PNR Trail

Get PNR status on your email id at regular intervals.

Just send a mail to 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.


  • 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, 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: (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.

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:
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)

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

3. LMT:


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…and-windows-7/ because of the grub issue.
I keep home and var on a hdd partition and tmp on ram. See:;.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…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.…itches-to.html

3. The suspend doesn’t work by default. It works perfectly fine by following the step 2 of…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.

Noting down

I was currently looking for an online notebook which had a column displaying all my notes, and a preview of the currently selected note on the side. I found a few.. Springnote, Helipad, Jottit… I also researched on many other platforms as well which I will be reviewing later.

  • Springnote:
    Pros: Good interface, Great history feature.
    Cons: No markdown. Lacks continuous development. Doesn’t support the most used browser (arguably), Chrome. Server issues.
  • Helipad:
    Pros: Decent Interface.  Quick. Markdown support.
    Cons:  Still needs mouse.
  • Jottit: Unarguably, the best.
    Pros: Markdown. Extremely simple interface. Keyboard Shortcuts.
    Cons: Cumulative History like springnote not available. I am still figuring out a way to rename the notes.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Jottit:
I did not find any help documenting the same. Hence I feedback’ed. Aaron (from the Jottit team) replied promptly with the  following answer.
Shortcuts are “access key” +:
+ d for delete
+ h for history
+ e for edit
+ m for new page
+ g for cancel

Access Key ( may be Alt (+Shift) in Windows.

UPSC (CSPT) Interview, 2011, Shri IMG Khan

Result: Not Recommended
Essay (Cinema): 96
General Studies: 109+135
Public Administration: 102+93
Sanskrit: 169+142
Interview: 210/300
Total: 846 (written), 1056 (total)
Attempt: III
Roll No.: 007433

Related Details:
Hobbies: Poetry Writing, Dramatics, Computers
Games: Chess, Badminton
Education: B-Tech M-Tech (Dual Degree) Electrical Engineering, Decent CPI: 8.1, 8.4
Jobs: Sun Microsystem, Bangalore and Wadhawan Holdings, Mumbai (6 months each), Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Delhi (4 months, after mains 2010)
Options: Public Administration, Sanskrit
From: Gorakhpur, UP

11:10 IMG Khan’s Board
Me: Please may I come in.
Ch: Yes.
Me: Good morning ma’m. Good morning to all of you sirs.

Ch: Sit down
Me: Thanks Sir.

C: Sudhanshu. You have done your graduation from IIT Kanpur. Oh, you are an M Tech. So you have spent 5-6 years..
Me: Yes Sir 5 yrs.
C: .. in Electrical Engineering. Yet you took Sanskrit as one of your subjects. Did you have any background.
Me: No Sir. (little pause)
I took it because I was looking for a short subject, fixed syllabus.
C (smiled): So how is it fixed? You mean the stanzas are mentioned …
Me: Yes Sir.

C: Ok. How do you think Sanskrit literature is going to help you in the administrative services?
Me: Sir, the Sanskrit language is very theoretical…
C: No. I am asking about the literature..
Me: Yes Sir, I am coming to the same point. While the language is theoretical, the literature is very practical (C nods). They talk about nature, culture, current society traditions….We can take the good points and try to incorporate them in our society.
C: Like..
Me: Sir, like truth from ‘Satyamev Jayate’, secularism from ‘sarv dharm sambhav’, brotherhood, from Gita, ‘Karmanye Vadhikaraste..’ – doing our duties.. Sir actually I have a different take on it…. (blabble).. I think that it talks about adhikar ie right and not hope as in, karm karo fal ki asha mat karo. I believe that if there is no hope we might not be able to focus and perform well, but if we perform we do not have the right to claim results. There might be someone more capable than us. (blabble)
C: Ok. But today, the civil servants are focused towards performance and unless they perform they can’t be promoted and blah blah… Don’t you think that it is just philosophy and not realistic.
Me: Sir it is a bit idealistic but it has a definite realistic element as well. Ideally, we hope that we will get some result but in reality we do not reach our goal to the fullest. The result is something we can not have our right on….
C: No but …… (He countered and frankly I do not remember what he said). Leave it, Lets move on (pointed to M1)
Me: Sir I am also trying to say the same thing but probably am not able to put it correctly. (Then explained the whole thing again)
C: Ok (I believe he was not completely convinced, though he gave a pleasantly smiling look. I still am awed and gratified by his gentle countenance throughout the interview)

M1: Sanskrit is being taught till 8th 9th in our schools, yet people are not being able to speak in Sanskrit. In general how will you augment education through ICT. You have done your M Tech in Electrical Engineering, I believe you know ICT
Me: Yes Sir, Information…
M1: How will you help in education through ICT?
Me: Sir, a direct application that comes to my mind is Virtual Labs.. (explained a bit, babbled). Sir another way is teleconferencing. Teaching remotely. (again babbled something)
M1: But don’t you think it will be very boring.
Me: Yes Sir, I agree with you, it won’t be as good as a direct conversation with the teachers.
M1: So what can we do about it.
Me: (Thought for some moment), Sir we may put a trained person to keep a balance between students and remote teacher.
M1: What do you mean by balance?
Me: (I was trying to mean interaction but I was searching for the word. I don’t remember if I said something satisfactory)
M1: How can we increase interaction?
Me: Sir, one thing could be touch screen.
M1: But its not feasible to give touchscreens to every student.
Me: Sir I believe that current technologies can actually make it possible. We can also use (I said something which I do not remember at all. I believed I faltered yet again)
M1: Did you have any such thing at IIT?
Me: No Sir, not during our time.

(Somehow the lady member came to my rescue, it might have been hinted by the Chairman)
LM: Sudhanshu, I see you have done 3 jobs each for 4-5 months. Why?
Me: Sir, Sorry, Ma’m, I did the first two jobs to save enough financial resources for my preparations.
Ch: You mean coaching etc..
Me: Yes Sir. I did the third job after my mains 2010 to aid myself financially and to get a wider perspective about NGOs. Back in Mumbai, I started my own NGO Gut-Ka, where we did street plays to take up the causes, popularize the causes of other NGOs.
(The Chairman seemed interested and nodded his head a few times)
In Sir Ratan Tata Trust, I worked with around 35 NGOs all across India.
LM: What is the difference between a trust and a society.
Me: Ma’m a trust is an organisation, registered under The Societies Act itself, mostly to fund other NGOs. It generally hold shares or gets its funds from the corporate organizations, family businesses etc. and pass them on to the NGOs.
LM: It may not necessarily be a family organisation.
Me: Yes ma’m.
The society is an small organisation…. well ma’m it may not be small, its an organisation of 7 or more people for a social cause and social betterment.
LM: (Wasn’t satisfied) So you have poetry writing as your hobby. Can you name a few poets?
Me: Ma’m The first name I would like to take is of Firaq Gorakhpuri, because I am from Gorakhpur. Other than him there are many poets in Hindi like Dinkar Nirala Maithili Sharan Gupt…
LM: Who is most acclaimed poet in India?
Me: Ma’m in Hindi language?
LM: No in India, in general.
Me: Ma’m Rabindra Nath Tagore.
LM: Tell me some English poets.
Me: Keats, Byron, Shelly…
LM: Tell me some contemporary names.
Me: Ma’m, I can’t recall any currently.
LM: Okay tell me some romantic poets.
Me: Ma’m in Hindi?
LM: No I said romantic poets. Obviously English.
Me: (I took a long pause. I was confused because the earlier names I took were romantics only)
Ch (comes to the rescue): You may say no if you don’t read English poetry
Me: Sir I don’t read them but I may try answering the question.
(Small pause). Ma’m I believe Byron Shelly were romantic poets.
LM: Yes.
M2: Yes Byron Shelly.
(M2 continues. Smooth transition)

M2: So Sudhanshu, tell me the difference between Sanskrit Prakrit and Hindi.
Me: Sir Sanskrit is the most ancient language, the original language. Prakrit is an apbhramsh of Sanskrit, or if we say crudely, its corrupted form. Sir, Hindi is a language that developed due to common usage through a combination of Persian and the then prevalent form of Sanskrit.
M2: Hindi is an apbhramsh of Prakrit.
Me: Yes Sir.
M2: Now since you have used this word apbhramsh, I want to ask you to tell me the difference between tatsam and tadbhav.
Me: Sir, tatsam is the purest and original for of the word. Tadbhav is the form that develops and gets distorted through common usage. For eg, Ksheer and Kheer.
M2: Okay so tell me the difference between Dambh, Ahankar, and Ghamand. They appear to be very similar. What’s the difference?
Me: (Long Pause) Sir, I do not know the difference but I may try.
M2: Yes try.
Me: Sir, Ghamand is the most negative term of them all where we might have a pride of our positive and negative qualities both, and in general mostly the negative ones. In Ahankar, which is a bit positive, we have a pride in positive things but occasionally we may feel pride in negative things as well. Dambh is most positive one where we have a pride in our good qualities only.
(Now on some research I have found that Dambh should be either equal to or baser than ghamand. Hence the order would be Dambh M2: Oh.ho.ho.ho.. you are so wrong. You should check that.
Me: (Shyly).. Yes Sir.
M2: OK tell me the meaning of Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam. And from where is it taken?
Me: (Pause) Sir, I don’t think I remember from where it is taken.

(M2 hinted to M3, who promptly came to the rescue and I did not have to take a guess on the meaning.)
M3: Sudhanshu, I would like to start from your original point, ‘doing your duties’. What will be the basis for your duties, the orders or your own thinking… or what…. (Very long question, he was trying to explain)
Me: Sir I would go with my personal feeling wherever I would believe maximum people are helped.
M3: But if you are given an order which you know that is wrong, a written order. Then what will you do.
Me: Sir, in that case since I am an implementor I would implement the orders. But at the same time I would persuade him to take back the order and tell him about the wrongs.
M3: But Supreme Court has said in a recent decision that even the implementors are wrong if they go ahead on a wrong decision.
Me: Yes Sir. (I wanted to explain further, but he kept on explaining)
M3: So is there any framework for the actions…
Me: Sir do you mean ministerial responsibility.
M3: No an overarching framework.
Me: Sir Constitution?
M3: Yes.
Since you have written Chess, can you tell me the difference between three openings – ( I have no clue what he said ), Ruy Lopez and Queen’s Gambit.
Me: Sir, could yo please repeat the first one.
M3: ()
Me: Sir, I do not know anything about the first one. For the other two I may try but I am not too sure.
In both the openings, the pawn in front of the queen is moved first. (I had said queen instead of king in anxiety and I did not realize it till later. Now I find that this was a blunder overall.)
M3 (gave me a stern look): and then?
Me: Sir in Queen’s Gambit, the bishop is moved. (Blunder)
M3: How can it move if the pawn is in front.
Me: (Realizing my earlier mistake) Sorry Sir, I said queen earlier, the pawn in front of the king is moved. Now the bishop can move.
Ch: Are isne kabhi college wollege me khela hoga… (smile)
(I nodded. What else.. I felt I had committed the worst mistake of life not saying no at the beginning)

Ch: Okay Sudhanshu I would like to ask you one more thing. You said back then that Sanskrit was the oldest language. Do you know that the Tamilians are claiming that their language is the oldest. Now I think even the Telugu is in the run.. Tamil scripts dated 2500 years ago have been found …..
Me: Sir Vedas are believed to be written 1000 years,.. I mean in 1000 1100 BC
Ch: There is no conclusive proof for that.
Me: Yes Sir, all these are just claims. No one knows the truth.
Ch: Hmm (smiles). Ok Sudhanshu your interview is over. You may go.
Me: Thank You Sir. Thank you.. Thank You ( 2-3 times seeing each member, I left )
At the door when I looked back, I found M2 moving his head in a non approving manner, the lady member was smiling and the others had put their heads down.

11:30-35 The End. (20-25 minutes)