Song break

Category: By AG
From the time the semester ended, routine schedule has been upside down...I didn't really anticipated this. Sleeping at around 4 is common...can't get to sleep before that..even if try hard. Sounds of CoD, Mafia, Command and Conquer, or some a common-place in my apartment ..all the time provided we are not sleeping ;)

Eating has been a pleasure!! All have become international chefs (excluding me ;)...dosa, halwa, thalipith, name a few..not to mention the piquant continental salads and the veg-pulav. Even though we have plenty of time at hand, we couldn't help to hang out and shell some bucks for mexican and italian dishes. Italian buffet at the Valentino's was a feast! Was my roomie's b'day (happy wala ;) we moved out to have fun. As it was buffet, options were aplenty..everything from shrimps to sweet pizzas..soups, salads, and whole lot variety of meat (I'm just a chickenatarian (argh!! no entry for chickenatarian on Wikipedia!) though) veggie friends had a great time too!

Mexican at the *@&^@ (I suppose theres just one in Manhattan (a.k.a Little Apple)) was also good. Margarita, Takila...looked good (didn't tried though). We ordered some Chinco Sampler...having varieties of burritos, relenos...with different fillings...was good, at least I liked was huge...had to make to-go the rest, which made up my breakfast the day next ;)

Though it seems am eating plenty, I feel I'm definitely loosing my apetite..and feel less hungry these days...mula balancha tension (mazya)..anhki kai? ;)

So vacations are going on fine...this is just one side of coin, though ;) But hey, thats life! And vacations not yet over in any sense..theres more!!! Going to visit one of my old college buddy in Houston...few of us from same batch in college are gathering up their to have fun..really can't wait for it now...I desperately need a break!

Ah, the song break..listening to the Rang de basanti tracks these days...has good guitar pieces. One, which quickly became my favorite..aye saala - Roobaroo, such a cheerful song. Songs mostly are ON when I'm coding...but in a song break I excersize the extremities of the sound system here in the lab of my department ;) Anyways, I guess I'm alone in this whole building...whos gonna be here on this day and at this hour...its just freaks like me...workoholics. Ya, they call me workoholic (no pun intended!)...but sometimes I have to be. Currently working on some my projects and have some RA work to do as well...nothing substantial or to boast about...or would have posted about already ;) But soon will.

Seems like a long song break..ok, volume low, back to work :)

My Inner Hero - Wizard!

< snip >

"Above all, you're a mastermind and a great thinker. You see the unknown as territory to be conquered, and the mysterious as something to be systematically unraveled. You don't have time for fools; you only spend your time with people who can comprehend your obfuscatory convolutions. You enjoy amassing knowledge, both useful and trivial.

Your Mission:
You were put on this earth to enlighten people. They will listen to you, because they are impressed by your vocabulary, your erudition, and your ability to grasp concepts that invariably elude them. You are the one who has to figure things out, because let's face it - you're the only one smart enough."

< snip >

-- they say.

Found similar stuff on my friend's blog. Was just curious as to what it is. It was some site, which help you know what kinda hero are you. I know they try to pamper you giving you good results...but hey its good to have such stuff to read about you, especially on a day like this. Today I got grades for my first semester!

Nothing more to add. Not even smileys.


Its been a teRiFFiC experience...had a lot to learn apart from just the courses I took. Didn't even realized I completed one whole semester!! It was so fast.

What I really feel is I didn't had as much technical to learn as much as rest of the stuff. Don't know why. Back at my engineering college...a semester has a lot to offer...a whole lot of technical doze. This may be because I never had chance to learn so much non-technical stuff...including living basics..or may be I'm used to those fat books..huge syllabus to cover and at the same time continue with the stuff I want to in my spare time...usually my projects.

Nonetheless, was a great learning. My first semester ends. Wasn't any excited for it to get over...for I knew my schedule is gonna be nothing different as it was when the semester was on. Have RA work to do and many things thats being side-tracked for days.

I don't usually like harry-potter kinda fantasy movies..but wanted to watch the hitch-hikers one. A professor of mine called up to watch at his place...and semester me going - sure!

Nowadays..getting a bit lazy..sleep long hours, movies and pc games, snow allday and good home-made food (obviously by us ;)

Hey Hitch is on while I write this...second of the day after a mix of successfull and unsuccessfull attempts to install pc games on my and my friends' laptops just barely meeting the hardware requirements...many...Max Payne 2, Call of Duty 2, Command and Conquer...

Me, back to movie :D

Homepage hosting changed

mvhosted, my homepage host so far stopped ftp access for some reason. And I had to move my pages to KSU CIS server here. Haven't ever paid for hosting my site, neither for domain, nor for the space..was thinking of registering a domain, serving both a permanant webpage and primary email address...but isn't any real pressing for a domain for hosting a couple of pages. So dropped the plans.

So the new homepage is:

As long as I'm at KSU, my homepage hopefully won't move :)

IBM sold to AG. The Thinkpad ;)

Its snow allover the place!! Feels good to see snow falling and gathering over the roof tops and cars....all roads are covered with it. But much less time to enjoy the snow...exams on the way. Nonetheless, its ownderful to see such snow...especially when you have pohas (an indian rice) to go with it.

Got my laptop, finally! IBM T43. Its first time I paid for any software...Windows XP. I didn't know of an option to buy a Thinkpad without that :( Hurridly installed SuSE 9.3 with KDE and Xen...actually wanted to try 10, but don't think its available as ftp install. Installation went fine, except for that X thingie not comming up...installation was graphical but X refused to start after reboot. Simple trick...replaced xorg.conf with xorg.conf.install, and it worked. It takes around 30 minutes for me to get a system up and functional as I desire, once the distro is installed..I typically install most of the development tools, latest firefox, thunderbird, mplayer...configuring them, my GPG, icons..tweaking KDE looks and firefox / thunderbird plugins and extensions. Its up now and Yippie!...first post off my latop :D

Looks like a busy week always. Hopefully after that will get some time for my projects and stuff...and also to enjoy American holiday if possible.

Meanwhile, snow, exam studies and pohas!

Fall & Snow Fall


Fall in Manhattan is zimply awesome! Its amazing to see tree leaves turning from green to yellow, orange, and finally red before wind blows them away to scatter all over the place. Its awesome! Colorful trees and leaves all over. I wonder why we don't get to see such a major transition in my city back in India :( It surely happens, but is not on such a large scale as its here.

Ah today there was snow fall too! Its my first time to experience a snowfall! It happened today here in Manhattan with temperatures dropping to as chilling as -9 degree celsius. Was thrilled...we kinda soaked ourselves in snow and took snaps crazily. It was like tiny cotton balls drifting along with the wind. Today is the day I did something for the first time :)

Its 3.40 in the morning and am still in the library. It feels like -7 degree celsius outside...need to get fat (put on all the heavy jackets) and head to my apartment. Can't afford to enjoy snow or winter much now...exams are approaching!!

Mikhail Gorbachev @ Landen Lectures

Was first time I saw any President speaking. Doesn't matter if its not Indian. M. Gorbachev was here in my school yesterday for a lecture. Gorbachev, a former president of USSR and a Nobel peace laureate, is amongst the top 5 most influential leaders of the post world war II era.

Octobers in Manhattan are awesome...and we didn't feel much of anything while waiting to get into the auditorium. We waited for like 2 hours. We knew it was gonna be a full house. We were in kind of balcony and got the top view of the dias.

Gorbachev is a motivating speaker. Talked for around one hour. Though we understood the lecture through a translator, I could sense the intensity with which he was speaking. He touched upon various topics discussing his leadership days, the cold war arms race, what world needs today and what role should countries like US and India should play. Security and poverty are major problems of this century he says. He also glanced us about his views towards growing terrorist acts and how can they be possibly curbed. He said, Islamic countries are not the only source of terrorism as its much more wide-spread and the countries should also be involved into the peace restoration process. World peace, he says, cannot be achieved by domination or by being a world cop, but by collaborating with other countries.

Its good to get to listen to such people, really pulsating. Not aggressive, but an expressive speaker. Communicated in a leaderly manner and answered questions smartly.

Motovational gift on the festive weekend of Halloween :)

Bad, bad, bad haircut!

Schedule is getting hectic. Loads of load...assignments, projects, RA work...and if time permits study ;) Everyday (including weekends) is almost a mundane work-day, only for a few exceptions..wherein the good new friends of 1947 College Heights Rd plan something impromptu. Could be going for a movie, or watching one on the newly bought friend's laptop in the middle of the night, going to eat out...or just moving around clicking.

Fall is simply awesome here...I wonder why trees in my city, back in India, don't change colors so distinctively? Its red, pink, yellow, orange shades all over and it feels good to have such lively colored trees around! And temperature is just right to move around...neither too hot neither too cold. Its around 10 degree celsius now.

Ah, the title. Had a haircut last week....first time in here...costed be 45 times more than what I usually pay. But don't think was worth it :( Thanks to the barber for reminding me the days when I use to have a very short haircut (called military cut...did I mentioned anywhere here I was in a military school?). And thanks to the friend of mine who didn't burst out laughing seeing my haircut. It was worth seeing me, the moment I came out from the barber shop. Should have posted a pic here! Back in India, barbers take care that every hair (within a region) are of same length. Here..he chopped of my hair above my forehead and its like completly uneven. Am recovering fast ;)

Ok, feeling hungry. Its friday and its time to grab some free food at the after hours of the school union. Lets see what they have for me.

Cycling tricks

Got a new bike (bicycle)...or got a new bike _sponsored_ by a senior ;) Red, 5-gears (which I don't think works) shock-absorbers... Its been a while I rode a bike..never "owned" one though, started and self-learned with a sis' ladies bike...and was fun riding back when I was around 8. A bike could be very handy in this part of the US, and especially if you are in school.

Theres a juggler meet every thursday at the Student Union here, where student jugglers meet. They juggle many things...clubs, diabolo, balls... They even do the circus tricks of riding a one-wheel bike. Its real fun, watching them do that and doing tricks while riding. I tried but could hardly get on the bike.. it takes a lot of skill and body-balancing. You gotta keep the paddles moving back and forth just enough to keep you balanced when you are stationed. And if you feel like falling...(you mostly get imbalanced in either of the directions - front or back)...its better to lean yourself ahead. Ah, me telling all this theory...couldn't even get the first lesson right ;) And the fun part is I actually fell down from my new two wheeler bike!! lol!

Fresh off the boat

I anticipated this busy was kinda ready for it. In fact waiting for I can spend any amount of time in the mom to scold from background "zop ata" (now go to bed)!

Got (a couple) office here..a bit messy, with all the messed up cables, books and machines around...but got a couch as well to rest on. There was nothing on which I could get a current distro with 2.4 kernel running in a short had to pick one of the old debians around. Its first time I'm using debian...its not that bad ;) But had to have a 'workable' net installed latest SuSE on another machine....suck that KVM doesn't work :( So have to switch around the machines. I think will reconfigure the systems soon..but less time!

The Indian Students Association here had arranged a welcome ceremony, Swagat, or an official ragging program ;) Was fun though. Its first time I celebrated/yearned to celebrate major festivals without my family :( And am being home, going home, departure cancelled, plane delayed until next month, am doing up-down from KS to Pune kind of dreams still continue. I finally changed my wrist watch time though - from IST to Central timezone.

They call it After hours. Its live shows / movies at almost-free prize and free food on every friday nights arranged by the school. Couldn't afford to miss! ;) We missed yesterday's movie by 10 minutes though, but free pizzas served were yummy! Then a drive to a coool breezy place late in the evening...and since we missed the after-hours movie...watched another one on laptop at midnight ;)

Raspberry, strawberry seems some national flavor or something..and I hate it! From the day I entered my apartment building, its smelling raspberry! Even the flight I boarded had same smell...also the hotel in which we stayed for the connecting flight. Free ice-creams served were strawberry, and 90% of times I pick a candy from stalls is strawberry! Need to get rid of that from the apartment and office atleast.

Ok, getting back to work now.

Back to School!

Wasn't a cultural shock though...knew everything hows it beforehand ;) And had even read The Inscrutable kinda learned.

I fear thinking of the hectic flight I had...took almost 48 hours to travel half the world..India to Kansas. A multi star hotel stay at chicago for the connecting flight delay was a bit of relief. Air India is on my black list now.

Within the week I spent here, I got to see many different kind of people. I never got to see such varied people in such a short time.

Manhattan, Kansas is an University town...great place though..lush greenary all around...all University buildings are lavishly built and follow a consistent (American?) pattern...and University spans a lot of area...good to have a bicycle...but can't afford right now ;)

Yes its all upside down here...taps, roads, switches, many things... as compared to British or Indian standards..could take time to get accustomed to it.

Theres considerable amount of Indian community here...they screen movies, arrange for the festivals, gatherings and stuff.

Getting used to here now...cook myself, of course not that good...but learning. Made a lot of friends...and hopefully will make more once the classes starts.

All in all a good experience and again am student :)

But its at a cost...I'm missing my family, friends and fellows like anything...kinda homesick...never thought would miss my home so much :( But have to go on! Here where The Alchemist helps me to keep moving towards my dream...hopefully it will continue to do so :)

Listen to your heart...follow your dreams!

Cyclone of feelings, thoughts, worries, excitement and hope. Hope that everything will work out as expected. I never had thought so much about my family before. Always taking them for granted...fool of me! Now I realize what place they hold in my life. Will be away from them for minimum of two years. Ya I know messengers, VoIP and stuff has developed a lot, but that physical presence...

Managed to read couple of books. One, The Inscrutable Americans. Its about a town guy of India going to US for his studies. It depicts picture of US lifestyle as the guy sees it in a humourous fashion. Good read...but not something what I'd like to see.

Next was, The Alchemist. Was probably the best book I've read so far. I think this book occured to me just at the right time...thanks to my friend for the recommendation. It talks about chasing ones dreams and getting to ones destiny. I wished the book was somewhat fatter :(

Hey, I learnt to cook somehow. Doesn't taste too good, but won't starve atleast!

Gearing up finally....count down has already seems never ending, will continue till the last day. House looks a scatterred place with all things that I need to take. Need to fit in all of those in the 2 huge bags I got.

Slimmed down a bit in the process.

Feels good that I'II be student again. I yearn to be a student! A marathi poem my friend sent to me, really a brainwash!

Ok, got the flood warnings finally. Its raining non-stop for the last 24 hours. All the offices are declared closed and we are asked to go home (they didn't mention who's ;)). "Pune city is flooded"!!

Kids at work! (?)

Ha, posting this, while having some free time and my nephews and niece do my work at my office ;) What work, they have made my cube a space to seat! Writing this blog from a laptop they spared! Thank god! Calling kids at work could be a mistake sometimes ;), I wonder! Ok will learn and learning...

Ah, those kids just kids know about my blog can't write more!

The fact is I'm having a great time with them :)

Tere bin sanu sohnia...

Category: By AG
Seems like MSomnia, a fever that constantly makes you think how the things/people around you would look like two years from now. Especially people, and of course your dear ones :) Thats making me lazy. Really. I'm dragging onto my schedule, completing pending projects and preparing myself for the busy life I'm gonna face ahead.

Spending some long hours listening to music these days. Rabbi Shergill takes most of my time. He is too good. His debut album just rocks! Especially the songs Bullah ki jana main kaun and Tere bin. Am not catching up with the lyrics much, but the music is awesome and you almost understand what he must be saying, most being Punjabi. Hey but here are lyrics along with the English translation, kinda testimony that the song is just too good. Good work dude!

Few pics to share...


Govinda, Govinda .... Govinda

Category: By AG
Was out with my family to a famous temple in south India, Tirupati Balaji. Had a great time together.

It was my third time to visit this place. And with every visit I have had a different experience. During my first visit I was just 8. I liked the hilly setup of the place and the food too. Second trip was ok, but in this third trip I had some unwelcomed experiences. May be I'm grown up now ;)

Firstly the trust operating there has boundless resources, but I don't see it put to use in any efficient way. May be IIMS (minus corruption) should takeover. Bad-dest thing we had - no place to stay for the night we went there. The rush was abundant and couldn't get any place. This trust has a monopoly around that hilly area (Tirumala) and owns every rock there. So no private hotels and no private buildings. We nighted out and camped outside the open area of the Muth.

There are many temples in the southern part of India. During my this visit I particularly noticed that temples are constantly looking for various sources of income and are converging to a service providing companies than a holy place where a poor soul comes with all his faith. There are long queues for darshan, you pay some odd amount and you enter a little shorter queue - more the money you pay shorter the queue you get. ok, agreed this is an acceptable way of splitting (or parallalizing) the crowd. So here free darshan is still available but it would cost you more time (takes around 14 hours in Balaji temple). But there are few temples I saw where they have mandatory tickets. The amount is taken for the so-called 'dvelopment' of the temple. The amount is trivial, but the fundamental question is why should one pay to see the God. This is ridiculous! Totally unacceptable! You can shorten the queue by taking money but there should also be free queue where-in a really poor fellow can go. I grilled the ticket vendor over this, he said we have to survive! God knows where that moeny goes.

We waited like 3 hours for the darshan (in a Rs. 50 queue). People cheer eachother by chanting Govinda, Govinda ... Govinda. When the Balaji idol comes closer you feel as if you are put ona fast moving conveyor belt. There are like 12-14 people standing in front of the idol with only job to push people and keep them moving. Due to my height I was able to see the idol clearly before I came near to it.

Forgetting my dislikes over the temples trusts, the trip was awesome! We were in all for 3 days there and visited like all temples in that area. I took huge amount of awesome pictures. Will upload it somewhere soon. (I have been warned by my niece that not all will be made public! So need to take care of that ;))

In all time spent with family was precious. Had great fun! But the direction in which these temple trusts are moving is simply not good. Doing more harm to pilgim's faith than any gain!

Start anything you like

Argh, my experience with this OS is getting worst-err and worst-err. A local bank ATM network uses some version of it (heaven-knows-why). Couple of days back I was taking out cash and oh gosh, that blue screen again! I just hate seeing it! And what next? The machine gulped my card...thats it. Half cash out, half in....and card in as well.

I don't understand why people use / believe such systems. It doesn't stand steady on dekstops, hows it gonna hold on systems like ATMs. Wrote a long note in the ATM suggestion book. Hope someone understand it.

So, its like start anything you like except that, that, that, that, ........, and that. Ha!

There'II come one day, when everything around will be easy to use, stable and open source! Amen!

Welcome little angel...

Today my real sister gave birth to a cute-loooking baby girl. She is 6 pounds, cute and damn fair. Ah, its heaven to watch her blink her those little eyes.

Yippie, I'm mama (uncle) once again!

No BitKeeper?? No worries!

Category: By AG
BitMover have stopped free version of bitkeeper, fearing its cloning and open source geeks reverse engineering their 'hard-earned' protocol.

BitMover's move to remove the free version of bitkeeper may astound all the kernel developers around, but hey who cares?? It wouldn't take much to develop such a tool (of course gradually not overnight) for the players who make their own playground (make their own OS). Linus has already put up first (kinda crude) release of the versioning control tool.

I think this event made FSF-lovers and RMS happier; for now, no developer will use that proprietory software to maintain the flagship GNU project - The Linux Kernel!

But thanks to BitMover for setting the standards, (we'II stick to it ;)!

Welcome note.

Hi people,

When it comes to blogging, I have been following a similar rule what people follow with LKML (Linux Kernel Mailing List) - read liberally but talk conservatively. Anyways, will try to post most often.

I've had blogs here but posted very seldomly, only once to be precise.

Hope will have lot more flow of ideas and thoughts here at blogspot.

May the source be with you.