lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

one relating to, belonging to, or resembling lunatech

user accounting patch from google

I am interested in the mysql user activity monitoring patch that Google has. They have not released each feature as a separate patch and instead have given out one-big-patch-file :-( . Preliminary analysis shows that user accounting requires modifications to be applied in these files. The numbers in the second column are the number of lines modified in the original file via the patch. The output was generated using egrep and diffstat.

libmysqld/ 509
libmysqld/ 137
libmysqld/ 31182
sql/lex.h 7
sql/lex_hash.h 12442
sql/ 338
sql/mysql_priv.h 111
sql/sql_class.h 159
sql/sql_lex.h 10
sql/ 514
sql/ 137
sql/ 31182
sql/sql_yacc.h 1431
sql/sql_yacc.yy 103
sql/structs.h 22

journal for 22-Jul-2007

One of my happiest moments in life is the barge ride that I took in Goa with my SO. We had to cross a river with our scooter to continue our exploration of Old Goa. It was a summer day and as I leaned over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath me while talking to my favourite person in the world, I think at that moment I had everything I desired.

journal for 18-Jul-2007

The workplace hardly gives time for introspection. However, I think I can put my finger on what I am doing wrong. The realization came to me while I was listening to one of the 43folders podcasts with David Allen about interruptions.

David mentions that someone who has a good system in place for managing his projects will not be perturbed by interruptions. He will see an interruption as an input that needs to be handled.

I have not reached that state of being able to handle interruptions and I get sidetracked by interruptions. I hope to reach that level of expertise soon.


journal for 11-Jul-2007

One of my deeply held beliefs is that there is no such thing as reincarnation. We have been given one chance to live and we have to get it "right" the first time itself. What this boils down to is that I need to accomplish my goal of changing the world for the better before I run out of steam or time.

Week in review

A rut is a grave with smaller dimension

If I were to sit down and review my past week, or for that matter my past 3 months, I don't think I have learned or worked on anything that will help me in reaching my ultimate goal. The other worrying thing is that I have fallen into a rut. I am not being pushed to learn something new and this is really dangerous to my intelligence. It is not correct to infer that my job is boring. There are enough challenges there. However, the time for working on the challenges remains just out of reach. Most of my time gets taken up by the mundane tasks at work.

On the other hand, it is possible that I am putting too much expectation into my work. What I mean is that I might be expecting my work to provide me with the opportunity to learn new things, instead of taking the onus of creating new lessons myself.

When I look back to the year 2004, when I got my first job, I had learned a lot of technologies there . And I applied whatever I had learned to whatever I was working on. Hence at that point in time I did not whine that I did not get enough challenges (I complained about the salary and the work conditions though ;-) ).

Cribbing about not enough learning opportunities is a really bad idea then. The whole thing comes back to me taking charge of learning new things and applying them to the problems that I come across.

Important problems

And I started asking, ``What are the important problems of your field?'' And after a week or so, ``What important problems are you working on?'' And after some more time I came in one day and said, ``If what you are doing is not important, and if you don't think it is going to lead to something important, why are you at Bell Labs working on it?'' I wasn't welcomed after that; I had to find somebody else to eat with! That was in the spring. —- Richard Hamming

So, what are the important problems in the world of computers now ? On a first sweep, I think these areas merit attention

  • search
  • spam-less and unobtrusive communication
  • connecting with your friends
  • caching for web content
  • painless mysql benchmarking tool (which would benchmark your server as well as your schema)

Which of these do I work on ? Or are there other problems that I am missing ?

a thought experiment with time

Here is a thought experiment that I was trying out today.


Assume that we are in a society where there is no concept of time. You have to meet a friend. How do you two sync up so that you can meet each other. Remember that you do not have a concept of time, hence you cannot tell him 'meet me below the fourth coconut tree at 3 PM today'.

Answer (one of the many)

One answer that I think might be feasible is that you tell your friend that you will let off a firecracker (or some signaling device) when you leave your home and you will let off a firecracker after every 500 meters.

Applications of this problem

How do ants sync up between themselves ? i.e. how do they decide 'this is the time the house owner makes tea and spills some milk on the counter'