Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Of project groups and decisions

In Pune recently for the weekend, I met up with all those friends from college who happened to be in Pune on that weekend, since everyone had split up to live his own life (Alas! Those college days...). As we were discussing 'those college days', the topic of our final year projects came up. And of course, that of the time when everyone was busy forming project groups. It happened that we had a rather unusual way of forming our project groups. We had what you would call a democratic decision of who will be partners with whom. Here is how it went:

We gathered up 9 people who had no clue what the project or how the groups should be. We then proceeded to procrastinate till the penultimate day on which the project groups were to be submitted. The proper time had now come to resolve issues - the eleventh hour. I think it was D who came up with the radical solution to our particular problem. He suggested we all gather in one place. We write down what our interests were. The 'domains' in which we wanted to do our projects in. We then read out all of the chits on which we had written everything down.

And then we decide, based on our project interests and who we wished to work with, who our tentative project partners should be.

The fact that finally the project groups turned out to be almost exactly the same as we had 'voted' speaks very well for this kind of decision system for this particular application.

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Monday, January 22, 2007


The terminal: the best application ever made.

Rhythmbox: plays mp3 with a sophisticated library.

Firefox: The mainstay of browsing.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007


This weekend I've downloaded and installed the latest Ubuntu, and its fantastic! The last time I had used Ubuntu, it was just another Linux distribution. But there are loads of new features in this one.
  1. The battery monitor works perfectly, and is installed by default. (I have a laptop)
  2. Sounds and display works perfectly. (Wasn't any problem in the earlier version, but still)
  3. Best features of all: suspend and hibernate work perfectly!
Even apart from these features, everything looks just so...smooth.

There was no problem in enabling media players to play avi's, mp3's, encrypted dvd's and whatnot. The documentation on the forums is excellent. Will put up the screenshots later.

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I am back!

After a looong time of inactivity, seeing friends not chatting with me because they are busy in blogging has spurred me to restart my blogging career. Thats all for now. More later when I get to the actual blogging.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

IT needed in Punjab

Just browsing through blogs today, I came upon this post on Kunal's blog, and followed it to Aadisht on "Maajorly shadymax arbit fundaes".

In the post, Aadisht shares email exchanges between a girl, a boy and the Yahoogroup for their class. He makes a strong case for increasing IT presence in Punjab, and following his logic, I can't say that I disagree. Knowledge of Hindi needed for complete enjoyment.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Goblet of Fire

I finally got something to write about today, when I saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But more on that later, a fast flashback seems appropriate at this juncture.

After being postponed twice, our practicals and vivas finally got over on the 13th, and the whole class let out a collective sigh of relief. It had gotten to the point that people would come in the college and the first question would be, “Is it going to be tomorrow?”, and we were no longer sure of what subject we were supposed to give a practical/oral of on that day. I don't know why, but it seemed that this postponement had created some sort of tension in people. I just got hugely irritated. I wanted it to end as early as possible. I hate to study. Especially for the same things again and again.
Personally, life post-exams was pretty much the same, the only difference being that I no longer had to find an excuse to not study – not studying during PL's, especially when they've just begun is very much justified.

A few days later I got slapped with a standing order of not eating outside. A cousin of mine had recently had a bad case of what can be surmised to be dengue, and the cause was purported to be outside food. The evils of extrapolation are painfully evident.

And so we come to today, when my belief that no movie is better than a book – any movie which is based on a book – became even more justified. I will have to say, Harry Potter, the books, and Harry Potter, the movies, should be considered as separate entities. Those who go to see the movie expecting to see a good rendition of the book, may safely hold back. The movie however, if taken out of context of the book, is not bad, I'll say it's quite good. A review of such a movie is quite pointless really, the “plot” is already known, you know how the animation/graphics is going to be, you know the calibre of the actors. And some of the actors in the movie that have been taken are just plain ... ugly. In the context of the book, again. I have never liked Dumbledore, Hermione is not supposed to look beautiful until the ball, Krum is supposed to be lean and lanky and Crouch looks a bit silly at times. Some of the roles, though, are quite commendable. Hagrid, Macgonagall and even Snape fit the description perfectly.

Enough on this, however. I'm now waiting for the last book to be released. I have a long wait ahead of me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


This morning I woke up to the sounds of Diwali - crackers and rockets and phuljhadi's and what not. I was morose at having been woken up at 6:15 AM, having just shut off the alarm at 6:00 and then the snooze at 6:10. And so I began the day cursing Diwali for disturbing my much loved and always-been-there-for-me companion - sleep.

Later in the evening, when the festive mood was just setting in with renewed vigour, I wondered why people made all this fuss about Diwali - all the shopping and 'feeling good' and all the crackers, gifts, new clothes and all that goes with the season of Diwali. I mean yeah, I realized that that was the same thing that I myself did as a young punk, but reflecting on it now, it confounded me why people are so happy in these 4 days, just 4 regular days of the year. There are the earned holidays to consider, of course, but even apart from that, there seems to be a excitement and enthusiasm about Diwali that seemed to me, unexplicable. Do not mistake me, I'm not a pessimist, a 'what-good-will-that-do' person. It just made me think, having being given the faculty to do so and having had nothing better to do.

Then just as the noise level rose to a tumultous cacophony of sounds, as I stood there staring out onto the horizon, soaked with the smoke from crackers and 'atom-bombs', not a single silent second reaching my ears, I kept seeing the rockets explode in front of me in various hues and sounds. And slowly, unbeknownst to me, my face was lit by a small smile, not entirely different from the smile which dons childrens' faces on being given a chocolate. I kept watching, eager to see more explosions, more lights, true to the spirit of Diwali.
And so I stood there, watching, for ten, fifteen, twenty minutes, until I realized I had become the same person whom I couldn't understand in the morning - one who is excited and 'felt good' about a festival. I guess it is in the atmosphere - you can't keep it away for long, the spirit of enjoyment.

And, of course, I lurve the smell of cracker-smoke. And that of petrol and a just-struck matchstick, but I digress.