Dennis Ritchie lost in 'Reality Distortion Field'

Dennis Ritchie (dmr), the man who created the C programming language, and co-invented UNIX, passed away last weekend.

So sad that even slashdot is yet to report on it (as of 13-10-2011, 08:30 IST).

Once the world has forgotten Mr.Jobs, dmr's contribution to computing will still be remembered.

RIP sir.


Emacs keybindings in GNOME Evolution 3.x

The old way wouldnt work with the GNOME Evolution 3.x that comes in Debian Wheezy. So, after a little digging around GtkHTML's sources, here..:
  1. Run 'gconf-editor'.
  2. Browse to "/desktop/gnome/interface/can_change_accels" and enable it.
  3. Browse to "/desktop/gnome/interface/gtk_key_theme" and set it to "Emacs".
  4. Start Evolution and open a new message. Hover your mouse over the 'menu items' whose key-bindings interfere with the normal Emacs world bindings (e.g: Print, Copy, Search, ...) and press "Del". This will 'unbind' those shortcuts from those menus. Close Evolution.
  5. Download this and put it in ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css
  6. Open a terminal and run:

    $ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-key-theme "Emacs"
    $ chmod u-w ~/.gnome2/accels/evolution
  7. Enjoy "Ctrl+N", "Ctrl+P".. etc in the composer.
Update 1: stripped the tags in the gtk.css content posted here. So, linked it to a file hosted elsewhere.


Python's "private name mangling" uncoolness


def __h0la():

class Foo:
def blah(self):

f = Foo()


joe@lark:~/sandbox/python$ python 
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "", line 10, in
File "", line 7, in blah
NameError: global name '_Foo__h0la' is not defined

And this explains the behaviour:
Private name mangling: When an identifier that textually occurs in a class definition begins with two or more underscore characters and does not end in two or more underscores, it is considered a private name of that class. Private names are..

The word "TEXTUALLY", is important here. Basically if there is an "__X" occurring within a class definition, immaterial of it referring to something else out side the class, it is 'name mangled'.

I dont know about you, but my stomach does not feel THAT good. :-/


That piece of shit called "an iPod"..

So, I promised some music to a friend who does not have access to a computer. I had assumed that copying the music onto her iPod should be the easiest way to do it. It turned out to be NOT. Sigh!

To start with, the "iPod Touch 4Gen" wont work with "rhythmbox, gtkpod, libgpod and family", yet. Apparently, Apple is trying every trick they know to keep third-party applications from talking to their device.

Resorted to installing iTunes for windows on a Virtualbox environment. iTunes insisted on downloading album art and junk when it is importing the music. For some reason, it was taking too much time. And to top it, the application was getting unresponsive for every album art it was trying download/analyse/whatever. Hoping to stop iTunes from wasting time, I disabled the network connection. iTunes still spent the same time "analyzing album art" :-/ This time, the CPU was peaking in full load and the application was still unresponsive. Figured that, the only way I can get this done with is, to let iTunes do its shit in its own sweet fcking time. And so, I let it be.

Finally when iTunes was done with its crap, I plug the iPod in and everything was detected fine. The iPod already has 4GB+ music on it and iTunes shows it. But, iTunes refused to add new music to it. iTunes insists that it will delete all the existing music and copy the new music into the device. WTF. Adding new files into the device and updating a database, is not rocket-science.

What I seriously dont understand is, how do people put up with this piece of crap?


next valentine's ...

With a little (gender) modification, this would make an awesome valentine's card :)


Philips Spark SA2SPK04K quirks

It has been quite a while with this stupid music player, and I am compelled to bitch about it.

ID3 tag problems: This player supports ONLY ID3v2.3 with charset "Western ISO-8859-1". I dont think it understands the iconv '//translit' etc., so you'll have to disable them in EasyTag.

Play mode: I listen to whole albums. I hate mixing songs from different albums. I hate it if the songs in an album are not played in "track number order". Oh, I hate create playlists all the more. This player simply does not have any straight forward way to do this. :-/ Eventually, I had to resort to:

- Tag all the songs under one single genre
- On the player choose "play all albums" under "this" genre :-/

Song database update: The player looks only for "filename" changes to build its database. It completely ignores modification time changes :-/ So, every time I fix the tagging, I'll have to move all the music into another folder in order to force the player to update its database.

Living with some dumbass's follies. Sigh!


Dilbert, its not COBOL.. sigh!

Here is the video (at 1:07).
Asok: Its COBOL.. I learnt about it in school

No Asok, that aint COBOL. :-/ And, "GetMarkScheib'sHeight" is an invalid C/C++ symbol. :-/

P.S 1: An interesting remark by Dr.Edsger Dijsktra: "The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense" [link] (thanks to Wikipedia :))


Let the product/company speak for itself, Finacle, Infosys

Bank of Baroda uses Infosys's Finacle product. No matter what you try, some parts of the application will not work with any browser other than "Microsoft Internet Explorer". And Infosys's professionalism, well..

Lets not get into the numbers (moolah) involved.. mind boggling. Sigh!


The messy burgers are back :)

Lets face it.. there are not many decent burger joints in Madras.

Five years back, "Eatalica", near Loyola college, used to top my list. After a series of fuck-ups (dry bread, burnt patty, etc.), I gave up on them and flirted around with "Baywatch" at Elliot's beach. "Baywatch" shutdown and vanished for reasons unknown. Thats when I discovered "Gallopin Gooseberry". I LOVED, and still love, that place. But lately, they have been disappointing me too much. I am seriously worried that I might have to give up on them soon :-S

I dont know whether it is "profit maximisation" or whether the customers have become too health conscious, the burgers have been consistently losing weight. Its been ages since I had a nice drippy, juicy, messy burger which did not make me feel like I was on a diet. Finally, "Pupil" at Elliot's beach made it happen. I've always downplayed that place. Today, I decided to give it a shot, and it was simply brilliant. With two solid slabs of beef, held together by the melting cheese and barbecue sauce dripping all around, it was such a beauty to behold. Sigh!

I like the way its laid back. I like that the waiters keep conversation to a minimum. I like that its in the open. I like that its not one of those "fine dining fast food" restaurants (knife and fork for pizza? Pizza Hut.. WTF?).

Keeping up the inspiration..


Emacs keybindings in GNOME Evolution's composer

I found myself searching on this, for the third time now. So unbelievably simple, but still not documented anywhere on the Internet. :-/
  1. Run 'gconf-editor'.
  2. Browse to "/desktop/gnome/interface/can_change_accels" and enable it.
  3. Browse to "/desktop/gnome/interface/gtk_key_theme" and set it to "Emacs".
  4. Start Evolution and open a new message.
  5. Hover your mouse over the 'menu items' whose key-bindings interfere with the normal Emacs world bindings (e.g: Print, Copy, Search, ...) and press "Del". This will 'unbind' those shortcuts from those menus.
  6. Enjoy "Ctrl+N", "Ctrl+P".. etc in the composer.
  7. Bless me

PS-1: Lately I noticed that the bindings were getting reset every once in a while, randomly. A "chmod u-w ~/.gnome2/accels/evolution" seems to have fixed the problem.

PS-2: This does not work in GNOME Evolution 3.x. Try this instead..


"A veiled affair" at alliance francaise

The play, "a veiled affair", was not bad at all. I dropped in coz I was completely jobless and had nothing better to do. But, it turned out to be good fun. Loved "Amora" and "Whiny" :D

All went well until I had to run out just before the ending, for a bladder-blow-out-prevention :-/



Pain of Salvation, Saarang, IIT Madras

So much energy. So much music. So much awesomeness.. :)

EDIT-1: I had to leave a bit early, before the concert ended. I hear from friends who were there for the entire concert, that the Chennai cops created a fiasco. Apparently; At around 22:30, in the middle of a song, the cops cut off the power, as it was crossing the curfew time. After some antagonism, the show was allowed to continue. Power was cut off abruptly before the last song ended.

EDIT-2: More stories on the fiasco: "A review of Pain of Salvation Live in Chennai 29.01.2011" by Tushar Menon


Pain of Salvation @Landmark, Madras

Yes.. the Gods finally descended. :) But for the 'over enthusiastic' singalongs, it was an 1+ hour of awesomeness. Waiting for the event at Saarang, IIT-Madras.