Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My new bag

If you have read my last post, I made a new bag out of my old denim jeans :). And though it isn't very neat and all, I love it and am very proud that I made it, simply cause I made it out of my own hands - its my creation - my "kriti".

But that made me wonder - when I make a bag or a painting -I don't compare it with professional stuff - I don't judge it - I just love it cause its mine. Then why does this not apply for other things? Why am I not happy with doing my best in every walk in life?

Seems to me that somewhere in our head, we have our very own satisfaction levels. So for me, being even slightly creative, once every 4 years is good enough. My cooking standards are higher - I am happy if my Mom likes what I make - which is unfortunately quite rare. But with studies, or (weirdly enough) clothes, I am never quite fully satisfied - I always want something better.

Why such varied standards? Why not a uniform satisfaction criteria? I wonder...
Maybe its my subconcious keeping achievable standards. For example, even if I try, I cannot become a better painter - I just don't have the vision and probably thats why I'm happy with whatever little that I do in painting.
And maybe the higher standards at studying is my sub-concious telling me that u can b better than what u r... so keep trying.
Maybe. (i wish) :)

Busy Busy

Have been v busy again - though this time its been busy having fun.

I met Lalit, Joyce and Ashish Khatri on Saturday. We went to Nirmal lifestyle - after just hanging out for sometime, we ate at 'The Grill' - nice but a little too expensive, and then we shopped !!! It was fun.

Then I went home, had dinner (even though I had already eaten - cause my mom had made my fav foods)... and the next day was shopping with Jisha and Mom, and a very nice lunch at 'Grand central'.
Also saw a movie - new movie starring Will Smith that questions if the 3 laws of robotics can evolve... let me know the name if u have figured it out :)
I also made a bag - yes u read right :P - I made a bag - out of my old pair of jeans and I did embroidery and all on it - not very neat, but I love it.

Tonight we treated our hostel seniors - as a farewell, cause they r passing out - and that was cool. They r a very outgoing bunch - and 18 girls together at dinner == an amazing time indeed. They also ragged some of us tonight something that they hadnt done when we had joined IIT :).... and that was hilarious ....

And on the way to Naturals for ice-cream, I ran into an old friend Rupi. It felt really nice meeting him after so long... and I hope it happens again.

Ofcourse work is also still in progress... so busy busy.. :)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Timeline - My Weekend

The past 2 days have been sooo damn hectic. My guide asked me on Friday evening to modify some of my earlier course project code to work with some BerkeleyDB input, and said it should take me a few hours to modify, and a few hours to run the code (expected running time=4hours).

9 p.m. Friday : Slept in the lab on a chair waiting for details about the modification from my guide.

11.30 p.m. Friday : I've got mail !!!

11.35 p.m. Friday : Start looking at code sent, documentation, my old code...

2 a.m. Saturday : Modifications begin - I realize we have some data format issues, add a new hash table, then realize this has introduced more unexpected issues - undo previous work :(.

8 a.m. Saturday : Go to hostel - breakfast & bath - no sleep in bed yesterday night.

9 a.m. Saturday : Continue work - 4 files modified and successfully tested :) - but 2 big ones to go.

11 a.m. Saturday : Status meeting with guide. Issues resolved - deadline postponed.

4 p.m. Saturday : I added 1 more hash table , removed dependancy of code on lucene - skipped tiffin & went late for dinner.

3 a.m. Sunday : It runs !!! But tested only on small input. Start running on required big data set.

3.30 a.m. Sunday : Fall asleep in lab on chair, while program is being executed.

6 a.m. Sunday : Get up to realize program crashed (God knows why) - back to hostel for breakfast, & bath - have not seen my hostel bed for quite some time now.

8 a.m. Sunday : Start running the code again to confirm it crashes :).... try debugging but am tooo tired to think. My project partner is back from his Raigad trek, starts suggesting possible failure reasons.

11 a.m. Sunday : Meeting with guide, followed by crazy debugging. Program crashes after 30 CPU minutes, so we sleep in 30 minute spells while waiting for it to crash during debugging.

7 p.m. Sunday : Realize fault is of outdated BerkeleyDB version - download new version, start running it.

9 p.m. Sunday : Hostel for bath, change of clothes - come back to see program still running - bug gone :))).... 4 more hours of running time left, so go out for dinner.

12 a.m. Monday : Program still running, go to sleep. Its not getting enough CPU time due to heavy duty programs being run by my guide and Sujatha.

5 a.m. Monday : Expect to see it completed, but unfortunately find out-of-memory exception instead :((. Considering that our system is a 2 CPU, 4GB RAM machine, that comes as a huge shock (HOW???? :O)

5.30 a.m. Monday : back in lab, fixing code to ensure earlier 5 hours of processing does not go to waste. Restart program from mid-point and hope that consistency is maintained.

8 a.m. Monday : breakfast, blogs, start writing this post.... current status : it should finish processing in another 5 minutes - then we confirm that output consistency is maintained....

10 a.m. Monday : It runs & it is consistent atleast in all our tests so far :)). Have mailed guide. Now trying to find performance stats.... hopefully, this will be the end, and afternoon will be a movie and sleep :)).

Man, what a weekend.

P.S. : Just in case you are shocked by my dedication & hard-work, let me tell u, I am dedicated and hard-working and all that in bursts of 3-4 days every 6 months or so...
By afternoon, I should be back to procrastination :)).

Another P.S. : Sabah came to IIT yesterday but I was too busy to show her anything except our lab, or spend much time talking to her. :( Felt v guilty - sorry Sabah - will show you around IIT next time. :)

Friday, June 17, 2005

The past 3-4 days...

I have done nothing significant. Tried to study CRFs (unsuccessfully unfortunately)... treated 4 of my friends to dinner, had burnt tea and burnt dal served in the mess :((...
Will meet my guide now, and run some experiments to confirm that our class project actually gives the results we claimed it would give....
Pray for me.
P.S. : Hope people are satisfied with the regularity & promptness of my posts. ;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Geetu's Wedding

For those of you who missed me, I'm back. :) Had gone for my cousin Geetu's wedding in Panipat. Official congrats to Geetu & our new Hemant jiju.
Had loads of fun - the wedding was in Panipat's most posh hotel - "Hotel Gold". Unfortunately, the water in Panipat upsets my stomach :(, so didn't eat anything- had loads of icecream though :). Also met all my cousins, and aunts, and uncles after v long. Have to get back to work - not much time to describe everything - will put up a few snaps though...

All of us cousins - Geetu is in orange

More cousins

Geetu & my nani (grandmom) at the sagan

At the sagan - Hannu & I

Mere haathon ki mehendi

Need I comment?

Kirtan before the wedding - The aunty is "Lord Krishna" searching for her "Radha" - the bride..

My youngest cousin - Peehu - isn't she a darling??

Friday, June 03, 2005

Satish's Blog

One of my good friends, Satish blogs regularly, and I ofcourse read his posts regularly. Unfortunately, every few days, my bookmarks get deleted (don't ask me how or why - I just don't know)... and for some strange reason I can never remember his blog addr. So then I ask him again or ask a common friend or something like that - and its a major pain. This has happened many many times, but now his blog is finally on Google - result no 1 (though it did suggest that I change my query to "SEV bloodlines" :P ). So now I don't have to worry about my bookmarks getting deleted - I can just Google him out. And if you haven't realized it by now, Satish this post is to ensure that I have you address on my blog permanently, just in case you lose ur Google rankings again. :P

I realize that I could also link to you from my links here, but this is much better since I also get a post out of this, and I prove your point about being dumber than anyone thought I was. :P

P.S. : Have updated your blog link again :|

Harry Potter

If you have read all 5 books, then I suggest you try the fake version of the 5th book here.
Its amazing how easily someone can copy her style. The book is not v well written, certainly not as engrossing as the originals, but interesting nevertheless, especially the treatment of the characters. And its quite small, so you can actually read it in less than 2 hours...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

1 year at IIT

I have been reading articles by Kamal Sinha on how useless the IITs are, and it got me thinking - what have I learnt from IIT in the past 1 year...??

The one thing that amazed me in IIT : how open Profs. are to student suggestions. I have seen Profs changing their style of teaching, & even the curriculum thanks to student feedback.. Even more importantly, a student can openly and honestly criticise a Prof on his face without fear of repercussions. Even more surprising, students think this is normal, dont appreciate this freedom of speech, and think that its their right to criticize Profs :O....
They clearly havent been to Mumbai University, where your in-term marks depended on whether you belong to the same village that the Prof does, and whether you have praised him enough through the sem or not.... 1 word against the Prof and the topper could mysteriously flunk all his courses and repeat the year....

Anyways... back to the subject : in my 2 semesters here, I took 8 relevant (CS) courses, 1 irrelevant course (Communication skills) & 1 lab course.

1. The lab course taught me that learning how to code is easy - a very important lesson to someone from Mumbai University, who has not coded much in her B.E. Learning Java is easy, Perl is simple, and not knowing a language will never scare me again.

2. The Communication skill taught me the importance of laughter in my life. I attended it every week in my first semester when I was grappling with my other very tough courses and was very stressed out. Once a week, I went to the audi, sat with 200 other PG students, and laughed at the foolishness of the Prof :), his weird Powerpoint slides with too many colors and sounds and animations, and his weird fundas about what communication was.

3. My core CS courses - Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, Databases, Data Mining, Lanugage Processors, ... (I tried to take a variety of courses from all fields - and not specialise in 1) - didn't really teach me much. The little that I learnt - I am sure I will soon forget. Its already difficult to remember how we had derived the guarentee that backpropagation algorithm will always converge for linear seperable data in neural networks....

My major lesson was how ignorant we B.E. students really are, how much there is to know and how little of it have we learnt, and how much of it we have forgotten :( - or atleast I have.

So what did I really learn in 1 year & was it worth it ?
1. I met some of the most brilliant students - B.Tech.s as well as M.Tech.s, realized that some of these guys are going to be rich and famous in the next 20 years and also that I am dumber than I thought I was.

2. I hope that I learnt not to take life so seriously. The grades don't (shouldn't) matter, what job I will get after M.Tech is not important, and most important - the world will not collapse if I don't understand a particular concept taught in class or don't complete an assignment on time.

3. The rat race in IIT taught me that the race is only with yourself - what others are doing, what they are achieving, what they think about you is all unimportant. The important thing is to be happy, to enjoy what you do, to put in your best effort without worrying about the results. It sounds like those self-help books yap-yap, and no, I didnt learn these lessons completely, but I really did learn this in the past 1 year.

4. I learnt how important friends are - B.E. friends who are still in touch, and new friends made in IIT.

5. I realized that inspite of all my plans and hopes and dreams, I still don't know what I want to do with my life.

Extra-curriculars :
IIT has many well-maintained basketball courts, badminton courts, tennis courts, a swimming pool, a huge ground, etc etc. Visits to any of the above in my 1 year stay in the IIT campus = 0.
Visits to hill-top during the semester = 0.
Visits to Hiranandani = maybe 4-5 times.
Visits home (only 45 min away) = 4-5 times.
Movies watched from the unlimited movie database on the IIT servers = 4-5

Making up for all of it now though.....