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Journal: Gnu-ing Doubts.

Journal by The Cydonian

... and from the pages of an otherwise extremely readable governmental policy magazine, a quick lesson in how to dis-objectively introduce a long-standing jihad to a fresh audience.

You do this by first instilling fear:

Trouble is, the benefits of open source are not always so clear-cut. Software is too complicated a creation to be captured in rhetoric, and assertions about some of the technical benefits of open source fail to tell the whole story.

Next, claim there is uncertainity, mostly by quoting a thoroughly irrelevant tidbit:

Software, with its millions of lines of code, is so complicated that experts dont know for sure that open source has fewer bugs, nor can they say with certainty that having fewer bugs makes open source more secure.

Finally, as a result of fear and uncertainty, demonstrate doubt:

... software is so complex that serious source code manipulation and maintenance is a high-cost endeavor, not a job one can plunge right into.

... and notice that you've basically repeated the same bloddy point over and over again, adding zero value to an already dry debate.

*shakes head*

Update [2006.5.31 12:00PM SGT]: Remember, you read it here first, not there. :-)

User Journal

Journal: My Chair Broke.

Journal by The Cydonian
And I fell. Therein lies a story of commoditized globalization.

It was a nice chair, actually, a bwig, black executive chair that swings, pitches, tilts and yaws. You'd be forgiven for thinking it had a leather cushioning, but the reality, as it were, is much more nuanced; it had pseudo leather with pinches of cushioning that exist only to remind us that all good chairs must have some cushioning, even if it isn't exactly useful.

Over the four months I've had it, I've made exactly utilitarian enhancement; I somehow entwined my speaker system's volume control onto one of the arms. It's a minor change, and indeed, perhaps not entirely aesthetically pleasing, the cleaning lady who comes once a month to clean my house always makes it a point to disconnect the volume control and the wire from the sub-woofer source. The overall effect, though, is that of sheer, unbridled power; with my A/C remote and telephone to my left, music to my right, my wireless keyboard, mouse, office laptop and home comp in front, I knew it was only a matter of time before I get on with that taking-over-the-world process in earnest in a way neither Captain Kirk, nor trivia(l) masterminds could.

Until that is, it all came tumbling down tonight.

I was watching X-Men 2 on the comp while it happened. Actually, I think a lot of things happened simultaneously; those security folks attack the school, some mutant kid screams the hell out of my speaker system, another dissaparates through wooden floors, I received some astrological spam assuring me that my next week would be even more mundane than this one... and I'm on the ground, with my right arm hurting from all that sudden weight thrust upon it.

While I am shaken by the experience, I can't help feel stirred by the larger macro-picture from the above. You see, it was a bargain deal, or at least was supposed to be; between the sleazy furniture dealer around the corner, and those overpriced, unpronounceable swivel chairs from IKEA, I had opted to buy a cheap one from a local French hypermart chain, Carrefour. Unfortunately, those French marketers, with their double entendres and convoluted phrases, didn't quite mean "least expensive in town" when they said "cheapest in town". They had, instead, meant to say, well, low-cost, shoddily made, unfinished... cheapest.

The overall result, therefore, is something very familiar to Americans; I got a low-cost product sourced directly from some Shenzhen warehouse without, it now appears, passing through QC or other upper-class niceties.

My feet may be firmer on the ground now, but alas, I'm left with only two options and neither of them entirely desireable. Either I could show some Asian street-smarted-ness, eat crow and haggle with that neighbourhood furniture guy once more, orI could show some Indian ingenuity, eat crow and fix this with super-glue or duct-tape. In which case, alwas, there's only one place to get my hardware supplies in this region, Carrefour.

My world domination plan may be temporarily in pieces, and to steal an idiom from a longtime favourite comic (points for getting the reference), I seem to now throw my weight around more often, but oh, the choices we have to make just to stand on our feet.

User Journal

Journal: .... and we're back!

Journal by The Cydonian
Still alive, and still angry at the world, but now we're back to blogging at Slashdot as well! Which also means, if you and I are somehow connected through the Zoo, I might very well post in your journal as well!

YEEEEEHOOOOOOOO!!!

User Journal

Journal: Slashdot Sub-culture. 3

Journal by The Cydonian
Apparently, Wikipedia thinks I've made a positive contribution to Slashdot subculture.

:-D

The irony, of course, is that I intended the post to be an experiment; wanted to see how much /.-tter-like I could sound (which is why I felt compelled to put in credits and references). Guess we know now.

That, and those Wikipedians sure have a lot of time on their hands. :-|

User Journal

Journal: 12th century Indo-Persian Poetry.

Journal by The Cydonian
"Alas! Shireen!" at every stroke he cries;
At every stroke fresh miracles arise:
"For thee these glories and these wonders all,
For thee I triumph, or for thee I fall;
For thee my life one ceaseless toil has been,
Inspire my soul anew: Alas! Shireen!"- Nizami
User Journal

Journal: Ladies and gentlemen 2

Journal by The Cydonian
two days before the spring finally arrives, let us take time out and greet each other in celebration

For, as the Googlewhackers among us know already, the Merry Festival of Belgthor is already upon us.

Update: Belgthor presents from /.: mod points! Suggestions anyone?

User Journal

Journal: On The Bus Home Tonight. 1

Journal by The Cydonian
An artifact from the past:- a ticket checker with a hypercool RFID(?)-reader checking everyone's tickets/cards to see if they have, indeed, paid the full fare amount or not. The checker comes to each one of us, asks us for our ticket/card, taps it against his reader, and then proceeds, presumably, to fine anyone who hasn't paid the correct fare.

But ah, we note with amused impunity, it isn't *buses* where we beat the fare system. :-)

Graphics

Journal: Links That You Should Never Click. 7

Journal by The Cydonian
Whatever it takes, never ever THINK of clicking this link.

Depending on your jurisdiction, you might be jailed, censured, tortured, or even sacrificed for the Great God of the Temple of The Tooth. In any case, forget you've ever seen this link here, coz plainly speaking, you HAVEN'T.

User Journal

Journal: Geek Humour, Hyderabadi ishtyle! 4

Journal by The Cydonian

#include<STD ISD.h>
#include<college.h>
#define MAAL beautiful_lady

main()
{
goto college;
scanf("100%",&ladies);

if(lady = = MAAL)
sugar++;
while( !reply )
{
printf("I Love U");
scanf("100%",&reply);
}

if(reply = = "GAALI")
main(); // go back and repeat the process
else if(reply = = "SANDAL ")
exit(1);
else if(reply = = "I Love U")
{
lover = MAAL;
! ! ! love = (heart*)malloc(sizeof(lover));
}
goto restaurant;

restaurant:
{
food++;
sugar++;
pay->money = lover->money;
return(college);
}

if(time = = 3.00)
goto park;

park:
{
for(time=4.00;time<=5.00;time+=0.001)
kiss = kiss+1;
}

free(lover);
return(home);
}

(Posting here more as proof-of-concept rather than its intrinsic humour value Although, I suppose, it is funny its own corny way)

(Yes, non-Indians, the infamous In-glish in action out here)

User Journal

Journal: F/OSS versus MS: The View From the Frontlines. 2

Journal by The Cydonian
So we're a mostly MS-only shop [*] out here with all of our current projects being developed on VisualStudio.net and coded in C#. In fact, we're one of MS' preferred partners in the region; they run to us whenever they want neat lil demos to demonstrate the power of .net to n00b Comp Sc undergraduates. In short, we're the "developers" in "Developers, developers, developers" chant that all of us so love.

Any guesses on what we now insist on using to maintain our CVS? :-) This, after two weeks of absolute chaos using the best MS solution the client could think of. :-|

(For the record, I absolutely love Eclipse, and was even working on a patch I thought would be useful for cross-team collaboration. Unfortunately, I can't quite work on that project on company time for legal reasons, and the shift key on my home laptop has been stuck for the last two weeks. More on that later)

[*] - Apparently, we'll be moving over to J2EE projects as well, now that we have my, ah, expertise, on board.

User Journal

Journal: POLLS: Work-related travel. 3

Journal by The Cydonian
Places I've accidentally gone to, instead of coming home:-
1) McDonald's
2) The food court in the local mall
3) The nearby Tropical Rainforest (tm) where I saw a snake,
4) Airport, and thence to Antarctica (or any other random place)
5) The local subway/bus depot (mostly as a result of oversleeping)
6) The local red light district
7) The neighbouring country
8) A place I'll never forget.

Ever since I moved to my new place two months back, I did all of the above. (Update: EXCEPT for the Antarctica option)

--
Incidentally, here's a BONUS poll, just for YOU. If 'x' is the time it takes for you to go to work, x can be defined as:-
a) x < = 30 min
b) 30 < x < = 60
c) 60 < x < = 90
d) 90 < x < = 120
e) x > 120
f) I haven't gone home in the last one week, you insensitive clod!
g) I telecommute; my boss is 3000 km away in Novosiberisk, Siberia
h) I do all my work on /.
i) I have outsourced my project(s) to Cowboyneal.
j) I haven't left home since the last blue moon.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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