Archive | April, 2005

Fear Thy Neighbour

30 Apr

Just read the recent issue of Time Asia and came across this article that proclaims that India needs to envy and fear China should it continue to harbour those dreams of being a ‘superpower’. First few lines of the article and I couldn’t make too much of sense out of it, for always had been taught that co-operation, and not competition, tends to bring out the best of results and propels you to achievements. But as I read along, things started sounding meaningful. Go and read it here.

It is true we have achieved a lot in the past 7-8 years. And not just in IT but infrastructure, healthcare, even R&D to an extent. Something we have all to feel proud of. But then a mild comparison with our big neighbour and it all seems so trivial. They outnumber us in everything. What are the buzzwords today? FDI. They are way too ahead. Teledensity. Nothing that we can boast of compare to them. They even got on the F1 circuit. And if we are organizing the Commonwealth Games, then the Olympics are there! Manufacturing, Infrastructure, go on and I bet we wont come across anything but IT that we hold an advantage.

It is not that things aren’t done here. The problem I feel lies in implementing. The Golden Quadrilateral managed quite well, but the NS and EW Corridors are in shambles. The Broadband which seems to be the primary concern of the Government for so many years is nowhere near ubiquitous. Two fundamental things that comprise connectivity and we see that we lag far far behind. And as the author points out, we may just get carried away in all this cooperation thingy continuing our reckless approach- the one which we adopted for the first 50 years since 1947. Perhaps the fear of the more powerful neighbour will force us into action. Afterall healthy rivalry can bring out the best sometimes.

The Prof Confessions

29 Apr

Remember Professor Jasper Rine of UC Berkeley whose laptop was stolen recently by someone after exam data? What the Prof had to say after the incident indicated that the thief was in for some serious consequences. (You may read the transcribed Professor Rine’s speech here.)

However the Prof has admitted that all he was trying to do was to scare the thief into returning the laptop. From The Inquirer:

In fact a University spokesman told ABC that Rine had indeed made the whole thing up to scare the student into handing over the laptop.

Seems like the thief knew more about technology than the Prof did!

It’s that time again…

24 Apr

Updates here will be sporadic at best and none at worst over the next few days. The reason: It’s the end semester examinations.

And after that I’ll try to break this spell of real small postings. Going through my archives I’ve observed this trend of short and shorter posts, and feel that some things here will have to change. Perhaps my Internship Blog that I’ll be stating soon will be the first step.

What to say?

23 Apr

Why worry about the future when the present around you is ever-changing?

Suddenly I realize that college life is not just about attending classes, writing examinations, and night-outs. Why should life confront you with crisis everytime you think you have things under control?

Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Techniques

21 Apr

I just came across this wonderful document on making accessibe pdf documents.

With nothing else to do, I am aimlessly strolling the web. Some screwed up registration system says I can’t appear for my end-sem examinations on Monday. Those responsible say they have to play by the book. WTF! Its a course in my undergrad curriculum and… 😦

Albert who

20 Apr

One ought to go through this special section on “A centurt of Einstein” in MSNBC Technology and Science. It’s a 100 year since 1905, Einstein’s Miracle Year and this report is all about “how the revolution in Physics trigerred by his theories is still playing out, and at Einstein- the man and the brand.

…it’s possible that in today’s scientific world, Einstein would have trouble getting his ideas heard.

Science today is an institutionalized pursuit, regimented by a hierarchy of credentials. What are your degrees? What university or research institute are you affiliated with? How much peer-reviewed research have you published? How much grant money can you command?

Indecision

18 Apr

Remaining undecided about things comes very naturally to me. More so if that thing is of no consequence. Simply because option A will seem better than option B, and yet there will be an urge to choose option B for the mere logic that I ain’t going to be affected in any significant way. But when it comes to serious matters, like all same men do, I do weigh all pros and cons, think, wonder, and then I get in the mould of indecision. I seek counsel from those around only to realize that it ain’t easy for anyone to talk me into a decision or convince me, because there go too many things floating in my head. I have two internship offers and I haven’t yet confirmed any.

India and China- Looking Good

17 Apr

Beijing Review Cover

The cover of latest issue of Beijing Review:
“China and India are writing an unprecedented chapter in world history” and in bold it says, “Looking Good”.

Java: Convert StackTrace to String

17 Apr

Okay. This is how you could get a StackTrace and write it to a String:

try
{
//code here
}
catch(Exception e)
{
StringWriter sw = new StringWriter();
e.printStackTrace(new PrintWriter(sw));
String stacktrace = sw.toString();
}

Survival and Software Development

17 Apr

Any text about Software Engineering will begin by saying that most software projects are destined to fail. Failure invariably translates into blame-game and then you’ve got to cover your You-know-what.

Three things you ought to do to survive in the world of Software development: Manage your Time Sheets no matter how hard pressed for time you may be, generate Log Files that clearly assigns the blame for errors and Archive emails.

Anybody who told you about engineering a software must have said that these are an absolute necessity when it comes to shipping a quality software, but there’s more to it. These three points in particular help you to come out unscathed in the blame game. How? Let’s see.

Q: What on Earth did force you to take so long for this?
A: Simple. Because to deliver this, I had to first do this, then that and then what ‘A’ didn’t do. They are all mentioned here in my Time sheets.

Q: Why did you do this?
A: Because your email dated so and so instructed me to.

Q: Your module is generating lots of errors.
A: Yes, it is. But I just checked out the logs and it clearly reflects that there is nothing wrong with this module. It is simply because the modules coded by ‘P’ and ‘Q’ haven’t adhered to the design specifications, and they better do it fast.

Remember software are meant to fail, not us. And thus, act smart. Never ever forget to update your time-sheet. Manipulations are not necessarily undesirable. The logs should be smart enough to clearly assign the blame with the errors and about storing emails, you have Gmail and so I dont think there’ll be any problems on that count.