Category Archives: Random/Personal

Random thoughts and rants

How I designed my wedding invitation

Well, as most of you know, I am getting married in a couple of weeks. One of the important things which I needed to do for my marriage was to print the wedding invitation card.

I am not that good at writing stuff that needs to be put on the invitation card, so instead I did what I do best. I wrote code ;) Yes both figuratively and literally :) Need proof? check the photographs.

My marriage Invitation

Code

After deciding that I wanted to write code, I had to decide the language. Initially I thought of writing an HTML document with tags. But somehow I was not convinced that HTML is a real programming language (okay, I am not here for a language war ;) ).

After giving some more thought on it, I decided to do it in JavaScript. It was also fitting that I do it in JavaScript, since I had been mostly a web developer through out my career.

After a few minutes I had the basic version. After a couple of revisions, I finally came up with this version.

Update: I have also posted an explanation of this code, if in case JavaScript is not your cup of tea.

Screenshot

After completing the program (which I nicknamed as the “program that changed my life”), I had to decide how to print it on the card. Navneet Nair, who works with me, suggested me to put a screenshot of my IDE with the code inside.

Even I liked the idea and that’s how I decided to take a screenshot of my IDE and have it printed as the card.

Vim/Vi

This was a pretty easy decision to make. I was typing the code in vim (macVim to be exact) and after trying out a couple of color schemes, I finally settled on the desert color scheme

Envelope

The next step was to design the envelope. I did a basic version in Photoshop, by picking up some quotes from the programmer Ryan Gosling meme and placing them in comic sans font :) I then asked Navneet if he would like to change anything. He looked at it and said that he would like to change everything ;) He then did a quick design in Illustrator with the quotes and it came out very well.

NFC

I wanted to increase the geeky quotient of my wedding invitation a little more and that’s when I thought of embedding NFC chips in the card.

I first heard about NFC in Google’s IO last year and first saw it in action at DroidCon organized by HasGeek a couple of months before. I got hold of the person who had a stall at DroidCon and bought NFC stickers from him. They were a little costly but added a lot of geekness to the invitation ;)

I then used the NFC Tag Writer Android app, to write a url on these NFC chips. If you tap an NFC enabled phone on my invitation, it will automatically open up a url which has information about my marriage, address and map to the marriage hall etc.

QR code

After doing the NFC stuff, I realized that most may not have a NFC enabled phone. That’s when I remembered about QR codes and generated one.

If I had time, I could have loved to customize the QR code a bit, but I didn’t have much time, so settled with the default one. You can find it at the back of the envelope.

Printing

After designing both the card and the envelope, I worked with a person from a print shop called PrintWorks who helped me get it printed. They were very helpful and delivered stuff on time and I highly recommend them.

Files

All my design files including the JavaScript source file are available at github. Feel free to use them for your own wedding (if you are not married yet ;) )

Credits

There are couple of people who helped me to get this card designed and printed. A huge thanks to all of them.

  • Navneet Nair, who works with me at Yahoo.
  • Swamy from PrintWorks
  • Kiran from hasgeek

Ohh, btw don’t forget to be present for my wedding ;)

Update:  The following are some of the words which people said after seeing my invitation :)

  • Amazing..
  • The geeket card ever..
  • Collector’s piece..
  • I am gonna frame it ..

Posted in Random/Personal | Tagged , , , , | 54 Comments

Looking back at 2011

2011 had been a great year and it just ended. I thought of publishing my year end review for 2011 as I did for the previous years.

Personal Highlight

Finally..

Well do I have to explain anything more? ;)

For those who are still staring at the picture, yes I am “formally” engaged now :) My marriage is going to be on Feb 6th 2012 (Just another 21 days to go)

Other highlights in 2011

Apart from the big personal update the following are some of the other highlights of 2011.

I started of the year by changing the permalink of my blog, had a most memorable day on top of a hill, released my first Arduino library, met my idol Doug for the first time in person, went to a couple of HackU events, released my gist-it WordPress Plugin, bought an interesting toy, created my pet bot Asimi, gave a couple of talks and finally experienced snowfall for the first time in my life.

Travel highlights

On the travel front I had a pretty good year. Following are some of my travel highlights

Blog Stats

The following are my blog stats generated by my Year End stats WordPress Plugin.

no-of-posts-2011 no-of-comments-2011

avg-length-of-posts-2011 total-no-chars

At the starting of 2011, I wanted to increase the average size of the blog post that I write and I have succeeded in that.

But, when compared with the previous years, I have written fewer posts. Getting committed, travelling places and what else you can expect ;)

With me getting married in 2012 I am not sure how much free time I will get, but I will definitely try my best to increase the count in 2012.

What’s in the card for 2012?

I am planning to spend more time on Android and Arduino stuff and also planning to enhance my pet bot Asimi. So expect some news about some cool projects. ;)

Well, from the personal front, I am going to get married in 2012. Not sure what to expect out of it, but I am eagerly waiting for it. It’s kind of really exciting to realize that you have finally found someone with whom you are going to spend the rest of your life. :)

So how was 2011 for you?

Posted in Random/Personal | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

My plan for December

Regular readers of my blog would now that I generally will be busy in December travelling. But this year, it’s crazy ;)

Here is an outline of my plan for December. You yourself can figure out whether it is crazy or not :)

I am leaving to Goa on 1st of December for team outing with my teammates and will be back to Bangalore on 3rd night. Then the next day (4th Dec) I am leaving to US on a Business trip. After spending two weeks there, I will be back to Bangalore on 21st Morning. That evening I have a party at office. And after that, my office is closed for forced year-end vacation in which I will be travelling again (even though I haven’t finalized the place yet).

Ohh, by the way, did I mention that I have two weekends in US and I am planning to go Las Vegas in one weekend and to New York in the other.

And did I mention that I am missing two other outings from office because I don’t have enough days in December ;)

Is it crazy enough :)

So if you sent me an email and if I haven’t responded back, then you know why :)

Meet you all in 2012 guys.

Posted in Random/Personal, Travel/Trek | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Looking back at 2010

2011 started off as a busy year for me and so I was not able to publish my year end review post for 2010 on time. Finally I have got some free time and without much delay, here is my year end stats and review post for 2010, which just ended.

Highlights of 2010

2010 has been an eventful year. I started giving talks regularly in local meetup groups, started having crush on CouchDB and then on Arduino, learned a lot of stuff about Android and even released my first app to the Android market, released a couple of WordPress Plugins and themes, together with a couple of RoloPress releases, created my first jQuery Plugin, consolidated all my code to github, bought a new bike and travelled a lot.

Time for some stats now :)

Number of Posts

no-posts-per-year

When compared with 2009, the total number of posts has gone. One important reason for this is that, I have been spending more time on stuff like Android and Arduino rather than writing posts. Hopefully this year, I will get some free time so that I can start writing more posts like 2009.

Number of Comments

no-comments-per-year

Like the number of posts, the number of comments has also gone a little low. Hopefully this year as I start to write more posts, the number of comments should go up.

Average number of characters per post

avg-length-posts

The average length of posts as stayed the same when compared with 2009. I am planning to maintain the same for this year too.

total-length-of-posts

Again, because of the less number of posts, the total characters that I have written in 2010 has gone down. :( Hopefully this should go up in 2011

What’s in for this year

This year I am planning to concentrate more on Scala, Android and physical computing using Arduino. So expect some cool and fun projects this year. :) Also I am planning to travel a lot this year, so keep a watch on my Flickr stream as well.

<shameless self promotion>I have created these wonderful graphs using my year end stats WordPress Plugin. If you run a WordPress blog then you can also generate these graphs by downloading my year end stats WordPress Plugin.</shameless self promotion>

Posted in Random/Personal | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Smart ways to rule the streets ;)

I have been pretty quiet on this blog for quite some time. It’s mainly because of my new addictions. First addiction is physical computing (more about it later). The other one is that, I have started roaming around the city with my new bike :)

New Bike

Ever since I moved to Bangalore, I was planning to get a new bike, instead of bringing my old bike from Chennai. As with anything I buy, I started my research and finally settled on two. Bajaj Pulsar 220 and Yamaha FZ-S. I test drive both and both were pretty good, but in the end Yamaha FZ-S won on the basics of exclusivity.

If you go to any parking lot, you can see hundreds of Pulsars, but only a few FZ-S and I liked my bike to be unique. :)

Yamaha FZ-S

Specs

You can check out the full specs of the bike from the manufactures site.

From my experiences so far

Pros

  • The bike is designed for being exclusive and to attract people – and it does it very well.
  • Complete digital display
  • Awesome road grip
  • Has an excellent self-starter. I have not faced any problem with it in the last 20+ days.

Cons

  • Mileage – If you want a bike which gives good mileage, then this bike is not for you. I am hardly getting around 35 Km/Litre of petrol. :(
  • Because of the shape of the tank, if you try to push the bike forward while sitting on it with your legs, you might hurt yourself.

Apart from it, I really like the bike and it has so far held up to its tagline – Smart way to rule the streets :)

Posted in Gadgets, Random/Personal | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

One year at Yahoo

On June 15th I completed one year at Yahoo and Bangalore.

I sat around to write about my life in the past one year and then I read about Derek’s experience.

Now, all you need to do is to replace *Sunnyvale* with *Bangalore, *Yahoo Hack Day 2008* with *Yahoo Hack Day 2009* and *Kansas City* with *Chennai* in this post and you will get my story ;)

Thanks to everyone at Yahoo for making this past one year as one of my best years and also for Derek for saving a couple of keystrokes for me. :)

Posted in Google/Yahoo, Random/Personal | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Consolidated all my code in github

I got introduced to Git and Gitbub by Yuvi and ever since I have been hooked up. I have started using it for all my pet projects. I even convinced Steve Bruner so that I can use Github for RoloPress. :)

Over the years I have released lot of code out in the wild and I thought of consolidating all of them in Github, so that it can be of use to someone who might need them. At last I found some time and uploaded most of them to my Gitbub account.

Below is the description of some of those projects which are currently there in my Github account.

Bright Light

Bright Light is the WordPress theme, which is powering up my blog. I have released it out hoping that it might be useful for someone.

Android Samples

I created this project to share my homework and the sample code used in the “Developing Android Applications in Java” online class, which I am currently following.

RoloPress core and RoloPress Default

These projects contain my contribution to RoloPress, a WordPress based contact manager. You can read more about WordPress from its homepage.

FeedBurner – stats

FeedBurner-stats is a Google Gadget which allows you to keep track of your Feedburner subscriber count. It uses Google Chart API and Google Gadget API.

Bloglines Notifier

Bloglines Notifier is a Google Gadget which will notify you the count of unread items in your Bloglines account. (Hope someone is still using Bloglines ;) )

Retweet

It is a fork of John Resig’s retweet script which I am using in my Easy Reweet WordPress Plugin. I have added a new feature to this script which allows you to associate the list of urls created to your bit.ly account.

Count Words

It’s a small Ruby script which prints the number of words (with their count) present in a given text file

Bulk unrar

It is a small Ruby script which unrars all files found in all the subdirectories of a director given in the command line.

I am still undecided about porting my WordPress Plugins from the official WordPress Plugin repository to Github. I guess it is better to have my Plugins in the Plugin repository for now.

Update (Feb-2013): I have now started to use github for my WordPress Plugins as well.

BTW feel free to fork any of these projects and I would be happy to pull in your changes if you have added some enhancements to them. :)

Posted in Random/Personal | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Turning 27 today

Well, it’s the day in every year, when you have to get loads of scraps in Orkut and wall postings in Facebook, emails from forums which you have registered with a couple of years back, phone calls right from 12 in the night and your phone keeps beeping about the new SMS. Yes today is my birthday and I am turning 27 this year ;)

Thanks guys for all the scraps, wall postings, emails, tweets, phone calls and SMSes. You all really made it my day today. :)

So like all these years, I am going to eagerly wait to face the surprises which life is planning to throw at my way. :)

Posted in Random/Personal | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Facebook knows where to look for me ;)

I was doing an ego search on Google and you can imagine my surprise when I found this ad as one of the sponsored result. :)

sudar-muthu-facebook

I know I am famous but was humbled to know that even Facebook knows about it. ;)

Posted in Random/Personal | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Look back – 2009

Well, without much delay (just 18 days compared with last year’s 56 days ;) ), here is my year end stats and review post for the year 2009.

Highlights of 2009

2009 has been a year of rollercoaster for me and a year full of changes both at the personal side as well as professional side.

I started the year with a trip to the operation theatre :) and then to Bangalore for attending Yahoo hack day, started having a crush on Google Wave, then changed job and moved to Bangalore and then changed my host ;) , participated in WordPress Plugin competition and then released a couple of Plugins (for which I got an excellent review from Ozh), and then had a break-up with TV (which turned out to be a very good thing) and then visited US on a business trip and then finally ended the year, by releasing RoloPress. ;)

Okay enough of self-bragging and time for some stats. :)

Number of Posts

total number of posts by year

Thanks to my break-up with TV, I got more time to spend with my blog, which can be seen from the increase in the total number of posts. The number of posts slowed down a bit towards the end of the year due to my travel and RoloPress, but on the whole, I am happy with the results :)

Number of comments

total number of comments by year

More than the number of posts, the one which gave me more satisfaction, is the number of comments. Last year, I said that I will try to engage more user activity in my blog and one look at the graph should say that I succeeded. ;)

Thanks to all those who commented, you really bought a smile on my face. :)

Average number of characters in posts

average length of posts by year

There is a slight increase when compared with the previous years and since things have worked out well so far, I am planning to continue the same this year too.

Total number of characters in all posts

total length of all posts by year

I have almost written (okay typed ;) ) almost double the amount of characters in 2009 when compared with 2008. This is really good and I hope to continue the same next year too. :)

What’s in for this year?

So for this year, I am planning to concentrate more on my WordPress Plugins and RoloPress and also planning to learn a couple of languages like Haskel, Scala and R. Let’s see how things turn out :)

<shameless self promotion>I have created these wonderful graphs using my year end stats WordPress Plugin. If you run a WordPress blog then you can also generate these graphs by downloading my year end stats WordPress Plugin.</shameless self promotion>

Posted in Random/Personal | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment