Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Million Words!

Some wise man once said (as all wise men sometimes do), "A picture is worth a Thousand Words!"

Another Wise man said, "A Movie is worth a Thousand Pictures!" (fine that was me again)...

So where does that leave us?

Anyway here are two really CrAzY videos

Thanks! :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Keep Talking

"For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals
Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination
We learned to talk"
Here is my plan on how to make the world a better place:

Phase I : Conquer the world

By some means I conquer the world, and I don't mean 'figuratively' conquer the world, I mean 'Alexander the Great' conquer the world.

One possible way is to somehow make some kind of earth destroying weapon, and threatening the world into submission otherwise I'd blow up the World.

(earth blowing up scene)

Then getting a few frightened Scientists to make me a Robot manufacturing plant, from which I'll manufacture Robots to form my army and some robot workers. I'll make the workers make some more manufacture plants which will manufacture more robots. So I make a huge army, and robot work force. Then I send out the army into the world.

(scene of someone playing AOE)

I proclaim me master of the world.

Phase II: Development

With the Robots, and the scientists I make a World Development Team out of all the people in the world. It will consists on Managers, Engineers and a HUGE work force. All the rest not in the Team can just sit and relax.

I abolish money.

All the things currently in the world can support the world for some time into the Development Phase. I first make a support system for the world for sustaining it through the development phase.

With my WDT I make my world similar to the Venus Project. For those that does not know what the Venus Project is, it's a awesome place with no money, and where things are in plenty. Everything that man needs to survive, and comfortably survive. Everything from Food, Transport, Shelter, Clothing, Communication, Power. Everything. Because you have every thing in plenty, you need not buy anything, its just there. And its possible with today's technology. If you don't believe me watch Zeitgeist Addendum.

So we do it.

The cost of doing this however cannot be calculated, because such a project has never been undertaken before, and therefore stats are not available. Other methods I dont know, because I left that portion in my preparation for my test.

We do some Testing. How we do I have not figured out yet but I will figure that out soon.

Then we deploy the project.

Phase III: A Better Place

People live in harmoney. There is less crime because most crime were due to want of profit. It will be a Resourece Based Economy. It's a futurely looking world. Everything runs on Solar, Wing or Geothermal Power. Transport is through Mag Lev Trains faster that Aeroplanes going some 4000 KMPH. Everthing is in abundance. Life is comfortable.

People dont need to work for money, but they work for advancement of their race. People develop things, people create, people innovate, people discover, people invent. And people teach. Robots do all the boring manual work.

And of course everyone uses Free and Open Source Software.

And I retire to Develop Software For the rest of my life. And DJ sometimes!

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Of Talks and Workouts

As a follow-up to my last post, I would like to announce that I did not attend because it was conflicting with my semester exams. On that note I should be studing now, but suddenly, as it often happens when I sit down to study before an exam, more interesting things pop-up, like why the money system should be abolished, how to integrate chat to giver (a file sharing program for linux which unfortunately does not run on my system, yet shows other users that I am online) and what should be the latest status message for my chat client!

After putting a lot of thought, I have decided on:

Hyd Talk canceled as well! ||

"Hyd Talk" here refers to Open Summit 2008 at IIIT Hyderabad organised by Twincling Technology Foundation, where I was invited to give a talk on LDTP, and my contributions to it.

Things were going fine until yesterday, when I was talking to Saifi Khan from the organising team, and informed him that LDTP was NOT ready for testing and automating KDE/Qt applications as of now but works well for Gtk/Gnome. He was (very unpleasantly) surprised at this news and told me that it had to be brought to the notice of their team, as all their work was on KDE/Qt based applications.

On this I confirmed with Nagappan tonight, and I have mailed Saifi the following,

"Hi Saifi,
I am very sorry to inform you that KDE/Qt applications cannot be tested using LDTP as of now!
I have talked to Nagappan on this matter, and he says that development on both ends (KDE a11y and LDTP) is required to get that done and we would be working on that very soon!"

I am waiting for Saifi's reply, but I'm sure that my talk will be cancelled or at max rescheduled to some later event. As of now, Hyderabad seems distant!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Degree of Freedom

Here is how the story goes.

About a month and a half ago, Debayan, a friend of mine wrote a blog entry, in which he casully enough mentioned That was when I heard of the event for the first time(although the name felt slightly familier). I made a note mentally.

About a month or so ago he advised me to register to as workout lead of LDTP (workout = sort of combined development activity also known as a 'hackfest'). He said he was doing the same with Tesseract OCR. I did not pay him much heed then. When he repeated his advise I came out with an escuse that, I was quite inexperienced to become Workout Lead, but I will tell someone on the #ldtp channel to register so I may join in later(which infact was true).

So I caught up with Nagappan, and asked hm for advise. That incedently turned out to be the last day for registration for talks and workouts. He advised me that as no one was available, I may register as Workout Lead, and Varadhan may join in later. Nagappan lives in the US.

I did that as I thought it was our best shot. Although I knew that I would not be able to attend as my semester exams, speculated to start from 24th Nov may collide with dates 25th to 29th Nov.

About 10 days later released their first shortlist. I was in it!

My first reaction was that I would not go there as exams were way more important. But then some congratulatory SMS's later and seeing my name being flashed in the College Media (read mailing lists, gtalk status messages) combined with the 'rebel' spark reminiscent in me, I decided to bunk exams. Better if I get a green flag from college, if not I was stiill going.

Back to the college, I started delving deeper into the situation. I asked for "some official letter" from A guy called Harsha (another LDTP enthusiasist) added me on gtalk, and advised me strictly against missing my exams, and encouraged me to sort some win-win way out. The discussion at the channel was sort of the last blow to my plans.

Now I was confused!

Till an hour ago when I found a leather bound file inside which was a certificate. On is was written the following words in running calligraphy:

National Institute of Technology
Durgapur, India

The Board of Governors of the Institute upon the recommendation of the Senate hereby confers on

Shreyank Gupta

the degree of
Bachelor of Technology

Computer Science & Engineering
First Class

under the seal of the Institute given at Durgapur on this Eight day of November Two thousand and Eight

(perticulars changed on request)

Below was a cool embossed seal of the college with the signature of the Chairman of the Board of Governers and the Director.

And I decided not to go if I have to miss even a single exam.

True Story!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Awakening

Not that I have never been up this long, but just for the records, I have had just 3 hours of sleep during the last 45 hours. One hour while going back home in the bus, one hour at home and another one hour today in the train on my way back. Neither have been particuarly comfortable!

Kumarjit is complaining that I took all the credit of making the brouchure in Rahul Jha's room(he was useless that night). I don't remember doing anything useful that night except for getting Rahul's door to open, as even I was pretty useless that night! It was all Kumarjit and Kunal's efforts that we have the Mukti brochure ready!

I have just taken a short trip to back home where I did nothing impressive except of straining myself. Now my brain has lost the power to think, and my body is fatigued. On that note I also really really want to attend the 4th (or 5th, no 4th I guess) Convocation Ceremony of NIT Durgapur, where some scientist from CERN, and having to do something with some ALICE is coming as Chief Guest (or Guest of Honour, or something on those lines). It is my last chance to attend it as a student, and I never bothered to attend it before. I hope I can pull it off.

I am writing this Blog on autopilot-mode, and perhaps may not remember writing it when I wake up, that is after I go to sleep, that would be hopefully after attending the Convocation.

Also my phone has been off since last night, as I forgot to take my charger back home.

NOTE: the title has no implications  whatsoever with spirituality.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Free Market

Kunal was all jumpy about doing a Stock Market Stimulation, but Mayank did not want it to be a copy of WoodStock and neither did I.

But after the Global Economic Meltdown and then an hour of Muhrat Trading on CNBC, I found that having a Stock Market for Mukti '09 was too good a thing to resist!

Why not make a Stock Market, in which people buy and sell shares of ... yes... Open Source Softwares.

While it will help in publisizing those softwares, if will also help increase traffic on the Mukti website. Here are some salient features:

1. Named "The Free Market" after the style inspired by the Hippies. Tagline "Share with shares" (if you have a better tagline please do tell me, although I'm not compromising with the event name.) :P

2. We start with 20 companies named after Open Source Softwares, we decide the Market Cap for each and the no. of shares to distribute in the Market.

3. Initial Public Offers of duration one week. People register as users and are allotted a sum of 1 Lakh. They are to bid for the stocks within the mentioned price band.

4. Allocation of the shares are to be done. If shares are over-subscribed, they are distribited as a percentage of the no. of shares available. If under-subscribed, the rest of the shares goes to an Under-Writer (in this case the admin). The admin can then sell the shares back to the market when he thinks fit.

5. Trading to be open for 2-3 weeks from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Traders are to react to random dummy news clip marquees, to buy/sell the shares. The price of the shares are to go up/down depending on real-time buying/selling pressure.

6. There will be a ticker to show live prices of the shares. Also past performances of the shares may be tracked using graphs(difficult task to implement until I get the right tool for it). The Free Market Index or freemex is a measure of the movement of the Free Market and is calculated and displayed real-time on the basis of the weightages of the stocks.

7. Events such as Splits, Stock Mergers and Acquisition, New IPO's and Delistings may be incorporated to make the game more fun!

8. Brokerage will be charged at 1% of each transaction.

For this I am going to do the Ruby on Rails Learning Curve, which may save some tedious coding.

More on this later.... Suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And we'r back...

I tried hard to not blog for sometime, but trust me it IS difficult.

So after spending half my Durga Puja Vacations getting sick and the other half recovering (not that I did not have fun in the process, and believe me A Lot of Fun) I decided to come back the Wednesday before classes start to begin(old habit).

While it was mostly because of the fact that the IT minister of Bengal and Prof. Sanker Sen of IOTA were going to visit my college on the 16th (they didn't), I always love to tell myself that I came back early because of a number of other reasons. Its always like that, there are always a number of reasons for making stupid decisions. Like me staying back this weekend, although I did not have enough money, clothes, warm blankets (ya, winter's approaching), a Mozilla Goodies Pack that just arrived home to bring to college (I can bring that next week but the thought of staying away from it one whole week..) and had a dance practice back home(no explanations for this one), I always like to believe I have better reasons to do otherwise, though I have none.

And I just bought a whole lot of Contact Lens Solution. More that I will ever need. I just finished a 60 ml bottle (which cost me Rs 100) in 3 months (and I just bought a pack of 360 ml+360 ml +60 ml = 780 ml of Lens Solution just because it was available for Rs 400(the pack had two Lens Cases too ). What am I going to do with so much of solution and no problem (OK, bad one!).

The black t-shirt I brought was good. Though mom's never going to pay for it. Nor the Lens Solution.

Anyway, guess I'll go back to watching the 3rd Season of "How I met your Mother". Let down as it is to everybody who asks me which episode I'm watching (they mean which episode of the Currently Airing 4th Season and I answer them I'm watching the 2nd Season) at least I'm watching the 3rd season now. Hope to be at par with the present by the time the weekend ends. (see again)


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Leaving for Home

Ok, I have 15 mins before I leave for home for the Durga Puja Vacations. So what better way than to blog away the time.

I have my bag (read rucksack) all packed. Its got my dirty clothes, my contacts (I want to sleep in the bus and its a bit difficult to sleep with contacts on), placement goodies ( one Amazon Mug [the other one stays back], two Novell Bookmarks, the Microsoft Backpack and Notebook), Deja Vu [Thats the Official College Newsletter with more Bakar than News], my towel and slippers.

Ofcourse I will take back the Sound Scapes CD as well (Music composed by Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Shiv Kumar Sharma).

And I have this voice in my head that speaks above the Music why I wasted the last week in College. Not to forget the two Opposite Personalites one happy to be going back home after a long time, the other sad and GoingToMissCollege.

And I just remember to put in my cell charger in the bag. Also I just remember I am Rs 20 short of the mney I need to get back home, as I didnt get maney from Debayan for buying him Veg HotDog. Dosn't matter I'll take some money from Anish.

Anyway... Peace Out Guys!

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Saturday, September 20, 2008


Its the 4th and Final Verve of our College life (lets face it how many people get to experience VerveLike Events in their College Life)...  And I just finished doing the Software for one of their Events...

The event's called GPL and its loosely based in the Indian Premier League (IPL)... Cosisting of Bidding and matchwise contests. I did it in JSP as that is the only server side scripting I know of.

It was tough, the implementation... not because the task was difficult but because a lot was to be done in too less time. And it had to be Bugless. Not necessary full of good features, but one minor bug on stage could throw he entire event heywire.

But still I have done what I could to make it easy to use, and work with. And with only half a Dry Run... I don't think its totally tested. But ya, it contains no bug we (me and Manish) know of.

And it has taken some (read Three) sleepless nights, not to mention Code Cracker 2.0 Episode 2 on Wednesday Night(which I basically did not admin, but had some hand in it starting 30 mins after Scheduled Time) and the Big DJ Fiasco Thursday Night(which consisted of me going totally unprepared on stage to perform with a non-perrforming set of Headphones, a WontWorkOnJustAnySurface Mouse and a Laptop with no charge, and the Power Man not switching on the Power resulting in two mid performance Sleeps[the lappy slept, not me], also included a trip to Benachity to get a Old Guy prepare me yet another set of Splitters as I had lost my last one).

Because of a Class test that didnt happen I have had only 3 hours of sleep Last Night (read Morning) and accompanied by lots of development (Software wise) and Verve 2k8 starting of today with All Sorts of Things (ya thats the name of my team as well) qualifing the Word Smyth 
Prilims but coming in last two and getting WildCarded and DartDefeated out.

Just Finished with the software (oh did I mentioned that already), and now going of to sleep. Events start tomorrow (read today) morning at 9:00 and what's me doing blogging I have no idea.

Anyway(s) off to sleep, and hope me having the best knowledge of the GPL rules help us a bit Tomorrow. Cheers!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Error running Firefox 3

This is a tech blog:

One of the reasons why people should use Linux .. is that although you get stuck here more than you do in windows.. help is more readily available for Linux.

After a useless one day I spent on Windows (in spite of the fact a deadly virus was circulating through Gtalk, and me answering everyone affected who stumbled upon me for help to use Linux)... I had to run Firefox (outdated) 2 again as Firefox 3 just wouldn't run on my Mandriva system.

A little history:
The Mandriva installation before last had a smoothly running Firefox 3. I was then unaware that Firefox 3 was available in the URPMI repositories as well so I always installed from source. After reinstalling Mandriva however, Firefox 3 just wouldn't run (nothing would happen when i clicked the icon). So I tried running from the terminal and I got this error:
Error: in guard: symbol required but got: Error: fatal: looped fatal error
I googled this and found out that this was a very common error... but no one had the solution for it.... ( i mean there were a few solutions mentioned but none worked for me)

That day I discovered that URPMI had Firefox 3.0.1 and I installed it. Soon the system closed my Firefox 2 window and there it was Firefox 3. Up and running.

That evening when I reopened my Firefox 3 browser, nothing happened.... I tried it from my terminal,
Error: in guard: symbol required but got: Error: fatal: looped fatal error
That was it... I did not have any more enthu that day to pursue this any further.

So back to today:
I decided to give the situation another try when I was downloading a funny video I liked called Benny Lava which was actually a Tamil Prabhu Deva song some guy called Buffalax had thought would sound in English. Download speed was slow for the video so I had to use DownThemAll (the download manager for Firefox).

Google was having the same set of search results as the lst time so I used Mibbit to connect to #firefox in and placed my situation. Someone called mzz replied and he looked for the source of the error message. He first checked the Firefox source code, then the Gtk and finally the shell source code.

The solution:
Then he came up with a search result that said uninstalling uim (whatever that was ) would help... I did that .. and voila Firefox 3 is up and running again...

Thanks mzz. (whoever you are)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Browser

This time I AM serious...

But as both a web developer and a web surfer, I feel someone needs to take the initiative and and do something about stuff.

I will start with browsing. There was the Internet Explorer 6, we all knew, before I learnt Linux existed. I also used browsers like Opera and Netscape Navigator... but they never stuck. IE was this simple thing to use without much complicacies.

Then I discovered Mozilla Firefox 2 (of course that was before Download Day). I discovered tabbed browsing.. which meant a cleaner taskbar (I hate messy taskbars). It let me go of Internet Explorer instantly and no matter how it tried (Internet Explorer 7, with tabbed browsing and more)... Firefox was there to stay!

Meanwhile I discovered Mandiva Linux, and found that I never had to worry about IE again....

But fate had other plans... I became a Web Developer...

Because as a Web Developer it is your duty to see that the website you create runs (and looks ... and more often looks) equally good on all platforms and resolutions... and leaving aside small players.. I had to take into account both Firefox and Internet Explorer.

So, the last one year (I have been developing websites) this has been a constant irritation... people say its a part of a web developers duty.. but I beg to differ...

Why I start ranting about this now... because :

1. Firefox 3 that so far was running absolutely fine in my system.. (and I was loving and recommending it as I was in love with its Awesome Bar) dosn't run anymore... no matter how hard I try... and always gives the following error :
Error: in (function call): procedure or syntax required but got: Error: fatal: looped fatal error
[heart break]

2. Making the Orkut app for I had the most difficult time as a developer... because as a developer our goal should be being creative and productive... not taking care of the glitches in the browsers...

3. The new and in Chrome is actually good but not as extensive as Firefox is .. and it is not yet out for Linux.

4. Today I saw an innocent little boy suffer making the CodeCracker interface just because what was appearing to be perfect on Firefox... was getting messed up in IE. Of course I was suffering with him... but I was quite used to this. But am I? Incidentally it was not always IE that screws up... because of a div which was there in Firefox 3 .. was missing in Firefox 2.

I mean what is this. Some freaking company comes up with a new browser of its own.. and now we Web Developers have to tune in to the innie minnie idiosyncrasies of that new browser too. Wasn't Web Designing all about productivity on web? Why do we have to be slaves to these browserish nightmares?

I think someone (some individual/ organisation/group) needs to stand up for this. We need to have some well defined rules, something that all browsers have to comply to, for them to legally call themselves browsers. And Web Developers should not care about illegal browsers, when illegal queries are what they should be taking care of. There should be some norms for all browsers that will take care of this cross-browser hell, so that we as Developers get more time and energy to whet our creativity...

The Internet is a great place... Why do these clients have to to spoil the experience ?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Training and Placement Representative

Today we have an exciting personality with us. We all may know his as the DJ Shrink or as the One Day GS of NIT Durgapur, but today we ask him all about how it is to be a TPR for CSE. Ladies and gentlemen please welcome our guest tonight, Shreyank Gupta...


Me: So tell us how was it that you became a TPR?

Shreyank: That is a huge mystery even to myself. One moment I was asked by Anish to maintain the database of the CSE students, the next thing I know, I am working as a TPR.

Me: How do you feel being in such an important position?

Shreyank: At first I loved the job, but with time I found how incompetent I am as a TPR.
1. I don't have nor do I care to find out the information about the companies that are coming, nor the other details like their criteria, cut-offs and packages.
2. I even if I found out, thanks to my super-awesome memory, I forget it the next minute.
3. I am very irresponsible, careless and and lazy, thus giving me all the three characteristics you would never love to find in a TPR.

Me: Ok, that was one helluva insight. [laughter].
So do you think the students are happy with you as a TPR?

Shreyank: Oh yeah, they are. At least they behave as if they are. I mean, you have absolutely no idea about the things people ask you. "Heard company XYZ is coming" (strange, I just heard its name for the first time). " Hey, you know the package of ABC? " (strange, I swear I knew it just moments ago) "Oi, what is the cut-off for PQR?" (They haven't announced yet, but why do you ask? You are in even if its 8 and above).
Some people have this silly habit of asking the same questions again and again, twice a day, even if they know they are never getting a proper answer. I always get rid of them with vague answers, vague enough to be true, but I don't get why they never call my bluff.
Oh ya, I just am a part of a department consisting of the strangest bunch of people. They fight over things like a lost sheet that was supposed to be taken from the HOD's Office, why some people who were supposedly eligible for a PSU, now don't want to sit for it, when even they won't sit for it now, and who takes dummies along with them to written examinations. And when I am having fun reading their rants (in a forum thread) some guys get all sentimental about it. I guess they love their department a bit too much.

Me: And what about the companies that are coming?

Shreyank: And that is a different story altogether. We remember starting off in the middle of 6th Sem, making list of companies that may visit the college. Now the condition is so bad, companies that have been coming for the last few years decide not to visit NIT Durgapur any more. What seems to be the biggest problem is our Head, Training, Placement and Students Welfare (TPSW). Frankly I don't know how he managed to rope in the companies that ARE visiting, because if I had been an HR "in Dialogue" with him, his excellent communication skills will force me to decide at that instance that this is a wrong NIT to visit for campus recruitments.
Inspite of that we did have a few good companies visiting our campus this year, but I really don't know what will be the case the next year if the current Head, TPSW decides to stay on.

Me: And what about the other TPR's?

Shreyank: The other TPRs are awesome (no I am not being sarcastic this time). All of them (unlike me) are hard working and sincere. The only problem is lack of organisation. If we could have been a little more organised, we would have had better results. They are the ones I turn to when I am in deep shit, and they almost always are helpful.

Me: What do you intend to do about all the problems on the Training and Placement field?

Shreyank:(Are they really listening to what I am saying or do they just have a pre-determined set of questions the need to get over with! I hate Interviews! )
Well as I have mentioned, we are working hard towards getting more and more companies to visit our campus, inspite of all the troubles and hurdles and companies backing out. As for me I just do what I am told, though I am little careless sometimes, and mess up things.

Me: Well, thank you and all the best!

(That didn't go as bad as I expected!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stream of Thoughts

Just gave Scrubs Season 3 DVD to Nitin to copy it for me into my pen drive, because its getting stuck in my DVD drive. Episode 1 was running good, it stuck somewhere in episode 2. I hope he is not having problems copying or else I will have to look in the LAN again, which will be tough considering the fact that my linuxdcpp client is crashing all the time, and I am having trouble installing the valknut client Debayan and Vignesh are using as its not there in the Mandriva repositories.

Scrubs Season two was good. I finished the entire thing in one night, except that in between I had to work on some bugs that my last work on ooldtp support for ldtpeditor had. Getting rid of the bugs were harder than implementing the feature. Its now fixed in GIT.

I have also applied for developer of LDTP to Hope it gets approved soon.

Speaking of getting approved Prateek Dayal wrote a great blogabout our Muziboo App not getting approved by Orkut.

Just one another Feature to implement in ldtpeditor after which I will move on to either Mono or the Red Hat Internship. Hope those will help me in getting a better job.

As for college placements, I don't think I will be studying for any companies considering the fact that most good companies are either getting canceled or postponed due to some reason or the other.

Tomorrow we will go to S.N. Sarkar our "Professor and Head, Training, Placement and Student Welfare" as he likes to be known to "talk" about the bad placement of CSE, IT and MCA Departments, but I don't think anything good will come out of it.

In any case, I will go back home tomorrow as its been a long and disppointing (in most ways) stay out here. There is a three day weekend with Independance Day tomorrow, so I will be back this Sunday.

I was terribly homesick, sad and depressed Yesternight, mainly because it was my friend's birthday back home, and I had no idea what I was doing here in college, as everyone of my colony friend circle was enjoying. Very childish and immature but that's that. My apologies to everybody with whom I was rude or ignored.

I really hope that the Linux InstallFest we are planning come out good, as most people are having apprehensions, not that its bad as it does help in bringing out the flaws and avoiding them, thus helping into a better InstallFest.

Episode 2 is not getting copied so I guess I will have to look somewhere for it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

ooldtp with scrubs

tanmaya gave me all four seasons of scrubs on four dvds, and because the season 1 dvd wasn't reading, i decided to download the lot from lan.

also it had turned out once again how futile studying was, so i got back to my ldtp work, latest being adding ooldtp support to ldtpeditor.

but then i had 24 episodes! (ofcourse there would be more but i thought i'd aim for completing the season 1 first). episode 1 was interesting, the whole concept and the humour, i saw episode 2 as well. thats all for now!

then i talked to nagappan, he had just once mentioned ooldtp and i had procrastinated saying that i had novell to prepare for... and no, i am not going into crying how futile studying for novell was again. so nagappan mentioned what was to be done and he also suggested some string formatting changes to be done, which i targeted to do that night itself.

but before that episode 3, 4, 5... scrubs was awesome.

at 5 am i sat with the formatting, it was done within minutes, but i didn't sleep that night... slept after having breakfast and attending two early morning classes.

next came episodes 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ...

nagappan pings that he had committed the string formatting changes to the CGIT. so i say to myself, thats enough... lets start with ooldtp now.I checked out the new code at GIT, the changes are not there, he must have made a mistake... so i mailed him, he replies he forgot to push the code back to origin (whatever that meant) so i had half a day until he did that.

episodes 11, 12.... 12 again... so sorry the last episode was episode 22... my mistake.... so now 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.... hey its melodramatic as well!

nagappan replied that its done now so on with the work. this time i started with the gui first and then moved on to the implementation. it was showing some errors and it was early morning.. so i went on to...

19, 20, 21 ...ZZZzzzz....

sat down again with it that evening... it was working but then nagappan said it wasn't sufficient...(window contexts needed to be created only once for each window and not again and again, which was fair enough as it spoiled the whole purpose of using ooldtp) so i did what was necessary.... fixed all errors... the patch was ready and i mailed it...

episode 22... oh i had seen this before.... 23, 24. wow, what a season finale for a comedy. can't wait to start season 2...

filed for another enhancement that will allow ldtpeditor to save user preferences in a local file so that they don't have to be selected again and again(frankly i was quite tired of checking "generate ooldtp script" in the preferences dialog again and again. looking forward to implementing that as well! soon...

p.s. the caps-lock key of my keyboard is not working, and i am too lazy to use the shift keys. (ok, i'm too lazy for the caps-lock too) ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Work of Fiction

I had screwed my Novell Written Test and was sitting sulking in my room when they called....

"Where are you? Your interview starts in 15 mins!"

That meant I had qualified my written... after all there were no negative marks for wrong answers, I had answered a lot on guesses, they must have paid off!

13 mins....

I hadn't taken a bath yet. But that had to wait. I almost emptied my deodorant on me, out came my ironed formals, my tie, my file and in five minutes I was locking my room door.

Oh no, I still hadn't got my updated C.V. printed. I went back in, at least I had in my Pen-drive. Some blessed soul took the responsibility of printing it from the Computer Centre. I had to run....

The C.V. arrived just in time when they called my name. I put them in on top of my old C.V. I entered the interview room adjusting my tie.

The tech guy asked a few formal questions and then jumped straight to hard-core stuff. I passed most of it. Then he asked me tell him move about my work at LDTP. I had never rehearsed it, but the words came out well rehearsed. The tech guy seemed impressed.

The H.R. Ma'am asked me to get comfortable, which I tried but failed miserably. She asked me about this and that and what I wanted to do at Novell and I explained. From her expression I could not understand what she thought of my answers.

I was pleased to see two more gifts, a leather CD bag and an OpenSuse 11 DVD. I hopped back to hall 4, waving and trying to ignore queries of how my interview went.

I came back and had a bath, felt releaved. In my heart I knew I had cracked Novell. But the tension was stomach squeezing. Three times I had to visit the loo. Finally they managed to take me to the mess to get some food.

After the missed call I swallowed what I had in my mouth, washed my hands, and ran to the Insti Building. There was a small circle in front of the notice board. Even if I saw people eyeing me I failed to perceive any meaning out of it.

There were three names, one of it looked like mine.

Shreyank Gup.....

Why is it that people fantasize about things that never happened....

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bullets !

I think its a long time since I blogged last, but the reasons were not lack of materials!

So i decided to jot down a few observations, thoughts and recollections which I hope you will consider a valid blog entry! (The heading does in no way refer to the shiny and streamlined metal objects that kill living beings when shot from a gun).

  • The night I arrived to college was interesting considering the fact that the bus Me (yes, M capital) and Souvik Ray were coming back to college on broke its front-right tyre somewhere midway Kolkata and Durgapur. Even more interesting was the fact that both of us were carrying their luggage and computers(desktops) in that bus.

  • In a span of 10 days I have spent over Rs 1000 and all of it was spent and not lost. All I can account for is that most of the money was spent on Food and yet I have lost a lot in Body Volume.

  • Contact Lenses are sometimes comfortable but most of the times hurt the eye.

  • I am drinking more water here than I was back at home.

  • I inducted two juniors, Roshan Kr Singh and Shailesh (surname unknown) into LDTP and feel happy about it. They seem to be making great progress!

  • On my 2nd week back at college I have finally changed my sleeping patterns. I now go to sleep at about 4 am (instead of 6 a.m.) and wake up at 12:30 pm just in time to catch lunch. I have not however tasted breakfast at Hall 4.

  • Single-seater rooms are boring.

  • I am staying for the 4th year in a row beside the stairs, though that is not what I am complaining about.

  • I went out to buy a bucket but ended up buying everything except a bucket (a soap-case, a pillow and a net-thingy to keep dirty clothes in) none of which I really needed. I still don't have a bucket.

  • I did not understand anything of the movie Mullholland Drive.

  • I was not studying for Novell when I was seemingly eligible for it, but from the time there is a doubt on my eligibility, I have started serious (well somewhat) preparations.

  • Switched to windows only twice for an hour each to play Counter Strike. Rest of the time I have been running Mandriva on my system.

  • A frog sits from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on my doorstep at exactly the same spot every night. I am not worried about the frog but about the snake that may come looking for it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mamma, I'm leaving home...

Although I have made a trip to college after college reopened on 14th (yes, July), it still doesn't count as re-opened for me until I move to college with all my belongings and my computer(yes, even that falls under the category of belongings, but I love to emphasize). That's tomorrow (today... by the time I finish writing this!)

So I thought I should be writing something down, something like a farewell blog.. umm.. farewell note to home, about how much I loved staying here and what I did (mainly the latter).

It won't be chronological, because some of the things I did overlap each other!(oh no, what have I got myself into, this is gonna be long!!)

1. Gym:
This was the first thing I did when I came back from college. O.K. this may send out wrong signals, but at that time I thought the holidays were going to be very boring, and so let's have something to keep fit while killing time. I was regular for the 1st month, got irregular in the 2nd month and then one fine evening I decided to quit. (quite predictable)

2. Broadband:
First two weeks I spent getting connected, and the rest of my holidays I spent infront of it, surfing, working, downloading and what not( ignore the 'what not'). Except for one time when my modem wasn't working and the person I went complaining to was bewildered seeing my Usage Data.

3. LDTP:
Working on LDTP was fun, and so was working under Nagappan. At first it was gibberish, but slowly as I got to know the code, working became easier. So was learning Python, a dream-come-true language. Finally it was a drean come true to see my name in the AUTHORS list of LDTP.

Don't remember what I had in mind when I applied for the internship, but sure it was nothing to do with building an Orkut app. The weeks I worked for the App were sure hectic, and it was all me when I am stressed, not a care about the world or surroundings, just working day and night on the app. Was very satisfying to see it take shape, while learning new web technologies, and then in one moment of grief, it all came down when I read the mail that said that Orkut was expecting something a more user interaction. But then, all that was not to be for nothing, there would be more work to be done.

5. Rakesh Kedia, his Mama and Aarkay International a.k.a Ektaa Enterprises:
This was one helluva earning opportunity, messed up! When Amar approached me with the proposal of making a website for Rakesh Kedis's Jute Export Company, and there was supposed to be lots of money involved, it sounded like a Bank Job. But then his Mama came in, a crooked fat lump, unable to walk. He had a totally different notion of perfection - hideous. Our initial talk to him was unbearable enough, and then work got stuck because he couldn't decide on his Logo for 3 weeks, and finally when he made up his mind, they decided to change their company name. The new logo took another 2 weeks. Finally when they contacted me back, I wanted to quit because we were developing a website and taking a page out of the Logo episode, I rekoned I did not have a year to waste.

6. Movies and TV shows:
Encouraged by the idea of free downloads from 2 a.m to 8 a.m. I started downloading lots of movies. Here is a list of them in no order:

Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
Harold and Kumar go to Guantanamo Bay
Primal Fear
Godfather 2
Godfather 3 - yet to be seen
The Oxford Murderers - yet to be seen
American Beauty
The Other Boleyn Girl
Strange Wilderness
Rambo [2008]
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Reservoir Dogs
The Usual Suspects
Street Kings
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
A Clockwork Orange
The Forbidden kingdom
Cassandra's Dream
In Bruges
10000 BC
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Vantage Point
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
Mystic River
Casablanca - yet to be seen
Goodfellas - yet to be seen
The Eye - yet to be seen
The Cronicles of Narnia - yet to be seen
The Sawshank Redemption (repeat)
The Pianist
Sin City - yet to be seen
American History X
To Kill A Mockingbird - yet to be seen
The Lives of Others (German)
Taxi Driver
My Blueberry Nights
The Superhero Movie
The Onion Movie
Twenty One
12 Angry Men
DrillBit Taylor
Hourton Hears a Who (animation)
Be Kind Rewind
There Will be Blood - yet to be seen
Over Her Dead Body
Kill Bill I
Kill Bill II
Once Upon a Time in the West -
Mad Money
Rush Hour
Rush Hour 2
Rush Hour 3
The Kingdom
The Bank Job
Wargames - The Dead Code
Step up 2 - The Streets
Definitely Maybe
Saving Private Ryan
Fool's Gold - yet to be seen
Mulholland Drive - yet to be seen
Loaded - yet to be seen
Hero Wanted - yet to be seen
Penelope - yet to be seen
Stoploss - yet to be seen
Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street - yet to be seen
Into the Wild - yet to be seen
Never Back Down - yet to be seen
Atonement - yet to be seen
Lost Highway - yet to be seen
Leatherheads - yet to be seen
Indiana Jones - all 3 with their long names !

I also saw the whole of Coupling 1-4 and Simpsons 18 and 19.
Special thanks to Torrentz, IMDB and Anish for their kind co-operation.

7. Outside Home:
12 weeks of holidays and I just went out five times, two movies, twice with college friends and a marraige party. Gone are the days of addabaazi OnTheRocks and movies and malls and resturants and treats. Yet I can't say I didn't have fun in the holidays.

8. Sleep:
First two weeks I was on the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise regime, I went to sleep early and woke up at 6 a.m. to an early Gym. Post-Broadband, I shfted my sleep at after 2 a.m. so as to start the downloads, which soon went up to 4 a.m and the settled at a regular 6 a.m. When I woke up varied from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. with the last two days as exceptions ( 4:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.)

9. LUG Server:
Working on the LUG server was fun and with the high speed internet, I felt as if I was using it from College LAN. I worked on NTP, SSH accounts and then finally on the new LUG Website with Debayan.

10. Blogging:
Blogging was a whole new thing this summer. Writing blogs down, showing it off and then reading comments(no matter how scarce) was one of the highlights this summer.

11. Cricket and Soccer:
Yes... me and sports do not go along very well, but supporting the Kolkata Kight Riders in the IPL 20-20 and supporting Germany in the EURO 2008 had its moments. While KKR went down early (when the most part of the series were the exhaustive league matches, early is an understatement here), Germany gave a little more than hope until that fateful Finals in Vienna.

To sum it up, I had a blast!!!
Catch ya in college!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Best Friend's Uncle's Wedding

I left home at 3:00 pm yesterday, and came back at 6:am today. Its been a long day !

Had been to Nitin's uncle's wedding yesterday. After my experiences I have compiled a list of DOs and DON'Ts people should keep in mind in case they get to organize a Wedding.

Here goes:

1. Never demand too much from your friends and call them at the engagement too which you schedule a day before the Wedding. Else they miss the engagement and then they get so over-burdened with the load of responsibility that they would have to buy new Contact Lenses in case they break their spectacles the night before (more so if they are miopic sporting -5.25L and -6.50R )

2. Never tell your friends to come at a time at which you would never be able to reach yourself. Even if you know your friends are always 2 hours late, don't forget that they would go to buy their contact lenses at the same place where you have the wedding, and they may just as well arrive in time.

3. If they call you and tell you that they are there and where are you all?? - dont ever tell them to come over to the guest house you are staying, because it will be another hour before they leave, so they can all leave together.

4. Even if you make all the above mistakes, don't hand them a Brittle-Handle-with-Care type of object which is so heavy they can barely hold on to it.

5. Don't put them in a taxi's front seat with the driver on their right, a girl he barely knows on his left, the gear handle under him, 3 aunties behind him, and the huge Brittle-Handle-with-Care type of object (which turned out later to be 4 lavishly decorated mirrors) on his lap.

6. Always predict beforehand whether there is going to be a electric-fire to greet the guests accompanied by huge bellowing clouds of smoke, and people running all around with gas cylinders lest they explode. So much that the Bride and Groom and a few other people have to take refuge in the Bathroom-Fittings showroom opposite the Wedding spot, watching fire-fighters fight the fire.

7. Never start the wedding 4 hours late(fire or no fire), in a partially burnt down lobby with 14 A.C.s none of them powered on, and a undamaged-by-fire conference room with all A.C.s in full power.

8. Have just starters and desserts for food. No need for the main course.

9. Have loads of coffee, so that your friends don't turn up pestering you every 15 minutes whether the coffee is coming or not (even though you are on the Groom's side and have no idea what is on menu).

10. Never end the marriage at 2 a.m. so that people who have no idea what's going on have to stay on as there is no way they can go home that late.

11. If your friend wants to go home at 5 a.m. in the morning, don't ask questions, just let him go, he's already had enough.

Gosh I'm tired...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The G.U.I.

After a month's break from LDTP ( reasons include a bad modem,, and fear of PyGtk) ... seems like I finally did it.

For all those who had missed my last post on LDTP here's a Quick Recap (more for me than for the readers) :

  1. A series of bug-reports and their respective fixes by Nagappan which combined with a few other bits of development let to LDTP 1.2.0 (reports of which can be found here, there and here-too [dont forget to spot my name in the report :D]).
  2. I had filed a enhancement for LDTP Editor that would allow it to execute recorded-and-converted scripts even if the name of the window the script is executing on changes during execution (which generally does change).
  3. I had implemented the logic behind this enhancement using RegEx and a user-editable database of Supported Applications.
What remained was to add a GUI to support this feature which required knowledge of PyGtk which I sadly lacked.

So after getting my modem replaced and my Mandriva reinstalled (dunno why it wasn't booting, maybe something to do with the frequent Power-Cuts) I sat down with a fresh copy of LDTP (installed through GIT).
Took me sometime to bring it up-to-date with my last work. This time instead of looking through I browsed through PyGtk - GNOME Live! as recommended by Nagappan a month before.

A day (read 6 working hours) later, I had the GUI running fine.

(I told you it wasn't that scary!!!)

So a few more screenshots for the readers...

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Screenshot !

There it is!!

The Muziboo App!!

I just submitted it for the Orkut team to look through...

Should be out for public consumption in about a week !

Feels satisfied...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


So I make the whole App... everything is working well and good and then suddenly when I decide to check it on Internet Explorer 7, nothing's coming.

Oh no... where did I go wrong??

Luckily, Mozilla Firefox allows for a handy debug tool for JavaScript Programmers called FireBug. Internet Explorer on the other hand sucks cos its so developer unfriendly. After a lot of trouble I found something called DebugBar which was supposed to help me debug... but all it did was showed me errors in a more flamboyant way with no information whatsoever about its cause.
“Object doesn't support this property or method”


By doing a lot of try-catch, I finally zeroed down to the cause of the error.
(What I had been doing was, I had used a XSPF(XML Shareable Playlist Format) JSPF parser written by Chris Anderson (which he had put under GPL V3) which actually converted a XML to JSON which i then used in my App.) The line that caused the error was the very same line in which I did the parsing thing. Now what was i going to do?

Prateek came to the rescue. He suggested using XPath to get data from the XSPF Playlist("After all its nothing bu XML"). Only that I did not know how it was used.

Google refered me to

Just when I started to get the hang of XPath, I decided to check out its examples. w3schools has those innovative Tryit Editor which lets you edit the examples and see the results alongside. Well I had not even touched the examples. They just wouldnt show results that w3schools claimed it would do.

I decided to copy-paste the examples and try it myself... no result. I tried it on IE7 ... there it was XPath at work... But not working in Firefox 3... generally its always the other way round. What was happening... things working on Internet Explorer 7 not Firefox...


Even Firebug turned me down. Just the good ol' Error Console with a huge error the gist of which was :
"Node cannot be used in a document other than the one in which it was created"

A thread in a googlegroup said that that was due to a security fix in Firefox 3 and then gave some links that apperently had the solution to my problem... but sadly I could not make any head or tail out of it.

Prateek insisted that we realease Muziboo App v1.0 with a Flash Widget doing all the parsing and playing... but I was adament... cummon... all this hard work just to see a worthless Flash Widget take away all the glory. I'd rather parse the playlist myself... but that was kinda tough.

And then he told I should write a Parser myself! What am I ? JavaScript Coder Of the Year or Something??(I could parse the playlist to get what I wanted, but to make a parser that would parse any playlist, work on any browser was asking a lot out of me)

And in all the quarreling I had an idea. I had already written enough XPath to parse the playlist for IE7 only the error was on Firefox 3 (only?? Its already so popular, its on the verge of a World Record).

So what I could do was I could check which browser was running, If I was Internet Explorer I parsed it myself otherwise I did it the Chris Anderson way...

P.S. We are going to apply for submission of the App tomorrow night. Only some CSS alignment issues to me taken care of which should be done with by then.