Jun 30, 2013

The 5 best guitar solos I have ever heard

Guitars have always fascinated me, and why not? The instrument which is worthless in the hands of one, but can make someone else look like a God. Knowing that I would never have the patience to gather enough expertise to master such a stringed instrument, I am left with the next best thing.

P.S. Justin Bieber/Selena Gomez/One Direction/Taylor Swift fans, please stay away from the comment box.

Jun 29, 2013

GSoC Week 2 | Birthday Week

First things first. I got the FedEx package on Monday, which contained the card, a diary and a pen. It was great and definitely worth the wait! The first use of the money was to get an Amazon Kindle, something I wanted for a long time.

The week also included my birthday and I could afford to work less on that day owing to the fact that I had done a lot of work in the last fortnight.

Hacking | The Misconceptions of the Common Man

The other day, a junior of mine was narrating to a group how he hacked into a friend's Facebook profile. Great, I thought. Kids nowadays are turning out to be pretty smart. However, his emphasis was on what he did (about a lame ass chat with a lame ass girl) rather than how he did it. Turns out his friend had left his account open, and he just happened to be there. The meme here says it all.

Jun 26, 2013

Pundit Time | Predicting Chelsea's season

Here is a list of questions suggested by a fan post in WAGNS. I decided to log a formal reply and check how correct I am, come June 2014.

What will be Chelsea's final position in the BPL? (1- "6 or worse")

What four teams will qualify for the UCL?
Chelsea, United, City, Arsenal

Will Arsenal win anything?

Will Chelsea beat Bayern in the SuperCup?

To Infinity and Beyond

Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved traveling. Generally, that meant air travel. However, I have had my fair share of road trips. Sometimes, you are fascinated by the destination, sometimes by the aura of the very road- and that is enough to get you started.

My idea of the perfect road trip has changed over time. As a kid, the twelve hour bus journey to my grandparents' place five hundred kilometers away gave me the thrills. As I grew up, my first trip to Manali made me believe there was no destination more perfect than the snow clad peaks of Himachal Pradesh. However, ever since my trip to the UAE last year, I believe your life would be incomplete if you do not experience the road trip I am about to describe.

Jun 25, 2013

Memorable Moments as a Chelsea fan

It's been a long time since I started supporting Chelsea and an even longer time when I became a football fan (thanks to the Brazilian Ronaldo with the triangular patch of hair) and there have been times that have been etched into my memory. Here are a few of those.

Jun 23, 2013

The Exposé‎

This is a short story for a contest, inspired by ongoing events related to PRISM. This does not represent my views and is purely a fictional piece.

Glenn took the corner-most seat at the diner. He glanced at his watch. 7.53 PM. Seven minutes before time. He smiled at the waitress and ordered coffee. He took some deep breaths and opened his notepad to make sure he was prepared for what was about to follow.

GSoC Week 1 | AJAXification continues

It's the first weekend of the GSoC coding period and I must say I have been really satisfied with my work yet. I believe I have completed more than forty hours in these six days, changing over a thousand lines of code in the process. The reason, you ask? It's of course my mentor, Alexey Novak (and the home cooked food that I am getting). His involvement has been great so far. Considering that he has a full time job- he manages to give me detailed code reviews after every single push. You can check our discussion here.

Jun 18, 2013

For the love of Python | Scraping IndiBlogger and other tasks

The title of this post is inspired by MIT professor Walter Lewin's book 'For the love of Physics | From the end of the rainbow to the edge of time'. I agree that my knowledge in Python is not even comparable to that of Walter Lewin's in Physics, but I couldn't think of a better title.

Let me start by tell you about the time I tried to learn Java. Someone told me Java is the easiest programming language to learn in this world. I had a background in C++ and one whole semester full of hardcore PHP and PostgreSQL. Naturally, I started by asking Google for tutorials. However, all the results seemed to shout loud at me why Python is better than Java. After nudging my seniors a bit, I finally got a project in Python/Django and that was it for Java.

Jun 17, 2013

GSoC official coding period starts | Work Progress

The official coding period in this year's Google Summer of Code has finally begun. Three weeks between declaration of results and start of the coding is a big time. That is why I had started coding almost ten days ago! This was to make sure I had a head start, which gives me a better chance of tackling unforeseen delays.

First, let's talk about the tasks that I have started looking into but come later in the GSoC. One such thing is adding an accessible flipswitch in place of Enable-Disable radio buttons. Here is a cool one that I found, which also keeps accessibility in mind. Note that it uses bootstrap, but that should not be a problem as I would be reusing only those classes that are necessary.

Jun 13, 2013

The 90s cartoons

Being a kid born in the 90s, I have had the privilege of doing loads of things. I have seen the transition from Walkman to iPod, I have seen the boom of the internet, I have seen the development of the silicon chip- my cellphone now is ten times as powerful as computers when I was born! However, what I really cherish about the 90s is the cartoons that were shown in Cartoon Network before it got its new look. If I could summon five or more characters, here are the ones that I would want to talk to.

Jun 9, 2013

Mighty Javascript | GSoC Week Zero - Laying Foundations

Although Akshit had told me about the existence of the book 'Javascript: The Good Parts' back in January, I hadn't really bothered to go through much of it. How would I have known in January that I would be contributing Javascript to an open source organization?

The first few weeks in my GSoC project involves AJAXification of the interface of ATutor. Apart from developing an AJAX demo, I had had extensive discussions on the UI redesign with my mentor, Alex. We also plan to change the existing CSS to SASS so that small changes don't require changes to multiple files of different templates.

Jun 8, 2013

Why anyone hardly talks about my favorite sitcom

Open Facebook and everyone seems to be talking about the red wedding in Game of Thrones. You might find a post buried somewhere about Friends. Another maybe reminding you about when Sherlock might premiere. One thing is sure- there is not even a single post on Arrested Development.

Jun 7, 2013

Abstract Thoughts

I am writing this post with no motive. There are a lot of things in my mind which I need to get out. Unless you are a voracious reader, I would suggest you leave right now, else you might end up hating me and my blog forever.

Jun 6, 2013

The Power of Emails

Emails are underrated. You would be surprised to know the amount of work people do just with the help of emails. Take for example the collaborative development in large open source organizations, which mostly take place through mailing lists. However, I am writing this to tell you how emails have been very effective when I have been wronged by some illiterates who think that they are pretty smart.

Hangover Part III: Crafty Crazy

Please note that this contains spoilers. This is just the blogger's view points on a recent movie. Read at your own risk. Blogger is not responsible for any actions that the reader may be inspired to do after reading this. This contains information about a movie which has been rated A. Reader discretion is advised. This supersedes all previous notices.

Jun 3, 2013

Welcome home, Jose!

The special one is here. Enough said!

Liked this post? Have any suggestions? Just let me know. Feel free to comment below!

Pythonic Web Scraping using Beautiful Soup and Mechanize!

Web scraping is data extraction from a websites. Although I have been working on that for quite a long time, I will just walk you through the basics. You can find my github repository on web scraping here.

Giving a demonstration without an aim is futile, so let's keep a target: Get user data off a website http://travelers.bootsnall.com.

The Connectify Conundrum

Let me start by telling you how I work. I had, in my possession, two laptops- a Dell, which served as my gaming laptop, with a core i5 processor and 1 GB graphics and an Arabian LG netbook running an Intel Atom (originally Mamma's) which served my programming needs. For some reason, the Ubuntu 13.04 installed on the netbook couldn't run my Reliance Netconnect+. Connectify came to the rescue (I really don't know how I had a full version installed in my laptop) and I would make my laptop a hotspot and run internet in both of them.

I would generally make a change in the netbook and check the changes in the web browser of my more powerful laptop (with a wider screen)- that is how I work in general.

Jun 1, 2013

Similarities between the Champions League and Europa League finals

With Bayern Munich being third time lucky in the last four years, I draw up the striking similarities between their Champions League win and Chelsea’s Europa League win ten days ago.

GSoC Week minus 1 | Ajax Demo and UI Redesign discussions

Before we start, let me just remind you that if you know me at all, you would know my craze for AJAX. Naturally, it was obvious that any GSoC proposal of mine would invariably contain a lot of AJAX stuff (Check my proposal here).

The first seven weeks, till the mid term evaluation, my primary work is to AJAXify the certain elements of ATutor. Just to make sure that we were on the same page, Alex, my mentor, asked me to give him a demonstration of the AJAXification.

The WeChat Five

WeChat asked me which five people I would like to connect to if I could play God and here is my list! I have handpicked those who have intrigued me at some point or the other.

Will Graham (fictional character, FBI Special Agent)

I know what kind of crazy I am. But, this isn't that kind of crazy.
Many people would recognize Dr Hannibal "the cannibal" Lecter very easily from the Hannibal trilogy (especially The Silence of the Lambs) but only a handful few would know about Will Graham. Will Graham is the protagonist of the novel (and movie by the same name) Red Dragon. However, the Will Graham that I am referring to is depicted in the recent TV series Hannibal. Although there aren't many differences in all of these portrayals, the recent one strikes me as the most important.