Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Laptop and other Stories


There is a famous law in electronics called Moore’s law. I mugged it up in my engineering days. Usually the question would appear for two marks in the final exams and so everyone had it on their lips. “The number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every two years”, said Moore. I do not know as to how far-fetched Moore’s vision was at the time of stating this law. I mean, I can tell that if UPA-3 comes to power again in 2014, the economy would decline twice as fast as it is declining now. (If you have doubts on this, let’s talk statistics in 2019). But without Moore, it would have been very difficult for huge football field sized computers to become desktops, desktops to become laptops, laptops to become palmtops and Apples to become Micromaxes in so less a time.

I have kept myself away from Apples ever since the inflation rate started doubling every two weeks. Now an apple either costs 200rs or 200$ depending on which one you are looking at. Both are way out of my league. So I settled for a laptop in the compromise. This is where the reverence for Moore doubles in me. A laptop for me is a super invention of the century. We may have sent UAVs to Pluto, built nuclear reactors that do not bomb cities, but the Laptop which came into this world as an intellectual child of Gordon Moore is the most useful thing that mankind has created in the recent past. The internet must be the next big thing. Both are affordable to everyone who can work their asses off in their day jobs.


My laptop has simplified my work so much, that I simply stare at it in my free time.  Humans are mobile beings and they tend to work on the move. The laptop is a perfect gift for humanity. I write emails, do presentations, watch videos, note down ideas, read stuff, scribble, all on my laptop on the move many a times. Which brings us to the question what am I doing when I’m steady and sitting at a place? Well I just stare at my laptop since it is my free time. I like to lie down and write, the luxury which no other device can provide. Ah, I know you are wondering about the smart phone! I cannot for the life of me fathom the idea of surrendering myself to such a tiny device. Plus phones are annoying. They disturb you for every little thing. The writing and the reading experience is much better on a laptop where in both your hands are free to type; it sits on your lap in all conceivable (no pun intended) positions and gives you the much needed comfort.


I did buy a smart phone to secretly see if it can take the place of my laptop. Nah, it only has made my love greater for the laptop. Like the hero who falls for the wicked mistress only to realise his love for his wife at home.  As I write this piece, with my laptop placed between my stomach and my thigh, I see a silent congratulatory wink that it gives me, while my smart phone is distracting me with a “Battery low” signal. If it is really smart why can’t it go and charge itself like Chitti, the robot? I also hear an inner voice which is screaming- “Vinay, for God’s sake you have studied Electronics engineering and not literature of the romantic era.” I concede defeat.



Indians are so very easily hurt

Indians being emotionally hurt is all over the newspapers and television these days. The SC/STs are hurt. The Muslims are hurt. The Hindus are hurt. The only group that is yet to register its hurt feelings is the Mayans. They haven’t done so because they are extinct. That brings us to the question- why is everybody getting emotionally hurt these days? Ashis Nandy (I never knew they cut their names just to make it appear “intellectual”) made a comment in the Jaipur Literature Festival which would have been rightly understood only by human beings born after the year 3013. That was how forward looking his words were. Or so, the Oxford educated elite made us all believe. But Behenji took offense. She too was forward looking. She saw some lost Dalit vote share in the 2014 parliamentary elections. But the man on the street, decided to take a step further and burn some government vehicles in Jaipur. Kamal Hassan took mortgage and made a movie which was fine art, but Amma took offense on behalf of the Muslims. Why is everyone getting offended so easily in our country? Don’t you remember that we are a race which remained subservient for a thousand years when invaders plundered our wealth? Oh wait.. I’m going on the wrong track here.

I wanted to write something to vent out my love for my laptop and am now confused whether my smart phone is offended by this.

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