Monday, August 28, 2006

Worldlink... really disappointing

I am using Worldlink cable internet, night surfing only, which means that i will get to use internet from 8:30 PM to 8:30AM and full day on Saturday. This is not the first time that my internet gets disconnected while I am surfing. The problem is I couldn't connect to internet after it gets disconnected. Now without internet, i am blogging in my notepad and will post after internet connection resumes. Last Saturday and Sunday, I couldn't use internet at all. I am greeted with a message "The remote computer didn't respond.". Now I am getting the same error message. I called for support and no one is picking up the phone. I understand that Worldlink is one of the most busiest ISPs of Kathmandu and hopefully Nepal. The system they are using is bottlenecked by the clients they are supporting. I don't see a reason why they are not doing anything to pacify their customers. Well I would have a full page complaints by now if I had jotted down every time i get a problem. I thought ok.. maybe they are doing their best. This is simply too much. Worldlink don't know how to retain their clients at all. I don't know if they assume that once client gets to their door, they won't leave. I will be more than just happy to leave them at once, without second thought. By the way Worldlink is not just losing me, they are losing everyone in my circle. Ok.. finally internet connection resumes after around 30 minutes. This is just simply intolerable.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

God and his creations...

The image below shows the newly constructed beautiful sculptures on both sides of Buddha. You can still see people working deliberately on those sculptures . I wonder how long does it take to those hard-working people to complete that. This location is behind the Soyambhu Nath Stupa. I was near that location for Paro Bhoj (party) on Aug 26, 2006, a gesture to an end of a month long Gunla, which ended last wednesday. In Gunla we have to go to Soyambhu everyday and play cultural drums. But it's not mandatory. I went only once during the entire Gunla. The crowd is unimaginably huge at Soyambhu, the entire month.

I am very touched to see two little girls scrubbing the stairs to the Buddha above, in the rain with people walking every now and then. These little girls looked to be content with what they are doing, at least to me. I just wonder if they have ever been to school. It seems that the so called God is indifferent to his little creations.

2 Evenings at Bangalore

I was in Bangalore for 4th International GPLv3 Conference on 23th and 24th Aug 2006. I didn't want to miss RMS (Richard Stallman, Chairman and founder of fsf, and a very famous personality). That was one of the major reasons why I was there. Unfortunately I missed his session due to flight problems. Never trust flying in air. I missed my flight on 22nd Aug from Delhi to Bangalore. I had to stay a night at Delhi.

My first impression of Bangalore is it's a huge, crowded city, and pretty much expensive compared to Kathmandu. The biggest disadvantage for its hugeness is you need at least 30 minutes to go to anywhere. The problem gets even bigger when you have to travel at evening, especially if you don't own a vehicle. The public vehicles, (there are mostly autos in the city), don't agree to go to any crowded places and even if you finally managed to get auto-driver to agree, he would put his own rate, sometimes very high compared to actual rate. There are public buses, but only if you are the experienced locals, with climbing and hanging skills. Certainly walking in streets like MG roads, Brigade road is interesting, with lots of bright lights, shinning glasses. But again if you live far from those roads, then you will have a problem getting to your place; public transport dependency is costly.

Bangalore is no doubt the information hub of India. Virtually all the big and successful IT organizations have their presence there, you name it... Microsoft, Yahoo, Oracle, IBM, Bosch, Intel, SAP to name a few...... The boom in IT sector has little to do with the overall development of the city. I have tried to catch a snap showing garbage place infront of Oracle building. I had a hard time, not to close my nose, while getting a snap in front of Oracle home. Slums, dirts, crowds, smokes are kind of glued to South-Asian countries.

Dog sitting over garbage, in an alley in front of Oracle Building, Bangalore
I didn't realize public toilets in front of Oracle Building, Bangalore
The most interesting thing that happened to me was I drank 3 glasses of lime water at 3 different places at 3 different prices, IRs 18, IRs 8, IRs 5, in chronological order. I never intended to find the cheap places. I saw a shop and asked for the lime. My friend was saying that there is one place where I would be able to get the same at IRs 4. I was already full by then. Interesting... isn't it? To be honest, IRs 18 lime water was bad compared to the other two. There's one restaurant where if you stand up you would get the food at half the price than you would get while sitting. And of course there's a table where you can place your food while standing. Anyways that's a huge price to pay for a seat.

I am not talking about Bangalore McDonnalds. I am sure they won't have such variable rates for their customers. I just had two evenings to roam around Bangalore, the entire day being spent at the conference at IIMB. Obviously I couldn't visit every corner of Bangalore. I am wondering how the order parts of the huge Bangalore are like.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

READ Nepal...Excellent job!!!

I just read that READ Nepal bagged $1 million Gates Foundation Award in the himalayan times online. READ (Rural Education and Development) Nepal has in fact done an excellent job in installing libraries in various remote locations of Nepal. They have built 39 community libraries as illustrated here. This page explains about a little procedures of library development. The success of the project is the sustainability of the community library by the locals themself, with timely visits by READ. Their work is indeed the genuine recipient of the Gates Award.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Knowledge Vs. Information

I have never thought of differentiating these 2 words. After reading article in ICIMOD newletter 47, I realized the difference. Information and knowledge are quite different things. People often intermix these words.

Knowledge is the ability to take effective actions. This means that just making infromation available is not enough - to become knowledge, information has to be able to have some kind of effect.

The story from Maharastra, India (in the article) gives a clear example of why knowledge and information are different entities.

What I preceive from this article is that Information is the raw material and knowledge is the product of the proper use of this raw material. Information, in itself, does have no use at all, unless people transform information into knowledge ie putting information into practice.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dobhase - English Nepali Translation Tool

Well I was very elated to read news on the daily paper about the dobhase software, . It was funded by Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme under ICT R&D grant. For more details on the project proposal, click here. I tried few simple sentences, it was readable. But for webpage texts, it was illegible. The site claims that there are currently 22000 words supported by the translator. There's still a lot to work on for the more accurate and practical translation. I suppose people won't be translating simple sentences like "my name is ...", "how are you?". The web contents are pretty much complex. The attempt to start the project is indubitably praiseworthy. I hope to see this translator working fluently in the near future. All the best to the Dobhase development team.