BACKSTORY: So I placed an order on Flipkart on 19th March. By 15:29 hours on same day my order had reached Delhi from Bengaluru. This is 2019 kms according to the pretty trustworthy Google Maps. Impressive. I was confident that I’ll have my order delivered in a day or maybe two at max, it’s a mere 177 kms to Roorkee from Delhi afterall. Now I’m not sure how this delivery system works but logic tells me that it is dependent on distance apart from other things like tie-ups and delivery network quality, blah blah…. There is obviously more to it than just distance, I’m sure of this atleast. Whatver it may be, I think it is safe to say that 8 days is way too much time in any case. Yes, this is what happened, it’s been nearly 10 days and I haven’t received my order yet.Continue →
5th January, 2013. It’s a comfortable 1 degree at Roorkee station, perfect for shorts and a Hawaiian t-shirt, perfect weather for a new beginning. In fact, if it got any better, I would be forced to consider spending all the money I saved up for the dream house in Hawaii, Rs 442 to be precise, to get real estate in Roorkee (Hawaiian t-shirt in a house in Hawai is the dream, or rather, was the dream). Granted the roads are bad and there is a lot of dust in Roorkee but then you have got to compromise somewhere right? I think I’ll leave this decision for later though, for now I do have a luxurious, 5 star, hostel room in a government college. Sarcasm apart, it does have high speed, free, wired internet connection and that is truly a luxury. So I reach my room, throw my suitcase under the bed and plug in the information hose to find that I have no internet access. A quick shout across the corridor tells me that it’s just me. My network card gave up. Perfect start to the new semester don’t you think? A few days pass and the semester picks up pace, denying me the opportunity to marvel over the perfectness of the start to this semester.Continue →
This post has been cross posted from the official blog of sdslabs
If you have ever spoken to me in real life or follow me on twitter or are in my friend list in facebook or instagram or ….. you get the point, then you must have seen my posts related to a certain something known as SDSLabs. It’s been 11 months since I joined this student group in IITR and it has more or less become a part of my identity. Before I write anything more I should probably explain what is SDSLabs.
A Student Group
IITR has a very vibrant culture of student groups with there being a group for nearly everything, right from Robotics, Electronics to Philately and even Gardening! While not all of them are active and often give the feeling of having been started by few enthusiasts who have long since left and now no one is ready to carry it on, there are a few groups who are actively changing the scene in their field. SDSLabs is one of them. SDS (Software Development Section) is an official hobby section and anyone can be a member of this. SDSLabs is the core team that manages SDS apart from working on various projects in the software field (moving into hardware too now). I came to know about SDS through their open for all lecture series that they conducted in my first year. Then in November, 2011 they launched their intranet portal and that’s when I knew that I had to join this group.Continue →
This started off as a redesign of Watch Out! News Agency’s blog (WONA is the official news magazine of IIT Roorkee). I had a design in mind for my personal blog which is also based on octopress. So I went ahead and implemented it on WONA’s blog. Everything was fine except that I had customised my blog which meant that it was different from the WONA blog. This wouldn’t have been a problem if I had followed octopress’ guidelines on creating themes. Ah well. So I sat down one fine morning and converted the custom css/html to a theme.
I used the theme Slash as my starting point. It already had fancybox integration and one column layout. The product is Greyshade. It’s a responsive theme. I have open sourced it and it is available on github.
This blog has the latest version of the theme. So you can check it out right here.
Hackathons are a rarity in India. Surprising really, seeing that most guys in college claim to be the most productive in the night. Here at SDSLabs we confess to be night owls. Some of our best apps exist thanks to all-nighters. So naturally, when we came to know that Yahoo! India was organising a hackathon by the name of HackU in IIT Delhi, we wanted something similar in our beloved IITR. Multiple emails were exchanged with the Yahoo! employees but we could not convince them to hold one here in Roorkee. What a bummer.
As I said in the opening line, hackathons are a rarity in India. So what if we could not convince them to come to Roorkee, we’ll travel to Delhi! And that we did.Continue →
Recently I was working on using data from a Google Drive spreadsheet in a Hubot script. I needed to fetch the sheet in JSON format in order to easily parse it using coffeescript. But it turned out that Google doesn’t provide an easy way of getting this done. Here’s the indirect method:
Since this option doesn’t exist in the dropdown it may not be supported by Google in the future. Safer solution would be to output to csv and convert it to json.
With so many books to read and so little time, every book that I actually do end up reading should be worth my precious little time. Tough sitaution, as practically this isn’t possible with every book. When it comes to fiction recommendations are not very effective. But for technical books recommendations are effective enough for me to completely rely on them. I need a book on HTML/CSS? Ask a friend who is good in this field. Book on algorithms? There’s a friend for that too.
I picked up Don’t Make Me Think, by Steve Krug, based on Abhay Rana’s recommendation. Every time I’d ask him something related to UI, the last line of his reply would always be “Dude! Read Don’t Make Me Think!”. And now that I have read it, I think it is a brilliant book on Usability. Its not specifically aimed at web designers and is suitable for anyone even remotely connected with interface designing.Continue →