Saturday, February 28, 2009

First 15K in Bangalore

I have given up a few things lately and trying to drive myself forward with some intense physical activity. The feeling is awesome and I am enjoying every moment of it. I missed the Goan Marathon when I was in Goa. Lately, I had trained myself to sleep like a log on weekends and give some silly excuses (to myself!). I had to get out of it somehow. So I quit boozing and took up running. It's not only able to motivate me to always aim higher but I am also seeing nature at its best. I really recommend that, if you really want to travel around you have to get your 'feet on the street'. Another motivation is a film that I watched in Hyderabad 'The Spirit of Marathon'.
I got up at 5:30 am today(Sunday), warmed up myself and went to my friends place who was supposed to join me for the run. He is a Marathoner (+ultra), so I felt I have to try hard to meet his expectations. Its only because of the support given by some of my close friends that I feel its so easy to run. We started the run from Wind Tunnel road around 6:15 am towards Belur. On the right, is Karnataka Golf Association which I had never heard of. There are CTS and HP offices too. On the left is the HAL Airport strip and other airport establishments. I had never seen the airport so quite and an empty runway. The weather was good, the sun yet to rise. We crossed the Centre for Airborne Systems and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) on the way. I covered the same stretch to and fro twice. It was close to 8 am when I was really tired as I finished all water I had and I didn't take any supplements. I finished my run at 8, covering around 15K in 1:45 hrs. This is one of my slower run. I am going to improve my speed and consistency and aiming to finish next half-marathon in less than 2 hrs. I have also mapped the route on Social Running Map.

My best bowling score - 177

Last week was a completely action packed week. I enjoyed my 5 day break relaxing in Goa. There was Viva-Carnival, Shivratri which kept me busy all the time in Goa. I met my school friends, and it was real fun. Getting back to work is difficult after tiring journey back to Bangalore. I am tired whatever maybe the mode of transport used. I think its because the 'mind over body' effect.
We had an office outing on the weekend, but at the last minute the outing was compressed to a mere Bowling and Dinner. I would not have gone out for the outing due to personal reasons. IMHO, outing on a weekday makes participation compulsory and works out best. There are only a few addas for Bowling and the most famous one is Amoeba (Church Street). I had been there before last month. Bowling is not a sport as it does not involve power or brain. Its a tricky game. Tricky because no one is quite sure about the rules and terms used in Bowling. If you wanna be a professional you ought to learn some of them.
My first game was just a warm up and I scored 91. There were people playing in 8 lanes and a friend of mine scored 153. I have never scored 150+ and I always admire people who cross the 150+ barrier. It takes a lot of precision and consistency with the ball to be one in that category. In my second game I was simultaneously playing in 2 lanes, just like Home and Away. In Home I was playing to set a new record and in Away it was a heated competition with the 'Bowling Champs'.
In Away it was a close call right from beginning. 3 people were competing for the "Bowling Champs" title. I was 4-5 points behind till the 9th hit. In the last hit my opponents screwed up big time with a 7 and I did a strike and the bonus hit took me to 139. The next highest scores were 134 and 130. I had won the battle of the Champs.
In Home lane it was going great. I did 2 strikes and a 9. I was at 95 in 5 hits. Next 4 hits were not so great and I was at 148 in 9 hits. In the meantime, a friend of mine had scored 161 - The highest score in the house. I had to beat the score somehow and needed a strike for sure. I still needed 14 to beat him. I rolled the ball and wow! it was a strike. I was not thinking about my score, I wanted to repeat it another time. The next hit was a strike too. I was so exited and jumped with joy. I was not confident if I had already broken the best score in the house. People were cheering me for another hit on the second bonus shot. But, I couldn't do it one more time and got a 9. Final score 177. I had setup a new high. This is my personal best and the experience was thrilling. Everyone congratulated me for achieving this feat.
Here is a guide How to Keep Score in Bowling. Finally to end the week on a Happy Note, was a B'day party organized by my friend Rajaram in TGIF. We had a amazing time pub-hopping and bird-watching.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A glimpse of rsync

As a person, I am very impatient as far as my work is concerned. I want to do things superfast and in the process end up being completely screwed. I have already mentioned this over and over again. This is 21st century. India had its successful moon mission last year viz. Chandrayaan. We are technically so capable, still we are so used to committing the same mistakes again and again. Shame on us! I wanted to improve on something to avoid the daily mistakes that we do.
In my project, we have continuous integration in place. So everything runs automatically ( periodically) and all you have to do is, sit back and analyze the reports you get in the mail. You can decide when the automatic scripts should run. It can be when someone updates the files, or at a fixed time everyday. We use SVN repository for our code base. However, there are many things that we maintain in our system which has no direct relevance to the code and is not backed up automatically. We use multiple frameworks for testing. If I find a fault in the code, it has to be rectified and it should work fine with all other tests too. So we can't check-in the code based on one test alone. It may take several weeks to finish the tests and its really risky to maintain only a local copy of the code. Similarly, you can be testing some tools if they suit your work etc. which can go on for some time. From my experience, it is very difficult to create a build environment from the code in the repository. It is something that you would require daily for doing your tests and stuff, however there is no place for it in the repository. What do you do in such cases ? rsync is the utility that you are looking for. Let's have a look how you can use this tool to take regular backups.
Another issue is when you are trying to copy large files through scp and the transfer gets interrupted, you have no other option, but to keep trying. I found some tutorials on the internet which I followed blindly to setup the working backup system. Have a look at this, this, this and this.

Rockbox on my IRiver H10

I am using my IRiver H10 for almost 3 years now. I have never used it to its full potential till now, blame it on my less traveling. Another reason for not using my mp3 player is beacause my earphones were stolen. I am planning to buy Sennheiser earphones soon. Till I buy them, I wanted some revamp so thought of installing Rockbox. It was out of inspiration, and some support from my roommate Sarath, which made me install it so clean.
I downloaded the manual for H10(pdf) to make sure that I don not screw up my player. I downloaded the latest stable release to make sure everything runs smooth. All you have to do is, unzip the utility and run the installer. The Automatic install is very easy to do from the GUI. First, install the bootloader and then install the RockBox. If you want some more features, you can install fonts and themes. Remove the power cord and USB cord and restart the player and you are done. Rockbox is rocking. My IRiver H10 is so much better now, thanks to Rockbox.