MonthApril 2010

Hacking more!

Quoting from Steven Levy‘s Hackers:

[..] a project undertaken or a product built not solely to fulfill
some constructive goal, but with some wild pleasure taken in mere
involvement, was called a “hack.”

Building things for the fun of building them is hacking. And hacking is not illegally breaking into computers.

I like hacking. I want to be a real hacker. I can’t call myself one yet.

I’m putting this up as a reminder to myself – about what is important and what isn’t. Here is to hoping I remember to say No more often. Here is to hoping that the next time I’m bored, I write something rather than idle on IRC. GSoC (a bigger post about it coming up) is helping – a lot.

I’ll do a monthly ‘things I’ve hacked on’ post, and see how many things turn up on that :)

How I spent the Day today

Wake up at 10. Roll around bed for half an hour. Chase brother away from your computer (on which he was playing GTA (or NFS)). Check mail. Find something to code on, code. Check mail. Check proggit. Check HN. Waste some time on Twitter. Waste some more time on IRC. Check mail. Check proggit. Check HN. Tab around, really fast. Tab around, really fast. Go have breakfast. Or lunch – doesn’t matter what you call it.

Finish eating, watch TV a bit. Bitch about how nothing on TV is worth watching. Come back to room, chase away brother playin games again. Start codin something. Tab to Firefox to read some docs. Check mail. Check proggit. Check HN. Check Twitter. Check IRC. Check mail. Read the documentation I really opened Firefox for. Edit a bit more code. Check mail. Check proggit. Check HN. Check Twitter. Check IRC.

Go upstairs. Bitch about how there was nothing to eat. Grab biscuits and water. Look at the time. Look at the date. Feel Ghosh! My exams are nearing! Maybe I should start studying?!. Go back to computer. Check mail. Check proggit. Check HN. Check Twitter. Check IRC. Bitch about exams on IRC. Feel Fuck exams! Fuck marks! I don’t need none of that shit!. Feel good about yorself. Check mail. Check proggit. Check twitter. Congratulate yourself on skipping HN. Go back to IRC.

Get on Facebook. Reply to comments. Post vague sounding status messages. Comment on pictures, randomly varying between variants of Cute! and lol rofl look at that haha!. Brag on Facebook. Check proggit. Check HN. Check Twitter. Congratulate self on skipping IRC.

Go back to code. Read documentation. Check mail. IM people and have philosophical discussions. Flirt around. Feel tired. Think about wasted day. Resolve to make next day better. Think about studying. Decide it is too late. Go to sleep.

Repeat :D

Dokuwiki plugin to easily embed Gists

I love Gist.

I recently started a project that required me to embed gists in Dokuwiki. I hunted around and found no plugins, so created my own. Needs the superawesome command plugin too. Released under the 3 clause BSD License.

PyCon India 2009

Warning: Rambling, unedited, 7 month old recollection ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

Ah, PyCon India 2009. My first solo bit of travel outside Chennai. What fun it was :) Though it was almost 7 months ago, most of the memories are still fresh. Compare that to college, where I struggle to remember what happened last week…

Anyway, it was fun. I went off by bus with the rather interesting Anirudh – a profitable startupeer and someone I met when working with He has a finances related degree and his startup deals with (rather cool) car electronics. He was also a KDE contributor, and is a very interesting travel partner for reasons too numerous to mention here.

I spent some time at Lalbagh, roaming around by myself (and texting classmates with my legs hanging off a cliff-type place). Was fun! I’d definitely do that again – the place was extremely peaceful.

I stayed at Sudar‘s place. Staying at a bachelor’s place was fun – guess that was how my room would look like if I was left all to myself. It was, however, definitely too organized for my tastes – you could actually walk without accidentally stepping on stuff ;) He’s grown up too fast – he actually dragged me to a food place and forced me to have breakfast!

Hung around mostly with mech-yet-wannabe-geek Kausik (who once famously said that he ‘doesn’t want to use LaTeX for resumes because most people ask for docx or pdf’), Anirudh and Sudar (who was there only for Day 1). Had a longish talk with Kenneth, who I later found out was quite a celebrity on IRC/Mailing Lists. Meeting people you knew onlyine online IRL is unsettling at first.

The event itself went well. I was inside only for a couple of major talks – the one about waffle by cnu is the only thing I could remember. I was mostly out in the corridors, typing out code in (one of the many) laptops that Sudar has. The lightning talks were way more fun – because they were only 15 mins or so long and packed a lot of tech (I particularly remember the one about Python internals by artagnon and one about a GAE app by ideamonk. I gave one too – the last one, so I had no projector, no working laptop, no mic, oh and Kausik who was supposed to present with me ditched me in the last minute :P It still went exceedingly well – it was my first time ever talking on a stage of any stage outside college and the practice I had from giving them in college (Thanks to Dorai and the iCell) helped a ton. I even cracked quite a few jokes that was recieved well. Fun times – and I guess it finally killed the last remaining bits of my ‘shit, you aren’t really expecting me to go up there and talk, are you?’ feelings developed from school days :)

Before I left, I visited planemad at NID. Awesome place. Someday, I hope someone established a National Institude of Programming at such a scenic place, where people can come together and learn about programming rather than engineering (which is just college-management-speak for IT Industry Zombie Production Factory)

There you go! That’s a rambling account of my PyCon India 2009 experiences. Next one is probably going to be in Chennai – looking forward to that!

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