Linus Torvalds

Linus is often portrayed as a reckless success. Wired is running an article on how Open Source development processes for the Linux Kernel are going to change. Even they are going to have to take a few extra measures now to establish the lineage of every module.

Hackers and Artists

Thats the subject of Paul Grahams new book!

The books home page

I always knew coding was a creative outlet too!

What struck me the most was the following:
“For a long time I felt bad about this, just as I once felt bad that I didn’t hold my pencil the way they taught me to in elementary school. If I had only looked over at the other makers, the painters or the architects, I would have realized that there was a name for what I was doing: sketching. As far as I can tell, the way they taught me to program in college was all wrong. You should figure out programs as you’re writing them, just as writers and painters and architects do.”

Surprisingly, I felt that interviewers on the other hand expect you to get it right on both the design and algorithmic level at the first try. Only one interviewer actually offered me an opportunity to ‘sketch’ on a real ‘easel’ (Eclipse). So thats 3 people who feel differently.

Amit Bhojwani

I found another familiar personality on the web today. Amit Bhojwani is one of the first few people I met in this unfamiliar land, apart from Airport security 🙂 and his friends who I met outside the airport.

Amit asked his friend Satyam and Shashank to help get Mithun and I from the Airport. Amit and Mithun go back a long way, to their days in Vincents I think. In any case, Amit offered to let us stay at his place since we did not have a place of our own yet. Before the week was out, Amit had helped us get setup and on track with settling in Rochester and attending RIT.

On the particular day, Amit had some issues with Java. I eagerly offered to assist Amit. However, I was so bummed out because of jet lag, I think my brain just shrunk down into my stomach. Not a great way to start a friendship, but I think I did my best.

Lately, I have been feeling much of the same, I just refuse to think, starting to feel very shallow and listless.

Amit replies (and I swear he was not a bad host):

###################

:)bus kya beedu….I'm flattered…a post about me on a fellow sindhi's website, which I must say is v v cool.

I feel bad that I was such a horrible host to you guys when you first landed. I was wound up with work during that month, and in retrospect I'm sure I came across as a wee bit snobish. Your JAVA knowledge, even though it came from a jet lagged soul was more than I knew then anyways….so I appreciate all your help dude..and once again apologize for not be of more contsuctive help then…

Cheers to cool Sindhis in Rottenchester;)

Stock Markets take a bashing

More than Rs 2 lakh crore were lost in the crash at the Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday. Thousands were ruined. Some lost their life�s savings and some a portion of their portfolio. The Sensex lost 556 odd points in a days trading and had to close prematurely to stem the loss.

I am sure no one expected this.

Information, Silence and Sanctuary? For Sanity of Course!

Wired is running an article on how the CS people are dealing with Information OVerload.

My favourite quote:
“The idea for the conference began when graduate students told Levy over and over that they felt like technology was taking over their lives, and that their studies often felt shallow because they were supposed to produce work so quickly.

“What I heard from my students was that they didn’t feel like they could dig into any subject,” he said.”

Master’s in C.S.

I think I have finally burnt out! So I must use hindsight.

These have been 4 tough months. Unlike India, where work was interjected with other concerns and occasional play, all I have done lately is work single-mindedly on my thesis and make a fair attempt to build my career. This usually takes up my whole day, 7 days a week, all days of the month.

Coupled with a surely too disciplined focus, things are starting to fall apart around me. Summer pay has been refused and I am going to have to draw out my savings. As if that was not bad enough, the heat wave is taking a toll on my overall well-being. If I stick to the basics, plan goals well, stay motivated, work smart, I am sure I will make the deadlines.

I like to think that I think I made it quite far in terms of balancing the discipline that is the hallmark of the west, and my hard working background. I was never born with much, neither did I have too less, lucky in that respect.

In the movie 'A House of Sand and Fog' the protagonist, aptly played by Ben Kingsley, is of Iranian origin. His slight contempt for the American way of life is evident from his quote, from the movie: "Americans have the eyes of little children, always distracted by the next toy that they see. They don't want to have any of the responsibility". I think he is being a little too harsh. He fails to highlight the other end of the spectrum.

I acknowledge that I would not trade my experience in RIT for a Master's in any other school outside the USA. One late evening with Rishabh and Arun while travelling through the University District in Seattle, I vehemently argued that a Master's here is not worth all the sacrifice. I acknowledge that I was wrong! It's not just education that people come seeking here, it is something a lot bigger than that, it is the opportunity to be all you can be.

My judgement was obscured by broken promises made by a few others, who I will most likely forget with time. I forgot that in the end, this society is built around the individual. Thus, in the end what your share is, is exactly what your willing to work for, to build for yourself. Selfish, but factual.

A few farewells have been said, Vin & Vis are graduating. Vishal graduated, having defended his thesis. I wish Vineet all the best with the future.

Almost 2 years at RIT, tonight is Senior Night…

My Master's were the 2 years where I gained the most value in all my life. The end is finally in sight, I don't have to wonder where I am going to be. Especially since, I am already on my way.