Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Strong, spirited, powerful, inspiring, enlightening
GO READ THESE
YOU CANNOT REMAIN UNCHANGED AFTER READING HIS WORDS. . .
http://www.vivekananda.net/fouryogas/Untitled-3.htm AND http://www.vivekananda.net/
READ MORE ABOUT THE GREAT INDIAN MONK - SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

With the hope that . . .
Tons of Success and Joy awaits you and me in the coming New Year;

Lots of wishes from my side for great times ahead - 2003 AD and beyond;
Reach great social, professional, academic, intellectual and spiritual heights;
Always brim with self-confidence, yet maintain strict self-control.
May God and his divine providence assist you all the way;


Monday, December 30, 2002

Swami Vivekanada's Chicago Address ( AN EXCERPT )

Response to Welcome At The World's Parliament of Religions,
Chicago, 11th September 1893

Sisters and Brothers of America, It fills my heart with joy
unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome
which you have given us. l thank you in the name of the most
ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the
mother of religions; and I thank you in the name of the millions
and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects. My thanks,
also, to some of the speakers on this platform who, referring to
the delegates from the Orient, have told you that these men from
far-off nations may well claim the honor of bearing to different
lands the idea of toleration. I am proud to belong to a religion
which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance.
We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all
religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has
sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all
nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered
in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to the
southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which
their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am
proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still
fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote
to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have
repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by
millions of human beings:

"As the different streams having there sources in different
places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the
different paths which men take through different tendencies,
various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to
Thee."

The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies
ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world,
of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita:

"Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him;
all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to
Me."

Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism,
have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the
earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood,
destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it
not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more
advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently
hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this
convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all
persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all
uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same
goal.


Sunday, December 29, 2002

HUMAN CLONING - The argument continues . . .
Cloning produces a new individual using only one person's DNA. The process is technically difficult but conceptually simple.
Scientists remove the genetic material from an unfertilized egg, then introduce new DNA from a cell of the animal to be cloned. Under the proper conditions, the egg begins dividing into new cells according to the instructions in the introduced DNA.
MORE HERE
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20021228T230000-0500_37258_OBS__DOLLY__SCIENTIST_WARNS_AGAINST_HUMAN_CLONING.asp
http://www.wsfa.com/Global/story.asp?S=1063797&nav=0RdED5vb
http://www.clonaid.com - the company creating all the news

Interesting Read : An Interview with "a software generalist" in the Linux community, who answers technical questions on-line, concerning all aspects of Linux. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/12/26/1040511127721.html

Saturday, December 28, 2002

A stunning movie (though Ebert gives it 0.5/5) - The Ghost and The Darkness, just watched it.
Ill give it a *** (3/5) - Man-eating Lions in Africa set in 1898 colonial british era . . . Om Puri in the cast too. The photography and pace is all in all good.

Got this article : Indian and Israeli Spy Agency (thats RAW and MOSSAD) Team Up, Target Pakistan

Friday, December 27, 2002

Where DO WE GO from here?
FIRST CLONED HUMAN BABY !
[From Google news - Now 9:00 PM - 25 mins (BLOGGER SETTINGS GIVES ERRONEOUS TIME IN INDIA . . .)]
Tomorrow? Never Know !
Tomorrow's technology begins today - Researchers in industry and academia tinker with self-repairing systems, molecular circuits and more.
From New.com CNET

Top Ten Trends in 2003 - The Red Herring Magazine is out with the forecast of the top ten trends for the next year. The list includes Wireless, Hardware/Software, Venture Capital, Semiconductors, Nanotechnology, Financial Reporting, Telecommunications, Biotechnology, Broadcasting and Broadband. From http://www.webjives.com/
INDIAN CINEMA
Satyajit Ray's Cinema
I have watched only a handful of the works of Master Director Satyajit Ray - But Pather Panchali ( Song of the Little Road ) is still pending.
Pather Panchali, Ray's first foray into the film making world, was completed in 1955, and proceeded to win the top prize at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. It's a quiet, simple tale, centering on the life of a small family living in a rural village in Bengal . . .
Here are two reviews - Here and here
And in direct contrast Ritwik Ghatak
About a 100 miles east of Calcutta lies Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Dhaka was the center of cultural activity of East Bengal and, along with Calcutta, saw the birth of major cultural movements in the first half of twentieth century. However, the independence of India in August 1947 saw the partition of Bengal. The trauma of this partition remains etched in the minds of the people whose lives were forever changed by it. Nowhere is this perhaps better portrayed than the films of the Bengali director Ritwik Ghatak. The first of his films to be released was Ajantrik in 1957. Following closely on the heels of Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali, which created history in the Indian cinema, Ajantrik was strikingly different in its approach. Portrayed with a humour uncharacteristic of Ritwik, Ajantrik's story revolves around a taxi-driver's unusual reletionship with his battered Chevrolet.
Notable among Ghatak's students are Kumar Shahani, Mani Kaul, Sayeed Mirza and Adoor Gopalakrishnan.



Some of the greatest directors of cinema who made the difference.

Alfred Hitchcock : Steven Spielberg : Martin Scorsese : James Cameron : Francis Ford Coppola : George Lucas : Satyajit Ray : Shyam Benegal : Ritwik Ghatak
Though Mrinal Sen and many others are missed out.

Start with ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Added a blog search engine facility - called FreeFinder . . .Lets see if it works
UPDATE (sometime later) : seems to be working fine Great !
RANDOM TIP :
RedHat users may find out their exact kernel architecture (which is not always the same as "uname -m" output)
with the following case-sensitive shell command:
rpm -q --qf '%{ARCH}\n' kernel
A Short Summary of Hyper Threading
Hyper-Threading Technology brings the simultaneous multi-threading approach to the Intel architecture(where multiple threads can execute on a single processor without switching).
Hyper-Threading Technology makes a single physical processor appear as multiple logical processors. To do this, there is one copy of the architecture state for each logical processor, and the logical processors share a single set of physical execution resources. Processes or threads can be scheduled to logical processors as on conventional physical processors in a multi-processor system, and instructions from logical processors will persist and execute simultaneously on shared execution resources.
Each logical processor maintains a complete set of the architecture state. The architecture state consists of registers including the general-purpose registers, the control registers, the advanced programmable interrupt controller (APIC) registers, and some machine state registers.

And now United Linux? - UnitedLinux is a standards-based, worldwide Linux solution targeted at the business user and developed by Conectiva, The SCO Group, SuSE, and Turbolinux. Designed to be an enterprise-class, industry-standard Linux operating system, UL provides a single stable, uniform platform for application development, certification, and deployment and allows Linux vendors, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) to support a single high value Linux offering rather than many different versions. Go to www.UnitedLinux.com

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

FROM

Microsoft must include rival Sun Microsystems' Java programming language in its Windows operating system, a federal judge ruled Monday MORE HERE
ALSO on Blogs from WIRED

KEEP UPDATED ON THE INTEL P4
Explore Intel's Hyperthreading technology
Technical Resources

Read more about
The Simputer - a full-featured, powerful handheld computer. It is an acronym for Simple, Inexpensive, Mobile, People's Computer

Also see http://simputer.org
"I am back"
Christmas tomorrow - phone was dead, blogging in abeyance from the net; Caldera Linux does not seem to have much though a few things like Aktion media player and Java SDK are pre-installed - no games especially GNU Chess - a favourite of mine though I have never beaten it.


ON Monday, December 23, 2002
I have been unable to blog for the past few days because of a dead phone and frequent shifting of cables and the associated repair work. In the meantime something went wrong . . .
Here is how it all started - I suddenly wanted to intall Linux into my vacant partition (actually an earlier corrupted install) that I had reserved for the same. I chose Caldera OpenLinux Workstation - loaded with all the dev features. I selected the partition and said 'format' and then the boot loader option(GRUB/Lizard, not good old LILO) asked if it could write into the MBR(Master Boot Record) and I checked the option true and the OS boot options as Linux and pre-existing Windows. Now the insane part, after the install it went into Linux and then when I rebooted, and tried to go into Windows it threw me into a shell - command prompt asking me to give the location of command.com ; after some headache I lead it to command.com using the Windows startup diskette. Then what do I see? The drive C: has been renamed D: and vice-versa. I just could not start win.exe from D: (Himem.sys present, but it was blind to keep saying it does not exist) - using fdisk I set the present D:(earlier C: dont confuse . . .) as active but to no avail. Then getting bugged of it all I reinstalled Windows 98 from my HP Pavilion System Recovery CD with a do not format and the installation occurred in D:(earlier C: remember ! so after that I had 2 sets of Windows folder ) and the contents were preserved; now I have to do something about the registry - will my previous programs work what do you think? Though they are not working now. Lets see - hope I dont goof up again. But I am puzzled about how the renaming occurred - any ideas ??? Now both Lin and Win are working fine ! But then who was the culprit? CALDERA Linux or me or both ?


ON Sunday, December 22, 2002
Straight out of Kiruba's Blog

http://Control.Blogger.com : The Pyra guys have come out with a wonderful system to "create a feedback mechanism that will leap to developing increasingly better tools and services." . It's one of the best feedback mechanism I've seen. Structured very nicely. Check it out.

Want to know who's linking to your blog? Technorati is a great source. You just need to type in your blog url and it will tell you who all have linked to you. Heck, it even tell you how many minutes back they gave you the link !! I found this very useful. I did a search for my blog and noticed new people who have linked to the interview with blog royalty. I dropped them a 'thank-you' note. You may choose to have automatic alerts but you gotto pay $10 for the privelege.



Thursday, December 19, 2002

RANDOM LINKS THAT I VISITED - RSS XML RDF etc.
An Indian Blogdex coming up ?
A step-by-step guide to building an RSS 1.0 document by hand.
http://www.newarchitectmag.com/documents/s=5310/new1013637412/2.lst
http://www.w3.org/RDF/FAQ
bEYOND html - http://www.newarchitectmag.com/archives/2000/02/beyo/
http://www.newarchitectmag.com/archives/2000/02/beyo/
and FRESH BLOGGER BLOGS
UPDATES FOR LAST 3 DAYS - PHONE DEAD

TRY ANOTHER DAY
-> I started reading a book called Deep Time by David Darling on the theme - travel of a particle from the beginning of the Universe to its end and further. After A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, I am somehow finding this book not very interesting, am flitting from reading a few pages and then not feeling like continuing again - this cycle repeating again and again and again.

-> India has its latest and fastest supercomputer PARAM Padma at 1 teraflops(floating point operations per second). The fastest in the world right now is the Earth Simulator at Japan - 36 teraflops. MORE

-> I am yet to read (buy?) Prey by Michael Crichton but this the first book that I have had an overdose of reviews and critciisms and praises before actually reading the book - call it commercialization or brand marketing - brands do sell in this world and the marketing strategy in this case inline with modern day practice is to gain from Crichton's popularity - create the hype early and spread it faster than the nanobots eh ! Or is it that this time I am more personally involved into the internet way of seeing things - before they are out or you get a copy? I was reading the Amazon and B&N customers reviews - apart from that, a dozen or more reviews more from here, there everywhere...
-> A good blog on emerging technology and their impact - http://www.emergic.org/ (Rajesh Jain's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Enterprises and Markets) - from there an interesting quote on weblogs : (read for much more)

What started off as the publishing of personal diaries and journals now promises to be the anchor for the creation of knowledge sharing systems among enterprises and communities of practice. Weblogs mirror thinking � be it of an individual or a collective. They are transforming the web from read-only to a two-way, read-and-write web, creating for a much richer flow of ideas that bypasses traditional media

-> Eradicated from the planet in 1979 in one of the great triumphs of modern science, the smallpox virus now resides, officially, in only two high-security freezers-at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and in Siberia, at a Russian virology institute called Vector. Some experts believe that military strains of smallpox have been developed and tested in special weapons-test chambers at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Koltsovo, Russia. An international black market for smallpox strains has developed. Most people on earth have no immunity to smallpox, even those who have had shots, because the vaccine wears off after 10 to 20 years. Preston's book on the same lines - Richard Preston

Sunday, December 15, 2002

The term "zeitgeist" comes from the German "Zeit" meaning "time" and "Geist" meaning "spirit". The term is defined in English by Merriam-Webster's Collegiate� Dictionary as "the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era." Google believes that this word and its definition appropriate to describe the program it implemented to share global search statistics and trends from the world's most popular search engine. Hence the 2002 Year-End Google Zeitgeist

Just finished a hilarious book, Headcrash by Bruce Bethke incidently attributed as the creator of the term Cyberpunk. - the book is about the cyberhero's (woefully inadept in real life but a geek all the same) adventures in Virtual Reality with an anti-character virtual identity . . . and how the VR-crazy humans are finally taught a lesson.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

UPDATES - SOME MINOR/MAJOR ADDITIONS AND CHANGES IN THE BLOG AND WEBSITE structure
I got a shock today, I rang up Gangarams Book Bureau to find the price of Richard Preston's The Demon In The Freezer, my my it costs Rs. 1000 (Hardbound, paperback yet to arrive in india I was told, its almost Rs. 1300 at www.fabmart.com) never have I bought a single book as costly as that. The costliest I have bought till now, Stroustoup's The C++ Programming Language was some 600 bucks. Though TDITF seems like a great book . . . Will wait till it comes down to the flea market.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

I am finding lots of references to Richard Preston as an alternative to Crichton though one writes on Non-fiction and the other not.
His latest book.
O T H E R L I N K S :
Excerpt from The Demon in the Freezer
Cobra Event
Biography
MIT presents Richard Preston



Monday, December 09, 2002

Call it racism or whatever - but have you got these looks ? A handful of volunteers decided this; very unfair naa ?

Saturday, December 07, 2002


"The principles of physics, as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom. It is not an attempt to violate any laws; it is something, in principle, that can be done; but in practice, it has not been done because we are too big." Richard P. Feynman - December 29th, 1959

"In not too many decades we should have a manufacturing technology able to: Build products with almost every atom in the right place; Do so inexpensively; Make most arrangements of atoms consistent with physical law. Often called nanotechnology, molecular nanotechnology or molecular manufacturing, it will let us make most products lighter, stronger, smarter, cheaper, cleaner and more precise." Nanotechnology: It's a Small, Small, Small, Small World By Ralph C. Merkle, Ph.D.

ON NANOTECHNOLOGY - Introduction & Basics

How Nanotecnology will change the world . . .
Bad News: Two Van Goghs stolen from museum


ABOUT VAN GOGH - LIFE AND TIMES

Friday, December 06, 2002

Started reading HEADCRASH by Bruce Bethke a funny cyber tale I guess from the first few pages . . .
-Review-

Finished CONGO - GREAT BOOK . . . ONE BOOK in which Crichton gets more emotional than others with amy[the gorilla] - Earlier I had read The Great Train Roberry, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Airframe, Timeline and the stunning Andromeda Strain. Need to get hold of Sphere and prey . . .

Thursday, December 05, 2002

NOW READING : Congo by Michael Crichton is turning out to be a treat with the rain forests, primates, cannibals, 1979 hi-technology and Amy . . .

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham ( REVIEW CONTINUED . . . )
I had earlier written - a classic book about the duality in life and everything else. If there is good why is there evil - a moving first person narrative describing both sides of life in a character running through the medley of characters their lifes and vanities from early 20th century Paris and London and a bit of America and India too.

At a later stage, the book accepts certain aspects of the Indian spiritual knowledge as the most pure and ideal form. It emphasizes in terms of the main character of focus, Larry who is being described by the author himself in first person; about the universal truth that ideal life should be detached from everything - there should be no attachments to anything in life. It also describes the amoral and disreputable side of the social structure prevalent then in Europe and France(Paris) in particular. It depicts, merrily or boisterously at times, the wrong facets of life , but the underlying message is I guess to illuminate their obnoxious aspects and consequences on the society at large. Though, some of the examples portrayed harped a bit too much on the distasteful or misleading, atleast in my view. The characters and certain paradoxical circumstances and effects in their life are very well dished out. A very good book though. Enlightening? Tries to be, Yes ! A classic, certainly !
One of the best novels I have read in the mould of 'A Farewell to Arms' by Hemingway, though the two cannot be entirely compared, probably the genre is same, though Hemingway never attempts to be an idealist which Maugham attempts. I'll give the later more marks, because according to my belief systems moral values are the foundation on which life rests else it collapses of utter disillusionment. That got a bit too serious I guess - no problem, blog it out they say . . . Who says? Again a paradox ???

Sunday, December 01, 2002

SOME PRETTY INTERESTING QUOTES :

- Even the cactus is beautiful, but never in the company of roses.

- I chose to light a candle while they were cursing the darkness.

- The toughest part in taking criticism is not accepting it gracefully, but identifying how you can make it work for you.

- The Internet cannot be a truly democratic medium unless everybody is able to draw upon the benefits of computers, irrespective of their comfort with English. This belief has gained momentum worldwide and is perceived as the key to bridging the digital divide.

- Having seen that babies command greater attention than fancy gadgets, I can safely believe that there's still some hope for humankind.