Dell Inspiron 1720 Upgrade to Windows 7

Thursday, 12 November 2009 12:36 by salim

No excitement.

This model is not tested by Dell and no specific drivers are available. So, I was a bit anxious about how well the upgrade will go. There were some troubling posts from the Beta/RC period of Windows 7. I decided to try anyways.

So, I popped in the DVD, started the setup. It told me I had three applications that are not compatible (Cisco and Checkpoint VPN clients and RAD Studio 2007). I was not too worried about them and continued with the upgrade.

The installer told me I had over 770,000 files to move, so I was not expecting a fast upgrade. It was not very quick. The whole installation took a little over 2 hours, most of it spent in moving the files. Immediately after the installation, my audio (Sigmatel HD) was not working. All I had to do was to go to the device drivers pane and update the driver. After a restart the audio is also fine.

So, it was a very unexciting upgrade process. Windows 7 however is quite nice. I did not have a lot of complaints about Vista. I don’t have any yet with W7, except that the UAC is turned low. Since I do not use any anti-virus software, I wanted it to the most restrictive settings.

So, now I am running Windows 7 on my Inspiron 1720 laptop without any issues.

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Categories:   General | IT
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Laws of Nature as God

Sunday, 8 November 2009 23:06 by salim

I have been reading a few books/articles the past week about world views, universe, God etc. In many of these, a repeating meme is Laws of Nature as an absolute, external phenomenon.

For e.g., two of them talk about Einstein’s statement about God being the laws of universe. In another one the author uses the fact that if the initial conditions of the universe just after big bang was just a bit off, we would be in a radically different world.

One thing, I think, we tend to forget is that, all these laws, mathematical equations and a priory assumptions about universe is our way of coping with reality. These are artifacts that we use to understand nature around us. Reality does not need to “obey” any of these rules. It just that, our observations tend to show that, interpretations according to our laws – the artifacts we use to describe nature – seem to be consistent.

At any point in time of human history, these laws are limited by our observations, and our logical and intellectual capacity to understand them. A good example is the presence of singularities and their usual side effect, black holes. Our current laws are incapable of describing this phenomenon, so we do not have a law for it. It doesn’t mean singularities do not “obey” the laws of universe, rather, it shows WE do not have a law to describe and understand it.

Nature – universe – on the other hand just exists, irrespective of what we think and what laws we formulate about it. There is no requirement for the universe to have uniform behavior and/or existence throughout its history and expanse. It is just convenient for us to assume that it is so.

So, when someone says that their god is synonymous with the laws of nature, it just means that their god is a manufactured artifact they use to feel comfortable.

For me, I am quite comfortable not knowing everything about the universe!

Categories:   Religion | Science | Nature
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Legacy of Carl Sagan

Saturday, 7 November 2009 23:59 by salim

Today is the Carl Sagan day. Monday is his birthday. He is one of my all time heroes. Here is the last interview, thanks to YouTube.

In three parts.



Categories:   Science | Freedom
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Intel Commercials

Tuesday, 3 November 2009 00:01 by salim

Intel has been airing some very funny, brilliant commercials these days in their “Sponsors of Tomorrow” series.

What I like most in these commercials is the celebration of brainiacs, otherwise known as geeks. Below is the Ajay Bhatt commercial.

Our rockstars are not like yours

Even funnier one is the one in which one guy sitting surrounded by glass boards filled with equations. He gets up, changes a minus to a plus in one place and goes back to his seat. His colleague comes in with coffee, looks at the board and says “very funny”. The other guy chuckles uncontrollably! I cannot stop laughing every time i see that one. Unfortunately, i couldn’t find a version of it in the net.

Categories:   Popular Culture | Science
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