Friday, July 29, 2005


Owning an iPod mini myself, I, like countless other ipodders out there, have a wish-list. These are the things I'd love to see in an iPod:
1. A color iPodMini
2. A video iPod (that atleast plays mpeg1)
3. Integrated FM Transmitter and Receiver
4. Blue-tooth for song transfers
5. A much larger display (something like Sony's new NW series mp3 players, which use "Organic Electroluminescence" display)
6. Different screen-color themes
7. Better battery life
8. Customizable exterior frames
9. Support for reading large e-books.
9. Song visualizations.
11. And,for heaven's sake, please give us a BLACK iPod.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Uncanny Valley

It certainly made sense to me from the first time I came across it. I mean, "Uncanny Valley" atleast explained why I did'nt like the movies "Final Fantasy","The Polar Express" and partly "Bicentennial Man" and "Shrek 2"; though they were graphically astounding. Incidentally, Pixar too believes that such a theory exists. Speaking of anthropomorphism, I just can't resist myself from raving 'bout this Calvin and Hobbes' strip(one of my all-time favourites)-

Friday, July 22, 2005

Body Doubles

Caught "Freaky Friday" yesterday.Funny "feel good" movie that. Made me wonder ; If I had the oppurtunity to switch bodies with anyone,who will it be?

George Bush - On the eve of 9/11
William Murdoch - On April 14, 1912
Roger Federer - The dawn of a Wimbledon Finals match
Gabe Newell - When Half-life went gold
Paul Hewson (Bono) - When he wrote "One"
Albert Einstein - When he formulated the General TOR
The curator of the MET - When the "Tapestries of Unicorn" were removed from their walls
Neil Armstrong - When he landed on the moon
James Joyce - When he wrote "Finnegans Wake"
David Lynch - When he directed "Mulholland Drive"
The first guy who lays his hands on the "Optimus Keyboard"

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Terminal Locker

Well, I finally had some free time on my hands and thought it would be fruitful to invest it on some useful coding. I ended up writing this nifty little and outrageously simple "terminal lock" kinda utility for Linux. It doggedly does one thing and one thing alone. LOCK YOUR TERMINAL. Without further ado, here's the code:

#include "pwd.h"

#include "signal.h"
#include "sys/types.h"
#include "fcntl.h"
#include "unistd.h"
#include "ncurses.h"
#include "shadow.h"
#include "errno.h"
#include "stdio.h"

#define MAX_PWD_LEN 512

int main(int argc,char* argv[])
int pwdCorrect=0;
uid_t thisUserId;
char *encPwd,plainPwd[MAX_PWD_LEN],*thisUserName;
struct passwd* pEntry;
struct spwd* sEntry;
sigset_t allSIG;



if(!pEntry) goto bad_exit;
if(!sEntry) goto bad_exit;

if(!encPwd) goto bad_exit;
return 0;
return errno;

The following steps require you to be root.
Compile it with -lncurses and -lcrypt.
Set the s bit on the executable with "chmod a+s a.out". This is because any other user must also be able to run this application.
Copy it under a suitable directory(which appears in $PATH) as tlock(or any other name that appeals to your whims and fancies ) and you're done.
Just run the program and watch that dumb terminal lock up.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I often find myself asking the question "What's life without death?". Imagine yourself to be immortal, never having to face the end of the road, that ultimatum of Life ; when everything you've held dear in your fragile existence is whisked away from you in an untimely manner. "Light at the end of the tunnel!!!! Or is it darkness?". The "I" in you is lost. The egotistical being that man is, is mocked by nature, by God, by the supreme force that created Adam and Eve. "I" becomes "It", just like when you were born. There is nothing to be seen or heard, felt or spoken,your senses lost, consciousness forgotten, limbs motionless. Life comes full circle. Man or atleast the manifestation of his soul is reduced to pulp. Some believe that this soul of man is not lost even after death. It is somehow preserved, protected, safeguarded all throughout its journey from this Earth to the House Of God, where it awaits His decision. Other doctrines preach that the destiny of the soul is not determined by Him, but Us. We are the ones who choose the Gardens Of Heaven or the Labyrinths Of Hell. God has no part in this; He is just an observer- the lone audience of the Game Of Life. There are no rules, no boundaries. Just a beginning and an end. YOU ride the rollercoaster; you decide the track, but not how it ends. Every turn you take might be the last. It's like falling into a rabbit hole. You never know when the ground rushes up to meet you. But, what happens after we finish the game? Do we get to play again? Did we win? Did we lose? A tie perhaps? What would you ask God if you were given just one question? Man is just an object of a derived class ; a class publicly derived from God, who has one default constructor; one that applies to all of mankind. It is in our constructors that we inscribe how we sustain our object through the sands of time. There are feelings within us, thoughts & actions that are marked private, others public, and some others protected. Object interaction is seamless;integration effortless. We are the perfect object, the pinnacle of God's technology, His achievement. Yet, we somehow find ways to perform nasty operations, make illegal function calls, use NULL pointers and basically keep throwing exceptions for Him to handle. But the sad part of all this is, we do not get to write a destructor; a method to somehow clean up our acts, refurbish that tormented soul within us, to gain salvation,peace,nirvana. Maybe that's what we're trying to do through cryopreservation. Trying to live on borrowed time. But, maybe He had foreseen all this. Maybe, he just does'nt give us our object pointers. He only gives us his pointer, but typecasted to our object. So, when we're destroyed, our destructor never even gets called. His definition of us is succinct. Man will be created and is meant to be destroyed. Why be immortal? What would you achieve? You live to see your loved ones die, their final breath, their anguish and suffering at having to leave you, while you hopelessly hold their hands, making futile attempts to bring them back; back to the mouth of the tunnel. Or would you also go around insulting all the people of the world in alphabetical order, just so you have a mission, an objective, a goal to achieve in life?
No, immortality is more than a blessing, it's a curse.