Sunday, December 23, 2007

Group Lunch Etiquette

It has happened to every vegetarian who has ever gone to group lunch/dinner with their friends, colleagues or family.

Here is the scene. You go to a nice Italian restaurant (Olive Garden..anyone ??). You have mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian people in your group.

You decide to start with appetizers.You order Bruschetta (Vegetarian) and Silican Scampi (non-vegetarian). Guess what, Bruschetta shows up before Silican Scampi and everybody jumps on to Bruschetta. Then Silican Scampi shows up and its just non-vegetarian folks gulping it.

Outcome: Vegetarian are starved on appetizers.

Similar thing happens during the main course. Again vegetarian people have to order more food while non-vegetarian people cannot finish theirs (since they already gorged lot of vegetarian stuff and are now full).

Outcome: Lot of non-vegetarian food is wasted !!

I am sure you can empathize me on this, especially if you are vegetarian.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Blues

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dual boot your iPod

Yes, you can dual boot your iPod with open source firmware. Rockbox is an open source firmware for mp3 players. It supports may players from Apple, SanDisk, Archos, iRiver etc. You can play games, have screensavers, play other formats like ogg, divx etc on your iPod.

Wow..wonders of open source

Here is the link on CNET.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Linux Desktop

Screenshot of my current desktop.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Do you index or day trade ?

I think each time you make the index a smaller portion—I'm talking about the indexes that are now out in the ETF field, which seem to get narrower and narrower—you're offering more choices. We know that the investor is his or her own worst enemy. In the last 10 years, the average mutual fund in the market grew at about 10 percent a year. And the average mutual fund investor putting money into the wrong funds at the top, getting out at the wrong time, putting nothing in at the beginning of the bull market and pouring money in at the end, had a return, believe this or not, of about 3 percent. So in the last 10 years, if you compound those two mutual fund numbers, that 10 percent grows to 125 percent of whatever the number is that is being compounded, and that 3 percent grows to 30 percent. And that has something to do, I think, with how we look at risk.

I look at the stock market, I think correctly, as in the long run having very, very low risk. Because my view of investing is that you own the business, it has the capital, and that capital will ultimately grow over an investment lifetime. And when the market went down 50 percent in 1973 and '74, and 50 percent in 2000 and 2002, it doesn't even matter. You've got all this money at the end of the period, and you just put blinders on and ignore these foolish fluctuations. What the stock market is, quoting Shakespeare I think, is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. And when you think about the daily machinations of the stock market … that's probably an understatement.

Quote by John Bogle in That Was Then, This Is Now from Journal of Indexes

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Day The Routers Died...


Featuring recording of the "The Day that Routers Died"

(Set to AMERICAN PIE, by Don McLean)

a long long time ago i can still remember when my laptop could connect elsewhere

and i tell you all there was a day the network card i threw away had a purpose - and worked for you and me.... But 18 years completely wasted with each address we've aggregated the tables overflowing the traffic just stopped flowing....

And now we're bearing all the scars and all my traceroutes showing stars... the packets would travel faster in cars... the day....the routers died

Chorus (ALL!!!!!)

So bye bye, folks at RIPE 55 Be persuaded to upgrade it or your network will die IPv6 just makes me let out a sigh But I spose we'd better give it a try I suppose we'd better give it a try

Now did you write an RFC That dictated how we all should be Did we listen like we should that day

Now were you back at RIPE fifty-four Where we heard the same things months before And the people knew they'd have to change their ways....

And we - knew that all the ISPs Could be - future proof for centuries

But that was then not now Spent too much time playing WoW

ooh there was time we sat on IRC Making jokes on how this day would be Now there's no more use for TCP The day the routers died... Chorus (chime in now)

So bye bye, folks at RIPE 55 Be persuaded to upgrade it or your network will die IPv6 just makes me let out a sigh But I spose we'd better give it a try I suppose we'd better give it a try

I remember those old days I mourn Sitting in my room, downloading porn Yeah that's how it used to be....

When the packets flowed from A to B via routers that could talk IP There was data..that could be exchanged between you and me....

Oh but - I could see you all ignore The fact - we'd fill up IPv4

But we all lost the nerve And we got what we deserved!

And while...we threw our network kit away And wished we'd heard the things they say Put all our lives in disarray

The day...the routers died... Chorus (those silent will be shot)

So bye bye, folks at RIPE 55 Be persuaded to upgrade it or your network will die IPv6 just makes me let out a sigh But I spose we'd better give it a try I suppose we'd better give it a try

Saw a man with whom I used to peer Asked him to rescue my career He just sighed and turned away..

I went down to the net cafe that I used to visit everyday But the man there said I might as well just leave...

And now we've all lost our purpose.. my cisco shares completely worthless...

No future meetings for me At the Hotel Krasnapolsky

and the men that make us push and push Like Geoff Huston and Randy Bush Should've listened to what they told us.... The day...the routers....died Chorus (time to lose your voice)

So bye bye, folks at RIPE 55 Be persuaded to upgrade it or your network will die IPv6 just makes me let out a sigh But I spose we'd better give it a try I suppose we'd better give it a try

Words and performance by Gary Feldman

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vadodara shows cricket was never metro-dominated

From the article

Vadodara [cricket] players have always rubbed shoulders with the country's best and given its cricketing lineage one can safely say that they have not come second best.

So the next time someone says that players from small-town India can dream of making it to the national [cricket] team, just mention the name of Vadodara.

Read the full article at here.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Bookmarks

I finally started bookmarking on

Here is the link

Don't come flaming if you find it geeky :-D

Friday, August 03, 2007

Total Stock Market Fund Vs S&P 500

If you are wondering what is the difference between total stock market fund (like VTSMX) and S&P 500, here is good list. Thanks to Valuethinker from

1. tax efficiency - TSM should be much more tax efficient (because it only has to buy and sell on IPOs, M&A, bankruptcies etc.).

2. lower operating costs - for the same reason as 1, the amount of transactions (and therefore market impact costs and dealing costs and spreads) should be lower for TSM.

3. arbitrariness of the S&P500. This is a list of 'top stocks' chosen by a committee. This means it can be 'gamed'. And it is. It is a profitable hedge fund strategy to buy entry candidates, and short exit candidates, in the weeks leading up to a promotion/demotion announcement.

That performance comes at the expense of holders of the S&P500-- the index fund buys at too high an entry price, and sells at too low an exit price.

(smart index funds fight this, DFA certainly does. But in general, holders of the S&P500 will lose performance against this hedge fund strategy).

4. note the S&P500 doesn't just exclude SCV (or mid cap value), it actually has a marked tilt towards 'large cap growth'. That's in the nature of a capitalisation-weighted index (a dollar of profits in a high growth stock gets a much higher PE ratio, and hence market cap, than a dollar of profits in a 'value' stock).

5. theoretical completeness. If your goal is (as best as possible) to invest in the investable 'universe' of stocks, why eliminate 23% of that universe of stocks, from the start?

Note Burton Malkiel recommended TSM over an S&P500 fund, for reasons similar to above (having recommended S&P500 in the first 6 editions of his book).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Computer Science Vs Information Techonology

The confusion prevails. According to Joe, I work in Information Technology (IT) sector (and certainly I do). But my job is not IT, it is in Computer Science (CS) field. I work (in team, of course) on development of products which are used by IT professionals. This is kind of similar to difference between Aeronautical Engineer (the one who makes airplanes) & Pilot (and one who makes them fly).

I don't blame Joe for this confusion. After all, I have Bachelors degree in IT and Masters degree in CS.

Here is an excellent discussion on the difference between CS and IT on slashdot.

Slashdot Link

Many on Slashdot think that CS is superset of IT. I concur.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Memory Management Techniques

Just last week, I was discussing with my colleague about different memory management techniques and which one should be used (apart from vanilla malloc/free implementations).

Since malloc/free are implemented in user space library, it is beneficial to optimize (or change them entirely) their implementation to take advantage of program behavior & cache locality

IBM developer works has an excellent article on this, particularly comparison table at the end.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Six ways to write more comprehensive code

Here is an article which explains how to write good code (which you can understand later :-D)


Monday, May 21, 2007

A day without X

Nice article listing alternative console based applications (as opposed to X windows based).

A day without X

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Software Engineering Methodology

In the beginning was the plan
And then came the assumptions
And the assumptions were without form
And the plan was completely without substance
And the darkness was upon the face of workers

–Excerpt from The Plan, early Internet folklore

Sunday, April 29, 2007

What is spanning tree protocol ?


I think that I shall never see
a graph more lovely than a tree.
A tree whose crucial property
is loop-free connectivity.
A tree that must be sure to span
so packet can reach every LAN.
First, the root must be selected.
By ID, it is elected.
Least-cost paths from root are traced.
In the tree, these paths are placed.
A mesh is made by folks like me,
then bridges find a spanning tree.

-Radia Perlman

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April Fools Day

Don't get fooled. Today is April 1st. Think before you believe :-). Here is the link to top 100 April fool's hoaxes of all time.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

Coder, Programmer or Engineer

I came across an article on digg which discussed about coder Vs programmer.

The article seems to suggest that coders are brainless code churning machine, programmers are thoughtful, intelligent and agile developers. Here is my take on this issue.

The article seems to ignore engineers. I believe engineers are at higher food chain than programmers. The word sfotware engineer is widelys misused. Anybody even remotely writing /doing something on computer considers himself/herself as software engineer.

Software engineer has to have expertise in following four disciplines.

1) Programming Langauge : It can be any language. Be it C, C++, Java, Perl, Python or more fundamental like LISP or Assembly. Programming language gives engineer all the necessary tools to implement ideas into working products. Engineer must be able to take advantage of some of the powerful abstractions provided by programming language.

2) Operating Systems: This does not mean that you know how to use an operating system. It means you understand the design & issues involved in designing an operating system and take them into consideration while writing a software. E.g If you know an OS scheduler is biased towards I/O jobs instead of processor intensive jobs, then you know that your routing protocol software computing shortest path algorithm will suffer. Hence you will set the expectations for the performance of your software.

3) Theoretical Computer Science (Data Structures & algorithms, TOC etc): You can write programs without knowledge of algorithms. But you can write good & efficient programs with knowledge of theoretical computer science. Writing a single threaded program might be the simplest way and anybody can write one. But to select between a finite state machine or multi-threaded master-slave approach requires sound understanding of theory.

4) Domain specific (Computer Networking, Databases, Compilers, AI, Robotics etc): This refers to your field of specialization in computer science. These domains are a layer above the first 3 disciplines.

If you are missing knowledge of any of the 2,3 or 4, then you are not an engineer. But just a programmer. Coder lacks knowledge of more disciplines than programmer.

This is just my opinion. YMMV.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Articles by C++ gurus

I am big fan of C++ language. Even though I code in C at work, I never miss an article about C++, if I happen to find one on Internet.

I found a good list of articles by C++ experts
Source: C++ Truths Blog

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Attributes of a programmer

With all the latest attention again on what does and doesn’t make a good programmer, I couldn’t help but put together my own top 10 list.

  1. Being a great problem solver.
  2. Being driven and lazy at the same time.
  3. Ability to understand other people’s code
  4. Having a passion for programming
  5. Loving learning for the sake of learning
  6. Being good at math
  7. Having good communications skills
  8. Strong debating skills
  9. Extreme optimism
  10. Extreme pessimism
Source : Attributes of a great programmer

Here is my addition to the list

11. Mind peaking at certain hours of the day. (Specially at nights for me)
12. Desire to implement in correct way (though sometimes infeasible due to timing constraints, rather than hacking few chunks of code.
13. Ability to not only understand other people's code, but find bugs thereby exposing other programmer's weakness :-) and get a feeling of superiority.
14. Strong tool preferences (Vim Vs Emacs, xterm Vs Konsole Vs gnome-terminal, less Vs more etc)
15. Jack of all languages, but master of only ONE :-).

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Must read personal finance & investment Books

Must read personal finance & investment books.

The Four Pillars of Investing : Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio - William Bernstein

A Random Walk Down Wall Street - Burton G. Malkiel

Yes You Can Time The Market - Stein & DeMuth

Cash Flow Quadrant - Robert Kiyosaki

Stocks for the long run -
Jeremy J. Siegel

Irrational Exuberence -
Robert J. Shiller

Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor - John C. Bogle

Useful links

Chris Farell's Tool-box
Speeches by Bogle

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Vim 7.0 with tabs

I found good article on using Vim 7.0 using tabs. Since I use Vim for all my coding purpose, I found it very interesting.

Here is another link making fun of MS office clippy

Sunday, January 21, 2007

More video lectures online

Here is the link from RPI. High quality video lectures on computer networking

Networking Videos @ RPI

Here is a link of compiler construction course from University of Washington

Compiler Construction @ UW

Another one from programming language course from UW

Programming Language @ UW

You can keep checking PMP website on UW, if they keep updating it with more video lectures

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Geeks New Year

Here is the link which describes top 11 things that geeks do on a new year's eve !!

Geeks @ New Year