Monday, October 25, 2010

Since childhood, we always wondered why the teachers gave us so much work and apparently did nothing themselves… but NOW, we understand that it’s the other way round! Teachers work so much harder just to prepare the topics and questions for the students and we just have to simply answer them! This we got to know only when we got the chance to lead the lab session 9 and we are sharing our experiences with all of you.

Since no one volunteered from group 4 to lead the lab session, thus, Saurabh Yadav and I(Shayan) volunteered to lead the lab session as Saurabh was part of the latex project and I was part of the webcrawling project, thus, we thought we would pool our knowledge together to lead the lab session. We covered BACKING UP OF DATA, DATA RECOVERY, LATEX AND WEBCRAWLING.

Backing up of Data

We explained how one can backup their data using the inbuilt backup tool available in Windows 7. Then we explained how we can do the same in linux by installing the sbackup package. But there were problems with 1 or 2 computers in which the package was not getting installed correctly. This was a minor hiccup that we faced with this section.

Data Recovery

We covered how one can recover their data in Windows and Linux. The Windows part would have taken a long time, so it was not covered in the lab. In linux, we used the photorec command (after installing the testdisk package) to recover mistakenly deleted data from a pendrive. We used pendrives with small storage size for this purpose as it would have taken too long for the photorec to recover data deleted from a hard disk partition.


Although this part was to be done in Windows environment using Miktex but since the administrator password was not available so we worked in linux. It took about 15-20 minutes to install the latex package for linux. So we had initially asked people to install latex first and while the installation was being done in the background, we planned to cover the other topics. But unfortunately when the installation was happening, we found that we could not install any other package. Thus we could only use half of the computers in the beginning (the one’s which had latex installed already).Initially it was hard to create interest in this topic but Saurabh did a good job of getting people interested in the topic! I was left marveling at his skills :P


In the last 15 minutes of the class, we covered a webcrawling tool, websphinx. In the lab computers, we did not have the permission to install JAVA, so we had asked everyone to get their laptops with them for the demonstration. But in the lab, we found out that most people did not have the correct version of JAVA installed, so instead we demonstrated it on my laptop. Saurabh noted that while I was giving the demonstration, people enjoyed watching the formation of the tree graph of the web pages that had been crawled and which were being displayed on the websphinx interface.

Most people were keen to just get over with the lab, in fact one person kept on asking me how long the lab would take to end :P I was asked at 2:15, 2:45 and again at 3:15 this one particular question!

All in all, it was a unique as well as a good experience leading the lab session. We got to appreciate the problems that the previous lab leaders had faced especially in finishing off their portion within the required time

Shayan Lahiri

Saurabh Yadav