Sunday, March 30, 2008


Adorning my desktop currently is Aimee Teegarden!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Updates: Moved to ECE, MS interview and more!

There's so much to update (just because I haven't posted for so long) that I don't know what to write and what to skip. Not-so-great midterm performance, 60+ hrs load of 15-410 OS alone (a course that won't even count towards my graduation requirements!) + 2 other heavy courses, one of which has writing a complete e2fsck (EXT2 filesystem consistency check utility) as an average complexity level project ~~~phew~~~ Can't complain, because I asked for it.

Since I always like to leave on a good note I'll start with rough stuff...
One of the most !@#$ing thing that happened was that our 3rd roomie shut off the gas heater, just because _he_ didn't want it... while the temperature out here was freaking below minus 11C (-11C) and winds were blowing at more than 45kmph! With our house having lot of gaps near the wall-floor linings, indoors was more chilly than the actual temperature, it wasn't possible to even sit at home for a minute :( I'm just baffled how !@$#ing selfishly stupid a$$h__e
someone can be!!! When I asked why, he shamelessly replied: "I didn't have a problem with shutting the heater. And I thought you guys wouldn't have objection to that as well"! Who the !@$#ing hell is ok with switching heater off in sub-zero temperatures!!! Do we look like some kind of God forsaken devils to grow thick fur over night just to combat chill! Every passing day my belief in 'Commonsense is not so very common' only gets stronger. He emailed us he wants to disconnect the heating, on questioning he doesn't reply and next day... ~~~poof~~~ heater is out! Had he approached us, I'm sure something could have been worked out. And above all, winter's going to last only a week or so now.

Our attempt to buy electric heater went futile because every salesperson (controlling his laughter!) told that they are sold out on electric heaters LONG back! They all almost meant what the hell are you talking, heater NOW??? So, I and Vish packed our bags and shifted to school (ECE lounge to be precise) for about a week, sleeping in cramped sofas, using our jackets as blankets and eating hotel-food, something we had NOT done in past 8 months! All the $s we saved by not eating in hotels got spent :( Meanwhile we managed to get gas heater re-connected, and we are back home-sweet-home! And just because of the same roomie, we had to live in hell at the onset of winter, just because he didn't turn on the gas connection with the agency. Since we had taken care of internet and electricity, gas connection was hit baby. He kept shunning it forever. That time too we used to wear thermals, 4 t-shirts, 2 sweaters, head-cap, socks, gloves, and still couldn't combat chill! He survived then because he was never at home. Baahh... it was pathetic!

But here we are, still alive! Touchwood! I trust it's sheer miracle that we are alive. And it's even much bigger a miracle that we didn't bash him up despite the fact that his actions inflicted unbearable suffering to us, TWICE! Ahimsa Parmo Dharma, my parents and gurudev taught me. But please don't test my patience.

On the lighter side...
After nurturing my long hair for 5 months, my desire to grow a ponytail faded, because it started taking inordinate amount of time to clean-comb-oil-and-maintain it! And taking the feedback from my loved ones on my last hair-cut, I decided to go for a haircut once again (Ouch! Oh sorry, that was a reaction from my wallet!) And we had another round of hair-cut! Vish flatly refuses to let me take his picture, but I'm more generous ;-) I know you all are dying to see my new haircut so that you can laugh your a$$es off again, for days... but this time I didn't opt for crew-cut. It's something better than that...

New haircut, better than last time's cut, isn't it!

But problems aside (really?)...
The most important development for me has been my switch from CMU-INI to CMU-ECE, something that I had been contemplating for very long and only materailzed at the start my current Spring'08 semester. Of many reasons, the top 3 reasons for the context switch are:
  • I hate being compelled to take compulsory courses that don't spark my interest. I realized that I would have to take a lot of them at INI, so I moved to ECE where there is no compulsion on taking a particular course
  • Second reason is that I didn't see much value out of taking 172 credits at INI as opposed to 96 in ECE. You might think more is better, but NO! People take filler courses _just_ to reach that 172 mark, meaning, they have to take courses that don't interest them, don't teach them much, and neither do they add significant value. And, NOM, but they have to do that A LOT! That's dreadful waste of precious time, at least for me. And remember, never waste time, for time is GOD's money!
  • My first compulsory security course was a DISASTER, it sucked BIG time! So much so that I even had a one-to-one talk with Director of INI about it. And she's more or less already aware of this! I couldn't even drop the course because it was a compulsory course at INI. Not that I didn't fare well in it, but I couldn't learn much compared to the effort I put in. Neither did most of my class-mates. So it dawned upon me that I should switch departments and switch context to my first love: Systems Programming and Filesystem/Storage
Thanks to Vish for giving me insight into ECE's requirements, which don't make for an understandable reading.

My new-found home: ECE Hammerschlag hall before dawn in winter

Second exciting thing that conspired was the much-coveted MS-Seattle trip. After a lot of contemplation (remember? I'm more of an Unix person and MS is diametrically opposite to that technology) I decided to sign up for MS interviews. I got myself scheduled after the midterms, in the Spring break so that I don't have to miss classes. As you all know, the to-and-fro air tickets are paid by MS, the hotel was booked by MS, food expenses would be covered too!!! Wow! Goodies don't stop here, MS asks you to stay back a day after (or before) your interviews so that you can explore Seattle! And the best part is, that additional day's traveling expense + food + hotel will also be covered by MS! Ain't that GREAT!

Yes, MS pampers their to-be-interns a lot! I won't talk much about the interview except that interviews were great, my skill-set to team matching was disappointing, and MS HQ is mind blowing: very huge, well maintained, and shuttles made out of very hi-tech environmentally Green cars! Money flowing alllllll around! And the receptionists were just .... oh GOD! Plus I met my old time college mate who works at MS. An hour's worth of talk with Buffy was quite refreshing and enlightening. For the first time she realized that I too can talk, a lot!

I, firsthand, experienced the MS Surface Computing. Video I shot doesn't do justice to it, so won't share it. But you can always Google it out.

MS Calling

~~~smooch~~~ Wish she were real....