Lahore Winters

In memory of my favorite pass time and hobby when I was a kid and teenager. Basant was one festival I would wait all year long, marking days on my calendar. I recently discovered that Basant is celebrated in Brooklyn and I went to celebrate it. Basant is the festival to celebrate end of winters and beginning of spring.


At JavaOne 2013

Went to JavaOne 2013 held in San Francisco. Was a great learning experience. However I felt that the JavaOne website to schedule conference was bit outdated. Java seems to be an aging language, though the most used. As the architect for Java said, Java is not dead yet, referencing the new feature of Java 8 i.e. closures and streams.

Some of the stuff I learnt

  • Java 8 Closures Streams
  • Programming with Java on Raspberry Pi. See my project mentioned on the Java site called Domotix.
  • MongoDb
  • Elastic Search
  • New features for Spring
  • Introduction to R

Also saw Maroon 5 at the Oracle party at Treasure Island.

With Humanoid robot Nao at the conference. Nao is the humanoid platform for robocup tournament.

Tennis Post

These days I am playing Ocean County League matches. Ive had my first game. Also having fun playing with friends double matches.

Also my daughters played their first USTA 10 and under tournament. They both got their first tennis medals. I feel so proud of them!

Synology NAS – my home cloud

Recently I purchased a Synology NAS Server DS213. This is to archive all my digital content

  • Pictures
  • Documents,
  • Videos
  • Music

into a central repository. The NAS is 

  • Accesible from all my devices, mac, iphone, ipad, xbox. Running 24×7
  • Durable/Redundancy, it has Synology raid system with 2 x 4TB of disk space.
  • Extra redundancy with  external drives taking backup of documents and pictures. 1 weekly backup, and 1 monthly backup. The monthly drive is stored in a separate place.
  • VPN server, though i have disabled it for now. This allows to VPN into home network and for example access my local machines, or watch youtube on networks that block it 😛
  • Picture and video server.
  • Git over ssh server.
  • Time Machine Backup
  • Can SSH and program in python, or optionally install java as well on the server.
  • iPhone/iPad apps to look at pictures and videos

I have put all the images and digitized all my tape home videos and put it there. My kids now enjoy watching their childhood videos on their ipads, which were sitting in drawers for about a decade.

Future Projects of the NAS

  • Digitize all the older paper pictures, and documents and store them on the NAS.  
  • Explore the Astrix server and make it a home based VOIP server.
  • Could make it a web and wiki server but am hesitant to expose it to internet.
  • Integrate home security camera system.

Basant 2013 Newyork Kite Flying Festival



At  Floyd Bennett Field to celebrate Basant kit flying festival. This is an age old tradition in the subcontinent to mark the start of spring and the harvesting season. It is also a competition where one tries to cut the opponent kites string.  Its the same style of kites that are flown in the movie Kite Runner. Today was a very windy day, and in spite of rain forecast a good 30 to 40 people showed up. Loud music, and festive mood and colorful kites in the sky, was tons of fun!

Found an article I wrote about COG The Humanoid Robot. Exactly 10 years ago.

The Humanoid Robot Cog for ACM

The ending of the article was optimistic, that we would have humanoids common place. Aibo was promising, but it was discontinued by Sony many years ago. In fact I could not find a single telepresence robot for home usage. I feel in 10 years no significant progress is made. When i search for robots I still find rovers and toy like robots. I hope bigger companies get into home automation and robotics for the masses. A decent vacuum cleaner/telepresence, hooked up to home sensors robot would be something useful for the home. Turtlebot seems something in the right direction, but expensive. iPhone robot Romo is interesting, but is too small and more toyish.

Picture of my bansuri



Bansuri is a 6 hole flute from the subcontinent (Pakistan, India). I have many of these but this one i bought from USA ( it says flute by Bansijeff ). My aspiration is to be able to play a Pakistani or Indian song and make a youtube video of it. Still need more practice before i do that.

Great introductory lesson on bansuri on youtube. However it is in Punjabi language.