Friday, September 23, 2005

Bee aS Dee

Want a perfect recipe for spoiling a day..????
Ans: Try installing FreeBSD.

So we have 4.4 BSD for Operating System course and have to do kernel programming on FreeBSD 4.1 because it is somewhat similar to 4.4 BSD. I was a contended soul with WinXP and FC4 dual boot. Life was smooth.... sigh!!!

I partitioned my windows drive using partition magic (Of course NOBODY touches MY LINUX BOX)...
but the damn thing wont recogonize extended partitions and wants to play GOD and partition the whole thing it self. AAArghhh. wasted 12 hrs doing this chasing a wild goose.

Today afternoon thought of vmware. downloaded ver 5.00 ,downloaded the crack and tried to install BSD on it but now the *THING* wants IRQ number of devices!!! sooo shweeet....sooo user friendly.... i almost loved it (pun intended). Took me two damn hrs to figure a way for it to work.

Life is wonderful

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A full timer Huh :D

Well i'm really elated for two reason...
This is my 51st post. I truly dedicate it to Rohith - The One, :P, who helped me into the wonderful world of blogging.

Secondly I am now a full time system administrator. Yup that means that i can finally get rid of the food court and RSA jobs... Although the pay is the same and probably takes more mental work, but i love this job.
I came here pennyless( OK had my dad's money), was searching for a job, got food court and security jobs instead. I degraded myself every single second i worked in food court and spoilt my body clock working as a security guard from 1am-7am. In about a month I finally found a job ( a full time ) that suits me and i love doing it. I SRIDHAR VISHWANATHAN, :P, MARK THIS DAY AS PICO DAY, THE DAY I BROKE THE BONDAGE OF A JOB WHICH I HATED TO DO AND IN WHICH I SUCKED AT AND MARK IT AS A BEGINNING OF NEW ERA :The PICO ERA...........HURRRRRRRRRAAAH

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hail the Sys Admin!!!

After much ado i finally got a job i love. I am now the sys admin of a psychology lab in my university. I will probably also be working with Dr Marc Howard. He has done a terrific job of developing Temporal Context Model (TCM). In a nutshell its a mathematical model of how human memory works, how distant memory gets weaker and stuffs like that. It involves a lot of interdisciplinary knowledge and his two research assistants are from electrical engg and bio engg dept. I really do hope i m gonna get involved in it in a big way.

Well Marc is really kewl, perhaps the only linux evangelist/geek i saw in the college (Mr fawcett is an all rounder... he seems to know about every field that exists on earth and work on them... but he prefers micosoft technologies in his classes). He is a hardcore Debian user. so finally i was pushed to install debian :) instead of my favourite fc4. So now I have worked on all of RH/fedora, solaris 10, Deb and a teeny weeny bit of SuSe.

deb is a totally different distro than fedora. For one thing its definitely slimmer than fc4 and somehow faster than it. As a sys admin I had to install debian on one of the systems, piece of cake, yeah !! but the X kept on crashing...
XF86config asked me all kind of ugly questions about the hardware, nobody knew about it as it was a closed box PC( Dell dimension 360...I can write another blog to describe it though).. I went to the dell site using the username i got when i got my laptop, got the service tag from the cpu tower and got all the specs...
But still XF86Config was not helping... on top of it the wireless conked out and had to use the wired internet on the laptop to google things out...

Some obscure posting in a blog told me that XF86config sucks on debian and i should use dpkg-reconfigure xserver-common xserver-blahblah ... great!!
tried it and it worked like a baby... mouse was the next problem child as it wanted to know the device filename explicity. The list was small so got that working in 3 tries (randomized search algorithm based on heuristics :) ...

All u reading this entry Hail the sys admin.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


After using spanish in my Titles... here's a recourse to hindi. Dhatu means METAL...

I finally started listening to Heavy Metal. And all you folks who know that i din listen to ne thing other than slow rock, pop and indian songs... would surely be surprised.
Well I had two weeks to finish writing a concept document for a code generator that i'll be making over a period of next two weeks (in C#). The bad me was busy doing everything else when the situation became necessary to handle. I started writing the document yesterday. But doing a 2 weeks job in 2 days is no joke.

So i borrowed my friends head phones, switched on yahoo's metal radio channel, and started typing. I typed continuously on Monday from 1:30 to 6:30 am and 3:00 to 5:00pm and today from 4:00 to 9:30 pm... i worked like a machine, finished the project and uploaded it. All the time Metal was with me, it helped me concentrate.... but i dont remember any of the lyrics except someone insanely shouting f* and m*....
I got a message from yahoo that i have listened to 200 songs this month and need to pay for listening to new songs. Since I dont listen to Yahoo radio => I listened to more than 200 metal songs (or noises) while doing my project.

I dont care if i corrode my ears, but now while studying the only thing that goes into my ears will be METAL

Friday, September 09, 2005

Metamorphosis of a Hacker!!!

Before i go any further, I want u all to correct the definition of who a hacker is...(If at all u got it wrong)

Now u guys following my blog (including me... yep i do read my blog as a third person and introspect), would surely have noticed a change in me. And my friends in Bangalore, who have been with me for 4 years have also seen me change in those four years. So i thought a change a change in the blog title will be apt.

When I look back ... i see a totally different person who passed high school, a different person who cleared class 12th, a different one when i became, Sridhar Vishwanathan,B.E. CS and i have really changed a lot in this 1 month in ... Well people here know me as Sridhar.V.Iyer ... I had to do with the Iyer part as my father had put my name as Sridhar Vishwanathan Iyer in my passport and I did not get time to change it. Am now kindda used to it. Some people call me kutti (cuz my yahoo id is sridhar_kutti)... so the nomenclature has changed a lot... BTW my employer in food court calls me Shrek cuz she finds "sridhar" hard to pronounce!!! am cool with it

I really started off as a guy who loved computers and quizzez and stuff like that... but i guess got lost in schooling (as the saying goes...was born ruined me... pun intended :)
Tried hard..really hard for complacent and BAM!!! missed it... i thought i was a living rot... but when i see it now, thats the best thing that happend to me. I got into SJCIT... a non descript college... became topper without much hardwork... did the thing i loved to do most (computer!!!) and became instantly popular... (modesty died the day i was born)

But am that kind of guy who gets itchy when the things go smooth... I left for Syracuse... chasing my destiny... left 5 job offers... could have lived the rest of the life easily... but i crave for something... something beyong destiny, knowledge or power, ... i want to give Microsoft and Google a run for their money. Though I am not a enterpeneur like Bill Gates, nor do i think i am a genius like Linus, Stallings or Larry Page, but i guess i think am hard willed like them.

Am in SU now with lots of Bill Gates/Torvalds and i feel the fear of mediocrity creeping again. Lets see what happens after 2 years. I guess i've been hacking my life a lot. I resolve to SUCCEED.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back Home!!

Well today I felt that I was back in bangalore... working with my friends in Aztec. But you might ask why???

Well those of you who do know me ... know that I am a die hard Linux supporter... for me life starts when the computer boots. So I got my laptop... running WinXp and some of the most ridiculous and outrageous softwares of all times that Dell ships with it. My university portal support only Macs and Windows so linux is a big no no.

Finally took the cds from Jorge... partitioned and installed XP and FC4( have to put FreeBSD too). But now i hit bottom again as no support for wireless here. Hours of googling i came to know that i needed to install/make a few file... got something from sourceforge... tried installing it but did not install. Later i discovered that the damn thing was already installed in the machine. Man i was pissed off. But somehow the internet started working using the GUI (some interface... i hate them... looks too normal... i really like if something screws up and i correct it... really hate if something goes on smooth...). Then i had a problem with the sound module too. Usually i used to reinstall the sound module. But Jorge pointed out that even the activation part was hiddden in some kind of wierd Interface.

Gaim was kewl. Yahoo and google talk have no problems. So now my linux machine is fully customized (although the mail client needs to be tweaked a bit)... i was really hit by a bout of nostalgia. So this is my first post from syracuse written on FC4....

But somebody got to spoil this ultraCool interface thing..... Dont u think???? (pun intented)

Friday, September 02, 2005

A Great Day

All right amigos....
Ya I know you guys are wondering why am acting as such a smart a* and using spanish in my recent posts....My project mate is from Costa Rica and I find spanish really interesting.

So i saw a mail in one of my yahoo groups informing that there will be free salsa classes. And of course Indians are known for not missing freebies :)

I was expecting mexican/latino beauties (Salma hayeks and penelope cruzes and the lopezes :)
but I knew that finally i knew that we would be dancing with guys only but still that the thought that i'll be learning something new gave me a kick. It turned out to be better than that. There were few latino girls and they did pair up with us.

The instructor was overwhelmed too. After teaching salsa for an hour he taught us merengue too. Next week he'll be teaching us some advanced steps and might introduce cha cha cha. Overall it was a really satisfying experience.

BTW my tai chi is really improving now. I can walk flawlessly :D.

Earlier that day I got my exemption exam marks. It turned out that I was one of the three guys who passed the test and was allowed to drop the subject. Whew what a relief!! Had taken 4 subjects against my senior and professor advice. Of course I could not drop subjects as there was too much to learn and only 24 hrs in a day. Clearing MBC( MAthematical basis for computing) really made my schedule less hectic. (though its still crammed... thanks to my thirst for learning new stuff... have started playing squash... so have lot on my platter to eat).

After the classes I went to Alex Thevarajan's house for a get together for international students.Alex is really a great guy. He likes to have a multinational family. He has family members from 13 countries. He himself is a Sri Lankan and seemed like the epitome of courage. Brandon stays with him too (i wrote about him in my earlier post). Brandon too is an awesome dude. He has 1 undergrad degree(BS), 3 masters degrees and is doing a Phd along with 2 more undergrad courses... and has also served in the army for 2 years. He is only 26!!! Ask him what he plans to do next and he replies... "I want to do some work for the development of India"... Its hard to find people like him.

Alex had a pool table and a ping pong(table tennis) table in his house. I picked up pool pretty fast. Played 8 ball and lost by a cinch...overall i was quite contented about my performance. Then i played table tennis. I only played it in Aztec and I sucked in it... Shyam, Jeet, Rohith, Asit were far superior players than me... but man outta 46 people present there I was one of the few who could play the game...

Finally after all the escapades I came back home at midnight and started browsing... but had no energy to blog about it. So am blogging about it now. Just came from my on post RSA training ... Its kind of watchman like job where I have to check the Ids of people and log the people entering the dorms.

It was really a fulfilling day. Went to sleep at 4 in the morning... what a great day!!