May 18, 2009

ಧರಂಪಾಲ್ ರವರ ಕೃತಿ online ನಲ್ಲಿ ಲಭ್ಯ

Indian Science and Technology Before the 18th Century Indian Science and Technology Before the 18th Century seadog4227 A seminal work by Dharampal on the status of Science and Technology in India before the 18th Century. You have to read it to believe it!

May 5, 2009

Remembering “Vamana”

This story is about a student who was very good in extracurricular activities. He was looking like “Vamana” of Vishnupurana in size, talents, etc (except studies). He used to sit in the first bench listen to all my lectures, but in sessionals he was getting single digit marks. In semester exams also one or two backs were common. He was not a below average student. He was good in literature, singing, dancing, acting, even in script writing and direction of skits! During the cultural activities of the college I never missed his acts. It was amazing that such a talented guy was getting very low scores in studies.

One day he came with a request that I should ask HOD regarding grace marks for his extra curricular activities! I said it is not possible. If I agree with your theory then people like Big B or Kishore Kumar would have given engineering degree without even a primary education. By observing his attitude one thing was clear that he was not interested in engineering subjects. He joined engineering not because of his own interest. I tried to convince him that in life atleast a bachelor degree is must for any person. Even if he fails in his area of interest (in his case it was Showbiz) to lead a good life he should have another option. I gave him the examples of cricketers Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath. Once in Mysore I saw students of SJCE celebrating arrival of Javagal Srinath (Alumnus of SJCE) and taking him around the campus on their shoulders.

After hearing all these he asked me, “Sir, do you expect a first class or distinction from me?” I replied, “Not necessarily a very high score, but after the completion of the course you should not curse yourself in the later part of your life.”
Some how he got convinced and he cleared B.E. with second class (4th to 8th sem, all in first attempt). Then he went to Bengaluru, met some music directors. A Mangalore guy helped him to work under a famous Kannada music director of Mangalore origin. A few months back I got a call from him saying that he is independently giving music to a new Kannada movie. Now days instead of calling him Vamana, we call him “Thrivikrama” (the one who can be the size of an atom or the size of this Universe).

Communicason lab!

“Yahan communicason kaha ho raha hai??”

If Lalooji visits our communication lab and asks such a question, we really don’t have any answer!! Coz, no actual communication takes place here. Only different steps of communication are studied here.

Whenever I was in our communication lab I had great experiences. Some times I thought there must be a relationship between communication and communism! Most of the communist principles must have generated in communication lab only. Concepts like modulation, keying, multiplexing…etc are common in communication and communism. Naxalites have very effectively used radio communication!

Whenever some interesting cricket matches were going on, televisions that are kept on the racks of communication lab have laughed at me. Though we have antennas like dipole antenna, yagi antenna, loop antenna (and a special horn antenna) no one till date has helped us in receiving any TV signals!! [Once I thought of giving a proposal to make the lab as part time TV room!].

Microwave section of the communication lab is the rarely used section. Students (even the instructors) were afraid of entering it. Knowledge of microwave hazards have made them to think that microwave is more dangerous than x-ray, gamma ray etc. Gunn diode was treated like AK -47. [One day I realized that they are not afraid of microwave rather tough microwave experiments]. I strongly recommend that there should be a microwave oven in the lab which can be used for heating the food (In our department itself there are around 10 faculty (including me) and some students bring food from home. The reason is obviously the very high quality food that is available in Nitte).

Students are more interested in digital labs than the analog labs. Sitting in A.C. and typing a known program (most of the time copied) is much easier compared to rigging the circuit and struggling with AFO and CRO to show the output. Since software jobs are less, I thought at least now E&C engineers will concentrate more on communication subjects. Though the mobile communication is a hot area, I find students are more interested in writing the software for the mobile rather than “communication”.

The only communication that takes place in communication lab is “wireless communication” between different batches when they don’t get the output. Kabhi kabhi mere dil me khayal aata hai “Yahan communicason kaha ho raha hai??”