Category Archives: Knock Out Punch

Would you pay more money and go the Exrta Mile or is it pain in the neck?

There is so much hype about Windows 7 and on my daughter’s request I went and bought a Windows 7 Starter Pack but kept on delaying opening of the pack to install it since the netbook I bought her already had Windows XP.

She has a working knowledge of Linux with  the desktop she had and I bought the netbook stating that if it started giving problems she has to go back to Linux for her work.

Something simple like Lubuntu or Meego or something advances like Sabayon, PClinux or Mepis or even Decian.

Then I wanted to repartition (re-size) the hard disk but the XP installed did not allow me to repartition unless I delete the operating system with it.

Since I have paid for the operating system, I realize it is not a wise thing to do since if she wants there are enough computers at home to try Linux including her desktop.

Then everything went into cold storage and she was down with some illness and Windows 7 was completely forgotten.

Today as part of my full reformatting exercise, I deleted all my partition and booted this Windows 7 Starter Pack to see what it has.

It immediately recognized the 20 GiB ntfs partition  (I made as an extra storage facility), the hard disk had and it started giving me instruction that it can be installed in one computer only and the blah blah.

It pulled out the internet wire fearing it is going to note my laptop machine number and the details and it’s identity and then allowed it to install.

Mind you this was the computer I bought in Singapore after big fight with the vendor stating that I did not want windows installed in it and I only want the machine and I know what to do with it.

Then I booted Linux while waiting in lounge of the Changi Airport with Linux a DVD I downloaded in Singapore (in one of my relative’s residence in Singapore).

After installing it goes up several times rebooting and this is the time it gives all your details to the Microsoft head quarters to subsequently send warning after warnings to lure you to buy all the extra utilities.

Finally it booted up and this one lets you have a password facility and the system has nothing at all to work with.

I told my daughter how stupid was to buy it and booted up and showed her the latest 10th anniversary Knoppix 6.4 live with compiz graphic and Pingus game in it and amazingly beautiful graphics.

It has enlightenment effects and LibreOffice and over 6000 t0 10,000 packages in it’s DVD.

Who is stupid Microsoft or little Me I will let you decide it.

Mind you I installed Knoppix and Sabayon KDE while typing this bloggy blog and tested PCLinuxfullmonty has 64 bits capability also, in between watching the last stages of the Sri-Lanka New Zealand cricket match too.

I must tell you Win 7 took a longer time to install and restarted several times.

Sabayon has a media center called XBMC and it is something windows users will never have the luxury of using.

PCLinuxfullmonty has blender and with these three distributions in my laptop I have amazing rich collection of graphic utilities.

I did not have to pay a red cent but had to spend some time downloading the 3 DVDs with K-Torrent.

Only limitation was the slow download speed of Sri-Lankan Telecoms.

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How to Freeze a American Credit Card

It is very difficult to be a very SMART credit card user.

About 12 years ago when I returned from sojourn abroad and decided not to go back in spite of the many risks involved (including losing my life on public transport or in a public place like Central Bank of Ceylon-now it is no more public, it is almost private where few cronies make all the decisions, or while watching a cricket match) in Ceylon. 

I had six credit cards and a small saving abroad.

Unfortunately those cards were international and one can use it in this country in spite of the war.

I was without a job and was not hunting for a job wanting to take a welcome respite since the sojourn abroad was lot of work covering for three local doctors who did not want to work where I worked but was a beautiful, place now almost wretched by the recent earth quake.

I was enjoying the welcome respite but I could not resit the indulgence with the credit cards.

One day when I looked at the credit balance abroad and the amount of money I owed and the interest accumulated, and it dawned on me I may not survive even a year.

That night I took all the cards and cut them in half and went to sleep.

I have made a few smart decisions in my life and very many structurally poor decisions (including returning to my mother Lanka and watching absolute corruption at all level including schools, health sector (both public and private) and electioneering.

But this was one of those SMART decisions.

I could foresee the credit market collapse (but not so soon though) even though I was not a financier.

The decision was to live within my means and not bloated like the mega politicians on credit loans from abroad.

I have some information for you how to FREEZE your Credit Card that you got the other day, thanks to the Lifehacker International for sharing their wealth of financial advice with me.

They are as follows

1. Take the card in your hand and oil it with some Sri-Lankan butter and wrap it with a tin foil. It may be useful to swipe a strong magnet over it to demagnetize the inner foil.

2. Buy 12 plastic containers that fit in inside the other and gradually become smaller that would have the capacity to hold a small piece of fish cake sold at Rs.100/= in a super market food stall-For example Majestic City.

3. Now put the credit card nicely foil covered in the inner most container and place other containers on top of it. By doing this you are going to save on the electricity, bill .
The innermost will have the coolest air trapped which cannot escape and the outermost will have the warmest air.

4. Now switch on the freezer and put the lowest cooling rate and place the credit card containing cartooned cartoon deep inside the freezer compartment and put all the reused or rotten food you eat on top with few onions and garlic to sanitize the rotten food.

5. Now you have to pay your electricity bill with cash and not by credit card.

This way you can Freeze your card till you become old enough to say good bye to this world.

Do not forget to put a note inside stating that “I do not owe the bank any money”.

This will stay put and a STATUS SYMBOL for your name since you may the only one under the hot Sun in Sri-Lanka who does not owe anything when you died.

All the rest are pawned for another 60 to 100 years by our caretaker politicians.

SuSe Community and making an Image for Archives

Edited on the 14th, March, 2011

I am not sure whether the comments i have mde below is correct, since I have found the same problem with Debian 6. DVD. Unable to copy the DVD image. It is 4.3 GiB (same size as SuSe) and Linux unable deal with a file size above 4 GiB in one file and has to be broken into two which can be done only with torrent.

PCLinuxfullMonty has restricted itself to 4 GiB and Gentoo with 4.4 GiB has  probably divided the file into two (32 bit and 64 bits ) and  by doing that has accommodated above 4 GiB.

I hope since the SuSe DVD has Gnome KDE, LXDE and xFce by dropping one of the latter two SuSe should be able to reduce the DVD lod to $ GIb in future so that image can be saved for posterity.

I hope somebody enlighten me on this issue.

SuSe community has the peculiar habit which they have acquired form Novel and Microsoft annoys me a lot, to say the least.

They let you download (which takes more than 36 hours or more from K-torrent in Sri-Lanka) a single copy of the image and and won’t let you copy the image as an archive. In the final seconds of the copying it has a script to abort copying which only commercial companies can use as a ploy to protect the copyright (which I am in total support).

This is not a Linux Tradition even if they are commercially operational.

In fact violates the principles of FOSS and true spirit of open software and OS systems.

When it happened for first time I deleted the image and kept the DVD for installation.
If I want I can copy the DVD but always have two copies one for use other one for safe keeping.

Mind you DVD cannot be kept indefinitely and if the image is copied to a external hard drive, a CD/DVD can be written if the DVD in use is damaged.

For example for an emergency but not for re-sale. I am not interested in copying and selling it to a third party.

 

My intentions are are academic and only for archival and retrieval purposes..

Unfortunately most of the old distributions are not in any archives or servers. The servers and linux tracker included have the habit of deleting not used (frequently) distributions from the sever to accommodate space in the server for new distributions.

They write automatic script to do this house cleaning job without archiving them.

The point I am raising is relevant now.  Currently LinuxTracker is down but gradually adding the images to it’s servers and it cannot retrieve even the most recently used distributions quickly enough to get the sytsem running in double quick time and it is a headache and lot of heart burns for many system administrators.

There should be a way of transfwring the infrequently used into a system category away from the main stream and thereafter after a lapse of a period  if still not used can be transferred to an archival medium. All these cost time and money.

I was once downloading BigDaddy (my favorite PCLinux’s original successful version) from a server. If I remember right it was softpedia. Half way through my download (which takes ages from Sri-Lanka) it was no longer avialable and I was heart broken. I could not finish the downkload it.

I made a humble request at PCLinux forum and one nice gentleman let me directed to a server and I quickly downloaded it for archiving. It is live and cannot be  installed but I use it for demonstrating the humble beginning of  very successful distribution.

Similar incident happened with Pendrive Linux. These was a defect (I got it downloaded from a Microsoft machine with Nero) in the imabe,

This was the first time I got a bootable Linux Image in a Pendrive.  Now even Pendrive site does not have a copy of the Original Image and I cannot get it from distromania or from Linuxtracker. It is like collecting old stamps and coins.

It has become a hobby and a pastime for me keeping the archives.

Coming from an academic (not commercial) background, simple thing like these matter a lot in the long run.

Commercial investors when they want to introduce a new system they begin by not supporting and then destroying the old system by default making the user vulnerable. Microsoft does this very well.

I cannot understand why Linux does this and good example is SuSe who has got under the fold of commercial CEOs.

 

Coming back to my story what I did was to make a copy of the image (this is something I used to do for old Distributions without an image but only a CD/ DVD for archiving) with K3B and saved it instead of deleting after the image is written to the CD/DVD.

When I tried and used the saved image for writing to a DVD it gives an annoying warning that the Image ” file size is different from the declared volume”.

Linux (K3B) checks the file size before writing and gives a warning before it writes to prevent one from copying a bad image and wasting a CD or DVD.

This warning or the deterrent cannot be true since the file image property goes as 4 GiB.

These are some of the nuances of SuSe and Mandriva which are driving Linux fans or uses away from them.

I cannot simply agree with this ploy and that is why I am moving away from Oracle, SuSe and Mandriva.

A CEO with commercial interest makes these decisions and my concern is why can’t they openly say DO NOT COPY but use these underhand methods.

Sinhala Linux-Hanthana Linux Included-Debian Update

Reproduction from Distrowatch

(by Dr.Asoka Dissanayake (Medical)

on 2011-02-22 22:52:30 GMT from Sri Lanka)

I have to confess now I support Light Weight Distributions and PCLinux is my my favourite,

But I love its Gorilla (dearly) Edition PClinuxfullmonty too.

I use it (PCLinux) as a Gold standard (not bench mark) for 32 bit hardware and Texstar is about to release the 64 bit version but he is keeping it close to his heart.

Coming back to Sinhala Linux Debian is the winner by neck and half length (horse racing terminology). I downloaded all of the CD and DVD and had a trial run of them and they are pretty good and elegant especially the KDE.

Again I confess I am a KDE fan especially because of its looks and the K3B burner which does not harm the hardware. Before I started using it I used to lose a CD/DVD writers almost every two to three months.

Both PClinucx and SuSe are KDE based. Suse is damn slow like windows but PCLinux is pretty fast.

Unlike you guts I have about 8 distributions in my laptop and I use them in rotation to get best out of them.

I have Debian also and I will tell you now why I use Debian.

It is the only distribution which can cohabit with all the others distributions and arrange the partition table so nicely in the GRUB and boot all the others.

Unlike Windows and Ubuntu, Debian does not fear other distributions.

SuSe cannot read more than 15 partitions and in the beginning they used to have over 60 (I stand to correction) partitions. PClinux some time cannot read FAT partitions and its partition formats are limited.

So I install Debian one before the last distribution and to get a nice boot flash I use PCLinux the last.

Debian make it easy for the PCLinusx to read the partition table.

There are many other strong points about the Debian that is why we use it in the Server Level in the University.

Regarding the downloading of Hanthana Linux I just checked it a few minutes ago with only two seeders it takes 3 days plus.

Fedora 13 (the 6 CDs) version with many seeders it takes little over one day. I will download Hanthana Linux after the Cricket World Cup which is my preoccupation currently.

Following is a summary of download times for your perusal.

Last there (3 days)
1. Bodhi 3 hours
2. Kubuntu 7 hours
3. EB4 9 hours
4. Pinguy 4 and a half days
5. Monty 2 days
and fastest was ArtistX one day and probably Fedora 13 too (also little over one day (according to estimate).
These are facts and not gut feelings,
I am struggling with pixie which has taken one day but still not finished.

If I am made a Judge – Judgment-01

If I am made a judge in an imaginary Court some of my Judgments may look like this.

Complainant

One who lost his gold crown on one of his teeth.

How did you lose your gold crown?

He smashed my face and I lost my gold tooth.

My Lord,
He took it.

Sir he is lying.
My Lord.
He swallowed his tooth and put the blame on me.

Is it a gold tooth.
Yes sir.

Can you prove it with your dentist.

Yes, My Lord.

Take him to protective custody and observe all his excreta and see where the gold tooth is and reports back to me soon.

Keep custody of all the productions intact.

Next hearing.
The case about the gold tooth Sir.
We did not find the gold tooth and we through the productions away.

They were smelly. I thought it might offend you in courts, Sir.

Did I ask you to bring the productions?

No Sir.

Did I ask you to throw the productions away?

No Sir.

Contempt of Court.

Take him to custody now.

Turning to the defense lawyer.
Are you happy with the policeman’s report.
Yes Sir.
I are you pleading for lesser offense of theft?
Or are you defending grievous hurt?
Judging by his mood and tone, the lawyer pleaded for lesser offense.

Turning to the lawyer representing the complainant.

I want to see the dentist next time.

Next hearing
Dentist appearing in court in professional attire.

Are you the dentist who attended to case No-001?

Yes My Lord.

Is it a gold tooth?

No it is a gold Crown?

What you mean it is not the whole tooth?

No Sir, it is the top most part.

This man says he lost a gold tooth.

What you call the bottom part.

We call it the root Sir.

Have you ever made a gold tooth.

No Sir.

Why?

In cosmetic surgery people are only worried about the external appearance.

The root is hidden and we put a different amalgam there to save costs.

What is the cost of the gold?

After some pause he gives an estimate.

Now tell me your charges for this case.

He gives the charges for the case.

Gold costs less than your charges?

Sir, we charge for the cosmetics and not for the gold.

Isn’t it a fabrication?

Dentist was lost for words.

Aren’t you ethically bound to tell the patient the procedure in simple terms.

You are warned this time.
Next time i will report the matter to the Medical Council.
Thank you for your time in courts.

Judgments were postponed for the next hearing.
The dentist was sweating by the time he left the courts.

The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the whole tooth, is the story behind the gold, the other elements in the amalgam

What ever the Truth Commission says, rest assured the truth is a mystery and invention of mankind but nobody can hide behind a tooth.

It remains for ages revealing the telltale story of a the truth and the origin of mammals and mankind and their evolution.

It is so hard it is very difficult to burn or hide the truth it reveals.

What a bite it has in forensic medicine.

This is not about the evolution but something else.

This is about the amalgam and the dentist who uses the amalgam to add extra weight and worth to the this historical object.

It is the truth about the tooth and how to become rich in spite the decaying and age.

Can you ever become a friend of a dentist and get him to reveal the truth behind the amalgam?

Especially the that one crafted with gold (teeth).

I guess, you would not.

They will never reveal the truth about the amalgam they use but they will always reveal the truth about the tooth that it needs attention of some sort.

But I will reveal the truth about the amalgam if not the tooth since the the pathologists job is to get to the bottom of the tooth and truth.

I will tell you how many grams or gains of gold and how much of other metals in the amalgam.

But there is a problem with that approach.

One has to die and one has to collect the tooth at the time of postmortem and one cannot neither recover the gold nor the money nor the prestige lost during the procedure both in life and after death.

We chop everything to pieces and only very tiny pieces we can examine.

I can tell you how tiny was the element gold in comparison to the price you paid for the filling.

You may say why not do a X-ray and estimate the real value of gold but it cannot be done that way.

It will only show a a shadow of the metal implantation and it cannot tell what metal it is exactly.

The dentist will never tell you but he will give you the exact charge of the procedure and no money back guarantee or the gold cannot be exchanged at the bullion.

One cannot do that in any case after death and now it is a museum specimen of the pathologist to tell your telltale story of the tooth to others not yet done the honours for the pathologist to step in.

The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the whole tooth, is the story behind the gold, the other elements in the amalgam and the tooth and and nothing but truth.

Unsophisticated Rural Youth, Disenchanted Urban Folks, Emerging Global Trends and the Digital Divide

Introduction
We are a country never seems to learn from mistakes of the past. This is especially relevant to youth and their activities. Up to the school age young are doctored to believe that if one studies well and get good grades the life is going to be rosy. They are not allowed to question the wisdom of their fathers or forefathers. Leave alone school eduction even after university education only a few are trained to take risks, become creative, be analytical and be able to solve problems without help. Above all, to be independent and emerge victorious in a society which demands skills that are for beyond their potential needs and character.
We tend to promote what I call the Mega Star Image.

How many of them can dream to become a cricketer and represent the national team?

Is there a development program where once the skills are recognized they are nursed with the correct balance of other educational skills including communication and become successful after the retirement instead of becoming a list MP?

Even in a professional training programs they are highly successful in a theoretical problem solving and paper tests, but given even a simple problem in real life the graduates struggle to find the solution.

This is true in IT industry too which I tend to delve deep over the past two decades or so.

This does not mean we do not have creative youth. On the contrary there is plenty. Most of them are untapped since our rigid, structured educational system in primary, secondary, tertiary level and in the university screen them out of the system and hinder their creativity. If you do a study countrywide sample of youth who do computer hardware and software work, over 90% of them never had any formal training in the field while in school. Their shear creativity has led them to the computer field and excel in their field and not due to the massive government school structure and the mushrooming Tuition System run by half baked trainers.

I will start with a simple example of a talented such person. One of my computers suddenly packed up with me being unable setup the BIOS. After three nights of fiddling round I manged to get a warning signal from Linux Console (fast computer) which said in a fraction of a second that the problem is with the cooling system and the computer switched off itself immediately with BIOS turned off. All along I was worried that it was due to a BIOS virus, since I bought a secondhand SATA hard disk and fixed it up, few weeks ago to upgrade its capacity.. Immediately I went to a young chap (now very mature) whom I new for over a decade (one of the first few computer shops that were started in Kandy in the late nineties) and told him the story behind and his younger brother nail it down to the cooler fan and fixed it with few rubber pads on which the processor and the cooler sit and the job was done. Had I gone to a professional shop not only they would have ruined the motherboard, I would have had to pay the workmanship too.

In retrospect what actually happened was an Electrical Surge that went across the UPS and hit the mother board had burned the rubber pads.

I am not at all saying our youth are not talented, quite the opposite but our education system fails them by inaction and lack of proactivity.

Lot has to be done if we want to keep our bright and young remain in this country or to prevent future repetition of calamities.

The introduction is in defense of the youth and not to do patchwork or ad hoc repairs to the existing system or structure that needs reforms well thought of and designed.


That is the job of the administrators holding big posts but my intention is to highlight where we went wrong not only nationally but internationally. I won’t go into the two unsuccessful youth rebellions both in the North and in the South and I believe volumes have been written but lessons not learnt and leave it for a political round table to dilly dally.

Demographic structure of the youth and their migration
The patten of demographic structure is basically dichotomous. In the developing world it is the Rural Youth and the Urban Youth. In the developed world it is the Digital Divide (the disparity between individuals who have and do not have access to Information Technology (Wilhelm, Carmen, & Reynolds, 2002). Unfortunately there is also gender bias in this context and I prefer using the sophisticated youth and the not yet sophisticated youth instead (add English and Ethnic harmony also into this equation for our youth to complicate the matters even worse for our educationalists pondering over this issue) to make digital divide somewhat invincible. The youth who are migrating for education and job opportunities to the commercially viable parts of the city invariably fall into at least two categories. The unsophisticated ones takes the security jobs and the sophisticated ones get to the service jobs.

To this add the group that had been slowly but surely growing. It used to be only drug representatives and insurance brokers who made the bulk of this category. They neither carry laptops nor ipods ( like in the developing countries-I sometime call them gullible vultures) but they wear ties and have a company vehicles. This category is an aberration in the third world and most of them are from rich families who failed both in IT as well as academic capabilities but have powerful vocal cords beyond the capabilities of some of our younger politicians.

They simply do not contribute to the economy and they do not fall under my radar.

For one reason or the other, I sympathize with the semi-urban (not the urban rich who will fall into some worthwhile category including the salesman category above or family business) youth for no faulty of their own victimized and marginalized by the area base selection to higher education and unable to rub shoulders with the new elite to get into the system without some influence. Some of them sell family silvers and go abroad and struggle in their education both financially and due to lack of proper English (French or German) proficiency and do menial jobs to survive and fail miserably in their educational achievements abroad. This was not true when I was abroad. The second generation children fared extremely well compared to the locals some of whom were neonaziists.

Majority of them remain here and they fall into the disenchanted lot. This category percentage wise and in numbers are large and do not fall into the cheap job seekers category above security personal level but the next level of repetitive jobs (nurses and laboratory assistant, clerical). Their dream of going to higher education is muted by the wrong policy of selection and going abroad is aborted by the economic reasons. This makes the bulk of this uneasy lot. If we do not have a system to look after this, lot of the middle class (it is almost non existent now) or the slowly upwardly mobile stratum of the demography we have a big problem in our hands. Simple rhetoric want help them. Either government (I do not see them doing it) or the business community should engineer this potential work force into the national grid in some tangible way. Of course with some prior training in skills appropriate for employing them or absorb them to new entrepreneurship such as mass (material) transport and / or delivery system in a subsystem of big companies, import and export business (call it outsourcing if you may) or new creative ventures outside the traditional system.

Fattening up the 20 to 30 giant conglomerate companies as we see presently will lead to lack of competition and monopoly. Lot of medium size or even better international level medium size ventures with branches abroad should enter inter the market. Failing which this fraction will swell and the reciprocal events that is happening abroad will catch their spirits and their youth.

This category is the one who did not turn up at the polling stations and would not turn up next time around too.

There is somewhat similar category abroad who put Obama into high office and Obama has not got a recipe for them. I myself believe Obama jumped the gun too early and he should have let Mrs. Clinton come into office and with perhaps Mr Clinton in shadow would have taken the country out of the financial trouble what the Republican (the war chest is huge and we have some similarities here but with some difference) have left them The Republicans took part of the American youth to war and remaining subcategory was left disenchanted.

In here too the war took a section of the youth to war front the other sections were left to their own devises. There is a category of youth in America who do not like the war but would prefer the resources would have been better vested and channeled on youth empowerment at a time of economic crisis (that includes the students that come from abroad).

This is why I feel Obama got stuck with the war machine whether he liked it or not, the inevitability of the trap left behind by the previous administration and he should have let Mrs. Clinton do the job of rehabilitation (what Obama has to do now is to disregard the powerful youth movement who backed him irrespective of colour prejudice).
They did a lot of internet propaganda for him to win.

Had he made his presence in the second time round after Mrs, Clinton with youth reforms which was probably in his mind, he would have left a powerful image in modern history but he was too hasty to come to power and now all Republicans and some grumpy Democrats are undermining his efforts. He was put to economic front instead of the reform front and medical reform is not what the youth are worried in their age.

The demographic structure of the Stubborn Old Age
This is where I want to emphasize how in the old generation in the West are pushing through their agenda disregarding the youth. The survival of the aged (unlike in the East) is increasing in the West. The proportion of the pensioners are increasing and some of them want to continue in employment and business as long as possible depriving the youth an entry point. They are the ones who consume most of the health benefits and with the stock market crisis the governments are unable to fulfill their service commitments and pension funds are frozen due to debt crisis.

Who are the ones who makes the decisions in the legislature?

The old people are in the box seat.

They get their golden hand shakes and youth are left high and dry. This is why in France there were protests. But failed. In UK burden of education is put upon the youth and who wins again, the old gentlemen in the legislative. They know youth protests are transient and sooner or later they pass the age of agitation if the old held the momentum long enough for them to succumb. The belief is that there is no coordination in youth activity but the old in the decision making machinery are not only stubborn but powerful too.

My question is how long the old can deprive the youth?
How long the youth will will stay calm?

My answer is simple. Until the numbers are sufficient to make pressure groups powerful enough and will hold the balance of power in numbers in politics. The numbers are going to swell up over the next 3 to 10 years and that is when the problem will emerge in full force. All the current trends are showing this tendency. Cost of education is going up. The repayment of education loans are getting defaulted. Cost of living is going up. The average take home salary is going down. Job satisfaction is diminishing and moving to alternate rich countries are becoming difficult.

Old are blocking the entry points at all level since they are themselves a struggling lot with loans and health bills. The youth are trapped in a vicious cycle.

A good recipe for an uprising in various forms. Early signs are emerging but politicians are complacent as always they are.

Like the bubble burst in 2008 another bubble is going to burst.

This time it is the Youth Bubble!

I do not believe American Youth will have the same backing come nest time round to Obama. However they are patient that is why the wave that is going in UK and France did not engulf America. Unlike Americans the British youth are the inpatient lot and their demographic structure is not very different from us almost homogeneous. Lot of them supporting WikiLeaks and the band wagon illustrates the problem in UK. The WiKiLeaks may be the catalyst they were waiting for. Nobody likes powerful rich governments dictating terms. This happened in China in Tineman Square but but the Chinese changed outlook significantly from that point. Now it is the time for it to happen in Capitalist World. The older generation did not care for the future of their youth except their own greedy agenda.

Current trends and recent Analysis
I did a web search on youth and their activities and to my amazement I could not find a single article highlighting the current trends or any worthy analysis. That is why I thought of penning down my own analysis having been abroad as a young person when things were quiet and both elderly and youth were happy. I want to drive a point of warning at the youth who are emigrating looking for better pastures, the one who is going out without some basic qualifications to support themselves. They should do some basic serious career ground work (if not a degree) and at least lay some minimum foundation before they leave for abroad. With internet providing lot of services that can be accessed from here it is not that difficult unlike 20 years ago. Once you enter the stream of one’s choice in theoretical aspects and minimal practical competence, that is the time one should look for places abroad.

Do not rush and do not let your enthusiasm ruins your future prospects.

Most of our youth are not ready for the hard times. I have personal communications from whom I have help to go abroad (IT industry) for further education. It is not like 10 to 20 years ago. Things are changing fast and cost of eduction is spiraling .up. It is difficult to stem the tide. Everybody is in the rat rate to beat the other.

Rural Youth
Rural youth are in the worst dilemma possible. If they remain in the village their scope is limited. If they move to the city there is no proper accommodation and city life is expensive. They have to either commute to the city daily or to run parallel processes (study while working) to support their ventures which is not easy. Only a few can succeed doing two things at the same time. The lack of English competence and lack of computer competence is to their disadvantage. They just survive the day but progress is slow. Ultimately without any preparation go abroad with a big loan at home. Same disadvantages but at much detrimental level holds him or her to the abject poverty there too. This vicious cycle continues since our education failed to instill the basic survival tricks and needs except passing examinations.

Youth in disarray
I will jot down few of my personal experiences for completeness sake. I should also state that this analysis is not any way comprehensive but a sketch for somebody who wants to delve deep into research of the current trends. It is a waste to go into past and proclaim big and global theories. Youth is a dynamic force. They are able to sustain and overcome any obstacles and mature unlike the adults who are stubborn, inflexible and fails to adjust to global changing needs and challenges. What we have to give them is the correct and unbiased direction..
Not give them same old advice if you get a degree everything is alright.
There are many who do not have degrees from a prestigious college or university but are successful in many excellent ventures.

If you have a dream go for it before you are too old!
Down to Earth Stories
Once I met a cleaning lady (they are called women though-but they do an honourable job) who was sick. She could not stand on he feet. I have already decided to give her two weeks paid leave and went into her story a bit at length. She had a kid under five and she was doing there shifts a day in three different places. She was underpaid and 12 hours over worked. The story is similar with security guys. They also do three shifts and that is why you often find them sleeping in their seats. The story is similar when you talked about the unskilled nurses in the private sector. They are paid even less. No revision of their minimum salary scale for over a decade. This is one reason I left the private sector; the last revision was when I was actively campaigning for them with the little political connection I had.
Other story is a more down to earth. This was a guy who was a drug addict. He came from a village after a some family dispute and was a good worker. Soon the boss who was dealing with both drugs and construction got him hooked to the addiction. All what he earned returned back to the boss. This practice is almost universal now. It is high time sociological students do some qualitative (not quantitative) research hiding their real identity in all the fields I have mentioned under down to earth heading.
I will wind up with some skills that are important for success in any profession.

Skills that Youth should possess
1. Cognitive Skills
2. Technical Skills
3. Analytical Skills
4. Strong Work Ethics
5. Ability work as a Team Member
6. Communication Skills

The cognitive skill is the comprehensive understanding of theory and practice of any skill. The technical skill is the skills each trade or profession excels in practical application of it. Last three are the most important but seriously lacking in both youth and adults. I will illustrate a simple example.
I used to carry in my front pocket a tiny folded schedule card (weekly). In fact this card is like a torn off page of a week in the diary but on a folded stiff paper. It fits in nicely in the my front pocket. Once it is over like in a card deck it goes to the bottom and the new one comes off the top of the pack. Unlike electronic schedule, I never miss an appointment for five years. Suddenly the printer in the Kandy Press stop printing this. Probably I was the only one except the printer himself using this form of weekly schedule. In fact I could say I picked his habit up. I was left high and dry but since I used it regularly for five years and I was less busy
I used to carry this weekly schedule mentally instead on paper. I must say I hate carrying diaries.
Then I was busy again I needed somewhat of a light weight solution. After some search in Colombo, I mange to find one in Pettah. This time with bit of an improvement. I found relatively small (but juts out a bit from top) but with covers of different colours..Red for urgent. Green for current and blue for over an done with it or canceled. This I continued and this year I could not find the red colour cover. I went to the shop (available in Kandy) for three times but I could not find a red one. The printer has decided to prune red edition.
So I was expecting the sales man to say “Sir Giya Awruddhe Cover Eka Danna Ko” (Put the last year’s cover over the new one) and sell another one to me.
This is what I call outsmarting the customer.
I did not. tell him that is what I am going to do now since I get a chance to tease him next time round but bought a brown coloured one and put the last years red cover which was as good as new (come to think about it being an election year I never had any emergency plan of exit). I had a slight problem though. It was a bit tight but I somehow squeezed it through without trimming at one end. Even at the tinniest level there were two elements. One was at analytical other was at the selling (technical) level. The cognitive level has no operative will here. I need not elaborate on all but the correct balance of at least two or three skills are necessary at operational level.
But for completeness sake I should state a phrase I picked up from somewhere. It goes like this. Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress but Working together is success. Sadly that is what is lacking in this country we have become so selfish that working together has become anathema.
It is nice to read “Rich Dad and Poor Dad” for inspiration.
PS.
It looks as the currents trends unfolding in Tunisia and Egypt may be a manifestation of this pent up youth energy. We must not let Americans and the West to manipulate this to their advantage and promote their hidden agenda in the name of pseudodemocrasy!.