Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Human Halting Problem

If we ever are proud of the discoveries and inventions of mankind then we have to also be humbled that there are many things we cannot and never will be able to understand with our pitiful mind inspite of all that it can achieve.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Corruption of components in JScrollPane

I wasted over two hours trying to figure out the corruption of any component that I add to a JScrollPane whose size is a bit large (Depends on your screen resolution). The default scrollmode (BLIT_SCROLL_MODE) is the culprit here. Changing the scrollmode to a double buffering (BACKINGSTORE_SCROLL_MODE) one seems to fix the problem.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A personal review/opinion on "Learning Java"

I really have no idea what to title this post. During 2002-2003, I made an attempt to learn Java and so I bought a book titled Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 Days. I gave up after coming across the Jabberwocky example. While it was one of the worst books in my opinion to learn Java from, I personally had a grouse against Java. It was slow, buggy, primarily advertised for applet development and in my opinion too hyped up. And applets those days would bring my computer to a crawl. I preferred C/C++ any day over it. And then I moved on to learning some Python. While pursuing my Master's program in the area of Speech signal processing during 2004-2007, MATLAB became my primary "Programming Language" while occassionally dabbling in C++ and Python. Somehow I never experience the same joy while using MATLAB as I would in C/C++/Python. Fast forward to few months back; I never understood why Java was the primary language on Android. I wouldn't if I was not forced to start learning it to handle some project commitments. And this time I used the book Learning Java from O'Reilly publishers. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed reading the book as well as coding in Java. The authors Patrick Niemeyer and Jonathan Knudsen have done a very good job of keeping mundane things out and focusing on covering what is important for a programmer/developer. For a change I actually like Java now (cause the hype has sufficiently died down) though not as much as I would Python.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On Falsifying History

I have come across an excellent example of how to cook up history so that people can be easily fooled. A classic example is the spreading of the purported "Lord Macaulay's address to the English parliament 2 February, 1835" which states

"I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation."

From the style of writing ( or speaking) it is quite evident that whoever cooked up this article was not of the 19th century. It is crucial to be aware of one's history, to know who and what we are so as to not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors. But to cloud it and cover it up with lies is the most vilest thing a person can do. To not know our history is to be blind. And a person who obfuscates history through whatever means is as guilty as a man who has destroyed a person's sight. "Without vision people cast of restraint". How will one know to see the present without having a proper insight into the past; both the good and the bad?

India did have at some point or the other a rich cultural and social heritage. But centuries of cultural decadence and social inequality resulted in it being ripe for conquering by other nations. The heralded ancient discoveries which were found by proper scientific processes were over centuries wrapped in mystery, till at last they became statements without proofs. Rivals in various fields were disposed of easily so as to preserve one's own importance. India was a country divided and this still continues to this day. We find the pettiest of reasons to want to feel different from others to such an extent that we condemn and look down people who are not the same as we are. Unless such madness stops, I care not for any history which covers up the main problem with the country today.

One may accuse the English for their "Divide and Conquer" policy. India was already a country divided; the English just exploited the conditions to their advantage. As do now the politicians who have replaced them. We were able to get rid of the English through a persistent and non violent means. How then do we get rid of most of the elected/ruling class that continues to exploit fault lines for their own benefits. It is so easy to blame the English for the problems afflicting our country. But the only way for our nation to move ahead is to deal with the intrinsic factors rather than cooked up extrinsic ones.