Monday, February 28, 2005

Angel eyes!

Yeah, this is for you, angel eyes!

There's no one above it
We all need some loving
Some kissing and hugging
Like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
You can't live without it
Yeah I used to doubt it
But now that I've found it
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Cause my baby's got
Angel eyes!
Yeah my baby's got
Angel eyes!
Well now I've been down and lonely
I wish if only
The whole world could feel my vibe
We all need one simple reason
Something to believe in
And I know I've got mine!
Cause my baby's got
Angel eyes!
Yeah my baby's got
Angel eyes!
-- Raghav - Storyteller

Thursday, February 24, 2005


How odd it feels when people come into your life all of a sudden, out of nowhere, just to startle you out. The same happened with this "silK_sKin". Who'd have known he would be the one from whom Hassaan's buying the cell phone? Well I saw this guy the first time on the network while playing Counter-Strike. I was, to say the least, impressed by his game; and his politeness, if you call that politeness. As far as I could gather, he wasn't in any clan, and he wasn't usually found using expletives during the game. Khair we went to his home today to pick up the cell. I was mildly surprised that he turned out to be "him"! On more serious notes, Databases marks have been declared. And... I got only 55. Thank you God, I aint complaining!

Hit, hit, hit!!

Good days dont remain for long. Bad days, they dont remain for short! The Computer Communication and Management marks are declared. So it goes for Databases too, but I couldnt find my final marks in the spreadsheet. CC got puked by only 1 mark, or I'd have got an A- [in case you dont know, the grade before A- is B+ i.e. 3.33]. Management, I have a B in that [3.00]. I decided to approach Ayaz Ahmed for that 1 mark, but then thought, what the heck, self-esteem bhi aakhir koi cheez hoti hai! Anyways Databases hasnt got my final marks supplied anywhere, so I cant say how I am faring in that. The final exam itself had puked very nicely, so I cant really expect much, but looking upon other people's marks in the exam, I can hope something above a 60. Not that a 60 would help much in my quest of atleast a B, but one should never keep too high a hope, right? [Damn I still *hope* I get atleast 68 in the final!!!]

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

In a quandary

I happened to stumble upon something, which has sure put me in a confused state. This was what I was arguing in the class, that since the TCP layer is on the kernel side of the stack [referring to figure 1.14 of Unix Network Programming], the kernel itself establishes connections [the 3-way handshake] and then queues it up, without sending the SYN packets up to the application. This whole thing initiated when I read a post on a forum I am frequenting [btw its the Linux forum on Orkut]. The user in question had to build a telnet-server which was to be serializing connections and not servicing multiple concurrent requests. But the server wasn't showing the right behavior! While a client was being serviced, another one could get connected [3-way handshake again]. What follows is the question the person asked, and a subsequent reply that threw me in a quandary: "-- I dont get it since a conn. can be established only when I accept(), right ? No you are mistaken. When someone tries to connect to a listening socket, they are not prevented. In fact, a TCP 3-way hand shake is done by the TCP/IP stack in the kernel. (This is independent of whether or not u call accept). This connection for which a TCP/IP 3 way hand shake is completed, is Queued by the Kernel to give it to u when u call accept. This is the same Queue, whose length you have specified in the listen call." And then when I searched around on the internet I came across a Secure Kernel paper by Ramakrishnan Lakshminarasimhan that said: "TCP handshake that involves the exchange of SYN packets takes place during the connect and accept calls of the client and server respectively. A successful 3-way handshake establishes a TCP connection between the client and server."

Yet another PDF that has been describing sockets API in some detail had this to say:
"Establishing a passive mode TCP socketPassive mode:– Address already determined.– Tell the kernel to accept incoming connection requests directed at the socket address.• 3-way handshake– Tell the kernel to queue incoming connections for us."
From what I gather it looks like that the 3-way handshake takes place between the connect and accept calls. This works fine with that guy's problem too, and has cleanly identified the user-process and kernel segments of the OSI layers.
Now I just wanted to clarify my mind about the workings of this. What if the server doesn't want to accept a connection? Does this not result in a bottleneck, deadlocking all the requests behind? Or could a malicious request bypass the process [since the TCP connection is already established]?
Hoping that I get enlightened all of a sudden!

Monday, February 21, 2005

A new look!

Seriously I have been fed up with the age-old sober template of my blog. It was time for a change, and a change that is nice. Since the day I hooked up with blogger I had decided that I would put up my own template. But, time forbidding, I wasn't able to do it. Yes I have started to do it bit-by-bit. I am only changing the image right now, but that's the theme I have in mind for the new template. No, I am not a Counter-Strike junkie, but yes, I do play it. And like it too. And I would acknowledge the CS team too. The whole template would be up in a few days time. I hope you guys like it. Do keep me updated about it, if you like it. If you dont, then drop me a hint ;). On edit: I dont know why the image isnt displaying. Something to do with the CSS of the page. I'll try to fix it up. Meanwhile, keep checking for updates. And if the web displays any abnormail behaviour, please drop me a tidbit, as I may fix it accordingly.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The cold!

Its effingly cold in here. The official Met broadcast says the mercury dipped to 09 degrees yesterday. That's cold enough, by our standards. Yesterday only I was talking to Sumreen [she is living in Toronto] and guess what she said when I told her about our plethora? "thtz like summer coming for us...i don even wear jacket at tht time." Yeah right! But still we aren't supposed to this kind of sardi at all! The coming days might bring a relief to us all. The forecast says it would be 10-12 degrees in the next few days. But still, its a totally new kind of thing for us here. February is usually heralded as the start of spring [and warm weather] here at this part of the world. This is totally unexpected. And then for some the cold weather is like a blessing. Look at this: Sumreen : yar sardi mein mujhe best neend aati hai Me : haan yeh to hai Sumreen : b4 going to bed...i put the comforter the roomz cold n bedz warm..den jus jump in n sleep Me : waisay mujhay thruout the year best neend ati hai Me : :P Sumreen : lol..ya i can imagine Me : :D Me : i m a sound sleeper Me : without the sounds, ofcourse Sumreen : ahaan Sumreen : :D Sumreen : sure...u don no..u havnt heard ur self yet Me : well but still As you can see, doesnt matter for me much, whether its summer or winter! On the other day, somebody was commenting that people look cute in winters [especially the opposite sex]. And then they feel that university in the winters is an entirely different place, especially right in the morning, when people look fresher, with that sleepy look on their face. I, unerringly, agree with them.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Check that!

This is an actual job application a 17 year old boy submitted at a McDonald's fast-food establishment in Florida...and they hired him because he was so honest and funny! NAME: Greg Bulmash SEX: Not yet. Still waiting for the right person. DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place. DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle. EDUCATION: Yes. LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility. SALARY: Less than I'm worth. MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes. REASON FOR LEAVING: It sucked. HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any. PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS? Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment. MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER? If I had one, would I be here? DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM LIFTING UP TO 50 LBS? Of what? DO YOU HAVE A CAR? I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?" HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION? I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing house Sweepstakes. DO YOU SMOKE? On the job no, on my breaks yes. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS? Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now. DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE? Yes. Absolutely.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

And then!

It feels so bad when all your hardwork is lost. Worse is that when your hardwork is being lost in front of you. Worst is that when you couldnt do anything about it. But the most excruciatingly painful is when you know that your hardwork is going to be lost and still you dont do a thing, because you're stuck in more important [duh!] things! Thats what happened with my design of the Procom website. The original concept is gone, built upon with idiotic ideas, and they were actually implemented. Just look at the Photos page; the unprofessionalism is evident from the Home page too! I dont know who came up with the idea of using images as headings, and making them so large. Fonts are inconsistent throughout the web. CSS looks like gone with the wind. Page layouts aren't same. In short, its fairly incompetent for a major IT show in the city. How could people be so unaesthetic and yet design webpages? Beats me!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Valentine's Day!

We are finally celebrating Valentine's Day officially at the university. And the proposition is hilarious, to say the least. The Head Of Department, Dr. Mahfooz Ali, sent the following e-mail announcing the event:

Subject: Valentines Day From: "Dr Mahfooz Ali" Date: Sun, February 13, 2005 8:51 am To: students.khi@... It is to inform the students that after the misery of Tsunami we like to celebrate Valentines Day to spread the message of love and peace at FAST platform by the dress code of Red Shirt for Boys and Red Shalwar Kameez for Girls

Dr.Mahfooz Ali Head Of Department Business Administration mahfooz.ali@... National University OF Computer And Emerging Sciences Karachi Campus St-4 Sector 17/D, Shah Latif Town, Karachi UAN:111-128-128

I wasnt kidding, right?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Linuxed Again!

This time the assignment is of Network Programming, and ofcourse the instructor is Ayaz Ahmed. What we have to do, is to modify the ping [ofcourse you know what it is] source code, and then run it. Pretty easy, huh. But the problem is that Windows wont let modify these basic utilities, so it all has to be done on an Open Source platform, like Linux. The ping source code is available here. In case you are just interested in looking at the source code and dont know a shit about anything remotely Linux, I must advise you to install a decompressor program [WinZip, WinRAR etc] before trying to run the file. Because this file is in the "tar" format, the native Linux compressor.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Here Without You

A hundred days had made me older since the last time that I saw your pretty face A thousand lies had made me colder and I don’t think I can look at this the same But all the miles that separate They disappeared now when I’m dreaming of your face I’m here without you baby but you are still on my lonely mind I think about you baby and I dream about you all the time I’m here without you baby but you are still with me in my dreams And tonight it’s only you and me The miles just keep rolling as the people leave their way to say hello I've heard this life is overrated but I hope that it gets better as we go I’m here without you baby but you are still on my lonely mind I think about you baby and I dream about you all the time I’m here without you baby but you are still with me in my dreams And tonight girl it’s only you and me Everything I know, and anywhere I go it gets hard but it won’t take away my love And when the last one falls, when it’s all said and done it gets hard but it won’t take away my love I’m here without you baby but you are still on my lonely mind I think about you baby and I dream about you all the time I’m here without you baby but you are still with me in my dreams And tonight girl it’s only you and me 3 Doors Down - Away From the Sun

Friday, February 04, 2005

ProCom 2005

The event finally commenced today. The striving efforts of almost 2 months finally paid off today. The turnout was nice. Software competition and Programming competition saw the most participants, while the gaming was the most vied-for thing. And ofcourse, the most hot spot was the Food Court. The event started with the declaration by Dr. Hilal Qureshi, that was around ten something. A bit late I guess, but then this is Pakistan. I had to manage a few seminars. The first seminar was from Shell Tameer people, on Entrepreneurship. Gee, most people dont even know how to spell it! And then parallel to this there were the software competition, programming and gaming competitions. Some kids [school kids, really!] defeated the guys from NED Engineering University. Amazing, isnt it? And then there was this hot girl on the AVA stall. Gee, but then what could I do? Most of the crowd milling in the Food court was ofcourse due to her! The event continues tomorrow, but I dont think I ll be able to make it tomorrow. You can visit the ProCom website here. By the way, I had designed that website!

Thursday, February 03, 2005


The ProCom 2005 will be held tomorrow and day after, i.e. the 4th and 5th of Feb 2005. Its a mega event of the university, including Software, Hardware and Programming Competitions. This year we have a gaming competition too. The games are Counter-Strike [ring any bells?] and Fifa 2004. Next year I want a hacking competition too. We are holding [my idea] a hacking competition when we have the WebMasters event in mid February. It isnt too complicated, almost on the same lines as PakCon. I really want it to be held next year at ProCom. Lets see if the faculty drinks to that!