I feel powerless everytime I realize that the major success and failures of my life rely on the performance of a $100 CPU chip. Months of hardwork end up eliciting nothing more than a few chuckles from the audience when things don't go as planned.
I feel extremely uncomfortable saying this but last night's presentation of my research to my professor didn't go well at all. To put it midly, Titanic was a success compared to my blasted Java code. For some reason, both the computers I tested my demo on couldn't play the sound. My professor wasn't impressed and neither were the 5-6 PhD students who he asked to review my research. Took me only a few seconds to realize what a miserable failure I was too.
Then I came home, instead of studying for the exam that I have in 4 hours, I spent a good amount of time just relaxing, trying not to think about proceedings of the night. I realized a lot of things often go wrong in life. Optimism and pessimism aside, failure is determined not only by the outcome of the event but also the amount of time we spend moping on the results. So yes, things absolutely blew up in my face with regards to my research and while my professor is not angry at me, he sure is extremely disappointed. However, he was very VERY encouraging and told me to continue on to the next step in my research: writing a thesis paper describing my algorithm. Despite the fact that my current model doesn't work, he wants me to sit down and clearly write what I did, so that he has a better understanding of my methods.
After some yummy dinner last night, I realized what exactly was screwing up my demo and removed that module from my code. I rewrote a few lines to realize there IS a way I can make my code work everywhere! I now know what I have to do and tonight I shall do it. By God I will do it :) And you will see it and play it even on the slowest of the computers!
Internet friends rock! I'm flying to Florida for a job interview and staying over at my friend Taylor's house :) He's even gonna come pick me up and drive me around! Woohoo I'm so excited!
The usual Sunday afternoon randomness goes on. Random rules of being weird by Tim and Chirag:
- Tim: Only weirdos have 'blogs
- Chirag: Not all weirdos have 'blogs. Some have girlfriends (Tim has Becky).
- Tim: But none have both!
- Chirag: And many have none!
Having a nice boring Thursday night at my bunker. Don't feel like going out or anything. Guess I got myself some "me-time" to relax and stop stressing about everything. Don't have any homeworks, projects, websites, exams, or any commitments. Never felt so relaxed :)
Look at me! I'm on a Mac. OS X to be precise...
When a smart person lives alone in a tiny room and often has nightmares, the last thing he/she would ever do is watch the 1986 classic Aliens, quite possibly one of the scariest extraterrestrial themed movies. But then I never said I was smart. And by God am I scared or what right now!!! My pulse is over 100 and blood is rushing all inside my body. I seriously feel like I was in the movie. Ah the good old days when Cameron didn't make crappy sappy flicks. Aliens is no doubt one of the most kickass movie ever! Remember the part one was called Alien and part two that I saw tonight is Aliens. Thankfully the third part (which should've never been made to begin with) is called Alien3 instead of Aliensi or Alienses. They decided to call the fourth release Alien: Resurrection.
Names aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Part II and in retrospect now wanna see Part I soon. I think I'm gonna see a lot more scary movies now. I like the rush. By the way if you wondered what happened to the little girl "Newt" from Aliens, she's lookin' fine and probably a teacher by now.
I just had a hiccup. Somebody must be thinking of me in India.
The Chir.ag 'Blog now has RSS support: rss.xml. If you don't know what RSS is, you don't have to bother about this.
Had a long day today. Got 3 exams back. Did ok in all of them (nothing great to be proud of though). It's my last semester and I don't really give a damn anymore to B+ or A's. I have a 3.9 and there's no way I can make it back to a 4.0. So screw grades :) I got better stuff to do, like my research.
Had dinner with the Mich and been working thereafter. Gotta do some homework. I had absolutely forgotten about studies during Spring Break. I can't wait till I'm out of college. Just two more months. And when I get into Masters, I hope I don't have to do stupid exams and stuff anymore. But I think I'll have to. I love learning for knowledge. I hate studying for exams. After Bachelors, exams should be optional. I'd rather write thesis papers at my own disposal.
I think you're gonna like the new cookie I setup for my 'blog. It basically tells your computer to remember when you last visited. If it's more than one but less than 30 days, only the entries since you last visited show up! So basically if you don't read my 'blog for a week, then next time you log on, you'll only see the last seven days (in chronological order). That way if you check in every few days or even weeks, you're not gonna miss out any mundane incident in my life! Aren't you excited? Just kiddin' :)
I figured it's kinda hard to read what's the latest if you don't come everyday. This way, everytime you visit, there'll be something latest :)
Keval has been taken out of the ICU and put in a normal hostpital room. He is breathing on his own and we all know he is fighting hard. We love him a lot and yes I dream about him almost every other day. I don't know why all of a sudden so many dreams about him. Its over two months since he's in coma and I guess I've finally come to terms with the whole deal. One of the early stages of experiencing trauma is disbelief or disassociation. Next is realization and then comes acceptance. I guess I'm somewhere between the last two stages. I just hope I was close to my Paresh Uncle 'n Rita Aunty right now. I used to think my parents were loving. From what I hear both of them have been doing to save and recover their son, they are the best father and mother alive. And if you believe in God, pray for Keval.
I called my parents the other day and my dad joked that he had this dream about something. It's a joke because according to him, he never has dreams. I, on the other hand, have all the dreams, nightmares, lucid episodes, aural halucinations and every spooky sleep-related thing you can think of. While I wouldn't want to give him my nightmares, I sure wouldn't mind outsourcing a dream or two every now and then. I remember the days when I used to hit the bed and next thing I knew, 'twas morning.
My last theory about proper sleeping-habits to avoid nightmares certainly failed. No matter what time I go to bed, the last 4-5 hours of my sleep are without fail, elaborate reconstructions of some messed up world where everyone I know lives on the same block and talks in the same language. Everyone knows everyone and nobody is too busy for a chat. Basically every person in my dream just sits around yapping. Whoa that sounds great! Doesn't it? A happy-go-smiley world of loving and joy? Hardly so. It's a dysfunctional mix of Seinfeld meets Friends meets Sex and the City meeds Family Guy meets South Park meets The World's. Most. Stupidest. Conversations. Ever! You'd think I would love the free entertainment but after a long day of thinking and coding and studying and analysing and researching, the last thing I want is more mind-numbing thoughts. After all my brain still has to work on making these stupid dreams. Sometimes you just want to click the shut down button in your mind. And sorry no pills, alcohol, drugs, or anything of that sort for me. I thought working out and running would help but they don't.
Maybe you have a suggestion?
Michele called me up unexpectedly (I thought she was still in Canada on her spring break vacation) and took me to Taco Bell. And I insulted the free ride by deciding not to eat anything! Well it's not my fault that she called just two minutes after I finished my mmmm Subway Veggie Max (ugly website by the way). So I sat there while she hosed down one burrito after a nacho and some other meat-filled stuff. I tell you these Italians! Actually it had been quite a while since we sat down and just had a nice chat. We all get so busy during school that we barely have time to sit down and eat right, let alone idle it away with friends. It has been kinda eeire on this deserted campus the last few days. So it felt great seeing her out-of-the-blue. I guess the summer is going to be like this too. But hey, at least I'll have my awesome new place that I can't stop talking about! She's absolutely decided to decorate my new place. I'm so scared man (just kiddin!). After lunch with the Mich, I got back to work (which rocks as usual), and then been researching since.
I've been reading interesting material on psychological acoustics, physical and granular sound synthesis, real-time DSP for audio, and almost anything else related to generating sounds. My research topic is synthesizing the sound of footfall on snow, sand, and wooden surfaces. If you don't hate Java Applets (or better yet have Java Web Start), you can check it out for yourself and let me know if it sounds anything like sand or snow. I'm sure everybody's going to agree that the boardwalk sounds almost real. The sand is pretty decent too but I still gotta work a bit more on my snow :) Not a big problem because I got plenty of it right outside my bunker.
My biggest problem now is of course trying to render the sounds of water. Liquid sounds are pretty damn difficult to simulate.
I just had a beautiful dream. I was in India at Keval's apartment and we were all talking while Keval was resting in bed in the other room. I just walked across the room and caught a glance at Keval. He was sitting in his bed praying to God. He turned his head at me, smiled, and then went back to sleep. He didn't say anything but the look on his face said that he's soon going to be back! Even if none of my own dreams, goals, wishes ever come true, I hope this dream comes true. You should have seen the smile on his face... I love you bro and we all miss you very much.
I would love to write a long boring 'blog on how vacations/breaks and sickness go hand-in-hand in my life but my nose is too stuffy and my eyes are too strained. I got nothing major, just a bad case of cold. Gotta go rest now and intake some more fluids.
Today's one of those days when everything is bright and clear. Been pretty good so far. Got a lot of important paperwork done. Then delivered a presentation for my Financial Economics class that was praised by the professor. And then cometh the news that maketh the day: My new lease on life - I just signed a contract with my future landlord (from June 1st) for this BEAUTIFUL ground-floor apartment that is even closer to my work! I rented out the whole ground-floor of the house and here's what I'm getting: A living room, bedroom, separate kitchen with tons of cabinets, full bathroom, my own backyard (!!!!), two closets, private entrance, and a nice study desk. The place is aboue 600 sq. ft. and a married couple currently lives there. I went last night to check it out and absolutely fell in love with the nice carpet and clean walls. Hey I'm going to be graduating and I can't live in shambles anymore.
While the rent at $650+ is quite high in absolute terms, considering the amount of space and facilities I am getting, this place is a steal. Right now I'm paying $500+ to live in a place that's one third the size of my new apartment. While I love my current place (it's great for a student), I do realize after I graduate in May, as a full-time employee, it'll feel quite odd living in a tiny bunker (which I still love!)
Anyways, I barely have enough furniture for one tiny room so moving into a full apartment is gonna require some serious shopping. Sneh and Michele have both separately decided to customize my humble abode. I just hope my place doesn't turn into a fusion between hip-hop and garba.
Happy B'day Vishal! And best of luck with all your interviews man :)
One of the most special things in life you can do is make a new friend and when you meet 3 great people, it's hard to describe. I've recently become good friends with my work-buddy Chris's 3 close friends - Tim, Becky, and Kiranj. I've hung out with them a few times and tonight we went to this cute Italian restaurant down Route 18 for Chris's upcoming birthday. Had a great time there and just got home. All of them have one more year of school left, so they'll be here next year when my friends Arthur, Nick, Mason, Mihir and all leave :(
I'm most probably going to stay here and work for my university to pay off my student loans till December 2004. During that I'll try to get into a good graduate program and hopefully start my master's or PhD degree by January 2005. That's the plan so far. Let's see what happens after that. Wish me luck.
And thanks to the Nick, for lunch today, I had an oxymoron: Veggie Meatballs! It was 100% vegetarian but it looked and supposedly tasted just like meatballs. It was good :)
My research is going quite well. I'll post a link to it when I have something substantial. Otherwise life is good. Work is good too. Just miss home a lot :-(
Today is going to be "1 helluva day with 2 hours of sleep, studying for 3 exams in 4 classes..." - my AIM away message :)
Been studying ALL day now - over 16 hours! Had some spicy Vegetarian Biryani for dinner with a generous helping of Mirchi! Reminded me of the days in my hostel RKC when I used to eat Jalebis with Mirchi and rice. Mmmmmmm...
Greatness, Honesty, and StrangersTue, 9th Mar '04, 11:55 am::
This entry is devoted to all my silent readers. Slowly and steadily, my 'blog is attracting readers from all over the world; just got an email from a sweet young lady from Singapore. I started this site (back when 'blogs had to be hand-coded) to basically write down what was on my mind from day to day and share it with my family and friends back in India. Turns out my friends here also found it interesting and now I find welcome strangers who send me an email every other day telling me how they agree or disagree with something I wrote. Some email me just to give a compliment or two.
To everyone who reads this 'blog: Thank you very much! I may not ever win The Bloggies but I've already won my share of cherished well-wishers. And trust me that's all that matters. No seriously. I swear. Trust me on this one! OK FINE! I admit. A bloggie would be cool. Even a nomination! Though I don't know what category? The cutest Indian ;)? Ha!
I guess the only thing I'd like to tell you is that my 'blog is just about as honest I can be to the outside world. While nobody wants to admit it, I think there are different levels of honesty - among friends, between couples, among co-workers, with the whole world, and within yourself. Most people's definition of honesty is restricted to just one of these. So if your definition of honesty means being as honest as if you are talking to yourself, then my whole 'blog is a big lie. Certainly, I can never tell EVERYTHING I think of or tell. There are incidents in everyone's life that nobody wants to talk about and for the most part, maybe they shouldn't unless the moment is right and can benefit both parties. Hence on my 'blog, I choose not to divulge past misexperiences unless there is something to be gleaned from.
Now if you think honest means being as honest as you are to your friends and family, then I think I come pretty close. I've never talked badly about anyone I know on my blog but this doesn't mean I don't hate anyone. There are people I absolutely despise but I don't think they deserve my time and attention; their faces shall fade away with time yet the lessons they inadvertently taught me will stay fresh in my mind forever.
So what's my definition of honesty? It is a measure of the distance between what you tell yourself and what you tell the world. For no average human is that distance zero. Honesty is the best policy they say. An old proverb says, "The first step toward greatness is to be honest." So what is the definition of greatness? While I'm sure it's hard to define and comprises of honesty, good deeds, morality etc., let us just look at the honesty part for now.
By my definition, Honesty = 1 / (Yourself - World). So the more the distance between yourself and the world, the lower your score of honesty and as the truth-level between yourself and world comes closer, your honesty score rises. Since greatness depends on honesty, when honesty rises so does greatness. Now here's my theory. I said above that for no average human is the distance zero. What if the distance is zero for someone then? Are they average? No, they are...
Greatness = Honesty + ... = 1 / (Yourself - World) + ... = 1 / 0 + ... = Infinity + ... = Infinity = Mahatma.
It's no wonder that he is known as the father of the Indian nation. While I'll never be able to make my 'blog as honest as his life, I do try to be natural and let inspiration take over my keyboard from time to time, instead of pretending to write pseudo-interesting flashy 'blog entries. When I don't feel like talking, I don't. When I want to discuss my laundry, I do. And anytime I hear from a stranger from Singapore, I drag on and on about honesty and what-not :) I give importance to honesty on my blog so much, because I am very easily influenced as you can probably tell. So while any small incident can prompt a long-drawn entry or a short-curt post, I do have to stop and think for a moment whether this is me doing the entry or someone trying to get me to. Often times in life we do things we just "think" we are doing but instead are just following unspoken orders. And once you get on the track, it's too late to go back.
But then sometimes there's no time to stop and think. Like right now. I have three exams tomorrow and I have absolutely no time to stop and think about anything. So I absolutely MUST get back to studying and leave 'blogging for another day.
It finally happened! Some Guy proposed on Fark! And she said yes! Two years ago on Valentine's Day, Rob Malda, the guy who runs SlashDot proposed to his girlfriend on SlashDot and well she said: "Dork. You made me cry. :)"
I think I'll try my best to NOT propose on my 'blog. But then again, who knows...
I swear I forgot I had a blog!
Found this anecdote online. I wonder if it's true or not. Not for the mathematically challenged. More math jokes here.
One professor of mathematics noticed that his kitchen sink at his home broke down. He called a plumber. The plumber came on the next day, sealed a few screws and everything was working as before. The professor was delighted. However, when the plumber gave him the bill a minute later, he was shocked. "This is one third of my monthly salary!" he yelled. Well, he paid and then the plumber said to him: "I understand your position as a professor. Why don't you come to our company and apply for a plumber position? You will earn three times as much as a professor. But remember, when you apply tell them that you completed only the seventh grade. They don't like educated people."
So it happened. The professor got a plumber job and his life significantly improved. He just had to seal a screw or two occasionally, and his salary went up significantly. One day, the board of the plumbing company decided that every plumber has to go to evening classes to complete the eighth grade. So, our professor had to go there too. It just happened that the first class was math. The evening teacher, to check student's knowledge, asked for a formula for the area of the circle. The person who was ask was the professor. He jumped to the board, and then he realized that he forgot the formula.
He started to reason it and soon filled the board with integrals, differentials and other advanced formulas to conclude the result that he had forgotten. As a result he got "negative pi times r squared." He didn't like the negative, so he started all over again. He got the negative sign again. No matter how many times he tried, he always got a negative. He was frustrated. He looked a bit scared at the class and saw all the plumbers whisper: "Switch the limits of the integral!!"
It's not everyday that you get a phone call from a sleazy spammer. I was just filling out some forms and this random guy (apparently) from Miami, Florida calls me up. He asked about my BotBlock service, or rather how to override it. Turns out he wants to pay me "any amount you want" to make a software that can bypass the image-verification (CAPTCHA) used by TicketMaster. He told me his "competition" was overtaking him and he was willing to pay me $5,000 to make such an application. Best of all, if I was feeling lonely, he could send me a hot woman any time of the day. I politely told him, "I'm sorry Sir but I think I'll have to hang up now. Please do not call again."
The world of mafia and money launderers of the yester years used to be a world of machismo, bravado, and to a certain extent glamour. While the neighborhood mobster is mostly a thing of the past, street-corner spammers are dime a dozen and each is trying every under-handed trick to oust the other. There is nothing smooth or sauve about trying to peddle cheap sexual aids or promote low-budget vacations to islands that don't exist. I think even the spammers themselves will agree that they are almost the scum of the planet, slightly above child molestors and rapists.
Tonight I had this guy asking me if I could write a ground-breaking software (image recognition is not cakewalk) so he can hoarde tickets illegally and spam mailboxes around the world with filth. Of course I said NO! I will never EVER on any conditions do anything to promote spam. Hell I wrote BotBlock to prevent it! Come to think of it, the genius asked me how to bypass BotBlock! I wanted to say, "What the hell do you think I am??? As dumb as you???" But then, last thing I want to do is piss off a spammer who will only enjoy harassing me. So I just acted polite and hung up.
I have a decent job and a bright career to look foward to so even the slightest dealings with these tarts will taint me forever. But what about the recently laid off, newly-married programmer who has bills, loans, and rent to pay? That's the guy to watch out for. I think the blame lies not only with these slimy spammers but also with smart programmers without jobs. It's no wonder so many hackers (well crackers) are from Russia, where the minds are young and bright but their future is bleak and dark. I'm pretty certain that the spammers are already working in tandem with programmers from all over the world but I wonder if there's anything anyone can do to stop them. Well other than making better blocking and filtering software. I think I'll stick to that for now.
Back to my forms and paperwork.
Just having one of those days. Urgh. But at least I saw the Oscars last night. Best part was the Billy Crystal's intro and the LotR sweep :)