Of all the Things to Forget…

October 19, 2007 at 10:43 pm (My Life, Rants, The Pointless(I dunno how to categorise))

Now, its been a long time since I blogged.. But today something happened, that compelled me to blog. No no, this is not the outrageously unfair serious kind of happening. On the contrary, it was outrageously funny..Something I saw on my way back home in a bus.

I’ve seen passengers miss their bus….

I’ve even seen the bus miss its parts…

The one thing I’ve not seen is the conductor missing his own bus..(man…) Thats a difficult one to pull off…

The bus had started off the stop when suddenly a passenger walked up to the driver and asked him to stop the bus, since the conductor had been left behind….And the poor chap had no clue about this… Was quite a sight… Now, beat that…

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Of Helmets and Lifts

August 18, 2007 at 7:11 pm (My Views, Rants)

(Warning: General rant coming up)

Recently, the Tamil Nadu Govt. made wearing of helmets compulsory for all bikers in Chennai. (Of course, later, the classical dilution of rules happened with the CM announcing that women and children pillion riders are exempt from this, as if they have steel skulls). I usually don’t like the way the DMK Govt. works, but when this rule came about, I felt that for once, they have done something right.

Ironically, they never bothered to implement the rule in reality, with the CM giving statements like “The police should not harass the public over this” etc. and people generally stopped wearing their helmets after the first day. But then came a random someone who petitioned the High Court of Tamil Nadu regarding this, which in turn asked the Govt. to respond. As a result, the general order of affairs, where the public and police had an implicit understanding that helmets were rather pointless, changed and out of the blue, the police have started fining people for not wearing helmets. Yesterday, hundreds got caught (lol).

But what triggered this post is a different thought. Right from my childhood, I’ve been in the practice of asking for lifts from people on the road (mainly bikers, since cars don’t usually stop, maybe due to security concerns). I still continue to do this. This is where my dilemma came in. That’s why this occured to me. From now on, the concept of lifts will become extinct. Since you can’t foresee whether you will actually need/get lifts from (unknown) others, there is no point to carrying helmets wherever you go, and its going to become rather impossible now to take lifts now. What a pity…

Moral of the Story-cum- purpose of the post: Bikers should always carry a spare helmet just in case someone asks them for a lift. Its that simple ūüėČ

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Power of The Pen

August 18, 2007 at 6:55 pm (Uncategorized)

For the past week, everytime I sat down to blog, the power went off… No exaggerating, EVERY time. Hell, even fate is scared that I’ll write a post… ūüėČ

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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows : Review

July 25, 2007 at 10:23 am (Books, My Life)

 (Warning : May contain spoilers)

After two days of waiting for the book to reach from there to here, I finally got my Harry Potter 7 copy yesterday. This long series has been one of the most widely-followed series of fantasy books. I was introduced to HP when the fourth book was released, and have followed the series ever since. The final book of the series, has its own pros and cons. First, the good stuff. The  plot line and narration(this has been the one big selling point for the HP series, esp. since a lot of the concepts like wands, wizards have been a part of one tale or another before this one) have been as good as ever. The book gives a different perspective of all the main characters involved, esp. Dumbledore. In fact, one feature of this book is that the characters in the story are no longer depicted to have an aura of greatness surrounding them. The characters are more human now, with their own deficiencies and strengths. This also accounts for the apparent change in style of the book when compared with the previous books of this series.

The best part of the book is the last half. In fact, the first half appeared a bit stretched, giving the feeling that the main story is only in the last 200-250 pages and that the first half could have been contained in about a hundred pages..That, in my point of view, is the only big trouble with this book. There is also the fact that I couldn’t find much logic in why Mr.HP did not die when hit by Voldy at the climax, but then, I’m sure more ardent fans will find out reasons ūüôā But Hey, this is a fantasy book and not a research thesis. But that and the fact that six books before this gave sufficient background sort of made it actually believable, atleast when I was doing the reading.¬†

So, on the whole, HP7 was defy. not a Children’s book, but had a lot of goodies for all kinds of people. Well worth the time and effort, and a great way to end the series. Also to be mentioned is the fact that when I was reading the last part, I felt that this book could make a helluva movie. HP5 movie makers failed to capitalise on some great stunts like bringing the statues alive at the end, hopefully they won’t do that again.

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SHA Implementation Workaround

July 23, 2007 at 10:21 pm (lslsha, My Life, My Work, Tech)

This post has been delayed by about half a week, but then, here it is. Previously, I was talking about the SHA implementation I was working on. So, finally, I have found out a workaround for the Stack Heap Collision that kept occuring in Second Life.

As I said, each script is allowed only about 16KB space. So, I had to split the original script into two linked scripts, so that each could have its own separated 16KB memory etc…

¬†So, Lo, behold etc, we now have a working SHA implementation in Second Life, for the first time in Indian, European, American and all other -ian histories. But this workaround does not come without its own troubles. Which is that, the linking process, sort of makes the function calling event-based at mid-way, and right now it is impossible to make the whole script into a single function which takes in the encryption keys as the parameters, and returns the signature- Right now, the signature can only be whispered to a private channel of the user’s choice, which also seems a good way to do it.

So, right now, the good news is that the SHA is working and working well, and the bad news is that its interface is not-so-great. Hopefully, I will come around to cleaning up the whole code, but that will probably take me some time. ūüôā

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Proto.in

July 22, 2007 at 9:10 am (Tech)

Proto.in is happening over the weekend at Chennai.

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Second Life And SHA

July 17, 2007 at 11:42 am (lslsha, My Work, Tech)

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Last week, I got a call from Balaji. He wanted me to translate some code from Javascript to LSL, the scripting language of Second Life. The code turned out to be a Javascript imeplementation of SHA1 as used in Amazon Web Services. For the uninitiated , and¬†I was just that about one week back(since I knew neither Javascript nor LSL ūüėČ ) SHA1 is a commonly used¬† algorithm used to encrypt digital data over the Internet. The idea is to allow users to access Amazon Web Services accounts from Second Life, and also to enable SHA in Second Life(It appears¬†there are¬†MD5 implementations, but no SHA).

¬†¬†Now, though the original code itself is simple enough, the trouble comes from the LSL part. Though SecondLife is a great idea, its still in the developing stages as I see it, and so is its scripting language. Besides, LSL doesn’t allow arrays (:D). Instead it uses lists and, the list elements cannot be accessed by index either. So, the job was tougher than it seemed at first,but¬†interesting nevertheless.

¬†¬†¬† One other issue with Second Life is that executing scripts directly on SecondLife takes a lot of time. Thankfully, LSLEditor came to my rescue. This off-world editor is a whole lot faster. So, after numerous pitfalls involving lists, Unicode values (and also the fact that Javascript is happy with var x instead of declaring the type specifically, like integer x) I finally got a working version using LSL Editor. Using HTTP Requests, I was able to check balance using my code on LSL Editor. But then comes trouble-phase-2. It appears that Second Life scripts can have a maximum memory of only about 16KB(thats code-size plus heap plus stack space). So, guess what, the same code encounters Stack Heap Collisions on the actual Second Life platform. So, right now, I again busily working on a workaround-trying to find ways to split the script( two scripts-2X16KB). Happy coding ūüėČ

Btw, I’ve uploaded the project file at http://code.google.com/p/lslsha

Take a look and let me know. Ciao.

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From the Infinite Club To IIT

July 16, 2007 at 9:11 pm (Uncategorized)

So, its been a long time. So, lets catch up. I’m officially B.Tech now-yes, and now I belong to an infinite set. But I guess what matters is what I do from here on, since anyone who knows Engg. colleges in India would tell you that you are bound to pass out with a B.Tech unless you¬†are¬†as gutsy as¬†Bill Gates. Anyway, so what next? I’m joining the MS programme in IIT Madras. I guess¬†I really¬†like the MS programme because of the research component. Having a great guide at IIT also helped. I had worked with him during my Summer internship at IIT and really liked the environment.

¬†During the gap between the courses, I’ve mostly been working on this or that, or whiling time, but something interesting has come up in the last few days. In these last few days, I’ve been working on some scripting work for the SecondLife platform, but that deserves a blog post by itself. So, more about that soon….

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Some Pics

January 31, 2007 at 5:44 pm (Uncategorized)

Flickr!

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“It Had Me At The Scrolling” and the Pinch

January 10, 2007 at 10:47 pm (Uncategorized)

Today I watched (at considerable length, may I add) Steve Jobs’ keynote speech at CES.¬†Two things were obvious.

The guy is very good at marketting things.

There was a lot of antagonism towards Microsoft.

 But then, that is not the important part.. which brings us to the iPhone..

¬†Though its a bit costly, I guess it has a lot of good concepts behind it. At first look, it seems a pretty cool thing to own. But then, one must be careful. For example, I am not very convinced that text messaging will be very easy on the device.(and we college students live on SMS,mind you!).¬† Also, there is a question of how durable the screen will be, once you start using your hands for operation. I’m guessing that the answer is:not as durable as it would be if I used a stylus.(but then, not as inconvenient either).

(This brings back pleasant memories.. Two summers ago I broke the stylus of my Sharp PDA, two days after my brother gave it to me. Now ,THAT is trouble.)

¬†On a lighter note: Imagine this..you will be forced to keep your nails trim if you want to use the iPhone with good speed. So Apple is doing its bit in improving world health…Good Job(s)…

 But personally, I am waiting for someone to gift me the thing. I will use the iPod atleast, till I move to a place with WiFi and someplace where Cingular works. You see, it really had me at the scrolling and the pinching..more so at the pinching.  It really must have taken real good hardware to get all that stuff into one palm-sized device.

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