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Showing posts from December, 2010

Someone to Guide You: For Better or For Worse?

We were trying this out on an Arduino, but we found its computational capacity less, so we switched to an ARM, said a friend of mine who is studying in BITS Goa. In our college, only the most daring would use an ARM. The ones who do are accused of overkill. Most people use AVR, and would not look beyond AVR. What could be the reason?I believe that a major reason is that we have seniors who have used AVR. Because they knew AVR, they held coding sessions for AVR, which is why we have not bothered to look beyond AVR. Now, this is not so much of an issue as when there is a shortage of AVRs, as there is now. When an AtMega8 costs Rs. 300, i.e. $6 in the retail market, then we have an issue. Not only that, but we also have to be content with the lesser capabilities of the AVR.This is just to illustrate an important point: is it better or worse to have someone to guide you?I guess that the example that I stated just goes to show that it really isn't all that good to have someone to guide…


What defines India as a nation? The question stood out like an ugly thorn. Until we heard that question in the Literature class, none of us had ever questioned the notion of India as a nation. Of course the nation exists, and is as diverse as any can be. That is something we've always been proud of. But then, there has to be something binding the mosaic together. Otherwise the whole mosaic would fall apart. What is it that holds India together, apart from the constitution and the government?This question is rather difficult to answer. We read the views of two eminent people. Salman Rushdie, in his essay, The Riddle of Midnight says that it is communal-ism or the politics of religious hatred. William Dalrymple in his essay Bangalore and the Fast-Food Invaders mentions the Mahatma Gandhi syndrome, a fear of big organizations and everything विदेशी (foreign). So difficult is it to answer this question that I have been thinking of it ever since that day and trying to find a convincing …

On OEM installations of Windows(R)

If there is anything that annoys a geek like me, it is being forced to use/do/say/think something. More so if it is useless and annoying.I have a Compaq laptop. It came pre-installed with Windows Vista. Along with the OS came a bunch of goodies utterly useless software by HP. They were HP Health Check, HP Battery Check, HP Wireless Assistant and HP Update. I shall now proceed to attack these software one-by-one.I start with HP Health Check. Perhaps the most annoying software of them all. It checks your PC periodically for issues(?) and then gives the most annoying pop-up of them all. It reads
HP Health Check has finished checking your PC. Click this balloon to view results.
And when you click the balloon to view the issues, most of the time, you are greeted with this message:
HP Health Check did not find any issues with your computer
Sometimes, it finds a whole bunch of drivers which are outdated. But it does not update them, nor does it give an option to select the drivers to be updated.…

A year of scams and revelations

The 2G scam, the Radiia tapes, the Commmonwealth games, the IPL, the PDS... the list of scams this year has been endless. The media sure has had a great year, with news channel viewer-ship at a high. But they have left out the biggest scam of them all, and one with higher stakes than any other that they have reported.I am talking of the scam in the education sector. For the first time, students in Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) schools have been given an option of whether they wish to appear in their board exams or not. All in the name of reducing pressure on the students.Why do I call this a scam? The simple answer is that these students, including me, shall be the citizens of tomorrow. And I ask, is this what you wish to make us? Good-for-nothings that give up at the smallest hint of pressure?If people claim that the pressure for board exams is high, then what about the pressure in college/university exams? So should we do away with those too? And when we work, would t…

The Story of the Rat Continues

The Rat went to the Cheetah, and the Cheetah went ahead and told the Lion.The Lion roared. Immediately the alligators left the Rat. The Rat went ahead and drew water from the stream.But as the Rat was drawing water from the stream, the Frog came up and told the Rat, Hey! You need to take permission from the stream too.The Rat ignored him and drew water anyway.Now the Rat should be able to prove his work. Wish him luck.

On a story of the Rat

The Rat was very clever. He stayed in his lab all the time, working behind closed doors. He was content with his work, and had no need to stray out of his lab.One day, the Elephant approached him. He asked him to work on something that the Lion wanted. The Rat was happy. For the first time in his life had someone given him something useful to do.The Rat worked hard and long. At last, he cried out in triumph, It is done!Not quite, pointed out the Elephant. You must show that it works. So the Rat set out to prove that. Soon he realized that he needed water from the Stream to prove his work. But the Stream was full of crocodiles. What shall I do? thought the rat. He approached the Cheetah, and asked him to help. The Cheetah went to the head of the crocodiles, and asked if they would allow the rat to draw water. Okay, said the head of the crocodiles. But also take permission from the alligators.So the Cheetah went to the head of the alligators. He put forward the same request. The head of…