Archive for January 2006

Crossing Roads with History

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I am recollecting where during my journeys, I had coincidently happened to be at a place where some significant event happened.

Iraq, Dec 14th, 2003
I was in a flight from Dubai to London and the plane was going over Iraq! It was either the music I was listening or the mere thought of horrible things that might be happening on the land below, I was in a sad mood. Ghastly pictures of innocent children shot and killed by
soldiers and Barkha Dutt who was reporting it from battle field on NDTV were playing back in my mind. A lady and her husband from South Hampton were snoring in the next two seats beside me. They seemed like they were in some sort of “who snores the loudest” competition. Some times they were in sync and some times out of sync as if they are conserving via snores.

I had changed the LCD screen to display the bird’s eye view of the landscape, as the plane sailed over dry and hilly regions of Iraq. I could see towns that seemed like Mesopotamian ruins and roads that cut the land. A larger screen was randomly switching between CNN headlines and flightpath.
And when the news headlines got updated, it said that Saddam Hussein was captured!

What a coincidence the flightpath was showing that we were in the middle of Iraq! I woke up the lady in the next seat and pointed her to the big news screen. Many others in the plane had noticed it. There a murmur. That lady then woke her husband and whispered him in a rustic British accent. He looked at the news paused for a minute and went back to snoring..

Singapore April 2nd, 2003
When I boarded a Singapore airlines plane in San Fransisco heading to Singapore, the number of passengers in the flight surprised me.
The flight was almost empty!
Blame it on the local cable channel news in bay area, that don’t report any thing about outside world, the news about SARS outbreak in the ASEAN was new to me! So I was to transit through countries like Hong Kong and
Singapore where killer disease had already taken lives.

Before landing in HongKong, flight attendants handed out surgical gloves and masks! everyone wore them and FUD was raising in the crowd of passengers.
At the HongKong transit airport they were asking if people had any symptoms of fever. After spending an hour there, my hands were sweating and I was feeling suffocated in the mask.

Singapore airport had thermal image sensors that I guess ware to automatically see if anyone had a high fever. I sat in the airport,
for about two hours, masked and not touching anything, thirsty and afraid to drink the water in the airport.

A crowd of transit passengers from Luftansa passed the gate I was sitting. None of them wore any mask or gloves. It seemed like they were unaware of the death lurking outside. They followed the airport assistant to their destination gate, like the children who followed the Piped Pier of Hamlin!

Racecourse Road Bangalore 1994
I don’t exactly remember why I was walking on Bangalore’s Racecourse Road that day. State elections in Karnataka were just over. Karnataka’s electorate gives surprising mandate, and results were coming out that afternoon. The Janata Dal was split into many factions due to infighting, and no one expected that it would get majority.

The Race Course road apart from having a racecourse also had the central office of the old Janata Party. Due to many factions it was unclear who occupied that building now. That afternoon it was heavily crowded near that building. As I walked past it, I could see that the split groups were trying to raise their own flags to occupy the building, and arm wresting in the process!

Later the news was clear: Janata Dal had to unexpectedly unite again to form a majority government with Chief Minister Deve Gowda. Party leaders were holding discussions in the building at the same time I happened to pass by. Two years later Deve Gowda again unexpectedly became the Prime Minister of India only to hold the office of PM for few months.


Written by chandanlog

28 Jan 2006 at 2:37 am

Posted in General

Google in United Kingdom Censoring Sun Microsystems?

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When I saw this
item on TV thier hit count calculations seemed a bit unscientific to me.

So I tried this experiment:
Searching for “Sun Microsystems”
in says that it found about 176,000,000 pages.
On the other hand
says it has only 77,900,000 pages. Going by the logic of the above news item, United Kingdom is making Google censor half of
the Internet pages that have something to say about Sun!

Written by chandanlog

26 Jan 2006 at 11:07 pm

Posted in General

Eco-Responsibility and Ferrari 4000 GDM login screens

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One GDM login screen for your cool new UltraSPARC T1 processors with CoolThreads™ technology.

Second one for Ferrari 4000 notebooks. Both work for widescreen as well as normal aspect ratios.


EcoResponsibility.tar.gz (349.4KB)

Ferrari 4000 GDM login screen
fr4k.tar.gz (77Kb)

To install and use them run gdmsetup or gdmconfig, if you have enabled GDM (gdm2-login) service in Solaris.

Written by chandanlog

25 Jan 2006 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Art

Free and Open Source Education

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I was looking to see if there is anything similar the free and open source movement in the field of education. Something that comes remotely closer is MIT’s OpenCourseWare initiative, which is basically a collection of slides used for teaching. It neither gives access to MIT faculty nor gives any
credit or recognition for its users. What I was looking for is the exact principles of free and open source software applied to education.
Where text books, course materials, and classes are free and open to all, no admission or tuition fees, except perhaps fees for conducting examinations and evaluating answers.

I remember this hugely
successful experiment
in education, in the town I grew up.

Anyone who has done pre-university education in South India, might recall how stressful the two years are. All most all students go to private tuitions, often skipping the regular classes.
At that age, you may feel you are loosing something if you do not take tuition classes.
I considered them both corrupt and evil. These tuitions were mostly conducted by the teaching faculty themselves, out side their normal work. They charged hefty fees (and paid no taxes for them). It was a conflict of interest for them. Some faculty members would publicly advertise their tuitions in regular classes and *hint* that students taking them would score better grades. They would teach disinterestedly at school, hinting that for anything more students must come to their home tuitions. It has harsh on students life, apart from spending 7-8 hours at school, they had to now spend another 3-4 hours running up and down private tuitions. I guess now there is a legislation banning teachers in public institutions conducting private classes.

In such an environment an officer GopalaKrishna Murthy (known as GK) at an insurance company had started “Discussion Classes” or DC. Its concept was simple: One or two brilliant students of 2nd year tutored students of the first year, and so on. There ware no fees, no admissions, no recommendations or pre-requisites. It was an entirely voluntary effort. GK only let his house garage and terrace be used for the purpose.
As a result the number of students taking proprietary tuitions dwindled. Only rich students who wanted to buy better grades went to them. [or only paid the tuition fees there, but attended DCs]

In a sense that was the spirit of open source applied to education! And it was quite a success.

Conditions in US are different, but seem much worse. The cost of education is so high that students have to work to be able to pay for their tuitions. When it is the time to enjoy the knowledge of science or art, they serve food in restaurants or throw newspaper. Some may put it as one way to learn life, I see it to be unfortunate at that age.

Written by chandanlog

25 Jan 2006 at 12:27 am

Posted in General

Transparent Solaris Desktop and Notebook.

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Magical but real pictures of transparent screens of my Solaris desktop and
Ferrari notebook running Solaris. You can see BBC live news (news on Ford today)
on realplayer over wireless!
Ferrari 4000 Transparent screen
Ferrari 4000 Transparent screen

Written by chandanlog

23 Jan 2006 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Solaris

When did you last click on a Google ad?

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BBC Money program has an interesting documentary on Google bubble. There are few business practices like Google fraud that I wasn’t aware of.

As far as I can remember, I have never clicked on a Google ad,
atleast not intentionally.
My eyes automatically filter them out for some reason.
I wonder if there are actually people who click on a Google
advertisement or even buy anything from there.
(If you did, then please leave comment!)

While I have bought stuff looking at advertisements on TV or news paper; read product reviews on CNET or ZDnet to buy stuff, or even searching Google for addresses of shops, I hardly pay any attention to Google ads. If no real persons are paying any attention to Google ads,
why do people still advertize there?

Written by chandanlog

20 Jan 2006 at 10:04 pm

Posted in General

Illustrated Guide to Installing Solaris on Laptops

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Many people ask me how to go about installing Solaris on their laptops,
keeping their Windows software intact (since they paid for it)

I tried to take time-lapse photos
of the whole installation process on my Ferrari 4005 and make a movie.
That didn’t come very well (and I looked like Charlie Chaplin juggling DVDs)
Anyway here is a quick illustration of the process;
The point is to tell that installing Solaris is easy!
– as easy as you may install Windows or any of the Linux* distributions.
Burn CD or DVD and install – it will just work on most laptops,
Some gaps like wireless or battery status are filled by frkit.
Just overcome your mental barrier and try it out!

This is just one common scenario for home PC or laptop users. Please refer to Solaris Express Release and Installation Collection for more ways to install and complete details.

Written by chandanlog

20 Jan 2006 at 2:46 am

Posted in Solaris