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 irc.mozilla.org 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 Muziboo.com 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!)