Showing posts from April, 2012

PES Ayana 12 [Experience]

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Hats off to the students of PESIT who organised the Ayana12 Event"

When I logged into Facebook the other day, I found an invitation to Ayana. Normally I get annoyed with invitations on Facebook (Who doesn't?) but I click on them normally to see what they are. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was an event that was being held in PESIT. I read on and saw that it was a Hackathon. My first experience with Hackathon was perhaps 8 months back when Yahoo had organised one at Bangalore. It was a very nice experience then and I was sure I wanted to participate. But a college fest? I thought let me first check if I was even eligible. I found that it was open to everyone.

What is a hackathon anyway? A hackathon is basically an event where people come from different places, and code (or do some electronics projects) continuously for 24 hours. A lot of exciting projects normally come out of these events. You can see a lot of different ideas from di…

VIM Editor [Some cool features]

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"There was a time when I thought Vim was just a bar of dish washing soap."

A text editor is one of the most important tools when writing code. There are tons of editors available. But from time immemorial two editors have always been very popular (and reasons for flame-wars) One is Emacs and the other is VI.

Most Linux distributions come pre-installed with a VI called VIM - Vi Improved. However, the editor that comes pre-installed is not the full version. So, first step, go ahead and get the full package so that you can unlock all features..

VIM is also available on Windows.

Download VIM here.

Why VIM?
Before I go to the cool features, I would like to clarify a couple of points. When there are so many awesome graphical editors out there, why should anyone even bother learning Vi? I had this exact question. I used to get annoyed with Vi in the beginning. The reason is simple. When you connect to other machines via ssh, you don't have a GUI. You HAV…

Read Gmail Contacts Using PHP

Baba Gyani Triviani said:
"It is really good when you make things secure. But it is better when you make things secure without a hassle"

You may have seen various websites allowing you to send invitations to your friends. But surely you don't remember the email addresses of all your friends. And so, they give you a provision to connect that site with Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook etc. Once you click on the link, you will be redirected to an intermediate page of the service (Gmail, Yahoo, FB etc.) where they tell you that the website in question is attempting to retrieve your contacts or other details and if it is ok for the service to share these details (basically, if you trust the site or not).

If you click on Accept and say "Yeah, I know them, they're cool" then you are normally provided with a screen which shows all the email addresses with checkboxes against them so that you can check and send invitations to them.

The following is a quick way for you to do it…

Mebay Routes problem [Solved]

Baba Gyani Triviani said:
"When you don't find solutions, create one yourself"

Head First Series is a fun and quick way to learn stuff. It is not a reference book, but great for tyros, neophytes and rookies (That's right, I thought why call them beginners or newbies?)

This post is for those people who tried out the Mebay problem in Chapter 2 of Rails and couldn't go past because there was a routes problem. Just change the Routes file (config/routes.rb) to the following and it should start working. I didn't find a solution anywhere, and found that a lot of other people also were facing similar problems. I figured this one out myself (Pat on my back :P) Hope it helps others.

For further reference on Routing, read this document. It is apparently a highly recommended manual

Desperation drives people

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Desperation drives people to do things that can't be imagined"

"I can't imagine anyone actually buying that crap" said Raj with a look of disgust. "Do they actually believe that people will buy that sauna belt? Everyone knows these ads are bogus. Look at the way they picturise flab being reduced. They should really be kidding."

"You know, there are some things that will drive people to do things which they wouldn't have done if they were calm and normal. That's why not everyone can perform well under pressure. Why do you think some people, who ordinarily are jovial, commit suicide when there are problems? Even something as trivial as raised voices or admonishment from parents, and some times failure in love or exams?" reasoned his friend Anuj.

"Whatever dude! That still doesn't mean you fall for such things. I wonder what kind of people actually buy these products. I keep seeing these dumb ads…

The Petrol Bank

Baba Gyani Triviani said:
"Coincidences can screw you sometimes... big time :P"

The reason I like the sitcom Seinfeld is because of the fantastic way in which coincidences screw their lives. And how the action of one greatly affects someone else in an unexpected manner.

Today I had one such experience. I was sitting in a bus going someplace when I saw a bunch of teenage boys, I guess around 16, standing next to me and talking amongst themselves. "Look, this petrol bank is always filled with vehicles" said one boy. "I thought it was called a petrol bunk" said another. "Dude, it's a petrol bank because they store petrol." replied the first boy. I was grinning to myself when the conductor shouted "Bank!"

Now interestingly when you look outside the window, the most prominent sight that catches your eyes is a petrol bunk on the main road, right opposite the bus stop. The "bank" actually refers to a small branch which is not on…

Grasshopper vs Ant - the old version and the Indian version

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"When information is presented in a skewed manner, even the smartest minds cannot process it intelligently"

The problems with a dumbass hyperactive media coupled with a whole lot of dumbasses who come together is beautifully portrayed in the following. I had got this as a mail long back and also saw this on Facebook recently. So I thought I should make a post of this and share it.

The old, original story:

The Ant wrks hard in d withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

The Indian Version:

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the …

Our perceptions screw us

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Caribbean coffee is supposed to be good. So I am going to force myself to enjoy it"

A long time back when we used to religiously watch the sitcom Friends, one of my friends refused to. I was so devoted to Friends, I knew an enormous amount of trivia and all the lines by heart and here was one of my best friends who simply adamantly refused to watch. When we asked him for the reason, he said "I don't want it to ruin my perception of friends" Naturally I chortled.

What is this perception thing he was talking about anyway? Knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or subconsciously, we create perceptions about a lot of things without effort. And because of this, we start picking up traits that make us to align to these perceptions. Think about it... I am sure you have at least one friend who likes to put "so" in all the wrong places, as in - "That is so wrong." or "That is so not true". This way of talking is p…

Kabbaldurga - A trek

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"I am in shape... round is a shape"

Desperately wanting to break out of monotony and also the need to give exercise to other parts of the body since ordinarily we are commited to exercising only our fingers (and occasionally our brains) drove us to go out for some physical activities.

Kabbaldurga was a random choice. We picked it after doing a very brief search on the internet. But there are a couple of factors that we took into account. Since we were climbing in summer we thought it should be a night trek - Climbing in the heat is really tiresome for those who are not used to. And we found some other reviews that said that they had climbed this hill at night. The night was a full moon one and this is very favourable for night treks for obvious reasons.

The place is located around 80 kms from Bangalore. You can find it on the map here.
View Larger Map

We hired a cab to the place. The reviews said that the hill was relatively easy. But it is not as e…

e-Commerce - The future?

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"In this e-commerce fight, the consumers seem to be gaining the most."

After Flipkart took the market by storm, numerous players have entered the field. Flipkart definitely revolutionised buying books. And why is e-Commerce relevant? Read on...

Low Prices
One of the top reasons for e-commerce companies to become successful is the low prices. If you go to buy something from a conventional shop, you have to pay an amount for the same product which is available on an e-commerce site at a cost far lesser. Why? A conventional shop has to pay rent for the store, and has to pay the salesboys and sales girls in his store. He has to pay for electricity, water etc. and for transportation and for the products themselves. And he is limited to a small area in which his shop is in. An e-commerce site is not limited by most of these. Since most the overheads are not relevant, these companies pass on the benefits to the consumers directly. This is a huge advantage!