This semester was... LEGEN-wait for it-DARY

It's been a week since the summer holidays, and that means another semester is behind me. Reflecting on the past two years of engineering, I would say that this semester has been the best 6 months of my life ever. I have changed (read: improved) in a hell of a lot of ways. I also dumped some of my inclination to always plan out the day and introduced some spontaniety.

Worse is Better

Code Hale shows that sometimes performance needs to be sacrificed for security. Premature optimisation is the root of evil :p


When you don't post for a long time, it usually means you have nothing interesting to do. But for me it usually means that I have a lot of things to do. And the last month have been horrible in terms of free time. We had a really great one day trip to Diu, but from then on, it was all underhill :) You might want to check out the Synapse website which was crafted from scratch with a little help from these guys.

Hello Planet

( One of my entries already got aggregated, but this is the traditional introduction ) Hello KDE people! My name is Nikhil Marathe. I'm a relatively new KDE developer ( ~3 months ), currently working on implementing tiling in kwin. I started using KDE when I switched to ( what was ) Mandrake in 2001. I think it was KDE 3.2. Well I loved it, and have stuck with KDE ever since, following every release with great excitement.

Internship and back to college

Well, my holiday has been cut short... I'm leaving next Saturday to spend the last month and a half of my vacations in college. I've received an internship opportunity to work as a Playtester and Beta-tester MILLEE. I really enjoyed the short vacation though, I learnt to drive, did a lot of swimming, and hacked some decent code. The last year (academic) has been really really unique, perhaps the most satisfying and enjoyable one.

May updates

I'm home! Till almost the end of July I'll be @ home. Which means a better internet connection at the very least :p So I've been swimming and learning to drive! Driving is fun, I've finished five days out of the 22 and I've managed not to hit anyone or anything. In programming, I'm working on a game using Canvas for the CodeChef game contest. You can track its progress on github.

Random Ramblings

Sorry for not blogging in a long time. This has been a very busy week, and so I'm just going to drop some snippets. First RMS and Larry Ellison both commented against cloud computing. Graffiti is uploaded and ready to use ( but not necessarily stable ). I read Snow Crash and loved it. I'm confused between getting a Dell Studio 15 and HP Pavilion dv6767tx. Meanwhile I'll be leaving for Pune tomorrow for SUMMIT '08 at MIT Pune.

Great Weekend

So my second weekend in this place went pretty great. Now that I've found the right computer which easily boots from external devices I'm ready to slowly begin coding. On saturday five of us saw Ugly and Pagli — crappy movie — but I got my first pair of studs. Its been raining a lot for the last three days here. It starts at around 7 and goes on till late into the night, which means a lot of fun football (I've discovered that playing barefoot is better than playing with normal shoes), but being cooped up in the rooms afterwards.

A bit of improvement

I'm in the institute lab right now, booting from a pen drive (Slax). But tomorrow I'll get my external HDD and plug it in and try to be productive. These labs are only meant for 'academics' which means there are caps on downloads, so I can't even download firefox without it being interrupted. Also we haven't got our IDs yet, so this connection is thanks to a senior who was kind enough to let me use his account.

Still no computer

So the second time I'm in a cyber cafe. In certain respects private universities aren't much better than public ones. We still haven't got ID cards, which means no net/linux access. Which means no coding too. Other than that its been pretty good, playing football and table tennis. But a bit tiring too. Its been raining a lot today, which means there isn't much to do. We had the first couple of lectures today, but nothing new was taught.


Well, I'm here, or I've been here for 5 days now. Since we haven't got ID cards yet, there is no computer access, so I'm writing this from a cyber cafe. The last few days have been a bit boring. With no studies, playing and reading seem to be the only things you can do in 24 HOURS!. I haven't written any code in days, but I have managed to read Hutton's Haskell book, which is really good.

The cooldown

This year's hot hot summer is finally drawing to a close as the rains have finally arrived in Mumbai. This has led to a nice drop in temperatures which means I went the entire day yesterday without getting sweaty even once! I love the rains! The football, the volleyball, and now Euro 2008...

Changes while I was away

So I was totally disconnected from the outside world for 6 days. There have been a few changes on the Net. First Reddit has a new design with more colours, though for some reason it appears cramped to me. Orkut has a TLD for India. KDE caused a bit of a stir

Eating with my hands

As far as I know there are only three styles of eating: hands, chopsticks, knives and forks (spoons are universal). And if you had to categorize what to eat with what, it would be Hands: most indian food, fast food Chopsticks: Oriental, South East, Asian, Japanese knives and forks: most of the western world So I find it pretty funny when people try to eat Indian breads which are flat and non porous with knives and forks.


I have a bloody cold I read packrat parsers in Haskell [PDF], and understood only about 25%. I read 'Do androids dream of electric sheep?' by Philip K. Dick and 'In search of Schrödinger's cat' by John Gribbin and understood both. I also got a deadtree version of 'Programming Pearls' by Jon Bentley I still have two exams to give. I am still having some trouble with parsing Markdown in factor.

2 things pissing me off right now

Microsoft, for their persistence in monopolizing (?) document formats, and hounding countries which reject it [1] And of course its associated allies in the NASSCOM, and the Indian media, who are Microsoft's pet dogs. China, for all the shit going on in Tibet and for all the human rights violations going on behind closed doors. Boycott the Olympics! ( Hey china? will my blog be blocked now? )

Why Java sucks : Highly subjective

Java was the first language I learned properly. I cobbled together stuff in BASIC for a few weeks, but for Java I bought 2 books and programmed a lot of stuff. That was 4 years ago, I was young, not so experienced, and Java was God to me. It was cool, it had GUI libraries, and lots of people used it. And the WORA concept was quite cool to me then.

I'm free, not, I'm FREE!

The board exams were over yesterday, and I was surprised that it wasn't really as euphoric as I thought it would be. Somehow studying, atleast for some time was pretty cool, writing the exams was fun, it was kind of like being pumped with adrenaline and keeping it in control. And now thats never gonna happen again. Its not like I'm having some huge attack of sentimentality, and of remembering all the cool times in school/college, its just that the relief is not as it should be.

.57142857 way through

Hey the name's KodeClutz, I had to be precise. 4 papers down, 3 to go, after which I'm one step closer to freedom, and quite a major step because all the exams after that are just one day affairs, 4 of them. In going stupid, I'm thinking of writing a Markdown parser in Factor. The problem isn't Factor, I'm just not that well qualified. But I might just do it.


Board exams begin from tomorrow. I'll be having fun for 18 days. The situation is really starting to hit.

USA: a light wave

At the risk of sounding really corny, the US is like a light wave, it interferes in the internal affairs of other countries, diffracts situations to its own needs and polarizes the world about every issue.

3 levels to go

Now I understand why developing and third world countries have such low contributions to the sciences and other creative stuff which contributes to global human potential. Because only a small percentage of people have the resources to reach the 4th and 5th levels. Most of the population is on par with animals, sometimes even lower. It's sad, isn't it, that ironically the lack of resources gives rise to people who have a 'me-me-me' mentality.

Qrappy Quotes 1

My Quote. When a boy calls a girl, he pays double, listening to the girl talk and talk, and the phone company charge and charge

This thing creeps along

Not much posts here, and nothing of interest. Well there really isn't much I've been doing. I hacked a brainf**k interpreter in Factor, but since I've no time for Turing tarpits, someone should test it on more complex programs. Besides the number to string conversion does cause output problems. I also have a refresh ready for my website, but it isn't going online any time soon, because its not for 22bits, but a new one, which I might do after a few months.

Koala Panda Annihilation

I Love LeftHandedToons because they create something like this. How cool is it!


But it won't be enough. Because this is not, fundamentally, a technological problem. Nor is it, fundamentally, a political problem. This is a problem of appetites, and of narcissism, and of self-deceit. The planet is breaking, and it is breaking under the weight of our hunger for more. To reform the world, we must first reform ourselves." -- Affluenza.orgThis really resonated with me. It's so true and yet so few people know it.

I like that

As found on IIT Bombay's Techfest On a side note, I SO NEED to be at BarCamp. Too bad I've got exams. Seriously next year I'm going to every damn festival.

Pain, Horror and Redemption 1

Welcome to the first of many PHR incidents to come in my life. I updated grub and rebooted. What followed was 6 hours of endless bootloader overwriting, staying awake till 2am, wiping out the windows bootloader twice, installing Elive, Arch, Mandriva on spare partitions, hoping that somehow i could get the bootloader to boot into my system. It kept complaining about not being able to find /dev/hdd2, the root filesystem.

aseigo on KDE 4

Talking Bluntly Refreshing. That will shut up the pessimists.


Welcome to the New Year!

Stop coding already

I am sorry to say this to myself, and it is a sad way to end the year, but I've to give up on decent projects for a few months. The next few months are 'while true: study' months for 12th standard students, since the exams supposedly decide your life. Which means most of the time my mind is just looking forward to not thinking and unfortunately programming is thinking, even if it is fun.

Unfortunate misses suck

Isn't it absolutely heart wrenching how certain situations come up to essentially prevent you from meeting/talking to certain people at certain important times. I can't say what this is about, but I had to get this frustration out. The stupid network connection had to be down for the 5 minutes which were actually important. I hate it... dammit!

It's starting to get cold

Winter has finally arrived in Mumbai. After a cyclonic depression had made the october-november period a wet and sticky one, I finally woke up yesterday to the first real cold day. Of course the temperature is in the 20s, above normal perhaps for temperate zoners, but that's cold here at the equator. And a very good respite too.

PJ: Hunger

Q. Who do you call if you want to know more about Hunger? A. Domi. Because "Domi knows Hunger Helpline". (Dominoes Hunger Helpline) PS. Please don't hurt me. :p

Not much content here

I'm finding it quite hard to blog these days since I haven't got anything I really want to post about. I've got my exams from next week so I haven't been hacking on any specific program, just messing around with some game physics like gravity, collisions and messing about with vectors.

Counterintuitive Writer Page Preview icons

I just came across this UI malfunction in OpenOffice Writer's Page Preview mode. Notice how the next and previous icons represent two things. In the context of turning a page the icons are in their right positions, the one to the left turns back the page, the one to the right moves to the next page. But most users will probably notice the arrows first. And in that context the arrows are in the wrong position.

Deathly Hallows: 10 hours to go

Its just 10 hours for DH to release worldwide, and although I'm not part of the lucky few to get their copy at 12 ( I am getting mine on Sunday ) I am excited nevertheless. Like every HP fan I've been itching to know how everything that the books have been leading up to, ends. Ofcourse it will be the end of another phenomenon and their is a certain amount of sadness.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from the heart

Just back from seeing the fifth movie, and I'm in such a state of euphoria, I am just gonna let my subconscious type this. Man its so awesomely, splendidly, really really great. The effects, the acting, the everything is so totally spectacular. Its short ofcourse, but they have managed to put in enough to satisfy those who have read the book. It's this really cool thing about all these epic stories, HP, LOTR, Star Wars, they so totally immerse you in their world, trapping you for a few hours in a place with no worries, make you forget about your routine life.

The Secret Question System is insecure

Seeing that this is so obvious and easily breakable, I'm surprised sites still continue to use the secret question to recover your password. The problem is not so much in the system as in the questions chosen. A really secret question would be one which is known to you and only to you. But usually secret questions involve your mother's maiden name, or your pet or childhood hero. Now to anyone who has known you for a sufficient amount of time, and anyone who has read your profile on one of the social networking sites you are a member of, these are easily answerable.

The sky tore open...

Today it rained in Mumbai for almost 12 hours without a break. Ofcourse this time Mumbai was a bit lucky, it was a Saturday, most people were home. Of course there has been a powercut since 10am and its back now at 6:30pm. The cable reception is still bad, so I've no idea what pain and suffering Mumbai city went through ( or not ) but it was pure fun here, playing volleyball in the rain and what not.

Its Software for God's sake

I am so sick of magazine and newspaper technical writers thinking that the plural of software is softwares. Who hired them? If I see softwares one more time I'm going to get hontsblastophobia ( /haunts-blast-o-phobia/, noun: fear of HOw Non TechieS use Bad LAnguage when Speaking Techie - o - phobia. Remember, you heard this here first)

TetraBlocks: The first scrap

I dumped all the TetraBlocks code. Its gone. "rm -rf ". the only copy left is in the SVN repo. Need a redesign. Don't feel like blogging much these days, actually doing anything much these days. I am just empty. Don't know why!

Scrap the Schedule

Pixelframe will not release on Sunday, nor will I be doing anything for 2-3 days. My motherboard decided to conk out today morning, so I all development has screeched to a halt till atleast Monday. Sorry.


Recently I discovered the Trac SCM for project management. And its really great. Especially for lone developer projects. It has a inbuilt server, so know need to configure Apache for mod_python.Good offline documentation embedded within the projectSmall download sizeSimple setup for projectsSVN browsing and good diffsWiki feature allow TODO list maintenanceThe last is particularly useful when you have been storing TODOs in your SVN commits till now :D. So I am using Trac for both ColourCode and my secret project(soon to be revealed), and I am loving it.

Long time no write

Well I have been quite busy/tired/bored to write these past few days, so today I willed myself to write. The Christmas holidays have begun and I am getting a little more time on the computer. It was my birthday on the 22nd and so now I am officially 16 as reflected in the sidebar. I have also been planning a lot of projects. They are a code-to-html syntax highlighter in Ruby, a JS toolkit, a Ajaxified To Do Note application and a blog system.