Thursday, December 29, 2005

Editing TIET - Its Fun

In my last post, I mentioned about the TIET page on wikipedia. Being a complete vela and having nothing better to do, I decided to do some editing myself. An infobox and a bit of copy-paste from TIET homepage changed it from this to this. Its a nice timepass, and interesting too, to have something related to your college about which the authorities can't do much. Chip in with your own contris... but don't vandalize it.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Punjab and the Web

These holidays I decided to take a look at Punjab's presence on the web. The web has been around for quite awhile now, but as far as Punjab goes, we haven't really embraced it yet.

A look at some of the Punjabi portals. The best results for a google search on "punjab" or "punjab portals" that I found were Punjabilok, Punjabi123, iPunjab, Punjab Online and WebPunjab. Now compare these with well-known Indian portals like rediff or indiatimes, and you get the idea. Now, as far as "punjabi news" goes, a couple good sites did turn up. Punjab Newsline and are reasonably good sources of regional news, apart from the websites of dailies like The Tribune or Ajit. And take a look at or OnlyPunjab; where's punjab news? There aren't even links to Punjabi resources on the net. "punjabi songs", though, did give some good results, but anyway you would probably be downloading them via p2p and not http.

Another thing I tried out was Punjab on wikipedia. Not much there. But its the same for many Indian states. And with the kind of history that Amritsar has, you would have expected more on its page. Surprisingly, Jalandhar and Patiala have more info than Ludhiana. For those who don't know, wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Right now, its probably the biggest information resource on the net. Its probably not the most reliable resource(really?), but still, its the first place that many people visit when they want info on something. Given the really minuscle info on wiki, we sure don't care as much. TIETians, try TIET on wikipedia.

When I tried to look at my hometown, Jalandhar, via Google Earth, I sure was disappointed. This is the highest res image of Jalandhar that I could get.


And the best map of Jalandhar that I could find was from the Jalandhar MC.


Now take a look at what Google Earth is supposed to do, and that too without the hacks. I don't know how you can request them to get high res images for Punjab, but I'll try. You try too. This is what Patiala looks like (And as for a map of Patiala City(not district), I couldn't even find one). Its the same story for all of Punjab's cities. For comparison, look at the Delhi College of Engineering in Rohini.

Delhi College of Engineering

Finally, a look at the "official" home of Punjab, the website of the Punjab Government.

One more thing, about blogs related to Punjab. It would be nice if there was some sort of listing of Punjabi bloggers, or of blogs related to the state. So if you are a blogger, and you are from Punjab, or write about Punjab, do leave your link on the comments page. I'll start adding links to Punjabi blogs over here.

Its quite clear, we can do a lot better. If you are free and have nothing better to do, why not start putting Punjab on the web. Blogging is a wonderful option. It can be time consuming, but its a great way to kill time, especially on vacations. And you can write about anything, not just the state you live in or the state of your life. Another option is to start building comprehensive articles related to Punjab on wikipedia. If you are a librarian, you can do a lot over there. And if you have the money and the patience, why not build a portal? We sure would be happy to have a nice Punjabi portal.

Of course, there's a lot more that could be done and a lot more that I didn't talk about. If you feel I missed out on something really good(except for songs), do tell me. Because google didn't tell me, and by giving the site a few links and hits, we can sure can bump up its google pagerank!!

The Constitution of India
Actually, many "official" Indian sites [] are woeful. While the President's and the PM's sites are still okay, look at the official site for the Constitution of India. Better still, look at our constitution in English(Word documents?? And the index... Is that how one treats the foundation of their nation?) and Hindi(somewhat better, PDFs). The rest you can see for yourself it you feel like...

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Its Holy Days Time!!

Another sem goes by, just another one remains. For now, its time out.

Its been a month since I last posted here, thanks to the end sem exams. Now that they are over, I am back. Actually, I would have posted yesterday itself but a power cut for most of the day didn't let me. After literally the free-est semester for all us EC students, now I think its time do get down to some real work. There are things that I have wanted to do for a long time, but as my friends will tell you, I am a terrible procrastinator. Now with just six months to go before college ends, I have to decide where I am going(careerwise).

I am a bit averse to getting a job, so I am not really looking forward to joining the company I am placed in. MBA was never an option. I can go along with higher studies abroad, but what I really want to do is start something on my own, i.e. my own business or something like that. Now, the problem is that right now, I really don't have much of an idea about it(apart from the fact that it will be related to programmnig). But there are a few things I have thought about, and I'll give them a hard try this sem. If I can get somewhere that would be great. Otherwise its the job(atleast for a year), which sucks. Anyway, I've written all this so that my friends can remind me if(or rather when) I become lazy and distracted.

Now, a couple of interesting reads. One is Paul Graham's How to Make Wealth. I highly recommend Paul Graham's articles to everyone. You may not always agree with all he says, but they do provide you a good insight into whatever he writes about. And this last article is amazing. If nothing else, read atleast this one. Its like a five months course of entrepreneurship plus a major portion of economics compressed into a single essay. On top of that its quite persuasive, and very capable of changing your opinion or perspective on the economy and business models.

Another interesting one is Richard Hamming's You and Your Research (remember Hamming code and Hamming window, EC mates?). Actually, I came across this too from PG's site. Its quite long and I am still reading it. But its very interesting and very inspiring. A must read for anyone ambitious out there.

And there are a few more things I have been thinking about, which I will discuss in the days to come. For now, enjoy your holidays, Merry Xmas, a Happy New Year, and keep coming back. And for TIET bloggers, come on, blog, people, blog.

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