Thu 09 August 2012

What have I been upto?

Posted by ankur in Tech (703 words, approximately a 3 minute read)

Quite a bit actually! I've recently moved to Sydney to pursue a Masters of engineering (research) course. It's a two year course, which will probably be followed by a Ph.D. I guess I'm in this for the long haul now. I've been thinking of blogging since I got here. All the work and running around has sucked up all my time though. Today, when I finally decided to finish this task, I've forgotten everything that I wanted to write!

I was shortly away from Fedora. The entire period was weird, because I'm so used to working on random Fedora stuff, even if it's just hanging out on #fedora. I've worked and finished up my backlogs: all my FTBFS bugs have been squashed. I'm reviewing libfreenect which is a great package for folks interested in using the kinect to do cool stuff. I haven't been able to attend any of the APAC Ambassador meetings yet. The time zone makes them on Saturday afternoons. I'm either out or sleeping at the time. I'm looking to get back into marketing a little. Ruth is working to bring back marketing meetings, which is GREAT (Come join in!). I'm going to try to bring back the Fedora pamphlet which we've missed for previous releases.

It's a huge change from India. I mean, as I mentioned to bochecha earlier over the IRC, the streets are almost empty at times. That's a rare sight in India. The place is a little expensive in comparison. (I'm still in the habit of converting my prices to INR. I'll lose it in a while as I get settled.) The university has taken great pains to help us international students get settled too, so it's all been smooth sailing really. The people here are really friendly, always ready to help :). Accomodation is generally a hassle, but I was brainy enough to get my hands on university housing as soon as I heard of it.

I've just only begun working on my thesis subject. It's related to robot navigation. I still need to review literature in the field and find a gap I want to plug. I'm working on it. I get weird ideas all the time. It takes a while to follow them up and see if they're feasible though (None of them have been feasible yet). I'm also helping with some research my supervisor's other students have taken up related to intertial navigation systems. I need to use a sensor for this purpose. I really haven't any background in electronics, but I'm learning quickly. The fedora electronics lab mailing list has been helpful too (Thanks!). Tomorrow I'm supposed to work with the NAO. It's really great to be able to work with all this hardware. The one thing that bugs me is that most of this is properitory software/hardware. You need to purchase everything, from drivers, simulators, you name it. NAO is going to be open sourced according to this press release, but that's the last I've heard about it. All the software and hardware specifications is still properitory and requires an NDA. (Interestingly, the NAO uses linux as it's OS). They do support Linux, but the support is really limited compared to their support for Windows. Maybe we need to focus on research tools a little more? A majority of the researchers seem to use Windows with Matlab installs. (That's irritating too). I'm trying to port all the existing Matlab code to C/C++ just so I can continue using my Fedora system.


I've fortunately found football and beer people, so I do have some recreation. There are music clubs etcetera that I could join too. I haven't join any though, not knowing how much time I'll have research in the future. I'm still scouting the area for cheap pubs that play rock though. I guess it'll take me some time to find those.

My darling sister cooks and gives me tiffins every week, so I pretty much don't have to cook or spend extra on eating out. Perks of having an elder sibling ;)

Ok. I can't think of anything else at the moment! The post is random enough! Have fun! I'll see you folks around Fedora! Cheers!