Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My visit to the AFA

Last Saturday, i had a chance to go to the Air Force Academy,Dundigul about 40 km from Hyderabad for the passing out parade of my friend Shyam. This was one of the wonderful experiences for me. Since this place war quite far from Hyderabad and there are no proper transport to this place i had to reach this place one day earlier on friday night in the Army bus from Secunderabad which was arranged for this occasion specially. The journey took me more than 1 hour and it seemed like a never-ending and reached there the Air Force academy at around 11.30 in the night.
The next morning, i was waiting for the most awaited event, the passing out parade in which nearly 180 air force cadets passed out from various streams. It was around 7.30 in the morning and the crowd which had turned up, mostly the parents and relatives of the cadets , was huge and it was awesome to be part of it. It was even more exciting experience for me because my friend shyam was passing out. He has secured the first position in flying and he is going to be a fighter pilot soon :).
Everything was going according to schedule and there was perfection in timing at all the places. It was an amazing view when the cadets entered marching into the parade ground from behind the podium. The perfection in their marching and timing was amazing. As they take position different air crafts fly past them at the exact time and the coordination was perfect.
When the chief guest arrived another set of air crafts fly past us, as a symbol of salutation.
After this cadets were given away the badges and officially commissioned into air force into different streams like pilot, fighter controller, navigator, ground staff, etc.
The total highlight of the show was the aerobatics performance by the Surya Kiran team. They are one of the finest and highly trained pilot of the Indian Air Force who must have a minimum of 1400+ flying hours to qualify for the team and there are lot of challenges. It was amazing to watch all the stunts which are performed by these pilots in the mid air. There were various formations of the flight along with the trail of the national flag. The coordination among the pilots are perfect and they actions were performed in sync. The planes cross each other head on at mach 2 speed ( about 1000 km/hr ) . It was awesome to see them perform such risky things and a slight mistake can cause a disaster. As the Indian Air force motto says "Touch the sky with glory" , it was really glorious to watch this.
After this there was an exhibition of different types of air crafts like the HPT-32, kiran , choppers like chetak, etc. Its totally a nice experience to see all these crafts with all the sophisticated equipments and controls and had a nice time interacting with the air force people who help in defending our country.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bookmarks in GDB

When you are debugging a program using gdb you might have come across situations where you might have missed to see what is happening at particular point. But you cant go back to that place in earlier versions of gdb.
With the newer versions of gdb there is a feature called checkpoint in gdb. This is very useful and acts something like a bookmark. This basically takes a whole snapshot of the entire program which you are debugging upto that point including all the variables, files opened, etc. So when you are into a debugging a very big process and finally see that you want to go back to particular place then you can easily go to the saved place.

When you are inside gdb :

checkpoint - creates the checkpoint

restart checkpoint_id - this restores to the saved place.

I also came across one very interesting project is being undertaken by GNU. It aims to reverse a debugging process, i.e, you can go one step back in the debugging. If this feature gets implemented in the future versions of GDB , then it ll be very useful for debugging complex processes and when you realise that you missed out a particular step.
If someone is interested in contributing to this project you can look into : http://sourceware.org/gdb/news/reversible.html