An Unknown Indian

Thoughts of a FOSS enthusiast

Archive for March, 2007

India surrenders meekly.

Posted by Balachandran on March 19, 2007

        17/3/2007, Trinidad – The Indian cricket team, dubbed as a team with tonnes of experience surrendered meekly to Bangladesh in their group match on Saturday at the Queen’s Park oval, considered to be hunting ground for Indians. After a very dismal batting show in the morning, the team proved to be none the better in bowling and fielding too. The only decent scores in the Indian side were that of Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh who hit 66 and 47 respectively. That apart, there was not even one who had scored more than 20 runs. And yet we boast of having 3 players with more that 275 matches and the very same three players with over 10000 runs each. They lose to a team whose eleven players put together do not have the experience of Sachin and Saurav together. Again, the total aggregate runs of the eleven men of Bangladesh do not amount to the total aggregate of the above 2 men.

A team with such mighty men as Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly scores just 191 runs against Bangladesh, a team which was considered to be one of the minnows. Shewag got out in manner as though he has never played cricket before that moment. And Ganguly though scored 66 was as slow as playing a test innings, as he took 129 deliveries for those runs. And when it came to bowling, the line and length of the bowlers were hapazard and the fielding was worse than that. If India has anything in its mind regarding the world cu, it must not be winning the world cup, but advancing to the next stage of the tourament. Hope the people realize it before it is too late.

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A tribute to Bob Woolmer

Posted by Balachandran on March 19, 2007

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer died in hospital on Sunday soon after he was found unconscious in his hotel room.Woolmer, 58, died within an hour of being rushed to University Hospital in Jamaica.Link

It is really sad that I start my first post in this category with an obituary. And this obituary is to no ordinary person. The early morning news left me stunned. Bob woolmer, former England cricketer, the much loved ex-coach of South Africa and the current Pakistan coach has passed away. It has never been easy for anybody to be the coach of either India or Pakistan, two countries where cricket is a religion, an invisible wand that unites each and every soul. A loss in a ordinary ODI was unacceptable in Pakistan and a back to back world cup league match defeat is something that is unimaginable.

With these issues in mind, Bob woolmer has left the world making us sit still and imagine what he had in his mind in his last moments. Bob woolmer is to be rememberd for a lot of things in cricket. He was the first person to make use of the latest technologies in coachin. The first person to make use of computers in coaching, Woolmer, in his small, beautiful laptop, he had huge databases of player performences and when had shut down his laptop on saturday when the irish captain hit the winnin runs with a six, the lap has been shutdown forever. It was the last time we ever saw him. He has reached an abode where he will no more be tormented by the maillion fans, never been accused of complacency and will be free from all such worldly pressures.

And when Pakistan walks out to take on Zimbabwe later this week, they would be doing so without this great man. To the present pakistan this must have been to much to withstand, that too piled up over their stunning defeat at the hands of Ireland.

The reasons for the death are not yet known, though rumours are out that it may be due to stress or heart attack. We have to wait ot know until the post mortem reports on the greates coach of this era comes out to for this small event-filled world to know what exactly happened to this great man.

My sincere paryers to the great God for his soul to rest in peace and his family and friends to have the strength to withstand this totally unexpected tragic news…

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The way a college should be….

Posted by Balachandran on March 15, 2007

Disclaimer: The comments, ideas and suggestions that follow are only my plans to help my( or any) college reach higher and higher. They are not meant to criticise or make fun ofanybody/anything.

Hello folks. After some thought of what education really is and that being literate does not mean being educated. And just obtaining a B.E degree does not make one an engineer, I have decided to propose a few basic suggestions and ideas for the improvement in quality for the good of both the students and the society and everything. For that we begin by analyzing how the colleges function to day and then the syllabus and stuff and then how they must be….

For this, people should realize that they are far past the twentieth century when ignorance was a bliss. But it is not so anymore. In this competitive world where your closest friend could be your enemy when it comes to survival, we need to change or at least we should look at the issues differently. Some 20-30 years back, your were a great hero if you had a masters degree of any sort. But now even a Ph.D doesn’t earn the same respect. In the field of computers, even ten years back, if you know how to boot into a system. you were called a geek, but now, you will be called so only if you have written a couple of OS kernels and programmed considerably in assembly.

Now, a peek at the present system. What we do even in great colleges is this, learn a few lessons from the text book, write a set of assignments that involve no creativity, submit a big bunch of tutorials and then finally write up the semester exams, often most people do that by cramming the entire syllabus into their heads just the previous night. But do we really learn something? It is a question that needs an answer pretty soon, before it gets too late. Also, are we really engineers are just B.E. graduates? This is more serious although not urgent. When we sit down and answer these questions true to our conscience(if we have any, for only people without that will get in to something as this type of education), we will understand that we have not done either, very sadly.

The reason is not the college or the staff handling the subjects… it is the system that must be changed. The quality of education is very bad in most part of the country. The syllabus that has been prescribed to us is nearly as old as myself. Imagine the plight when we learn something as old as 8085 processors in microprocessors in detail for over three units and about the pentium 4 for about half a unit and nothing at all about dual core or the duo stuff. If this is the case, where in this earth will the student get to know the latest trends??? True that the student must take his/her own efforts to know that. but then what for is the syllabus framed? Perfectly true that the student must learn the history of the thing and how all that evolved.. but to learn only that without talking much what is existing presently is a crime against one self…

Now we shall see how all this can be changed. First of all, we must know that gaining knowledge is aim and not scoring great grades. Only then we will be ready to take on tougher subjects and syllabus. We must have a practical syllabus rather than a highly theoritical syllabus. Again, we must be learning the latest trends in the market and not those that had been there for over 25 yr. Say if we read something about OS, we must do so with example from good OSes like the linux or the Solaris. It is not enough if we simply learn the theory behind mutexes and semaphores.. Again, there must be some purpose in writing the assignments. Simply writing a part of the syllabus by copying it from the book is of no use. We are supposed to become engineers and not stenographers. When we learn a new technology, we must be provided a chance to apply it somewhere in the real-time. Say, if we have a paper on software engg, the student must know the latest lifecycle model and the latest trends in analysis, design and testing. The student must be allowed to take projects for each phase of the s/w development process so taht he understands everything clearly.

The use of innovative teaching methods will also help. Like, say, teaching with the assistance of sample code for a subject like system software will help the student understand better than just imagining how that part of code will work. Likewise, if we learn networks and the OSI layers, it must be taught with their implementation. I still do not know how TCP or IP is implemented in real time 😦 (I am trying to learn that now) and not much are aware about network communication as well. Our college will become at par with other colleges like IITs and IISc only if we try to adopt (atleast some of) these changes. Hope we do so as soon as possible….

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Culturals @ TCE

Posted by Balachandran on March 15, 2007

        Hello folks… We had a wonderful culturals day at TCE. The program started at 1:45 pm and proceeded till 6:00 pm. It was all fun and enjoyment , a much needed break from the daily schedule. For me this was special because this is the first time I am watching an entire culturals program. I am not interested in these activities usually, but of late developed some kind of likeing to these as well, somehow… It all began with the college music troop dishing out song after song with the college orchestra in full flow. The students from other states, esp. north east india gave beautiful performances. The songs were of al flavours including western, carnatic and the modern cinema…

Then there was a quiz program that many hated but was interesting anyways. Then there was a variety show by three teams. First it was by the IT third year students. That was really fantastic when one guy played guitar that was attached to his back..And there was a yoga sequence from the same troop that was really great. Then the second team came up. That was from my own class, the third year CSE A students. The variety show was really great and interesting. That was well received by the audience. It started with a karate stunt by Ms.Lavanya of our class and then continued by friends Balachander, Arun Prasaath, Manoj, Gopi Krishhna, Chennappan, Ramachandran, Hari Shankar, Meenakshi Sundaram, Manickam and co. They imagined a scene in 2050 starring actor Vijay Kanth, directed by Steven Spielberg. That was really interesting. Then there were a set of dance sequences. Finally, the official team of TCE did a beautiful skit.

Then there was a lot of dance shows by various people. This too included everything from calssical to western. On the whole, it was really enjoyable. I made it a poin to visit the next culturals day as well, which, incidentally will be my last at TCE.

Posted in My days | 1 Comment »

Netbeans 5.5 — a simply great IDE

Posted by Balachandran on March 4, 2007

        Hello folks, time for some SUN stuff again. This time it is netbeans. And I’m all the more happy because I have got it installed in my GNU/Linux unlike the Looking Glass or JXTA that was done in windows. I am generally of the concept that all sorts of IDEs must be done away with. It is because, they usually make you a slave of them. Once you get used to programming with a IDE, it becaomes so difficult for you to program using the same language without the IDE. Inspite of having got accustomed to some IDEs for sometime now over the years, i have got an great aversion for them. But whe I started using Netbeans, i realised how important IDEs are for a language like Java.

Those who have used Java atleast for sometime will know how cruel java programming could be. The syntax is not simple and you ned to write over 20  line of code including all those import statements for a simple addition of 2 numbers that the user gives as input. And if you have to do that using a GUI, you can be sure of coding atleast 50-60 lines. And you often dont know what all objects, components and stuff you have. So, an IDE like Netbeans comes in handy here. It is much better than Eclipse or WSAD. That apart, there are special add-ons that allows you to integrate Netbeans with languages like C/C++. Also it is possible to integrate it with the latest projects of SUN like Java-3D.

The Netbeans IDE is very simple to learn and use. It has got lots of views and panes and I am still learning the use and purpose of those.(Actually, I am just 2 days into using Netbeans-5.5). Creation of GUI is very simple and needs just pick and place activity  from the user as far as the design is concerned. The programmer needs to care about the business part alone.

Netbeans-5.5 allows users to create Java applications, Web applications, Enterprise products etc. It is so great that I have slightly changed my views on IDEs. I could very honestly say that any product from SUN is impressive and great to use. But, the one problem that I faced in using Netbeans is that it runs slowly and is hungry for resources or may be my good old 256 MB meets just the minimum requirements and not satisfies the recommended… But still it is far better than the WSAD which did not get installed at all.

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