Walking aid for the blind

It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything in electronics. Well, not really; I’ve only kept from publishing them. I’ve spent the past few months working on my undergrad project. There were mini-projects I undertook from time to time during this period, but this was my first major project that would be under some real scrutiny and I had to concentrate on it. This is essentially why I have been too offline than is normal in terms of publicising my real work, although you would find my non-tech thoughts spread around the inter-webs (if you’re looking really hard, I must add – which is a very sad realisation). So, here, I bring to you my prized brainchild – the walking aid for the blind.

The key to happiness…

Happiness is the only emotion without an equal or an anti-parallel.

Denver Dias

For as long as humans have learnt to communicate, they’ve tried attributing the ‘one without an equal’ label to Love, but I just don’t see it, yet. To me, happiness is everything. Even love isn’t any good without happiness.

A new category…

Update: I no longer hold these views, but people change, and the only way to know if its for the better or worse is by having a reminder of the person you used to be.

Pre. S. I believe this phase was a cross between nihilism and anti-humanism. The latter could’ve turned me vegan but the former made me not care.

Why don’t I just get to the point? Today, I’m here to tell you about a new category of people. They are people, nice people, that want to have nothing to do with the set of laws created by mankind. I’m one of them. It’s, of course, not going to be easy for me to do so. This is a completely new set of philosophies – a psychological breakthrough.

One question. Why post it here and not publish it into peer-reviewed psychology journal?

The problem with Internet Explorer…

Internet Explorer – the best browser to download other browsers; this is almost like its unofficial slogan. Honestly, I’ve found no problems with it ever, and I’ve wondered what it was I did that made me choose Windows IE over other browsers despite repeated testing of new browsers as and when they came. Surely, I must be doing something wrong. What was it I kept asking myself…

I troubleshoot from time to time and offer my help to friends in the event of any problems they face on their computers. Being an IE user, starting IE is my go-to action for browsing. There are times the owner of the computer, with an almost ninja-like agility, tries to stop me from doing it. A part of them dies when they don’t succeed in preventing the execution of IE. For a long time I thought they really cared about their computers. Maybe IE was a rogue browser and it has not caught up to me yet but has claimed unsuspecting victims. These fantasies, however, shatter when I find the real reason behind their fear when the browser finally opens up. The image below should sum it up.

Your IE looks like this. You’ve lost the argument.

Yeah! While the internet has become the native repository for information, it has also hosts software that leave metaphorical slums all over your browsing space. But that is not all. These individual toolbars unnecessarily hog the resources – for more computer savvy, that would be your RAM and CPU cycles. Do developers of crapware make nearly as many add-ons for other browsers? I hardly think so.

Internet Explorer has got a lot better over time and has consistently worked out to be my number one choice for browsing. I’ve used every major release of Chrome, Opera, Firefox and even Safari. I have to say, Safari, in my experience comes second. There were times I helped people avoid complete reformats of their computer systems, which should clearly infer that I know better, but no one has ever come to give IE another try even though it will always be there in the event of the inevitable failure of their “favourite browsers”.

So, whose fault is it? Microsoft? Definitely not. They’ve always managed to keep IE on the position of ‘my favourite browser’, so it is not the fault of Microsoft. IE, as of now is the only browser that fully supports hardware rendering of their HTML5 web pages; it’s the others who have to catch up. Maybe we could blame the makers of these add-ons. They don’t give much thought to the inconvinience it could cause to have their toolbars around. Then again, if you read their respective licence agreements carefully, the toolbars help most of them keep their software free. The others are just screwing with you.

The real problem with IE is YOU. It is you, the user, who has been consistently inconsiderate of the troubles you’d face using those nasty shareware. If you give it some time and thought, you’d actually be able to see, subsequently read and observe the key words and accordingly check the right boxes to eventually avoid the troubles you might have to go through in the future.

If you’re reading this in any browser other than IE, I’m pretty sure you’d find one toolbar waiting for you to launch IE by accident. In this world, where everything with some sort of legal binding needs a certain minimum amount of attention, it baffles me to see such a degree of carelessness.

This is the last of me you’d ever find on this matter. I’m almost loving the fact that I’m only one of the few who use IE – I get to keep all its awesomeness to myself. Do check out Browser You Loved to Hate.

The only people who know my birthday are the good people at XBOX and I’m looking forward to their Rewards program becoming available in India. For the rest of you, you can buy me gifts all year. Just click on Buy me stuff from the menu for more details.

Improving MIDI…

I have been having a great time concentrating more on my work with electronics. Seems like the days are getting better. It’s just been two days since I wrote codes and had fun with the result, and I somehow got bored playing the same instrument. So, I decided to develop my MIDI music maker a little further. Most controls are the same; I’ve added functionality for instrument change and pitch amplitude manipulation. I might not stop here and I’m hoping this project ends up as a consumer product.

Again, I can’t really disclose any coding details, not because I don’t want to; there is no expectation of production quality from the devices I own. The day I find a way to create a good tutorial, I will.