Archive for January, 2008

iisc, orkut, dating, matrimony, and the ban.

Jan 31, 2008

bhOndOO saw an advertisement on the department notice board about a competition by Google: Google Product Prodigy. He was delighted to read that the winners would receive awards worth Rs.20 lakh. Hence he sent an idea proposal to Google. To his surprise, his idea got shortlisted!

The next step was to actually implement the idea. Enthusiastically, bhOndOO started working on implementing the idea. The idea revolved around getting information from the accounts of Orkut and mine (as in data mining) it to give some useful information and statistics. The last date of submission of the project was Jan 31, 2008.

On Jan 30, bhOndOO had his implementation working in his web directory. He sent the url of the working implementation to Google, went to his room, and slept peacefully.

The next day, on Jan 31, he came to the lab and tried opening He got a logo of IISc and a sweet message as below:

IISc bans Orkut.


This is a message from the IT Department.

The web site you are trying to access:
is listed as a site within the category DatingAndMatrimonials

Current Internet Access Configuration does not allow you to visit sites within this category at this time.

That’s a welcome change, bhOndOO thought, It would save a lot of students’ time — may be. At the next instant, bhOndOO was terrified; he checked his project url and found that it had stopped giving any results!



the printer and the problem.

Jan 29, 2008

A fine Sunday morning — cuckoos singing, wind whistling, and strangely, bhOndOO awake. “We two seem to be the only humans in the department.”, bhOndOO thought of the security guard. After drinking water, bhOndOO was returning from the water cooler, when he saw his advisor’s office open. “Is he in? Or is it a thief?”.

Feeling concerned, bhOndOO tried to peep inside Prof Krishnamurthy’s office, keeping as much portion of his body outside as possible. Seeing nobody, bhOndOO took out his neck and the hollow structure above it outside the office, and was shocked to see Prof Krishnamurthy coming his way looking straight at bhOndOO.

“G…Good afternoon, Sir.”.
“Good morning, bhOndOO.”.

bhOndOO went past him and cursed himself for peeping inside the office, “What must he be thinking of me! I shouldn’t have done that.”.

“bhOndOO?”, he heard his advisor calling him. Threatened, bhOndOO turned back to say, “Sir, I was simply checking that there is no thief in your office.”.

“Do you have access to a printer?”.

“What?”, bhOndOO’s involuntary reply!

“Actually, the printer pages of the faculty printer are over and no one is there to fill in the pages, and I need a printout rather urgently. Can you get a printout for me?”.

“Sure.”, and bhOndOO started going towards stairs to reach the ground floor Computing Lab where the printer was kept.

“I will send the PDF by email to you.”, Prof Krishnamurthy almost shouted from behind.

“Oh! Yes, Sir.”, bhOndOO realized that in excitement he had not even bothered about it.

On the second last step, bhOndOO stumbled and fell down. His strong spects were intact, but bhOndOO knew from the fall that the printout business was not going to be easy. It was a warning.

bhOndOO found the Computing Lab locked. He returned to the entrance to see the security guard missing. He remembered his advisor waiting for the printouts and felt uneasy. He waited for an enormous amount of time and after two minutes, saw the security guard coming from the rest room.

“Computing Lab keys.”, bhOndOO did not allow him to spend time in asking useless questions. But the new security guard was innocent. “What is the room number, Sir?”.

bhOndOO was red with anger. But he controlled himself, went to the lab again, and came back with the answer, “Hundred and fifteen.”.

“What, Sir?”, the guard did not quite understand.

“One one five.”, bhOndOO uttered each word with force, and before the guard could say anything, took away the key labelled “115” from the key-box in the guard’s hands. The guard was unimpressed.

bhOndOO inserted the key into the lock and turned it to the right — the levers did not move. He knew the problem of that lock not opening, since the key was a bit deflated, and kept trying for another five minutes. At the end, he had the lock unopened and the key more deflated. He looked at his sole rescue team member and the security guard happily came to help him. The guard inserted the key into the lock, turned it to the right, and the lock opened.

bhOndOO did not know what to say. He, in fact, did not say anything.

The security guard opened the door of bhOndOO’s fate. bhOndOO knew that his advisor must be waiting for him. He swung into action again. Managed two unsuccessful attempts to log into his account. He knew that another unsuccessful attempt would lock his account. Hence he typed the password carefully one letter after another, closed his eyes, and pressed enter. When he opened his eyes, he saw a shell prompt.

bhOndOO opened pine, downloaded the PDF from Prof Krishnamurthy’s mail, remembered Murphy, and fired a print. Nothing happened. He went to the printer and checked its power and other cabling. Everything looked fine. bhOndOO checked the paper trays and found around 50 pages. Suddenly, he noticed the LED near Start button turned off. He pressed the Start button and the printer came alive with a roaring sound of a lion.

The first page came out and bhOndOO felt happy. The happiness vanished after he read the page. It was the project report of Chunni Babu. “I must wait till the previous requests are over.”. A few printer jobs were already queued.

bhOndOO waited for a while and then suddenly realized that the prior printouts could eat away all the pages. He got uneasy, thought for a while, and then declared, “Prof Krishnamurthy’s printouts are more important than those of Chunni Babu.”, opened a tray, took away 6 pages out of it, and closed it. The printer continued printing Chunni Babu’s project report.

“Six are enough — five for ten-page PDF and one as a backup!”.

After the printer stopped, bhOndOO checked the tray — it was empty. He then inserted back the printed pages into the tray and closed the tray. The printer continued printing overwriting the printed project report. Then it printed a few slides, and then bhOndOO’s PDF — making almost all the project report unreadable.

When the printer stopped, bhOndOO removed the remaining pages from the tray and inserted his six reserved pages. He then fired the print from the shell prompt. The printer started roaring again and started printing. bhOndOO was very happy with his paper management. He was only five-page away from a Thank You note from his advisor.

The printer’s roaring suddenly turned into a hiccup and it came to a hard stop! bhOndOO checked it to see the very first paper jammed into the printer. “Why does it happen to me?”, bhOndOO’s usual response. He recalled Murphy, opened back cover and started pulling the paper out. He succeeded in getting half of it out. He cursed the printer, then cursed Murphy and then himself!

bhOndOO sat in the Computing Lab for a while, then decided something and went to Prof Krishnamurthy’s office.

“Sir, there is some problem with the students’ printer. Therefore, I have brought these five pages for you. You can take the printout from the faculty printer now.”.

“Thank you very much, bhOndOO.”.

complexity of a …

Jan 22, 2008

Everyone at the table was talking either about cricket, tennis, or chess. bhOndOO was getting bored. He wanted junta to talk something else, or simply keep their mouths shut! He waited for a few minutes, but the discussions, arguments, and chaos just went on increasing.

bhOndOO stood up, and shouted, “Guys, …”.

Everyone was shocked — not that bhOndOO cracking voice was the issue, but that bhOndOO was actually standing to say something to the group! It was a bit too much.

bhOndOO himself felt a bit nervous to feel the sudden silence. But imitating a bold gesture, he continued, “Have you ever heard about complexity of a song?”.

Everybody looked at bhOndOO for a second, then at each other for two, relaxed, and started discussing something else. A few responses were, “Only bhOndOO can ask such questions.”, “I used to think he is dumb, but he is stupid!”, “Where were we?”.

bhOndOO continued, raising the voice further, “Guys, really, Donald Knuth has written a paper on Song Complexity.”.

Hearing a familiar name of a big shot, everyone stared at bhOndOO. “Really!”, bhOndOO tried to look convincing, “In fact the paper has been published in Communications of the ACM.”.

“Do you have that paper?”, BenJi asked.

“Ya sure, I will send a link to you.”.

After the meeting was dismissed with uneasiness, bhOndOO sent the link to junta.