The world, how it works, surroundings, myself, etc.

Friday, June 23, 2006

My first paper

My research paper titled "Scalable, Tiled Display Wall for Graphics using a Coordinated Cluster of PCs" made it as a poster paper to Pacific Graphics, 2006. The conference will be held on 11-13th October.

The paper discusses IIIT's efforts in building Tiled Display Walls using off-the-shelf inexpensive PCs. A 4x4 tiled display setup showing Fatehpur Sikri shown below.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Server Room Tragedy #7

The Situation:
If you have followed Tragedy #6, I mentioned about all students receiving over 20 mails from a virus-infected PC. Even if you didn't follow Tragedy #6, you must've noted those mails in your mailbox -- yeah, the ones where viruses write poems too.

This time, the same got repeated, with the faculty. All the faculty were greeted with not 20, but over 60 such mails.

The Tragedy:
The server room has already gotten through the situation. The nature, cause and solution is the same. Is it that difficult to learn at least from old mistakes?

1). You are reporting a tragedy after a long time. What happened?
Ans: I'm not frequenting the server room these days.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Server Room Tragedy #6

The Situation:
Today students received numerous funny mails (seemingly) from a faculty account.

4 times -   [Students] Fw:
1 times -   [Students] Fwd: Crazy illegal Sex!
2 times -   [Students] Fwd: image.jpg
5 times -   [Students] Fwd: Photo
2 times -   [[Students] Fw: Funny :)
4 times -   [Students] Fw: Sexy
2 times -   [Students] Re:
1 time -    [Students] Word file

This series went on till the evening.

The Tragedy:
Mr Someone-in-the-server-room was supposed to properly install the virus & mail scanner which had been stopped in damage-control mode yesterday. By the evening, due to some reason, the imap service too had stopped working. Obliviious of the solution, Mr Somebody rebooted the students server and left for the day (the server hadn't booted back yet). Even after the server booted back, the imap service hadn't got back.

1. Hey, but imap on 200 is working now.
Ans: Yup, I switched it on. I myself use imap.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Google's Hiring Strategy

I found this reference to Google's hiring strategy. Google relies on the Lake Wobegon Strategy, which says only hire candidates who are above the mean of your current employees. An analysis of the simulation over time, using this strategy shows how good it is (the blue line). An alternative strategy (popular in the dot-com boom period) is to justify a hire by saying "this candidate is clearly better than at least one of our current employees." -- red line. The orange line corresponds to the no hiring manager strategy, in use by Google.

Server Room Tragedy #5

The tragedy:
Mail problem: Mails getting delayed.

This tragedy hasn't finished -- it's still ongoing. One fine day, Mr Someone installed MailScanner on 200, and didn't care to make sure that everything was ok. Turns out, it wasn't. Mails started getting delayed, first minutes, then hours. Mailscanner isn't processing the mails properly and they're getting delivered only when it times-out. Mr Someone has to solve the problem, with the help of the new server room staff. In damage-control mode, he came running to me. I relayed some of the processing to another server. Mailscanner is switched off right now until he fixes the problem (I'm not going to fix it). No spam-checks, virus checks till then.

My mails were getting delayed. So I corrected some probs just so that they get delivered on time. I've informed Mr Someone what else needs to be done. The rest of the fixing (virus checks, spam checks) remains.

++Update (June 9)
MailScanner's virus and spam check probs are fixed now. Oh, that's evident isn't it. You didn't get "Fw: Photo" kind of mails in the evening.