Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Diwali Lights 2007

Diwali decoration at Durga Asthan Mandir @ Muzaffarpur, Bihar

Diwali decoration at Durga Asthan Mandir @ Muzaffarpur, Bihar

Yagya Agni during Laxmi Pujan

Yagya Agni during Laxmi Pujan

Diwali celebration with Crackers

Diwali celebration with Crackers

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pollution Under Control Or Pure Unrestrained Corruption

PUC (Pollution Under Control) certificates issued in the interest of environment have actually become means of Pure Unrestrained Corruption. This certificate was supposed to be used to contain the pollution levels of the vehicles but the authority seems to have forgotten its original meaning. Just choose any moderately busy signal where a RTO officer is also present and you can easily observe many vehicles especially the heavy vehicles stopping at the signal and blowing excessively dark smoke in the face of bystanders, forcing them to choke themselves in order to avoid inhaling the hideous smoke. I myself get caught in this situation almost everyday.

This must be discouraged and can easily be done if the RTO officers observe their duty of spotting these vehicles, check for the PUC certificate and fine them if required. However this doesn't seem to be a concern for them as they prefer to look for easy and frequent catches which mostly are 2 wheeler riders, most of them youngsters, which will fetch them a quick income (read bribe) because generally they are not vigilant enough to renew their PUC certificates.

May be what is required is to educate our officers about the real usage and meaning of PUC certificates.


CD-ROM detection problem in Windows XP

Sometimes in Win XP the CD-ROM is simply not detected by the OS all of a sudden or is not accessible. This is kind of common with XP and in most cases caused by a corruption of registry entries.

Following is a simple solution which should work for these kind of situation. Make sure to backup you registry or at least the concerned key before doing any changes, because it is just a work around to these kind of symptoms and this may not actually solve the problem at times.

1) Start Registry Editor (Start, Run and type in regedit then click O.K)

2) Locate the UpperFilters value under the following key in the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\

3) On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click OK.

4) Locate the LowerFilters value under the same key in the registry:

5) On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click OK.

6) Quit Registry Editor.

7) Restart your computer.

NOTE (Updated): After you remove the Upperfilters value and the Lowerfilters value, if you notice lost functionality in a particular program, such as CD recording software, you may need to reinstall that software. (Cause of this is pointed out in the comments.)

Disclaimer: This work around involves modification of registry values, which may lead to undesired behavior on certain systems. So, use it at your own risk. Also it is advisable to backup your registry before doing these changes.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Reliance Group making its investors wealthy

Today when all global markets were flat and so were the Indian markets, Reliance group companies were going northbound without any consideration for the markets. You can read the details here.

This gave me a mixed feeling of pleasure and pain. Pleasure because I have invested in two of their companies which rose 11% and 4.5% in a single day and Pain because I lost money in short sell when Reliance Natural Resources rose from already mind boggling high of 20% to 35%.
But anyway right now Reliance is ruling the stock market :)


Dramatic win for India pushes SA out of race

In a completely dramatic turn of events India won yesterday's match India vs South Africa at Kingsmead, Durban securing its place in Semi's. Indian fans across the globe were ecstatic after the win and Team India must also be celebrating its much required and acclaimed victory before they face their another crucial match against Australia.

Many would claim that they had faith that India will win this match, being die-hard fans, but for others like me this match was no less than a well written script of a suspense thriller movie. Even before the match started there was immense pressure on Indian team. Nothings seemed to be in favor of India. Consider these,
1) The group score card was in favor of the hosts, it was a do or die match for India but SA just needed to secure a respectable score.
2) The pitch (having support for pace bowlers) was in favor of hosts.
3) SA had never lost a match in the tournament so far so morale was also high for them, and add to this loss of the star of Kingsmead, Yuvraj for this game due to an elbow injury.

After reading these conditions one might just give up the hopes already but still I being an optimist looked forward to the match. Match started and in the initial overs only we lost 3 wickets.
We were 32/0 and then suddenly 33/3 and that also in mere 4 balls.

It looked like India lost the match already and will be out of T20 but rookie Rohit sharma and Captain Dhoni took charge and stayed on the crease easing pressure bit by bit. I am not sure if they were actually easing pressure or adding to it, because they were taking it easy taking singles or doubles and there were occasional boundaries to signal they were alive and going by the standard of T20 everyone was praying for a miracle. Rohit sharma, the dark horse here, stood with his captain and played a match turning inning. Dhoni and Sharma speeded up their game towards the end and managed a otherwise respectable score of 153/5 in 20 overs but this was T20 and
this was hardly a defendable score against a team like South Africa that also on their home turf.

So, with lot of anxiety about the outcome and for obvious reasons immense pressure on our young bowlers 2nd inning started and the from the very 1st ball the mounting pressure was visible. First ball Wide which went to boundary as well. At the end of 1st over the hosts were at an alarming score of 11/0 from which most runs were extra given by Shreesanth. Situation was getting more and more intense. Within all this RP singh makes a spectacular comeback for India by dismissing Gibbs on his very first ball of the spell and gives only 1 run in the over. With this huge moral booster Shreesanth strikes in the very next over and gradually Indian bowlers kept taking wickets, pushing the match towards India by every over and soon the smallish Indian total started to look big for the hosts. RP singh proved to be a lethal weapon and completed his spectacular spell with only 13 runs in 4 overs and taking 4 wickets.

The next time when the situation seemed to be getting in favor of the hosts again was when Harbhajan was proved very expensive in his first over and India 3 more overs were remaining to be bowled by him. To Dhoni's relief he bowled his remaining spell surprisingly well and took 2 wickets also.

In this roller coaster style match in which Indian were struggling for their survival in the tournament, by the end of the match surprisingly It was the South Africa who was struggling for their survival in the tournament. This was something which no one had even imagined happening. Finally SA's struggle ended with a shameful defeat by 37 runs which put them out of the tournament as well.

Now Team India is on a high but the bigger challenge lies right ahead. The semi final match against Australia.

Till then team India deserves to enjoy their spectacular win.

Cheers to heroes of the moment Rohit Sharma and RP singh !!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yuvraj 6 sixes "Carnage at Kingsmead"


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Keeping away from HDFC Securities

I have using HDFC securities for quite some time now and I have had a tough time trading with HDFC securities and finally I decided to keep myself away from it and so I thought I should recommend people who trust my opinion to keep away from it as well. After all its your hard earned money which is at stake. To make my opinion and experience visible to a larger community I have written a product review of HDFC securities on the portal which I rely upon for reviews, Mouthshut.com. You can read the full review here.

My next step is to voice my opinion to a even wider community through print media. I will definitely update the status on my blog when Its done.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Pictures of the week

FCPhotographySchool: Pictures of the week


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

First ad of Proware in India..

Today Proware released its first every advertisement in Indian market. The ad was published in the leading job/hiring newspaper in India the Times Ascent, 29th August 2007. The advertisement is for our currently open hiring positions and not for sales.

But I guess its not long before Proware starts its full fledge sales advertisement campaign for Indian markets as well. After all India is one of the fastest growing markets in the world and everyone wants to reap benefits from it...

Here is the ad which was published today...


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Quality time at work

This is my post after a very long time and I have been really very busy all this time. Had been toTaiwan on a 2 months business trip to start a new module and after coming back had been working hard on it to finish in the estimated deadline. Its been a very interesting experience. My intermediate deadlines went for a toss, thanks to our ultimately complex product which is still in its early stages (even 1.0 is not yet released).

I encountered and solved so many situations about which I had only read in the OS and DB fundamentals or never heard about them at all. So, Its been a very rewarding experience well.
Finally I am relaxed as my module is quite stable now and so I can breathe easy.. and I completed the whole thing as estimated, so It gives me a reason to cheer about as well. Also now I have more interesting problems to solve and so all I can say is.. It just keeps getting better and better :)

Apart from work there have been many things to look after such as crashing stock markets, investments, health care and believe me its all really boring.. but have to live with it :(

Thanks to the nice movies which were released during this time... which really helped me destress.... some of the movies I watched & liked are
1) Meet the Robinsons
2) Spiderman 3
3) Fantastic 4
5) Zodiac
6) Bheja Fry
7) Chak de India
8) Transformers

Quite a lot of good movies In this short duration, lucky me... Now I am looking forward to "Ratatouille" :)


Monday, April 9, 2007

Debugging crashses/dumps using objdump

objdump is a useful tool for statically resolving symbols for core-dumps for a given
binary. It's equivalent xscale utility is known as xscale-elf-objdump.
you can ref. the man page for objdump to know how to use it, but here is the gist of
it ...

if for a given core-dump the PC points to address 61b34.

just type the following.

xscale-elf-objdump -S proSUN.elf --start-address=0x61b34 --stop-addres=0x61c00 -l

in listing3.txt you will find the following.

00061b34 :
mptscsih_detect(): /ecos-c/redhat/proSUN_new_auto/drivers/lsi/mptscsih.c:1414
Q_INIT(&hd->pendingQ, MPT_DONE_Q);

mem = hd->memQ;
for (ii=0; ii <>can_queue; ii ) {
freedoneQ = (MPT_DONE_Q *) mem;
61b34: e51bc040 ldr ip, [fp, -#64]
61b38: e50bc028 str ip, [fp, -#40]
Q_ADD_TAIL(&hd->freeQ.head, freedoneQ, MPT_DONE_Q);
61b3c: e51bc020 ldr ip, [fp, -#32]

which might make more sense to you.


Monday, April 2, 2007

The bitter taste of inhumanity

On a typical Monday morning, I am sitting in my scarcely populated office clearing the backlog of mails accumulated over the weekend. Suddenly some kind of noise distracts us all. In a matter of seconds we realized it was not a noise, it was a man howling and screaming in agony and It was quite clear and sounded very close. I tried to peep out of the nearby window but couldn't see anything but the screams kept getting louder, Now I could hear that some one is crying to call a doctor. I was distracted and disturbed and when I turned back and to my surprise I saw all of my colleagues sitting straight-faced in their comfortable chairs, eyes glued to their monitors as if nothing has happened. I was disgusted, but I didn't have time to reflect about their indifference and inhumanity.

I rushed outside and in couple of minutes I found the troubled soul. To my relief, there wasn't any visible physical injury on his body. May be it was some kind of attack. He lie semiconsciously encircled by many humans, who were just standing there doing nothing. I asked one of them, is there any hospital near by. He replied yes there is a hospital just next to this building but its a pity no one is taking him there. I felt like kicking him hard but I decided against it and rushed outside of the colony to get an auto rickshaw so that I can get him to hospital. But that wasn't needed anymore as I saw a doctor reaching us, escorted by someone. I felt gratitude towards that generous soul for doing his bit and not waiting for someone else to do it.

The doctor gave him some sedative and instantly the screams became moans and then there was silence. The doctor asked everyone to leave that their presence was absolutely unnecessary there and I also returned to my work. But this incidence left the bitter taste of inhumanity, which is growing at a rapid rate among us - the humans.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Elementary dating guide by Mr. Bean


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Interesting trends

Another innovation from Google, a search engine to find the search trends across the globe. You can also compare search trends of many topics. So, I thought it would be interesting to find out the search trends of some hot topics in India.

Here are the results and I found them really interesting, these display a comparison of search trends for some of the most popular topics.

Note: The results are sorted according to the first(primary) key and for them the trends of second topic is given. This is why I had to use Sex as a secondary key otherwise it overshadows all other search keys.

1) Technology vs Sex:

Vellore tops the list of cities searching about technology and interestingly our top IT cities are no where to be found among them. Also, technology seems to be catching up as the hottest thing for people to search.

2) Music vs Sex:

Anand & Goa are top the list for Music search.

3) Technology vs Music:

4) Music vs Technology:

Last two trends are most interesting, notice that where Technology is the hot topic to search, people are hardly looking for music (supposedly in the city of geeks), but the cities where Music is hot, Technology also holds the similar importance for them.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Vodafone does it the Skype way

Vodafone has come up with a hybrid technology to allow Skype calls through mobile through the ubiquitous GSM network. For obvious reasons, it can now change the face of mobile industry in recent future. At the moment Vodafone is uncertain about selling it, but one thing is sure that this is going to create a huge dent in the ISD calling segment of mobile telephony. With this technology in their kitty they will definitely have an edge in the cut throat competition of Indian telecom market, which they have just entered by the acquisition of Hutch.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Many many happy returns of the day to my darling bike

Today is the second anniversary of my beloved Bike. Interestingly, I touched the 22222 Km mark on it today. In the evening I am going to celebrate it, with a nice speedy drive on the highway and some French chocolates. Tempting, isn't it? You can join in too :)



Thursday, March 1, 2007

Enter the world of Bulls & Bears

Today's newspaper was crammed with budget analysis and impacts but the thing which caught my attention was the stock market and its dramatic rise and fall on the budget day. For a long time I wanted to invest in the stock market but never had enough motivation, determination and most important confidence to play around with it. But today I somehow didn't need any of these as I was determined enough to invest, that also as the first thing today, as the market was down. I consulted a friend who plays in to this market and sure enough, locked my first lot of Stocks. Sealing my investment with a "good job" note, market recovered 220 points before closing and gave me a profit of Rs. 3.50 per share one the first day itself.

Now we need to wait and watch if I can complete the journey from a tyro to a consummate investor :)


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Caught amidst Alkaline Tide

Ever wondered why do we feel drowsy or yawn frequently after lunch or a heavy meal? Well I just did and as once could expect as the most obvious reaction, I googled for the answer. After wandering over many sites I found that "Drowsiness & yawning after meals is caused by a phenomenon called Alkaline Tide."

Curiously I looked for Alkaline Tide on Wikipedia which defines it as “Alkaline Tide refers to a condition, normally encountered after eating a meal, when stomach acid is released into the stomach that causes a temporary increase in pH of the blood. This is a natural bodily function.”

Finally, I landed on a blog which had the complete scientific explanation of my question. Ironically I couldn’t make any sense out of the “scientific part”, But What I did understand is "Due to increased alkaline level in blood brain doesn’t get enough oxygen thus we feel drowsy and yawn frequently."

Now I am feeling like I have been caught in the Alkaline High Tide for last two days and just want to have a long siesta :)


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Not a poetry fan but found this wonderful poetry by Robert Frost and I was amazed by its simplicity and efficacy. It won't be untrue to say that anyone can learn from and relate to it.


Friday, February 9, 2007

Solution of the problem posted in my previous blog

For scenario #1 & #2 there is not much to answer as it is very straight forward. So, I will directly provide you with the answer for the most tricky scenario #3.

The solution posted on the blog of Aaron Ballman -
"It turns out that the way you accomplish it is with an array of 256 function pointers. Every time you get a character, it's ASCII value is an index into the array of function pointers where the entries for '0' through '9' are calculating the value (with the help of a global position value). The entry for the null byte terminates the process and returns the proper value. All of the other entries point to an error function." - Ballman

The solution which I devised, uses a recursive function to achieve the looping functionality and '&&' (Logical And) operator to achieve the flow control functionality. Very simple and straight forward logic to solve a simple problem. Here goes the function StringVal...

int StringVal (const char *buf)
int value = 0;
static int index = 1;
const char *tbuf = buf;

(*tbuf != '\0') && (value = StringVal(++buf), value += (*tbuf - 48) * index, index*= 10);
(*tbuf == '\0') &&amp; (value = 0);

return value;

For interested audience, following links provide a good discussion of the problem and many solutions to it.

1. Original discussion of the problem

2. Answer to the problem


Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Interesting programming problem

Here is an interesting programming problem which is quite commonly asked in job interviews nowadays. You will ask me if its so common why am I posting it here. Because, this time It comes with a twist :)

There are various constraints put on the problem to make it tricky and interesting. This is a three part problem which goes like this.

Write a function which takes a string version of a number and converts it into an integer value. For instance, "100" will become 100. There are constraints placed on the function. You must use only legal C code (no assembly) and cannot use any helper libraries (such as ANSI C functions like strlen, etc) except for the pow function. Assume all inputs are positive and valid for the sake of keeping things brief.

Question 1:
Write the aforementioned function given that the declaration is: int StringVal (const char *buf)

Question 2:
Given the same declaration, write the same function without using any looping mechanisms (for, while, goto etc).

Question 3:
Given the same declaration, write the same function without using any looping mechanisms or flow control mechanisms (for, while, if, switch, goto etc).


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Awesome ads by Budweiser featured at Super Bowl XLI

Bud Light: Hitchhiker

Bud Light: What would carlos do?

Budweiser: Beer-Stealing Crabs

Budweiser: Fake Dalmatian


Monday, February 5, 2007

Secure Surfing: The need of today

Motivated by the fate of a fellow developer, I delved into the issue of "Online security & privacy". Driving factor was the fact that your employer can, and generally does, track your browsing history, IM sessions and emails. In short, it spies on your each move in the online world. This manifestation was kind of creepy and thenceforth I set out to find out, if something can be done about it.

Later on I discovered that, this is a well known loop hole in the online world and there are thousands of "Peeping Tom" out there looking for a chance to invade your privacy. As one might imagine, there are also many tools and solutions readily available online to address this issue. But most of them provide you nothing but specious claims.

I googled on some of the solutions and landed on an article which actually enriched my networking knowledge and also suggested me a tool namely Tor. The article provides good insight in how Tor works and explains an interesting concept of Onion Routing. I found the article very informative, convincing and useful. In fact, Tor is by far the best tool to address this issue, which I could find. I haven't used it yet because I want to investigate further to see if it has some security implications. For that reason, I sought help from the online security experts and you.

For details on Onion routing please read the complete article on Onion Routing or visit the official website of Tor. You can also visit its wiki page.


Monday, January 29, 2007

The golden history of Bihar - an epitome

I was delirious to accidentally find the well maintained official website of Bihar. I spent close to an hour browsing through it, mostly reading about the state and I was delighted by the prospect. I got lost somewhere in the reminiscence of my school days; the urge to memorize as much as I can for the History exams and still being panic stricken at the very thought of forgetting even a single date and loose the complete chronological order of events. But this time it was different. A sense of satisfaction surged through my mind after reading about the history I vaguely remembered and the facts I always feel proud of. You can read the epitome here and you can visit the official website here.


Friday, January 19, 2007

"Compassion makes us human" - Vikash

"Out of compassion I destroy the darkness of their ignorance. From within them I light the lamp of wisdom and dispel all darkness from their lives." - Bhagavad Gita

"The dew of compassion is a tear." - Lord Byron

"I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance." - Pablo Casals

"The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter." - Norman Cousins

Reading these great thoughts instilled this very thought in mind. This made me ponder about "what it takes to be human?". Answer was candidly simple - "Compassion".


Friday, January 12, 2007

Tribute to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (Part 3 of 6)


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Pleasant ride of 20,000 Kms

Today I completed 20,000 Kms on my bike. It's a Silver color Bajaj Pulsar DTSi 150 cc and it's 21 months old. It has been a very smooth ride so far and the performance of the bike has been really great.

Some Performance data:
1) Achieved top speed of 120 KMPH on Solapur highway.
2) Have got peak mileage of 63 KMPL in first few months (around 6 months).
3) On an average I get 52-55 KMPL
4) Went 0-60 in around 5.5 seconds on Pune-Mumbai highway few months back (not bad after 1.5 yrs)

I love riding my bike and now I want to get some modifications done on my bike to enhance its looks and performance.... But I don't know anyone who has done it or who does it... So guyz please help me out here and give me some suggestion and/or pointers on this.


Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Joke, jest, witticism, quip, sally, crack, wisecrack, gag on Dictionary, Vocabulary, Glossary, Lexicon, Wordbook

“Two trucks loaded with thousands of copies of Roget's Thesaurus collided as they left a New York publishing house last Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Witnesses were aghast, amazed, astonished, astounded, bemused, benumbed, bewildered, confounded, confused, dazed, dazzled, disconcerted, disoriented, dumbstruck, electrified, flabbergasted, horrified, immobilized, incredulous, nonplussed, overwhelmed, paralyzed, perplexed, scared, shocked, startled, stunned, stupefied, surprised, taken aback, traumatized, upset. . . .

— Joke circulated on the Internet

December 2003”

Isn’t it thesaurous-ly funny, amusing, comic, comical, droll, humorous, laughable, risible, zany, witty??


Thursday, January 4, 2007

I am Green Lantern :D

Inspired by Geoff I also took the Super Hero Quiz :)
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern

The Flash





Wonder Woman

Iron Man

Hot-headed. You have strong will power
and a good imagination.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...


Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Credit card fraud techniques just got richer

On the celebration night of 24th December, a friend of my colleague went to Rajwada (A nice restaurant on Baner Road, Pune) to have some good time and dinner. He pays for the dinner by his Credit card, waiter gets the card back and he goes home happily. Next day he gets a call in the morning........... Aah Its the same old bugging promotional call from his credit card company offering him an easy loan of the overdue amount and easy repayment using EMI's BECAUSE "he has done so many transactions since morning". Now apna dude is surprised and says he has done only one transaction last night and that is also not so huge, but the caller is certain about the transactions. So now its time to check the card..... and to confirm the caller's confidence, apna dude has some other guy's credit card in his pocket (which was possibly interchanged by mistake at the restaurant). So, assuming it a genuine mistake, he blocks his card to stop further transactions on his card and inquires about the card he has with him. And to complete the masterpiece the card is found to be stolen 6 months back...... So, he ends up having Rs. 15000 dinner.

He talks to Rajwada management and they cannot help him because they hire "temporary staff " for the days when the Restaurant is really crowded. He goes to police to file an FIR but they refuse to do so, saying "logon ke lakhon jaate hain aur kuch nahi hota tum toh saste chhoot gaye".

Moral of the Story:- Never leave your card unattended and if you did, make sure you got your OWN card back.

Have a safe Credit History guyz... Enjoy :)


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