FIDE World Chess Championship 2013

2013 World chess championship match between Anand and Carlsen is going to start on Nov 9, 2013. Here is some relevant info for the fans to follow the match.

  • The matches start on Nov 9, 2013.
  • There are 12 games with time control 120 mins 40 moves, 60 mins 20 moves, 15 mins for the rest of the game with 30 seconds increment from 61st move.
  • Each day the game starts at 3:00 PM IST which is 5:30 hours ahead of UTC. So UTC time is 9:30 AM. NewYork time is 4:30 AM.
  • After every two games there is a rest day. There is an additional rest day after game 11.
  • If the score is tie after 12 games, there are tiebreakers in the following format.
    • 4 games with 25 mins and 10 seconds increment are played first.
    • If there is still a tie 2 games with 5 mins and 3 seconds increment are played. The 2 game pairs are repeated 5 times or until there is a winner.
    • If there is still a tie one sudden death game with white having 5 mins and black having 4 mins is played. In case of draw black wins.
  • Anand gets black in the first game. In the 7th game Anand will get white.
  • You can watch the games live from www.chessdom.com

I am a fan of Anand and would love to see him win another championship. Many chess experts have commented that the rating difference is overrated. But the difference is too big to not be noticed.

Now here are the results.

Date Carlsen Anand
Game 1: 09 Nov 2013 1/2 1/2
Game 2: 10 Nov 2013 1/2 1/2
Game 3: 12 Nov 2013 1/2 1/2
Game 4: 13 Nov 2013 1/2 1/2
Game 5: 15 Nov 2013 1 0
Game 6: 16 Nov 2013 1 0
Game 7: 18 Nov 2013 1/2 1/2
Game 8: 19 Nov 2013 1/2 1/2
Game 9: 21 Nov 2013 1 0
Game 10: 22 Nov 2013 1/2 1/2
Game 11: 24 Nov 2013
Game 12: 26 Nov 2013

Carlsen won the match 6.5-3.5.

Installing Ubuntu on HP Envy

I recently got a  HP Envy laptop and installed Ubuntu on it as dual boot along with Windows 8. It was harder to install Ubuntu on this laptop than my previous lenovo G780. This HP laptop did not have a CD drive. So the first step was to prepare an USB drive for installing Ubuntu. That was easy to do. I also created recovery media before trying Ubuntu. This laptop needed about 24GB space in an external drive. Since there was no CD drive, I had to get another 32GB USB flash drive just for recovery media.

I disabled secure boot and changed boot order to boot from USB first in BIOS. With the Ubuntu USB then I chose to try Ubuntu before installing, the screen was stalled at purple screen with dots. After some googling and trying several steps, I found the following steps which worked. I had to edit the boot commands and add “nomodeset” which leaves you in a terminal. After that I had to copy /etc/X11/xorg.conf.failsafe to xorg.conf in the same directory and change vesa to fbdev in that file. After that, running startx brought the graphical desktop. Wi-fi worked some times with the trial run. I decided to go ahead with the install, hoping wi-fi can be fixed later.

Then I started the install process. It stalled on purple screen. Once again I had to use “nomodeset” next to “splash” to continue install. This worked fine and I could go through the install process. Ubuntu did all the things including partitioning the hard drive and finally said, the install is done and it needs to restart. After restart the computer went straight into Windows. There was no grub menu to choose Windows or Ubuntu.

Now began several days of googling to fix this. There were lots of forum posts about the same problem. But most of the existing solutions offered did not work for me.

Some had suggested Easybcd to run from windows and check boot options. Easybcd showed Ubuntu as a valid entry in the boot menu. Forum suggestions like adding another menu entry for Ubuntu from Easybcd added a boot menu, but choosing the option through error about corrupted Windows. I could still boot using live USB and check my hard drive. Another suggestion was to try updating grub from live USB. That suggestion also did not help. Finally I posted on ubuntuforums. I got almost instant help and it was spot-on. The suggestion was to pick Ubuntu from UEFI boot menu. I never knew there was such a boot menu. Found this YouTube video and got to the boot menu which listed Ubuntu as an option. Choosing that produced the grub menu finally.

Now I had to make grub appear when I start the laptop and fix Ubuntu stall on purple screen because of video drivers. The UEFI boot menu options in BIOS menu did not show Ubuntu as an option. I did not find a way to make Ubuntu as default to boot. After booting into Ubuntu as a final try I ran boot-repair again as suggested in this askubuntu answer. This finally made grub appear first when I start. Next I booted into Ubuntu recovery option and edited grub config to make nomodeset permanent option when booting. After that I could boot using regular Ubuntu option in grub. Wi-Fi also started working once I pressed F12 key repeatedly which enables/disables wi-fi. Now the laptop is all set and Ubuntu is working perfectly fine.

A really useful command I learned during this process was to connect to wi-fi from command line because the wi-fi menu was disabled in Ubuntu with a message “Wi-Fi disabled by hardware switch”. Running the following commands made wi-fi work.

sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid <Your network name> key <wi-fi password>

sudo dhclient wlan0

Only with these commands I could install and try boot-repair.

 

Virgin Mobile and changing plans

I recently upgraded my Virgin Mobile from PayLo option to a data plan. I had many questions on how and when to activate a new phone. The answers I got online or customer support were not correct. So here are some facts on what happened when I upgraded.

I upgraded when there was about a week left in the current billing cycle. Online FAQ and customer support told me if I upgrade before the billing cycle, they will charge me that instant and new billing cycle starts from that day. It turned out this was wrong. When I upgraded there was no charge on the day I upgraded. But I got my data plan working and the new phone was active. They charge when the regular billing cycle ends, but at the new charge. The minutes for the new plan starts counting down on the day you activate. So I have one month’s minutes for month plus a week. Minutes also do not roll over in Beyond Talk plans. There was mixed information about this online.

Doing Coursera “Introduction to Data Science” assignment on windows

I am trying out Coursera course ”Introduction to Data Science”. I am trying to do the assignments on windows. I could do complete assignment 1 on windows after some setup. Here are some points for anyone else trying to do it in windows. This is twitter sentiment analysis problem. If you use their virtual machine with VMware you do not need anything from here. This is for those who want to run python directly in windows. I am using windows 8. There should not be any difference for other windows platforms.

First install python 2.7.5 using the windows installer. You can get this from http://www.python.org/download/. After installing, add python to your path. This does not seem to be done by the installer.

Forget about problem 0. You cannot do this. Problem 0 uses twitter API version 1. Twitter does not support this any more. So go directly to problem 1. Download the OAuth 2 library mentioned in problem 1. Extract its contents to any directory. Next you need to install setuptools for python. The easiest way to do this is to download the python script https://bitbucket.org/pypa/setuptools/raw/0.7.2/ez_setup.py and just run it with python. Next from the directory where you extracted OAuth 2 files, run “python setup.py install”. This will install OAuth 2 module for python.

For git support, I had already setup git with instructions from bitbucket. I followed the instructions at https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/BITBUCKET/Set+up+Git+and+Mercurial for setting up git in windows. With that all I had to do was open “Git Bash” and run “git clone https://github.com/uwescience/datasci_course_materials.git” to get all course assignments. It is also possible to download a zip archive of all the course materials and use it. But an advantage in using git is, some unix commands used in the instructions will just work. For example “head” command is installed with Git. If not you need to install some unix tools for windows to get “head” command. You need this to get the first 20 lines easily. Again an alternative is to just open the output.txt file in a good editor and copy the first 20 lines.

For problem 1, the rest of the instructions in the course page should just work.

Galaxy S III in Virgin Mobile USA

Finally the long awaited Galaxy S III has landed in Virgin Mobile USA. There were several announcements last month, that it will be available from June. I was checking up Virgin Mobile website everyday since June started. First the Galaxy S II went out of stock which was a good sign. Now today suddenly Galaxy S III has appeared.Samsung has this phone available in 6 different colors. Sprint seems to have only 3 colors. Virgin Mobile has only white colored phone now. I hope they get black or blue soon.

Installing Ubuntu on Lenovo G780

I recently installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my Ubuntu G780 laptop which came with Windows 8. It was relatively painless. I downloaded the ISO image and created the CD. Most online articles recommended disabling secure boot from your BIOS. This was easy to do from the BIOS menu. I also had to change BIOS setting to start from CD drive first. This setting does not seem to be saved. It reverted back to its old value once you boot into Windows. Every time I had to try booting from CD I had to change this setting.

After booting from CD the initial menu was garbled. No text was visible. Since I knew the first option was try Ubuntu without installing I just hit enter. Ubuntu booted fine and everything worked. I could use Wi-Fi without problem. So next time I booted the CD, I pressed down arrow once and pressed enter. This is the install option. After that the screen worked fine. Installation was a breeze. Ubuntu worked great. But Windows was gone. I could not boot into Windows.

The error was something about invalid EFI. Googling it pointed to some boot repair commands to run from Ubuntu. Just running those commands added some boot menu options. There are about 10 choices now. I have to choose “Windows UEFI Recovery” to boot into windows. As long as dual boot works I do not mind the name. I am sure with grub I can rename them. But it works and I want to leave it alone for now.

Samsung Montage Phone from Virgin Mobile USA

I recently  switched to Virgin Mobile USA. Their plans are cheaper compared to any of the monthly contract plans in all carriers. But the phone selection in Virgin Mobile sucks. I wanted to wait for Virgin to get one of the latest smart phones before switching to data plan. So for the time being I got a Samsung Montage. This phone was mostly like my previous LG Rumor 2. But some simple “features” are making this phone suck compare to LG Rumor 2 which came 3 years back. Only good thing in Montage is the screen.

First the annoying beeps. If you miss a call or SMS it will keep beeping until you dismiss the notification. This becomes very annoying if you receive text in the middle of the night. You might want to keep the phone in silence mode when you are sleeping. But then you loose your alarm. That brings to the next feature.

The alarm rings (with sound) even if you set your phone to Vibrate all or Silence all. So if you have forgotten to turn off alarms in addition to setting the phone in vibrate mode and you are in a meeting when the alarm goes off you might get embarrassed.

For an incoming call you can quickly silence the phone by pressing any button on the phone. It is easy to do with volume control buttons. But when an alarm sounds you cannot silence it by pressing any buttons if the keys are locked. So if you want to snooze or turn off an alarm you need to unlock the keys and then dismiss the alarm.

Now if you leave the alarm untouched when it goes off, it keeps going for about a minute and then snoozes itself. After it snoozes guess what the phone does? It starts the beeps.

Bluetooth has some problem. I cannot pin point exactly what is causing the problem or reproduce the problem consistently. I tried connecting the phone to my car bluetooth. It connected fine for the first time. Later when I got out of the car the phone was totally powered off. This happened twice. After switching on, the phone worked fine. When bluetooth worked I was able to make and receive calls through bluetooth connection. But the battery seems to be draining fast and needs charging every day when bluetooth is enabled. My old phone worked for at least two days without charging. It had bluetooth always on.

After about 1.5 months the phone switched off itself completely twice. It did not come back on when I pressed the power button. I had to take the battery out and keep the battery out for a few minutes before the power button worked.

There is already announcement of Samsung Galaxy S3 coming in June in Virgin Mobile USA. I cannot wait to get rid of this phone. It is hard to believe they are made by the same company.

Setting up SSH with Git Bash in windows 7

I was following the tutorial at bitbucket to setup SSH for git. When setting up .bashrc file with the code shown in the tutorial I got the error “syntax error near unexpected token `then”. This was happening when bashrc was being run. I could not understand why. Google search did not help much. It turned out that there was some problem with file format. If I edited the file using vim directly in the console there were lots of unknown characters before the beginning of each line. After deleting all those characters bashrc worked fine. I am not sure where those extra characters came from. I used vim to edit bashrc in windows 7. I also tried changing the file format from dos to unix which did not help.

In addition to editing the file directly I also had to add the line “eval `ssh-agent`” to make ssh-add work. I found this eval solution at this blog.

Android SDK not finding JDK

If Android SDK complains about not finding JDK, you need to set environment variable JAVA_HOME to the path of JDK. The path for JDK is something like C:Program FilesJavajdk1.7.0_04. When setting the environment variable do not use quotes around the path. Setting this made the SDK continue install on my win 7, 64-bit system.