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!