29 July 2010

Finding regularities and their elements in a level of abstraction

Note: This post will involve discussions on some abstract concepts. I wish to give concrete examples but I may not be endowed with enough intelligence to come up with correct examples for some cases where you must be content with my gibberish. Deal?

When birds fly they make a pattern. Their formation is not "random". There is a pattern to our breathing. We breath through one of the nostrils more. Ancient Indians have called the related awareness 'Swara Jnana' (do not confuse with awareness of musical notes). Wall is built with 'bricks' which form a pattern. The bricks are the elements or the smallest unit which come together to form the regularity we see. So there is regularity or pattern in lot of things we see. There is something smallest in those regularities that creates regularity (element). To rephrase, there is regularity and an element which constitutes regularity in many things we see or experience. Here we do well to differentiate why, for example, mud used to make bricks is not an element of regularity in wall. Mud is at a lower level; it constitutes the pattern in brick. Therefore mud may be an element in the regularity that exists in the brick. Now, we can say that at each level of detail there may be an element which results in regularity at that level.

Science, in my opinion, revolves around finding these regularities. Our progress depends on how well we can make use of these regularities. I think it is time to clarify what I mean by some words. A level of abstraction is a point of view with preference to certain details than others. For example, a portrait is a level of abstraction: it prefers only what is painted in someone's face; what is not painted is not 'preferred'. While we agree that a portrait is an abstraction, I call it a level of abstraction because a photo is an abstraction of real face as well but at a more detailed level.

Now comes time to move from portraits and bricks to something more interesting: computer science.

coming soon ...................

23 July 2010

GPS route planning

I am new to this stuff. So these are my experiments. Magellan, Garmin, Tomtom are leading GPS brands. Garmin some say is good. Yet there are some very funny limitations in Garmin. I pay almost for a quarter computer and then get this box with huge processing power but a custom made software that I would like to call a operating shit-stem! If they could let me manipulate I could customize it like hell.

Ok long story short, Garmin 200 buck devices do not have route planner all the rest do. I own one so this ruing.

Here you can find a trip planner. And a converter here that claims to convert it to a format that Garmin can understand. These are nothing but XML files i.e text files with funny angular braces to say what is what. Some call it meta information. Garmin bone heads sell a Route Planner that accepts Long and Lat but you it is easy to die ramming head to a Garmin device than using this crap called software (Please send your head by fax I have a device if you want to kill yourself!). 

Yet there is hope for the hopeless. There is a converter here that can convert route file to (GPX2CR) Garmin style file.
So the steps are as follows.
1) Plan a route on NetKVik (http://map.netkvik.dk/) or Marengo (http://www.marengo-ltd.com/map/). Choose points of interest and save it to a file.
2) Convert KML to GPX  if using NetkVik.
3) Use "There is a converter here" to change to Garmin format.
4) Upload using another software to the holly Garmin
5) Then what? I do not know ! my unit does not pick up gpx at all.

If you are still alive and your wife has not lost patience you may go on your dream vacation. I think it is easy to return the unit to the seller!!

14 July 2010

Shoppers Drug Fart and Canadian Fire

Yeah! These are two of the famous chains of stores in Canada. That only means, you will find them in all towns across Canada, selling almost similar things. They are usually never a cause for head ache. If you are not a jerk, that is. Yet when you do have head ache it is not uncommon to end up in Shoppers Drugmart. When you do do, most likely you will find expensive brand name pain killers on shelf. I rarely get head ache, unless I play my drums too loud, for example. Even when I had a head ache so severe that I vommitted unconsolebly (Yeah, I had tears too I do not know why) I did not munch on symptom killers, as I call them. Pain killers are an easy way to die, you see. They help you neglect problems in your body until you have no other options. You know what I mean. That aside. I was saying you will only find expensive brands on shelf. Like Talynol cold hot extra hot (common I am not buying a chilli snack here!) etc etc. Novogesic my wife told me is a generic that sells for far far far lesser than these brand names and does the same job (killing us eventually!). 

Yet pharmacies do not sell them becasue they are generics. That is manufactured by people like me who do not have patents but use famulae once they are expire the patent period. Generics sell at 25% of the price of Brand names in Ontario after the change in the regulation. So the solution the pharmacies have found is to not to keep them on shelf and force consumers to buy Brand names. There we go. Change in regulation also increased Dispensing Fee that is fee because they give the medicine not FOr the medince! Wah re wah kyaa baath hai.