Biggest WTF Till Date

Though I am not blogging a lot these days, it doesn’t mean that I am dead. The reason is simple – I am using twitter these days, so in case you are curious to know what I am upto, follow me on twitter. Now lets get back to the agenda of this post.

I spent last four years at IIIT waiting for this day (really ? :P). Yes. I came to this institute with dreams of becoming an engineer, receiving a degree, getting into an MNC and earning some cash but you never know what is going to happen next. Priorities change. You don’t study at all, you don’t care what grades you get and when Appaji threatens you that he’ll give you an ‘F’ grades in projects (in which you have ‘I’ grades), you feel like Appaji is an angel and he is doing you a favour because you don’t need to walk upto prof’s office and beg for a ‘W’ grade. All you care about is the page rank of your website and if it increases even by one point you’ll have more dollars pouring in. You care about your freedom to work. You don’t study in regular courses and still you want to do research. Getting a degree in convocation doesn’t make sense to you, instead you don’t register for the convocation and enjoy pizza with the money you saved by not registering for the convocation and quitely collect your degree from academic office later. Its not about money, its about the fun you derive in doing things the way you want. Its the fun of having total control on your life. You attempt 175 credits in BTech (without honours) when you need just 160 of them to complete B.Tech. and you fail in 14 of them πŸ˜€ You get placed in two MNCs and don’t join. And then the day comes when your rigorous hard work (what ?? WTF is that?? you forgot all those night outs.. they constitute hard work :P) for four years and thousands of dollars of expenditure is finally rewarded with a paper worth cents (literal worth). You feel like WTF(expression of celebration)!!! A feeling of joy just blows your mind and you feel like celebrating. You call your parents, you tweet about it, you brag about in on facebook, orkut and what not !!!!

In short, I am an engineer now πŸ˜€

Thanks IIIT for everything.

 

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 :)

 

Air Nirvana ( Got the job :P )

After countless written tests and two interviews I finally got the job offer from Airvana ( A mobile broadband company). This was the second written test which I cleared. The interview was very simple and straight forward. You can obviously outperform when somebody asks you something from your areas of interest. Main focus during interview was IntelligentMirror and VideoCache, you can guess the rest πŸ˜€

Before The Interview

**FUNNY PART**

Checklist before going for interview

  1. Company’s website’s page rank
    • Airvana.com (6 years) has a page rank (Google) of 5. Well thats good. Equals to my website Fedora.co.in (less than 1 year).
  2. Company’s website’s Alexa rank
  3. Domain Availability
    • Checked for Airvana keyword and airvana.in and airvana.co.in was available. Mouth watering. Isn’t it πŸ˜€ But somehow convinced myself not to spend another couple of dollars.

**STRANGE PART**

Both Saini(s) of my batch ( Me and Pankaj Saini) are placed together πŸ˜€ WTF!!!

Well, finally I am not a jobless anymore!!!

PS : Congratulations to Pankaj and Yogesh :)

 

The Mobile Blah – 2 ( Job Offer )

THIS IS MY 101ST POST

I wrote about a mobile blah almost two months ago and something similar happened today. Previously they were looking for a PhD but this time scenario was totally different πŸ˜€

Me, Deepak Vig, Dharmeet Hora were having lunch in our favorite mess “Yuktahaar”. Deepak’s phone rang. He started talking to someone and started looking at me. I thought it was Randeep, who has called and asked Deepak not to say anything about me. But he passed on the phone to me. Though I didn’t want to talk, I had to.

But I was totally surprised on listening a lady’s voice. (WTF!!!) Why Deepak would pass on his girl friend’s call to me πŸ˜›

  • Lady : The one who called.
  • K : Me :)

Note : Every single line is true to my knowledge. Confirm with Deepak or Dharmeet if you don’t believe me.

Lady : (Awesomely politely) Hello!

K : Hello. (Surprised!!!!)

Lady : Is this Ravi?

K : (WTF!!! Now who is this Ravi??) Yeah. (Turning to polite mode.) I am Ravi.

Lady : I am calling from SOME consultancy services? (Sorry guyz, couldn’t hear the first word clearly due to some disturbance.)

K : (Having no clue of whats going on.. continuing the talk) Ok.

Lady : Are you looking for a call center job?

K : (Feeling damn happy about it. Finally somebody is offering a “JOB“. Raising the voice with confidence.) YEAH!! I would love to hear about it.

Lady : (Feeling that she finally caught someone πŸ˜€ ) We are conducting an interview tomorrow at 10AM.

K : (Whenever you feel like conducting it πŸ˜› ) Ok.

Lady : Please bring your resume and two passport size photographs.

K : Yeah. Sure.

Lady : We are offering Rs. 10000/- per month for the job.

K : Thats nice. Do you offer benefits other than the compensation? (Few MNCs offer pencils and caps as “Other Benefits” πŸ˜› )

Lady : (Never expected something like this from a guy looking for a call center job πŸ˜› ) Pardon please?

K : (Repeating in a much clearer voice) Do you offer any benefits other than compensation? Like insurance πŸ˜‰

Lady : (Feeling sorry about it) No.

K : Ok. Anyways thats a nice package.

Lady : Do you know our address?

K : Yeah. (As if I visit their office every other day, looking for a job πŸ˜› )

Lady : Ok. Be there at 10 AM with your resume and two passport size photographs.

K : Thank you very much for calling.

Lady : Thank you. Have a nice day.

K : You too.

Well, finally got a job offer πŸ˜› Later, Deepak told that the lady was looking for some ‘Ravi Kiran’.

PS : Forgot to ask her name πŸ˜‰

 

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 :)

 

Almighty linked lists

As the time for placements has finally come, I am trying to train myself for the lame questions that companies usually ask instead of asking things related to the real talent.

I am a bit (a bit????) paranoid about pointers, linked lists and stuff that involves pointers. I couldn’t really keep up with the data structures because I learnt to use this WONDERFUL language called python. I was not a bond in C/C++ but my skill level was good enough to write basic codes. Though I didn’t submit all my programming assignments, I used to write C/C++ codes for fun especially during third and fourth semester when I was awesomely obsessed with Object Oriented Programming and classes in c++. But I never used pointers even in that period. After fourth sem, I completely switched to python quitting c/c++ totally. I have been doing fun things like my Google Summer of Code, IntelligentMirror, Youtube Caching and other private stuff in python since almost one and a half year. Python is a real handy language when you want developΒ  projects quickly.

Anyway, I thought I’ll give c/pointers another shot. I picked up EssentialC, Pointers And Memory and LinkedListBasics from Stanford CS Library. Read first two of them from start to end without missing a single word. Read 5-6 pages from Linked List Basics and then thought of coding a very basic linked list with few operations. But unfortunately couldn’t do so even after fighting for one hour. Fifty percent of the time, i was fixing my code because I wrote the damn thing in python style formatting, forgot to declare variables before using them and blah blah… In the meantime Pankaj pinged for the BC session. When I told him the same thing, he said he implemented linked list few days back using arrays … OMG!! pretty easy. huh!! After we returned from canteen, I gave it one more shot. BINGO!!! I did it this time :) I finally wrote some code in C for linked list which finally worked πŸ˜€

Loving pointers a bit and looking for exploring more.

 

My blog is famous now

Its a stark truth that everyone in this blogosphere lives just for the hits, comments and money if applicable he/she receives. And if you are blogger and you are not able to fetch any of these, then I would say you are not doing your work properly. I have seen people doing all kinds of tricks from poking their friends to visit their blog to registering their blogs on random publishing sites to get some traffic. People die to get traffic and I am not an exception. As recently my linux blog has been receiving a lot of traffic which may be because of the following reasons

  1. From Google (people looking for howtos).
  2. From planet fedora as my blog is listed there.
  3. Because of the improvements in page rank.
  4. Because of my recent plugin development for squid, i.e. youtube_cache and intelligentmirror.
  5. Because people are dying to use linux πŸ˜›
  6. Because of the aging factor.

Anyway I thought I’ll publish some results.

I have been receiving 800 Pageviews daily on an average. Alexa says my blog’s rank in 3 lakh.

1. Google Analytics stats for the last week

Google Analytics stats for fedora.co.in

Click for a clear view.

2. Alexa traffic stats for the last week , also available here in detail.

Alexa Stats for fedora.co.in

3. I recently activated the who is online plugin on Linux blog which shows how many users are currently online. Normally 5-15 users are online but I was surprised when it reached 38 users.

Guests on fedora.co.in

Click for a clear view.

4. This site says that my blog is worth US$4300.

PS : I think a blogger would know more SEO techniquest than a IE student πŸ˜›

 

Exams are here

The first mid sem exams has already started. I have only two mid sems this time. Looking at the blogroll one can easily guess IIITians have finally got something to do. The oldest post on front page is 3 days old. Preparing for exams is a good thing but final year students don’t have enough of them. So where are these guyz???

This time I am bit nervous about mid sems. Feeling like I never took a test and this will be the first time experience :( BTW I have got a major break through in my quest for caching the internet. Will share it soon. It’ll improve the caching efficiency of my GSOC project IntelligentMirror by almost 300%. This caching thing is not permitting me to prepare for exams.

Hail open source!!!

PS : This was a total random post. Wrote is just like that 😐

 

Passed GSoC

I have passed my final evaluations for my Google Summer of Code’08 project IntelligentMirror. It was fun and excitement developing the squid plugin. The best thing was I didn’t have to move to a different place or go office for working. Work at home, do what you always wanted to do (open source stuff), talk with people with similar interests(fedora people), get nice payments and have your first project released in open source domain :) That was GSoC.

Another post coming up with detailed GSoC experience :)

Have fun,

General Bordeaux πŸ˜€

 

Three days with Fluctuating Internet

We had three days with totally fluctuating internet. The fluctuation was almost like a sine wave. Nobody could really figure out what went wrong and where the problem was.

NOTE : This post is not just another ‘masalla’ post. I am writing down the actual experience I had.

DAY 1 : August 26

All this started on August 26th sometime in the early morning hours when browsing speeds and the bandwidth usage touched the lowest levels in the last month. As I keep monitoring the bandwidth usage (bandwidth monitoring and download progress bars appeal me somehow for certain unknown reasons. I keep looking at progress bars when I download something. I just get lostΒ  in kind of dreamworld while looking at them.), I was surprised to see the low usage because everyone was in the campus and usage should touch the peak levels. It returned to normal after a short period of time and browsing was normal. But this pattern kept repeating itself. I went to attend the class. I returned at 11:30AM and rushed to server room to checkout whats going on. By that time server room was swamped by the phone calls from different research centers.

Nobody was actually able to figure out what was going on. All that we knew was that there was heavy broadcast from a segment on the network. We suspected it as the same problem which we faced last week. But isolating the problematic area is heck of a job and nobody was ready to check the network devices at the leaf level because of following reasons (1) It’ll take almost a day to check individual NIC in all the labs, (2) There is no security that problem will be resolved.

We took a tough decision of shutting down the network in entire problematic segment. This worked and network was fine. No fluctuations. But it proved out to be a wrong decision. We didn’t inform the people in the affected network (which unfortunately consisted of major research centers at IIIT i.e. CVIT, CDE, CVEST, LTRC (temp) etc.) and immediately we had to face the phone calls from HODs. One thing that I learnt from this situation is that Internet connectivity is equally important for everyone at IIIT including faculty members. Though we keep blaming students for being addicted to internet. Internet here is not an addiction, its a need. We had to re-up the network. And the rest of the network started fluctuating again. Everybody left for lunch.

As the time passed, the frustration among the users grew and everybody was almost shouting. Everybody wanted to know why its was taking so long to solve this problem. After lunch one of the admins went to the problematic area and started debugging at the individual switch level. But he faced a real tough time as most of the switches at leaf level are unmanageable (you can’t see any error reports unless you plug into individual switch). And we have a lot of switches (by a lot I mean a real lot of switches). And the switches are cascaded in such a dangerous manner that isolating a problem becomes way difficult. By evening that day we could isolate two research labs and three other segments which were generating heavy broadcast. We shut them off and everybody left for the day. There was a kind of blackout in those segments. No internet, no LAN.

During the night, I kept monitoring the network. A lot of people pinged and complained about the DNS resolution problem. Web pages were loading at a high speed but the name resolution was taking a lot of time. I tried looking at the logs and the traffic. Everything was fine except that the nameserver was swamped by the mail servers for name resolution. I tried a few hacks but nothing worked.

DAY 2 : August 27

I didn’t have any class that day. Admin XYZ called me at around 10:30AM and requested to come to server room if possible. I was sleeping and I hardly wake up at that time. But I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Got up quickly and rushed to server room wasting as least time as possible. I was in server room at 11:00AM.

Admins suspected some problem with proxy as the fluctuation persisted even after cutting off the problematic areas. By the time I reached server, admins switched over to the stand by proxy machine. And to get started from Zero, entire network except the main building was shut down. We waited for almost half an hour. Everything worked absolutely fine. No fluctuations at all. So, main building is fine.

At around 11:40AM, network was restored in all the hostels. We waited for another half an hour. No fluctuation yet. But hell lot of phone calls sensitizing the situation. Everybody including seniors members rushing to server room. We suspected some attacks from hostels on the server in labs. But we were wrong. The problem is in the library building. But where?

Till lunch time, no network in areas except main building and hostels. As the time passed, the issue became more and more serious. It became difficult to answer phone calls from senior members as the word “Heavy Broadcast” now became irritating for them. They were listening to this since last two days.Β  But nobody actually knew the exact answer. The origin of the broadcast was still not known.

Admin XYZ rushed to the library switch. Now XYZ was in live contact with admin PQR in server room and restoring the network in research centers one by one. Restore network in one research center, wait for half an hour. If no fluctuation, proceed otherwise revert back. Using this technique (this was the only solution), we restored network in all the centers except two. Connections to these centers also cascade to other areas. Complete outage in the two research centers. Everybody left for the day, leaving the two research centers in dark.

Network stabilized a bit. And fluctuation was not frequent (almost none). I monitored the network up to 2AM. Didn’t sleep because had a class at 8:30AM.

DAY 3 : August 28

I had a class up to 10AM. Rushed directly to server room after the class. We already narrowed down to a smaller region. Now the problem was smaller and there were lesser number of people after us. Admin ABC with a student was sent down to inspect individual switches. Thats the problem with unmanageable switches. You have to go and check each and every switch for any error messages. Anyway we kept narrowing down the problematic area till lunch. I left for lunch and returned to my room as I didn’t sleep during previous night. I don’t know what happened in the afternoon. I missed that :( At 6:30PM, I called admin XYZ and asked about the status. He informed that the problem has been isolated. Only two very small labs were left.

Three days and problem was still there. People were really out of control. Anyway network worked perfectly in other areas except those two labs. The good thing was that these labs were at the leaf level and they were not cascading connections further.

DAY 4 : August 29

I had a lab from 10AM-11AM. But it went up to 11:45AM. By the time, I reached server room, the problem was already resolved. Everyone was connected and no more complaints. Rawat sir updated me with a few decisions which are beyond the scope of this post. The problem was the routing queries from one of the ISPs connected to those labs at leaf level.

It really took almost four days to debug this problem. Debugging a network, especially debugging a network which is randomly cascaded, has more than one entry points, has no perimeter and has a lot of unmanageable switch is a real challenge.

Anyways it was again a learning experience for me. I used to blame people for not able to solve the network problems quickly. I just realized that its very easy to blame.

PS : Longest post on the occasion of bloggers’ day :)