That’s right. This year, IIT Kanpur’s techfest, Techkriti, is going to host FOSSKriti — our very own F/OSS mini-conference. We’re having talks, BoF sessions, workshops and maybe a hackfest or two. It is going to be legendary! More updates in the days to come.

Nirbheek and I are going to be trying to arrange a Dashboard/Beagle hackfest too. Let’s see how that goes. :-)

So if you’re coming to Techkriti, do drop in!

Maybe I’m too cynical

There’s a talk by NRN going on. Got bored and walked off while he was preaching the importance of putting the good of society above our own.

The talk was preceded by a short speech by Arun Shourie. He had the audience in fits, slamming politicians, and actually making the point that NRN was trying to make a lot better. That is some dude, that is.

I think I used to have a voice

Ah, I’m back. In a revolutionary fit of life changing, I have decided to try to be regular about blogging again. And as I type this out, I have completely forgotten everything that I wanted to blog about. Flup.

Books. I got my hands on a few and, shockingly, read them. Going through a manic Kurt Vonnegut reading phase — Hocus Pocus, Breakfast of Champions, Slapstick, Slaughterhouse 5, and, in due time, Galapagos. But the biggest news item, book-wise, is that I got my very own Rs. 100 copy of Raise High The Roofbeam Carpenters, and Seymour: An Introduction. Pristine condition. W00t.

Our hostel has a little library, and I’m allegedly in the advisory committee for that. They made the mistake of getting me to buy books from Bangalore. You should’ve seen the twinkle in my eye as I entered Blossom with 2000 bucks to spend wisely.

Been looping on this song for a while now — Blink 182 – I Miss You.

Oh, and Poets of the Fall will be here for our cul-fest this time. That’s this Saturday. Awesome. I’ve not made it to the salsa crash-course this time, though, unlike last time.

Placements happen in about a month. I’d taken up some work on the placement team (our placement system is really anti-student — you get one job and you’re out of the process. Stupid.). Walked out in a huff after a while because of the usual kind of stupidity.

Oh, and I got a Canon PowerShot S5 IS. ‘Tis a beaut, no doubt. Now to figure out how to use it. :D Got some nice bird shots thanks to guru . Will post them in a while (gotta leave something for future posts).

And thus I bid thee short adieu.

Dear Dr. P. K. Kelkar …

There is something absurdly wonderful about being lost in a library.

Just finished The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood). Fame well-deserved. On to Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (but hopefully not too soon).


Saw some Outlook ratings recently (the page is dead, but cached here) for Engineering colleges. I’ve traditionally held that these rankings are bullshit. Ranks are often handed out on a highest-bidder basis, all else, including metrics, being decided arbitrarily.

Ignoring relative rankings, I scanned through for a list of colleges I recognised. There were a few of repute there, the Bangalore colleges I knew of, and some I knew of from people studying there. And the bottom line is that all the ones I know, in the words of Cartman, suck ass when it comes to education. And maybe that tells us a lot about the state of private education in India. That’s one I’ve sung before, so ‘nuff said.

What I wonder now is whether the next generation of adults is going to be the most cynical in recent history, or if we’re all going to delude ourselves into believing we actually learnt anything (and I don’t mean “lessons in life”) in college because it’s just easier that way.

And maybe it doesn’t even matter. Here, watch some Taylor Mali and feel good about it all.

Things good and bad

Alas, Kurt Vonnegut is no more.

Time I read Slaughterhouse 5. Currently on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Time, it is short, as the semester end nears.

And it appears that I will be busy this summer.

Not much else that is spectacularly worthy of reporting. Now to read about routing protocols in mobile, wireless, ad-hoc networks and associated security concerns.

… and the day they stopped

Finished reading Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Rushdie) yesterday. ‘Tis very good reading, across ages. Should be made mandatory reading for children aged 6-10. I liked the Shadow Warrior <-> Kathakali association particularly.

Before that was the curious incident of the dog in the night-time (Mark Haddon — keeps reminding me of Haddon Mirk). I’m certainly lucking out in my choice of books — this too was amazing. Next in line, is The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

Busy days here, filled with a lot of “nothing in particular”s. Coding work in earnest on thesis begins. Will also probably get to commission an HP NAS head, if I can figure out, and probably an EMC filer too. Fun!

Hope ya’ll had a happy Shutdown Day.

Waat eet ees, thees "vaari vaari"

IOHC over. Went quite well. 102 teams, 51 from IITK, 51 from outside. ~15 teams from outside India. Awesome fun. The contest is now open to all (for as long as I can persuade the authorities to let us retain an external IP).

Won 3rd prize in Chaos (it’s an event where you’re given some “obscure” language) and a set of problems to solve in a short while). The language was Snobol. Took me back to my BASIC days. :-)

Watched Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.. Verrrry interesting movie. And quite funny to boot. A nu-age movie, as it were.

Last, but not least, obligatory YouTube link. A very nice song.

Bounce bounce bounce

Home again. End-sem vacations end in less than a week. Was a much-needed break — the previous semester got very stressful towards the end. Exams were okay. Got very bored towards the end of the last, and left it a little incomplete. [shrug] Thesis topic should be finalised before the year is through. Will update when confirmed. Only two subjects left in the course. Will sit through the choices and see how it goes. Current contenders are Computer Systems Security, Advanced Networks, and Bioinformatics. Am attempting to lug guitar to college. Whee.

Not much book reading done. Lolita. Subject is horribly sick, writing is beyond words. And Nabokov rues the fact that it’s written in English, which isn’t his native language. Possibly reason enough to learn Russian. Prachett’s Carpet People is next, borrowed from Eloor. I’ve till tomorrow to finish it. Need to get hands on some Chuck Pahlaniuk. Our library’s got Fight Club, but it has been (temporarily) purloined by some daft child.

Went to Palakkad for a wedding. God’s own country. There was a strike going on this one day. Went to Malampuzha Dam, three of us on a motorcycle. Nice dam. Cops caught us on the way back. Got off the usual way. Next day, we’re leaving, Dad was haggling with porters. It was interesting to see these people. In most other places, people are openly greedy, openly corrupt, and make no bones about being this way. In Palakkad, though, there seemed to be some strang, skewed morality there. The cop insisted that “we don’t have this sort of thing in Kerala” (refering to bribery) with a whole lot of righteous indignation, before accepting the money (amidst continued protests of honesty, and insisting that a group of 3 people is a congregation). The porters started off with a ridiculous figure for transporting the luggage, but seemed offended when we suggested that this was so (he settled for a third of the original amount, so there is certainly a contradiction there). Maybe it’s just a different negotiation style there, or maybe the people are too proud to have outsiders suggest such atrocious things as “you’re greedy”.

Words of RHCP wisdom — “Staying high and dry’s more trouble than it’s worth”. Gurgaon, Kanpur … here I come. Superman’s Song. Nice.