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At IIMB. Post 1.

Dear Reader,

I myself was wondering when I would actually get to sit down to actually put up a proper post regarding my most recent significant development in my life so far, i.e. my admission to the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Oh yes, that place, with the yeah, 3 idiots, hmmhmm, yep.

Funny how after nearly two months (wait, what?), I finally feel like I have the time to do so. I have mapped out exactly what needs to be done for which subject and due. I had 4 classes today, and one pre-placement talk, followed by dinner, then helping out a friend who dropped by, with her presentation, then a remarkable 30 minute sleep before I had another quick meet for discussing Managing Organizations write up, followed by a lengthy meeting what we have in mind for Unmaad, IIMB’s mega cultural fest. Incidentally, I am a member of the Student’s Cultural Committee here (ask for my other business card ;))

It’s been quite a journey till today. From one of the most hectic first weeks ever – future bschoolers, look forward to it. To just gloss over the good parts, we were pretty much thrown into the deep end of the pool, and had to battle it out. Met some very good people there (incidentally, a recurring theme at IIMB: you always meet some fascinating folk here on campus. Your untold story is probably even more interesting than that guy who came from Uzbekistan, studied in Malaysia and was born in Germany ;)). (Yes, this is meant to provoke)

Anyway, we were divided and assigned loads of work, and various team building activities. One of the highlights was going to Breakthrough, a physical activities place that specializes in teaching lessons through group activities. More long stories short, I was the first person from the first year batch to present a powerpoint presentation in the auditorium to the entire batch of almost 400 people. Petrified. But well received.

One thing I really like about this place is the energy levels of people. I’d come to learn about the organic structure in Managing Organizations class (fellow IIMB’s rolling their eyes right about now), but the experience organizing and conducting the Aarambh 2010 – the freshers cultural show, in like 5 days, was quite phenomenal. The concept of POC – Point of Contact, helps give some responsibility of communicating and acting as a nodal point, but beyond that, everyone is quite highly talented and able to, well, simply put, ‘make things happen’.

Moving on, classes soon became part of our life. In the early days, it was mostly light hanging out, trying to get out of campus (managed a very few times only). Yes, to clarify, I don’t live in Bangalore. I live in IIMB. I see Bangalore a few times a month, no more.

In between, I put in my hand at some of the tech stuff I apparently am, well, known for. Created a few videos for Aarambh, and for an Ad making competition – where my new found Salsa skills also helped 🙂 Good fun doing it.

Then things got a little crunchy with tests and exams. I’ll touch on this later in another post, because its worth lamenting posting on. 🙂

All in all, IIMB is quite a terrific place. Not a bad place to land up after spending the last few months of your life chasing a cat. (International viewers: CAT is the entrance exam to get into the IIMs. Most news regarding IIMs pretty much involves every possible permutation of terrible puns on felines).

As I was saying, quite some work cut out for me, including studying for final exams next week. Just like to thank Kaushik for reminding me that I in fact, do have a blog (and that it is giving off more malicious warnings on entry than a usb pen drive that was just inserted in our lab computers).

So where next is the obvious, cliche question. Simple answer. I don’t know. But there is definitely something that the interviewers at IIMB saw in me amongst thousands of others (or so we are told repetitively by our seniors) that is going to rock your world.

And as for posting on this blog, I’ll probably have lesser and lesser narrative descriptive tales of what happened yesterday (call me), what I had for breakfast (Twitter), or funny dialogues from class today (Facebook), but just general deep thoughts that I get when I do that brooding me. I figure this is also a reasonable forum to answer any big questions regarding IIMs, though I can only speak from observations and 2 months of life here.

A little warm up gyaan (subtitle: wisdom) here. People say that when you’ve reached a certain position in life (got in IIT (I haven’t), got in IIM (check), got into so-and-so company), “Your Life is Set”.

It’s not.

It only means people’s expectations of you have increased, and the game just got a little tougher. On an optimistic note, that ‘certain position’ guarantees a minimum worst case scenario of a status in life that is perhaps a hundred, thousand, or a million times better than, well, a vast majority of our society.

Just don’t let that get to you. Don’t let your life set. I acknowledge, easier writing this sort of thing on the other side of CAT, but wherever you are, know that there is more to live, and more to live for.

Its almost 4, and I have class in the morning. Ah, sleep cycles should make for an interesting next post, if I ever do get around to it.

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jQuery Presentation

jQuery - Javascript Library
jQuery – Javascript Library

Hey, I recently gave a presentation on jQuery, the javascript library.

For those of you new to jQuery, its an awesome Javascript (the in-browser scripting language), that allows you do play around with your webpages, and create some really fancy interactive elements and actions.

The basic points I discussed, in the order:

  • Some basic applications of jQuery (Forms, Sliders, DOM traversing)
  • Implementation details like jQuery function
  • jQuery’s Function Chaining feature
  • The $ function
  • Links to various live examples.

View the presentation on the SlideShare.net embed, and download the pptx file, after the jump.

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How to use Google Public DNS with BSNL Router

Google Public DNS
Google Public DNS

Google has just launched its Google Public DNS service, freely available for you to use. Another free Google service, yaay!

Wait, what is DNS?

DNS is something that ideally, you wouldn’t even know what it meant. Actually, it stands for Domain Name System, and is the system of computers and registries around the world that convert your delightfully easy to remember www.vishalkumar.in or www.orkut.com to get to your website.

What happens in the background is that your computer asks the DNS on which server www.vishalkumar.in is being hosted, and then downloads the data from that server. And you didn’t have to memorize the IP address (a delightful number like 74.125.45.100 (which incidentally, is Google’s homepage), and can surf the net that much easier.

The benefit will be apparent when you start browsing, as things will start moving faster, with the site and images and content loading faster (especially on sites where content is pulled from other sites). Overall, switching to Google Public DNS is a good idea, and unlike some ISP’s DNS servers, you don’t get pulled into an ad filled search page if your site is wrong, saving on bandwidth too.

Here’s a screenshot filled tutorial on how to set it up with your BSNL Router, or normal connection.

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How to set up Trac and Subversion SVN on Dreamhost

Trac
Trac

While I was just digging around Dreamhost’s panel, I stumbled across a new One Click Install I had not seen before: Trac.

Trac is, according to their site,  an enhanced wiki and issue tracking system for software development projects. Nifty. The last time I had tried my hand with Trac, I think I almost lost my hands. But now, Dreamhost has made it super easy to get Trac, and Subversion (a Concurrent Version System, made super easy with TortoiseSVN) along with it.

Now, as excited as I was to get this ‘new’ thing running on my account, I realized I knew precious little about how to set it up beyond the One Click of  the famed One Click Installation process. True, Trac was now installed in my account, but what next?

A long story short, I figured someone else might walk down the same path (and get lost like I did). So I basically screenshotted the path of least resistance to setting up Trac and Subversion on Dreamhost.

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Game: Chat Noir in Javascript

Chat Noir in Javascript
Chat Noir in Javascript

I invite you to check out this Javascript game I created, called Chat Noir (Black Cat in french).

The objective of the game is really simple: Trap the cat before it gets to the edges.

I’ve used Javascript (with jQuery) and CSS to implement it. It’s based on a similar flash game by GameDesign.jp.

Play it here, and let me know what you think.

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Cool GMail Labs Features – Get more from GMail

I’ve been asked by quite a few people who’ve seen my GMail, and were surprised to even imagine GMail like that. So I figured I’d do a quick post on how to get GMail’s coolest features.

Here is my Inbox:

GMail Inbox
GMail Inbox
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Help: I Can’t Open .EXE Files!

Actually, this is the exact query that I got:

In my system all exe files are being opened with notepad!!!

Thats more or less what I got in a conversation a few minutes ago. Now, this particular question isn’t particularly new, and it can be caused by an overzealous tinkerer or a malicious code (if you haven’t done anything, truthfully, and this happened to you, please check it out with an antivirus).

The problem, if you want to understand is that Windows is designed so that every file is expected to have an extension. That 3 letter ending tells the Windows OS with which program to open the file with. So if you have .txt file, you should open it with Notepad.exe.

Now what about a .exe file? Who opens that? The answer is simple: Itself! Hence you have to tell the OS (through the Registry Editor), to open the .exe file with itself. Hence “%1” %* as the open with command, which indicates that the file needs to be opened with the same .exe (%1), and having the same arguments (%*) that it was assigned.

Anyway, in order to fix this, please follow the following instructions..

Google announces the Chrome Operating System

Shiny shiny Chrome
Shiny shiny Chrome, now also an Operating System

Google has created another stir in the technology community again with the announcement of the launch of their new Chrome Operating System.

Thats right. Operating System. Like Microsoft-makes-Windows-Operating-System Operating System.

The details are pretty sketchy, but here’s what we know so far…

Google it with Bing!

At various odd points in conversation, such as when comparing the proper noun Xerox to the verb Photocopying (my Indian friends are well aware of the unawareness of the distinction), I usually drag in how we’re going to Google anything we want to find.

“Where are my car keys?” “I don’t know, google it, maybe under your bed?”

Then I saw this video.

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

[ad#Horizontal G Ads]

Just took that concept to a very relevant perspective.

My take: If you know anything about Google and Bing, watch it and show it to your friends.

(If you’re new here: Google‘s a search engine from Google, Bing’s a search engine from Bing Microsoft.)

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Find Anything (on your desktop) with Everything

Search with Everything!
Search with Everything!

Don’t you just love those little programs that do that one small thing, oh so perfectly? (Remember the Norton User Access Control tool?). Well, this little program is also just as awesomeous.