Books I could read this year





  1. Men who made new physics.
    It is story of the physicists who heralded the new era of physics.
  2. Five Dollar Smile.
    One of the early writings of Shashi Tharoor, perhaps when he was in college. Stories feature subjects which occupy adolescent minds. Subjects like friendship, love, sex and politics are dealt with in a very comical way.
  3. How I taught my grandma and other stories.
  4. Old man and his god.
    Both the books by madam Sudha Murty. Most of the stories upheld values, virtuous nature in human beings, human dignity, many ethical and philanthropic subjects.
  5. Its not about Bike.
    It is all about strength and courage by the cyclist, marathon guy Lance Armstrong, who defeated cancer to get back to race and win the Tour de France 5 times.
  6. Just do it.
    Very practical advice from Sir. Richard Branson. He just did the Virgin empire and encourages everyone to just do what one wants to do.
  7. Bridges of Madison County.
    Very romantic one. In fact, the best romantic book I have read so far. Writing is very good and it is a subject which could lie on the borderline of love and infidelity, but author has dealt it in a wonderful way that the reader can understand and sometimes agree with the borderline which it portrays.
  8. Guide to Earth, Moon and Space.
    Asimov's non-fiction writing. His writing is very lucid and it tries to bring back the questions that a curious child wonders when standing outside and looking at the night sky. Questions like, "What are those shiny things?, Why is it there?, Why is not falling?, Why are so many of them there?, Why is it dark now?, Is sun asleep?, When we travel in a scooter how come moon is also traveling along with us?Can we race ahead of it?". Those are just fun and very valid questions. Asimov tries to answer them all as it can be understood by the child who asks those questions. The book is simply too good. I really loved it.
  9. Theory of Everything.
    Stephen Hawkings explains science as it evolved from the times of Galileo till the string theory. It is easy to read, and presented in a very concise manner.
  10. Revenge of the Baby Sat.
  11. Calvin and Hobbes 1st book.
    Both of them, lovable Calvin and Hobbes adventures.
  12. Asterix series.
    • Asterix the Gaul
    • Asterix and the Golden Sickel
    • Asterix and the Goths.
    • Asterix and the Chieftains Shield.
    • The Mansions of the Gods.
    • Asterix and the Soothsayer.
    • Asterix and Caesar's Gift.
  13. Fantastic Voyage.
    Asimov's fiction, which is, in fact is based on the screenplay of a movie by the same name. The book came much earlier than the movie. Three men and a woman, miniature themselves and enter inside the human body,in a miniaturized submarine to do an operation. They will have complete the operation and get out of body within a time limit, otherwise even as their goal fails, everyone stands at a danger of losing something very valuable, the information available with the person they are trying to save at any cost. Asimov has taken take to write fiction in very logical way. Like the troop experience the "Brownian Motion" as they enter inside the body.
  14. Out of my Comfort Zone.
    Steve Waugh's Biography. While reading this, I had many fits of laughter, many a moments of amusement and wonder at this simple guy with lot of character. Steve is definitely one of my favorite sports person. He is very plain and direct. And a very bold person too as we can see in his auto-biography. Good lessons on leadership and management is presented in his book.
  15. Krishna and Gopal.
  16. Savitri
  17. Buddhist Tales
    From Amar Chitra Katha series, based on folklore, mythology and ancient Indian stories. They deal the moral values, justice, ethical leadership and administration.
    I have more Amar Chitra Katha books to read.
  18. Hound of Baskervilles.
  19. Sign of Four
  20. Study in Scarlet
    Those were the brilliance of Sir. Arthur Canon Doyle through Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I read these for the second time as I had completed the sherlock holmes series a long time back.

Many of these books, like "Guide to Earth, Moon and Space", "Theory of Everything", Sherlock Holmes series, I read along with my friend Avinash and we both enjoyed it together.

Apart from these, there are few technical books, I could lay my hands upon. Note , technical books are not meant to be read, they are to be studied thoroughly and worked upon a number of times. So, I cannot put them in the read category.

I could get chance to work with,

  • Version Control with Subversion by Ben Collins-Sussman, Brian W. Fitzpatrick, C. Michael Pilato.
  • Word power made easy by Norman Lewis.
  • Cryptography and Network Security, by William Stallings.

My friend and I had thought at the start of year to compete for the 50bookchallenge. While that was my list of books, I am glad that we got started and next year, I plan to read at least 50 books.

Let me know if you would like to read any of these books, I would be glad to share it with you. You can also have a peek into my online library at books.google.com

Happy New Year 2008 to all!

Lambda functions

I often forget the syntax and usage of lambda functions, the following examples should help as a reminder.

>>> def function(x):

... return x*3

...

>>> function(2)

6

>>> func_with_lambda = lambda x: x*2

>>> func_with_lambda(2)

4

>>> (lambda x: x*2)(2)

4

>>>

Photos Ahoy!

First, Freed.in Conference.

Next, the fun filled Manali Trip with friends,

And then hacking something at the Y! Hackday.

It was a fun filled week for me.

Slashdot Party at Madurai

http://slashdot.org/anniversary.pl?view_id=583

{H,F}ello /. ers!

I will be at my home town, Madurai, on 13th October and I was looking for Slashdot party at Madurai and could not find one, so I decided to host one myself and invite Madurai geeks for the meet.

Location:

Anna Nagar Cafe Coffee Day.

Timings:

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Party Link:

http://slashdot.org/anniversary.pl?view_id=583

If we get going, then we shall:

  • Have some fun discussions.

  • Cut the Cake.

  • Enjoy the evening.

Hope you will be able to make it, let me know if you have some ideas. (Either comment on this post or email me at orsenthil at gmail dot com)

Thank you.

Update

I convinced my sister and my cousin to come along for a coffee and we all went there. btw both of them can be considered geeks as I have seen my sister twidling with computer a lot before she decided to pursue her Dental Studies, and my cousin aged 11 was playing with Nintendo DS lite in full swing. We had good time and had a cake cheering slashdot. :)

Watched The Chronicles of Narnia

Avi, Sanju and I watched "The Chronicles of Narnia" on DVD. It is based on a book, The Lion, the witch and wardrobe of Narnia series by C.S Lewis. It is a fairy tale written for children and has a very happy ending. It is a very nice movie to watch. It is written for children, but gives us a very good outlook that things will always have a good and a happy ending.

Guido and Bruce Eckel discuss Python 3000

Leading author and programmer, Bruce Eckel, posted some of his concerns on Python 3000 stating that python community is missing to address some of the important issues with this major, backward incompatible release. Problems he mentions are concurrency support on multi-core cpus, easy deployment support, a standardized user interface amongst others. He expresses his dissatisfaction at the post titled "Python 3K or Python 2.9?. Guido van Rossum, in a very pragmatic way addresses the concerns with his response to Bruce Eckel and calling out more for developers to contribute to Python to improve it further. Bruce Eckel concludes with his thoughts that he wants his favorite language to be better with his reply to Guido's reply.

Teachers Day

My sisters and I called up our school maths teacher, Vijayaraj madam to wish her on teachers day. Also called up my college prof, Dr. K. Ramar to wish.

Its a nice tribute we give to our teachers who have influenced us in many ways.

My English teacher, Mrs. Padmini Vasanthan seem to have influenced me to strive for a patient and organized approach in all activities.

Ramar sir, when I recollect, all I can appreciate is his humility, ability to strive and achieve things, even when somethings presented are above our comprehension. One can learn a lot from this simple person. He is always learning from others.

--- Teachers Day from Wikipedia ---

September 5 is Teacher's Day in "India". It is the birthday of second President of India and teacher Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. It is considered a "celebration" day, where teachers and students report to school as usual but the usual activities and classes are replaced by activities of celebration, thanking and remembrance. At some schools on this day, the responsibility of teaching is taken up by the senior students as an appreciation for their teachers. The idea is to let teachers sit back just for a day and let the students have a glimpse into the life of a teacher. It is an occasion when a token or appreciation in the form of presents are given to teachers by students to show their love and respect. A central piece in Hindu scripture reads "Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru devo Maheshwaraha - Gurussaakshaath param brahma tasmai shree gurave namaha," which translates as "The Guru (Teacher) is the Lord Brahma (the Creator), the Guru is the Lord Vishnu (the Preserver), the Guru is the Lord Shiva (the Destroyer). To that Guru we offer our salutations."