. They were running windows, and inside windows, a similar DOS application maximized (not fullscreen, so you can see the Start bar). Outrageous!! Fuck that taste!! Why on earth would someone do this. I am sure there are many LCDs that would look cooler at a lot lesser price and would give the same performance. India definitely lacks sanity in this regard and such extreme examples (of The Deck and Kitchen Affairs) definitely prove this statement right. And I also feel there are there are many more extremes that are left to be seen.

But every cloud has a silver lining and I was able to shoot one this New Year eve:



Once again wishing you all a great New Year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

To the newer cat

Belated Christmas greetings. Unfortunately I could not post an entry yesterday, not that I was too busy celebrating christmas, but my laptop had to be pressed into an unavoidable service, namely, showing my mom a movie. Anyhow so I will complete my yesterday's duty today.

So what has kept me occupied last two days. Of course I am doing some Solaris and Java learning. But apart from that, I am also doing a Leopard learning. Yes, finally I have upgraded my system to Leopard, and definitely I have started liking my new OS. So how did it all began?

While I was at Chandigarh, a day before I left for Delhi, I decided to free my hard disk space, cause I new that I needed so free space to upgrade my OS. Usually I only have free space of about 1-2 GB, and definitely it is far from adequate for an upgrade. So I decided to transfer some of my things to a DVD and in the process I spoilt 2 DVDs. Toast would only write the DVD for about 2 seconds after the lead in and then it would generate a hexadecimal hardware error. It was late so I decided to return to Delhi and then try to diagnose the problem patiently. Back in Delhi I tried to write the same DVD again, but this time a DVD+RW. This time Toast would write the lead in and immediately following it, it would write the lead out. No error. But the error was generated when I tried to erase it. I finally confirmed that something was definitely wrong with my SuperDrive. So when I was going to meet Karan, Maanick, Mukesh Sir and Nisheeth (who apparently forgot that we were to meet, and got left out in the process), I carried my laptop along to Anything Mac at Yusuf Sarai (Near Karan's place). For those of you who have read my criticism of the AppleCare Center at Chandigarh forget about all that. AnyMac has definitely beaten the the Chandigarh one by miles. I remember this summer, when I had got my laptop, Maanick and I tried to locate AnyMac for a laptop bag. Boy, we nearly sieved through the Yusuf Sarai market and Village for an address 2F 40 Yusuf Sarai. Some people sent us to Yusuf Sarai market, some to the village. There are two 40 Yusuf Sarais at Yusuf Sarai and we reached both the places but could not find AnyMac. To top that Maanick is someone who has already been to the place once, and even he could do anything but give up. This time I carefully checked out the Map they have on their website. On reaching the 40 Yusuf Sarai Village, I had to ask two more person to find a small staircase behind the building (sort of a back door entry) and then climb to 2nd Floor to find a dark glass door with a tiny Apple Sticker on that. Ah.. Finally. I realized that the reason that Maanick and I could not find it was because our eyes were searching for an Apple Logo, or Apple Poster or something, some board that would either say Apple or Mac or Anything Mac. None of these things actually exist. Anyway once you go though that door, you fill find everything Mac inside it. At least the receptionist is using an iMac G4 and not an ancient windows computer as they do in Chandigarh. So after proper diagnosis they declared that my SuperDrive will be replaced and so they ordered the SuperDrive from Bangalore and took my contact no so that they can contact me when the replacement would arrive. Now since I had a bad SuperDrive I met everyone and did not upgrade to Leopard that day.

On 24th they gave me a call. My replacement had arrived, and I was hoping that the drive would be region free. I am really pissed carrying an RPC2 Drive. So I got it replaced and then went to Karan and tested my drive with an original Hindi Movie DVD - Corporate. Vlc played it!! I was happy but somewhere in my mind I was not really convinced that Hindi movie DVDs have a proper region check. Then I upgraded to Leopard.:)

Back home the first thing I did was Check with my Gladiator DVD. And sigh!! Vlc failed to read it... My hopes were shattered. I searched over the internet if there was a firmware hack for my new SuperDrive. My last Superdrive which was a Hitachi-LG (HL) GWA4080MA did not have a firmware hack for the AE39 firmware revision. My current drive a Matsushita UJ-857D has a firmware hack for the firmware revision KCVB. I quickly downloaded all the required files. But later on reading the forums I realized that the Patcher wont work on Leopard... Shit Man!! I just upgraded to Leopard!! Maybe I'll wait for a patcher that would work with Leopard, or maybe I'll use Tiger temporarily to apply the patch. I don't know.

But some consolation... I am using a superior OS now. So what are the features I love... Firstly QuickLook. Boy, isn't it useful... Works with most files. And interestingly, video files that are currently being downloaded, you dont have to wait for the download to end for it to be played on a player. Just QuickLook it and it would play even the broken file. The next would be Spotlight. Its quick and its better. Interestingly the Help menu of every application also have a Spotlight. And while you are typing your search it would also yield result if there is a menu matching with the keyword. And it woould also show the menu like this:



I really like this feature. So from now on you dont have to search through the various Menus and Submenus to find an option eg it often happens with Photoshop. It has loads of menus and submenus and at times its really difficult to find a menu option if you are not a regular user. Next good thing is Spaces. Finally Mac has workspaces and they are lovely. Also you can assign an application to open in a particular space. Time Machine is also good, but since I don't have a large hard disk for backup, I can't take full use of that. Coverflow in finder is just another feature, its good but not a feature that I'd die for.

Leopard has also brought with itself certain bad points. Firstly the directory Icons. The Dock is also not that good. If only the "orbs" change to something more contrasting I'd be satisfied. Of course I know the List View is coming in 10.5.2, and also that I have Drawers Icons that helps me differentiate the stacks in the Dock (Not neat, but effective). Also for some reason when the Spotlight dropdown is open and we use Exposé for seeing the desktop, the Spotlight drop-down disappears. I am not yet comfortable with that, but surely will get used to it. FrontRow interface is not as cool as the last one. Mostly the opening and closing. This new one fades through black. The older one was awesome in that respect. Also no live video in the dock icons when a player is minimized. :( Not a feature that would be missed but definitely it was cool.

Chalo I'll get back to some real work....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

SDG-Express

Yes, thats what I have named my new Airport Express Base Station (Thanks to Skar). Didn't bother to think much to name it.





It is up and running and finally my home is unwired.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Shimla-Kufri

A short one day trip to Shimla-Kufri with few of my classmates followed soon after the last exam. I am a little late at sharing this. As soon as we heard that there was an early snowfall in Himachal, we planned this trip in a hurry. Overall it was a fantastic one. I had seen snow for the first time, and I was lucky enough to also experience snowfall. Furthermore I also shelled out some money to try out skiing. A summary of the entire trip... 11 of us started off at 6 in the morning from university. The weather was not very good at around 4-5am, there was heavy thunder and rainfall. But it also meant that we might see some snow in the mountains (which is exactly why we had planned this trip). We had hired two cars - one Tavera and one Indica. After reaching Shimla at about 9:30-10, we had some breakfast. It was chilly. Then we went to the Himachal Pradesh University. From there we went to the Mall Road and to the Ridge. After spending about two hours there we left for Kufri. Kufri was full of snow. Spent about an hour playing with snow.. no one was spared!! Then we hired mules to go to the top where we did some skiing and visited a temple (I dont understand... why is there a temple at the highest points of every place I go?? It was same for Kasauli, This place, even the highest peak at Shimla has a Jhakhoo Temple). While returning to our cars, there was a snowfall. We had to turn back then, cause it was getting late. It was dark already. It wasn't till quarter to nine in the evening (on our way back) that we had our second meal.

The pictures I took can be found here.

I leave you with few of them:








And now I am back home. A much needed break till the first week of Jan.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Sunny Affairs

I am back from my second last exam of this semester (ie if I dont flunk in any of those that I have given till now). The next exam is on 11th, Tuesday and its a biggie. I just hope I am am able to survive three days of preparation and three hours of the examination cause I find this subject to be really tough. Actually that is mostly because I have not been paying attention in the class. Nevertheless I will have to face the music on Tuesday.

Anyways I just wanted to inform you people that I have created a new Blog for the Sun Activities and updates. So everything will now go into the blog at blogs.sun.com which I have named Sunny Affairs. Hopefully you'll be visiting that blog too.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

End of semester syndrome...

One thing that happened last week was that we had a trip to the Infosys Chandigarh Campus. Infosys Chandigarh is located at the Rajiv Gandhi IT Park. Chandigarh IT Park is developing at a blazing pace. Most of the buildings have a modern architechtural design, mostly glass exteriors (Gurgaon types) and are being built by the big developers like Parvsnath and DLF. The only issue being that they have to grow the buildings horizontally rather than vertically as buildings in Chandigarh are restricted to three stories. We all had a good view of what all facilities are being provided by the company to its employees. No doubt the infrastucture was very good. Most of the IT companies have started providing recreational facilities to their employees. Obviously Infosys wanted the students to know more about the company cause it would be coming to our college for placements. So at the end of the "tour" there was a short briefing by two or three Infosys executives. And finally a brief quiz on Infosys, where I scored the second highest and got a token from them (a nice Pierre Cardin pen). 

Also we had a usual Hostel Innaugration ceremony, which is basically a hostel fresher party. Everything was similar as last time and also the fight for food!!! It has to happen everytime even if everyone knows that there is enough food for all of us. This time we were prepared and we took care not to wear clean clothes (We learned from our past mistakes). Land of nerd surds!!

I also spent a lot of time with the softwares the BlackTree develops for Mac. Very cool stuff. I guess every mac user has had a look at their tools, but if you haven't go to http://www.blacktree.com/.
 
Apart from this just Exams ही Exams. Nothing more nothing less. Just trying to break out of the end of semester sydrome...

And yes if any of you are having problems in choosing between Solaris and Linux or if any of you are among those people who wants to move away fromWindows or Mac to try out other operating systems, have a look at this post.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Unix.. Who cares??

I remember I had to study the basics of Unix in my 3rd Semester but I had found it utterly boring (in fact anything I study in my course curriculum automatically turns into a boring stuff). Recently I have been introduced to the Solaris Operating System, and obviously it has taken me back to Unix. Sun Microsystems has additionally given some learning resources from where I can get to brush up the Unix OS.

I started my course about two weeks ago, and unfortunately I haven't been very regular because of my ongoing examinations. But definitely my entire approach to Unix and the terminal/command line has changed. Since I am on a Mac I have the benefit of having the best of both the worlds - GUI and a natively running Unix OS command line. So how does the Terminal and the GUI compete against each other?? Here is my opinion:
Let me take a simple example.
Say, on a Mac you have to eject a pen drive. What are the options?? You have a small eject icon next to the device in the finder windows. You can click that and the drive is ejected. But definitely its not preferred. You can also have a eject menu in the menu bar. Naah!! What you like to do is drag the drive into the trash and poof!! The drives unmounted. Now you love doing that, why so? Cause everyone around is impressed by it and also its super cool!! Now on the other hand there is also another way... do it through the Terminal. So you have a simple unix command 'umount -fv /dev/disk1s1' Hey its not working!! Gives an error... So, dig the Internet... scratch you head... Google loads of keywords and finally you come up with 'diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1'. And once you get to that... trust me u'll love using it. Why? Cause its Classy and its Techy. So if you have to choose between Cool and Classy what do you choose? Most probably Cool is the first choice. But just give Classy a shot. Maybe u'll start loving it just like I am. For me, at least for the time being... Classy is in, cool is out!!
Similarly 'hdiutil attach diskimage.dmg' is really a classy way of mounting disk images. Just give it a try.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Atlast...

I recently did a software update and a newer version of Safari 3 was intalled, and thankfully.... Google Chat inside Gmail is working!!... and as usual I'm loving it!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A small glimpse of Panjab University

I have uploaded my first public album taken with my camera

http://picasaweb.google.com/souvikdg/PanjabUniversity

Its just a part of Panjab University, I'll take some more pictures and upload them later. 

Bizarre, but a must read.

खतरो के खिलाड़ियों... ज़हरीले भूखे कुत्तो... अब आ गया है वो दिन... T20 विश्व विजेताअों दिखा दो तुम में अभी भी है वो जोशो-खरोश जो दुश्मन की माँ बहन equalize कर दे... शातिर सूरमाअों, आगे आने वाले युद्ध में विजयी लौटना... जय बाबा बाप्पी नाथ। I am a disco dancer... O yeah!!

My final sessional exams for this semester are just over. This was an SMS that I received from one of my hostel mates during the exams. It is supposed to serve as a "confidence booster"-cum-"all the best" message for the sessional exams. By the way the person who sent this message is a Sardar (no offence) who is a Bappi Lahiri fan. He makes up these messages when he gets fed up of studying during exams and sends them around. He has been doing this for quite some time now and I finally decided to share it on my blog.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Side-effects!!

I have nothing much to write... Just have a look at the news paper clips. (Just open up the images in new window to read the articles).

5th Nov 2007

6th Nov 2007


Unfortunately one of the car that fell victim of the assaults belonged to my friend...





7th Nov 2007



And when I finally came back from my Diwali break... some traces still remained


I remember quoting the Elections as adventurous once... its slowing turning into an unpleasant experience.

Friday, November 09, 2007

शुभ दिपावली

Wishing all of you a very Happy Diwali.

Please solve the bug!! Every time I try to edit an old post.... Its date/time of publishing changes to current time (Inspite of the fact that I manually change the date and time!!).

Advertisement

Just to notify the few viewers of my blog... check out this newly created blog.
It'll have all the sun-related things that the Sun Club of UIET is involved in.

And ya.. PUSU-INSO won this time. Another election comes to an end... only one more to go for me. :)

ढिश-के-आ-उ

Did you hear the shot??

If no here it is...


Yes its the first gift that I am gifting myself... of some hard earned money. So no more running after my uncle for digital camera, I own one now. And a nice sleek one.

I wanted to by a decent digicam within a decent budget and surprisingly a Sony Cybershot DSC-W80 fulfilled all my needs (except of course I wanted a better zoom). I usually do a good survey over the Internet to make sure that the product I am about to buy is the best one that I could afford in the market. And the same trend followed with this one. Although I wanted to consult the king of photography before buying this one, I really could not wait for his reply, and I just went for this one. I hope he approves of my decision.

I had considered Canon and Sony (I know Nikon is also a biggie... but really I dont find the name of the company "catchy" enough) and there were a few deserving candidates. But really, the videos on these two pages really made my decision a lot simpler.

Tech Specs...

General

Product Type Digital camera - Point and shoot
Color Silver
Weight 4.4 oz
Width 3.6 in
Depth 2.3 in
Height 0.9 in
Body Material Metal

Main Features

Resolution 7.2 megapixels
Sensor resolution 7.2 megapixels
Optical Sensor Type Super HAD CCD
Effective Sensor Resolution 7,200,000 pixels
Optical Sensor Size 1/2.5 in
Light Sensitivity ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200
Digital Zoom 2 x
Shooting Modes Frame movie mode
Shooting Programs Snow, Beach, Landscape, Soft snap, Twilight mode, High sensitivity, Twilight portrait
Special effects Sepia, Vivid, Black & White
Max Shutter Speed 1/1600 sec
Min Shutter Speed 1 sec
Exposure Metering Multi-segment
Exposure Modes Program, Automatic
Exposure Compensation ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps
White Balance Presets, Automatic
White Balance Presets Flash, Cloudy, Daylight, Fluorescent, Incandescent
Digital video format MPEG VX
Still Image Format JPEG
Continuous Shooting Speed 2.8 frames per second
Color support Color
Image Stabilizer Optical (Super Steady Shot)
TV Tuner None
Video Capture MPEG - 640 x 480, MPEG - 640 x 480, MPEG - 320 x 240

Memory / Storage

Flash Memory 31 MB Flash - Integrated
Integrated Memory 31 MB
Floppy Drive None
Flash memory 31 MB - Integrated
Supported Flash Memory Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo

Lens System

Type Zoom lens - 5.8 mm - 17.4 mm - F/2.8-5.2
Focal Length 5.8 mm - 17.4 mm
Lens Construction 5 group(s) / 6element(s)
Lens Manufacturer Carl Zeiss

Additional Features

Self Timer Yes
Self Timer Delay 2 sec, 10 sec
Additional Features Direct print, Face detection, Auto power save, Built-in speaker, PictBridge support, USB 2.0 compatibility, Digital noise reduction, In-camera red-eye removal

Camera Flash

Effective Flash Range 8 in - 11 ft
Type Built-in flash
Flash Modes Auto mode, Fill-in mode, Slow synchro, Flash OFF mode
Red Eye Reduction Yes
Effective flash range 8 in - 11 ft
Features AF illuminator

Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type Optical - Real-image zoom
Color support Color

Display

Type LCD display - TFT active matrix - 2.5 in - Color
Mounting Built-in
Resolution 115,000 pixels

Digital Player (Recorder)

Type None

Microphone

Type Microphone - Built-in

Connections

Connector Type 1 x Composite video/audio output, 1 x USB
Expansion Slot(s) 1 x Memory Stick PRO Duo

Lens Systems

Auto Focus TTL contrast detection
Type Zoom lens
Focal length 5.8 mm - 17.4 mm
Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 35 - 105 mm
Focus adjustment Automatic
Auto Focus Points (Zones) 9
Min Focus Range 19.7 in
Macro Focus Range 4cm
Lens Aperture F/2.8-5.2
Optical Zoom 3 x
Zoom Adjustment Motorized drive
Lens construction 5 : 6
Features Aspherical lens, Built-in lens shield

Miscellaneous

Cables Included 1, 1 x A/V cable, x USB cable
Included Accessories Wrist strap

Power

Power Device Battery charger - External

System Requirements for PC Connection

Operating system MS Windows ME, MS Windows XP, MS Windows 2000, Apple Mac OS 9.1, Apple Mac OS 9.2, Apple Mac OS X 10.0 - 10.4
Peripherals USB port, CD-ROM drive

Battery

Supported Battery 1 xSony NP-BG1 Li-ion rechargeable battery - 960 mAh ( Included)

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & Support 3 year warranty
Service & Support Details Limited warranty - Parts and labor - 3 year
Type 3 year warranty, - Limited warranty - Parts and labor
Full contract period 3 year

Software

Type Drivers & Utilities, Sony Picture Motion Browser

Back View:


Accessories:


Apart from these.. I got a 1Gb Memory Stick Pro and also a leather carrying case.

I haven't used it much but the only 2 bad things that I find about this product is that firstly the charging adaptor is separate and the battery cannot be charged through the camera (through USB). Secondly the USB cable us coupled with AV cable.. so it becomes slightly bulky.

From now on u'll start seeing some photos in my posts.

Edit: Warranty is 3 years, not 1 year.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

10..9..8...7....

Let me clarify one thing... the countdown is not in seconds, or minutes. Its in hours. Now guess what am I talking about... Elections
So polls in the next 10 hours and the results withing an hour or two after the elections.

Although I have covered a lot about the PU polls from kidnappings to midnight raids, I have never shared "this bit". Let me title it "A Day Before D-Day".

It started with a wonderful morning... sunny and chilly. But it really felt different when I woke up. Reason: Open House. So Open House is where all the political parties meet. There are three speakers from each panel (panel in this case is an alliance) come up to speak for 12 mins. What happens in PU elections Open House is something not to be missed cause if you are a sensible voter (like me) you'll find it to be utterly nonsense (and oddly that is the fun of it!!). It is one of the few places where you would find hordes of people screaming at the top of their voices. People will laugh/cheer/clap for every sentence spoken by the panel spokesperson. Actually it doesnt even have to be a sentence, it could be for a simple reason that the person next to you started clapping/cheering. And you will (at times) get to hear nice shayari(full of criticism against the opposite parties) by the political leaders... And this is no campaigning cause the audience is basically divided into two halves. A PUSU half and a SOPU half. So there is hardly anyone who needs any persuasion. In simple words an event not to be missed... just to witness the heights of insanity.

As the night draws nearer, the tension rises. Everyone now starts getting worried about how many votes they'll get. So in the evening all the party workers work at their respective tents ("Remember the safest place in PU: when I was in first year"). And what do they do? Take out list of all the students of PU, and message them/call them. Just to ensure that in the morning they get the maximum votes (And trust me it doesnt work). This effort continues overnight basically making the most out of the last 48 hours before the elections when Campaigning is not allowed.

Finally I realize how it all works. Basically a 1st or 2nd yr student is only expected to go and cast their vote... whereas the parties expect the 3rd/4th year students to make more and more people cast votes for the party.

Its getting late and I must go to sleep now cause tomorrow I have to act like a responsible student of PU. Great burden on my shoulders!! lol!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

पेहली कामयाबी

So day before- the 30th I had my first event as the Campus Ambassador of Sun Microsystems. Nice start I'd say. Never did I expect so many people to come for the first event. It took me quite some time to make a 100-slide presentation which covered the introduction of What Open Source is and continuing to give a brief description of the Sun Open Source technologies. Well although it was supposed to be only an introduction, I did cover a lot about these things, thanks to help from all the various presentations at the induction program. Furthermore, an introduction to the Code For Freedom contest and specially to the OpenSolaris and NetBeans project. I was shocked to see the crowd, cause we really did not prepare for so many people. Even before the session had commenced the no of students had exceeded the number of chairs (we had made arrangements for about 80, and the turn up was over 100) and they were more than willing to just stand and be a part of the presentation. It was quite an interactive session cause the students were more open to me than they would have been if I were a teacher. What was most impressive is that even at the end of the 2 hour long session there were quite a few bright faces and they wanted to see a small demo on how to make a NetBeans plugin. And its a little difficult when you have only 8 pens as giveaways for such a large crowd. I guess I did a fairly good job by giving them to those who were most involved in the presentations. Anyways a good start, lets see how well my learning curve rises. And I'd like to thank the members of the Sun Club for their help during the event.





Moving to other things... Leopard has been introduced and after reading the Ars Technica review I feel really good for 2 things. Firstly that I know really what to expect from Leopard. Secondly I am feeling really great to be associated with technologies that are being imported into Mac OS X from Sun, namely DTrace and ZFS. You never know, even Zones might be on its way. Definitely there are some great things in OpenSolaris and adoption of some of them into Mac would surely improve the already top of the line product.

And FINALLY Panjab University is having its elections. After series of court cases against the party leaders and the political parties themselves finally matters have resolved and things are really bad here. Things have to conform to the guidelines set by the Lyngdoh Commission as ordered by the supreme court. Finally all those guys who have any standing reappears, or marks below 60 percent or attendance below 75% are not allowed to compete for elections. Uff... basically all those guys/gals who have given their heart and sole for the elections are out of it!! And most of the parties are having difficulties in finding any candidate who satisfies all the clauses of Lyngdoh Commission. I have heard that the parties have annouced in the Girls' Hostels that anyone having attendance above 75% is welcome to be a candidate for the post of Vice President. Basically no bright student is a part of politics and now the parties cannot do without them. This is the third time I am facing PU elections and everytime it brought in a new flavour with itself.

And finally... Its really unfair that M$ still enjoys monopoly over the software market.....

Edit: Some pictures shared... And download the presentation from here

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sun Microsystems

Finally my second sessional exams are over and I have some time to blog about my recent Sun Induction Training. For those of you who dont know, I have been selected to be the Sun Campus Ambassador for FY08. Basically a Sun CA is a 12 month intern and a temporary employee. So he gets a stipend and also many of the facilities a Sun Microsystems employee enjoys. In return, you have to train yourself and get aquainted to the Sun technologies and also spread awareness among the college students. Anyways, the induction program was basically an introduction of many of the Sun technologies including OpenSolaris, Java, Netbeans etc. Now although my initial feeling was that this program is going to be mainly advertising but the induction program changed my prejudice. What they want is that more people and students should participate in the development process of open source technologies. I have been programming in PHP for a long time now... and I have always believed that open source was the way to go. But never before I thought of contributing back to the community. What Sun has done here is inspired a part of me to contribute back. For this they have a new Contest running: Code For Freedom, whereby you can win prizes by contributing back to the source codes. Obviously they are mainly concerned with the Sun's Open technology, which is pretty strong. Sun here claims to be the largest contributor to the world of Open Source including Linux (interesting!!) Definitely a feat worth an appreciation. So the training was held at Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi, basically because they donot have a big office in Delhi. Jamia has a proper Sun Lab with many Thin Clients connected to 1 or 2 servers. It was really nice to meet new people from North and East Universities/Institutes, including 2 school-mates from my batch. Nice three days and lots of knowlegde and experience to carry back to college. And also not to forget, more responsibilities.

And haan, try looking for Zones and ZFS. Really nice Solaris features. DTrace is another thing they promote, but my favourites are the former two.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The same excuse....

There are two kinds suffering possible if you turn back to your blog after a long time. One of the kind is that you have nothing to write. Im the other kind. And since there is so much to write in there I am utterly confused. Let me brief it up. As usual I have been busy. PHP projects, workshops, taking charge of different committees - old things. The new things that have been keeping me busy are: Great download speeds. Our university has taken a new internet connection which we are getting in our Hostels. Now we enjoy consistent 200-250Kbps download speed. Also with new Wireless routers installed, I enjoy this connection in my bed. While most of my friends spend time finding new tunneling sites, I enjoy the speeds by downloading productivity tools/softwares/operating systems. After being selected as the Campus Ambassador of Sun Microsystems I have found myself downloading loads of SUN-related stuff like Solaris, Netbeans, OpenOffice etc etc. At the same time (thanks to skar) I have also tried the new iLife. Great update I must say. Also the new iWork has been a great release. Numbers, although has a few negatives, kicks the ass out of Excel. Another recent thing that I have tried out in VMware Fusion. Certainly I find it slightly superior than Parallels. First and foremost I have noticed two things, all microsoft sites open in XP installed in Fusion also that the standby mode in enabled(in the shutdown dialog box). The only negative I guess is that the Virtual hard disk cannot be externally accessed and the shut-down time is almost twice that of parallels. I havent found any advantage of using 2 processors, maybe because I have done nothing processor intensive. There are some extra features like send the battery status can be sent to Windows also Unity is a lot better than Coherence, specially because each window is independent of each other. Although I miss the Start bar in Unity. Fusion has also installed Solaris 10 very smoothly. I'll try out Fedora 7 (Which didnot work in Parallels). Anyways I have an induction training by Sun (this weekend) and an online orientation 10 mins from now. I'll write again after the training....

Saturday, July 28, 2007

ah!! iPod

My iPod had been troubling me for a long time... Roughly 4 months. In the month of April my iPod had been showing some odd symptoms. Every time I woke it up, it would reset itself. At times it would show 0 songs and I had to reset it again. At times it just wont play the songs well. Eventually in the last week of April it showed me the Sad Icon!!

Sigh, my iPod was sad...

If you are an owner of an unhealthy Apple product, Chandigarh is the worst place you could be in. Inspite of the fact that the Apple website shows quite a few retailers in Chandigarh, I could locate just one. In due course of time I realized that for all practical purposes, that was the only retail-cum-support. So if you feel that there is a difference in class between the Apple Premium Dealer at Ansal Plaza and the Apple Stores in the US (Rungta has shown me a lot of pics/videos/ 360º VRs) imagine this. 5-6 posters, one G5 iMac, one Macbook, one small shelf in the corner containing iPod accessories and a senior executive (?or maybe owner) who possesses a Powerbook. As a matter of fact they themselves seem to use PCs more than Macs.
Anyways I handed over the poor iPod and they said that they will try to put the iPod software in it which will cost Rs 200 (I guess it is not same as the iPod software we update/restore.) and if it solves the problem then the charges would be Rs 500. I also told them about the battery backup problem (which had reduced considerably) and they offered me the battery exchange program. So for Rs 3950 they would give me a refurbished iPod same model.
I decided to go for the battery exchange cause now it didn't even last an entire trip from Chandigarh to my home. The best thing was that the replacement arrived in two days as opposed to 5 days which they initially committed.
A few weeks later I returned to Delhi and me my new MBP. This time I tried to sync the Pod with the notebook. But repeatedly the syncing would terminate after a few songs. Throughout the holidays I had a miserable time updating my iPod. I had restored it 2-3 times and managed to update it completely only twice. Anyways I was returning to Chandigarh after my holidays when in between my journey the right earbud of my Sony Earphones just stopped working!! Height of bad luck!! It was working as good as new. I pauses the music for say 10 mins and when I played it again... the right bud just refused to respond while the left one played everything smoothly totally ignorant of the fact that its partner was totally unresponsive.
Somehow I covered the rest of the journey without music. And to top that the very next day my replaced iPod showed the Sad icon.... Ah another visit to that miserable shop. Only this time the lady in the shop was surprised to see me return with the same problem on the replaced iPod. And since the head-technician was missing I had to leave my iPod with them... After about an hour they called me back saying that there was a hardware problem and nothing can be done as it is no longer under warranty. This news really brought out the Voldemort in me and I gave that guy a piece of my mind over the telephone. He asked me to return to their office and talk to the lady. I had my lunch and rushed back to the office and as soon as I entered the office the lady was ready with my iPod- this time totally in working condition. Anyways they managed to fix it and not charge me anything. I checked it with my laptop and it worked fine.
Now I was left with one problem... headphones. I was scheduled to return to Delhi the very next weekend and so I decided to hold on before taking any action in hurry. I was hoping that the Sony ones would still be under warranty cover cause it hadn't been an year since Karan had got it for me. The moment I reached home I checked out the warranty terms.. 90 Days..!! Yuk!! 90 days?? Can 90 days even qualify as a valid warranty period?? As good as no warranty.
So today I searched through the internet for good headphones. I was looking for Sony / Sennheiser. I really could not track Sennheiser stores/dealers in Delhi except for a Distributor at Hauz Khas. During my search I also read the Reviews for Bose In-Ear. Most of the Reviews matched my experience when I had tried them during the holidays. Unlike the Headphones there is hardly any noise cancellation. Although the sound is good, but not worth spending 5 grands. I went to the Sony World at Rajouri Garden. Unlike the Sony website which showed around 10 models of earphones, the Sony World only had the 3 worst ones that they had to offer. And NO WARRANTY. I walked right out of it. I am fed up of headphones problems. Since the time I have started using my iPod I have collected 5 pairs of earphones. 3 Sony and 2 Apple. So I need one that is more reliable. After spending some time in the Rajouri Garden Malls I reached Shopper Stop. It has opened very recently and right at the center of the Shopper Stop Ground Floor there is a new Apple iStore. And they had a decent stock of Sennheiser Headphones and Earphones. I finally purchased a Sennheiser MX 550.





Well Day 1 has really satisfied me. The earbuds are a little big with the foam cushion, but not very uncomfortable. Also unlike my Sony it does not have a very good noise cancellation, particularly because it does not have a silicon bud that goes into your canal. But it is better than the Apple earphones. The Sound is great!! I find it better than the Sony. Since the Sony was In-Ear, the sound was pushed into your canals, and at times it is uncomfy. The ear sometimes felt too full of unidirectional sound. But in this pair, the big buds give a much wider sound experience. The Base is good. The sound does not crack/distort at all full volume. The Sony one did not give a good full volume experience, although you would hardly play an in-ear at full volume. This one also has a small volume adjustment control in the cable. Also you get a nice carrying case worth using. The Sony case was utterly useless. And finally the best thing: 2 Years Warranty.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Last few days...

Inspite of the fact that I have quite an amount of php work, I just can't get back to it. Mac has consumed all my time. Even at this point of I am stuch to my mac and I found this nice and easy blogger widget. I just cant image how easy now it is to post new blog entries. I have found two impressive softwares in the last two days. Remote Buddy that lets you control everything in your laptop using the 6 button Apple Remote and Parallels Desktop that lets you run other operating systems simultaneoulsy in mac. The easy transitions, drag and drop features are just amazing. Infact I found both of them to be unbelievably innovative. Apart from that, as Karan pointed out SuperDuper! is a very nice software to back up ur hdd. I have actually cloned it and now its a complete piece of mind as the cloned hard disk is also bootable and it can be used as a recovery partition. Apart from Mail, Address Book and iCal have now become a part of my life along with the other iLife apps like iTunes and iPhoto.

Enough of that, among the other things we had a small-class reunion (all boys). About 8 of my schoolmate, classmates actually met up at CP. We had a nice time together. It was great to see the old mates. And apart from that its just food and food and a nice healthy round stomach... Not that I want to get rid of it, but I have been swimming during these holidays (not very regularly though) and it feels like heaven when the weather in Delhi is hot and pretty dry. Apart from these regular actvities there is another activity which I generally do not prefer. Its watching TV. And trust me the idiot box is also turning really buggy. Who wants multiple music talent hunt competitions. Man you got to see the हालात of Indian Television. It started with Indian Idol, but now you have so many. One wants the भारात की शान, the other the "Voice of India", then you have सा-रे-गा-मा-पा. oof. Even the Bengali Channels are airing a bengali singing competition... Just too much. And unfortunately I have not seen a single winner of such a conpetition to have become a reputed singer. Anyways I need to go for a swim now, lets see when I get over the Macintosh.

And ah - the iPhone has arrived!! Cheers to the Apple team. 

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Think Different - think again!!

Ah computing has been very different since I have started using my mac. Very very different. And I must say aadat bigad rahi hai. It seems I am being spoilt (by nature) and some kind of arrogance has crept in my attitude. I logged into Vista today (installed on my Macbook). Why so? To serve the very purpose of installing Vista (or windows). That is to convert the new Office 2007 XML format into a format that can be understood by Office:Mac 2004. I know I can do that online also, but it is not that I will always have an internet connection. So I booted into Vista for the very second time with some purpose. And boy! did I not face some problem. That first habit that I have aquired is to move my mouse at the bottom right corner to have a look at all the windows that are open (and similarly the other corners as well). And I must have gone crazy. I repeated the same action a number of times. At times it got me worried 'Why isnt it working?' And then I would realize. Ah shit its windows?? Now here is the problem. Why blame windows? It is you who are to blame. Every software has some limitations, galat aadat nahi dalni chahiye thi. The reaction ideally should have been: ah I am so stupid!! Actually I just realized right now that I am being biased. Cause a week or two ago while working on Mac I would press Ctrl+C for copying. Then I would repeatedly press Ctrl+V at some other location and hope that the piece of information would get pasted. The reaction at that time was: Ah stupid Windows habits, why the hell did they have to choose Ctrl?? So blaming the Macro-fools, err.. sorry Microsoft guys again. I just finished watching Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at D5 Conference (Video) which was sort of fun cause Jobs pulled the legs of Gates very frequently. Now analysing all the known facts I am actually running a risky business here. Come on, Mac isnt even close to Windows in terms of the market share. And if I continue to act like this I am likely to get crazy sooner or later. I feel really sorry for myself, when I picture myself working in my College Lab, about a month from now. So coming back to my other problems. Vista would not let me save any file from an application in the root of C:\. I dont know why. I am in an administrator account. I have full access. Still it would not. Instead it would simple give an alert saying that you need administrator privileges to save here. Had it not been my Macbook the computer would have been repenting for such an action. My first reaction to that absurd message was: Who the f**k do you think I am? I am your bloody owner. Mujhe hi kaam karne se rok raha hai? I controlled my emotions. Went upto the security settings. Gave full control over my C:\ to all the objects that were given as an option. It just refused to save the file in C:\. So I had to save it on my desktop and using the Windows Explorer I had to transfer the file from the desktop to root. Even at this point It would show a small popup window... Cancel or allow types to... Confirm file operation. So basically It required two extra clicks of mouse. This is still acceptable cause atleast it did allow to do what I wanted to do. But I fail to understand why they have such a meaningless security feature. Maybe to stop remote users or worm. But to make it a good security options atleast it should prompt me for a password or something to ensure that I am the actual administrator, cause anyone can click the allow button. I decided not to go deep to this. I quickly rebooted back to Mac.

And It feels bad to loose a part of your music collection when you are really passionate about it. My previous computer hard-disk a Seagate 200Gb sata stopped working. It had all my iTunes library. I had initally transferred the entire library to my laptop but had to remove some part of it cause I needed some free space in my laptop. And since my HDD refused to work I lost my backup of those songs. I got it replaced (It was still under Warranty). And strangely Seagate replaced it with a 250Gb. A sort of Compensation... or Condolance maybe. 50 gigs is a decent amount of extra space.

And do listen to the soundtrack of The Namesake. Very nice music. I have been listening to it for quite some time now.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mac-ish... eh thats history

I still remember, I was hell bent on getting Mac installed on my PC!! Karan... oh... he had to really struggle to make that possible. And at that time, I had a post titled "I feel Mac-ish" But now its a pure Mac (no mac-ish business). I really did not want resume blogging untill I had a few snaps of my new Macbook Pro. And for that I had to wait nearly 2 weeks to get hold of a digital camera. Why so long.... just forget that, from now on I will keep posting now and again.






And it is blazing fast!! Never seen such a super notebook.

Features:-

15.4" Display (Matte)
Intel 2.16 Core2 Duo
2 GB 667 Mhz DDR2 SDRAM
120 GB HDD
ATI Radeon 128 MB
6x DVD-RW
Just 1" thick
Apple Remote
The list goes on..... but one of the best (and very useful) feature is: Backlit Keyboard with Autosensing.

And Look at this:-


Trust me you can never get over such a fantastic laptop. It is an owner's delight.

And I must not end this post without thanking a few people... Karan and Nisheeth - for buying it for me. Rungta - for his constant support since then.

बाकी बात अगले पोस्ट में।

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Committees

Ah well I guess it would be good to describe the different committees that I am associated with....

First the technical committee:-
Let’s talk about the senior members first:-

1. Jaideep Karamchandani (Mech 3rd yr): He was the convener this year (just as I had predicted last year). But his performance was really bad this year (never expected this... really). He might have his own reasons for not performing well, I know that his health had not been too good this year but nevertheless he will be criticized for this performance. Meeting being called again and again but not resulting in anything. Only three events throughout the calendar year. One C/C++ programming contest (which was totally initiated by me). One workshop on Photoshop and finally Goonj. Even in Goonj his presence was missing. And finally his behavior has been pretty rude with the juniors/new members. The certificates of the winners still haven’t been organized for. I really have no good points for him this year.
2. Aakriti Rana (CSE 4th yr): She was the co-convener this time. Her participation with the club had been really good. Although she is in 4th year she participated as much as possible. Fought with “the convener” when he was going wrong and the most benign of all the members. She was always cooperating with the committee even though she was not in the best of her spirits.
3. Nishant Gupta (TIT 4th yr): Aaah!! Where was he?? Well I have no comments for a co-convener who had (nearly) zero participation.
4. Tanuj Khurana (ECE 3rd yr): I like this guy. Had problems with “one of the committee member” initially. Did not attend any meeting. But he was there where he was required. As far as I know he did work and supervise the events of the newly born IEEE student branch.
The following are the new members:-
5. Sunanda Khosla (EEE 3rd yr): ‘Short’ Sunanda was decent enough. She was not given a LOT of responsibilities, but she did play her part well. Although she was not as energetic as she was last year (as a volunteer) but she had not lost the qualities of helping out others out of her time-table.
6. Satyen Abrol (CSE 3rd yr): He is the most techy guy out of all the third year members and incidentally he is also from DPS RK Puram (aah... Exun days yaad aa gaye). He has a nice attitude towards the committee. Although he accepts all the responsibilities (shared with Sukhmani) given to him but he is very easy going. At the very end when the deadline is approaching he would beg ask me for my ideas and apply them!! Nice, very convenient. Apart from that he is pretty hasmukh. And he still rides his bicycle… Way to go!!
7. Sukhmani Khanna (CSE 3rd yr): Well I must say that she is not very techy. But I guess she is a good at team-work. She shared all the responsibilities with Satyen throughout the year and somehow or the other she has pulled it off. But she is a chatter bug. Whenever she is free (even during Goonj) you will find her chatting with one of her friends from her class (I don’t know her name) or she would be chatting with Satyen. But I guess the best job for her as a member of the committee is to address the guests and their hospitality… (Now don’t call me a naughty boy!!).
8. Shreyans (IT 3rd yr): Wah!! Kya Banda hai. Totally UP wala attitude. Will never take any responsibility unless he has been given one. He would bang my head throughout the day until I help him out with his work. But a very nice, helpful and carefree guy. The bad thing about him: he would take up responsibilities even if he has no idea about how to go about it. The good thing: He is really willing to learn new things.
9. Jyotirmoy Bannerjee (EEE 2nd Yr): This guy is involved with lot of committees and thus ends up taking very less responsibility. But somehow or the other (by hook or crook) manages to put them off. His interaction with the committee members has been very limited but definitely he is a talented guy.
10. Rupak Banerjee(Mech 2nd yr): My old school mate. Still the same old soft spoken and responsible. The only thing that has changed in him is that he has learned new robotics skills. Since he is the only one in mechanical, he had to organize all the mechanical events under the Technical Committee. He is one guy who would never complain and never take an initiative.
11. Shweta Singh and Sandeep Changlani (Both ECE 2nd yr): If I would have written comments about them separately, I would have been grossly unfair. Every work they undertake and everything they do, they work in pairs. Basically both of them are not very good in dealing with computers but I suppose they must be good in their field. They organized some of the electronic events by themselves and also managed a sponsor for many of the events. Although they are very responsible my only complaint against them is that their coordination with others is not very good and they are full of complaints. But nevertheless, they work well in a pair.
12. Sandeep Singh (BioTech 2nd yr): Tall and slim. He is really a nice responsible guy. He would take up initiative and responsibilities on his own. Whatever task he would take up would be completed with utmost perfection. And a new quality that I have learned about him in this Goonj is being stubborn. Maybe he acquired these qualities as a member of the other clubs he is associated with but I guess he has never faced politics before. Anyways a wonderful guy to work with but he has to learn to reach out and help other members.
13. Vidhi Verma (BioTech 1st yr): A very shy and soft-spoken girl. She has not been very active in the meetings, maybe she was overshadowed by Sandeep Singh. But I guess in the future she should be able to control the biotech events of the Technical Committee. Her attitude is good but she is very shy, naive and less interactive.
14. Nikhil Gupta (IT 1st yr): Itching to learn not willing to work. Definitely not willing to wait for work to be given. He is always in a hurry. But the best thing about this guy is that he is very interactive and inquisitive.
15. Pulkit Gupta (CSE 1st yr): The best among the 1st year members. I have found him to work as he has been told to. He even comes up to help others. Always accepts and asks for work, but he is very nervous at times.
16. Yashudeep Jain (ECE 1st yr): Hardly speaks. Simply accepts the tasks and he would disappear as soon as the job is done. Lacks the energy but I guess he is more study oriented.
17. Amit Singh Sharawat (EEE 1st yr): I love his hariyanvi. He is really willing to learn about computers but he is really confused about what to do. He is not sure about how to proceed. Does not take initiative. But I feel he also lacks the willingness to work.
That’s it. About the other committees…
The IEEE student’s branch is being killed by politics. And I am really unhappy about the change in the approach of members. The worst thing is that most of the members have paid for its membership only to have an addition in their CVs. And many of the members of program committee of IEEE have lost their good qualities. And the members have stopped respecting hierarchy.
Finally the Rotaract Club of Chandigarh. Very unprofessional. Even here everyone wants a certificate or a post. As a result the participation of the members is very less. Hardly anyone respects the instructions. Also most of the decisions are taken very suddenly. All of a sudden you would get a sms and you are expected to spring to action. No discipline. Even the members who volunteer to work don’t live up to the task.

Thus I guess thus pretty much sums up my relation with the different committees.

Sleeping??

So was I sleeping? As a matter of fact I did not have any time to sleep at all. Boy!! I was (and also am) reeeaaaaally busy and worked out. But I somehow I have decided to make another entry into my Blog. Why? Cause firstly there was two new emails in my inbox notifying me of two new comments on my bog. And secondly it reminded me of how long it had been since my last post.
Chalo… Let’s have a quick look back at the last two months. The things that have been keeping me busy:-
  • College (Tests, Classes and now Exams)

  • Fests (Goonj, PecFest, Cyanide, Jhankaar, Synm, Hostel Fest)

  • About 5 jobs in php

  • One project on microcontrollers and networking

  • A small project in Visual C++ (part of curriculum)

  • Trekking

  • Some of the clubs and student bodies are keeping me busy (Technical Committee, Rotaract Club, IEEE, CSI)

  • Many other things that I am unable to recall


  • All right first about college. Studies are really simple apart from one subject: “Digital Electronics and Wave Shaping”. Oh how boring is it to attend those lectures and to play around with circuits and transistors and trying to analyze the effects. Bad.. Bad!! Such electronics subject really bore me. I have just returned after a minor exam on this subject. Thankfully it went well. God knows what will happen in the Semester Exams. There is one more subject that is really bothering me.. OOPS.. basically C++. The curriculum here concentrates more on the theory than programming. And even my teacher is one of the least confident teachers in this subject that I have come across. The worst thing is that you cannot code the way you want to do… Last sem my marks were deducted in C as I had included the string.h header file and used the string functions. Very bugging.
    Next the fests. Panjab University administration has gone crazy!! They just don’t want to give permission for college fests (or to correct it… department fests) The original plan of Goonj (which as you might know, is the fest of our college) was in the month of January. It was delayed further and further and finally it happened from March 16th-18th. Phew!! Finally the administration gave us the permission and we had to organize the entire fest in about 2 weeks. The sponsorship was a big problem. Although the Goonj organizing committee had talked to its sponsors long back, but because of the delay the sponsors also backed out. After a huge effort by the marketing team, Goonj finally got its main sponsor on 15th March… A day before the fest: Reliance Mobile. And because the convener of the Technical Committee was in direct contact with sponsorship issues,.. unfortunately I was (sort of) managing the Technical Events. Thanks to some of the members (about whom I shall talk a little later), the technical events were successful. I enjoyed a good participation in the events I organized “ENTIRELY” on my own i.e. Technical Quiz, Data Mining and Encryption-Decryption. The three nights: Rock show, Fashion Show cum Dance Competition and ‘Khayali’ (one of the winners of Laughter Challenge) and finally the War of the Djs. Moving on PecFest was the college fest of Punjab Engineering College. They had a very bad organization which was further affected due to rains. Their fest took place in February and unfortunately they had to face some bad weather. As a result their last two nights were a big flop. It has to be organized inside their small auditorium. One bright side: I won the second prize in their Technical Quiz along with two other friends of my hostel Vishal and Digvijay. Cyanide was a small fest of the Chemical Engineering Dept. I participated in the city-wide treasure hunt they organized. I found the clues of the treasure hunt to be very vague… one had to be a Chandigarh local to crack them. Jhankaar and Synm were University fests organized be the two major parties PUSU and SOPU respectively. You know how bad the politics of PU is. And finally the Hostel Annual Fest. This time it was in the evening. Same old Punjabi cultural shows followed by dinner and this time there was a DJ.
    Ok Web Development is something that I have really got into. The Goonj website was pretty successful. The first time the students had experienced online registration, personalized page and timetable. And a very user friendly interface. The only thing bad in it was the looks. But I guess I have improved a lot. And I am trying to increase my contacts through this. Recently I got a project to build a recruitment portal for someone.
    The “Embedded Web Server” Project. Even this is going well. I guess now we will continue after exams. Learned some Assembly Language in the process. And I am also trying to develop “Music library software” with my classmate as my VC++ project. Let’s see if we make it.
    Trekking was fun. Last year if you remember we went to Kansal forest. This time the same people took us to Nepli reserve. Only four of us went this time. Dara, Reety, Neha (all from 4th year) and me. Although the trekking was good, I was stuck with three very less interactive persons on earth. Not that I did not know them before hand, but I guess they do not like to talk at all. Anyhow, it was a nice was to spend a Sunday.
    And the committees… oof!! Let me break this post here. I shall soon post another entry that would be exclusively about the different committees that I am a part of.

    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    Embedded C

    I just attended a three day workshop on Microcontrollers and embedded C programming. The workshop was organised by IEEE Students Branch of my institute and professionals from Eureka Electrosoft Solutions Pvt Ltd were invited to deliver the workshop. It was an excellent learning experience, trying to program an Atmel 89C52 microcontroller using embedded C using the Keil Compiler. We also interfaced LCDs, stepmotors and Analog to Digital converter with the microcontroller. Here is my first embedded C program....


    #include <reg51.h>
    #include <intrins.h>
    #include <math.h>

    void move(unsigned char x)
    {
    P1=255-pow(2,x);
    }

    void ms_delay(unsigned char del)
    {
    unsigned char dt;

    while(del>0)
    {
    for(dt=0; dt<=160; dt++)
    _nop_();
    del--;
    }

    }

    void secdelay(unsigned char del)
    {


    while(del>0)
    {
    ms_delay(250);
    ms_delay(250);
    ms_delay(250);
    ms_delay(250);
    del--;
    }

    }

    void main()
    {

    while(1)
    {

    char i;
    for(i=7;i>0;i--)
    {
    move(i);
    secdelay(2);
    }
    for(i=0;i<7;i++)
    {
    move(i);
    secdelay(2);
    }

    }

    }


    A simple program in which 8 LEDs are connected to the IC and they blink one after another and back repetitively. It was my first exposure to hardware programming and robotics and really it has impressed me.

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Is it really a 'Happy' New Year?

    Most of my time in the past few days was spent watching television. And on television I generally watch the news channel. If you have been following the news bulletins recently, it must have left you dejected. It is so disturbing to watch the news channel these days. Innocent kids are killed by serial killers, Haj committees asking for bribes, Saddam was hanged... and it was unfortunately video graphed. And it has left the stupid people and parties protesting. I was really left speechless when I saw the news that one guy had climbed a high voltage line in Delhi, trying to do a Sholay. He was apparently protesting against the capital punishment of Saddam. What was his demand? Not Basanti, in this case he wanted the Indian Govt to break all ties with the US government. How stupid can people be? With a very heavy heart, I wish you all a Happy New Year. Hopefully the next year will be better. God only knows when I will see the ‘OTHER-SIDE’ of MyWorld.

    And yesterday afternoon my mom taught me how to cook Chicken Biryani. It was a wonderful experience and I found out what an excellent cook she is. She doesn’t even taste the food while it is being prepared; still the food that she cooks is awesome. And, it feels good to know how to prepare something you love to eat.