Learn IT Girl

It’s quite exciting that I have been selected as a mentor in Learn IT Girl program. I will be mentoring a girl student from Romania in learning Python language and eventually guiding her in creating an open source application.

“Learn IT, Girl!” is an international mentorship program, which means that every woman accepted as a scholar will be guided by an international mentor.

AimTo help women learn a programming language while doing an awesome project!
Any woman irrespective of their age can apply to become a scholar, as long as they want to learn a programming language. The mentors will help them to learn by trying things out, they will give them resources, answer their questions, and help them understand how coding works. To make it a bit more fun, the mentors and the scholars will be from different countries.
It’s a three month program (17th Nov, 2014 – 8th Feb, 2015) where scholars will work on their project in collaboration with their mentors. The projects will be hosted on GitHub, so the scholars will also learn how to handle Open Source projects. In time, if their programs become popular, more people will offer to help them with their projects, so the scholars will also have a chance to become team leaders as well.

Installing KDE Plasma 5 .1 on Ubuntu 14.10

I just installed KDE Plasma 5.1 on my Ubuntu 14.10 system and find it pretty cool and prodigious. KDE Plasma 5.1 is available for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr and Linux Mint 17 KDE via the Neon PPA and for Kubuntu 14.10 via the Kubuntu Next PPA.

Follow the steps to install KDE Plasma 5.1 on Ubuntu 14.10

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/next
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-plasma5-desktop plasma-workspace-wallpapers

For uninstalling:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:kubuntu-ppa/next




V-ERAS Call for Volunteers is open

Being part of Italian Mars Society as a summer intern for GSoC 2014 project has been an awesome experience for me. We Mars fellas had an awesome time developing some cool virtual reality applications which will help mankind in its Mars exploration mission. Now, the time has come for the initial demonstration of the overall rotation.

We are pleased to announce that volunteer positions are now open for participating as crew members at the first V-ERAS rotation scheduled to run from December 7 till December 14, 2014. Volunteers are requested to send their applications to: v-eras@marssociety.it by September 30, 2014 in order to be considered.

The Italian Mars Society is seeking four volunteers to participate as members of the crew of the Virtual European MaRs Analogue Station (V-ERAS) during a simulation of human Mars exploration operations. The mission will take place in Madonna di Campiglio, Trento, Italy from December 7, 2014 through December 14, 2014 As currently planned, the crew will consist of four individuals chosen primarily for their skills as scientists and technologists in areas including psychology, physiology, medicine, mission operations, human factors and habitability. Considering that this is the startup phase of the project and the need to strongly interact with the IMS engineering team, proficiency in areas such as Computer Science, Software Engineering, Physics Simulation Engines will be considered strong assets. Applicants should have either a four-year college degree or equivalent experience.

Crew members will only be required to pay for their own transportation to/from Trento, Italy. The living expenses will be covered by IMS and by Dolomites Astronomical Observatory – Carlo Magno Hotel , who is sponsoring the initiative.

Volunteers should send their applications to: v-eras@marssociety.it by September 30, 2014 in order to be considered. Both volunteer investigators who bring with them a proposed program of research of their own compatible with the objectives of the Mission Science Agenda (see below), and those simply wishing to participate as members of the crew supporting the ongoing investigations, will be considered. Both individual applications and group applications of up to an entire crew (4 people) will also be considered.

Applications to V-ERAS should include:

• Your full name
• Full contact information (home/work address, telephone numbers, email address(es)
• A copy of your resume
• The crew position (engineer, , etc.) that you are seeking
• Experience in leading teams if you wish to be considered for the position of crew commander

The Italian Mars Society – Via Dalmine, 10/A – 24035 Curno (BG) Italy – Tel. +39 035_611942 Fax +39 035_4377161 http://www.marssociety.itsegreteria@marssociety.it

• Research project(s) for your rotation. Proposing a research project well in line with the V-
ERAS Science Agenda will be a strong advantage. For 7 days, these four crew members will conduct a sustained program of immersive virtual reality simulation (See Mission Science Agenda). Each accepted crewmember will be required to read and sign the V-ERAS crew application documents including a Waiver, Release and Indemnity.

For further information about the ERAS project, please visit our website at: http://www.erasproject.org.
For enquiries about this call please contact: v-eras@marssociety.it

Mission Science Agenda
The European MaRs Analogue Station for Advanced Technologies Integration (ERAS) is a program spearheaded by the Italian Mars Society (IMS), whose main goal is to provide an effective test bed for field operation studies in preparation for human missions to Mars. Preliminarily to its construction, IMS has started the development of an immersive Virtual Reality
(VR) simulation of the ERAS Station (V-ERAS). The major advantage of such virtualization is that it will be possible to undertake training sessions with a crew that can interact with its future environment before the actual station is built. This way a more effective design of the station and associated missions, and strong cost reductions can be achieved. The main objective of this activity will be the simulation and validation of the data obtained during the training sessions so that they can be used for the design of the station itself. Many ergonomics and human factors will be considered in the virtual model in order to be verified and validated before the actual ERAS habitat construction.

The initial V-ERAS setup will be based on the following key elements:
• ERAS Station simulation using an appropriate game engine supporting a virtual reality headset
• Full body and hand gesture tracking
• Integration of an omnidirectional treadmill
• Support for crewmembers’ health monitoring
• Multiplayer Support

The following figure is a depiction of the V-ERAS classroom setup with the four V-ERAS stations, as currently conceived.
The Italian Mars Society – Via Dalmine, 10/A – 24035 Curno (BG) Italy – Tel. +39 035_611942 Fax +39 035_4377161

Examples of science activities for the first V-ERAS Crew rotation include (but are not limited to):
• Habitat Design Review: For this first rotation, the ERAS habitat design will still be in a prototyping stage. We are very interested in the expertise on space habitat design that the selected crew can bring onboard for the definition of a more refined design. We are convinced that the VR technology is the most appropriate for an effective transfer of such expertise into the design.
• Reduced Gravity Simulation: We intend to explore the possibility to simulate Martian reduced gravity environments via extensions of the omnidirectional treadmill currently being developed by IMS.
• Crew Health Monitoring: Considering its critical importance, we are embedding crew health monitoring in V-ERAS from its inception. Continuous monitoring of crewmembers’ health is key in anticipating any issues and developing appropriate countermeasures. The availability of a crew health monitoring will be instrumental in the V-ERAS crew rotations for the establishment of the knowledge, methods, and standards for the design of an integrated, autonomous, crew health management system. For this first rotation we will be using a full set of biometric devices. Also in this case we are very much interested in expertise on the medical field for the best use of those capabilities.

• Physics Engine: We intend to validate and extend the physics engine utilization made within the V-ERAS simulations.

• Scientific missions planning / Crew training: In terms of scientific mission planning / crew training we intend to focus on some specific scenarios centered on human-robot collaboration. In this context we intend to profit of the parallel development on advanced robotics ongoing in ERAS. In particular, simulated Extravehicular Activities (EVA) missions will be attempted with crewmembers, real and simulated robots operating on the Martian surface and supported by advanced Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) such as voice commanding.

• Outreach: V-ERAS will be unique to other Mars Analogues in that it will be highly accessible to the public, thereby increasing the outreach effectiveness. During the first rotation, outreach/educational events will be held, such as Mars exploration dedicated conferences. Everything will be organized in order to limit the impact on scientific activities, but crewmembers should be ready to dedicate a little part of their time to outreach activities such as interaction with visitors or interviews. The Waiver, Release and Indemnity document to be signed will also specifically cover those outreach activities.

Main call page : You can find the complete call attached or available at this web site.

Detailed study on changes in APIs of Microsoft Kinect SDK from Beta2 to V1.0(c#/VB)

Since my final year project involves use of Kinect sensor and Microsoft Kinect SDK for development, I went through lot of tutorials on using Kinect sensor with Kinect SDK. But most of the sources on net give details about the research version of Kinect SDK DLLs which is kind of older in present scenario as it went through a lot of changes. So, I thought of writing this post in order to bring some light in context with the changes done to beta version to new version of Kinect SDK.

Beta 1 (June 2011) release of the Kinect for Windows SDK , our C#/VB  accessible APIs have been provided by Microsoft.Research.Kinect.dll. The public APIs all were organized into 2 namespaces: Microsoft.Research.Kinect.Nui and Microsoft.Research.Kinect.Audio.

Microsoft research team made the decision back in early 2011 that we would mark their beta releases of APIs as “Research” to indicate the fact that this was an early version of their APIs, created in concert with Microsoft Research.

On February 1, 2012, they released their final v1.0 SDK. In that release, thier DLL is now called Microsoft.Kinect.dll. And all of their public APIs are in the Microsoft.Kinect namespace.

Microsoft.Research.Kinect.dll which had two namespaces Microsoft.Research.Kinect.Nui and Microsoft.Reasearch.Kinect.Audio was changed to Microsoft.Kinect.dll with only one namespace Microsoft.Kinect. So, now only Microsoft.Kinect alone will provide the functionality which were provided by namespaces Microsoft.Reasearch.Kinect.Nui and Microsoft.Reasearch.Kinect.Audio.

In the v1.0 SDK and > versions camera class is removed. Also, Runtime object is changed to KinectSensor object.

The following table will gives more info on changes to KinectSensor API


Runtime KinectSensor
Kinects KinectSensors
Initialize Start
Uninitialize Stop
—— Dispose
VideoStream ColorStream
VideoFrameReady ColorFrameReady
SkeletonEngine SkeletonStream
——– AllFrameReady
InstanceIndex ——–
InstanceName DeviceConnectionId
——— UniqueKinectId
NuiCamera ———
ElevationMaximum MaxElevationAngle
ElevationMinimum MinElevationAngle
——— MapDepthFrameToColorFrame
——— MapDepthFrameToColorImagePoint
——— MapDepthToSKeletonPoint
——— MapSkeletonPointToDepth
——— MapSkeletonPointToColor
RuntimeOptions —————-
KinectDeviceCollection KinectSensorCollection
——– Dispose
StatusChangedEventArgs —————
KinectRuntime Sensor
Camera —————
GetColorpixelCoordinatesFromDepthPixel MapToColorPixel
ElevationMaximum MaxElevationAngle
ElevationMinimum MinElevationAngle
ElevationAngle Message “moved to KinectSensor”
——- Undefined
——- Initializing
——– DeviceNotGenuine
——– DeviceNotSupported
——- InsufficientBandwidth

Installing/Recovering lost grub

I found lot of people having trouble with installing grub or recovering their lost grub. Generally, when we install windows in a system already having Linux operating system then windows boot loader overwrites the grub and thus when user boots the system they doesn’t get option to select their OS at the boot time. This problem can be overcome by installing grub. Grub can be installed either by using windows recovery  disk or by using Linux live-disk. A lot of stuffs are there on internet on recovering grub through windows recovery disk. In this post I will show you how to install grub through Linux live-disk.

Step 1 : Boot your Linux live-disk and choose “try” option. You don’t need to install it.

step 2 : use following command to see all your disk partitions

$ sudo fdisk -l

search for Linux partition in the output of the above command

For Debian users :

$sudo mount /dev/sda /mnt

$ sudo grub-install /mnt/boot

$ sudo update-grub

For Fedora user’s :

Open terminal and mount /boot directory of the Linux system(already present in your system) to some location (say /mnt)

$ sudo mount /dev/sda6/boot /mnt

The grub2 packages contain commands for installing a bootloader and for creating a bootloader configuration file. grub2-install will install the bootloader – usually in the MBR, in free unpartioned space, and as files in /boot.

$ sudo grub2-install –boot directory=/mnt/boot /dev/sda

grub2-mkconfig will create a new configuration based on the currently running system, what is found in /boot, what is set in /etc/default/grub, and the customizable scripts in /etc/grub.d/ . A new configuration file is created with:

$ sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

And whola! you are all done. Now restart your computer to see the magic.. 🙂 🙂

Mounting a Pendrive

Manually Mounting a Pendrive :

At first whenever you encounter a Problem with USB devices,first check the latest debug information generated from kernel just after you plugin your device and/or just after you encounter the problem by using cmd as

Now run
$lsub                                                                                                              //to see list of usb devices
$sudo fdisk -l                                                                                                    //to see all attached storage devices and their partition

$sudo mkdir /media/external                                                                                      //creating mount point

$sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /media/external -o uid=1000,gid=1000,utf8,dmask=027,fmask=137                     //The options following the “-o” allow your user to have ownership of the drive, and the masks allow for extra security for file system permissions. If you don’t use those extra options you may not be able to read and write the drive with your regular username.
or otherwise if the device is formatted with NTFS, run:

sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /media/external

1.Use ‘dmesg’ cmd to get necessary details.

2.Check for User Priviledge:
Go to System->Administration->User and Groups, choose the user, click on “Properties”, then go to the “User Privileges” tab. You should have the “Access external storage devices automatically” option checked.

3.Check Preferences:
If your usb device doesn’t appear on your desktop, you should check that the automount action is enabled in the preferences:
Navigate to “System” > “Preferences” > “Removable Drives and Media”
Verify that all “Mount removable drives when…” are checked.

Resetting My SQL password

For resetting mysql root passwd follow the following steps:

Step 1: Stop mysql service

/etc/init.d/mysql stop

Step 2: Start to mysql server w/o password

mysqld_safe –skip-grant-tables &

Step 3: Now connect to mysql server using mysql client

mysql -u root

Step 4: Setup new mysql root user password

mysql> use mysql;
     mysql> update user set password=PASSWORD(“sctfmysql”) where User=’root’;
     mysql> flush privileges;
     mysql> quit

Step 4: Stop mysql Server

/etc/init.d/mysql stop

Step 5:Start mysql server and test it

/etc/init.d/mysql start

mysql -u root -p

Step 6:It’s done 😀

Cracking passwords using Jhon The Reaper

Download and Install John the reaper using

$ sudo apt-get install john

Cracking Linux password

being root run the following command:

$ /usr/bin/unshadow /etc/shadow /etc/passwd>/tmp/crackpass.db

Now being normal user run the following command

$ john /tmp/crackpass.db

It will take some time depending on the strength of password to crack it.

cracking MD5 passwords

$ john <passwdfile> –format MD5

Downloading Youtube Videos Using Terminal

I was just wondering how to download Youtube videos using terminal and I got a solution to it which I am going to share with you.It’s quite simple just download an application called youtube-dl.

Installing youtube-dl:

$sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

Now for downloading youtube videos use command as:

$youtube-dl (full url of video)

enjoy watching youtube vidoes 🙂 🙂

Authentication Token Error!

May be you have often came across this error when you have tried to change Password of a user even though you are logged in as root user or error like can’t change read only file when you tried to change the permission of a read only file even though you are root user but you are not able to change permissions on a file,this sounds quite different as root user has all the privileges.
Well here is the solution to this…

Login as root user and use this command:

$mount -rw -O remount /

This will work!Here basically you are remounting your ‘/’ directory giving read and write permission on it. 🙂