Monday, July 26, 2004

New PC at Home

This weekend I spent most of my time on new PC. Finally it is up and running on Sunday. Configuration is as follows

1) Intel P4 HT 3.0GHz (800MHz FSB)
2) Asus P4C800 (Intel I875P Chipset) Mother board
3) Kingston 512MB Dual Channel DDR 400 RAM
4) Segate Serial ATA (SATA) 120GB Hard Drive
5) ATI Readon 9800 Pro 128MB Graphics Accelerator (Yet to arrive from US)
6) Usual CD-ROM Drive and DVD-ROM & CD-RW Combo drive.

Linux is not yet up and running as I am not getting time.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Catch The Sal Wise

There is a story reported about a guy called Sal Wise, who scammed till now for $7000 and odd on ebay . Best part of this story is the e-mails exchanged as part of Justin's purchase of a laptop. It is nothing less than any best fiction story, very entertaining. Read and enjoy (it is time consuming, so you are warned).

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Firefox Tip

Today accidentally, I found this new feature(to me at least)in Firefox. Hold down the shift key and move your mouse over a link it will show the link name, size of the file the link is pointing to and the URL as small popup tool tip. Very useful in finding the file sizes you want to download.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Software as Freedom of Speech

My reporting manager said today "We are going to support MP3 playback in our next release " . Surely I know that it has licensing implications which he is not aware at this point of time. Now days every one thinks that MP3 is free. It is certainly not.

MP3 was developed at Fraunhofer IIS a German R&D institute by a guy called Thomson . These people have obtained various patents regarding MP3 before it has been adopted by the MPEG group. According to the license terms of these guys, all developers have to pay in whatever form they use the MP3 encoding or decoding (including third party libraries). The open source community is in a dilemma because these guys license terms are not compatible with GPL .

When I was going through all this my thoughts came across some people’s idea about patenting ideas in software are evil or it is like there is no freedom of speech. They say that software ideas are like literary ideas so some one (govt. organizations) should not censor them.

Recently I have come across news about is M$ trying to generate revenue by enforcing people to pay up for FAT file system (they have some patents in some aspects of FAT). FAT has become so popular that it looks very evil on M$ part, to kill other market players and to have mono-ploy over digital media market. Even a non-profit organization which protects consumer & market interests appealed to US Patents office to revoke those patents. Also recently the Electronic Frontier Foundation in US listed top 10 patents which they want to kill because they are limiting the freedom of expression.

Other news today is that idiots at SCO who are harassing Linux community for a while saying Linux kernel contains some of their intellectual property, claimed that the binary format ELF used in Linux is lifted from them. As far as my memory of IIT-K goes ELF is an open standard defined by Tools Interface Standards Committee which says it is as free as the air you are breathing. Of course, SCO is a member of TIS along with bunch of other guys like Intel etc.

I certainly feel that limiting people to use their ideas in software is like not allowing the freedom of speech. Software Development is some thing revolutionary and very different from other industries. I feel patents in software really hurt people. There are many aspects to this like the end user, a market player and the government policies regarding software patents. I feel governments have to look at software patents differently considering fair market competition and consumer interests.

Are we not willing to write code for fun and give out to people free although it contains some great patentable ideas?

You Gonna be Doomed!

Id Software finally said that they have released the much awaited Doom III to the publisher (its going to be out in stores in US in August'04). HoustonChronicle has put up an article about System Requirements for Doom III. Looks like its going to rock on my new PC!

Trojan Horse

The only definition I used know of the term Torjan Horse is as defined in first paragraph of the definition at Webopedia . Recently I came to know the origins of this term when I saw the latest (not so latest as of now because this article is laying as draft for a long time) Hollywood movie Troy .

Troy tells a story from ancient Greek mythology mostly know from Homer’s stories in Iliad . To simply put it’s a story about how the city of Troy is destroyed in the hands of Greeks when the young prince of Troy Paris falls in love with the Greek king Menelaus’s beautiful wife Helen and brings her back to Troy secretly.

At first, Paris’s love looked very boyish to me. This is clear from the conversation he had with his elder brother prince Hector when they are sailing back home after the peace talks with Menelaus.

Paris says “bother do you really love me?”
Hector looks at him and says “last time you asked me this question was when you are 10 and then you have stolen father’s horse, now what you have done?”

One of the incredible things about this story is the love and affection between the family members of Paris. Hector loved his bother very much; it is very clear when he couldn’t deny Paris when he shows Helen to him in the ship. Hector is one of the sensible guys in this story; he knows the consequences of taking Helen to Troy. So many years of war between Greeks and Troy finally ended and he knows all those peace efforts will be in vain. He had a very strong urge to turn his ships back and return Helen to Menelaus, but he couldn’t do it because he respected his brother’s love.

One more incident which shows Hectors love for his brother is when Paris chooses to fight with Menelaus to decided who gets Helen. Paris being a weak guy and no match to the skills of Menelaus falls on the ground wounded and crawls back to the Hector who is watching from behind. Menelaus asks Hector to respect the rules of the war and step back so that he can kill Paris. However, Hector says that he can’t because he is his brother and pulls his sword out and kills Menelaus who is coming forward in a rage to kill Paris.

Though Menelaus is not a mighty king but he has a brother Agamemnon who is mighty and thirsty for power. Agamemnon readily agrees to come to war against Troy because he is waiting for an opportunity to do so. Agamemnon never cared for Menelaus.

The reason for the conflict between Agamemnon and Troy is no more Helen, actually she never was. She is just a small spark need to ignite the flame. Hector never wanted to see all this and he knows that they have difficult times ahead. He realized this when he met the great warrior of Greeks Achilles during the first Greeks attack on Apollo temple. Achilles is a ruthless killer who fights wars for glory.

Hector loved his wife Andromache and his newborn son Astyanax very much.

I saw every reason for Andromache to hate Helen. This is because the events eventually lead Hector to face Achilles. Though Hector is a great worrier himself, he knows that he is no match for Achilles. Andromache watched her husband fight Achilles, who eventually killed Hector and dragged his body to his camp showing anger & disrespect (for reasons I have not said here) to Hector. Andromache cries watching all this but she never says a single word. She is part of the family where her husband gave his life for his brother and the Troy.

One of the touching parts of the story is when the old king of Troy Priam goes to Achilles’s camp in the night weeping on his sons death and begs Achilles to give his son’s body back so that he can perform the last rituals his son deserves. This shows how much he loved Hector.

Now the Trojans (people of Troy are know as Trojans) are on back foot with the death of the prince, the Greeks comes up with an idea of building a giant wooden horse loaded with soldiers inside and leaving it as a peaceful offering to the god Apollo whom the Trojans prayed and always have faith in. This trick eventually worked as Trojans took the horse into the city of Troy accepting the Greeks offer to their god. Eventually the soldiers inside the horse sneaked out in the night and opened the city doors for Greek army to come in and destroy the Troy. That’s where the term Trojan Horse originated.

Most part of Homer’s Iliad is about Achilles a great warrior and a hero. But for me Hector is the real hero from the story of Troy who is a sensible man, showed great courage, loved his family and died for it. Probably Achilles is another character to study by reading Iliad.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Happy Birthday My Lizard!

Yesterday Mozilla Foundation celebrated its 1st Anniversary. Mozilla is one of most popular and high quality open source project giving us great internet experience. I appeal to you guys to try out bleeding edge Mozilla Firefox browser and see.

I hope Mozilla project goes stronger and gives us great open source products.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

M$ Fundas

Looks like Mr. Bill Gates said open source kills jobs and warned various governments across the world to think about it during his Asian tour recently. One more interesting comment in his talk was about open source not being upward compatible.

"[Open source] doesn’t guarantee upward compatibility or do that kind of integration [for seamless computing to work]".

If Mr. Bill Gates is not aware there has been a horror story related to upgrading VB to .NET frame work with lot of incompatibilities .

One more news is that Windows XP service Pack 2 is delayed . You know why? it breaks some of the existing applications which is a great compatibility issue. I wonder when Gates talk in reality.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Accident Yesterday

This is my first post in the Blog and it starts with an accident. This one happened on outer ring road when I am returning home yesterday. It was raining (wet conditions) so limited my self to 50kmph. A bike guy came in front from opposite direction, too late for me to realize in those poor visibility conditions applied breaks hard and tried to steer so that I can avoid the bike. Finally, hit the bike at its backside with my car's front right bumper. Good that no one was injured. But the car behind me couldn't break in time and banged into my car from behind.

I was upset and all time and was thinking about what are the things, which caused it. One of the things that annoyed me during the drive on outer ring road was the high beam used by on coming traffic on the other lane. Why people need to use high beam when there is enough lights on outer ring road? Now a days every one listens to 91FM and those guys time to time tell people not use high beam and jump lanes. Every one listens to it but just don't follow. Leave alone taxi drivers and trucks, what about well-educated guys driving those costly vehicles? Finally, I concluded that people are really don't care about others and they never learn.

The second thought was about the bike guy. Did I tell u that there is lady sitting behind him? Well looks like she got hurt on her leg a bit (no blood may be internal injury). I didn't see the action once I hit them but I think they fell on the ground. Leave alone the reasons why he crossed the road in the opposite direction of the traffic but why can't he wait and cross when no vehicles are coming? Looks like they live around that area and must be using the outer ring road every day. They know pretty well that vehicles move fast on this road and crossing awkwardly is dangerous. He can see my car and the car coming behind me then why couldn't he wait? He thinks he can pull of the trick or expects on coming traffic to watch out for him all the time and wait for him to cross? Well I can 't think of any reason except that it is a case of pure negligence. I wouldn't be surprised if he does such things again.

The third thought was about myself. Why I haven't been more careful? driving at 40kmph or less and looking out for such guys to show up in front of my wind shield? I agree that it is a mistake on my part too.