Monday, September 30, 2002

September 30, 2002 Red Hat Releases Red Hat Linux 8.0
THATS TODAY
FEATURES
STORY

Sunday, September 29, 2002

I watched the war classic The Longest Day with a big cast and plenty of war-time action. This is a movie about D-Day (06 June 1944) when the allied (British and American) forces invade France starting from Normandy, Omaha and other beaches - the biggest challenge to the Germans in the World War II. The large scale war scenes are well crafted being very authentic and the mass attack sequences are scintillating. The movie displays the allied strategy with paratroppers landing helped by French resistance groups as diversionary tactics and how the Germans are tricked into thinking it as a small scale commando effort. And then the beaches are invaded by troops from about a whopping 5000 allied warships. The stone wall is blasted using Bangalore torpedo charges. Too much emotion is not mixed up with the realistic depiction of that phase of the war. It ends with a poignant scene when an injured allied soldier mentions, "He is dead(pointing to a German soldier), I am crippled and you (to another soldier froma separate regiment) are lost. This is what happenin a war I guess".
Back to back I started watching Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan; it is almost like a continuation of The Longest Day(at least in terms of the period D-Day plus). Yet to finish it.

Saturday, September 28, 2002

ISSUES ON MAY BE - THEOLOGY IN GENERAL

THIS IS WHAT ONE OF MY FRIENDS ABHINAVA CHAUDURI (shaon) HAD WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO ONE OF MY ARTICLES IN THIS BLOG
I PRESENT THE CONTENTS OF HIS MAIL VERBATIM - OF COURSE MY WAY OF SEEING THINGS COMES AFTER THAT.

Why do Humans Kill Humans?

Good question,it seems you are a little confused.

let me help you out

a) Money :- Because money has become the soul need of 20th century
civilization

b) Power :- It comes with money, but in this ever growing population
of the world,it is hard enough for some one to reach the top, and so he
will try stay at the top as long as possible. And others will try to
depose him.

c) Religion :- Now, Now a very interesting point to be raised in the
lieu of recent events. Well, lets take India as an Case Study.

c1. From about the 6th and 7th century hardcore caste systems were in
place- caused deprivation of basic amenities to a lot of people - hence
violates all basic human rights- cause of a lot of anger

c2. Around the 15th ,16th century some idiot brahmin the so called
upper caste, decided that if you go outside India causes Dharma Bhrashti-
a major cause for no exploration ans reduction of trade and hence no
exchange of ideas with outer world-hence turns out by end of 19th century
we are 100 years behind the world science and technology

c3. Also during same period Muslims came in with thier chatri
fundamentalist view point causin g the nation to fractured into Hindu and
Muslim Kingdoms- Hence caused disunity and ultimately to the colonization of
India

c4. Cause for partion with help from religious fundamentalists - both
sides.still a barrier for progress dur to narrow views on women's
rights and other factors.

c5. cause for riots which retard our economy by 5 to 6 years


After a through analysis of the above facts, and a touch of
optimization we come to the the conclusion religion is THE factor against our
progress. Here in the 21st century were we talk about supersonic cars,
colonies on Mars etc, we Indians are still bothered with the pathetic
things like religion.

The only religions we should be concerned about is
Humanity and Knowledge(Scientific and Technological)

Ultimately it is so as long as there is this craze for spremacy,
people will keep on killing people.





MY WAY OF SEEING THINGS

As shaon said The only religions we should be concerned about is
Humanity and Knowledge(Scientific and Technological)


The first of these (humanity) is what Religion tries to codify and make easy for people who do not /cannot understand.
Only as I mentioned it has been wholly misinterpreted and true it causes a lot of violence - but that way you cannot blame the concept because it is being misused. Note every object on this earth can be misused and that includes religion. Also we should not confuse up religion with racism and racial discrimination.
Religion is the last thing that can be an impediment to progress. Without religion the whole human balance ( as you are getting to see one aspect in the US already - the family concept is already defunct ) will be lost and things would become mechanical and dry (the animal mentality - dog eat dog scenario) if you leave everything to technology alone.. It(technology) is only the means and not the goal. Without Religion and Faith ( as Rick pointed out in an artcle on the movie Signs) the social structure and human edifice would crumble. War, greed, money, national borders etc are the causes of regression and in not religion. The study of religion and theology would indicate that religions came up for providing a yardstick by which to differentiate good from bad. If we as a nation succeed in the future it would be because of our spiritual and social integrity which I have no hesitation to mention heavily rests on the concept of religion. Knowledge (wisdom and scientific and techological prowess( IT lately)) true has and will always be a part of us Indians.

Further views/rebuttals may be found expressed in the Banglog Blog - http://banglog.blogspot.com/

Famous Blog Search Engines
Daypop
AND
blogdex - By an MIT student
Daypop and Blogdex both offer Billboard-style lists of the top fresh links in the weblog community. Their popular links are often called memes.

Whats the BLOGOSPHERE ?


Friday, September 27, 2002

Windows Media Player 9 (beta) released
Download the beta player here



2.8 GHz PENTIUM OUT - reaching 3.0 GHz soon I guess - A protoype of about 6.0 Ghz was displayed at The Intel Developer Forum - Fall 2002 recently.

Here you'll find info on blogging and other microcontent news ie the new form of journalism - compact content updated regularly.
The recent articles in this site below talk of a blogger's mentality ... Read more at
www.microcontentnews.com

Also another good blog - find more blog links here.
www.evhead.com
Try these too
http://www.ojr.org/ojr/technology/
http://www.microcontentnews.com/resources/

MY LATEST DEFINITION OF BLOGS
An amalgam of ideas, thoughts and pointers
to interesting niches on the web.

AM I SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON THE NET PERKING UP BLOGS ?
Happens Initially due to overexcitement I guess . . .

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Why do humans kill humans?

All the hue and cry from the National Human Rights Commission seems to have died down this time - no response even after two days of the massacre - mad mindless bloodbath. Where is the so-called pseudo-secular front? I am referring to the recent gruesome violence perpetrated by the foreign-trained armed terrorists at the sprawling magnificent temple(though not famous for me; I had not heard about it till this carnage - shows my ignorance) - The Swaminarayan Temple made entirely of sandstone at Akshardham in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Not a word of sympathy from the secularists - since the victims were from the 'majority community' and in India they are always treated in the same manner whether Godhara, Kashmir or otherwise; the media also adds to these partisan views. The reaction should be the same and condemned, when humans lose lives in such dastardly and deplorable acts.
True the clashes after Godhara in Gujarat were tragic and equally inhuman; some of the events (whoever the anti-socials they cannot be left scot-free) inflicted were indigestible - the Kausar Banu incident (I cant describe what happened - find out from Google if you want to) comes to mind - I shudder when I think how men can turn so inhuman, baying for blood of people from another community - just unimaginable.
Human lives cannot be seen with different wavelengths - whether they belong to this community or that. As I was reading in Amitav Ghosh's The Shadow Lines; it is the men who have isolated themselves among invisible boundaries, trying to protect themselves at the cost of others who are not part of that enclosed space within the those imaginary boundaries. Terrorism has been attributed to religion but to ascribe religion as the cause or fomenter of trouble is foolish because religions were created to create a sense of amity or equality among people - every religion preaches its followers to respect followers of other religions and live in peace and harmonious accord - not other way round as some dangerous cliques of each religion have made it out to be and this insidious trend has spread, to several parts of the globe, including India. Terrorism has its roots in the hardcore views of these groups in some religions - who unknowingly cause more damage to their religion's image than uplift it. . Religions as I understand initially came up as a set of practices and activities to purify and sanctify the human minds and give them a sobering effect, to teach all that is good; and to differentiate good and evil and detest from all that is wrong, and most of all to respect life in all forms. Today this has only been wholly misinterpreted.
Some of these groups having their influences on political parties is again a dangerous proposition and can lead to consequences seen in the Gujarat government's inaction during the backlash following the Godhara carnage ( In this horrendous act of violence a train full of Hindus were burnt down - charred beyond recognition). Sentiments will often get inflamed, but sometimes the way media does the coverage adds fuel to fire.
It is not that national or religious sentiments should be thrown to the wind but we must and its absolutely necessary that we take up a more rational and liberal broadminded approach (to understand a fellow human's feelings is the first step towards this) - one of developing an atmosphere of peace, friendship and universal brotherhood. As I was reading somewhere - that when the first photographs were taken of the moon and the Earth together from space - there could be no possibility of recognising borders, forget races, communities or religions etc. A planet inhabited by humans and other species made to share its resources and goodies. Probably the way humans are inflicting damage on Earth and the nature - nature always has its way to maintain its balance - and vanquish the species that tries to conquer nature - not only by natural calamities and disasters but also by sowing seeds of hostility among the very species and its races. The reasoning may be illogical but I feel its true. The whole scheme seems not supernatural but natural or I have not found any better solution to why such things happen OR is it a case of survival of the fittest?

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Of the 3 movies I watched recently (past and this week) - Schindler's List(1993), The Lord of the Rings(2001) and Vertical Limit(2000); the first two are each around 180 minutes long. ( I seem to watch the movies a bit too late)

Schindler's List had the second CD spoilt so I watched the 1st and 3rd CDs - seems like a very realistic portrayal of Nazi Germany. The depiction is very objective and Spielberg just presents the facts as a chronicler not in anyway mixing it up with his ideas or views etc. Cant say much more because I missed the important part where the story develops.

The Lord of the RingsTHE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - a big movie based on the novel by JRR Tolkien. I liked the starting but then midway it seems to stretch a lot which at times makes it monotonous - though effects in a hall would be profound. A richly computer animated film, as Frodo Baggins(Elija Wood) travels across from the Shire to Mordor - but does not quite reach it - made by a Newzealand based director it has a good cast; well capable of enacting those fairy tale like sequences. Ian Mackellen is the best of the lot. I didnt understand; whether he acctually dies or is under the Shadows??? Some of the action and other sequences are stunning.

Vertical Limit starts with a very illogical death sequence and then it portrays a mission to rescue another jeopardized mountain expedition team. The person who played Nehru in Govind Nihlani's Bharat Ek Khoj ; plays a Pakistani General in the movie. A team of six is sent to rescue the team of three - then the breathtaking scenes and blizzards and avalanches are fine but the movie seems to defy logic - risking lives to fulfill a publicity stunt. I dont know; the human nature for adventure seems insatiable - such expeditions are mostly danger-prone if not always.

ROGER EBERT'S REVIEWS :
Schindler's List
The Lord of the Rings - TFOTR
Vertical Limit

Saturday, September 21, 2002

My fully refurbished site/homepages at :


http://in.geocities.com/shamit_bagchi/



A noiseless front page is what I was aiming at,
which has been achieved to a large extent.
Other pages to modularize the site has been
added - of course frames still exist; I find the
concept of frames useful to provide navigational ease.

I have an extreme inner urge to not reduce my website
status to an Orphan Annie !!!


Thursday, September 19, 2002

SOME O'REILLY LINKS

XML Chapter from O'REILLY'S latest book on Java
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/learnjava2/chapter/ch23.html
[Almost everything to start you off on XML and parsing
features in Java - Introductory to more details]

O'REILLY'S Open Books
http://www.oreilly.com/openbook/
[Their free online books available here]

O'REILLY'S FEATURED WEBLOGS
http://www.oreillynet.com/weblogs/

JAVA - Top Ten Tips and Tricks
http://java.oreilly.com/news/learningjava_0500.html
[By Jonathan Knudsen]

[O'Reilly's Website is at: http://ora.com]

Monday, September 16, 2002


LINUX NOTES

To View programs that start at the time of booting on Linux
ntsysv

To mount Windows partition in a dirctory under Linux
mount -t vfat /dev/'win-partition' /'directory'
eg:
mount -t vfat /dev/hda3 /win OR
mount -t msdos /dev/hda3 /win

When files are corrupted in Linux at bootup type:
fsck /dev/'linux partition'
eg:
fsck /dev/hda2

If Linux does not boot properly boot using
F1 on LILO and then type
linux single

rmtree - to delete directory like deltree on DOS

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Is this our ultimate state of computing "nirvana." I some times think . . .
Sitting in front of a piece of cantankerous machinery is an awfully dumb way to spend most of the day.

as Charles Cooper puts it

Whom do we blame for our current computing state? The early industry was basically handed blueprints by Microsoft and IBM some 20 years ago.
Then it was left up to those who followed to figure out how to make the best of what was a pretty ungainly attempt at human-computer symbiosis.
Of course the Macintosh user interface and the personal digital assistant are some sops, but we're still a world away from where we should--or could--be.
The first company that figures out how to free us from our collective computing straitjacket will strike financial gold.


Friday, September 13, 2002

LINKS :

CNET'S TECHNOLOGY PORTAL
http://www.news.com

Old Hindi Music:
http://www.70mmbollywood.com/musicmania/mmsea.cfm

SOURCE CODE : http://www.codeproject.com/
1)
From:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2251386.stm

New 'moon' found around Earth
An amateur astronomer may have found another moon of the Earth. Experts say it may have only just arrived.
Much uncertainty surrounds the mysterious object, designated J002E3. It could be a passing chunk of rock captured by the Earth's gravity, or it could be a discarded rocket casing coming back to our region of space.
It was discovered by Bill Yeung, from his observatory in Arizona, US, and reported as a passing Near-Earth Object.
It was soon realised, however, that far from passing us, it was in fact in a 50-day orbit around the Earth.

Earth's new 'moon' is space junk - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2253385.stm

Earth's second one is called Cruithne. It was discovered in 1986 and it takes a convoluted horseshoe path around our planet as it is tossed about by the Earth's and the Moon's gravity.

MORE AT:
http://burtleburtle.net/bob/physics/cruithne.html

2) Good site for indexing Blogs: http://blogdex.media.mit.edu/


3) From:
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/253/business/
Intel_chip_to_include_antipiracy_features+.shtml

Intel chip to include antipiracy features
Bracing itself for another potential fight with computer privacy advocates, Intel Corp. said yesterday that its next generation of microchips, due next year, would include anti-piracy features that will protect computers against hackers and viruses while giving digital publishers powerful new tools to control the use of their products.
The technology, code-named LaGrande, was designed to protect computers from viruses and bad-natured hackers. But the feature will also give Hollywood, the recording industry, and software makers much stronger controls over the way consumers use their digital music, films, and computer programs.
Publishers, for example, may prevent PCs that run LaGrande and Microsoft Corp.'s software-based Palladium security technology from copying CDs, forwarding certain documents, or running unlicensed software.


Thursday, September 12, 2002


Amitav Ghosh's The Glass Palace which I read a few months back is a great classic involving several generations. In this novel of epic proportions ; the protagonist Rajkumar grows up from a a poor young boy to an old man as the locales in the novel shift from Burma to several parts of India and America in between and running through many other South-East Asian nations - Thailand, Singapore etc from the 19th century till after the WW-II finally ending in the 1990s. Its largely a family saga and this family tree does branch out at a furious pace. The language nurtured by Ghosh's style is very mellow and subtle; yet it never ever got me bored. And even though the book is well researched out and voluminous - about 550 odd pages; the narrative flows without confusing the reader too much unlike Ghosh's Calcutta Chromosome which ends to leave the reader in a tizzy - the only other book of his that I have read till now.
The complex British Raj scenario extending from Burma to India starts out with how the Burmese King is exiled to India- from his magnificient Glass Palace; followed by Rajkumar's coming of age and entering the real tough world - with a definite will and strong acumen to succeed. A myriad number of characters are fleshed out delightlfully and in detail from a sentimental photographer to a boisterous but conceited army officer - from a lady of iron will to one inclined to give up everything in life. They are all portrayed as earthly mortals, culpable and capable of committing mistakes over and over again is emphasized at. Rajkumar grows on to become a rubber and timber merchant in Burma and then how riches come by along with his childhood Burmese friend as his wife. Morals and virtues and inner conflicts and ideas are thrown in at times to tickle the reader's thought processes. After several years as his family has spread far and wide; during the WW II the Japanese attacks begin. The whole family is devastated and eventually disintegrates. Eventually Rajkumar is reduced to penury - and how he manages to return back to Calcutta is described very poignantly - his resilience being an underlying theme - as he remains alive till the end. Several relationships and marriages develop in Calcutta and elsewhere in between as the novel slowly unfolds. Complex human emotions and relations are expressed in a flawless rich language that I came to find as Ghosh's hallmark. All in all a very good and complex human novel with well thought out and keen asian geographic imagery.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Bought AGATHA CHRISTIE's ' Curtain : Poirot's Last Case ' from Sapna's - Nice wry humour and interesting beginning with a crippled arthitritis ridden Hercule Poirot on a wheel chair . . .
So blogs are I guess an introvert's best way out to say what he feels and preserve for eternity; unless of course there is a blog server crash or a WTC like thing; today being the anniversary of that shocking event - an event stranger than fiction or any sci-fi/action movie I have ever seen.
A good link on blogs : http://www.msnbc.com/news/795156.asp
A team blog is what I am trying to create but its yet to come up - disinterested extroverts I guess . . .
The Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani train accident was real gruesome on 10th Sep - about 150 killed. SAD
Results yet to come for 8th sem; gotta wait till then.



Friday, September 06, 2002


Finally I got the much awaited Linux drivers for my Rockwell HCF modem
from an initiative by Conexant(nee Rockwell) and Mark Boucher from

Homepage of the Linux drivers for Conexant modem chipsets project!
http://www.mbsi.ca/cnxtlindrv/

But my dream of surfing using Linux remains unfulfilled...
This is what happened:
I installed the drivers on Red Hat Linux 7.1 and rebooted.
On getting into KDE a deafening high frequency sound
started blaring out of the speakers - I had installed both the
Riptide and Conexant HCF drivers - so probably the error lay with the sound card settings .
Then using Kmix & Xmix I reduced the sound and volume levels
And then tried to log in using Kppp after getting my ISP's
Primary DSN but after dialling and the connecting sound
Nothing at all - this was after I made the dialling mode as pulse from tone..
The sound just became a constant monotone after that
I got other messages and warnings like
"This facility is not available on your telephone" but it did not connect into the ISP's server.

Later I found the Beta drivers support only Conexant chipsets
and not the older chipsets marked as Rockwell. Sad case ended here.
Hoping for a better future release that supports mine.


Something that seemed illogical to me earlier:
CATCHA algorithms (akin to 'gotcha') is what is used then you try to create an account using
Yahoo (mail etc) - those distorted confusing wavy words are used to restrict automatic registration
by Automated Bots and other programs as humans can easily identify/crack these words but not
computers. But Yahoo is still facing problems with too many registrations.

Had the Farewell lunch today and had a nice time parting with the Engineering classmates.
That's all for today.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

BE 8th Sem exams got over GREAT RELIEF

Waiting for Michael Crichton's release of Prey in November 2002

Heard Shaan's Tanha Dil today on Radio City FM 91
Great Song; Liked it a lot . . .
My first message - Here I am This is me . . .