I have been selected by Sun Microsystems as the Sun Campus Ambassador of my college TCE, Madurai. I will be trained by Sun and then I will have to evangelise Sun technologies in my college. Actually there is more that I can do than just evangelising, conducting demos and workshop sessions. I was told “There is no limit to what a Sun Campus Ambassador can do”. Krithika, whom I succeed was excellent as a Sun Campus Ambassador and I hope to continue her legacy and if possible do better.

The story behind my selection is a big one. Ever since I started participating in the Sun club activities, I always dreamed of becoming a Sun ambassador. During last November I was suddenly asked by my HOD whether I would like to become the next CA. As the question was so unexpected, I couldn’t answer and I just said I don’t know.

Then in January, HOD and the staff selected 5 people from my department who would be the Sun club coordinators after Krithika’s term ended and one of those 5 would be selected as the next CA. I was disappointed but decided to carry on gamely with it. Those 5 people successfully conducted the Sun Guru programme successfully in my college.

But suddenly in April, Krithika sent an email to all the Sun club members that the next Sun CA was to be selected and that anyone who is interested can apply for it by sending their resumes. I was so glad and immediately sent my resume. 🙂

Three people were selected to be interviewed by Sun from those who had sent their resumes, and I was one among them. The other two were Anugraha (one of those 5 selected coordinators) and Ashmitha Srinivas who were my classmates.

We had a telephonic interview in May for about half an hour each. My interview was really a great experience. I was asked about what I knew about what a Sun CA has to do. I had known about it because I was in touch with Krithika for about an year. I was also asked about the Sun technologies I was familiar with and I answered Java, NetBeans and OpenSolaris. I was asked about configuring the network connection of a computer which I knew thanks to Krithika. Then I was asked about the activities of Sun club and the GNU/Linux group in my college and how I could improve the activities of both.

I was also asked about my views on Free Open Source Software and proprietary softwares. Then I was told that ‘There is no limit to what I can do as a Sun Campus Ambassador’. I was told that the results of the interview would be out in two weeks time.

After two weeks, I got a mail from Sun informing me that I have been selected as the CA for my college. My joy had no bounds. Then Mr. Rajesh Uma Shankar from Sun got in touch with me and informed me that he’ll be my coordinator.

I got in touch with a few other Sun CA-elects and shared our experiences. Now I am scheduled to go to Bangalore to attend the Sun Campus Ambassador Induction Training Programme for three days. Gary Serda, the global CA head and a Vice President of MySQL(Sun’s latest acquisition) are going to be present for that programme and it’s really gonna be a lifetime experience.

I am very much looking forward with oodles of excitement! 🙂

More later……

My third year at college started today. We had a new classroom, new subjects and staff, of course the same classmates! I am very much looking forward to an activity-filled year ahead. I would very much like to learn loads of stuff and of course become a better guy.

This year is very important because I will have to face campus placement interviews at the end of this year. So its high time to get myself to equipped for that. I love challenges. 🙂

Today my 4th semester results were out. Surprise, surprise, I got 9.47 GPA – my highest and the third highest in the department. I also moved to third on the overall CGPA in the department. I scored 90% in the Microprocessor lab which went horribly wrong for me. I have to thank my lucky stars for this miracle. This result inspires me to improve myself constantly and avoid my previous mistakes. It instills a sense of belief and confidence in me that I can improve and scale unscaled heights. I wish to make every semester a better one in terms of my marks, what i learn and how much I enjoy. Looking ahead to a great 5th semester and 3rd year!

The third internal test went off in a hurry. I started to hate Microprocessors and System Software subjects more and more. These subjects’ syllabi were very poorly framed and the teachers couldn’t get any worse. Even Java which I had blown off with ease previously started to create demons in my mind with a lot of stuff to cram. I hate cramming the most and I can never do it.

As a result I got poor marks in the third internal test. Semester exams were done and dusted in a whiff. This time I felt I didn’t do even a single subject excellently. Practical exams were a mixed bag. System Software and Operating Systems lab was too easy. Contrastingly, I couldn’t get proper output for both the programs I was given in Microprocessor lab. Though it seems unacceptable, I fully blame the MASM software for screwing me up though my programs were perfect both in logic and in being error-free. Failure loomed large and even the exam supervisors didn’t react too encouragingly. Logic tells me that I should easily pass given that I had done everything perfectly other than getting the correct output, but my emotions were keeping me tense and I feared the worst. I feared that it would be a big blot on my academic record and that it wud affect and haunt me forever. With results due on May 16, I’m keeping my fingers crossed! 🙂

Today, the last working day of the semester and the academic year, marks the end of an era. Final year seniors, who had always been the people in charge with all the answers for all situations, finish their college education today. Annas-Balachandran, Sai Krishna, Venkatapathy and akkas-Krithika and Agalya who served all their responsibilities to perfection and have a got a lot of awestruck admirers like me got their offer letters today and would be leaving for their jobs very soon.

Each of them is a distinctly super-talented one and have left an inspiring influence in me.

Bala anna has always been very friendly, helpful and definitely informative and inspirational.

Sai anna has always represented a perfect man- he seemed to be cool-headed in all situations and knew a frightening amount of things. He’s nothing short of an enigma and inspiration.

Krithika akka has been a supremely multitalented and has always been willing to help. It was she, as a Sun Ambassador and a friendly guide, who introduced me to all the Sun Microsystems technologies I’ve ever known. She is a very friendly person.

Agalya akka has always been calm but does loads of work which others seldom get to know. She has been an inspiration for me to learn a lot and also to become a department topper.

Venkatapathy anna’s most disarming quality is his sense of humour which would lighten up the spirits of everyone around. He has instilled a sense of belief in me that I too can learn anything.

Unix/PP lab has always been a uneasy place for me to be in, without these great people. But with their course completion, I’ll have to endure it to eternity. With their leaving, I feel there are no people who know the things that matter. Their absence will be a irreplaceable void in the PP lab and also in the minds of people like me who have been influenced and inspired by such nice people.

The prospect of taking up the server administration from these wonderful people seems a huuuuge ask for me as I know nothing. But with the farewell to these people I can rest assured that the rest of my college life is going to be full of DNS, Exim, SQUID, LDAP, Firewall, Apache to name a few. 🙂

My salutations to all these seniors who have caused a paradigm shift in my life. Hats off to them! My sincerest wishes and prayers for a great post-college life of such unforgettable, irreplaceable people.

I installed Open Solaris Developer Edition on my notebook today, though its a bit too late and not that much significant or useful anymore. Still I installed it as I want to learn and learning is always fun irrespective of everything. I alongwith Krithika akka and Anugraha tried to install Nvidia drivers on Solaris for my Nvidia 8600M GS graphics card and then to install Compiz, but we couldn’t! 🙁 . Hopefully it’ll be sorted out soon and I can enjoy using Compiz. I must learn to put aside disappointments and misery aside and learn to be optimistic more often. Only time will tell the truth! 🙂

My misery continues and has started accumulating in my mind. I cannot share it with anyone because no one would understand or even the persons who could understand are not in a position to understand. My misery would appear a self-created one to most or it would be considered meaningless. I believe that I am a fighter to the core and that I will eventually overcome all these temporary troubles and achieve great things. I hope every thing turns out positive and I pray to God to give me the strength to face whatever comes. Om Shanti Om!

The recent few days have been totally exhausting and demoralising. Too much has happened in too little time. I got my long-awaited and long-craved, albeit expensive,laptop of my dreams. I have had too much of work to do but have been unable to do anything meaningfully. The way I’m treated by the people, the troubles that the situations, unexpected and shocking happenings give, have left me in an emotional storm. A few dreams have been realised, a few cruelly crushed, giving no emotional relaxation. Also my inability to do anything meaningful due to a variety of reasons, relationships turning slightly sour too often continue to drive me mad.

The arrival of my laptop was supposed to be a release from most of my troubles but instead i’ve scarcely had time to use it. My health has also started to play spoilsport almost everyday making daily life worse than Hell probably. 🙁 I hope things will change for better!

My parents have bought me a laptop, my dream. I have no words to express my feeling of ecstasy. I think that the arrival of the laptop will solve a lot of my problems. Configuration-wise it is a power-packed laptop and I would be able to play the latest and my favorite games without any worries. Of course, I’d be able to do some academic and extra-academic comfortably with my laptop. Here’s its configuration:

Processor type Intel® Centrino® Duo processor technology
• Intel® Core™2 Duo processor T7250
• 2.0 GHz , 2 MB L2 Cache, 800 MHz FSB
• Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection
Operating system installed Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
Standard memory 2048 MB
Memory type DDR2 667MHz
Memory layout (2 x 1024 MB)
Maximum memory Supports up to 4GB DDR2 memory (Dual Channel Memory Support; For 4 GB memory configuration, up to 1 GB may not be available with 32-bit operating systems due to system resource requirements)
Internal drives
Internal hard disk drive 250 GB
Hard disk controller SATA Hard Disk Drive
Hard disk drive speed 5400 rpm
Optical drive type LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD±RW with Double Layer Support
System features
Memory card device 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader for Secure Digital cards, MultiMedia cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, or xD Picture cards
Modem High speed 56K modem
Network interface Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Wireless technologies Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection
Wireless capability Bluetooth® wireless networking
External I/O ports 3 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, 1 RJ11, 1 RJ45, TV-Out (S-video), Expansion Port 3, 2 Headphones out, 1 Microphone in, 1 IEEE 1394 Firewire, Consumer IR, AC Adapter, integrated Fingerprint reader
Video capture interface IEEE 1394 FireWire® Interface
Expansion slots One ExpressCard/54 slot (also supports ExpressCard/34)
Display size 17″ WXGA+ High Definition BrightView Widescreen
Display resolution 1440 x 900
Video adapter NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8600M GS
Video RAM up to 1279MB total graphics memory with 512MB dedicated
Speakers and microphone Altec Lansing® speakers
Keyboard Notebook keyboard with scroll bar and integrated numeric keypad
Pointing device Touch Pad with On/Off button and dedicated vertical Scroll Up/Down pad, volume control, mute buttons, 2 Quick Launch Buttons
Power supply type 90 W AC Power Adapter
Webcam HP Pavilion WebCam with Integrated Microphone
Dimensions / weight / warranty
Weight 3.55 kg (7.8 lbs)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 28.50 cm (L) x 39.60 cm (W) x 3.16 cm (min) H / 4.18 cm (max) H
Package dimensions (W x D x H) 480 x 170 x 350 mm
Warranty statement 1 year, parts and labour

For the past few days, I realise of the existence of an invisible threshold circle around everyone of us. It defines the boundary of what we can do normally and what we cannot. It is there for good things and bad things as well. A big herculean effort or hi-octane inspiration is needed to break through the threshold and do something meaningful. More and more we delay making the efforts to break through, the circle keeps closing in and at one point starts choking us that even the normal day-to-day activities seem a big ask. The negative part of the threshold is very smart and shrinks in a certain areas and elongates in a certain areas thereby bringing badder things into our capability zone.

Its just similar to earth’s gravity. It keeps us grounded and similarly the threshold keeps us from bad things. A lot of force is required for breaking through the threshold for bad actions as well. But as it inhibits good actions and development, it must be enslaved. The power of a rocket or a space shuttle is needed to break free of the earth’s gravity. Similarly extremely powerful force is needed to break through the barrier, which when done leads to great things.

I’m getting to face a lot of undesirable things due to my threshold circle closing in. I have had the desire and interest to learn a lot of things like Cryptography, Python, Web design, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, Linux and more. But in each of these, I get stuck at the threshold level. It could be because of lack sustained focus, inspiration but also a lot of other factors have contributed to it. A bit of guidance and help, or maybe even spoonfeeding till there is reasonable familiarity with these stuff, from learned persons can always be the clinching factor. Also lonely efforts are more difficult and difficult to sustain. The company of like-minded persons will surely do wonders, but the key is in finding the right company.

I realise that once the threshold starts shrinking, it grows powerful and is more difficult to break. Often breaching the threshold turns out to be the difference between achievers who take it all and the triers. Here the will power to keep going on and on, unperturbed by obstacles and difficulties, is very much essential as is patience. Development takes its own time and never happens in an eyeblink. It is almost impossible for most of us to accept such an obvious truth. Many people like me have spurts of inspiration and the will to do things and hence are easily disappointed if things do not happen within the duration of the spurts. Such things usually take a lot out of me and cause huge disappointments which take quite some time to heal. The key here is ‘sustained focus’ and oodles of ‘patience’.

Let me pray for people including me to realise that there is a great world outside the good threshold where sky is the limit!