PNR Trail

Get PNR status on your email id at regular intervals.

Just send a mail to pnrtrail@gmail.com with the subject as “<PNR Number><space><Interval at which you want the alerts>”. The email body is ignored.

For eg. A mail with subject – 1234567890 3h – will provide you alerts at 3 hours interval. The intervals can be simple integer (understood as days) or integer suffixed by “h” or “d” for hours and days respectively.

Update:

  • Only your latest mail will be entertained. So, if you want to change the interval, just send a new mail with the new interval, eg. 1234567890 2d and the alerts will start showing up at 2 day intervals. The older mails with that particular PNR will be ignored.
  • You can stop the updates by sending <PNR Number><space>STOP.
  • The case of the subject does not matter. ‘Stop’ is same as ‘stop’ is same as ‘sTOp’. Similarly, ’3H’ is same as ’3h’.

EuroSCORE II Excel Calculator

I was looking for the EuroSCORE II calculator for one of the projects I was working on. There is a javascript calculator available on http://www.euroscore.org/calc.html, but I wanted an excel one. I could not find it, so I made it. If someone else needs it, here is the link: euroscore2.

All the value fields are editable and the remaining sheet is password protected to disallow any unintended edits. Still, if you want to do a knowledgeable edit, the password is ‘euroscoreii’.

The calculator is based on this paper: http://ejcts.oxfordjournals.org/content/41/4/734.full (freely available).

 

PS: EuroSCORE is basically a mathematical model based on certain parameters to predict a probabilistic mortality rate of a heart patient. It helps in surgical decisions.

My Sakhi!

My tablet is my best friend. We don’t share just moments but share our life together. We are the best buds forever!! That is why I call her Sakhi.

As most of my friends, I am friends with her because I somehow got to know her and am now stuck with her. I sometimes think I should get rid of her. But thank goodness, I realize its several uses soon enough to decide to hold on to her.

Every day, my morning starts with her. She works as my daily alarm. My mother wakes me up by knocking me on the head with her. I love that physical connection. It has finally helped my head get into the shape that I always desired, an egg. At least I am happy that I don’t have my nokia stone-phone, otherwise I would have had so many dents in my egghead. But now that I remember, the stone-phone never had to be used as a physical alarm. It had a very irritating feature called ‘alarm clock’. Pff! uncreative Nokia. Obviously, they had to fail. So this feature rang a pesky tone that woke me up in the wee hours of the day. Hesitatingly, I tried to use a similar ‘app’ in my Sakhi but her polyphonic audio was so low that I always felt as if I am trying to watch a porn in my room without headphones. Now who would want to wake up in the middle of that?

Anyways, so when I wake up, the first thing I do is brush my teeth. After all, I was told that it’s the first pointer that an Adarsh Balak should follow. I love how my tablet helps me even in such trivial tasks of life. She acts as a brilliant mirror. When she was new, I could use both of her sides. Alas! now one of the sides is so scratched and worn out that I can only use the shiny metallic back. But I have no regrets, for it is definitely better than The Best a Man Can Get.

My Sakhi also acts as my health Guru and aerobics trainer. She is the best frisbee I have ever seen. You don’t believe me? Ask my dog. He is such a great fan of the tablet that sometimes I am afraid that if my tablet were truly a woman she might have picked the dog for her husband. I mean my dog even licks his milk from her, thanks to her innovative saucer curvaceous design. I too tried it once, but I did not like how the cracks in the screen were cutting my tongue. I then reluctantly decided not to compete with my dog.

But just to ensure my hold over her, I take her with me to the office. And what an amazing advantage she has! During the commute I can so easily avoid the traffic with her help. At a signal, I throw her out of my car, in a pretty laptop bag. All the people near me flock towards her and I cruise on the road with an Obama-esque feeling. Thank you dear! And when I come back, I reclaim her from the trash can closest to the signal!! The bag would be gone though. I don’t care about it. My beloved, raw and undressed for me, is exactly what I need after a hectic day.

ImageMy beautiful beloved!

But today I am very sad. People are hell bent on throwing a Yoga tablet in my lap. Now I will have to do all those useless things that others keep doing morbidly, and keep talking about. Things like facebook, checking mails, reading news, typing like a ninja, browsing all those uninteresting reddits and lifehackers. I also will have to put my brand new laptop into the closet. Why did Lenovo put so much power in a tablet? Have they lost their minds? But I don’t care about my laptop. I don’t even care about my 40k phone that I so often use for things other than calling, like trying out new themes and icon packs, or beta testing new apps. So, if Yoga forces it to go obsolete, so be it. But, I care about Sakhi. I have assured her, she will still have the same place in my life. After all, Yoga doesn’t even have a single use that my Sakhi has. It can only do useless things to help me barely complete some trivial chores of my life. My Sakhi…. even entire WordPress is too small a database to store the adjectives that I have for her. She will be my BFF! Love you Sakhi! Yoga can at the best be used as a servant, though a skillful one at that. (That’s the only line of appreciation it will ever get. Suck it Lenovo!).

—–

A post for #BetterWay contest by Lenovo, at IndiBlogger. You may like it there if you want :)

Nexus 4 and more!

I use rooted N4 with PA Rom and Joker kernel. Joker has given the biggest smile to my battery. And believe me, I have tried almost everything that’s out there.
In Roms though, I have been on PA right since the beginning… I love the hybrid feature too much to leave it for any other rom.

So my personal prefs:
Screenshot_2013-05-16-13-15-29
1. Extraaa Space: I use expanded mode. But I wanted the notifications to be seen easily. So I have two extra ways to pop up notifications from me (apart from in the pie):

a) TabUI mode in PA: Multiple ways to have notifications is only supported in the Tablet UI mode.
b) Apex Launcher (Free): Set up a gesture for ‘Show Notifications’.
c) I use LMT launcher for and extra added notification.

2. Apex Launcher:

I use 3 gestures:

Swipe Up: Show Notifications
Swipe Down: Toggle Dock
Double Tap: App Drawer

And after these, I don’t need the app drawer icon as well (as you can see in the first screenshot)
Screenshot_2013-05-16-12-27-04

I have decresed the icon size of the dock items and drawer items as well. The icon pack is Holler wht.

3. LMT:

Screenshot_2013-05-16-12-42-34

I did not want to use it since I already am using Pie. But LMT has some cool options. As you can see in the screenshot, my LMT pie is quite minimalistic:

Button 1 is Notifications (Longpress-> Menu),
Button 2 is Back (Longpress -> Home), and
Button 3 is Recent Apps (Longpress -> Previous App)

The main reason for me to install was the lack a quick back gesture in PA’s Pie. With LMT, I simple swipe from the center of the right (or left) border activates button 2 (ie Back). It is the height of awesomeness. Though what I would love is Pie to have similar functionality, probably a swipe in the screen bottom for Back, but it may not go well with sweep2wake.

You can have many more buttons and settings on LMT. Try it!

4. Dashclock widget

Well, it is already a heartthrob of many of us. But it lacks customization. We should have an option for the font sizes and control over which components we want to see in the side (only the icons) and which in the bottom scroll view (full text).
Anyways, it was too big for me, so I changed it’s hybrid properties. I am using 220 dpi for the widget. I had to remove and reapply the widget after changing the settings.

Note: Halo is another way to get notifications in PA, but I do not like it in it’s current stage because of two major reasons:
1. Does not work fully with TabUI. In other modes, either I need to have a status bar, or rely only on Halo.
2. Relying on Halo solely does not serve my purpose, because when I come back to my phone after say a few hours, I need to see all my notifications at once without trying to swipe through the entire screen.

Hope you enjoyed the show (and tell!) 

Xubuntu/Ubuntu 12.04 on Samsung NP530U3B (NP530U4B)

1. I installed xubuntu on the 10gb partition of ssd (expresscache). I use windows as well, mostly because of the lack of three finger support and suspend, as of now. I haven’t felt any performance decrease (windows) by the absence of expresscache.

I also use windows bootloader with a bit of help from http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/05/17…and-windows-7/ because of the grub issue.
I keep home and var on a hdd partition and tmp on ram. See: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show&#8230;.php?t=1627197

2. The overheating and battery issue exists originally because of bad default kernel options.
Heating can be fixed by enabling active state power management and battery issue can be solved by the specific i915 options from http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag…15_power&num=1

In short, what @sacapeao did -
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”pcie_aspm=force i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 i915.i915_enable_fbc=1 i915.lvds_downclock=1″
in /etc/default/grub.

Also installing jupiter helped. http://www.webupd8.org/2012/03/jupit…itches-to.html

3. The suspend doesn’t work by default. It works perfectly fine by following the step 2 of http://thecodecentral.com/2011/01/18…ot-working-bug

4. The touchpad doesn’t have three finger option. touchegg doesn’t work (segfault). It seems to be a known bug and I hope it gets rectified soon.

5. While partitioning, I had to shift my recovery partition and in the process I have lost the use of my F4 recovery key. I intend to reclaim it and am in the process of finding a solution.

Any help with the touchpad or recovery is welcome!

Chrome quick start up and Nice Google Talk

Many of you would be wondering why chrome startup gets delayed with time. Sorry, I do not have an answer to that. But I know of a way to make it start super quick by keeping the processes running even when you close the browser.

Well, this is not new. Its done by using background apps (that keep on running in the background even when chrome is closed). We have been doing it since at least a year or so. But some of us, like me, did not have a good useful extension to run as a background app. Now we have. Chat for Google. It solves dual purpose:

1. obviously, the chrome quick start.

2. a great gtalk app. better than the google talk software, because it has gmail notifications, invisible mode, os independent and all those beautiful features google lab edition used to have, which sadly has stopped working since last few months.

Yes it hogs up some memory and resources, but who cares nowadays, with everyone having more than 2 gigs of ram. Still, in case someone does not want to run this talk app in background, he/she may uncheck the option in chrome://settings.

The disco leading to the fiasco

There have been a myriad of articles and interviews and protests and sibal-antes across the news/views. I too start by a PJ:

When at Harvard, people used to call Sibal, ‘KhaPill SeeBail’. The name has come to life and he has been eating bitter pills and facing quite a few oxen everywhere since his last few decisions.

Though I personally agree to the basic premise that the stress can definitely be reduced if there were less examinations to give. But I strongly disagree with the procedure followed – forcing one examination.

First a look at the myths (as discussed by the media).

  1. School education is good.
    Seriously? LOL turning into ROFLMAO.
  2. Coaching institutes are bad.
    Coaching institutes are currently a good supplementary education system which is far better than the normal schools. School teachers are merely BEds or normal graduates. Coaching teachers are mostly B Techs and many of them are ex IITians, all with professional training.
  3. Emphasis on boards will make the students take schools seriously.
    - Schools are still taken seriously. Its the schools that have to take the students seriously.
    - Extra emphasis on the non science subjects. Why should I take literature seriously if I am not interested? I was never good at History/Geography/English. Still I cruised through JEE. Future generations won’t.
  4. The transformation will be nice and easy.
    - The emphasis of Board results will mar the system. At present, standardization of board marks is too tedious a task to be easily achieved within a year. Yes, IIMs have tried to do that but everyone knows it does not work.
  5. The system is better for students.
    - Firstly, board results, specially after grade systems are too convoluted to give a clear picture. Everyone gets a 95% so easily these days. DU cutoffs go as high as 100%. Yet, a general student will feel happy. Great thinking!
    - Another major drawback of this system will be the forced connection of one’s past with the future. I strongly believe that everyone should have sufficient chances to mend his tardy past. JEE used to be one of the best ways (as is Civil Services) where students with evn 70% (in CBSE) managed to enter.
  6. Coaching industry will go down.
    Coaching institutes already have ties with schools and are going to start classes for no science subjects as well to help students get good marks at boards as well. This means an enlarged market. I totally agree to Sanghi Sir’s view that coachings will die only if schools learn how to live.

Also lets have a look at a few more cons of the current proposal (which probably the media missed):

  • What will happen to the repeaters, esp. since there are a lot of third attempters in AIEEE? I don’t think anyone has clarified their position throughout the discussions.
  • How will they normalize state boards? There is no foolproof method available as of now.
  • What will happen to the different state exams? Will they be forced shut down? If not, what’s the point of all this?

So what should we do - 

  • I think the CAT system where CAT scores are used by other institutes is a better option. Colleges should be incentivised to use the JEE scores.
  • I also think that there should be a review of the current objective examination and if needed they should revert to 2 tier objective subjective combination for better scoring. The objective system has been criticized a lot in the last few years.