Thejesh GN

A Blog, A Website and A container for all my views with excerpts from technology, travel, films, india, photography, kannada, friends and other interests. I am Thejesh GN. Friends call me Thej

Walking around Fort Galle

Posted by Thejesh GN On October - 23 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

If you are following me on instagram you would by now know that we are in Sri Lanka. Both of us love walking, thats our preferred way of exploring new place. Yesterday we walked around beautiful fort Galle. It took us about two and half hours to go around. This is just around the fort. There are places to explore inside the fort. That will probably take more time. But generally one day should be decent to explore the fort by foot. I have the map below and some pictures of iconic monuments.

From Wikipedia

Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.

The fort has a colourful history, and today has a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population. The Sri Lankan government and many Dutch people who still own some of the properties inside the fort are looking at making this one of the modern wonders of the world. The heritage value of the fort has been recognized by the UNESCO and the site has been inscribed as a cultural heritage UNESCO World Heritage Site under criteria iv, for its unique exposition of “an urban ensemble which illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries.”

Galle Fort Walking

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Track name: | Start: | End: | Distance: km | Moving time: | Duration: | Ø Pace: /km | Elevation: +m -m (net: m)
Galle Fort Clock Tower: 6.029966, 80.215178
Galle Fort Entrance: 6.028161, 80.218414
City of Galle - UNESCO World Heritage: 6.028075, 80.218337
View from Old Hospital Building: 6.026340, 80.219770
Galle Fort Light House: 6.024538, 80.219436
Galle Fort Meera Mosque: 6.024597, 80.218787
Galle Fort Flagrock Bation: 6.023766, 80.217534
Galle Fort - West View: 6.026970, 80.213947
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Galle Fort Clock Tower
Galle, Southern Province, Sri Lanka
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Galle Fort Entrance
Galle Fort Hotel, Galle, Southern Province, Sri Lanka
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City of Galle - UNESCO World Heritage
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View from Old Hospital Building
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Galle Fort Light House
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Galle Fort Meera Mosque
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Galle Fort Flagrock Bation
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Galle Fort - West View

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HappyTuesday Week 5 – Learning Lua

Posted by Thejesh GN On October - 15 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Its been a while I learnt a new programming language. I have been very happy with Python. All most all the work that I do involves Python. But there has been an itch to learn something new. So I made up my mind to learn a new programming language this week. But again which one? There were quite a few eligible languages to choose from

  • Rust is a systems programming language that runs blazingly fast, prevents almost all crashes, and eliminates data races.
  • Go is an open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software.
  • Haskell is an advanced purely-functional programming language. An open-source product of more than twenty years of cutting-edge research, it allows rapid development of robust, concise, correct software.
  • Lua is a powerful, fast, lightweight, embeddable scripting language.

lua I choose Lua because it suited my present toolkit very well. I am a duct tape programmer. I follow simple logic of first make it work, then make it fast and at last make it beautiful. All my tools have to fit this logic. I think Lua was a much better fit than others.

Lua is probably the best ducttape programmer’s language. Its has simple and limited procedural syntax which is easy to learn. It has small foot print and runs on all platforms including some micro controllers. It can run independently and also inside other programming languages. Its actually this embedding feature that attracted me.

Also the fact that its extremely fast when LuaJIT is used. Lua by itself is simple and limited but there are enough libraries to launch your projects quickly. Bonus points for the fact that both Redis and Nmap the tools that I use often use Lua as their scripting language. So everything I wanted. The second best was Haskell. One day I will go back and learn a fully functional programming language like Haskell.

Learning resources:

Lua today is mostly used in gaming world as a script customize games or as an embedded language in other softwares like Redis or Nmap. Even though the community of Lua programmers is small, they are very passionate. I found enough help online to learn and become productive. Some of the resources that I used are

Learning by doing:

For a long time I wanted a programming scratchpad. The idea is you go a website, login, edit/create a page with code, save and get an url for that page so you can run. Somewhat like JSfiddle but much simpler and stronger. Most of my use-cases were that of web-hooks. For example, receive a push from web-hook, process it and post it to some other service. The only service that came close to satisfying my requirements was WebScript. I used their paid account for a while but was not completely happy with the services I was getting for the money.

While learning Lua, I figured I could do that myself. I would use Python as the host language and Lua as the embedded scripting language. Idea included using Django as the framework to give me hosting environment, use lupa to run Lua inside Python. Like always I searched if someone else has done it. It may not be exact but I found AirScript which almost does the same thing. Well its easy to improve than start from the scratch right? After some effort I got it running. Here is my helloworld scratch pad. I will write about it in detail in the next post.

Its been good two weeks after a good vacation and before next one :)

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Archive any blog/website onto Web using archive-it

Posted by Thejesh GN On October - 2 - 2014Comments Off

They say Internet doesn’t forget anything. But link decay is very common on the web. The things that are visible today on web vanish tomorrow. Links become inaccessible and hence linkrot. But there are services like internet way back machine or which backup the web pages to find the content for rotten links later. So I thought I would create a service which would backup (not in the traditional sense of backing up for recovery) the whole blog onto one of these services so future users could read the content even though the blog itself is dead. Bonus feature is you can see how your pages changed over time.

The service very simple. It’s a python code which accepts a url which supports sitemap protocol. Then it goes through every link in the sitemap, submits it to the archival service of your choice. As of now it supports and Gives you a report at the end. You can also go to the archival service provider and see if all the pages have been archived. For example you can check all the pages of archived on


It’s very simple to run

git clone
$python -u -o output.txt -s archiveis

Go ahead backup your blog to web.

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Religious Freedom In India – No Religion is Valid

Posted by Thejesh GN On September - 30 - 2014Comments Off

For last few weeks I have been debating about the religious freedom in India. Even-though its one of fundamental rights. I had my own questions about it. One also doesn’t know about the rights until it gets challenged in the court of law. This week a set of people asked themselves to be free of religious association. They wanted to be part of “No Religion”. A government gazette refused carry out this notification saying “No Religion” is invalid and hence they sought Bombay High court’s help.

The whole case was based upon “Right to Freedom of Religion“. I didn’t know the word ‘conscience’ would play a major role in the judgement. Court favored citizen and said “No Religion” is valid and went onto say none can compel you choose/quote a religion. I think its one of the best judgements that I have read in recent times. I have quote a paragraph below. It gives you the gist.

India is a secular democratic republic. The State has no religion. There is a complete freedom for every individual to decide whether he wants to adopt or profess any religion or not. He may not believe in any religion. If he is professing a particular religion, he can give up the religion and claim that he does not belong to any religion. There is no law which compels a citizen or any individual to have a religion. The freedom of conscience conferred by the Constitution includes a right not to profess, practice or propagate any religion.

The right of freedom of conscience conferred on a citizen includes a right to openly say that he does not believe in any religion and, therefore, he does not want to practice, profess or propagate any religion. If the parents of a citizen practice any particular religion, he has a freedom of conscience to say that he will not practice any religion. There is a freedom to act as per his conscience in such matters.

Bombay High Court

So next time when you are filling up a form you can either enter a religion or leave it blank or enter “No Religion”. Its left to you and none can force you to choose.

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Notes from first Data BootCamp India

Posted by Thejesh GN On September - 11 - 20142 COMMENTS

First ever DataBootCamp in India was organized by ICFJ in collabaration with Data{Meet}, HT, Hacks/Hackers – New Delhi, 9.9 School of Journalism in Delhi. It was a three-day event hosted by Bridge School of Management. It was an interesting gathering as more than 50% were from journalistic background. I have never seen such a big group of journalists in one place for three days, working in groups with people of different backgrounds.

Major part of the camp was to propose projects/stories and work on them. Group selected ten projects out of all the proposed projects. I have listed the projects below, hyperlinking to end results. If you like to see all the proposed projects then go to HackDash.


  1. Narendra Modi On Twitter Vs Other Global Leaders – Word Play vs Ground Reality
  2. Crime Agaisnt Women In India
  3. Class Calculator – Think you’re in the middle class? Use the class calculator. Scroll down to find out. You may be surprised. Or Not.
  4. Cashless In India – Is India becoming a #cashlesseconomy?
  5. Terror Statistics
  6. Money poured into Ganga vs pollution levels
  7. India’s Supreme Court Ruling on Under-Trial Prisoners
  8. Media Ownership
  9. Advertising For Online Video To Rise By 30%
  10. Build Hospitals To Kill Cancer

Ofcourse we had hands-on workshops on scraping, data cleaning, data visualization and mapping. I will probably need a series of posts to cover them all here. I have put the relevant links at the bottom for you to explore. Best part was some of the participants used the tools they learnt during the camp for their project work.

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Other Interesting facts/links/tools that i came across during the event:

Overall I was surprised at the quality of the projects. At least half of them were executed very well. Two days are actually very small amount of time, so hats off to all the participants. As a participant and duct-tape programmer/trainer I had lots of fun. I hope there will be more collaborations between tech and journalism community in future.

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