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May 15, 2006

Moved to wordpress

I have moved this blog to wordpress now... http://lpatil.wordpress.com/

Posted by lpatil at 11:01 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 13, 2006

First man or woman

Several discussions center around finding a "deeper meaning" to the fact that almost all creation stories have a first man, or a man and a woman.

However, I think this might just be an easier explanation to cover up the lack of a more convincing one to explain the origin of the species! It is quite possible that anyone, who does not have the right explanation might end up thinking, "Perhaps, there was one man and one woman to start with!"

Posted by lpatil at 03:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 12, 2006

Why I moved to Microsoft Windows from Linux

Inspite of all the opposition, Microsoft Windows XP has been a good OS to me. On Linux, I faced several problems that I overcame one after the other (because I could use information about how others overcame it!). One example is the use of WPA technology for wireless cards. And I still liked Linux quite a lot!

Recently though, I moved to Microsoft Windows completely for three reasons:
1. Linux does not have any software that provides editing facilities anywhere close to Adobe Acrobat. I have moved to paperless writing and reading, and this facility is a MUST!
2. Development of a native port of KDE for windows has started. So, why should I not have Microsoft Windows and its advantages, along with all the advantages that KDE provides?
3. University of Michigan will recognize only RedHat Linux Enterprise 4, or Fedora Core 4 (and above) as "safe" operating systems (of course Windows XP professional SP2 is also accepted). If I use anything else, I would need a department approved hardware router. I don't like RHEL4 and FC5. I like Ubuntu Linux. But, I cannot use it. So, I don't want to use anything else.

Posted by lpatil at 01:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 11, 2006

California High School Exit Exam

I just happened to see Lou Dobbs Tonight on May 11th. The item that caught my attention is about the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE)

To get a diploma for passing the 12th grade, California students have to take the CAHSEE. Asking the students to prove their abilities through an exam before they proceed to a 4-year college program seems to make perfect sense.

The problem seems to be that the program overview says:

The CAHSEE has two parts: English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The ELA part addresses state content standards through grade ten ... The mathematics part of the CAHSEE addresses state standards in grades six and seven and Algebra I.

What I fail to understand is why 12th grade students are being tested for:
1. anything less than 12th grade exams, AND
2. only Math and English!

Posted by lpatil at 06:59 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Concatenated Bengali last names

Two things about an eastern state of India, West Bengal, surprise me:

1. Why is it still called West Bengal, when East Bengal has been renamed to Bangladesh and is not even a part of India?

2. The Bengalis have very peculiar last names (surnames). At one end are surnames such as Sen, Gupta, Dutta, Choudhary, Ghosh, Maulik, Das, Roy. At the other end are concatenated surnames - Sengupta, Duttachoudhary, Ghoshmaulik, Dasgupta, Roychoudhary. Sometimes these names are written in mixed cases, e.g., Roychoudhary or RoyChoudhary. Sometimes even with a space, e.g., Ghoshmaulik or Ghosh Maulik (with the space!)

Posted by lpatil at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2006

Why do we demand unhappiness in the life of the famed?

Ever since I saw "Joseph Cambell and the The Power of Myth," I have been wondering why it is that we, the common public, literally demand that people like today's scientists, actors, etc. should go through a deep sorrowful state.

Every discussion about the person ends with discussion of how she/he faced problems, etc. We never hear someone saying: "Well, scientist XYZ got the best education and he had a very happy personal and professional life and by the way, he also made this very important contribution to science."

This especially true of the stars - the famous people.

Do we understand that we all have our shares of ups and downs and so it is impossible to find someone without any downs? Glamor is highlighted and published, and so we concentrate on finding the sorrows; the personal life - much like the search for Charles Foster Kane's Rosebud.

Do we, as humans, have a tendency to believe that given perfect conditions, achieving greatness is not great in itself?

Do we believe that "ups" cannot exist if there are no "downs?"

Along with the above, we are in the constant search for heroes everywhere, and mythology has influenced our thinking. Somewhere inside us (even if we haven't studied Campbell), we have an idea of what is expected of a hero. So, if we have to believe that someone is famous (or a hero), we search for the sorrow in his/her life.

Posted by lpatil at 12:50 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 09, 2006

Cricket: International or Indian?

What's with cricket, International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)?

The ICC recently announced the Future Tours Program (FTP) for the next six years.

The story says:

The FTP, which was unanimously approved by the ICC's Executive Board at its March meeting in Dubai, provides the foundation for a balanced schedule of international cricket for ICC Full Members.

The site goes on to say:

The new FTP retains the core commitment to reciprocal tours for Full Members but expands the touring cycle from five years, under the previous FTP, to six years.

Spreading the calendar over six years means each side can fulfill its mandatory minimum requirements of two Tests and three ODIs, home and away, against every other Full Member over that period while still scheduling rest periods for their players.

A look at the actual programme shows:

India is the only country that does not host Bangladesh or Zimbabwe ever in six years.

Obviously (and I wish I am wrong), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) does not want to host Bangladesh or Zimbabwe because it is not economically beneficial for them.

I guess, cricket has become Indian and is not really International anymore!!!

An edit:

Just noticed a similar comment at Prem Panicker's SightScreen.

Should have read it earlier, would have saved myself quite some time :(

Posted by lpatil at 06:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 04, 2006

Padoge likhoge banoge nawab ...

My favorite cricket columnist has a nice article in Hindustan Times, on perhaps, the glamor of cricket.

The gist of his article is in the first paragraph

"Padoge likhoge banoge nawab, kheloge khudoge banoge kharaab� was what most of us were often told while growing up. I think this adage is soon going to be part of an ancient past.

However, I guess, the main point that he makes is at the very end:

But is it worth for a kid from an average middle-class family to take that chance? It’s a tough call. I believe you should chase your dreams. But it’s an unforgiving world. So I suggest, keep a backup handy.
Don’t dismiss that degree.

Definitely, worth a read or may be two!

Posted by lpatil at 09:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 03, 2006

How I got to browse my windows network...

I had several problems with every Windows network that I connected to.

I could not browse a few computers on the ME department network. Sometimes, I could not see my own computer! There were times when I could not connect to a computer that I could see on the network and that I could connect to from another computer.

I had the same problem at my home network.

So, I tried "netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt". See Microsoft Support for more detail. After that I just had to add in the WINS information and since then everything is fine!

I don't know how, but it worked!

Posted by lpatil at 04:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack