RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘workstation’

  1. Summer holidays: projects, Kolkata visit and shopping

    July 27, 2014 by Sunit Nandi

    So friends, I’m back again with a new post. It has been quite a while since I wrote on my blog. In this post I’ll be describing how I spent my summer vacation. So here it goes.

    My 4th semester exams got over and what followed was a summer break. I was finally free to do whatever I liked to and wanted to. The first thing me and my parents did was offer a special puja for my dad at the Navagraha temple. It was a really long process that lasted for two hours. On another day, we went out for shopping to the city and had our lunch at Chinatown. The most surprising part about this is that, I met Loya ma’am (Mrs. Loya Agarwala, a student counselor serving various institutions) there. I had a long chat with her. My friends from Faculty H S School would be very happy to know about this.

    In the meanwhile, I joined two projects at IIT Guwahati. The first one is related to speech processing while the second is a student tracking system based on RFID tags and ZigBee PAN backend. Both are still underway, even though my holidays are over now. The speech processing project required me to get my BeagleBone Black ready with Archlinux ARM, ALSA, XFCE desktop and Linphone to act as a IP-phone. I’m using an audio cape extension on the BBB get audio-in and audio-out to it. Hopefully, things should be getting into shape soon. Here are a few photos I shot while setting it up:

    IMG_20140620_121209 IMG_20140620_122226 IMG_20140620_122239 IMG_20140620_123252

    I’ll be writing several articles on the BeagleBone Black on Techno FAQ as soon as I get some free time.

    The other project is still on paper and will take much longer to get a physical implementation.

    I spent the first two weeks with parents in Kolkata. We were there for some family errands. But during this time, I had the opportunity to visit the Birla Planetarium and also do some shopping.


    Also, behold the other random photos.

    IMG_20140701_165330 IMG_20140701_165337 IMG_20140701_171754 IMG_20140702_111050 IMG_20140702_111120_1 IMG_20140703_144328 IMG_20140703_144405 IMG_20140703_175611 IMG_20140703_175756 IMG_20140703_180037 IMG_20140704_103941  IMG_20140701_165502

    Some pictures of our new flat at New Town, Rajarhat:

    IMG_20140704_182429 IMG_20140704_182924 IMG_20140704_184331

    I spent 3 days at Digha, my hometown, and so was able to see the ulta (reverse) – Rathyatra. Here are some pics.

    IMG_20140707_212135 IMG_20140707_212250_1 IMG_20140707_212401 IMG_20140707_212505 IMG_20140707_212644 IMG_20140707_212703 IMG_20140707_212752 IMG_20140707_212825 IMG_20140707_212913 IMG_20140707_212204 IMG_20140707_212233 IMG_20140707_212332 IMG_20140707_212430

    After returning back to Guwahati, I finally had my new workstation ready (a custom-built HP Z420), which I’ll be using for video editing, graphics, app and OS development and gaming.

    IMG_20140612_124924 IMG_20140612_195237 IMG_20140710_155716

    The specs are:

    • 8-core Intel Xeon E5 @ 3.6 Ghz
    • 4×8 GB DDR3 ECC 1600 MHz RAM
    • AMD FirePro W7000 GPU (4x DisplayPort interfaces)
    • Intel C602 chipset
    • 1 TB 7200 RPM Toshiba HDD
    • 4x USB 3.0 ports, 4x USB 2.0 ports
    • FireWire port
    • 1 Gbps gigabit ethernet port
    • DVD-RAM / DVD+-RW drive
    • HP EliteDisplay E221
    • HP USB keyboard and mouse

    I got my workstation ready with Windows 8.1 Pro and Manjaro Linux. Right now, I’m looking for a good secondary HDD on which I can try out Hackintosh.

    With all this, the holidays came to an end. The 5th semester has started and classes have begun with full steam.

    Right now I’m playing around with PC-BSD. It is kind of hipster approach to learning Unix.


    I’ll be writing again soon with more stuff on my blog and interesting articles on Techno FAQ. Please stay tuned.

    Take care.

  2. Hardware development begins here

    March 5, 2014 by Sunit Nandi

    The first mid-semester exams are over. Things seemed to have settled down. At college, everything is just as any other day, with boring lectures and uneventful moments.

    What really kept me motivated was constant experiments and new ideas. That’s pretty much what keeps me active even at the worst times.

    I learnt a little bit of the Cisco router’s command line and am manage the network interfaces with it, by just random fiddling around when I got bored.

    Then Manjaro Linux 0.8.9 was released with a huge number of bug-fixes and improved hardware support. To add to the great news was that Manjaro now officially supports KDE and 0.8.9 release has an official KDE variant. So, just because I was bored, I installed KDE desktop and the K Display Manager and got rid of XFCE, LXDM and the optional GNOME components. And guess what? KDE actually runs better than what I had expected. The system-wide proxy settings are automatically pulled from the environment variables (set with /etc/profile.d/ script). Also, it would be worth mentioning that the BlueZ 5 bluetooth stack works flawlessly with BlueDevil in KDE. Back then, in XFCE, BlueMan had stopped detecting my laptop’s bluetooth adapter after I upgraded to BlueZ 5 from BlueZ 4. Rest of the features work fine, and I’m very satisfied.

    I got myself an Arduino Mega 2560 R3 microcontroller board so that I can build circuits and DIY (do it yourself) electronics. At present, I’m learning the Arduino code.


    Arduino Mega 2560 R3

    I also ordered‘s Beaglebone Black as I am very curious about single-board PCs.


    Beaglebone Black A6A

    Right now I’m looking for a HDMI-to-DVI/VGA adapter so that I can hook up my old display to it and a externally powered USB hub to attach peripherals to the board. Hoping to get cracking and experimenting in a week or so.

    My workstation, a customised HP Z420, is going to arrive soon. So I have one more reason to be excited.

    Coming to blogging and WordPress, I have noticed an interesting finding. If you are a user of the WordPress HTTPS plugin, uninstall it as soon as possible. This plugin has a poorly written page filter than significantly degrades page loading performance and causes regular timeouts in the admin panel. For a month I was unable to figure out why the admin panel was working poorly on, until I disabled the plugin. Also, its interesting to note that trying to secure the admin panel with HTTPS and serving the site over plain HTTP can be a real pain. I’m not saying it has problems serving pages. What I am trying to say is that, if you are securely connected to the admin panel and are making a new post, any new image or media attached to the post will load from the secure site even when the site is served insecurely. This is an undesired behaviour. In my opinion, WordPress should integrate HTTPS options properly into the GUI so that we do not have to depend on tweaks and third-party plugins to secure the admin panel while serving the site as it is. For now, I stopped using HTTPS, until I find a proper fix.

    Right now, I’m writing my General Proficiency report for college.

    Also, Pyrokinesis, Assam Engineering College’s annual fest is on, and I might be attending it when I’m free.

    So its finally time for me to lift my hands off the keyboard. I’ll be writing again soon. Take care and have fun!

    Till then, enjoy this sandwich. 😉