Thursday, December 21, 2006

MY FC5 Crashed

Well , seems this is the first time linux hates me. I have seen lots of problems with linux but most of them are generally a software not installing coz of failed dependencies or some file system error which a fsck will solve without any major issue . But this time it really screwed me .

The reason why it crashed is simple . "Improper Shutdown". Was in a hurry when mom shouted the n th time to have breakfast that instead off the normal shutdown , switched off the power button . But never realized that will lead to the tragedy. Next time the comp never booted and even when i tried to boot in single mode , it just displayed two linesof error ( which i donn remember now , one of those lines had something about journal ) .

Tried hard to rescue my files but in vain .

Lost lots of work coz of this crash :( :( , like

1. Files related to the hacking contest i planned to conduct. Though i have the files uploaded in website , they are not the latest and anyway lost the mysql db )
2. Spider SMS ( not exactly. The prev night sent the code to prasanna , so almost got the files except for the todo and some other files )
3. ByteCode . A single web page which i managed to design for bytecode . Had to start again
4. Glug-t site . Set of web pages designed for the Gnu Linux User Group- Trichy :(
5. Spider site . A few extra features for the Spider site .
And ya all the downloads i did :( .
6. A patch written for ldtp as an extra option for ldtprecord

So learnt a few lessons from this crash

1. Always shutdown the comp.
2. It is better to have your /home and /var in a seperate partition
3. Backup the files every now and then in a seperate partition
4. Backup myqsl regularly

So one good thing about the crash is that now i have installed Ubuntu and recording can be done in that even if it is gnome 2.14. And i certainly like apt-get than yum . Hoping the get the repo's soon :)

ACM Regionals @ Coimbatore

The ACM ICPC 2006 Regional Contest was held on December 16th & 17th , 2006 at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, coimbatore, and our team ( me , evo and vasu ) was one of the top 50 teams selected for the onsite contest .

The travel to coimbatore was really weird this time. This is the second time i am going to coimbatore (last time with Manas ) and never knew where amrita is :( . To make things worse , the train stopped at thirupur coz of some technical fault . Had to travel from thirupur to coimbatore by bus and then from there to amrita . As usual was late by a few hours and missed the tour of the contest :( ( actually it does not matter since it was Day1 ).

Then after meeting evo and vasu there ( OMG , they were discussing some problem already ) , we went for the "grand" campus tour . The cook book said "Campus Tour - Teams and coaches tour the plush greenery Amrita University Campus, campus facilities" . But it turned out to be one of the worst tour . The guys who came with us for the tour were so "dumb". They used to show us a basketball court and say "This is our basketball court " . As if we all thought it is a football court. Anyway another sad part is that the "greenery" we expected in amrita is nowhere to be found . Bad that this time the contest is during hols :( :(

After lunch had the first practice session . We were able to solve all three ( though presentation error rapped us and the guy who seems to answer our doubts is one of the dumbest i can ever find. We used to ask him , what is the presentation error . Our output seems to be fine and he used to reply "Yes, there is a presentation error." ) . And anytime our Codelabs is far better than mooshak. Our Codelabs has a better interface than the mooshak , since codelabs is not a single web page and hence one can predict what will happen if the page is refreshed ( unlike in mooshak you have to remeber your last action )

After dinner , had the second practice session and this time we did not get one question :( . Anyway it was total fun being with vasu and evo around . Especailly vasu always had some funny stuff to tell us.

Day II
Break fast at 6.30 :-( and i got up at 6.40 ( One of the difficult thing for me to do :( ) . Contest started at around 8.00 PM and ended at 1.00 PM. We were able to solve three problems and ended up 23 rd . The final standings can be viewed here . Planned to start early but had to wait for the certificates .

The problem set can be found here

Came back to chennai the next day.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


As usual, was jobless at home with a new broadband connection , so chumma timepassing when i found this site

So some of them which i might have now or can develop any time is .

Agliophobia- Fear of pain.
Agrizoophobia- Fear of wild animals.
Altophobia- Fear of heights.
Decidophobia- Fear of making decisions. //Err , cant decide :)
Didaskaleinophobia- Fear of going to school. //Very rarely , on bio pracs days, not now
Dystychiphobia- Fear of accidents.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- Fear of long words. // this word itself makes me scary
Iophobia- Fear of poison. //ofcourse who is not
Nosocomephobia- Fear of hospitals.
Ochlophobia- Fear of crowds or mobs.
Ophidiophobia- Fear of snakes. (Snakephobia) //who is not afraid of snakes
Papyrophobia- Fear of paper. //Just the exam papers , nothing else
Parasitophobia- Fear of parasites.
Pathophobia- Fear of disease.
Peladophobia- Fear of bald people. //yeah all my profs are bald
Philosophobia- Fear of philosophy.
Polyphobia- Fear of many things. // ???
Scolionophobia- Fear of school. // not now but 3 years before "yes"
Phobophobia- Fear of phobias. //After seeing the long list certainly "yes"

Hey come on, what happened to all those important stuff ,
Phobia of exams
Phobia of attendance
Phobia of getting caught in class
Phobia of teachers

Seems a lots is still missing in the list :)

Geek Toons

Checked out some of the geek toons in ,
Some of my fav here ;)

Monday, December 04, 2006 2006 at Blore

Date :: 23 Dec 06 Time :: 4.00 PMPlace :: Cisco Blore

Shagan and evo has already mentioned to me about the great speed at which you can access net at cisco , but i have never taken them that much seriously . But when i sat in shagan's comp to surf net , MY GOODNESS , was really amazed by the network speed there . Just to test the download speed , started a fc6 download and it downloaded around 7-10 MB in 15 seconds . Shagan later told me that this speed is bit slow and i could have got better speed if i had used wget for downloads :O. Then shagan went to play tt with his friend ( no need to mention that the friend is a female and tt was just a lame reason for kadalai ) , while i went blore central (just to kill time, had no intention of purchasing anything there).

Date :: 24 Dec 06Time :: 10 AMPlace :: IISc Blore

Somehow i got up early ( 8.30 ) , managed to catch a bus to IISc and reached there at 10.00 AM. Taggy was already waiting for me there .The event is supposed to start at 10.00 AM with an opening ceremony by Atul Chitnis. This guy though never spoke tech , spoke really well . With few do's and dont's like switching of mobile, asking questions etc etc , he finished his speech at 11.00 AM ( remember he started at 10.30 AM )

Next was the speech on Linux and the art of minimalist development by Suparna from IBM. One of the topics which we wont understand anything is the kernel and unfortunately she is a kernel developer. But topic on what she spoke is simple. It is actually about keeping things simple, solving problems in a clever way etc etc . Though we could grasp these concepts , the examples she gave went wrt kernel over our heads :(

Next speech is by Noor from Wipro . He spoke about something called sUSBix. Though i dont remember much about his speech now few points which i noted down in my notebook says suspend2 JFFS - Journaling Flash File SystemHis speech is about working from the OS booted from a pen drive and then we can carry the pendrive to anywhere and using the pendrive there so that all you need to carry when you want to port your work from office to home or home to office is just a pen drive. The advantage he mentioned is that since the root and swap are present in the pendrive itself , you need not reopen your applications and other stuff once we put it in standbymode. Say if i had opened gedit at home , when i use sUSBix and boot the comp at office , i will have the gedit opened . This is really a big advantage . Some of the todo's of this project are like increasing the portablity between two comps of totally different type , etc etc

Then was the speech about "Writing as SMS Service with Free Software". Actually i was a bit interested in this because i thought something from this can be useful for spider sms, but it turned out that he spoke about something very basic which smsd already uses for sending sms. He showed a demo of sending a message if the delivery is success and getting a web page in sms.

Next was the OpenJDK - Opensource Java . I actually slept in this session . So you could guess how boring it will be for me. Then next lecture was also not interesting ( atleast their topics were not intersting ) that we went for a small walk outside IISc . We planned to bunk the next hour ;) though we decided to stay just for the Secure Linux programming

It was 5.00 PM now , the topic was "Secure Linux Programming" , by Jaimon Jose from Novell. The slides he showed us was good and had nice content , though it would have been better if he had got more examples on them or atleast explained about them in depth.He actually spoke about (rather showed slides for )Buffer OverflowInteger Overflow Race ConditionTemp filesDynamic Memory etc etc He gave a nice link for Linux Secure Programming (
Thats it for the day . We could not take more . We bunked the next hour about "Solving the fundamental structural problem of the free software movement" and i came home ) .

I was actually tired after those long long lectures . Since it was a long time since i have listened to a lecture properly (classes are either for sleeping or sending messages , infact anything other than listening) . So slept early .

Date :: 25 Dec 06Time :: 8.30 AmPlace :: Shagan's Home

Just now got up . This means i am going to miss the first speech . Actually i wanted to attend the first one ( coz it is about KDE and not kerenel ) but now it seems impossible. Finally managed to get a bus and reach shivajinagar bus stand at 10.00 . Given some one hour to travel from shivajinagar to IISc , i can reach there by 11 and atleast attend the PHP5 Rasmus ( the guy who wrote PHP ) .

But seems Murphy's laws never fail .
What i did from 10.00 to 12.30 in shivajinagar can be explained as

for (count=0; ; count++) {
Ask someone which bus goes to IISc .
If that @$$ does not know which/what IISc is curse him 100 times and wait for someone else
If he says to wait in some lane , go to that lane and wait there
After 10 mins , ask someone there and surely he will point me to some other lane.
Go to the new lane.
if ( count > 50 ) {
for every 5 people you ask hereafter , say "fsck" and proceed }
if (count >100 ) {
for every 2 people you ask hereafter sak "fsck" and proceed

Inbetween this one of the drivers who told me that the bus will go to Indian Institute of Science , droppd me at Indian Express .
All i could is curse more and more and somehow went to IISc at 12.50 .
Then attended the speech about "Hacking the Slug" by Sudhakar from Google .Actually we never knew anything about what he is going to say before the speech . He showed us the Slug , a device which can be used as a firewall , proxy server etc etc . He showed a demo how it can be used .

Next was "Makefiles" by Sulamita from Brazil. She was really tensed when she spoke about makefiles ;) . Taggy was feeling bored coz one could not talk anything interesting with makefiles. I knew Makefiles was really a vast topic and she did cover something which will make one write Makefiles upto a decent size. All i have explored with Makefiles is to add a new file to be compiled in ldtp and that was simple . Search for any one of the files already present and add the new file to the list you see. But writing make files from the scratch is something i just hope i never have to do .

The topics after this were a bit boring or something which we have never heard at all . So we decided to bunk the next two hours ( bunking the last speech has become a habit and we did this the next day too ;) ) . Taggy came home to shagan's home today and we went out for dinner. Went to garuda mall, had dinner there [ ofcourse shagan payed ;) ] came back to home late.

Date :: 26 Dec 06Time :: 10.00 AMPlace :: IISc Blore

Atleast today reached IISc on time .
First one was "Impact of Indian Copyright and Patent Law on FOSS" by Sunil Abraham . We actually thought that the speech will be boring and no tech , but the interactive session was really good . People actually came up with various doubts which this guy was able to answer properly.

Next one was the Webmarker by Natarajan from Yahoo . This one was also good and interesting .He explained to us how the webmarker was done , algorithms was used in that , the webmarkers that were present before this one was released , the problems with this webmarker etc . This one was really interesting , coz the way he showed us the demo and discussed the problems in the webmarker was good. Actually people who were listening suggested some nice ideas and hacks which can be incorporated into the Webmarker to make it better.

Next one was "Ten Tips To Turbocharge The Team: Getting Smaller User-Groups Moving". I attended this just to get some nice ideas for GLUG-T. The speaker gave some good links and also answered properly during the interactive session.
Some of the key points which i got from his speech are.1. Maintain a proper mailing list . The more active the mailing list is , the more active the glug is .2. Have a proper FAQ page somewhere so that the topics/problems which were discussed earlier need not be discussed again for the newbies again.3. More number of glugs is always better.

After lunch , had a two hour session on "Writing KDE Applications" by Aaron Seigo. This guy was really cool who explained us about how to write applications in KDE4. Actually it was very similar to GTK except that here you have OOPS concepts, so you have classes for everything. He explained about the filedialog and other classes.

Then was the Tutorial Session on LDTP . Met nags and Casanova here . Here was one session where i knew almost everything what the speaker is going to speak. Casanova spoke for an hour or so. He explained about from the basics, i.e what library ldtp uses , how it works . He showed a demo of ldtp with gedit and a demo recording too. Maybe he could have shown more demos and extended the session a bit.
Even today we bunked the Closing Keynote and the Closing cermony and came home early.