Monday, November 29, 2004

Open Source software history

I just came across this very informative/interesting link about the history of the Open Source movement. Hope you enjoy it

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The assignment continues...

Finally I got the Red Hat cd. I decided on ver 7.2, although 8.0 and 9 were available too. The reasons? Well, the first reason: Hussain told me Red Hat 9 doesnt support certain NIC's and other devices, and I though what the heck. But the more important reason was that RH 8 and 9 were on 3 cds, and RH 7.2 was on two, cost 25% less! I have never installed Linux earlier. The Red Hat 6 that was on my box was installed by my elder brother. So I started the installation, and then stuck somewhere in between. Actually, Linux needs (as far as I think) the root partition to be of almost 2 GB, and I had 4 partitions each of 9 point something GB. So I had to move all my data from a (relatively) unused drive to other. Fixed the partition sizes again, made one of 2 GB and another for the rest of the space. I am ready to try that again. And I have devoured lots of HOWTOs from the web. I already feel like a pro, yet without any particular experience. Though I still don't know what the assignment actually wants, I have a good idea now. The Linux ISO's are actually boot images that could be written on a CD to get a bootable one, or they could be saved on the harddisk. Boot-images? You can boot from there on, to start with the installation. That was in the problem statement: to install Linux iso's and http availability via netstorage. So there goes one part of the problem. He probably wants us to install Linux through network (though I am yet to see what's the use for that, we could equally well install it through CDs), and then run all the Zebra stuff. So I'll install it today if circumstances permit. I had downloaded that Zebra daemon earlier. Lets try it today. Got the spare LAN card (NIC) from Shazeb. I hope its working and Linux wouldn't mess with their detection.

An assignment

I went to the university today, finally. After three days of chilling, making the university today felt like a pleasant change. It was that, until Sherry asked me about the DB assignment. Whoa! There went all things pleasant. Today was the last date for its submission, and I am late on the Differential assignment too. Does that happen to all the students? Or most of them? Dont know. The Computer Communications assignment is an ambiguous one. The terminology is clear, but nobody knows what exactly is required. Everybody comes up with a new explanation. Guess we'll have to talk to Ayaz Ahmed to know what he wants exactly. There is this post on the Forum about the assignment: "Configuring and using Linux as a router Group Members: 3-4 or individual Submission date: December 2, 2004 Demo afterwards For details contact Mr. Ovais Khan or Ayaz Ahmed (Sophomore) Simple Linux router can be implemented using iptables while more advanced ones can utilize Zebra. Zebra routing daemon is used for more advanced routers that can communicate using dynamic routing protocols. You are required to implement a router on Linux using zebra routing daemon. Routing can be done on a PC with two or more network adapters. You are thus required to: * Install Linux (preferably Redhat or Slackware) iso’s and http availability via netstorage. * Configure the two network adapters on Linux * Install Zebra * Configure the router * Test the configuration * (Optional) configure BGP on the router with Help and tutorials are available on zebra site. The router should have at least the following minimal configuration: * eth0: 192.168.x.1/24 * eth1: 10.89.x.1/24 Replace x with any arbitrary number from 1 to 254. In order to test the configuration, you also need some computers on each of the subnet. In order to test BGP, use the routers configured by other groups." God knows what is it. But I'll do it inshALLAH. There is this second post a few hours later: "Using one LAN card in the router assignment Instead of using two network cards, you can also use IP Aliasing in the Linux using which you can define as many virtual interfaces as you want. See the following howto for a complete description: The salient steps include: /sbin/ifconfig eth0 192.168.x.1 /sbin/ifconfig eth0:0 10.89.x.1 This will create two IP Aliases corresponding to the same hardware interface. In order to make the changes final. Add these lines to the /etc/rc.d/rc.local file." Don't laugh. It isnt that hard as it appears. Infact it isnt hard at all! All that is needed is some determination and intuition, and a little hard work, the rest comes easily.

Friday, November 26, 2004

An era has ended!

With the dissolution of Webmasters, an era has ended in the history of FAST-NU Karachi campus. Why is it hurting me, well, principally because I was the Chief Designer. Most hurting it would be to the chairman and vice chairman. I can share their grief. Campus politics takes its toll on innocuous students. The internal skirmishes between Ayaz Ahmed and Rashda Mehmood culminated in the dissolution of Webmasters. Were we not an entity? Higher-ups exercise their powers like that. In a country where national assemblies are dissolved on the whims of higher-ups, what status does a graduate-level committee holds? It was a memorable experience working with them. We jointly developed Horizon, the FAST website. Held workshops on HTML and ASP.Net. All in all it was a time well-spent. Anyways that was enough for the tombstone of the team. Fresh interviews are tomorrow in the conference room. I ll do my best to grab the post of the chairman if no seniors stuck their necks in between. I'll get that post, inshALLAH.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A long bout of vacation!

Hourlies ended on Tuesday, I groovied on tuesday. No, not exactly groovied, err, not enjoyed as well either. Gosh! Had to attend a wedding ceremony, and how tedious they can get. Heck! We had decided to take wednesday off, and so we did! Though I never went to the university today either. Had to visit Xeb's office. I so wish that he'd bring me the web material soon so I'll get some bucks in return. I need those bucks, yeah need! Aanji's birthday was yesterday. I hope it went fine for her, atleast till 7 in the evening it was going fine, her papa sent her a birthday cake from somewhere in Upper Punjab. I wonder what I'll gift to her. I just wonder, nothing expensive, nothing cheap either. No, not a pendant, that would be too suggestive, certainly not some book, she would half-read it. Why not drop the idea? I'll buy her something when I'll really think of something :)

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Last day!

After a long while (err... was it only two days?), I am back! Was busy with hourlies (duh...!). I ve got one tomorrow. People call it Management. I call it bragging. Thanks to the instructor, we dont have much to study. He has lots of stories to tell, his past experiences with some pharmaceutical company, his stint as a manager, his policies he implemented and finally how he is striving to make our campus a better place. Like duh, as we were barely managing to get by without him! I am awake since 7 in the morning. Its now 8 pm. Looks like the Espresso from the cafe did the work. But still I ll have to catch some sleep if I want to attempt the exam tomorrow. But I haven't got the text book! And he does gives questions from the book, fill in the blanks, true/false etc. I gotta get the book from somewhere. Life isn't easy, eh? Oh yeah I got the invitation to join the blog team (or whatever it is called) from my friend Faraz. It is called "The Ranting". I dont know why it is called that. Or why is it there at all. Or whatever I would contribute to it. I dont think I can contribute to it, I dont get much time to write my blogs, let alone contribute to others. But still, what the heck if he feels better linking to me! No sweat! Fine with me! Sleep is slowly taking its toll on me. My eyelids are dropping close. No use playing NFS anymore. I ll study in the night. Abhi to raat jawan hai! Adios Amigos, and whatever whatever.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Starting Hourlies

Voila! Mids aka Hourlies have started. Till three weeks ago they were called mid-terms, now since the structure has changed so I guess the name has too. I mean it isn't formal yet, but more people now refer to it as hourlies, since the one and a half hour exam is now of only an hour. Course content is like the same, question complexity and content is the same, you have to complete it in less time though. Another boon for the much deprived beings-of-earth called FASTians. FAST is like that, its just FAST. It wont slow down for anyone, not even the former dean. Differential Equations was effectively f'ed up today. My preparation (ofcourse according to me) was wholesome, the paper was just not right (or maybe it was!). Didnt complete most of the questions, those I did I am not really sure of whether they were solved correctly. I am starting to think of dropping the course, but I hear there is no reimbursement. Couldnt let ten thousand bucks go down the drain, maybe I should just start to devote more time on DE. Computer Communications went awesome. The questions were conceptual, the paper was designed to fit in the one-hour time slot perfectly. Tomorrow remains the Computer Architecture exam which according to me should go fine. There is still a lot of time available tomorrow morning to revise and update. I hope pipelining and Tomasulo won't take their toll on me :).

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Kal jo hoga...!

Jugnoo-won say bhar dein aanchal, Beet jaye kaheen na yeh pal, Kal jo hoga dekh lein gay kal. Maang mein teri aasman bhardoon, Tere kadmon mein yeh jahan rakhdoon, Dhaanp kar rakhloon tujh ko palkon mein, Aa chupa loon mein tujh ko saanson mein, Beet jaye kaheen na yeh pal, Kal jo hoga dekh lein gay kal. Teri aankhon ka khuwab hojaon, Urh kar tera tan mein sojaaon, Ek dojay mein aaj kho jayen, Bhool kar khud ko ek ho jayen, Beet jaye kaheen na yeh pal, Kal jo hoga dekh lein gay kal. Ali Zafar: Kal jo hoga

Yeah right kal jo hoga dekh lein gay kal. Let tomorrow come, whatever comes we'll face it together. No need to worry. I am with you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak to all! Ramazan is over. Finally. Though I still feel like fasting. Dont know, dont feel like eating. I wasted Ramazan, I didnt fast, I starved. What is a fast when it isnt kept properly? When you dont offer prayers in the mosque, when you dont respect other people's feelings? Bad, bad of me. I wasted Ramazan. I wasted Shab-e-Qadars, the Big Nights. No maghfirat, no rehmat. I am bound for hell, for sure. O' ALLAH, Bless me! Got almost 6 days off for the Eid holidays, and mids are starting on Friday, coupla days left. I have just wasted my time and done nothing. I haven't studied properly. This semester is looking to go down the drain. Talk about rough times. God help me with my studies too. I dont wanna flunk in the mids!

Am I Sick

Maroon 5: Through with you And I don't trust you Cause every time you're here Your intentions are unclear I spend every hour waiting for a phone call That I know will never come I used to think you were the one Now I'm sick of thinking anything at all

Monday, November 15, 2004


Mids are just around the corner, and I am not yet finished up with Eid celebrations. I hate Differential, I hate MI! He's such a whatever! Favourite thing is droning out in the class. I wonder how he got to teach when he s just so old! I dont get a thing in the class and I feel I gonna flunk again in the midterms. God help me!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Back in the senses!

Finally I got the new monitor. It looks cool, maybe because it is, or maybe because its new. The Internet service was not particularly good, but somehow I managed to get through to orkut. I finally have 100 friends on my list. Never knew I was that popular! This internet service sucks, all I could use is orkut and nothing else is working. I had to check my inbox, but it wont open. The university servers seem to be down too. Isnt it a pity that mids are just around the corner, and the servers come crashing down right in the middle of the week. I must go now and ask someone for the timetable. I have to study too...!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Ti Amo! Its Dubya again in the White House! I dont know how the world would endure 4 more years of his reign as the world's supercop! I dont blame him, I have no personal animosity or hatred against him. I know the kingmakers arent yet bored of him. Gee, I am not too sure of Kerry too. Would he have rolled back the Iraq and Afghanistan operations? I dont think so. Would the American policy of meddling in other countries' affairs have been stopped? No! Old habits die hard. What difference does the kettle make over the pot? What difference it is if its Kerry or Bush? None, none at all! Maybe its high time Ralph Nader gets a shot at White House. Think about it, he is campaigning since so many years, he isnt even short-listed. I dont feel pity for him, I just think he uses his green-whatever something during the four years for campaign money?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Just *not* in time

I am getting like 1:54 when the lap time is 1:50, when would I work up??