27 June 2007

Should there be bottles of Champagne?

And a huge extravagant party?

Should I celebrate? Wondering... why?

This happens to be the 100th post in this blog. As the blog was growing in the past 15 months, I was growing too - my thoughts, ideas and the way I present things.

May be not for you, but this is definitely a special post for me. I had a few fellow bloggers who started blogging even before or almost at the same time as I did. Many of them don't even update their blogs now, many have lost the blogs completely. I am happy that I came this long way.

Am I gone crazy? This is just a blog, I am blabbering as if I have reached moon!

Hey, you know what? I have a meeting with professor in another 15 minutes. Let me prepare for that now. Will be back from there and continue with my *bragging* :)..

Please stay back.. I'll come in 45 minutes. [12:15 PM]

Back [01:00 PM] - after 45 minutes. The meeting went well. I might be taking a student assistant to help me with some programming and stuff. My complaint that I am alone has to be changed to "he doesn't know programming" :). I shall write about that later.

I shall tell about how I came to blog-land and why and how I continued to stay very active here.

I was actually very late to start a blog. After seeing Kathik's blog, I had a sudden impulse and started with a colorful "hello world" post. Initially, I didn't know what to write. It was just simple ramblings of mine.

Later I knew that this blog would really help me to improve my presentation skill (has it improved?), to improve my English (yes it has improved) and also to focus my thoughts (also has happened)

What I usually do is, when I talk with someone or read something, I register the thought and keep it in mind. Mostly in two-three days, the thought gets processed and would be ripe enough, then I am ready to write. There were situations that I kept some thought in mind, it stayed there too long, got decayed and the posts were stinking!.

On 2-3 occasions I've written something bad about others[Even though what I wrote was true].

Basically, when those 2-3 people did some utter non-sense and hurt me (from my perspective), I tried to put it down here. I was not sure why I did that. But all those 2-3 times, I was very uneasy about the posts which criticized someone and finally withdrew the posts - within a few hours.

I've always tried to be more or less regular with the blog. I have tried to have at least one post a week - because of two reasons.

1) Otherwise I'll lose touch with the blog and the idea of being regular wont work.

2) The readers who come to my blog: A normal person would think about once in a week - "let me checkout some blogs". When she comes, I should have something new for her. Otherwise she'll be bored. Or If I have too many posts for her, she'll be scared of reading lot of crap and will leave .... and will never come back.

And the people who check out blogs daily (people with no other work) and the ones who check blogs in two months - I prefer not to have them as my readers. So one post in 5-7 days was the best.

I think, that's pretty much about it. I should stop now (gotta go for food)

Signing off, Sands.
PS: It really feels good to see this 100th post! WOW!

22 June 2007

I have lost count.. still again.

I don't know how many times I already have written that I am so happy in life. Today, I repeat it.

In life, one plays many different roles at any given time - son, brother, friend, student, employee, neighbor, teacher, employer, husband, father .. etc. A man might have to play all these roles simultaneously. And how well he does it - that performance should tell how good he is.

At present, I have a couple of these roles to act. You know what? I am actually doing them quite well.

As far as I can think, my parents are happy. I am a good son!

I help my sister with her small problems and confusions. I help my friends to learn German (I am learning myself). I help my friends with CS-Theory. Not just helping with learning, I am a good emotional source&sink too ... for them.

I am a good student to my German teacher, a good neighbor to my wing-mates ... etc. My professor also seems to be happy with me.

May be I am not perfect in all these things. Except for the last (professor) thing, I am satisfied too. When it comes to my real research, I am lagging a little bit.

Even otherwise, I was never a great student. Towards the end, I finish well. But I always have been too lazy in the beginning. Half way through, I wake up and start working. I am in that stage now! :)

Anyway, this will be the last time I am having this *slow-starting* trouble. I just took things too lightly. So, at the end of day, that problem too is getting solved - because I've found the root cause!

Personally too I think I am doing quite good. There are many things which I want to do, but have not accomplished yet. It's just a matter of time. I am moving slowly and steadily towards my goals.

There are some days which are completely non-productive. I don't have time to cry for such bad days. It's a part of the game - but the daily-grind has to continue.

Two weeks back, I simply sat and wrote down a couple of things to do... to improve my life. I have slowly started with 2-3 of them too - the surprising fact is that... the 2-3 weeks of change is really showing the difference.. in the energy level and the whole happiness. Let me see how well can I manage.

The following are a couple of them from the list.

  1. Continue to be an early bird

  2. Learn to concentrate for 3+ hours

  3. Avoid procrastination

  4. Exercise half an hour every day

  5. Read for one hour everyday / A book every week

  6. Learn German

  7. Socialize more

  8. Write letter to friends and relatives

  9. Start saving money

  10. Improve LaTeX, Vim, Shell abilities

  11. Maintain blog regularly

  12. Learn Fast typing

I have started with only a few of them... It will take a long time to go the long way!

Here is a picture from my today's walk.

Should not I be happy?

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: Last but not the least, I am not-so-bad a blogger too!

PS2: These are just a few things from the big list of things which make me happy. For example, I have tension about my research... and I enjoy even that! What's wrong with me?

PS3: Post dedicated to Yadhu and Arun.


20 June 2007

Another Change

On May 21, I had an entry regarding the changes I am making in my life. The first one about becoming an early bird and the next one was for gaining the ability to concentrate for 3+ hours without fearing any deadline.

Early bird thing worked out very well and it is going on fine. The 3+ hours of concentration thing also is working to an extent. I still cannot say that it is a complete success. I am not able to do it on a regular basis. For early rising, I can give 10/10, where as for 3+ hour stretch I'd give only 6/10.

My complaint was that I was not able to work uninterrupted when there was no deadline coming up. I do not have that complaint anymore. I am able to read and do things for long 3 hours - except for being a little sleepy in between, for which I take a small break.

The DO IT NOW thing is working out to an extent. The results are actually quite visible in my life - my room - which is quite clean and arranged almost all the time. And in case it's not very clean, it takes a maximum of 5-10 minutes to clear the mess. :)

Now the coming month is the time I have to reinforce on the habit which I am cultivating. Next month 20th, when I put another entry, I should have made it strong - to a level of 10/10.

This month I am going to take up 2-3 small things to work on - to improve. They are:
  1. Morning exercise / walk / run - just for 30 minutes

  2. Increasing my typing speed from 30 wpm to 60 wpm at least - this has to be a daily exercise

  3. Reinforcing "DO IT NOW"
These are things which are not directly related to my work/studies. The one I've to improve there is to learn Maple, gain expertise in that, learn how to create new packages - and finally do the small project in hand.

To code something without having any person to guide you is scary. If it were "C" or something, I'd have been cool. Here, more than the language, it's the methods which is scaring me. There is no good documentation - there are many which are 3rd class though. There lies the fun.. isn't it?

That's it for now. If possible, I should go for TOLL WOOD tonight - the summer festival in Munich.

Signing off, Sands.
PS: After a long time, this is a post without picture nor song! [Reason: I am blogging from office]


16 June 2007

Moved - New Office Space

Earlier I had put a post with the pictures of my office. Last week, I had to relocate to another office room. After arranging everything, it really looked awesome. I couldn't resist the urge to show off my new office space.

Everything is very beautiful, just that I should work as I really deserve such a great office.

This is how it would look from the door. I should have kept the windows open for a better lighting. Or may be this darker one is better.

The view from another corner. Don't bother the books... it's all I have got. Haven't even touched many of them.

This is exactly where I would sit. There are two computers of which only one is mine. The other one belongs to Peter, who would come once in a month or so.

The corner with some plants! Peter owns all of them and now in my custody. I would take care of them well. :0

Signing off, Sands.


12 June 2007

This is a little technical post

I started reading slashdot when I was in my BTech itself. It was the times when we had 3kbps connections in real life. It was supposed to be 64kbps connection, but the average speed would have been well below 10kbps.

Well, that doesn't matter. I used to use "lynx" to browse through slashdot - without understanding much of it though. Anyway, I was never a regular reader. I used to visit it once in a while.

It was only one year back, I discovered "digg". Looked and sounded cool initially. The more regular I became in digg, I found the community is very partial. The majority of them (I mean, the majority of active diggers) are apple/mac maniacs.

Slowly, I started noticing that they were very partial.

1. They are apple maniacs
2. They are neutral to Linux/Open-software
3. They are anti M$.

The third one in the list makes them actually a little inclined towards the FSF/open-source community. Now I dont have any problem with that. But the quality of digg is degrading. I am more-or-less a regular reader and I guess my opinion counts.

All the anti-MS stuff get more digged, all the apple-praising stuff gets digged. Digg was slowly becoming partial. It is very much partial right now.

But the good old slashdot - of which also I am a regular reader, remains impartial and factual - THE STUFF THAT MATTERS. Anyway I have always valued slashdot above digg. I am seriously considering of boycotting digg.

This morning, I went to both the sites and the top news in both of them - depicted in the picture. Isn't this a good proof? (You might have to click on the image to see it clearly)

The bug-report was anyway there in digg too - with about 900 diggs!

Signing off .. from here and digg too,

PS: Now please don't argue on this thing. It's not my M$ love makes me say all this. That's a different thing altogether.

http://www.digg.com/ - DIGG
http://slashdot.org/ - SLASHDOT

4 June 2007

This is Race, the Rat Race....!

IT definitely is funny. The more you (try to) organize your life, more chaos are detected. I am gradually structuring many things which were left untouched for years, and I am discovering that I've to do much more than I had imagined. A smaller example would be reading - the more I read, I realize that I have to read much more than I had imagined.

Very frequently I come across quite interesting articles and books. I read them carefully and at times while reading I think. "Oh yes, I should read this again".

Sometimes it is some technical article which I am not able to grasp completely in the first go. Then I definitely have to come back and read once again. But I know, re-reading is a phenomenon which occurs very rare - whether it is a technical article or not. By the time I am ready to read something the second time, I would have added at least another 5 articles to the pile named "TO READ".

That basically boils downs to this - whenever I read something, make sure that I get everything out of it. And it is not very easy!

When you do not have enough time for vision, how to think about re-vision? Still I keep a set of stuff to re-read.

This is the problem of getting exposed to the world of knowledge. Look at many people out there who have never read even a single book, have never been to BBC website more than a few times, have never heard "slashdot" and many similar stuff - yes, those people who are not in pursuit of knowledge.

They are happy in fact. I do not think they ever feel that "Oh! I am missing out so much of stuff". Where as I have a constant feeling that I've to catch up a lot.

Daily visits to BBC, trying to read a book every week, trying to solve some problems which are by no means related to my discipline, learning about human anatomy, attending physics classes ... nothing is quenching my thirst!

(Sometimes these are done at the price of my real work... got to increase that part.. by reducing the rest)

Yes, I get it now. I am trapped in the rat-race. And there is no way to escape. Actually I do not want to escape. This is fun, pure fun.

I was not in the rat race a couple of years back. The transition was gradual and I did not know it happening. It just happened. Now, my sister is getting ready for her entry to it. I can see that coming. I should try my level best to NOT influence her. I should even restrain myself from correcting her when she makes mistakes... that would teach her more.

In another few months, she will start interacting with PCE, the one who gets you addicted to the CS world (lately electronics though). That interaction should take care of my sister's entry to the race. Life is peaceful outside the race, but once you are in.. it's fun!

If it took 5+ years for me, it would be less than 2 years for her. Thanks to computers and Internet.

I can keep writing about this for quite some time. Why to get my readers bored? Let me put an abrupt end here.

No, something more... :)

I went for a walk in the city this weekend. After taking a couple of pictures with my mobile, I went down to the subway station.

I was listening to some song from my portable media player. Suddenly I noticed a very beautiful young lady. It was involuntary; I exclaimed "Oh Boy!!". She was really hot, I was looking from behind her, enjoying the simple harmonic motion ;)

I realised that my exclamation was a little too loud. Since I was listening to the song, I did not know how loud I was shouting. The two macho-men who were with my sexy lady turned to me! My heartbeat stopped for a moment. Then suddenly I started singing with the lyrics and walked past them very fast. :)

Can you guess what is there in this picture? Do not think naughty! ;)

Signing off, Sands

PS : DidYouKnow.wmv - a good presentation (wmv file - mplayer should play)