Monday, July 30, 2007

The Java Diaries. Version 1, Release 1

Imagine a world filled with rows upon unending rows filled with the eerie glow from CRT monitors. A world filled with anonymous emaciated slaves furiously typing away at a badly worn keyboard. A world of little light and lesser humanity. Imagine yourselves entering a narrow dim-lit corridor only to be met by a room with a board proclaiming it to be the "music room" with a bold notice saying "Please do not touch and play with the instruments". Welcome to my world.

A reality check

Granted. Perhaps my world is not as bad as that. But the part about the "music room" is definitely true. So far life as a working man, a yuppie, has been quite pleasant. Though the air conditioning is being a bit nauseating. The city of NOIDA, being both decently planned and relatively free of pollution, has been quite enjoyable. One point of interest is the Shipra Mall located in Ghaziabad. Note, this is not your stereotypical mall of unimaginative glass and steel with large hoardings and banners filled with in-your-face advertising. This mall is architecturally beautiful, reminiscent of an ancient Greek or Roman edifice. The advertising, though present, is understated and tastefully placed. Adjoining the mall is a large lawn and a small amphitheatre, sitting where, one can while away the time listening to good music from WorldSpace radio. All in all, a very livable place this. But, I digress. The point of this piece was to vent my ire.

Venting my ire

My day dawns at the unearthly hour of 8:30 am. I make my way, like countless other hapless souls in overcrowded means of transport, to the "code factory floor". OK, perhaps I should stop exaggerating. But, in my half asleep state, such a metaphor is not beyond imagination. When we clock in at 9:30 am, the training hall is already filling with just as half asleep folks taking their seats, not quite looking forward to the day. For, the training is being conducted as though the end of the world was to be tomorrow. We, the unwitting trainees are being stuffed with Java knowledge like a duck with herbs before a delectable preparation of pâté de foie gras. Perhaps the company is hoping that we will turn out to be just as delectable with our Java code. They may be out for a sad disappointment. Except perhaps from the Grandfathers of all Java Knowledge. That brings me to this question.

What in this God forsaken world of coding is a pseudo-address?

Yes, a pseudo-address. You know, a fake address. As to why anyone would want a fake address is beyond me. Allow me to explain the context behind this question. Those who are uninterested in the world of coding may feel free to skip this paragraph, but please continue to sympathise with me. In our cozy little group of trainees exists a group of two or three individuals who consider themselves to be the Grandfathers of all Java Knowledge. I am sure there are quite a few here with good knowledge in Java, but this term applies only to those select few with an uncanny ability to make up impressive sounding nonsensical jargon in an instant. Yes, I am talking of the few who ask magnificent and complicated doubts, that they themselves but half understand, just to look smart and knowledgeable. In one such doubt asking sessions, one of the venerable Grandfathers, while completely aware that Java doesn't disclose the memory locations of the Objects due to security considerations, asked the befuddled trainer how one would go about obtaining the memory location of an Object. He proposed further that the function hashcode() called on an Object would return only an integer and that integer perhaps referred to a pseudo-address. My sincere advise to you, Sir, is "let it go". You are not impressing anyone and you are just being an annoying &^%$! to everyone.

That said, please expect many new features and bug fixes in The Java Diaries. Version 1, Release 2.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The cult of YHAI

Dear people, dear dear readers, I am here today to give you a brief insight into a new cult I have discovered. As the first thing you notice, this cult doesn't try to disguise itself as a religion. Though you have to religiously have to follow its principles. Let's begin, shall we?

The discovery

My beautiful journey of discovery started while preparing to climb the treacherous slopes of the Himalayas. When I landed at their Base, I was completely amazed by this little community of people living in simple dwellings made of canvas. Their existence was so peaceful. The people laughed and the children played. I was then introduced to the Leaders of this little "camp". I was then told how this little camp would be the centre of my life during my sojourn with the Cult. I looked around. I didn't mind it in the least. I saw the people laughing, I saw the children playing, and as I laughed and played along with them, I saw my life change for the better in front of my own eyes. The Cult filled my heart with all the goodness and hope for all of humanity. I am now here to share this joyous discovery with all of you. Join me, become one of us, and for every person that does, the world shall become a better place.

The member

The journey up the Himalayas wouldn't have been possible without the help of this beautiful Cult. I, was happy. I was welcomed into their fold like I was part of their own. In the freezing cold of the Himalayas, I was free, I was contended. I assumed the part of the Member with flourish. And I welcomed the part I was given in this little group with open arms. The thought me how to live and be. I was born anew. For I knew I could start from fresh. The ways of the Cult amazed me, yet was in a sublime way, very familiar.

The rituals

Life in the little dwellings was made so much more. The little rites and rituals made everyone more spirited and the world more lovable.These little rituals become so much a part o your live that you cherish every moment of them. You welcome the little person who calls you out in time for those rituals. You love the beginnings, when elaborate speeches are made by the Leaders, the process of preparations, the chants and the cries and the dances during the rituals, and the endings, when teary eyed, the Leaders bid you a fond farewell and you with a heavy heart part with this joyous occasion. Dear readers, come with me and I shall take you on a little journey amongst our rituals, amongst our very way of life.

Fire! Fire!

Campfire! So goes the cry. This little performance fills our heart with excitement, lifting us amidst the chorus to a place far far away. Thus, every night we leave our little dwellings and join the throng at this little pit with a twig and multi-coloured light bulbs. The eldest amongst the Leaders lights the little bulbs while we scream "Fire! Fire! Campfire!" The dances, the songs that follow, sets up the mood for a mellow night. And when this ritual ends, we gaze in awe at ourselves. We have a new hope.

Fertilising the fields

As a rite of passage, we were to "Fertilise the fields".It is the rite of passage for the Members to prove to the Cult that they were committed to the Cult. We were given a bottle of water and sent off into the the woods surrounding the little camp. We walked on, bearing the urge within ourselves, to find a place of solitude. When this place was discovered, we carefully concealed ourselves and began the process of "Fertilising the fields". We sang to ourselves while we went about our work, tunelessly mouthing the words of the song of the ritual. "Hello everybody, please raise your shields. Merrily merrily merrily I'm off to fertilise the fields". Those that completed this rite of passage would go on to complete this journey in comfort. Those that didn't would be shunned and would return home in ignominy. This rite would never be the same for everyone. One of our new brethren was chased by a horse on the mountain sides in near freezing temperatures. While another of our brethren used the omnipresent hemp to cleanse himself, thus earning a distinct place in our little Cult.

If you have liked what you read, then come, join us and for as little as Rs 50.00 for a year, lets us make this world a better place.