Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lolipop (Android v5) on Oppo Find 7(QHD)

NOTE: I am not responsible for any physical damage or loss of *imporatant* data or for wasting your *precious* time. Strictly use the info provided at your own risk.

Oppo caught my eye because of the developer friendliness of the forums. And it is good that it comes recommended by various devs out at XDA. If anybody visits their forums, they would be shocked to see that the custom roms are allowed to be uploaded and discussed about equivalent to their own color os. Now, there are some glaring issues with the device

1. No unified memory(Yes, this is something many of the major brand phone users dont understand. This is becuase all their phones have unified memory). search the public network for more on this.
2. The color OS from oppo is still at JB in its stable version.
3. There is not ETA regarding the upgrade of the phone to KK or lolipop

So, what do we have here?  We have a phone with excellent hardware specs(This is pretty relative since the specs area a moving target), Good build quality and QHD resulution. The display is crisp and clear.

As concerns cooking of custom roms, oppo helps the third party devs a lot and also showers them with free devices to aid them in development. Another plus is that your warranty is not void if you flash a custom rom until you dont damage a hardware component in the process

The roadblocks in development/cooking of custom roms are

1. No Kernel sources(were available, now removed)
2. No blob bundles(as provided by sony)

But, still devs have been succesful in cooking up custom roms and have succesfully built lolipop roms using jelly bean blobs and other pieces from one plus one. So the result is we have working Lolipop roms from Nameless(based on cm) and omni. Both the forums are very active and what rom is chosen is just based on personal preference. Nameless is a bit senior here.

Getting down to business let us see how to flash custom roms on the find 7. There are various roms based on KK for the find 7(CM, PA(official device status), Nameless and many more). The general procedure to be followed can be summarized as below

1. connect the phone with coloros. In windows it will prompt for installing software of the phone. Install it. This will install the necessary drivers.
2. Shut down the phone
3. Press the up volume and power button until the phone vibrates
4. The phone will display "fastboot..." exactly at the centre of the screen
5. Connect the phone to your computer
6. Wait for windows to install the necessary fastboot drivers(required only once, later phone will be recognized immediately)
7. Open terminal . Go to the folder where you have your adb and fastboot executables
8. Run "fastboot devices"
9. This should return a serial number
10. copy the twrp and coloros recovery and rename them aptly into the folder with fastboot and adb executables
11. flash the twrp recovery run "fastboot flash recovery twrp....img"
12. unmount the phone
13. shut down the phone
14. Hold the down volume button and press the power button together until the phone vibrates
15. You will boot to twrp
16. Backup the present coloros and reboot
17. Boot the phone into coloros
18. shut down the phone
19. Press the down volume button and the power button until the phone vibrates
20. if you boot into the coloros recovery it is fine. Otherwise follow the steps from 2 to 13. But use the coloros_recovery.img in the fastboot command
21. Flash coloros v1.2.5
22. This is the version with the modem which plays well with all the custom roms out there.
23. shut down the phone
24. follow the steps from 2 to 13 and flash twrp........img
25. step 14 and 15
26. From now on you know the drill of installing a custom rom(Before installing any custom rom or coming back to color os from custom rom, do a standard wipe(cache, data, dalvik cache))
27. For me paranoid android was of choice for the find 7. The major reason is it being maintained as the "official" device
28. The other major reason being that their releases are sedate and minimal.
29. As for other things on PA check out a video made available on the oppo forums regarding PA on find 7 QHD.

PS:- You can try out the cm12 from a chinese developer and he is making regular releases. It is a nice release and you can contine to use it until you like lolipop and CM starts making official nightlies. Be ready for gotchas when you install custom roms. Kernel sources are not available, all blobs are not available. There may be issues with your phone. But, then, you know the risks.

You are now finished with trying and playing with custom roms and now want to return to stock. Just restore the backup you earlier made. Flash back the color os recovery. You are now ready to recieve OTA's from oppo.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mahindra Scorpio Sle, My drive.

Well, now that I have got my vehicle let me drive it my way(A pun on sachin tendulkar's line "Now that I am captain, Let me do it my way").

1. The stance: The way the vehicle stands on the road is majestic. I don't think mahindra is going to change any of the exteriors. There are no sharp corners like the XUV(That is the major reason i dislike it and also the stance is that of a traditional SUV. We have many with similar looks on the road) All the corners are contoured and rounded. Sufficient bonnet length to make the driver feel safer. I don't know the effectiveness of the crumple zone but, here i will take mahindra's word. The way it lunges forward is awesome.

2. The indicators are clearly visible. But I thought that the rear indicators throughout the height of the vehicle are a little too much. I have seen a lot of scorpios with the tail lights painted black for the top half and I liked the way the vehicle looked at the rear after this. Would I get it done, I don't know for now.

3. The road clearance is ample but a bit lesser than the LX which does not come with the claddings all around. Trust me, the claddings are required. Climbing the vehicle can be daunting for people used to smaller cars and the steps all around the vehicle attached to the claddings are very much a requirement.

4. The extra moolah spent on the chequered flag sticker is really well spent. It provides a sense of class to the vehicle and breaks the mundane white throughout the vehicle.

5. The front grill is good but it can still be perfected and be made a bit meaner.

6. Step on the driver seat and the feel is elated and elevated both at the same time and is more so for people coming from driving small cars. All of a sudden you will be seeing the road with a different look. The vision clear and lucid. The driver height which is a major feature of any SUV is spot on. The seats are comfortable. But there is definitely lot of scope of improvement. The steering wheel is nice and with angular adjustment, that is the only degree of freedom for the driver. Seats cannot be adjusted. The height of the steering wheel cannot be adjusted. Turn back from the drive seat and have a look at the space. It will be a shocker.

7. The cabin space is as large as a standard room. If you go for the captain seats, the amount of air flow in the cabin is going to surprise you. Don't go for lighter colors for the seats you will regret it. Particularly with kids moving around the space available. It is very easy to change seats with the captain seat configuration. Believe me there will be lot of movement between     the inmates. The largess of your vehicle is clearly visible when you reverse your vehicle and you see the awesome distance between your seat and the rear end of your car.

8. The rear seats are for kids and shorter people only. With the adjustment available in the captain seat configuration, the middle seat can be adjusted for ultimate comfort or for medium comfort based on whether we have people in the rear seat.

9. Driving the vehicle requires lot more effort than the usual small cars. Especially in city traffic, you can get really tired. The hyper-vibrating gear knob does not help at all. The long travel clutch pedal is also a hindrance while driving in city conditions. Make sure you have lengthy legs to drive the scorpio for the long travel of the clutch pedal. The first half travel of the clutch pedal does not do anything. The action starts from above half the travel of the clutch pedal.

10. Long drives, huh, you have the perfect vehicle. I had a lot of trouble keeping the vehicle between 60-80 Kph. It will easily slip into 120 kph once you engage the fifth gear. I have decided to drive the vehicle within this band so as to keep the RPM below 2000 for at least 2000 Km.

11. Braking is nice and ABS works perfect. I am new to this ABS thing and I like the grace it gives to the vehicle during braking.

12. The way the spare tyre was positioned got me thinking. What was going throughout the designer's head at that time. I thought that they forgot completely about the spare tyre and then decided the position as an after-thought. The sales person was explaining the way to remove the spare tyre from under the rear and I was really amused. Much smaller and cheaper cars have awesome placing of the spare tyre. Terribly disappointed at this aspect of the scorpio.

13. Mileage, forget it. Don't ask me. It really hurts here. My monthly spending will be doubled.

14. Does this vehicle rock? It rocks like a boat. Even small humps when negotiated on one of the tyres rocks the vehicle sideways. It takes a considerable amount of time for this movemet to be dampened. People driving high end cars will definitely be put off by this aspect of the scorpio. The vehicle rocks length wise also when you negotiate a hump all of a sudden. This vehicle definitely rocks(rolls and yaws)!!!!!!!!!!!. Drive the vehicl smooth and slow over any undulations in the road.

15. Dont use the hand brake frequently. It will lose its capability and the stroke of the hand brake is very much limited. Keep it for situations which really demand it. Park the vehicle with first or the reverse gear engaged(This is recommended in the manual also).

16. Idylling generates lot of sound. After driving a little the sound reduces during movement.

17. The scropio has gone through many revisions. The way I look at it, the revisions have been in the form of retro-fits. I have never seen a vehicle with that many wirings out in the open. I just looked beneath my seat and I saw lot of wirings below the driver seat as well as the middle row. These thing happen only because of retro-fits. Hope that the next avataar of the scorpio is a really re-designed one and not a retro-fitted one.

18. Since the remote central locking does not close the windows automatically(If they are open while you alight from the vehicle), I was informed by the sales guy that a retro-fit (here we go again)  to this effect is in the works and may be available in a couple of months.

Summary :-

I love my drive. "Its the driver. Not the drive", is it?  What's the driver without his drive? Huh............

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My experiences while buying the Mahindra scorpio SLE

Since the day, Mahindra put up the advertisement of the Scorpio brand, I was hooked to the vehicle. Whenever it passed me it would definitely get a lookup. What were the factors for my fascination for this vehicle?
1. Awesome bullish looks
2. Amount of space in the cabin
3. Various seating arrangements, that too, factory fitted
4. The name of the car is spot on.
5. Horse powers at our disposal
6. Indian car
7. The longevity of the brand. It has never gone out of style
8. The cost, Simply perfect
9. No other SUV in the segment

                   Called Anant cars and was given an option of the test drive at my convenience. The car for the test drive was a fully loaded vlx with captain seats. The first and primary requirement was to check the park ability of the vehicle in the front of my house. I just requested the driver to park in the space provided. It is a space between a tree and the wall of our house. The tree is not to be disturbed. I was shocked that the car could be parked. I was parking a Maruti swift in the same place. But, I thought the driver was more elegant in parking. I did not take the risk of parking it and I don't think the driver would have allowed me to try with the test vehicle. Let us see how I will do in the parking test once I take the delivery of my car.

                 Once the parking issue has been resolved, the next thing was the amount of air/space in the vehicle. My son was absolutely elated with the amount of space in the car. He was used to sitting in one single position in my swift. Here, because of the captain seat layout, you can literally walk throughout the length of the car. The captain seats are very comfortable. It is like having 4 driver seats in the car. The hand rests on the seats add to the comfort feel. Once you feel tired of sitting it is time to have a nap on the fixed third row seat. All the baggage can be put up at the back of the third row or important ones can be accommodated in the area between the captain seats. The seating position of both the drivers and passengers are optimally high. Provides a clear view of the road. The drive was comfortable and the horse powers are just waiting to be utilized. The road presence is next only to the fortuner.

Once the test drive was over, the captain seat configuration was chosen. Now to plan for the finances

                Planning for the finances took a month. Then called the sales rep for booking the car. A shock awaited me. The scorpio SLE is not available with the captain seat configuration, bummer. I was completely bogged down with this piece of information. Immediately my mind started thinking about the second hand car market and to buy a second hand vlx version. But then, the sales rep called some people in his showroom and told that the configuration can be setup once the car arrives at the showroom and it will be done by the service team right here. I did not want to go into details about how this will be done. So, the bottom line is that you can get an SLE with captain seats if you want one. Now, People at Anant cars, on Mysore road are sitting ducks. They could not answer a simple question related to the seating arrangements. They were not clear whether the captain seats can be slid along the length of the vehicle so as to adjust the leg room on the second row.

                  It was now time for accessories. My first requirement was the roof mounted blower. Here the sales rep appraised me that my seat configuration does not require this accessory since there is a gap in the second row and the AC vents are ample enough. I saw the logic in this and removed the accessory from my list. I would suggest this accessory for anybody going for the 8 seater version. It is required. Anyhow, just for information I asked him the cost and wait............. INR 30K approx. OMG...........

                   Next came the seat covers. Genuine leather was out of budget, so out of question. I settled for fake leather which was in my swift and is still going strong after 5 years. Color of the seats will definitely be beige based and still have not decided about going for two tone or a single color. Anyhow, color department is headed by wifey, so I will not discuss more about it. Seat covers with a millimetre of foam was selected. The design had lot of diamonds in the back support portion which provided air gaps. And of course, it is gsport.

                   I have been accused of creating imbalance in my music system on my swift. I had Blaukpunkt headset and JVC speakers. They were out of sync. High end music processor, Lowest end speaker setup. This time, I told the sales rep that I want a balanced, middle of the road combo of head unit and matching its capability speakers. I am not interested in the fancy lights, touchscreens and the 2 DINs. They are too flashy and not worth the money in these days of cheap android tablets. So the HU selected was PIONEER 4690-BT. It has front aux-in, front USB, Bluetooth with profiles for music playback and Phone calls. Other options available are MTP connectivity/Ipod Iphone connectivity, which in my opinion is a joke.

                Just imagine browsing the gigantic collection one has on the iphones/androids throgh the arcane interface of the HU(Such a wastage of money for these options). Speakers are JBL CS63SI for the front and JBL GT949 for the rear. WIth scorpio we have issues regarding the placing of speakers. The front speakers are all right. They go into the front doors. Trouble start with the other two speakers. The options available are to place the two speakers individually in wooden housing in the luggage area OR place the speakers in the rear door. Since the luggage area is minimal in majority of the 7 or 8 seaters. It was decided to put the other speakers within the rear door. But if the rear is slush with luggage, I dont know what will be the speaker output.

                 The next accessory is the Rain visor. This will cover the sides of the windows allowing the occupants to open the glass a little during rainy days. The visors create a problem if it is put for the rear window also. The rear window opens "out". It is not of the sliding type. This opening out of the window is obstructed if a rain visor is put for the rear window also. So, ruled against it. It was chosen only for the front and the middle doors.

              Being a Mechanical Engineer, a NO-NO for bull bars. The bullbars nullify the impact absorption capability of the vehicle. People should know, they are more safe if the vehicle completely crumples in the front portion during any accident. This shows that the impact of the accident has been absorbed by the crumple zone structure. The bull bar does not absorb any of the shocks and are directly transferred to the inmates of the vehicle, hurting them more.

             Now comes an accessory which is going to take everybody by surprise. The decal sticker on the vlx. The race chequered flag inspired graphics. Wifey was adamant and particularly wanted that on our SLE. The cost, wait for it................. is INR 7k. Well, that was the only demand from wifeys side, so ,it had to be met.

           Now, comes the Car Loan portion. I was very clear in my mind that the loan would be from a Nationalized bank and the same was conveyed to the sales team.

1. CIBIL score. This will be used by the bank to know your creditability.
2. If your CIBIL score is bad be ready with the documents for both husband and wife.
3. Normally loan will be disbursed with the capability of the applicant only, if there is a good cibil score otherwise, husband and wife will be made joint applicants. Better to be ready with documents of both.
4. Let us see what were the documents given
a. Form 16 for the last 2 years
b. IT returns for the last 2 years
c. 6 months bank statement
d. 3 months pay slips
e. Address proof
f. ID proof
g. 7 - 10 photographs
h. ID of your present profession(Both for loan and for availing corporate discounts)
i. If u have any other loan
i1. If completed, a certificate from the bank of loan closure
i2. If loan still in force, a loan statement, which shows ur monthly loan payments with loan account number for every transaction.

                   Once the loan is sanctioned you will be hunted down by the sales people to complete the sale. The salesman visited my home in the evening of my loan disbursal and requested me to pay up the remaining amount. I was ready with the amount. The amount was counted and ........... wait for it.......... He has not bought any book or slip to acknowledge the amount. A frenzy of phone calls started. Providing me with personal guarantees, this and that and this........... The ordeal went on for 2 hours. During this time I contacted ICICI for getting a quote. In 10 minutes flat I got a quote which was 12K less. So, I showed the chat history to the sales guy and told him that I would buy insurance from him if they bettered this deal. If not I want the Engine number and the chasis number. In the mean time all the permutations and combinations were tried and then, they decided that they would get me a receipt at another showroom approx 10Kms from my house on the busy mysore road. At night 8PM I was requested to accompany the sales guy for paying the remaining amount at this showroom. The sales guy had bought a verito. In peak hour traffic we went to the showroom where there were nobody except the cashier waiting only for us. We completed the transaction and headed back. The ordeal took 1.5 hrs.

                 Next day, ICICI bombarded me with phone calls for insurance. I again called the sales guy to give me Engine and chasis number. No reply uptil 3.00PM. I had committed to the ICICI guy at 3.00 PM. Since I was not getting any response I called the senior sales guy. No reply. Continuous 5-6 rings. He shutdown his phone(And this from somebody who told that he can be contacted until the lifetime of my vehicle, Sales strategy have not changed much, have they. In production we under commit and over deliver. But I think the sales function is still traditional). Now, I was a worried man. I remembered that I had got a call from one more person making a similar claim to the senior sales person. 4 calls no reply. After 5 minutes got a call. I went all guns blazing on him. Then calmed down knowing that he is bed ridden. From his bed, this guy got the data in 5 minutes and I received an SMS. Kudos to him. In the meantime the insurance team in the showroom could not match the quote I received. That too, the insurance provider was the same in both the cases. Came home completed the insurance formalities online aided by the ICICI guy over phone and chat. Immediately the policy was sent to my mail-id. There ends my tryst with insurance.

                While studying the handout given to me during the time of booking, I saw that the insurance is a document which is to be provide to the RTO for the registration process. Immediately mailed the soft copy of the insurance to the sales person.

The discounts given out to me
1. Extended warranty for two years worth 15,169/-
2. Cash discount of INR 7,500/-
3. Corporate discount(Depending on your profession)
4. Free floor mats
5. Free Idol
6. Free perfume
7. Free mudflaps

                 All this with Mahindra and Mahindra going gaga over their website shouting on the top of their voice that there is a discount of upto INR 60,000/-. The website does not tell anything regarding the breakup of the discounts. So, it is practically impossible to argue with the showrooms. Anything is asked you will be told that it is not for this model. So, the "upto 60,000" is a myth. Whatever, take qoutes from all the dealers to find out about this.

                 Coming to buying an insurance, you have to be pretty careful here. You definitely can save money upto 13K. To check the prices of insurance for new vehicles on various insurance providers, you need the following data
1. Demographic data (Name, address, age............)
2. No claim bonus certificate. If you already own a car in your name. If in your policy document the NCB is mentioned then that itself is the NCB certificate. Otherwise mail your insurance provider for the same.
3. RTO where the vehicle is to be registered
4. Ex-showroom price
5. Engine number(full and detailed)
6. Chasis number(full and detailed)
7. Car make and model
8. Nominee demographics
9. Date of you taking the ownership of the vehicle from the showroom

               The option of captain seats is turning out to be colossal chapter. My sales rep is telling me that he is having a heck of a time convincing his GM regarding this. He asked the details of my previous car. He told it was required to convince his GM.

                   The day has come and the sales person called me and told that the car would be ready in the evening. I am not somebody who will go into the details of the vehicles. I just want them to work. Did a visual inspection. The seat covers were folded in the most un-professional way as I had expected. The arm rest on one of the captain seat hung down instead of being horizontal. It was repaired nominally. Checked out the audio system and seemed to work good. Now started the saga of signatures. The salesman don't know much about the car. He tried to explain what he knew. But, i saw that he was failing terribly. Everything was signed. I asked him when I would get the RC smart card. He told it would take 40 days and it would be dispatched to my address. I asked him a document for extended warranty. Lo and behold, there started the great Indian rope trick. When the senior salesman came to my house I just told him to spell out his offer. What he did was held a sheet of paper and put the Total price of the vehicle on the top. Below he put a minus sign across the cost for extended warranty and a cash discount. He showed me the calculation. I thought that the total offer from him is a free 2 year extended warranty and the cash discount. On the delivery day, the salesman told that the offer was given to me just subtracting the extd warranty. This he did to reduce the cash burden on me.

My question to him was
Did you make me an offer to decide whether I wanted extd warranty or not?
No. He did not make me an offer.

I had taken parker pens as gift in the increasing order of costs based on the responses from the three salesmen. After this ordeal, Nobody in the family was agreeing to give the gifts. An eye for an eye will make everyone blind. So, handed over the gifts to the junior most salesman and thanked him for everything.

So, I have been hoodwinked. So, Please be clear with every rupee you are dealing during the discussion. Ask him to write it down explicitly.

The usual formalities were completed. I drove the vehicle to a temple near my house. It was a new experience all together. The drive is majestic. The gear knob vibrates like crazy.

Anant cars front office called for taking feedback regarding the experience. Wifey responded with exactly whatever happened. The ordeal at delivery time was taken as a complaint. So, the salesmen called me up and visited my house. But, they re-iterated whatever they were telling adding this might impede the junior's growth. So, had to give a response favorable to the salesmen.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Empathy and Apathy

India is not new to man made mistakes, Nor is any other country. Issues involving huge areas and a sizable population are better off being automated. So, what prompted me to write this piece? The recent tragedy wherein students lost their lives owing to release of water from a dam. State owned/delivered welfare activities have been over years have been prescribed as a panacea for "common" good. That is, the private sector, always looks up to profit and the entire setup is for profit optimization. The previous two sentences are in conflict. But we are not seeing the fine line between them.

The fine line are the activities of the government that can be decided as welfare activities. Which are the activities to be taken as a pure welfare activity? How do we decide on this classification. The classification cannot be based on the activity as an independent entity. It should be related to all the issues which are touched by this activity.

Let us take this small activity of monitoring the release of water through a dam. The activity though, very simple, has a huge impact on a large distance of land and affects the entire gamut of human activity. The people on the release side have to intimated well in advance. This can happen by using a simple kanban indicator linked to the electronics handling the opening of the dam gates. When there is a huge downpour nature itself gives an indication to the people in and around the area. If it is man made, then, men have to act god. All theists have drawn their weapon, Oh, Please wait. If man can stop the natural flow of events as depicted by natural causes(Gods ways for a theist), then he can continue the flow also.

Dams have to be constructed by the government. Yes, It is a welfare activity. Though, people in the vicinity of the dam might not agree. But operating them, well, should the state bother about that. That statement has puased me. By my observation, there is a sense of apathy with which people working in state owned enterprises. This is solely because of the monotonous nature of the job on hand. People preferring the jobs in state owned enterprises normally aim and are capable of doing mundane and monotonous jobs. They resist change and lack entreprenual spirit. If at all few have them, it will be killed in the course of time and they too become a brick in the wall.

So, why would I argue that a private interest would be better off running the dam? Or, can I succesfuly argue for privatization of dam management? Or, in general, can I succesfuly argue for identification of all activities in governing a country and yet dole out all the welfare to the last person in the country. It is high time that we hand out a certain portion of the activities undertaken by the government to independent individuals. I think our country is now in a position of producing educated elite for taking care of mundane tasks in a welfare activity.

Instead of treating the citizens like children and asking them to open factories for making soaps and detergents since it is a low cost and low risk engagement we should bring the common man into the fold of welfare activities and also regarding the security of our country. It is high time that all individuals should stop thinking that whenever a wrong happens, he should look up at the government. The individuals should forget that new laws framed by the government would automatically improve the conditions of the country. Normally, the citizens of our country dissect every decission of the government and imagine how it can improve the country. No laws or rules are going to create any magic. There is no "abracadabra" law.

So, instead of cribbing over the loss of young students, the common man has to wake up and sense opportunity here. To contribute to the good of the countrymen as well as his own private self. The specific dam issue in question can provide private employment for many type of industry. You have security, Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics, Civil maintenance, Event management, Tourism, Planned agriculture and the list can go on.

From all this, I should not be confused for lack of empathy for the loss of precious human lives, I empathize that we may have lost the entrepreneur who thought in similar lines, I empathize that we may have lost the next Sir M. Visweswariah, I empathize that we may have lost the next visionary. I am concerned more towards the apathy of state enterprises. Let this be the last time we empathize for the result of apapthy of state owned enterprises.

For the past years, India, our country with its past vast natural resources has done a lot for its citizens. Now, we, the citizens, Let us stand up and do for our country. Shall we.........

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Governments, Anyone?

The public network is full of posts, views and counter views. If we give a closer look at the various posts in general, covering nearly all the topics available to mankind and closely analyze the comments, views and counter views, we see that anybody is commenting on anything. That means that everybody knows about or wants to know or has framed his views without knowing anything. The latter's views are normally based on the generalization of the present subject with his specialization. This gives us the conclusion(?) that everybody knows about everything and everybody are capable of giving their own views about everything. Is it? Shall we generalize a little further and tell there is nothing any "body" can do to change the views, Inertia? Does this mean there is no need for any "body" to tell us what to do and what not to? Does this mean we know what is expected from every "body" without anybody explicitly stating it? Does this mean that we have ceased to be taught or we can "manage" ourselves? In other terms is there no need for us to be governed by an elite few? By extrapolating a little further shall we state it in more dangerous terms "We don't need governments"?

OMG, Blasphemy!!!!!!? or would it be a relief? Do governments govern the borders of their political control or borders were born out of the capabilities of the local governments? These governing bodies can be traced back.... previous post... Social adjustments gave way to profit motives in the guise of optimizations they reached a crescendo. After several iterations of societal setup we ended up with classifying the people based on the tasks they were doing and then gradually several tasks were made more important than others and in turn, we had classes increasing by importance. All of a sudden people doing few tasks were more equal than other equal people down the societal setup. As people were grouped based on tasks, the initial industries were also based on the same setup. The initial optimizations was from the artisans themselves by grouping themselves together. The higher groups/classes saw opportunity here also. They wanted to increase the size of the groups so that they could have the advantages of scale. There is the seed of today's large corporations.

Every "body" is attached and dependent on some corporations directly or indirectly. The corporations tell what is expected of every person attached to them. When these controls were not enough, corporations turned to a third party, the governing bodies to bind all the people to corporations. As though, people were born only for this, to work for corporations. There are very rare occasions wherein people have led their life without their umbilical cord not attached to the corporations. Such people will immediately be knighted and an image created wherein it will be told that all others cannot become him or think like him. Now, they have only one person with the "free" attitude while others stay enslaved thinking that they are too "norm" to reach that stature.

The governing bodies(governments henceforth), tell people they should work for corporations to fulfill their worth of being born. The other people whose mentality and attitudes don't suit this labyrinth of laws are labeled unstable or great whichever suits them better.

So, what is the problem now? Governments frame laws to help corporations and corporations employ people, what is wrong. The thing is this system is prepping artificial number ones. If any individual does have the real vision of the society, he will grow up and build better corporations with better hold on the governments. So, the society is being prepared in such a way that if there is anybody against it, he will be treated to the high in the society so that he will become one among the oppressors or else he will vanish into oblivion.

Thing is, the educational level has gone up. Information is available at the finger tips. Anybody wants to know about the rigveda they are welcome to do so. They want to understand Einstein's work they are free to do that also. People know what is expected of them. They know to maintain equilibrium in the world. They know that the number of java programmers have exceeded the requirement. They do suitable adjustments. They make true the basic law of nature, that of "equilibrium". Now it is the time to dictate the expectations from the corporations as well as the governments. Everybody wants to make a difference to the world. Though many of them don't show they have that latent feeling towards nature. Provided an opportunity, they would do miracles for the betterment of the whole world. They would do better than send some food packets to the under-developed countries which feed all the necessary raw materials required for the materialistic life of developed countries.

Of course there would definitely be ideals which would be beyond comprehension to the society and in the same vein society would be incapable of convincing that they are wrong(wrong, either might be). Anomalies do exist and exist they should. It is like the floating point math. Nothing in the world is discrete.

Now, what if, nobody is governing them, ie, there are no governments. just imagine. People move about freely, like minded people pool their ideas irrespective of the borders/languages/caste/color. The same applies to the anomaly group of the existing societal setup. If the anomaly groups argues and convinces the regular part of the society, they will grow, otherwise, there is no way they can come into their own. Why, because, they don't have an enemy now. There were people unhappy with governments/corporations. What are they unhappy about, high rise buildings, no. They are unhappy about "people" running these establishments. This minority is telling the majority how they should lead their life. The 1% of the people are defining the word "intelligence" for the remaining 99%.

You can now argue with me that the majority of the governments formed are democratic. But, we all know the pitfalls of democracy. The person elected by 51% of the people will decide their fate as well as the fate of the remaining 49% who did not vote for him. This is a most theoretical example in a democratic setup. There have been instances where people have won elections by getting only 10% to 20% of the votes. People voting in a democracy have one more constraint, that they have to chose the best of the worst. So we do elect somebody, because, that is the essence of democracy. Yo don't vote, you are missing the whole point. If at all, you give an option for none of the above, in the ballot paper, what are you going to do if the majority of the votes are for this option. what if it is a minority? Oh, my god, Democracy.

Why shouldn't people go about their business without any governing body? Will the huge corporations themselves run their local governments. The most important and deciding factor here is the military. For a situation, wherein, we don't have governments, the first step is to de-militarize the entire world. Now you will tell me the dark forces will take over. You also will definitely tell me that all this is going to happen only over a bloody revolution. That was easy to tell. That was an obvious answer from anybody since the beginning of this subject.

At this time, I would like to know how many people in the wold would like to take to arms when all that the world wants is an equilibrium state, wherein, everybody does his own thing. What about people who know to only handle arms? How will they make their living in this situation.

All the governing bodies in the world was not formed in a day. They were formed because a need was created for their forming and we were "convinced" of that need. Once we were convinced of that need we had to accept the result. Now with the information age upon us, wherein information is generated and assimilated by everybody, do we need to be governed? We know what we can and what we do best. Why should be try to fit ourselves. How would it be if the world expanded and adjusted to us? Awesome. How many Einsteins would we have? Cant tell, because, we have not tried it. We have always complained that the present society is a one size fits all scene.

We now talk about mass customization. When we can go that extra mile for non-living things to suit us, why are we neglecting the same for people. Come one. Cant we remodel the society to embed customization. Each his own. Was it too much an ask?

Eliminate the borders, eliminate the governing bodies, Bring in self help groups, bring in voluntary lead or led individuals and wait for the planet to reach an equilibrium. What, what did I hear? communism, socialism, No, No, I don't want to hear any of it. They are all based on governance. They are but different styles of governance withe varying amount of freedom for the individuals and society as a whole. Will the corporations die? No. The corporations needed will survive. The apt people capable of doing that particular job will position themselves. Everybody would rush to 5 star hotels/resorts? Yes, maybe. But it will not survive. Somebody has to work/pay for the upkeep. People now are smart enough and know they cannot be made sheep once again by pigs and wolves. They know everybody's contribution is of importance. Everybody's voluntary trivial and non-trivial contributions are the requirements for making a truly equilibrium/chaotic situation instead of a non-voluntary controlled situation.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Indian fonts on Arch GNU/Linux

Go here. for a small discussion. The summary would be

1. You already have yaourt installed or any other front end for the AUR repository.
2. Run 'yaourt -S lohit-fonts' as a normal user in the terminal.
3. Follow the instructions and at the end give the root password.
4. Restart firefox or any other browser/app where you want Indian fonts to be displayed properly.
5. Thank the devs and testers here.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Curious case of premium phones and tablets.

People pay a premium for a certain section of phones and tablets expecting premium in terms of hardware, software, services and accessories. If we observe the trend along the evolution of phones and tablets, the more premium it is the more is it "closed". The more users have to depend on the manufacturers. Nearly zero indie development, Not "expandable" in nature particularly in terms of hardware, Maximum crapware, Forceful need creation(stylus, This may also be due to the lack of tech knowledge and design fundamentals. It is like the pen apps were designed around the pen. They should have started at the apps and then thought of how to use the fingers themselves or things which the user already carries around with him). The stylus was acceptable on a motoming not on devices(os) which have multipoint touch capability.

Let us discuss the subject w.r.t android devices. I see there is no point in discussing propreitory offerings.
If we take the case of the nexus devices, I was shocked at the ease with which the device can be converted to meet your requirement. Unlocking the device was a "breeze". After that, sky is the limit. Indie developers flourish on the nexus devices. Yes, It is not free as RMS would have liked, but, it is an excellent start. Now, these devices are exactly at the middle category w.r.t costs and the overall premium feel. The lower end of the tablets dont interest indie devs. All devs would love to have a maximum sweep when it comes to the number and variety of users.

I though that, in fact, the situation should be the other way round. The premium ones are the ones should be completely open and allow the user complete freedom of their device. Since, the user has payed a premium, Or, If we put it in business terms, He has payed in entirety for the device and services available. So, the device has to be completely "his" to tinker with. The manufacturers already know how to get out of the loop once a user tinkers with his device by making him accept long terms and conditions especially when a user unlocks his device. So, the manufacturer cannot tell us that he is locking the device for better performance during the servicing of the device.

The nexus device since has not taken the "full" amount required for offering the product and services should have been locked more tightly so that the user clings on to the manufacturer, thereby making him returns on perpetuity. Now, you tell me this is exactly what google is doing. Eh?. Instead of google sharing returns from the device with the manufacturers, why dont the manufacturers reverse the technique by making a nexus of all their premium ones and demand perpetuity from google. How awesome would that be. I dont know why the manufacturers are going behind having cheap skins on the vanilla android. This should be allowed to indie devs. Let  them come out with skins. Let them make money.

Will it happen?
It should happen. This is a pure business proposition. Not a tech discussion. This is more on the rights of a buyer. Let people/businesses concentrate on their core competency.

Let us see............