Tuesday, April 29, 2008

After Soooo Long!!!

Hi all, i know its been a long time!!! I missed you too!!!

Well I finally managed to get my Biometric Reader last week and there was kind of a little problem with the payment...the accidentally charged my credit card for $ 562 when in fact i manged to strike a deal off them at $ 312...luckily they rectified that mishap...and i am having fun through the documentation of the M2-Hamster... it can easily integrate with any SQL compliant database, and uses a template server where all the matching is done before giving access to the Application/Database Server....i am eager to try all these out!!!

During the Programmig lecture on Friday, i showed the students an application of Graphs (as an Abstract Data Structure) in belief mapping... whereby they can identify core beliefs and supportive beliefs. I am sure they do not realise the use of this, and they will probably never put that tool into practice...but it helped me at times.

The topic of my programming lecture was Graphs..and i tried to bring as many uses f graphs as possible. Apart from Artificial Intelligence, route finders...another use of graphs is in those social networking services like facebook, where they count number of friends, suggested friends, mutual friends...... anyways...who said programming was not cool!!!

As all weekends...the last one was long, and enjoyable...two of my friends/colleagues got married and we went to have diner at their place. Then on Sunday, I watched a little cultural show for the Tamil new year on TV, the minister of Arts and Comedy.....nearly said that Varusha Pirappu (New year According to the Dravidian Calendar) is the celebration of the Chinese new year!!! What a joker!

Later on, some friends came round for a BBQ...thx Anwar for your BBQ lighting skills....

Admirez l'expert!!! I bet I would still be trying to light up the fire had you not been here...

Dr Scheme happened to get on very well with my dad, and it was enjoyable...except that li pas ti p arrete vide dans mo verre!!!....he knows what i am talking about.. i'd better not reveal!!!

Looks like someone is listening carefully to my dad...or is he getting ready to say something..... Sudha...get your flowers!!! Ene dialog Le Vers Cresson pou lever la! lol

I think the kids have a wonderful time...especially when i told them that football is allowed in my living room!!! (as usual mum had securely put her porcelain vases away!!...just wish she'd put them away forever!!!...lol)

Well i am back to basics.... well Visual Basics actually...got an old book back, SAMs Teaches you Database Programming Using Visual Basics in 24 hours.... y not!!! Best of Luck Sams!!

Just watched the news...Looks like bus fares anre going up again...by 28% next Monday...well i know the price of Petrol has gone up...but i think that the Free bus fare to students is weighing heavier that expected on National Expenditure! So the extra cost is passed directly to us! Could we expect otherwise.....arrete rever camarade!

I find it unprofessional that our MPs get questions before hand and simply have to read in the assembly....any one could do that...even an educated 10 year old...is that 'L'age Cerebral' of our PM??? lol...Looks like he needs some training on Nintendo DS using Brain Training by this famours Japanese Doc. (Dr Kawashima if i am not mistaken)!!!

While he was READING ALOUD.... someone else behind him was reading a magazine in silence.. Looks like the Responsable de Communication du PTR is in dire need of education! But how can that be..that person was the minister of education some time back!


Well as always....feel free to comment!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Hi all,
Poll results, 16 out of 18 voted that We become old when we let ourselves believe that we are!

Astounding but expected results! So to all of you who think they are old, you probably are not.

Anyways, this posting was meant to be for yesterday, i had typed something really nice...and then, just when i clicked on post....'La connection à haut debit a fait des siennes'... J'étais rouge rage..well do not forget that I am an Orange customer!!!

One thing no one is really talking about is that Emtel, which is the main competitor of CellPlus( ...sorry Orange) is rather quiet....lets hope there is not Rebranding there also...whereby, Emtel would go Orange too!!! lol!

Emtel, has the potential to be a decent player when it comes to ISP. With its 3.5 G network, which offers a decent speed (1.8 Mbps), it could be a serious competitor. May be it needs to review its marketing Strategy to decrease its cost. In Scandinavia for instance, a mobile operator has done something very interesting:

People are given free Internet connectivity provided they install a small (and rather low cost) emitter/relay on their rooftops. The Electricity supply is paid for by the customer, and the only investment by the operator is for the antenna and maintenance.

Consequently this allows the operator to setup a 'wide' network providing enhanced coverage of an area. Then people would just connect to the network and pay for the usage. The 3.5 G doongle offerred by Emtel is currently at around Rs 6 000, which imho is expensive. Should they reduce the hardware cost as well as the price for the different 3.5G packages, this service will quickly gain popularity.

Well on Monday, many of us got delayed going to work because of traffic jam on the motorway from Phoenix to Port-Louis. There were several excuses...sorry explanations for these:
1. Broken down bus
2. The third lane was not open
3. The guys and gals who came for the SADC comference were going back.

Whatever be the case there is one practice which i do not agree with: that's the wastage of resources.

I will explain how: When you are stuck in a traffic jam, you most probably stress out, you probably get late, and you do not operate at '100%' efficiency. Furthermore, when your are stuck in traffic, your engine is kept on, so you unnecessarily burn fuel. This is a waste of money.
On top of that we are increasing the emission of carbon compounds (Greenhouse gases), Sulphur compounds, and Tetra-Ethyl lead added in fuel causes damage to lungs.

I have just attended a little talk by folks from Orange Business Services, and they also provide Telepresence services...Should we organise teleconferences, we would save on fuel, thus reducing our 'corporate carbon foot-print' as rightly pointed out by the speaker.

Wouldn't that be cool- instead of wasting money and jet-fuel we could organise all these international conferences as tele-conferences. For the people who attended the conference on Poverty in Africa...we are acknowledging poverty on the one hand and wasting money on the other, lets use technology to save money!!!!! .

Talking about carbon footprints:
All those people who attanded the SADC conference used Mercedes and other 'grosses cylindrées' to move around- i think they use a lot more fuel than any other cars. Furthermore, something else they were assigned riders to provide them priority on the motorway. Well there are two explanations for this practice:

i. our leaders want to show that we have a good transport system - fast and efficient (though we all know the truth)
ii. they have wrongly planned their journey and need to do a 30 minutes journey in half the amount of time.

Well one other thing was the fact that the cars they were using had number plates on which the names of the country was written. I personally saw two of those. I do not remember what was written on the first one, but on the second one it was Mozambique. This is illegal i think, If the representatives had difficulty remembering the correct number plate they could have put flags belonging to the respective countries.

The Use of Riders (Motards!)
To many of our ministers, the use of riders ( paid from tax-payer's money) is common practice. They would stop traffic on motorways or round-abouts to allow the ministers through...unless they have chronic diarrhea whereby they urgently need to go to toilet- this is not admissible. Its should not be the case that because of someone who is irresponsible in planning a trip you get delayed going to work. Someone please quote the part in the Road Traffic Act whereby it is written that ministers have priority. I believe that we could make better use of these riders to regulate traffic, to escort ambulances, fireman's trucks... anyways...since this is a logical and practical suggestion, i am sure that it lies out of the range of the brilliant minds of our advisers paid at Rs 150 k.

The riders are paid using each and everyone's taxes! so lets make a fair use of them!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Orange, Apple and Ice-Cream

Hi all, I must confess that the poll results are very very surprising, I was not expecting such close outcomes!

I have not personally voted, after thinking about it....I still have mixed feelings! I believe that it is subjective though...if someone wishes to live only for his passion, it might be obsessive.

Yesterday we had the opportunity of listening to CEO of France Telecom at UoM, very bright guy (a juger par ses accomplissements) and brilliant businessman (a en juger par ses stratégies).

Well I believe he is a brilliant businessman mainly because he has a clear vision regarding the future of his organisation, he is sharp in his responses, his 'strategies d'intégration'...

Orange actually donated Rs 2 000 000 to UoM, which is a good initiative. Lets hope they CEO comes in and regularly repeats this deed. Regarding a question about when the iPhone would be available (and fully usable) in Mauritius, Didier Lombard explained the strategy of Apple which was that of a geographical deployment.

In Europe for instance, iPhones are fully usable only in UK, Germany and France. This clearly demonstrates the Apple's Strategy of exploiting markets where there are big mobile phone users. In Mauritius, though we are rather heavy mobile users, the market size is comparatively small....But as Didier Lombard mentionned...'Il y a de l'espoir'.

Another colleague enquired about how Orange intended to cater for the fact that on average, people in Mauritius pay less for mobile services a compared Europeans. He outlined the fact that there was a tension between Orange's QoS and the amount of money people were willing to pay.

In other words...would Orange decrease QoS parameters to match the amount of money locals are willing to pay.

The answer of the CEO of France Telecom was very diplomatic.

Today, i had a wicked time at Uni, though i know my students had a tough time understanding Tree operations like delete and insert....when they code it, i am sure that they will sort these out, and they will call the destructor for the class doubt:


Well someone made me ask myself a fundamental question today....

Quand devient-on vieux?

Well the obvious reflex action...was to see what did the word young mean, contrast it with the word old and then come up with an answer:

Wikipedia defines 'young' as: Young refers to the quality or state of youth.

It then defines 'old' as : Old may refer to Old age .

Unfortunately it related old as a state or a thing which may refer to age...

For once i tend to disagree.... being young or old has nothing to do with age! It is a subjective thing...rather a perception, or even a state of mind.

Can we be young at sixty and old at thirty? I am sure that many would simply laugh...others would just smile!!!

To me, a person starts growing old when he stops being young... :-)... funny you might say... Let me explain it differently:

Starting from the assumption that its relative state and that it is a state of mind... I would say that a person gets old when he sees 'the others' as being young.

Note that a simple change in mindset would make all the difference... What if i change the sentence to... when he sees 'the others' as being youngER. This would imply that the person sees himself as young too......

IMHO it is all about perception!

Anyways... a good friend of mine organised a little ice-cream party today to celebrate his promotion. The Ice-Cream was wicked and we all enjoyed it. He was very nice and he impressed us by the speed at which he would prepare them.

Enjoy the sight, and imagine how nice it tasted!!!!:

The flavours included Kulfi, Citron, Amande and Chocolate ...along with caramel syrup and other nice little things which enhanced the look as well as the taste.........

Well i would like to say a big thanks to him.

Just after the party, some people stayed back for an informal chat and I must admit that it was worthwhile. A very wise person has shared his knowledge or should I say wisdom with us....

The discussion started rearding wedding love and....and then it gradually got into Theology and Hinduism, and we unanimously appreciated the discussion.

Well being quite passionnate about some 'little stories' about Gods, Saints, the 'Why's of rituals', and .... 'J'en ai eu pour mon compte!'

It ressembled a crash course in basic Hinduism! As i am used to saying...It was Wickedly COOL....What made it more interesting was the fact that constant reference was being made to the contemporary lifestyle, and what are the universal lessons which can be learnt from Holy Scriptures (Vedas, Bible, Quran, Gita, ....) irrespective of their origins!

As i have said before:

Religion is just a set of names.
Lets just have faith (irrespective of the name of the Entity in which we have faith)

Despite being an engineer, that person made it very clear of the lessons which we should learn.

Interesting parallels were being drawn between Science, Religion and our life.

I would like to voice out my apreciation and admiration to that person!!!

I know for fact that all those present share equal admiration reagrding the clarifications which that person brought ...though the appreciation of some might be more equal that others, G.Orwell in Animal Farm!!!)

I will let you guess who that person is!

Comments Welcome!!! (as always!)

OOH Lord........ It is now 23 00 and Google Mail is down!!!! How will I survive!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Passion or Obsession?

Well many might wonder why the choice of this title!

I was wondering a couple of days ago, whether it is normal that a guy spends hours solving a programming problem...or looking for and fixing a bug.

Then I asked myself...Could the passion I have for programming turn to obsession (or has it already?)...well i cannot answer.

Discussing that with some friends today...i got a variety of answers! Some said..the obsession is the passion, others said that that's the fun of it...and others said keep going...it cannot kill you!

As some readers are aware, i am always inclined to optimising codes in C++ implementations. How far will this take me?

Well actually yesterday's posting was simply something i wrote one day while I was still at Accenture...i.e about one year ago..and i found it lying in one of my folders.

Anyways, the reason for no proper posting in the last few days was that i was stuck with a programming bug and i finally managed to solve it with the help of a student (Thx Kervin!!!).

It was about adding a node to a binary tree.

void BTree(TNode * T, TNode *K)//where K is the node to be added

if (T-> getKey()< K- > getKey())//We will add to the right subtree of T
if (T-> getLeft()!=NULL)
insertTree(T- > getLeft(), K);
T- > setLeft(K);

else//We will add to the right subtree of T
if (T- > getRight()!=NULL)
insertTree(T- > getRight(), K);
T- > setRight(K);

There was another implementation which i studied when i was a student, but this one seems easier...even though the other one achieves exactly the same operation.

The fact that i was stuck for hours with the fact that i had an extra recursive call
in a function similar to the one i obtained from wikipedia (Passionate reader, please read!):

void InsertNode(struct node *&treeNode, struct node *newNode)
if (treeNode == NULL)
treeNode = newNode;

if (newNode - > value < treeNode- > value)
InsertNode(treeNode- > left, newNode);

InsertNode(treeNode- > right, newNode);

It seems to me that he is passing a pointer by reference (how subtle is that?, and since it is a structure, no member function...i thought of that too...how cool..., so, InsertNode need not be a member function of the class BTree..HIHIHIH!!! )....

I tried it, but i did not manage to get it working. Well i agree that he made use of a structure...but that not the issue...i will have to try it again tomorrow!

Well...right now..i am asking myself a question:
Can we be obsessed about our passion, or passionate about an obsession!

Comments welcome!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The stare.

There she sat on this old dusty bench. In five years, she had taken the toll of ten. Sitting on this dusty bench she was indifferent to the persons running around on this busy Monday morning. Lonely in this mad crowd, now and then she would lift her head to reveal those eyes ravaged by this blank stare. It surprised me how eyes, without any expression, could express so much by expressing nothing. .

Her radiance had faded and next to her was a man holding a white plastic bag which was transparent and I could see a little box of powdered milk.

She seemed to be asking herself how she got where she was. In her early twenties, she was writing or had already written the last chapter of her life and sound asleep in her arms was a baby, ignorant of the turmoil haunting her mother. If I could ask the baby a question, it would be: ‘How is someone who is lost, help you find your way through life?’

Thursday, April 10, 2008

UoM students help the victims of the torrential rains

Hi All,

Hope you had a wicked day dear readers!

Some of you might wonder about the poll, well why the subject?

I was reading the papers on Sunday and there was an interview of SOMEONE on L'Express Samedi of the 5th April, that SOMEONE said: 'Je ne me laisserai pas dicter par la rue'.

I have a question: 'Serait-ce que la voix de la rue n'est pas importante car il n'y a que leurs voies qui comptent?'

Well the question on my poll was: 'Do you believe that La voix de la rue est la voix du peuple? '

If you equated 'Voix de la rue = voix du peuple' (as i did), an coupled with a quote from Alcuin (Charlemagne's lead advisor on eclessiatical and educational affairs): , i.e. Vox Populi Vox Dei

By Transitivity, the 'Voix de la rue would have been the voice of God '....I'll not get that far not to be accused of blasphemy!

Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit

Which when transliterated to English gives:

those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness

Which can be true because the behaviour of someone in a group is different from that same person in isolation!

Well, in our country, people are by nature quiet except when a major thing happens, i.e. mainly when lives are wasted/lost ? Then you have something which ressembles a micro-riot, whereby people express themselves in what i believe is 'La voix de la rue'.

We have to differentiate between 'LA voix de la rue' and 'UNE voix dans la rue'.

Is it that what 'the people' think does not matter?

Vox Populi, Vox Dei = The voice of the people is the voice of God.

I think Vox Populi sounds fainter than the Vox Consuasor (voice of the advisor) to someone's ears. Based on the poll results, it seems that: 'Le voix de la rues n'est pas celle du peuple'.

Well I have a question for you....'Qui sont-ceux qui s'expriments dans la rue alors?' Awaiting your comments!

We are lucky to be in a democratic country, i.e. we can express ourselves freely and openly...but what use is that if we are never listened to?

Everyone has witnessed the demonstrations to boycott the route of the Olympic Torch in Paris because of the 'embargo one free speech' in China. In the Chinese news, the fact that there was a demonstration against China's policy was not mentionned in any news report in China???

As the coverage for the path of the Olympic Torch, we had a picture of the torch next to a picture of the Eiffel Tower.

Call that censoring!

OK! Lets stop it there! Just in case my blog is censored! lol!!!!

7 packets gaufrettes, 4 packets biscuits cabin and 2 gros sachets du thé! This was our little contribution for the victims of last weeks torrential rains. (All these were bought from Jame's and the Cooperative, which are two shops which are not far from uni)

I would like to first thank my friends (Spiderman, Bahamas 1908, Avi, Christina and me) for contributing and congratulate the students of UoM (inlcuding Zoro Jackpot, Tigroo and Coldplay) who put up this initiative!

The black part is the head of one of my friends who preferred remaining anonymous because she claims not to look good enough on the pic!

I finished correcting another batch of Programming papers! Pheew!

Only three more batches left! Finally i got someone who scored 100% in the test!!! So ...there is hope!

I would like to invite all readers who have a different opinion (on any posting) to comment and then we will discuss... Previous readers who have commented are aware that all comments are published within 12 hours! So no censoring happens here! So feel free to voice out!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Long Tiring Week-end!

Hi All,

Poll Results!!! I was expecting more honesty, how come no one came to uni to have fun! :-P

Well, its been a while since i last posted something, the reason being that i was terribly busy!

I managed to finish my exam papers today and handed them for moderation.... I am still left with loads of scripts to correct.

Well on Friday, i invigilated for Avinash's Test...It was soo cool! The paper was probably one of the best i saw...a proper paper for Uni students. The questions are a bit like those in Programming with Pearls....It takes a very good understanding of the logic to implement the solution smartly. Anyways!!!!

On Saturday, i was quite busy! And i had a party to go to at night!!! Had a wicked time...as i always do at parties!

However, the best day was Sunday...my SBM mates organised an outing to Plaine-Champagnes, and Le-Mornes, and it gave me the opportunity to meet those old folks (they are young however!) The whole Ops Team from Level 4 was there as well as SBM support, and my dear 'Kaspikan'! Elle se reconnaitra!

When we arrived at Plaine- Champagne, we all rushed to the trees bu twe had to venture quite far in the forest to get the 'Goyaves de Chine', one of the girls got stung by a wasp!!! Poor Wasp!

I managed to get a couple of goyaves and that was enough to satisfy me!

We all got in the bus and headed to Le Morne! The 'ambiance' the bus was very cool!

Though it was hot inside the bus we were well-equipped with 'Cans of the Mythic bird' and

The view was wicked! Have a look at the pictures below: My Nikon 4600 is amazing:

We were singing and teasing (no need to tell who was leading!!!) Then when we got there! As usual. i watched Montagne Le Morne and thought about the slaves, i even sang Sega Le Morne in the bus (its my favourite).
Then we had lunch, drank coconut water and headed home!!! I was tired!

On Sunday, the Programme La mer organised by the some Uni Colleagues was cool! Except that (a usual) only (some of) the youngest members (Avi n co., Bahamas 1908, Pascal, Spiderman and Raj.....i am preserving their anonymity...lol!!!) were there, may be we should add a clause in the invitation (Avi, you know which one i am talking about..)

I bought a brand new Volleyball and while playing on the beach, i accidentally hit an old lady on the head (i hope this would put her ideas in place!) the ball ended up in tents, near people... I think people are safer when we are in our offices behind our laptops and PCs.
The we played UNO and dominos and knocked out some 'Cold cans of the mythic bird' 'La Chaleur Oblige'. The consequence was that we had to go to the toilet...well i was shocked!

I wonder what idiot wrote this down....he has made a 'faute d'orthographe': Les contravenant seront traduit en justice.

If he did French till CPE and passed, he would have realised that he should have written: Les contravenant seront traduits en justice. Lets just call that erreur de frappe: this term is trendy these days!

Anyways, the dialog of the day!

'Anou all boire ene la biere cotte Ya-Oune'...Slip of the tongue, isn't it Avi, ki zaffer ine cause sa hein???

We then went to Raj's place for a 'visite de courtoisie', had a long and interesting chat with Spiderman n co! lol...

Avinash and I decided that we should give the Nobel Prize (thx mandela!) to the guy who invented/discovered the 'Mythic Bird'.....he should be given the G.O.S.K title, i think he deserves it more than many other ppl who already have this 'badge'.

Then went home, and when i woke up this morning, check the view!

Then got ready and off i went to work!
I gave the students a lovely assignment today!!! Simulation of Harbour Traffic using queues! I hope they enjoy it! Let's make them use their brains a bit more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Disappointing or Worrying?

Hi all,
As usual the results of the last poll,

26 % chose Yes
73 % chose No.

Now the cause of the choice for the title of this posting!

As you are aware, I 'teach' Programming Methodology, and since i had already informed the students about the fact that they might be having a test in the lab in week one, i decided to give them the test yesterday...

I took a question from a past exam paper off a colleague and gave that question as a test. It must be understood that the question was one of three give in a three hour test. The students were give two hours to complete that very first question, and out of 15 (the remaining 15 bunked), only four managed to finish it on time. The others ...well no comments.... I was even shocked by the attitude of some students who were chilling out in the lab probably present only because of the shade and air-conditioning in the lab...because obviously, they were not working - or even pretending to work.

The situation is alarming. I know that some students are working hard, but are they working hard enough. I believe that if a Computer Science students is having problems with Programming Methodology- he will have major difficulties in Year 2 whereby 75 % of the modules do involve programming in one way or the other.

Being quite cross at the outcome of my test, i was talking about it to the Florist of the faculty... and he wisely pointed out that the students nowadays are not what they used to be. Now most of them are over-pampered brats, who have been spoon-fed throughout their life, they come to uni because its is fashionable to do so, or their parents forced them to do so!

We have reached a point where students come to lecture halls without having read or prepared to topic, some do not even bother to print the slides... Computer Science is one of the most challenging fields where only there categories of people belong (the 3 categories not being mutually exclusive)
a. hard-workers
b. people who are passionate
c. people who are good at it (smart-workers)

Its not a field in which you study just to work at one of the Cyber-Towers.

Furthermore, yesterday was marked by Avinash's posting on his blog mentioning that he is founding a new religion and quitting his job at UoM... Well...what a big loss...best of luck founder of Avism!!!

Well since part of your blog was about religion. i might add my bit to it.
People try to mix culture and religion and this is wrong...the culture of a person include (but is not restricted to) the traditions a person follows as a result of his origin.

For instance, a mauritian, irrespective of his religion, celebrates Christmas.
An indian (from India, obviously), irrespective of his religion celebrates Divali.

For instance the culture of all Hindus in Mauritius includes the celebration of Divali. However can the same be said of all Hindus in India?

Now as i said sometimes the culture of a person can also include things done traditionally in the country of origin of that person (or his ancestor). e.g. many Hindus in Mauritius celebrate Sankranti (Le festival de la moisson), coz farmers in India pay homage to the Sun God for a good harvest... however when they indentured labourers came to Mauritius, though the situation was different, coz the harvest was not their own, they still celebrated..so culture has got an element of 'habit' i.e if your ancestor were doing it somewhere, you can perpetrate that where you are and this gets termed as your culture.

Culture can be expressed in language, dressing habit,moral and social values, music, art, cooking, means of interaction...

Now you would have realised the 'culture' is a mixture of several things. Religion however can be thought of as being more complex! However to me religion can be summed up using set-notation.

Since all religions preach one thing (Love & tolerance), they have one thing is common.

They only differ in the names they give to God/Prophets.

In my humble opinion, different religions are different sets (mathematically speaking) holding one or more names for God (as their elements).
Now some of these sets are conjoint and some others are disjoint.

Some of the fights and wars in the world are because of these different names, but didn't Shakespeare say (in Romeo and Juliet) :

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."

I wonder if i could change it to:

"What's in a name? That which we call God, by any other name would preach love and tolerance.".

I know its does not sound as good as Shakespeare..but thats a start!