Category Archives: Mostlywhine

First C program.

Somebody on the interwebs said we could all talk about our first C programs when Dennis Ritchie died. This was supposed to be my rant. It was stuck in ‘draft’ for 2 years and would not have moved forward had it not been for the spammers who messed with my old wordpress installation and started sending mails in my name.

My first C program was written on a notebook (and was never compiled or run). Pascal was my swiss army knife when I was in my 11th standard (after qualifying from BASIC). Around that time my uncle got me a small book (no it was not K&R). All the talk about ‘C’ and its power that I read in electronics for you magazine got me buzzed. Unfortunately the school computer lab had just 8086 (PC-XT)s with two 5.25″ FDDs at the best. No C compiler anywhere to be seen. So it was “translated” versions of couple of my pascal programs in a red notebook book (hand written) for a long time. Till around end of 12th I got my hands on unc’s 486 DX2 (66 Mhz !) which had Borland C on it. It was exciting. Not because I knew anything about unix but the small book told me about functions to do stuff that I did not know how to do in Pascal (don’t remember what it was though : thinking hard it might have been printf !! or probably reading a directory). I got my hands on gcc only at the start of my college. That was for the lack of a 32bit compiler on windows or DOS. It was the times of ‘dos-extenders’, VESA video modes and DJGPP !! DJGPP gave me company for a long time (even after I started with Linux (RHL 4.2 or 5 IIRC)). For some time it was also MSVC, learning DirectX. Finally towards the end of my course I was entirely into OpenGL and Linux.

MSNE4K Fail.

I had bought two of those the Microsoft NaturalĀ® Ergonomic 4000 keyboards. The (newer) one at home has started failing. I’m guessing its part from all the button mashing games. The problem presented as spurious ‘x’ (like around 50 of them) coming in when the OS/Bios initialized the keyboard and then no more ‘x’, even when you type.

MSNE4K internals

MSNE4K internals

First time it occured, I shook it, vacuumed it and it started working. Second time it happened I opened it up I found snack fragments mostly from Lays. Cleaned it up and it started functioning normally. Today its messed up the third time and after an hour of moving the membrane around (or rather praying and hoping it works) its working.

In case you have one of these and want to dissassemble here is the thing: After all the screws on the bottom are removed, pull out the soft wrist padding pieces. Then you’d find two more screws to be removed. Then pry the space bar out (carefully) to find the two final smaller screws.

I thought they would not screw hardware up and wished it was more durable.

Camera overkill.

EOS 1D s Mark III

Many friends and relatives said I was mad when I bought my D80. Now look at this:

Canon EOS 1 Ds Mark III (the number of words in the name scares me) that belongs to a relative. Apparently he had (quite) some money to spare. My D80 had a chance to take a picture of that beast. I dont know how much it costs (did not dare to ask him either).


More pixels than your PC can tolerate, More Autofocus areas than you can manually select (comfortably). Detailed specs on dpreview (clicky).

Loyalty Bonus

Loyalty Bonus 14:55

One of the restaurants I eat (almost regularly) at is now giving off a loyalty offer. I had always wanted this to happen but had not expected this from this particular eatery. For most of the places I used to visit for my daily intake, I had been a regular for sizable time periods.

This particular one was not something that I would like to make a regular one. Not counting couple of items in the breakfast menu and the fact that its close enough to walk down, there is nothing that is attractive to me. Hardly a couple of weeks ago they denied me the pleasure of dosas at dinner stating that its to be ‘bundled’ with a non-vegetarian curry. I had decided that its the wrong restaurant to have a ‘relation’ with. Today’s offer is not changing anything because the kind of people they are targetting are just not mine.

Things go differently at my real regular place. They have no formal ‘loyalty’ bonus. However being regular worked out quite well. I get bonuses like these – they cook stuff just for me when I barge in late (when they are almost closed for the day), they offered to take me to a doc (tho I did not take it). In most of the cases my loyalty is fake and usually due convenience. This one was due the feeling of the food being ok on my stomach and mildly the taste.

Standby sux 15:21

Last week when I saw the system go to sleep on acpitool -s I thought I got one of the desperately needed facilities on my linux box. It does not work that well. Kernel panics almost every time it comes out of sleep. The funniest part is that there is a delay. Yesterday after waking up the kernel panic was like 10 minutes later.

HL2 back up. 12:34

Backed-up the half-life 2 files. I wanted to do that badly as some games need 100s of MBs to be downloaded to get up-to-date (from the package I had bought). Its a bit surprising to see that the whole back up is only around 3Gigs. While the data files total up to 6 Gigs. I wonder if its doing some kinda informed compression. It definitely appeared that way from the kinda time it took to prepare the backup. I hope it works when I need it.

Powernow, needle phobia, bridge mode and new domain

New home

Thanks to Vikas and Melvin, I got myself a domain name. I’ve been lazy on this (though I knew its not the right thing to be lazy about) and Vikas’ showing me his domain was a catalyst. Mine is kinda lousy being a third level name and all but hoping for first name in second level is too much.


This had been crawling for some time, last month (yeah, before I took ill, for those who know about that) I did a BIOS upgrade and powernow-k8 module started working. But then no big deal except for 2-3 degrees drop in the temperature when I switch to the 1 Ghz mode.

Bridge mode

Another thing that was crawling but not for long. apt-get install pppoeconf and run it after setting the MT 882 to bridge mode (in the WAN settings). Add route to ppp0 and that was it. Its not of much use except debugging plus the extra tension about setting up the firewall. But then one could setup Counterstrike server on Windows. Then again I’ll have to figure out how to get this working on windows plus a firewall is kinda un avoidable.

Needle phobia

Yeah the nurses at the hospital fixed that. I had blood samples taken every 6 hours. Can’t believe I let them do that. Plus the cannula almighty – It was the first time I had that one on me. Horrible.