LApstrEz BLoG

A WeBLoG of an Ordinary Geek

Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Hey there

Posted by lapstre on August 16, 2006

Hey there,

It’s been a long time since i wrote a blog post. I’d attribute this delay to  the transformation within me from a college kid to a working professional (Ahem…). Life hasn’t change much except that i’ve had to shift to a new city(No issues with that, bangalore is a lovely city), I’ve had to move away from dearest of friends and family( Big issues bcos of this, but you make new friends at new places, so its ok! Hefty phone bills seem to be a side effect though! ), I’ve had to survive on hotel food (Big complaints, All of bangalore food seem to be sweet and i’m used to a more spicy kind), I’ve had to do my own laundry( Fixed that now ), Had to get up early( Now i am doing the night shifts, so no issues), Have to stay at work late ( I used to stay up late for no reason, but staying up late and working is a different story ), and the list goes on and on…

I’d been pretty much stuck in a kind of a writers block, but what got me writing again ( If you can call this writing ) is a post on the mensa group for starting a writing special interest group. I still have the idea of a collaborative writing venture. Not necessarily books, but maybe short stories, blogs, articles, etc. If you are open to any kind of a writing venture, mail me at .

Meanwhile Google Code Jam is back again, register at topcoder for more details. Chennai has its very own blogcamp coming up soon, So check em out.


Till then, this is LApstrE signing off,


(Ya i know, that’s a very lame signoff line, but couldn’t help it, Cya!)


Posted in Bangalore, BarCampChennai, Chennai, Chennai Events, Google, Google india code jam, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Google India Code Jam

Posted by lapstre on March 20, 2006

2 Problems,

One worth 1000 points


Another worth 250 points….

Total time of 1 Hour

Attend the 1000 point problem first, Forget the 250 point problem; Don’t make the same mistake i did!

Both are easy….

All the Very Best !!!

Update: I Lost…

There were many with lesser points, but not in my question set. No Regrets, Looking forward to the nex one…

Posted in Chennai Events, Google, Google india code jam, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Awoken by a song and much more…

Posted by lapstre on March 17, 2006

I was almost on my way to bed when a beautiful song came on and lightened the air…

I sat swaying to the song and i felt no longer like sleeping. I decided not to waste a beautiful night like this and sat down to do something when i noticed some notifications for comments on the BLoG. So what did i do? Replied to the comment and started another blogpost!

The past week as i sat and wondered why i had written the previous post about orkut i realized i had done that thing more out of compulsion than out of will. I had smelt a controversial article on orkut’s money making strategies, So i sat and pondered for a long time but couldn’t figure out any! Then i did what every other person would do, Google it! But then at the end of reading numerous articles and blogs i came to the conclusion that orkut wasn’t built with making money in mind. So guess i did a pretty bad write up, but then i know you’ll forgive me for that.

One blogpost, rather comment that that enforced this thought in my mind was this post by Scobleizer and the comment on that post left by a Mr. Anonymous who made a good argument against Scobleizer’s rants about Google’s products which have no money making plans. I’d recommend you read the person’s comment on the post (the first comment on the post). Where he makes a effective case about how companies should try and put people first rather than money…

Talking about Google, Don’t forget the Google Code Jam coming up on the 21st! Registrations close 20th march, so you better hurry! Also there are issues with the UI, I’ve had problem with the GLX drivers, hopefully i’ll be able to fix that within the competition. Also try the sample problems, just to have some practice with the compiler (Learn from others experiences, Mine! The GNU Compiler plays differently than the Turbo Compiler and you are going to have a hard time on the competition day if you are stuck not knowing what to do!). Wishing you the Best for the Competition…

Also one more exciting event is on the horizon, Barcamp Chennai is around the corner (NO! One does NOT sit there and drink all night!). It’s a place where technology enthusiasts get together and discuss the latest advances in the web and next-gen technologies. Everybody in the barcamp has to present on something on technologies of their interest. Barcamps like this are popular around the world. Kiruba’s Blog has some photos from barcamps around the world. Check out the cool pics of barcamps from around the world here and here

Don’t know if i will be taking part in the barcamp though! I’ve haven’t quite figured out what topic to handle. Speaking of Kiruba’s BLoG check out the pics of the Google interiors on his blog. Coincidentially Orkut is in one of the pictures. Check them out here. Also check out the original flickr photos link here (This one for Rahul who was talking about workculture at Google and policies)…

Hey i forgot to add the link to Orkut Büyükkökten‘s personal home page in the previous post. I did add it a bit later though! If you missed it check it out here.

NJoY the Week Ahead !

Posted in BarCampChennai, Chennai Events, Google, Microsoft, Orkut, Social Events, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Orkutten !

Posted by lapstre on March 15, 2006

Hello there,
Its been a long long week and its time for another one of my crapy articles to come and bug u by…

I was wondering about what to bug u by this week and have been putting off writin a blog post, but then i have come to a point in life where life is as boring as it can get. Same old boring routinues are driving me crazy. The projects end dates are just around the corner and i have finally started an attempt at making the deadlines. Reminding myself of my commitment to bug you. I connected to my blog host to start writing a post, thinking that the sight of my blog host’s text editor would bring all the inspiration needed to start and finish a new blog post in marathon time. There are actually a lotta thoughts going through my head right now, most of which you wouldn’t understand unless u we’re the person i am… Neways i connected to my blog host to get a server under maintenence message. I was left cursing(Oh why me? I just shifted blogs, Can’t bear another shift). Dunt know if its just a routinue maintenece downtime or if their server’s gone bonkers. well they added the support for new stuff like html editing in the side bars and small widgets and all that stuff, maybe the load was too much. But they still didnt add support for java, nor have they added more formatting features but then for now, i will be happy with this.

Speaking of server overloads and server crashes, the first thing that comes into my mind is the ever frustrating orkut’s “No donut for you” message. Though the mesage was put in some light humor by Orkut Büyükkökten the Man behind Orkut, It is definitely amongst the most annoying messages in the history of the internet (Oh yes! It’s more annoying than annoying can get, Regular orkutters know of the pain, Others u are just darn lucky!). Anyways i was wondering why the orkut servers are so darn slow, And keep up throwing pitiable excuses when orkut is a part of one of the biggest companies on the net (In case you dint know Orkut is now formally a part of google), The reason i found out to be, was the large scale flooding wars and scrapbook wars amongst the people on orkut. Also orkut has been the center of controversy in recent days bcos of the large number of hate groups on the communities. The no of hate groups and the frequent exchanges between each of these communities is a definite cause for concern. I’d noticed atleast 6 to 8 hate groups against India and i went thro some, only to saddenned by the amount of hate people have for each other…

Don’t be discouraged by what i’ve just said, After all people will be people and people will have likes and dislikes. Its as natural as the every other part of human nature. I dont personally understand hate though, though i’ve come to understand dislikes i’ve never been able to comprehend how someone can hate another (Dislike?Hate? whats the difference? you may ask, but when u think about it you realise theres a helluva difference). And so, let not all of this discourage you to join orkut, Because orkuts interface is sumthing more different than anything u might have seen(Atleast anything i have seen) I’ve used Hi5 for more than 1 and a half year and yahoos 360 for more than 6 moths but it was of no use, we were better off communicating via email, Though i did make some new friends, no denying that. But orkut is a whole new experience u just gotta try it to know it.

Also on orkut are the orkut Media sections, The Gallery section in the Media is real cool and you get to check out some brilliant photographs by various people from various walks of life, Most of them are amateur photographers who submitted their photo collections to orkut. Ah and i almost forgot the innumerous communities and the celebrities on orkut. The communities are a happening place where you can meet people with similar interests and discuss things. Communities range from ones abuot programming to ones about day dreaming. As for celebrities, there are many. I can vouch for the google employees on orkut, they’re all originals, believe it or not! Sergey brin and Larry page have a personal orkut profile. Their authenticity is vouched for by the Medals before their names. As for other celebrities on orkut, they might just be the actual ones, but you never know, it might just be another crazy fan! I searched orkut for some popular celebrities and came across multiple results. There we’re atleast 47 Bill Gates on last count, 40 Neo Andersons, 21 Keanu Reeves(quick stats: one keanu reeves had 1084 fans),21 mel gibsons, 169 Maddonas and 1 LApstrE(Must do sumthin abt the last figure)…

Hey why am i telling u all this? (I’ve just gone plain crazy thats all) You probably already are on orkut! What you aren’t on it yet? What the heck are you doing not on the most happening place on earth???

PS: (I forgot to add something)

I actually found most of this info wanting to write an article on Orkuts money making strategy… But the strategy finally i figured there was none. As of now it is a not for profit project created by orkuts employee Orkut Büyükkökten. He’d earlier worked on similar projects for Stanford of which he was also a student of… (Sigh!)

There are many theories doing the rounds on the web about Orkuts money making strategy, The most popular one being that it is a part of a strategy to link actual people and communities to target better ads at people. Sort of a data mine for targetted advertising. If you think about that angle it makes lotta sense and it could be a really huge gold mine, But then deep down i am of the opinion orkut was not about making money, orkut was just a dream of an ordianry man (Ordinary??? You cant call a google employee ordinary!) who just wanted to make a better platform for his friends to get together and have fun…

Check out orkut Orkut Büyükkökten’s personal webpage at

Posted in Google, Orkut, Uncategorized | 19 Comments »

Jam on…

Posted by lapstre on February 27, 2006

Hello there,

After having missed most of the tech events all thro’ feb, the mood turned somber. These are last few months of college life and i wont be eligible to attend these plethora of contests next year. That one victory still eludes me as far as programming is concerned…

So heres one more of them, This ones a Biggie. From The Most Famous Company after Microsoft (can’t beat microsoft’s notoriety can we?) and definitely more sought after than Microsoft (Sorry BillyG, Microsoft’s Days are over – for those who dont read my blog regularly BillyG is our very own Bill Gates) Google‘s very own Code Jam 2006. The stakes are high and the prizes BIG (1.25 lakh not big enough? That’s probably more than half an average newbie software engineer’s annual pay, But then dont tell me u work at Microsoft or Google…). So heres probably what’ll be my final attempt at the Biggies, Inviting you also to hav a go at it. Topcoder members can use their Topcoder IDz for the competition (Incidentally i’ve a topcoder id i’ve never used for the past 4-5 months, dunno if it still works…) If u dont have one you can Register one afresh. Click here to Check out the competition details (and the moolah) and register for it…

Google Code JAM

Ah but one more HOT event coming your way for chennailites(The Student Fraternity) is the SSN’s Instincts. Instincts? It’s SSN’s cross college cultural event (That’s what they call it). I’d call it a carnival rather… For that is what most SSN Festivals are… I really dont see that kind of a crowd newhere esle (except the IIT ofcourse, SRM was close but not close enough). I’ve been to this really impressive college only once though a couple of years ago for a symposia called the Paradigm. Very impressively list of events and very well organised and what a crowd! (Dont ask me what happened – I got thro to 2 finals and as usual lost both of em! – Oh u dint ask? I wasn’t speaking to u…). And this year i though i couldnt make it, I heard it was a MASSIVE SUCCESS (Hmm i wonder why our college symposiums dont ever see that much of a crowd??? and i wonder and i wonder…). Though not a techie event, This is one event no one should miss (why? get a life yaar…). Also check out their schedule here and the celebrity list here (LApstrE not on the list? Dunt worry he’ll make his way into those kinda list someday)…

And i almost forgot, we had a cool reunion of all my 12th grade class. If you were from my twelftth grade and u dint make it to the reunion u did miss a lot… U dint get invited ? Then we had no way to contact u (meaning keep in touch). Also hot on this weeks events is the one coming up… My second review!!! Oops gotta run, catch ya at SSN.


PS: Miss the cool hangman applet? Even i do… I cant add custom code here on this blog host. Made a mistake on that count(I dint pick blogger cos i hated it, and blogsource i dun’t think u can add code there either… Journalhome, I miss ya).

Google Code Jam for the event(U cant get any lazier can u?, search and find it out yourself…HINT :use the above link)

Instincts Schedule

Instinct Events

Posted in Chennai Events, culturals, Google, SSN, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »