Ankh Morpork's Finest Coder
Monday, January 31, 2005

MSN Search for microsoft office picture manager
The search string "microsoft office picture manager" in MSN Search (beta) gives my blog as the #1 site. Woot! Of course I say that microsoft office picture manager sucks but thats beside the point. Its just ironic that their own search engine cannot get to the right website for microsoft office picture manager. At least google gives the proper pages.

To PHD or not to PHD, that is the question..
At ASU, if you want to pursue a PHD (CS), you would require the following.

30 hrs Masters coursework
30 hrs ASU Phd coursework
6 hrs Research
18 hrs Dissertation
Total = 84 hrs

However, for the ASU Phd coursework, you only need
12 hrs Independent Study
12 hrs Coursework (4 classes)
6 hrs Research

So this means that were I to enroll into PHD, I would only need to take 4 classes of mind numbing pain and the rest of the time I could work on my research by doing independent studies and research credits.

The only problem I would have with this is that I will have to be here for longer and also PHD's shouldn't be done from the same university you did your bachelors from. And it will be an extra 2.5 years for that (12 credits a semester for 7 semesters). However, if I were able to do 18 credit hrs a semester then it would only take me 1.5 years (3 semesters) which isn't that bad.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Douglas Adams Asteroid
MSNBC is reporting that an asteroid has been named after Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy fame. Fittingly, the asteroid carried the provisional designation 2001 DA42, thus commemorating the year of his untimely death, containing his initials, and incorporating the famous answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

C# SMS Application
I have also made a C# SMS application available on my website. This application was used to teach WIG memebers how to build Windows Forms Applications.

You can get it from my website or from the SMS page.

Free IMAP Source Code And Library
A while back I wrote IMAPLib which is an implementation of the RFC 3501 standard from http://www.imap.org. So I have made the following publically available to you:-

1. IMAPLib Source Code
2. IMAPLib DLL (prebuilt)
3. IMAPLib Complete Project
4. IMAPMail v0.1 GUI - a test program for IMAPLib

To get this, please go to my website or directly to the IMAP page.

PS. This is all available under GPL Liscence.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The day in review
We had a little get together at the vine today. As usual I got the veggie burger with fries. However, I was highly dissapointed with the portions. I also drank 2 corona's. $8.50. What a rip off. I'm never ordering at vine ever again.

So on the way back, I felt like some Tiramisu. Got 4 pieces. Had 3. Then came home and had another one that was in the fridge. At this point I went to bed and was going to go to sleep when, and I now think I have gone over the edge, I got back up, got onto the treadmill and ran for 40 minutes. Well more like a run for 2.4 miles and walk for 0.6. I had to be careful not to run too hard as we have no water in the house. Anyways, I burned about 460 calories. Definately not enough for todays pigging out. My arteries are gonna feel it tomorrow.

I am so thirsty now. I think I'll go see if the vending machine has any water or gatorade.

UPDATE: The damn machine ate my dollar :-( What a jib!!
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ok i'm definately going now.
Its almost 7am. The bus service starts so I'll go home now. Maybe get some food from Del Taco too...mmm burritto...Catch ya on the flip side!
Update - not bad. 12 posts in 1 night.

All your base are belong to us.
Where does the phrase "All your base are belong to us" come from?

. A Japanese Genesis game called zero-wing got poorly translated into English. This sentence is now spread all over the internet.
English version:

In A.D. 2101
War was beginning.
Captain: What happen ?
Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb.
Operator: We get signal.
Captain: What !
Operator: Main screen turn on.
Captain: It's You !!
Cats: How are you gentlemen !!
Cats: All your base are belong to us.
Cats: You are on the way to destruction.
Captain: What you say !!
Cats: You have no chance to survive make your time.
Cats: HA HA HA HA ....
Captain: Take off every 'zig' !!
Captain: You know what you doing.
Captain: Move 'zig'.
Captain: For great justice.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...
Something interesting happened at work today.

One of my friends was going to make photocopies of a book and after the point was unknowingly revealed to me, she felt that I was giving her "dirty looks." Aside from the fact that I dont' know what or how a dirty look is given, I must say I was a bit surprised that she was doing that.
Personally if I am going to use a book, if its more than 1 chapter, then I like to keep the book. Not because I want the author to get some money but because I feel that any book I use for more than 1 chapter must have something in it that I can learn from and indeed I would look at the other chapters even if they were not assigned in class. However, I do not expect that other people have the same views as me so I deal with it internally. Where I do feel a pinch is when people photocopy books completely. Again i'm not sad because they are not putting food on an authors table; i am sad because they spend 5 hrs standing in front of a copy machine painstakingly flipping the book back and forth making those copies. If they could just spend that 5 hrs reading the book, then they would appreciate the knowledge of the book. Not to mention the vast ammounts of paper they waste because at the end of the semester, they don't give the copies to someone else or have the option of "selling the book to someone else." I'm just sad that people put so much effort to save a measly 50 dollars. Life is just too short for me to waste in front of a copy machine. :-)
Conclusion - Not mad or angry at my friend. Just suprised. However, i'm not going to think less of her for doing what she felt necessary to do. I know that everyone I work with is good at heart and would go out of their way to help anyone...so its all good. :-)

On the topic of friends, my good friend, to whom I lent my XBOX, has been playing it quite strenuously. I messaged him today and like the last four days, his wife responded saying he was playing xbox. So I jokingly said, maybe I should ask him to return the xbox so that he can begin functioning like a normal human again. I was quite surprisingly amused by her response. "YES PLEASE!" :-)
Tomorrow is a get together at the Vine at 7. I do hope I remember to go.

Ever feel like...
You have something to do but you don't know what it is and you don't want to sleep either. Well I've been at my computer for the last 10.5 hrs and the only thing I can say that I have really done is read some papers on cryptography. Now its 4:40 am and I am wondering WHAT THE HELL I am doing :-)

Time to go home and sleep for a few hrs. No class today. Wierd. I actually want to go to class and I have no class to go to. Maybe I am subconsciouly realizing that this is my last class in the Masters program and yearn for more.

Pluralsight Password Minder - WHY?
What were they thinking? What the hell were they thinking? A Password minder that generates and uses password that are "Secure". Give your credit card number to a spammer RIGHT NOW! Password managers while more secure than either recycling your passwords or using simple numeric or only alphabetical characters is still NOT secure. In the levels of security for 1 to 10, I give it a 3 and i'm being generous. My reasons for such a score. Well let me first say that I'm sure the code is all correct and that the program might be easy to use yadda yadda. BUT. Its a great security risk. Now if a trojan or some sort of logger is running, then a malicious person can get the password to your password manager and find a way to get the passwords out of it. BAD BAD BAD!

AOL now has a new card that hashes a number key that the login server of AOL knows about and because of this changing hash, it is a lot more secure than its counterparts. Again not the best but definately an 8.

So if you are using some password manager, don't just get rid of it because I said its a security threat. Its probably better than not using anything. However, if something like what AOL is providing comes along, then definately opt for that if you have the choice.

Searching for the Twenty Top Software People in the World

In alphabetical order the nominees are:

  • Tim Berners-Lee: "Father of the World Wide Web" and expectant father of the Semantic Web
  • Joshua Bloch: Formerly at Sun, where he helped architect Java's core platform; now at Google
  • Grady Booch: One of the original developers of the Unified Modeling Language
  • Adam Bosworth: Famous for Quattro Pro, Microsoft Access, and IE4; then BEA, now Google
  • Don Box: Coauthor of SOAP
  • Stewart Brand: Cofounder in 1984 of the WELL bulletin board
  • Tim Bray: One of the prime movers of XML, now with Sun
  • Dan Bricklin: Cocreator of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet
  • Larry Brilliant: Cofounder in 1984 of the WELL bulletin board
  • Sergey Brin: Son-of-college-math-professor turned cofounder of Google, Inc.
  • Dave Cutler: The brains behind VMS; hired away by Microsoft for Windows NT
  • Don Ferguson: Inventor of the J2EE application server at IBM
  • Roy T. Fielding: Primary architect of HTTP 1.1 and a founder of the Apache Web server
  • Bob Frankston: Cocreator of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet
  • Jon Gay: The "Father of Flash"
  • James Gosling: "Father of Java" (though not its sole parent)
  • Anders Hejlsberg: Genius behind the Turbo Pascal compiler, subsequently "Father of C#"
  • Daniel W. Hillis: VP of R&D at the Walt Disney Company; cofounder, Thinking Machines
  • Miguel de Icaza: Now with Novell, cofounder of Ximian
  • Martin Fowler: Famous for work on refactoring, XP, and UML
  • Bill Joy: Cofounder and former chief scientist of Sun; main author of Berkeley Unix
  • Mitch Kapor: Designer of Lotus 1-2-3, founder of Lotus Development Corporation
  • Brian Kernighan: One of the creators of the AWK and AMPL languages
  • Mitchell Kertzman: Former programmer, founder, and CEO of Powersoft (later Sybase)
  • Klaus Knopper: Prime mover of Knoppix, a Linux distro that runs directly from a CD
  • Craig McClanahan: Of Tomcat, Struts, and JSF fame
  • Nathan Myhrvold: Theoretical and mathematical physicist, former CTO at Microsoft
  • Tim O'Reilly: Publisher, open source advocate; believer that great technology needs great books
  • Jean Paoli: One of the co-creators of the XML 1.0 standard with the W3C; now with Microsoft
  • John Patrick: Former VP of Internet technology at IBM, now "e-tired"
  • Rob Pike: An early developer of Unix and windowing system (GUI) technology
  • Dennis Ritchie: Creator of C and coinventor of Unix
  • Richard Stallman: Free software movement's leading figure; founder of the GNU Project
  • Bjarne Stroustrup: The designer and original implementor of C++
  • Andy Tanenbaum: Professor of computer science, author of Minix
  • Ken Thompson: Coinventor of Unix
  • Linus Torvalds: "Benevolent dictator" of the Linux kernel
  • Alan Turing: Mathematician; author of the 1950 paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"
  • Guido van Rossum: Author of the Python programming language
  • Ann Winblad: Former programmer, cofounder of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

  • Self Replicating C# Code
    This is the shortest Self Replicating C# Code I could write. BTW this should all be on 1 line.

    class c{static void Main(){System.Console.Write(d+'\x22'+d+'\x22'+';'+'}');}static string d="class c{static void Main(){System.Console.Write(d+'\x22'+d+'\x22'+';'+'}');}static string d=";}


    AHH CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am nerdier than 99% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

    I hate being called a NERD! I am NOT a nerd. That test wasn't right. :-)
    Monday, January 24, 2005

    Answer to The Random Infinity
    As a followup to the previous question on why the code fails, here is another program that will prove why it fails. Without running it, can you guess what line it will fail on?

    double d = 0.0000000001d;
    Decimal dd = Decimal.Parse(d.ToString());

    Answer - The Parse method will fail for any double with precision of more that 4 decimal places.

    Firefox Memory Leak Fix
    1. Type about:config in the address bar
    2. Right click the page and add a New->Integer
    3. Name: enter browser.cache.memory.capacity
    4. Value: enter 16000
    5. Close Firefox completely.
    6. Fire it up again and enjoy :)

    Epic Games, a leading developer of cutting-edge 3D technology and games, today announced the grand prize winners of the “$1,000,000 NVIDIA Make Something Unreal®” mod-making contest.

    The grand prize for Best Mod is awarded to Red Orchestra, an immersive combined arms infantry and armored vehicle combat simulation set on the eastern front of World War II. The development team behind the winning entry receives $50,000 in cash and a coveted Unreal Engine commercial license worth approximately $350,000.

    Taking top honors in the Best Non-Interactive Real Time movie category is The Journey. The short animated film, which chronicles an adventure into the unfamiliar, was created by Friedrich ‘fiezi’ Kirschner, who receives $25,000 for his work.

    The announcement of the grand final winners marks the culmination of the multi-round $1,000,000 NVIDIA Make Something Unreal Contest,” hosted by Epic Games and sponsored by NVIDIA Corporation, Atari, Inc., Digital Extremes, AMD and Alias®. Designed to publicly recognize and inspire up-and-coming 3D artists and programmers, the contest generated more than one thousand entries from individuals and student teams who took advantage of the Unreal Editor to hone their development skills and learn what it takes to create a commercial game. The Unreal Editor is a free tool that was included with the best-selling Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Tournament 2004 PC games developed by Epic Games and published by Atari.


    A history lesson in Trust Computing - Ken Thompson's Turing Award Speech.
    Ken Thompson (Created UTF-8) was given a Turing Award in 1983 along with Dennis Ritchie (Creator of C), for their development of generic operating systems theory and specifically for the implementation of the UNIX operating system.

    This guy was far ahead of the times. In his award speech, which can be found here, he talked about trojans. this is back in 1983!!!!

    Basically, he was being given a hard time by people because they thought that he had created a backdoor that only he and Ritchie knew about that would allow them to login to any UNIX machine. In his speech, he basically said, No I didn't do that, after all the source code for unix is available for free and people have looked at it.

    Then he goes on to say, if I did want to do that, I'd have written a trojan code injector into the C compiler so that when the unix source was compiled it would add the backdoor to it. But then again, the C code was made available and many geeks had already gone through it so in fact he hadn't done that either.

    Then he said, I could have created a trojan code injector so that when it saw that you were compiling a C program, it would add the code to add trojans into programs. Of course, since C was used to compile C, and since I could have thrown away the code, you would NEVER know whether I did indeed do that or not.

    Amazing guy! Far far ahead of his times. But you should definately go read that article. Its called Reflecting on Trusting Trust.

    The Random Infinity
    Can you try and spot the bug and the possible error that can occur with the following lines of code? HINT: The bug will throw an exception!

    Decimal randomDoubleAsDecimal()
    { Random rand = new Random();
    return Decimal.Parse(rand.NextDouble().ToString());

    Speaking Properly
    I realized today that I mostly speak too softly when I'm in a place I'm not familiar with. I went to Del Taco today and I ordered 3 veggie works. I only got 2. Seems the person taking the order heard only 2. This happens quite often. I don't think they are trying to mess with me because people are generally decent so it has to be my fault for not speaking up. Does this happen to you too?

    Saturday, January 22, 2005

    Ode to a Friday Night
    Sitting in the lab,
    Staring at the monitor,
    What a waste of time.


    Saw this movie today with Pallavi and Shreekar. Sheekar said "I'm still waiting for the movie to start" as we walked out. I tend to agree. Not enough fighting in the movie. Too much soppy pointless crap. The only tradgedy here is the fact that the scrip sucked.

    Verdict - wait for the dvd.

    Website Updated
    My website has a few new things added to it.

    For one, the photos are working now. I wrote a little tool to crop the photos, create the thumbnails and write the XML for Expose 4.0. Also added some articles and a Coding Projects section. Those will get filled once I get some more time and impoteus to actually fill them in.

    check the website out - http://www.sushantbhatia.com

    Applied Cryptography
    Just bought the book for my applied cryptography class. Its

    Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C, 2nd Edition
    by Bruce Schneier. Link to Amazon. $38. Borders = $60. Therefore, Borders can keep its books.

    Friday, January 21, 2005

    Russell Peters New Standup Video
    My good friend Sunoj from Canada sent me these videos of Russell Peters, the Indian standup comic from Canada. They are just a few minutes each but funny none the less.



    3/14/05 - Since so many people like this guy, I decided to post the link to the 45 min standup he did. So here ya go!

    45 min Russell Peters Clip (Real Media Required)
    Thursday, January 20, 2005

    I'm a Business Man.
    Yep, our Business Plan was accepted for the next round of the Edson Competition. Here's an email I got. Hopefully we will get into the finals and be able to setup a company with the seed money we get.

    Dear Student Entrepreneur,

    Congratulations, your venture’s proposal is one of the forty semi-finalists selected in the first annual Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative. Of the 40, approximately 20 will be selected as finalists and invited for in-person interviews.[...]

    Best of Luck!

    Patrick G. Duran,
    Program Manager
    Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative

    I'm a Movie Star
    MedStar is a national news media company and they’ll be coming to CUbiC to cover only 2 iCare projects: the iCare BookReader, and the Face Recognition system. The want to shoot our demos and interview the members of the iCARE and iLEARN teams. The resulting video will be broadcast from several stations across the country.

    So I might just get on Television. While I do not want to be on tv (as I like to be working from behind the curtain), I think this should be an interesting experience. So I should be able to cross another line from my TO DO BEFORE I DIE List. Been on radio, now must be on Tv. Next, i'll try not to out-do myself and climb mount everest. :-)

    Last Class of my Masters
    Yes! FINALLY! The last class of my MS. I'm gonna cherish this class. Hopefully it will be my last class for a very long time. I'm hoping I don't have to do my PHD just yet. I wanna work for a bit and then come back after some time and then do my PHD or MBA.

    Today in CSE 539: Applied Cryptography we learnt the EVILS of biometric security. You see, things like passwords that you use for your ATM or your gmail account are called Shared Secrets, meaning that for the ATM pin, you share that with the bank ATM. Shared secrets are VERY easy for malicious people to get. For instance, I can call you up, pretend to be your bank and ask for your personal info for "verification". Well turns out, the world wants to move to Biometric security. Well, the biometric sensor, converts your thumbprint for example into a unique string. Now lets say that you use those for websites as a security tool so that they can verify that you are who you say you are. HERE IN LIES THE PROBLEM!
    1) You just transmitted it over the network so anyone else can get it.
    2) You just gave your thumbprint to say Amazon. Now they can use it anywhere they want.

    The problem of Shared Secrets does not vanish with Biometrics. So whats the solution? I don't know. Thats why I am taking the class. I'll tell you once I figure it out :-)

    So what do we do in the Applied Crypto class you say? Well here it is:

    1. Introduction

    • · What is Cryptography?
    • · Encryption and Cryptoanalysis
    • · Steganograpy
    • · Basic protocols and techniques

    2. Basic Cryptographic Algorithms

    • · Encryption schemes
    • · Random numbers
    • · Security of encryption methods
    • · Public Key encryption

    3. Basic Cryptographic Protocols

    • · Key Exchange
    • · Authentication
    • · Secret Sharing
    • · Digital Signatures

    4. Intermediate Protocols

    • · Timestamping services
    • · Subliminal Channels
    • · Undeniable signatures
    • · Bit commitment
    • · Coin flipping on the telephone
    • · All or nothing disclosure of secrets

    5. Advanced Protocols

    • · Zero Knowledge Proofs
    • · Digital Certified Mail
    • · Elections
    • · Digital Cash

    6. Cryptographic Techniques

    • · DES
    • · RSA
    • · DSA
    • · Key Management
    • · Compromised key handling

    7. The Real World

    • · Commonly used software
    • · The law and Cryptography
    • · Politics

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    Download Dan's Wedding Pics
    And now even YOU can download all 596 images with my little app. It creates a folder C:\KCDanWedding\ and puts all the images on there.

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    Kalima muje shakti de!
    Yep. The indian actor, Amrish Puri, who played Villan # 1 in Indianna Jones & The Temple of Doom has died at the age of 72 from a brain hemmorage. [Link]

    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    Microsoft Office Picture Manager Sucks
    I swear sometimes, MS products irk me. I was using the Microsoft Office Picture Manager and I made some changes to a picture and saved it to the desktop. Then I made more changes and hit the save button again. This time instead of saving it to the file on the desktop like any SANE person would, the stupid program saved it to the original file. WHAT THE HELL!! Microsoft, sometimes you make SHITTY products and this is one such product. Microsoft Office Picture Manager Sucks!

    So here's the picture that I made, unfortunately, the original is now lost forever and it was a damn good picture of me too. I was gonna send it to my folks but now I can't.

    Here is another nice picture.

    Tuesday, January 04, 2005

    Busy Life - Happy 2005
    So I didn't end up going to the block party after all. They wanted $20 just to get into the block, after which you had to buy your own drinks and food. Screw that! So whats going on in my life; tons of stuff. Studying for an exam, working on thesis, working on a programming project for the business, working on creating my website, working on creating a VS.Net 2005 Design Patterns code article, working on my apt (cleaning dishes etc), working on sleeping, working on selling some cd's, reading audiobooks, listening to music and just craving good food. I NEED some really GOOD food. Rajma and chawal...mmm....with a nice ice cold cola. Dam that would go down well. I cooked a few noodles over the weekend. I'm totally sick of noodles now. I think I put too much tomato sauce into it. Bleh!

    I was supposed to meet with out CSE Graduate advisor on the 3rd. I've been trying to meet with her since dec 23rd. Yesterday I get a call, she's sick and wont be back until the 5th. AHHH!! Why don't they have a backup advisor. This sucks. Only 1 person to handle all CSE graduates here at ASU. Thats too much work for 1 person and there is no fallback. I hate this kinda "situation." No Redundancy.

    I'm supposed to go to Fry's today at 10am. A good friend of mine is gonna give me a ride. I must say people in my lab are some of the kindest people I've met. They are ever ready to help. I really appreciate that.

    Anyways, I need to get a power adapter for my IPOD. Dam piece of crap is starting to loose battery power for no reason. I'm gonna try leaving it on charge for a few hrs and see what happens.

    Ok I need some coffee. Farbucks here I come.