Best April Fools’ Day Ever

08:50AM April 1st, 2009

Alarm!!! Ring Ring!!! I had a class at 8:30AM. But thinking that I’ll sleep for few more hours, opted to miss the class.

10:26AM April 1st, 2009

I was in deep sleep (went to bed at 5AM) when my mobile started ringing. I hate it when somebody calls me when I am sleeping. To my surprise it was a call from a faculty member. I took the call and received a congratulatory message. When I asked about the reason, he replied, “You sold videocache for $20000.” I got a thousand volt shock. Immediately all those bollywood flicks (Khosla Ka Ghosla etc.) came to my mind in which X sold property of Y to Z without Y even knowing about it.  I totally lost my mind and couldn’t think of anything. He said a few lines after that and I just couldn’t hear him. I diverted the topic, said two-three sentences and hung up.

Woke up, had some water and switched on my monitor. Saw a message from Ankush Kalkote on Kopete saying, “Congrats yaar. ab to party deni hi padegi.”. In another tab Rishab Mukherjee saying congrats. I started believing it. I tried asking about the source of information but they wanted the god damn party desperately and didn’t really care what I was typing. I immediately openned cachevideos.com to check if somebody had hacked that. It was fine and there were no signs of any intrusions. In the meantime, Rishabh asked me to have a look at Rishi’s status message. It read, “Dollar Chacha (they call me so) has become a MILLIONAIRE. Sold videocache for $20000.” I kept browsing through the list and saw a lot of people changing their status message to the same. A few moments later I realized that its April 1 and everyone is trying to fool everyone else. Frustrated by the whole event, banged my head on the wall and went to sleep.

12:25PM April 1st, 2009

Mahaveer knocked my door asking for lunch. He didn’t know the truth. And fired all W questions (what, why, when, to whom) as soon as I openned the door. I switched on monitor and saw huge queue in Kopete. Everyone going crazy about videocache. People wondering about how can you sell a free software. WTF!!!! I immediately observed a huge potential in this venture. And put up my status as “@all it $21k and not $20k.” In the next five minutes almost 15-20 more people flooded me with queries about the sale.

Few sent congratulatory  mails and few even came up to my room to congratulate. Sudden change in opinion of few people (who didn’t know the truth) around. e.g. “Studies are a total waste of time”, “I should have developed some god damn thing”, “Four years well wasted :(“, “Getting into a job is foolishness” etc…

Taking advantage of the situation, somebody sent a SMTP mail to UG4 which read,

Hello,

As most of you know, Google has bought VideoCache built by me in 20K $. I am really enthralled on this feat. Since, I wish to share my happiness with all of you, I have decided to give you a fantabulous party tonight in the ground just behind the Motorola. Alok n me are busy making arrangements for that. If someone wishes to help us in making the party more than a memorable one, just mail @ mksharma@students.iiit.ac.in
If you wish to visit the VideoCache website, click http://cachevideos.com

As you must have figured it out by now, I didn’t plan any of this. It was planned by few people as a side-effect of attending Indic class. If anyone was hurt, he/she should go and kick Sachin Goyal, Kapil Bajaj, Rishi Gupta, Ankush Kalkote, Ajay Somani.

All in all it was big fun and best april fools’ day I ever had.

 

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,  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 :)

 

To be or not to be Marcus Cocoza

The feeling that B.Tech. is almost over forces me to feel a bit nervous. I spend (I am not sure whether to call it wastage) a lot of time socializing (at coffee shop and in BC with friends) and rest of the time I am sitting in front of my computer screen trying to develop or explore something. My life at IIIT has been influenced by a lot of factors from Dr. Kamal‘s use of a tablet pc and wifi to connect to the projector for a lecture or Dr. Sangal‘s outstanding way of teaching or the limited bandwidth forcing me to think of alternatives or Nirnimesh‘s inclination towards Linux or Ranta‘s entrepreneurial skills or Sandeep Saini‘s dedication towards downloading. You have so many people around you with exceptional skills in their fields. All these have forced me rethink about myself in one or the other way.

Today there was a mail on squid development mailing list with a link to this page. I was pissed off by the C++ code on the page. At one time I was very good at C/C++ but python killed the interest and knowledge over time. I was strongly inclined towards OOP back then. When I saw the above page today, I felt an inclination towards C++ yet another time. Well, thats me. Just think about something and start doing it without thinking what would be the result. I picked up “The C++ Programming Language” by “Bjarne Stroustrup” from the cupboard and started turning pages. While doing that the page after the Introduction caught my attention. There was a long quote. I generally don’t read stuff like this but I felt some urge to read it. It was

… and you, Marcus, have given me many things; now I shall give you this good advice. Be many people. Give up the game of being always Marcus Cocoza. You have worried too much about Marcus Cocoza, so that you have been really his slave and prisoner. You have not done anything without first considering how it would affect Marcus Cocoza’s happiness and prestige. You were always much afraid that Marcus might do a stupid thing, or be bored. What would it really have mattered? All over the world people are doing stupid things… I should like you to be easy, your little heart to be light again. You must from now, be more than one, many people, as many as you can think of…

— Karen Blixen (writing under the pseudonym “Isak Dinesin”),
from “The Dreamers”, from “Seven Gothic Tales”.

It was a wonderful reading. Inspiring enough to force me to blog about it. Looking forward for reading a bit about C++ also and becoming a squid developer from a squid plugin developer :)

 

Help Needed: WordPress Module Development

Goal

I am looking forward to develop a wordpress plugin which needs to interact with database extensively and may need additional database.

What I have done

I have read the following howtos word to word including a few linked pages from the howtos.

Confusion

I am still a bit confused about the database interaction part because none of the above howtos explain the database interaction clearly. In case you know of some resource(s) which explains the interaction clearly and can help me get going with the plugin development, please share it.

Thanks in advance :)

PS : I am comfortable with Drupal module development but finding it a difficult to get started with wordpress module development.

 

My first interview for a job!

After failing few (will be disclosed later) written tests in a row, I got a call for an interview. I was pretty surprised as I never expected it to happen. Initially I was nervous because I don’t know c/c++/data structures/algorithms. All I know is Python, Computer Networks, a few Open Source technologies and how to use them to generate cash. Well, after waiting for four hours, I got a chance to meet the interviewers (two). I was nervous as it was my first interview. They asked me for the resume. Below is the conversation.

  1. Interview #1
  2. Interview #2

Note : Almost everything below is true and few sentences have been added to make it humorous.

  1. A : Interviewer 1
  2. B : Interviewer 2
  3. K : Me.

Interview #1

A : Tell us about yourself.

K : (I never expected this as its the most difficult question of all.) I am a simple guy interested in open source (Throwing random sentences). I believe in on the spot implementing/coding my ideas. Whenever I get a new idea I just code it without spending too much time on thinking about it.

A : What if you face some problem with your idea later?

K : (Suddenly Shiben’s this post popped up in my mind.) I try to fix it and if it doesn’t work in few tries, I just throw the code and recode it (Thanks Shiben for writing that wonderful post).

A : So you don’t do any research before implementing the idea. Do you like research?

K : Not really. A bit. (Lying) I don’t like research. It means a lot of time.

A : So, you participated in Google Summer of Code. What is this?

K : Its a Google funded project in which Google invites applications from several open source organizations and select almost 120+ organizations. Then candidates from all over the world proposes their ideas or picks up projects from organizations’ ideas.

B : You proposed your own idea?

K : Yes.

A : What was it?

K : IntelligentMirror. An intelligent caching system which caches RPM/DEB packages from several mirrors on the basis of package name and not the domain name or protocol. Its a squid plugin.

A : Tell us about this Intranet Chat Service (another project).

K : (Told everything I knew about it).

B : Tell us something about squid.

K : Squid is an open source proxy server used to hide thousands of machines behind a single public IP or to control what users browse in a shared network environment.

A : What is public IP?

K : (Answered)

B : What is difference between public and private IP?

K : (WTF?? I am not a kid. Answered.)

A : How do you hide a thousands of machine behind a single public IP?

K : NATing.

B : (Thinking that I just know fancy terms) What is NATing?

K : (Requesting a paper) Explained every single packet level details of NATing by drawing nice diagrams. (Interviewer tried to confuse at several stages but in vain).

A : (Feeling helpless, whispers to B) Lets ask standard questions 😉

K : (WTF??? Feeling doomed 😛 )

B : What is polymorphism?

K : (Abusing the interviewer at heart) It is some fu**ed up idea using which we can do few things which often confuse me and sometimes confuse the even compiler.

A : (Passing a sheet of paper to me) Write an example of polymorphism?

K : Wrote a function
int function(float a);
int function(char a);

B : Can I change return type of second declaration?

K : (Feeling awesomely confident 😀 ) No.

A : If I change char to double in second function will there be a compiler error?

K : Sorry sir. I am confused.

B : Define a class String and few functions on array of characters?

K : Wrote a class somehow with a few functions.

A : Write the copy constructor?

K : (You are torturing me. Don’t push it too much) Somehow managed to write a fu**ed up copy constructor
String(String & str) {
string = str;
}
(I know its wrong. Don’t point out.)

B : Why did you write this (the C++ this)?

K : To reference the member variable of current instance of the class.

A : You never declared it. How can you use it?

K : Its provided by C++. You know I used char, int also. (Dumb ass!!)

A : Ok. (Looking at my resume) You have interest in blogging.

K : (Feeling a bit relaxed) YES!!! I have three blogs. One technical, one about life and I bought a digikam a few months back and started a photoblog as well.

B : (Laughing) Interesting!!!

A : Why do you have some many blogs?

K : Because I love buying domains. Then I need to put up something on those domains. So, I write blogs :)

B : How many domains do you have?

K : Around 15.

A : Where do you host these??

K : I have my own VPS hosted in US.

B : How much does it cost?

K : $50/month.

A & B : (Looking at me as if I kicked them in balls) WTF!!!! Where do you get all this money???????????

K : [snip] secret 😀

A : Thank you. I think we have asked enough questions.

K : Thank you!

I left the room. After that I returned to OBH (Hostel). I was not hoping that they’ll call me again for another interview. But I did wait for the call till 9:30PM. After that I went to bed. I was about to fell asleep that Kapil Bajaj called and asked me to report in Main Building. I was sure that this will be either a light round in case they are sure to count me in or it’ll be a revenge round in which they’ll ask questions about things I don’t know.

Interview #2

I entered the room and the interviewers were different this time. A bit more nervous then the last time.

  1. C : Interviewer 3
  2. D : Interviewer 4

I grabbed the chair. C picked up a sheet of paper and started writing on it as if he is a BIG BOSS.

C : (Writing an expression on the paper) Remove the extra brackets from the expression.

K : (Understanding that its a revenge. You employ people for software development or removing the brackets from an expression????) Having no clue of the solution to the problem tried writing something on the paper. (An image of “Ajay Somani” teaching removing redundant braces from an expression flashes in my mind. And I was like WOW!!). I gave the solution (I know there are two terms infix and postfix, but don’t have a clue about which one is infix :P) that we’ll start putting things in a stack and will throw away the opening and closing braces which doesn’t have a symbol or character in between them. And will pop them out to get an expression without extra braces. (What a guess?? 😀 and it worked).

D : Can you optimize it?

K : (baah!! I somehow managed to do it. Now what???) Having no clue about optimizing the above, I started throwing some random ideas. Devised one idea and showed to C but he caught it and proved me wrong. Took some more time and devised one more funny idea.
Expression : (((P+Q))*R)
Solution : We have two variable i and j with I pointing to first element and j pointing to last element. We enter a loop and start decreasing j and increasing i. When we see opening braces at expr[i] and expr[j], we throw them. And when there is no braces at either expr[i] or expr[j] or both we continue and jump over symbol and characters. While I explained the idea, it somehow worked for the expression. I badly confused the interviewer with my invention 😛 He was like WTF!!! How can this piece of crap work?? I was about to laugh. I enjoyed the moment. It was one of the best moments of the day. He spent almost 2-3 minutes figuring out my newly invented algorithm and finally managed to prove it wrong.

D : See, this doesn’t work.

K : (Thinking, “Why are you telling me?? I know it doesn’t work 😛 “) I am sorry sir :) (Controlling my laughter).

C : (Writing two numbers on the paper) This number ( character array 4568123) is rotated around some number and the original number is (character array 1234568). How would you get the original number from the rotated one?

K : (Having no clue about the domain of the problem) Thinking of swapping numbers here and there. Tried every possible combination but nothing seemed to work. What happened to my pool of ideas 😛 (An image of “Kapil Bajaj” teaching inorder, preorder, postorder traversal flashes in my mind. Kewl!! I don’t have a clue about trees and whatsoever things related to those creatures). Now the big task is to make a tree out of the character array. (While I was telling these to Sachin Goyal. He suggested that plant the first character and water it until it becomes a tree 😀 ) I drew the array in some random orders on the paper and made a tree of some sort with 4 as root and 568 on the left subtree and 123 on the right subtree. (Now, all those organic structures like methane, ethane started crawling in my mind. I somehow remembered the rotation thingy). I rotated the fu**ing thing around 4 and it worked. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world. What a confidence I had at that time. I described the process to the interviewer as if solving tree problems is the easiest of all the problems.

C : What is order of problem?

K : (No clue about the problem itself. How do I know its order? ) Kept quite for sometime and kept myself busy with the problem itself ( I was so happy that I couldn’t get my eyes off the tree structure).

C : (Asking again) What is order of the problem?

K : (Thought about it for sometime) log(n). As the integers are in sorted order. Interviewer looked a bit convinced.

C : (Traping me) How will you make a tree out of that character array?

K : (OMG!! Not again! Tried to explain the impossible.) We’ll take the first character as root. Now we’ll build left subtree. We’ll go on putting the integers in the left subtree as long as they are in same order. In that way the order will break at 8 and after that we’ll start building right subtree (This somehow seemed to work).

C : (Totally frustrated by my guesses which were eventually working) Is this a BST?

K : (The only thing I know about a BST is that it is Binary Search Tree) Yes. (Confident as if I am the one who invented BST 😛 )

C : (Trying to trap me further) Wrote two string “ABCDE” and “CDEAB” and asked to write a function to detect if they are rotated version of each other or not?

K : (Thinking that these are not integers and my awesome ideas are not going to work here 😀 ) We’ll somehow make a tree of a string, then traverse it (Leaving the traversal type for interviewer. I said only traverse it, because I don’t have any idea about how do we traverse a tree in inorder, preorder or postorder. So didn’t want to invite more problems). And then we’ll compare the result.

C : Ok. Thank you. Lets go.

And that was it. My adventurous innovations about trees stopped there 😀

All in all it was total fun being interviewed. I enjoyed every single moment of both the interviews.

PS : I am not correcting any grammatical, spelling mistakes.

 

Back Links to VideoCache

This post’s aim is to boast a bit about my plugin videocache and generating some more backlinks for the website 😛 Recently videocache was discussed on a lot of Thai tech forums. They helped me a get a lot of traffic and exposure for the plugin.

Tutorials in English and Other languages

  1. Youtube Cache with Squid + Lighttpd on Ubuntu
  2. caching youtube squid 2.6.STABLE14 di easyhotspot (xubuntu 7.10)
  3. Caching Youtube dengan Squid di Debian
  4. Youtube Caching using Squid
  5. VideoCache: Plugin para Squid que cachea videos
  6. Squid, SquidGuard, YouTube Cache i AdZapper
  7. 【原创】终于搞定linux下的squid做youtube的cache
  8. Mambang News : Squid youtube caching

Other Backlinks from forums

  1. squid youtube cache
  2. ITP: videocache — cache audio and video files from websites
  3. Python on PFsense
  4. Setting cara menggabungkan 2 line speedy gimana ya..??
  5. only youtube taken from squid 2
  6. Squid zph and Mikrotik
  7. VC5 with webproxy – Caching youtube?
  8. Squid Wiki Pages

And a lot of other backlinks from other Thai forums but they need you to login to view forum posts, so not posting them.

PS : Everybody is in their true colors these days :)

PPS : Work is going on for a third squid plugin :)

 

Quick updates

    1. Super busy with my VPS adventures. Updated VPS to 512MB RAM and 20GB HDD. Its super fast now at a cost of $50/month 😀 Learnt a heck of technology in past week.
    2. 76 downloads of my software videocache in last two days 😀
    3. Thinking thinking thinking and so on.
    4. Future still uncertain.
    5. Had a real tough time making the resume. Wasted others’ time as well while building it.
    6. Fooling Google is on my hobbies list now 😛
    7. Exams have started yet another time.
    8. Feeling discontent with whatever I know.
    9. Watched Dasvidaniya, Oye Lucky Luck Oye and Sorry Bhai. Watched sorry bhai thrice in three days. Something driving me nuts for the second time in life [snip..].
    10. Rest laterz.
       

      How to make a fool of yourself?

      1. Configure your firefox to cache 1GB of data.
      2. Run squid proxy server on your machine in aggressive caching mode by f**cking up with refresh patterns.
      3. Then actually use the above proxy server to browse.

      Wasted two hours (5AM – 7AM) in debugging a clean and flawless php script on a remote server with pathetic response time because my firefox+squid messed things up and never requested the actually script from server :((

      Still I love caching 😛

       

      Camera Recovered

      My new camera fell down on Nov 5, 2008 from a height of almost 5 feet in switched on condition while clicking random pictures. The shock caused a severe damage to the lens cover. The dented lens cover didn’t allow the lens to come out of the camera. It was a shocking moment for me as I purchased it only a month ago.

      Today, I gathered some courage and took the camera to Sony Service Center near Hyderabad Central knowing the fact the damages caused by dropping are not covered under warranty. The guy at the service center after inspection for few minutes said, “The entire lens has to be replaced”. I was shocked as only the lens cover was damaged and not the lens itself. I asked the approximate cost knowing the fact that it would be damn costly affair. He said gracefully, “Only 4500/- plus service charges and service tax”. I was dumbstruck. WTF!!! I moved out of the service center to breathe some fresh air.

      I decided to check out the price at another Sony Service Center. There is another Sony Service Center near Hotel ITC Kakatiya (thanks to google local for the location :) ) which is at a walking distance from Hyderabad Central. When I inquired the price for lens replacement there, the guy said, “8000/- to 10000/-“. I said, “f**k off”!!!. I would buy a new one for ten grands. Then I told him about the offerings by the other service center. He checked some details on Center’s LAN and found out that it would cost 6000/- including everything.

      Pissed off by the price, we (Mahaveer was with me) started moving back towards central. I was left with no option other than spending a nice amount of 5000/- for the camera repair. But I thought of trying my luck yet another time (Linux has taught me this “don’t give up policy”). This time I approached the shop Third I Digital in Hyderabad Central. I bought the camera from that shop. When I told the guy there about the happenings. After checking the camera, he suggested, “Try to fix it yourself. Take a needle or something with a pointed edge and remove the dent. Lens will open and camera will work fine. Otherwise you’ll have to spend 5000/- anyway. Just give it a shot”. Something sounded good to ears after a long time. Packed my camera and we left for City Center. Had burgers there and returned to IIIT.

      At room, I took a blade (shaving) and fixed the dent. And the camera is working fine now. I am feeling releived now :) A blade worth five thousand.

       

      I announce cachevideos.com ( the official guide for caching videos )

      I still remember when I launched saini.co.in in November last year. That was my first website that I owned and I came to know about things like hosting, domains and related things. This year, I am proudly launching cachevideos.com, which will act as an official website for my (now) popular squid plugin youtube cache. The website is drupal based and all I have done is populated the content, modified some CSS, installed some modules, themes etc. It took almost 1-2 days for building that website. Drupal is a real cool CMS if you want to build sites quickly. Will write a post about how I build that site sometime. A big thanks to Sambhav Jain for customizing the header image for the website using photoshop. And train loadz of thanks to SMR for providing fu**ing awesome hosting service at g33k.in. Will write a review about the hosting sometime soon.

      My addiction for purchasing domain names is growing with time. I currently own 10+ domains just for the heck of it. Wasted (invested?) more than $100 in last one year on purchasing domains. I own the following domains currently.

      1. saini.co.in
      2. fedora.co.in
      3. cachevideos.com
      4. pixomatix.com
      5. fedoraproject.co.in
      6. fedoratube.com
      7. intelligentmirror.org
      8. suse.co.in
      9. cacheyoutube.com
      10. kulbirsaini.com
      11. iiitblogroll.com
      12. iiitbloggers.com

      Hopefully I’ll stop purchasing domains and start working on putting content on them :)