Chiller room

Category: By AG

Saw this excellent Mira Nair debut movie Salaam Bombay!, and was wondering if the lead actor, 11 year old character called Chaipau (meaning tea and bread, in the movie hes working as a runner distributing tea for a tea stall) playing a street kid in Mumbai is really an actor. My suspicion was right, hes actually a street kid as like many other kids in this movie and no scene was shot in a studio.

I like such movies, non-fiction, real-life, albeit harsh more factual. Although I don't admire the intent of Mira Nair, as with this and noticeably in Monsoon Wedding, of showing only a bad picture of India. I am not contradicting myself, but there are things shown in her movies which are not needed and don't contribute to the story line. May be they are to be taken objectively or esthetically, or I'm missing the point. Nonetheless, Salaam Bombay! deserves all the accolades it has received.

(Chiller room is the term in the movie for a Government run center for development of children, which is shown as no better than a prison.)

As I Clean My Whiteboard...

Category: By AG
A friend of mine asked what am I gonna do on my 1st anniversary here at VMware. I jumped and said, "I'm gonna clean my whiteboard da!"

Theres a reason to it. Reason being it still contains tidbits of things dating back to June last year! Small things...things explained to me, things discussed with team-mates, things discussed with friends, and some things I noted down myself when working on projects..scribbled in blue, black, red and green. Some failed, some worked! As I wipe things off, I can recollect the time of the day it was written, the context and with whom. As if all done just yesterday!

Cleaned it be for the new things to fruition.

Clairvoyance is but fatal

Category: , By AG
One of my friends asks in his blog:

"If you could foresee the next two minutes in your life, would you do things differently than what you otherwise do?"

Foreseeing something is, IMO, helpful iff the outcome is alterable. But is it even possible?

Saying "..foresee the next two minutes.." is ambiguous to say the least. It could mean 2 different things: 1) what I'm foreseeing is one possible outcome, OR, 2) it is _the_ outcome. In case of (2), unless you're in a gambling business or in a life-threatening situation, foreseeing is mostly useless (and even harmful!). We'II come back to this later.

As for the case (1), seeing a possible outcome assumes a sequence of, say 'n', events e_0(0), e_0(1), ..., e_0(n-1), within those 2 minutes, where e_i(x) is causally related to e_j(x-1); i < j <= x <= infinity, and 'n' belongs to [0, infinity]. e_0(n) happens after e_0(n-1) and is foreseen. Now this is just one possible sequence of events and there could be infinite sequences and for any value of 'n'. E.g., there could be another event sequence e_0(0), e_3(1), e_2(2), ..., e_999(n-1), e_7(n); in this case outcome is e_7(n). To simplify the calculations lets assume 'n' tends to infinity (in other words, substitute 'n' for infinity) and at most there could be 'n' events in any sequence. This also means that there are at most 'n' possible outcomes, e_j(n). Also this means that there are 'n!' events in all. All the possible outcomes are equally probable. Now the question is which outcome would you foresee? For the outcome you see depends on penultimate event and a series of events before that, which are causally related and directly related to the event that is going to happen next.

For example, consider a set of colored water guns. I'm to pick any one and shoot on a wall in front of me. The outcome is the color on the wall. If we apply the aforesaid theory to this, I can foresee a color on the wall. Now, in case (2), no matter what gun I pick, I'II end up spraying the color I forsaw. In case (1), chances are (since I did foresee) I choose the gun with the color that I forsaw. Now consider a case that the guns are correctly marked with the color they have. Now if I see a color, and I'm to change it, I'II cleverly pick the right gun and get the color I want on the wall. BUT, but the moot point is what I should've foresaw? The color that I cleverly didn't allow to appear on the wall, or the one that I did?

With this could we conclude that being able to change the future you saw kind of defeats the purpose of your clairvoyance?

Even if we assume we foresee an outcome that would happen if we don't try to alter it, our ability of altering the output greatly depends on the rate of change of events, time between e_i(x) and e_j(x+1); i < j <= x <= infinity. For example, such clairvoyance would help me if I'm a cricketer or a stock broker, but it'd hardly affect me if I'm a tea-leaf picker or a carpenter unless it is life-threatening. Same is true in case of (1), with an added danger that since we foresee an outcome, now no matter what we do, nothings going to change it. This has some obvious consequences, and more so if the clairvoyance vision is 2 years and not 2 minutes. We could think that all we can do is work towards the next outcome. But, wait..think. I'm a film maker and I foresee that my movie is going to be trashed, I can't completely stop working on this movie and take up next, it has to be done until trashed, but all I can do nothing! I wouldn't find time to work on my next film, for the time has to be spent on things I already foresaw sometime back! And the output is unalterable! Things have to be done; and by me!

And with this could we conclude that foreseeing an unalterable future is but useless and prenotion of disappointment could do more harm than cheer of an oncoming success?

Animoto, pretty neat and ..

Category: By AG
Heard about this startup - Animoto. Its simple, it takes your pics, allows you to select a music track and compiles a video out of it and claims no 2 videos are alike. Neat, huh? The short videos (30 sec) are free but the longer ones are not. The shorter ones give a trailer kind of teaser feeling, and are actually great. How far are we to see such features in (*gulp*) Gimp and Picasa? Beyond a lame musical slide show, ftw :)

Just wanted to give it a whirl, uploaded a bunch of pics - random mostly and some from our recent quick Ghirardeli ice-cream late evening sprint. What came out is this -

Long time no blog

Category: By AG
So parents depart after a good (short) half a years stay, and things change. I was preparing myself to be bored again, but it turns out, weekdays are (enjoyably) busy with work and every weekend continues to be equally fun-filled :) I now have more friends in the bay area than anywhere else, and the best thing is most of them are my old friends from Pune. Hiking, games and movies and coding make up my weekends, which otherwise was just coding :P

Blogging becomes scarce, out of pure ignorance, and having exciting things to do make it not so exciting ;) Plus twitter is there filling the need :)

the vegas & canyon

Category: By AG

Linux Storage & File System Workshop 2008

Category: , By AG
LSF, is a premier meet for Linux file system folks. Being invite only, its the only concerned people that attend or rather allowed to attend this workshop. This is its third year and mine first. Only 60 odd people on the attendee list. Odd. Every big name you can think of in the Linux kernel community was there, notable exceptions of Linus and Alan Cox, but they aren't file system major anyway.

Heres the workshop program: And there wasn't any scope for any and every discussion not to be enlightening. Being a primary note taker, I was all the more attentive than usual. Good for me. Will hang off my notes here, as soon as I get them compiled in a readable way.

LSF was co-located with USENIX FAST 2008 and a BoF was arranged on the last day of the workshop which was open to both LSF and FAST attendees. I found it very interesting, especially since it allowed interaction between people from academia and Linux kernel maintainers. We discussed many issues surrounding file systems and storage apart from taking a overview of the discussions at workshop.

I enjoyed my presence at LSF a lot, more than just the day full of technical stuff, its about meeting and interacting with the small esoteric group of kernel developers, whom I revere since my school days. And now its easy for me to convince my mom that its ok if I work more, if akpm works 60 hours a week at his age :)

Why M$?

Ok guys, pinch yourself if you want to, this is true. I'm thinking of joining a company in Redmond, called M$. I've already started preparing for the interviews. Megs tells me the most common question they ask, like any other company, is "why do you want to join M$?". I've come up with few possible answers. Here they are:

1. I'm a sinner, I think I deserve it.

2. I've heard lots bad things about your company, just want to check out if its really that bad.

3. I'm done with my life. I think suicide would be little too much.

4. Nothing else worked. Plans A-Y failed, you're my last resort.

5. I'm anti-social. Everyone hates me anyways.

Disclaimer: pinch of salt and a grain of humor.

Btw, feel free to suggest me more :)


This is one of those topics when I actually get to writing I feel why in the world I pitched such a story in the first place. But I'm glad to have all of my stories accepted. Its always more pleasure writing about things you're not familiar with than otherwise. And its always a pleasure writing in general, running around streets, meeting people, interviewing them and taking pictures. Its different than blogging in many ways.

I was researching about tipping trends and cultures worldwide for a small feature article. The insignificant looking thrifty money that we leave behind as a tip in restaurants surmounts to a multi-million dollar transaction in US alone. The waiter I interviewed at a Thai restaurant on Castro street, Mountain View, apparently makes more money than me and any of my friends. How's that? I inquired, but they have no new vacancies coming up anytime soon :)

Here's a study at Cornell about gratuities that I found both, useful and interesting - Beyond Gratitude and Gratuity.

Marathi Blog

Don't want to clutter this blog with any non-English posts, hence a shiny new Marathi blog:

UFL Career Fair

Reminds me of the project presentation and answer same things over and over.

The UFL career fair was nothing much different than KSU's, but I found UFL students taking career fairs more seriously. May be because UFL has more students or may be because career fairs at KSU are not much fruitful to computer science students. Although I did took first couple fairs at KSU seriously, later I didn't because I didn't have to, except for the free goodies. Its nice to be on the other side of the table though. And its always good to go back to school.

Weather in Gainesville, I found, is noticeably different...its more on the hotter side, but winters are pleasant. In all the places I've been, I can feel the difference in not only the weather, but in the air...Kansas, Boston, Palo alto, Seattle, Pune and Florida. It doesn't have to be true though, I don't have enough samplings.

The highlight of this trip, apart from a mouth watering "peshal" egg curry by megs, is that I had to give an impromptu presentation at the VMware info session. Thanks to some of the colleagues who chipped in.

Blog Face Lift

Its been quite some time I was thinking of doing this..and finally couldn't resist myself any more cleaning up the clutter this blog had become. The swanky blog header comes from a mix and match in gimp. Wanted to depict a blend of deep thinking, an observer, and the conglomerate of thoughts in a color contrasting with the other colors used on the template...and what came out is this. Also now the font is much readable than before.

No option, you have to like it :)

Tujhse Naraz Nahi - Notes and Chords

Category: By AG
Great song. I rediscover it every time I listen to it, especially when sung by those talented competitors on the various singing shows. Listen to this kiddo... Thanks Viv.

Album: Masoom (1983)
Song: Tujhse Naraz Nahi Zindagi (OST)
Singer: Anup Ghoshal
Music: R D Burman

tujhase naaraaz nahi zindagi, hairaan hoon main
a b c# b c# b a b a f# e d e f# e f# f#

o hairaan hoon main
e d d e f# e e e

tere masoom savalon se pareshaan hooN main
a b c# b c# b a b a f# e d e f# e f# f#

o pareshaan hoon main
d d c# b c# b a a a

A A Bm D
jeene ke liye socha hi nahi, dard sambhalane honge
c# d e d c# c# d e d c# c# b b b b b c# b f# a

A A Bm D
muskuraoon to muskurane ke karz utaarne honge
c# d e d c# c# d e d c# c# b b b b b c# b f# a

muskuraoon kabhi to lagata hai
c# b c# b b b c# d c# b b

jaise hontonn pe karz rakhaa hai
g# b g# b e b b b

tujhase ...

Go Kats, Go State!

Being in the default stream of Computer Science, its most likely that people like me end up spending most of their lives in bigger cities. And then the fond memoirs of a very small town like Manhattan, Kansas remains...where some lucky folks like me, for a short while, get to study, work, play, and make friends for life!! My k-state!

(Look mommy, I'm on TV! :))

Kary's right, everyones making video these days :)

Twitter On!

Category: By AG
Enough said and heard about it. They call it "micro-blogging." Nothing fancy about it, just another buzzword. With it you can blog one where you are, what you are doing and feeling. Good thing about it is you can feed it right on your blog, like I have it with "What am I up to?" on the left. Also there are few firefox extensions as well that allow you twitt-ing from firefox. Twitter is ad-free as of now...or I'II be the first to dump it. Lets see how far it goes.

PARC forum talk was very interesting. More on today's topic here:


Kary says it all, both in words and in this picture compilation. Need I say more? Thanks Kary! and kudos to everyone! :D Feels its a lifelong vacation now :)