Saturday, 24th January 2009

After struggling with my shared host for a couple of months now, I finally decided to shift to a newer one. This time I chose a VPS called WebFaction. Though, its not *exactly* a VPS, I'd call it a quasi one. It took me quite a bit of time to setup my domain, transfer files and verify everything, but hopefully I'm done! I'm quite impressed with WebFaction's performance and feature set, and if you're considering a VPS but don't want to shell out that 'moneh', check it out.

Also, I might add that I am *not* redesigning this site. I've come to realize that it takes a lot to design from scratch (which is what I essentially need to prevent an identity crisis). I could have converted an xHTML/CSS design to Drupal, but bleh to it! But, Prateek Saxena (prtksxna) has expressed his desire to pour his supreme graphic magick into a design for me. I am happy to add my site to his portfolio, and will wait till his class XII exams get over. Let's see what he dishes out :-)

Friday, 19th December 2008

Totally against my expectations, I received many more calls/messages in the middle of the night than I usually do. Now I don't want to attribute this to my obvious popularity so I will attribute it to the Facebook effect :-)

Jokes apart, I was really touched how sympathetic people were when they realized I was actually studying for my algorithm design exam, which happened to be on 18th. And how nicely I was wished by people whose birthdays I (very shamelessly) forget. I will mention here those noble kind and truly AWESOME friends who ritualistically wished me at 0000 hrs. Those who wished me later, bleh to you! (but thanks anyway.)
- Nitish, my best friend.
- Eshita, my sister, craziness incarnate.
- Rishabh, friend extraordinary.
- Yukti, waaaay too good friend for 10+ years now.
- Gunjan, unquestionably awesome friend, woke up just to wish me!
- Richa, Sonal, Stuti – super-friends! geez, I didn't even wish them on their b'days (I'm sorry!)
- Mili, bus-mate and junior. (whose birthday I knew, but forgot)
- Prateek - prTk, Ruby fanboy and Human Graphical Machina.
- Akshay, Paridhi et al. - yaay! Cousins!

Tuesday, 25th November 2008

Here is the final date sheet for December 2008 MD University exams. Contains dates for all semesters of B.E. and B. Tech.
Click here to download

Monday, 24th November 2008

Unconferences FTW!
A newbies guide to the awesomeness

[ this article was published in the Linux For You magazine, November 2008 issue. ]

Let's face it. Conferences are boring. Really. Those massive, speaker-centric events are for the white-collared executives listening to a possibly even more boring person on the stage. Now, this might not hold true for everyone, but it certainly doesn't gel with the current times. Our lives have become faster and time is always short... Which is why the conference needs a makeover.

Un-what?
From Wikipedia, 'An unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven conference centered around a theme or purpose'. It is not a specific event, rather, it has been applied to a range of gatherings which follow this style. Unconferences are audience-centric events, compared to regular conferences which are speaker-centric events. They are based on the premise that in any professional gathering, the people in the audience - not just those selected to speak on stage - have interesting thoughts, insights, and expertise to share.
Traditionally, the funda of a conference is -

“The sum of the expertise of the people on the stage, is more than the sum of the expertise of the people in the audience.”

That's the primary reason why a regular conference is not a discussion, its more of a monologue. But not an unconference! Everyone who attends an unconference is required to participate in some way - to present, to speak on a panel, to show off a project, or just to ask a lot of questions. Because they do not require the infrastructure and organization of a full-blown industry gathering, unconferences can happen more frequently. Because the cost to attend is minimal (or non-existent), anyone who wishes to, can come. And because everyone at the unconference participates in some fashion, interaction, networking, hence participation, fun and above all exchange of ideas is a given.

Friday, 31st October 2008


lut4rp: ~]$ history|awk '{a[$2]++ } END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}}'|sort -rn|head
69 sudo
58 ls
44 cd
19 lsl
15 git
15 aptitude
13 lsa
12 grep
10 emacs
9 rm

(this is for my new install, just a month old.)

Monday, 27th October 2008

I came back home from IIT Roorkee today morning after a really, really tiring Thomso 2008 (their cultural fest). I had an awesome time there,
hanging around the campus and interacting with a whole lot of IIT students (courtesy my best friend Nitish, who is doing his B.Tech. Electronics from there). Its weird because people there seem as dumb as us, when *ahem* they are not :-P

We took the bus to IIT on 23rd evening and it took us freaking 8 hours to reach Roorkee, as people wanted to stop for food/tea/nonsense after
every kilometer. But we did reach in time for the Battle Of Bands event (Hindi group rock) in which I had to participate, just to find out we were number 25 on the list :o Lots of bands there were simply awesome and had really good original compositions. We band members barely slept the first 48 hours, the result of which was that I slept most of the day on Friday. Apart from that, the campus was very beautiful, but it got *brrr* cold in the night. We stayed at Govind Bhawan (which is the largest boys hostel). I came to know that a particular boys hostel called the Jawahar Bhawan is the most demanded one, since it sits smack in front of one of the girls hostel ;-)

Overall, I'd say the event was ok. Not really good, but yeah, fine. There were problems with the management, some with the audio systems, some popular events clashed with each other leading to confusion. Of course, its understandable that the campus and fest were spread out over a large area, but there could have been better efforts. In fact, even the IIT students agreed that it wasn't up to the mark, Thomso '07 was better.

I had a fun time anyway (good break to leave my sucked college behind!) though I did miss a couple of people from college. Prestorika was simply awesome on the last day during the English rock event (Wargasm). They covered Metallica, Iron Maiden and Megadeath, and their own track 'Not My Way'. As always, its fun being a part of a large mix of people and forget we have to go back to our own lives as well... sheesh!

Photos here: http://flickr.com/photos/pratulkalia/tags/thomso08/