Linux Mint 17 over Windows 7

So, Before I had used Linux I always wondered why people who use Linux go for the hard things when Windows is so simple. But just to give it a try I tried installing Linux Mint 16 (Petra) on dual boot. But the partitioning went wrong and I lost everything; distressed I just installed Mint. And I have been using it for about 8 months and now I don’t even miss Windows 7. So, today I will be discussing the things I love about Linux Mint and why I ditched Windows 7 over Linux Mint.

  1. The awesome GUI desktop environment: The Cinnamon Desktop Environment resembles a lot to Windows, so you don’t feel like an stranger when using Mint. I has got the same Desktop with a start menu which is way more beautiful and handy the the Windows also I love the fact that they have give the search bar at the top so you don’t have to drag your mouse at the bottom each time. Also all the apps are categorised according to their functionality which makes your searching a lot easier.Mint [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_053
    The task bar is quite thin which is remarkable gives you some more space on desktop! Now talking about the File Browser. I just Love it! Nemo simply has a lot to offer than the Windows File Explorer. Believe me if you are a Programmer you are gonna love its features.On the right corner you have the File viewing options searching options. At the top Middle you can view your absolute path or relative path. Then you have the Desktop and Home icons. At the leftmost top the Navigation Buttons including the ‘Go to parent folder’ option.Linux Mint
    At the left of the file browser their are the Quick links (Very useful). Also you can view it in a Tree view or Hide the Left side panel. At the bottom bar various information, Meta data or File attributes are displayed. You can zoom in or out of the view.Now talking about the right click file menu. It has got a lots of useful options and the most I like are the ‘Open in Terminal’ and ‘Open as root’. The open in terminal feature save your cd command and lots of pain and the Open as root saves your sudo command. So, you don’t actually have to use commands using Linux. Lots of things can be done in the UI only.Security of Mint Selection_049
  2. Security: Linux is known for its security and privacy. You can set privacy options or File permissions so, other users cant access your files. Linux Mint has a nice UI for it too. Looks kind of amazing. When ever your try to access or change some important settings your desktop freezes and the password box pops up. If you are trying to access an unauthorized file the it will display you the exception. In Linux also you might know that there is no virus cause transmits only through executable files. So, no worry of installing any kind of antivirus. Pretty secure huh..Selection_059
  3. Notifications: Linux notifies Mint you about everything a little notification pops up at the left most corner with disturbing your current operation. You can receive important notifications like email, battery, Bluetooth, network and even songs etc. The other mind blowing thing is the small music player and the task-bar. Whenever you open and music app the sound notifier immediately changes to a small music player. Helping you to access your music easily.Menu_061Menu_063
  4. Applications: The Updates application is not complex at all as it is in Windows 7. There are priority levels for upgrades and description given. Also all your installed softwares too get updated from here only. So, you don’t have to individually go to every software and then check for its updates. The Software store is also great. Windows 7 does not even have a chance to stand here cause it does not have a software store. Plus, everything is categorised and free on the Mint Store. There is also Libreoffice similar to Microsoft Office and it does the job good although Microsoft Office has more features than it (but only if you need them). The Settings are neatly categorised and easy to understand which does not happen to Windows and its Control Panel is quite confusing. The other software worth mentioning are Thunderbird, Tomboy notes, Clementine, Sublime and a lots of others better than the paid softwares.History of updates - Update Manager_067 Software Manager_065
  5. Workspace: This one feature completely distinguishes Linux from Windows. In Linux you can open several desktop sessions or Workspaces and work simultaneously without disturbing other session. Switching between workspaces is also beautiful you just have to hover over the corners of the desktop or Hotspots.Mint [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_056 Mint [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_055
  6. File system and Multiuser: This is the main reason why I switched to Linux. In windows you cannot have multiple users accounts with different privilege levels. Also the File system of Linux is hierarchical. That means in a quite few minutes a complete map of your file system is set in to your mind so, you don’t find yourself lost. Though I wouldn’t be talking here much about the Files system a lot now.

So, been around 8 months and I don’t think I will be again moving to Windows OS any time soon. If you can get things for free, then why pay ? Download Linux Mint.

To view more indepth features of Linux Mint visit here.

Artificial Intelligent Personal Assistant Program in C++.

    Lately I have been working on a simple C++ AI project about personal assistant and I am excited to discuss it with you today. So, basically for now it only supports Linux OS. (  :)  ). I wouldn’t be sharing any of my code although I would be explaining the algorithm.

    This AI program is pretty simple; I actually can now talk to my OS in my language instead of learning its language and perform my day to day tasks. It behaves like any personal assitant and assist me in my tasks. So, whenever I say to it that “I want to work now” It will ask me what kind of work I want to do; like whether it is a programming in any language or some word processing stuff or something else and based on my input it will automatically setup the required environment and tools on my desktop. If I say to it that “I am feeling bored” then it will automatically create a playlist of my favourite movies and open up for me to watch. Or if I say that I want to listen to songs of a particular artist then it will create a playlist of that artist and play for me. It can also schedule my day according the work input I have given to it based on some priority levels.

   Now lets move to the algorithm… So the simple trick behind this algorithm is, Consider that I want to tell you that I am hungry. Now this thing can be told to you in several different sentence construction: “I am Hungry”, “I am feeling Hungry”, “My stomach is Hungry”, “I am very Hungry” and blah blah… Now there is one similarity between these sentences and that is the word “Hungry”. So, every time I want to tell you that I need something to eat there is a huge probability that I will be using the word Hungry in my sentence to tell you that. 

    Based on this common theory my AI program works, it simply reads my input word by word and searchs for some specific words and if they relate to some task then that task is performed. Now obviously this might look simple but there are quite complex algorithms going on in my program like; my program first kind of proof reads my input (I make a lots of spelling mistake) and then searches for specific terms, but there might be chance I have used any synonym of that word. Like in the above example for Hungry I might use “starving”! So, we also need to consider that possibility. Or if I am saying it like this “I am not Hungry” and if my program just searches for the word hungry; her its found it will perform the task even though I don’t want it to be performed, hence we also need to consider the negation statements. So, we need to consider all possibilities of user input. That is, I want to say internally there are quite complex instructions running to avoid these possibilities.

    Now lets consider a real example. I ask my program to connect to Internet. So, here the rest is same, te searching stuff, but to connect to internet I am using bash script; similarly to perform other OS related tasks I am using Bash scripting. I am also simultaneously collecting user inputs in a file so that I can analyze how a user interacts with this program and perform tasks. It helps me to improve my algorithm accordingly. Now, you can use this basic idea to make your own custom Personal Assistant ( to whom you don’t have to pay ). You can make it search the web,do your auto scheduled tasks, book things for you, send auto replies and retrieve data or do some funny stuff.

Here is the screenshot of my program (Its really very old and first version…):

AI in C++

AI in C++

In this example I tell it that I want to Work and then I tell it what kind of work I want to do (PHP); It opens up all the required stuff for my PHP programming like my favorite editor (Sublime-text) and then my local-host, phpmyAdmin, my /var/www directory…            

How does the brain function?

         I am not a neuroscientist or anything but just a guy who is curious to know how the brain functions. I know there is lots of research going in to this and lots of brilliant people are putting forward their theories of how the brain functions. So, here I am writing about, How our brain functions, based on conclusions drawn from carrying out some really simple experiments. (I could be wrong…But I do not think I am!). Here we will be discussing about the general working of the cerebral cortex, especially the frontal lobes, which are associated with executive functions such as self-control, planning, reasoning, and abstract thought.


        So, here is the basic thing I found out in my first experiment; I have a friend named Jessica (name changed) whom I last saw when I was in my sixth grade. Back then she was some feet tall had big brown eyes, short black hairs, and fair colour. Now for some reasons she moved to a western country and returned back after seven years, for holidays. When I went to pick her up on the airport I found it hard to recognize her…she was now feet tall and she had blonde hairs and had a beautiful face with proportional eyes! Now lets us look from the perspective of our mind. When I first met, her, my mind kind of observed all the important features of her and stored that information. Now after that whenever I met her, my mind would recall all that information it has stored about her, which would help it to recognize her and compare it with the present information obtained from the present Jessica. It would update its information about Jessica if she would make any minor beauty makeovers, but that information would not serve a ground to identify her because my mind already knows that those beauty makeovers are temporary and are subjected to change, although they would help me to spot the difference.

         Now back to present, when I am driving to the airport, my mind meanwhile, gathers all the information it has about her and compiles it in a way that would help me to identify her at the airport. Based on that information it predicts her appearance as a white girl with black hairs and brown eyes. Here comes the tricky part, when she meets me in the parking lot, my mind notices that there has been a remarkable change in here appearance; her hairs are blonde, she is quite tall, her voice, body language has been changed. Since, this does not matches up the few predictions of her appearance made by my mind previously it gets confused for few seconds. Although, it comes back on track and again updates here information. Now as these changes were major but not major enough to make my mind believe that she is someone else; it updates its obsolete data about her and proceeds.

Therefore, from this we can say, that our mind constantly collects information from the all the bodies around us. In course of time, it modifies or removes some part of that information when changes are observed in them and it has the ability to recall and compare that information to check the validity of that particular body or the entire system.

         This above conclusion can also be checked; when we recognize that our friend has cold from the change in his voice over the phone. Our mind constantly gathers information, complies information, arranges it, or modifies it. It also derives some general theories or principles from this complied information and takes further action or decisions on its basis. These general theories or principles can be anything like when your friend speaks to you in a harsh voice he is probable angry or if he is being excessively polite probably he needs a favour from you. Alternatively, these principles can also be about other day-to-day stuff like sugar which looks something like small transparent cubes is sweet in taste. Now, if someone offers you something that looks almost like sugar but tastes bitter, your are surprised and confused and meanwhile your mind forces you to check the fact behind this thing.

           Now in the second scenario, lets us name orange juices as water and water as orange juice. When a small kid who has recently learnt that orange juices is something that has no taste and is colourless whereas water is something that is colourful and tastes awesome…is corrected by an adult that he has got confused with both the things. Now the kid will argue with that adult and try to prove that he is correct.

From this, we conclude that our mind labels information and tries to find a relation between things it has learnt and the facts it has observed and derives one single general principle from it, for better reasoning.

        This is the only reason that we have several theories from several scientists about extinction of dinosaurs; as our mind tries to derive a reasoning to it by finding a relation between things it has learnt and fact it knows (which are very less in this instance). But, when we consider this example, “Earth is circular in shape” everybody seems to agree to it because we have got lots of facts or photos to prove this statement; which provides a perfect reasoning to everybody’s mind. Now if in case some reputed scientists comes up and shows that, earth is in fact changing shape, with all sorts of proofs and photos we all will be confused and there will be a lots of theories to explain it, and this quest will continue unless and until someone comes up with a theory which will be having a perfect relation between facts and things we have learnt. A theory which will satisfy the sense, reasoning of everybody’s mind and thus there will be no further discussion.

         Therefore, I learnt these two things about the functioning of our brain from some easy day-to-day examples. If you have something to add or you completely disagree with what I have said above please let me know in the comment box below…!



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