Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shiny new thing

Something to do with trains.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008


That's my running number for the Mumbai Marathon 2009, to be held on January 18th. I will be participating in the half-marathon.

Now, what? I hear you say. Half-marathon???


In the first week of July this year, desperate to get into shape, and running out of ideas on how to get there, I had this strange thought of maybe running the half-marathon in Mumbai. There was enough time, and practicing for a 21 kilometer race would definitely result in a good bit of kilogram shedding.

So I decided to check up a bit more about the event, and what was the very first thing that I discovered?

Online registrations opened the very next day!

Now that was something, and being a generally impulsive person, I decided to go for it.

Not much practicing has happened since then (rather a good bit of flab accumulation has been taking place). But I got my confirmation mail today (alongwith the running number), so I am all fired up all over again. This is my most ambitious shot at good health and fitness till date. Hopefully, I will be upto the challenge when the day comes.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I have been trying to make a train reservation online for the last three hours. Couldn't. Just couldn't.

Here's the problem: half the time, IRCTC doesn't work. During the other half, ICICI gives me a "Your session has expired" message after entering a gazillion different passwords and grid numbers.

And the cycle repeats itself. I can't even go back to the train search results and book from there. I have to enter fill the damn search form again, and again, and again.

Hopefully, the future will be bright someday...

Update: Found the solution to ICICI's "Your session has expired message" problem. If you are using Firefox, restart your browser and try again. It should work fine now. Don't know if it works that way with other browsers, though. Thanks to Saurabh for pointing this out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Over a weekend.

Maybe I should get a life.

(And the last half-hour was wasted on 1. wondering whether to post this or not; 2. thinking up a punchline, taking the screen grab, and publishing the damn thing.)

(And an hour after posting it, I am still editing this post. I should probably also stop thinking so much.)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Announce: cl-bzip2 0.1.0

Last Saturday I released version 0.1.0 of cl-bzip2. The project is hosted at common-lisp.net. Its homepage is http://common-lisp.net/project/cl-bzip2/.

cl-bzip2 provides Common Lisp bindings (via CFFI) for libbzip2 — the C library for bzip2 compression/decompression. It provides an easy to use Lisp inteface for the same:

;;; Compression
;;; No values are returned if execution was successful
CL-USER> (bzip2:compress #p"test.txt" #p"test.txt.bz2")
; No value

;;; Decompression
CL-USER> (bzip2:decompress #p"test.txt.bz2" #p"test.txt")
; No value

;;; Using binary streams
CL-USER> (with-open-file (in "test.txt"
:direction :input
:element-type '(unsigned-byte 8))
(with-open-file (out "test.txt.bz2"
:direction :output
:element-type '(unsigned-byte 8))
(bzip2:compress in out)))
; No value

Hope someone finds it useful. If you have any suggestions for the Lisp API, please let me know (or drop in a mail to the mailing list).

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