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Demystifying JSCrush

Some of you may have seen Philip Buchanan’s award winning. Autumn Evening entry for JS1K 2012 Love. While skimming the source I saw that he had used Aivo Paas’s JSCrush to compress the code. The JSCrush website is intriguing with the source code minified and then passed through JSCrush itself (so it can be submitted to JS1K). The JSCrush version used in the page, in <script> tags is the JSCrushed version.

I'm scared for the Internet

(This article was written for Entelechy Edition 33 (February 2012). The news is slightly old, but posted here so I have a public permalink to the article) When the Internet began over 30 odd years ago, it was an ideal of democracy. Born in universities, where only meritrocracy ruled, it was used by hackers whose ideals were very egalitarian. In its very protocols, the Internet encodes equality. No piece of data is considered more important or more dangerous than any other.

The IT Crowd?

(This article was originally published in Entelechy, edition 32, Jan 2012. It is being published here in full with some annotations.) It has continued to surprise me over the last 3.5 years how few information technology students actually bother to use the innovations of information technology to improve their productivity in any manner. More importantly, they are usually unaware of the products themselves. Recently the issue was brought to the fore when Skish Champi pointed out that Zimbra Collaboration Suite had great calendar integration (and I agree), and we as a college are still struggling around with sending meeting emails and reminders.

Why Indian students should attend college

In recent months, the number of posts extolling dropping out of college, or of people recounting their experiences (mostly positive, probably because the negatives won’t share) has increased substantially on Hacker News (I believe Steve Jobs effects on humanity extend here too). Meanwhile the The Story of Average Indian ‘Techie’, What’s your GPA? and other posts bring to the fore some things I do agree with: Most computer science curricula are outdated or just poor quality The majority of students are in it for the money The professors are almost always bad In fact I didn’t particularly like most of my CS courses either.

Have some humanity

This article was first published in Entelechy (Issue 29, September 2011), the in-house DA-IICT magazine. “Technology [is] the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.” -- Max Frisch DA-IICT is one of the few colleges in India to make humanities courses mandatory for students. It is sad then that most students treat it as a course to pass, and not as a way to gain insight into the world they’ll spend the rest of their lives in.

Interning

DA-IICT 3rd year students usually do an internship in the summer. Good industrial internships are always hard to come by, although the situation is way better in IT than in other, more resource-intensive disciplines. 10 interviews, a hundred or so e-mails and lots of forms later this is part guide, part my internship search story. The first thing you’ve to decide is what kind of company you want to intern at.

GMail Notifier on an Arduino

The exams are over and I've been hacking a bit on the Arduino today. So I came up with a simple hack which blinks an LED on the Arduino if you've got unread mails in your Gmail inbox. I assume that you're familiar with the basics of Arduino. Equipment A computer with an internet connection Python pySerial Arduino ( I'm using Duemilanove ) Red LED Pushbutton (optional) Wires On the computer

Custom hash objects in Python

It's quite common to use strings, integers and other 'native' Python data types as hash keys. But sometimes it is much easier to be able to use your own class instances as keys. Python's magic methods allow you to do this. Note: This is not a tip on implementing hash functions, this is how you can remove a certain layer of peeking around into objects __hash and __cmp__ Consider a useless HTML parser with a simple node design where you want to associate the node name with its attributes.

Programming: What they don't teach in school

This is my honest opinion, feel happy to flame or contradict me, but be polite. Much has already been written about how much High School computer science teaching sucks ( High school computer science education ). As a student who has just left high school I just wanted to present my 2 cents on how bad the seperation between RealWorld programming and ClassRoom programming is. A common rebuttal is that there isn't enough time.