What is... ?

This is a free world,
you are free to will and whim,
can it, at the cost of,
your brother n his freedom,be?

Life is price'less',
the big shots say, we realize.
is it why, you sell ya brethren's life,
cheaply, for personal gain?

The human'kind', we call ourselves,
aren't the rivers, the air,
the forests or our mother earth,
worthy of our acts of kindness?

We are making rapid strides,
from the micro to the nano,
is it just in sci & tech, or does
it coop in our loves and lives too?

The world's a small place,
the wise and learned say,
is that why, not all have,
a roof, under which to stay?

Its a world of press n media,
is it why we are pressed at,
with news that's dubious,
in truth and worth as well?

We are all for world peace, they say,
do you alone, make up "the world"? I ask
How else would war, uncalled for
bring about world peace?

I want my piece is all I hear.

Update Script

Well, this isn't an update of how I'm doing on my sabbatical. Its just been 3 days and I'm doing pretty fine. I just finished writing a script to keep my blogs page in sync with my google-reader (well not exactly). The script parses an xml export of my google-reader-subscriptions and updates the edits the html of my unnought-blogs page. period.

There are a couple of things I don't like about this script.

Firstly, I don't want to keep exporting my google-reader-subscription each time I make changes. The script should be able to directly sync with my google-reader without me having to export the file. [I have read about the atom subscriptions feed of Google Reader, but haven't been able to get it right.] Hopefully, I'll be able to do it in the near future.

Secondly, The blog author's name is non-existent. I can't do anything about this though.

Also, In the process, I had the chance to look a geeky ad. I found it at the weirdest of places!

header: X-hacker: If you're reading this, you should visit automattic.com/jobs and apply to join the fun, mention this header.

ps :

  1. The source is GPLv2 licensed.
  2. Get in touch, if you'd like to have a look.

A sabbatical

This post, is a different one in a couple of ways.

Firstly, I posted this from within emacs! I'm using the w3m browser within emacs to post this. I've started using (trying to use) emacs again. Hope to keep at it longer this time.

Secondly, I wish to inform junta about my sabbatical for a couple of weeks. I have decided not to use IM/IRC/SocialNetworking sites for the next couple of weeks. [2008-07-06 Sun 00:00]–[2008-07-19 Sat 23:59] I will, of course, be using mail and will also blog if and when I feel like. This is an experiment triggered by a few ideas from Chaitu1 and my own holiday lifestyle analysis. (Also Chaitu has volunteered to join me.) Hope to make it through and also get some valid, interesting results out of the experiment.


Update: Firemacs add-on for firfox is very useful. I couldn't get a decent browser for emacs that could open gmail, so I'm using Firefox with the Firemacs add-on to compose my mail. Its absolutely amazing. Believe me! [Jul 6, 2008]


Footnotes:

1

Chaitu - Poetic Paradigm

The Bus, its Ours!

I hadn't been much in the City for the past three years. I've had a little trouble recollecting the exact routes and corresponding bus numbers. I Googled for it, with little hope, and the results didn't surprise me. There wasn't much info in this regard. On the occasion of World Environment, when the focus is on promoting the use of Public Transport, this isn't a very encouraging sign.

I was wondering if the Bus route info can somehow be integrated with Google maps or the like. This will be a good thing to do, since people who have access to internet (the higher rungs of the society) are the ones who are most aware of the threats to the Environment and also the ones who least use public transport. This could help them do some planning and encourage use of public transport. Later on, may be the Buses could have some kind of a GPS sytem that could be interlinked with the maps, giving people great power! I'm not sure if this already exists elsewhere in the world, but seemed an interesting thing to do.

On a different note, just wanted to share this different perspective my mom was giving to my 7 year old neice. We were on a bus and my niece wasn't very happy about the crowd and the Bus journey. My mom, then said something, probably to amuse the kid and distract her for a while. But its an interesting way of looking at things.

You should be proud that you are aboard a bus that costs around 15 lacs, something we wouldn't normally be able to buy. And that too for a small sum of Rs. 5. You are being driven around by a chauffeur employed by the State Govt. and you needn't bother yourself with the routes and other headaches of driving you'd have if you used your personal car…

The kid wasn't convinced or even amused by this, but I liked the interesting observation. Some food for thought, My mom travels for an hour and half by bus to reach her work and she's been doing so since I was a kid of 5 or 6. Now I know why she's been able to do it for so many years, everyday!

Lafoot or Lafoobot!

Summer'08! I'm at home, doing nothing practically. :| No Internships, No Projects, No GRE plans (a little pushing for GRE has just started from the junta around.)

Just to kill some time and to learn some Python, I have begun to write an IRC chat bot <lafoobot> [Lafoot + Bot]. The present haven of lafoobot is #fosskelog @ irc.freenode.net. Join in, if you want to have a chat! ;) Lafoobot can presently do very few things

  • "Yoyo", a newly joined user
  • "Hello"/ "Yoyo", a user or pass on a Hello/Yoyo from user to another.
  • Gives Local time / GMT
  • Gives a random word and its meaning [put in for the junta preparing for GRE ;)]
  • Gives out an MOTD or a fortune when it first joins \\#fosskelog
  • Googles a search term and returns the top 5 results (This is my favourite feature and this is the reason partially for this post. "!google lafoobot" doesn't return anything. Hopefully not anymore.)

If you have ideas for any other features or if you want to have a look at the source, comment here or join #fosskelog. lafoobot's code is licensed under GPLv2!

Other than this, the summer has been relatively uneventful but for the two FOSS events I attended. Yes, two events, Sat and Sun, both by Twincling (There are two different Twinclings! Don't ask me why) Hoping to have some more action this summer!

PS: There's a Big discussion presently on whether lafoobot is a he or a she. ;) What do you think?

Bills and Billboards

I was travelling in a bus today, when I overheard two people sitting behind me. One of the guy was telling the other about his brother's job and the hardships he faces. The guy they were talking about, practically risks his life, to be able to eat a square meal. He works on Billboards, used to paint them and now that there aren't enough people who get them painted, pastes the vinly posters on to the boards.

All day a guy struggles hard, to transform an ugly looking, old hoarding into a huge attractive advertisement and he is paid so well, that he has to slog it out to make ends meet for his family of four. They who get the paintings made or the posters put up, are striking it rich with loads of money and fame. Those who drive by, are having a good time watching that beautiful looking woman there or fantasizing themselves in that wonderful car up there. Then why is this person here, who slogs it out, making so many people happy, struggling to see a smile on his daughter?

When people around can get paid handsomely for having a jolly time in the air-conditioned room, puking out a few lines of code each day, can't this guy, sweating it out in this may heat, get a better deal? Isn't there something fundamentally wrong somewhere?

Home Coming!

I'll be on board the Amaravathi Express in less than three hours from now! Bags packed, I'm waiting for the sun to rise, the World to wake up.

I have set my self an objective of completing 40 problems from Project Euler. I have done 39. [With exams going on I consider it good progress] I will be attempting to push off the last one before leaving. Here I come, Project Euler. Here I come, Hyderabad!

Post-Q,W,A Post

Back again with another khichdi of a post.

  • Quark, Waves and Apogee. [For the uninitiated, Quark is our technical festival and Waves, our Cul-fest] I had been to BITS-Pilani, for attending their Tech-fest, Apogee.
    • One would expect Apogee to end up the best, but we were thoroughly disappointed. It came nowhere near the perfection of Quark and things seemed quite unprofessional. Hats-off to Chaitu n others in the Quark Org-Co. I'm already worried about missing Quark'09 [thanks to my PS]
    • The specials at all three events were unforgettable. Feeding the Fish, the Air Shows (Naval and Amateur planes), the Orchestral performance, Special Performance [Aasra], Sand art by Gagan and Mithali!
    • Had the opportunity, to meet/have a look at some of the guys studying at colleges in their home towns. For once, I felt being in a "reputed", national college does matter.
    • Felt good spending some time with good ol' friends at Pilani.
    • Always believed organizing events isn't my forte, but, helped organize a couple of events at Quark. Feels good.
    • Effective Communication is less about how well you choose your words but more about your quantum of concern for the other person and the matter at hand!
  • Pilani Campus, Love at First sight. Never really felt like coming back.
    • The arts/non-technical clubs there are simply superb! We have a lot to learn
    • Cycling on campus. A dream come true!
    • All Night Canteen is a real hangout place!
    • Green, Greener, Greenest. Never really felt like we were in the deserts of Rajasthan.
    • …. the list can go on and on. I'll stop here.
  • FOSS n me.
    • Attended my first FOSS event! The Install Fest @ Quark. Wasn't as awe inspiring as I would've liked it to be, but still a memorable one. Simply for being my first install-fest and for the lessons we learnt.
    • FOSSKriti'08 is one event I'll regret missing. It was absolutely amazing. I'm just hoping, people here too get to that level soon enough.
    • Free Software and Freeware ain't the same stuff. It's extremely painful when people address FOSS stuff as freeware. Free Software is Software that's Free as in Free Speech n Freeware is software that if free as in free beer.
    • Eagerly awaiting mukt.in v2. Can't wait to get back home!
    • Enjoying my time on \\#mukt.in and \\#linux-india. The new DC hub (GNOME) for FOSS junta is cool too!
    • There's an urgent need to start contributing to FOSS. But how?
  • Haven't yet found myself an intern/project for summer. Wonder what's in store, this summer.
  • Most of the gang's On-Campus next sem. Will really miss Voodoo though. Hoping he has a rocking PS.
  • Hoping we won't have to shift hostels next sem.
  • Appreciation is a great motivator. Expressing it promptly is important. I'm bad at it. Should work on it.
  • "The gang" is like a flock of birds in flight.
  • This semester is coming to an end already, and I don't have anything I'd be proud of.
  • Wonder why I have absolutely no feelings about the farewell we'd be having soon.
  • Awaiting Ugadi Celebs. Seems like they are gonna rock more than ever.
  • Gone are those days, when I used to post because something I had to write about, compelled me to do so. These days, the long inactivity on my blog is turning out to be the sole reason for my posts. [A few Rare Exceptions though, and this one isn't] I wonder if its because life's become uneventful or because I grew lazier or because of something else.
  • I don't like posting accounts of events from the recent/distant past, but I'm doing it just to prevent my blog's death.

Gone!

In memory of two gems, Koteshwar Rao Sir and Madhusudhan.

This, surely is a tremendous loss for the world, especially the world of Math. I pray, from the bottom of my heart, May your Souls rest in peace.

I got to know both of them at the same place, IIT Study Circle, Hyderabad. Its not for long that I've been there and known them, but both of them definitely have a special place in my heart.

Koti, as we lovingly called him, will always remain an inspiration for me. ( and hundreds of others who've had the fortune to be his students ) An Inspiration to thoroughly love and enjoy what I am doing… to dedicate my life to something worthwhile… to be uncompromising on the quality of work I do. Though I've failed miserably in learning any amount of Math from him, I feel privileged to have been his student.

and Madhusudhan was my bench-mate in there! I didn't speak much to him there, [speaking to your neighbors was a sin at that place] but I'll never forget the Ratna days; Sanskrit/English classes once in a while, Chemistry Labs, Cycle rides/Walks back from college along with Veeru and Srinu discussing everything under the sun and the Krotov solving session in the park. Memories are all, that remain…