Those Hideous Monsters…

So I go to attempt the first proper open-book exam of my life. And by the experience of the open-book quiz and mid-term, I am not liking it. How can someone from our desi education system be prepared for an open-book exam? It just doesn’t make sense! What is an exam if you don’t have to rattafy things? When you don’t have to make funny-sounding acronyms of points? How do you even cheat on an open-book exam?!!!

They are snatching away my innocence from me, by subjecting me to this hideous torture. They are depriving me of my most cherished things, my memories, and are subjecting me to think and come up with logical answers to questions posed. They want me to lose my eloquence and write with succinct stub-like statements. They want me to leave behind my grand ideals and concentrate on the exam at hand, not to pepper any answers with gems of brilliance!

They are missing a chance to really see a genius at work. They are missing a chance to find out what truly a masterpiece an exam paper could be. They are missing out, really!

What’s the world coming to?!

PS: If you are still with me, wish me luck 😉


Question of the day

How do you fry an egg if you’ve run out of cooking oil?

Use butter?


Though I moved from Blogger quite a while ago, but just for old times’ sake I had kept my account active. For those who are new to this blog, I maintained a blog at Blogger quite some time, which can still be found here. I have now decided to turn into the technical version of LifeDotCom, aptly titled (Tech)LifeDotCom.
(I believe that’s apt enough, don’t know what you guys would think.)

Initially I wanted a separate dynamic page on this WordPress blog, but it only allows you to have static pages, if you need. Means you can have only one blog-like dynamic page and several static pages (which you can see if you look at the top of this page). So putting posts on a static page in the manner of a blog was a major pain in the backside, which was gawking at me. The solution I finally arrived on? Reuse Blogger.

I gather that Blogger has quite mended its ways with the glitches that were apparent in the Beta stage. So (Tech)LifeDotCom would mainly contain some thoughts about the tech landscape, with some snippets of code, and possibly (some) full-fledged tutorials. I only wanted to build a repository of snippets and thoughts and efficient ways of (technically) doing things which would be accessible to me, but I realize that shunning the community on little goodies is not a good thing. I wouldn’t promise to update that blog as regularly as I do this one (does that mean never at all?), but I’ll be posting updates now and then.

Most of the people that (still) read my blog are not technical at all, but hey, I updated the brief description at the top!

My Something Worthwhile…

Before coming to Singapore, when I was free in my last days in Karachi after leaving my job, I was involved for a while in the redesign of A major part of the overhaul was the new section of ApnaKarachi Maps which provide street-level maps of the city of Karachi. I was in charge of developing the back end of the maps section and as well as managing the people involved in it. We planned to finish and deploy the site for the public before I’d leave for Singapore, but tweaks here and there made maps a little late. I completed the major chunk of the work when I was in Pakistan, and while in Singapore I generally just made things work accommodating the “wish list”.

The ApnaKarachi Maps are now live for sometime now. The site itself has been redesigned and different sections added to it. Its now “bigger and better” in the true sense.

The basic motivation behind the Maps was that Pakistan per se doesn’t have any worthwhile representation in major map sites like Google or Yahoo! Maps, so we intended to provide that kind of information and facility to our people. We have just started with Karachi, other cities would definitely on the way.

As everybody knows that I’m a pretty unassuming guy and I generally don’t do any kind of self-embellishment, but the purpose of this post is to solicit feedback and ideas to make the Maps better and more useful. It’s seldom that we do something worthwhile for our country/people, and while such an initiative is going on and you can be a part of it, then you must.

Please also spread the word around. This service is solely provided for the benefit of people, so the more people use it, the more we would be in the position to improve it.

PS: Don’t forget to say some nice words to me!


During the Decision Making Technologies lecture:

Lecturer: “Modification of EBP Algorithm… blah blah we can use Hessian-based methods which is like the Newton algorithm. Anybody remembers Newton’s algorithm from Calculus classes?”

Blank stares. Nobody flinches. Smiles creep out after a while.

Lecturer: “Okay, so as you would remember Newton’s algorithm had one value to blah blah *random crap* blah, we have Hessian to blah *again some random crap* blah blah. We’ll talk about it later.”

Don’t you just love these moments?

A Poem by a Black Kid

Got it through a forwarded mail. Simply brilliant.

When I born, I black
When I grow up, I black
When I go in Sun, I black
When I scared, I black
When I sick, I black
And when I die, I still black
And you white fellow
When you born, you pink
When you grow up, you white
When you go in sun, you red
When you cold, you blue
When you scared, you yellow
When you sick, you green
And when you die, you grey
And you calling me colored??


Elections, Selections?

After getting pretty much pissed off at Geo live streaming which I am simply starting to detest, I tried checking out the election results online. Pretty much to my horror, the first result on Google is about Politics of Yemen from Wikipedia. The second result is from some apparent “seer” who tries to predict future events and had written something about the elections on his blog a few days back.

At first glance, the first page of results doesn’t look really promising. There is this link with the title of Pakistan Elections 2008 results, but you know how search engines work and you definitely check out the full link of the result; which apparently is results2002.php. So that result should go in the bin also but a little probing reveals that it is supposed to be a valid website with current results (I think so).

The whole motivation for this post was that people around the world aren’t generally taking interest in elections of our little homeland. Checking out Google Trends for the phrase “pakistan elections” tells you promptly that:

“Your terms – pakistan elections – do not have enough search volume to show graphs.

I feel that it’s only being treated like a chutti in Pakistan. I mean, even Benazir Bhutto assassination made it to the top searches in Google at least for that day. No such thing for elections. Nobody is interested in our elections. We don’t even have a proper website for elections. Okay there may be a proper website but its not Web 2.0. Its not glossy and shiny. Even the Pakistani population is not checking the results out online. It all comes down to the same conclusion: farcical elections.

Let’s see what happens when results are really consolidated. Who gets in and who is being kicked out. Who would become the master of a volatile nation, if its not decided already.

We are not cool…