Sunday, December 19, 2004

We the people

Exams are over, the phun has just started to kick in. The Boat Club quiz club had the Infest (internal quizzing fest, what else could it be:)) yesterday. It was a quizzing marathon which went on for something like 7 hours. Pure bliss. Period.

As if it the quizzing was not enough, I watched Swades with my friends. Firstly, I went in with lot of expectations from the movie. The promos said that it was a story about apathy of India's westernised elite towards the country. The subject instantly hooked me on as I had read a book on a similar theme recently 'No Full Stops in India' by Mark Tully. The book is not about a particular subject but it makes quite a few thought provoking points about India's urban and rural faces. I liked the book a lot which is why I was interested in watching what Gowarikar's film.

I liked Swades. The most striking thing about the film is that it is refreshingly different from the crap Bollywood serves us. Another thing which bugs me a lot about Bollywood is the lack of a convincing story, but Swades passes that test without a hitch. Another strong point about the film are those beautiful shots of a brooding SRK sitting in a boat (and also in the train) along with rural folk, SRK going tripleseat on a M80 scooter and a few other scenes. The scenes are brilliant. There are no mandatory scheming villains and the like which is a relief. I found the actress Gayatri Joshi decent but nothing more. SRK is great, its a relief watching him in a good role after those Karan Johar type movies.

The movie pays a lot of attention to detail. It makes the movie more watchable but also makes the movie very slow. It never drags but still the lack of pace is evident throughout. But then, one can't expect a fast/slick movie on this theme. Also, the movie tends to sermonise (?) sometimes. There are too many songs in the film and I didn't like the songs much.

I don't think the movie will be a hit. It is not a regular paisa vasool film which I think disappointed some people. All in all, a good movie worth watching.

Amongst other things

I have now arranged my blogroll alphabetically and also added some new links to old bloggers :-D.

The feed link is on my blog since a month now. For those of you who don't know about rss/atom feeds click here. I highly recommend using a newsfeed aggregator for reading blogs, it makes life much simpler.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

More Wiki

Wikipedia the free encyclopedia has something called as the collaboration of the week. This week the topic is Partition of India. So those of you who don't have exams (aargh) going on can contribute something to Indian History :). Visit the community portal page:

Want to contribute? Help edit Partition of India, Wikipedia's current Collaboration of the week! Please help to improve it to featured article standard.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Evolution of a programmer

Check out this joke. Absolutely hilarious, especially the 'managerial' part.

Evolution of a programmer

Friday, November 26, 2004

Ha Ha Humour

Some anti-micro$oft-pro-linux humour :)

The picture is from a tshirt which you can get here.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Six degrees of Wikipedia

You probably know about the Kekule connects from the quiz blog or you may have come across them in Mad Magazine. This is slightly different, but it is equally fun. It is a tool that finds the shortest path between two Wikipedia* subjects.

I tried to find a path from Mahatma Gandhi to James Hetfield :). This is what I got : Mahatma_Gandhi -> August_9 -> August_3 -> James_Hetfield. They are just 4 degrees apart! Who would have thought that the paragon of peace and a lead singer of a heavy metal band are so close.

I tried another one, this time from Pascal to Ada. Since both are programming languages, one might expect a shorter route. But surprisingly, I got a six degree separation between them! It was :Pascal -> Blaise_Pascal -> August_19 -> 1953 -> Mátyás_Rákosi -> Ada.

A few more of my tries:
Quiz to R.K. Narayan : Quiz -> BBC -> 2001 -> R.K._Narayan
James Gosling to Charles Babbage : James Gosling -> Java programming language -> Programming language -> Charles Babbage
P.L. Deshpande to U.S. Senate election, 1972 : I got a 15 degree connect on this one!

Visit the site

* Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia which anyone can edit.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Church Of Emacs

Who wants to remember that escape-x-alt-control-left shift-b puts you into super-edit-debug-compile mode?
(Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of commands, especially
My feelings are on similar lines.

I spent two days trying to figure out how to use this huge bulk of a software called Emacs, aarrgh! Never before have I experienced such difficulties in getting used to a software. The funny thing is that it is just a text editor. Previously, I used to read the help section of a new software just to get started and from then onwards its very easy. It never took me lot of time to read the help. Emacs was a completely different experience for me. Emacs has a user manual of 620 pages!! Obviously, one need not read most of it to get simple work done, but one has to read the initial newbie
sections. Having said that, I must say that Emacs is one hell of a text editor. I am still not very comfortable with it, but it has been worth the time I spent on it.

My previous interactions with text editors were the ultra simple Notepad, DOS edit and Borland Turbo C editor. Now, Borland's editor is much better than Notepad and edit and I loved it (I still do). Then I came across VIM editor on Linux, the first of the inhumanly difficult editors. I tried learning VIM, but gave up soon. The main reason that I find it hard to use Unix/Linux utilities is that I still cannot read the 'man' pages (Unix manuals) properly :-(. So, I switched over to Kate (another editor in Linux) which is much simpler than VI or Emacs. Kate is a good middle ground between the advanced editors and the simple Windows editors.

So, here I was content with using Kate and Borland editors till the day some seniors showed some OMFG features of Emacs. And just like that, with the practical exams around the corner I started 'trying' to use Emacs.

Note: If you are not a programmer, don't despair, you can use Emacs to surf the net and check your mails (seriously!).

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

My blog is famous!

People from the Netherlands and Portugal have viewed my blog , cool isnt it? Admittedly, the numbers aren't large, but then so what? Look at Ramanand's blog though, he gets around 142 pageviews per day!

Put Nedstat on your blog if you are interested in such cheesy and stupid details.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

l337 speak

Cant understand what the title means? You probably need to read this. Follow the link for an amazing insight into hacker culture.

I have been reading about hacker subculture for quite some time now. This was reflected in the quiz I set recently (There was an overdose of hacker questions :)). Incidently, there was a question in the quiz which went something like this

He is widely regarded as the greatest old school hacker (i.e. a hacker with no malicious or criminal intent but interested in lines of code and analyzing systems) of all time. He firmly believes in anti proprietary software and has written books on it. He has created part of a free operating system which is being widely used in the last decade or so. Incidently, this person has visited Pune in the near past. Who is he?

Now, the answer to the question is Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation (GNU) guy. The funny thing is many people wrote the answer as Ankit Fadia. The last clue (he visited Pune in the recent past) obviously misled those teams into thinking it was Ankit Fadia. But then, I have mentioned that he is regarded as the greatest hacker of all time! Imagine Ankit Fadia being called as the greatest hacker :D. No offense to Fadia, but he still has a long way to go to reach that status.

Visit this link for a nice accout of the Hacker Hall Of Fame.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Irani cinema

I had my first taste of international cinema last week when I went to see a few films at the Asian Film Festival at the NFAI. (Free passes thanks to Siddharth :-) ) Having read a lot about Irani cinema, I really wanted to see one. So, I was pretty happy because I got a chance to see two Irani films 'Color of Paradise' and 'Children of Heaven' and a film from Afghanistan called 'Osama'. I wasn't keen on watching 'Osama' but was forced to do so by Siddharth. Thankfully, the film turned out to be awesome. It made me thank his stars that I live in urban India. The film is about a girl who has to disguise as a boy in order to earn a living, under the Taliban rule. Even though I had some inkling about the appalling living conditions in Afghanistan under Taliban, watching them on film is quite shocking. Suddenly, George Bush's talk about giving freedom to oppressed people made some sense. Recommended for everyone.

The two Irani films were a delight to watch. I had expected the films to be slow and 'arty'. The films were nothing like I expected, they were simple tales told in a very nice manner (somewhat like R.K. Narayan). The films were technically brilliant with some great photography and lighting. The first film 'Color of Paradise' was about a blind boy and his world, while the second film 'Children of Heaven' was about two siblings living in a poor family who have to manage with a single pair of shoes amongst them. The two lead actors i.e. the kids were very good. Both the films were directed by the same director Majid Majidi. Incidently, his film 'Baran' is currently being shown in Inox.

Monday, September 20, 2004


Techstasy is an intercollege event organised by the computer department of VIT. The event is planned and organised by the third year students, so this year the onus was on us. Incidently, the student co-ordinator of the entire event was fellow blogger and friend Salil. The last month was very hectic as a result of this activity. I worked in the commitees for two events: Linux workshop and quiz.

The quiz was a regular affair with the same old crowd which show up at all the college quizes. The quiz went pretty smoothly without any hiccups. The questions were set by Harsh and myself with some inputs from Salil. The Linux workshop and seminar on the other hand faced a few problems. For the Linux thing, we had invited speakers from PLUG. Never having handled college guests, I made quite a few blunders :). My informal attitude with the guests did not go down well with our professor. The PLUG people were pretty cool though and they did this workshop and seminar without charging a single buck! The seminar which was about GNU philosophy and Linux installation was very well received. The workshop which was on programming in Linux, had quite a few newbies who had never sat on a Linux box. They were pretty clueless about the workshop till the end :-(.

The pick among the other events for me was gaming. We had a gaming tournament in AOE, Counter Strike and NFS4. As we had expected, gaming had the maximum rush and maximum fun. The competition for CS was great and we had lot of cursing, abusive language, et all in the labs in front of our profs :-D.

NP - Yuva


I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog since 3-4 months now. It is just that I haven't had the time or the inclination to share my ideas/views with the world. This summer many friends like Salil, Kunal, Aaditya, Anand (not his first venture though) entered the blogging world which made me think of doing so. Besides, I have been reading a few blogs quite regularly like Ramanand, Gaurav and other blogs.

This hopefully starts my blogging career.
For those who care:
I am a computer engineering student studying in VIT, Pune.
My hobbies include quizzing, rock music, computer geek-giri and reading.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

check post

should i start blogging?