My semester vacations have just started and I will be getting a few things
done this summer:
- Vidalia Project - My highest priority is
creating the plugin to create and configure hidden services in Tor and to
schedule bandwidth usage.
- Getting unfat - I’ve put on quite a few pounds over the years and
science says that’s not a good idea for somebody who wants to live forever.
- Work on CS basics - Due to ending up in ending up in electricals,
I’m seriously lacking knowledge on CS theory. I’ve started with Udacity CS
- I will taking the Algorithms class on Coursera and Calculus on Khan
This will make my summer a success.
I attended the Arduino workshop Shaastra HackFest with my friends. “Attended”
because I didn’t really work on anything. (Poda ! No working when out with
friends and all)
What I did there was basically hang out with IRC
nicks, meet new people and BS around. however, it appears that my classmates
got started with the arduino.
The only agenda was #c-h website which
has since been resolved.
This post will serve as a reminder when
those “CHA. I HAVE NO LIFE DA” moments turn up.
On Thurs, dinner at
Ascendas with gsathya, beachbrake, handa, pratul and kau. good food, jokes,
laughter. We turned up late for the event. So we have have 3 out of 4 mentors
turning up late. Wonder what kind of impression that must have given
I got too many calls and SMS and finally switched my phone to
First day was pretty basic arduino stuff and i just hung
with pranavrc and gsathya and got trolled :| And yuvipanda walked around
mumbling something along “what a bunch. I’m going to have to teach them PHP”.
This is a particularly peculiar case as panda pretty much hates PHP “with a
burning white-hot passion of a thousand suns”.
I don’t really
remember what happened on the second day. The third day we nobody did
anything. just a series of lectures given by the mentors. We missed pratul’s
“Taking over the Earth and taking over Mars” talk on git. I learnt to use vim
to its 10% potential.
Now it appears as if nothing extraordinarily
fun happened. it was VERY MUCH fun but I just don’t recall it now :|. This can
probably be compared to “The Hangover” except we had sleep-deprivation instead
of roofies and computers instead of …err never mind. I’ll just let the
pictures do the talking.
align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Me with ma "homies".”]
[caption id=”attachment_77” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”
caption=”Looking happy not sure why.”]
This is regarding the IITM Shaastra Arduino HackFest -
It got repetitive telling my friends what an Arduino is and what goes on at
HackFest. This would be useful for anyone who wants to learn how to quickly
connect do cool stuff like blink LEDs, read temperatures, design bots and
What is HackFest
It is a 3 “night” event held during IITM Shaastra. It is one of
the much awaited geek events in Chennai. A lot of students turn up to get
started with programming and contributing to opensource. It is usually held
near a weekend, so this year, it might be 30th, 1st and 2nd. The
introductory talks explaining the basics might happen in the evening. But most
of the “hacking” happens between 2200 to 0400. So it is a midnight workshop
:P. Last year, I attended for a day and chickened out due to fatigue. Make
sure you don’t return home on the first day or you will probably give up
The Arduino HackFest would be conducted by Priya Kuber -
Don’t be afraid :P
What is Arduino ?
has the best answers -
An Arduino is simply an electronic board
which is very simple and easy to work with. It provides a very user-friendly
way to program micro-controllers. You can program an LED to blink at your
command in a few minutes if you are familiar with basic C. The Arduino Uno
board costs around Rs. 1500.
It has a HUGE online community and fan
following. You can always look up the forums for help and ideas.
What can I use it for ?
You can use it to build a
gajillion awesome electronic toys/pranks/devices.
These are some of
the cool stuff students have made -
from this, it will also come in useful for your final year project and any
robotics related competition. Maybe next year, you can participate in
can also apply what is being thought in college. You can learn how servos
work, try out logic gates, build your own virtual CRO, etc. The possibilities
<blockquote>At Yahoo OpenHack 2011, Banglore, I built a TV
remote controlled LED/bulb. Using just the Arduino, a resistor, an IR Photo
detector module, Ken Shirriff’s IR library and a random TV remote, we built a
circuit which switches ON LED if you press channel 1 and switches it OFF for
- All this in just around half an hour. And I had ZERO previous experience.
This is considered an extremely simple circuit !</blockquote>
How do I
-> “Event Format” ->
Fill that up and save as a PDF and upload it according to instructions under
“Registration”. Make sure you apply for accomodation… just in
The questions are fairly easy and google is your best
friend. This isn’t a competitive event. No fixed number of seats and such. You
just have to learn to google your questions in the correct words. HackFest is
not school where they spoon-feed you. One single mentor cannot possibly go
around and personally teach 60 participants. You’ll have to look up stuff
online or discuss with friends… you know.. like actual college. So please
don’t just rip off answers from a friend. Look around and find it. The
deadline is 18th September so hurry !
The cost would be around Rs
1000 for the hardware. You can take the Arduino Board home. This is not a
certificate course. Heck, I don’t even think they give out “participation
certificates” so resume padders, FO.
And you will also get to meet
Chennai’s GSoC-ers xD
A few guys from 2nd year VEC would definitely
be attending it. Moar the merrier !
I successfully finished my GSoC and I’m feeling extremely burnt out. The
constant midnight coding and sleep deprivation always gets to you. I don’t
really feel like programming for at least another fortnight. I’m currently
doing what normal people do - hanging out on FB, TF2, and catching up with
friends, movies and sitcoms.
GSoC was definitely the best thing which
happened to me in the last half decade. I learnt about the various processes
involved in successfully developing a software - collaboration across time
zones, version control and bug triaging. I had hands-on experience on how
developing works in the real world. You realize that developing software is
less of writing totally new code using exotic languages and more of reading
docs and implementing the code. I spent the majority of time reading docs and
understanding code written by others. I spend a ridiculous amount of time
figuring out what I did wrong and where. Some of my commits made it to the
master repo and it makes me ecstatic to think that a few hundred people might
use what I wrote.
That said, I would really like to thank ‘Jeff’
Fortin Tam, Luis De Bethencourt, Mathieu Duponchelle and the whole PiTiVi
team.They were there 247 to help me out and answer my (looking back, retarded
noob) doubts and were extremely patient and friendly. I did disappoint them. I
fell behind schedule. Only towards the end I realized I hadn’t made it amply
clear that I would have school throughout GSoC. Freshmen don’t get much of a
summer vacation down here in India in Anna University. I fscked up
It was definitely NO pleasure cruise. Many days, I
stayed awake till 0230 and then woke up at 0700 for college. This also
involves appearing perennially drunk in class, miraculously passing Circuit
Theory ( I still have no clue how. I was SURE I would flunk), taking a quick
nap during lunch break and the bus ride, drinking ridiculous amounts Coke and
the like. Success isn’t sexy. Lets just say I traded my sleep, and a few
grades which could have taken me to a “plushy job at TCS” for something waaay
awesomer. Something which I would reminisce a decade from now :)
guess I got my swagger back.
This April has probably been my most busiest and productive month
It was GSOC time. GSOC is… google it nub. I had been planning
on participating in GSOC for a year now. However, I was quite confident I
didn’t have have the required skills. I was told to atleast give it a try by the #h-i-ers. So I started scouting around. After a lot of searching,
I realized the only thing I knew was Python + a little bit of
And then I found PiTiVi on the GNOME ideas page. I hanged around
#pitivi and had a look at their wiki. Thankfully, it was built on py + gtk (+
gst). So I had a look through their idea and bug lists and submitted the
proposal. I must have slept for around 4.5 hours at night that week. The rest
I compensated for at college :)
And then we had our “First Official
#c-h Alliance Round Table Conference” at Elliots Beach which was attended by
all the regional Pirate/Ninja overlords. I met idlecool, Sup3rkiddo and
Stattrav in person for the first time. I also got my first epic portrait with
Sup3rkiddo’s depreciated value DSLR. And then yuvi tells me I would need a
patch to get into GNOME and I went into overdrive trying to find an easy
YuviPanda wanted to do something semantic on MediaWiki, idlecool
applied for Sahana and gsathya applied for Orbot - TOR Android
I finally found
The only difficult part was finding the correct classes and functions. I
submitted 2 patches which turned out to be “technically correct but wrong from
the user’s perspective”. So I went back and just modified it a little bit and
Voila! it worked. I submitted the patch and it officially became my FIRST
This whole month, I don’t remember studying anything
at home and apart from doing my record work, I didn’t touch my college books.
Now I have to get back to my books as the end sem exam is approaching. As of
writing this post, GSOC acceptance is 1 day, 11 hours, 53 minutes and
11 seconds away and gsathya is feeling extremely anxious and tensed :P. I’m
feeling quite calm. #h-i also looks surprisingly peaceful.