Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

June 30, 2022

Help NASA find clouds on Mars to solve the mystery of the low atmospheric pressure on Mars

Filed under: Astronomy / Space,Science Related — Suramya @ 3:29 AM

If you have some free time and are fascinated by Mars, you can use your spare time to help NASA figure out why Mars’ atmosphere is just 1% as dense as Earth’s. The air pressure on mars is so low that liquid water just vaporizes from the planet’s surface into the atmosphere. The really interesting part is that originally (a few billion years ago) Mars had a lot thicker atmosphere.

You don’t need special skill to help with this, as the project is focusing on the study of Martian clouds. Specifically, volunteers will be looking at scientific data collected over 16 years to identify cloud formations. It might seem like a simple thing but once the clouds are identified we can look at other data captured at the same time such as temperature, time of the day, season etc which will help scientists create maps of where they form, determine what they’re made of (water, carbon dioxide, or dust), and see how they change throughout the day and through the seasons.

Cloudspotting on Mars asks members of the public to look for arches such as this one (center) in data collected by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Source: NASA)

It will involve looking at graphs such as the one above to look for arches (spikes) that can indicate clouds. If you are interested, you can join from the project’s website.

Thanks to Digital Trends: NASA wants your help to solve an enduring Mars mystery for the link.

– Suramya

June 26, 2022

Learning Bash by playing bashcrawl

Filed under: Linux/Unix Related,Tech Related — Suramya @ 9:19 PM

If you have been wanting to learn how to use a Linux/Unix commandline but find most of the tutorials too boring and dry, then I suggest you check out bashcrawl. It is a D&D type text based adventure that is actually quite fun to play. If you just want to try it out and don’t mind losing your progress then you can play it online by visiting here. Once you click Wait a few seconds to a minute until the launcher appears and then click on the Terminal icon to start.

It is pitch black in these catacombs.
You have a magickal spell that lists all items in a room.
To see in the dark, type: ls
To move around, type: cd
Try looking around this room.
Then move into one of the next rooms.


$ ls
$ cd cellar

Remember to cast “ls“ when you get into the next room!

Thanks to Hack a Day for the link.

– Suramya

June 25, 2022

Attended Siddesh’s wedding reception today

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:35 PM

Today I attended the wedding reception for one of my close friends who we all thought would never get married. Siddesh had always told everyone that he wasn’t planning for ever getting married so it was a surprise to get a message from him stating that he was getting married and the reception was on 25th. His wife was also someone I knew so it was a certainty that I would attend the reception. So today me and Jani went over to the reception and met up with a few of the old Goldman co-workers who had come for the event as well.

It was great catching up with everyone even though we didn’t get a chance to talk much with Siddesh & Soumya much since they were busy with the traditional photo session at the reception. Things have really changed in the past 5 years since I left GS so it was great meeting everyone again. I will try to catch up with the both of them post the completion of my finals tomorrow assuming they are still in town.

Gaurav, Saloni, Subbarao, Rakesh, Jani and myself at Siddesh’s reception

We do have a pic with Siddesh & Soumya as well but that was taken by the official photographers so will get it once the official pics are shared. Wishing the two of them a very Happy Married life together.

– Suramya

June 24, 2022

I don’t have words…

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:44 PM

What can I even post? Half my friends in the US were just told that they don’t matter enough to have control over their own bodies. They can no longer decide if and when to have kids. Just because a minority of extremists think it is their right to impose their beliefs on others. Isn’t that what we have been criticizing the Taliban about the last few decades? How is this different?

I wish I could do more but… Just know that I will be there will you all every step of the way. You matter. You have the right and authority to decide what happens to your body and decide if you want to have a child or not.

Update (25th June 2022): I know that not a lot of people will be able to take advantage of it, but if you can and want to then we will be more than happy to host you in India where abortions are legal since 1970’s and permitted up to 24 weeks (6 months) of pregnancy as of 2017 (before that it was up to 20 weeks). We stay near multiple large hospitals and will be more than happy to help you get visa’s, coordinate your visits and have you stay with us for the duration. You can email me at suramya -at- suramya -dot-com.
– Suramya

June 23, 2022

Being interested in getting paid well doesn’t mean that you don’t have a genuine interest in Tech

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:33 PM

There is this group of people who constantly portray that you don’t have a ‘genuine’ interest in tech (or other fields) if you are interested in being paid well, which for the record is a bad take. The latest example of this is the following tweet which showed up in my feed recently though the original is from back in 2021.

Did you choose tech because it pays well, or because you have a genuine interest?

People want to pretend that getting paid for your work is not something you should do. Sorry my dear, that is not how things work. You can be passionate about tech and still get paid well for it. I am someone who is a hardcore techie, I love technology and creating new things on computers. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to get paid. As Jani put it, you can’t take your cool program (or your title) to the grocery store and use that to pick up groceries, you still need to pay for things. This means that we need to be paid for the work we are doing. This popular image of starving artists is just that an image. When you are starving you don’t code better or write better poetry or paint better pictures, it is actually the opposite. What it does mean is that while the creators are worried about food or making sure they have a roof over their head the companies are exploiting them by using their programs to make billions.

I am not saying that every developer should be paid millions but they should be paid a living wage and not have to worry about basic necessities of life. (I am using tech as an example, but the same applies across every field.

Also, so what if someone is here for the money? Are you willing to work for free? No, right? So what gives you the moral standing / authority to look down on people who want to be paid for their work? Please get off your high horse. I personally believe that if my job pays me to do something that I love doing then it is a win-win. Being miserable in life is not a good thing. I don’t think I have ever had the Monday blues or hated going in to office. Sure there have been days where I didn’t want to go in to work because I didn’t feel like it but not that I hated my life and job. This normalization of the statement that people should hate their jobs is not something that is healthy.

What do you think?

– Suramya

June 17, 2022

Updates to main site in progress

Filed under: Website Updates — Suramya @ 4:15 PM

Its been a while since I last updated the main site. So a major revamp is underway with a new look and lots of new content and articles. I am hoping to complete it in the next 2 weeks. Will update here if that changes for any reason.

– Suramya

June 6, 2022

Diablo: Immortal – Its unplayable as it insists on showing every single player online on my screen in real time

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 9:29 AM

I posted about the new Diablo game earlier this week and how much I loved it, 3 days later I need to change my opinion. Lets start off with the good points first, the gameplay is fantastic and the controls are pretty smooth and intuitive. The skills, monsters etc are also pretty interesting and not too boring. The main issue I have with the game is that it insists on showing all the other players in the game on my screen. Here I am happily killing monsters suddenly a bunch of random strangers are all over my screen attacking the same monsters. I have never seen that in any of the MMORG games.

There are online collaborative play options to the other games but when I play in single player mode, it is just me and the monsters so that I can explore and play on my own. Diablo: Immortal doesn’t let you do that. It insists on showing you every single player who happens to be on the same section of the game as you and at times the screen gets so crowded that I couldn’t even see the monsters. It would be bad on a full monitor but it is worse on a 7 inch phone screen. To top things off there seems to be no way to turn this off and that basically makes the game unplayable for me. 🙁

I am going to keep it on my phone for a bit just in case they decide to release a patch to fix this but I am not hopeful so lets see. It that doesn’t happen then I will uninstall and go back to reading books on my phone when I have some free time.

– Suramya

June 5, 2022

Hacking a computer using Ham radio transmissions is now possible!

Filed under: Computer Security,Computer Software,Tech Related — Suramya @ 11:59 PM

Hacking a computer by getting them to listen to a Ham Radio station broadcast seems like the plot of a bad movie or TV series about ‘hackers’ but this is not a fictional story. It is now in fact possible to hack a WinXP & Windows 10 computer over the air, All we need to do is ensure that the target is using WinARPS on their computer to listen to the broadcast and then they are fair game.

I am in awe of this finding because figuring out how to generate radio packets that will cause a memory overflow/corruption and then figure out who to generate the packets in a way that allows you to get RCE (Remote Code Execution) requires phenomenal hacking skills and understanding of the underlying systems.

WinARPS is unlikely to get a fix for the issue because the author no longer has an environment to build/test the software as the last update to the code was back in 2013. However the author is aware of the problem and who knows they might get the environment working again and fix the issue.

Video demo of the issue on a Windows 10 machine (Credit:

This bug does show us that we can have the world’s most protected / isolated system but if there is any way to get external information/input then the system can potentially be attacked.

You can read the full walk through of the process at: Hacking Ham Radio: WinAPRS – Part 5

– Suramya

June 4, 2022

Are these good reasons to cancel a wedding or to get a divorce?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 3:17 AM

Maybe it’s just me but in the past few weeks I have been getting these news snippets in my feed that show some of the reasons for which people have called off their wedding or gotten a divorce that are quite ridiculous.

Let me be clear that there are times when you can and should get out of a marriage but these are not it. For example there is this one case where the Bride refuses to marry the Groom because they didn’t arrange a photographer for the wedding

Bride refuses to marry without a Photographer

In another case, the bride refused to marry because the groom’s hand touched her neck during the exchange of garlands… I don’t even have words for this one, what did she think he was going to do after the wedding at the Honeymoon?

Apparently “When the garland was put around the bride’s neck, she suddenly threw it away and walked out of the wedding hall. She said that the groom’s hand had touched her neck. The groom’s side felt insulted by such behaviour and called the wedding off. ” I think the groom’s side took the correct decision here because with this kind of behavior who knows what she would have created a ruckus about after the marriage.

Upset that the groom had touched her neck the bride walks out of wedding

It’s not just the ladies, this guy decided to divorce his wife because she only knew how to cook Maggie and gave him Maggie for all three meals. Yes, it can get tiring to eat Maggie for all meals but they could have worked together to learn new dishes, get a cook or just order from outside. But the guy decided to file for divorce and it was granted…

Then we have this gem where the bride got angry at the Groom for dancing too long and getting drunk at the Baarat and decided to marry someone else.

Thankfully this wasn’t the case when our friends were getting married. The first friend’s wedding we attended we danced for so long and refused to let the groom go inside that the girl’s uncle came out and asked us to let the groom in because the muhurat (auspicious time) for the wedding was about to get over.

Weddings are supposed to be fun and games but some people take it to seriously and then you have problems like these… But, all this being said if you see red flags anytime before or after marriage and need to get out then you should do so. Please don’t fall for the Indian ‘solution’ for all problems in married life which is to have kids as that makes things worse and also makes it harder to separate later on if things don’t improve.

– Suramya

June 3, 2022

Diablo: Immortal Launched. Love the latest iteration of the franchise

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 6:18 PM

Diablo: Immortal released yesterday for the PC and Mobile simultaneously and almost immediately became #1 downloaded game in the Playstore. I have been a fan of Diablo since 2000/2001. Diablo II was the first game I bought and I have spend too many hours playing it. Then Diablo III came out and I bought it shortly after it launched and had to reinstall Windows on my laptop so that I could play it. Due to this Immortal was in my watch for queue (on twitter) and I downloaded it immediately after I saw the launch message.

Diablo: Immortal is set between Diablo II & III and from what I could tell in the little time that I played it the gameplay is almost similar to the original games. There are some new classes and changes to the spells & capabilities etc. Before getting the game I did wonder how the game would work on the phone with a fully touch interface but once I started playing it I found the controls to be pretty intuitive.

The game requires a lot of data in order to work so you need to ensure your device has plenty of free storage space available before you start playing. It has downloaded almost 2GB of data so far and a lot files more are queued in the system so that number is going to only go up.

Interestingly you can install it on your PC and phone both and seamlessly switch between the two. As long as you have connected your account to your ID. I have been having some issues with that since the system keeps complaining that the two are in different regions but didn’t have the energy to troubleshoot. Since I can still play the game on the phone there is not much rush to fix this small issue.

Initial experience with the game is quite positive, hopefully it will stay that way. 🙂

– Suramya

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