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Too early for tomorrow... our pet project

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Unity in Diversity!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Some great articles in today's the Times of India

For quite some time now, I have been taking on journalists and newspapers in this blog. Well, I can't help it. Nothing pisses me off more than irresponsibility.

However, I came across two really great articles in today's the Times of India. The first one is by the great writer Paulo Coelho (of The Alchemist fame). It is about making one's works freely available over digital media or not. In his case, his sales picked up after he made his work freely available, may not be so in the case of others. However, this is how any author's (or any intellectual copyright holder's) ethics should work. Read the article here.

The second article is by Jug Suraiya. I have been enjoying his articles for a very long time now, and his sense of humour elates me. In this case, however, he writes about the demands for statehood from every nook and cranny of the country, about narrow regional politics, and about the possible consequences. How aptly he writes. Catch the article here.

What is alarming, however, is it takes special columnists to produce quality articles in a newspaper. The regular journalists continue to produce crap.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hungary Kya?

Finally that we seem to have settled the preliminary algorithm development part of the first stage of our final year project, our guide (Prof. Garain of ISI) gave us a few tips on the approach to coding to follow:

1) Do not write the entire program in one module. Nothing can be done with your program then. Break it up into smaller sub modules.

2) Use a standard naming conventions for your variables like the Hungarian Notation! 

What is the Hungarian Notation? Well, it is a naming convention that prefixes certain letters before the given names of variables so that there type is recognisable instantly when the variable is discovered 5 years later, in the program. This is mainly used in languages where variables do not have any types, so there purpose is not easily decipherable. But this is also extended to better constructed languages too.

"The term Hungarian notation is memorable for many people because the strings of unpronounceable consonants vaguely resemble the consonant-rich orthography of some Eastern European languages despite the fact that Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language, and unlike Slavic languages is rather rich in vowels."


This is no doubt to prevent people like Sarbartha from using variables like

int tag1,tag2,tag3,flag1,flag2,flag3;

Such usage may cause healthy,wealthy and wise guys like me go goofy in no time.

But look at what the Hungarian notation can do to a simple piece of code:


If Sarbarthian notation makes a piece of code incomprehensible, the Hungarian notation may make a code prohibitive.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Koala and me

Hey, I am writing this from inside my Ubuntu 9.10 Karmik Koala live CD.

As usual, Ubuntu's out of the box features and sleek looks steal the show. The network was up even before it had booted completely.

There are some new entires that I came across. There was a One Ubuntu under the Internet menu. It directed me to This appeared to be some online portal for storing and sharing documents/ files/ contects/ etc. Do correct me if I am wrong.

The feature that I liked the best is the Ubuntu Software Centre under the Applications menu. It listed a hoard of free software that may be installed in the system. And these would install with just a few clicks, without any hassles (I did not try it though!)

[The setback was that it did not shoot from inside my VBox in Fedora 10. But that is because of my low memory, most probably.]

Sunday, November 8, 2009


This is an addendum to my post 'Ignorance may be deceptive.'

Consider this post on Saturday's ABP:

If you notice carefully (if you have the correct browser and fonts and the stuff...) you will notice that the reporter confidently puts the famous Chennai Test of 1999 into the Asian Test Championship. Ignorant fool! Here is my arrogant laughter for you:

Ha Ha Ha!!!

It is a well known fact that the Test series with Pakistan comprised two tests: one at Chennai (which Pakistan marginally won), and the other at Delhi (the famous 10/10 of Kumble). Later the Asian Test Championship began with a India-Pakistan test at the Eden Gardens (the one where Sohaib Akhtar blocked Sachin on a run and got him out: the crowd erupted: and the Test was completed in an empty Eden Gardens on the 5th day).

The journalist knows many details: he may tell you what Sourav Ganguly is having for dinner tonight, or which colour underwear he will wear tomorrow, but he has not got the basics in place!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ignorance may be deceptive

'He who knows not and knows that he knows not is wise.
He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool.'
The Indian media fall in the latter category.

Note the following article in Saturday's The Times of India's Kolkata edition:'/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIKM/2009/10/31&PageLabel=1&EntityId=Ar00101')

The report is about the Rajdhani hold up last Saturday at Dankuni. In the report it is unabashedly written that the public who held up the Rajdhani were inspired by the Maoist backed forces holding up the Bhubaneswar Rajdhani some days previously. Well, the fact is the reporter has proved himself an ignorant fool. He did not bother to find out that such hold ups are regularly held in the Dankuni-Baranagar Road stretch: at least once in every six months; and no Maoist inspiration was required in the previous occasions. The demands in all the hold ups had been same: why make the local trains suffer in order to make passage for the VVIP trains? Thousands of office-goers, students, businessmen, daily labourers, etc. depend on these everyday.

It is irking to note the degradation in the quality of media reporting. And even more irking to observe their arrogance. If one asks me why am I writing these here, instead of reporting it to their editor, to him I say: the excercise will be futile as it has been on several previous occasions. So, instead I choose to be inspired by Mr. Bachchan and his blog:

"The media dislikes the blog not because I write on it without their consent. The media dislikes the blog because we have created a family of devoted members in the shape of our FmXt, which believes me and not them."

Monday, October 12, 2009


Guess the next Noble Peace Prize will come to me. You ask why? Well, for not indulging in any violence, of course. If Obama, with his army killing inoocents in Iraq and Afganisthan, can get one, why not I?

The last thing that should have happened is the Noble Committee losng its credibility. But at this rate, it soon will. It's true that they have always been a little potty on the Western side --Mahatma Gandhi didn't get it-- but, Obama! That does it.

Obama should have got No-Bail from prison for the crimes by his army.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Suvo Bijoya

Hey, we meet after a long time. Lets start with the usual Suvo Bijoya.

There was a bout of internals at college (these happen so often that they have lost their significance). Then came the Durga Puja which was gone before I realised it. (I have been observing that the older I get, the shorter the pujas become. It's sort of...

length_of_pujas ∝ 1 / my_age

But can someone tell me that what do our Marxist friends have to do near a puja pandal selling their literature? And I was under the impression that they are atheists. (Do correct me if I am wrong).

And guess what, on Panchami I finished reading The Lost Symbol. And still I will say Angels and Demons was the best of the lot.

Let me conclude today with an interesting thing that happened on train today:

A certain Mr. X was sitting in the seat opposite me when one Mr. Y boarded and squeezed into the little space beside Mr. X though the opposite bench was empty. At this, Mr. X requested Mr. Y to move to the opposite bench. Mr. Y moved over. At this one Mr. Z said to X: "It's good that you requested him to move over. Let me make a request to you. Please don't drop the peanut shells on the floor. Keep them with you and dispose them off later. Otherwise the next time you board a train you will exclaim 'How dirty the trains are!'" Indeed X was dirtying the floor. X could only manage a smile. (Subhas Datta, are you listening?)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monocellular again

At last, I got another cell. It's a Samsung Guru E1410 (God knows why they call it Guru).

At 2800 bucks, it's a touch high priced than my last one. But it has got a hoard of new features (not sure how many I will be using, though). It has got, bluetooth, FM, 1 GB memory free (expandable to 4 GB), and ear piercingly loud dual speakers. The idea that steals the show however is the anti-theft tracker. It claims that whenever a new SIM will be inserted into the set, it will send SMSs to two preset numbers about the new number. And another anti-theft enabled device may be used to remotely delete information from the phone, divert calls from it, and also know the location of the phone. (after the loss of the last phone, it didn't require much persuasion on the part of the shopkeeper to push this to me). Not tested any of the features though as it is still on charging mode.

My mother says that it's another invitation to the thief. (She feels that he may have been fiddling in my pockets everyday in train since the last theft!!!) Don't know if it is so. But if this goes, then this is the last time I buy a cell.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


It's almost a week since I had been rendered acellular at DumDum.

Woe to the thug and may pestilence strike those hands which dared to pick my pocket. It was a span of just a few minutes during which I had been inattentive, and the job was done.

And did anyone say "Did you file an FIR?" As if the police have time for me! As if they have no better work than running after thieves who pinch cell phones from people. What did they have to do with something that didn't occur within their jurisdiction? After all, I ain't a VIP.

And I can't help a little pity on the ignorant fool who picked my cell. It was hardly a Rs. 1000/- affair: not worth the labour. It didn't have a camera, didn't play songs, nor was a Nokia. But still it was dear to my heart as the MotoYuva W180 could store 600 contacts and 600 SMSs together.

Can someone tell me how easy it is to crack a password on a mobile? Every time the cell was switched on, one had to supply a password. Can the SOB crack it? I wish his skull cracks into two thinking about it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Had a big bawal in college yesterday. Imagine a networking lab without the network in place! Not a big deal if one considers the case isolated. But with the students being continually deprived of the basic facilities, the war had to be taken to them. Imagine the cheek! They put floor tiles in their offices and the HODs go without a separate computer. 

There is a computer for every sundry staff in the accounts department, but only 2 for 10 teachers of the IT department! I was always against non-academicians being in administrative positions. They are there to look after their own petty comforts.

Yesterday was only a peek of what we need. The HOD, the class teacher, Pijyush Sir, about 7 students were just right to corner the Junior Administrative Officer and the System Administrator (got these posts by telofying the Principal, mind you). But then, Pijyush Sir flared up, and we got softer.

These two are experts at RedHatting (my translation for the bangla tupi porano) people. And they left no stone unturned to RedHat us pleading helplessness. Perhaps we were taken in readily. The students of our college are of the bhodro kind and believe whatever the authorities say.

But for how much longer? The message has to be carried across that the students cannot be taken for granted indefinitely, and we will go to any extent to set the irregularities right.

...How answer his brute question in that hour
When whirlwinds of rebellion shake all shores?
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings--
With those who shaped him to the thing he is--
When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world,
After the silence of the centuries?

-Edwin Markham, The Man With The Hoe

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Was able to connect to the internet from both the desktop (wired) and laptop (wifi) simultaneously after two days of effort. Am using WPA2-AES and MAC authentication.

Got a D-Link DIR-300 for the purpose. The stuff's good and works out of the box in Fedora 10.

Got a Seagate 500 GB SATA HDD too. Couldn't accommodate in the 100 GB any more, so had to change. The Desktop Box now contains 2 PATA HDD (20 GB and 80 GB), one PATA DVD RW drive, and the new 500 GB SATA. (There's also a PATA CD read only drive that is unconnected because of lack of power cables from the SMPS :( ).

The next step is to set up a full fledged home LAN with file sharing, etc.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Does anybody care?

I was returning from Esplanade yesterday sitting at a window seat of a BelurMath-Esplanade (Rt. 11) mini bus. As the bus crawled beyond the erstwhile Metro Cinema, and got stuck at the S.N. Bannerjee crossing, I noticed outside the window, in the shadow of the road divider, a man lying in the most uncomfortable of positions. Very soon I noticed that he was lying in a pool of blood. I tugged at my father, "What happened?" My father shrank in fear, "He has been run over!"

I could not help staring. Here was a man lying dead in the middle of one of busiest roads in Kolkata, and no one noticed! And what a gruesome death it was! His brain had been squeezed out of his skull and pasted on the road for some distance. 

When we get a cut, signals are sent to the brain, and we feel pain. But what if the very brain has been sheared out of the body? Is pain felt? I have no idea. And the gods forbid anybody should have an idea on that. Can there be a ghastlier death?

The bus rolled on. Who cared? I found no mention of the incident in the morning papers either: it was not a bestseller after all.

Monday, July 6, 2009

BSNL: Bhai, SMS Nahi Lagta

BSNL successfully made me lose my patience and I changed my mobile no. (though the new one is another BSNL connection as a stop gap measure).

I was not receiving any SMS in my cell since January last and repeated complains lodged with BSNL fell on deaf years. (the customer care people at BSNL are a stupid lot too. They insist on speaking wrong English with no sense of grammar or enunciation.) I also let go off the opportunity of knocking at the Consumer Forum's. I could have actually got rich with compensation claims. But, never mind. I doubt if BSNL regrets losing a few demanding customers like me.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Railway Budget 2009

The Union Railway Minister Miss Mamata Bannerjee presented the Railway Budget for 2009-'10 yesterday. The contents were not entirely unexpected.

What irked me to no end was the reaction from Lalu Prasad. He feels that his state has been neglected. The fact is that for the last five years he has introduced so many trains and so many projects (most of which are not feasible) in Bihar that there perhaps is no space for more. In fact there have been introduced a few trains exclusive for Bihar like the Ranchi-Patna Jan Shatabdi and the Jamalpur-Gaya Passenger. He has been announcing so many projects for the last five years and done little to introduce them, yet he feels that the present budget is a copy of his ideas.

He has been tabling inflated revenues at the parliament for the last few years. This is a fit case to book him for cheating the people of India.

He hoodwinked people (successfully to an extent, and that is perhaps why he was hailed by one of the IIMs) by not increasing passenger fares while backstabbing them by declaring even sundry trains 'super fast', thus levying surcharges.

Overall, the current budget has been popular. And why should it not be? The Government is expected to work for the people. The low price tickets for the low income group is welcome. But it must be seen that this is not misused. Political persons must be debarred from authorising incomes.

But the concession on the Kolkata Metro for 'minority students' is a gimmick. I can point out a thousand minority students who are affluent enough to buy tickets at the full fare. Concessions should be based only on economic background and merit. When will our 'leaders' learn?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

IBM training

Attended the first day of the IBM DB2 training today at college. Don't know how much will I be able to gain from this. DBMS is boring anyway. Learnt that DB2 is highly scalable. We don't need a 400 MB Oracle for records on a small mobile device. A few kBs version of DB2 is enough. Sounds great. (Just wondering if my Motorola W180 has DB2 in it!)

This is going to be followed by a training on Enterprise Computing. Will learn to program for the Mainframes then, in COBOL too! This will be something! Am looking forward to this.

Chew upon this

Today Hemant and I were standing at the bus stop when a man walked up to us and said that he was short of his bus fare by Rs.2 and asked if we could give it to him. Hemant instantly shook his head. I followed suit.

Most probably he was bluffing. (He looked drunk anyway). But suppose he were really in a fix? If he were not lying? Was I correct in refusing him?

My conscience churns everytime I recollect it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Why are Bangla Soap Operas so detached from reality? Why are the makers so imaginatively challenged? Why do affluent families invariably turn up in every flick? Where do the ladies find so much time to remain always dressed and made up? How can they always afford to elaborately discuss the same old matters over and over again around different rooms in the house? Don't they have house work? Why are most ladies in these flicks always scheming? Why is it always possible to detect which lady is a good one and which is a bad one by their make-ups, ornaments and facial expressions, with a little help from the background music? (wish it were so simple in real life). How do characters so often lose their memories, or go mad and are deported to an asylum? Why does Mr.LostMemory end up in a nice gentleman's house and soon marries his daughter? Why does the original wife turn up at the marriage reception?

How can my mother fret over such invariably predictable humbug?

Am I in?

Am new to this business.
Thoughts keep piling up in my mind. Just thought of putting them down for everyone.
I promise to keep writing. Until I can think of something good, have a nice time.