Being an Engineer – The Hard Way

October 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Let me start with a simple question, What is it that comes first, when you hear the word Engineer? A guy with a bright yellow cap standing on or around a construction site? Or someone who is drawing some mechanical sketches of an IC engine or may be a crank shaft? Or may be even a guy sitting in front of a laptop scratching his head. While referring Wikipedia, word “Engineer” comes from “engine”, which itself is of even older origin, ultimately deriving from the Latin ingenium (c.1250), meaning “innate quality, especially mental power, hence a clever invention.”

The idea of writing this article is to introduce three basic concepts for engineers, professional, personal and about life.

Steve Jobs – You can get the whole story from Internet, also about Larry Page, Sequoia Capital, Y-Combinator, Angel Investors and a whole number of stories about start-ups, ideas and too many fancy stories. I am not here to blabber some gibberish what you can possible google out. There where times in history when obscure things happen to humanity, and none perceived it well. I am here to share some thoughts about ourself.

There are three types of engineers, born engineers, bred engineers and forced engineers.

I’m picking out an Experiment conducted in Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 80’s. A monkey was put in a particular cage for a month. A banana was hanging on the ceiling of the cage which when the monkey touched delivered a short, low power shock. After a few months, one more monkey was introduced, after some time again one. And the process continued. Now, the shock was removed from the banana. When 10th monkey was introduced to the cage, he was not at all interested on the banana, as nobody seemed to be interested on it. He might have thought, ‘It seems to be fishy, better follow the flock’.

The first monkey is a born Engineer, who tried things out, but didn’t quite work out. Second, through ninth monkeys falls into the category of bred Engineers and the most popular class is with the tenth monkey who never tried to see the bleeding edge of technology or the ones who never know what they are doing. They are trying to solve a question which they never quite well understood. We can expect what would be the consequences of that fiasco.

Moral of the story is simple, ‘Don’t be the 10th monkey’. As humans evolved from monkeys, there is quite a reasonable point in arguing that, humans do follow a similar pattern. Most of us, just ignore many of the options in life, just simply thinking that ‘it might be risky’. Monkeys other than the first monkey are losers without even trying. We should think in a wider perspective. Think of the possible options and hidden potential within yourself.

So, what is the point? World was changing, and will keep on changing. But the basics of being a human, will keep on going.

Three Ideas about Life

This article is more about being able to perceive the world in a different perspective than about being an Engineer. Still, being an Engineer, the creator of some awesome stuff, we need to have a good outlook on the human life and the cosmos, for a better understanding of what is my role to fulfill in the jigsaw puzzle of the universe.
I’m jotting down three prominent points about life, I felt to share with.

1. Knowing
2. Aiming
3. Achieving
(Some what cliché points of personality development programs, but I tried to see things in a different angle.)

Knowing

To start with, the world as we know it, may doesn’t even exist. That would be a controversial point to start on, Still, there are a hand full of reasons to believe the claim. When compared with the vastness of the universe and the perception capabilities of human beings, it’s quite a good point that we are missing most of the universe as of now. Different theories like parallel universes, simulated universe, brane theories and so on and so forth. Latest theories suggest that, only conscious beings sense the world due to quantum interference and for the rest, universe appears to be an empty space.

Whatever be the idea, one thing to be notices is the fact that, humans are just a phenomena in the universe, like quasars or black holes, or more accustomed terms like rainbows or auroras. With right things at the right place at the right time, shows up something magnificent.

The problem with we guys is that we take everything too serious. How can something matter so much? The universe is growing, so should be our mindsets and thought process, wider and deeper in every instance.

Aiming

You are the only one being, who can/who wish to/who will fulfill your dream. Nobody knows it, and nobody will try for that. It is hard to think in this way, but frankly telling that would be the truth.

So, if you ever want to fulfill your dreams, its you who have to act, and it’s just you. If you have an idea to change the world, you should at least try. It might be next Facebook! Something within your mind (the idea) will be dead with you, if you didn’t get it out. You can make use of the best tools of all time, for mind mapping and get things out of your head and heart, an A4 notebook, a pencil and an eraser ( in-case, you got a better idea.)

Follow your dreams. There is only one known life for each of us, better live it in our own way. We might be guided by parents when we were kids, by teachers when you are growing up. Now, its time to find out, as a human, what each of us like.

If I started pointing out examples of heart following entrepreneurs, that would be a long list and mostly unusual and odd. First thing, earlier they drop out of colleges, more popular they became. It doesn’t mean you have to be a drop out to become popular, like Larry Ellison (Oracle) and Steve Jobs (Apple).

You define your limits. It’s not that, you just aim, together you should be willing to push yourself hard to the limits. ‘No Pain, No Gain’.

A thought about science and technology is worth sharing I feel. In 1928, IBM celebrated an event with great fuzz. It was the launch of their new punch card, with 80 bytes storage, which was as much size of a half notebook. Today, we can hold upto 4.4 billion times of the same in a micro SD card, that accounts about 32 GB. Why I pointed out this incident was to indicate the paradoxical connection between time and matter. World changes so fast and even more, it’s getting imperceptibly complex. Eg: there is not even one electronic device or a piece of software which a human can understand without considerable effort. But we are able to manage it with levels of abstraction. So, science grows linearly when technology follows an exponential curve.

Another misconception is about money. Money is a necessary evil. To uproot the fact we are looking for, we should dig up the basics of Economics. Demand increases, value increases and Demand decreases, value decreases. What does that mean? More than a particular amount of money is often useless (unless, if you want to boast and bask on it). In recent news, ex-Microsoft Chair, Bill Gates donated half of his fortune, somewhere around $50 billion, just like that. On the other hand, the father of INTERNET, Vint Cerf has net worth less than $10 million, according to himself. It sounds paradoxical, but, whole point is, being what you are. Anyone knows John D. RockFeller ($330 billion) or Marcus Licinus Crassus (Ancient Rome)? They are the richest human beings thrived on earth, and as far as I know, they are not pretty popular these days. My point is, did their richest made any difference?

We should also consider the time span of fame or honor. Try to remember 10 popular figures in the past decade. Now try the same for the past century. What about 10 figures in last millennia? That’d surely be a tough call. The problem is that, “change is the only thing which persists”. So it’s not being valuable for the world, it’s about being valuable for yourself.

It’s you, who set your life’s goals.

Achieving

If you got the foundation right you can build the building as big as you planned. Planning never means that you have to chart everything for every hour of a day, most often it never works. Planning means, the scaffolding should be in the proper place, shape and size. I should emphasize that, the time you take to concrete a concept or an idea will pay back not too far in future.

Here the discussion is getting onto another level. Engineers build stuff. They use products less, and produce more. Eg., google + and Facebook have their own API for login, it’s very unlikely to use the other ones login. It’s tough to get followed. When I showed this manuscript to a friend of mine, the only correction I received was in this part. So, I’d try to be detailed. In simple words, heroes are followed, they never follow. You define standards. Best example is Rajanikanth. He doesn’t do any style. Whatever he does is the style. You need the courage to stand against the tide.

Achieving is the most important and of course, the toughest part. To achieve something, just be consistent and be prepared to be at limits for long. Power of human mind is so awesome that, the goals.

A tiny secret I wanted to share is that, always have the final outcome in mind, not the hardships on the way. As you can’t achieve something in a single stretch, split it apart as achievable, modular, yet self-containing processes. And each time you do something, offer yourself something, like, I’ll finish this and then have tea. So, to have tea, you have to finish it, so, while having tea, you’ll be feeling some sort of satisfaction for completing the task. Compel and push yourself to the utter limits.

The whole point of essay is to make the readers aware of self, just to take some time to think within. Knowing where you are, what you are, what are you doing. Aiming at the real goals of your life, your destination. What should be the purpose of your life. What is the whole point of the society for making you an Engineer? There is no point in reading the entire essay, and not doing anything, the last part, Achieving. If you know what to do and how to get it/ get there, and not doing it now, better stop reading and start doing it now.

As a closing remark, quoting one of my favorite quotes about programming, the Zen of Python.

“Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.
Flat is better than nested.
Sparse is better than dense.
Readability counts.
Special cases aren’t special enough to break the rules.
Although practicality beats purity.
Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.
In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
There should be one– and preferably only one –obvious way to do it.
Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you’re Dutch.
Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than *right* now.
If the implementation is hard to explain, it’s a bad idea.
If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
Namespaces are one honking great idea — let’s do more of those! ”

Anoop Thomas Mathew
atmb4u@gmail.com

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Play Command Line Video in Linux…. Its real cool.

August 31, 2010 at 11:46 am (L!NUX, Uncategorized)

If you have been on the Internet for any amount of time, chances are that you have come across ASCII art (drawings made with the ASCII text characters) either in an email signature, a web site, or some other place. Good ASCII art can take time and talent to look just right, but you can skip through that effort with AAlib (http://aa-project.sourceforge.net/aalib), a library devoted to converting any image into an ASCII art equivalent. Since a movie is basically a system of moving images, MPlayer has added support for AAlib as a video output option. This means that each frame in the movie is converted to an ASCII equivalent and displayed on the screen. This hack describes the basic options needed to convert a video into ASCII art.

To MPlayer, AAlib is yet another output format that it can support. Like with other output options, if you have compiled mplayer yourself, you will need to compile in support for AAlib. Many of the MPlayer packages out there already support AAlib, so if you use one of those, you should be fine. To turn on AAlib output, just add -vo aa to your mplayer command:

simply install mplayer by,

Install Mplayer in Ubuntu Edgy eft

You need to add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list file

gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

enter these two lines and save your file

deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu edgy universe multiverse
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu edgy universe multiverse

Now you need to run the following command to update the source list

sudo apt-get update

Install mplayer using the following command

sudo apt-get install mplayer

$ mplayer -vo aa video.avi

For a better aspect output you may try ,
$ mplayer -vo aa -monitorpixelaspect 0.5 video.avi

For a 256 color output try,
$ mplayer -vo caca video.avi
(this is nt so cool as the previous one anyway… 😉

It ates out any video format known to human and spits out real ASCII…. really a verity stuff.
Check it out pals…

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A ready to use command line mp3 player for Ubuntu

August 17, 2010 at 11:16 am (L!NUX, Uncategorized) ()

Hi all,
Releasing beta of command line mp3 player for Ubuntu 8.04 +.

-L

1.Just download it.
2. Untar
3. ./install.sh

Link: http://www.easy-share.com/1911905132/atmp3-ubuntu-0.2.11.tar.gz

Enjoy…

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Conficker Is Alive And Well !!!

February 7, 2010 at 11:48 pm (Uncategorized)

Various news reports from the BBC and from The Register say that the Greater Manchester Police discovered that their computer system had been infected with the Conficker worm last Friday. As a result, the police had to disconnect from the UK’s national criminal database to keep it from spreading for some five days until it was completely eradicated.

While emphasizing that the crime log system was not tampered with and that day-to-day policing wasn’t affected, the Greater Manchester police could not run checks on suspects, vehicles or property using the Police National Computer.

While it is not known how the system became infected, the betting is by an infected memory stick.

It was a year ago next week that Microsoft offered a $250,000 reward for information that results in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for illegally launching the Conficker worm on the Internet.

Still no reported takers… 😉

About Conficker: Conficker, also known as Downup, Downadup and Kido, is a computer worm targeting the Microsoft Windows operating system that was first detected in November 2008. It uses flaws in Windows software to co-opt machines and link them into a virtual computer that can be commanded remotely by its authors. Conficker has since spread rapidly into what is now believed to be the largest computer worm infection since the 2003 SQL Slammer, with more than seven million government, business and home computers in over 200 countries, now under its control. The worm has been unusually difficult to counter because of its combined use of many advanced malware techniques.

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Good bye Larrabee …

December 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d2/Slide_convergence.jpg

Intel’s decision to shutter what would have been its first discrete GPU (graphics processor unit) offers more breathing space for graphics market leaders Nvidia and AMD, but the battle is far from over, an analyst has pointed out.

On Monday, the chip giant announced it would not release a standalone graphics chip as its first Larrabee product, contrary to its earlier plans.

The chip maker had performed a public demonstration of the Larrabee platform at the Intel Developer Forum in September, and followed up with another presentation at the SC09 conference last month–leading many to believe the company would deliver on its “2009 or 2010” timeframe for Larrabee.

According to In-Stat’s chief technology strategist Jim McGregor, however, the latest development was not totally unexpected. “History in the electronics industry indicates that few new technologies meet their initial schedules and adoption of new technologies and methodologies takes two to three times longer than anticipated,” he said in a research note this week.

From the start, in developing Larrabee, Intel tried to create a graphics architecture “that was programmable just like a standard x86 processor”, which required both a new hardware architecture and a new programming model. Both were significantly challenging tasks, he noted.

Tom Halfhill, senior analyst for In-Stat’s Microprocessor Report, concurred. “Larrabee was a potential threat to [AMD and Nvidia’s] GPU businesses, but now it should be apparent that designing a state-of-the-art graphics processor is very hard, even for the world’s biggest semiconductor company. Anyone who thought Intel would easily stomp AMD and Nvidia needs to rethink their position,” he said.

To achieve its goals for graphics performance, Intel may have to compromise on x86 compatibility, he pointed out, “Intel is trying very hard to jam a square peg into a round hole. It may be possible, but obviously, it isn’t easy.”

Robert Sherbin, vice president of corporate communications at Nvidia, added in an e-mail: “The fact that a company with Intel’s technical prowess and financial resources has struggled so hard to succeed with parallel computing shows just how exceptionally difficult a challenge this is.”

Graphics efforts to continue
In-Stat’s Halfhill noted however, that Intel is not likely to give up on its GPU ambitions anytime soon.

“AMD is working on x86-compatible PC processors with integrated ATI graphics, so Intel will need a competing product,” he said. “In addition, the growing market for general-purpose high-performance computing on GPUs (GPGPU) demands a response from Intel. And finally, even if Intel’s graphics technology isn’t competitive with the discrete GPUs from AMD and Nvidia, Intel could still adapt it for PC chipsets with integrated graphics.”

McGregor pointed out that Intel could not afford to consider ending graphics development, given its growing focus on consumer electronics, as graphics “is a critical technology to all the major consumer and computing platforms”. According to him, the battle in the graphics space is “far from over”, given the rate of innovation in the industry.

Of GPU handling of computing tasks, Nvidia’s Sherbin elaborated: “GPU computing has surely reached the tipping point. CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) has been adopted in a wide range of applications.”

“In consumer applications, nearly every major consumer video application has been, or will soon be, accelerated by CUDA,” he said, naming computational biology and chemistry, and fluid dynamics simulation, as examples of high-performance computing applications.

With the launch of Microsoft Windows 7 and Apple Snow Leopard, GPU computing also “went mainstream”, said Sherbin. “In these new operating systems, the GPU was not only [a] graphics processor, but also a general-purpose parallel processor accessible to any application.”

Responding to ZDNet Asia’s queries, a Hong Kong-based Intel spokesperson reiterated that Larrabee silicon and software development are behind where the chipmaker wanted to be at this point. “Additional plans for discrete graphics products will be discussed some time in 2010,” he said.

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ATi Radeon HD5970

November 19, 2009 at 2:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Radeon HD 5970 2GB

Price: ~ $600USD / $675CAD
Warranty: 2-years

ATI is on a roll. There is no doubting it or denying the fact that the boys in red have managed to hammer a successive number of nails into NVIDIA’s DX11 aspirations by being first to market with not one but a whole series of brand new, segment-leading DX11 cards. The HD 5800-series was first on the scene and proved that these new cards could compete with the best of the best from the previous generation and then some. However, in many people’s opinions, there was one thing missing: ATI firmly marking their turf by laying claim to the fastest graphics card in the world. That’s where the HD 5970 2GB comes into the picture.

At its most basic, the new HD 5970 is a dual GPU card that makes use of an on-board PLX bridge chip to handle the communication between the two cores. Each GPU core is able to address a whopping 1GB of GDDR5 memory which will hopefully make the bandwidth issues of the HD5800-series of cards a thing of the past. From a pure performance standpoint, this card’s potential is simply out of this world.

We all remember the HD 4870 X2 and the older yet no less significant HD 3870 X2 dual GPU cards so some of you may be wondering where the “X2” moniker went. Well, ATI has decided to do away with old naming conventions for one reason or another and believe it or not, we welcome this change. It cements the HD 5900-series as the current high performance cards in ATI’s lineup while keeping a clear distinction between all of their product ranges.

In this review we will be looking something unique: a pre-overclocked ATI card being released right alongside the reference-clocked version. That’s right, at launch there will be two different HD 5970 cards being released by the likes of Sapphire, XFX and other ATI board partners: one with standard speeds and another with some increased performance potential. Along with this somewhat shocking revelation, there are several other things that make the HD 5970 a cut above but we will go into those a bit later in this review.

Our introduction wouldn’t be complete without some speculation about the HD 5970’s pricing and availability and on both fronts, it isn’t pretty. We should be looking at an initial “launch” price of about $600USD or $675CAD which will make it the most expensive card on the market by a long shot. However, this price is likely to skyrocket in the days following launch since we hear it will be be next to impossible to find. The retailers we have spoken to are all expecting less than 10 cards in total at launch which makes this a paper launch that we are sure will be passed off as a hard launch.

With NVIDIA’s Fermi cards firmly behind the iron curtain somewhere in Santa Clara, ATI has a clear path to complete market domination with their HD 5970. Let’s hope they make the most out of it.

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a P2P in python in just 15 lines

November 11, 2009 at 11:39 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Hey check out this code...
This can make out a P2P server and client... 

# tinyp2p.py 1.0 (documentation at http://freedom-to-tinker.com/tinyp2p.html)
  import sys, os, SimpleXMLRPCServer, xmlrpclib, re, hmac # (C) 2004, E.W. Felten
  ar,pw,res = (sys.argv,lambda u:hmac.new(sys.argv[1],u).hexdigest(),re.search)
  pxy,xs = (xmlrpclib.ServerProxy,SimpleXMLRPCServer.SimpleXMLRPCServer)
  def ls(p=""):return filter(lambda n:(p=="")or res(p,n),os.listdir(os.getcwd()))
  if ar[2]!="client": # license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0
    myU,prs,srv = ("http://"+ar[3]+":"+ar[4], ar[5:],lambda x:x.serve_forever())
    def pr(x=[]): return ([(y in prs) or prs.append(y) for y in x] or 1) and prs
    def c(n): return ((lambda f: (f.read(), f.close()))(file(n)))[0]
    f=lambda p,n,a:(p==pw(myU))and(((n==0)and pr(a))or((n==1)and [ls(a)])or c(a))
    def aug(u): return ((u==myU) and pr()) or pr(pxy(u).f(pw(u),0,pr([myU])))
    pr() and [aug(s) for s in aug(pr()[0])]
    (lambda sv:sv.register_function(f,"f") or srv(sv))(xs((ar[3],int(ar[4]))))
  for url in pxy(ar[3]).f(pw(ar[3]),0,[]):
    for fn in filter(lambda n:not n in ls(), (pxy(url).f(pw(url),1,ar[4]))[0]):
      (lambda fi:fi.write(pxy(url).f(pw(url),2,fn)) or fi.close())(file(fn,"wc"))

TinyP2P can be run as a server:

`python tinyp2p.py password server hostname portnum [otherurl]`

and a client:

'python tinyp2p.py password client serverurl pattern'

The program will, in client mode, download any file on the server matching that pattern. And the pattern can be a Python regular expression.

The code speaks for itself: This code just very, very cool. And licensed under Creative Commons.

This is just awsome…

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Eagerly awaiting for Constantine

November 9, 2009 at 10:37 pm (Uncategorized)

Fedora 12, Constantine, will be out in just 8 days…

Highlight Features

I am just eager to have Constantine in by Desktop…

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Nokia 5800 Xpress music price Slashed

November 5, 2009 at 12:09 am (Uncategorized)

Nokia 5800 Xpress music or Nokia tube was the first phone on Symbian S60 V5 touch user interface .After that we have seen Nokia N97 , Nokia 5230 Xpress music ,Nokia 5800 Navigation edition ,Nokia 5530 Xpress music, Nokia N97 mini and finally Nokia X6 using the same platform. 5800 Xpress music was priced on a competitive rate that made it one of the most successful music phones of Nokia in recent times . To create a market for newly announced touch phones and to counter the competition from Samsung and LG , Nokia today reduced the price of the 5800 to INR 13500 (280 USD) without taxes . Being a touch phone , Nokia 5800 Xpress music would be great buy at this price.

https://i0.wp.com/www.parallelimported.co.nz/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/n/o/nokia1_1.jpg

 

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Configuring Idea Netsetter in Ubuntu

October 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Add a wvdial.conf file in /etc with the following contents

_______________________________________________

[Dialer username]
Phone = *99#
Username = 1234567890
Password = 7890
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Baud = 115200
SetVolume = 0
[Modem 0 ]
Dial Command = ATDT
Init = ATZ
init2 = AT + CRM = 1
Flowcontrol = ( CRTSCTS )
Stupid Mod = 1
Inherits = Modem 0

_________________________________________________

Note:

1234567890 – in this place put the number
7890 – put the last 4 digits of the number

Check the /dev file to find whether ttyUSB0 is available.If not change it to available one.

Save the changes and reboot (not a necessity)

Give wvidal username at the prompt and wait for sometime to get connected.

Happy browsing!

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