Big Junction Jam 2011

I am back to blogging after a hiatus of nearly a year. I recently went to the Big Junction Jam festival after reading about on NH7. (NH7 is a fantastic site if you like indie music and is a great place to find the latest gigs.)

Big Junction Jam was a good fest with more than 25 bands playing from morning to late night. The list of bands that played on Day 1 included Evergreen, Old School Rebels, Bourbon Street, Joos, Mad Orange Fireworks, Black Sun, Indian Blues, Khalihann, Pralayh, Live Banned, Indigraffiti, Paradigm Shift, Bridge, Agam, Parvaaz and Beat Gurus. The list of bands that played on Day 2 were Dark Desolation, Amethyst, The Renegades, Verses, Corrode, Mechanix, Audi-o-file, Heretic, Jekyll and Hyde, Brahmm, Flee, Chronic Blues Circus, Blakc, Kryptos, Ministry of Blues, Sulk Station and DJ Vishnu.
There were several good and talented bands and the light and sound system was fabulous. Unfortunately the event was not very well marketed and attendance was thin. On the flipside, that was good as few photographers including me got stage access and could get good photos in the brilliant lighting. In this gig, I experimented a lot with the square format, B&W post processing and triptychs. Below are few samples of the three formats. Click on the photos to make them bigger. You can see the complete set on flickr at Big Junction Jam Festival 2011 slideshow.


Horizontal Triptychs


Beat Gurus Triptych
Parwaaz Triptych (Alternative)


Vertical Triptychs

Ministry of Blues Triptych


B&W

Old School Rebels (Band) Beautiful Guitar - Corrode (Band)
Jekyll and Hyde (Band) Heretic (Band)


Square Format

Square format is fairly uncommon in photography but in this cases it looked apt like CD covers.

The En'Light'ened One - Parwaaz (Band) Dark Desolation (Band)
Amethyst (Band) Ministry of Blues (Band)

SANOG XVI Conference in Paro, Bhutan

Recently in the last month, I traveled to Bhutan to attend the SANOG Conference. Bhutan is a small country nestled in the Himalayan mountains surrounded by Indian to the East, West and South and China to the North. It was a good opportunity to meet some like-minded network geeks and also visit an exotic country.

SANOG (South Asian Network Operators Group) is a conference where various stakeholders from the Internet infrastructure ecosystem can come together, share operational experiences and learn from each other. SANOG is targeted towards the SAARC Countries (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives). SANOG is loosely modeled on APRICOT conference with 5 days of Workshops, 2 days of tutorials and 2 days of conference.

The 16th edition of SANOG was held in Paro, Bhutan. This was the second time that Bhutan was hosting SANOG. SANOG was held in the the Paro Engineering College beside the Paro river in very picturesque settings. The earlier edition of SANOG in Bhutan was held in the capital, Thimphu. This was the 2nd time I was attending SANOG, having attended an earlier edition of SANOG in Mumbai in 2006.

I attended the workshop on Network Security by Gaurab Raj Upadhyay and Johhny Martin from PCH. It covered the basics of security specifically for ISPs and large network providers. There were some good discussions on how to manage the different security audit process as well as an incident management program in case of network security breaches. The hands-on part of the workshop concentrated heavily on securing backbone routers and exchanging routes information securely. Some aspects of filtering and verifying network traffic were also covered. The last day had demos of several tools such as nessus and nmap. The slides can be downloaded from the SANOG Program page. Also in between the workshop breaks and during one of the days of the workshop, Devdas and I wrote a improved whois server that is hopefully in production now at the NIC website.

In the tutorials part of SANOG, I was giving a half-day tutorial on application-level performance measurement [Slides,PDF]. There was an small but interested crowd in the tutorials. I ended up covering a lot more of the web-facing and measurement tools as many of the participants were application developers who had written quite a bit of PHP code. It was the first time I was giving a tutorial on this topic and it helped that it was interactive. In addition to the material on the slides, I talked a bit about front-end performance and tools such as Yslow (Yahoo), Pagespeed (Google) and Webpage Test (AOL). There was a lot of whiteboarding and veered a little away from the slides. I also spoke about the network measurement work being done in the IPPM, BMWG and PMOL working groups in the IETF. The feedback was pretty good and I plan to give a longer version tutorial at later versions of SANOG/APRICOT. I skipped the second day of the tutorials and went to Chele La pass.

The conference had several talks that I was looking forward to and I was not disappointed. The standout talk were on long distance wireless network deployment by Matt Peterson and F-root update by Pete Losher. Both has interesting networking insights and interesting traffic data. I also gave a talk on my IETF fellowship experience [Slides,PDF]. Some of the slides were liberally lifted from “The Tao of the IETF” written by Paul Hoffman. As (good) luck might have have it, I ran into Paul Hoffman at the IETF 78 and told him about it :) . There were a few questions about the fellowship after the conference so I hope it would inspire more people to apply to the IETF fellowship.

Ubuntu Artwork

I recently saw an announcement for Ubuntu Artwork. Ubuntu is asking photographers and graphics artists for artwork for inclusion in the Ubuntu Linux Distribution. The photos have to be CC-by-SA licensed to be considered. I managed to submit about 17 of my best pictures before the deadline. Feel free to use the larger versions from Flickr for wallpapers (since quite a few of you have asked me about them). The wallpapers from last Ubuntu (10.04) contest are here. Few of the photographs submitted are below.

Lotus in the lake
Cherries
Houses on the edge of the fjord

Meanwhile my camera (Nikon D80) should be back from repair and servicing tomorrow from the Nikon service center.

New Headstart Network mailing list guidelines

Headstart has been growing fast since a bunch of us started off in 2007. Initially it was just Startup Saturday in Bangalore and then Arpit and Aditya started the Startup Saturday in Mumbai. Now we have grown to 6 cities – Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune – where Startup Saturday is held every 2nd Saturday of the month. Startup Saturday are a great way to have face-to-face interactions with other entrepreneurs, founders, investors, service providers and consultants. We have hardly spent any money on publicity but the richness of interactions and the value that Startup Saturdays created help create word-of-mouth publicity. In fact Vivek Wadhwa recently attended Startup Saturday Delhi. He has mentioned Startup Saturdays in his series on Techcrunch.

While Startup Saturday has been great for interacting with local entrepreneurs, the Headstart Network mailing list provides another great platform to interact with other entrepreneurs all across India. We have been deliberately loose with the moderation and have seen several great conversations happen over the mailing list but slowly but surely the mailing list itself is becoming a victim of it’s own success. Earlier we had just 2 moderators but now the count of moderators has grown to 5. The list itself has grown from few hundred members to more than 2500+ members across India. We have had to introduce some guidelines to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the list and also to make the archives easily searchable since there is a wealth of information there. These are guidelines and not rules as strict enforcement of rules sometimes stifle conversation that we all value so much.

Headstart Mailing List Rules:

Headstart Mailing list has grown to more than 2500+ members consisting of Entrepreneurs, Investors, aspiring entrepreneurs, consultants and service providers from all over India.

The traffic on the mailing list has also grown to more than 400 messages per month. To maintain the quality of messages, the moderators of the mailing list who are volunteers of the Headstart Network Foundation have decided to enforce some rules to maintain the signal-to-noise ratio. This mailing list is primarily for
entrepreneurs and startups so it will help if the posters ask themselves these questions before posting the mailing list (to make the life of moderators easier – BTW these are the questions moderators ask themselves before allowing posting):

1. Has this question been asked before ? – Suggest searching the archives before asking questions on the mailing list. Many questions such as which hosting provider to use have been answered many times
before.

2. How is this information _specifically_ useful for other entrepreneurs or other startups ? – Especially for those posters who post information regarding other conferences / seminars / tutorials / workshops ?

3. Is this a personal reply to the poster ? If then I would request posters to directly answer to the poster and not the mailing list.

4. Is this message relevant to the objectives of the mailing lists (helping startups and entrepreneurs) and does it follow the guidelines of the mailing list ? Please refer the guidelines below before posting.

Guidelines:

1. Please prefix informative links and posts with [Link] in the subject of the messages.

2. Please prefix queries with the [Query] in the subject of messages.

3. Please prefix queries regarding events such as conferences / seminars / worskhops with [Event] in the subject of messages. Also putting the deadline (if any) in the subject is useful.

4. Please prefix messages for office space / space sharing with [Office Space] in the subject. Putting the locations of the area & city (such as Indiranagar, Bangalore) in the subject header should it make it easy to search.

5. Please prefix offers for Funding / Investing startups with [Fund]

6. Please prefix hiring / jobs descriptions with [Jobs]. Also describe what your startup does (with founders background) and if you offer options/other facilities. If the jobs are not for startups these posts will be rejected.

Last but not the least Please read “How to ask Questions the smart way ?”. This is directed mainly towards technical folks but is still useful for other people. This will increase the probability of finding the answers to your questions quickly.

You can subscribe to the mailing list online here

Please leave any reactions in the comments.

The Magical World of Tivoli Gardens

Chinese Lamps

Tivoli Gardens is the world’s second oldest Amusement park and the most popular one in Scandinavia. It is located in the heart of Copenhagen right opposite the central station. Tivoli Gardens is much more than a amusement park – it is a cultural institution, a national symbol, company listed on the Copenhagen Stock exchange and has inspired writers such as Hans Christian Andersen whose statue stands right outside the gate of Tivoli Gardens overlooking it.

Tivoli Garden at Night The Mosque
Joyride Dragon

Tivoli gardens has a variety of restaurants and rides catering to a wide range of audiences. It is also a popular venue for many concerts, especially on weekends. The all-ride pass cost about 260 DKK (about INR 2000). I got it from the vending machines. Unfortunately the instructions on the machine were not clear and I picked up the receipt but not the band which wraps around the wrist and acts as a ticket for the rides. Fortunately the guards helped me out and issued me one. As a rule the most easy looking rides are the most crazy fun. Like the Golden tower – It takes you to height of 207 feet and then you fall down (actually pulled down) at 1.5G-force. The fall seems like eternity. The experience for me was akin to bungee jumping. The first time you do not know how it will feel so you go along and hold on for dear life. The second time is the scariest as you know the fall is going to happen. I did the ride a total of 8 rides until I started feeling vertigo. The Education minister for Netherlands sat with a glass of water on the Golden Tower ride and during the fall, the water fell down later as compared to the glass as the fall is faster than the acceleration due to gravity (1 g-force). The views of Copenhagen lit in the night from 207 feet above are really magical.

The Pantomime Theatre Entrance to Tivoli Gardens

I was lucky to be there on a Friday night as there was a rock concert in progress at the time. There is generally a concert scheduled there on weekends. Tivoli also has a pantomime theatre and the small ponds and different structures are lit up at night. It gives Tivoli a very fairytale feel. In fact, H. C. Andersen’sThe Nightingale” story was inspired by a play in Tivoli. I read several of H. C. Andersen’s fairytales as a kid and was totally fascinated by them. Copenhagen historic centre has changed little since the 18th Century and H. C. Andersen would feel at home even today. Walking around Copenhagen, it is easy to relate to some of his stories such as the “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” (the first thing that came to mind when watching the Change of Guards at Amalienborg Palace), the famous “Little Mermaid” statue and “The Ugly Duckling” (from the artificial lakes around Copenhagen). H. C. Andersen’s other famous stories are “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Thumbelina”. Even after so many years H. C. Andersen’s remains Copenhagen’s and Denmark’s most famous son.

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