Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cricket: Sreesanth humbles Andrew Nel

Cricket: This is Sreesanth, of India, responding to Andre (the Giant) Nel of South Africa by scoring a six and..... (more)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

ICVGIP (Madurai) trip

Returned from Madurai yesterday after attending one day of ICVGIP 2006, where I had to present a poster on my paper. It was a good short trip. TCE college did a good work at hosting the conference.
The poster session was for 2 hours and 8 out of 15 papers in that were from CVIT lab of IIIT Hyderabad. Which obviously left the ppl wondering to the extent that I heard someone saying "This one is also from IIITH" when he came to see my poster (My poster was the third last in the room and last one from IIIT).
We visited Meenakshi temple in the evening and to summarise it is simply superb. The temple is largest in the world occupying around 16 Acres and as the guide said took around 40 years and many kinds to complete it.
The backword trip tought me something, I would put it as "When in Chennai, travel in local trains". We almost missed our flight as our Autowala stopped at all traffic signals and also took sometime to get petrol when we already running late as he wouldn't understand when we said in Hindi or English and could explain us how far Airport was and how much time it would take. This time I was able to appreciate Chennai local train for they turned out to be very good mode of transport compared to Roadways (which I tried in my last trip some 5-6 weeks back).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The VIE Bangalore trip

As noted earlier in this blog post I had my first paper accepted in VIE-2006. September 27th happened to be the day of my presentation and I went to Bangalore for the same day. It was a short but nice trip. I enjoyed the whole of it, specially the return by Air Sahara to witness the clouds from above for the first time.

VIETrip 051 VIETrip 150

VIETrip 135

VIETrip 167 VIETrip 136

VIETrip 173 VIETrip 084

The venue for the conference was Leela palace and that was another interesting thing. If you don't know Leela Palace is supposed to be beyound 5 Star hotel. Some say its 6* some say its 7* I dunno and don't care much :). The hotel was grand and good, food was good too, specially because vegetarian items were unusually dominant. During the lunch, we had company of two other researchers one from Pakistan and other from Ireland(originally Russian) and we discussed whole lot of things include food, academics and others.

VIETrip 091 VIETrip 090

VIETrip 109

In the evening we walked to Ranjith's Office( Sarnoff Labs) and after that Balu's office ( RIYA). The traffic etc in Bangalore is really horrible as ppl say about it. and it indeed takes lot of time to travel some distances in the city but the city seems to be growing in infrastructure sense to take up the rising demands.

VIETrip 089

Couldn't meet almost anyone in the trip because of the trafic and distance reason and lack of time, will try to stay for longer time and explore more of Bangalore over my next trip. Oh btw Ranjith, Natraj, Bala manohar and Srujan, played wonderful hosts, so next time u are in bangalore you know where to go for stay :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Time to leave (IIIT)

I successfully defended my M.S thesis and I have joined the job. Its hard to imagine how fast things can change in just two days but then they did. Didn't get much time to feel nostalgic etc. during the change which spanned only a weekend (barely half Saturday and full Sunday) and the time was spent just partying with friends.

Friends should excuse me for my irregularness in chatting/orkuting/blogging during the past few days as I have been little(?) busy, now that I have time, you won't get chance to complaint, hopefully.

[Important Update: 08/08/2006]
Important disclaimer:
This might seem not so essential but as they say precaution is better than cure. I want to make it clear that the ideas and opinions that appear on this blog are totally my own and have no relation to that of my employer's views on those topics. Even ideas previously expressed here come in that category and shouldn't be associated with my employer's stand on that topic.

There is also a change in the sidebar from my status as a student now changed to being employed. :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ipod Rival from Microsoft, any chances ??

Once again the news websites and blogs are flooded with yet another Microsoft's product named Zune. This is supposed to be a Ipod Rival and is expected to take away Apple's share. As far as I am concerned, I don't see any chance for such a device to succeed, Apple Ipod is all about hype and people mostly buy it for its name rather than its need. Yup some ppl might genuinely be interested in watching movies on a ipod video or playing songs while travelling long distance but other merely use it as a status symbol. (Not that I don't intend to buy one too, but thats not the point ;))

Not that there aren't any Mp3 players currently in the market, ppl just don't buy them. Creative and others had already introduced portable mp3 before IPod came but somehow things didn't work well, possibly iTunes was missing. Hopefully M$ will have a competitor for iTunes too, then there should be some kind of Music store, so a lot of things have to succeed before such a device can be called successful. Creating as much hype as Apple has about IPod/iTunes is much more difficult compared to creating a good hardware to solve the task at hand.

Recently there was lot of hype regarding a device or project called Origami. Now I find it difficult to remember its name and I have no idea if that device actually came to Market or not. I guess its safer to wait and see the competitor arrive rather than predicting lots of product getting killed (Ipod Killer etc nouns are too common these days).

The 2nd CVIT party

The second CVIT party was organized yesterday (23 July). Thanks to the organizers we had loads of fun and masti and the time (overall 2:30 to 11:55 PM) was spent in an unforgettable way. We went to this place called Dhola-ri-Dhani. Numbers well around 80 (of course very large thinking it was just a lab party). The exact reason for this party is unknown to most but we do have lots of possible reasons and a combination of them could be considered the actual reason. Firstly its a welcome to new joiners of the lab, the honours student. Secondly may be a small farewell kinda for those who are leaving, and Finally the success of ACCV and of the good news from many conferences(in the sense of paper acceptance).

Photos might give a better idea of what was there in the party. These Photos represent a very high sampled set of overall Fun.

Getting Started...
This one is from CVIT gali (street)




In the Bus


Thanks to the Faculty for the great Party


On the entrance

And on those the Punjabi beats, how can we control ourselves

The pupet show (quite interesting)

Visesh Showing something invisible to us :)


After the Shollay Show (resting on charpai(s))

DJ before Dinner




Post Dinner Fun

(More photos are expected to be available tomorrow)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Some problem with ISP Blogspot urls not resolved..

If you visit the blog and see some errors like Connection timed out etc, it must be due to some problem our ISP has in handling data coming from/going to blogspot.

It has been denying us direct access to blogspot blogs for almost a week or so now. I hope the problem will be fixed soon.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

FlickrExport (Linux) Update

Couple of bugs fixed(how come there were only so few of them ?).
The latest version from the SVN supports export of the digikam tags along with the extra tags given in the plugin window.
The "Annoying Popup" ;) displaying username on each instantiation of the plugin is now removed. User name is displayed at the bottom of the window in a box called "User Details", can be easily changed from there.

FlickrExport Linux SVN version: 16 July 2006

Hope Digikam + Flickr lovers enjoy the plugin. ( I am not sure if any other application user find it interesting too.)

Very soon the photoset support would be in too!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

No I didn't quit blogging (yet?)

Was not blogging for quite some time, earlier it was lack of any good ideas or stuff and later (for past 2 weeks or so) got busy with a paper submission.

Last few days have seen lots of activity in our lab, almost all ppl working most of the times. On one particular day during logging out, I was kinda surprized to see that our lab was open for three consecutive days without break.
Last 3 days have been a different experience as I reached new personal records of sleeping less and lesser. Was not intentional as it never has been but was needed to finish of the work and the sleep was lost in tension probably. Now, its time to relax for 1-2 days , watch some movies, attend some treates and catch up with new friends who arrived in Hyderabad or are coming soon.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Movies: Notting Hill and Groundhog day

Watched those movies recently and felt I should recommend them to ppl. Thanks to those recommending them to me.
Notting hill is a wonderful movie and I guess it gonna be on my favourite list. It has comedy and Romance as the elements and what else would you like in a movie ? And the of course an important fact, the actress is Julia Roberts.

GroundHog day is also a good one. Comedy + Fantasy + Romance would be the nice description (as IMDB gave it).

Sunday, May 28, 2006

My first paper and the consequent weekend

Well finally I have a publication on my name. I got the acceptance mail yesterday afternoon, the paper is accepted in VIE 2006 for oral presentation. Not sure if it was an after effect of the news but the weekend went superb.

Yesterday evening we(Nirnimesh, Ramneek, Sachin and I) went to this French movie "Le classe de neige". Can't comment much upon the movie but it wasn't as good as the other french movies I have seen till now, and the only possible excuse for it could be that it was supposed to be an Art movie (btw I still understand what that means) :) But the good thing was that I and Nirnimesh were able to find lots of words/phrases we know in the conversation.

After that it was a dinner at Tabla, followed by the "Titanic" ice cream at Ohri's. I must tell Titanic Ice Cream had much a different image in my mind and even others (Ramneek atleast) possibly due to the overhyped description by others :) It isn't as big as some ppl described it, but yup overall the presentation was different and looked good.

Today morning it was wat I should call a Maggi/ Top Raman diet(Lunch). Possibly the highest number of rounds (4, each time 2 cakes) till date and evening it was again Dominos pizzas. Cudn't have had a better weekend possibly :)

BTW AFAIK atleast 3 papers have been accepted from CVIT in the same conference.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Presentations in Latex

Been lacking technical articles on the blog, Well some are gonna follow now. The current post focuses on making a presentation in Latex.

Because Latex allows you to write the equations the way they should be and displays them the best. Besides the funda of Open Format (no strings) etc is upon you to decide ;)

I have seen two alternatives for making presentation in latex,
  1. Prosper
  2. Beamer
both of them are very similar and requires little effort for installation.
Installation: Prosper and Beamer are available on net for download. Just download the tar file.
1) You will also need to download the packages pgf and xcolor which are available in the above beamer link too. On untarring (tar -xvzf file.tar.gz) you get directories say beamer, pgf and xcolor.
2) Move the directory to the path /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex. or try reading this link for more ways.
3) After this just need to run the command texhash and you are done.

Installation is much more simple. You can just add the path to directory proper into the $TEXINPUTS variable. by say export TEXINPUTS=$TEXINPUTS:/path/to/prosperdir

Actuall PDF making
A sample presentation tex file is as simple as this one.
\title{ Example of a beamer presentation}
\author{ Vardhman Jain}
\institute{International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad}
\date{26 May, 2006}
\begin{frame}{Example of beamer}
The example illustrates the use of transition the pause command will hold the display until a key is pressed. So the points can be made to come one by one. Every frame block becomes one slide.

Prosper, gives a much simple output. To make another pdf

\title{ Example of Beamer}
\author{ Vardhman Jain }



Normally presentation classes need to be compiled to pdf before you can view it. xdvi can't show the output properly. So you need to give commands
latex file

dvipdf file
you can actualy view the resulting file using xpdf or acroread.

Would like to thank Paresh for introduction to these presentation classes of latex.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

About Reservation protest in Hyderabad

I was not very sure about joining the protest because I was not very well the past few days. But when Nirnimesh knocked my door I cudn't resist saying yes. It was the first time I was to witness being a part of such a protest, and when I vehemently oppose the RESERVATION i thought I must register my protest.

We reached the spot slightly late i.e at 10:20 AM. There was this crowd already chanting some slogans etc. but seriously saying I was shocked to see such small numbers, when we reached number could have been at max 125 or so. We hurriedly joined them. I must say I wondered if any of them had actually any idea how to do these kind of things, the initial impression to me was that a bunch of Software guys were confussed how to do a real life protest, or may be that was the way it happens.

After some time, we started moving, we were raising slogans etc and almost everyone knew that Arjun Singh was the culprit behind all this and Congress sucks too bad and all those things. The protest went of peacefully. Slogans are already shown here and photos here.

Now coming to some actual issues, At the end of protest I saw this Indian Media in action. NDTV and times now. I must say I have stopped visiting NDTV site since then. There was a sucking reporter from NDVT who was showing that she is taking some real time interviews, when a OBC guy went to them for giving a interview they started taking it and when they realized it was anti-reservation they called it of, we heard more of similar stuff there, the sold media was only taking opinion of the side they wanted to hear, It was not shocking to see a news item saying that 60% of the country favours reservation on NDTV.

Another point I wanted to make out of this post was that we are probably missing some outcome of the rallies, unless we make other ppl (who are not aware) aware of the concesequences and all and then convince them that we are fighting for a good cause. English affluent ppl would already probably understand the deepness of the issue. If we only write/speaks slogans in English they are mostly useless. In Andrapradesh if we missed telugu banners we must have failed to create an impact on the ppl.

Not strange enuf some ppl bothered to ask me what was the march for and with my poor telugu skills i wasn't able to tell them much. Again another issue that came out was that middle class in Indian society should take up the responsibility to go and cast their vote to avoid stupid government like current congress to ever come to rule.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

OBC/ST/SC crap in Civil services too

I heard sometime back that the age limit for IAS/IPS exams were 30 years. It seems that restriction is only for General Category[2]. and this is not all. Number of attempts also depend on your caste. (see the image) The politicians of this country are really going crazy and making sure that almost all of the offices in the country are filled by reservations and not by merit and their breed of ppl continue to survive. Isn't this pure case of unjustice top ppl in general category ?


[1] http://upsc.gov.in/general/faq.htm#PageTop
[2] http://upsc.gov.in/general/civil.htm

Friday, May 05, 2006

Changing Indian Lifestyle and still ignorant companies

I could have written it as Improving Indian lifestyle but it is actually a more subjective thing to decide. Yesterday while checking out the availability in trains I witnessed a slightly different statistics, unlike earlier times, these days its most difficult to get the costlier AC tickets and Sleeper class tickets are rather easily available.

Its nothing but an evidence of the improving lifestyle of an average Indian. Nowadays ppl are preferring better facilities for little higher costs. for e.g as air travel is becoming more and more accessible with so many new airlines coming in to picture, more and more ppl are now travelling by air. It was difficult for a middle-class person to imagine travelling by air some 2-3 years ago and now its slowly become the default mode of communication.

This trend gives a little idea of how nice the market potential is in India currently. Ppl are getting lot of money and they are ready to spend it for a better life style. If some company like Apple or Sony is still missing Indian markets for their hardware (read IMac, PS3 etc), they are soon going to regret when someone else pics up these markets.

Mobile phone vendors like Motorola have rightly benefitted from the market by introduction of new phones for affordable prices. Only time will tell when these ignorant companies recognize India as a consumer market too rather than only being a cheap labour house.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Orkut Rocks!!!

After being unsucessful in my search of old school friends for so long, Orkut finally came to help. In past few days I met almost 10 old friends on orkut and got connected to many others through these 10.

10 might seem like a small number but the fact to be noted is that these ppl are all from only 2 out of the 7 different schools I studied in before coming to IIIT. Now the contact chain is getting longer and longer...

What is amazing is that most of these ppl have heard about IIIT Hyderabad and they know that IIIT H is the institute to be in!!! It feels so good to hear great about ur Institute from outsiders. Things have changed drastically over years IIIT is making its name.

In other news, 4 papers got accepted in ICPR from IIIT. We had a party and it was great fun. Link to pramad's post for the same.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Recent events/updates

Getting little time to blog, so here is one post related to some recent events:

Being 22:
Yep, Another year of great experiences ends and adds one year of seniority to me :). I Don't plan to be comprehensive about last years nice things but it has been great, with sister's marriage, quite a few home trips including first Air trip, becoming part of a big community of OSS developers, great jobs offers, a number of new friends, a lot of fun and other stuff. [Will link to posts related to them later]. Hoping similar interesting stuff for this year too :)



: We have recieved farewell from our sub-juniors. Already mention about it but here are some snaps :)


Saturday, April 15, 2006

International characters on Us-English Keyboard

While writing any foreign language like Français, Portuguese or Espanôl, we need many accented characters. Since US english keyboard doesn't have special keys for this ppl usually find workarounds using combination of keys or by cutting pasting from written text.

I came across a nice article on how to use these characters on a normal US-En keyboard. The steps for this are briefly as follow (they apply to Linux and KDE only)

1) Go to KMenu->Control Center-> Regional And Accessiblity-> Keyboard Layout.
2) Add US-International layout to the set of layouts, after enabling keyboard layouts.(Do not remove the normal english layout)
3) Now in the panel you will notice an icon showing keyboard layout (only if you have multiple of them )
4) When ever composing internal language text, select the US-internaltion layout.
5) For entering short accent keys like
á é ú í ó just press the single quote key before pressing the alphabet
6) for grave accent keys like
â ê ô û î press the exponent key (Shift and key containing number 6 on main board) before pressing the alphabet. Similarly for getting characters like ü ö ë ï ä you can press Shift + " + key(u,o etc.)
7) For typing keys like cedilla ç press Right ALT+Comma
8) For quote ' " you will need to press space key after the normal keys (since they are behaving as modifier key now)

There are many more characters that can be obtained using further combinatios of keys. Some internal of these key mapping are stored in the files in the directory: /etc/X11/xkb/symbols/pc/

For command line you may use this to set the keyboard layout to us_intl and back to us-en
setxkbmap -model pc104 -layout us_intl -variant basic
setxkbmap -model pc104 -layout us

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mahaveer Jayanti 2006

Today (11 April) is Mahaveer Jayanti. As usual for last 3-4 years, I went to temple with some friends. Its usually one of the two visits I make to the temple in a year, so Its of importance atleast to me.
(These photos are of Jain temple at Aagapur, Hyderabad, India)
Mahaveer Jayanti 2006

I came to know that many who searched Mahaveer Jayanti 2005 ended up going to flickr photos uploaded by me. I though ppl would like to have some more for this year, so here are them. Some Jain temples are really beautiful and you must check them out.
Mahaveer Jayanti 2006Jain temple Aagapura, Hyderabad

Maharveer PrabhuMahaveer Jayanti 2006

Since I myself don't know much about Janism so I wudn't say anything further, but there is this interesting thing in the temple, which the notes on the photo(flickr) should tell you how to use it. 100_3205.JPG

On our trip, we also went to Karanchi Bakery, this was the first time I was there and I am sure its going to get regular visits from now on. Also visited this Agrawala sweet shop while coming back. The shop provide 100% pure veg stuff: cakes, pasteries etc. Some preview should be helpfull :) [No I am not paid for adverstising for them, but yes the option is open] [and Yes I do love sweets a lot]

Sweets ummm... Delicious
Pastries can be eggless too

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Linux Gaining grounds in India?

There was a post/story I read on rediff.com yesterday (via Google news of course) titled ¨Linux is a big Hit In India". The post got slashdoted today. The story does bring some interesting information about some heavy deployment of Linux in India.

The interesting news was that India's largest Insurance company, LIC(Life Insurance Corporation of India) sealed a deal with Red Hat to use its desktop and server software.

Besides this a small list of big enterprises using Linux already was provided in the post: IDBI Bank, Canara Bank, New India Assurance, LIC, BSNL, IRCTC, ABN Amro, Airtel and even the governments of Maharashtra and West Bengal.
Another such list is maintained at http://shakthimaan.com/misc/database.html

I am sure Linux does have long way to go ahead in terms of Desktop adaption in the country. But the news like this will surely help dispell some FUD created by big enterprises against Linux. More important would be some ISV coming up with software on Linux. Budding Indian enterpreneurs can definitely try looking at this option now where they can directly compete with others who are also in the starting stage of understanding/exploring software development for Linux.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Bar Camp Hyderabad: Apr, 2006

The first ever Barcamp in Hyderabad turned out to be huge success. The number of ppl attending (participating ? ) went to be over 200. IIIT Hyderabad was fortunately able to uphold the sudden increase in number of registrants. Great organization by Ramesh, Rajan, Rajat, Sunil, Tarun and many others.



Coming to the content part. I was surprized to see the amount of information flow that happened during the presentations. Many ppl in the industry are amazing too was my conclusion, really. There were presentations by Ramesh and Jay from Pramati which gave a broad overview of Web 2.0 and opportunities in the space respectively.

There was a presentation by Rajan on how attention rather than information is the new thing to focus in Web 2.0, Pramati guys spoke about XForm which I only heard of earlier, the presentation was really informative.


The Cordsys guys then spoke about the whole overview of limitation of HTML, then introducing XForm based artichitecture and gave a wonderful demo of their product which is like a nice GUI designer toolkit running over web browser.

Prof. Kamal from IIIT spoke about the MeraSystem project. Which he explained wonderfully well and removed lots of confussion I had about the whole WebOS thing. The main focus of the webOS is on centralizing data and not processing alone as is mostly interpretted.

Sumeet from Yahoo then spoke about Yahoo UI libraries, and a lot more about interesting use of some popular opensource products at yahoo and Yahoo's Contribution back to community. Pretty interesting to know that they use MySql for some of their heavy backends and Php quite extensively. New terms like JSON, Serealized PHP and others also popped up.


Kiran from Pramati spoke about the Eclipse in the Web 2.0 space and Usability impact. Sometime in middle there was talk by Sharad Solanki on the Tangible User Interface and Web 2.0 interface, pretty interesting comparision and conclusions to take home.