Monday, November 21, 2011

Resurrection of MINIX

Remember MINIX? The one that was developed by Andrew Tanenbaum. The one that triggered Monolithic vs Microkernel debate. The one that had better design and more robust than Linux but lost its ground to the other.

After 2000 itself, the entire project has been made available with BSD license. But now it is moving in a direction that seems to be fitting in current scenario.

The team is now trying to port the programs and drivers from BSD systems and sooner or later, there will be a friendly userland. But the best part is, this will be the microkernel alternative for the available Linux and BSD kernels.

As processing power is an issue of yesterday, let us see how the battle, that was abandoned two decades ago is going to be fought in near future!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Do You Really Need It?

There are lot of people out there buying new or upgrading their computers now and then. The craze about iDevices, fancy laptops, count of processor cores, size of hard disk, Windows' version number and the list never ends. But let me ask you few questions.

1. How many years it has been since you got your own computer at home (your dad's/brother's/sister's too count)?

2. How many hours you spend before computer everyday (if your work involves computer, don't include those hours)?

3. Out of that how much you spend on learning things, writing code, blogging, participating in technical discussions, creating any form of art etc? (anything productive matters, don't brag about posting in forums about your favorite actor)

4. How many programming languages you know? (computers are meant to be programmed, they are not toys to play or bioscopes to watch movies)

5. How many different operating systems you are familiar with (don't count various version numbers of same OS)?

6. If money is not a constraint, which will be your choice: A laptop that just works out of the box or a computer which you yourself assemble and set-up from the scratch?

7. Have you written any hobby program? At least those you learned in school/college?

8. Have you at least used your computer to maintain simple accounts like milk/newspaper/laundry?

9. What is the ratio between the number of mp3s and eBooks in your machine?

10. List out 20 site you mostly visit (I know some can't even make it to 20, still) and see what is the core purpose of the sites you visit?

I have not asked these questions to show-off. But please consider these things before you spend LOT of money again on a new laptop or to upgrade your graphic card just to play a new game! It is your money, your wish. But think!

Are you going to spoil your kids with Flash games and Youtube? If you want to teach your kids computer, teach them to type, teach them to code. A computer with just text interface is sufficient (that was the way we learned computers in early 1990s). If we ourselves are spoiled and drifted away from the main intention of computers, then think what will be case with kids who learn to watch porn even before they hit double digit age?

Computer like any other scientific invention, is designed to make our lives easier, so that we can spend the time in other productive works/things. They are not intended to make us lazy. They are made to bring our imaginations in to tangible forms. Not to waste our time in watching what others are doing. They are made to solve tough problems and provide solutions. Not to create newer ones with even harder solutions.

I never saw no miracle of science
didn't go from a blessing to a curse -Sting