Monthly Archives: March 2015

Weird thoughts on a Monday night

My dear friends,

When the clock struck 23:23 today on the 2nd last day of March of the 15th year of 21st century since the time we started to measure time in positive numbers, I started to have these weird thoughts. I started to think how I am inside this box made up of concrete and mortar, and sitting on top of an industrial plastic moulded in the shape of a chair.

How am I pushing my fingers on buttons made of plastic which is passing signals to a box built with metal and semiconductors, which is translating electrons to photons on screen and being represented as a character.

I am not really sure why am I here on this 3rd rock orbiting around the sun also rotating around on its own axis, in this milky way of millions of bodies like our own sun, which itself is among millions of similar kind of galaxies, separated only by time.

I am a product of a countless number of impossibilities, few among which are the impossibility of life, impossibility of my parents being met, impossibility of my selection among thousands of sperms, and impossibility of me being conceived successfully in the womb of my mother.

Here am I wondering what is the purpose of such a product of life, which statistically doesn’t even exist in all it’s form, like so many things which doesn’t exist, like straight circle, or colorless red orange, or Mobius road on a 2D plane.

Here am I wondering what is the purpose of Time? Is it really to prevent happening of everything all at once, or for us to make sense of the only constant in our life, the change. Just like it’s hard for an ant to think about 5th dimension, can Humans really think about higher dimensions, dimensions that we can’t even think of? For us, to be a part of a simulation is a highly probable scenario statistically, but can we even think of the possibility of something we can’t even fathom to think of?

With all these thoughts in my mind today I can safely conclude that I haven’t even begin my journey towards understanding the rationale behind trying to understand the fact that I can probably never truly decide whether I have started my journey.

I probably don’t even exist, which begs the question, does my creator feels the same way, that ‘it’ can’t really ever know, whether his creator feels the same way about it’s creator?

What if I have lived this life, sat in this exact box made of exact same concrete and mortar, sat on this exact chair made of this exact industrial plastic, pressing the exact same keyboard buttons, and thinking these exact thoughts before?

What if this continuum of time is repeating itself again, and again and again.. like a pendulum moving to and fro in vacuum so that no single continuum can know what was it’s origin, and when would be it’s end? What if the big bang and big crunch were to be the two ends hanging at the either side of that pendulum motion?

Can we ever escape this reality? Or simulation? Can we ever be ‘free’ in the truest sense? Can we celebrate ‘Independence day’ where we would have achieved the freedom from motion of this cosmic pendulum?

I probably will never know and will probably write these exact things again after the big crunch, and the big bang, and even after that. I don’t know if whatever I said, make sense, but I do know, it must make sense to ‘something’.

Maybe if we can just find a way to pass information during two cosmic pendulum swings, after the end of one ‘period’? I will be searching for a way to do that. Would you?

– Your’s weird, Vineet.

The User Experience of using Ubuntu

In previous articles we installed Ubuntu, learned how to use Gnome shell on Ubuntu and customize it as per needs. In this article I would be dealing on some more points which makes it easier to understand the aspects of Ubuntu for those who are still deeply wrapped up in the world of Windows. Then we will learn how you can use keyboard shortcuts to improve the User Experience of using Ubuntu. In the end we will see how you can use built in ways to help yourself if you ever needed to learn more about Ubuntu and Terminal commands.

Philosophy of Linux over Windows

There are a few structural changes one notices when they migrate to Linux based OS like Ubuntu as compared to Windows. Following is a list that explains some of them:

1. Disk System

In Windows each partition of the HDD is referred as Disk1, Disk2 etc. While in Ubuntu it is termed as sda1, sda2. Here sda stands for one physical hard disk. And sda1 stands for Storage Device “A” partition 1 on a single physical HDD.

2. File System Type:

Filesystem is a way for the OS to keep the data on the HDD and a way to access it. Windows user would be familiar with NTFS and FAT32 but on Ubuntu, EXT3 or EXT4 is used primarily while EXT2 and XFS are also common.

3. Drive Naming Convention:

In  Windows people are too familiar with drives named on alphabet like C, D, E and F. It’s the C: drive which is the root drive and where OS is installed. Ubuntu is radically different  where the naming convention is considered.

In Ubuntu, root is a single forward slash. That is, “/“. So suppose I create a directory (another term for “folders”) called home in the root folder. The path for that would be /home.

Due to this convention, the way removable drives are handled is also different in Linux. A CD you insert with label projectone in the CD drive will be “mounted” and can be accessed from say, /media/username/projectone.

Lastly, in Linux, file and folder names are case sensitive. So, /home/user is different from /home/User and /home/USER.

A typical Directory Structure in Linux
A typical Directory Structure in Linux. Image Courtesy: edx.org

Continue reading The User Experience of using Ubuntu

Lotus Temple

Lotus Temple, also called Bahá’í House of Worship is a construction which is famous for its architectural design which is in the shape of a Lotus flower. It’s located near Nehru Place, in South Delhi, which is widely considered as major information technology hub of South Asia.

I have visited Lotus Temple many times before, but this I was able to capture this 360 degree sphere, under cloudy sky. Caution: A few legs would be missing in the panorama. As it turns out I am still a newbie when taking a Google Sphere is considered.

Click here to open this in Full Screen.

Taj Mahal

Yesterday I went to Agra to see Taj Mahal with 4 of my friends. I did go before but then I was a just small kid and didn’t quite recollect how it looked in person. Here are 3 Google Spheres to have an idea how it felt being there.

How the Taj looks just entering the premises, from a distance:

Click here to open this in Full Screen.

Up close and personal:

Click here to open this in Full Screen.

Relaxing by the sides:

Click here to open this in Full Screen.