Saturday, September 04, 2010

How long can you walk with your eyes closed?

You walk every day. On a sidewalk usually. In a city. Or in a narrow hallway of a building. Go there when its almost empty. May be its late in night or very early in the morning. Walk, and after a while, just close your eyes. Then come back and tell me, how long could you walk there with your eyes closed? 

Sociologists should do some experiments on this with human subjects. Might tell them a lot about the human nature; about our inhibitions, self-confidence, our risk-taking nature, and above all, our survival instinct. I wonder what will be the distribution of the time that people can walk with their eyes closed over a sample population. I find it hard to guess. On one hand, I think it could be that almost everyone falls in the same 5-10 second range. On the other hand, I don't know people. I only know me. It could just be that the brave ones can do it for almost half a minute (or may be more!!) and those who play it safe can only walk for 3 seconds? Who knows.

Me, I did 10 seconds once. That's my highest, and I almost hit the wall that day.

Friday, January 08, 2010

My Top 10 of this decade..

I didn't give too much thought to this. There is an article on hindu that listed top ten bollywood movies of the year and I stole the idea from that. And came up with my own list in 10 minutes. Might have missed a few... please remind me if you think I have.. :)

  1. Dil Chahta Hai
  2. Rang de Basanti
  3. Omkara
  4. Swades
  5. Sarkar
  6. Yuva
  7. Bunty Aur Bubli
  8. Darna Mana hai
  9. Saathiya
  10. Lagaan
A more interesting list is here, since I am an avid listener of bollywood music, and since music many a times defines a movie for me. But... err... I couldn't finish the top 10. Help me please.. Here they are.. the top 10 (7?) bollywood music albums of the past decade:

  1. Omkara
  2. Lagaan
  3. Rang de Basanti
  4. Yuva
  5. Saathiya 
  6. Swades
  7. Dil Chahta Hai
  8. ...

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    Facebook killed the blog

    I used to write blogs. Now I just update my status on facebook. Did facebook kill the blog?

    Wednesday, September 09, 2009

    Paul Graham:
    The main point of essay writing, when done right, is the new ideas you have while doing it. A real essay, as the name implies, is dynamic: you don't know what you're going to write when you start. It will be about whatever you discover in the course of writing it.
    So true.

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009

    German Tank Problem

    A very interesting estimation problem I stumbled upon:
    Suppose one is an Allied intelligence analyst during World War II, and one has some serial numbers of captured German tanks. Further, assume that the tanks are numbered sequentially from 1 to N. How does one estimate the total number of tanks?
    Read this guardian article for the interesting story about how this was a real problem in World War II and how the solution helped Allies win the war. Read the solution on wikipedia or this blog. The intuition is that the maximum of the 'captured' serial numbers as well as the number of captured serial numbers can be used.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Fullscreen Flash problems in Ubuntu 9.04

    Recently I upgraded from Ubuntu Intrepid to Jaunty (9.04). Things are great, especially the boot time (my computer boots consistently in 15-20 secs since the upgrade). But somehow since the upgrade flash videos on websites like youtube, hulu etc have had problems with fullscreen view. The video becomes seriously choppy when seen in full screen mode and the usual reinstall of flash plugins didn't seem to make it any better. This was quite annoying especially since this issue didn't exist in Intrepid (8.10) or previous versions of Ubuntu.

    After a bit of web search, I finally stumbled on the right solution. The solution, as usual, was on Ubuntu forms in this post and in here. In short, do "lspci -vv" and find the VGA output. Then find the right address to be added in the file /proc/mtrr. Apparently, the write-combining method of accessing the MTRRs has been affected due to a missing line in /proc/mtrr file. Adding the right range for write-combining lets the graphics card work much better.

    I followed this method. Find the 'prefetchable' memory range and substitute in the 'echo' statement to the file /proc/mtrr.

    And enjoy watching the daily show in full screen again!

    Thursday, April 30, 2009