Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This is coming a bit late - but anyway... 

This one kept me busy for 4 full days. A fair amount of online collaboration with Murally and Girz, and all of us finally cleared the final hurdle - and yes - made it into the coveted hall of fame too :) 

Special mention to my little friend Kanishka - helped me 2 levels where I was stuck so bad that I was ready to fly to Indore to get some clues on 

See the pic :D 

Saturday, November 01, 2008


From the red sky of the east, 
To the sunset in the west, 
We have cheated death, and he has cheated us

But that was just a dream, 
And this is what it means, 
We're sleeping and we'll dream for evermore

And the fragment remains of our memories
And the shadows we make with our hands
Deeper gray, come to mourn, 
All the colours of the dawn, 
Will this journeyman's day be his last? 

But the memory still remains, 
All the past years not so strange, 
Our winter times are like a silent shroud

And the heartbeat of the day, 
Drives the mist away, 
And winter's not the only dream around

In your life, you may choose desolation
And the shadows you build with your hands
If you turn to the light, that is burning in the night, 
Then the journeyman's day has begun 

~ Journeyman - Iron Maiden

A journey... 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Can someone buy me a new cellphone pleeeeeaaaaasssseeeee?? :D 

UnitedHealthCare SUCKS!

UnitedHealthCare is the most absurd, fucked up insurance company I've seen till date. Their representatives are some of the dumbest in the business - they decide on the complication of a hospitalization based on the number of medicines prescribed. Then they take a ratio of number of medicines to the amount of claim to see if the claim is reasonable or not. 

[Profanity warning] UHC - Ultimate Hajaam Chutiyas [/Profanity warning] 

I'm glad that my company is changing to a different insurer. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time heals all of the burned out bridges filled with nothing more than misery
I wear the mask of the embattled son trying to beg for something to believe

Sunday, September 14, 2008


... will governments stand up and start fighting?
... will politicians start looking beyond just the vote banks?
... will normal people start feeling safe?
... will all this madness end?


Thursday, September 11, 2008

I cannot stop

Since last 2 days, I cannot stop eating the new Britannia Nutrichoice 5 Grain Biscuits! They're fantastic! 

Monday, September 01, 2008

Putting together a computer

Its easy and its fun. This is the second computer that me and my friends have put together.

This past week, one of my friends wanted a new computer. So, we started off with the idea of buying all the necessary parts and putting them together ourselves. It all materialised in just 2 days. Friday, over IM, we decided on the exact configuration of the computer and on the same evening, we placed the order for the parts. The next day morning, all parts were ready and by afternoon, we were done putting them all together into a working computer! The assembling of the computer itself, took just under an hour and a half.

Basic parts necessary for a computer:
  1. Processor - Decide on this first. Because, choice of motherboard depends on what processor you want to buy. Common choice these days is a good dual-core processor. Either Intel core 2 duo or AMD Athlon X2. If you're thinking of a higher end, then perhaps you could think of a triple or quad core(AMD Phenom X3/X4, Intel core 2 quad).
  2. Motherboard - Once the processor is decided upon, a suitable motherboard needs to be chosen. Some of the things to consider in deciding on a motherboard are: chipset, presence/absence of on-board graphics chip, number of memory DIMM slots, PCI-E slots. Most of the newer motherboards have on-board audio (HD audio too, in slightly higher end boards), ethernet (Gigabit etherner too, in slightly higher end boards). So, these are no longer needed as add-on cards anymore.
  3. Memory - Most computers nowadays need at least 1GB or of memory. Norm is 2GB. I would recommend for either 2GB or 4GB of memory. Also, since some processors have the ability to parallely access memory on 2 seperate banks, its good to go for a dual-channel memory configuration. That is, for 2GB total memory, install 2 DIMMs of 1GB each. Another thing to look out for is the memory clock - most dealers will just give you a 667MHz DIMM by default. So, specifically ask for 800MHz DIMMs. These have noticeably better performance.
  4. Graphics Card - This used to be an optional component, but with the newer operating systems placing more and more burden on the processor for graphics' needs, is becoming more and more necessary. For a casual computer user, this may be unnecessary. A motherboard with on-board graphics can take all load easily. But for even a casual gamer, at least a 256MB graphics card would be nice to have.
  5. Hard Drive - Ah, those growing gigabytes of data. And the growing capacities of today's hard drives! Available in 160GB/250GB/500GB/greater capacities and either the good 'ol IDE or the newer SATA interfaces. I would recommend to go in for a SATA interface drive and a drive that has a good amount of on-board cache memory. Seagate and Hitachi seem to be the popular players. For capacities of >160GB and upto 500GB, at least of 16MB of cache is a must. >500GB drives need more than 16MB cache. So, check for this while buying a drive.
  6. Power supply/Chassis - These remain one of the neglected components of a computer. But these are as important, if not more, as the other components above. Reason is that, without a good powersupply and chassis, you could end up damaging the motherboard/processor in running the computer. All the above components listed above, need power to run. The major power consumers in the decreasing order of magnitude are (usual numbers considered): Graphics Card, Processor, Hard Drive, Memory. Depending on a particular model, a processor can draw anywhere between 50 to 110 watts of power. Graphics card, while playing a modern game can draw upto 100-150 watts of power (again depending on the model). Hard Drives consume 20-30 watts. So, I would suggest that research be done in adding up power requirements of all components, and leave enough room for future requirements (like an additional hard drive, expansion of memory, etc) to decide on a good power supply. For a computer with a fairly powerful processor, a decent graphics card and one or 2 hard drives, an optical drive a 450 watt powersupply is a must.
    Another thing to look for in a power supply is whether it has, what is called PFC (power factor correction). Normal power supply gives out the rated wattage whether ior not ts actually required, thereby potentially generating more heat in the components. A power supply with PFC has the ability to dynamically adjust the output based on actual requirements. It may cost a few bucks more, but trust me, its worth it.
    Coming to chassis: Its essential for the chassis to be roomy, have enough ventilation ducts and have means to route all the cables in a clean manner. For newer configurations, a chassis should, at the very least, have a big 120mm exhaust fan at the rear and a big ventilator duct on the low left side, from where the graphics card can inhale fresh air. Some powersupplies come with a fan that gives out hot air, sometimes directly onto the motherboard. To shield the processor assembly from this, a conical funnel type structure that fits onto the left inner side of the chassis and cups into the processor assembly, is recommended. Optionally, a chassis can have a smaller 80mm intake fan at the front to suck in fresh air into the chassis.
    The processors usually come with their own heatsink assemblies. This does the job in 90% of the cases. But if you plan to overclock your processor, then perhaps you can think of custom heatsink assemblies or even a water cooled assembly.
That's it. Once all parts are ready at your disposal, the computer is ready to be assembled. The details of how to do the assembly itself would be a post sometime later. Here are some pictures taken while assembling the computer this past weekend.

All the parts - except chassis

The bare motherboard

Processor plugged into the socket

Processor heatsink assembly installed

Testing whether our assembly is able to boot BIOS

The graphics card - NVIDIA 8600GT

Finally, putting it all inside the chassis

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Comfortably High

Something I learnt yesterday - Listening to High Hopes and Comfortably Numb back to back is a bad idea especially if some part of your past is not rosy...

In retrospect, the title for this post would have been apt for the previous post - oh well...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What gave me a high...

When I'd been down for almost a week due to illness, spending time at home all those days with highly intermittent power supply, thanks to "maintenance" work by the local electricity company...
Get this - today, with a steady powersupply (thankfully), I was able to download close to 2 gig of data in under 4 hours via torrents! Wow! Also, what cool stuff to download -
Bootleg of Iron Maiden's "download festival" gig at Ullevi, Sweden - Highly recommended for Maiden fans!
Kerrang mag's "Maiden Heaven" - A tribute album featuring bands like Metallica and Machine Head.
Killers freed or the demon's seed - uh... "seed", "torrents" - its a joke, for chrissake!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Local Surveillance - a first cut

I found an old webcam I had used years ago, underneath a lot of rubble in my storage room. I came up with this deadly idea of putting it to use - SURVEILLANCE.

Using this old webcam and a free software, I setup surveillance with image-capture-on-motion-detection for my cube at office as a first trial. Here are some sample captures from that trial. Mostly just people walking by my cube.

Next I'm thinking of leaving this on overnight - want to find out who does away with paper-napkins from my desk!

Going further, I see there are cheap "night-vision" webcams available in the market. And a friend of mine is thinking of building a real low-cost, low-power-consuming PC. Perhaps setup a custom-made, home surveillance system?

Who knows :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

20 Qs

Tagged by Sanjiv

Last movie seen in a theater:
Incredible Hulk

What book are you reading?
Gigabyte AM2+ motherboard manual

Favorite board game:

Favorite magazine:

Favorite smells:
Smell of first of the rain drops falling on earth

Favorite sounds:
Iron Maiden

Worst feeling in the world:
Being misunderstood

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Shit, Did I break last night's build?!

Favorite fast food place:
Sri Lakshmi chats (BSK 2nd stage)

Future child's name:

Finish this statement, "If I had a lot of money I'd…"
build a rural school.

Do you drive fast?
Yes, but within my own limits.

Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?

Storms - Cool or Scary?

Do you eat the stems on broccoli?

If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
Deep brown.

Name all the different cities/towns you have lived in:
Bangalore, Boise, New York, Sunnyvale

Favorite sports to watch:

One nice thing about the person who sent this to you:
Nice person to strike up a good conversation with

What's under your bed?

Would you like to be born as yourself again?

Morning person or night owl?
Morning Person

Over easy or sunny side up?
Sunny side up

Favorite place to relax:
Atop a hill, sun playing hide'n'seek with clouds, dead silence, staring at the place where land meets the sky

Favorite pie:

Favorite ice cream flavor:

You pass this tag to:

Of all the people you tagged this to, who's most likely to respond first?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hard disks and Elevators

Now, that's a weird title for a post. What follows may sound absurd to some people. But having studied computer science, it makes sense to me.

Many of us work in high rise buildings and more often than not, we take elevators to get to our places of work. My office building has 6 elevators, and 2 control switches - each switch, when pressed, sends request to 3 elevators and one of them eventually services the request.
Recalling from the operating systems course in engineering, the disk request scheduling algorithm heavily borrows from the algorithm used by elevators to service requests. Most of us computer literate people should know that the disk request scheduling algorithm tries to minimize the number of seeks and the distance per seek. The elevator behaves somewhat similarly. For any request, among many elevators receiving the request, the one closest to the origin-place of request services it. Also, if an elevator is already moving in the direction of the origin-place of the request, it handles the request instead of an idle elevator at the same level.
Now, if there was only one elevator in question, then its guaranteed that it would handle requests optimally. But with many elevators and more than one control switch to summon the elevators, the usage could become non-optimal, depending on how people use them. Some of the common things that people do that results in non-optimal usage are:
1) Summoning more than one elevator (activating more than one control switch) for one request
2) Summoning a elevator(s) which are farther away from the origin-place of the request
Think of the elevators in your building as disks, all of them having the same data in them. The amount of distance the elevators need to travel before servicing a request as the seek of a disk. Since there is more than one elevator to choose from, we could choose one (and only one, not more than one! Refer point 1 above) which is closest to the place from which the request is being made.
1) Avoids non-optimal usage - saves power! (GO GREEN!)
2) Provides quicker service!
1) You could lose 5 seconds in looking at positions of all elevators before making a decision to summon a particular elevator - This could be offset by point 2 in advantages. Also, is 5 seconds too much, considering the slightly more weighed advantages?)
There are many places like these where we can apply knowledge of computer science, in our daily lives. Its surprising that most of us do not.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


How many special people change
How many lives are living strange

Someday you'll find me, caught beneath the landslide...
And Supernova

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Need for speed!

My old PC, bought in early 2000, is almost antique - Intel's the-then flagship Pentium-III processor running (crawling now) at 500MHz, originally purchased with 64MB of SDRAM, 10GB ATA Hard disk, and a CD-ROM drive. It served me for a good part of my engineering course. All my lab assignments and projects done on that and they all came out pretty well too. Along the way, I did quite a few upgrades to it so as to keep up with the growing needs (read PC games!). With all these, now it has 256MB of SDRAM, a 40GB ATA Hard disk and a CD-RW drive.
In the first sentence of this post, I say "almost" because my friend SP still is leading the race of having the most ancient PC! Would you believe that he has a Pentium-II processor 233MHz with 64MB of RAM (2 sticks of 32MB each!!) and a 4GB Hard disk?!
Then I have this laptop I bought 3 years ago. It's running fine - no issues, reliable to run most of the applications I usually need. But lately, there's no fun in it. Somehow, I felt like going back to a desktop in spite of the conviniences like mobility, no worries of power cuts, etc that my laptop offered. I want to put the emperimental hat back on, try out more with my computer. Somehow, IMO, laptop is too cute for all these brash expriments!
So, thus, I've set out to buy myself a new desktop PC. After reading a lot of things online and talking to my friends, I've kinda settled on the following configuration:
AMD Phenom X4 9850, Black edition - Quad core, 2.5GHz
NVIDIA 9600GT graphics card with 512MB memory
500GB SATA II drive (Actually wanted 2 250GB drives, to configure a RAID volume - but my friends "talked" me out of it)
DVD-RW 20X SATA drive
Wireless keyboard and mouse

Initial investigation has put the approximate price for the above configuration to somewhere near 44k. Anyone has any comments/suggestions for any changes in the above config or know any good, knowledgeable, helpful dealer?

Oh, did I mention that my old PC cost me 36k at that time? :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Incredible Hulk - A waste of time and money!

The new Incredible Hulk movie - supposedly made better than the previous 2003 Hulk movie - was rather disappointing. The acting is ordinary, the effects are nothing to rave about and the ending - as predictable as it can get. The only little part I liked in the whole movie was towards the very end when someone makes a cameo appearance.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mobile Applications

Visit http://mosh.nokia.com for a huge collection of mobile applications and games for many mobile models (Including non-Nokia phones!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace

That's the name of the latest Foo Fighters album. I highly recommend this album to metal/rock followers. One of the albums from which I liked most of the songs on the first listen itself.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Stripping out vocals from a music track - first attempt

Simple case of a track having vocals at the centre pan - that is, vocal is equally distributed among the right and left channels. The trick is to "subtract" the right pan from the left pan which should effectively remove the voice, if it is equally distributed among both channels. This is not guaranteed to work on all music tracks.

Here's how Megadeth's "A tout le monde" sounds with vocals stripped out as described above - I used Audacity to edit the track. The voice is almost gone, but still some traces can be heard - or is it just my subconscious mind which knows the lyrics well?? You decide.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Blog Feed

I did some changes with my blog template and some other stuff. The feed for the blog has now changed. There's a helpful link in the sidebar to help you subscribe to the new feeds.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I can lead you down the path and back to life
All I ask is that you worship me
I can help you seek revenge and save yourself
Give you life for all eternity

What is this?

Monday, June 02, 2008


You know there's this feeling of emptiness when your work is taken away from you -
something that has occupied your mind for weeks,
something that has kept you awake at night,
something that has woken you up in the middle of the night with a 'aha! that can be tackled in this way'
and especially when you're so close to finishing that work all by yourself...

Hmm - gravity is all BS - basically earth sucks...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Stress buster

With stress increasing at office, I got this onto my office desk...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Kyonki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi

S: In the code review he was talking like a purist :D
A: its a phase for everyone
S: attegondu kaala and sosegondu kaala ("Kyonki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi" in Hindi)
S: but people are becoming atte and sose randomly :D
A: :)))))
S: lets refer purists as atte and practical ppl as sose :D

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bad day

[root@btc_who224 server]# reboot
Segmentation fault

This pretty much sums up the day for me...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fun at office...

looks like this...

Chatting with the French translator bot:
Srinivasa: fuck you
en2fr: vas te faire encule

Chatting with the German translator bot:
Srinivasa: fuck you
en2de: Fuck You
Srinivasa: ah - you do not know the translation :))
en2de: Ah - Sie wissen nicht, die √úbersetzung:))

PS: I decided to check the translation that the french bot gave me and this is what I got:
Srinivasa: vas te faire encule
fr2en: 'll make you bum

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4 days, friends, a scorpio and... Karnataka

Day 1 : Bangalore -> Tumkur -> Chitradurga -> Davangere -> Haveri -> Siddapura -> Sirsi -> Jog Falls (Overnight stay at Jog falls)

Day 2: Jog Falls -> Honnavara -> Dhareshwara -> Gokarna -> Sirsi (Overnight stay at Sirsi)

Day 3: Sirsi -> Siddapura -> Sagar -> Shimoga -> Bhadravathi -> Tarikere -> Kemmangundi (Overnight stay at Kemmangundi)

Day 4: Kemmangundi -> Chikmagalore -> Belur -> Hassan -> Kunigal -> Bangalore (Back home)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Learning to fly

Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction holding me fast,
How can I escape this irresistible grasp?

Cant keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings, I thought I thought of everything
No navigator to find way home
Unladened, empty and turned to stone

A soul in tension thats learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try
Cant keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My grubby halo, a vapour trail in the empty air,
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
Out of the corner of my watering eye
A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night

Theres no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, a state of bliss
Cant keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

Friday, February 29, 2008

When does one realize that...

... he likes something so much, something in great proportions... When he has spent close to 200 on it (DVDs, CDs, Shirts, etc) When he can bear it continuously for a long long time and that's still not faded (Started in 2003) When he can put a colleague to so much trouble and make the colleague stand in a queue to get him one of the first sold copies of the newly released DVD...

That someone is me and that something is this great great heavy metal band called "Iron Maiden" - who have been making music since 1976, much before I came into this world and are going strong even now - even with all the band members well into their fifties...

They would definitely be in my list of 500 things, for which I'd thank God for creating this world :)

Just because something works...

... need not mean its correct ...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


1. Pointless code: Anyone sees any value for this kind of code?!
class A;
class B;
int A::func()
return BObj->get( get() );
// ...
int B::get( int a )
return a;
2. A note on a fallen side board of a meeting room: