Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Last Lecture

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 - July 25, 2008) gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving presentation, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals.

If you haven't seen the video, I highly recommend it:

These are some of the points that I found enlightening:
- We don't beat the reaper by living longer, but by living well, and living fully — for the reaper will come for all of us. The question is: what do we do between the time we're born and the time he shows up.
- It is not the things we do in life that we regret on our death bed. It is the things we do not. Find your passion and follow it.
- The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.
- Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
- When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a very bad place to be. Your critics are the ones telling you they still love you and care.
- When you are pissed off at somebody, and you're angry at them, you just haven't given them enough time. Just give them a little more time — and they'll almost always impress you.
- Never lose the child-like wonder. It's just too important. It's what drives us.
- Don't complain; just work harder.
- Show gratitude.
- It's not about how to achieve your dreams. It's about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.
- If I could only give three words of advice, they would be, "tell the truth." If I got three more words, I'd add: "All the time."
- Do not tell people how to live their lives. Just tell them stories. And they will figure out how those stories apply to them.

May GOD rest his soul and bless his family.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Preparing a new Windows machine

I am writing this mail to serve as backup in case I have to create a fresh installation.

I recently purchased a new laptop: Lenovo U350 for following reasons:
cheap ($600 + tax because of a coupon), extremely light (around 4 pound), no CD/DVD drive (which makes it light. Also, I have rarely used it on my previous laptops and it seemed to be dead weight), 13" laptop (another reason why it's light, also 13" is almost about the right size between netbook and 15" laptop), 8 cell battery (with netbook like power-saving circuit, which makes the battery last "really" long), core 2 duo + 320 GB HDD + 4GB RAM (for my programming needs), VGA output (to connect to projector for presentations), other useful accessories (HDMI (to connect to my home TV), 3USB slots, kensington lock slot, webcam, mic/headphone slot, card reader)

I have an iPhone 3Gs + a ubuntu machine (another reason I did not want a CD/DVD drive on my laptop) in office. So, I have installed following "free" softwares on new Windows 7 machine:
1. Java: JDK, Netbeans, Eclipse
2. Reader / Writer: Openoffice (for doc), Latex (Miktex, Texnicenter), Adobe Reader (for reading pdfs), PDF X-Change Viewer (for marking/highlighting pdfs), CutePDF (for creating PDF), GSView (for PS), DJVU Viewer
3. Educational: Mendeley (for maintaining my bibliography), Sciplore (for mindmaps -> Using PDF X-Change I can create a printable version of my mindmap)
4. Synchronization: Evernote (for notes), Dropbox + TortoiseSVN (for documents), Firefox + Xmarks (for bookmarks)
5. Fun: VLC, Divx, Real player, Adobe Flash, iTunes
6. Communication: GTalk, Zimbra (for managing my Personal + Rice mails) ... Since I don't chat much I didnot install Yahoo Messenger and Skype.
7. Protection: AVG Antivirus, Zone Alarm Firewall, Also created a restore point using Lenovo's once click software
8. Others: R, WinSCP, Putty (Also will install Magic Disc in case I have to work with CD/DVD image)

I also use Toodledo (for my TODO list) and Eternity (for time logging) on my iPhone.