Android 2.0 : First Impressions

•November 15, 2009 • 4 Comments

My last article on Android was about installing the Android SDK onto my PC – and after a few hours of research and twiddling thumbs ( slow net connection rearing its ugly head), I had got it installed on both my Linux desktop and Windows desktop. Here is a photogallery for you to see how it looks, as well as my first impressions.

Welcome to Android

Continue reading ‘Android 2.0 : First Impressions’

Book Review : City of Djinns

•November 11, 2009 • 4 Comments

City Of Djinns

Djinns : or Genie is a mythical creature which fulfills your wishes as in the tales of Alladin. It is also a creature which seems to be there somewhere, but you don’t know where.

– source : me

The title ‘City of Djinns’ conjures up a vision of mythological creatures from the past going ‘yes master’. But the book is not about that. Lets looks at another definition of Djinn :

In Arabic, a Djinn (also jinn, genie, from Arabic جني jinnī) is a supernatural creature which occupies a parallel world to that of mankind, and together with humans and angels makes up the three sentient creations of Allah. Possessing free will, Djinn can be either good or evil.

– Source : Wikipedia

This book is more about parallel worlds.

William Dalrymple spends a year in Delhi, and peels away the layers of civilization one layer at a time, going back in history. This is how history books should be written . I wonder why the ICSE and CBSE syllabus is so boring ? I used to just about scrape past in History.

The story of Delhi is told with anectodes which WD has dug out from various people ( for the times of the Sikh Riots and Independence of India), and old manuscripts and writings (from times earlier). It shows that even though we are fast trying to forget the past and move on ( i guess thats why our History texts are so bad), if you just look hard enough , you will see the different layers , or Djinns, of Delhi.

I am not sure if a non-delhi-ite will be able to relate as well as a person who has spent some time in Delhi. References to Madrasas, older Hauz Khas, Jama Masjid and the old bylanes of Old Delhi, CP etc all bring to life the different ages of Delhi.

All in all, this book is probably the best writeup on the history of Delhi. It just opened up my eyes to see Delhi in a different light. Where earlier I was just looking at the greyness and cursing the traffic, I have now, also started to see the old domes of builds of ages past. I see the mix of old and new – a new swanky mall opposite jam packed homes erected in a hurry after the partition, with the spire of temple almost hidden by each new floor precariously built by each passing generation, behind which the ruins from the Old Fort can be seen playing hide and seek with the water tanks randomly erected like UFOs thrown on earth.

My Rating : A Must Read !

Android 2.0 – Install Issue

•November 7, 2009 • 5 Comments

Android 2.0 is out. This is the mobile phone OS from Google which is in the Droid phone by Motorola, and so I wanted to check it out. However, as I am trying to install , I am getting the following error :

Cannot complete the install because one or more required items could not be found.
Software being installed: Android Development Tools 0.9.4.v200910220141-17704 (com.android.ide.eclipse.adt.feature.group 0.9.4.v200910220141-17704)
Missing requirement: Android Development Tools 0.9.4.v200910220141-17704 (com.android.ide.eclipse.adt.feature.group 0.9.4.v200910220141-17704) requires ‘org.eclipse.wst.xml.core 0.0.0’ but it could not be found

This looks like an error of some missing package : ‘org.eclipse.wst.xml.core’ … trying to figure it out.

Edit : Figured it out.

It seems that when you install eclipse on ubuntu, it only installs the JRE ( the runtime environment). What you need for developent for Android though is the JDK ( development kit) which has to be downloaded and installed specifically. Its quite easy though – just fire up Synaptic Package Manager, and search for sun-jdk and install it (see screen shot below) .

Install JDK

Happy Diwali !

•October 17, 2009 • 1 Comment
From Diwali 2009

Daddyhood II : The powerup sequence

•September 29, 2009 • 5 Comments

I am sure everyone has wondered at one time or the other about the ‘machine’ called ‘man’ (or woman if you feel offended by the classical way of referring to humans).

I have.
I wonder about the complexity of the machine. The different parts that go up in making it. The co-ordination required. The development of each part which become a whole.
And now, with Vansh, I am seeing the development of a human being.
It reminds me of a powerup sequence of a very complex system. More complex than anything man made – like for instance – a nuclear plant.
You may have read about how each part of the plant under goes many tests in powering up.
It seems to be same case for humans also.
Sequence 1 : It started with the breathing aparatus – the lungs, windpipe and the vocal chords. As a new born baby, whenever it is awake – it cries a lot. I suppose its to get the lungs working. A few minutes of crying and then the fatigue sets in – and he sleeps. It does not matter that he is fed, and is warm. He has to have his hourly dose of crying – without which it does not fall asleep.
Along with this sequence is the digestive system coming online. At start only a liquid diet of mother’s milk – which over the coming months will move to semi-solid and then eventually solid.
Sequence 2 : The eyes. At first unseeing – with each eye’s control not fully functional. So, at times the kid will seem to be looking at his nose. Scary the first time you see it. Slowly the eyes start to look in the same general direction.
Sequence 3 : After the lungs sequence is ok’d by the body, the system shifts to other things – like moving the arms and legs. It learns to control the vocal chords so that he does not howl all the time – unless in discomfort – like when it wants to be fed.
Sequence 4 : The facial muscles come online now. The start with sequence 1 was frown and a screwed up face. Now the muscles start to strengthen the ‘smile’ and he starts to smile a bit, then a lot more. I am not sure if he understands what a smile is at this time – cause anything can trigger it. A touch on the cheek, a sound of a voice – or just simply smiling while lying on the back and kicking his legs.
Sequence 5 : The eye muscles having found that they are in sync, now start to follow people.
Wow ! They say life is a miracle – and its hard not to believe !

India's Achievements ?

•August 13, 2009 • 1 Comment

Tomorrow is Independence day.

Once more people will get drunk it being a holiday – oh wait … its on a Saturday. Damn! One holiday gone ! WTF !
I though am thinking on other lines.
Its been 60+ years now since India gained Independence. And I wonder.
I wonder how. I wonder why.
There are almost no world class achievements.
I can only think of one achievement which puts India on par with other world powers. The Delhi Metro. I see that and think – wow ! This is something which the people have done which we can proudly say we are shoulder to shoulder with other countries.
I am sure there are other achievements, but I can’t think of any.
Achiements like a gold medal in the Olympics don’t count – for a country so vast and with so much potential, a single gold medal is like a consolation prize. I am thinking more on the lines where can say ‘hum kise se kum nahi’ .
What are your thoughts ? What achievements can you think of ?

TFD : Patanjali

•August 10, 2009 • 1 Comment

When you are inspired by some great purpose

Some ExtraOrdinary project
All your thought’s break their bonds
Your mind transcends limitations
Your conciousness expands in every direction
And you find yourself in a new and wonderful world
Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive
And you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.