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Its almost mid-semester

1 September, 2013 by Sunit Nandi

It has been quite a while since I have written. What was going on during this time was assignments, labs, projects and stuff that every burdened engineering student faces.

The mini-project was an extremely awkward situation though. Me and my project partner we considering making a web interface for GCC (GNU compiler collections). I have seen a lot of such projects on the web, and I wished to make something different in my version of it. So I proposed using a web terminal/console to emulate a interactive environment for running the created executable. Our guide was, however, not interested in using third party programs to enhance the project. So I had no other choice but to compile and display the output using PHP like every other guy did. I don’t know whether to punch myself on the face or to blame the education system. My partner is a beginner as he is still in the process of learning HTML, CSS, JS and PHP and it’ll take him a while to actually catch up. The funny part is that our guide insists us to focus more on writing the SRS (software requirement specifications) than doing the actual project itself. Nevertheless, I installed Apache with PHP and MySQL on my tablet PC and implemented the compiling and the output display the way our guide wanted it to be, and to be honest, it’s very boring.

In the meanwhile, my college’s Computer Centre engineers came to know about be, and now they approached my requesting help for strengthening their proxy servers to provide better performance. I came to know that they were using a version of Ubuntu that was long outdated. I first enquired about their requirements, then proceeded to install Manjaro (I was wary about installing Arch Linux as it had a chance of breaking on updates, hence Manjaro). RedHat or CentOS wasn’t actually going to solve the problem as the packages in their repo was so old and unsuitable for their requirements. Within 30 minutes, I finished installing. Then set up a Squid proxy with 2GB disk caching and 512 MB RAM caching. A couple of tests showed it was loading things faster than their already running Ubuntu proxy server. The only thing remains is setting up user authentication, and after that I expect it to be ready for use.

Coming to the personal front, I bought myself a Reliance 3G SIM as Airtel was disappointing me. Then dad gave me a Huawei E355 mobile WiFi smart dongle which is giving me pretty satisfactory download speeds as of now, about 3-5 Mbps. I even wrote an unboxing review and article on it. My old laptop from 2001 is repaired and ready for use, and I’ll be reviving it soon with a good Linux distribution. Right now, I feel ill and have a dry cough and a bad headache, but forced to use the PC to write C code for college assignments (*insert education system rant here*).

Techniche 2013 is going on at IIT Guwahati, and I’ve seen lots of events yesterday, which includes Robotics (like Robocalypse, Robofest, etc.), the exhibitions (Indian Army, National Disaster Rescue Forces, North-east Frontier Railway) and a canine show (where sniffer dogs display tricks). Today I might go and watch the RC airshow, irrespective of how badly my body is aching right now. I’m not interested in attaching any pictures here because the news agencies document the whole event so well, but one thing that interested me was this:

Flying survelliance vehicle

Survelliance vehicle flying in the air

You can see that is a battery powered rotocopter that can take images while flying in the air, it has 4 fans and no counter rotors or wings. Two fans spin in one direction and two the other way and the pressure difference it creates makes it move towards the direction it files. Its controlled by a 2.4 GHz wireless controller/remote.

Well I guess that’s pretty much of what’s going on right now. The mid-semester exams are near, starting on 9th of September. I just hope they stop throwing assignments at us, because I want to study for the exams with no extra workload. But then, who listens to us?

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