Friday, June 27, 2008

21st post

This is the 21st blog post this year,ten each for both my blogs.And the month of June has the highest number of posts.
In case people are wondering from where this guy shot up,writing pieces of junk(hope not) every now and then,I feel truly sorry about myself.;)

I really am frustrated by these long holidays.Though I did travel a bit here and there,there is really no option for me to go on longer I was pretty much holed inside my house.At this point of time(actually until I started typing this post) I am frustrated...

The reasons being as simple as ..immobility and my own lack of initiative to find resources to keep myself happy and kicking.Hm...I am frustrated at myself ...?No...because as I will point out later,this hols were not completely a waste.I feel my anger vanishing...and I want to do other what is the point in continuing with the same point?But I will publish this anyway...simply for fun.

Its the effect of music and open-hearted conversation in the afterall I am a good boy!Might as well meditate or do zen/tai chi ...haha ....

Well,I might not meditate in that form at this point of time,but surely do something interesting..hehe..I really do feel sorry for the people who read(if they do) through my posts...

I cannot frame or artificially make least not now...but I did have this idea of a very good story...which I could dramatise and post..but left it...maybe later...if I could manage to convert some of my horror/action stories(I use them successfully on small keep them entertained or get them to sleep)....then it might be gud...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Linux all the way

Right from the start of college,I am hearing this word,Linux.There were different pronunciations provided for it ,according to some of the intellectual giants of the time.It all sounded so alien for a guy who had done some easy VB programming and the only challenging work ever done was using sql and pl/sql.

There was this utterly black screen on every computer used for our labs...with red spirals and the word 'Debian'...another word which I had to gulp.Had some intro from the pulis who had at least heard of these things before,and managed to start moving around directories.But still it was all in the dark.

Then came a chance...a golden one I would say....but for me it was just a chance to hear more about this stuff.I am talking about an install fest of Linux conducted by our seniors,only for us.Due to fear of ragging and other reasons,many people didn't enroll.But I and a few others did enroll for this.Actually my memory is a bit weak,so I don't remember which workshop was conducted first...we had 2 of them...I assume it was this one which was conducted first.

It was actually interesting when we were given the notes containing commands and we tried them.The theory sessions on commands,users,administration..yawn...I remember falling asleep.They even provided snacks ;).After this workshop I was fairly good with commands(duh...the basic ones) and was going around either trying them or demonstrating to the poor souls of my class who missed the chance.

Even after all this,I had never installed a distro myself at home,I was afraid of tinkering with the system(for the fear of losing my games..).I couldn't risk losing anything,so I never looked into any of those things..administration(in windows),hardware most,I installed and uninstalled games with good speed and accuracy :P

Then came this real 'Golden' chance,Mandriva Install Fest.Attractive posters were stuck around the college and limited number of seats were available.Also,at that time,all workshops were paid for...nearly Rs.30/- per workshop,and also admission was on First Come First Serve basis.I got enrolled for this too...this time a very few people enrolled.This is evident from the photos I have put up.

I must say,this was almost a turning point in my life.Mandriva linux...made out of Mandrake and Connectiva(more terms....) was being installed worldwide.We were given in-depth class on installation methods,including the BIOS settings,danger zone of partitioning,configurations and other settings.It was really interesting and superbly conducted by Cherian,our super super senior and his team.We were even allowed to install it on some pcs and were given lots of Mandriva goodies and cds.

And lo...I never had to look back.I started off with Mandriva...tinkered with it...and soon my needs and aspirations took me to the bigger world of Debian,Fedora and what not.Throughout my quest for knowledge,many of my seniors(Sony and Anirudh) and most importantly,my friends played an important role in my achievements.In two years of working(read as tinkering with) on Linux,and conducting classes for juniors and school students,I believe I have matured a lot,compared to the noob in the photo.

I cannot say that I have mastered Linux,but I surely have gained a holistic view of the entire concept of Linux and Free Software.But I surely have a long way to go,and in order to get a further detailed and deep understanding of Unix,I must keep learning and most importantly keep experimenting.My seniors and even juniors are a continuous source of motivation for me.

Today when I saw an old mail from the 2006 batch seniors who conducted the install fest,I really wish to thank them for helping to create such a strong foundation and instilling the passion in me.These are photos were uploaded by them on the Mandriva site.All these photos in good resolution can be found here Click Here!
That is the sole cause for this don't think I am in a senti mood.I am actually looking forward to tear apart those things that I have been told about and try and search for the truth in it.Mr.Jay Jacob of the ILUG-Cochin had a point in saying that we should try and find the truth in everything.
Wonderful,now that is some food for thought....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

nvidia OPC Workshop

Today is day that I may not forget so fast.
I was among five students who were invited to the Taj Residency for a workshop on Optimized PC,conducted by nvidia (did I mention they are one of our recruiters?).Getting a chance to visit the Taj itself is rare and above that the brand name of nvidia,what else could you ask for ?
We didn't have much of an idea of what the workshop was supposed to be on,as we had just heard that its on 'PC Assembly' and they give a 2gb pen drive to everyone who participates.Srijith,Rathin,Arun ,Cyriac and myself were the students from MEC who were invited.

On reaching there,our names were checked with a list and we entered the conference hall of the Taj,after registering and collecting the folders.The atmosphere inside was quite electric and had a graphics 'mayam'.People in formals were having snacks and chatting with each other.Huge arrangements had been made,with a large screen showcasing nvidia's product line over the years and some clips on graphics techniques were being played.

Our lecturers also were present there.All of us had our snacks and waited impatiently for the proceedings to begin.It was announced that an assembling contest would be conducted and winners would receive Rs.3000/- per member of the team.Groups were arbitrarily divided but we managed to stick together and found a table.Our eyes were on the nvidia products stacked up on the side,and on the attractive green nvidia t-shirts worn by some of them(ooh..i wish i had one of em).

Our team leader was selected and then team was named Force 13(13 members).Later on our lecturers joined the team,making it 15...still the name remained.The other 5 teams had quite good names as well(Sakthan Daredevils,Nano Zion,Gung Ho,Tsunami and the Gadget Gurus),providing a very aggressive atmosphere to the competition.

We were given a list of peripherals available with their costs.We had to at first suggest a non-optimized ordinary system that is usually requested by a lay customer.And it was supposed to be under 29k.We designed one with Intel Core 2 Quad and no graphics card,2GB RAM and Intel G31 Motherboard.After collecting this list,they gave a short video on nvidia.It showcased many of their products and technical accomplishments.

After this,they went through some quick slides on their new cards and its features...the presentation by a fat guy(i forgot his name) was funny and non-informative.Transcoding and hybrid power features were demonstrated.

Then we were asked to provide an optimum configuration under the same budget.After a huge brawl,we finally settled with a E4500C2D and 8600GT,though my friend Cyriac and some others insisted on using the latest 9600GT card and reducing the CPU to a Pentium Dual Core.We were asked to assemble both our configurations.It took less than 5 minutes for everyone to assemble the hardware.But the loading of OS( was slow and troublesome with the optimized pc.Power supply and other device failures added to our agony.

Finally by lunch time,things were going ahead for our team,3d mark test was conducted twice due to power failures.When the officials put up an excel spreadsheet and listed the configurations of all teams,we found that everyone used the same configuration for the normal PC and there was a 50% division in case of optimized PC,with 3 teams choosing 9600GT/Pentium-D/1GB RAM and rest 3 choosing 8600GT/E4500C2D/2GB RAM.

Finally,as the scores were being collected,we understood that the 8600GT configuration stood no chance against the might of the 240 core giant that is 9600GT,even with better CPU and double the memory.The lines were clearly drawn at that point itself.Finally,when all results were out,we topped among the 3 teams that used 8600GT in all tests.But the teams that used 9600GT were having a huge margin of lead in 3dmark test...almost twice the score.So,all three positions went to those 3 teams.

Though we lost the contest,the entire event was very enlightening.I learnt and experienced the might of the GPU heavyweights.We worked with and shared ideas with experts from the industry.There was also a monstrous(truely) system that was used by the nvidia team for demonstration.One of my friends called it a 'steam engine'.It's graphics card had a menacing look and the power supply was like a huge box..with lots of LEDs and lights ...making it a star attraction.At the end of the event(about 4pm),we were given Kingston 2GB Data Traveler 101 pen drives wrapped like a gift.

One thing I noticed was that ...nvidia provided us with cracked version of Vista and also other benchmarking softwares.I didn't expect them to promote piracy so publicly.

Now that is something to talk and boast about for next few weeks.I am supposed to be preparing for the hardware lab which is on 19th..which is..oh my after tomorrow..

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Its a beautiful sunday

Its a beautiful sunday over here in Cochin...the monsoon ..the slight shiver that it brings...the enchantng tip-tap of the rain lashing over the green terrain all over here...feels fresh and clean.
Had a troublesome power-cut till now ,which actually gave me a break from the usual routines and I managed to have a well-needed nap.It really helped compensate the after 2 am sleeping schedule that I follow nowadays,thanks to BSNL and Yahoo!.
2-3 things that came to my mind while watching the T.V and listening to the rain music was about how much I love or rather loved the rain,the greenery and the magic surrounding it.Though I have seen quite a lot of such nice monsoon seasons,and a few thrilling and exciting ones...each monsoon is really special even today.Earlier I said 'loved' not because I don't love it now,but because I have started to doubt whether the intensity has reduced in my life schedule....well cannot say its unnatural to occur...

There was this rather interesting news or rather documentary in NDTV just a few minutes back about the carbon footprint associated with do they contribute to carbon footprint(which has more to do with power consumption,industries,pollution etc)?After watching their explanation of it,I felt sort of guilty about the tonnes of mail that I own over many mail accounts,many made in my earlier days in the net.Strictly speaking,I use not more than 3 of them.
So,I am going to discontinue some of my email accounts,hoping that the space might be freed for other users to store mail(and reducing my guilt).Among the mails that I do use,the gmail account associated with this Blogger account is the one I frequently use and has the largest number of stored mails.

In fact,I even use it as a storage place for small files,neatly labeled and managed using many filters.To delete some of the old mails would be like burning some of my childhood photo albums..though not so old,I would like to remember some of my college days with these emails...later on in my life.But there is another factor that points against it,which is whether I would have to time to read through age old emails while engaged in work or higher studies..heh..there are conflicting views within me as a net/email addict(fan) about deleting blindly.So I am going to search through and delete some that I feel might be useless later on.

My room is not the best place for creative writing...its dark,hot,dirty and lacks proper ventilation due to certain design flaws.So I must take more precautions to reduce the carbon footprint caused by my inefficient existence in this part of the world(again...drowning into the magical tune of the rain outside...).

This is such a wonderful Sunday...I am going to make good decisions ...and save a few things I treasure....the rain,its memories..the trees,its life...its quality...adios amigos