Thursday, 4 October 2012


"Freedom Hardware movement " was the buzzed word that filled room CR303 in the main block of BMSIT on 23rd September,2012. A crowd near the dais trying to rig up their line follower bot, another team busy making beautiful patterns out of their led-cube, a few struggling with some loose connections on their circuit.The whole room was filled with vitality.In less than three hours , the chaotic room was organized into an exhibition show-casing some brilliant projects on Arduino.

It was 10:30 am and all of us knew the talk by Prof.Dinesh from IISc was comin to an end and we were to be expecting 100's of enthusiastic students wanting to learn about the projects we were show-casing.

The crowd came in and all of were engaged in demonstrating our months of hardwork.
Apart from Hardware projects ,we also took initiative in exhibiting a few FOSS tools.

On the other side , we also arranged for distributing some cool arduino and FOSS stickers.All the teams did a great job..

After this the students were diverted to the kicad workshop.Kicad is an open-source tool for pcb designing.The workshop received an over-whelming response.While planning for the symposium we were sceptic about the participation of students in the workshop ,so we arranged the resources to a maximum of 30.
After our round of campaigning ,we reached the registration desk to see 50 odd students lining up for the registrations.In less that 15 minutes ,we had about 100 in the list.We also fell short of tickets for the workshop.
The workshop was finally a success, thanks to Ashfaq for his non-stop back-to-back sessions.(We had to conduct it in two batches to accomodate 100.)
We still had more registrations pouring in,however, the last batch of the workshop was finally completed last saturday.

 Finally, I want to thank the amazing team who made this event a great success.As a recognition of our initiative to launch the Freedom Hardware Movement, The Hindu also wrote about our symposium.

The symposium was a great way to meet like-minded people ,who were all determined to do great projects and contribute to the society.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

How to rename Large number of files sequentially!

Recently, I had a task to rename about 3000 files so they can form a pattern.
Being in a non-computer science background, this seemed to me like a tedious thing to do.
However, with the help of my friend, I figured it out.
Before I start off, this post is intended for people who are new or know nothing about shell scripts.

One of the solutions to this is using python.I choose to do it using python because it is easier to understand and I could modify the script later to manipulate files.I am using ubuntu OS and all the steps are done in command line interface.

'os' is a module in python that provides a unified interface to a number of operating system functions.It has a list of functions that lets you access the file system.
os.listdir(path) is a function in this module that returns a list containing the names of the entries in the directory given by path.The list is in arbitrary order.It does not include special entries ' . ' and ' .. ' even if they are present in the directory.

Here are the steps:

Step 1 : Navigate to the directory where the files are present.Create a file in .py format and open 
              Here I have named the file as ''.

Step 2 : Type the following code :

                        import os #import the os module

                        path = '.';  #initialise the path with the current directory.
                        i = 1;
                        files = os.listdir(path);  
                        for file in files:
                          if file.startswith('cmd'):
                          os.rename(file, str(i) + ".png"); #to rename file
                          i = i + 1; 

            Indentation is important in python , so make sure you give tabs at the right place.Here, I       named the file in '.png' format and the naming was intended to be in this sequence : 1.png ,2.png,3.png ,etc .You can give any string you want.
str() is a function that converts integer to string.

Step 3 : Save the file and close it. Now run the file while in the directory where the folders are.
              If you are using the terminal then just execute the file using the following command :
                         $ python

             Here, the file has been named .Give the name of the file in which the code is

Check out other functions of os. Happy coding :P.Thanks to Karthik.B for teaching this :).

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Apart from the usual free software activities , I discovered another "dimension" of our friends at FSMK  on Satuday.
All of them are great foodies !!!
After our zonal plan meeting at B.M.S.I.T , we dropped in at the Arya Bhavan for some chats .

Well, firstly, let me tell you why we choose that place to hog.They were serving unlimited chats.!
The biggest attraction was the unlimited pani-puri.Soon, all of us went onto a marathon spree on who would have the largest number of pani-puris.

Here are a few highlights of our greatest foodies :P :

1. Mr.Pani-puri - Sarath.
     He 'hogged' the top position by finishing with a grand total of 35 pani-puris.While others came out tired after finishing their meal for the day, Sarath went on to have another plate of jelebis.
2.  The award for Mr.FOODIE goes to .............
      He can freak you out with the amount he eats.Looks are deceiving, this seemingly thin man (sorry Ragav you the thin compared to the amount you eat :P) finished 30 panipuris ,a plate of pav bhaji , half a vada pav , a plate of jelebis and was still hungry!!

We had a few runner-ups too.Karthik and Santhosh also finished 25 pani-puris. 

Finally, it was a fun filled day with loads of food.Thanks a lot to everyone of you for coming over.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

when the sky fell in love with the sea

 A young girl stopped her sprint during her evening play.She stopped gaping at the magnificent beauty of the sunset across the beach.
She gazed at the sky and said,  ' The sea is so beautiful. You (sky) and the sea, together, bring in such rapture.Are you in love with the sea?". 
 Children are so innocent , uncluttered and inquisitive.
Well, as usual there came no reply.She repeated her question to the adults around her.Adults are peculiar creatures.They can easily ignore any question that is a little rhetoric.
'Oh! Cutie Pie', the old woman exclaimed in reply to her question.
The fat man with a cigar in his mouth just smiled.
"mysterious" , she thought as she ogled at the fat man.
'I'm busy.Get away ! Ask your mother ', said her dad.
'Oh baby , did you go pooopo?", asked her mother in return.

These elders are always like that.They do not know anything ,she thought.
But the question was building in her like the China wall.She could no more think of anything but the mystery that lies before her.She doubted the sky fell in love with the sea since ,together ,they were so beautiful.

Marking that day , every single day she sat across her balcony in wonder.She gazed at it with acute vision ,not missing a single hint.She observed the silhouettes of birds flying across the auburn pattern with a few clouds in white having shining reddish-orange outline.Her gaze then shifted to the sea with it's jittery waves allowing the sun to color them in red.She looked at the quivering reflection of the sky and the sun.

'Ah !' , she exclaimed,'I know ,I got the hint.You (sky) blush, everyday, when you have to bid farewell.Every evening your sun turns red as he approaches near her (sea). Oh Sky,  you are in love with the sea.'

Her curiosity grew.Every evening she watched the romance of the sky and the sea.She was elated.
One fine evening as she saw the sunset, her face grew pale.A sudden descent of sorrow over-powered her and she burst out in tears.
' Yours (sky)  is an impossible love. I understand why you are mourning. You can never meet her.Miles and miles away , even if I walked,I can never see where you meet.I understand why you come here everyday only to meet her.You never give up.', she finished in tears.

She went back to play , but, she didn't have the mood, she sat there on a rock in sadness.

A tall, frail man was loitering across the beach, he muttered to himself inaudibly.Sometimes he counted on his fingers , another time he would pull out copious notes and scribble .He stopped across a rock and shouted , "found you !!!".

The young girl, who was sitting across the same rock, was pulled aback in surprise. As she glared at the shaggy-haired man in white coat, she realized he wasn't referring to her.She watched him, as he dug out the sand, collected a large black magnet and slipped it into his pocket.He caught the attention of the girl.

'Oh Child, why are you crying?', he enquired in a composed but caring manner.
 Not very used to questions the girl asked him in turn, "Who are you?".
The man said he was a scientist.
"what is a scientist?" ,she asked.
" Scientist is a person who studies nature , derives laws based on these observations.
"oh!I'm a scientist too,then", her eyes twinkled as she said this.
"Interesting,",the scientist smiled,"what have you been studying my dear?".

"I have observed the sunset.I had a hypothesis that the sky was in love the sea.I was ,in fact, right, my observations proved them.But,I also observed that the poor sky can never meet the sea.They are in love but it is an impossible love.My hypothesis is a paradox",she said sadly.

The scientist was impressed, however, with the tiny lass and her observations.Her understanding of the universe, though naive and faulty, her conclusions had a power, a depth in thought.

"Brilliant observation, my dear",he said in a composed manner as usual."But a little
      naive.Love is an emotion that exists among living-things.The sky you see is not a flat surface with clouds and birds.It is infact a tiny view of the universe around you."

" What is universe ?" , she asked.
" Universe is anything that you see around you and in the sky.The stars, the moon,the sun and all those tiny objects you see in the night sky and even huge celestial masses like galaxies.All of them constitute the universe of which earth is a part."

The girl looked confused.She probably hated the scientist for answering the question.Yet, she realized that the mystery of sunset was more mysterious than she thought. She realized she knew nothing of love.She became more curious.She interpreted from what little she understood about the scientist's claims of the universe that the earth in itself, an immensely huge object, is a part of something called the universe. So the universe must be gigantic.
She then started to feel a little insecure.Her pride was abating."I'm just a tiny speck of the universe.I'm so unimportant.", she thought. But children are wise.Well, they are wise and I mean it.Her thought continues, "If I knew everything about the universe.I will be important."
After sometime, she looked back at the scientist and asked, " Love is such a beautiful thing, why can't it exist among non-living things?".
The scientist understood that the girl is inexperienced and must gain knowledge.
He said, "My dear, that question cannot be answered in a day .You must learn more and the question will answer itself."

This little girl is extraordinary ,I tell you, infact, all children are extraordinary.The environment and our elders change them , they kill their imaginations, disregard their doubts and decline their intuitions.Eventually, they make the child think and live like them.

Coming back to the story, the girl did bade a farewell to the scientist.She said,before leaving, "Thankyou for trying to answer my question.From the little knowledge I gained from you, I ,however, answered my question.", she smiled wittily ,"the sea is a part of the universe.The sky is nothing but the universe.They are a part of the same body.They meet in the universe."
Well, it did confuse the scientist too, as it did to many of the readers,
The scientist did not answer this time but smiled at her reassuringly as he patted on her shoulder.
He watched the child run across the beach, feeling nostalgic of his childhood days.Thinking of the virility , fearlessness and optimism of a child that he had to revive in him.  

Friday, 20 July 2012

An Answer

I found myself in an enormous dark room extending almost endlessly into the sky. In the midst of this emptiness, a familiar feeling dwelled inside me .It was an inquisition of what lies around me that my senses fail to comprehend.I was incessantly searching to find an answer,that explanation, that could bring in satisfaction. Satisfactory , but needn't give me happiness, cause this could even dissapoint me.
 My search did stop at one point of time, when a streak of light from corner of the room grabbed my attention.I grew voracious and raced in the direction of the light.There, I found a tiny box , that instantly swirled my imaginations .
"May be this would give me answer" ."Unleash the deadliest secrets of the universe"."May be it was another Pandora box".Like a ravenous beast I broke it open. There was nothing in the box and now the light slowly faded too. I was back to square one , from light to darkness, from hope to hopelessness.
I lie there rattling to myself about the blunders I did.I lie there frozen trying find an answer. Will i ever find it? Is there an answer?

P.S : Well, this post may not make any sense to most of you.This haziness has been introduced on purpose ;).

Monday, 23 April 2012

CENSORED!!! #######

Internet is transforming our life. Starting as a confined defense project of the U.S ,it  blew out proliferating into every sector of our society. So much we call it our 'virtual world'.

It is today's most reliable and qualified source of knowledge.How did the internet achieve this in such a short span of time? It was the culture that it brought in, that was so viral . Every information that we wanted was just a click away with the internet. It came with its unique 'style', it represents opinion of people starting from the pioneers in the field to a yeoman. In short , it gifted us with the 'wiki' culture. A culture that epitomizes democracy in it's purest forms,where people can express what they feel strongly.

Now, imagine you found out something valuable ,some scandal ,fraud, and you want to let the world know. Web becomes your best platform,may be you blog about it. But before the world gets to hear about it, it was lost!!Your post had been removed.The suppression is almost real.
This day is not far once the new IT rules are passed in the parliament. 
The Central Government notified the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 in April, 2011. The rules which seek to control the intermediaries end up controlling the actions of users. As these rules attempt to cover a wide range of activities through a duplicate, complicated structure, neither the industry nor the end users are able to understand the boundaries of their rights and duties.

 Internet democracy in India has faced it's biggest threat ,today.It is going to effect common man greatly. It is a breach to our freedom of expression.

On 21st April , a protest was held against Internet Censorship in opposition to the revised IT rules under consideration.
A mass of young ,energetic and vibrant youth , software engineers  and bloggers voiced their opinion . Being among them I felt the power of connectivity, an air of pride, of struggle for freedom.
People sang in vigor, held placards and shouted slogans to save the internet.There was also a very enlightening play , that showed how the government was going to criminalize common man on a small pretext that he posted on the facebook . As a very wise man said jocularly 'Isn’t it an insult to the 'real' criminals if one could go to the jail just by posting something on web.'

I really hope the Indian government keeps the democracy alive by not passing the bill.Let's all strive for betterment of the society and let freedom of expression prevail.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Day at FSMK Stall

3rd,March was quite a memorable day.I took to volunteer at the FSMK stall.
FSMK organizes a stall every year during the IISc open day to educate and enlighten people about free and open source software. 
The day started off with the screening of a small animated movie that was created wholly on an open source software. People came in awe as Rameez explained to them the philosophy of Richard Stallman,Gnu and free software.

The experience of being here took my thoughts to a whole new arena. I was amazed to know how the perception of a computer varied so diversely to people from different fields.How a computer could cater to the needs of a programmer, which was much different from that of a house-maker , an engineer or a gamer.We had to identify their areas of interest and show them what we had for them as a free software alternative. We demonstrated to a few electronics students about Octave – a free-software alternative to Matlab, about Libre Office – an alternative for MS-office and Gimp -an alternative for Picasa , just to name a few.

We gave Ubuntu OS and the 'BOSS' cds ,which was an OS based on Debian given by the Government of India, to people who wanted to shift to the free-software platform.

It was exhilarating to stand there at the stall propagating free softwares and talking to new people.

Finally, the day ended grandly, as I receded back home through the panoramic backdrop of IISc ,I cherish this memory , the lessons I learnt ,the people I met and best of all the philosophy of Ubuntu ('humanity for others') that strengthened in me more deeply than ever.

I thank Raghavendra for giving me this wonderful opportunity and all my other friends Ashfaq , Chetan and Sneha ,who accompanied me.