Friday 29 February 2008

The world is still the same at 25...... but I have changed

I turned 25 today. Unlike my last birthday, this one was a quiet birthday. No midnight parties, no bumps, no cakes and a day full of same ol' work. 25 looks like a big landmark. It's the at which people around you consider you "mature". Your parents expect you to take responsibilities. People consult you for "serious" opinions. Older females in the family start looking for your match :-)

It may be a big day for me. But look around. How many people even bother. Things are still the same as they were yesterday. And thats the way they will continue tomorrow. This makes me realize how small I am in this world. I should have been someone. But I am not....I should have done something. But I haven't...Ahhhh I must do something with my life.

I can't stop myself retrospecting my life so far. I don't really have anything to complain about. Though I may never have had a car to drive me to places, I always had enough money in my pocket to take the bus wherever I wanted to go. I may not have had dinners at five stars but never in my life did I sleep hungry. I will say I got all the basic comforts, millions of people in the world are denied. And yet somehow I never thought about it all this time. I never thanked my parents for everything they did for me. Sitting here, 10000 miles away from them, I realize what I am missing all this time.

Mom, Dad, you may never read this...but I just want you to know that I love you and I just want to say "thanks" for the wonderful life you have given me........

Tuesday 26 February 2008

laloo rocks!!!

The annual Rail-budget was presented today. I just went through the main points of the budget. In the days when oil prices are sky-high, inflation is crossing all the limits, Laloo actually is cutting all the fares. People may argue that he is ensuring his second term by a Junta-Budget, but he also claims that Railways has cash surplus of 25000 Crores. Thats a quite a surprise.

I should confess that I never liked Laloo as a leader. But the things he has been doing with the Indian Railways have left me spell bound. May be he is one of the best Management Gurus in the country. Or may be he is not interfering with the railway officials. and letting the professionals do there job. But as long as it is working in common man's favor (and railways' favor in general) whats wrong in it. At least he has been consistently achieving what his predecessors could not even imagine in their dreams.

Hats off to Laloo Prasad Yadav !!!!

Monday 18 February 2008

I dont want to give title to this

Abraham Lincoln's letter to his son's head master is the biggest piece of crap I have ever seen. If it was in the headmaster's hands to teach all those things to even ONE earthling, he wouldn't have been a headmaster of a school.
I think the letter was written just to waste few precious hours of generations of students that followed........
(Am I sounding like Calvin ?)

Saturday 16 February 2008

Oops.......I did it again..

and I forgot one more meeting today...strike four!!
I must stop getting used to this.
I am sorry for what I did but more than that I feel sorry for the people whose time I have wasted.... I deserve a kick on my a** for this

Saturday 9 February 2008

Research papers

As a doctoral student and a wanna be researcher, research papers are part and parcel of my life. But somehow, I find it virtually impossible read them. One of the famous professors at IIT Kharagpur had once said that a good way to get your paper published is to make it look very easy if it is difficult and make it look difficult if it is easy. I believe this is exactly what is being followed in the research world (I am exposed to...). Many of the papers I go through have relatively easy idea unnecessary made complex by putting fancy symbols and equations and stuff like that. And thats exactly what makes them difficult to read (difficult ones are unreadable anyways). Let me accept here that I am not an avid reader when it comes to reading such works (actually reading anything). But when I gather enough enthu to go though the papers, just because of the cryptic presentation, it becomes hard to concentrate after first few minutes. In fact most of the times when I "read" a paper all I do is go through the initial sections and get the gist. Other than my own (which again follow the rule mentioned above, unfortunately) I don't think I have read any paper A to Z. I've talked to few friends about this, and it looks to me that I am not the only one doing this. May be a general survey of the research fraternity may reveal some disappointing truths.. I don't know.
you may wonder why am I writing all this.... Well the reason is that I am supposed to read about 8 papers as a part of my course and I have started the first one just few minutes back...:-D

Saturday 2 February 2008

My first custom compiled browser

Yesterday I compiled mozilla icecat on my laptop. Its the first time, I have compiled any of the most commonly used softwares. Other than few missing libraries which I had to install, the installation went perfect. It took almost twenty minutes to compile and install the full thing.
Why did I do that ? The main problem I was seeing in most of the firefox family browsers was inability to render indic texts properly. It requires a special rendering support from "Pango" library and most of the ubuntu repositories have firefox binaries with pango disabled. It was funny that kubuntu 7.10 (32 bit) installed on my lab box had pango enabled firefox. But I could not find 64 bit Iceweasel/Firefox binary with pango enabled. I know it had some bugs which manifested themselves by miserably slowing down the browser. But AFAIK this bug was affecting 32/64 bit binaries alike. Anyways, other than this practical reason, I just wanted to compile firefox once on my box. So I did it. I chose Icecat (which is new name of Iceweasel) just because its "all free". Its working great... Even the indic text is rendered beautifully.

Meanwhile, I would like to note that the only broser that currently passes the acid2 browser test is konqueror. None if the most popular browsers IE, firefox or Opera pass the test. And after fiddling with konqueror for a few weeks I think its not that bad...it just has a different ways of doing things.

Anyways, For most of us compiling a browser may not be a big deal but I am feeling great. The joy of having something custom built for yourself is something I cannot explain.