Simply Complicated

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Simply Complicated

While surfing over the Internet, I stumbled upon a wonderful article. It was a story of a businessman who was stuck on an isolated island.  The story goes something like this:

Once upon a time, a businessman was stuck on the beach over an island. He walked along the beach thinking about some way to escape the island. After walking for some time, he saw a native tribal man lounging on the beach. The man sat besides him and smiled at him. The native smiled back. The man said, “This is a pleasant place”. “Yes it is”, the tribesman replied. “If I would have been at your place, I would have constructed a resort”, said the businessman. “And then what?”,asked the tribesman. The businessman was shocked at the ignorance of this tribesman. He replied, “I would earn a lot of money by that.” “And what after that?”, inquired the tribesman calmly. The businessman was quite angry at this point. Yet he maintained his composure and reasoned, “Then, I would lounge on the beach and drink coconut water while getting a sun tan.” “And what am I doing right now?” This bought the businessman to his senses because that is exactly what the tribesman was doing.

Despite all the logical discrepancies in the above write-up, the point of this story is simple. Our life is actually very simple. We complicate our lives. And then we blame life for being complicated.

Enough is Enough

Before I begin to narrate this experience, I want to let my readers know that I love my parents, probably more than anything else I could possibly love. I stay with them and as I am sure everyone has, have a nice and sweet family. My parents of taught me one thing. We don’t need everything, we just need enough. I have always been intrigued by this thought.

Being a huge fan of Historic stories I would always attempt to read stories of battles and kings and would desire more to know about how they established their kingdom. Slowly I began to indulge myself into certain religious scriptures. They weren’t any proper books like Vedas or scriptures like Bhagwad Gita (though I had the access of those books, pardon me but they are just too big to read) but abstract articles that you get on the Internet. It mostly included great battle stories between the ‘Devas’ (Gods) and the ‘Asuras’ (Demons). Well we all know how the stories go. The Devas always won over the Asuras. One God in particular drew my attention.

Lord Shiva, The Mighty Mahadev, God of Gods. Seeing the titles, you might be imagining powerful God wearing lots of Gold Jewellery. Fun Fact, Mahadev is described as an asetic sage who has given up all the worldly belongings and spends his life meditating on Mount Kailash wearing only Tiger skin, holding his hair in a neat bun with the crescent moon and adorning the necklace of dried seeds of the Rudraksh Tree. Surprised? I was to when I first heard about this god. I was kid then but I still remember asking my Grandma, “If he lives in such a cold surrounding, does he not fear catching cold?” My Grandma used to laugh at this naïve question posed by a toddler then, but would kindly reply, “He is a mighty and all-powerful God, He does not catch cold”. Now that I look back, I think that by leading such a simple life, he only wanted to tell his devotees that you don’t need a luxurious house with a comfortable feather-soft bed to sleep at night, you just need a bed.

In today’s busy life, I believe that we are getting so engrossed about being successful that we don’t realize what it is costing us. Our thinking as become too materialistic. We believe that we will be successful only if we possess a certain object that people believe has certain value. And when we get it, we are disappointed, we raise our bar. We achieve our target and then set a higher one. It is a good thing to do so. But we need to realize that after achieving something, we must take a break. Celebrate what you have achieved, may it be material or immaterial. Your achievement may bring you happiness, but celebrating your achievement and sharing it with others will only increase it tenfold. Know when to stop. If you push yourself to hard, you may break. And what is broken is useless. It needs to be re-forged, remade, and that takes time.

Don’t run after everything. Remember, Even if you have a very awesome sport shoe, you can’t run fast with it if it is twice the size of your feet. Just as too little is not good, so is too much. Remember the ancient Sanskrit saying, “Ati Sarvatra Varjyate” (Too much of anything is not good). Know how much you need from life. That is the secret of a happy life. And it is important to be happy, to be successful.

Weekend #1

Weekends, the most awaited days of our life – except of course the holidays. But how do we spend them? Some spend it Resting and cleaning their homes, others spend them lazing around. While some step out of the house, to find some adventure and make the most of it, others stay in their beds without worrying about what to do the rest of the day.

There is nothing wrong in doing any of these stuff. To be frank, I have done each and everything mentioned above. And that is what I am going to tell here – What I did this weekend! I am quite excited to write about it as my mind is jumping and pumping and bursting to share this with someone, anyone, about my weekends. However, very few are interested in listening. So better write a blog, right?

Right, so let’s begin with ‘The Fantastic Tale of a Travelling Arcanist’. It’s not truly an ‘Arcanist’ but I just love the term for what it stands and often associate myself with it. So, let The Journey begin.

I work in night shift at a renowned MNC. Each evening when the public tries to find their way home, I walk the streets to find my way to work. My Family even decided to give me the title of “Raato ka Raaja” (King of Night). All the weekdays, I went to work in my shift 6.30 to 3.30. These timings are important – coz the whole story depends on it.

It was Thursday, 16th March when I got on a cheery afternoon (one of the advantages of night shift – you get to sleep late and wake even more late) and I noticed a notification on my mobile. It was Facebook’s Birthday reminder, telling me whom I had to wish today. I realized that it was my brother’s birthday, this coming weekend. I made up my mind to visit him. The Plan was simple – catch a train, reach my brother’s house, party hard, return home. The only hurdle was the train was scheduled to depart early in the morning. It was the only one convenient to go to my brother’s home.

I entered my office on Friday with a pair of cloths required for a 2-days stay and the office documents in the same bag. At 3.30, when I was ready to leave, my lead asked me to do a last minute Task. Needless to say, I obliged. I left the office at 4 am. I was late, I was never gonna catch the 6.55 am train. Yet I hurried to the metro station. Persistent as I am, I decided to try, hoping against hope that I will reach my destination station that was the source station to visit my brother.

After reaching the metro station, I found out that I had no change left for the tickets. So I had to run to the nearest ATM collect some change and buy the ticket to the metro train. I missed a metro and had to wait for another. It was 6:10 am now and I had to reach the required station by 6.45 so that I could buy a ticket race to platform and catch the desired train. I switched the train in between while reaching the main station and boarded the train just in time. It took me nearly 3 hours to reach my brother’s place. And he was not at home. So I and my Mama (my brother’s father) decided to give him a surprised party. I bought cake and sweets. Meanwhile his (brother’s) brother-in-law came with pastries, we bought ice-cream. In the evening, when he came home, we had an awesome party. At 10 pm everybody slept, except me (You know, Raato ka Raaja and stuff). I roamed in the premises till 1.30 am watched movie and finally slept. Next morning (Sunday), we had chicken and paneer for the meal. Then we went sight-seeing, and returned at 9 in the evening. I went to bed early (at 11 pm) coz I had to leave for my home and reach my office the following evening. The next day, I asked my friend who was also in town and my co-worker in my company to drop me to the city. He agreed and we meet at noon. From there began a wonderful road trip. We passed through tunnels and Ghats and a Hillstation. We also had a chance to view an exotic view of a city from over the mountains. And Boy! It was mesmerizing.

I reached my home at 3 in noon that day and went back to office at 6:30. All in all I enjoyed the trip.

How to build your own OS: Part 1

Being a workaholic person, I get bored easily when I have nothing to do. This mostly happens when I am at my room. So, just for fun, I thought to make an operating system from scratch. Now, if any of you ever tried this thing, you will understand this when I say that setting up the environment is a bit of a headache. Yet I was to stubborn to give up a challenge such as that and in a short while I will be telling you how to do it. But before I do that, I would like to thank some people and acknowledge their contribution for helping me pursue this project. First, my parents, for supporting me, listening to my complains and problems and handling my temper when I tried and failed and everything else. Second, my room mates and friends, who understood my passion and supported me at every turn, for constantly pushing me to do my best, advising me when I required it and yelling at me when I needed it.

Now, back to work. We gonna make a simple OS that boots, has file system and is extensible. But we can’t do everything at once. So, in this post, I gonna walk you through the answer to the question ‘How do I set up the environment and start with building a bootloader?’

I have a windows 10 operating system in my laptop. Its not a good or friendly environment to build an operating system. So what we can do is use Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Centos, Debian, etc. There are many OS flavours of Linux. We can use any one. But that doesn’t mean that we have to remove our operating system and install Linux.

The one option that I find suitable is to use a virtual machine, such as VMware or VirtualBox. Install the your Linux distro in VirtualBox (or VMware) and you can use it as any operating system. However, if you already have a Linux pre-installed on your system, no need to install it again on a virtual machine.

We will be using NASM as an assembler to write and execute assembly language codes and QEmu (Q Emulator) to emulate the CPU Environment since we don’t want to erase our existing operating system and test our awesome operating system.

To install these software in Ubuntu (The Linux distro that I am using. Although the commands are common for all the flavours of Linux) we type the following command:

sudo apt-get install build-essential qemu nasm

After hitting the enter key, the terminal will ask for your admin password. After entering the admin password, it will start installing the specified software.

Then we start writing the code. To open or edit file, Linux provides a software known as ‘vi’ editor. To open or edit a file we need to give a command as vi <filename> where <filename> is the name of your file.  Here is what I wrote as my first assembly language code:

loop:

jmp loop

times 510-($-$$) db 0

dw 0xaa55

This file, I saved as boot_sect.asm. The .asm extension is useful to denote that it is an assembly language file.

Now, we compile this file. To compile this file, we give the command:

nasm -f bin -o boot_sect.bin boot_sect.asm

This command will convert the given assembly language file into a binary file.

After this, we can now load it into qemu. For this, we use the following command:

qemu-system-i386 boot_sect.flp

It will show you a screen which will say, loading from hard disk. Thus we know that the program we have written is correct.

I know whatever I have told is a brief overview and does not cover everything.But it does cover the main flow. Please comment for queries and suggestions. There is a lot more, yet to come. Stay tuned.

Something to share

open-arms

Moving away from home is a difficult thing, moving to an unexpected destination, even more so. Over the past few months, I have moved to two different locations for my job. Things you do for love and hunger. Love? Yes I thought I’ll get to be a developer (guess I would have to wait to be that). Hunger? It’s my first job and I don’t want lose it coz its paying me fairly well (and anyways, I have signed a contract to be their employee for two years). But we are missing the point. Leaving my home has taught me things. I am now more responsible (when was I irresponsible?? Even I don’t know ;P ), more cautious and (most important of all) more mature. Sounds funny? I know. Trust me. I have. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this blog. What I want to say is that this is my last blog. My last blog in the sense? I am out of stories. To be frank, I do have a store but I don’t think just writing down the stories is helping. I feel as if I am imposing myself on everyone, shouting from the bottom of my belly and yet no one really hears it. So here is what I gonna do. I gonna listen. I don’t know how many of you read my blogs, I don’t know how many like it or don’t like it. What I do know is that there are people out there who have read my blogs and liked it. Whatever I posted until now were my experiences. Some things I saw, some I was told. Now, I need your help to continue. I want you to share some material that you find motivational, innovative or creative. Share whatever you want. I’ll read it. Ask whatever you want, I’ll try to answer to the best of my knowledge. I’ll try to make my personal blogs more technical from now on. Thank you all. Whenever you feel like you wanna share something, write to me at sanket.gupte542@gmail.com. I think I have talked a lot. Now, I gonna try to listen.