LHC First Beam (Big Bang Day) Today

Scientist around the world are excited and eager today as the big moment is nearing ,more than 20 years of wait is about to end and CERN is finally flipping the switch on the billion dollar Large Hadron Collider (LHC) dubbed as the most advance and complex machine ever built in the history of mankind. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100 m underground. It is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles – the fundamental building blocks of all things. Two beams of subatomic particles called ‘hadrons’ -either protons or lead ions will travel in 27 kilometre tunnel in the opposite directions at the speed of light (almost) to collide (For today’s experiment, the beam is only a single beam, so there will be no collisions).
When the LHC will start operating it will produce roughly 15 petabytes (15 million gigabytes) of data annually – enough to fill more than 1.7 million dual-layer DVDs a year. Enormous computing power and storage is required and “LHC Grid,” a global network of 60,000 computers will provide this required computing capability.The data are sent via high-speed lines to 11 top research institutions in Europe, North America and Asia, and from there to a wider network of some 150 research facilities around the world where they can be scrutinized by thousands of researchers.

Well if Physicist could not find any god particle in CERN 🙂 one thing is for sure, Computer Scientists would cherish these experiments some day which pushed distributed computing and networking technologies to a new front.

For live webcast of the event visit http://webcast.cern.ch/

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The Last Lecture

“Brick walls are there for a reason they let us prove how badly we want things” said Professor Randy Pauche in his famous lecture “The Last Lecture” (over 6.5 Million youtube dowloads at the time of this post).Randy sadly died on 25 July 2008 but his brief life left an enduring legacy.

Here are some extracts from the lecture..
– Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted
–Be good at something, it makes you valuable
–Don’t complain,just work harder
–Get feedback, and listen to it
–Brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough
–Have something to bring to the table
– Look for the best in everybody
–All you have to do is ask. Don’t be afraid to appear ignorant.
–A bad apology is worse than no apology
–Earnest is better than hip
–Dream big

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Around The Corner

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

“Tomorrow” I say! “I will call on Jim
Just to show that I’m thinking of him”,
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away,
“Here’s a telegram sir,” “Jim died today.”
And that’s what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

By Charles Hanson Towne (1877-1949)

Posted in friends, Personal, poetry | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Technology Review: Spare Some Bandwidth?

Pakistani scientists have a way to boost download speeds:

Internet access is growing steadily in developing nations, but limited infrastructure means that at times connections can still be painfully slow. A major bottleneck for these countries is the need to force a lot of traffic through international links, which typically have relatively low bandwidth.

Now computer scientists in Pakistan are building a system to boost download speeds in the developing world by letting people effectively share their bandwidth. Software chops up popular pages and media files, allowing users to grab them from each other, building a grassroots Internet cache.

In developed countries, Internet service providers (ISPs) create Web caches–machines that copy and store content locally–to boost their customers’ browsing speeds. When a user wants to view a popular website, the information can be pulled from the cache instead of from the computer hosting the website, which may be on the other side of the planet and busy with requests. Similar services are offered by content distribution companies such as Akamai, based in Cambridge, MA. High-traffic sites pay Akamai to host copies of their content in multiple locations, and users are automatically served up a copy of the site from the cache closest to them.

In countries like Pakistan, Internet connections are generally slow and expensive, and few ISPs offer effective caching services, limiting access to information–one reason why the United Nations has made improving Internet connectivity worldwide one of its Millennium Development Goals. None of Pakistan’s small ISPs cache much data, and traffic is often routed through key Internet infrastructure in other nations.

“In Pakistan, almost all the traffic leaves the country,” says Umar Saif, a computer scientist at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). That’s the case even when a Pakistani user is browsing websites hosted in his or her own country. “The packets can get routed all the way through New York and then back to Pakistan,” Saif says.

So Saif’s team at LUMS is developing DonateBandwidth, a system inspired by the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol that is popular for trading large music, film, and program files. With BitTorrent, people’s computers swap small pieces of a file during download, reducing the strain placed on the original source.

More On ..  Technology Review: Spare Some Bandwidth?

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Pakistani obsolete currency notes–part 2

Here are some more currency notes/coins contributed by my friend Nabeel Shaeen .

10 Rupee note

Posted in Currency Notes, inflation, Pakistan | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Pakistani Obsolete Currency notes

I am putting here some obsolete currency notes of Pakistan just for the sake of ..hmmnn…well ..curiosity or just logging an historical artifact. Anyway, here ar some, which either could not withstand the soaring inflation or were redisgned to be more Euro-esque.

One Rupee note (PKR) Two RupeesFive RupeesHundred RupeesFive HundredThousand Rupees

You are welcome to add more obsolete or new currency notes..

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My friend First Poem

Here is the first poetic endeavor of my friend ,Yaseen Ali Khattak (researcher turned poet 🙂 ). Keep it up man! You got friends to listen to you (which every poet wishes for 🙂 )


Words flow like water
thoughts touch the sky

Reasons weakens in the face of passion
hearts begin to fly

Journey starts,walking ends
Life pretends, as if nothing is wrong

Flowers grows up, fairies dance,
stars come down to sing the song

Silence talks magic is born
dreams wake up for a while

Soals whispers,eyes shine
darkness fades whenever you smile


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My Public Key

For those friends who prefer to use secure channel for emailing , here is my public key. You won’t be able to fetch it from public key servers as I have not published it there to avoid spamming.

Copy past the following into your key manager to add me to your keyring .

Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


Posted in cryptography, Personal, privacy | 1 Comment

using cut to extract the output of top

I wanted to profile the memory usage of one of my program for different problem sizes. I was interested in only the resident memory used while the program was running . “top” was an obvious choice and luckily top provides a column in its output called RES — Resident size (kb) i.e The non-swapped physical memory a task has used. RES = CODE + DATA.

I am interested only in this column for a particular program. so I come up with two one liners and here they are

top -u ga | grep 'laplace.out' | cut -c 30-35

where -u ga is the user name which is ga in this case and I am only interested in testing .out so grep serves the pupose. after counting the output location of RES from the first charcter it was found to be at 30 to 35 so ‘cut ‘ is used for that purpose

But then I realised that awk is a better alternative then cut ..so here is it

top -u ga |grep laplace.out |awk ‘{print $6 $12}’

so this will get me column 6 and column 12 from the top ouput

Ready to be added in the script. 🙂

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Modifying Oscar Cluster Image to add Gigabit Ethernet Driver

After building oscar client image it was realized that there is no driver avaialbe by default in the RedHat 9 distro for gigabit Ethernet card  so we downloaded source code for the intel gigabit driver from downloadfinder.intel.com and installed it on server as well as added this newly compiled driver in cluster client image.

Note: OS is RedHat 9 and Oscar 4.2 is the toolkit under discussion. Now they have lauched oscar 5.0 with so many options for customization.

Follwing are the steps taken

#tar -xvzf e1000.tar.gz

 #cd e1000

# cd src

# make

# cp e1000.o /lib/moduels.2.4.20-8/kernel/driver/net  and

# cp e1000.o /lib/moduels.2.4.20-8/kernel/driver/net/e1000/

# Reboot Machine or run kudzu

# configure the card i.e assign IP and proper netmask and you are done

Modifying the Client Image

# cp e1000.o /var/lib/systemimager/images/lib/modules/2.4.20-8smp/kernel/driver/net/e1000 and /net/e1000/

# Now Copy /etc/modules.conf to  /var/lib/systemimager/images/oscarimage/etc

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