Sunday, August 21, 2005

Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology (RIT) - A Reminisce.

Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology (RIT) is situated at Velloor, Pampady - a mostly agricultural place in Kottayam district in central Kerala. Velloor has history dated back to AD 1176. But now a day its known for one of finest technological institutes in the state of Kerala. I am fortunate to get admitted to RIT during the academic year 1994 for Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. I joined as the fourth batch in RIT, so I am blessed to see the very first students of this technological institute. Like any other government engineering colleges in Kerala, RIT also has all the shortcomings of a new college. Insufficient library, staff, laboratory, class rooms, staff etc. I dont have the courage to list all since it may go for pages. But RIT has lot of unique characters which it makes us proud. It has a talented group of great leaders/students who are ready to take any kind of challenge - both academic and political. The student body is so close to each other in a sense, every one in the college knows every other enrolled student. There is a strong sense of warm family feeling among RITians. This made RIT very different from other colleges in the country.

Most RITians are so courageous to take any kind of challenges which falls on their way provided, it add value to their education and to RIT. This feeling is well appreciated by the faculty, students as well as a local people. In order to get the basic facilities we fought tirelessly for almost five years. During this time frame most student leaders lost lot of classes, study time and money. But they were very positive of the needs of RIT and the cause of their fight. I am also fortunate to be part of organizing some of the demonstrations to achieve these basic rights.

Almost five year struggle brought us a very good campus, very sophisticated library and very well designed student dorms and lot more facilities that we cant even imagine. The laboratories are installed with very high end sophisticated machines, which will envy most of the industries in the corresponding sectors. Enrollment doubled in the following years, added new discipline to the curriculum and lot more changes. Its a life time privilege for me to be part of this great school.

Education from RIT consists of two parts at that time. One is enhancing your engineering skills in your chosen field. The second one is the most important one as far as I am concerned. It teaches you to be a human being. Share the joy and suffering of fellow students and classmates. Know the value of education to society. How the education can help you to achieve greater success in life by looking things objectively. There are a lot more things which I gained from my 4 year studies in RIT. Certain other things which I learned include live alone in dorms, manage your finance, manage your time for daily homework and social work. Its give me immense pleasure to say that I am RITian.

Below are some of the old pictures I collected from RIT alumni web site. Its nice to see how my college changed from its inception. I hope the values held by RITians are still the same as it was when I did my Bachelors education.

A distant view of RIT

Above picture shows RIT in the midst of Velloor rubber plantations. College is situated in a little hilly place called Nedumkuzhy, Velloor.

Old 7th and 8th Semester Class. (This is the class where I did my 7th semester engineering class. During my 8th semester we moved to our new campus. My class was in civil block, because mechanical engineering block was under construction.)

Old Staff Room and First year class building.

New Look of RIT.

Men’s Dorm

I will add more pictures as soon as I receive the same from my friends.
Shibu Raj

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Statement of Purpose for PhD Program

To apply for PhD program in most college, it is required for the students to submit a personal statement describing why they need a PhD and why they choose a particular college. Since I am applying for PhD at DePaul University, I also need to submit the same as soon as I can. So thought of preparing the same, I searched the web to see what I need to cover under Statement of Purpose, what are the important points I need to highlight in that and what admissions officer or the professors really look for in this.
Here are some of the links which will help you, If you are in the process of preparing one. I am sure any one who does a google will get this. I thought of putting this here as a ready reference for my readers.

The last one seems like a good work book for any one who needs some help in writting as well.

Shibu Raj

System Catalog Views in DB2

I have started working on my new article on DB2 for DevX. Today I started the research work for the paper. As I mentioned earlier, it will go on for a week till I get in to any solid writting. I will keep you guys - my friends, posted about the progress of my article.
Do check back again to read the draft.
Shibu Raj

Masters in Computer Science from DePaul University

Today I completed all the requirements for Masters in Computer Science from DePaul University. With my last course- IS 577 final exams over, I am now a Masters Degree holder in Computer Science. This is my second masters in Computer Science field and the first from a university outside my native country - INDIA. Even though I have completed my masters, I will continue my student profile as a PhD student at DePaul University. I have decided to pursue my PhD in Software Engineering under Professor Jane. I am planning to get this done with in 3 years or so with the help of Almighty - Jesus Christ.

Shibu Raj

Friday, August 12, 2005

Objectivity – An endangered character in human beings

Objectivity is defined as, in my words, analyze and judge things happening around you or in your life based on facts. The dictionary definition also goes well with my definition. In dictionary, Objectivity, when used as noun, is defined as judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices. In short, there is no space for personal emotions or preference. How many of you have this character? I know, my emotions and preference affect the decisions I make. But I am very careful, to make sure that, it doesn’t affect anyone else personal life. Because we are not supposed enter into another person’s life, unless we are so close to him. Besides, it’s not fair to impose your emotional decisions to another person’s life.Its not fair from my prespective.

But, does this word have any relevance in this consumerist, capitalistic world? Does this make any sense in 21st century? Does any once care about all these? I truly agree with my fellow friends, who are of the opinion that, no one cares about the above questions. No one cares about any one else other than his own welfare. Is this right practice or a trait? Most say, yes it is. I also agree to that view, to 90 percent. The reason is no one else thinks about this at all. Then why should we? But it’s not at all a good trait to be passed on to next generation. Human beings are successful to this extent and differ from animals because of capability to think and act socially. This made their advance in all fields including their culture. Also, thinking socially helped the humans to advance spiritually. When we loose objectivity, we are as good as animals, who don’t think more than a meal. It doesn’t care about any thing else other than its own welfare. I don’t know whether objectivity is better for today’s world or go by subjectivity. But I am sure, subjectivity will definitely give you a good and pleasurable meal for the time being. You will be well respected or made to be respected among peers. You will be attached with more responsibilities and titles. You will be praised and kept in high esteem. But believe me, all these are for a short span only. The subjective nature which helped you to achieve all these will recess to bottom, when another one takes prominence, may be through another person.

Objectivity is a solid human trait and will sustain till your death. It’s not subjective to the changes in this world. It’s a long, sustainable human trait. It helps you achieve respect rather than subjective pleasure. It creates a man in you, a human being and more over a social animal. May the almighty, Jesus Christ, help you to look at things objectively and sustain this trait till your death. This is my earnest expectation for you – my friend.

Shibu Raj

Friday, August 05, 2005

System Catalog Views in DB2

Today, DevX accepted the proposal for my second paper for their database zone. This time I am going to write about System Catalog views in DB2. I and editor, Glen, had a discussionon elaborating this to other database systems as well to cater a wider audience. Definitely I will look in to the prospect of having that when I start writing. I can't say any thing 100% till I reach first draft. After that only I can say where the article is going and how it is going to be during publication.

The preparation and research for this paper will continue for a minimum of three weeks before I start writing. I will post more details as soon as my research work is over. Right now I have given the title as System Catalog Views in DB2 UDB An introduction for application programmers. I am sure the final one will be different from this one.

Stay tuned my friend.

Shibu Raj

Thursday, August 04, 2005

SMILE - What it means for you?

SMILE is one of those words which you might learn from childhood days. Mom or Dad will ask you to smile when you are very young and you might have done the same with out knowing what and how it is, or the expression you gave that time might have interpreted as a smile possibly. Either way; one thing for sureit made your Mom or Dad so happy and made them really smile for a second on behalf on you. This is pleasing and encouraging experience that you can make someone smile at least for a bit.

As you grew up and learned the first set of words, smile might have been one among them. There you came to know what it means, its purpose, when, where and how you should smile. It is just one thing you need for any humble and honorable beginning. For example, I am sure you might have smiled at your boyfriend or girlfriend before talking to him or her. So we can say smile is the best way to start something which needs to last long in your life. I assume most of you agree to this.

Now, lets examine what smile means in our daily life. Like anyone in 21st century, I pulled up a Google window and typed smile and hit enter button. Google has a hell lot to give you, nothing worth mentioninghere. But it also offered the definition of word SMILE from dictionary and acronym from acronym finder. Dictionary defines smile as - a kind of facial expression. This we know from our kindergarten itself.

Acronym finder has an interesting acronym for smile - which I want to talk about. It defines smile as Service Makes Individual Lives Exciting. Truly this is lot better than dictionary definition. This acronym has something to do with human life our daily life. Its true that by having a smile you can make others happy, make your life exciting andnew friends. It provides a good platform to show that you believe in other person you are interacting with. All human beings wants acknowledgmentand smile provides thisto the people youinteract or work with. When you start talking to people with athey will try to heed you. They will accept and appreciate your ideas and lot more than any other time. Besides; by having a smile you are making others feel good and happy. Most people strive to be happy and they love those who help them in achieving that. In-turn, others will give you a smile and try to make to happy. In short; smile will help you to gain respect, position and more friends. The impulse of this in your daily life will move on to your family life, your work and more over increase your confidence and positive thinking.

Lets start practicing the art of SMILE - Service Makes Individual Lives Exciting. May the almighty Jesus Christ give you the strength and courage to practice the art of SMILE. This is my earnest expectation for all humans in this world and the world to come especially my earnest expectation for you - my friend.

Shibu Raj


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Cold War - It's meaning in human life.

When you hear the word "Cold War" the first things that flash across anyone's mind will be one among the following. Soviet Russia, United States of America and its leaders, arms race followed by that and the technological advanceson each sides. If you are one among those who studied history, then you may also remember the War in Afghanistan, in Eastern Europe and the fall of Communist regime in Europe and Russia. For common people, any change either political or socialtakes their life for a ride at least emotionally. For instance, the fall of the current systems in those countries might have led to job loss, poverty, loss of loved ones and so on and on. I wont be able to do any justice in recountingthe hardships they have gone through. I can list a hundred of them still I am sure I will miss another thousand. So I am leaving that to your imagination and exploration.

At the same time, for people in West especially in United Sates, the end of Cold War is a celebration. Its there victory over the world or its this victory that put them ahead of all nations. This also has some good and bad influence over the common people in United States- which I am sure they might have found difficult to comprehend at-least for some time. Since they are part of the winning team, these changes are sweet and easy to chew.

Being social animals humans only understand what is happening in their life towards the end or when these changes are most active. I am sure this was the case with the people of Cold war era as well. I assume this was much true for the people on the losing side. Once you start losing some thing, people used to imbibe a self destructing personality, which in-turn kills their self confidence and aids in their destruction. As the proverb says You are your first and foremost enemy for most of the time than others.

Now, have this history in your back of mind and look at each human life today. You can very well see that every individual is going through Cold War in their day to day life. Some may be in Winning side and most of them may be in the losing side. The degree of failure may not be highly visible in their life, but its true that it is happening. If you cant make this out in your life, either you dont have the insight to see things clearly or you are deliberately ignore thesefailures. This deliberate behavior is good and that is one thing most of the positive living writers urge you to do. The simple principle here is to achieve more and overshadow the effect caused by you failures. I am also a proponent of this idea. As the universal law states, you cant gain any thing with out loosing some thing. The important point here is to work effectively and efficiently and make the maximum out of things which you are loosing. There are some things which you cant afford to loose. You may gain a lot by losing that, but it will hurt your ego so much and may be disappoint you verybadly. There are no effective theories right now how to handle this situation. In my opinion, there are two ways to handle this. Not get your ego hurt or dont mind what your ego is go by what is happening. For me my egos are the one which took me to greater heights. I mean, I will work and strive hard not to get my ego hurt in any way. Other way is to, take it lightly. I know and I am sure this has profound influence on the relationships you have with others and also in your day to day life. But better dont show those feelings in front of others, because that is kind of a self destructing personality which you imbibe after your ego being hurt. Dont allow this to overcome your personality. May be you can now take a break from what you are doing like having a vacation or something elsewhich gives you more pleasant experience that what you are doing right now. Or else do some thing which you are sure to win. This will help you to progress to a winning side from a losing side.

Is this world is even and all humans are equal? I can give you a very blind answer to this question. The answer is Big No. The reason for this is most people want to be in the winning side and most of their decision will be biased and subjective to their personal gains. The more you put another person in to winning side, the more he will like you. There is no need to substantiate this with facts or figures, because that is going to be a futile exercise. Whether you agree or not, this is the fact which I have seen in every humans life. So what you have to do as a human? Do some thing wrong and please others? Not at all. Most of the times you can try to agree with others rather than going for a confrontation. In worst cases, you can be out of the scene, that way you are not part of this process. I practiced both for some time but cant do this always. Sometimes, your ego over comes your thoughts. This is what you have to get rid of in your life - which needs patience, exercise and some kind of motivation to do. But careful thought and having this discussion in your back of mindwill help you to realize that the world is not uniform and not objective as you think. This will help you to be in the winning side. Practice what is being said in religious text especially what is being told in Bible. Feed those who persecuteyou and give drink to your enemies". This is quiet difficult to be practiced in real life. But striving for this will help you to be in the winning side. Next step is to being diplomatic in what ever ways you can with out giving up your ideals and practices. Also; dont try to hurt your ego in any way. Many will overtake you in this subjective world, many will make fun of you, many of your achievements will go unnoticed but at the end you will be victories no matter how subjective this world is. May not be in the place you are right now, may be in a different stage. Subjectivity will always turn around like day and night. But good mans thoughts cant be keptinside a jar with a lid. The lid of subjectivity will open at some point and you will win this world with the power of losing subjective elements. The forces of subjective nature will always be in War - Cold War, with the objective forces and the facts of the world. Subjective forces will show some gains in short term, but will definitely be overcome by the objective forces. The most important point you have to look for is, how much we can afford to loose, when the subjectivity is in power. The span of time they are going to be in power will vary from time to time. In corporate world, where profits are the only concern, subjectivity used to overcome other factors for 90% of the time. But in personal life this has a balance of 50% each. So when you are part of cold war, your position will depend of where you are. Its ideal to be out of the sight of subjective forces at your work, since business is always subjective. Business doesnt exist with out profits and profits are the one which I have seen in this world which is totally subjective.

As we move on; May the almighty help you to protect your personalities and ego from the subjectivity of this world. This is my earnest expectation for you - my friend.

Shibu Raj

Moving to my new Blog @

To start a new blog or not ...

I was crazy moving from one blog provider to another for some time. Initially I started with I think that is by year 2003 and it happen to be on mother's day. I used that for almost a year, with out much activity. Then by early this year - 2005 when I was in DePaul University, I moved to msn spaces: a blogging service offered by MSN. I used that effectively for some time. But it lacks lot of capabilities which I need right now like desktop blogging, availability of themes and ability to move the entire contents from one provider to another. This is a long-term requirement for me as I am thinking of putting on my own blog software in my server under a sub-domain. Blogger provides all these requirements which I talked about right now. I hope and I like to stay with this service for some time. Moreover; you can provide advertisement using Google AdSense and can make some money if needed.

Why I need a blog and what am I going to write there?

This is a haunting question for every novice blogger. If I can answer this to my 100% satisfaction, then I think I overcome this frustration. But like most cases, I wont be able to answer this in a day or two or in one or two sentences or in paragraphs. Only time will prove whether I overcome the frustration of blogging - especially the frustration of what I am going to write here. Personally, I look at this blog from a very different perspective. Rather than putting day to day activities of mine, this is a green barn for me to shed all my ideas and thoughts ranging from computers, politics, philosophy and religion. Some of my views are biased and some are very neutral. As I said earlier; these are my views about the whole world and I am sure it is influenced by my own experiences, thoughts and feelings. I hope this is what you, my readers or my friends, wants to see here. I admit, whatever I am going to put down here is going to be a subjective analysis of things from my perspective. I look forward for your views, comments and ideas. I value those much more than any thing else. Besides; if you can point out the mistakes which I make here, whatsoever, that will be great. This is just a learning place for me and really appreciates your help in this regard.

May the almighty give you strength, courage and the will to endure the hardships of this life with cheer, fun and forgiveness. This is my earnest expectation for all the human beings in this world and the world to come - especially my expectation for you - my friend.

Shibu Raj