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Mozilla Maker Party Pune- Oh Yeah!

CAUTION:This post might sound different. Writing gears need some oiling.

I have moved to pune for work now and exploring the city has always been on my top agenda.  Pune has always been a happening city of makers. Mumbai is close-by and easily commutable. There are a lot of DIY/Maker start-ups here too and who doesnt know about IOTPune/DooThings. [A more detailed city review sometime later]

Bored one night,thinking how to spend the weekend more constructively, i started to scroll through the meetups around my place on weekend. The main priority was “Distance” . People living in Pune can relate. The city transportation is awful and a thread is always running in mind querying, “Dude! Will be able to walk back? ”

Thankfully, I noticed Mozilla is organizing a big event near my place and there is no better way to spend the weekend. After visiting, MakerFest last year, I have really started to like these events.Anool(Sir) from MakersAsylum/Wyolum was coming with his team and so was IOTPune and so was Mark Surman from Mozilla and so were many others.

I stared to plan how to go at Symbiosis Centre for Computer Research, Here Transit comes to the rescue and i boarded the bus and got down at a nearby bus stop. Initial (rather first day) experience has taught me that we should have “Say No to Autos” banner erected everywhere in the city. This is more important than Polybag Awareness etc. if thought in a more citizen centric way. [Weekly, Auto Rant Ends.Stay tuned for more]. I walked another 800m and there i was at the venue.

I entered the gate of the college. I was asked my credentials to check, if i registered. I had , so i went to see the workshops as they were listed on the website. I carried my OpenBadge [A no brains LED Matrix badge that i made for MakerFest but could’nt debug it completely] and some other projects too just in case someone like-minded crossed. Swag!
OpenBadge

I went straight to the main hall and found it jam packed. So, i gave it a pass and went on visiting the booths. There were pretty interesting things showcased. Let start the Booth WATCH:

Makers Asylum was present with all guns blazing.

Banners
The Word Clock was at display.
Word Clock

Samarth from Melting Mints who works with the Makers Asylum showed some mind blowing applications of 3D Printing. This is a human skull printed from a scan.
3D Printed real scan

A 3D Printed Jet Engine for educative purposes.
3D Printed Jet Engine

A 3D printed Music Instrument and a Car that is so awesomely finished.
Does 3D Printing sound good?

When asked if he can print custom parts and more specifically 3D Printer parts. He said, Why not? Plus he does it economically too for students willing to start printing.

The Pipe Lamp
The #PipeLamp by @makersasylum at @Mozilla #MakerParty #Pune #India #MakerWeekend #Makers #DIY

They also had a few 3D pens for visitors to play with.
3Doodling at @mozilla #MakerParty #Pune at #MakersAsylum Stall ! #Event #Makers #Meetup

I managed to build this cube. Tch!
3Doodled Cube

In the next booth, An interesting thing was up for display. A Smartphone and a DSLR ? Connect the dots and you get the triggertrap.
It translates the audio out from a SmartPhone into DSLR jack signals to do interesting stuff. Intervalometers, Event activated clicks.. You say it and app does it all.

Trigger Trap

Trigger Trap Device

I even saw a PrintrBot METAL at Maker Party by Reed Robotics. It was smoooooth.
#ReedRobotics showcasing their #PrintrBotMetal at @mozilla #MakerParty in #Pune ! #3Dprinting #Maker #DIY #Wow

Ant Farm Robotics showcased their tiny WSN nodes that last for months on 2 AAs. The tiny ATTinY Runs a full blown RTOS and uses a TI Radio (RF2500/CC1100) to do the wireless part.
A #Tiny #Node of a #WSN that can have tons of uses showcased by #Antfarm #Robotics at @mozilla #MakerParty in #Pune #India The node uses at #AVR #Atiny micro with a #TI radio. Surprisingly the ATtiny runs a #RTOS that does all the #processing. #ConnectedI

Navstick were showcasing their next generation Autonomous navigation systems that can be used in Quads, RC Planes and IGVs etc.

A Quad with Navstick installed.
Quads

A RTF Bixler that too supports NavStick
Bixler?

They use a GoPro for Aerial Photography. Kewl!
Go Pro

A part of Navstick Hardware Family. Built in India
Navstick

On the way to the second floor, I met Nishant Modak of IOT Pune.He too is(was) suffering from HP Laptop Syndrome and we talked a bit about his Makerspace in Pune called DoThings. He is doing a Pan America trip visiting MakerFaires with his team.
With Nishant Modak of IOT Pune

They have developed an awesome BLE Arduino Board that does great things. Its called Tah! They also have a campaign running on crowd supply. Get yours now!

Its #Arduino. Its #BLE and the best part its #Proudly #MadeInIndia ! Get the latest #Tah from @anujdeshpande , @nishantmodak and Team  Support their #Crowdsourcing #Campaign https://www.crowdsupply.com/revealing-hour/tah-open-ble-arduino-board #Wow

He accompanied me to their booth where Anuj was giving a talk about Tah!
@anujdeshpande giving a #Talk on #InternetOfThings at @mozilla #MakerParty in #Pune #India

They do great things at their MakerSpace which is verrrrry far from my place(Remember the thread). I saw an Intel Galileo which they had brought.
Yes! Its Intel Galileo-Top

Yes! Its Intel Galileo-Bottom

It was time to go. As i traveled back, I thought of various things like Autowalas, 3D Printing , Makerfaires and of course Food.

Cheers!
Rohit

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The Hyderabad Quickie

I was recently in South Indian city of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh (Now reorganized into two states called Telangana and Seemandhra ). The city is know for its Biryani and Char Minar.

Due the schedule , i could only get a day (rather a combination of one evening and one morning ) to explore  the Nawabi city. Thankfully, the city has an awesome public transportation system with buses and feeders plying to every nook and corner of the city. On the iteneary, we planned to visit Golconda Fort, Hussain Sagar, Char Minar and adjoining area and Banjara Hills.

Luckily, we were based around Medhipatnam area, which provided easy access to most of the above places.

The weather here was a bit cooler and moist than my home Delhi, which was literally breaking all time temperature records. Hyderabad is a densely populated city. Unlike most south indian cities, due to the large Muslim population who speak Urdu, there is no problem for a Hindi speaking tourist here. The state predominantly speaks Telugu and has some “super-awesome-Newton-defying” movies,some of which i watched during the bus route from Chennai to Hyderabad.

#Hyderabad #Ramzan #Mosque #India #Travel

Since, Golconda was nearest , we boarded the bus that dropped us at the gate of Golconda Fort. The Fort seemed massive. It seemed to have some features of both Hindu and Muslim architectural elements which confused me about its origins.At the entry, there is an interesting demonstration, that a couple of guides will give you like a “30- Day Anti virus Trial” . In the middle of section after the entry, when you clap , a lot of beats are generated that can be heard at different strategic parts of the Fort that were used as a signal. But when you move a few steps away from the centre, no beats are heard.

Some pretty cool sound engineering from the past. These are generated due to these structures on the roof above.

Beat Generation Mechanism at Golconda Fort

We bought a paper guide and started following the tour it promised. As we moved we saw this place where soldiers used to rest and take positions.Quite a popular picture spot it seems.

Golconda Fort

Golconda Fort

Golconda Fort

As we moved on, we approached a point where we had to start our journey of 350 stairs to reach to the top of the fort.

I saw some interesting thing on the stairs. There were marks on the stairs with a yellow background and red finger marks on all of them.

Stairs at Golconda Fort

When asked from a passer-by he explained that this is a part of ritual performed here as there is a temple on the top.

As we climbed, the air started to get a bit cooler and fresher. We could see the Fort is mostly in ruins and most of the things that it presumably had are only in books or in the guides like the one i had in my hand.

As we moved up stairs, we saw a mosque which was closed to visitors. There was also a jail which has an interesting story. It is said that, there the Munshi ( The Head of Accounts) of the king was once held there because he paid from the coffers to help build a temple without the kings permission. Then after several years, God came in king’s dream and asked him to free him. He was freed that very night. There is a temple there now.

Mosque at Golconda Fort

Next, we moved to the top most point we could see the bigger picture. Most structures were in shambles. Here is the panorama from the top most point .

Golconda Fort Panaroma

View From Golconda Fort

From the top, we could see the entire city of hyderabad. We caught a person vandalising the walls and asked him to stop. He ran away, but as we were decending we saw him writing with a charcoal on the walls of the place where the king’s Darbar meetings were held.

Golconda Fort

Mass Vandalisation at Golconda Fort

As we descended, we could see ruined arches and rooms that once housed the dignitaries of the king.

Golconda Fort

Golconda Fort-Arches

Golconda Fort

Below, is the room where the queen(S) used to live.

Golconda Fort

Next we moved to the place where artillery was stored. These large iron balls were propelled by cannons apart from the famous hot oil protection scheme to save the fort. I remember, the hot oil was also used to protect Kangra Fort, in Himachal Pradesh.

Artillery at Fort

After this fort walk, we exited the complex and moved to the Bus Stand and sipped a couple of tender coconuts while we waited for the bus.

Next we moved to the Hussain Sagar Lake, Again we got a direct bus leading to the lake’s gate. Like the fort, the lake was huge. So, huge that there were ferries running in the lake to take visitors to the large statue of Lord Buddha. There is a small amusement park that has been set up for kids.

Hussain Sagar Lake

The sunset near the boarding point.

Sunset at Hussain Sagar Lake

Hussain Sagar Lake

The ferries take 5-10min and drop you at the Statue where you can stay as long as you want and catch any ferry back. The statue is decorated with beautiful lights.

Hussain Sagar Lake

Buddha Statue in the middle of Hussain Sagar Lake

After spending some time there, we made a quick exit and caught the next bus to the Epic Charminar. With thoughts of Biriyani for which i have been running almost empty stomach  i boarded the bus.It took us about 30 minutes to reach. A couple of minutes of walk, an there stood the Charminar.

Busy Streets near Char Minar

This was not the correct time to visit the place. It was jam packed. The streets has shops selling pearls, fruits, clothes and bakery items. We moved closer.

Char Minar

The crowd density increased. We could now see the Char minar a bit clearly, The site was highly polluted. The vehicles were running too close to the monument and the pollutants were quite evidently damaging the monument.

CharMinar

CharMinar

We say an interesting site that depicted, the diversity in our country. A Temple inside a Char Minar. #ProudIndian

It happens only in India. A Temple in a Mosque

The issue was Biriyani. We searched the famous shops but none of them served Vegetarian Biriyani. One person suggested us, to go to a shop down the lane and supposedly the only one to serve veg biriyani. Ah! Delighted 🙂

Hyderabadi Biryani (VEG) :)

Biriyani is like pulao but with an overdose of clove, cinammon and some secret ingredients . After having this delicious Biriyani, we started our way back to the Hotel. On the way we stopped at Banjara Hills, Its the CP of Hyderabad, picked up a Sundae and headed back.

If you visit the CharMinar area and Banjara Hills in the order, you would see how the country is moving forward, Preserving the culture and the soul of its existence as well as We are going in hand with the more developed outlook and are leading the world in some things!

Cheers 🙂

Rohit

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Travelogue: Bangalore

Bangalore! Bangalore!!Bangalore!!! . Twice i have missed chances to go there.. The last missed chance was when i had invested a full weekend in planning out the probable travel outings after my presentation ends.. But due to unforeseen reasons.. I missed that opportunity.
Being a an Engineering Student and that too in the Electrical Engineering School , one never gets time to visit places too often ( Thing only an Engineer can understand ).

Long story short, I and my friend [Jaspreet] had made a project for TI-ADC 2012-2013 which ultimately got selected as ‘Consolation Prize Winner’. You can see the project video that we submitted  here . Basically it was  initially developed to log the data from our solar car and display it on the GUI wirelessly. Not only that we can switch many loads inside the cars like fans and lights but also we can monitor and control everything except the driver! We scaled up the project into a multi-nodal sensor system. The use of it is that we now don`t need to wire these units physically. The GUI does that entirely!

Micro-Nodes!

Micro-Nodes!

As consolation prize winners we had to present the paper at TIIEC-2013  and demonstrate the project at NIMHANS Convention Centre,Bangalore! At about the same time, another college team of [Shashank a.k.a Shank] and [RohitKrSingh a.k.a RKS], our juniors also made it to the Consolation stage with their Autonomous Ship Navigation System. It was great!! Now we all had to reach bangalore. The possible ways was by train or air! Train took a hell lot of time ( almost 2 days) and plane took just 2 hours. So we booked Air Tickets and We were soon on board Spicejet SG-211 !

All the participants will be grateful to TI as they had arranged accommodation for two in an awesome IBIS Hotel,Hosur Road ,  All meals, all travel and were even reimbursing us train tickets.. In the mean time ,since we had planned to visit and roam around in Bangalore and maybe visit Mysore we need accommodation for an extra 2 days.. Since we wont be staying in the hotel after the conference we needed some alternative place.. I ringed some relative and cousins in Bangalore and finally got us an accommodation for the next 2 days! I also made some city roaming plans in my little diary. I had heard that Public Transport connectivity is pretty good in Bangalore and one should refrain from taking the “AUTOS” . So , i noted all the major route and at least 3 alternative routes with bus numbers in case Google Maps ditched me! ( more on this later)

Sambhar Dosa- Not like the one we get here  in Delhi.Chutney and Sambhar served in equal qty.

Sambhar Dosa- Not like the one we get here in Delhi.Chutney and Sambhar served in equal qty.

Conference was great! We talked with a lot of like minded people from across our country and made new friends , learned some “Marathi” from the team we shared our booth with. Their description of the marathi songs we heard in some TV shows was enlightening !

It was the best exhibition i had attended and the best part was that our booth was the first of all, nearest to the gate. So , everyone would first come to our booth. [Jaspreet] did all the explaining most of the time. I was mostly roaming here and there, asking others exhibitors about their stuff ( Courtesy: Restlessness ).
I would be great to bring the fact that the Conference was inaugurated with an electronic lamp which is a project i was involved in.You can read about it here!

In between the conference after the day got over, i had to make a quick run to my aunt and the case was same for [RKS]. Apparently the route was pretty much the same. We had planned that all four of us will go, but that did`nt panned out . So, only two of us were going at their respective aunts. We walked to the Bomanahalli bus stand waited for like 40 mins. It was 9pm and none of the buses google said i could get, were coming.. Further, the place where my aunt stayed was kadubesanalli. I repeatedly kept saying it to the drivers/conductors and they all made faces like ” What the hell?? Is that a place , in around here? “.I found out i was pronouncing it very badly. Finally at 9:15 pm a bus came and a passenger said that go to the “Silk Board” and catch the bus. No bus goes directly from here.

We went to silk board and got the bus!
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! The buses were great, very clean and with an air conditioner that was really effective! Reaching at my aunts place was not difficult after that. We returned at about 12 that night and crashed on the bed to go to the conference the next day!
I presented my first paper and then the next day was the Awards night!
Now, we had planned to roam around for the next two days! The IBIS Hotel offered us extended luggage vault this saved us a lot of miles else we would have to run to my brother about 20km away and that would cost us quite a part of the day.

As suggested, we took the One Day AC bus Pass ( Which i have secure in my ‘Ticket Collection’ ). As planned we would go to Banerghatta Park to watch some animals, then go to a couple ( which ultimately came down to one! ) museums. It was Saturday and roads to park was packed! The AC bus driver was playing local songs in Kannada ( i guess). The other passengers were enjoying it.. It was alien to me but i enjoyed the tune..
The bus conductor dropped us about 1.5km before the entrance of the park. I still don`t know why as the bus was there at the park when we reached. As we walked towards the entrance, we saw a group of “Art Of Living” volunteers on a cleaning mission, we shopped some drinks and local “namkeens” (which i am really fond of  tasting where ever i go) and at last reached the gate. Then, i turns out there are several options and ways to browse the park, we went with the most common one that is normal bus with cage like windows! If somebody happens to have been to Borivali National Park, the bus is pretty much the same! But the catch is that you have to occupy the seats in order of your entry to the bus and they are hell strict about  it.The Park is very well maintained and its not allowed to take any plastic stuff inside the park and the guard on the gate packed all the “namkeens” i had bought into separate paper bags!

Phew! We happened to be at the last one and we got the back seat and also there were lesser people so, we could choose, Right or Left??
We ended up on the Left Side ( which was an awful choice as it turns out later ). The bus started, everybody got their shooters out . There are separate areas( bigger than those as in Borivali National Park ) for lions, tigers,bears, deers and elephants! The bus driver would stop at every place from where we could see any animal. This time we were in the cage and animals were in open. You can check out the pictures below and have a look at all the animals we saw. The bad thing happened on that particular day all the animals choose to come on the right side and we could hardly see then with all the people busy finding their niche in those 7 windows of the bus !  :/ . But thankfully [jaspreet] and [rks] chose the right side and they could click some pics which we rejoiced later!It was pretty hot that day, most of the animals were either in water or near water .
IMG_0681 IMG_0684 IMG_0713 IMG_0707
After the bus ride got over, we were left like in the middle of nowhere , A walk with the other people on the bus, ended up at the ButterFly park! It is a good place to visit and has a lot of nasty butterflies roaming inside the specially prepared bio-dome for them which creates the right amount of humidity for them to survive. There is also a museum about the butterflies which we quickly breezed through. We saw a lot of people bringing macro lens clad DSLR to click those tiny restless butterflies. Wonder how they (butterflies ) felt about the photo session (Random Thought !) 😀

Here are some we manage to catch in our CMOS-CCD!

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Having spent the day, in such a wonderful way was just great! To make it better, we wanted to go it HAL Museum which was pretty far. So, we boarded the Bus , which dropped us at Richmond and then we boarded another bus to HAL Museum. The stomach was ringing hunger bells but it can be ignored for a while as the museum entry closed at 5pm and it was already 4pm. We had to hurry! Fortunately the bus came in about a minute and we were on the way to the HAL Museum. But this time again, even after mentioning to the conductor that we needed to go to the “MUSEUM”. He dropped us 2.5km before. With the time not on our side and no bus stop near we had to walk..walk..walk..walk. During, the walk we saw some great labs (from the outside ) like Shape Memory Alloy Lab and Metal Workshops also. Being students of engineering the very sight of “Textbook” words written  on laboratory doors was pretty spell-bounding and assuring that what we are studying is not fiction.

So, we reached the Museum all drenched in sweat and thankfully the doors were open. We got in.. We saw a PSLV Heat shield (used/recovered/prototype ) in which the satellites are protected during the launch!

Heat Shield Inside!

Heat Shield Inside!

There are several real models of planes used in Indian Airforce and they are pretty well presented. Apart from that there is a whole museum of circularly arranged chambers which show Indian History as far as Aeronautics is concerned. We were blessed by the presence of [RKS] who in my eyes is the mobile wikipedia of Aeronautics. The moment he say a name plate which may be of an engine , ejection system or the plane.. He would tell us about the history and specifications of the engine and all such details which none of the display boards mentioned. It is a great place for someone who is interested in seeing planes.

DSC05717 DSC05724

We spent close to an hour in the museum and then we were back at Mc`Donald`s for feasting! We then boarded the bus back to IBIS Hotel (actually a couple of buses) to get our luggage and move to JNCASR,Jakkur where my brother was waiting for me!

Ah! What a day spent after a wonderful conference!

We had plans for Mysore the next day! Catch it in the next edition i.e Travelogue: Mysore!

Stay Tuned!