Trauma – want to run as a user but I cannot

Background: My new development MS Windows XP Pro box, I was thinking of bringing in some common-sense principles from the Unix world.

Hypothesis: If I can run as ‘user’ under Linux painlessly, why can’t I do that under Windows too?

Benefits: If I were able to run as a user versus ‘root’, fewer chances of causing a devastating accident or running a dangerous Trojan and incurring embarassing consequences (the latter, I am not entire sure about).

Results: Experiment was an unrivalled failure. After two days of trauma, I decided to give my ‘user’ Administrative privileges.

Observations: Applications just refuse to run after being installed by the Administrator. These are usually legacy applications and the primary cause of my trauma. For example, the Openwave WAP/WML browser kept complaining it did not have access to the “CookieCache” which was probably under “Program Files”. It should have been using local folders to store cookies.

Also, I am trying to work out how I can stay logged in as a user and switch back and forth between root and user. Akin to ‘su’ on Unix.

KDD 2004

Yesterday, I relived my life as a graduate student after 4 weeks of professional work. I found to my chagrin and disbelief, that I actually loved the sudden change.

I had a short 20 minute window to talk about a paper I worked on with other folks from RIT at KDD 2004. I spent a good portion of Saturday and Sunday working on this, with little regret.

Interesting KDD 2004 statistics:
01. The longest amount of time a speaker rambled on – 1 hour 30 minutes
02. The average duration of time for any talk – 15 minutes
03. Pretty women in the conference – 5
04. Stares they invited – 100+ per minute
05. Surfboarders at the conference – 3
06. People schmoozing upto the awards committee – 200+
07. Powerpoint slides displayed on the first day – 10^3
08. Slides that were original – 9
10. Attendees – easily 300+
11. People who had $300 to throw away – 100+
12. People who actually published in KDD – Significant attendees
01. Joshua Goodman & Geoff Hulten (MSN.com)
02. Ronn Feldman (Clearforest)
03. Jafar Adibi
04. Usama Fayyed
05. Soumen Chakraborti
06. Ankur Teredesai (my Master’s thesis advisor)
07. Jiawei Han (Winner of the innovations award for KDD-’04)
08. Ronny Kohavi (Amazon.com)
09. Heiki Mannilla
10. Mohammed Zaki (RPI.edu & Vineet’s new advisor)

My Rhythm

The Rhythm of life, the pulse that courses through everyone’s veins. Yes, that’s me! Jack knows I exist. Jack knows that I am the expression of his soul. When people talk off the beat they simply mean me.

Without me, expression is so incomplete. Jack tends to forget of my existence now and then. I remember on one occasion, Jack wrote his thoughts out about how he felt, but it lacked the life-giving pulse… Jack regretted its lifelessness and tried harder, only to fail and to try again. When he was able to find the rhythm, Jack knew he had it, he did not have to think about it. At that point, I breathed beauty into his expression and a smile onto his face.

Jack remembers the rhythm of his mother’s lullaby, too embarassed to uncloak the memory. The lullaby matched the rhythm of Jack’s heart, always managing to put him to sleep.

Jack knows I exist in the many forms, from the simple ticking wall clock that cuckoos to the the small quartz chip that keeps the fanciest of wrist watches on time. The analytical side of Jack must work hard and find innovative ways to capture the essence of soul. It merely attempts to replace me, never coming close! However, what Jack fails to realize is that I exist in him too.

Unfortunately for him, I don’t think I am going to take the trouble to find Jack, for Jack must find me.

How far can we stretch safety?

Indian automobiles don’t have collision airbags, seat-belts aren’t mandatory, the tires aren’t high-performance, and yet Pune – Mumbai has an expressway where people can zip by at speeds touching 55 mph – 60 mph. India lacks in infrastructure and technology partly because we illogically insist on staying behind.

Article [Times Of India]

Guitar links

For Beginners:
Basic Lessons [radioyur.com]
Guitar.about.com [about.com]
Very first lesson [taboholic.com]

Footnote
It’s a bit early in the midnight hour for me
To go through all the things that I want to be
I don’t believe in everything I see
Y’know I’m blind so why d’you disagree
Take me away, cos I just don’t want to stay
And the lies you make me say
Are getting deeper every day
These are crazy days but they make me shine
Time keeps rolling by

Oasis-All around the world

NYTimes

is this relevant?

While alternative browsers are not immune to security problems, security experts say they do have several inherent advantages over Internet Explorer. Craig Schmugar, a virus research manager with McAfee’s antivirus and vulnerability emergency response team, said Internet Explorer’s integration into Windows made it more vulnerable than other browsers, as did its support of ActiveX technologies. The browser’s wide deployment, he said, also makes it a more tempting target for hackers.

“If you’re talking about Opera, for example, maybe there’s one door in the front of the house that hackers are trying to break into,” Mr. Schmugar said. “It’s easier to secure that one door than the six doors all over the house Internet Explorer might have.”
more

Logitech Z2200

It's time to sing 'Happy Birthday Santosh' haha! I finally got a set of speakers I can really talk about. I have been waiting for this day for ever since I got to know of hi-fi stereo sound. It's a 2.1 speaker system certified by THX. This is the culmination of tremendous patience!

A review [extremetech.com] of the Z2200 2.1 speaker system!

The speakers available here [Amazon.com] for $54.94 after rebates. On the page you will also find reviews and the product description, so I will avoid repeating it.

Only trouble is:
1. I don't have my original compact disc's on me anymore, especially Pink Floyd
2. My sound card is a run of the mill card, came with my laptop and does not support the 2.1 system

Link KDD 2004

Finally, some information on how and where some of our work will appear. The paper was written over the Summer, summarising a few experiments with Social Networks. Link KDD 2004 is the forum for the talk!

August 22nd, Sunday:
11:10 to 11:30 Extracting Social Networks from Instant Messaging Populations