The Futility of Surprise Tests

P.S. I had my masters thesis presentation today. I started writing this on 14th April, but of course I didn’t get around to publishing it. After a month and a half without a post, I don’t even think I can make a proper excuse. But I am done with college, and I am going to be free till the second week of July and there will be regular posts until then. (I am thinking twice a week. Forced-sort, so that I don’t have the choice to not write. Kind of like a short re-run of 100 days of writing. Enough blabbering, on to the post now)

Anyone who has been a student in India for more than 10 years will... Read More

Cutouts 1.0 and the convenience of monolithic frameworks


This graph shows the commits made in the cutouts repository over the past 1 year. I have been rather dormant the whole year on this project. In fact, the last time this project saw some heavy development was back in October 2016 when I was working on adding tags to the system and making it a better product that I could use.

The surge in development during February was right before the Metakgp Demo Day on February 15th. There were same gaping problems in Cutouts that I had never considered. And the main reason behind this was that there were no users except me. And I was using the application just as it... Read More

A Wildly Functional Digital Studio

I follow Casey Neistat. I have watched everything he’s made, and everything he continues to make. There’s one constant character in all of his work: his studio.

He has had the space for nearly 10 years now. And everything in it is outfitted exactly as he likes it. He never searches for things in his studio, he just gets them.

Hang on, this is not just a rave about Casey Neistat’s studio

I have been thinking about what the equivalent of a studio would be for a programmer. The studio is the home for all the tools that you would use in your work and life outside of work. That has got... Read More

Technological Unemployment - Summary of a summary

There is this approach to consuming information online. I don’t know what it is called or who came up with it. The approach is to look at a topic, write down the solid questions you would like to answer about the topic, consume the material about this topic that’s in front of you and after you are done, answer the questions that you had started out with. With several blogs (esp Slate Star Codex), this approach has helped me a lot. Especially because it gives me an idea about what I would like to know, what my presumptions / beliefs about the questions are before I read the article and am influenced by the author’s presumptions and beliefs.

Technological... Read More

2 weeks of Monochromacy

It all started with a tweet.

My phone is now two years old and I was looking for the next thing out there because I am bored with my phone and I really don’t want to buy a new phone. I am pretty sure this is the first time in my life I have actually not wanted to buy new hardware, even if I have the chance.

I like my Nexus 5X, but I had to do something to keep it interesting. Enter, Monochromacy.

Full disclosure: I... Read More

Pragmatic GoLang Workshop - Follow-up

As part of the Kharagpur Open Source Summit 2018, there was a Pragmatic GoLang workshop on 20th January, for 3 hours. Kshitij organized and ran it. By all accounts, it was a great success! He did a really good job with the slides and with delivering the workshop! The workshop was originally scheduled for 3 hours but it ran for nearly 4 hours, and people sat patiently and programmed alongwith him.

I was part of the team who was there helping him out with the doubts that everyone who came to the session had. These are some of the things I learnt in the workshop and some notes about GoLang for the future.

2017 Review of Podcasts

2017 was the year that I started listening to podcasts. It’s a new form of media and I am psyched to have taken to it. Podcasts seem to be getting more and more popular by the day, and I am really excited to see what happens to this format!

Vikrant Varma recently published his 2017 Review Of Books and this post is inspired by his post. I have been reading books and I started cataloguing what I read on Goodreads only a couple years ago. On the other hand, this is my first year of listening to podcasts, so I am aiming to build a much bigger collection of what I listen to as the years go by!... Read More

Year in Review - 2017

This has been a pretty good year for my blog, I think(??). Of course, the metrics that I use are rather subjective and might not bear even a semblance to the truth. In my head, 2017’s quick recap would definitely feature these things:

  • I started 100DaysOfWriting on the 18th of February. That was also my first post on the blog in 2017, and in almost a year!
  • SHA-1 was broken for the first time with some binary padding data, two PDFs had the same SHA-1 even though they were different!
  • I watched a little bit of Veep, but then gave up after the 4th season! Selena was just about to become president. I wish I could continue... Read More

What does "wrapping text to 80 columns" mean?

When you write a line of text that is really long, you can do two things. You can enter a “linebreak” or a “newline” after every few characters. Or you can not do that and let the line be as long as it needs to be.

“Wrapping text at 80 columns” implies that you have configured your editor to insert a “newline” after you have typed 80 characters on a particular line. The cursor moves to the next line.

Sample unwrapped text: Unwrapped text

Sample wrapped text: Wrapped text

The difference between these two formats might not be obvious to some at first glance. The unwrapped sample will look different on different screens. If your screen is really... Read More

NPM changes downloads-stats API and informs the world 38 hours later

There are two parts to this post. The first is about what happened, chronologically and the second part is about why I was so disappointed with this.

Note: All the times in this post which are not annotated are India Standard Time = GMT + 5.5

What happened?

  • Around 10 AM on 29th August, 2017, I was proof reading my resume and clicked on one of the links that I have there. I reached that page and realised that the number shown there was drastically low compared to the number that I already knew was the real one.

    I was surprised. The first thing that came to mind was that NPM had deleted the old data... Read More