Archive for August, 2009

Kite, Arrow and Memristor: Breakthroughs of 125 Years of IEEE

August 29, 2009

It was heartening to see IEEE President Dr John Vig releasing this book today morning (August 29, 2009) in Bangalore. The book is authored by 7th Grade kid Mr. Anshul Roy of Ahmedabad, India!

Using a simple style of 1-page for every one of the 125 years, the book is tastefully done.

I was so thrilled to see the unassuming author and his proud mother; got the book autographed by the author. Hope to see him as M Tech student ten years from now!

Bangalore launch of the book “The long revolution – The birth and growth of Indian IT Industry” by Dinesh Sharma

August 28, 2009

It was nice to be with the celebrity author yesterday in the book release function at Crossword Bookstore.

Dr Seshagiri, ex DG of NIC and considered one of the key architects of the 1984-89 computer revolution (and also nick named “Rajiv Gandhi’s Computer Boy”) talked about some unknown stories coming to light, thanks to the book; for example, contrary to what many believe ,the liberalized computer import policy was finalized by Mrs Gandhi in 1984; she could not live to see the policy see the light of the day; and Rajiv Gandhi only announced it on her birthday (Nov 19, 1984) after Indira Gandhi’s tragic death on October 31, 1984.

Dr Ramachandra Guha, the renowned historian talked of his Foundation funding key book writing projects that focus on the history of post-independent India. His observation that history in India got frozen at the mid-night of Aug 14, 1947 (when India obtained Independence) was a deep observation. I am glad Guha and Nandan Nilekani are addressing the issue through such book writing projects. May their tribe multiply!

I only talked of the pleasant surprises in the book; “long” revolution emphasizing the deep roots going back to 50’s (unlike many youngsters who think that Indian IT is only post Y2K), history book being so “lively to read” and the author giving a scholastic touch to the book (instead of a journalists’ account).

It was an enjoyable evening at Crossword Bookstore

Apple releases Snow Leopard – the new version of its OS

August 28, 2009

Today (Aug 28, 2009) saw the release of Snow Leopard (most Apple products releases happen on Friday). 

Costing just $ 29, the OS according to Apple is a smaller footprint O/S that is fast, has less bugs and makes many features more efficient (and NOT add a single feature).

Many analysts welcome the release that takes less disk space, takes just about 15-30 minutes to upgrade, makes many programs load much faster and hopefully more stable; the relative low cost of the upgradre (generally around $ 100) was the most welcome move.

Will Microsoft Windows 7 too take the clue and make it fast, smaller foot print and low cost (say $ 29) upgrade?

It will be interesting to watch

Phatak gets “Water Prize”

August 17, 2009

Dr Bindeshwar Phatak famous for his “Sulabh Movement” and “Sulabh Souchalay” was named the winner of Stockholm Water Prize for the year 2009. The announcement was made today (aug 17, 2009)

Hailing from Patna, Dr Phatak demonstrates the fact that one can innovate even in unusual places like “dirty toilets”

The water efficient Sulabh toilets numbering more than 1.2 million across India truly changed rural sanitation; His 7,500 strong “pay and use” toilets serve nearly 10 million users every year; by using just 1.5 liters in place of 10 liters of water for every flush, Dr Phathak’s toilets save a lot of water too