Category Archives: Sun


I always feared this day would come, and it finally has. So with a heavy heart, I bid farewell to Sun Microsystems. Thanks to all those of you who made my one and a half years at Sun a wonderful experience. To wrap it up, all I’ve got to say is, “until we meet again!”


Gyan! A FOSS Workshop @ MNIT

dscn0486 by uditsharma03.

Neuron ’09, a technical fest, was held between 23rd and 24th of October, 2009 in my institute and I must say, those guys managed to pull it off pretty well! A once in a blue moon situation, most of the events violated the ‘Indian Standard Time’ rule by actually beginning and ending on time! When’s the last time you saw that happen here? Anyways, as always, we from the MNIT Open Source User Mesh (MOSUM) decided to conduct a little FOSS workshop during the three day programme. The 24th of October was the auspicious date as per the alignment of the planets (yeah right). So just like we did with all our other workshops that happened during our tech fests, we decided to bring in speakers from outside. Steven Fernandez (who works for Druvaa, and is also a former Red Hat employee) talked about the FOSS ecosystem, how it works and how one can be a part of it. Jai Pandya (JECRC, Jaipur) followed with a beginner oriented talk on WordPress and how to use it setup a website in under 5 minutes. Finally, I took over with a not-so-beginner-oriented talk on parallel programming using OpenMP (#pragma anyone?). Furthermore, the turnout of 120 was far more than any of us expected! Wonder if the city of Jaipur is really awakening. Let’s just hope that we see new faces turning up for our LUG-Jaipur meets from here on. 🙂

Another short vacation

So I’m back from Bangalore after a five day long trip. While most of it was spent at home playing with my five month old nephew, I did have some quality time hanging around as well. I got to Bangalore after a four and a half hour long flight from Jaipur, via Mumbai on Monday the 13th. Three days at home followed after which I finally decided to see daylight! I caught up with my CA friends Vasudha and Abhishek. We got lunch, did some shopping and took a trip to the office where I got a glimpse of the laptop I was supposed to get the next day. I also managed to meet Swathi, the cluster engineer who helped me with HA-Cron which finally landed me the grand prize. 🙂

We then proceeded to catch ‘The Hangover’ at Fun Cinema with Tirthankar, another cluster engineer. I kind of forgot when the last time was since I literally went LOL and ROTFL, watching a movie! Damn I just love ‘R’ rated comedies :). Dinner and a trip to CCD followed, after we which we all got back home.

The next day, Saturday, was the moment I’d been waiting for. Yes, the CFF-2008 presentation ceremony! I’ll let the pictures do the talking here. And my new laptop totally kicks ass! I just can’t have enough of it. I’ll be giving Windows Vista it’s coup de grace tomorrow and I’ll be bringing in Debian Lenny and OpenSolaris instead. Anyways, final year has begun and I’ve got a whopping five guest faculties this semester, which pretty much equates to five subjects less for me this semester. Let’s see what I can make out of whatever little time I have left here in college. Adios for now!

And the winner is: HA-Cron :)

The Sun Code For Freedom contest results are finally out and my pet project, HA-Cron, has been declared the first prize winner. 🙂

My old HP Compaq 6515b laptop had served me well for 2 years and now, it’s got zero battery life, no sound (it’s always been like that) and a touch-pad that goes crazy after 5 minutes of usage. Now, with the new Dell laptop I’ll be getting, I can actually setup a proper cluster! Good thing Open HA Cluster 2009.06 allows you to setup a cluster with just one NIC (cheers to Crossbow). Can’t wait to give this a spin!

Congratulations to all the other winners as well!


The Jaipur Linux Users Group (LUG-J) organised it’s second event, FOSJAM 2009, on the 16th and 17th of this month at JECRC, Jaipur. Being one of the proud members myself, I knew I just had to be a part of it! The event had a participation of around 280 students from a multitude of colleges in Jaipur. The event also featured talks by familiar names from the Indian FOSS community which included Vivek Khurana (no_mind), Shakthi Kannan (mbuf), Atul Jha (koolhead17) and Varad Gupta. Although it was decided that I’d give only one talk (on Open HA Cluster of course!), I ended up giving two. On the 17th, the event got a little delayed and hence, I decided to take up the task of keeping all the participants busy. So after gathering them all into a hall, I had a long and informal session on FOSS, why it is the best thing in the world for students, how to go about contributing and the whole idea of community driven contributions. The students were quite enthusiastic and I also ended up answering technical questions from all kinds of corners like MINIX versus Linux, using Makefiles, python, the quicksort algorithm and a lot lot more! The event then continued as per plan and I really enjoyed meeting more and more students. I was also surprised at the number of students who recognized me from the previous workshops I’d conducted including Helios and Fotia. 🙂

The Open HA Cluster talk started at 3:30 PM, and went on perfectly. I also got a good set of doubts from the students including what would happen if the cluster was partitioned such that there N/2 nodes in each partition (this was asked while I was explaining the split brain condition). There was another reasonably good doubt that I just can’t manage to recall right now. 😐

The event was quite an experience all in all, you can check out the pics over here. By the way, my college (Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur) is now the official host for all LUG-J meetings, the next of which will happen on the 26th of this month itself. Looking forward to meeting ya’ll again!

My one week long vacation

On the 5th of this month, I reached Bangalore and was all set for my rejuvenation. I saw my nephew for the first time and he was far more adorable than he seemed in the pictures of him I’d seen. Really feels nice being an uncle :). The very next day, me, Suvha, Bharadwaj and Akshay set out for a day long trip to Srirangapatnam and Mysore and it was an awesome trip all in all! I suddenly transformed into this wannabe photographer, as me and Suvha went around taking as many snaps as possible (some of them were quite creative I’d say, for my standards at least). You can go through all the pictures here and here (split across two albums). The following Saturday, me and Aditya spent a whole day aimlessly roaming around Bangalore. To give you an idea of how vetti (jobless) we were, I’ll tell you this. We were watching ‘Fast and the Furious 4’ at Inox at 10:30 in the morning :|. The movie sucked royally, and they actually managed to turn a wonderful series centered around cars and street racing into just another police-trying-to-nab-a-druglord story with just one race in the whole movie! Lunch at Cafe Masala followed (the place where we CAs were taken to during our induction training programme) where we made short work of the buffet over a span of 2.5 hours :P. I won’t tell you about the rest of the day, since I really don’t want to give my readers a mega dose of virtual sleeping pills because that’s how boring it was. On the 11th, I went to the Sun office to get some of my work wrapped up. It was fun working at the office; I also got to meet a lot of my fellow CAs who were doing their summer internships at the IEC itself. After lunch, I worked on HA-Cron to fix the stale value(s) bug that it had during node shutdowns along with Swathi Devulapalli, one of the cluster engineers. Although we didn’t manage to fix the problem, she helped me gain a whole new insight into agent development itself. (NOTE: I fixed it three days later after I got back to Jaipur, and HA-Cron works like a charm now, it’s also out there contending for the CFF prize 🙂 ). My flight back to Jaipur was on the 13th, and a book (Digital Fortress) kept me company all throughout. If you’re reading this and you’re saying, “DUDE! YOU STILL HAVEN’T READ IT?”, then yes, I am ashamed. I left my reading habit around seven years ago. Anyways, it’s back to Electronic Design Automation for me. Adios!

Sun Tech Days 2009: GG

The whole of last week, I was at Hyderabad and I really can’t express in words as to how great it felt to be away from college for a full, solid seven days! Me, Sarguru, Nitin and Lakshminarayan left for Delhi on the evening of the 14th. Our train was from Delhi Nizamuddin station at 7 in the morning. The journey went rather smoothly with me spending most of my time sleeping.

Day 1:

On Monday morning, we arrived at Secunderabad station and we were quick to book a room in a nearby lodge for Rs 135 per person per day! 😛

We had a good south Indian meal for brunch and we were all set for our sight seeing spree. The first place we visited was Golconda fort. Inspite of having been in Rajasthan (more specifically speaking, Jaipur) for close to three years, I had not been to a single fort there! So the Golconda trip was quite a first for me as we explored the citadel, the gardens, the prison and so on.


We then went back to the city to check out the Charminar, which really didn’t have anything great about it. Or maybe I just can’t appreciate things that are beautiful.


Anyways, we decided to catch a movie at the famous Imax theatre complex, and after a good long walk around the Hussein Sagar lake, we were finally there. McDonald’s helped rejuvenate our strength as we mowed down on burgers and mexican wraps and went on to get tickets for the 3-D version of Polar Express. 🙂 We had a good half hour left till the show started, so we decided to fool around with some fun stuff in the complex namely, the Haunted House, the Mirror Maze and the Crazy Hotel. The mirror maze would have been interesting had I not known the ‘only-left’ algorithm to navigate out of mazes. 🙂


Watching the Polar Express in 3-D was certainly something else, since you actually felt like you were ‘there’, with the snow falling around you, the train nearly hitting you and you looking out of windows. We then called it a day, and hit the beds in the luxury of our lodge. 🙂


Day 2:

Day two was rather boring in comparison to day one. We set out to the Birla Art exhibition first and uhm… saw some paintings, most of which I couldn’t comprehend. Modern art is shitty I tell you. I’m sure I can do patterns that are more coherent than those. And not surprisingly, most of the paintings were titled ‘Untitled’. Like duh? Ideally, most of them could have been named something like, ‘Random-instances-of-paint-strewn-over-a-sheet’, or ‘When-my-dog-messed-with-my-paint’ and so on. Heck, maybe they just aren’t creative enough. 😀

What followed in our itinerary was the Salar Jung museum. We had a jolly good time looking at Salar Jung III’s pictures and paintings and tagging him ‘gay’. Trust me, the pictures did make him look so but I’m sure he was a great chap! The only exhibits that interested us were the arms and weapons collection where all kinds of guns, swords including Indian/Persian simitars and armour were up on display. Once we were done with the museum, we proceeded back to the Birla Planetorium to catch the English Show which took us through a journey through space and explained a lot of interesting components about the mystery we call, the universe.

Day 3-5: Sun Tech Days 2009:

This has certainly been the coolest developers’ conference I’ve ever attended! The Hyderabad International Convention Center itself took my breath away with it’s magnificence. And the whole idea of giving a talk here was simply exciting! The inaugural ceremony was brilliant, with a 11 year old percussion sensation drumming away to cheers and applauds from us, the mesmerized audience. What followed were demonstrations of some of Sun’s technologies which included JavaFX by Chuk Munn Lee and JavaTV by Srinidhi. Then came the moment we’ve all waited for, the opening key note by James Gosling, the father of Java himself!


After the ceremony, I went over to my stall, where I helped carry out OSUM registrations and conduct demonstrations of OHAC and HA-Cron all day. I interacted with a lot of people from different companies and institutes, discussed code and projects with some and made plans for workshops with a handful. 🙂

JB had his Project Kenai stall right next to mine and he took me through the whole project. I really didn’t know what Kenai was all about until this so I’m kind of intrigued by the idea behind it. It also has a lot of relevance considering the fact that the world is moving towards an era of cloud computing. I was kind of picturising the whole concept of project management with the social computing paradigm and a bit of cloud computing and it sounded amazing! A couple of hours after that, I met Mayuresh from the OpenSolaris team who asked me the details of my talk which was scheduled on the 19th. Later that day in the evening, I went over to the hall to test my laptop with the projector and it worked like a charm.

Day three ended with a dinner treat by Ganesh to the entire Sun CA gang and we digged in to Hyderabadi Biriyani and a sweet dish which had a really weird name that I can’t remember now.


Day four was just as exciting with me conducting even more demos, meeting even more people and finally giving my talk! Jay Mahadeokar, the CA from SRKNEC, Nagpur gave a talk on Project Canopee which made use of SunSPOTS, his pet technology. 🙂 After that I talked about HA-Cron and the GDS methodology for agent development on OHAC. My talk was well perceived and I managed to create a bit of hype around OHAC itself, as was told to me by some systems engineers from De Shaw, who’d attended my talk. And wow! Did that feel great!


At 3:00 PM, Ganesh N Ram A.K.A GNR, gave the talk on OHAC itself and explained in great detail SMF, FMA, failover and scalable clusters and gave a superb demonstration which was followed by a grand applause from our audience. Both of us together answered a flurry of doubts that were thrown from the audience and I went on to get acquainted with even more people after that. 🙂


I lazed around for the rest of the day at the stall and continued demonstrating OHAC to all passersby. I’m surprised at all the OHAC evangelism I did! We were again treated to dinner by Ganesh himself. 🙂

University day was rather boring as a lot of the talks were being repeated over and over again. Abhishek gave an amazing talk on ‘Enterprising Open Source’ and with his panache, kept the crowd entertained. In the evening, we CAs stayed back to meet Joe Hartley, Vice President, Global Government, Education & Healthcare, Sun Microsystems and we gave him our feedback about the programme in general. A photo shoot followed after which we all left to catch our trains and so on.


After quite a sick journey from Hyderabad to Warangal, a six hour wait for the train to Jaipur and a Jaipur-Coimbatore train filled with brats, we finally got back to our good ol’ college. Damn.