Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to make your laptop a portable hotspot

 There are times when you want to share the internet connection especially when you are in a hotel room with ethernet connection. The following script allows you to share the connection

Just create a bat file on a windows computer and add the following text.

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid="MY-VIRTUAL-WIFI-NAME" key="MY-VIRTUAL-WIFI-PASSWORD" keyUsage=persistent
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
netsh wlan show hostednetwork

and then execute the file for stopping it 
netsh wlan start hostednetwork
netsh wlan show hostednetwork

You can find the source from where I copied this here in the comment section.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pictures my dad took

 One thing  have learned from my Dad is to take lots of pictures. I was just going through one of his albums f rom his last trip to Chapra and other places before he died. He had taken over 800 pictures. He would take multiple pictures of any person and it doesn't matter who he or she was. He had his magic of making them amenable to pose for him. You make an unspoken credit to one's emotional bank when you take their picture provided they are willing. It is such a simple gesture and now with digital camera there is no need to be stingy about it. My dad knew this very well but he started taking pictures way back in 60s and never looked back. Photography was not a cheap hobby back then but still it didn't put a kibosh on his hobby and he never shied from taking many pictures. To him taking pictures and giving a hard copy to its delighted owner was like nurturing his own soul.  He was very passionate about pictures so much so that he learned how to develop those at his own house. We had those red bulb in our house needed to develop those pictures. When I look back I can only feel proud about being his son. An amazing man who put smiles on so many faces. When I visited his village in February 2011. There were so many people with moistened eyes who genuinely miss his camaraderie. Salut you Dad you are an inspiration to me to live a purposeful life.

Incredible Cambodia


I am at airport and its late everyone is quite except for this pior guys snoring. Ofcourse he is totally oblivious to it. I guess most people are enjoying it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

First day at new school

Today was the first day of teaching at TES. In the morning I had year 9-2. I am the mentor for these group of kids. Then I had a standard level Math for year 10. After that a high level Math with year 11. We discussed the problem of some standard series and their sums. After lunch I found out that there is a last minute change and I have been given a ``studies`` class for group 10. I think the change was communicated a little too late.  I am liking the smart board idea but I think I will have to bring my stylus as the projector is too bright when you are writing on the board.
   Other than that I had a good lunch and now I am ready to go home. I have some business to take care of. Including a visit to HR and going to transportation department to find out about the bus situation. Over all a good and productive day. I think I am ready to call it a day and crash out.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Using Smartboard

Well here I am sitting in my staff room. Today was the second day we had a smart board training. I am liking this new board. It allows you to do create a lot more eye popping presentations. So if you like a very detailed presentation of a topic before you come to a class it is ideal. So you have everything planned out. There are activities for kids with lots of graphics and animations. I prefer the approach when I can start with a topic and let the class take over the discussion. There are tons of features and many of them quite useful. I especially like the most premitive feature that you can retrieve the work you did last time. Ofcourse there are fancy pens and geometrical tools that can make things a lot more interesting. I just need some more time and hope I will learn more as the need arises. So I definitely grateful that I have this opportunity to get to know this tool.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Today in Bogota

Today I got several things done. In the morning I attended the smart board training for an hr. After that I went to get my Colombian Id with Carmello.He was extremely convival and generous with his time. Without him coming I have no idea how I would have managed. First he took me to the dispencary and get my blood tested. It came out again as A+. After that we went to emmigration office to get the card. He treated me to a great strawberry yogurt and chocolate cake and answered many questions about Colombia and its cuisine. It was a time well spent. After that Yanneth (did I mention that she is super nice person ?) took me to the bank and I got a good amount of my salary in cash. I am again totally floored by the generosity of Colombian people. Its great to be in this beautiful country of beautiful people.

Doing a smart board training

Well here I am in class attending the smart board training. The first thing is goto the menu with smart technology. The training is being conducted by Over.  The first thing is how to interface your computer with the smart board. Following are the steps
1. Connect serial cable
2. Connect the USB cable
3. Sound Cable

Next topic is to Calibrate it
Press the question mark and touch the points and it calibrates it.

The next step was to use the pen. When the pen is lifted out from its grove. That particular color will show up and you can use either your finger. The last thing is how to write and move around the object. I have to cut short the training because I have to leave for HR.


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Top down push

Today the first presentation in morning was about the technological initiative the school has taken. All staff members are provided the lap top. I just got mine. Its a dell core i3. All the students in english department will be getting a kindle and laptops.  Primary teachers got Mac. The school has spent considerable amount of money in new infrastrures. A bigger and better infirmary. New running track. Remodled primary school. Hi speed wi fi access. Smart boards in more than 50 percent of the class and a digital video projector in every class. A considerable money has been spent on acquiring softwares for all subjects. So in all a massive drive and commitment. Its great to be part of such initiative.

2nd day in Bogota

I was awake early morning. Yes, way early around 3am. May be it was jet lag. So I spent time doing things to make the best use of my time. I was told by Jimmie that he will pick me up at 7:05 in the morning. So I was out and met the other two colleagues and neighbour. Natasha and Amy. Natasha is from Scotland and Amy from London. In the bus I met the remaining expant teachers including Deidre, Suzanne, Colm, Lucas and Gina.Everyone was aware of my flight detail and so it was good icebreaker. At school I met lots of other people. Colombian's are very warm and welcoming people. I met Sarah our school head teacher. Shaun, who was the first to interview me. Yanneth and many others. This was the first day when all the teachers came back after the vacation. One reason I choose TES over other schools is the commitment Sarah and Shaun have shown in turning around the school and it was very evident from the presentation. I was really impressed by the way they are committed to make it the very best school in Colombia. They have managed to get the resources and trying their best to back it up. Its indeed impressive. It reminded me of my days in ST when everybody was so driven.

1st day in Bogota

I arrived here on Tuesday morning. I missed the school driver but another taxi driver took me to the school. His name was Xavier and was quite a convival guy. At school I met Alphanso. He is a director and was super nice. He made sure I was entertained till the taxi to my apartment arrived. The drivers name was Jimmy though its pronounced as (Hymmie). I am getting used to the spanish way of pronouncing things. At my apartment I was greeted by Natalia and ushered in. Its a nice duplex apartment at the corner of the street. I was given some money and I pretty much end up spending on things I needed. I discovered the local shopping market and other places and then I slept the whole day waking up at 3 am the next day.

3rd day in bogota

I am here updating this from the staff room at TES. I am very happy with the time table. I am teaching the upper two level classes. Today we got to know about the previous DP (Diploma Program) result and math was at the bottom. I am confident that with the help of the people in my department we can definitely turn around this program and the next year when results are out, we can look back and cherish the good work. I am definitely excited. Its something I am looking forward to.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Resurgence of Buddhism in India

  Bihar and Uttar pradesh are the two current states of India where Buddha taught. In ancient time when there was no India and no Nepal. Buddha started giving his sermon in this part of the world. Over time especially after King Ashoka embraced Buddhism and later the whole east asia and south asia. The region saw one of its golden period in its history. The Sanatan Dharma and Islam however decimated the Buddhist movement in India one by embracing it and other by forced conversion and consequently the region plunged into its darkest period.

    I wasn't much aware of Buddhism's intellectual aspect until I moved to USA. I got exposed to different traditions in my weekly meditation sitting with a group at Gaia house in Carbondale. But again  many of these neo buddhist pursue this more as an identity rather than understanding the spiritual underpinning of this religion. I came across an eight volume tome on Buddha by Osamu Tezuka at local Barnes and Noble and decided to procure it from a sister library in Urbana Champagne. It was an eye opener about Buddha. I later read Eknath Easwaran book on Dhammapada. But the person who really blew my mind was Mr. Goenkaji. I attended Vipassana Course in Rockford, Illinois. I still remember the feeling after the course. "That something profound and something that simple is there". It was like a feeling of Nirvana and after years of practicing this feeling has become more and more cemented that Buddhism in Vipassana tradition is a very effective cure to society's social problem.

      Few days back I saw Amir Khan's Satyamev Jayatey. There was this episode on untouchability in India. I must say it was very very moving. Its not that I was not aware of this. Few months ago I had read the book "A fine balance" by Rohinton Mistry and it too gave a moving portrait of the lives of untouchables in India. I don't know the exact reason what moved me this time but I decided to find out more about the resurgence of Buddhism in Indiba. I searched on internet and found out references from 2001 and 2006 when there were mass conversions of Dalits to Buddhism. I also found out about Dr. Amabedkar's 22 vows. I think they are very significant for people who want to come out of the hindu grip over them. Because the caste ism is the bane of India. It has percolated to all other religions of India be it Sikhism, Christanity or Muslims and I think part of the reason is the adherents of these religions still carry some hindu steak in themselves and that is the very reason that Dr. Ambedkar was so insistent about those 22 vows.
   Goenkaji has done a superb job of reintroducing Buddhism. As I see it is set to become a major way of life for lots of people. The benefit are tremendous and you get out of the shackle of blind faith and casteism. I think the effort to convert Dalits to Buddhism is a noble one. They really need it otherwise the current system will never let them achieve equal social and economic status. I also believe that its not only dalits but all other sections of society can benefit if they embrace Vipassana style Buddhism along with Ambedkar's vows.

      I have been identifying myself as a Buddhist now for over 5 years. The reasons are I think as a Mathematician. Buddhism (Vipassana tradition) makes sense. It doesn't involve any god. You just believe what you experience. There are no rituals and the teaching is about Metta. No supernatural theories. Just the plain, unadulterated teaching of Buddha as he intended. The other traditions have too many rituals. You can enjoy and admire them but that's not the core of Buddhism.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Germany produces 25 percent of its electricity through renewables

This was a news which made my day. Here is one of the strongest economy in the Europe and one should take notice of what they are doing. They ate over achieving their target of switching to renewables. If you look at their breakdown one finds that they are strongly developing their wind farm capacity. The other countries which have taken the lead include China, USA and India. USA has the capacity to produce 9 times their all requirement just by using wind and thanks to Obama's proactive action they have now overtaken Germany in terms of the number of wind mills installed. The stupid drill baby drill people should realize the benefit of clean energy and should be proud of their achievement in this emerging hi tech industry. I always admire Chinese leadership for having their finger on the right issue. They realized that they didn't have enough highways and within a couple of years they have better and more miles of highway than US. Same goes for wind farms. The installed capacity of Chinese wind farm is now even more than US.
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