Thursday, September 17, 2009

Real-Time Linux Kernel Scheduler

My article explaining the Real-Time Linux kernel scheduler is finally available for general reading on the Linux Journal site. You can read it here. Any feedback on the article are most welcome !

Sunday, December 14, 2008

White Tiger and the Cab driver

Finally managed to finish reading White Tiger this weekend. I wouldn't rate it too high. The book does provoke your thoughts, bring out the hollowness that we city people are embracing day by day, the stark reality of the poor and the sad state of affairs our country. However, I didn't like the narration too much. The idea of someone writing to a Chinese diplomat about his life story and India in general is a little weird. The language is also just average. My best part of the story, and something to which I can relate to well.. the last bit about the story of the cab drivers in Bangalore. And this is also what I got reminded of when driving to work today morning.

This was on the Intermediate ring road. An indica cab to my left wanted to join my lane while I wanted to continue to go straight. I was too close to him, with a sumo cab right next to me on my right. I slowed down with the intention of letting him and so also the sumo fellow to go. However, it so happened that I managed to go right after the sumo. The cab driver then had to negotiate the right with the car behind me. And now what happened I saw it all from my rearview mirror, while trying to concentrate on driving. So something must have happened between the cab driver and the i10 behind me.. both the cars were moving forward, very slowly, with the drivers abusing each other. The next thing I know is that the cab driver overtakes the i10, and stops right infront of it, blocking him completely. He gets out of his car and goes back to fight with the i10 guy. The traffic on the ring road ofcourse suffered. A few meters away from this scene, the traffic police guy was just watching this helplessly ! I just ran sped fast from that place.. thanking my stars that it wasn't me who had got on the wrong side of the cab driver. God only knows what would have happened to me if I had got caught in that mess. That has just not been part of my driving lessons.. oops, some news lessons in order, for me and also for the driving schools: "How to combat cab drivers when driving on Bangalore roads". I fear much more as I do not speak the local language and amidst all the ongoing state wars, who knows when a small incident like this could turn into anything major !

Technical Blog

Have now moved my technical blog to Linux Hacks. Its a combined blog of Varun, Cheezo, UD, ego & yours truely !

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Learning new stuff

Last couple of months have been amazing in terms of the number of new things that I have done and learnt. As I had mentioned in one of my previous posts, started to learn to drive. It has been an awesome experience thus far. I also started indulging in quite a few sports activities. In my new apartment, there a couple of lawn tennis courts, table tennis facility and also an indoor badminton court. Had never played tennis before. Have been playing tennis with my _adda_ gang for a month now (mostly on Fridays)... and its super fun ! Boy, its an energy intensive game.. initially, had pain in my legs, hands and back.. but thankfully, that is no more the case. Sadly, I continue to be a below avg player :-( Its fun nevertheless. Table tennis is a cool game. Requires a lot of concentration. My brother has been an excellent coach, and I must say, over this weekend, have tremendously improved my tt skills. Now waiting for the pool tables and squash court to become operational.. so I could learn newer sports :-D

One observation though. No matter how hard I try, sports does not look like my thing ! Very poor learner (unlike my bro). However, no matter how I play, its fun and so I shall continue to play !!

Recently started learning python (yeah, I know am late, but better late than never). Was finding it increasingly difficult to manage without python and was realizing just how much one could make use of this wonderful language ! At the moment, playing around with writing a irc bot.. its cool!

Learning new things helps in breaking the monotony that sets in.. home to work and back home !

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

If only..

A friend of mine narrated this incident to me and found it very interesting ! Her father is looking for a suitable groom for her. He goes through the Times classifieds matrimonial section to see if he can find someone there. So he comes across an adv from this family which is looking for a bride.. the guy is an IITB and IIMA graduate. He calls up at the number given. The guy's mother comes on the line. She, I believe, came across as a strict woman, particular about horoscope match and surprisingly, the girls education. My friend is an engineering graduate and is doing pretty well in her job. She has good academic credentials as well. So, the guys mother asked her father.. "Why didn't the girl study further if she was bright ? We are looking for a girl who is a little more educated".

Wow! This was nice to hear (though sad that it did not work out for my friend). I mean, if only majority of educated families had the above attitude, parents would not hesitate in encouraging their daughters to pursue higher studies ! And there would be a greater sense of gender equality. How I wish...

Goodbye Cell dearie

So I had a break up with my cell phone. For some (hidden) reasons, I have once again decided to go the no-cell-phone way. Its been quite a few months since I have been using it. I do not think I have got addicted to it. It will really be interesting to see how things go without it !! /me hopes she does not find it difficult to carry on without it.

if you are planning on talking to me, pl reach me at my landline nos.

Driving troubles and lessons learnt

My last post was about finding a new pal.. my very new car. However, for some reason, this pal got very jittery yesterday. While driving on MG road with a few friends last night, a very bad smell came out of the engine when I pressed the clutch. We wondered what it was, but carried on. The car was jerky though. We moved a few meters and were hit by a strong rubber burning smell. The drive was so jerky, that I asked one of my friends to drive and check out what was wrong. The engine was not overheated. He started driving, but the bad smell continued to linger. It was too strong to ignore. We pulled over. Opened the bonnet, to see if there was some obvious we could spot. There was a bad smell, but nothing that my friends could pin-point. I must admit, my knowledge of such things is down there in negatives, which, I again admit, is a bad thing. Once you start driving, you cannot be ignorant about the common things. What if I had got stranded alone ? The thought itself scares me! Thats when I decided, I need to seriously do 'RTFM' on the car manual. And not stop there, learn basics of clutch, braking, engine, etc etc.. whatever important there is to know !

Found this nice link on understanding the mechanics behind clutch: I now have a decent idea of what it is, and what happens when I press and release it.

So, coming back to what happened yesterday.. we called the Hyundai Road Service. They were a little hard to deal with... kept passing the buck from one service station to another. Finally, someone said that they would be at MG road in 45 minutes. We parked the vehicle at Garuda mall and waited for them. Finally at 9:45pm, those guys came. They inspected the vehicle and said that for some reason the fan had stopped working (err?!!).. and the clutch plate was burning.. eww !! Ofcourse to me those terms did not make any sense.. but enough to get me in a panic state. What I was confused about was whether that had anything to do with the way I have been driving. I did not have an answer. Anywaz, those guys assured me that I coul go home without any problem and should get it checked at the workshop as soon as possible. Somehow, alone at about 10 or so pm in the night, I, a learner, managed to reach home safe and sound ! That was one hell of an experience. I have always been uncomfortable with driving at night.. now to ad to that was the feeling that I am not driving correctly.

Now that I understand clutch little bit, I learnt that I am indeed one thing wrong - sometimes at the signal, when I know its going to be a short one, I keep the car stationary just around the half-clutch point.. eww.. sounds bad now that I think of it! I let the clutch plates pressed unnecessary. A good lesson learnt and from now on, will either keep the clutch fully pressed or leave the gear in neutral.

Had been to the workshop today with a friend. My friend found the car to be behaving very strange.. in his terms "yeh car toh ek bhudi ki tarah behave kar rahi" :-( But, surprisingly, the technical guy drove around and found that there was nothing wrong with it. We came out and my friend drove the car again. And this time, he too felt that everything was fine ! Which was and is very surprising. I too found the drive to be rather smooth and not jerky. But there is still some weird sound while driving ! Our only guess is that in the span of about 10-15 mins of that guy driving, the microprocessor somehow tuned something (I do not know, my friend was theorizing) and somehow that caused the things to be working fine ! God, I have no idea !!!!

I just need to drive around for a few days and check if things look and feel OK. If not, would need to get it examined.

The warranty covers only defective parts and not parts that get spoilt due to misuse or abuse. So, I had promptly removed the 'L' board from the car before I took it to the service station ;-) [smart, ain't I ?]. and in this way, atleast till I decide whether to put the sign back or not, I shall drive on the road, pretending to be a learned driver ! wow !! That gives a sense of immense power ! But with power comes great responsibility.. and thats the scary part.

All I now hope for is that everything is ok with my dear new car.. and that it will not ditch me for years to come !

Friday, November 14, 2008

My new pal

Wow its been 3 months since my last blogpost. Time has really gone by really fast.. a lot more has happened in these months than in probably 2 years now (2 yrs back was the last time when life changed drastically... i moved from college to office!). And the change spans across personal and professional life ! So, I moved into a new place (had been living in my old place for about 6yrs!), a great gang at work, see great new work coming my way for the next year, quite a few of my friends announced their engagements and weddings, watched quite a few nice movies, learnt to play tennis (which I now play regularly), went out for a couple of late night dinners with my gang at work, plus a music concert..and the best one - I found a great new pal !! If you are wondering what is the big deal in that, well, some of those are the things I did for the first time ;-)

This post is going to be rather haphazard, thanks to the number of things I wanna pen down. So let me first talk about my new pal. This pal got me the freedom and independence I was yearning for. He gives me a sense of belonging, he gives me the space I need to connect with myself. He has all the time in the world to listen to me talk. The only sad part is that I do not get to spend a lot of time with him. But am hoping soon I will be able to. So before you wonder who I am talk about, its my new Santro Xing, my very first vehicle, and the first for my family (and the reason am not getting enough time to spend with him is that I stay rather close to office, so not much driving involved, and not 100% confident to just go for long drives all by myself!). Bought it in September. Its a nice car, and just the feeling of being able to sit in the drivers chair is simply amazing. Didnt know driving at that time. Started learning after I bought it. The driving school course didnt help much. Thanks to Varun, who helped me out with it ! We would do long driving sessions in my apartment and once he felt I was ready to go on the roads, I started driving around, ofcourse with him sitting next to me. And then, slowly graduated to sitting in their alone and he driving right behind me ! We did that for about a week.. and then, voila! I was all by myself... Then, we went out for a couple of long driving sessions. Had lot of fun as we used to just drop by our pals places without any prior plan, had breakfast at vidyarthi bhavan, blah blah ! My driving experiences have been simply amazing! They have been a major source of entertainment for my office gang.. esp, the tea breaks! I am pretty confident now, though parking continues to be a major pain point. I suck at it, just cant seem to get the hold of it :-(

But as it is always the case with new cars, I too manged to injure it in a minor parking related accident. One morning while removing it from my parking space, managed to scrape it against a pillar that had a metal part protruding out ! Yikes.. it was a bad dent. The color came off completely. I was ofcourse heartbroken and upset. Got a lot of gyaan from people about the do's and dont's, to the extent tht I was confused about what I should really be doing ! This was within the first month of purchase. I finally decided to let the scratch be there atleast it was time for the first service. First service is done now, and my friend is back to his own original self. Unfortunate that I could not take a pic of that ugly scratch that had spoilt its looks for the first two months !

I think the other things that have happened probably deserve separate posts like this one.. which was dedicated to my new pal!