Donating to Open Source Projects

Almost all open source projects have an option for donating to the project. These project’s web pages are generally ad free. I was just thinking it might be a good idea for open source projects to have some advertisement on their page, people who are interested in donating to the project can do so by clicking the ads on the page. The disclaimer from the advertising agency (google, bing, etc.) says that you are not suppose to encourage people on clicking ads but if one knows the economics of web advertising they would do so to donate to the project.

Wikipedia’s Participation Challenge

On June 28, ICDM 2011 announced the ICDM contest for this year. The contest is called the “Wikipedia’s Participation Challenge“, the cometition details are available at kaggle. The aim of the project is to predict the number of edits a user will make in a 5 month period.

I have downloaded the dataset. This will be my first experience with a dataset this large and machine learning algorithms in practice.  Lets see how it goes.

Ralink rt5390 wi-fi driver on ubuntu 11.04

UPDATE (7-Feb-2012): Marko has created a PPA for the Ralink drivers. I should make our live much easier. Take a look at his blog (

I have HP pavilion dm1z laptop and it took me quite some time to install the linux wi-fi driver on ubuntu. In this post I tell how to install the Ralink’s RT5390 wi-fi driver on Ubuntu Natty Narwhal. The main source of the post is Ubuntu forums. So here it goes.

  1. Download the linux driver (RT5390PCIe) from Ralink.
  2. Extract it.  The files will be extracted to 2010_1216_RT5390_LinuxSTA_V2.4.0.4_WiFiBTCombo_DPO folder.
  3. Download all the patches except the x64_86 patch, assuming you have a 32-bit system, from opensuse website.
  4. Copy the patches to the folder – 2010_1216_RT5390_LinuxSTA_V2.4.0.4_WiFiBTCombo_DPO
  5. Goto the folder.
  6. Make the following change in  /os/linux/ file – HAS_ANTENNA_DIVERSITY_SUPPORT=y (originally was n)
  7. Now run the following commands in terminal:
    patch -p0 < rt5390sta-
    patch -p0 < rt5390sta-
    patch -p0 < rt5390sta-
    patch -p0 < rt5390sta-
    patch -p0 < rt5390sta-
    patch -p0 < rt5390sta-
    sudo su
    cp RT2860STA.dat RT5390STA.dat
    mkdir -p /etc/Wireless/RT5390STA
    cp RT5390STA.dat /etc/Wireless/RT5390STA
    make clean
    make install
    modprobe rt5390sta

Link to the original posts on ubuntu forum: Points 3 and 7 are from Chilli555’s post #24, while others are from Akshay’s post.

UPDATE: It has been pointed out by Weldon in the comment section that the above method does not work for Kernels >=2.6.39. To know your kernel version you can type the following in terminal:
uname -r

UPDATE (5-Aug-2011):

  1. kpbotbot has confirmed that he can run wireless on kernel >=2.6.39 using an arch Linux fix available here.
  2. Ralink has changed the driver available. I old driver can got from here.
  3. The opensuse link above now points to new set patches. The old ones can be downloaded from here. You can try using the new version but I have not used it so cannot say much about it.

UPDATE (2-Sep-2011):

  1. kpbobot has pointed out in the comment section that the drivers are already a part of Linux 3.x kernel.


100km Cycling Day

Cycling in Mumbai is a pain in the ass because of the traffic. We generally go for cycling early in the morning. Although, there have been times when I have gone for cycling in the afternoons. 6:00 am is the preferred time. We are kind of limited by the number of routes here in south mumbai and wanted to try some new longer routes. Thats when we decided to cycle all the way to Kashid. I wanted it to be a 2 day trip but others (Gugan and Rakesh) wanted to comeback on the same day. I was not very sure if I would be able to finish both the trips on the same day. We decided to come back on the same day.

The cycling trip to Kashid happened on 9-Apr-2011. We were suppose to get up early in the morning so that we take the first boat from Gateway of India to Mandwa. Gugan did not get up at the right time. In fact I went to his room in the morning at 6:00 to wake him up. Clearly we had missed the first boat. Both Rakesh and I waited for him downstairs. We reached Gateway of India at around 6:45. We took the 7:00 am boat to Mandwa. We had got three tickets for ourselves and were suppose to pay for the bikes on the boat. It took more than and hour to reach Mandwa. Once there we planned to have breakfast. We had idlis and wada pav.

At 9:00am we started from Mandwa port. We were to go to Kashid via Alibagh, Nagaon and Revdanda. Right at the beginning there was a bit of a climb. And there itself I was wondering if I will be able to finish even one side of the trip or not? We went on. I cycled slower than Gugan and Rakesh. They reached Alibagh (about 17km from Mandwa) some 10 mins before me. They waited there for me but as soon I reached there I ate some biscuits and then they started to move on. I had hardly got some rest. I also started with them there was no point in waiting. Some 3km from Alibagh we are suppose to take a right turn. Gugan and Rakesh missed it. I asked directions to a policeman at the junction, he told me that two guys before me went straight. I called them and they came back. I waited for them at the junction (this was my resting time). Then we moved on. After cycling for a few kilometers that road became bumpy. Although all of us had firefox mountain bikes it was not of much help there. Also the there were a lot of turns at short distances. The others were ahead of me. My hands started to become numb. If fact the tip of my fingers are still numb. But we went on. After Revdanda not only did the trip became more scenic but it also introduces many climbs. We were now cycling on the hills. By this time I was quite exhausted and every kilometer seemed much longer. I was told by some of the people on the way that the climb just before Kashid is pretty long. Every climb I can to I hoped that it was the last climb. At last when it did come I cycled for a while and after that was not able to pull so I got down from the bike and started walking. After a while I saw Gugan resting under a tree. He was exhausted too. We had some energy drinks there. After a while started again. We soon came to a steep downhill slope which brought us back to the sea level and we were at Kashid.

It was a very clean and beautiful beach. The first thing we did was to look for Rakesh who had reached before us. My cell phone was not working as there was no airtel network in Kashid. But we managed to find Rakesh. He was happily having kanda poha on a hammock. We were hungry too and ordered some poha. It was the best poha I had ever eaten (I do not like poha). Then we were off to the water. We went on the banana flip ride. It was great.

After two hours at the beach we ready to go back as the last ferry to Gateway was at 7:00pm. I started first while the others setteled the bills of what we had eaten at the beach. I was happy to go downhill on the long stretch we had to climb while coming. It was pretty hot and sunny now. It was very tiring. My hands were getting numb, neck and buttocks were paining. Some how I managed to reach the port in time. We had vada pav, cold drinks and peda that Rakesh had bought from Alibaugh. We tooks the boat and reached Gateway by 8:00pm. After that we were in no mood to mount on the bikes for the last 3 to 4 km to reach TIFR.

Change of line

I have recently changed my area of research. Till now I have been working in Quantum information theory but, now I will be working in machine learning.

The books that I am reading now are:

  1. Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning – Bishop
  2. The Elements of Statistical Learning – Hastie, Tibshirani, Friedman