X1: The death

It all started when I wanted to search for a document I stored a month ago. I couldn’t find it anywhere as I couldn’t remember its name, so I used the built in windows search. I disable the indexing engine as soon as I install the OS, and so none of the files on the disk were indexed and the normal search couldn’t find what I was looking for. It was then; I felt the need of a desktop search tool. Once on Slashdot I was reading an article on some topic related to desktop search wherein a hippie wrote that Google should be scared about X1 Desktop search engine being made free. He also bragged about how great an indexing engine it is. I was convinced and decided to give it a try, a 12MB download which took almost a full night to finish on my gay ass connection, I was all set to install it.

That evening I installed it and set it to the recommended indexing aggressiveness. It was running all night, the next day morning and also even when I came back home the next day. It was almost 20 hours since it started and it was still indexing, saying “Optimizing file index”. It used almost all possible resources available; I decided to free all the resources by rebooting the system.

It shut down and restarted posted well and everything was normal till the Intel RAID (ICH5R) bios showed up. It was showing the HDDs’ status as “Unknown” for both the 160G 7200.7s on the controller. In my experience I have seen “Normal” and “Error Occurred” but I have never seen “Unknown”. After a couple of reboots one disk showed up as “Normal” but the other didn’t, even after checking it with 4-5 HDD diagnostic tools like Sea Tools, MHDD etc. The “Unknown” status was holding back the controller in detecting the RAID0 (Stripe) Set. As a last attempt I used Norton Disk Doctor, and NDD without any user intervention, said something about fixing the drive and started doing something all on its own. I lost all hopes at that moment, I had to wave goodbye to my 320GB data. All the little hopes I had of retaining the data were lost when the RAID bios reported both the disks as “Normal” but wasn’t able to detect the previous RAID set. I was mortified! All the 320GB data gone! Vanished!

What was the reason? X1. It tried to index every byte of the files in the RAID partition; the HDDs couldn’t take that torture and failed one after another. All the 320G data was nothing but videos, yes 95% of the data was either movies or TV series, and I still don’t know what X1 was indexing in those files. Key frames? What ever it did, it was the reason I lost 320Gigs of data. It didn’t really bother me because I have seen almost every byte on those disks, so I am not that disturbed as I was be when I lost my 5600XT. Fortunately both the disks are under warranty and I am absolutely sure ill be getting new disks when I claim the warranty, some good news at last.

X1 will never be forgotten. It reached the top of my “Worst Software ever” list, right above Norton Antivirus 2002. The next time I see such suggestions by hippies on Slashdot, I’ll openly flames their asses.

Guilt Traps

I read a bunch of books on psychology in the past week. They have a detrimental effect on the way we think. We start analyzing every reaction, every response and then try to relate them with the theory in the books. The analysis is involuntary, it doesn’t stop and can’t be stopped either. In the beginning it may seem a bit interesting but as we go deep it gets confusing and everything relates to everything and nothing. Somewhat like Kyle’s paranoia in the episode “Tooth Fairy tats”. On the plus side though, you get to understand people better and also, ourselves better. But in the end it all comes down to a person’s mental strength, a weak mind can turn totally paranoid or a sensible one can find his weaknesses and improve on them. If you are one of those whose thinking is most of the times influenced by other people or surroundings, don’t ever read these! However, if you feel you are strong enough, go ahead read them and see what you really are or aren’t.

What I observed is that Guilt is an inconceivably strong weapon. You can force, order or push a person into doing something but there is always a possibility that he might rebel. You can also plead, beseech, but again there is no guarantee that the deed will be done. But, if we bring in guilt into the picture and make the person feel guilty for not doing something, I assure you, that job will be done whatever the odds. I call this the “Guilt Trap”. When I knew about this and thought back, I found out that I was trapped into these guilt traps in numerous occasions. One might not realize it but it is true. The moment we are guilty we start hating ourselves and that is the catalyst for what follows. Some people use this to their advantage and get things done, in my opinion it is nothing but manipulation and cruel. This manipulation soon becomes a habit as it is the easiest way to get things done. So my advise would be to ask you people to think whether you have been trapped into feeling guilty or you are genuinely guilty. If you think you are being trapped into feeling guilty, reverse the whole situation, try and make them feel guilty or put all the responsibility on them or just ignore them.

What effect the books had on me? I started to worry about what people thought of me. I stopped caring what people thought about me long back, but it all came back for those three days, I was, you can say paranoid for a while.

Warning psycho alert!

Since school, I had many awful experiences, like being sent out of class for sleeping, almost everyday, at Ramaiah. They had no long term effect on me, but I slowly turned into an insensitive, anti-social, irresponsible, Para geek. Then my two years at the IIT changed me a lot again. I was ever more confident about my abilities. Although I wasn’t able to develop my ability to prioritize, I became stronger. I still had more negatives than positives but it was an improvement none the less. Still it proved costly as I was slow in developing myself. However since I don’t let drawbacks take me down, I was working on myself all last year. Frankly, I again have changed a lot and this time. I think I now have more positives than negatives. I now know what my priorities are; I now stand up for myself and what I believe. I now assert myself whenever I have to, which I never could before. I know a lot more about myself.

The most significant development is that I am now able to balance my academics with my passion for computers (or you can say obsession). I never had the balance before, that’s why I was forced be away from computers whenever I had to study. Since I was always forced, I never valued the balance and took it for granted. In the end I was kicked out of IITD. A painful experience, the worst part about this is, even though I and my family are over the disaster, outsiders aren’t.

And yes, I was this big a psycho even before reading those books.

The Come back from hibernation post?

OMG! My blog is popular! There have been many instances where people asked why I stopped blogging or why there were no new posts. I am overwhelmed by the fact that so many people read this. This is the answer to all their questions.

First off I had my external exams, which btw went extremely well and I ended up with distinction and secondly it was “holiday” time after the exams. By Holidays I assume that every second has to be pleasurable to an extremely high level, I live to enjoy, and so I dropped the priority of blogging to the lowest along with academics and social interaction for the 3 weeks to come. Although I was assigned some small web designing projects, I put them just above blogging in the priority stack.

So, what did I do in holidays? One word: Oblivion (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion). This game has a great history with Morrowind Morrowind-tribunal etc but I never played any of those though, truth to be said, I never played an RPG, no Diablo, no NWN, none. The only reason I plagued Guns till he gave the game to me was because all the hardware review sites were over-enthusiastic on how the game stressed the graphics subsystem. I couldn’t resist, I had to test mine. Being an FPS freak I never liked RPGs and so I was just installing it to rape the individual subsystems. I installed the game and started playing just to admire the HDR rendering and the beautiful grass and trees with shadows, even with 20fps it looked cool. I liked it, I was happy that the monster was finally able to handle it. Oh and by the way, I revived the monster and this time for sure. I sold the old rotten 80G HDDs on eBay and got a new 160G 7200.9 and an extra 512MB stick to replace my old dead one summing up to 1GB of DDR440. Although dual channel isn’t working (coz I have 3 banks and 2 modules of memory) I think its fine as long as I don’t create A2 size posters in Photoshop. Coming back to the game, as I was admiring the pixels generated, I soon was involved in the game and within a day I was addicted! Its not a fast paced game at all, nevertheless I was attracted by the intricacy of the game. All FPS games are linear but this game is in no way linear, I guess all RPGs are like that. I was so obsessed that I changed my profile in orkut from being completely South Park friendly to Oblivion stats update page. In conclusion I passed all my holidays playing Oblivion.

Here are the Statistics.



tHeSiD

Race: Nord
Birth sign: The Thief
Class: Knight
Level: 9

Factions

Arena: Grand Champion
Dark Brotherhood: Listener
Mages Guild: Warlock
Blades: Knight Brother
Thieves Guild: Pick Pocket
Knights of the White Stallion: Knight-errant
Fighters Guild: Apprentice

Major Skills

Blade: 80
Block: 47
Blunt: 44
Hand to Hand: 30
Heavy Armor: 63
Illusion: 37
Speechcraft: 37

Strength: 75
Intelligence: 36
Willpower: 38
Agility: 57
Speed: 64
Endurance: 65
Personality: 44
Luck: 66

Stats
Days passed: 122
Active Quests: 12
Completed Quests: 80
Skill Increases: 329


Also, during the exams I was inflicted with another disease, orkut. Then, I was restricted to a net connection and a pc based on the 865 chipset, dad’s PC. I had two options Y!Msgr or browse, at times no one was on yahoo and so I remembered that I had an orkut account and logged in to check in what the hell was going on in there. Slowly got keen on that too and started scrapping people I thought I was not in proper contact with and now because of that my Outlook inbox is flooded with mails from randomhash@mail.orkut.com. Oh well, It helped me pass time during the exams. It will slowly die down.