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A bad week and trip to Savannah

This week’s been terrible. My research has come to a standstill because of a problem for which i know the reason, but have no clue whatsoever about the solution. This sucks. I was supposed to meet my prof thrice this week. Never met him even once.

I guess the bug in the code is trivial because i have checked all the complex use cases and it works mighty fine for all of them. Confused as i am, this damn bug is ruining my short sleep too. It is getting pretty pathetic.

My qualifier is drawing really close and i am beginning to get terrified now. I have lots more to read but so little time left. I think i am going to clear only two out of the three papers this time and take the last one in January. Hopefully, i should be able to pass them before Jan or else i’m done for :(

The one fun part is that i am leaving to Savannah, GA tomorrow to meet mayilan. Malli from boston is also joining us and i sure hope that this will turn things around … Anyway, more when i get back on Monday …

My new Template

Change is sweet. Enlightened by this thought, i wasted the whole of last night to come up with a new template for my blog. It ain’t a genius’s work but it is good enough for my blog !

Although it may seem too browny ;), i do love my own menu that links to all the sites i do follow. There is still some more work to be done but no time for now. Will do that later.

Keep watching for more changes … And btw, i did add a google ad on my blog. If you find something interesting to you listed there, make sure to visit it !

Steppingstone to evolution secret ?!

Just read the article – “Butterfly unlocks evolution secretover at BBC.

The article does not throw enough light on the background of the theories and on how the observations exactly connect with them. Over excitedly, I was looking for the answer to the basic question “Why ?” in the article and was sorely disappointed. But It does cover about speciation and specifically due to geographical differences for reasons that would become obvious after reading the following sentence.
If similarly closely related species are living side-by-side, the researchers noticed, they frequently look strikingly different – their “teams” are clearly advertised.

This has the effect of discouraging inter-species mating, thus encouraging genetic isolation and species divergence.

This process, called “reinforcement”, prevents closely related species from interbreeding thus driving them further apart genetically and promoting speciation.

Well eventhough this sort of thing is intuitive, IMO, knowledge is nothing but memories digged out from our own mind, hidden until the right moment, felt in a flash as intuition ! Before i become more philosophical, just read the article. Nothing mind-bending really but definitely worth the time.
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A lovable text for Humanity

Wandering through the vagaries of cyber-space, on a hectic day, with a tired mind, I saw a good post about a love song for humanity. It ain’t a song per se, but its been beautifully written. Very simple language and eerily true to reality. Enjoyed this between my self-absorbed research session and surely chuckled with happiness about the blatant truth, and resumed my work again 😉

Excerpt :

From an outside observer’s point of view…

You sure are interesting, little ants, crawling around on a largely uninteresting little sphere you honestly believe you control. You do not understand the wonder that surrounds you in this vast Universe, but each and every one of you believes you are the center of it. Most of the time, your tiny tragedies and victories are the only thing that matters. You rush around, acting all serious and important, as though your next wrong step could cause all of existence to collapse around you.

Reminded me of the famous Smith’s dialogue from Matrix. I could have repeated that dialogue without referring to it. Its so burnt into my mind for reasons i consciously do not know ! Anyway, here is the beauty for your pleasure.

From Matrix : Agent Smith to Morpheus –

I’d like to share a… revelation I had, during my time here. It came to me when I tried to… classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but… you humans do not. You move to an area… and you multiply and multiply… until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to.. spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Humans beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet… and we… are the cure.

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Is Big beautiful ?

Nope. Its not what you think unless you have an awesome digital camera in mind ! Hello and welcome to an intro of Phase One’s P45 39 megapixel digital camera. The highlight of the monster is that it can take pictures at a resolution of 39 Megapixels. And even better a feature is that it can take 60 fpm at such a resolution ! Imagine what the sports or wildlife photographers can whip out with this baby. But oh well, an image at such a resolution does come with 2 show-stoppers.
  • Each image taken at 39MP is atleast 117MB in size ! WoW ! You better start buying lots of extra memory cards if you are into this game :)
  • Expected price for this wonderful gadget is 30000 USD ! God. Now i have to flush my dream of buying 2 of these down the drain …

Here is a picture of the gorgeous machinery.

I was actually pretty happy with the camera(Nikon Coolpix 4800) i had, albeit for a short time. I could manage to take some clear shots, of some great landscapes, and undistorted pictures with a good zoom. But if the miniscule 4MP cam can churn out such good pictures, i can’t even begin to imagine how perfect the image from Phase One’s P45 39 megapixel will be …

via Engadget. Also checkout the Photography Blog.

My .NET blog is up again !

Well finally, after a long time, my .NET blog over at Dotnetjunkies is back up with an updated version of .TEXT. Not that i would have blogged non-stop with all the work i’ve been having all this time but right now, it really does make sense for me to blog again on some programming tips and tricks.

My bright side of my research, apart from the beautiful physics behind it all, is that it involves loads of programming. And i just recently decided to shift from MATLAB to .NET to get my research going. One of the main reasons behind that decision was ‘Speed’ ! Before you start shouting at me, yes, C++ would have been a more viable option, considering that i have lots of computation involving Matrices and Vectors but my benchmarks with some basic ported code from MATLAB did prove that the speed of C#.NET is good enough for now. I do not think that once the IL is converted into native image, with all the code and compiler optimizations inserted in at the right places, there will be a great difference in performance between C++ and C#.

So coming back to my point, i have learnt lots of algorithms, tips and bumped into some great software on the way while doing my research and believe that i can start writing again on my blog. Eventhough there were butt loads of comment spam before, i guess that the new version has a control over that and would now be a better place to write my programming experience from now on.

So watch out soon for my .NET post after almost exactly a year of hiatus.

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Right now and … what ?

Yeah am still alive, very much. Lots of things happening lately and just haven’t had enough time to post anything. Once in a while, i get some really interesting thoughts but by the time i get my lazy ass to the computer, the motivation to type a long post just vanishes into thin air. I end up making a note to myself and hoping that i’ll look back at that later, move on with my life.

Time has become one bizzarely rare commodity and i am beginning to so badly wish for a 30 hour/day schedule. Damn the earth for rotating so fast. The only thing i remember each day is getting up late and going back to bed really late. Everything else in the middle seems to be monotonous and involuntary. No. I am not cribbing about my work but just that the research is progressing at an amazing pace that i do not have time to even do my laundry.

Phase 1 in my research is complete and i am probably way ahead than the rest of my class-mates in terms of amount of completion. But Phase 2 is a monster on which i am working on currently. It hogs all the time i have. The physics, the math, the software design and the actual coding in both MATLAB and .NET is making me bonkers. Dell was truly a paradise with lots of time to read but ironically, i might have caught up in pace with all the technological advancements i missed out in the past one year by reading blogs, articles and stories, news on .NET and general programming. I am in the process of designing my software code for the computational model and i can clearly see that the old tricks are still in the bag ! Wonderful.

My PhD qualifiers are coming up this september and haven’t even started preparing for the behemoth. I am scared to my bones even thinking about it. I have to clear the qualifer this time, no matter what. Amidst all the chaos that is happening right now, i still need to squeeze in more time for the preparation. Oh well. Another challenge coming up. Need to get more coffee from the grocery store.

The other day, I saw a bunch of Indian guys playing cricket on a nearby field. Fragile as i am, the feeling more intensified with the monotony, with strong desires to play, i walked away. Ironic. Confusing. But that’s how weird my mind is working these days. So then, i forced myself to play soccer at the recreation center and midway through the game i realized that i had no stamina left to run anymore. I had to bail out and watch the rest of the match from the stands. It was worse than pathetic. At the end of it all, there is just one conclusion. I need to take more time out and play something daily or am not gonna last my target of sweet 32, no matter what 😉

And oh yeah. Forgot my other recent addiction these days. “Unreal Tournament”. I remember back in those good old college days, when night out was just another regular day in ‘Octagon’ – the computer lab, playing Unreal on the network with an alias “HellRaiser”. That sure as hell was fun 😉 Now, after almost 4 years, the memory haunts and the mind fell for it. So i installed Unreal and started playing online, using my unlimited DSL connection, and life has taken a twisted turn.

Sleep which i once so dearly loved, for which i bunked so many classes in college, so many morning hours with meetings in Dell, has become just another triviality. I don’t have to go to my office daily, and i do most of my work at home. But i still don’t have enough time to do lots of stuff i have wanted to do. It ain’t stress management or work management. That’s bull given by managers in a Dilbertish environment. There simply isn’t enough time ! Does anyone understand that ? Again. I ain’t cribbing my ass off here. That’s not the point. The fact i am pointing out is that either there simply isn’t enough time to go around in a day or i am surely becoming slower at what i do best. God i hope it’s the first one. Or maybe i just need more sleep.

Google Maps Rocks !

You have to see it to believe it. This is so amazing. I can actually see an aerial view of the exact place I live, in College station using Google Maps. So all my friends who are still wondering on what kind of a village i’m living in, here is something that’ll feast your eye.

Check out this link to get a real time look at the place. You can move around, check the map or the satellite feed and can zoom out and see where it fits in the bigger picture. Definitely lot of fun to waste my time this way in between breaks.

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Microsoft’s Personnel Puzzle

Saw this comment on /. recently about Microsoft’s Personnel Puzzle. Although i would’ve commented strongly against whoever wrote that, it seemed really funny at the moment !

Here it is. No offense B-Gates !

Hey hey, Microsoft’s great,
They forcefeed bullshit onto your plate.
You’ll be working for Gates, that iconic dude,
Crooked marketer through and through!

Oh oh, you better watch out,
Someone installed IE, so don’t you pout.You’ve got a job with this mega-firm,
We’re spyware enablers from stem to stern!

Hey ho, heed our call,
And then we’ll have you by the balls.
Write some shit, there’s no remorse,
So long as you attack Open Source!

Yay yah, Microsoft’s great!
Come on in, let’s have a taste,
Now’s the time, no time to wait,
Time to bend over and take it for Gates !