Check blog’s new tagline

I thought it would be a good time to change the tagline (Older: “Linux, Tech, web and other things I’m interested in”). So how is doing an MBA after being a computer engineer. I guess Dilbert would say… disaster in making :)
But I’m learning the “The Jargons” now which will add to my vertical growth across all horizontals.
So I look for Dilbert strips for my career path in making :) (Linux, Asok the IITian) Enjoy.

Now feel the punch :

Long time no see

Long since I posted something. Past few months have been quite hectic. The rigors of IIMs :) .
Note to self.. keep the dying blog alive.

In the mean time enjoy my google reader links:

Unveiling beauty of statistics

Google just released Statistics for a changing world: Google Public Data Explorer in Labs. Its pretty cool. Reminds me of Hans Rosling and His similar tool GapMinder (Unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view.)

I loved Google Domestic trends (Though US data only). It was quite interesting to relate them to actual data/market.  You can check out Google Data explore’s  interesting statistics here. Pretty cool and informative.  huh !

You can also have a look at  information aesthetics : (Where form follows data) (great blog if you are fan of interesting charts.) and Flowing Data. Also do share if you know any similar/interesting data/statistics visualization blog.

PS: post after long time, Actually since google reader, Buzz, twitter came into picture I can directly share stuff I like with friends there only. So quite a few things to post here.

Zune Bug explained

On new year eve, All Microsoft Zune players freezed, becoming totally unresponsive and practically useless.

“In what appears to be the biggest worldwide device failure in consumer electronics history, tens of thousands of owners of Microsoft’s Zune turned on the music player Wednesday morning only to discover it was the day the music died. By early afternoon, Microsoft released a statement saying the problem, which affected the original 30-gigabyte model of the Zune that first went on sale in September 2006, was solved. The issue: a bug in the way the gadget’s internal clock handles a leap year.”

The problem was in a small part of code in Zune’s clock driver which resulted in Zune looping forever.

Zune Failing :

Cause : (Zune bug explained here )
Bug in code ( Not taking leap year into account properly, seems simple ?)

Part of a function :


while (days > 365)
    if (IsLeapYear(year))
        if (days > 366)
            days -= 366;
            year += 1;
        days -= 365;
        year += 1;



1) It should be days==366 or days>=366
2) No else condition mentioned for nested if. (Should have been there specially when if is inside a while loop )

Now Zune will keep looping forever. Zune bug explained here

Microsoft response :
This is big reputational risk for Microsoft’s Zune, when it trying hard to stand against Apple’s Ipod.

Happy Diwali !!

Wishing each one of you a very happy and prosperous deepawali. May this year brings you lots and lots of happiness in life and fulfill all your dreams.


Above is Rangoli, we made at office.

Enjoy !!

New Rubiks Cube

Yesterday I went for the movie Hancock and I was only able to get the tickets for the evening show, We were there in afternoon itself. So we went to nearby Crosswords nearby

Then I saw, they were selling rubik’s cube. It has been a long time since I touched it. So I bought myself a Rubik’s Cube (Original from, my first one) and It cost me around Rs 225.

Also few must be knowing that around 2 weeks back Rubik’s Cube was celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Check out some cool ads for Rubik cube.

25 years and still going

25 years and still going

Today, I also found some creative ads related to Rubik’s cube via

So I have the new cube now, which is much better (smoother) compared to ones i previously had. I hope to improve upon my timing now.

And about the movie, Hancock, it wasn’t worth the hype created. though Will Smith rocked as always.

happy cubing !!

Related Posts:
Solving Rubiks Cube
Adobe AIR: Rubik Timer

Also check: Rubik Cube Timer, My Rubik Page

Purity of Mathematics

My friend, Abhishek has put up a series of posts which describes various branches of Mathematics (Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics). Some of you may not be able to read them as they are in hindi.
Reading these I remembered a similar post on xkcd comparing purity of various field (branches)

mathematics purity
I’ll agree with it but comic misses the Applied Mathematics, which i think will have application in the whole spectrum of various branches mentioned by comics. On the other side Pure mathematics is purely based on reason, ignoring its usability.

Mathematicians have always had differing opinions regarding the distinction between pure and applied mathematics. One of the most famous (but perhaps misunderstood) modern examples of this debate can be found in G.H. Hardy’s A Mathematician’s Apology.

Applied mathematics sought to express physical truth in a mathematical framework, whereas pure mathematics expressed truths that were independent of the physical world.

Yahoo search is improving

Earlier I wrote about Sometimes yahoo is better is better than google in providing search results when I was searching for Installing latex on hostmonster. And now with its open search platform SearchMonkey its trying to close in to Google. SearchMonkey allows you to create data services to built search apps that can enhance your search results.

Yahoo search gallery provides you many existing search enhancements that you can add after logging to yahoo. [Via].Try various enhancement like LinkedIn Profile, IMDB results, StumbleUpon Reviews and other popular ones.

And you can also create your own search enhancement using step by step method using Presentation application (SearchMonkey Guide).

SearchMonkey API unables you to modify how particular links appears in search results. You can add images, related links and other html formatting but it does not unable you change position of a page in search result. I was unable to find feature which will enable us to filter sites which requires you to login or sites like ebay and amazon which may not be relevant to us by making their appearance farther in search results.

But still these enhancements provides you little summary of search results which is very useful like in case of movie reviews, people profile via linkedIn, stock information etc thus sometimes making opening the actual webpage unnecessary.

Puzzle puzzle every where

Past few weeks have been puzzle/problem solving weeks, which includes 4 google treasure hunt problems. (Robot in a Maze, Puzzle 2 (getting lines from specific files in zip archive), Network routing table and last one:Prime numbers ). Solving these was fun.
Two days back my friend shared this (Galton’s Paradox) on Google reader (My Google reader shared Items). Try explaining it :) not that difficult though.

In search of a new car, the player picks door 1. The game host then opens door 3 to reveal a goat and offers to let the player pick door 2 instead of door 1.

But what drew my attention again? Yesterday I was watching 21 movie, Its based on real story of six MIT students cashed in millions in Vegas Casinos by counting cards. Here comes the puzzle, In a classroom scene Prof Micky asks one of the student (Jim, our hero)

Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, “Do you want to pick door No. 2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?

I’m sure you will be left puzzled for a moment, when you hear the solution by Jim, at least I was. Its a tricky one, But you can get through it ;) . So what choice would you have made, I’ll update the post with answer after few days.


This is famous puzzle known as Monty Hall Problem. Wikipedia has very good explanation for this.

Because there is no way for the player to know which of the two unopened doors is the winning door, most people assume that each door has an equal probability and conclude that switching does not matter. In fact, in the usual interpretation of the problem the player should switch—doing so doubles the probability of winning the car, from 1/3 to 2/3.

Also Read: Classic Computer Science Puzzles

Related Post:

Orio’s Riddle Completed
Twisty Puzzles

Google treasure hunt: last puzzle

Few days back google announced about last leg of google treasure hunt journey. This time they provided unix epoch time 1212448500, time when puzzle was supposed to get released.
You can use to convert it to human readable format. This side also provides list of available methods to get epoch time, convert it to human readable format and vice-versa.

PHP date(output format, epoch); Output format example: ‘r’ = RFC 2822 date
Python import time first, then time.gmtime(epoch)
MySQL from_unixtime(epoch, optional output format)

So the puzzle was supposed to release at
Mon, 02 Jun 2008 23:15:00 GMT, for India: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 4:45:00 AM (middle of the night).

Forth Puzzle is available here. Its a bit tricky, but i wrote a c program to calculate the number using brute force method…and it worked.(Share how you did it or is there some shortcut which works without any programming). Problem is to find a prime number which in turn can be expressed as sum of of n consecutive prime numbers. Your answer should satisfy 4 such list of prime numbers of given length.

So its over for now and soon they are going to contest winners and rewards. Hope i could have been one :) . But I have submitted this puzzle after long delay.(Was sleeping when it was released)

Next Page →