My Writings. My Thoughts.

Google Summer of Code 2011

// September 13th, 2011 // No Comments » // c++, code, google

google summer of code 20114 months back, got a confirmation of my selection in Google Summer of Code 2011. It was a good feeling(Atleast I knew, that I won’t be vella this summer). I had proposed to work on Opticks -a really wonderful remote sensing software originally developed by Ball Aerospace in collaboration with US Air Force.This was my first of its kind exposure to any remotely remote sensing application, other than the ubiqutous Google Earth.

My project was to make plugins for Opticks, implementing various photography post processing algorithms for RAW images. Getting a pure dev project in an interesting research area like image processing was pure fun.
The summer started with me having no idea about how to achieve the goal. The Opticks API was huge and the algorithms did not have any programmatic implementation over the Internet.Thankfully, I had the two coolest people to help me throughout the period – Kip Streithost(mentor) and Trevor Clarke.

It started slowly but soon, caught the speed. Coding nights and irc sessions at #opticks became part of daily routine. Though it may look like just a programming internship, it was more like a puzzle solving session. I was amazed by the capability of Opticks, this software is just great. Loved it more and more as I came to know it better gradually.

.Playing with pointers, manipulating images, stuffing research papers into one’s head were really tiresome yet the sheer joy of finished code always surpassed those.  The topsy turvy down schedule also introduced some new habits : like plundering the fridge at 3 am in the morning, watching late night sensational UFO news crap to kill boredom and above all, having good old 8 hr ‘short’ naps at 10 AM everyday.

Overall, it was a great summer to learn, to create and to enjoy too. And I also got my XBox too, so saved the world a couple hundred of times also..

A sample result of one of the algorithms I implemented:

My plugin in the Opticks Plugin repositoy: http://opticks.org/confluence/display/opticksExt/Photography+processing+tools

 

 

Jan Lokpal support rally @ Manipal

// June 4th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

*This post is coming really late than it should have*

 

I am there in blue, explaining something to Sahil

 

 

The Jan Lokpal support rally was organised by us on Friday, 8th April 2011. It was attended by over  200 ppl including not only students of MIT, but also people from KMC, MIC , Humanities Dept. of Manipal University.  Many senior faculties especially ex-Associate Director, Vittaleshwar Sir attended and supported the rally, who quoted over rally , “Nothing like this had has happened in Manipal for last 20 yrs, I wasn’t expecting anything big to happen over it. But I must say, looking over this huge crowd, I am happy to be wrong here.” Great motivating words, indeed.

The preparations for the rally started on previous Saturday itself, when there was hardly any awareness for Jan Lokpal bill in the media and twitterverse.  Shashank, Apurv and the few others who were following India Against Corruption introduced me to the concept of then to-be-proposed Jan Lokpal Bill.  I instantly agreed over it.
The planning started over carrying out the rally. The first and foremost objective was to create awareness among the people over the bill. Shashank really put his all over it, much more than we all did.

We jump started the movement from organising an awareness talk on Monday at KC. People flocked together, thinking that another Cultural club is organising some event. They were shocked to find out that it was  a voluntary movement over a national issue , without involvement of any club. Something which was totally unheard of in Manipal.  Still, some people showed interest and came forward voluteering themselves for the cause.

We started by wearing “I support Jan Lokpal Manipal” badges on our arm. Next day onwards, numerous people over different branches , different sections were wearing the  badges, telling others about it. Even I explained its cause when asked by various faculties.

It started with just 10 people wearing the badges, soon grew over to random people from all ages, all branches doning the anti-corruption badges.

By the time the day of rally arrived, we had a facebook group of Jan Lokpal Manipal having 600+ members, and volunteers in all the hostel blocks, and rally posters in every corner of MIT.

When the day of rally arrived, I had random people, including girls, coming to me, enquiring the time and place of rally as they want to attend it to show their support. I saw juniors who used to discuss Sachin, Sehwag , explaining Jan Lokpal Bill to each other. Things were looking really promising.
And it happened, we started the rally from X block with Block chhodo aandolan.  People joined in, we reached the common point Kamath Circle (KC).  Groups of people from KMC, MIC, MU etc. joined us from there. The event at KC was covered by CNN-IBN and other media like TOI. The huge crowd shouting support to Anna Hazare finally reached the Academic block where we had already organised a letter writing campaign . People wrote letter to PMO and added stamp money to it, and gave it to us. We had over 200 letters in this process. The environment was overwhelming. Inbetween, the news of Gov. agreeing over Anna’s demand came when I was telling about Jan Lokpal Manipal fb group to the people. The  reaction of everyone, including me holding the mic, was shock mixed with happiness. People started hugging each other, shouting, singing over tunes of Vande Matram playing in the background. Later we specified that it will go on till finalised and if needed , we shall hit the road again for the national cause.

A friend of mine, Sahil, said after the rally, “for the first time I am feeling that I did something for my country” . I couldn’t agree more . For the first time I realized, I am part of THE youth people talk about and it’s the youth which can change our country.

More pictures at : Jan Lokpal Manipal facebook group

 

What to expect and what not to….

// March 17th, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

All hail the mighty readers,

As one can see I have started(or resumed after a BIG break) blogging and this time I have my own domain \m/. Now, the dilemma which bugged me for a while was that whether to shift all my previous blogposts to this new address or not? This was a tough call, but I ultimately decided that let there be a separation between old and new. The old posts will remain where they are and new posts will be posted on this address.

Anyways, one can always access the old posts at : http://pratik3d.blogspot.com

__Now, coming to the point on what to be expected from this blog.

This blog is a vent of my ever-wandering mind with posts on ideas ranging from simple game of cricket to bizarre psychedelic philosophical thoughts with HEAVY doses of sarcasm.

Occasionally, posts on current affairs, new gadgets, my tech projects, bizzare acts , internet memes, historical incidents, books  and ofcourse movies  will be posted and much more. Topics will for mere mortals like you and me , and I nothing society changing or ground breaking truths would be revealed here.

__What not to expect from this blog:  None. Everything is possible here. Though bullshit/crap is a strict no no.

__Disclaimer: The author is not responsible for any kind of action based on articles posted on this blog. So, if you decide to jump off the roof after reading my post, please don’t blame me. Also, because of heavy doses of sarcasm and witty humour , some posts may have more than one meaning. So, it is requested that one should first get it clarified by the author before getting offended.And ofcourse, healthy criticism and discussions are welcome.

PS: No social responsibilities intended and none will be reflected.  >:-)

Rest is cool,

Happy Reading…

PRATIK

Hello world!

// October 8th, 2010 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

42. Or should I say , I answer to life, universe and everything else. As you must’ve guessed by now, I am a big Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan. Though, this is not about it. It is about the first post of my blog, which is always Hello World which we always used when trying out a new langauge.  Well, this a whole new language too. Blogging is a way to express your ideas to the viewers. I was never into blogging except the technical stuff, but it is all gonna change now.  And I am keeping fingers crossed for it….

iPRATIK – the Twitter web app

// July 7th, 2010 // 4 Comments » // code, linux, php, twitter

After coming home in the college vacations, I faced with a shocking truth. My parents were going to US to meet my sis and me, being the worst timing champion, was having his internship in the same period. As a result, I DID NOT go.
So, they went and I was left in a lonely home, with crappy food and alternate day office routine (currently dong internship in Huawei).
Plenty of free time I can say, so decided to work on a twitter app. And the result is iPRATIK. It can send as well as show tweets from your twitter account as well as lets you see the twitter info of other people too.The best thing is you can access it from anywhere,regardless of what OS you are using or whether you are accessing from a pc or a mobile.It just works.
It is coded entirely in php using curl .It is powered by OAuth library by Abraham Williams. And while coding it, I was powered by recurring sessions of maggi and pizza.

I am still pondering over the licensing issues. The api being in MIT/X license and I intend to release it under GNU/GPL v3. It actually sparked a flame war over licensing topic in lug-bombay mailing list :D
Now, why such a name?
Well, iPRATIK was just chosen as test phase name because Steve Jobs was going haywire at that time over the new iPHONEv4(he still is, btw). Later, I decided to go with it.

now, cutting all this crap here is the link to try it yourself :)
http://pratikanand.com/ipratik/login.php

and here is the source code:
http://github.com/pratikone/ipratik-twitter

Preview of my twitter web application I have been working for... on Twitpic

Future plans ??
Yaa, sleeping and eating at first. Later, I may further develop it and port to mobile platform.Till then , it’s all peace and pizza.

Mozilla Campus Representative

// March 15th, 2010 // 2 Comments » // computer, digital life, firefox, manipal


It all started when I was helping a friend in her class demonstration on network intrusion (i.e. hacking). In discussing things , somehow we came to topic of firefox addons and voila, she didn’t know what they were even though she had been using firefox for more than a year. Later that day, I asked few other non-geeky fellows if they know about firefox addons, they were clueless like anything. I realised that though people have started using better browsers like firefox,chrome , they are unaware of the difference or why they should switch from IE. They are unaware of the plethora of things one can tweak to make his browsing experience from OK to AWESOME…or can increase the ease in browsing things or organising stuff like bookmarks..

So, I decided to join the Mozilla Campus Rep program to spread the news about firefox and mozilla in my campus and make people aware of the fact that how much their surfing experince can be enhanced.

It’s a new path to light, away from the shadows of ignorance which I have decided to tread, lets see how well it goes.

keeping fingers crossed, ;)

Pratik Anand
Mozilla Campus Rep
MIT Manipal
Spread Firefox Affiliate Button

MagMIT

// January 14th, 2010 // No Comments » // code, computer, manipal, php


Last semester, I got an offer from Nitin, Editor of the College Editorial Board to design a website of it. They wanted the website to be the social interactive portal of the college. The previous website, despite being colourful was bulky and lacked much efficiency. Hence, I teamed up with Karik and we started making the site. After 3 times of design changes and code re-writings ,we finally got the node.
The current website is very light and has streamlined design. Whatsoever be the condition of college wifi, the site opens up on a mouse click. To our relief , the site is being well-appreciated everywhere. Though, this is not the end.We still have to make it power-packed.

Long way to go….
here is the link www.magmit.com

Play Them All : My media player project

// December 8th, 2009 // No Comments » // c++, code


PlayThemAll is the media project player project created by me to build a light-weight media player which can play almost all popular audio formats. Its UI should be simplistic enough to get the operations done easily. It is coded in GNU/C++ using Qt libraries and uses Gstreamer for playback capabilities. It is my first Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Project. Supported platform is debian based Linux systems (tested on Ubuntu 8.04, 9.04).

Future additions:

1. Platform-independence (so same code will run on Windows as well)
2. Playlist support of popular media players like WMP, Winamp and VLC
3. Video playback support
4. Drag-n-Drop capability

More suggestions and ideas are welcome.

Project hosted on sourceforge http://sourceforge.net/projects/playthemall/

It is under GNU/GPL i.e. you are free to use and re-distribute its source code.

Taking the nerd test

// October 10th, 2009 // No Comments » // geek, humour

Yesterday I stumbled on a website which takes test to prove your geekiness. Well, had some free time and much more of curiosity ,so took the test. Here is the result.


My computer geek score is greater than 84% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Looks kinda simple, eh? There were whooping 100 questions and some of very good quality.
Take one yourself..http://nerdtests.com

First bash-python script for ION access

// October 8th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // code, computer, manipal


It was all running well.When suddenly soon after midnight , it stops. Yes, all mitians know what I am talking about.Its the same strange restriction of ION to cutoff wifi access after 12:30, leaving us all in frustration. But there a privileged few whose IDs work at night. But they guard them as a great secret and rarely such id comes out in public. But when it does, it indeed attracts a whole bunch of users to use it. Ultimately ION detects the heavy data usage and blocks it down. Then again wait for new id to surface.

This was the situation with me too. It all started one night when my “painfully” acquired night id got blocked right at the moment when I needed it most. Anger and frustration started emerging. Suddenly, with a flash of light an idea struck to me : Why not make a script to find all the working night IDs. It will take ION ages to close them all down. So, this is how the work started.

A plan was made..the time was less..sessionals were about to start…something had to be done quick and perfect. So , me and harry teamed up together to do it. We started learning BASH scripting and started applying our existing knowledge of python. With much of sleepless nights and morning brainstorming sessions, within a week it got prepared. On the first night of its trial run, harry felt asleep :) . So it was all upto me, I closed all apps, re-connected the connected , fired the terminal ,typed the script path and ENTER. Voila! it started working, almost flawlessly. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was our one serious effort of solving daily life problem using programming. It felt greattttttttt. And know what? the no. of ids it gave in trial run: 150+

Here is the screenshot of how the script looks. Though it is not of the original script (for security reasons.)