Wednesday, September 27, 2006

el lamington road kaminos!

ADSL Splitters Gallery.........

This is what you get with your ADSL Router when you subscribe to MTNL Triband:

This is what you get for 225 rupees from a supposedly "trustworthy" shop in Lamington Road (we bought Deepti G's computer from this shop!! and thats working pretty fine... although her monitor was a wee bit off.. but we got it fixed for freeeeeeeee)... bloody piece of shit this splitter turned out to be.. wasted 225 rupees.. that to from my first salary... One measly inductor and one capacitor... WTF is this world coming too??.. I hope the guys who sell such stuff get Gonorrhea or Syphilis :

This is what you get for 110 rupees... sexy chinese stuff.. works better than the black box which you get from MTNL. Got this one from Lamington Road too. From a shop which specialized in telephone components. When in Lamington Road, its pretty hard to figure out whom to trust and whom not to!

Oh and why do we need a splitter?:
(following taken from

What is a splitter?

Everybody uses splitters on their telephone lines. If you want to connect up more than one telephone into the same socket, the chances are you're using a splitter. When you're connected via ADSL, you need a special type of splitter which contains a micro-filter.

Why do we need a micro-filter?

There are two reasons why they're required. The first is to stop the ADSL signal interfering with the voice part of your phone line - this sounds a bit like 'fast clicks' when it happens. The second reason is to ensure that the ADSL line is terminated correctly. Without becoming too technical, an unmatched termination can cause reflections back down the line. This is a bad thing and can cause errors on your ADSL connection. The above graph shows the frequency range that your phone (POTS) and ADSL occupy. Don't worry if you don't understand because it's not all that important to the end user.

for a bit deeper info see...

finally! Mumbai will have its own metrooooo!!

Thursday, September 7, 2006

AVR Workshop at VESIT – A Report

The Electronics and I.T. Departments of our college had organized a workshop on Embedded System Design Using AVR Microcontrollers. The workshop was held on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th of September. Professor Dhananjay Gadre from NSIT Delhi was invited to conduct the workshop. 45 Students attended the workshop.

Professor Dhananjay Gadre is a certified AVR Consultant and has written a book on the subject together with numerous other articles in various magazines. It was one of these articles that prompted me to contact him via email. From then on I have in constant touch with him. I had let him know about Robocon and how our college had been faring in it over the years. Since he was in Pune at the time of the competition this year, I invited him to look at our robots during our stay at MIT, Pune.

He met our guide Professor Abhay Kshirsagar and it was then that the idea for conducting the AVR Microcontroller Workshop came around. On returning from Pune we immediately set towards organizing the workshop. Professor Gadre has quite a lot of experience in holding such workshops so organizing it was a breeze. We were constantly in touch with him via email and phone. He had developed 2 kits for such workshops and had agreed to bring those for the participants to work on.

The following are the details of the workshop:

Day 1 : 1300-1900 Hrs, Thursday, 01 September, 2005

On the first day Professor Gadre taught us the basic principle of designing an embedded system. He threw light on the various constraints which a design engineer must take into account before designing a system. He started right from enumerating the differences between a microcontroller and a microprocessor and went on to speak about topics like Real Time Processing and Hardware/Software Partitioning which lie at the core of the subject. He made the atmosphere lively by sharing anecdotes and practices followed by the industry in this field.

After the Tea break, the kits (PCB and components) were distributed. The participants were divided into groups of 3 each and each was assigned the task of soldering a kit. The idea behind getting the students to solder the kits themselves was to let them get the feel of the microcontroller system before they went on to program one. The whole exercise took on a totally different track when all of us soldered the wrong resistors on the PCB. From then on it was what one would call an “Organized Chaos”. Students had to get on to de-solder the wrongly placed components and put in new ones in their place. Such an incident helped the students become more aware of the problems which one might face when creating an embedded circuit and how they could prevent those by carefully paying attention to each step involved in the process.

In all, the first day turned out to be a fun exercise.

Day 2 : 1300-1900 Hrs, Friday, 02 September, 2005

In the morning, before the workshop, some of us took on the tasks of rectifying the errors which the students had made while soldering the kits the day before and we were able to fix all of those kits before the workshop began.

Professor Gadre spoke about the features of AVR Microcontrollers. He also spoke about the instruction set in brief and at the end he assigned us the task of controlling the brightness of LEDs using the technique of PWM by writing a simple program in assembly language. Some of us completed this exercise on the same day while the rest of us were successful in doing it by the start of the next day.

Day 3 : 1300-1900 Hrs, Saturday, 03 September, 2005

In the morning we took Professor Gadre to Lamington Road where he bought some components for future workshops. On returning back for the workshop, he explained more about the AVR Microcontroller series and the onboard resources available on these microcontrollers.

He explained about implementing serial communications by giving us an example of how one could design a system similar to the voting system used in the television programme “Kaun Banega Crorepati”. The idea was to use the RS-485 Communications protocol to carry out broadcast and unicast commands on the same network.

After the tea break we made a list of projects that we would make for presenting on the Technology Day. Each group was assigned a project and we set to work on them.

Day 4 : 0900-1900 Hrs, Sunday, 04 September, 2005

We spent the whole Sunday completing the projects which we had taken up. At the end of the day, all of us were successful in finishing the project with much time to spare.

At the end of day 4 we had a photo session before the official end of the AVR workshop. We thanked Professor Gadre for spending his valuable time to teach us the basics of the AVR Microcontroller.

Technology Day: Monday, 05 September, 2005

On the Technology Day we presented our projects to the college staff and students.

The projects which we had made during the workshop were:

  1. Brightness control of LEDs using Pulse Width Modulation - The brightness of LEDs were varied by changing the on and off times (Duty Cycle) of the square wave applied to them.

  2. Real Time Clock - A Real Time Clock was designed using the onboard counter and timers and the computer terminal was used as a display. The microcontroller communicated with the computer using the onboard USART.

  3. Inter-Microcontroller Communication using PORT pins - A running LED pattern was implemented using total of 8 LEDs; 4 each from two different microcontroller boards. The microcontroller communicated with each other to display a continuous pattern spanning all 8 LEDs

  4. Digital Oscilloscope - The onboard Analog to Digital of the AVR Microcontroller was used to sample the input voltage and the waveform was displayed on the computer terminal using USART

  5. Displaying Patterns on a CRO - A Microcontroller with 2 attached DAC was used to control the electron beam in X-Y Mode to display any pattern of our choice.

  6. Electronic Dice - An Electronic Dice was made by using seven LEDs and the on board counters. The random nature of the time elapsed between two key presses by the user served as the randomizer for the Dice.

  7. Multi Counter - A counter which was able to count in binary patter or Gray code pattern or Excess-3 Pattern was made. The counting mode was selected by input from computer terminal via USART

  8. White Line Detecting Circuit – A circuit was made to detect a white line from a dark colored background.

We received an overwhelming response from the staff and students. The first year students were particularly enthusiastic in getting a first hand look at such projects. We told them how they could go about making such circuits. We promised to provide them help in the future for organizing such workshops and any projects that they may want to take up.

In all, the AVR workshop has been a pleasant experience and we have learned a lot from it. Thanks to Professor Gadre’s insight and experience, we were able to achieve more than we could imagine. Due to lack of space, we could only allow the fourth year students and the VESIT Robocon 2005 Team for this workshop. We hope to hold such workshop again in the future for the second and the third year students also.

Anurag Chugh

D16 04

Monday, September 4, 2006

lost my religion

What is religion?
- a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny
- an institution to express belief in a divine power

What is god?
The term God is used to designate a Supreme Being; however, there are other definitions of God.
For example:
Many religious and philosophic systems consider a God to be the creator of the universe.
Some traditions hold that the creator of the universe is also the sustainer of the universe (as in theism), while others argue that their God is no longer involved in the world after creation (as in deism).
The common definition of a God assumes omnipotence, omniscience and benevolence. ...

In brief , religion is a belief system and God is a symbol to represent it. How wierd can that be, you cant see or touch or smell belief.. and you cant do that with god either!
If God is supposed to be the symbol of belief then we should be able to see, touch, smell or atleast feel "him"

Many people believe that God exists.. others believe that he doesnt!

As for me... I believe he exists... he/she is the creator of the universe...
How can I prove his existence?
Simple, just because something exists, therefore there must be a creator, hence just because the universe exists, therefore there must be a creator... we choose to call him/her "GOD"

But my definition of god is rather limited. I just see him only a "creator".
And because god exists, hence there must be a God's God too!! (Hint hint: Stephen Hawking style!)
By limiting the God's role to only being a creator (and maybe an observer... the creation of the universe was his experiment and he is busy noting down the observations!)
I mean to say that man is actually the creator of his own destiny.

Consider the whole universe as a big experiment being conducted by an experimenter called GOD. Now for every event that takes place, GOD makes a note in his notebook. Every event could have been triggered by either of the two causes:

(1) GOD was being too curious, and that curiosity led him to interfere with something and that led to that event happening place

(2) The event took place as an outcome of the "natural" interactions between components of the universe
(by "natural" I mean the set of rules or mathematical model which forms the basis of GOD's experiment!). Man is a component of the universe.
(After thought: Woman is also a component of the universe (heheheh). We consider men and women to be the different sexes of the same species. But another way to look at them would be to consider them as two different species having a symbiotic relationship... they both need each other to flourish and "supposedly" prosper!.... for more on this read Dr. John Gray's Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

getting back to the topic..

Most people believe that (1) is the case with the GOD's experiment... GOD is just to curious.. and interferes just too regularly... so they try to attract his attention by praying and stuff... so that he would interfere in their lives and somehow make them happy! he would interfere not to make them happy but out of mere curiosity of knowing what would happen if such and such thing was done to such and such "components of the universe" (read men)

I believe in (2). The experiment that GOD has started is has features diverse enough that he doesnt need to interfere. All events happen because of the natural interaction between the components of the universe and GOD is kept busy just noting down the observation... he doesn't have time to interfere in its working!!

There is one funny aspect of this ridiculous theory of mine, most people believe in (1); and most of these people who believe in (1) also believe that ignorance is bliss...
So if you believe that ignorance is bliss and also believe that GOD can interfere in your life, then you must also believe that GOD is curious!

ignorance is bliss and curiosity... both opposite ideas!!!

my theory sucked anyway!

Coming back to deciding our own destiny, let me first reproduce here, one of today's top news story:


Sydney- Zookeeper, film star and environmentalist extraordinaire Steve Irwin died as he had lived: getting as close to, and personal with, Australia's most dangerous creatures. It was as if the zany 44-year-old showman had devised a way of death that both summed up his devil-may-care attitude and had an eye to how it would look on his tombstone: Speared through the heart by a stingray while diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

Irwin was a jumble of contradictions: an astute businessman who liked to pass himself off as a village idiot; a self-made man who actually inherited from his parents the money-spinning Australia Zoo on Queensland's Gold Coast; a nature lover who seemed obsessed with stalking and taunting wild animals.

Irwin was set up for a life of danger by his zookeeper parents. They gave him a python on his sixth birthday and by the age of nine had him catching deadly saltwater crocodiles with his bare hands.

Or, at least, that's the way Steve the charmer liked to tell it.

With the catch-cry "Crickey" and togged out in khaki shorts and shirt, Irwin won worldwide attention as the Crocodile Hunter. The television series boasted an audience of 500,000 and spawned merchandise like Crocodile Hunter dolls and led to a feature film.

He was at once shocked and delighted by his instant and amazing success as a filmmaker.

"It's insane, mate," he hollered at the Sydney premiere of the 2002 feature film Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course. "I'm bigger than 10 bears. I reckon you'd be pretty right if you said I'm the best known Aussie in the world."

When United States President George W Bush visited Canberra in 2004 Irwin was on the guest list for a barbecue at the prime minister's residence in Canberra. Characteristically, Irwin turned up in his trademark khakis to greet the most powerful man in the world.

The muscular bloke with the bleached hair and the ragged clothes had a penchant for exaggeration. Everything in his hyperactive world seemed larger than life.

He famously declared Prime Minister John Howard to be the "greatest leader in the entire world" - injudicious remarks about a political leader that raised hackles.

A knack for self-promotion and a business-savvy American wife led some to see him as having grown too big for his desert boots.

Said Irwin's business manager John Stainton: "It's what happens in Australia. You stick your head up and you've got 10,000 shotguns pointed at you."

Worse was to come for Irwin. In 2003 he was left defending the indefensible after cameras caught him feeding chicken to a hungry 4-metre saltwater crocodile with one hand while holding month-old son Bob in the other.

Pictures of a stunt performed in front of a paying audience at Australia Zoo flashed around the world and had viewers wondering whether the madcap bushman was simply mad.

Australians, in letters to newspapers and in comments on talkback radio, were universal in their condemnation.

Stuart Hastings, writing to The Australian newspaper, noted the logical inconsistency in Irwin's declaration that little Bob's life was never at risk: "If his baby was in any danger from the crocodiles, then Irwin was guilty of gross dereliction of his parental responsibility. If there was no danger from the crocodiles, then the whole of his crocodile feeding act is a fraud."

Irwin took on a much lower profile in his homeland after the episode with baby Bob.

He leaves a wife, Terri, and two children. Bob is now 3. His sister, Bindi Sue, is 8.

Sting ray gets its name from the razor-sharp barb at the end of its tail, coated in toxic venom, which the animal uses to defend itself with when it feels threatened.

Attacks on humans are a rarity - only one other person is known to have died in Australia from a stingray attack, at St Kilda, Melbourne in 1945.

"Stingrays only sting in defence, they're not aggressive animals so the animal must have felt threatened. It didn't sting out of aggression, it stung out of fear," Dr Bryan Fry, Deputy Director of the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne said.

"Steve came over the top of a stingray and the stingray's barb went up and went into his chest and put a hole into his heart," said the ebullient Irwin's longtime producer John Stainton, who was with him at the time.

"It's likely that he possibly died instantly when the barb hit him, and I don't think that he ... felt any pain," a tearful Stainton told reporters


Another great hero, lost! Yes I like to think of him as a hero! He was my kind of hero.. I would have given anything to be in his place! His passion for nature was and still is like a communicable disease. Just watching him on TV, one would feel like as if he/she was actually there with Steve doing what he did best: getting up close and personal with the wildest and the most ferocious... ok ok .. I know I sound like thepromo for The Crocodile Hunter!

But the fact is that its much too painful to know that he is gone forever! His family would miss him a lot!! The whole world would miss him a lot!

Why did i like this guy so much?? What was so great about his act? How was it any different from the guys who tried to break records buy swimming naked in sub zero waters for seconds?

Consider this... there is a beautiful and intelligent girl which is the most eligible bachelorettes of our time...
What would this girl think when he sees two men on TV:

One is the guy who is trying to break a worlkd record by swimming the ongest in subzero waters and the other guy is Steve Irwin who is trying to rescue a crocodile from some dirty marsh..

what would go on in the girl's mind?

"The first guys is probably stupid, what do I care about under sea swimming at sub zero temperatures?.. we are never going to do that!!.. and probably half of that guys' reproductive system might have got screwed by now after spending so much time in sub zero waters!... i dont want deformed kids!!

but look at this Steve guy, crocodiles apart, this guy is fearless and is quick witted. He has nice muscles and probably knows how to survive in nature.. If the ice age was nearing, I would probably marry the first guy... but before that happens, I think we would be under threat from our own selves .. some one would probably blow up an Electromagnetic Pulse Bombs... The ones used in the Matrix movie series to fry the electronics of any machine. (Detailed:
Very few people would die of such a bomb instantaneously, but its after math would be real bad... crippled economies, no food or hospital services, no electricity, no water supply... Skills of 95% of the worlds population would be rendered "ZERO" , Getting 90% in your university exam wont help you in dealing with things to follow, So I would rather go for Steve. He would keep me an my kids alive even when the industrial world crumbles under its own weight! We would flee to some forgotten of the cost of Australia and live happily ever after!".

Stupid hypothetical situations apart, the fact is that I really beieved in Steve.. So what if he fed a hungry croc with his baby on his side... Maybe I would have done something like that too!!... I am equally insane.. He had a passion ... a mad passion for nature... He lived that passion and thru TV made it possible for all of us to share it with him !! HE WAS A FOUNTAINHEAD!!

He lived life dangerously.. no he wasnt a fraud... he knew it was dangerous and that someday he would have to pay for it... he forced luck on his side and never got killed before until this once... stupid stingray...He is the only other person to have been killed by a stingray...

I believed in Steve for his passion. I believed in Steve in trying toshare with people his passion for nature. I believed in his craziness. I feel sad for his wife and kids... but they should be proud to be Steve's family. He and his wife Teri were a perfect match.. If you want to know the meaning of "MADE FOR EACH OTHER"... well they were it!

Today also happens to be the Birthday of my dearest friend Shomika. One of the most influential girls in my life. She could stay calm in all situations.. one who held her head high above her shoulders and had a courage which never faltered.

If all this about God, heaven and "afterlife" is true, then I have no fear of death.. because I know that I will meet my dearest friend Shomika on the otherside.

I learned a lot from Shomika. It was many days later after her that I actually came to know that she was gone.. I coulndt believe it.. more than 2 years later and I still cant believe that she is gone.. Whenever I pass near her house, I always rememeber seeing her standing at the bus stop every morning in her uniform waiting for the bus. I remember her too well. We both knew eactly what our friendship meant to each other. In that sense I dont have any regrets. But what I do feel sad and helpless about is the fact that I wasnt there with her during her last moments. And the fact that I came to know about this so many months after she was actually gone only makes it worse.
It was because of her that I could make my way through worst of the days.. I would remember how some people around her mad her life sickening for her... and how she dealt with it so smoothly..
I always thought if she could do it, so can I..
She was one of me role models... just like Steve

I believed in Shomika.
I believed in Steve Irwin.
I had ultimate faith in them.

They were a part of my belief system; my religion.
I lost Steve, I lost Shomika, I lost my religion.

Shomika was the first person to fill up my scrap book.. her is her entry:

Here is a pic of me and shomika at the 12th Std Farewell party :

Here is a picture of me, shomika and ayush s .. at the 12th std farewell party: