Spider’s New Home Page :)

After a long wait and trying out lots of templates for the new spider home page, we decided to host this one at last. Hope it looks good. :)

For those who can’t make out what im talking about, Spider is a tech team in NIT Trichy and we maintain our site on the college intranet. :)

Hello Kitty !!

This 21st September, the kittens in our hostel became 2 months old. Well.. Yeah I do remember their birthdate.. :P

The cat named Jenny by the archi guys of my batch (though I’m sure she doesn’t have a clue of it :P) gave birth to 3 kittens in my neighbouring room on 21st July.. Though there were a whole lot of blame games after it, as to who the father is?? :P. It was during these games that the wing thought of naming the kids as Alpha Bali, Beta Bali and Gamma Bali (due to reasons unexplainable here :P). Later we found that the one responsible for it was the cat Goldy who apparently lives in our hostel only (again named so by our hostel junta).
At once all the maternal love in our wing junta came into effect and they started feeding the cat on the milk they brought from the mess..

The cartons of Dell Laptops came into some use at least.. as the home for the cat family.. Though after some days she started looking out for an apportunity to sneak into  open cupboards and put its kids there. :P
Some of the unsuspecting junta had real trouble getting the kids out of the lowermost portion of the cubboard.. :P
Well now the kids walk on their feet.. :D.. and the explore the hostel…

Spider SMS service !!

Spider SMS service, exclusively for the junta of NITT is finally up and running, finally.. :)
( For those who can’t make something out of the first sentence– SPIDER is the technical group of NITT.. and im one of the spiders.. :P)

We now provide info to the campus junta directly onto their mobile phone.. like none other..
A host of services including India cricket score updates every 20 mins, bi daily national news, daily sports, science and tech, cricket and page3 news… bakar for the day, thought for the day, jokes, GRE word for the day, dictionary, campus buzz and more…
We’re planning to expand it to include nittmail notifications, octa print-out notifications, train inquiries , mass messaging and much more that makes it absolutely irresistible..
all absolutely FREE for the campus junta and fully automated :)

All you need to have is either an account on the spider website on the insti LAN or aditya LDAP account (the one which you use to login into octa computers)..

To register for the service

  • EITHER update your phone number on your spider profile,OR
  • send an sms as “Register rollno aditya-password” to the spider phone . for eg if my rollno is 106106058 and password is helloworld then i need to send “Register 106106058 helloworld”.

(all keywords are case Insensitive, double quotes are only for clarity’s sake)

If your password is not correct then you will receive an sms stating the same, other wise you’ll receive an acknowledgment stating that you are registered for the sms service. If you didn’t have a profile on the spider website, it will create one for you and you can login into the same through your aditya password, otherwise it’ll update the phone number on your profile.

You’ll need to subscribe to the various services individually by sending an sms as Yes followed by a space followed by the keyword for the particular service. for e.g. to subscribe for scores send ‘”yes score” to spider phone.

You can find the full list of the services and their keywords on http://spider.nitt.edu/sms (accessible only on insti LAN).

Now coming to the technical aspect.
We use a nokia 6030 phone and interface it with a computer (sms gateway) running Linux through gnokii. gnokii-smsd is a daemon used to send and receive messages from and to a mysql database. (Installation details are best explained here ) .
Hari had started this service with some features but he wrote the code in c, and we couldn’t expand it to include new services. So we developed it in php, starting from scratch.

We have a shell scripts which fetch the content (as rss feeds) from the internet at desired intervals (through cron). PHP scripts parse those rss feeds and dump the headlines into files, compresses the content so as to fit maximum of it into a single message, send this content to the subscribes users.
Another php script which runs permanently, processes the incoming messages and maintains the user accounts and subscriptions.

It was such a fun working with surath, hajela and vivek in spider lab.
As for NITT student clubs, dept. symposiums and fests. You are most welcome to use the service for advertisement and mass messaging. :P

Happy Spidering… :P :)

A Day to Cheer !!

India, our nation, our motherland turns 60 as a republic today.. a day to cheer indeed.. a day to celebrate our democracy.. a day to celebrate our right to vote, right to contest in elections and all the fundamental and civil rights..
But do we actually exercise our rights, espacially the right to vote??
Many of us, specially the youth, think it is useless to vote.
We regard the election day as a day to lie some more time on the bed.. a public hoiday.. nothing more..
We actually compalain everytime we see something wrong going on in the society. We think it is someone else’s job to clean all the mess we create.. but what we dont realise that our vote is the first step towards bringing about that change.. We are the ones who let the wrong people win by not voting.
Most of us think the whole process would be a pain in the neck.. while actually its very easy.. even changing your constituency..say from the place you studied to the place you live or work..
You must have seen the ad on TV where a guy repeatedly offers someone tea.. saying that the person is still asleep.. yeah that ad is a part of “jaagore” campaign, supporte
d by Tata Tea and Janagrah..

Just checkout the website http://www.jaagore.com. The simple steps you need to carry out to get yourself registered in your area’s electoral roll.. and to get the voter id card.. are explained there.. just like a complete idiot’s guide to vote !! :P
It also tries to elliminate some very common myths regarding the process of voting.. and the best part is
 they notify you of the status of your application through sms.
I really appreciate the efforts of this guy Raj(yeah.. the same guy you see in the ad) for initiating this campaign.. he’s the live example of the fact that one young guy can bring about a change..
Moreover we’re living in shadow of terror.. courtsy our beloved neighbour.. the factory of terror..
The economic crisis is on its peak..
The nation is calling..
the question is will the youth respond to it !!