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!