Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Made Indian ACM Ranklist

Was getting bored of writing php scripts for the cvitportal. So thought to make this site. It lists the top 100 Indians on the UVa acm site on the basis of number of problems solved. It is updated every hour unlike the one I told about here which has not been updated for months.
PS : PHP sucks.
PS1 : CGI Python rocks.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cool Firefox Extensions

These are the extensions that I use:-
StumbleUpon : I bet a lot of IIItians are using this. Its the best tool for passing your time :) For those who don't know - there is a site called which provides a service that lets you to random pages on the web that match your preferences. This extension provides a toolbar in your firefox that makes stumbling easier. When you install it you will be asked to register and your preferences(what topics you like). Then start stumbling!! As u visit pages you can click on "I like it" button to recommend that page to like minded ppl. Also you can press "I don't like" if you don't like. Using these two buttons enhances your prefernces and makes stumbling better customized to your taste.
VideoDownloader : This one lets you download videos from youtube, google video and many more. I know there are hacks that let you do those stuff. But this extension makes it so simple. Just one click!!
DownThemAll : A download accelerator and manager. Its good, supports multi-part downloads.
FlashGot : Lets you integrate your favourite download manager with firefox. I use it only on windows as FlashGet is my favourite download mananger on windows. They should make flashget for linux also. In linux I use DownThemAll(see above).
Tab Mix Plus : A brilliant tool for enhancing your tab functionality. I like its "restore last session" option and the "undo close tab" option. Restore last session opens all tabs and windows that were open last time. Undo close tab is obvious... but very useful.
FasterFox : Its supposed to increase the loading speed of your pages by tweaking certain network parameters. But I don't know whether it really works. I didn't find any noticable change in speed.
Delicious : It helps you integrate your delicious account with your browser. Bookmarking and tagging is so easy now. For those who don't know abt delicious - is a site that helps you organize your bookmarks.
Some themes:-
I am not the one who is too careful about how the desktop, browser,etc looks. The only reason I started using themes is to increasing the browsing space. LittleFox and Microfirefox are two(very similar) themes that reduces the size of your toolbars and buttons to make more space for the actual page. But then there is a price you have to pay. Looks are not so good. The designs are old and outdated. Seems it was made some years back.
PS: Went to Anti-reservation rally today. It was fun. Rally was very peaceful.
PS1: Have to seriously start our summer project. Till now we only wasted time.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Reservation - a different opinion

Till now my points were only against reservation. See my previous posts on this here and here.
But today a different point struck me. Though I am personally against reservation(as of now) but I would like someone to contradict my following point.
We all(almost) are opposing reservation with the main reason being that reservation in higher institution and at every stage of life(education,jobs,etc) is absurd. Rather, improving the education at primary and secondary schools is more important as it will automatically ensure that the BCs will perform well thereafter.
[Note : By BCs I mainly mean the BCs who are also economically weak, not the creamy layer. So, please don't bring the point that only some high-profile BCs will get the advantage.]
Now, my point - However cheap and better education govt. provides to the BCs(remember, also economically weak) the environment at homes of those poor souls won't be anywhere near to the ones that we IIITians have had. Govt. can provide free education or even free meals, but what about the study environment at home ?(better call it slum, not home, for most of the BCs). So without proper environment BCs can't compete with the non-BCs. If no reservation, then they can't get into good institutions like IIT, IIM and then they can't get good jobs. Their plight will be same as their parents. For their children, again the same environment. So this forms a vicious circle if there is no reservation, even if govt provides free education and free meals for all 3 times. Even if it provides free meals for all members of the child's family for all 3 times(not practical though), still, having a well-educated parents is a different thing. There are some who succeed ... like the story of a son of a rickshaw puller which is doing the rounds now-a-days, but thats very rare - you all will agree.

Now my real point- If we provide reservation at every level, that is, at school, at university level , in jobs, etc. Then few of the BCs will finally get a good job(though they may not be worthy). His financial condition will be much better than his parents. Also he will be much better educated than his parents, though not as good as the non-BCs who had the education in the same college. So now, his children have a much better environment at home. Now they can study nicely and might be able to compete with the non-BCs.
So providing reservation for a few years may be not be a bad idea afterall. But then their should be a strict law that the reservation will be scrapped after 'n' years. Otherwise no govt. will scrap the reservation later because of fear of losing votes.
Got my point?
Do correct me if I am wrong.
PS: Don't get emotional. Emotional comments and foul language is not allowed. Comment with a cool mind.
PS2: Don't pick a small statement from above and start contradicting it. Some small points may be little exaggarated. Comment based on your overall understanding of this post.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

IIIT ACM Toppers at UVa

The solvers of highest number of ACM problems on Uva site from IIIT Hyderabad are:-

RankNameProblems SolvedRank in IndiaRank in World
1Ankur Jaiswal21210989
2Manikandan Subramanian118232040
3Visesh Uday Kumar114252115
4Ankur Handa102292370
5Bharat Joshi92342615
Note 1: Some of these guys are continuosly solving problems(one is solving right in front of me). So the above data may change by the time you read this.
Note 2: The ranks in India are not absolutely correct. They have been derived from the old data present on this site.
Note 3: I might have mistakenly left some IIITians name while browsing through the ranklist. Please let me no if someone is left out. Also those keeping logins different from their name are ignored.
Note 4: Kudos to Ankur Handa for being in Top 5 as he is in ECE and not CSE.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Petr wins TCO 2006

No Photo
cyfra-7thJohn Dethridge-8th
These are the eight topcoders who advanced to the finals in the sequence of their ranks in the finals. Petr won with a very comfortable margin as he was the only person to crack the hard one. For more on exact scores, visit this.

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Going Home

I am going home on 7th May. But not for long :( I will be back by 15th. I am going for my sister's engagement. It would be so much fun... everyone will be present.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

TopCoder TCO ... and the usual boring life

Currently 2006 TopCoder Open(TopCoder's Annual Algorithm Contest) is going on in Las Vegas ... Yes!! you heard it right, in LAS VEGAS. Las Vegas seems a unusual place to host such a contest but thats the Topcoder's Way. I love it. To make the TCO fun for the unlucky ones like me who could not qualify for the finals, TopCoder selected 4 official bloggers through its pick me contest to bring the action live to us. Now one would ask what action is there to watch? May be to you and many others it doesn't sounds exciting but I and the whole topcoder community loves to see/read how their favourites among those who qualified perform. Their ups and downs, the way a room leader falls down during the challenge contest and another one rises. Yes, TopCoder's contest have a lots of thrills. Every second you will be worrying if misof or antimatter or petr is viewing your code and has found a bug and you are going to be challenged. Even if you pass the challenge phase you can still be awarded 0(zero) if your code fails the system test. And as in any other contest, time limit is there, so not just pass the system test but pass it in the time limit. In other contests like ACM ICPC and majority of the online programming contests once you get "accepted" your solution is perfectly correct. But in TopCoder its not, first pass the challenges and then the system test , and you get just one opportunity. I mean that in other contests if your solution fails you can debug and resubmit, but not in TopCoder.... thats the thrill. For more on TopCoder's SRM details , visit my earlier post.
Ok.. so I was talking about the 4 official bloggers of TCO 2006. They all are doing fine and posting cool stuff - with pics of Las Vegas and all. To read their blogs, visit this page.
I would paste some of the cool photographs from Las Vegas here:-
The topcoder onsite arena:-

A close up with Omgrace, one of the official bloggers sitting there. Isn't the desk cool?( and isn't the lady hot :P )

The BIG monitors to watch whats happening during the contest for the use of onsite visitors.

The tall misof(left) with other topcoders:-

UVa ACM solvers would also recognize him(and many more topcoders) as he is an Experienced poster there. He is two time ACM ICPC winner or finalist I guess.(I don't remember exactly whether he was winner or just a finalist. By just a finalist I mean he was atleast in top three atleast once.)

The Usual Boring Life
Now about the usual boring life. Ther is little non-boringness here. Today I found out about G. Anand and "she" (I was 2 days late in knowing this) . My first reaction was a kind of laugh, and don't care. But as I read the whole blog from Sept. 2005 to current day I understood what it really was. I am sorry the way I laughed at G. Anand in his room at him. We all made a mockery of him. But its real. Their story is no less than a normal movie love story. As I read all the posts one by one, I felt as a movie is being played in front of my eyes.

The CVIT Portal
We have done absolutely no work after our presentation on Monday. First of all, we were not too happy at being given a portal to eat our summer time. But anyhow we started and thought to finsih it quickly and move on to our real project Content Based Image Retrieval(CBIR). But as everyone says Prof. Jawahar won't let us finish the portal quickly. We made almost half the portal before the presentation and then we were asked to change everything. New features etc. had to be added. Next time we meet may be we will have to redesign it once again. I wish I was one of the TopCoder Design/ Development Contestant who could do these kind of things so fast.

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