Some pointers for computer troublebombarding …

March 6, 2010

1) QTParted – free software for resizing partitions (it can handle NTFS partitions) found in Knoppix Free CD.
2) Vista Recovery CD – available at
3) Broken exe associations – sometimes you may find all your shortcuts are behaving weird. You double click them and it asks you to indicate the program with which to open it. Well sometimes running them as Administrator works but this is a temporary solution. It may happen that even regedit or msconfig is not found when you type it at start! But dont panic – go directly to their location – search in C:\WINDOWS and right click on them and click “Run as Administrator”. So you can open the cmd prompt this way (CMD.EXE) and run a command like regedit or msconfig. Then to fix the broken exe associations you need to slightly tweak the registry. Read about it here –

It is good to have these handy – keep a copy of the softwares on a CD and a printout of the document. They can save hours of your time (and lot of sanity) sometimes.

Illinois tollways

February 23, 2010

So you missed paying toll – you did not have enough cash or you just zoomed in through the IPass lane. If that happened on the Golden Gate Bridge , you have a toll violation and you will end up paying a hefty fine. I remember back in 2008 I missed paying the toll because I was like 10c short and I had to pay 25$. No checks, credit cards, invitation cards, greeting cards or poker face appeals worked. That really sucked! However Illinois has a great tollway system. Even if you speed past the toll booth for any number of reasons (including being in a hurry) you have upto 7 days to pay it online at – you just need to remember the approximate time, date and location of missed toll. There is a map on the website that one can use to figure out the missed booth you may need to spend 10 minutes on this but this is way more fair than paying 25$ fines! Go Illinois!

Hello again!

February 6, 2010

It has been one and a half years since I made a post. The last post was on the tensor Calculus. While I have still not dropped plans to complete the series at some point of time, I think it is simply unsustainable for me right now. I have pondered once in a while at the reason why I stopped blogging and here are some possible reasons.

1. My aim was to make very expository posts. This is hard work and requires lot of motivation to keep up amidst all going on in life. Thus having this razor sharp focus on expository posts was not a good idea for my type of person. The moments of inspiration are few when I want to make such posts while a blog is something that should keep rolling.

2. I tend to plan quiet a lot before writing. This perfectionist attitude did not work well for me.

3. For sure I lack time management skills. But thats ok, I guess I am getting better.

I am not going to make any promises this time. Just try to write something whenever I feel like it … So once again – Hello everybody!

Math blogs vs CS blogs

March 31, 2008

I am very impressed by many professional mathematicians posting expository articles on their blog. One of the great advantages it has over just a survey article is that the comments section allows direct interaction with the author. Also, in many cases the presentation is more relaxed than a research paper and more fast paced than a book. I have examples of at least three blogs : Terry Tao’s blog , Rigorous Trivialities and The Unapologetic Mathematician , with regular detailed postings on various topics. I am wondering why there arent so many CS theory blogs? Luca’s blog is a great one that stands out in this regard. There has a been a lot of discussion about selling CS theory, see for example this post by Lance Fortnow. I think that one of the ways to do this is to write good expository articles and popularize various ideas that arise again and again in theoretical CS.

Party Snaps

March 19, 2008

Some photographs from a party on March 8th. Unfortunately I do not have some snaps of the delicious food cooked by Neha. However I am sure Amit has taken some snaps and I will ask him to send me a link to those.

Update 03/20/2008 : I have uploaded some more photos to the same folder on flickr. These were taken by Amit.

Hello world!

February 23, 2008

I intend to blog mostly about CS theory papers that I read. As I am also very interested in theoretical Physics and Mathematics, some of my posts can also be from papers in those fields. Occasionally I may discuss more mundane stuff.

Let me also use this post to test latex. a_n = b_n + c_n.