Guys and Gals – We are famous now :)

One of my previous posts threw some light on Bureaucratic System at IIIT. A few hours ago, Zenwalker posted an interesting story on his blog regarding Creation of a mailing list for the purpose of a magazine. These were few things about IQ level :) Now, lets study the ego levels of people at our place. People who are in no way related to IIIT are writing blogs about IIIT. Isn’t that great?? People know us now!! A guy who happens to be a FOSS supporter, was trying to convince administration to organize a FOSS fest at IIIT and this is what he got! (I couldn’t find a way to link to the particular post from the blog, so quoting it here. You can find the original post (its the first one untill author updates his blog) here.)

We approach technical advisor X and assistant professor Y for a F/OSS unconference at a premier International Institute, and they never respond for weeks. Apparently, we knew the Head of the Institute, who whole-heartedly agrees, having been a user group member during his college years, and asks X and Y to take things further.

Now, X and Y are upset, because we approached the Head of the Institute, and permission was granted. Then X and Y show off their ego, presence, and reciprocate by not communicating at all our requests. Weeks go by, and we still don’t get any prompt response. And we decide to finally call it off with them because it was not helping us progress any further.

End result is that the students/faculty of the Institute are at a big loss for not having the event at their venue for no fault of theirs!

While, I have seen such extreme *ego* cases in India in most of my attempts to organize Free Software unconferences, I have never shared it with others. Maybe I should write a book — The Adventures of Shakthimaan: The “Lost” Chronicles :)

People have to agree with me that our professors (apart from a few) never reply to mails irrespective of the importance of the mail. I am glad to know that number of people who ask “What is IIIT?” is decreasing :)

 

Routine Work!

Every night around 3AM before sleeping I think “Current routine/work/lifestyle is taking me nowhere .. its just helping me buy some time before I die .. fuck !! I need to work harder ..” and then I go to bed .. sleep for at least 10-16 hours .. and there I am next morning (ah .. sorry .. afternoon .. around 2PM) .. Spend almost an hour and a half checking mails/twitter/facebook/orkut/my-websites/blogs/reader/money-earned/money-lost(fucking-exchange-rates)/alexa/and-what-the-fuck-not … shit .. its already 3:30PM .. no mess around can serve food at that ungodly hour .. canteen anyone?? and a few rooms throw 404/301/302 (people not found or moved temporarily or permanently and that means room locked .. go learn http status codes) .. and few others (which means the rest) had food already … fuck!! chances are less than 30% that I’ll have enough motivation to go to canteen and have food.. if I succeeded that means another hour wasted just for lunch .. our canteen is such a waste of India’s top talent’s time (well .. i have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from IIIT which is frequently ranked in top 10 colleges of India by some god-forsaken-magazines .. and by all means you can’t convince a middle class family in India that there exists something which is better than computer science as a career.. so me belongs to India’s top talent :P). anyways can’t miss going to coffee shop immediately after lunch at any cost unless there a threat to my life or coffee shop is closed! back from coffee shop .. now what? well here goes the checklist of a typical computer science student … mails/twitter/facebook/… OMG!! did you notice that its already 5:00PM … time for coffee shop!! ping everyone around to notice that none is interested and people replying back with ‘why the fuck you have to go to coffee shop so often???’… but you still manage to convince a few .. and yay!! coffee shop πŸ˜€ after that time passes really quickly till dinner … dinner will be at 4 Seasons/Canteen/Yuktahaar/Dominos with decreasing order of probability… irrespective the dinner place, coffee shop will be visited right after dinner .. and i am so used to this routine (tea after dinner) that while at home once i asked for tea and my mom gave me a ‘what the hell?’ expression :( ..Β  there will be a backlog of updates … checklist .. πŸ˜› .. another hour well wasted.. and then I plan a few things that I should do next … and its around 11PM … so we should visit coffee shop yet another time before it closes … typical procedure … but I somehow manage the last visit … after that a few hours of browsing and then I go the first character of this post …

 

IIIT : A Typical Indian Bureaucratic System and A survey

Disclaimer : This post is a pure work of fiction (? WTF??). Any resemblance to anyone/anything dead/living is not intended and if you still think that its not fiction, then either you have badly screwed up in life or you are gay (this single word will help me get rid of at least 98% people who thinks this post is not fiction :P). And after reading this post if you think English language is gone forever, you are absolutely right, my friend :)

A survey has proved that Avg IQ level of people in IIIT Administration is less than the Avg IQ level of blonds in US (blonds like this one, facebook video). Now your expression may be like this “WTF are you talking about?? where are the survey results?? .. where are the votes??” wait wait… do you really care? this is internet you moron!! you see hundreds of surveys daily showing _some_nice_ass_word_here_ and what not.. do you really go looking for people who conducted those surveys .. no .. right!! so believe whatever has been said and if you don’t believe you are gay .. hahaha .. so you finally believe the above survey :)

Ok. As you all know that I am trying to get admission to MS by Research programme at IIIT. It took just two and a half months for them to get things (all the paper work) done. So I finally collected the admission letter and the lady their asked me, “Collect your original documents from acad office and submit them”. Wait a minute… Is this MS admissions office not related to IIIT? Anyway I dont really argue with people these days. I try to keep quite :) I went to acad office.. as I entered the office, Appaji looked at me as if I am the guy who is source of all this troubles … So here is the procedure that I need to follow ..

I need to collect original certificates and other crap from acads office… get them xeroxed (they already have xerox copies of all these documents .. but they want fresh ones .. how cool ?? πŸ˜€ )… and in the end everything goes back to acad office… this is more or less like reinstalling an application is working out of the box .. but then you know the IQ survey ..

The very thought of going to library building or NBH for xerox made me think that getting admission is not really important as long as you are doing research .. but then I hit this idea of getting docs xeroxed from xerox room in main building .. yeah IIIT has a xerox room near old PG labs… but they dont allow students to use those machines even if you pay for it .. i lied a few things to the guy there and he finally agreed..

Gandhiji ne kaha : “Agar ek jhooth se kisi ka bhala hota ho to wo jhooth bol dena chahiye :) .. ” .. how cool .. thank you bapu πŸ˜€

The very thought of saving the energy to walk from main building to NBH and back thrilled me to the limits…

I again went to the office and produced the docs and copies before the jury … and now they need to BTech degree as well … you see .. its like typical govt office … you gather n-1 documents for work X and present them .. and then they’ll ask you for the nth document which supercedes all the n-1 documents and render them useless.

And to my surprise they need 5 photographs … arrey yaro .. itni to sala matrimonial wala bhi nahin mangta .. jahan puri zindagi ka sawal hota hai ..

PS : If you feel hurt after reading this post, comment mein khoob galiya likho .. and I will delete it without notifying you .. :)

 

Going Home

Well, its that time of year again, when I have to go home. BTW I’ll be at home after skipping four Diwalis in a row. Its not that I don’t love to go home or I don’t love people back there but most of it leads to embarrassing situations in one or the other way. You can’t be a free bird as you are while in IIIT. The worst thing is you can’t use the fu**ing F word and any of its variations. Here are a few common problems I face at home

  • THE BIGGEST PROBLEM : I can’t remember faces :( Whenever I visit some relatives, I can’t recall their names. This happens in some extraordinary manner. I went to my uncle’s (Tau Ji) house and the moment I saw his son, I forgot his name. Total WTF!!! How can you forgot the name of a person who is almost like your real brother. Last time I was at home, it happened at three different locations and drove me crazy.
  • Music : I can’t listen to Ear-Blowing (basically at high volume) music there because of the inherent agreement to social terms and conditions.
  • No Internet : My home is within the boundaries of a national park. At first it sounds super awesome because you get to live really close to nature but then you don’t get high tech facilities there. Weak mobile signals and no internet is such a turn off. Still its not as big a problem as the first one :)
  • Embarrassing Questions/Comments : Every single time you go home, there will be neighbours who don’t have any sense of what you are upto and will ask the same questions or deliver their expert comments. ‘Padhai kaisi chal rahi hai?’/’Kitna kamjor ho gaya hai?’ WTF!! If it was so, I should have disappeared in four years.
  • Off Topic Discussions : In four years, I (or any engg grad) have lost total sense of what typically goes or discussed in a family. Now, all we remember/know is the word “BC”, ‘THE F WORD’ and tech-discussions. The discussions/talks which are treated off-topic here are considered relevant back there. And the worst part is that I don’t have a report spam option :(

Leaving apart the problems, I hope I’ll have a great time at home this Diwali.

PS : Last point is a bit exaggerated πŸ˜›

 

Do Not Disturb

Well, its been months since I posted anything on this blog because somehow I am very busy these days. There are a few things I wanted to clarify.

  • I am _NOT_ a sysadmin. If you have a problem with systems, its your fucking problem and I don’t fucking care about it. Please contact the concerned person.
  • I am _NOT_ your tech support. IM is still fine but please DO NOT CALL for support. I have better things to do in life. Please solve it yourself orΒ  just fucking Google it

I am trying to focus on my work and will appreciate your co-operation.

 

Farewell Speech (Tech Issues)

Below is the soft copy of my farewell speech on tech issues.

Good evening everyone. Carry forward the legacy left by one of our seniors, I am going to narrate a short story.

There was a boy, by name OMI, who came to IIIT without having any background in computers. He used to spend all this time in workspace exploring Linux usually at the cost of missing his lectures and even meals. Inspired by the works done by Nirnimesh, SMR etc., over a period of two years, after struggling, only as he could have done, he climbed onto the post which he always wanted, the sysadmin of IIIT.

Today I would like to speak about a few topics. The first one among them is my experiences as a sysadmin.

Our network is not ready to take the ever increasing load. The old wifi infrastructure has already crossed its End Of Life period. Also, the network is not properly planned which increases the time required to solve the issues. For example, it took several days to fix the network loop problems in different research centers last year.
Though we use open source to cut down our IT budget, we don’t make the best use of it.
The process of getting things done is slow. For example, we have not been able to narrow down on buying a firewall since last six months.
Now coming to the people part of it, the server room staff is generally co-operative but the problem lies with the administration mostly because of the slow decision making.
Within the administration, there is lot of interference by the people who don’t have adequate background in related fields.
Most of the time server room staff do the work they should not like asset management. Why a person who spent all his life in exploring technology should count number of computers in your lab?

Now, I’ll talk about the changes I tried to bring about and problems I faced.
There has always been an invisible gap between students and server room server room administration. It wasn’t very easy to convince people to stop treating the other end as enemy.
It was my top priority to restore the faith of administration in students so that more students can be brought into administration process.
Different research centers manage their own servers which poses a great difficulty for the server room staff to assist them. Everybody having their own network eventually increases the security loopholes as well. We tried to reduce the decentralization. Research centers are not usually ready to give up the rights easily but slowly things are changing and we have already moved few servers back to server room.
Since our network is growing, the policies that have been in place for past few years are becoming obsolete. We are in process of revisiting the different policies.

I’ll conclude by mentioning few key points. We urgently need to renovate the existing infrastructure otherwise there will be chaos. There is a need to invest more funds in IT infrastructure as its the backbone of the institute and it should not be seen as a burden. Gear up the approval process. We should be more transparent with students while forming the new policies.

I would like to thank IIIT for giving the students an opportunity to be involved in system administration and I hope the future batches will take this up as a serious job.

Thank You!

 

Mouse Middle Click Not Working

Its very easy to hop from one website to another with the help of a middle click while continuing with reading the current website especially when you have to follow the references. Browsing wikipedia is very easy when middle click work. But my mouse’s middle click is not working since last two weeks. I tried to open and check for any physical flaws but it didn’t help at all. I have a wireless mouse also which doesn’t work(i think because of power problems). I opened it to check if there the middle click logic is same and if there is some component which can be interchanged. But the middle click logic turned out to be really different.

Microsoft Wired and Wireless Mouse

Microsoft Wired and Wireless Mouse

So, here I am browsing web in a lot of miseries πŸ˜›

Browsing websites was never this miserable (have a close look)

Browsing websites was never this miserable (have a close look)

 

Upgraded to WP 2.7 + Yahoo Chat + SMS

Finally gathered some energy to fight my laziness and upgraded to wordpress 2.7. This one looks neat, has tons of new features. I hope this wont crash and my hard work wont go to Trash.

On the other hand when I logged into my yahoo account today (though I don’t use my yahoo email anymore, I just login to yahoo once a day just for the heck of it), I was surprised by new notification from yahoo asking me to use their new chat and SMS feature. I thought this would be yet another f*** up from yahoo just like the previous messenger in flash version. But I thought I’ll try it for some time pass πŸ˜€ And it turned out to be awesome :) Somehow the widget looks like an IPhone. And nobody really beats Yahoo when it comes to web designing (remember YUI ??). Well, it seems yahoo is finally serious after pretty much f***ing up their business.

Here is shot of the chat thing. And yeah, the chat window has tabs (a feature liked by almost everyone :D)

Yahoo Chat

Yahoo Chat

And to my surprise, the SMS thing also works out of the box. But Yahoo is not obeying the TRAI’s DO NOT DISTURB policy as I was able to send message to my number successfully. A shot for SMS interface below.

Yahoo SMS

Yahoo SMS

Also, a new on tech crunch reported an increase in yahoo’s share in US core search by 0.5% and drop in Google’s share by 0.5% during Jan, 2009 πŸ˜›

Good luck Maruti πŸ˜›

 

Busy with videocache

VideoCache project has come a long way since I started it in June last year as youtube_cache. I have released 18 version in last 8 months of time. Complete log of versions is available in the videocache code repository. Currently it supports audio and video (including HD) caching from 14 websites. It has been an exciting journey with videocache. Adding features/websites to videocache on user requests following a typical agile open source development model is more than just fun. The driving factor for the project has been my interest in web delivery optimization,Β  people writing blogs about videocache, forums discussing videocache, the increasing downloads of videocache and above all Python :)

Below are few stats for the videocache project and the website.

January 2009

VideoCache Downloads
Archive downloads – 507
Binary downloads – 318
Total downloads – 825
Downloads per day – 26

Cachevideos.com Stats (Excluding bots)
Unique Visitors – 5714
Total Visits – 10009
Page Views – 34458
Hits – 284585

December 2008

VideoCache Downloads
Archive downloads – 396
Binary downloads – 346
Total downloads – 742
Downloads per day – 23

Cachevideos.com Stats (Excluding bots)
Unique Visitors – 4413
Total Visits – 7924
Page Views – 25739
Hits – 199120

PS : Will blog more frequently this month :)

 

My Googling Stats

Thanks Tifosi for tagging me for this.

Google Search Stats

Google Search Stats

Observations

  1. Top queries suggests that I care a lot about my name in Google search!
  2. Top queries also suggests that I tend to care a lot about the visibility of the work I do.
  3. Top sites stats are awesome! I visit my own sites more than orkut and any other website.
  4. November has to be my lucky month!!
  5. Sunday is a jackpot and Monday goes in hangover!
  6. It seems I am most productive after returning from Coffee Shop at around 11PM as the mid-night stats outperform every other hour! It suggests that I should visit Coffee Shop more often!

I tag ZenWalker!

PS1 : Cleaned my room after 7 months!!

PS2 : Song of the B.Tech. : “Rumors” by “Lindsay Lohan”.

PS3 : Felicity is not coming. We are going there!!!

PS4 : Posting after 20 days :(