Windows©, Doors or Homes!??!

A couple of days back.. one guy called green_mamba asked me.. "Why do you use Linux (GNU/Linux) and not Windows? What is it that makes LinuxGNU/Linux] so special for you?" I avoided that question then.. {I was in no mood of answering questions… Exams had finished just the day before!!} I am trying to answer it now… green_mamba also told me that Roopesh said, "I use it because I can look at the source code. I am allowed to look at how things work and fiddle with the way they work!"… I knew it immediately that this was not the reason for me.[I rarely looked at source code… and making changes to it.. haha..] So what is it? I think I can answer this question if I get back to the time when I started using Linux…[hehe.. not too long ago!! :P]

So how did I start using GNU/Linux? How did "we" first meet? It was during last summer holidays.. that Voods sent me this link … [I had definitely used GNU/Linux on a few occasions before… but.. this was when I really began using it…] and within hours I was a fan of GNU/Linux!![and Richard M Stallman (RMS)]

So its the "philosophy"… The philosophy of Free Software… [Free as in Freedom, not as in Free Beer…(English is a wierd wierd Language…)]… The philosophy of Open Source… that brought me to it… This song says it the best…

Free Software Song –RMS

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

Hoarders may get piles of money,
That is true, hackers, that is true.
But they cannot help their neighbors;
That's not good, hackers, that's not good.

When we have enough free software
At our call, hackers, at our call,
We'll throw out those dirty licenses
Ever more, hackers, ever more.

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free.

now I continue to use it.. for a variety of reasons..[they are NOT in the order of their priority/importance]

  • Firstly, using Linux gives me a sense of community… a sense of oneness [this can't happen with Windows.. because you can't share stuff… :-(]
  • I have begun to hate the concept of Proprietary Software… can you believe that.. "Sharing stuff.. makes us PIRATES!!"
  • I am a growing fan of the Command Line… It simply rocks!!
  • There's almost no problem of Viruses/Malware.. You simply don't need an Anti-Virus..(that needs to be updated every night.. or u'll have nightmares…)
  • Then there's this wonderful concept of Live-CDs.. {specially Knoppix.. Its absolutely awesome!} It put me(us?) out of soup… a lotta times…
  • The fiddle factor… I have just started to fiddle with things(…source codes… I added a small feature to my dc-client Microdc2].. the feature of away messages.. it feels gr8! :P)
  • One of my best friend is using it too! [you know who…]
  • The Mascot looks cool!! ;) [I liked the GNU mascot too! (It's on my side-bar) ]
  • The name "LINUX"!! [There's so many flavors(Distros) of Linux.. that I can keep trying different ones.. all my life :P.. presently with Slackware!]
  • Its Fun!! and I want to use it…
  • and finally… Windows sucks! [I don't have to use it… :P]!!

Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. "Don't bother us with politics," respond those who don't want to learn. –Richard Stallman

When you say, "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at you blankly and say, "Hey, I got those with the system, for free". –Linus Torvalds

"What happens when you read some doc and either it doesn't answer your question or is demonstrably wrong? In Linux, you say "Linux sucks" and go read the code. In Windows/Oracle/etc you say "Windows sucks" and start banging your head against the wall." — Denis Vlasenko on linux kernel mailing list

"The box said that I needed to have Windows 98 or better… so I installed Linux." – LinuxNewbie.org

Andharu Mahanubhavule... Andariki Vandanamulu..

There's a post already with 'exactly' this name…. by 9… here… But this post doesn't have much to do with his post… [or may be it does??]

Here's a Quote on Mahatma Gandhi… /Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such a one, as this, ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. – Albert Einstein/

I was just wondering…. what would happen if the name Albert Einstein was replaced by punchagan… and it turned out that.. there's a huge huge list of candidates for replacing Mahatma Gandhi… [This is with due respect to the Mahatma and Einstein.. I don't, in any sense, intend to say that the Mahatma was not a Mahatma…]

All I want to say is… I am seeing a whole lot of new things, in people around me, that inspire awe and respect in me… that every person is unique… every person is special.. every person can teach you something…. there's something to learn from everyperson… that makes me believe God,truly, created man in his own image…

I am grateful to all the people around me (and those not around any more..)… who have shown, are showing, and will be showing me things bright and beautiful… wise and wonderful… which otherwise I would have failed to see..

I am grateful… for getting me back on track.. when i go directionless,.. for setting me examples to emulate,… for being with me whenever i needed and will need you…

[ I would've loved to write down each and every name here…. but that's too big a job for this little being to achieve… ]

As William Arthur Ward says….

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

To All Jaani's of the World… Thanks a Lot… (I know that's too small a word… but that's all I can give right now…)

/"God created man in His own image….  God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good."/ Gen 1:27, 31

“A friend is one with whom you are comfortable, to whom you are loyal, through whom you are blessed, and for whom you are grateful.” – William Arthur Ward

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. – Albert Schweitzer

Sometimes it not the wealth you have but what's inside you that others need. – Anonymous

Long Lost Letters....

A few days back I received a letter from a friend, via post! [I know most of you can't believe this… but ya.. its true..] I wouldn't have believed it too… if only he didn't tell that to me when we met online… {He spoilt the fun for me! :-(} So before going to dinner one day…(a couple of weeks back..).. I checked out the Hostel Assistants room for any post…. and "it" was right on top of the pile!! [Now that I speak of a pile don't imagine that a lot of people here get personal letters… most of them were business correspondence, magazines or likewise…] Neways.. it was a great feeling to even look at it!! A white envelope… and my name on it.. in his most familiar writing on it…[no.. i don't get letters from him often.. we have been classmates for quite some time.. so…] … the stamp [A leapard cat!]… and the two postmarks.. [of Pilani & Zuarinagar!! :-P]… Holding the letter in my hand.. it felt wonderful!! [I wanted to read it right then…. but went along for dinner…]

After dinner… and a little time in the Children's Park… [relaxing.. wid 9,UC,Voodoo n Ringo]… I opened it! It was absolutely thrilling… to see a couple of pages written in ink [he still uses ink pens!! ;-)]… With full enthu.. i read the letter.. and obviously once wasn't enough to satiate my hunger.. i went through it over and over and over… [i wanted to scribble down a reply ASAP… but we had waves and quark coming up.. so i waited for them to get over (I could've written another one right??)…to get more matter into my letter..]

Why is such a simple joy of getting a letter from a friend [there is email.. but… for me its nowhere close to snail mail…] become so rare these days?? [Something that was such a regular feature of the recent past.. is almost extinct now!!] Telephone and the Internet…. they are the culprits… (are they??…..) In today's global village… is post a bit too slow for comfort? Will survival of the fittest ensure the extiction of this wonderful species in the world of communication…??

Is a letter just a matter of communication…?… Isn't there anything more to it… [Obviously there is… otherwise I wouldn't be writing a blog-post on it…I would never think of writing a post on an e-mail I get!! (unless it is superhuman.. or something..)!!] Aren't we losing out on something wonderful??

To attract good fortune, spend a new coin on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend, and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon. – Chinese Proverb

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life. – Andrew Brown

Revelations....

Revelations..Revelations…Revelations.

Such wonderful things they are… bringing to us.. such a joy [even if its about something not so pleasant…]… the joy of discovering things.. of realising a truth… that was hidden somewhere within… brought out with an elegant swoooosh!!…

We, 9, Voodoo, Ravi, UC n me] were just walking on the street… enjoying the evening… after a nice day @ Quark [Day 2]… We were having a casual discussion… not discussing anything in particular… but somehow the discussion led to a project uc,ravi n me [ and probably the others are too..(they didn't talk abt it…)] are interested in… [i don't wanna give any more info abt the project.. bcos it may seem over-ambitious to a few.. not that it hasn't been done already…. but…] neways….

so… while we were talkin abt it… uc said, he didn't have any clue about that thing worked… and we all were wondering too… thinking about some possible solutions/methods….[I was actually trying to recollect something i came across… some time back…] but then suddenly 9 jumped in, to say…

Don't think about how 'that' works… Just think about how 'YOU' would make it work!!

Oh my God!! now that's what's a REVELATION… I was just dumb-struck… that one small statement of his… drowned me in its depths… I feel I still haven't come out of it… A big big revelation at the most unexpected of times, at the most unexpected of places…. [though 9 wouldn't agree with this… being his usual modest self…]

Its been proved time and again… "they" can occur anywhere… anytime and to anyone… while you are on the street.. in your room.. at work… or even in the loo… [Most ppl have a lot of them here!!].. we just need to keep our eyes n ears open… and most importantly our Mind…… ps: it seems…me not delving out the details about our ambitious project.. makes this post a little vague, uninteresting n difficult to relate to… but still… In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind –Louis Pasteur

Quotes are nothing but inspiration for the uninspired. – Richard Kemph

Essential-Extravagance??!!

A DJ nite's going on here.. for WAVES…. I just went there for a while…. The arrangements were pretty good… with Huge huge huge spks.. [I can still hear the Music quite loud.. sitting here in my room.. which is quite a distance form the Venue…] There's real Heart throbbing music [Literally… With speakers of over 15000W your heart really throbs… dub.. dub.. dub…] being played there…

I was just wondering if we really needed such extravagant stuff… I know that such events bring ppl together… but do we need to spend so much money just to have a have a good dance with friends?? When a large number of people aren't able to get their basic neccessities like a Square Meal, Clean drinking water, proper clothing and shelter… here we are enjoying a good dance with friends… with elaborately made extravagant arrangements… [of course the money isn't ours… but…] [ I know a lot of guys wud've a lot to say against me…. but.. its ok..]

There can't be perfect equality in this world… of which duality is an integral part…. every elementary particle has a dual nature… so its but obvious that every thing in this world has a dual to it… so its not possible to have a perfect world with everybody equally placed.. if there is a rich.. then there will be a poor… if there is joy.. then there will be despair… if there is light.. then there will be darkness…

But can't we do anything… can't we spread the light to every place that we possibly could?? Can't we get together to minimize the difference? Join the race against nature… do your bit…

This, probably, is a good place to start off…

Mathematics and Me

Imagine a kid reading Shakespeare's Othello or As You Like it…[or may be some other classic poem…] with great difficulty he somehow manages to read the whole thing… [with all the archaic language etc..] he understands the basic plot and the story and likes it… but will he be able to appreciate the work? Will he be able to see the beauty of it?? Isn't a good knowledge of Language a bare essential for one to enjoy a Literary work??

Now consider a layman… listening to Classical [say Carnatic] Music… if he's got no knowledge of the Basic structure and organisation of Music in general or a Raga in particular.. then he may enjoy the musical work… listen to it happily…. but will he get the taste of its nectar from the fine intricacies in it?? Isn't a basic sense of Music… a knowledge of the language of Music necessary to understand the fine points of a Musical piece??

Isn't the case similar with Science [Feynman says nature..]?? Without a proper knowledge base in Mathematics.. how would I possibly understand and appreciate Physics/Science (in general..) and Relativity in particular?? [I got this feeling, after class today, for the zillionth time…] How can I possibly enjoy a course in Relativity without a proper Math background???

I need to learn a lot of Mathematics.. its high time I do it… :(

To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature … If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in. –Richard P. Feynman

Quark 07

This post is to promote QUARK'07… This post is here… little due to my desire.. and almost totally bcos somebody [the ppl here at coll..] expect "us" to do it..

Blogspot.. Orkut..[i don't use it any more] were blocked on campus [don't ask why cos none of us have been able to figure out.. atleast about Blogspot..] but the blocks have been lifted for a fortnight.. just so that we can publicise Quark [our techfest..] Its from 17th March to 19th March.. check out the link for more details..

So ppl.. Quark coming up :)…

and… blocks coming up too :(…

[But why Blogspot???]

Lisp as an Alternative to Java

Here's more on LISP… one more article from Peter Norvig.. This is another of his on my blog… Look at the follow-up study document.. its good…

Update: - [2010-10-11 Mon] - Removed the article's copy.

Popularly Unpopular??

Popular opinion isn't everything….. Its not necessary that we always go with the popular opinion, or take that option which most people endorse.. here's a case in point… an article by Paul Graham..(You can also read it @ http://www.paulgraham.com/iflisp.html)

Update - [2010-10-11 Mon] - Removed the copy of the article.

Welcome to the Un-Conference

Here comes the WikiCamp!!

Its all about understanding and harnessing the power of wikis…

It aims to bring together the best minds from the Wiki/Internet space to talk about issues,opportunities,future and evolution of this powerful tool…

Demystifying terms like Collaborative Knowledge Sharing, Wisdom of Crowds, Crowd Sourcing…

To enliven the "Spirit of Sharing"…. [That's what it means to me!]

The event is scheduled for the 25th of February, and the venue is at Tidel Park, Chennai.

Who's the Organiser?? Everyone is. WikiCamp runs as an unconference, where everyone is an organizer and there is no passive audience. So it is as much your event.The overall co-ordination is being done by The Knowledge Foundation, the same group behind events such as Barcamp Chennai, Blogcamp and Proto.in.

I am a Promoter of this event… You can be one too…. just write a post in your blog space… and help in telling the world about it…

Wanna Participate?