# Knowledge

I came across this story on the internet .

In ancient Greece there once lived a wise philosopher, he was greatly admired by his peers and extremely smart for his time, indeed he was considered a genius. There was a young man who looked up to this philosopher with great admiration, he wanted to know everything he knew, and become great like he was.

The young man approached the philosopher one day seeking to become an understudy. The philosopher informed the young man that he would not teach him – he was not a teacher but a philosopher. The young man persisted, he asked the philosopher every morning for a lesson, anything would do. This went on for several months. Finally, one day the philosopher agreed and informed the young man that his first lesson would be taught at the beach the following morning, he was to meet him there at dawn sharp.

The young man didn’t sleep much that night, he was anticipating the great lesson he would learn about the ocean, or maybe the sand, or maybe some deep insight to the mating ritual of crabs; it didn’t matter, he was finally going to learn something. He showed up at the beach at dawn sharp as agreed, but the philosopher was no where to be seen. He scanned the beach up and down several times, he gazed as far as he could down the road to town hoping his teacher was simply late, nothing.

A little discouraged he sat down and gazed out into the ocean, and then he saw him, or his head rather, about seven paces out into the water, submerged all the way up to his chin. The young man was surprised but excited, he leaped up and ran out to his new teacher as fast as he could. When he got within arms length of the philosopher, the philosopher grabbed him by the arm and twisted him under the water, the young man struggled, but the philosopher was fast and agile, he had a firm grip. The young man was unprepared to be forced under water so quickly, he only had half a lung full of air. 10 seconds passed, then 20 then 30, but he could not free himself from the old man.

Panic started to set in, he realized that he was about to die, his vision started to tunnel, he desperately needed some air. Just before he was about to give up and take in a lung full of sea water the philosopher let him free. The young man, quite frightened, swam as fast as he could to shore. He yelled out to the philosopher and asked, “What was that for, are you crazy?” to which the old man replied “That was your lesson. When you want knowledge as much as you just wanted air, you’ll find it .

Jai Gurudev .

# GM veggies in India within 3 yrs: Govt

This news on the front page of the Times of India yesterday , was enough to send jitters  ……. Despite international concerns over the consumption of  GM food crops , our government has been stupid enough to implement this.The reason they give is ‘The promoters of GM crops, however, argue that in India, which needs to raise agricultural output to feed the growing population, it would be impossible to overlook the promise of GM foods in meeting these demands. ‘[FoodNBeverage News] . The promoters are earning at the expense of the health  of the people .  The entire principle of nature of Survival of the Fittest crumbles down with this decision . This goverment has already done enough damage and has screwed the idea of merit by introducing reservation in education in top institutes like the IIT’s when the solution towards upbringing of the so called backward classes was to focus on better primary education / secondary education which are stepping stones to nurturing their minds to cope up with stuff they learn at IIT , etc . Now they are doing so with veggies , something thats highly unacceptable. The problem of inadequate food supplies is due to a pathetic system of distribution and not inadequate generation of crops. Also organic farming is a very viable and long term solution to the food crisis ( if any ) in terms of quantity and quality . Why cant the goverment think straight and improve the bloody distribution system or adopt organic farming instead of going all the way around and taking such measures ? I really cant figure out …..And where are all the celebrities who rally for not so important issues like legalising gay relationships ? Dont you guys care about what you eat ??????

Read this for a better insight into why GM food crops wont help solve the hunger problem or for that matter any problem .

Also go through this study -> here .

# Angels and Demons

We ( interns at Zeus ) decided to watch the movie and were really surprised to find that just 2 theaters were showing the movie .. None of the standard multiplexes ….  Then Ali told me of the strike going on between the film community and the multiplex owners and hence we had no choice but  to watch it at RAHUL . A single screen theater that I had not visited in years since ESquare (a multiplex ) was started . Suprisingly it had a nice decor . They had just renovated it , probably thats why ….

Its a decent one time watch , but not as fast and exciting as its book .  Probably guys who made it could have done a better job with the skill at hand …. Anyways a decent watch again for anyone who has not read the book ….. 😉

Bye .

Jai Gurudev .

# My Math Clock

Absolutely arbit post ….. I am doing an intern in Zeus Numerix in Pune again this summer and am working on some really interesting stuff . All throughout the day I am generally in front of the PC studying ebooks and writing in C/C++. A change would have been kinda nice …  I decided to make a clock except that all the numbers would be represented by their mathematical significance …..(Just to get some experience on woodwork ,etc. ….. 😛 ) I got the mechanism for the clock from a local watch maker . For the base I decided to use  wood from an old unwanted cupboard . A hacksaw , hammer were good enough to cut a piece approximately 18cm x 14cm x 1cm . To drill a hole so that the mechanism could be put in place I visited our electrician . To smoothen the surfaces I used a sand paper lying around my house .For the layout of the clock i.e. the numbers etc. I used Scribus along with $\LaTeX$ .

Finally the layout or background looked like this ….. I did also add a $t$ denoting for the time variable …. 😉

I referred to Wikipedia for the significance of the numbers …..

$\sqrt[3]{1728} = 12$ —- I choose 1728 coz its 1 less than 1729 . The smallest number to represented as a sum of 2 cubes .

$0! = 1$ —- Coz 0! = 1 ….

$\left ( 0010\right )_{10}$ —- 0010 in base 10 is 2 .

$FermatPrime\left[ 0\right ] = 3$ —- 3 is the first Fermat Prime . All numbers satisfying $F_{n} = 2^{2^{ \overset{n} {}}} + 1$

$2 \uparrow\uparrow\uparrow 2 = 4$ —- thats the way 4 represented in Knuth’s Up Arrow Notation .

$\left ( 2\varphi - 1 \right )^2 = 5$ —- where $\varphi$ is the golden ratio $\varphi = \frac{1+\sqrt{5}}{2}$

$\mid S_{3} \mid = 6$ —- 6 is the cardinality of the smallest non-abelian group .

$M_{3} = 7$  —- 7 is the 3 Mersenne Prime .

$F_{6} = 8$ —- 8 is the 6th Fibonacci Number .

$3^{2^{1}} = 9$ —- 9 is an exponential factorial .

$\left ( 1010\right )_2 = 10$ —- 1010 in binary is 10 in decimal (base 10)

$\frac{\Phi_2(10)}{\gcd(\Phi_2(10),2)} = 11^{c} , {c} \in \mathbb{N}$ —- 11 is the second unique prime….

Finally, after the assembly it looked like this ……

a better pic sometime sooner …..

# Sun VirtualBox 2.2

I came across the Open Source Edition of virtual box a few days before and am thrilled at the experience of working with it. For more detailed info visit -> wiki page.

I have a Dell Vostro 1310 laptop with 2GB ram, 128MB NVidia GeForce 8 series card with 160GB hard disk and a 2.1 GHz Intel Centrino (Core2Duo).

The primary purpose to use Windows is for running softwares like FLUENT and CATIA and to play some games occasionally. Dual booting in such a case is a preferrable option but with the availability of the powerful hardware i decided to go in for Virtual Box.

The possible alternatives that pop up are WINE . WINE is an Open Source Software for running Windows applications on other OS’s is a good alternative if you lack the hardware to carry out virtualization. However , making larger programs like FLUENT and CATIA work with wine can be a hassle. In such cases virtualization comes in very handy.

Another problem I was facing with WINE was its lack of connectivity with the Local Network i.e. I could not connect to the LAN , probably coz WINE couldnt access the ports on the system. Hence , playing Age Of Empires on the LAN was impossible.

Working with VirtualBox and configuring it on LAN was easy and hassle free. Also , I managed to play AOE on LAN without any lag in the system.Read further to know more on going about the installation.

Virtual Box emulates hard disks in a special format known as the “Virtual Disk Images”. These files are normally stored in $HOME/.VirtualBox/HardDisks. It supports both Intels VT-x and AMD-V. To install VirtualBox download the deb/rpm package from here . Further in the terminal cd to the location where you have downloaded the deb/rpm package. In my case it being$HOME/Desktop. The following commands will run in Ubuntu 8.10 .Then run the following commands to install the software.
 sudo dpkg - i virtualboxversionname.deb 

Follow the instructions in the dialog boxes. Make sure that you have gcc installed prior to it as it requires it to compile the kernel modules.If you wish to work your way around the installation with apt-get then do the following .

1. Open /etc/apt/sources.list and add this line deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian intrepid non-free
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

2. Import sun public-key and register it using apt-key (wget is for downloading, apt-key is for registering the key to your machine)
 wget -q http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian/sun_vbox.asc -O - | sudo apt-key add - 

3. Update your system’s package index file
 sudo apt-get update 

4. Install virtualbox 2.2
 \$ sudo apt-get install virtualbox-2.2

The installation wont proceed until the necessary kernel packages are compiled.

If you wish to do so later make sure that you run:
 sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

Restart your computer. A suitable icon would come in Applications -> System Tools.

Start the Application.

To create a new Virtual Machine click new and follow the instructions on the wizard.Make sure that you give suitable amount of RAM. My system without the VirtualBox uses 458 MB of RAM as shown by System->System Monitor. I alloted around 1.1GB for Windows XP on VirtualBox.On running FLUENT the system monitor showed usage of 1.5GB of RAM with a small amount of SWAP usage . Make sure that you do not give too much to VirtualBox as it will affect the performance of the system. For Vista , a minimum allocation of 1GB of RAM is necessary for smooth operation.

If you have a CD/DVD image for install load it in the CD/DVD ROM tab in the settings tab. If you want to install via a CD  in your drive make sure that you check the Host CD/DVD drive option.

After the installation sharing files between the host (your computer) and the guest (virtual OS) can be done via adding the suitable share paths in Folders option. However , this didnt work for me that well and Windows XP on the VirtualBox did not recognize the network and the shared folders. I circumvented it for the time being by sharing the necessary files via ftp by copying suitable files in /home/ftp/ . For a permanent solution however I decided to share the files via the SAMBA server protocol. Install SAMBA and share the folders you want to over the network . Windows XP would recognize these and file sharing is easier.

To connect to the LAN via the ethernet controller on your system do the following :

Select the suitable OS and in the Settings -> Network Tab enable Adapter 1 and select the Bridged Network option in the Attached To drop down list.

There are certain issues with allocation of IP via the DHCP method with version 2.2 with XP as the Guest . It seems SUN has fixed the problem as mentioned here and would make the patch available in the forthcoming releases . Configuring a static IP works fine.

Run all the required programs as usual. You do not have to install the drivers if you are working on a Laptop. All the best with the virtualization .

Also keep visiting the official VirtualBox website for updates and the discussion forums.

Complaints:

i) Sharing Folders was cumbersome in my case though its worked for many as per the internet.

ii) Network speeds are fairly low.

A pic showing FLUENT running in the Guest OS with the System load.

Bye,

Jai Gurudev.

# Why should the youth vote ??

The youth vote is sadly underestimated by party analysts.
Yes, it is true, the trend analysts who tell party spindoctors where to target their advertising dollars and public relations efforts traditionally over-look the youth market. Why? Because the sad reality is that election year after election year the percentage of eligible youth who actually register and vote is small when compared with other demographics. This doesn’t mean the youth market isn’t a force, just that it isn’t a main motivator in the drafting of campaign platforms and pre-election advertising. So, like any self-respecting rebellious young person the natural thing to do is go against the grain and do the unexpected. Keep them on their toes, shock them into the 21st century and get out and vote!

The biggest election issues often directly effect the youth of the nation.
The war in Iraq (young soldiers are the ones dying), education funding both public school and post-secondary, employment and job training programs, and reproductive rights issues are just a few of the current hot topics that directly effect the quality of your life RIGHT NOW. Think about the future and the world you will one day “inherit” from the power generation and you can add environmental concerns, fossil fuel consumption, farming and livestock funding (think the food supply is shrinking with every farm that can’t sustain itself) and the list just gets longer. Add any issues that are near and dear to your heart on a personal level and the list becomes a little overwhelming. Don’t vote and you effectively kiss away your ability to have any influence as to how these issues play out in your world, and dude, that’s just lame.

The only way democracy works is if citizens, young and old, are active participants.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, this one is an oldy, but hey let’s face it, it’s also a goody. A government by the people, for the people just can’t work without the people. This is a simple fact. Like a car without an engine, or a computer without a hard drive, a democracy without voters is just a shell and has no power. While it is easy to say “one vote doesn’t make a difference” the reality is that every vote counts… have you heard of Florida? Also you have to remember that as an individual your vote may seem to be little more than a whisper but when your vote is combined with the votes of others who share your views it becomes a voice and the more like-voters there are the louder that voice grows. So get out there and make the youth vote be heard.

If you don’t vote you really have no right to complain about government decisions you don’t like (no matter how much they actually suck).
OK, if there is one thing that is really annoying to us actual voters it is the endless ramblings on the bad political policy of a current government spewing from the mouths of eligible voters who never bothered to cast a ballot. If you don’t vote it is like saying you don’t care how your country is run, so if you don’t care where do you get the idea that you can complain when something happens that you don’t like? If you don’t vote you really have no right complaining about anything the government does and if your like most young people you like complaining and have it down to a fine art. Want the right to complain when TPTB (the powers that be) make a truly heinous decision? Then you must exercise your right to vote.

Bottom line: you should vote because you can.
Voting is a tremendous gift. Believe it or not, young people just like you in other countries actually fight and even die for this right; a right that so many youth in democratic nations take for granted. You should vote because you can, if you don’t you may one day wake up in a country where you can’t. It can (and has) happened. Enough said!

# Spy Game.

A wonderful watch. Directed by Tony Scott and featuring Brad Pitt and Robert Redford. The movie sets the pace right in the beginning and involves you in every bit of the action till the end. Brad Pitt and Robert Redford have done a wonderful job. So get ready to play the Game …. 😉

Bye,

Jai Gurudev.

# braille browser

Long time since I wrote anything on my blog. Its been a hectic schedule here , although things have eased out after subscribing to an internet connection in the room. Elections are coming , so please vote. Its really very crucial that the youth have a say in the immediate future of our country.

Parithi n me were thinking of something for the ECell Ideas Challenge. Its a competition wherein you present a techy and sellable idea.

One of the ideas we submitted was a braille browser. Essentially a browser for the blind.

The Government is putting in a lot of effort in converting texts to braille. It is time consuming and costly too. We thought of designing a interface over which the blind could access the information on the internet.It provides them with endless opportunities in exploring the World Wide Web.

The display would be in braille.

Is it really practical ????

What we need is  a touch screen interface that would dynamically change the indentations on the surface.The next part is about decoding the information on any website. Consider Wikipedia. Removing the unnecessary images like its logo and background the necessary information can be easily decoded by using a suitable standard and further sending the appropriate signals to the microcontrollers on the tablet . It would just be like live feed or feeds that we get in say Google Reader.

The touch screen interface is the tough part. What we need is a material that changes its characteristics dynamically thus enabling us to feel the indentations on its surface. Also , its characteristics should be  modifiable by applying suitable electric or magnetic fields .

We have thought of using ferro-magnetic materials for the same. But the idea isnt tried or tested . Neither do we have any clue on how ferromagnetic materials would feel like .

If you have any material in sight which would do such a thing  or if you have any other way of approaching this problem leave a comment on this blog or write to me at  balkrishnanitt [at] gmail.com .

Bye,

Jai Gurudev.

# Today

Change is only constant .

Today was a day of changes. I mean drastic changes. I had the image files of ANSYS and FLUENT which would refuse to work in Vista. Later today , I messed up with a network connection in Fedora, which probably had no way out and had to reinstall everything.

The solution to the first problem was to install our good old OS Windows XP . This took a lot of effort had to upgrade the BIOS ,change the BIOS   settings and then install Windows XP. It took a lot of time and overcoming some anxious moments. Alls well that ends well and XP worked out of the box.

The next part was a toughie and I decided to install Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex over Fedora. I hope it works for me …. 😉 .

Lastly I am really glad to be back with wordpress, after a long long time.

hello , wordpress .  … 🙂

The interface wordpress offers is really amazing as compared to the one used by blogspot.

Read the previous article about the conversation between Guruji and SIMI activists. Its really good example of how to tackle the stressful situations and why meditation and daily kriya is really necessary .

Jai Gurudev.

# Guruji and SIMI

From Bau’s blog

This happened in Kerela…

Sri Sri gave an audience to the SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India) leaders. Four leaders from SIMI came to meet Sri Sri at the residence of one of the organizers. Following their entry, an air of tension enveloped the hall where hundreds were waiting to meet with Sri Sri. Naseeb, one of the devotees, guided them to the room where Sri Sri was sitting with a few of us. They (the SIMI leaders), were dashing youths in their mid 20’s. One of them was carrying the holy Koran. They were little stern and stiff. Their eyes were fixed and seemed to reflect an inner fire. They looked prepared to repulse anything that Sri Sri would tell them and most unlikely to listen to reason.

Sri Sri was His usual smiling self.

The stage was set. It had all the signs of a classic confrontation. On one side were the brash youth – intemperate, impatient, driven by ideology and out to prove their superiority. On the other was a youthful, realized sage, unperturbed, offering sane explanations that echoed an uncommon depth and breadth of understanding. Those of us in the room, were eager to see how Sri Sri would deal with these firebrands. Sri Sri embraced them and offered them chairs to sit. There was not an iota of difference in His attitude. Any casual onlooker could be forgiven for thinking that Sri Sri considered these gentlemen as amongst His most ardent devotees. Perhaps the only difference that we could see was that they were seated on chairs while the rest of us were on the floor! For us, it was yet another opportunity to witness the unconditional love that Sri Sri exemplifies.

The leader of the group spoke first. He asked

SIMI: You had wanted to meet with us.

SRI SRI: Yes. I wanted to understand why your organization was opposed to the Anandotsavam.

SIMI:  We thought that holding an Anandotsavam (celebration) on December 6th was a deliberate move to insult our religious sentiments. Do you know about our religion?. Do you believe in the Koran at all?

SRI SRI:  Yes of course.

SIMI: (Not expecting this answer, pointing to the Koran, they shot the next question) We believe that Koran is the only knowledge. What about you?

SRI SRI: This is one amongst the various knowledge revealed to man from time to time.

SIMI: But God has said this is the only knowledge. The way of the Koran is the only way. There is no other way.

SRI SRI: This message can be found in scriptures of all religions. In the Vedas it is said “Naanyah Panthaah Ayanaaya Vidyate” meaning “There is no other way but the way of Truth!” The same is said in the Bible, Jesus says, “To go to my father, you have to go through me. I am the only way”.

SIMI: But our scripture says worshipping any form or idol is evil, it is blasphemy.

SRI SRI: What is Good and Evil after all? It is relative. Relative existence is not the complete picture For example: Milk is good, but too much milk can kill you. Poison is harmful, but a drop of poison can save your life. Most lifesaving medicines have poison written on them! These are neither absolutely good nor bad they are just there. Truth transcends duality, and God is the Absolute and only Truth. So, where is the place for evil?

SIMI: Yet you Hindus worship many Gods, whereas our ideal is there is only one God and His message is what is required to go to heaven.

SRI SRI: There is only one god in many forms…

SIMI: (Restless and unwilling to listen to any explanation, they interrupted Sri Sri.) But the Koran says you should only worship Allah who is formless whereas the Hindus worship idols which are only stones.

SRI SRI: At this, Sri Sri suddenly asked them: Do you honour the Koran?

SIMI: (They seemed a little taken aback at this question from Sri Sri and with a righteous air answered). Yes, it is God’s word!

SRI SRI: Do you honor the Mecca?

SIMI: Yes, of course! That is our sacred place.

SRI SRI: So also, Hindu’s honour God’s creation as God. Just like sound (Koran), the crescent moon, Kaaba and the month of Ramadan are sacred for you, Hindus consider the River Ganges, the Himalayas, Saints as sacred. See, a picture of your daughter is not your daughter, but you still adore the daughter’s picture. When you see the picture aren’t you reminded of your daughter?

(They nodded a yes)

SRI SRI: So also, a symbol is not God but is honoured as God. This sense of honouring and sacredness makes you awake and alive. That is why the ancient Rishis said to feel the entire creation and your whole life as sacred. They considered God as omnipresent, as inseparable from His creation; like the dance and the dancer.

Sri Sri elaborated further – Spirit loves diversity. Is there only one type of vegetable or fruit? God created many type of fruits and vegetables. There is not just one type of tree, not just one type of snake, cloud, mosquito….Even you change your dress for different occasions. So how could this consciousness that manifested this whole creation be monotonous? There is only one God in many forms. Only one God is advocated. When you accept the variety of Divinity, you cease to be a fanatic and fundamentalist. A pregnant silence filled the room as they looked at each other expecting the other to speak. Then as a face saving measure, the SIMI leader replied, “I will need to go and consult my higher scholars.” With a compassionate expression on His face, Sri Sri said: Never mind, (with a wave of His hand) forget about religion. We are all human beings. Let us have a peaceful society. Let us focus on development.

SIMI: No No No! What are you saying? You are talking about this world. What we do here is immaterial. The Koran tells us that what matters is what you get in eternal life and not to worry about material life. By doing service to the society you will simply remain here. You have to obey Allah. Allah is the only God and Mohammed is the last prophet.

SRI SRI: At this Sri Sri stopped them and after a pause asked them: Do you think the Sikh Gurus are not prophets. Isn’t Mirabai a prophet? What about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?

Once again, there was silence. Their expressions had changed. The rigidity had weakened and in its place was some confusion/uncertainty. Sri Sri seemed totally at ease unmindful of the challenges posed at Him.

SIMI: No! You can go to heaven only if you believe in Allah and the Koran.

SRI SRI: No my dear – there was Buddha, Mahavira, Nanak, Jesus, Shankara… Do you think they are not in heaven? If not, then I would rather be with them!

SIMI: You are such a nice person, but we pity you because you cannot get the truth. You can’t go to Allah. You can’t be rewarded by Allah. God will never show mercy on you.

SRI SRI: Never mind. (with a mischievous smile ) I will be with these people (Shankara, Jesus, etc.)

(Even as we were admiring Sri Sri’s patience and objectivity, we were concerned at the wrong indoctrination that these youths had been subjected to. We also observed a few others who were in the room were getting a little restive, possibly wondering why Sri Sri was spending so much time with these people who were obviously not at all receptive and that too when hundreds were waiting outside just for a glimpse of Sri Sri.)

SIMI: Do you know, that over 1400 years ago, in the middle of the desert, God revealed the secrets of creation. Even when there was no science, God said that the Atom is the smallest particle!

SRI SRI smiled and said: Yes, the same is there in the shaastras too which were known more than 10,000 years ago. In the shaastras it is said that the Earth is over 19 billion years old! Truth is beyond time and space. It is not confined to one time or one place One needs to have a scientific spirituality.

As if to conclude the conversation Sri Sri gave them Ladoo as prasad. By now there were traces of a smile on their faces. When they were about to leave He gave them a hug. They definitely seemed to be less stern than earlier. Could their attitude have changed? We wondered whether this (‘changed attitude’) would persist or would they go back to their old fanatic ways. But one thing was for sure, Sri Sri had made an impression that they would not forget!

Later, while Sri Sri was having His lunch, someone asked Him, “Why is that Islam is producing so many terrorists all over the world? No other religion has given rise to so many terrorists in the world. What is the reason?”

SRI SRI: Look at the commitment and the fire in them. Take the good from them and learn what you should not be doing. Don’t label them as bad people. They have not been imparted the knowledge of Vedanta. (Then as He was adding ghee to the chilli powder) He smiled and said “In this creation, there is a place for everything.”