Category Archives: Dream weaver

Day 2: The story of a website

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I have been wanting to design a website for quite a long time now. It started out as a way to win favor from my advisor. That was when I had just joined the group and was eager to prove my worth. A full year and a half has g0ne by and I did nothing. Blame it on laziness or perhaps the crazy schedule of a grad student.

Anyhow, I stumbled upon something called Dreamweaver – which is somekind of tool that let’s you create webpages. Thing about like this: Microsoft page let’s you create pictures, photoshop creates images, Word creates documents; Dreamweaver creates websites. I never knew before that websites are loaded in something called a ‘server’. this is a fancy name for a computer that has all the data about the website. When I create my website, i store all the data on my mac – so my mac is the server for the time being. Later I’ll have it transferred to the Brown server – which is a bigger and better maintained server. But I am not there yet.

However, when i came home to India, I found that Dreamweaver does not work here. It’s some license issue that no one seems to be able to figure out. I looked around and stumbled upon something called ASP.NET which is yet another software tool to make websites. That looks cool – but I haven’t quite figured out that yet.

Then my friend S told me about some thing called WordPress – which is both a blogging site (this one) as well as something that helps you design a blog. The idea is that, though the website that I wanna create is not a blog – it’s my group’s home page – I can still start from a blog and make it into a conventional website. The highlight is that wordpress is both easy and offers a lot of cool stuff to go about designing a custom webpage. S showed me his companies website and that’s cool.  I’ll find out I guess.

But WordPress requires a server – that is you cannot simply install wordpress on your desktop and then design it from there. But I wanted to learn it before I upload my site – play around, get familiar and then advance ahead. Also, I don’t have a server available now. Then I came across something called a MAMP – which is an acronym for Macintosh, Apache, MySQL PHP. If you install this, then you can disguise your computer as a localserver and then built websites here (using wordpress). I installed this and it works! The online tutorials out there are great and I had wordpress running on my fictitious server in no time.

Now the task ahead is to learn how to design my cool custom site…

But I am already enjoying this, and I get the feeling that this is gonna be one of those chores that would be fun to do….

Day 1: Things to do in the next One hundred days

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It seems like I have an awful lot of things to do in the next One hundred days. I am quite delighted that I don’t have moderately ambitions goals like “conquer the  world” or “derive the theory of Everything” in my list – it might be easier to teach my father to use the internet.

So let’s see:

  •  I definitely need to work on my body – I have come to love the sadistic feeling of pain and sweating it out at the gym. Also, I need to start now if I wanna have those six packs by the summer beach season. That reminds me to buy a protein pack. I have been using Gold Standard, but that thing is expensive here – maybe I should look around for  a less expensive local brand.
  •  I should definitely solve the problem of torsion of compound prismatic bars. This would make Prof AK quite happy and let him know that I have not wasted his or my time during the break. I would need to convince him that both I am Ok as well as give me something to say for the next four or five years. You see, I’m now on a medical break (Long Story) …and I am quite convinced that AK wasn’t delighted at the turn of events. The project was just shaping up when I just took off and left. I assume there would be a host of papers already published by the time I return – I’m not afterall the only one in the world working on Flexo-electricity. Solving this would be my deal breaker. I can hold my head high when I get back to Brown – and probably start on the experimentation right away. maybe have a paper by the MRS fall conference. Wait, Baby steps lord, baby steps..

This isn’t easy however, and would be the most comprehensive of my tasks – I’m from a materials background and this is a purely mechanics topic. I had famously flunked both the mechanics courses in my undergrad. If only I had known that mechanics would come to bite me in the ass years later….

So to do this task, I need to do the following subtasks:

  1.  Learn Solid mechanics – Professor Bower’s book might be the way to go. I need to open up the book and start reading…maybe I should print the whole thing out – I cannot read a 1000 page book directly from the screen – it might be easier to turn into a cyborg. So the hope is to be able to understand the torsion of prismatic bars  – I’m hoping to god that someone has actually derived it. I have no intentions of turning into a Timeschenko at this age. Brown doesn’t pay me enough
  2. Even with subtask 1, there is no actual closed form solution. This can only mean one thing – Abacus!! Apparently this is some kind of modeling software that would do all the thinking for me. But I had drilled Sean into doing this for me. But that a-hole did nothing! I mean NOTHING! but he did prove that there is no routine in Abacus to calculate strain gradients – the holy grail of flexo research. So I would need to write the subroutine by myself.  If I can do this, I might as well write the complete subroutine to be able to calculate the polarization values directly – this would be a small step for mechanics, but a giant leap for me. Go me!!
  3. With all of this, I might as well finite element analysis. Which apparently is the basis of all of modern mechanics.

I guess Ak would come and kiss me if I do all this. Maybe I should get two PhD’s for this, instead of one? Some I should look into. If only I had an identical twin brother. Damn random gene pairing rules.

But I should do this task. It is not only a great intellectual challenge, but might propel me from an average student to a research biggie. I should do this..i should ..

  • The short story collection – This is like the one of my oldest dreams. Something that I have wanted all my life. Seriously, I think that this is one of oldest of my unfulfilled dreams. Plus, if I just worked out in the gym and studied for my research it wouldn’t be a medical leave would it? 20 stories should ought to do it. I so far have one. I’m 5 % of the way there. Way to go Lord, way to Go!
  • Design the website – I have been wanting to design the AK group homepage since forever. This might I might actually be able to do it.

I return back having designed the website and having solved the torsion problem; AK would overflow with tears of joy. And I can forever look back and call this my Happy hour. I should do this. Plus, from what I see so far, this is kinda fun!

  •  Work on Depression methods – practice and perfect Wakeful meditation. I should do this, no question about it.
  • Also, learn General relativity ? – this involved tensors, manifolds and field equations. Ambitious but achievable

I guess that’s it. My stepping stones to greatness. I will elaborate on each of them in subsequent posts. There is a story behind each. It should be fun.

So there it is – 99 days to go! Come D-Day May 22, 2012!!!

LordGabbana! Prepare for greatness!!