I announce cachevideos.com ( the official guide for caching videos )

I still remember when I launched saini.co.in in November last year. That was my first website that I owned and I came to know about things like hosting, domains and related things. This year, I am proudly launching cachevideos.com, which will act as an official website for my (now) popular squid plugin youtube cache. The website is drupal based and all I have done is populated the content, modified some CSS, installed some modules, themes etc. It took almost 1-2 days for building that website. Drupal is a real cool CMS if you want to build sites quickly. Will write a post about how I build that site sometime. A big thanks to Sambhav Jain for customizing the header image for the website using photoshop. And train loadz of thanks to SMR for providing fu**ing awesome hosting service at g33k.in. Will write a review about the hosting sometime soon.

My addiction for purchasing domain names is growing with time. I currently own 10+ domains just for the heck of it. Wasted (invested?) more than $100 in last one year on purchasing domains. I own the following domains currently.

  1. saini.co.in
  2. fedora.co.in
  3. cachevideos.com
  4. pixomatix.com
  5. fedoraproject.co.in
  6. fedoratube.com
  7. intelligentmirror.org
  8. suse.co.in
  9. cacheyoutube.com
  10. kulbirsaini.com
  11. iiitblogroll.com
  12. iiitbloggers.com

Hopefully I’ll stop purchasing domains and start working on putting content on them πŸ™‚


Internet != Anonymous

Learning of the Day : If you choose to use Internet that in itself implies that you are sacrificing your anonymity. Over the past few years, I tried to invent ways in which you can try to be anonymous, but every one of them had inherited flaws because after all everything has to flow on a wire which is not something you control.

Advice of the Day : Don’t post something as anonymous which you won’t if you were exposing your identity because it gets embarrassing afterwards. And I have personally felt the heat several times.


Post and Comment of the century

I was trying to sleep and somebody woke me up. I tried controlling myself, but almost shouted at him. Was retrying to sleep since last one hour, but failed miserably as usual. Woke up. Started browsing the regular sites and happened to check comments on my life blog. And saw a back link. Visited and read this awesome post by Sanrag Sood. I never read such stuff in my life. I am sure the guy is crazy/mad/whatever. Its a must read thing. For me its a post of century kinda thing.

Also, I was browsing comments on IIIT Post the other day and read this awesome comment by a guy named “very”. This comment is also a must read kinda stuff for IIITians. For me its a comment of the century.


Addicted to AOE once again

THE time when I say Microsoft rocks is when I play Age of Empires 2 with my friends on LAN. For the third time, I am addicted to Age of Empires. What a game!!! A brief overview of my addictions.

First Time : Sem 1 and 2

Before coming to IIIT, I never played Age of Empires. When I saw people playing AOE here in first sem, my first reaction was “What a crap game? How can you play a game like this? A lot of people/resources to manage and blah blah..”. I used to play all race games because of ease of playing. Just concentrate on your car and done!!

As a lot of people used to play this game all the time, I couldn’t stop myself from giving it a shot. But I didn’t know how to play. One fine day Ankush was playing AOE on his PC. I took a chair and just observed what he was doing. Then the other day he taught me few more steps and tips-tricks. And then started my gaming carrier with AOE. The next day I missed my English Literature (the first English class I missed) class because I was playing AOE.

And then I never looked back and played it for several hours a day. We started playing it on LAN by the beginning of the 2nd semester. We got a bit too serious about the game and managed to miss/bunk a lot of lectures just to play the god damn game. Workspace used to sound like a fish market “Ghode bhej … archer bhej … hathi bhej … gold de bhai plz … ek castle to bana de … “. Some people used to beg for the PCs to play. Luckily I had full control over my machine. There was a time when 3-4 games (with 8 players each) used to run at the same time in workspace.

We used to write mid sems in less than 40 minutes because we used to have plans for a game after the exam. And if we have 2 exams on the same day, an AOE game is sure between the two πŸ˜€

The extreme was when I started playing AOE even in my dreams. After end sems, everybody left for home. In the 3rd sem, I bought a desktop(which can’t be moved) and we didn’t get any lab and hence they killed my AOE carrier and hence the interaction among people. I loved the workspace life. I think I’ll never forget that holy place.

Second Time : Summer of 2007

A lot of friends opted to stay back in college during vacations. I was in BIRC (in main building) at that time. UG2 lab (beside server room) used to be full all the time with would be UG2 and UG3 students. Counter Strike and AOE all the time. Somani, Sachin, Ankush, Ojasvi used to play AOE a lot. I was a bit senti about Open Source and was busy exploring things. We used to discuss the good old time we had in workspace. And one day we planned an AOE game. I was damn excited. It was almost a year since I played AOE. I was wondering if I would be able to perform.

Then started another series of online games. Playing AOE. Night outs etc. I remember writing a post about the exciting summer 2007 dedicated to AOE. One day this guy Hitesh, from UG2K6 came down to UG2 lab. People say he is damn good at playing AOE. We wanted to give it a try and thought of playing with him. The game was FIVE VERSUS ONE :O Hitesh Vs. five UG2K5 guyz. Sounds unfair?? We discussed a lot of strategies to beat him. And then started the game. He very easily erased all of us from the map. I was like WTF!!! Somani was way depressed. Probably he was just a kid at the time. We tried a lot of strategies but couldn’t manage to defeat HITESH.

Well, we never played against him after that. Somani tried a lot even after that but in vain. We switched back to UG3 only mode πŸ˜› And played AOE for another 2 months or so. Vacations over, Game Over!!!

Third Time : Sem 7

Sachin, Atul, Sanket, Akshay, Manish “Sharma”, Ojasvi started playing AOE again since a fortnight or so. On lunch or dinner table, you can see them discussing night outs and AOE strategies. I didn’t pay attention to it. Four days back, I went to Sachin’s room and all of them were planning the next game. I wonder who and why said “Kulbir tu bhi khel na…”. I said “no no no no na .. nahin yaar ..”. I was afraid of getting addicted. But they kept forcing me and I agreed thinking that I’ll play tonight and will never think about it again. I played that night and played quite well.

Next night at about 1AM, I pinged all of them (why ?? :(( ) for playing. Everyone refused. But I was feeling restless. I couldn’t control myself anymore. After almost half an hour later, I got up and went to Sachin’s room and urged to play AOE. He and manish agreed for playing. Now I needed a laptop. I rushed to Atul’s room. He was sleeping. I woke him up and asked if he wants to play. He said, “NO!”. I said, “Gimme the damn laptop if you are not playing!!”. He gave it a second thought and immediately got ready for playing. Oh man!! Again the laptop problem.Β  I managed to get the laptop (thanks alok). We played up to 4:30AM. I felt a bit relaxed.

Yesterday night, everyone again got ready for playing. We five (sachin, me, manish, atul, akshay) were setting up to start the game that this guy Hitesh appeared. He wanted to play. I was a bit scared. But we decided to play. This time Five vs Two. Hitesh and one more UG2K6 guy and we five. The game started as usual. Me and manish was tower attacked by Hitesh. We had to run for survival. The game went on for almost 2.5 hours. A really hectic game. He was sweeping all my areas and I kept running. At the end we won!! Yes, we won!!!! OMG! The joy of winning the game against that guy can’t be expressed in writing. Then sanket appeared and said that he wants to play. Now it was five vs. three. Sanket, Hitesh and one more UG2K6 guy and we five. The match was pretty easy this time and we won without any difficulties. Sanket made it easier for us πŸ˜› Just kidding. We thought of playing another match. And yes we played it. And that was the easiest match. We won for the three consecutive times.

It was 7:30AM. Breakfast. Sleep πŸ˜€

I don’t know whats going to happen today. I am too tired.

PS1 : Ranta is back, probably to complete his B.Tech.

PS2 : Writing long posts these days.

PS3 : I am lost somewhere. I don’t know what I do all the time. At the end of day, I feel sad πŸ™


Three days with Fluctuating Internet

We had three days with totally fluctuating internet. The fluctuation was almost like a sine wave. Nobody could really figure out what went wrong and where the problem was.

NOTE : This post is not just another ‘masalla’ post. I am writing down the actual experience I had.

DAY 1 : August 26

All this started on August 26th sometime in the early morning hours when browsing speeds and the bandwidth usage touched the lowest levels in the last month. As I keep monitoring the bandwidth usage (bandwidth monitoring and download progress bars appeal me somehow for certain unknown reasons. I keep looking at progress bars when I download something. I just get lostΒ  in kind of dreamworld while looking at them.), I was surprised to see the low usage because everyone was in the campus and usage should touch the peak levels. It returned to normal after a short period of time and browsing was normal. But this pattern kept repeating itself. I went to attend the class. I returned at 11:30AM and rushed to server room to checkout whats going on. By that time server room was swamped by the phone calls from different research centers.

Nobody was actually able to figure out what was going on. All that we knew was that there was heavy broadcast from a segment on the network. We suspected it as the same problem which we faced last week. But isolating the problematic area is heck of a job and nobody was ready to check the network devices at the leaf level because of following reasons (1) It’ll take almost a day to check individual NIC in all the labs, (2) There is no security that problem will be resolved.

We took a tough decision of shutting down the network in entire problematic segment. This worked and network was fine. No fluctuations. But it proved out to be a wrong decision. We didn’t inform the people in the affected network (which unfortunately consisted of major research centers at IIIT i.e. CVIT, CDE, CVEST, LTRC (temp) etc.) and immediately we had to face the phone calls from HODs. One thing that I learnt from this situation is that Internet connectivity is equally important for everyone at IIIT including faculty members. Though we keep blaming students for being addicted to internet. Internet here is not an addiction, its a need. We had to re-up the network. And the rest of the network started fluctuating again. Everybody left for lunch.

As the time passed, the frustration among the users grew and everybody was almost shouting. Everybody wanted to know why its was taking so long to solve this problem. After lunch one of the admins went to the problematic area and started debugging at the individual switch level. But he faced a real tough time as most of the switches at leaf level are unmanageable (you can’t see any error reports unless you plug into individual switch). And we have a lot of switches (by a lot I mean a real lot of switches). And the switches are cascaded in such a dangerous manner that isolating a problem becomes way difficult. By evening that day we could isolate two research labs and three other segments which were generating heavy broadcast. We shut them off and everybody left for the day. There was a kind of blackout in those segments. No internet, no LAN.

During the night, I kept monitoring the network. A lot of people pinged and complained about the DNS resolution problem. Web pages were loading at a high speed but the name resolution was taking a lot of time. I tried looking at the logs and the traffic. Everything was fine except that the nameserver was swamped by the mail servers for name resolution. I tried a few hacks but nothing worked.

DAY 2 : August 27

I didn’t have any class that day. Admin XYZ called me at around 10:30AM and requested to come to server room if possible. I was sleeping and I hardly wake up at that time. But I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Got up quickly and rushed to server room wasting as least time as possible. I was in server room at 11:00AM.

Admins suspected some problem with proxy as the fluctuation persisted even after cutting off the problematic areas. By the time I reached server, admins switched over to the stand by proxy machine. And to get started from Zero, entire network except the main building was shut down. We waited for almost half an hour. Everything worked absolutely fine. No fluctuations at all. So, main building is fine.

At around 11:40AM, network was restored in all the hostels. We waited for another half an hour. No fluctuation yet. But hell lot of phone calls sensitizing the situation. Everybody including seniors members rushing to server room. We suspected some attacks from hostels on the server in labs. But we were wrong. The problem is in the library building. But where?

Till lunch time, no network in areas except main building and hostels. As the time passed, the issue became more and more serious. It became difficult to answer phone calls from senior members as the word “Heavy Broadcast” now became irritating for them. They were listening to this since last two days.Β  But nobody actually knew the exact answer. The origin of the broadcast was still not known.

Admin XYZ rushed to the library switch. Now XYZ was in live contact with admin PQR in server room and restoring the network in research centers one by one. Restore network in one research center, wait for half an hour. If no fluctuation, proceed otherwise revert back. Using this technique (this was the only solution), we restored network in all the centers except two. Connections to these centers also cascade to other areas. Complete outage in the two research centers. Everybody left for the day, leaving the two research centers in dark.

Network stabilized a bit. And fluctuation was not frequent (almost none). I monitored the network up to 2AM. Didn’t sleep because had a class at 8:30AM.

DAY 3 : August 28

I had a class up to 10AM. Rushed directly to server room after the class. We already narrowed down to a smaller region. Now the problem was smaller and there were lesser number of people after us. Admin ABC with a student was sent down to inspect individual switches. Thats the problem with unmanageable switches. You have to go and check each and every switch for any error messages. Anyway we kept narrowing down the problematic area till lunch. I left for lunch and returned to my room as I didn’t sleep during previous night. I don’t know what happened in the afternoon. I missed that πŸ™ At 6:30PM, I called admin XYZ and asked about the status. He informed that the problem has been isolated. Only two very small labs were left.

Three days and problem was still there. People were really out of control. Anyway network worked perfectly in other areas except those two labs. The good thing was that these labs were at the leaf level and they were not cascading connections further.

DAY 4 : August 29

I had a lab from 10AM-11AM. But it went up to 11:45AM. By the time, I reached server room, the problem was already resolved. Everyone was connected and no more complaints. Rawat sir updated me with a few decisions which are beyond the scope of this post. The problem was the routing queries from one of the ISPs connected to those labs at leaf level.

It really took almost four days to debug this problem. Debugging a network, especially debugging a network which is randomly cascaded, has more than one entry points, has no perimeter and has a lot of unmanageable switch is a real challenge.

Anyways it was again a learning experience for me. I used to blame people for not able to solve the network problems quickly. I just realized that its very easy to blame.

PS : Longest post on the occasion of bloggers’ day πŸ™‚


I need an Air Conditioner

Well, this is not really a want. This is my need. My room is damn hot these days. Why??? See the pics below.

Three Towers

Click the pics to have a clear look. I have these three machines which are continuously injecting heat in my 12×10 feet room. I can’t keep windows open to stop theft.

Dual Monitor

I am not sure if I’ll have a data center in my room by the time I’ll complete my b.tech. πŸ˜€

PS : If you have an old PC and looking for selling it, do contact me.


vacations and few learnings

Just a quick wrap up of happenings in last month before I leave for home.

1. Do what you want and never care what others have to say about it. example -> http://fedora.co.in/

2. Don’t ever think that you are perfect in your field. Nobody is perfect.

3. No machine (computer) in this world is secure. Only the switched off machines are 100% secure.

4. Talk less, do more.

5. Don’t underestimate anyone. You can learn from everyone if you are willing to.

6. Be a rebellion.

7. Go home when you get the f**kin vacations.

8. Try not to get flamed and refrain from flaming others as well.

9. Don’t reply to PMs for assistant when you are not the concerned person.

10. Switch on the vacation responder when you go for holidays πŸ™‚

I think thats enough. Leaving for home. Will be away from computers/internet for almost 20days. See you if I manage to survive πŸ™‚


Whats keeping me busy lately

Previous week was a bit more busier than I actually expected. I wonder why I have to attend a lot of meetings. There were 3-4 of them last week.

Constant complaints about wireless are killing and sometime frustrating. As rishabh pionted out “Become a sysAdmin at IIIT” as a never do thing. I don’t agree completely. But sometimes you get frustrated enough by the complaints and incompetence of your colleagues to say that. Keeping that apart, being a sysAdmin is real fun. You get to play with most critical servers at the place. You learn things that you will never learn in a course or project. (I wonder what we actually learn in a course πŸ˜› One thing I can immediately point out is the attendence management.)

Apart from above, I have been working on IntelligentMirror, my GSOC project and its sister project Youtube Caching using squid. I have achieved 100% youtube caching without altering the refresh patterns in squid. That means your squid will not malfunction and will cache youtube videos successfully and in a browsable fashion πŸ™‚ Going to release version 0.2 very soon. Working on caching Google and metacafe videos as well.

And last but not the least, sleep time has increased from 6-8 hrs to 12-16 hrs/day πŸ˜›

PS1 : This is the funniest post, I have ever seen. A must see for MS by research people πŸ˜›

PS2 : Also maruti has posted some nice crap πŸ˜›


I want reservation

Well, enough has been said about reservation by millions of bloggers and other people who express their views on Internet either by blogging or forums or any other medium. And most of the people ( the ones who fall in the non-reserved categories and the ones who think its not a good idea) have opposed it. FYI, I fall in OBC (other backward classes), but I never used this because I had enough talent to defeat the problems myself.

We (the IIITians), time and again boast of no reservation at this holy place. And I am also proud of this as this brings THE talent to our institute which makes it THE place that it is. You might be wondering why the heck I want reservation??

Well, recent happenings have forced me to think in a tangential direction. The increasing number of non-IIITians at IIIT is one of them. Right now at IIIT, ratio non-IIITians/IIITians is more than 2. Here, I count IIITians as all the students who came to IIIT under UG, PG (excluding MSIT, check this. It doesn’t list MSIT in IIIT’s PG curriculum) and PhD programs. My friends’ requests for rooms in OBH have been denied because there are no rooms left. Rooms allotted to my friends (they were about to shift in a few days) have been given to outsiders without even informing them. One fine day they came with their luggage to OBH and found out that their rooms have been given to some other people (non-IIITians). All BC spots (Coffee Shop, NBH main gate, playgrounds etc.etc…) are now over-populated. These are just a few things to mention. The people living in the campus right now, know them much better. All resources (bandwidth is the one about which I am worrying the most) are now shared.

All this said, I want some reservation in IIIT for IIITians. May be I am being a bit paranoid, but I am serious about whatever I said.