Friday, March 31, 2006

Processors of future: Exponentially Dynamically

A share from a 20 min discussion with Prof. Tay Joc Cing today afternoon.

"I believe that by the end of this century, we won't need computers anymore for computation" -Tay

"Complex computations will be done by biological beings (read nano particles/molecular machines)" -Tay

"In this century, we're going to have such fast computers, where we don't have to worry about the slowness of the language we're going to use. The most complex problem for computers to process today is a problem with exponential space-time complexity. Our processor speeds are increasing linearly. We are progressing from 1GHz to 2GHz to 3, 4, and 5 GHz. So, the problem continues to be exponential. Consider a possibility of a processor whose speed can increase exponentially dynamically, it can solve a problem with exponential space-time complexity in linear time, which depending upon the problem would essentially be a constant.

Now, if each bio molecule can process fixed set of instructions, knowing that they grow exponentially and assuming that they can distribute the work to their offsprings, a biological molecular robot which can direct n such molecules to solve the problem, can become our first exponentially accelerating processor." -Manish

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Cowon A2 source code released

Fascinated by portable multimedia players (PMP), I bought Cowon A2 early this month. I'd be doing a comparison analysis later, but, for now, the biggest news. A2 has released its entire source code under GPL. Though there is no documentation/notice regarding the code on company's site, it is speculated to be the code of its firmware 1.59, while latest stable release is 1.61. The code is huge taking 467MB on hdd(80 MB in compressed .tar.gz format), with little comments/documentation, but quite clean.

Now, is this release a goodwill sign to OS community, and going to expand to other iAudio products? I don't think so. To answer, the code release was never officially announced by the company, as the post here reveals. Such a big move like this surely needs announcement and publicity, telling and inviting hackers to submit patches using the available source code. Google Desktop Search SDK, Nokia 60 series' python support, flickr, and many others are examples when the respective companies willingly announced their open source motives to engage the Open Source community. But, cowon's muteness kind of seems to indicate that the decision to release the code may not be entirely the 'open source angel dawning on the company'. And as per GPL:
Section 2 b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.

where 'Program' means the section of the code licensed under GPL.
And A2 is based upon GPLed Linux kernel 2.6.5. This section may be a reason enough for the company to release its whole code under GPL.

Whether willingly or not, this move has opened up the gates of this amazing player to hackers. Though A2 gets a lots of upgrades by its dedicated developer team, it won't be long before there will be a flood of patches from hackers worldwide, jumping mainstream making cowon a2 able to play 'anything you throw at it'.

For me, for now, I'm planning a quick hack to display my name on the screen :).

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Prags draws Super Commando Dhruva

After having long forgotten about her old drawing skills, Pragyan took up her hobby back again recently. This is a sketch of my favourite comics character Super Commando Dhruva by her.
Prags draws Dhruva
She just used pencil and eraser for this. Ah! How much I love pencil sketches!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

M.A.N.I.S.H. C.Y.B.O.R.G.

----->>>>> LOOK ----->>>> LOOK

I hope you saw a change in the site. If not?!?!, you need to immediately redesign your _vision_ of life.

Thanks to Boing Boing for providing link to this cool website The Brunching Shuttlecocks. I got my own C.Y.B.O.R.G.ed name which presents itself on the blog now. How to post your cyborged name? Here are the steps:

1. Go to cyborg site -> insert your name -> choose your fav cyborg -> click on Submit.
2. Read, reread your name's definition. Call your friends to tell them what exactly your name means. Ctrl+C the html code provided.
3. Login to blogger -> Dashboard -> Edit Settings -> Template
4. Search for Begin #profile-container
5. Please _Replace_ <$BlogMemberProfile$> with the html code you had copied.
6. In the html code you just copied, replace href='..cyborg..' with profile link location. (mine is
7. Click on Preview.
8. Whoa! Your inspirational message about yourself is gone! Dun worry! People wd be infinitely more interested in your cyborg image than your rambling about yourself.
9. Save the template -> Republish index.
10. Done! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Experiences with OpenSolaris

As most of you already know, Sun Microsystems had released Solaris's source code, under CDDL as OpenSolaris distribution. The company is very busy these days promoting Open Solaris in Universities, on the net, to create a community; and has been quite successful in doing that as well. A one-hour login to #opensolaris channel at, is enough to prove to you that there is surely a strong community working on the OS. One of their best endeavors was to kick start Solaris University Challenge.
Quite obviously, I am participating in it. Well, think of it! That's the whole point of writing this post. These are the things I've come across:

1. Couldn't get Solaris to install on my Pentium III machine, as it required more RAM than my 256MB wd provide. This is owing to Java Desktop System being quite heavy.

2. Solaris comes with Star Office 7, and Mozilla 1.7 (yup! No OpenOffice, and Firefox?!). I still can't understand the reason behind their opting against these two most popular Open Source Softwares; going with things people have forgotten or not known at all, buried in history books (or blogs :-D).

3. There is no Software Package Manager. The default one that comes is a pkgadd command. The essential packages are provided in 4th cd of Solaris, their names prefixed with SUNW (for e.g. man pages - SUNWman). I inserted the CD, and there was no automatic mounting. I tried to use my easy linux ways to mount, but no use. After finding no way to mount it, and checking online for an hour or so, got this command:

#/etc/init.d/volmgt stop
#/etc/init.d/volmgt start

There is no 'restart' option?! However, these commands restarted the volume management which is responsible for mounting the devices. Once restarted, it recognized my cd, and mounted it. So, I cd into the packages directory, and tried to install the package:
#cd /cdrom/sol_11_x86_4/Solaris_11/Product
#pkgadd -d SUNWman
pkgadd: ERROR: no packages were found in

Wao! Now what to do? So, after some searching, I came across this:
#pkgadd -d /cdrom/sol_11_x86_4/Solaris_11/Product SUNWman

And exactly opposite of my expectations, the command worked, and the package was installed!! I've no clue why on earth wd someone have a *constraint* like this one.

4. Thankfully someone has taken these problems in account, and created a centralized package system online at You can download 'pkg-get' package, which provides similar functionality as apt-get, retrieving packages from the blastwave packages list. Though it has a very primitive way of 5-6 step installation, but it surely does _work_ after that. Helped me to install my saviour firefox, and vim editor.
#pkg-get -i vim

Ya! Solaris only has the old vi editor. For those who dun know why vim is better; imagine you can't use your arrow keys to browse thro the code, or use your backspace button to delete. Though backspace still doesn't work fine for me even in vim :(.

5. Crap fonts!

6. _Amazing kernel_. The solaris kernel code is very neat. The more I'm understanding filesystem implementation in solaris, the more I'm appreciating it. I'd like to mention here that ZFS is beyond doubt the most advanced filesystem available today.

Conclusion: Solaris/OpenSolaris is powerful Operating System with amazing kernel and fs, though its ages behind becoming a desktop OS.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Too techy for lecs

Its long I have been to lectures...
Its even longer that I've gone to lecture, and listened to the prof...
Its ages I've felt bad about bunking them...

So, where does my life revolve arnd? Here are top priorities:
1. Sit in canteen, with a cup of tea, and jobless friends.
2. Check, Double Check, Check if I double checked mails, blogs and engadget while listening to music from the music server running on my _ubuntu_ machine through library computer (for those who know what I generally use _hint:gen2_, yea! I switched to ubun2!)
3. Look at my mobile, new sms, old sms, contacts, and alarm clock.
4. Work on cool projects involving C/C++, Python, Ruby, kernel; dream about working in techhie companies.

Lately I've also been calling up people to tell them about the Portable Media Player that I'm buying soon. Just to let you know, the date falls today. Enjoy 'friends' in MRT. Wao! One more reason to sustain life. I'm loving it!

Flickrfs crosses 10000 mark

Flickrfs got itself tagged by 10035 photos, an indication of how many photos are uploaded using this virtual filesystem. So, that makes 10035 photos within 4 months of its release, which calculating linearly comes to be 2508 photos per month. Isn't that great!

Another interesting news is that two people has joined as developers, R. David Murray and Fabio Spelta; both members of flickrfs-users group. Flickrfs is now undergoing major bug fixing, and thorough testing. The code is uploaded into cvs, and is available through CVS anonymous access, so you can have a quick browse through the code. Enjoy!