Friday, 19 October 2007


nobody actually wrote about our rendezvous with the robotic world.
here's something i quickly wrote (as a reply to query in loyola grp) hoping someone else would do a complete writeup..:

well our team comprised of 6 boys in my class..
we'd to make a manually controlled robot that could travel on rails, 25 cm apart, 75 cm high above ground and 2m long..
It had to pick up blocks (12cmx10cmx8cm) kept piled on ground and drop at another place..
seemed simple at first sight (was one reason to take up that problem)
but along the way we found out the scale on which we had to work was much larger than expected
the robot had a restriction that it's maximum size should be 35x35x35..
that mean it had to have something like retractable arm
the clamping mechanism also had to be stable enough to pick up 300gm (wt of each block)
so we went about solving the problems working through the nights those days (studying for exams seemed much easier).
My main job was preparing the required circuitry, the joystick etc.
the guys doing the physical work had a really hard time with hand drill (electric drill shut down on 2nd day).
the basic material we used was aluminium which was joined using screws..

after finishing 80 % of the work, we set off to iitm..
the competition took place the day next to the one we arrived on..
i was the one who controlled the bot..
it successfully picked up the block and placed it on the place where it was supposed to keep..
but then two things happened..
our clamp didn't unclamp properly and the foam tape we used on the clamping surface got stuck on to the block.
sadly the judges didn't award us a successful we'd to return back empty-handed..
we had a great time in iit campus and around chennai the next few days..
tht's all..

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Archived Observations

Here are some of the observations I made while passing through the alleys of life. At that time, they seemed important enough to be archived in my mob. Dunno if they are valid now or even if I agree to all of 'em now.

1. Friendship, love.. stick together if they complement each other, not if they are similar to each other or if they are opposite to each other. [12:25 am, June 1]

2. You might not love someone even if you had seen her/him before many times, but some little incident can change it all. [12:05 pm, June 9]

3. We really mean many things in life only the first few time. After that, it's just the mind making the body repeat. [8:44 pm, Aug 12]

4. It's hard to find your match when men are looking for women like their moms and women look for men like their future sons. [1:45 pm, Aug 13]

5. Most often you can't enjoy life if you are intelligent. You've got to be a fool or act foolish to get the real joy in life. [9:03 am, Aug 26]

6. This one's as a poem..
Time's going ahead very fast
But mind's slowing down lookin past.
I fear a day my mind will stop
And then will countless memories do pop!

[I was on a bus traveling through the beautiful malabar countryside; 1:06 pm, Aug 28]

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Rubbished Versatility on a Dull October Evening

Tears and rain-that's the name of song I'm hearing now
James Blunt- the artist of the song
LIC- that's the subject whose assignment I've o complete
James-the teacher who assigned it to us
Digital- record should be completed tomorrow
Shaastra- still lingering on my mind
Wuthering Heights - book I'm reading
Emily Bronte- the author
Firefox-the web browser on which I'm working
JFx- ya that's me writing this blog.

Monday, 15 October 2007

The Past

The past, is erroneously so strong

So strong that it haunts

Haunts of my lonely epochs

Epochs that taught me little

Little but for the value of solitude

Solitude so pertaining I never gave up

Gave up did I on everything but myself

Myself and Him, He who understood

Understood every tear from my weeping heart

Heart, He turned thin ice frozen

Frozen strength, over oceanic emotions

Emotions withheld, with strains so agonizing

Agonizing it was, the melancholy from others

Others from whom, my life stood apart

Apart from thoughts, it too did grow

Grow even stronger, independence and will

Will to keep fighting

Fighting among the fittest

Fittest I shall ever, strive to be

Be it worthy rationales or just blind vain

Vain so often the thoughts of my past are

Are they clouding for a reason?

A reason, perhaps too obvious to feel

Feel the change, feel the world

The world, so mammoth beyond my chrysalis

Chrysalis, I realize I was within

Within for too long, the child in me outgrew

Outgrew my age, in ways more than one

One faces life, often with second chances

Chances will I, positively take

Take on the world, with much mature eyes

Eyes that have fed my soul with mistakes

Mistakes for which, I pay forever

Forever will they remain, to me they remind

Remind that my past, shouldn’t ever repeat

Repeat never will I, the asinine faults again

Again because I’ve learnt a lot

A lot, so rhetoric, it isn’t enough

Enough and more experiences

Experiences to reach destiny

Destiny stares patiently at me with faces

Faces that might, someday spew or smile

Smile for friends, for foes, for all

For all, perchance I’m fated to stand alone

Alone shall I, if it’s the way

Way as in my past, so erroneously strong

Strong shall it be, my verve till the grave.


14/10/2007 ~7:30pm - 9pm

Began writing this after i saw a few clippings of the roads in Dubai... Reminded me of the long lost days of going around those beautiful streets in my Dad's car... God... never been so nostalgic before...

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Winamp 5.5

Thought I'd sneak in again with my second post of the day.
Well the title says it all. I downloaded the new version of Winamp- Version 5.5. This one's simply awesome. Let me jot down some of the unending list of features they've added.

1. Auto tagging- Ever wished that all the mp3s (ya that's the modern jargon for songs) you have didn't have rubbish in their ID3 tag or worse still don't have any tag at all? Here's the answer to all the woes. Every file can be auto-tagged using this new feature. I've tried it on my collection and found it very satisfactory. 95% percent of the entries were correct- that includes the one's in languages other than English, including Malayalam. Auto tagging can also be done for multiple files at a time so that you need not wait for each tagging to be completed.

2. Album art- This is a feature I'd felt winamp shud've encompassed much before than now. Better late than never. The album art is pretty powerful (I'm sure they'll improve it further, next time). Automatic updating was done for half of my albums (I was surprised to see a Mallu album in that list). I became so hooked onto that feature, that the whole day I downloaded album art manually (those which weren't done automatically) and attached 'em.

3. Notification- I'm not highlighting this as a star attraction cuz media player addicts might already be accustomed to the feature. Anyway it gives a chic appearance to Winamp.

4. Jump to file- Unlike the usual jump to file options in other players, winamp has a powerful jump to file queue manager (It was introduced in 5.35). It allows the user to enqueue songs in order. So you don't hafta create another playlist just so that you need to hear those songs in order. It also helps me to keep my fav songs in playlist and still allow me to hear songs according to my current mood.

Signing off.. I'm still discovering all the features. Btw did i say the new skin (Bento) looks cool too. Here's a peek at it:

(Clik to enlarge pic)

I almost forgot to mention why I used winamp above other more flashy players. It's because all through these years, winamp had been the least memory hungry player (with abundant features). Somehow winamp has continued with that tradition.. the new version takes maximum of 10MB when running from tray.

Forward the Foundation: A Tribute to Asimov

I could not have written this book forty- or thirty, twenty or even ten- years ago. That is because, piece by piece, over the years, I have been working back to Foundation's source: Hari Seldon. You see over time, Hari Seldon has evolved into my alter ego. In my Earlier books Hari Seldon was the stuff of legend- with Forward the Foundation I have made him real.
- Isaac Asimov.

As you might have guessed, I've completed the book just now. This might not be the best book in the Foundation Series (which is 'Prelude to Foundation' in my opinion), but it truly is the book that is closest to my heart. The book is more autobiographical than other and the effects are evident throughout the story. We see Asimov/Seldon ageing not too gracefully, always feeling that his work to the World/Empire would remain uncompleted. Ultimately he succeeds in conquering the summit. Asimov/Seldon left a void in humanity's present, but left us with a path to the future- A path of hope, of resurgence and the eventual glory.

Can't give away more of the story, but reading this final chapter of the Foundation series will confirm that this is the best Sci-Fi novel series ever written.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

kidilam chalusworth

Treat your laptop like its your wife...

Protect it forever with your life.

Pledge all secrets under its cap...

But never let it rest on any other lap!

- Kidilam Chalusworth


It’s a pity that the world doesn’t realize where its heading to. It’s a pity that the precious space on this little piece of written work meant for others to read and enjoy be taken up for publishing such an article. It’s a pity that I had to choose, above all, this very topic for writing on. “DESP!”-all might say, but its not with an intention of writing the best essay that I am coining these few paragraphs. The facts are loud and clear. But the greater majority wouldn’t choose to heed it. So there has to be ostensibly “desp” environmentalist characters like me to carry on the message. If the readers are still wondering what this guy is jabbering about, well just read on and perhaps curse me at the end of the article for wasting your time. Here goes…

A conscious attitude about the environment is seldom found amongst people. They cant be blamed, for life has turned out to be that way. Some great son-of-a-philosopher had once commented “We begin to die from the moment we are born”. Just like all idealistic thoughts that we hear quite frequently, this one’s true too. Every thing that has life in it, has to come to an end. Its only a matter of time and the various ‘modus operandi’ of our daily existence that matters. Earth too is filled with far too many lives to count… (do take a few seconds to contemplate on the last sentence)

On one hand we see the “social human life” filled with technical gizmos, fashion, red carpets, wars, accidents, crime etc etc and getting more into next-door-examples, we have our friends getting the latest bikes, mobile phones, silly hours of flirting, break-ups, completing assignments, bunking classes, freaking out for parties, never missing a latest movie at the cinemas etc etc- all that could be related to a normal college life…

As this normal life goes on, on the other side of the perturbed balance lies a façade of earth that only a few even bother to ponder into. Mother nature…flora and fauna…landscapes…snow capped peaks…luscious greenery…wildlife…blooming flowers…all more worthy to be called beautiful than the best girls you can imagine… A different world altogether devoid of terrorism, hatred, prejudices and any negative nuances.

Thats the kind of life that the ‘modern world’ can only dream of. Its not pessimism, but truth is always sour. We have reached too far ahead, we are too advanced to revert back anything. The ‘social human life’ that was mentioned earlier will carry on as it is, taking giant strides in the direction which they think is forward. But an important question- when we go about minding our business, trying most eagerly to bring in as many luxuries as possible, or getting our heads into other’s matters-be it individuals or nations-should we not show atleast a tiny bit of consideration for “earth”? As engineering students under a very “able”(ahem) syllabus, we’ve got plenty of other things to worry about. Global warming, climate change, ozone layer holes, brown clouds, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, endangered species, extinct animals- no, these are not the things that an engineering student should worry about- these are things that every one of us have read about or heard. But what’s the use? Is anyone doing anything to help the cause? Is anyone bothering to spread the word amongst others? Such a dead and boring topic for discussion right, so why bother!

Despite the urgency in the tone of environmentalists and the most sincere climatologists and scientists the world over, little importance is given to take steps to tackle climate change. Changes are inevitable. This might really be a berserk comparison, but just think over the changes that have occurred to you since you first stepped foot on the college premises. Looks, attitude, relationships, fashion…everything. The single burning flame of life within you got changed so much within just a couple of years. The evident reason- plenty of other such burning flames nearby. There’s no escape from the collective inferno. So imagine the extent to which the world’s climate has been withstanding changes since the advent of humanity. It has a life of its own – a life so closely related with that of others. The Creator hasn’t given loads of intellect to all creatures. And the only ones who possess it, take it for granted. The nature’s rhythm had begun to be recklessly encroached upon long back. Climate changes had begun since then, but now its consequences are blanketing on us without a needle’s gap.

The rate at which the climate is being affected by our lifestyles can definitely be controlled, provided the major countries realize and implement stringent measures, and the citizens are prudently educated to follow them. In this regard, the recent ban on plastics was a bold and much-needed enforcement on the part of the government here.

A sad fact is that, despite true-life reports based on long term research and surveys, very little awareness is being propagated by the media. Take for example, the leading dailies in our state dedicate just a small part of a page for such reports and articles. They are doing only what it takes to earn their efforts worth. Large chunks of the literate populace are concerned only with updating themselves on the latest current affairs, exam postponements, sports, gadgets, gossip and so on. Who would want to read a small grayscale report on the planet’s deplorable environmental condition , India’s melting glaciers, the most innocent and beautiful animals being starved to death and so on, when political propagandas, ‘Big Brother’ celebrities, fresh world cups etc fill tons of coloured pages.

So what can we do? I am no great scientist or a political leader to answer that question. This is not a school essay writing competition or an exam question to propose steps to avert global warming. I could very well talk about the media’s role in spreading awareness, people being more sensible and far-sighted in their lifestyles to help save energy etc. But this article was not meant to be published in a primary school environmental textbook either. Its more of an open talk with the person who would be reading this. We have a nature club in the college (no one would have even heard of it) with very few members. Why only few members? That’s the problem. No one’s interested. If they decide on conducting any programme, no one offers any support. Just simply laugh way. Talk about encouraging the use of cycles amongst the modern generation –“Are you nuts?” Tell them to switch off the electronic items not in use- “Who cares! Just a single person following it wont make a difference.”

Good gracious! If only people would understand… if only terms like ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ would become common words spoken by the layman…if only school children be bright enough to question the question the present-day validity of their geography text books…if only everyone realizes that the unpredictable rains here are a small part of an impending global upheaval …

The sky is not falling down, and I am not being Chicken Little. I’m only asking you to lend a hand if at all any opportunity springs up to fight for the cause. The words used by the French President Jacques Chirac a few months back formed the title of this article. I’m not being rhetoric, but the coming generations would perhaps understand the true meaning of the title. Pray! Lest it should happen. Back in the school days, my environment club badge had a small caption to it

“We belong to the earth

The earth does not belong to us”

Linked to:
AEI Oh! You: Stars are just a speck in the sky, What are you?