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lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

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20th September 2009

4:56am: touching pic from postsecret about a pet

taken from postsecret.com

This image really touched me. In my mind's eye, I can see the image of a dog waiting for his end and looking around to find someone he trusts to console him and not finding him there for him. If I had a pet and if I had to euthanize him, I would have left the room too, as it would have been hard for me. However, after seeing this pic, I am sure I will not leave. I am a great believer in keeping trust and "being there" for family, friends and people who trust me. Leaving the pet alone when he is about to die would be a selfish decision and a breaking of the trust a pet has for his owner.

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28th June 2009

7:10pm: Imagination

Imagination is your key to unlock the hidden wonders of our world. Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

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24th March 2009

2:52pm: interesting spam

This is from a spam I got recently. It had "Viagra" spelled out using table (like an 8x8 display). Interesting

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14th August 2008

10:11am: I want to be an engineer

Umm - is this the message we want to send to future engineers?

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2nd August 2008

6:14am: relationship status change

On 18th July, I got married to my long time sweetheart.

Finally! After 2 long years of courtship and various family wranglings.

If you had not seen any updates on this blog or any mails from me on
various mailing lists that I am on, now you know why :-) .

In case you are wondering how it feels after getting married, let me
tell you it feels good.

Dance party at the reception. I am shaking my arms in an attempt to dance

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6:09am: relationship status change

On 18th July, I got married to my long time sweetheart.

Finally! After 2 long years of courtship and various family wranglings.

If you had not seen any updates on this blog or any mails from me on
various mailing lists that I am on, now you know why :-) .

In case you are wondering how it feels after getting married, let me
tell you it feels good.

Dance party at the reception. I am shaking my arms in an attempt to dance

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9th March 2008

6:15am: What would you like to hear about
I am trying to become a regular blogger. If you are regular reader, can you take a few minutes to vote for your preferred topic? post/read comments

3rd March 2008

6:31am: Third anniversary at Yahoo!

Today I completed 3 years at Yahoo! Bangalore. Thanks to t3rminator for reminding me the happy occasion (t3 had joined a day before I did).

Thanks to great teammates, partners in crime and mentors for making this day possible.

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10th February 2008

6:07pm: phew!


I hope this is the end of it :-)

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21st March 2007

7:46pm: visa interview in Chennai

Yesterday I had to go to Chennai for my US visa interview. Chennai is
a really sucky city, it sucks even worse than Bangalore :-) . Here is
an account of the process.

Documents required

The vfs-usa.co.in site has a list of documents that you require to
bring along with you. If you filled the visa form at the
vfs-usa.co.in site, you would have received a printout of the forms
D156, D157 and an appointment letter mentioning the data and time of
your visa interview.

I had packed in all the required documents the night
prior to my departure to Chennai. Due to security concerns you are
not allowed to carry mobile, CDs, music player or any electronic
device into the consulate building. However, you are allowed to carry
books and one polybag with all your documents inside. These people
are really serious about security - do not bring any stuff which is
prohibited. You will not be allowed to carry it inside no matter

Since books were not on their Do not carry list, I took along a
printout of the MySQL Internals manual for my inflight entertainment.

Reaching there

The American consulate is located in Anna Salai. Once you get down at
the airport, you will find a government operated prepaid taxi counter
there. They will charge you 240 Rs. (rupees) for a taxi to the
American consulate. The people manning the counter were able to
understand english.

Since I was returning back to Bangalore the same day, I had not made
any reservations in a hotel for my stay. The taxi driver knew the
place and he dropped me infront of the consulate gate. The guards
there guided me to the gate through which the visa interviewees had to

Passing time

I reached the consulate by 0900 though my interview was at 1230.
There was a average sized queue at the gate. I liked the queue
managment system at the Chennai consulate. The guards called out the
interview time that was mentioned in the appointment letter and people
who were scheduled at that time moved ahead in the queue. Since my
interview was scheduled atYou will 1230, I roamed around in the
streets to pass time.

It is really a hard job to pass time in Chennai. There were no parks
or malls in the nearby area. Since I did not know the city well
enough, I did not want to wander far off from the consulate.

After killing nearly two hour, I got into the queue at 1100 hours.
I was allowed into the consulate at 1300 hours.

Pre-screening of the documents

Once you are inside the consulate, you have to wait to have your
passport, forms D156 and D157 verified. The officers check if you are
missing something. They are quite efficient. You have chairs
available once you get inside the consulate.

By the time I reached the pre-screening counter, it was already 1430.
Unluckily for me, the photograph on my form was not of the correct
size. The officer at the counter asked me to get a proper sized
photograph and come back again in an hour.

There is a market near the consulate and the shopkeepers there
understand english and hindi. I asked around and quickly located a
place to have my photograph taken. It was a seedy place and the
photographer charged me 200 Rs. for four correct sized photograph. My
guess is that he charged me at least thrice the price I would normally
have paid.

I hurried back to the consulate and showed the guards at the front
gate that I had been rescheduled for my interview and I had originally
been called aat 1230. He kindly allowed me to go in without waiting
in the queue.

This time around I did not have a problem in the pre-screening part
and they asked me to go in for my visa interview.

Visa interview

There was quite a crowd waiting for their visa interview. However,
the queue managment was again good here and no one was complaining.
There were enough chairs around, so waiting was not too much of a

You first had to get your fingerprint taken and then stand in a queue
to have one of the officers interview you. I was quite apprehensive
about the interview as I had heard quite a lot of stories about the
randomness of the visa interviewers in rejecting the visas. However,
I was quite surprised. The visa interviewers gave perfectly coherent
reasons for the rejection of the visas. They were direct, but polite
in their rejections. They asked pertinent questions and I do not
think that hassling the visa interviewees was their aim.

When my turn came, I was asked a few question about why I was going to
US and told that my visa has been spproved and I would receive it in
2-3 days :-) . I was quite happy and came out of the consulate. The
process ended at 1700.

Back to Bangalore

My flight was at 2125. I killed time till 1830 and then took an
autorickshaw to the airport. He charged me 150 Rs. and dropped me at
the airport by 1915. I walked inside the airport, found an empty seat
and tried to get some sleep. Since I had done lot of walking that
day, my feet were killing me. I took off my shoes too and then tried
to get some more sleep. Pretty soon the boarding for my flight was
announced. I got into the the aeroplane, flew back to Bangalore and
was back home by 2300.

All in all, it was a tiring experience, but a productive one.

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9th February 2007

5:26am: perl oops

For a language which is so great, it is amazing how fscked up perl's oops is :-(

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25th January 2007

10:56am: the mozilla manifesto
draft of the mozilla manifesto - short and sweet.post/read comments

24th January 2007

12:30pm: fun with about:*

Mozilla family of browser supports a variety about: commands. Today I
searched inside the source code to see where they have been
implemented and the complete list of the commands it supports. Here
is the list Firefox supports. Type these urls in your Firefox browser
for countless hours of fun (for very low values of fun).

  • about:config

  • about:credits

  • about:plugins

  • about:mozilla

  • about:logo

  • about:buildconfig

  • about:license

  • about:licence

  • about:about

  • about:neterror

Link: source code

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23rd January 2007

1:04pm: ingenious use of the HL engine

This looks very obvious in hindsight, but I am sure not many would have thought about this. This guy uses the HL's source engine to produced a model of the Kaufmann House by Frank Lloyd Wright. Using the Source Engine, as opposed to more traditional Architectural Software, allows the use of dynamic lighting and a real-time walkthrough of the scene in high resolution.

Links: the HL map for Kaufmann House and a one walk through available here

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18th January 2007

1:46pm: back from Delhi

I was out of Bangalore (had to go to Delhi) from 12th to 17th Jan and I did not have access to net at that time. I noticed that Delhi is still an iPod free city and it really is cold there

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10th January 2007

1:01pm: stuff that sucks

Small list of stuff everyone thinks is cool, but I did not find them worth the price all the electrons had to pay

  • Second life - seriously people, what is so great about it that you are paying real world money for virtual stuff.

  • A-list Bloggers - some of them are a bunch of pretentious idiots. Enough said.

  • Orkut

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9th January 2007

2:00pm: mysql slave problem

If you are seeing the line received 0 length packet from server, apparent master shutdown in your mysqld.err file (when your mysql server is a slave), check the server-id of the machines which are replicating from the same server. Most likely, you will find that there are boxes which have the same server-id

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12:33pm: thinking big

My manager made a very good one-liner today (in context of whether we should concentrate on research or on actual implementation)

Think big and implement in small steps.

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19th December 2006

5:09am: desperate to be noticed ?

Seen on one of the mailing lists that I am on

I've heard it said - and find this to be true in enough cases to be
useful as a rough guide - that men often try to stimulate conversation
by disagreement, while women generally do the opposite (this provides a
highly amusing view of teenagers' conversations involving the apposite
sex, which tend to illustrate this, or something very close to it.) If
so, then the Net often appears to be full of 12-year-old boys, stoned
out of their minds on their brand-new experience with testosterone and
desperate to be noticed.

Unluckily ( ;-) ) Yahoo! Bangalore has seen a big influx of "freshers" these days. Most of them come across as idiots, but I guess it is just their eagerness ( perhaps desperation would be the correct word) to get noticed.

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11th December 2006

12:34pm: Casino Royale

If you have not already seen the Casino Royale, you should take time out to see it. Unlike the previous newish-Bond movies this one is not an extended advertisement, but an actual action movie. The opening credits are quite well done too - don't miss them.

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29th November 2006

7:31pm: touched by an angel

I was in a very sour mood while I was driving back from work today. When I stopped in one of the frequent traffic snarls that adorn the roads of Bangalore, I saw that next to me was an autorickshaw with a small girl and her family. The small girl reached out and touched the rear view mirror of my bike. I made my don't-mess-with-me face at her and she just smiled at me. My reflex was to smile back at her and my bad mood was promptly broken. Sometimes I wonder how many of these small opportunities to make someone's days better have I have missed.

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28th November 2006

7:05am: Yet another expansion for IRC

Alternative expansions for IRC (as seen in the #phpc@irc.freenode.net)

Tetraboy :  Internet Relax Chat
lig           : Instant Resource chat :-)

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12th November 2006

4:28am: emails and IM

Dina points to "email is dead" in reference to teens by Danah Boyd

"Now, let's talk about youth. They have email accounts. They get
homework assignments sent there. Xanga tells them that their friends
have updated their pages. Attachments (a.k.a. digital Netflix/Amazon
packages) get sent there. Companies try to spam them there
(a.k.a. junk mail). Sifting through the crap, they might get a neat
penpal letter or a friend might have sent them something to read
but, by and large, there's not a lot of emotional investment over

That said, take away their AIM or MySpace or SMS or whatever their
primary form of asynchronous messaging with their friends is and
they will start twitching and moan about how you've ruined their
life. And you have. Because you've taken away their access to their
friends, their access to the thing that matters most to them. It's
like me taking away your access to blogs and email and being forced
to stay at the office just because you showed up late for work.

There is a difference that I see in the way IM and emails work. On an
IM, you get messages from a set of accepted people - who talk about
stuff that (mostly) matters to you. On the other hand, your email
account is a dropbox for a bunch of uninteresting stuff - mostly spam.
However, if you think about it, email has its advantage too - it can
be archived, encrypted, signed, personalized, sent across networks
(i.e. your gmail.com account can send an email to yahoo.com email id,
but you cannot chat with your yahoo! messenger friends from gtalk.

Maybe something equivalent to your IM-buddy list can be done for
emails too. You have an email account and that accepts emails only
from a whitelisted set of email-ids. Whenever you get an email from a
new id, you can either add him to the buddy list or you can
report the message as a spam and block the email id. Next step would
be to integrate the notifications of new messages into you own
desktop and an online presence indicator.

Just some food for thought :-) .

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4:26am: breaking the tv addiction

When I moved to Bangalore, my brother and sister came here with me.
However, sometime back both of them got admitted into MBA colleges in
Pune and Mumbai respectively and I have been living alone. This has
lead to a sort of tv-addiction. I come back from work and switch on
the tv and bham! two hours have gone past just like that. Or on a
weekend I take my lunch and sit in front of the tv and bham! it is soon
dinner time.

To get out of this groove, I unplugged the cable that brings me cable
television from the TV. Then I went one step further. I took a bit of
string and the cable to one of the window rods. Now when I want to
watch the tv, I will have to get up, untie the knot and plug the cable
into the tv. Since this is too much work, I will not do it :-) .
However, there are some serials (like Simpsons) for which I would do
that much work. This will reduce my casual tv surfing to null.

It has been two days now and this experiment has been successful till

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2nd November 2006

9:54pm: s9y's xml-rpc interface

I have been playing with s9y's cml-rpc interface for a few days now. Here is a small article on how you can post to your s9y blog using the command line.

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