Tanay’s Blog

May 13, 2010

Say no to Ctrl + X !!!

Filed under: Technology — tanamania @ 1:03 am
Tags: , , ,

Don't cut, only copy-paste!

Well, this is an account of a personal tragedy (sort of!!) and a consequent advice to all my readers.

I use Dell Inspiron 1520 (T7250, 2GB RAM, 160 GB HDD) with Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. Recently i purchased a WD My Passport Essential 500 GD External HDD to accommodate my ever increasing pile of data. Today, i needed to free up some 8GB of space on my internal hard drive. So i decided to move some of my family pics and videos to my external drive. As i wanted to free up space immediately, instead of copying the files, i cut them. Little did i know then that it would cause me dearly a bit later!

As the file moving operation was nearing its completion, some awkward movement of my very own dear legs caused the USB cable of the hard drive to disconnect from the system. This unsafe removal of the disk, without proper unmounting, didn’t see to be much of an issue till i looked for the files that should have been there in my external drive. To my utter shock and surprise, they were not there! They were neither in the source drive. I searched my external drive umpteen number of times, using GUI, CLI, Windows, everything but no avail! I had lost my data!

Those were important family pictures and i am not sure whether i have another copy of them or not. Yeah, i know there are recovery tools available and i tried some but these jpgs would never show up anywhere. They were gone! I have no idea that why did this happen? The files which could not be moved at the time of the accidental removal of the USB cable were intact in the source drive, so the files which had moved should have been intact in the destination, that is my external drive, but alas, it was not the case. Was it caused by some issue in the external drive, or in the Ubuntu file copier, the clipboard, i have no idea!

Anyway, let bygones be bygones, i blogged about this just to give all my readers a li’l warning that never go for cut-paste of your files while copying to any external drive, be it flash drive, memory stick, external hard drive, whatever. Always use copy-paste and only when you are sure that the files have been copied properly, you delete the files from the source drive.

Just my 2 cents to keep your important files safe.

Do mention some similar incidents that you have faced or your opinion on the reason of this failure in your comments.

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April 15, 2010

Copycat Pakistanis

Well, i have been posting these links on twitter and facebook all day but thought of consolidating them together in this post. I got to know through links on twitter about the striking similarities between the famous 1954 patriotic Indian film Jagriti (जागृति) and the 1957 Pakistani film Bedari (बेदारी). The guys in Pakistan simply picked up the Indian classic and copied it scene by scene, replacing India by Pakistan! They also dared to refer to Kashmir in many places. To support my point, let me show some examples of a couple of songs from the two movies:

The first is the famous song Aao Bachchon Tumhen Dikhayen Jhanki Hindustan Ki (आओ बच्चों तुम्हें दिखाएँ झांकी हिंदुस्तान की) from Jagriti –

…and this is what the Pakistanis came up with in Bedari –

The other song is yet another classic, Hum Layen Hain Toofan Se Kashti (हम लायें हैं तूफ़ान से कश्ती) –

…the Pakistanis managed to copy this one too –

The mentioning of Kashmir in the last paragraph of this song is disappointing.

It is surprising to see that the film industry of Pakistan is so very deprived of ideas and motivation towards their country that they have to rely on Indian movies to make ‘patriotic’ movies of their own. This is an eye-opener for all the Pakistanis and also for the Indians that it is not only the political and military front where the Pakistanis are troubling India, but also in the world of movies and entertainment.

One more shocking fact is that one of the actors of Jagriti, Ratan Kumar, moved to Pakistan and later was the lead actor in Bedari!

If any reader has got more information about the story behind these films or any other similar topic, please post in the comment section, along with your views.

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January 4, 2010

The Inevitable Truth

Filed under: Human Relations,Truths of life — tanamania @ 9:56 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Of all the billions of uncertainties of life, the most inevitable is, without doubt, death. In fact, death is uncertain only on its location on the time axis. There has always been this surety that it will exist somewhere or the other on the axis. Death is similar to some of our daily life “natural” activities in the way that it can strike at any time, but unlike those, it doesn’t strike every morning!

Although there are n number of ways in which a human being, and for that matter, any living being can die, but here i broadly classify natural deaths in two broad categories. One is the painful, troubling and agonizing death caused by some prolonged illness. The other one is when a creature exceeds its expiry date on earth and dies an instant, painless death. The second type of death is said to be written in the fate of creatures who have lived their lives serving their near and dear ones as well as the entire community.

It was new year eve, and someone very close to me and yet so very neglected by me died such a death. It was painful for me, but thankfully, not even a bit for him. I still remember his last gasps for life before breathing his last. It was so very sudden and so very unexpected that for more than 15 hours i remained in a state of constant denial. It was almost impossible for me to accept the fact that someone who was so close to me, suddenly is no more! Why destiny is so cruel that it snatched my mate of 3 and a half years from me, without even bothering to notify me even once?

1st January, 2010 – it was time for New Year celebrations for the entire world, barring me. I was in a state of nostalgia, remembering how my mate and me met for the first time. It was a dark lonely room and his mere presence seemed to lighten the entire place! Such was the glory of my friend. He stayed with me for more than 3 years, helping me in dire states of need, especially during those dreaded exams. I always loved him, but with the passage of time, both of us had begun to feel that i was not giving him enough time and was nothing more than a leecher, rather than a true friend. I had started to take him for granted and expected his help and support whenever i was in need but never returned any favour. But he never complained. This was my immaturity and the true greatness of my mate that he kept helping and supporting me. He loved me unconditionally. I too loved him, but, i know i should be sorry to say this, my love was conditional.

That fateful night – the last night of the year – was the last night my my friend’s life too. He lived in peace and so was his death – calm and composed. His death left a big void in my life. With him, his glorious aura too left me and i was left in pitch black darkness. My dear Havell’s CFL – how much i miss you!! RIP!!


November 25, 2009

Firefox 5th Anniversary Celebrations at Pantnagar

“Happy Birthday dear Firefox!!!”

Firefox lovers from College of Technology, Pantnagar gathered for the 5th Anniversary Celebrations of world’s favourite browser – Firefox outside the old college building and sang these lines in the glory of Firefox! It was a fun filled celebration with lots of prizes and goodies for the well wishers of Firefox.

I was excited already seeing the quality of cake baked by the local shopkeeper and, for a change, was at the event venue a minute in advence, that is, at 3:59pm! I was shortly joined by Sumit Sati and very soon about 15 other enthusiasts joined the party. The young girls from first year (although they didn’t have a hunch what this Firefox was) had designed an excellent Firefox banner which was a piece of attraction throughout the celebrations. After the cake cutting and subsequent customary eating, everyone present shared their Firefox Experiences. The guys discussed how they got to know Firefox, what they liked in Firefox which made it better than ‘some other browsers’, and of course, their favourite add-ons! Video Download Helper, Echofon, Download Them All, Firebug and AdBlock Plus were the clear favourites of those present there.

Then was the time for some quizzing and goodies! Me and Sumit Sati put up a number of questions which the young guns of the college smartly answered to take away all what we had – Firefox wrist bands, stickers and lanyards (which we had carefully preserved from Mozilla Camp Delhi). Due to various competitive examinations and other factors, the attendance was quite low but it was lots of fun, all the same!

Pics and videos from the party.

November 20, 2009

Payback Time: Celebrating 5th Birth Anniversary of Firefox

Ever since the Tim Berners Lee gave us the world wide web, we have seen numerous technologies and innovations on this platform. For me, and i am sure for millions others, Mozilla Firefox is one of the best out of them. The web was sick of the monopolistic attitude of some bullying ‘explorers’ and deserved a change. This welcome change was brought about with the initiation of the Mozilla project which gave us this cute li’l baby called Firefox. Now this baby is 5 years young and is revolutionizing the experience of the web for the users every minute. I personally rediscovered the web using Firefox over IE.

My introduction to Firefox is an interesting story. It was the year 2006 and i was on my home PC, searching for some stuff or the other put in it by the computer salesperson from whom my father had bought it. Doing so, i stumbled upon a .exe setup of something called a Firefox! I instantly loved the name and installed it just for the sake of satisfying my curiosity. When it got installed (it was a 1.x version and it took only a few seconds in installation!), i found out that it was a web browser. At that time, i had a dial-up 33.6 kbps connection on which IE used to give me 1.0kbps to 1.5kbps of download ‘speed’. I tried downloading with Firefox and voila, on the same connection, it gave me speed of 3kbps! I was jubiliated and since that day, i have never used IE (except for cases when i don’t have any option :().

Mozilla celebrated the 5th birth anniversary of Firefox on 9th November, 2009. There have been several Firefox 5th Birth Anniversary celebrations around the world in the past week and two. So me, along with my batchmates and fellow members of Open Source User Group, Pantnagar are organising a party in our college to celebrate the 5th birth anniversary of Firefox! We would be having a small cake cutting ceremony followed by a quiz on Firefox. There are exciting prizes to be won! The details of the party are as under:
Date : Sunday, 22 November 2009

Time : 4:00 pm onwards

Venue: PCT Lawns
Everyone associated with the college (students, professors, workers, everyone) is cordially invited to be a part of this fun! It’s payback time for every one to whom Firefox has given so very much in the past 5 years.

Spread the word: http://3.ly/5p7

Spread Firefox: http://www.spreadfirefox.com

Firefox 5th Anniversary Celebrations


November 8, 2009

Fight FOSS Ignorance

One of the major factors which help proprietary software vendors keep a grip on the market is ignorance on the part of the consumers. Newspapers, one of the key sources of information to the common man, to aren’t playing their part and in their state of ignorance, helping such organizations.

Recently, on twitter, i pointed out the proprietary bias shown by Times of India vs Open Mindedness shown by The Hindu “#timesofindia vs #thehindu Clear proprietary bias shown by #timesofindia http://3.ly/bvh
and http://3.ly/MQk #opensource #linux

I also came across many internet related news articles in the local paper Amar Ujala which uses the logo of Internet Explorer in all their web-related articles. It gives a wrong notion to the ignorant masses that the Internet and Internet Explorer are synonymous. So i pointed out this to the Editor, Amar Ujala through a letter, a copy of which I am pasting below. My motive is to inspire every reader to fight FOSS ignorance in whatever best way s/he can and spread the spirit of Open Source.

All the best to all.

The Letter
Hello sir,

I am a regular reader of your newspaper an am highly appreciative of
the content matter and the quality of unbiased journalism of the

I would like to point your kind attention to a regular feature of the
web related articles published in Amar Ujala. Most of such articles
contain the logo of Microsoft’s proprietary web browser – Internet

Apart from being a free publicity for the browser and the company, it
gives a wrong notion to the lakhs of readers of the newspaper that the
Internet and Internet Explorer are synonymous. The role of a newspaper
is to create a better, an aware society. Using Microsoft Internet
Explorer’s logo in your articles gives the ignorant readers a notion
that Internet Explorer is what the Internet is all about, which is
totally wrong. A newspaper of your reputation should instead promote
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) which gives the users the freedom
to use them, without being under the restrictions of copyright laws.
Mozilla Firefox is one of the most popular Open Source browsers
available. Another Open Source browser, Google Chrome is doing well in
the browser market. Opera and Apple’s Safari, though not Open Source,
are still options available to the users.

My only concern is that the newspaper should not mislead the readers.

Hence I request you to kindly look into the matter and do something in
this regard as early as possible. I would like to get an
acknowledgment of this letter to you.

I would be highly obliged.

Thanking you

Yours sincerely,

Tanay Mathpal
Final Yr, Computer Engineering
College of Technology

October 28, 2009


Filed under: Technology — tanamania @ 5:08 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

On 23rd October, 2009, i delivered a seminar presentation on HTML 5 as a part of the requirements for the fulfillment of my B.Tech. degree program. Both designing and delivering the presentation was a tremendous learning experience.
I have uploaded the presentation and am posting the link for all of you.


Creative Commons License
HTML 5 by Tanay Mathpal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 India License

October 17, 2009

The Cosmic Web

Every day, every moment, someone or the other wishes for something, prays for something; or someone. The individual feels elated when his/her wish or prayer is heeded and, quite understandably, is surrounded by an air of disappointment if his desire is not fulfilled. But the point is, where all these wishes and prayers go? A widely accepted spiritual notion is that all these wishes diffuse into energy and become a part of the never ending cosmos. All of us know and agree upon the fact that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. So all these wishes and prayers, in the form of energy, remain in the cosmos, waiting to be listened to, sometime or the other. The cosmos is a limitless reservoir in which these endless wishes wobble around.

There is always a set of rational thinkers who tend to disagree with such spiritual notions. Many of them might be reading this piece at the moment. Through this article, the author is not trying to convince those souls about the validity of this notion. Rather, the idea is to establish an analogy between the Cosmos and the World Wide Web.

The web, especially after the advent of Web 2.0, is a totally different playground. It is no longer a place where one checks in to get some information, data and records, send some emails, and then checks out. It’s a much different; a much better mesh today. It is now a place where you and i can contribute – through blogs, microblogs like twitter, social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Orkut – and that too in a number of ways. A means of contribution is our wishes and prayers. Readers who are regular users of the above mentioned services would have come across such wishful ‘updates’ from other users many times. To quote an example, in the recent past, the author, in his pursuit of an invite to join Google Wave, has expressed his wishes on his twitter page many times as in I want #google #wave. Can anyone plz send me an invite. Also, there are personal as well as more general prayers posted by users. Some are like Pray for my brother. Today he tested positive for H1N1. God help him. while some others sound like Pray for ManU. Arsenal is posing a big threat to them tonight.

These wishes and prayers, emerging from the thoughts of users, transform to words and finally to chunks of electrical energy in the form of 0s and 1s before becoming a part of the Cloud, called the Internet. Then they float about in the web, uninterrupted, before someone interested stumbles upon them. Then it is up to the stumbler to either reply or simply ignore them.

When the author receives comments on his blog post published months back, his conviction in this analogy, that someday his wishes, floating about in the cosmos, will be heeded, is further strengthened. That’s what he believes is the power of the Cosmic Web.

September 12, 2009

Software Freedom Day Celebrations at College of Technology, Pantnagar

It was August the 15th all over again for the Open Source User Group (OSUG) / Sun Club / OSScamp Community, Pantnagar as Software Freedom Day was celebrated by the community in the college. The community organised an unconference for the interested students of the college. The event was planned on a short notice and hence adequate publicity could not be done but still a lot of more than 50 students attended and discussed Open Source inside out and upside down at the event. We managed to get permission from 2-5 in the evening which was certainly not enough considering the number of talks proposed by the students. Computer Engineering students from the II and III yrs of the college delivered numerous talks on a wide variety of topics.

The attendees after the SFD celebrations.

The attendees after the SFD celebrations.

Some initial hitches were caused by some electricity issues but the time was utilised in some social sandboxing by the students. Students were peeked by the author (forgive me for that 🙂) discussing technologies like Scala, Grails, Ogg, Svg, Netbeans, PHP……………………… and more (I’m sorry, I can recall only a few 🙂 ). Once the systems were setup, it was time for us to go-go-go! The students enthusiastically demanded Vikash Pandey to begin his talk on Setting up a website, DNS and related issue. Vikash explained the minor details of setting up a website on a local Apahe server which were well grasped by the students. Once he finished, Nishant Singhal and Varun Agarwal were up front explaining the technical know-hows of System and Network Security. Sumit Sati initiated an interesting discussion during the talk: Ethical Hacking – does it really exist?! The bad weather outside was causing power cuts quite frequently so live demos related to System and Network Security were postponed for later. Meanwhile, Vigya Sharma came up with his lucid discussion on PHP, appropriately titled Introduction to PHP. It was basically a doubt clearing session regarding installation issues in LAMP and XAMPP and some bit of coding in PHP. The numerous questions raised by the students were handled well by Vigya. Following this server side scripting, was some Shell Scripting by Ankush Chander and Akshat Pokhriyal. The young lads started with “Why Unix?” and moved on with their talk explaining the powers of the shell.

SFD '09

Nishant and Varun facing volleys of questions during demonstration of System and Network Security.

We were running short of time and still had 6-7 more talks on queue! Going by the community vote, Aduait Pokhriyal was tossed up on the stage for an Introduction to Routing Protocols. After his talk, Nishant and Varun were ready with the demonstration of System and Network Security. They introduced the students to utilities like Netcat.

The clock had already ticked past 5 but we still had many openSolaris and Netbeans DVDs from Sun Microsystems to give away. Then Tanay Mathpal and Sumit Sati came up with an interesting way to do so; through an Open Source quiz! Simple Open Source trivia questions were answered by the students to take away everything we had in store for them! 🙂

The community then discussed the prospects of organising yet another OSScamp Pantnagar either in the campus of the university or in Nainital. The name OSScamp Nainital was exiting enough and the level of enthusiasm shown by the students showed that very soon the OSScamp Pantnagar community will take its first steps in this direction. 🙂

More pics from the event at Flickr.

July 12, 2009

Chrome OS – David to face the Goliath?

David vs Goliath

David vs Goliath

With Google finally announcing its very own Operating System – the Chrome OS on 7th of July, the IT industry is all set to witness yet another attack on Microsoft’s monopolistic fortified empire. Initially, Google plans to launch it for netbooks before moving on to the larger desktop PC and laptop market which is dominated by Microsoft’s Windows Operating Systems.

It is not the first time that Microsoft is facing competition in the Operating System market. Various flavours of Linux have been around for a while and are doing pretty good in the server domain. With the advent of the Mac OS for i386 environments, it was believed by many of those typical ‘Mac lovers’ that now Microsoft would surely have a run for its money. But neither Linux, nor the Mac have been really able to topple the Windows reign. This phenomenal success of Windows should not, in any case, be attributed to the R&D teams at MS, definitely not (how many BSODs have you faced!). It is the sales and marketing policy of Microsoft that keeps its Windows operating system at the pinnacle of this industry.

But this time, the game is a li’l different. On the other side of the court is not Linux, nor Apple; it’s Google – the behemoth who has proved itself time and again. Google revolutionised the web with its innovations at Google search. JavaScript and Ajax implementations of Gmail propelled yet another success story of Google. Google Docs are already a preferred choice of many netizens over the heavily priced MS Office suite. Orkut, YouTube, Blogger, Picasa, Google Earth, Apps, and many many more applications and services have redefined our entire web experience. So can we say that David has finally arrived confronting the long standing Goliath of the Operating System industry?

I have my set of doubts. Google’s domination of the web has been in all those areas which were earlier dominated either by Yahoo! (search, mail) or some other player; but not Microsoft. Even after about nine months of the launch of Google Chrome browser, it has not been able to challenge the market domination of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or even the second place Firefox. We have also seen that Google’s services like Orkut have been vanquished by rivals like Facebook and MySpace.

Apart from this, my other doubt arises from the history of Google’s antagonist. Microsoft is known to be a fighter. Since its inception, it has fought and won bitter battles against big names like Apple, Netscape and even the mighty IBM. So Google and its Chrome OS have a tough opponent up front.

It’s not that my doubts arise only from these historical aspects of the two companies. There are certain technical aspects where Microsoft seems to have an edge over Google. Chrome is purely based on Cloud Computing which leaves me with a good for nothing rectangular piece of keys and screen which i may deter to call a ‘netbook’ in case of unavailability of a hi-speed broadband connection to the Internet, which is not such an uncommon scenario in most parts of the world! Although many Paul Buchheits may remind me of the famous “Don’t be Evil” quote of Google, i can never accept my prized possession – my personal data to be at the mercy of the Google Cloud and its ‘Privacy Policy’. For the developers, Google says that “the web is the platform”. Keeping in mind the huge numbers of application developers already working on the available platforms, does this insight look viable! Not in the near future for me!

And what about hardware and software support?! Being based on the Linux Kernel and Cloud Computing, i doubt Chrome OS to support my printer, scanner, camera, flash drives and memory cards as smoothly as Windows does after being 100% sure that it will not be able to run my trusted software and games! (Don’t remind me of WINE, plz!)

Then they tell me that Chrome OS will be based on the Linux Kernel with a new “windowing system”. Quoting the official Google Blog “….and we’re definitely going to need a lot of help from the open source community to accomplish this vision.” All this sounds familiar, isn’t it? Why not! Isn’t Chrome a Cloud implementation of Linux?! So what difference does it make to Microsoft when what actually it is facing is nothing but yet another Linux, only this time, it has a Cloud to back it up and is labelled Google!

But this one fact can ultimately bring all the difference to the equation. It is labelled Google and in the IT industry, when it’s Google, it’s got to be something big and surely something to contend with. Both Microsoft and Google have been leaders of two different playing fields as of now. This confrontation was surely on the cards and when now both of them find each other on their faces, mind my words, “there will be blood!”

Will the Google David bring down Microsoft or will the Goliath annihilate yet another adversary? It’s going to be really big this time!

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