BORED!!! … but Why?


Bored

Why do we get bored?

I FAIL to understand and would go any length to understand, probably would get many along with me as well to find out … why?  People around me say this a lot, including myself “I’m not working today because …  I’m bored.” But if you think hard on that exact feeling, would lead to perpetual darkness, unable to explain anything about it.  Wonder if its because of the kind of work we are involved in. There would be a day or two when inertia overpowers us.

Trying to unearth this mystery, i sought for a Medical explanation as to why we get this feeling? I am no Medical student so my easy access was a dictionary. It says “feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity.” (was bored & hence this effort.) Even in Medical science there is not much that is known about it, except that boredom is very unpleasant and can only be experienced and cannot be expressed. This finding was completely orthogonal to my imagination as i had thought of some hormones getting drastically low and hence experience boredom. It is believed by some researchers that people experience boredom out of an inability to know what they are feeling and what it is that they really want. This feeling has a new medical term — “Alexithymia” which means inability to know what one’s feelings really are. Well my inference is … if you don’t have any work that keeps you occupied, you get bored. Is it possible that, one can have a situation when there is nothing to do? I tend to disagree. We get bored when we do not want to do, what we are supposed to do.

Now … look at my sorry self , got bored in what-ever work I was involved in, started writing this blog so as to make myself understand or rather  incoherently as to why I got bored, trying desperately to change my mental state  and probably you too got bored in what you were involved in, looking out for a change, began reading my blog and that state is called BOREDOM.

aah ..! truly a long one but what the heck..? I was bored 🙂

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

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April 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Metadata of Images

Have you posted an Image or 2 on the Internet ? Of course … Who doesn’t nowadays. Everyone is hooked to at least  one social networking site. Be it the popular Orkut and FaceBook  or  Web-blogs all have images of all types.

You might ask me … So What ?? Well i would be more than happy to answer that.  Did you know that when you take a photo with a digital camera, a truck load of background information is embedded into the file called Exchangeable image file format (EXIF   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchangeable_image_file_format) metadata, including when the photo was taken, the make and model of the digital camera, the exposure, shutter speed, lens focal length, whether the flash fired, and some other interesting tidbits. Sure, if you have nothing to hide about ,then you should not be worried but still why give away more information ?

Digital cameras save JPEG (.jpg) files with EXIF  data and  Camera settings and scene information are recorded by the camera into the image file. Believe it or not, Preview application on Mac OS X can display all this EXIF metadata — you just have to know where to look.To see the EXIF data for the current image, just press Command-I, then click on the Details tab, and if you scroll down a bit, you’ll see a header for EXIF Properties, along with the full scoop on your image.
check the below image that i had taken for its meta data.

This is on Leopard 10.5

generalinfo

nandimoriinfo

This is on Tiger 10.4.10

nandimeta

OK, all said and done … but how can i remove or clean Up the image you want to upload ? No need to get paranoid, you got lots of applications on Windows but i am surprised to see that there not even one good application on Mac . The closest that i could been in getting a tool was SnapCleaner 1.3 and that too its not free !  This application didn’t work for me and hence i wouldn’t recommend it at all. For Windows you can use this small application called JPEG & PNG Stripper
You can also use this website  http://camerasummary.com which is an online EXIF data extractor that provides information.

Next time you have personal photos and want to upload it on to the web especially social networking sites … TAKE CARE !

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

April 15, 2009 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

Your MacBook against THEFT

Has the fear of your Mac Book stolen … gripped you at-least once? Well, One of the common fear’s for all those fortunate people who own mobile gadgets, especially the beautiful Mac Books – is THEFT . None can take his eyes off this notebook and if you are one those unfortunate people, sure would have itchy feeling in your hands. But have you ever wondered if Apple ever had any protection plan for Mac Books?

Mac Book Air

“Beginning with the PowerBook G4 (12-inch, 1.5GHz), PowerBook G4 (15-inch, 1.67/1.5GHz), PowerBook G4 (17-inch, 1.67GHz), and iBook G4 (Mid 2005), Apple portable computers feature a Sudden Motion Sensor. Intel-based Apple portables such as the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air also make use of the Sudden Motion Sensor.” This is text written in Apple website.

Navigate to “About this Mac” by clicking on the Apple symbol on the top left corner of the screen in your Mac Book and click on “More Info…” and you see

sensation

Sudden Motion Sensor is designed to detect unusually strong vibrations, sudden changes in position or accelerated movement. If the computer is dropped, the Sudden Motion Sensor instantly parks the hard drive heads to help reduce the risk of damage to the hard drive on impact. If you want in depth understanding about Sudden Motion Sensor visit http://osxbook.com/book/bonus/chapter10/sms/

There are many applications which make use of SMS ad protect your Mac Book.

1. LockDown – Anti theft system for mac is a Mac security application built from the popular iAlertU. Once your alarm has been set off, your computer will sound a loud alarm and prevent the system from being muted or put to sleep. http://www.foozoodesign.com/lockdown.html

2. iAlertU – AlertU is the first of its kind alarm system for your Apple MacBook computer.  Basically iAlertU is a car alarm for your Apple Mac. iAlertU uses the built in sudden motion sensor (SMS) device to detect movement of your Apple MacBook and triggers an audible and visual alarm.http://www.slappingturtle.com/home/

3. BumpAlarm 0.9 -BumpAlarm is a program that uses the motion sensors in Apple’s new Powerbooks to trigger various actions when motion is detected. It can be set it to automatically play a sound file, send an email alert, or run an applescript.http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/17684

SMS can also be a source of entertainment to some extent and here are few applications which you can check out.
1. SeisMac —> http://www.suitable.com/tools/seismac.html
2. MacSaber —>http://blog.isnoop.net/2006/06/22/macsaber-11-attack-of-the-backlight/

I actually installed MacSaber and it was fun to play with.

mac-saber
3. Slapbook 0.65 —> http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/22148
4. Liquidmac —> http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/games/simulation_and_sports/liquidmac.html

Have Fun!!!

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

April 3, 2009 at 12:46 pm Leave a comment

Many Happy Returns World Wide Web

I THINK there is a big celebration at CERN this month. If you visit the website of CERN http://public.web.cern.ch/public/ the first topic you would find is “World Wide Web @ 20”
Well … It was 20 years ago this month that Tim Berners-Lee and others  at the  European Laboratory for Particle Physics, more popularly known as CERN, proposed a new protocol for information distribution. This protocol, which became the World Wide Web in 1991, was based on hypertext – a system of embedding links in text to link to other text, while reading these pages.
Take a look at the picture here, In March 1989, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a paper called “Information Management: a Proposal” to his supervisor Mike Sendall. This document, called “vague, but exciting” by Sendall, became the blueprint for the World Wide Web which launched the following year. credit:CERN

www1

www21

The document that officially put the World Wide Web into the public domain on April 30, 1993. credit: CERN

Prior to the Web, If you look at an anecdotal history of the people and communities that brought about the internet, it was a result of some visionary thinking by people in the early 1960’s. J.C.R. Licklider of MIT wanted to share information on research and development in scientific and military fields. So he first proposed a global network of computers and moved over to Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) to develop it. I wouldn’t dwell much into the evolution of internet but there was a lot of hoopla that “Did Al Gore invent the Internet?
I never knew this fact. But i stumbled on this acknowledgment in a paper titled “Al Gore and the Internet” http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~fessler/misc/funny/gore,net.txt that Al Gore has probably done more than any other elected official to support the growth and development of the Internet from the 1970’s to the present .

I never thought history of evolution of Internet and Web would be so interesting to read and when you look at these eventful photos it all together gives you a different high. Finally Many Happy Returns World Wide Web!!!

March 18, 2009 at 6:11 am 1 comment

process-thread-model

I had to overcome with acute nostalgia as i write this blog . I couldn’t resist myself penning some of my hilarious moments of  yesteryears at the company.

It was just over a couple of months that i had joined as a new recruit, a fresher in an MNC. This was a transitional phase for me from juvenile student world to a more responsible, money and business centric corporate world. aha! … everything you see and do at office was new, starting from the Macintosh Imac computer that i was using(which i had never seen i my entire life) to the all new cubicle i had to sit. It was truly an amazing experience with sense of achievement in the air all the time.

my iMac

I was the youngest in terms of age in the team with no prior work experience. So my manager designated one of my colleague, who was actually the best in the business, be it technical or management, to mentor me. Well …  he was actually  (tor)mentor to me . Under his guidance i went on to understand Unix Operating System and its Internals. During this training there was one particular topic which i have to mention was to learn about UNIX Processes and Threads.  The OS definition of Process — is an instance of a program under execution which is competing for a resource in the Operating System.  I read and wrote some tutorial programs  just to get some hands on.

That afternoon i was going for lunch when i saw a good looking female (with all due respect) walk past me with her male colleagues. She was in the center with others walking on the either sides of her. I stared at them for a moment and observed that all her male counterparts were trying to talk with her and never among themselves( I know that’s obvious ). Then suddenly a real weird idea stuck my head. They formed what i call the “PROCESS-THREAD MODEL”. I had read in some book that processes are just like human beings and they generate one or more  child process and threads and i was imagining this line as i saw process and its threads in perfect sync LIVE. For me the lady was like  a process which had spawned 5 threads. Conceptually, threads exists with in a Process and in Unix world you create a thread with this system call
pthread_create(&thread_id, NULL, &talk_to_process, NULL);
all threads are identified by their thread ID’s and upon creation of thread they execute thread function talk_to_process.

As days passed by there was instances when the lady stopped talking to few of her colleagues. So i thought probably  the thread behaved in an undefined  manner so she (process) might have terminated the thread by passing it’s thread ID to 🙂
pthread_kill(pthread_t thread, int sig);

To create a new process fork() system call is used. The process that invokes a fork() will be the parent, while the new process is the child.  Again conforming to my PROCESS-THREAD MODEL a few months later she forked() and gave birth to a child process.  Isn’t it amazing to see how Unix  is so close to our human lives .Hopefully my (tor)mentor would be pleased if i say that i never forgot this concept after this. Last but no the least heaps of thanks to our lady … “SHE PROCESS”.

— Go Green, Save a Tree —

March 13, 2009 at 6:59 am 1 comment

Making Money

UB City

I ended my previous post with the word Hobby. Co-incidentally some events happened which made me re-think about the meaning of this word. Just for the record – “An activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure” is what the dictionary will define it. Why am i writing this, read on…

It was lunch time. A normal buzz filled the air in our small office cafeteria. While having lunch with my colleagues we spoke about the UB City where we had been to as a team outing. UB City is a state of the art shopping mall with international brands like Louis Vuitton, Omega, and Apple iStore to name a few.  This conversation ended up with everyone curiously thinking about the amount of money the owner had spent on constructing it and money he still possess.

“My hobby right now is to make Money” was the statement one of my colleague made. He went on to say that he was not getting enough time to continue his hobby seriously. I was stunned… had a big exclamatory mark on my face. My  friends didn’t heed to those words I thought, but those words caught my attention.Damn! … What a cool hobby to have … 🙂

If anyone is confronted with a question what are your hobbies? You get the most common answers like reading books, Music, cricket… blah blah, but look at this Guy.! I probably would say he was the epitome of money grubbing person coz we as “Software Engineers” would almost draw a six figure salary or more annually but still having money making as a hobby!

All said and done but, when i thought deeply about this exotic hobby, I myself seem to be divided on this from within. One side of me feels,  If i start calculating and thinking of all the ways of making money so as to secure my  future … when would i living my life to the fullest. I have seen people sitting glued to TV Channels, hearing to that pause-less conversations about the Market, trying hard to understand complex calculations and dynamics of it, eying to make profits in every highs and lows. This was just an example I chose which always makes news. Be it any public places, newspapers or even vehicles all are flooded with advertisements telling you how to make money.  Honestly i never ever dreamt of all this during my college days.

But on the flip side, i think there is nothing wrong in dreaming big and working relentlessly towards it “LEGALLY” because every person coming from middle class family wants to make it big in his life. In tracking the Market you get a general awareness about money transactions and since our professional career is also a part of it, becomes all that more important. When i gaze at the traffic ahead of me on my way to office, i see hundreds of cars, SUV’s starting from luxurious to more luxurious ones. I would keep on imagining how it feels to lay hands on those highly sensitive power steering wheels which gives you the control of maneuvering a vehicle with your finger tips,  those upholstered seats, AC …  only to be brought back to reality with a loud honk from behind.   Damn! … When would I own one of them. I some times wonder if those people have made making money as their hobby.  I am not stopping at cars; there is an entire world out there which can be owned. This hobby has become every successful person’s prerogative and sure many wouldn’t want to take this hobby lightly.

So next time if any one asks you this question what’s your hobby? What would you say…? Hopefully the truth 🙂


— Go Green, Save a Tree —

March 2, 2009 at 9:54 am 4 comments

My New Found Hobby.. !!

It was 11:30 in the night.  While talking with my roomie I was setting up my bed to crash on it in this new house i had moved into just a week ago. Out of the blue he spoke about a blog he had written recently.  He went on telling  as to how millions of people write blogs just about anything. I was fascinated instantly. Of-course i had heard about blogging, but i was never serious about it.

I switched off the room light as my roomie was feeling sleepy, so was i few minutes back, but this conversation was like strong cup of coffee which woke me up. My mind was bombarded with thoughts, fighting vigorously against sleep inducing chemicals. Why shouldn’t i blog.?  What should i be writing in my blogs.? Should it be completely technical writing about  Plugins , Fameworks, Interfaces.? as it gels well with my professional career. What should i write in my first blog.? How will my friends react to my blogs .? I couldn’t stop my mind to think.

This is me .. a software Engineer , programmer by day, programmer by evening, not so good programmer by night. I work in a company which requires me to code in the night as well … ah, during  release times it will always be a night-out.
So after almost 2 weeks i decided to put all my thoughts that happened on that night. I dont know at this point what i would be writing about in future but one thing is for sure i would be blogging. May be i can call myself a blogaholic some day in future and i am taking baby steps here, really felt good writing this.

I created an account in wordpress.org which is an open source blog publishing application with some fantastic features and to top it all this app also features in linkedIn. There is much more, You can actually install WordPress locally on your own machine. I will tell as to how to install on your machine in my coming blogs .

For the ever increasing percentage of bloggers, i too am joining this family. Now i can proudly say Blogging is my new found hobby :-).

statistics

February 17, 2009 at 2:03 pm 1 comment

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