Aakash Japi


I’m Aakash, a writer, movie-enthusiast, and software engineer graduating UC-Berkeley this semester. I love startups, distributed systems, and infrastructure, but more than anything else I love to talk, and that’s what this is for! I have an excess of mini-lectures backlogged in my memory that usually get wasted on my showerhead or unfortunate friends and passerby, but now, I have you people to lecture to. This will be a fantastic time. I’m already tingling with excitement…

No, but actually, I do love to talk, especially on subjects I care about, like movies, books, history, startups, and programming. I think this comes from my reservedness in middle and early high school. I spent most of those years hidden in books and the internet, discovering and learning about a lot of really interesting things, so when I re-entered the world, I had a lot to say on things that other people never really thought about (at least in my crappy high school on Long Island: fuck you, New Hyde Park Memorial. On a sidenote, that really frustrates me: that we pay some of the highest property taxes in the country and our school is still an abominable piece of shit. Where does all the money go? We even approve the raised budget every year. I should’ve gone to Herricks).

I program a lot in my spare time. Recently, I’ve made a number of Reddit bots: two are on my github, but another 9 languish on my computer, unfinished or unhosted. My favorite is one that allows users to create macros on Reddit (for example:

when [link to post].votes >= 225:  
PM([/u/user], "reminder text") 


for reply in [link to post].replies: 
if hasPostedOnGoneWild(reply.user): 
PM(/u/username, "reminder text")

These are all executed by calling the bot’s username in a Reddit comment).

Currently, there are only a few actions, like PM or make a post, and the Gonewild functionality is the most complicated. I also only have a few listeners, like for upvotes on posts, replies to posts, and others. I’ll make a post eventually on the technical details of this.

I’ve also made several Chrome Extensions: one that does steganography (encodes messages into images, and decodes them), and another that stores all entered forms, highlighted text, and scroll position on a page, and lets you store this in a url. Then, you can send this url to another user with this extension, and the page will open with the same highlighted text, the same values in all forms, and the same position on the webpage. It’s on the webstore, called Squirtle, though it needs some polish.

I fly from SF to NY and back about 4 times a year, and on every flight, I make a new mini-project. The last time, I made a Palindrome Generator. The time before that, a basic textfile search engine.

When I’m not programming, I’m writing. This is a link to my old high school blog (beware, it’s full of Green Day flavored teenage angst and my shitty interpretation of Camus/Sartre-style existentialism).

And when I’m not doing either of those, I’ll be watching a movie. Here’s a list of my favorites (this was the hardest part of this post):

  • Silence of the Lambs
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Watchmen
  • Fight Club
  • Trainspotting
  • Zodiac
  • Drive
  • Rush
  • Margin Call
  • There Will Blood
  • Casino Royale
  • The Godfather
  • Memento
  • The Departed
  • Mulholland Drive
  • American Beauty
  • Casablanca
  • LA Confidential
  • The Dark Knight
  • Nightcrawler
  • The Social Network
  • Goodfellas
  • The Godfather

Watch them all, they’re fantastic.