Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it --George Bernard Shaw


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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto: Brave, Courageous, Daring
You will always be missed!

Monday, March 19, 2007
Hi - Part IV

Previous parts: part I, part II, and part III.

Dear SD,
Well I hope the mental exercise is healthy.....
I really liked your analysis of evolution. I was a student of hostory and reading such a simple yet true description of the process of evolution was a treat for the mind. But again, there is something that i don't think I agree with, that is ur case history of Russia and China. Do u really think they emerged powerful after revolution? The Csars were thrown out and there was the hege revolution in USSR in 1917. What was the result??? Chaos and ultimately the disintegration. Try reading Alec Nove's works or for that matter the novel We the Living by Ayn Rand to understand the destruction that revolution brought along with it. Again, China, I believe is not a healthy example. I will again refer u to a book, Wild Swans written by Jung Chang. These countries may be powerful now but the price that they paid was something don't approve of. To become powerful we cannot destroy the lives of onwhole generation and sadly that was what happened in these two countries.
Yes evolution through education is what is the need of the day. But where is it happening? We are either too stuck up with the past or we don't want to come out of the traditional and archaic beliefs. We just don't want to progress. Even today we apply reason only when it suits our convenience. You will find educated people opposing love marriages, inter caste marriages. A woman smoking is still considered taboo in many parts of this country although situation is diff in the big cities although a man doing the same is quite ok. But thats not the point. What I am trying to convey is that inspite of education our archaic beliefs cloud our reasoning. We never tell a girl to not smoke because its bad for her health but because a girl shouldn't do so.
SD, I really wish that we get the education that opens our mind and liberates our spirit. Something which allows us to REASON. It is only then that we can reach the zenith.
As always,
Awaiting your reply,

My reply:

Hi Natasha,

You are right about the bloodshed that took place in China and the USSR. And if you read my earlier response, I agree with you that this sort of bloodshed is unnecessary if the evolution is taking place naturally. It is simple, if evolution is stopped, revolution would take place naturally and you can't prevent it. Post-revolution process should be evolution again and not faked or aritificial evolution - the case for USSR and partially China now. France, on the other hand, after the revolution started the natural evolution process. Like I said earlier, we should try to follow the evolution taking place in the U.S. and the U.K.

Sadly, in today's day of age, the education we get doesn't teach us to nurture REASON. We are expected to learn to make more money and be successful at job. Our reasoning is clouded by our beliefs, cultural values because we have not nurtured REASON enough. We feel that we are making the right decision based upon our reasoning, but it is not the true reason, I was talking about earlier.

Natasha, I was wondering if I could publish our email conversation on my blog. I would only publish it if you approve of this request.

Last thing, I am not a psychology or a world history expert. Whatever we have discussed is something what I feel about human psyche and world politics. You may or may not find all my arguments in any books.


Please feel free to comment. Final part coming soon.

Thursday, March 01, 2007
Hi - Part III

First two parts are available here: Part I and Part II.

Kindly, read the first two parts to understand the conversation presented below.

Dear SD,
First, I never asked for your name all I had asked was to whom should I address this mail to and I got my answer. Thanks. U're right. Our culture inspite of having so many similarities are very distinct. The kind of liberties I have here as a girl I would not enjoy there. And this I am not saying from mere presumption, my best friends have just come back from Pakistan and it was keenly observed by them. Our cultures have become very different. Our outlook towards life, society, religion, women.... everything is different. I dont know if we have been able to preserve culture in India. U know what we are doing??? We are preserving what is not necessary and sadly forgetting that what is necessary. As it is the advent of Victorian morality has made us a bunch of hypocrites.
To be friends what is needed is sharing the common bond and accepting and realising the changes that has come in 60 years. We should accept and respect ur culture and vice versa.
As with regard to religion, I always believe that it should be very personal. The moment religion is made public or it becomes ur sole identity there will be problems. At the end religion is just a means to do good and be a nice human being. Then why is it that we fight over it? Does fighting in the name of religion make us good humans? Does any one... Christ, Allah, Ram, Buddha teach us to fight over who is better. Sadly even the educated fail to realise this. Thankfully India being a secular country we don't face any torture as a minority community although there are communal strifes, which I as I said earlier just another perversion of human mind.
SD, I again ask you who decides what is right and what is wrong? What is right for you may be wrong for me.....
As always,
Awaiting your reply,

My Reply:

Your questions are good mental exercise :)

We all are aware of the process of evolution. This is not only true for living organisms but for situations as well. People, cultures, societies, situations adapt themselves to better suit the environments around them. Environments or conditions are generally the first instinct the mass has towards an incident. For example, in some cultures, having a homosexual relationship can cause some concerns, because that is what the instincts dictate. Human instincts, from the recorded time, has had two outcomes in general - FLIGHT or FIGHT. When we educate ourselves, we try to nurture a third instinct outcome - REASON, and this in turn leads to either NEGOTIATE or COMPROMISE. And it gets complicated now. Basically, how we react as a nation/community/group to an incident is what creates the situation, leading to our response of either FLIGHT or FIGHT and if we are lucky to be educated, then, hopefully, to REASON/NEGOTIATE/COMPROMISE. This is the evolution cycle.

Now the counter-part of evolution is, quite obviously, revolution. Revolutions take place when the evolution process has stopped and the progress is stagnant. Revolutions try to speed up the evolution process artificially at the expense of murders, civil wars, etc. Three out of the five permanent security council members have gone through a revolution in the past - i.e. China, Russia, and France. In recent history, Iran also had a revolution too. Revolutions cause a lot of bloodshed, but countries emerging from a revolution are more stronger, healthier and unified.

Two countries that didn't have a revolution from the security council are the U.S. and the U.K. Now they went through a healthy evolution process. And that is something we all should aim for - i.e. that is the healthy evolution process. We shouldn't start copying or following their footsteps. For evolution to take place, we would have to educate ourselves, rely on REASON, and learn to grow on our own, rather then copying.

I have tried my best to make it simpler for you and I hope this helps.


Again, Part IV coming shortly.

Friday, February 16, 2007
Hi - Part II

If you have not read the first part, kindly do so here: Part I.

Now, lets begin with part II:

To some extent I agree with you. Ours is a civilization which is 5000 years old and we were the most developed. We can boast of doctors like Susrut, Charaka, mathematicians like Aryabhatta, Ramanujan, architectural wonders like the Taj Mahal or badshahi mosque,etc. But do u know where did we lose all that? Our internal, factional, communal and religious strife. The sad part we never thought of ourselves as a nation and fought for it. There was a Punjab, a Maratha, A hindu kingdom or a Muslim Kingdom..... But there was no feeling of nationality... no pride in our achievement because we were too consumed by internal bickerings. And the British took advantage of this lack of unity and pushed us 5oo years back. It is sad that the two countries which have the same history, the same culture are sworn enemies today. But tell me honestly how many of us relate to this hatred. It is again a result of our internal strifes. Those who drew the lines went ahead and divided our thoughts and action.Do let me know if u agree or disagree..
And, yes. I agree that a fusion of culture is needed but whoo decides the degree of this fusion. Who decides what is got of the East and what is good of the West? It is again a matter of perception...
Awaiting a reply again,
PS. Was wondering whom should I address this mail to, I mean I dont know your name.

My reply:

I agree with you to a certain extent. Pakistan and India have been separate countries for almost 60 years now. During these sixty years, the animosity against one and another gave birth to a different culture and mind set. Now, we are, believe it or not, almost 60 years apart. I praise your country for taking the steps necessary to preserve your culture to a certain extent. We sadly lack that here. Now, the right thing to do is to preserve what we have now and then start building bridges with other cultures, countries and religions, rather than, jumping ships and instantly doing what we are told to do just to prove that we are good friends. This causes a huge side effect of loss of self-respect. Now, I am talking of Pakistan alone right now. I firmly believe that we can be two separate countries (India + Pakistan) with our own identity and values and still be good friends and we won't be the first ones in doing so. Take, for example, England and France or China and Japan. Similar, yet distinct cultures, but they are still friendly nations.

I have seen best outputs and results when people from different countries and religions work together. Diversity is indeed power. I am proud to be a Muslim, but that does not mean that I start blaming Hindus or Christians. Sadly, this exact thing is happening - that is, the use of blame game and division on the basis of diversity.

And for who is to decide about the fusion? It is up to us, the collective us, to make this fusion happen. We as people decide what goes in and what stays out. As educated folks, we should be able to make clear distinction between right or wrong - regardless of eastern or western culture.

I am extremely sorry, but I can't give you my real name. I have been in deep trouble before for expressing my feelings and beliefs, hence, the reason why I have started using a pseudonym. Although, I don't try very hard to hide my real identity, but it is one of my stupid rules, where I try not to give my real name out. I hope this won't disrupt our discussion over such important matters. You may address me as `S.D`. :)



Part III coming soon. Comments are welcome!

Monday, February 05, 2007
Hi (an email conversation) - Part I

I recently was engaged in an email conversation with a (new) friend from the neighboring country - India. Her name is Natasha and she decided to contact me with few questions after going through my blog. I am posting our conversation below, in parts due to its length, without making any changes to the original content - except for correcting the typos (in red). As always, contact me for further clarification.

i accidentally came across your blog and after reading it I felt that I had to ask you certain things. We are a world apart although we are hardly some hundred kms apart. So I believe our views will be very different.
I am actually mailing you because I was a little confused. First, why are you against foreign songs and movies (esp.Indian), what is un Islamic about liking Indian or any other foreign movies or songs. Second, why are you so judgmental? And third, why are you contradicting yourself? You talk with genuine hatred about people havin amreekan accent and english and western culture. But, you write ur blog in english and I must say good english, you actually have a post which has the lyrics of IRIS...... I am confused..... Would like to know what are actually your views??? And how many of these do you stick to....
Oh, Congrats on your wedding!!!!!
Awaiting a reply from your end.

Warm Regards,

My reply:

I am glad to see that you took the time to contact me and understand
my point of view. Natasha, I have nothing against Indians, Americans,
or for that matter any other culture or religion. As a matter of fact,
I have friends from all over the world, including Jews, Christians,
Hindus, Muslims, Indians, Palestinians, Israelis, etc. You ask why am
I contradicting my own thought process and beliefs? May be, I am just
not good at writing this, but my problem is with people who just
blindly copy. Simply put, we have become a nation of followers then
leaders that we ought to be. Our civilizations (yours and mine) were
centuries ahead from the rest of the world. And rather than producing
scientists and mathematicians, now all we produce is dancers and
actors who lack creativity on all fronts.

You asked me that I write perfect English, yet I am sort of against
the use of it. Actually, I am not! Surprised. Well it's simple. I use
English, because I have command over the language unlike most folks
who are again just copying or just following what they are taught.
Even if I assume that the entire nation has gained command over the
language, still I believe that we should still try to protect our
cultural values. The fusion of both cultures, and I mean a true
fusion, where we also have to offer something, rather then just
copying, would only bring a great future.

I hope this clears things up. Please let me know if you don't feel
satisfied by my answer.


Some Desi

Second part of this post coming soon but I would love to see your comments.

Monday, December 18, 2006
History lesson

No, I am neither dead nor have I been kidnapped by Martians. I am still very much alive and kicking, AlhamduLilah - الحمد لله (Praise to God). Well the history of the past few months is:

1. I have become an openBSD user at a limited scale and I love openBSD.
2. I got married.
3. Unix rocks.
4. I am NOT activily involved in the OSX86 project anymore. Sorry folks, but can't help you with OSX86 problems anymore.
5. I am and have been saving money to get myself a new MacBook Pro. Donations are welcome ;)
6. I am STILL activily invovled with Asterisk and its implementation.
7. Got myself a DSL connection and a US landline number - DSL is paid for, US number is free.
8. BIND is cool.
9. Went for an Umrah with my family. Got married there, by the way.
10. If you have not guessed it by now, I love wikipedia.
11. I have collected a huge library of e-books and try to read them all at a consistent pace.
12. Vista is okay, but OS X is better. Obviously, Unix/Linux are the best.
13. My hard drive almost crashed on my Mac. Good thing, I take backups regularly. Got a new 100GB HDD - 20GB more than the last one.
14. I have had my current job for over two years now and that is the longest period I have worked for any employer. Got a promotion and a raise as well. Getting job offers, waiting for a good one.
15. I got myself two HTC Universals -- see pictures.
16. HTC Universal is a good device, now, only if I can put linux on it.
17. Someone stole my 1GB SD Card from one of my HTC Universal.

Please don't hate me. I will try to blog regularly.

Sunday, February 26, 2006
HowTo: Dual boot Mac OS X86 and Win XP

You will need:

1. SSE2/SSE3 enabled processor: Download WCPUID application and run it. See if your processor is supported.
2. Mac OSx86 'Deadmoo' image: If you can find it, then you can install it. Google for torrent and pheNIX. Find the Marklar-Tiger.dmg. A .dmg file is a disk image of Mac OS X.
3. DVD Burner and DVD ROM
4. UltraISO: Download it from here. Trial version works for us.
5. A Patch :) - Google for Generic_OSx86_Install_DVD_Patcher_Release1.rar and download this file.
6. Partition Magic (or any other partitioning software)
7. Windows bootable disc: Your Win XP installation CD works and we need this just to be on the safe side.

Creating the DVD:
After downloading the DVD image, convert the .dmg file into an .iso file using Ultraiso. Launch Ultraiso, go to tools, select convert. Find the .dmg file and save it as an .iso file.

Unrar the patch file (point 5 - see above) and Marklar-Tiger-patch-release1 file inside the original rar file. Run ppf-o-matic3 and select the newly created .iso file and select Marklar-Tiger-patch-release1.ppf file in the Marklar-Tiger-patch-release1 folder. Click on the Apply button. Now you have a patched version, that should install on most hardwares although you would still need SSE2/SSE3 enabled processors.

Now burn the .iso file onto a blank DVD.

Creating Partitions:
Make sure you have two partitions and also make sure that the Mac OSx86 partition has more than 6 GB in it. If you already have this setup and Win XP installed, then you can proceed to the installation step. Otherwise, you can google for creating two partitions using Partition magic. This is basic stuff and anyone should be able to do it.

Insert the burnt DVD in your DVD ROM. Make sure your BIOS is able to boot from DVD before a hard disk. Now you will be presented with a boot menu, that looks something like this:

Press enter to proceed. After the spining ball, you should see the Mac OS X installation setup.

Click on Utilities in the top menu and select Disk Utility. This would show you two partitions in it. Select the non-WinXP partition and format it as Mac OS Extended (journaled) - PLEASE NOTE: Make sure you select the correct partition. If you don't (and in some cases, even if you do) you might lose all stuff on the hard disk, so be very CAREFUL. Don't blame me, if you lose data or if your computer starts acting wierd.

Once you have completed the formating of the partition, you can quit Disk Utility (press alt-Q on the keyboard). Now you will be back in the setup. Now you can simply do a next, next, next to complete the installation. Advanced users can choose not to install printer drivers by clicking on the customize button during the setup. Once, your installation is complete, your computer would reboot.

Boot from the Mac OSx86 DVD again and hit enter at the boot menu. When the Mac OS X setup starts again, goto Utilities (in the top menu) and select Startup Disk. It would show three disks - Win XP Partition, Mac OSX Partition and the DVD Drive (your options might differ). Select the Win XP partition and reboot the computer. Remove the Mac OSx86 DVD and let your computer boot normally. Now, your computer would boot into Windows XP. Login with an administrator account. Goto Start menu --> Run --> Type "compmgmt.msc" and hit enter. In the left hand column, under the storage menu, select 'Disk management'. Now right-click on your WinXP partition (most probably C drive) and select 'Mark partition as active'. The last step allows you to boot to Windows XP without a bootable disk.

Now go to 'Start Menu' --> Run --> type 'cmd.exe' and hit enter. Now type the following:
1. c: [hit enter]
2. cd \ [hit enter]
3. debug.exe [hit enter]

Now paste the following:
E100 fa 31 c0 8e d0 bc f0 ff fb 8e c0 8e d8 be 00 7c
E110 bf 00 e0 fc b9 00 01 f2 a5 ea 1e e0 00 00 66 31
E120 c0 66 a3 91 e1 a2 95 e1 b4 41 bb aa 55 cd 13 72
E130 0e 81 fb 55 aa 75 08 f6 c1 01 0f 95 06 95 e1 b0
E140 01 31 db 8e c3 bb 00 10 89 de c7 04 00 00 c7 44
E150 02 01 00 66 c7 44 08 00 00 00 00 e8 b2 00 72 08
E160 bf be 11 b4 00 e8 0f 00 fe c2 f6 c2 04 74 af be
E170 7b e1 e8 f6 00 eb fe 51 56 81 7d 40 55 aa 0f 85
E180 8b 00 89 fe b9 04 00 80 7c 04 ab 74 0f 80 7c 04
E190 a8 74 09 80 7c 04 af 74 03 e9 2b 00 b0 01 bb 00
E1a0 00 8e c3 bb 00 7c e8 67 00 72 1c 81 bf fe 01 55
E1b0 aa 0f 85 58 00 66 8b 44 08 66 03 06 91 e1 66 89
E1c0 44 08 ea 00 7c 00 00 81 c6 10 00 e2 ba 89 fe b9
E1d0 04 00 8a 44 04 3c 05 74 11 3c 0f 74 0d 3c 85 74
E1e0 09 81 c6 10 00 e2 eb e9 23 00 b0 01 31 db 8e c3
E1f0 bb 00 12 e8 1a 00 72 e9 08 e4 75 09 66 8b 6c 08
E200 66 89 2e 91 e1 fe c4 bf be 13 e8 6a ff 5e 59 c3
E210 51 f6 06 95 e1 01 74 0a b9 05 00 e8 24 00 73 0c
E220 e2 f9 b9 05 00 e8 06 00 73 02 e2 f9 59 c3 60 8a
E230 74 01 8b 4c 02 b4 02 cd 13 73 05 31 c0 cd 13 f9
E240 61 c3 60 89 e5 1e 1e 66 8b 0e 91 e1 66 03 4c 08
E250 66 51 06 53 30 e4 50 68 10 00 89 e6 b4 42 cd 13
E260 73 05 31 c0 cd 13 f9 89 ec 61 c3 bb 01 00 fc ac
E270 3c 00 74 06 b4 0e cd 10 eb f5 c3 0a 0d 43 68 61
E280 69 6e 20 62 6f 6f 74 69 6e 67 20 65 72 72 6f 72
E290 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
E2f0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 55 aa

Now close the command-prompt window and open up C:\boot.ini in notepad. At the end, add this line:
c:\CHAIN0="Apple Mac OS X x86"
Save and close the file now.

Now you should have a dual-booting machine with Win XP and Mac OS X on it. When you will boot your machine, you will be presented with two operating systems. Note: If you select 'Apple Mac OS X x86', it will give you another boot menu. In this boot menu, you will have to select Mac OS X again, otherwise it would move back to the first boot menu.

If this breaks your computer somehow, please don't blame me. This set up worked perfectly for me and in most cases it should work for you too. If you are stuck and need help, google the error message or the problem you are encountering. You will find a lot of information at and their wiki site. If everything fails, drop me an email and I can try to help you out. If the problem is trivial and easy to solve, I might not reply to your email. I do welcome feedback.

PS: You will find some more screenshots and photos below, in my last post.

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