Evanescent Thoughts

Evanescent Thoughts

My days at Theoretical Comp Sci Lab @ IIT-M (TCS Lab)

with 10 comments

I have been wanting to write this post for a very long time. The reason being simple enough, It changed a  lot in my life. When I joined fresh at NIT Trichy and completed my first year, I was more into programming and algorithms. Used to sit in I-Lab and do some of those SPOJ problems( yeah!! when I was in First year, I-Lab was good and it wasn’t filled with gultis watching videos on you tube and orkuting ). At that point of time, I was more interested into getting a Stud job once I complete my college. But now after 4 years at NIT-Trichy, I am dropping  an offer to join Cisco and heading for Masters at Univ of Wisconsin Madison. I can attribute all of it to Prof Pandurangan and his TCS Lab  🙂 .

Akhil and myself were on the same boat looking for profs to do project work on back in 4th Sem. I was more inclined to do an internship sort of thing at some startup or some small company but was also looking out on the academic sides. One afternoon, when we were busy spamming the inboxes of many such IIT Profs, Akhil mentioned  about Prof Pandurangan and  told me how his papers regularly appear in ACM’s Conf. And thats when I started mailing him and was fortunate enough to get his reply. Later he came down to our college( he was in the Board that certifies the Departments for some approval) for an official visit and said he would talk with all those interested in taking up internships at TCS lab. We were greatly amused by the way his lecture just kept us hooked on to the topic. One year into the department, I never felt like I was actually learning something new and exciting until I was attending his lecture(yes!! Mohan was taking a course in both the sems that year :P).  And thats when I decided to try out the internship and was very happy when he accepted to host a couple of us at IITM :).

So began the wonderful days at IITM TCS lab. The first time , some 8 of us were working under him and unfortunately he could only let us into the lab and not into the IIT M hostels :). So myself and Akhil stayed in the classrooms of KV School. The School was closed for vacations and we had the whole big black board all for us to scribble. Though technically, I should say we stayed at the Lab for 75% of the time in a day :).  TCS Lab was more than what we expected, given the condition of Labs at NITT( the 3rd semester, we didnt even have the labs ready and the next sem, I remember the server crashing most of the time :P) .

This was also when we were being taught what research work is. Until then I had no clue what it was to get a publication, a peer review, do a survey, Proof techniques etc. And a whole new exciting world of things was thrown at me. The  first time, I spent my time mostly reading papers and getting to know my area well. Akhil, myself and Bharathwaj(from IITB, a engg physics Student) were assigned to work on Multi Party Computation and Information Theoretic Security. In Research, you get excited when you know that the stuff you are working on is barely a few years old and there is a lot of scope for Research work.  Also Prof Pandurangan was taking a summer course on Algorithms and it was a Bliss!!. Till date, I havent enjoyed any class as much as I have enjoyed sitting in his classes :). Unlike other guys from my coll who were working on  Provable Security and trying to write a Survey, Prof let us work on a Problem right away :). We had to solve couple of Round Complexities in VSS and most of the day , it would be sitting in the TCS Lab and discussing if this works or that works with Akhil and Bharath(also a bit of chatting online with college friends and visiting the canteen freq :P). Bharathwaj was a step ahead of me and Akhil and always had a clear idea of whats wrong and whats right :). He helped me a lot in figuring out few mistakes too.  Whenever, we had a small idea we thought would work, we would run to Arpita and Ashish , who were doing  PhD under Prof. Now these two deserve more than a special thanks from me cos, I haven’t seen some one so dedicated as them :). In fact, whenever I consider my self if I have to do a PhD in future, I ll be weighing myself against them to check if I am ready :).

The one thing about TCS Lab is that you can find a lot of interesting people to discuss and chit chat including Prof Pandurangan. He would come around the labs, chatting with each one about his work in progress and crack a joke that would have us all in splits :).  He would also tell us what it takes to get a good publication out of students.After a few interactions with him, I was more than convinced to not just stop with B-Tech and get a stud job, but to definitely do a Masters.  Back then, the Lab would be full with so many  students that people who walk past the corridor, would mistake the place where we keep our foot wear for a shop that sells footwear :P. And some or the other old Student of Prof would visit the lab, not to forget the box of sweets that come with them. We had a tradition in TCS lab that who ever gets sweets for Prof  [which according to records, he never touches 😉 ], also gets a box of them for the lab inmates. All this experience with the Lab was something I could never dream of getting at NITT :). I dont think any Prof would comeback at Ten in the night to the lab and have discussions till late midnight at NITT ( many of them dont even come to dept in the day time !).

After our first internship, we were extended the opportunity to continue  working in the winter also. Prof was always insistent on making us realize  how Research is not a one-summer-outing thing. I still tell my juniors who are onto doing research project the same thing. Don’t think of it as a Summer Project or something you get to do for getting a Certificate.  A certificate can get you nothing in my opinion. So I said to myself, that I am not gonna give up unless I get a good publication out of this. Also Aishwarya and Anugrah joined me during the winter and we were looking at a new set of problems, hoping to solve them. By the end of it, I almost got some results and it so happened to be the new year eve.  During my  6th sem, I was mostly spending my time writing the paper for submission when one fine day, Arpita and Ashish spotted  a flaw in it :). And it rest there until the next summer when I went back to lab.

This time, I was totally working on a diff prob, AMPC. And suddenly one evening, I got an idea for the proof to work around the flaw in my previous result. Finally I had a perfect working one(though it was a very simple solution). And Prof wanted to send it for CANS 09   which had the submission deadline in  a week or so. So once again we were off to writing the protocols, changing a lot of stuff from old paper, adding new.. And we had a 23 page paper for a conf that allowed only 18 pages with appendix :P. And this is when Arpita and Ashish clearly demonstrated to us how many papers they have successfully authored. The draft before Arpita and Ashish did the corrections looked so amateurish. We had no idea what point to highlight and what to leave it for the reader to understand himself.  Using notations, skipping unwanted statements and proofs… learnt lots from them:). My desktop would have draft_1 draft_2 … and so on :P. We worked till some 2 in the labs. Did a lot of night-outs in lab (never heard of students even using labs outside the lab hours back in NITT). It felt exciting and like a whole diff world to me :).  Later in August, we were delighted when the paper got accepted. Should thank Sharmi and Vivek too for all those night outs. We used to go to Basera at 2 in the night after doing all the corrections to paper. At times, Sharmi n Vivek’s 2 yr old son Shvithin would come to lab and play around. Such a delight to watch prof and him talk :).

All this made me transform from a guy who aspired to get into a Stud company back in 3rd Sem  to a guy who wanted to go for higher studies by the end of 6th Sem.  Ironically, Akhil on the other hand who  wanted to end up doing research at the end of coll back then  is now heading to join Facebook :).  I still have no idea what it would have been if I hadn’t gone down this path but I am sure it would have been less exciting for me :). The admits that I got would never have been possible if not for Prof’s motivation and support:).  I owe it all to TCS lab , Prof  Pandurangan , and my other friends over there( Its actually a big list 😛 ). Those late night chats, running from TCS Lab – I to TCS Lab – II whenever we have something to discuss with Arpita and Ashish, Prof always trying to kalachify Shriram and Kalai, running to the Staff canteen for tea/cofee/icecream/lunch, the stay at KV school, latex work, Seminars, Prof’s jokes, Treats.. a long list of things I ll be missing when I go to Wisc Mad 🙂

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Written by Sathya Narayanan

July 16, 2010 at 10:24 am

Do IM Clients (Pidgin,Skype et al) Detect Subnets and Avoid wastage of Internet Bandwidth ?? #linux

with 5 comments

I Post this  hoping someone  would explain to me How stuff works when you make a Video call across Internet. Also, Please correct me wrong if I am wrong anywhere.   Now, What I have been thinking in mind is that, When Alice and Bob, sitting in different locations( not in the same subnet)  try to have a conversation through  some IM protocol, the server acts as a mediator. That is, the server gets the message or data from Alice and sends it to Bob and vice versa.  So I   assumed the same to be the working scenario in case Alice and Bob happen to be in same Subnet but say try to call each other on skype. I am now beginning to doubt this as I noticed something peculiar as I tried to make some video calls. My  observation is that in the case where Alice and Bob are in the same subnet and connected to Internet through a common gateway or  one of them acting as gateways.

My setup is as follows : All computers run on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx

BSNL Modem :    IP: 192.168.1.1 with a bandwidth of 512 Kbps

Vostro Laptop :    Connected to the BSNL Modem  via eth0 and running a Wifi network on wlan0( 54Mbps) both of which share the same internet connection( refer this ) eth0: 192.168.1.2 and wlan0: 10.42.43.1

Studio Laptop:    Connected to the Wifi connection set up on the Vostro Laptop and has the IP address as wlan0: 10.42.43.10 . So any http request from this goes to the BSNL modem via my Vostro Laptop (10.42.43.1)

With this setup, My Vostro and Studio laptops are in a Subnet and they are connected to the Internet via my Vostro Laptop. Now when I start  any  file download from Internet or torrents, I get some 80KBps on my eth0 on Vostro and some 60KBps goes to the Studio Laptop via the wireless lan 🙂 .. Now I install skype on both the machines 10.42.43.1 and 10.42.43.10 and create 2 different accounts and make a video call from one account to another . Now I thought the connection on 192.168.1.2 was supposed to handle the traffic for both the comps and forward the packets from internet for 10.42.43.10 from the internet server that hosts the video call. But what actually happens is that there is no traffic  to outside the subnet. That is my internet traffic is 0 kbps both incoming and outgoing whereas the communication required for the video calls happen directly between 10.42.43.1 and 10.42.43.10 without a single packet being sent to the outside network (192.168.1.1).

So this is something like when a video call is established on a subnet, it works P2P and not through the server on the internet. CORRECT me if this is wrong.  To clearly see .. check the following screen shot.

Now the one on the Left is my 192.168.1.2 on eth0 and 10.42.43.1 on wlan0 . The yellow circled one is the traffic on 10.42.43.X subnet . Notice that while the call is in progress, The connection on 192.168.1.2 which is connected to internet is not even 1KBps . Its in Bytes per sec .  This is exactly what I am talking about. The video call works Peer-to-Peer as if it is happening locally and not through some Internet Service. Calls to my friends outside, create traffic on 192.168.1.2 as expected. Only when the calls are within the subnet, everything seems to be and inside business :). Quite interesting is it 🙂 . That means, I dont have to pay for the ISP bandwidth  that will be used in all this video calls within a subnet. This is why when I called my friends, the audio and video were poor quality and when I called within the subnet, the clarity was awesome :).

This was the case with video calls on Skype and Pidgin on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx.

Now the following questions :

  1. Is this how its supposed  to happen?? So the server hosting the video call doesnt have to receive and deliver data during the call if both Alice and Bob are within same subnet connected to internet ??
  2. Is this the case with only video and audio calls or for anyother protocols ???
  3. What is this thing exactly that makes the pidgin or skype detect that it doesnt have to pass the packets to the internet and just pass  it directly to the computer on the subnet . It works as though a direct P2P connection is set up.
  4. Does it happen only with Linux or Windows and Mac too ??

Applications :

Imagine you are in an organization and  you have say 10 computers connected in a subnet  which is connected to an Internet gateway. Now every one within the subnet can do a video chat using the skype and gmail accounts without even passing a single packet to the outside network . This means the company doesnt waste the internet badnwidth when the calls are made within the subnet .. Some thing like calling from reliance to reliance is free :P.

People who have some ideas about this , please post as comments or let us discuss on IM 🙂

PS : wrote it in a hurry 😛 .. so bear with the formatting 😛

Written by Sathya Narayanan

June 29, 2010 at 9:33 am

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Tweaks

with 17 comments

I bought a new Dell Studio 1588 few days ago. It came with an Intel i5 450M processor, 4GB DDR3 Ram, 500GB SATA @7200rpm, 1GB ATI Raedon Graphic Card, 15″ HighDefinition LCD Display(1080p) with 1920×1080  resolutions and a back lit keyboard and a slot load DVD 🙂 .. A perfect config except that, it shipped with Windows 7 pre-installed.  The sales rep refused to even give me the lap without installing Windows sighting that they dont send OS DVD nowadays and the only way to give me the Windows 7 I am entitled for is by installing it in my comp. Fair enough I say, and gladly receive the laptop and start working on Windows for a couple of hours( I couldnt install Linux cos, at that time my modem was in repair and I had to wait)  only to find that 15hrs later, Windows screwed up my MBR !! Now on any other day , I would have fixed the MBR with a live CD of ubuntu. But since its brand new and still under the windows cloud, I thought of giving the customer care at Dell a ring to fix it and for the rest of the day, I kept staring at a slow green Progress bar. In the mean time,  I finished downloading  a  whole 2GB HD movie on a 512kbps BSNL connection ( Just to give u an idea of how long the progress bar made me wait 😛 ). Finally I gave up on the windows way of fixing, put my Live CD  to use and got done with it in 30 mins. Yet another times when you feel a live CD is like your swiss army  knife !

So I finally had my laptop ready for Lucid Lynx and it was just splendid  to see Ubuntu in HD screen 😀 .. Loads of UI improvement .. guess they are putting better designers at  the helm of the task though a lot needs to be  done, especially with nautilus’s usage of space and the Desktop icons alignment. Finally Ubuntu has a  Copy To and Move To added to the nautilus 🙂 More on the review of Lucid Lynx later.  In a matter of time, I upgraded my kernel, installed the updates, got my graphics card driver installed and copied the backed up data from old laptop. And then the actual problem began 🙂

The one Internet connection and Many Laptop Problem :

I had a BSNL connection for internet access and was comfortably using it on my old vostro laptop. Now that I have 2 laptops and I wanted to use both at same time with internet, I was checking out my options to get it working.

  1. The classic option was to get a router , a wireless one … But I wasnt interested in wasting my cash over it .
  2. IP Masquerading .. Make one comp route the traffic from eth0 ( the ethernet card connected to BSNL modem) to the other comp via a wlan0( Wireless card which had a private network established with my other laptop) … couple of iptable modification and this shud be up and running.. google and you would get sufficient info 🙂
  3. Setting up  ssh server and doing the above process without any changes to iptables..  You could try port binding ( ssh -L ) or a SOCKS proxy (ssh -d) to make things work .. but SOCKS proxy, I am  not sure how to export the proxy for apt-get to work .. (ideas welcome in comments)
  4. The next to easiest way of setting up  a http proxy server on one laptop …  I a had used in college was squid .. So I set it up in one of the laptops, changed the necessary ACL settings(access control lists) and http_access and done in a jiffy 🙂
  5. This is the best and simplest way …yet the most _not_so_interesting way .. in short the one click windows way !! (yes even ubuntu  is becoming bad !!) While creating the wireless connection, Under the ipv4 settings, put the method as”Shared to Other Computers”. This has to be done on the host laptop connected to the internet modem .  A very simple one click mechanism .. Think its there in windows too .

Any other interesting ways to do the same, please mention in comments 🙂 … Also note that to do all of the above you need to have two NIC s in your laptop.. The modern ones always ship with an ethernet card and an wireless adapter.. So that shud suffice.

No Sound in Head Phone Jack for Dell 1588 on Lucid Lynx :

When you plug in the head phones, the sound from the speakers stop but you dont hear anything on your  head phone .. Prob cos of your audio modules not properly configured. Times like this , you get to know of the countless number of sound cards out there  in the market…. A complete official HowTo is available here. In short for a Dell Laptop with this problem, you gotta do this,

cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#* | grep Codec

This would give the model of your  audio card on your system  mine was

Codec: IDT 92HD73C1X5

Next you need to find the suitable audio model for this card  from  /usr/share/doc/alsa-base/driver/HD-Audio-Models.txt.gz.

zless /usr/share/doc/alsa-base/driver/HD-Audio-Models.txt.gz

Search for your card in that doc .. zless reads compressed text files 🙂 .. So search for 92HD73 in that text file.. sometimes the cards are wild carded so incase you dont find, keep searching with lesser number of characters from beginning . The text I found was ,

ref           Reference board
no-jd         BIOS setup but without jack-detection
intel         Intel DG45* mobos
dell-m6-amic  Dell desktops/laptops with analog mics
dell-m6-dmic  Dell desktops/laptops with digital mics
dell-m6       Dell desktops/laptops with both type of mics
dell-eq       Dell desktops/laptops
alienware     Alienware M17x
auto          BIOS setup (default)

So the one matching my case was dell-m6 . Find the appropriate one for your laptop and do the following  :

echo “options  snd-hda-intel model=dell-m6″ | sudo  tee /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

A restart should now get your laptop headphone jacks work normal 🙂 ..

The Low resolution in the splash screen and Grub during Boot up :

This is a traditional problem when your hard ware ( in this case your monitor) doesnt report the proper specs of display it can support. So specifying it manually solves the problem. Earlier,  it was GRUB legacy and usplash until recently things begin to progress towards GRUB2 and plymouth. So here is a quick process to do it. My laptop supports 1920×1080 resolution. So replace that with your resolution wherever applicable. This mostly would happen also if you use 4GB ram + 1GB graphics card on windows XP or any other 32bit OSThis should solve the problem and you can see a very HD grub menu on your boot up 🙂 ..

  1. First we need to install the v86d package  which gives the backend for kernel drivers that execute  the x86 BIOS code. So run sudo apt-get install v86d
  2. The screen resolution settings for grub2 are in /etc/grub/default . The previous grub legacy would have it in /boot/grub/menu.list. Here you need to change the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT= “quiet splash” to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash nomodeset video=uvesafb:mode_option=1920×1080-24,mtrr=3,scroll=ywrap”.
  3. Add GRUB_GFXMODE=1920×1080 to the end . A similar line with resolution as 640×480 would be commented with an # .. You can as well remove the # and change it over there instead.
  4. Now run echo “uvesafb mode_option=1280×1024-24 mtrr=3 scroll=ywrap” | sudo tee /etc/initramfs-tools/modules. This  takes care of custom made resolution for GRUB and needs the v86d package.. For more details, check out here.
  5. And again run echo “FRAMEBUFFER=y” | sudo tee /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash.
  6. sudo update-grub2 to  generate the grub.cfg and sudo  update-initramfs -u to  generate the new splash screen.

Enabling your 32 bit OS to address your 4GB Ram + 1GB Graphics Card :

Now this is an interesting problem that I discovered when I opened my system monitor. To my surprise, I found that my OS only could address 3GB of memory. Theoretically a 32-bit OS can address 4GB of memory but since I had a 1GB graphics card, it could only address 3GB of RAM and 1GB of Graphics card. So I need to change my OS to 64 bit or  have a PAE (Physical Address Extension) supported  kernel. The Desktop version kernel doesnt support PAE, so you need to install a PAE supported kernel. Do the following

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-server linux-image-server linux-server

Reboot and do a free -m to confirm all your 4GB is addressable :).

Will  be making a couple more tweaks on my machine, thanks to google :). So as they say, “Where is the fun when everything works out of the box… Think Linux!”

PS : @suren : I knw now u will try to say something abt  mac … bring it on 😉

Written by Sathya Narayanan

June 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm

F1 Visa Experience

with 16 comments

I finally got my F1 Visa for US approved today at Chennai Consulate 🙂 .. Actually been a while since I updated anything on my blog. So bear with the abrupt posting 😛 .. I am headed to Univ of Wisconsin Madison(wisc mad) for MS in CS with Aid .  I  had got all my docs into a harmonium folder and  reached the consulate office at around 7 . My interview appointment time was 8.00am .  It was raining heavily and just when I reached , they were beginning to let people in. Was surprised to see auto guys pulling out umbrellas from their autos and selling it to applicants who had not brought the umbrella when it rained ( I never expected they would let us carry umbrellas inside when they don’t even  allow electronic watches ).  After  the initial screening outside, they checked my file folder and stuff and let me inside the main counters where they verified the ds160 confirmation page and  collected all the necessary docs like sevis , hdfc receipt, i20 , admission letter , passport etc . I had a slight delay here because the guy said that I need to submit a Photograph without specs . The one I had submitted in my ds160 had specs on. But I remember reading on the VFS site that spectacles are allowed if they are for medical reasons.  So they made me wait in the photo queue over there. The photo guy comes only around 8. So I had to wait all the while. Also the guys in this docs counters were all Indians. So they were a bit pissed off and showing unhappy faces at ppl who didnt understand whts to be done( at least the guy in the counter where I went was like that ).

The photo guy turned up around 8.15am (yes !! he was an Indian given his punctuality 😛 ). Got my photos. Cost me 100 bucks and went back to the counter to get back the docs and submitted the finger prints. Now after this,  the counter guy gave me a folder with  my passport , DD for the change in visa fee, HDFC receipt, SEVIS receipt, I20,  Admission letters, Funding letter from College. I thought my course completion certi should also be added to this list and put it myself once I was well away from the counter.

After this I went on to this counter where I had to pay the extra amount due to change in the VISA fee from $131 to $140. Took a couple of mins and got the receipt. People who opted to  pay by cash were delayed. Also, once inside, the Interview time didnt matter as people stood in the line arbitrarily as and when their previous task was completed. I headed straight to the VO(Visa Officer) counter. They had 2 counters with VO, on the either side of the 12 counter array where docs were put into the folder. The VO guy was a middle aged American, a bit tanned, very calm and polite( unlike the Indians in the other counters :P). So I put up a big confident smile on my face and went ahead. And this is the conversation as I remember 😛

VO : Good Morning Sir.
ME : Good Morning Officer.
(The VO takes my blue folder and looks at the docs. Asks me to give my Individual mark sheets. I asked if he wanted the transcript and he insisted on seeing the Individual Mark sheets. And then he asked me to give me my GRE and TOEFL Score cards. Though he never looked into them. He went through carefully through my mark sheets and I was worried if he would give me  a  pink slip cos I had taken a course on Crypto and couple of TAL items 😛 )
VO : Please take back your mark sheets sir .
ME : Thank you.
(Now he looks into my i20 and enters into the SEVIS database and checks out my college and stuff
VO : So why did you choose this university sir ?
(At this point , I couldn hear him properly . So I signalled him to adjust the mike volume and he happily did )
Me : Its got a very reputed group of faculty and course structure and besides, its ranked in the top ten for my area sir.
VO : So whats your Area of Interest
( Bang !!  RED ALERT !! I begin to   get back my senses and  recollect the comfortable answer that I had in mind which would not  end me up in TAL )
Me : I am planning to work on Database Management Systems ( Well 😀 )
(  And this is when the interview got a bit Techy)
VO : So what all DB s are you familiar with.
Me : Mysql , SQL blah blah blah ..
VO : Good .. So you know Oracle ??
( This is when I realised he was not this computer guy :P)
Me: Yes sir… But oracle as such is a company and not a DB language. Though I  have worked on Oracle’s SQL .. and recently MySql came under Oracle as they purchased Sun Micro Systems.
VO : Yeah yeah !! I get it .. They are DB s related to Microsoft. So what  interests you in this.
Me : I am interested in how data could be efficiently and effectively stored and organized  sir.
( And there ends the tech part.. was running arnd for abt 40 secs.. )
VO : Good . And how  are you planning to cover your expenses?
Me : I have funding from the University Sir.
(By this time , I was a bit worried as he was questioning me more on what area  I am gonna work on.. So I thought I was gonna end up getting a pink slip .. Was almost prepared for it when he stretched his hands to pick up a white slip and pushed it towards me )
VO : We have an Orientation for Students headed to USA this evening ( and shows me the white slip that I misunderstood for a pink slip 😛 ). I am approving your VISA sir .. It ll be couriered to you in 2 days. Have a nice day 🙂
Me : Thank you sir 🙂

I was  going back with the conversation in my mind to get assured that I didnt get a pink slip and definitely got my VISA approved 😛 .. And then headed to the exit after confirming it with a lady over there 🙂

All izz well !! 😀

USA check list :

Acco (Check)
Flight Tickets (Check)
VISA(Check)
Shopping (Errr ??? )
Now R.I.P 😀

Written by Sathya Narayanan

June 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm

A Memorable Senti Weekend

with 2 comments

If I had to recollect, say ten years later, a memorable week end I had, I would point out to this blog post :).  The plan started initially as a black thunder plan and owing to the usual  dropping out of people for “Busy” reasons, got transformed to the Power Lunch plan.  Normally  we would  shift to our usual back up plans of going to buhari or selvam for lunch and call it as an week end, but me and Archit were so frust with things going this way each and every time  and wanted to have a nice memorable week end :).

So Archit, me,  VI , Venki and Susan started it with the Power Lunch at Sangam 🙂 . Why we refer to it as the power lunch dates back to fifth semester incident when me and Bur and couple of others went to Sangam for the first time :P.  The usual sangam power lunch results in we cribbing to others that we are not gonna eat for another 2 days but this day, we talked so much that at the end of buffet, we felt like we haven even tried half of the dishes over there :P. By this time, Venki was shivering ( yes !!! in this hot trichy, this guy finds sitting in AC uncomfortable 😛 ) and we left :). And we had no clue what we were supposed to do till evening, so took an auto and headed straight to Kalaiarangam for “Paiya” movie.  Though the movie was a normal one, the analogies brought out by VI to incidents happening around, made us pinned to our seats till the end and have a nice time :).

Initial plan was to return after movie, but then, we still felt there was more to the evening and headed straight to the Reliance Food Court where Su was supposed to go for a treat :).  Happily sat there, watched the Mumbai match and surprised a couple of girls by having a good dinner even after coming back from sangam lunch :P. Was surprised by Mr Mage turning up with a girl company 😉 and we left at around 7 and got back to coll :).

VI was too enthu to go for a walk and hence we went on the BIG walk around the campus going beyond opal :D.  Went to the temple and this is when things got Wierd. Every damn thing archit tried to say inside the temple ended up happening:P . He says “Bloody Director” and he comes there in few minutes. He asks for Prasad and people come all the way to us and gfve us :P. We had no clue how but it was sort of fun to think things were like happening as and when Archit said something :P.  After the temple we kept walking and talking all the way back to Garnet. Tired from the walk, headed straight to Aavin and back to room. Thought I was done for the day and watched a movie and got up in betweent to fetch water from cooler and on the way see Archit and Nami sitting on the corridor near the GToL (Garnet Tree of Love) and talking :D. One look and u knw Nami was high. And then we started talking about things and people joined :D. We five of us ( Archit, Me , Venki , Vi and Nami) laughed our hearts out on various incidents and mainly when Nami blabbers something funny. Nami who was initially high, was almost clear by the time Archit told him all the incidents that he had no clue about :D. And then we kept talking and suddenly it was 4am in the morning. Took a Bike and off we were to Thiruverumbur for Refreshments( Tea + Bun) . Such a wonderful feeling to have done a night out, talking and then you get hot tea with bun at the end of it :D. Praveen joined now and now we were off to the first year times :). Finally some one reminded us that it was time to sleep and I go to bed.

To my surprise, the news paper was at my door steps at 5 in the morning .For the first time,  I was like reading the newspaper before going to bed :P. I wake up the next morning and Nami gives a pleasant surprise by  cooking us an awesome lunch 😀 ( 4Kgs of Chicken Curry). Had one of  the best ever lunches, sitting in a room and eating with friends.

With loads of things happening, it was a nice time to sit and talk with friends,  with cherished memories :). None of us could forget this nightout for all the stuff we talked about and all the truths that people ended up knowing :D.  I never thought I would get senti and write a post about it by the end of the coll :).

Written by Sathya Narayanan

April 21, 2010 at 1:36 am

Fill your iPod with music the way u fill an Ordinary MP3 Player

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Even wondered why apple was making life so difficult by having you put your music the tough way into the iPod ? I did when my rhythmbox failed to  recognise my 1GB iPod Shuffle. I mean forget the interface. When you browse the iPod on a computer, u find your music in wierd folders inside ur iPodControl/Music folder. This is when I googled and ended up with this small python scrip written by some geeky guy to update and sync  the iPod database from command line and  the biggest thing about this was that,  you can just store your music files inside the iPod anywhere in any folder  just like you store it in a MP3 player and then run this script to sync the iPod. Really neat one. And here is the sourceforge link. and here is a screen shot of the synchronisation 🙂  ( well windows guys really need to check this out 😛 )

Written by Sathya Narayanan

January 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Posted in computers

Group Pic at CANS 2009

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I like this pic.. spot me 🙂

Written by Sathya Narayanan

January 15, 2010 at 9:59 am