The Tarun FAQ

Everything You Care (Or Don't) To Know About Me

This document really should tell you far more than everything you ever wanted to know about me. It should also, to some extent, save me from having to answer the repetitive and wearying questions people keep asking.

The idea of this faq arose from a similar faq by ams. Even now, a large part of this page is a copy of his (and I guess he is not exactly dancing about it!!)

How many (programming) languages do you know?
How many (human) languages do you know?
Two: English and Hindi. Though, I am trying to learn some German these days.
What is/are your..
Height?   5 feet 7 inches.
Zodiac sign?  Libra.
What is your favorite...
BMW Z3 Roadster for its sheer style and speed. I plan to buy it - someday, when I will have enough money. (But why drive wheels in air, right now I am just trying to pay my lease on my Hyundai Santro!!)
Blue and Yellow 
Operating system?
Programming language?
C and Java
Asimov's Foundation Series and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. You can read more about the kind of books I read.
What do you dislike?
One thing is tea. Here is a poem about it.
Other is bureaucracy (and things that bureaucracy breeds - dishonesty, incompetence and stupid people).
And yes, I also truly detest character-based menu interfaces.

What computing environment do you have?

My office machine is called FortyTwo and my home box is DontPanic

I rarely play any computer games and my desktop is rather routine save a rotating digital art wallpaper typically from Cyber|Crash' Rebirth Collection.

My preferred editor on any OS for anything is Emacs[?] and hence, I  have emacs-'modes' for everything from ASN.1 byte-streams to zsh scripts.

I have also hacked together a complicated PIM for myself. Though, it is written only in HTML and JavaScript, it is pretty powerful. Working together with my company and personal databases and web servers and my yahoo calendar, it keeps track of my projects and deadlines and keep me in touch with all my mails (sans the spam) and slashdot, comics and the rest I try to read on the web (sans the ads!!) - in customized way as they get updated. Unfortunately, for security reasons, I cannot provide the URL of the PIM here. However, here is a (rather lame) screenshot (67kb).

Why didn't you go for lectures?

I knew the contents of most courses anyways and was just repeating them. Also, I would have gone and slept anyways. so might as well sleep in the hostel.
Actually that's not true. I do go for the lectures I think are interesting and useful, but they are few and far between.

Did you enjoy IIT?

Yes. I found studies incredibly boring and pointless, and went out of my way to do things which did interest me, and ended up having a pretty good time. I also managed to get reasonable grades, so nobody really bothered me.

My primary memories of IIT are eating rajma-chawal in mess, the computer lab (which I really loved) and explaining that I have a personal phone in my hostel room because I really NEED that internet connection and not because I need to talk to my girl-friend in private.

Why do you work at night?

Ever since I got in IIT, I got used to this night schedule - initially because I got enough sleep at lectures (with predictable results) and later because I was used to it.
Now, I find I'm much more productive at night when it's peaceful and other people aren't awake. The sun doesn't shine through my window and reflect off my screen. I don't feel tempted to look at my keyboard. And it leaves me more time to do non-work things during the day.

What are your hobbies?

Reading (normally a book a fortnight), Retro-computing[?], Watching the sunset (since I am normally at work at the relevant time, this is a special treat), Web strolling, Travelling, Eating ice-creams and rajma-chawal. I also love slow, long walks and talking to myself.

Why do you post so many mails on public lists / newsgroups?

It is easy to keep your own thoughts in logical sync if you express them regularly in front of people. Also, I believe we should express our opinions if we feel strongly about an issue. It does not matter if we don't know enough about the question (we will learn if we talk about it) or will sound stupid (we will learn if we talk about it); if the issue concerns us, we have a right and duty to express our honest opinion on it.

Actually, all this is bull. I am just trying to invite myself as the day's celebrity on the Shekhar Suman's Movers' and Shakers' TV Show and this is the primary aim of my life. To achieve this, I always say a few nice, obvious things in my mails to make people agree with me and then I add something controversial which will make them angry and make sure they never forget me or my mails. So, if  you find my mails offensive or unagreeble, don't just sit there. Get in touch with a local politician. Organize protests. (I will chip in for placards.) Put up posters with pictures on them (mine, not the politician's). And who knows I might become popular and finally get invited to the show.

Why is your nickname `uppu'?

I don't remember (that's not strictly true, but it's true enough), and I've stopped trying to change, because everyone keeps calling me uppu anyway.

You made up all these faqs, didn't you?

No, ams did. I only modified and changed it a little. (as they say imitation is best form of flattery!!)