Category Archives: Art

Sup, Letux 400

the letux 400 laptop

The Letux 400, a rebranded Skytone Alpha 400. The cool pen-like thing lying next to it is the “Optimal Supplement for the Openmoko Freerunner”. to quote the product brochure. Why?

Thanks Quark 2011!

Update: To my surprise, the “goodie” ended up being one passed through many hands; horribly used, with the spring-latch mechanism of the SD card broken (which means you need to hold your SD card in place to prevent it from popping out), and to top it off, all the documents, settings and other remnants of the previous owner(s) still gracing various folders. It’s still an amazing little, used, gadget. But then again, I guess I should just be happy to get anything in the first place, with the pseudo-nepotism that’s now completely taken the place of meritocracy, even in the smallest of administrative institutions. Sad, really.

Lift-Off From Moscow

moscow-streets

“We treat them like babies who cannot speak.” – Oleg Gazenko

I may have come across as pompous, a snob even. Truth be told, Father, great Siberian husky that he was, imbibed in me restraint. He often lay by, watching drearily, even as his comrades before him took to each others throats over the night’s last morsel. I never knew Mother. I was told she was a dainty terrier, which might give some meaning to my slightness. Living thus phlegmatic, and of meager means and form, I must admit, kept the life in me quite supple. Then I turned three.

I was picked up from the dusty Moscow streets by a burly comrade, snarling about Khrushchev, or so I could discern with all my pitiful grasp of Human. My last gaze at Father was, quite literally, unblinking, uneventful. I turned forward, thirsty for a world more colorful.

This is part one of three; take a look at part two and part three

Kudryavka

“I wanted to do something nice for her: She had so little time left to live.” – Dr. Vladimir Yazdovsky

Kudryavka, they called me. Little Curly. I was gifted a small but tidy contraption to spend the night in, dinner with the chef’s complements. Flattered as I was, I found the platter queer, unused to the semi-solid delicacies I was being treated to. The next nineteen days saw me being transferred to alternate accomodation by the day, each contraption smaller than the last. It had been days since I defecated. The colorful world had lost its sheen. I didn’t like the food anymore. I missed Father.

It wasn’t long before I was finally taken out and transferred to a peculiar contraption. It wasn’t unlike my earlier homes, in size. But the metallic finish, the lights and switches adorning the walls, gave no aura of warmth. I whined, to get away, and also in fear that I wouldn’t fit the crevice that seemed to be my placeholder. It was only after they fastened me in that I realised just how much slighter I’d become. I could feel my heart against my ribs; it seemed to be beating faster since the past few days. I spent the next two days adjusting to my metallic shelter. I could sense something in the air. Something was going to happen. Soon.

This is part two of three; take a look at part one and part three

The Metal Ball With Legs

TheMetalShell

Day three in the metal ball with legs; November 3, 1957. I couldn’t turn around in my metal shell, my harness was a taskmaster. The chamber door was clamped down a few minutes ago, leaving me with the blinking lights and a few rations of food. The Moscow streets I’d so gaily escaped from beckoned to me. I began making plans to leave. Then my shell started trembling.

The tremors grew massive, Digging my nails into steel, I dreaded my shell falling apart. I could hear many voices, agitated, excited. Gradually, they grew distant, until all was still but the constant roar from the outside. A force pulled me to the ground, unseen but strong. I stayed down, tongue hanging limp, trying to soothe the bloody muscle pounding against my frame. Silently, I pleaded to the blinking lights, asking to be taken back to my old kennels. They soon stopped blinking.

The air was thick. My tongue lolled constantly, reaching for nothing. It was hot. I spread myself out, trying to cool down. Another hour. Hotter now. My limbs seemed like another’s, lying somewhere in my shell. I heard yelps. Mother. Or was it me? Hotter now. Another hour.

After 2,570 orbits, during re-entry on April 14, 1958, Sputnik 2 disintegrated, along with what remained of Kudryavka, known to many as Laika, the space dog. She breathed her last on November 3, 1957.

This is part three of three; take a look at part one and part two

M.A.D.: Our Winning Entry

Our winning entry for the event M.A.D held during Quark 2011 at BITS – Pilani, Goa Campus. Designed by Tanmay Binaykiya and I, the theme of the contest was to conceptualize and design an A3-sized print advertisement endorsing the theme Mahindra Scorpio: The Iconic SUV.

Provoking Excerpt #01: SICP

It’s my first time coming across computer science literature that reads like one of Bertrand Russell’s philosophical pieces. Here’s an excerpt from the foreword I’ve just gotten past; if you’ve taken a course in programming languages this semester, steal this book!

Every computer program is a model, hatched in the mind, of a real or mental process. These processes, arising from human experience and thought, are huge in number, intricate in detail, and at any time only partially understood. They are modeled to our permanent satisfaction rarely by our computer programs. Thus even though our programs are carefully handcrafted discrete collections of symbols, mosaics of interlocking functions, they continually evolve: we change them as our perception of the model deepens, enlarges, generalizes until the model ultimately attains a metastable place within still another model with which we struggle. The source of the exhilaration associated with computer programming is the continual unfolding within the mind and on the computer of mechanisms expressed as programs and the explosion of perception they generate. If art interprets our dreams, the computer executes them in the guise of programs!

Source: Foreword, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Hal Abelson, Jerry Sussman and Julie Sussman (MIT Press, 1984; ISBN 0-262-01077-1)

September Rain

The campus in September, 2009.

When the the walkways had to be waded through…