Smorgasbord - Politics, Lisp, Rails, Fencing, etc.

My musings on assortment of things ranging from politics, computer technology and programming to sports.

Friday, December 30, 2005

On this day:

Goodbye Tempe

I am leaving Tempe today for good, and going to New York/New Jersey. I hope to go to Times Square tomorrow for the New Year's eve party.

It has been a busy and hectic last couple of days with all the packing, and meeting people which I had to do. Besides I was also working on a Conference paper (more on Scientific writing latter), finally today we (me + my advisor) finished it, and I am feeling relieved.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

On this day:

Narcissistic views on News/Politics: Bob Herbert says most damage to blacks is self-inflicted.

A nice article written by Bob Herbert of the NY Times about the ailing state of Blacks in America. This article is only available to Times Select customers, one has to pay a fee for that, but this blog scooped it up and made it available to public.

Monday, December 26, 2005

On this day:

Emacs Key Binding for Eclipse

Eclipse has Emacs key binding mode, although it is not as powerful as Emacs itself, but it is definitely better than the usual Eclipse key bindings.

To set it on:

  1. Go to Window -> Preferences.

  2. Expand the `General' tab in left column, select `Keys' option.

  3. Change the window tab to `Modify' and then change the `Scheme' to `Emacs'.

  4. `Apply' and then `OK'.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

On this day:

Programming Pearls

Currently I am reading Programming Pearls by Jon Bentley. It is a wonderful book, a true collection of pearls, to quote from the preface: "Just as natural pearls grow from grains of sand that irritate oysters, programming pearls have grown from real problems that have irritated real programmers." It is a must read for any programmer/developer who wants to work in my company.

Also, thanks to people who wrote the java script for adding the feature of On This Day to my blog.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

On this day:

Saying No........

How does it feels to turn down an interview offer with Microsoft and then on the same day say no to an informal job offer from another company. Well I did that on last Thursday, I was supposed to interview with Microsoft at Redmond sometime in February, but I sent them an email saying I am not looking for an employment and won't be interviewing, my recruiting coordinator was nice and he even wished me luck and said that it sounds exciting. I also sent an email to my ex-manager at Spike Source located in Redwood City, the place where I did my Summer internship, telling him that I am not looking for a job. If anyone has any doubts about whether I am serious or not about my entrepreneurship ambitions then these should lay all of them to rest.

I will be leaving Tempe and Arizona State University for good on next Friday (Dec, 30) and going to New Jersey. These are nostalgic last few days at ASU when I will be saying good bye to everyone and everything here.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

On this day:

Guide to Setting up wxCL

In this post I describe how to setup wxCL on a Windows machine.
LeAnthony Mathews was having a real hard time setting up wxCL, along with the Lisp in Box, so I decided to write step by step instructions to do so. These instructions are not meant to be used with Lisp in Box but they can be combined with it.

  1. Download clisp 2.36 and install it somewhere on the hard drive, say `c:/clisp-2.36'.

  2. Download asdf
    and put it somewhere, say in the folder called

  3. Download asdf-install,
    untar it (winzip can be used) into the `c:/clisp-2.36/library/' folder.

  4. Go to the home directory, say `C:/Documents and Settings/Owner'
    or it might be different depending upon your windows user name, and Create a file
    named `.clisprc.lisp', this is an initialization file for clisp.

    Add the following code:

    #-:asdf (load "C:/clisp-2.36/library/asdf")
    (pushnew "C:/clisp-2.35/library/asdf-install/" asdf:*central-registry* :test #'equal)
    #-:asdf-install (asdf:operate 'asdf:load-op :asdf-install)
    (pushnew 'asdf-install:sysdef-source-dir-search

  5. Start command prompt. Start clisp, either by just typing `clisp' if it is on your windows path variable, or by typing
    `c:/clisp-2.36/clisp. You should see that while starting clisp loads
    various asdf-install files, and finally .clisprc.lisp. If not, then you
    did not create the `.clisprc.lisp' file in the right place.

  6. Download latest release, currently wxcl-1.2.0.tar.gz and store it somewhere, say `C' drive. If the extension of the file doesn't appears as above then change it to end with `.tar.gz'.

  7. Now on your lisp prompt type

    (asdf-install:install "c:/wxcl-1.2.0.tar.gz")

    This will show you three options select the second one (personal
    installation). Now, asdf-install will hang don't worry use Ctrl-Z to
    quit clisp.

  8. Now if you look into the folder `C:/Documents and Settings/Owner'
    there will be a sub-folder named `.asdf-install-dir'. Go into it,
    inside it there is another sub folder `site', go into that, and now
    untar `wxcl-1.2.0.tar.gz' right there.
    Any asdf installable package can be uncompressed and put there, and
    asdf will find it.

  9. Now edit the file wxcl/src/defpackage.lisp so that the variable
    library name contains the absolute file path.

    (defconstant +library-name+ "../lib/wxc-msw2.6.2.dll")

    change the above to

    (defconstant +library-name+ "C:/Documents and Settings/Owner/.asdf-install-dir/site/wxcl/lib/wxc-msw2.6.2.dll")

  10. Now go to command prompt, change the directory so that you are in
    the wxcl/examples directory. Start clisp, and then type

    (load "hello-world.lisp")

  11. This will load and compile wxcl, and start the hello world
    example. Similarly you can load other examples.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

On this day:

Cricket and Parochialism

The omission of Sourav Ganguly first from the Indian One-day team and then the Test team has been a big news. The behavior of the fans in Eden Garden during the India-South Africa match was horrible, it was not only parochial and selfish but also unpatriotic. Time changes quickly but the character of people changes very slowly. The Britishers took advantage of the same parochial tendencies of Indians in their Divide and Rule policy. The crowd of Calcutta demonstrated why it wasn't hard for them to do so.

What is now even worse is that this issue will be discussed in the Indian parliament. It seems the left parties and in particular Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee (both from West Bengal) played a big role in bringing this issue to the parliament. It is really unfortunate that this is happening, first of all they are not qualified and capable enough to decide the selection of Indian cricket team, and more importantly they are there in the Parliament to do their jobs and it is none of their business to decide what happens with the Indian cricket team. I agree that the current selectors are idiots but in spite of this, only they and nobody else should decide the team composition.

Another, sad thing is that omission of Ganguly has drawn so much attention, but the Indian politicians and governments hardly care about the state of India's national sport, yes hockey and not cricket. The bas***d *** Gill has completely ruined hockey. His whims and fancies decide everything in Indian hockey, besides whenever Indian hockey team goes on a foreign tour he takes a junket. What is his business to follow the team? I doubt if he has ever played hockey even at domestic level, and unfortunately such a person is controlling hockey in India for now more than 10 years, or is it more?

Monday, December 12, 2005

On this day:

My First Post

This is my first post on this blog. Instead of just soliloquizing my ideas and interesting stories, through this blog I hope to share them with you. I am not writing this blog with an alias, so don't expect any raunchy or streamy content on it, but I will do try to keep you entertained.

Last night, or rather last morning I made the release of wxCL. It was pain going through the sourceforge release mechanism, one has to first ftp the files into sourceforge server, and then make the release. By mistake I had ftped wrong files, and made a release. Then when I realized my mistake, I went back and deleted the released files, now when I was trying to ftp the new release files, I was getting ftp error messages. For half an hour I tried different things but to no avail, finally I realized that I had forgotten to change directory in the sourceforge ftp server before ftping files. I don't understand why can't they provide a simple web interface to upload release files.

Today I have to grade the homework 4 of the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence course for which I am a TA. But, I am hardly getting any motivation to do so. I have to also send personal emails to at least 5 people, but I am feeling lazy about that as well, I have been procrastinating this for more than a month. First I had the excuse of being busy with school and thesis work, but now I don't have any such excuse. I hope I will positively do that tomorrow.