Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Look for Dorrie

Thanks to Hiemanshu, Dorrie now sports a cool new look.

Monday, December 7, 2009

FOSS.IN - Day 5 and TRDP

Hey all,

Apologies for the late blog, but since there is no FOSS.IN - Day 6, I could write this at my leisure.

Rahul said that he was sick and would be coming later. I was late and I had missed the bus and so had Debayan and Kedar, so we took an auto. I went there and started hacking Dorrie. I was surprised to see that Hiemanshu had committed a new template for Dorrie already. With that and Glezos's patch I had a lot of code with me and the changes needed to be committed. Meanwhile Rakesh pinged and asked whether I had any work for him. ;-)

Soon I realised I should be attending some talks as well. There was nothing that looked more interesting than the Gnome Project of the Day. So I went into the auditorium and continued coding in there.

There was Tobias Mueller giving a talk on Gnome bug triaging. Then Dimitris and Sayamindu shared the stage talking about the advantages of localising one's software. Their slide had a great title! They ranted for quite sometime on the existing translation workflow and advised using Transifex.

A lady (whose name I cannot recollect) gave a talk/demo on Anjal that turned out to be a intuitive mail client based on Evolution and had cool features like tabbed browsing. Next Olivier CrĂȘte talked on Telepathy and Empathy. Meanwhile I had managed to commit my changes to the dorrie git and thus I left the auditorium.

Mrinal Kalakrishnan's gave the closing keynote on Open Source Robotics. He talked about ROS also known as the Linux for Robotics (or something like that). He showed some cool videos and code demos to an applauding crowd. Then Atul Chitnis talked for sometime.

And then The Raghu Dixit Project started performing. I had never heard them before. They was just awesome. They sung Kannada and Hindi Folk-Rock fusion. I was at the very front, head-banging to whatever I could head-bang to. Someone had this idea of playing the live twitter-stream of #fossdotin, and it worked out well. Raghu Dixit was exceptional with his crowd interaction. He would stop playing to get back-benchers to come forward and he would scold if people clapped along to an emotional love song. I loved the performance!

Dinner was quiet at the Dosa Place (which had a sign board written in only Kannad [you get a lot of those in Bengaluru] and served Masale and Rave Dose).
We chatted until two. Then we went and slept.

I had truly an amazing time at FOSS.IN

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 4 - FOSS.IN

Friday, December 4nd 2009,
NIMHANS Convention Centre,
Bangalore, India

Today was the best day (so far) in FOSS.IN 2009.

I got up in time, had breakfast and reached the venue in time. Rahul Sundaram said he was a bit feverish. I got onto hacking Dorrie as soon as I could. Hiemanshu was very enthusiastic to contribute to Dorrie UI and I gave him commit access to the Dorrie git.

I then attended Krishnakant Mane's talk on Pylons. He is visually disabled. I liked his enthusiasm towards open source. He demonstrated to us the Pylons framework with the help of his a11y tools. I found Pylons quite similar to 'my precious' Ruby on Rails. That was cool!

I came out and had lunch. Hiemanshu and Jeorg Simon wanted to go to a Shiv Temple at Old Airport road. They asked me and I went along. The temple was awesome with a huge Shiva Idol and an unmelting ice Shiva Linga and all. It was a good place to visit. Me and Hiemanshu gifted Jeorg a Laughing Buddha.

Back at FOSS.IN Dimitris Glezos had already downloaded Dorrie code and was giving me some useful tips. He pointed me out to a paid mockup building tool. Before long he told that he was sending me a patch. He was ranting away to glory about GIT and advised me to use Mercurial.

I then went to the day's keynote by Philip Tellis. The talk called "Shut up and hack!" was awesome. Its inspired awe, it demo'd bits and pieces of code and showed how useless-but-awesome they were. And he got the audiance involved in his l33t shell piped commands.

Then followed an outstanding Rock Performance by the band "Blues before Sunrise". Sheela Sequira did a good job as the lead singer. I liked it! :-)

We then came to the top floor of our Pai Viceroy Hotel for a dinner party. Beer was aplenty. Highlights were Ramkumar Not Knowing Who/What Jane Is/Was And People Taking His Case, Lenny/PulseAudio Rocks/Sucks and Kusal Dash Can't Pronounce His Name Right Says Kishore (# apt-get me -a beer) Bhargava.

Was fun! ;-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 3 - FOSS.IN

Thursday, December 3nd 2009,
NIMHANS Convention Centre,
Bangalore, India

Dear folks,

I went and started hacking Dorrie straight away. I am a bit drowsy today. So I'll open up my twitter stream to check what I was upto.


Ok. So we were all wearing the SaniSoft sponsored KDE Hoodies today. A lot of us, thanks to Pradeepto. He was being quite generous with the swag last evening. It was KDE PoTD today, so it made sense.

I was getting livecd-creator to work for me, when I decided to check the schedule and discovered that I had missed a lot of Lakshman Prasad's talk on Django internals. I went in just in time to satisfy my RoR ego. :-D

Then I spent the next hour switching between Ramkumar's talk on cPython and Lennart's talk on Pulse Audio internals. He was 'crappy'fing quite a lot of libraries and advertising his own libraries as the best ones to use. Guess a lot of people hate him for some obvious reasons. He is a good speaker though.

Lunnh went quick. I spent a lot of time trying to convince Susmit and Gang why I was not wasting time and waiting for my livecd to build. tThey compared it with "My code is compiling". #strange folks

I went into Rahul sundaram's talk on Package Kit post-lunch. It was pretty good. I got to meet Debayan again, he was busy preparing slides for his workout-listed-as-talk. I wrote some code for Dorrie there.

Debayan took the stage next. His talk on Indic OCR was exceptional. His work in the field has been very impressive and so has been his initiative. He had just returned from Chennai with a Round Table on "Technology for the disabled( or something on those lines)". He is an awesome speaker and he left the little audience in the auditorium dumbfound and crying awesomeness. (Am I being a bit over the top here?)


[Meanwhile, I stole a visit to the KDE PoTD. It was like totally stuffed with people. Apparently it wasn't because of the free swag(as much as I'd like to believe). It was the real deal. Of what I was following on Twitter, they were doing some real cool talks and hacks and bug-fixes. Kapital-K Kudos to the KDE folks and Pradeepto the uber-Kool KDE Rockstar!(not to mention the KDE folks jumping around outside the venue for a photo shoot by Gopal and Devdas).]

I spend most of the rest of the time hacking around the Fedora Booth. There were a few eager folks asking for F12 ISO's and repos(??), which I sincerely provided. A cool dude called Mourya popped up and clicked my pic and twitpic'd me. That was awesome!

I did not attend Miloch's talk. I was sitting outside and following the reviews on Twitter as usual. It was too hardware-ish anyway :-P. When Debayan came out we went for a drink at a dingy bar.

Nothing important happened after that except that me and Rangeen managed to convince Debayan to get his Indic-OCR packaged for Fedora.

Heh! :-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 2 - FOSS.IN

Wednesday, December 2nd 2009,
NIMHANS Convention Centre,
Bangalore, India

This time I woke up early enough to catch the bus! :o)

The bus discussion was mostly taken up by Ramkumar's rant of how crappy Pulse Audio was and the idea of rewiting it, and Rahul Sundaram arguing how we sometimes need to shut our eyes and deal with crappy code. A classic argument between Usability and Good Code followed. The discussion continued until we reached the venue and it was time to start the Fedora Project of the Day.

We were assigned Auditorium 3. We started with Jeorg Simon's talk on the Security spin. Though I did not understand most of the technical details, I found that Jeorg was a good speaker. Though he frequently ranted about his English, I found that it was pretty OK and the German guy did a pretty good job.

[The Fedora Project of the Day mainly comprised of talks, and introductions to workouts. As the FOSS.IN workouts were flexible, it made sense for the speakers to use the auditorium to give the attendees a idea about the Workouts which then could be hacked for the next three days.]

Rahul Sundaram followed next with his Workout on "How to integrate a Free and Open Source software into Fedora". He demonstrated a live package build on the stage. The internet was a little slow and so was the Fedora Project wiki due to some maintenance issues, and Rahul kept up his constant rant.

It was followed by lunch. After lunch I got a multi-colored LED stuck to my collar, just like Kushal and a lot others had on their FOSS.IN Cards. We also spent a lot of time talking with the Greek (Dimitris Glezos) and the Germans (Joerg Simon) about Indian Cusine and how it differed from their food.

We wend back into the auditorium where Kedar Sovani was giving his talk on "Fedora ARM". I wasn't very interested in that so I spend most of the time updating my slides and getting nervous about my upcoming workshop.

Kushal Das took the stage next Combining his "Deadly Combo" talk with his b00g workout. I was then busy building a repo for my Dorrie workout. Soon it was Rahul Sundaram on the stage trying to build a Fedora Remix 'Live in Concert'. The talk about the Kickstart and everything was really nice, except that it stuck infinitely at the place where he was actually supposed the build the Live CD.

I went next. It was my first Talk in a Conference of this stature. I was nervous and fumbled a lot of times. But then I gained confidence and I demo'd my stuff live. It did not break (It never does, but knowing Murphy...) *I thought Glezos wasn't paying attention*. People were mainly concerned when was Dorrie going to be deployed, Susmit and Himanshu helped me out here saying it was a Fedora Infrastructure decision and I added that it still needed 3-4 months to gain enough maturity.

Susmit followed next with his Workout introduction to "Redefining the Fedora Distribution Process". I Liked the idea of using GeoIP to point a person looking for Fedora Media of a place closer to his home, instead of him going through the entire list. I suggested we could ask the user his/her location on a World Map, as GeoIP is not always reliable. I don't thing Susmit liked the idea, but anyway.

With this we wrapped up the Fedora Project of the Day with the promise of workouts later today and tomorrow onwards. I spend some time idling away, building a Fedora repo on my External Hard Drive, reading Tweeviews (Tweet reviews) on Herald Welte's talk and eve's dropping on the two BoFs going on around me. Kinda felt pleasant and sleepy. Sayamindu hacking on something beside me looked tired too.

An hour and a lot of shouting/screaming Kushals later we found ourselves having a nice dinner and beer at a place close to our Hotel called "Gufha". We billed 18,000 INR. Damn you Kushal!

[*I thought Glozos wasn't paying attention* to my talk on Dorrie but then he spent some time with me after dinner discussing web frameworks and why he liked Django and liked that I used Django for developing Dorrie.]

Somewhat tired/drunk/sleepy now. I guess no late night BoF in the hotel room today. Rahul Sundaram snoring away as usual.

Ok. Good Night!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

FOSS.IN - Day 1

Tuesday, December 1st 2009,
NIMHANS Convention Centre,
Bangalore, India

As usual I woke up late, not very late, but late enough to miss the cab that took FOSS.IN speakers from Pai Viceroy Hotel to the FOSS.IN venue. I had to take an auto rickshaw to the venue. Not surprisingly the rickshaw dropped me at NIMHANS Hospital and said that "there are wards inside". I paid him 20 bucks and asked/walked my way to the Convention Centre.

There was a line for delegate registration starting to form outside one of the gates. I went straight in. Kishore Bhargava was waiting at the door. I went in. There was a group of early arrivers that formed a huddle just inside the gate. I recognised Ramkumar Ramchandra a.k.a artagnon whom I had met once before in Barcamp Kolkata and had been following on Twitter. It was cool that I knew a lot of folks almost personally, although had never met them before just through Twitter.

I caught up with Kartik Mistry and Pradeepto, whom I had met before. Soon I found myself a part of a BoF on the 1st floor (also in the sense that we were sitting on the ground).

Then we went into the Opening ceremony where Atul Chitnis was speaking. I kinda spend most of his talk trying to mimic the "Talk is Cheap, Show me the Code" style into my spoof poster (meet me if you want to see how it stands). Me and Rahul Sundaram had the idea of making a T-shirt out of it, but that did not happen (yet).

Atul was being quite strong in his opinions which was kinda OK but not necessarily necessary(you know, just for the effect!). Atul was followed by Sayamindu's talk on "Reading, discovering and publishing e-books". It was ok. I was hungry because I had skipped breakfast. So me and Vignesh went out and got egg-puffs.

After I came back the talk was almost over. After that I was kinda roaming about when I found myself in Anant Narayanan's "Making Identity on the web rock" session. I was planning to attend the workout, but did now know it would be staring so early and without informing me (??!!). Anyway the audi was so full that Anant decided to make it into a talk. It was interesting. Siddhesh Poyarekar came in with his libyahoo workout next. But I went upstairs to participate in Anant's workout. We were meant to hack Weave. This is what I chose to work on.

Soon it was time for the day's keynote by Dimitris Glezos. The talk was ... wait for it ... Legendary. I was sitting on the last seat of the auditorium, twitting and following the #fossdotin search trend. Glezos was all over!

After that we had lunch at the venue. When Sheela came and asked whether we wanted to leave or not, I thought it was 11 p.m. or something, turned out it was just 7:30 p.m. We came back to the hotel.

Rahul Sundaram is already asleep. A lot of us are in Pradeepto's room, having a BoF of FOSS.IN Day 1, and me blogging.

Enough. Bye.

Thursday, November 26, 2009



I take pleasure to announce that the First Cut of Dorrie is out.

Dorrie is a Web Interface to build customised Fedora Spins and Remixes.

It now allows users to:

  • Select a name of their Spin.
  • Select a Kickstart File to base it upon.
  • Select Language and Timezone.
  • Select Individual Packages as well as Package Groups.
  • Build and Download the modified Kickstart file.

I will also take this opportunity to announce that I will be conducting a workout on Dorrie at FOSS.IN. The workout wiki is nothing more than the default template as I write this blog, but I will fill it up with essential details as soon as I get the login details from the organisers. Do watch that page if you wish to attend FOSS.IN and do participate in the workout if it looks attractive.

The workout will mainly focus on building and downloading Live CD from kickstart but I would also appreciate Interaction Designers to help me out with the Workflow Design.

A lot of work needs to be done to make Dorrie a success. I hope the FOSS.IN workout acts as a catalyst in its development.

Shreyank Gupta.
Developer - Dorrie

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Rahul (mether) Sundaram proposed this idea of a web-application to make Fedora remixes/spins.

I had decided to implement it using Ruby on Rails (surprising?).

I had already parsed the comps into a MySQL database schema. I then filed a ticket to the Fedora Design Team for a mock-up UI. I am still waiting for a response on this.

The name of the application is yet to be decided.

The next hurdle is to parse/build kickstart files. There are two ways of doing that:

  1. Writing my own kickstart parser in Ruby.
  2. Using the already existing and extensively used pykickstart - a Python library for manipulating kickstart files.
While the fate of the project was already decided at this point, I decided to give it another shot by asking around in the kickstart-list.

Well now its final. The web application would be developed using Django.

Hence I would not only be able to use pykickstart and thus avoid writing a parser from scratch, but I would also be able to integrate the application with FAS.

P.S. - This is the second time a missing or poorly written Ruby parser has let me down. While I am all for the far-more-superior framework of Ruby on Rails when building web-apps, I can't help but admire the advantage Django has when it comes to integration with existing and awesome Python libraries that do cool stuff.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tab Auto-Completion in Python Shell

Strangely enough, I discovered that I do not get bash-like auto-completion in my python interactive shell.

Looking up helped.

Just need to have a file called .pythonrc in your home directory containing the following:

import os
import sys

import readline
except ImportError:
print "Module readline not available."
import rlcompleter
readline.parse_and_bind("tab: complete")

Apparently, that was not enough. I also needed to add the following line to my .bashrc file (in my home directory again).

export PYTHONSTARTUP=~/.pythonrc

That's all. Open a new shell and start the python shell.

And enjoy auto-completion!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dear Juniors,

Its the start of a new academic year and I know you feel very fresh after a long stretch of summer vacations. Hope you enjoyed them to the fullest.

But now that you are back to college, the usual worry crops up:

"Will I get a decent job?"

You tell me "Placements are poor!". I say it was inevitable. With the software companies having more on their plates than they can eat and the recent economic chew-up, this scenario was more than expected. Lets say its sad luck, so now what?

For those in final year, my advise is don't let the last few fun days of your lives go to waste looking for a job. Its not time yet. This can be your most productive year in college. There is another whole year of you life you can learn.

Yes, learn. And don't just learn something because you can learn. Learn because you need to. So how does that work?

Think of something you like. Something new you want to develop. A brilliant idea. Its natural you may not have the requisite knowledge to get it done. List down the ways it can be done. Google up. Ask for help on IRC, drop mails to mailing lists. Communicate. Get people to appreciate your idea and contribute to its enrichment. Use other's experience. Chalk up a plan.

Once you have a plan in place draw up a time-line. Make it flexible. A time-line is very important as it keeps the idea afloat. List down the minimum things you need to learn in order to make something which minimally resembles your idea. Learn.

This way of learning is fun as you have a motivation for learning stuff. Its as if you are building a stair in order to reach up. Always keep the goal in mind when learning. Relate how each and every detail fits in with your goal.

Once you think you can start with building your stuff, start on it. Put the rest of your learning as and when you require it. There'll be obstacles, many of them. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Before asking questions, look up and try gathering information yourself. And ask valid, strong and complete questions. The stronger and more complete a question is, the more easier it will be for the other person to help you out. Never look of spoon-fed solutions. Read up, understand the context. You will feel as if you solved the problem without help. Its a different level of excitement altogether.

As a developer one can never stop learning. There is just too many stuff to learn. Its a whole world out there to explore.

Well then coming back to the problem at hand. Once you have something minimal ready, release it. Do not wait for the correct moment. "Release early, Release broken" as they say. Its natural to have snags and edges. You will get enough feedback to help you sustain your motivation.

Where you go from here onward is entirely upto you.

Join a community you want to be a part of. Communicate with people. Build reputation. Discuss matters. Ideas are just waiting to be born and implemented.

Enjoy the journey, do not worry about where the path leads to. Wherever you reach by the time you finish college, I'm sure you'll have found your place.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This is why we love python!

Well, this is what Kushal said, and I agree completely.

I wanted to sort a dictionary by value. I asked Kushal.
He said, "I don't know. You can sort it by key. Maybe you have to do manually!"

I went ahead and googled...

And this is how we do it:

alist = sorted(alist.iteritems(), key=lambda (k,v): (v,k))

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This is perhaps the most interesting way I have blogged!

I am sitting outside my flat door because I forgot to take the keys to office yesterday. Actually I couldn't find it. So I went without it. Why did I do it?

I returned back to my GusetHouse/Flat at 1 a.m. and knocked incessently. No one answered. I called the caretaker again and again (over the phone, which is switched-off now because its out of charge; and before it got out of charge it got out of balance [I won't say how]). He didn't receive my call. So I went down and asked the guard. He said "Kharak singh does not live here, woh lamba rehta hai (he lives tall??)". Anyway he called another guy from the security cabin, and he tried calling some another guy with my phone. No one was picking up.

So I told him I would go up and try knocking again. And if no one answers, I would go back to my office. I came up and knocked, no answer.

Ten minutes later the guard and the other guy(Kamal I guess, or not maybe) came up and saw me squatting on the floor outside my flat door, with my laptop on my lap trying to connect to the Wireless Broadband Modem inside. They laughed and asked me to come along. They would try and get me a room for the night.

So together we went around the buildings of the Sophronia Society Complex, waking this guy up and that (mostly caretakers of different GuestHouseFlats in the Society, looking for a place where I could spend the night.

Finally when the group has increased to a Five, they got me a room at some S1-302, air-conditioned.

And I slept.

I woke up at 7:30 today hoping someone would be up in my guesthouse by now....


Ah, I hear footsteps! :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Into the Wild

Yesterday while walking my way back from Koregaon Park to Kalyani Nagar, I lost my way. I walked some three kilometres extra. Total of five kilometres. Alone. At the dead of night. After midnight.

Things I saw on the road were strange. My thoughts, however, were different.

The last four years have been so happy. Stuck in a small place called Durgapur, with nothing more important to do than organising some fests, with your friends all around you. Bunking classes. Studying a day before the examination. Visting home once_in_a_while. That was so unrealistic. So not RealWorld.

This was so inevitable that you did not want to realise it before. But now when reality comes and hits you hard on the face, you can all but ignore it.

High time when you realised the importance of hard work. How there is no second chance in this real life. How values you had assumed to be something have totally different values than what you can possibly imagine. Plans you had made for the future were actually fantacies and differ a lot from what is actually in store for you.

Friends you had taken for granted, made for free, that you have left behind. Now now that you start afresh with a clean board you realise the effort that goes into earning the trust of someone.

Now that you have enjoyed your dream, wake up. Brush your teeth, wash your face, wear your specks. And when you look out of your balcony, you'll notice that the world below is much more stranger than you had always wanted it to be.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Puja Vacations of 2007 was the time I had for the first time taken a train journey across the country from Kolkata to Pune with a guy called Souvik Ray for publicity purpose of a failed thing called Mukti '08. Puja Vacations of 2007 was the time when I fell in love with this place called Pune and decided that if I ever got a choice of where I would work, I would choose Pune.

Summer of 2009, here I am at this place called Kalyani Nagar in Pune working at a company called Red Hat.

Its been roughly 75 hours since I landed up at the Pune Airport. Seems like a week already. Not that I have done a lot of things since I landed here. But I certainly can do with some more company (no not another employer).

I am liking the work here. Time passes quickly if I'm working. The clock slows down when I'm idle. Speaking of clocks I can just see the time but actually have no sense of how its running(thanks to the time meridian difference from Kolkata [India should seriously think about having two TimeZones]) and certain other reasons I'm not sure of).

First night at the guest house was a ghastly experience (I would blame it on a properly timed BlackOut and the thought of a DeadBody floating in the bathtub planted in my head). I'm living alone in the 3 BHK(new term, means 3 bedrooms + 1 hall + 1 kitchen) guesthouse-cum-flat.

Kalyani Nagar is a costly place, more so to a working man (ye, I'm a MAN now) like me who has not got his first salary yet. More so when there is a MacD + BigBazaar + CCD + SubWay + KFC + MORE + ShoppersStop and a whole lotta other brands just near my office+GuestHouse. But wandering around the place without a companion is really sad. :( (I sound desperate when I really am)

Third day at office is about to end. I really and sincerely hope I make some friends here and fast. Without that I guess I won't last here long (figure of speech).

Wish me luck! :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Last Hug

I guess its safe enough to assume that I won't get a supplee in my VLSI Design paper and I won't miss my supplee exam to become a college dropout.

Thus it can be logically concluded that today from 9 am to 12 noon I'd be giving the last exam of my life(finally I have learnt the difference between a Test and an Exam).

This means a lot of things:

1. No more studying something just to get good marks in a Exam, although that subject may have no other practical significance in my future life.

2. No more wasting about 3-5 days in the lead up to the exam and getting down to study the evening before. That too interlaced with FunnyStuff ( FunnyStuff has assumed values of Water Fights[this is not a computer game], Counter Strike, Age of Empires, Gtalk, Head Banging Sessions, Blogging, Bong Tutorials etc. through the semesters).

3. No more WarOnConscience before, during and after the Exam.

4. No more "Song you listened to before leaving for the exam hall" stuck in your head when you couldn't recall what you studied last night.

5. No more Souvik Ray trying to teach me a topic so that he could get his concepts revised, while all I heard was a crazy combination of Latin and Greek.

6. No more waiting for the Question Paper to know the Subject Name and Subject Code to write on the Answer Sheet.

And of course no more of a lot other things.

I really want to hug all my Department Mates after the examination tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

GLUG, NIT Durgapur Annual General Meeting

Originally posted on by Kaushik Nundy, Journalist, GLUG NITD.

This write up took a long time coming. My apologies to all concerned. Nevertheless, this AGM took a long time coming too. When it did come though, it had little if any scope for complaint. The Annual General Meeting, 2008-09 of GNU/Linux User's Group, NIT Durgapur took place on Wednesday, the 8th of April, 2009 at the conference hall of the D.M.Sen Memorial building. It was finely attended, and the faculty was represented at the meeting by our very own S.Chowdhury sir, Sajal sir & S.Das sir, all from the I.T. Department. The meeting, scheduled for 6p.m. started in time. We were addressed by our teachers who shared a few kind words with us and assured us that their blessings and advise would always be with us. S.C. Sir told us that we should keep setting higher goals for ourselves, and be ready to overcome newer frontiers. He gave us examples of various people who had done pathbreaking work despite roadblocks and lack of support, including the illustrious work of S.Das sir. He also spoke of how our GLUG had, despite opposition from various quarters and a non-supportive administration, risen from a low to become a respected FOSS awareness hub, reaching new heights that had never been contemplated earlier, to become one of the best known GLUGs in the country. He praised the vision and tenacity of both the student members and the faculty advisors which had made this possible, specifically mentioning Debayan and Mayank among students. Sajal Sir encouraged us to turn our GLUG into an even larger entity, which would change the face of computer usage and the image of GNU/Linux as a geeky OS, at the least in our state, at the most...well, you know. He spoke of 4 things that had changed the recent world, namely Google, Wikipedia, MIT OpenCourseWare and Youtube! videos, and how we could very well be the fifth. He was followed by S.Das sir who spoke of the various opportunities we have and get and how we should go out and use them to our benefit.

This was followed by a presentation by Debayan, the outgoing head of our Software Development Unit. He spoke of the various shortcomings of GLUG in it's earlier avatar, which had caused it to partially collapse and how it had risen from that low, thanks to the undying enthusiasm and support of the concerned teachers and students. He spoke of the plethora of work done by GLUG, NITD in the past two years and of how this work can be carried on by it in the coming years. He spoke of the grand success of Mukti '09 in achieving it's primary goal, not that of pulling in huge crowds but of reaching out to the right places where spreading FOSS awareness mattered. Thanks to Mukti '09, new GLUGs have come up at several places like NIT Agartala, NIT Jamshedpur and KGEC, Kalyani. The working of GLUG, NITD has matured over its 5 year life, and it has grown to become a resource hub of sorts for the entire region, with other close-by GLUGs calling in for technical and logistic support. He spoke of the extremely helpful role of IOTA, Govt. Of West Bengal, in providing us with psychological and financial support when we were facing difficult times, and in its usefulness to the future plans and functioning of GLUG. He also gave us an idea and useful advice on the future tasks and responsibilities of GLUG, with plans like the FOSS helpline and Freedom toaster. We realised how much we had done recently and how much more needed to be done yet if what we did was really to bring about the change we wanted. Thanks to Varsha's efforts and survey, now 75 of 228 girls in our college used one distro or another of GNU/Linux, a positive tendency, to say the least, at the grassroots level. It was clear from his words that to make Free Software a true success, the basics were where we needed to go back to. The 3 mailing lists(well practically two,)received the much deserved attention in their role in popularising GNU/Linux, both in and outside the campus. The list of common interest would be .

Shreyank, or Shrink as he likes to be called, spoke of his 4yr tryst with GLUG, from its early days to its current state. Entwined though his words were in his characteristic PJs, his dedication and love for GNU/Linux and Free Software was hard to miss. It's people like him, with their delicate balance of sanity and dedication, that our GLUG would miss the most.

The Director shared a few kind words with us, about our future course of action and priorities.

Following this, the new GLUG committee was announced and the outgoing committee was issued certificates of appreciation.

The committees are as follows :



The meeting was then concluded at around 8.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

In Your Face

An 'in your face' to all the Windoze Box users! I'll tell you why my GNU/Linux box is better...

We have a huge syllabus, and we get a lot of class notes. I earlier used to photocopy the notes from others, which used up a lot of my allowances. It would have been welcome if I had studied from them. So spending huge sums of money on something I won't be using so much is, well, a Waste!

So came up the concept of scanning/taking pictures of the classnotes into a bunch of JPEG files. Its difficult to study from the JPEGs because the continuity is somewhat lost (assuming I am studying from the notes)

So here is what I need to do. Convert a bunch of JPEGs to a single PDF.

Last sem what I did is I copied the pics one after another to a ODT file on's the GNU/Linux alternative for MS Word), and then I convert it to PDF.

But that was too tedious...

(ODT/DOC to PDF is easier. Just open it using amd use the "Export to PDF" option in file menu. Its fast!)

Today I found an awesome tool called ImageMagick(well not technically today, I have used it earlier when I created graphs on my Ruby on Rails app [The Free Market] ).

I installed ImageMagick (its free) into my Mandriva box by doing a simple

urpmi imagemagick

as root user.

Other distro users can substitute urpmi with apt-get/yum install/zypper install or whatever package manager you use.

Then I used command line to move into the folder where I had the JPEGs ( cd path/to/images ) and here is how I converted my images to pdf. Wait for it.... wait for it... ok, here goes..

convert *.jpg sanyal.pdf

Beat that Windoze users!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I had been leading a life on Auto-Pilot for the past few months. Things were happening as they were supposed to happen. But when I switched off the Auto-Pilot, things got stranger.

  1. Finally after an year of dirt and mess, just when a few days are left, I clean up my room. It feels better!
  2. I try to install a new distro. I tried out Fedora 10, Ubuntu 8.10 and OpenSuSE 11.1. None worked. Finally I install Mandriva again, but just for a change I settle down with KDE 4.1 (ok, that was by mistake)
  3. I have paid my semester fees, but I am yet to pay my Mess Dues (cos I have spent some of it)
  4. I have let go of some of my bad habits. I don't know whether the end result is better or worse!

Time when I noticed:
  1. I am out of all money, and I am in deep debt(read shit).
  2. My college life is coming to an end and in a few days (which won't take long), I will lose contact with most of my friends.
  3. I have a whole New Life, New Places, New People and many more News ahead of me.
In the course of these four years, I have made some great friends. I would like to thank those friends heartily for making my college life worth remembering.

(I deeply apologise for the lack of humour in this post. I guess I have lost it permanently.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Drawing Room Incident

When I was young and in School, we used to have a Art and Craft class taken by Mrs. Das. Mrs. Das had a very close resemblance to Usha Uthup (I like resemblances...).

Mrs. Das was a wonderful Art and Craft teacher, who gave us nice crafts to make.

Once she announced in class, "Boys, you will have to start collecting match-boxes from now on, because you will need them in a craft after the summer vacations. So you have 3 months in hand. Tell your mummy not to throw away the match-boxes..."

"... and I'm supposed to collect them. We are going to make a craft after summer", I told mummy. "I would be needing a saree-box too. And lots of coloured velvet-paper."

After summer I took the things to school. Ma'am Das showed us how to cover the match-boxes with velvet paper and make furniture for the drawing room. She also covered the saree-box with the velvet-paper to make the floor. Her Drawing-Room looked nice and good.

We did not do any thing in the class. We were to do that as a home task and bring it to her next week.

The day before we were supposed to show it in class(I was always the last-minute type), I went with Mummy and bought the things required. Lots of different coloured velvet paper and some adhesive.

Back home mummy was busy with dinner, so I had to do it myself. I wanted to do this all along but some help from mummy would have been appreciated. So I sat down with the things...

... it was 12 midnight, and all I had was a saree-box with lots of damaged velvet because it stuck with the adhesive to my fingers, damaged match-boxes with more damaged velvet and lots of adhesive here and there.

I started crying....

Papa came and told me to go to sleep and start afresh early next morning. Then he would help me. I did not want to sleep unfinished. After trying for sometime I gave in.

I had a silly dream, I don't remember what it was!

Next morning no one woke me up before time. I woke up late, and suddenly realised I had an unfinished craft. I could not go to school with an unfinished craft. I'd bunk. Say I was sick in the absent notice....

... I didn't want to miss school. I started crying again!

Mummy brought out something from the top of the cupboard. It was beautiful!

Mummy-Papa had stayed up all night and made it. It had a black and white chequered floor (they had cut black and white squares out of marble paper). It had a sofa set done in white with black rhombus cushions with cotton inside. It had a black and white centre table with a black and white TV on it.

The best part was that it had a Dendrite man, with a white shawl, sitting on the sofa and watching TV.

I was very happy. Mrs. Das said my craft was the best in class.

My Parents have always loved me. And I love them too! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Well I had intended to write a blog on how good Aarohan was this year how much better it was from its previous incarnations.

Turns out, as always, things never happen according to the plan...

A bit of what happened over the last 4 days.

Thursday, 26th Feb 2009: Aarohan 2k9 begins. I go to see the inauguration. The shadow show was good. I was supposed to come back to room right after the inauguration and not participate in Aarohan. But I ran into Rahul and Nisha. We sat for the Graphiti prilims, Nisha, Rahul and me. Only Nisha had registered for Aarohan.

Friday, 27th Febraury: Rahul and Abhiyan come up and say they want to participate in a event called Brand Promo. I go with them. We register for Aarohan, participate and have fun. Night we qualify for the graphiti finals. We participate. Rahul, Nisha and I. We miss the General Quiz. Abhiyan teams up with a RandomPhD guy and wins the quiz.

Saturday, 28th Febraury: Bitan comes along with a junior and Indradumna, wants to form a team with me for the Sports and Entertainment Quiz. I say yes. The junior wants out as he already has a 1st year team. Then Rahul and Abhiyan happen along and say I ditched them. I think and form a best-fit team out of us. Bitan, Abhiyan, Rahul and me. We clear the prilims and with the Quiz. I am happy. Abhiyan is on a roll.
We go on for the Biz Quiz with the same team. We don't clear the prilims.

Now a note about the quizzes for those that don't know. Exquizzit is this quizzing event in Aarohan(Our Official Annual Tech Fest), comprising of four quizzes. They have prilims and stage rounds for the General Quiz, the Sports and Entertainment quiz, the Biz Quiz. The top 6 teams from these 3 quizzes directly qualify or the Final Frontier Quiz. The General and the Sports and Entertainment Quizzes are hosted by Parnab Mukherjee. His questions are tough. The Biz Quiz and the Final Frontier are hosted by some guy name Arnab, an IIMC passout.

Sunday, 29th Febraury(oh sorry, 1st March): Final day of Aarohan 2009. We were sure to qualify for the Final Frontier Quiz. But we didn't.

The reason: They added up each teams scores for all the three quizzes and on the basis of the cumulative score, let teams up on stage. So a team who stood 5th in the Biz Quiz with a score of 77 and did not qualify for the rest of the quizzes, qualified for the Final Frontier, while my team which stood 1st in the Sports and Entertainment Quiz with a score of 70, did not qualify. It's natural that the winners of the 3 quizzes should qualify. Maybe it's not that obvious for them.

A better method could have been to give teams point on their ranks (1st -> 10, 2nd -> 8, 3rd -> 5) and then add them to see who qualifies. Maybe logic is a bit too tough for these people.

When shown the obvious flaw in their method of qualifying teams for the Final Frontier Quiz, The Convenor, Aarohan 2k9 said, "I will organise MY Fest in MY way, if you want to participate, do, else please go back to your rooms".

The reason that hurt me was: I was responsible for two events, one FREE-P-L in Mukti '09 - a National Level Technical Symphosium on GNU/Linux and Free Software, and another Formula Won in Motor Zundung - The AutoFest, both similar events which I made the software for. In both cases we had to scrap and redo the event from scratch because there was a minor error in the database of the matches.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

With Great Power...

...Comes Great Reponsibility!

And this is what I have realised the hard way in the past few days of my life. (I like learning to walk the Walking-Falling-GettingHurt-Crying-GettingUp-Walking way)

When you have reached such a position where what you say or do affects so many other people, most of whom are dear friends, you gotta be a li'l more reponsible!

It is when people look upto you and you are doing wrong things and setting up a bad example, you are doing so much bad. When people respect you and you wonder what you did to earn that respect, you may come up with all sorts of reasons to satisfy yourself. But the hard truth is that you don't deserve it!

You think why are people not stopping you when you are doing wrong, its because they want to enjoy the show. Only the ones who really care, the very few, will confront you and show you the correct way. You are a fool if you still can't see the correct way, you are a bigger fool if you can't identify your 'friends'.

And you thought you were alone...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How an Alien can contribute to FOSS

It all started after Codecracker last year...

Debayan came up with the idea of a Software Development Unit. We called it the NITDGP LUG SDU. We formed the first mailing list I actively participated in, the SDU mailing list, whose mails started with:

"Calling all sDUDES and misSDUs,"

Then came up the great day when Kushal Das of DGPLUG(this is the Durgapur Linux Users Group), came up from somewhere and showed us the first insight to the FOSS Development world. The event included the famous "a, b = b, a" portion of a python tutorial. Great day...

Soon we were all supposed to be participating in the Google Summer of Code, for which I joined the Mixxx mailing list because the project seemed interesting to me. But I never applied.

The next time did not miss the opportunity. I applied to NOSIP (Novell Open Source Internship Programme) to work on the LDTP project. There were two more options to work on: Evolution and Mono, but I choose LDTP because it sounded uncommon(what a reason!!)

Summer 2008 came and I was working on LDTP. Under the guidance of Naggapan a.k.a nags at #ldtp on freenode (current maintainer of LDTP and working at Vmware in the U.S.), hacking was a great experience. Here are the steps I went through:

  1. I studied the manual of LDTP.

  2. I played around with it. My guinea pigs ware Pidgin (poor bird), Evolution and XChat, the three internet tools I used extensively during the vacations.

  3. Playing around with Pidgin I found that we had some bugs with LDTP recorder which I reported and followed how Nagappan went about fixing them, giving him ideas as we went ahead.

  4. Playing around with Evolution, I found a bug which happened to be a bug on Evolutions side.

  5. With Xchat I got an idea of a crucial enhancement which I implemented with a bit of new GUI, some code and a new file called appdata.

  6. Later when College reopened for 7th sem, I had no other work but to watch 7 Seasons of Scrubs and work on an enhancement which Nagappan suggested, and implement ed it with the help of some more code and a ldtp.conf file.

    I am yet to combine the appdata file from 5 and the ldtp.conf file from 6 above.

    I am also to work on the at-poke feature for the LDTP GUI for which my workout got selected for FOSS.IN but never saw the day of light (sad).

I still don't get why Debayan keeps calling me an alien...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Creative Adaptation

The title is a bad pun!

Long ago (don't remember how long ago) my speakers' adapter fell and broke. It just did.

I have three plug points, one for my moniter. one for the CPU and the third is shared between a lot of things(Creative 2.1 speakers, miniature water heater[I don't drink black coffee any more, so it just lies around], my phone charger, mosquito repellent [its not been refilled for the last four months].. etc.). The adapter was a little unstable so one fine day(well, not so fine day) while I was watching a movie(don't remember which), it just fell by itself and broke into pieces.

Pieces... :(

Then I got Samar's Altec Lansing speakers which did not have a sub-woofer, but its fine.

Many a times Samar warned me to get my thing repaired. But why take the trouble when you have a working system.

Samar gave his GATE exams and his 3rd sense( 3rd????) says it wasn't good. But he took his speakers back.

I had also broken and lost my Rs 60 worth Philips headphones the other day in Mukti. I have another iBall headphones that dosn't work. The mic is broken but that apperently still works.

But the thing was that I was music deprived!

I had to get some sound, somehow. I borrowed an adapter from Mama(that's his nick), but had to give him back to him again and again. I had to do something.

So the day-before-yesterday I went to bench with Mama's adapter. I roamed about Bench asking this shop and that of how/where to get something like this(mama's adapter). I found out none had it but they could get the broken one repaired. The Matrix(its a computer shop) guy was of the same opinion.

His number is 9332305812 :)

Dunno how I forgot to bring the broken one along!!

Finally Dadu
came to rescue. Dadu is this nice and good old person who had made splitters for me twice(a splitter is this thing I use for DJing)

I got a shop which had exactly the same adapter. I brought down the price from Rs 250 to Rs 200 (I never knew I could bargain!).

I came back and gave Mama's adapter along with a polythene bag to Mama. When I checked my new Adapter, I found that it was not working.

But the guy who sold it to me said that I could get it replaced if it does not work. So when I was leaving for bench, I found that the adapter was missing. Not to mention the fact that earlier I had gone half the way without taking the adapter along.

I thought....

I remembered that Mama took the adapter from me today morning, and I gave it to him. So maybe he may not have remembered me giving him his adapter last evening, and maybe it didn't cross my mind as well. I must have given him the not-working-matrix adapter to Mama as well.

Mama wasn't in his room. From what others said I deduced that Mama was eating at jhups. I ran to jhups. I met Mama there. He helped me remember that I had come to his room earlier and ask his adapter when Mama was half asleep. So Mama had only his adapter, not the not-working-matrix adapter.

I came back to my room. My adapter was on the shelf!

I returned the bad adapter and got my money back. Dadu said he could do something to make the adapter workable. (dadu is just awesome, really). It had something to do with a box, lots of wires, and a not-so-compulsory switch. The whole thing would cost me Rs 80. I went to get it the next day. Which is today....

Ahhh, Beatles! :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 3 || Finally Mukti

Maybe I'll have breakfast before going to sleep! Maybe its because of the two double Espresso shots!

Kushagra didn't wake me up! I was half awake, so when he called up I answered on the 1st ring. It was 10:30 am. Linquizator was about to start at 11:30, so I had time. I disconnected and went to sleep. By 11:30 I was there at the Mukti Arena. GATE exams were going on, so Linuquizitor had been postponed to after 12:30. We had time.

I sat about. The chubby-good-looking-first-year-girl turned out to be named Kanupriya. We shared some bad jokes. Then I had lunch at LH More.

Quiz began more or less as scheduled, and inspite of a few TugAtYourHairInFrustration moments, we qualified the prilims. Me and three 2nd year guys named Kushagra, Atri and Anuj.

On stage things were great. We were 2nd at one time. Then we went to joint 2nd, then joint 3rd and then finally finished 4th. Atri had some very good answers. Really, great guy! Debayan in between was SMSing, "F*** the quiz, and lets judge Pen-GUI-In (a GUI designing event, christned by yours truly, even Linquizitor[I like naming things]) entries", but I ignored it and switched my cell off.

I went off to the IT dept after some confusion on where to head next. There I helped a girl named Varsha Agarwal (dark-good-looking-first-year-girl-who-hits-on-all-guys) make some cheque like thingy on Then I went along with Rajat to jhups.

At jhups the other competitors from Linquizitor were eating too. I ordered SweerFrench(toast) but then the eggs finished. So I ordered ChanaFry but then they had enough just for Deepu. So I had to do with Maggi.

Back at hostel I could not find my pseudo-leather jacket. It was in Nitin's room (idiot). So I took my NIT Durgapur embossed sweatshirt, which I din't wear because it wasn't that cold.

I missed IndraDG's talk because of all this. So I went to SAC. They had this confetti gun (name Party Popper[not pooper]), which I hung around with. Then Rahul Jha came along and I started clicking 'nice' pics with his 'good' camera (nice and good are alternate words for awesome I'm trying to use instead).

The Validictory Ceremony started and I clicked a few more pics. It was better without the flash. Then the ceremony finished.

We then had fun!

There is this GPL(bum-kicks) trend we have in college. Every one was being hit, and then thrown up in the air. I clicked pics of people in air (I missed myself). Then people were dancing. I danced a lot. We were having a good time. And lots of cameras were involved as well. I was doing this thing of spoiling every pic as the ghost that was present unsuspecting in all the pics. And there is this ramp-walk video that is awesome (sorry.. Nice!).

I was very hungry! So I asked this girl Varsha to accompany me to LH More. She tried to hit on me on the way there.

But its fine... children!

After dinner we came back to SAC, where everyone cornered me and asked me to crack my bad jokes. But it doesn't work that way, does it? I don't have a database of PJs. Its always according to the situation. So I was lost. So they started to tease me. There it was... my situation! I was in form... I cracked some real poor humour. Anima, Kumarjit and Kunal proved good targets.

More parathas arrived (like really more) and we ate our hearts out. I didn't, I had had dinned.

At midnight Rahul, Nisha, Debayan and me headed to CCD for a nite-out!

We discused and talked and ate and drunk (coffee) and then requested to sit inside (they usually don't allow us inside). Inside Debayan fell asleep. Then we talked more. Debayan woke and gave us some cash and headed back to the hostel. We talked more...

Turned out the bill was the exact amount of cash we had.

Finally after a trip to City Centre and few photos under the Mukti hoarding, we headed back to college. We withstood some 'pressure' to get Nisha into her hostel.

Great that Mukti '09 is finally over now. I can breathe.

And sleep maybe! :D

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day 2 || Mukti '09

I woke up late! Maybe because I blogged till late night! At 11:00 am. No phone calls today, just that 1st year girl shouting on the speakers again!

I did my morning chores. I rushed to the Sun talk going on at DM Sen Hall. It wasn't that good. I missed the part when he demonstrated Sun SPOTS. I then moved to have lunch at jhups.

From jhups I went back to SAC and found that I had no work. I have had no work since long. I was useless. So I found myself work. Things were a little confused w.r.t time and place, the events I mean. So I took the reponsibility so getting the timings correct!

We had a lot of events, talks, prilims etc overlapping. I had to run about a little ( a little? my legs are dead!!) and finally I had all events in place. I got the chubby-good-looking-first-year-girl to announce all of it. She though I looked confused, but I was just catching my breath after all those running (ok, maybe a bit confused).

My phone battery was complaining (it makes funny sounds when low), so finally I came back to my room to charge (me, my cell) in between the In-C-anity prilims. I had put my phone on charge at night, but had forgot to switch it on ( the switch on the switch board).

Wait... ya, its on now!

So half an hour later I was back to collect the answer sheets. I went back happy!

Then I moved to Pradeepto's talk on KDE at DM Sen. I don't know exactly whether it was boring or I was hungry (Pradeepto looked sad when I told him this later, but who wouldn't be). Anyway I decided to visit jhups before I died of mal-nourishment in the auditorium. There was a parallel talk going on by Ananda Deb, our college web admin, on Windows vs Linux at the IT Lab. But just because both talks were after In-C-Anity prilims, both saw decent participation.

Next we had the Ruby on Rails workshop at IT Lab. Anurag Patel, one of the developers of and the guy whose name I forgot yester-blog, took that workshop. Some of his methods of doing things were tedious and primitive, and could be done a bit faster. But I think he did a great job. I was there for sometime, but a little later I found myself outside talking to Pradeepto and Debayan on stuff. Stuff... Then Roshan joined in. A little later the workshop ended.

The whole day Mayank and the rest were busy with a few Canadians (Canadians sound so much like comedians) who were going to do some sort of a laser/light show in SAC tonite. They were also asking for a lot of projectors(suddenly projectors went missing from all over), and so there was some curiosity and anticipation about it. I really wanted to see it. So after a trip to the guest house, Anurag, Pradeepto, Debayan, Mitesh and me went to SAC. We were just in time.

SAC was looking strange. All chairs were facing the back of SAC. And some of the audience were sitting on stage. On the back of SAC, they had 3 projections( from 3 projectors). The one on between were bigger that the ones on the side.

The show was awesome! It wasn't very awesome (now what's that??) but it was good.... Mmm, you know what I mean...

They were using some colourful lights. Then they were shooting ( as in recording using a video camera) what they were projecting on the screen. And they zoomed in and out, reduced and increased the aparture, and rotated the camera to create some intresting effects. There was two bald guys dancing and we had some music. Thats it! But it was good...

Then Debayan, Anurag, Mitesh, Pradeepto and I moved to Samrat and had a nice dinner. After dinner, we had sweet lime soda (Pradeepto had salty) and we had a toast to Debayan.

Then we walked back to the guest house ( we had gone to Samrat in a car, but dunno how it went missing). We took the shortcut through Hall 5. On the way Anurag and Pradeepto signed the GLUG NIT Durgapur banner (we have the signs of all the tals/workshop people, even RMS).

At the guest house we bid each other good bye. I didn't shep any tears! On the way back me and Debayan discussed some future plans. Also Kushagra is waking me up early morning at 10 (10 is early!!) so that I can participate with him and his friends at Linquizitor tomorrow.

Yes, its Tomorrow... and I am not explaining Why again!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day 1 || Mukti '09

We had the inaugural ceremony on 2nd Feb, but we can safely state that today, (6th Feb is still today, until I go to sleep) was my Day 1 or Mukti '09. We had a few talks and workshops and a the Bidding of Free PL in the past few days, but the festivities started just today.

After the Free PL (a game show based on IPL with teams like KDE Knight Riders and Kings XI Pythons) fiasco yesternight and Free Beer with Abhas Abhinav, I was too sleepy today morning. But 5 calls in half-an-hour along with the helpdesk girl's repeated announcements on the loudspeakers follwerd by a first year taking away my monitor and keyboard to the Mukti Arena ensured that I reached just in time, unbathed for Abhas' Talk on FOSS startups.

The talk was good. I asked a stupid question.

I met Pradeepto after the talk and then he, Abhas, Sandeep, Vignesh, Mitesh and me showed each other (each other??) around the college. Oh, Rangeen BRC was with us too. Then a curious looking car appeared out of nowhere (I could make out Yu Yu Din in it) and took Pradeepto away! Then the rest of us went to Jhups to have lunch.

Debayan appeared at Jhups with Satya Komaragiri. She appeared quite good looking for an intelligent girl. I headed to my room after food. Apperently Satya had lunch at Ananya with Debayan and Darsana.

After having a bath I headed towards the Mukti Arena. It was great to see a lot of activity outside SAC. I had no good work for a while so I kept moving randomly. Finally I went to attend Satya's talk on "How to contribute to FOSS". I dunno why I was feeling very sleepy in there ( I am sleepy now, but this need to be done when I have started it, the blog I mean). Avishek Basu Mallick called me in between and I went out of the auditorium. We had some changes to be made in the Free PL database so I had to move to SAC to get a first year guy to come with me to Hall 4 to help me get my CPU to SAC.

(I am the only guy in college who uses my Desktop like a Laptop)

I hung around until I got a guy. Atikant accompanied me back and helped me do the needful. I also withdrew Rs 200 from the ATM on mmy way back. I forgot to take the power cord along on my way back to the arena and we didn't have a spike there so I went to check "A Day with Fedora" workshop in the meanwhile. I also had a hot Latte from the CCD stall (awake!!) and paid Darsana Rs 50 I borrowed from her yesternight.

I made the changes in the Database sitting in one of the stalls. Then Satya came along and we talked for a while. She helped me get the 'Revised Free PL rules into one page so that we could save money in the photocopies. I also showed her my RoR apps. Debayan said I was trying to impress her. Then he took her away.

I was roaming about when I found Vignesh and Abhas talking. Apperently they wee talking about me. So I joined in. Then Debayan and Satya returned and we had a Domino's Pizza.

We then moved to the Guest house. We had everyone there. We had Pradeepto waiting there. Then Indranil (IDG), Yu YU Din, Subhodip and Arindam(MAC) came along. We also had another guy, whom I didn't recognise but later deduced him to be the developer of and here to take a Ruby on Rails workshop. I forgot his name. We had lunch at the Guest House. I repetedly cracked a lot of bad jokes for which Debayan repeatedly apologised to everyone, but I have no regrets about. :P

After dinner everyone moved to the DM SEN audi for Yu Yu's talk on "How to maintain your online profile" which I figure out was good one, but I could not attend because Free PL would be resuming then.

It was mainly Rahul, Anuj, Basu Mallick and me conducting the rest of Free PL. Avishek Ray and Nagpal appeared late (after their team had been knocked out) with a 2 ltr pet of Pepsi which everyone had a gulp from. Incidently no one knew before drinking that it had Whiskey mixed in it. The rest a Free PL went a bit drunk. Avishek mentioned Dev D is Awesome. Gotta see!

Finally at 1:30 am we finished with the event for which I had to make the software from scratch just because I couldn't port what I made last to GNU/Linux. I have got my desktop back in one piece in my room.

Unfortunately Satya and Abhas would be leaving early morning tomorrow (7th morning is tomorrow) before me waking up I would not be able to tell them tata.

But all in all, a happy day!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Right Eye

Its all blurry...

I went to see a doctor today at Benachity. She said I had some viral infection in my right eye, and minor conjunctivitis in both eyes (I think the latter is not true, but I won't mention why I think so)

I had to take an injection and my left arm was stiff for some time. I have been prescribed a whole lotta medicines and eye drops which I am to take till Thursday when I am to visit the Doc again.

I have been advised not to wash my eyes, and complete eye rest. I am not supposed to be sitting in front of my Computer (which makes me useless), but still I am blogging.

I will make a pirate-like eye-patch for my left eye, and maybe I can do some work then. I am not getting an elastic strap to make it.

Hope it inspires a fashion statement...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A lot is going on...

... and I need to clear my mind if I am going to survive in this mess.

Yesterday I came back from Spring Fest at IIT Kharagpur, and it was an awesome experience (hard to find other adjectives these days). I thought of writing an entire blog post on the happenings at SF but that would not do enough justice to it, so I have decided to do no justice to it at all! Would like to mention the 3rd prize our drama team won (again), though I thought it deserved better; and our college winning the SF Chamionships (an In-Your-Face to the professors who did us no good). Not to mention a lot more things which a lot of the readers of this post know already, something to do with three and a half days at SF and three and a half years in college... to be honest I found it funny!

And then I would like to count the damages. One, finacially I am BROKE! Two, my eyes hurt. Add to that my inherrent lethargy, and we have a LOSER!

To top that the college fest season is coming, and that means my workload is at a maximum. My pending work includes:
1. Fast Lane online quiz app for Motor Zungdung, the auto fest.
2. Free-P-L, the IPL based game show for Mukti, of which the software I made needs to be ported to GNU/Linux, or remade (gosh!!)
3. The Free Market need to be made extra-feature rich to make the ongoing game more intresting.
4. Hoardes of other Mukti work...
5. I'll have to start attending classes!

Time is less, and all I'm doing is sleeping, 'eating sandwiches', sleeping, doing stupid stuff like drawing with charcoal on the terrace, and sleeping.

My mind is full of distractions. I'll have to clear it up and do some actual work now...

Saturday, January 10, 2009


When you come to look at it, we have always been divided!

There has always been some discrimination on the basis of race, colour, case, religion, region, language. There has always been division. Be it the Hindus and the Muslims in India, the Whites and the Blacks in the States or the Bangus (Bengalis) and the Non-Bangus here at NIT Durgapur.

There is always this communal clashes. When you look closer there are no differences at all. Just this tension, that has always been there since we noticed and promises to be there till the end.

A person on one side may be as good and logical as the person on the other side. We are just forced to believe otherwise. It is my belief that there is no Good or Bad, there are just preconceived notions, some baseless conventions to force people into illusions. The problem is the submissive nature of the greater population. No one is willing to step up and challenge these stuff.

Because once someone does that it will be clear that it has been meant to be this way. We have been forced into this differences so that we so engrossed in fighting between ourselves, that we overlook some greater forces at play. Because they don't want us to question, we are just meant to blindly follow!

They use their DivideAndConquer policies to seed differences between us, and instil RIOTS!

Once people come to the realisation of peace, they will create some other distraction. Like conjure some words like 'Terrorism' out of thin air and call
Them That Stepped Up To Question, 'Terrorists'. Anything to keep prying eyes away from the real truth...

They have been ruling over us for a long time. They have been controlling every aspect of our lives and we are nothing but means of profit to them. Its not their fault, that is what they do. Its how our society has been set up, Maximizing Profits have always been our ultimate aim!

Its upto Us now. We can either keep fighting among ourselves for illusive reasons or we could unite ourselves, and identify the real enemy. Or they will continue to use us like slaves, and we will always be too busy resolving differences between us to notice.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Free Market is in Business!

The following blog may not make much sense as its after 20 hours of sleepless frustration, but I finally managed to get The Free Market up and running without breaking anything in my room or on my body!

After a month long of coding on Ruby on Rails, an experience which deserves more than one blog entry, and more than a hundred adjectives(lame), its still a lot buggy and feature-less, but its working nonetheless.

The url still shows the port number in the end, but thanks to Kumarjit's novel idea and some ruthless parsing, we managed to authenticate a user with the Mukti '09 Registration Database! So make sure you register with Mukti '09 if you want to participate!

The first 5 days is the Initial Public Offer (IPO) period, so do register by then. You may register after that as well, but then you will not get the feel of a bidder! :P

The application is still in its initial stages so don't plan to assassinate me if you find it behaving absurdly. Just drop me a mail and I'll do the needful!

Happy Trading!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Dance

Remember the very embarrassing thing I used to go home last semester for...

Well here's it:

And a very Happy New Year to Everybody! :)