After a break

It has been long time since I blogged last. Well, partly because now a days one liner in social networking takes most of the bandwidth and mostly because my job role now demands lot of hours. It is kind of exciting to work where there is full freedom to decide what kind of software stack to use, how to design and finally code something that people actually use.  

This also means that in almost last 10 months I haven’t done anything with my photography or pending projects, which is shameful.

I hope to take some time out and finish long pending projects et.al. 

Droid/Tux/Web

A close friend of mine bought an android phone.However much of her excitement went down the drain when she was unable to connect to the internet using her ad hoc sharing of Ethernet.

if you are in a similar situation and use linux/fedora and wanted to connect to the internet, here is a small way of doing so. If you use windows 7+ however, you can use an application called connectify. :

Step 1.

$sudo yum install hostapd

Step 2.
Configure hostapd with few lines, there are many options feel free to explore

interface=wlan0
hw_mode=g
channel=6
ssid=Yourssidhere

macaddr_acl=0
auth_algs=1
ignore_broadcast_ssid=0
wpa=3
wpa_passphrase=yourssidpasshere
wpa_key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
wpa_pairwise=TKIP
rsn_pairwise=CCMP

Step 3.
Stop the hostapd service if it is running:

$sudo service hostapd stop

or

$sudo systemctl stop hostapd.service

Step 4.
Go to your network manager, wireless and turn on the hotspot.
Step 5.
Restart the hosapd service

$sudo service hostapd start

or

$sudo systemctl start hostapd.service

Done

There is a better way of doing this with bridge-utils, dnsmasq, and hostapd, I will blog about that later.

API parsing with Backbone.js

The next part of the self note series, this time I have to parse JSON using backbone.js.
So in order to parse an API that returns result in JSON you can do the following(not necessarily the best way but it works for me)

(function($) {
var API_BASE = 'your url here';

var parser = Backbone.Model.extend({});

var apiColl = Backbone.Collection.extend({
model: parser,
url: 'form your url here'

});
var apiView = Backbone.View.extend({
el: $('#collection'),
initialize: function() {
_.bindAll(this, "render");
this.collection.bind("all", this.count);

},
render: function() {
$(this.el).html(this.counter = this.collection.length);
return this;

}
}),
events = new apiColl(),
eventView = new apiView({

collection: events

});
events.fetch({
success: function() {
console.log(events.length);
}
});
})(jQuery);

and yes, my ultimate target will be to parse the API and integrate with some open maps.

Even though Backbone’s code is pretty well explained, the main help if stuck comes from stack overflow. So really appreciate the help that I got.

Ouch! My Bad

JavaScript is powerful and Backbone.js is a nice small utility that makes it even more powerful. I was playing with Backbone and Open layers thrown over a Django system.
However there is something weird that I faced and took a good amount of my time to figure out the problem.
This blog post is kind of self note so that I notice this the first place when I face such problem again.

What was I trying to do : Write a small backbone code to display Open layers(OSM) Map.
How was I trying to do :

(function($) {
var Map = Backbone.Model.extend({});

var MapView = Backbone.View.extend({

initialize: function() {
_.bindAll(this, 'initMap');
this.initMap();
},

initMap: function() {
// Initialize Basic Openlayers;
var center = new OpenLayers.LonLat(8110203.9998955, 2170000.4068373);
map = new OpenLayers.Map(this.el, {
projection: new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:900913"),
displayProjection: new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:4326")
});
var layers = [];
layers[0] = new OpenLayers.Layer.OSM(); //some more layer will go here
map.addLayers(layers);
map.setCenter(center, 12);

}
});
var map_view = new MapView({ el: $("#mapCol") });
})(jQuery);

The problem faced here was I am trying to access the DOM element even before it is ready.
Result : A webpage which shows the HTML elements, shows some access to Openlayers but no map.

Solution : I modified my code to this

(function($) {
var Map = Backbone.Model.extend({});

var MapView = Backbone.View.extend({
el: '#mapCol',

initialize: function() {
_.bindAll(this, 'initMap');
this.initMap();

},

initMap: function() {
// Initialize Basic Openlayers;
var center = new OpenLayers.LonLat(8110203.9998955, 2170000.4068373);
//alert("you are here");
map = new OpenLayers.Map(this.el, {
projection: new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:900913"),
displayProjection: new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:4326")
});

var layers = [];
layers[0] = new OpenLayers.Layer.OSM(); //some more layer will go here
//$(this.el).html(map);
map.addLayers(layers);
map.setCenter(center, 12);

}
});
$(function() {
var map_view = new MapView();

});
})(jQuery);

Here mapCol is the div element where I want my Openlayers map to be displayed. For more details on Backbone and el, there is a beautiful blog post here.

P.S : There may be certain errors in the codes above. please feel free to correct me anytime.

My first birdwatching trip

Last weekend (Nov 4 -6) was amazing and it was my first bird watching/photographing trip. Before I start with the trip itself, remember I spoke about my confusion on my gears(what to buy and what not to buy). Well, I finally settled with an used Canon EOS 40D and just before the trip I got myself a Sigma 150 500 APO HSM OS lens.This combination is awesome as 40D has some amazing ISO performance even at 1000+.

So, Now the trip.

Rather than a normal travelogue like boarding a bus, getting down there, boarding a car, getting wooed out by the sight and sounds of the jungle and reaching the resort…oops I mentioned all of them. This more of a note that I am writing about my first birding trip.

If you are still guessing, well…I went to Ganeshgudi, a beautiful jungle near the city of Belgaum in Karnataka.

Three days of ultimate awesomeness with some medium weighing gears and 12 hours of continuous walking, looking and photographing birds. I managed to record some 24 species of birds including some rare species like Malabar Trogon, Crested Goshawks and Great Horn bill(this was not recorded, all I could hear was the sound of its wing flaps..gives goose bump). My 40D went b0rked in the middle of the trip with its exposure and metering not working properly. So most of my photos were taken with an exposure compensation of -2.

Still some photos came out good and they are here

The only mammal I was able to spot and photograph was Malabar Giant Squirrel. the photo is here

So, my first birding trip with my new gear and some unexpected challenges that came out with it. I guess I am learning a lot more that I expected.

P.S : Please ignore grammatical errors and other minor mistakes.

Ranthambhore Diaries #1

June 17 to June 20 was an amazing weekend. I went to Ranthambhore again, mainly because it was raining tigers in INW and I needed more experience with wildlife photography.

But what happened on the trip was marvelous, We heard from some fellow visitors that T39(A 3 and half year old Tigress) had killed a big male Blue Bull (Nil gai) and seen near it and is expected to be there for next two three days.

Saturday was test on us as we got completely drenched in rain(No photos, cameras were kept safe).

Sunday afternoon we had superb time with T39 sitting just some feet away from us in the water but Monday morning was even better as she was sleeping when we reached the place, as time flies by she woke up, answered nature’s call, slept again, sat for some time, came down to have breakfast and like previous day went again to sit in the water.

It was a complete six hour fiesta between her and us(Photographers).

Here are two snap from the whole fiesta. More to come soon…..

T39 having water post breakfast :
Princess of Ranthambhore #2

T39 Relaxing in water after breakfast :
Thanda Thanda Cool Cool - Princess of Ranthambhore  #3

Brownian Motion

Before you start reading this post, I warn you its  boring and makes no sense  ..may not interest you but I am writing it because it does deserve one.

Evere since I went out of college I started looking to do something creative and something that goes with me rather than something imposed on me. I stayed in Kolkata for a while starting to look at things in a different way.The way which is completely new to me. Since this is the first time I am away from home. I started facing something which I didn’t consider a problem before, Well days past by and I had a surgery in my eyes so had to take a break .Problem is somehow I never got that interest back to go to Kolkata and start looking for what I was looking.

I joined a service MNC. I got posted to Gandhinagar, things were different again. Again lot of things happened to me when least expected. In this phase I really went through a tough time because the learning curve was way over my limit threshold.

By this time my contribution to open source is almost nill and I am almost a dormant person.

Gandhinagar period was over, I got posting in Mumbai. Interestingly this is the only place about which I knew nothing although I should have guessed something as this being such a popular place.

My friends from Gandhinagar helped me a lot. Initial days were tough out here and overall I realized that this city is so big and huge that I could easily get absorbed into it and can never be able get out.

My company has  a office in almost every single neighborhood. So the next thought in our mind after getting into mumbai is where will our office be.

When every single of my friend got a office together, I was left alone to go to a different one. Later after two months I am still where I am posted while all my friends are in different offices far away from where they were staying.

This is also when I started to do experimenting with what I can and how much I can. Because of a idle last year I was how ever a little bit apprehensive  with my confidence level.

I am now a software tester where all my friends are running behind development. However I am still in touch with some or the other opensource technology just as I wanted. So the experiment didn’t go wrong at all. I still in touch with coding just the way I wanted.

But somehow this “Just the way I wanted” makes no sense anymore because priorities as well as aspiration changes. So is the situation.

Mumbai taught me a lot of things in last few months. I saw people homeless in front of some of the mansions out here. I guess anything can happen in this city.

While all my friends have a fixed goal for next few years about their future. I am still in search for it. I don’t know what I will do in next few year to come. I like a lot of things that I want to do but they are completely different from each other and can never be persuade together.

Will I able to pursue any one of them? or will I have to leave them all and make a compromise with something else? Is it that you always need to make your mind understand that somethings you deserve and most of the things you don’t so dont worry be happy kinda things…….well I am completely clueless.

If this blog post didn’t make a single sense to you. well even I can’t make out what I have written.but this is what i am feeling/thinking/sleeping right now.

P.S : Tomorrow is the first time I am going for a outing outside Mumbai with my team. let see how it goes.

P.P.S. I hope to see myself working on a open source project soon with lots of if’s and but’s.

P.P.P.S: Ignore spelling mistakes.

Enter Title Here

It has been quite a while since I had written my last post.

There’s a lot to write about since I joined the company but I dont know how to .

Right now being posted in mumbai and trying to settle down to the new.

Hope things goes well this time.

Mapping party@ Durgapur and neighboring places (16th and 17th Oct 2009)

There has been a discussion between Indranil Das Gupta and us regarding the problem we face due to lack of GPS devices and some more mapping parties in Durgapur area.

On 16th and 17th we decided  to map  Durgapur and neighboring places. Primarily Kushal wanted to map his village and we decided to help him to map his village Ukhra and also map Durgapur . IOTA resource center at WBSU(Barasat) extended us a  helping hand by lending us three Garmin Etrex Vista H. So with the new gps’s in our hand we now had a total of 5 GPS.

On 16-OCT-2009 :We went to Ukhra on 16th to map the village.Me,Arindam,Kushal and another guy from that village joined the party. Since we had two bikes and the village was small.We completed all major roads and even some narrowest living streets within  an hour.

Here is how Ukhra looks like now as compared a complete blank previously.

On 17th Oct 2009 : A resource person from WBSU was suppose to come during the event but he didn’t make it though .So We started around 1 Pm. I was a little late but Arindam,Harsh,Sonu,Ratnadeep and Bama started.

start

start2

Ratnadeep and Bama became the local team.They mapped Fuljhore (where they live) along with neighboring areas.While the rest of the team went on cycling covering edges of Bidhanagar area.

way1

way2

I met them in Muchipara and on my way I mapped some of the important point of interest.

IMG_0728 2

I had the etrex H GPS devices, so distributed them and we split into individual teams.

IMG_0730 2

I had a Moped while rest were in cycles.I tried and mapped some far away place like PCBL,Durgapur Bazaar etc. Arindam and rest took charge of mapping the area with details. Sonu knew the place very well and helped us a lot with that.My GPS clocked 34.4 KM after more than an hour of mapping. Our meeting point was BCET gate.

IMG_0736 2

We met and decided to head over for some food as day long traveling was taking toll on us. We accumulated the total distance covered which was something around 100KM’s. Bama requested us to take a GPS to map his city in Bankura so we lent one of ours. So some good  amount of data was accumulated  during the session. Since it was a festival day we decided not to do a editing session and it was dark already. Me and Arindam took care of the edits which will keeping pouring  during the weekends.

Here’s some of what has been done.

Durgapur before edits :

map

And here is durgapur after basic edits of 17102009 data

map(4)

Here are some pics of Edit in progress.

josm_edit_in_prog

Another Edit in Progress screenshot:

eip

There will be a follow up post soon as edits are done.

Rally De Kolkata – My experience

Eastern region of the country witness a National Rally Championship after 4 years of dormant period.Since there was a gap,this rally was really hyped about. But even though it was rally de kolkata the stages were actually held in Durgapur.

Sept 17 : Initial plan for Day 1 was a 23.5KM dirt stage with two rounds in it.But since it was raining heavily in Durgapur ,It was until the last moment the stages were cut short by almost half (12KM) with two legs a 5.79KM and 6.22KM run thrice.17th was the pre event day.I was planning to attends the press conference but because of rain I reached late which was good,since most reporters left, I was able to chitchat with some rally drivers including Amitrajit.It was an amazing experience.

Sept 18 : The event was supposed to flag off from Hotel Ginger at around 7AM .I reached there when 4 cars already left.It was my time to hurry to the stage which is almost 50KM even from Durgapur.On reaching the stage , I made an attempt to reach the spectator point 1 but rain and dirt made a good mix and my car got stuck.However was able to reach the start point.The track was dry and hard , very good for pace filled rally ,which which everybody started . It was me first time witnessing a rally of this sort.I walked almost a KM ahead into the first corner and made a spectator point myself.It was hot,sun overhead so after SS1,it was not so easy to make to 6.22KM stage ,so went back home and kept an eye on the live updates. The track took its toll as news came by people were crashing some can’t keep the car in control and unfortunately Vikram crashed due to wrong information from the officals into Arjun Balu’s car .

Sept 19 : The stage on duel was suppose to start on 7:18AM and stage on gram at around 8:16AM ,Easy for rally cars but not for me.so stayed back home and kept an eye on live updates.Day 2 has seen most of the actions and upturns in leader board,including someone hitting a cameramen near FF.Most biggies were out due to mechanical faliures including some Gypsy’s.There was even a holdup somewhere in the middle of the stage.

Sept 20 : Day 2 has already seen Gaurav Gill in comfortable lead of 1 min and 17 sec ahead of Amitrajit Ghosh followed by Sujay in 1600cc Baleno. Spectator Special Stage was held in Jadavpur Stadium in Jadavpur ,Kolkata. The competitors lined up at around 3 PM.But Gaurav got stuck in wet ground  .His front wheel drive cars has enough grunt to make the pit deeper.But with help from his service crew,he set himself free. The SSS was tough on esteems who were already struggling with the 560KM of travel of which more than 460 was just Liason stages. Gypys’s flying and so are baleno’s but both cedia made the SSS really special. Gaurav clocked the 2km stage in 1:25 and Amitrajit in 1:27 . So Gaurav wins as he extends his leads by 2 more secs.

Some points to note :

1. 460Km of transport stages is too tough on cars .it could have been less.

2. Officials could have been a little bit more experienced,On Day 2 the top 4 cars almost got penaltied due to a silly mistake by a marshal .

3.Privateers suffered a lot because of last minute decision changes which sparked anger  in them(as far as current rally.co.in forum posts goes ).I also feels the same.More coverage and attention on privateers would have really helped the event.

4.As most participant are from  South of the country, number of entries were 38 as compared to 60 in K1000 Bangalore.

As an event this was great to watch.Hopefully we will be able to see it next year again. I learn’t a lot about cars,driving styles and met some great drivers  and my trigger happy me was really very happy.

Random Scriblings

Tommorow I will be going to Jamshedpur(India) to attend my brother’s wedding, Since Jamshedpur has almost no data for openstreetmap . I am taking  my GPS with me. Hope to do some traces.

On the other news :

1 ) openstreetmap.org home is now available in 4 languages : German, French,Icelandic ,Slovanian and some partial spanish .

Thanks to london hack weekend .Many more have started working on their native languages. However  no Indian languages support till now.

2) JOSM has a good amount of foreign language support, Me and Meejan has started to work on the bengali interface and some work has been done.

3) Potlatch and Openstreetmap wiki translation is also ongoing

If you are interested in seeing Indian languages in these tools , We would be happy to accept your help .Visit here for more details.

4) Arun Ganesh and H.S Rai will be representing OpenStreetMap India in upcoming State of the map 2009 to be  held in Amsterdam(Netherlands) from July.

5) Now osm.org routes to openstreetmap.org as well

Fedora Activity Day@BCREC by dgplug

So finally the Fedora Activity Day which was supposed to be held during Horizon’09 in April was held over two in 14th and 15th May,2009. The reason was that horizon got canceled due to some reason.

Here is a complete jot down of the whole two day experience

Day 1 :

We started a little late.At around 12 noon because of the projector was not working laptops.With  audience size was around 30 we started.

Arindam started by introducing the fedora project to the students. he introduced the Four F’s of the fedora project along with the community as well. He in fact introduce all  bits of the project.

Next was Kishan and Me , we tried to bust most of the misconceptions about linux/fedora in general.

Next we decided to actually give the students a demo of what the busted few minutes ago. Debashree, Amrita, Arpita showed them inkscape and gimp. Rangeen, me and arindam showed them video and music in Fedora.Along with Rangeen showing them KDE 4.2 and it attracted attention. Every machine in the Lab was running FEL live cd since there was no persmission to install Fedora in those machines[:(].

Whole of this continued till 2:10 and we decided to take a break.

After break we continued, this time 15 more students from electronics and communication branch came and joined us.

We introduced IRC to students and gave them a brief demo of it.

Then Rangeen started with FEL. He introduced GNUSim8085 and Ktechlabs which attracted most interest. There was power cut and outside was cloudy, so it was dark. but somehow even with UPS ans trailing machines rangeen continued.After the UPS gave up. We formed small groups of 8-9 and used out 5 laptops to demonstrated FEL. The session went along over 2 hours.It was a comprehensive demonstration and was a good one.

Due to lack of power, we decided to call it a day and gained permission to continued over the next day.

Day 2 :

We started day 2 with Some basic commands by Harsh Verma (a new fedora ambassador from dgplug). He showed them efficiently. Even showed the use of man and info pages. Me and Arindam  helped Harsh with this session. We showed them chmod , file permissions and a word of caution”not to login as root in GUI”.

The next session was vi by Dibyanshu. He gave a very good session on vi and showed most of the cool stuffs. I, personally liked the session very much.This guy is very new to dgplug but is showing great enthusiasm.

We took a break of 20 min and returned . Ratnadeep started with his GCC session. We decided to take on small assignments and started doing them using GCC. Ratnadeep did gave a comphensive demo of GCC and did well. Arindam decided to help them using Anjuta IDE and the same assignments were done using that.

This went till almost 5pm, power went out again. But I took my java session in my laptop. Showed them openjdk, the difference between openjdk and sun jdk. And how to install sun jdk in fedora using alternatives. This went on till 5:45pm and decided to call it a day.

The feedback was good. event though number of audince was less but it showed enthusiasm. Hope to get good contributors from this pack. There will be a post FAD session after the semester exams to keep nurturing this enthusiasm.

Over and all the session was successful and a good one.

With this session we  gained permission to install fedora in a machine. And me and Arindam decided to use this as a local mirror for the labs and students. Need to sort out some techical difficulties though. It currently behaves like a mirror in a box.More on this soon.

My cam’s battery gave up in mid ways so didnt clicked much , anyways pics are here :