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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat


Golden Jubilee of Karnataka State Durable Link to this BLOG
Karnataka, 50

This year the State of Karnataka will turn 50, and I have already started a major update to mark the occasion.

As I dig through our picture archive and notes, I am finding all kinds of fascinating information. Like how the state disintegrated after the fall of the Vijayanagar empire and how an heroic effort was undertaken to unite it in the early part of 20th century. Even though I have always believed that forming of states in India based on linguistic criteria was a grave error, I am beginning to realize that perhaps the only thing that holds together a diverse state like Karnataka is the language itself. I am also understanding why the modern Kannada literature (20th century Kannada literature) is so rich -- it was created in the enthusiasm and excitement of forming a brand new, very proud, very own nation (I am using state and nation as synonyms here).

FAQ: "How come you have all this material?!"

ANSWER: I have access to many contents that other people do not. For example, my father had been obsessed with photographing Kannada writers since 1954 (read: "Sphoortiya Neleyagi V.See" by Krishnanand Kamat, in "Kammatiga" volume) and amassed quite a collection.

Another question I get often: "Why don't you build a supersite for (insert your favorite province)?"

Karnataka is special to me. When my ancestors were being persecuted by the Portuguese they found shelter here. I have studied in a Kannada medium school and Kannada is the language I am most proficient in. I have no hesitation to identify myself as a Kannadiga, although by most definitions I am not one. I do not have the same level of expertise about other states of India as I have about Karnataka.

While at it, I went ahead and compiled a long list of Freedom Fighters from Karnataka. Please indicate ommisions to me via email and I will add them.

Oh, BTW, as my mother has said in her introduction, "Jai Karnataka" was the name of my first ever literary work! I was seven!

Karnataka Celebrates Golden Jubilee A "supersite on Karnataka"

See Also:
• Goruru and I
• Bhyrappa and I
• The Niranjans and I

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Last Modified: 5/2/2006 1:12:34 PM


Elwin and Kamat Durable Link to this BLOG
The other day, a scholar called me from Nevada via telephone and said --"We must translate Kamat's books to English. Otherwise Indian tribals will always be studied from a foreigner's point of view, because of Elwin's books!"

Many scholars have compared studies of native people of India (a.k.a. tribals or scheduled tribes) conducted by Verrier Elwin and studies conducted by Bappa (my dad), some decades later. In one function that I attended, I have heard severe criticism of Elwin as a cheat, and an exploiter of poor tribals.

My dad himself didn't harbor such feelings about Elwin, and in fact he was full of admiration.

Today BBC reports on the destitution suffered by Elwin's widow.

You know, Elwin was a very respected leader of his time; he served in high offices, his books were published by famous publishers (so there's lot of recurring royalties) and there is no reason for me to believe that his tribal wife Kausalya (Kosi), featured in the BBC article must suffer the humiliation of such extreme poverty.

Makes me want to believe that (as accused by that speaker), Kosi was but an object of rejoice for Elwin. He neither cared nor provided for her, something even an illiterate and ignorant tribal man would do.

Update from Amma (via telephone): According to close associate of Elwin, Kosi was a spendthrift woman. Elwin couldn't reform her of primitive habits such as "living for the day without care for tomorrow", or "husband is one whom you are with". It is said that Elwin was utmost patient with her, but finally gave up.

See Also:
• Verrier Elwin and Peacock Dress
• Free Sex System of Tribals of Madhya Pradesh

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, May 4, 2006
Last Modified: 5/4/2006 10:26:05 PM


Updates to Durable Link to this BLOG
This entry is for the daily readers of Kamat's Potpourri.

I am considering adding several Web 2.0 features at Kamat's Potpourri, bringing together the best ideas from discussion forums, blog commenting, tagging, user polling (la delicious), and affiliate associations (la Orkut). I'd like to write (or build) most of the software myself, so if you have implemented systems such as these, please drop me a line and be my guide. I am having a starting doesn't help that my code is scattered in ASP, PHP, CGI and .NET technologies...

Coming soon!

Indian Music on

To boost the Indian Music section, I sought the help of my grand uncle, Mohan Nadkarni and I am delighted to add his expert articles on Indian classical music and biographies of old masters to Kamat's Potpourri.

My sincere thanks to my uncle Prakash Burde, himself a music critic, for help with these contents.

Coming Soon, Baba's Centennial

My grandfather (affectionately called Baba) would have been 100 years old next month. Hundred seems like a long time, except that Baba was living well till a couple of years ago... Amma is planning to write an article about his adventures..

Meanwhile Some Incremental Updates...

I am making the front page more picture intensive by providing the stubs of new pictures.

I have modified the Blog Spider to crawl the blogs with reciprocal links more often. Hint. Hint.

Amma has many interesting entries in her blog, the latest one on Dhols and Drums. I was able to find over 50 different types of drums in our picture archive. Hanging drums, earthen drums, those beaten with hands, sticks, rolling drums, war drums, Kamasutra!

Don't underestimate the diversity of India.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, May 6, 2006
Last Modified: 5/11/2006 8:15:52 AM


Server Migration Pains Durable Link to this BLOG
I am migrating a database server (Microsoft SQL Server) from ReadyHosting to a new dedicated server on ServerBeach. Please pardon any errors you might encounter.

ReadyHosting have been a discount hosting provider for me for many years (like $100/year or something!) but apparently it has now been sold, and the new guys are saying my configuration is incompatible with their setup. Grrr.

And the ServerBeach costing $199/month has been nothing but pain. So far I am blaming all the hardships on Microsoft, but my patience is running very thin...

I am also experimenting with this new integrated text advertising scheme from Kontera (who recently got VC funding from Sequoia Capital). Somehow Kontera and Yahoo seem to be buddy-buddy, and I don't know if it will affect our AdSense or Google PR.

All that's bad news.

The good news is that I am buying a nice server to accomodate the bunch of newly added Indian blogs and to host the spider. I have many many apps in the works. Examples:
• Email a picture and recieve a PhotoQuilt
• Request high-resolution pictures
• Request bigger versions of all of our 12,000 or so pictures
• Recieve Indian language contents (much of which is not suitable for web) as outlined in Computing via Email entry many years ago.
• Content Managed Comments
• Perhaps Contnet managed Discussion Forum

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, May 13, 2006
Last Modified: 5/13/2006 10:29:32 PM


Link Suggestions Durable Link to this BLOG
Wall Street Journal: New Life for Old Cures -- Efforts by Deepak Acharya to revive tribal medicine in Central India.

USA Today: Instant Classic -- Coverage of the five hour Tennis final match between Nadal and Federer that nobody (nobody in USA anyway) got to see.

Amma: Remembering Dinakara Desai -- continuing our series of biographies on inspiring people from India. While at it, read also about Sane Guruji.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Last Modified: 5/17/2006 7:59:55 AM


Hello from New Server... Durable Link to this BLOG
"Are you charmed yet ?"

Yes. The picture you saw in this Sunday's supplement of Vijay Karnataka Secure Site - Requires Login is me! Thanks to everyone who've sent a note.

It is a wonderful portrait photographed by my dad when I was about six years old.

Update on Server Migration

Note to my secretary:

Please File This Entry under Amateur Webmaster section, so customers who are leaving Readyhosting because their apps are not compatible with the new ReadyHosting platform can "fix" their apps.

Send notice to all the Kamats who had requested email accounts. They will be gone!!!

Server Migration Pains -- the Detailed Version

The "Disallowed Path Characters" Error. This is happening because IIS6.0 disallows some features that IIS5.0 supported.

Solution: I changed relative paths to virtual paths.


If you have

include file=../library.asp
change to
include virtual=/library/library.asp

Same problem occurs if you have something like

you have to find an alternate way to compute the file path.

MSDN Knowledgebase Entry on this Problem. If this was such a security risk, why provide a way to workaround so the security hole still prevails?! I don't get Microsoft decision makers. (shakes head in disgust).

Our system implements what we call "proximity computation" by which a content item looks at its physical location to make sense of its relevance; it looks at its parent folder and sibling folders, which is exactly not allowed by this security enhancement. Now I have to disable it...

I had to move some 14,000 files. Never want to do it again. In the middle of it, my Windows crashed, and since I didn't know how many filed had been transferred, I had to try them again. Microsoft, when are we going to get the Linux's tar Unix's tar command in Windows that I can pipe to? Just ridiculing Linux is not enough guys, you've got to solve my problems.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, May 22, 2006
Last Modified: 5/22/2006 10:25:59 PM


Meet Amma in Gokhale Institute Durable Link to this BLOG
Jyotsna Kamat

Amma will be speaking at the Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs in Bangalore tomorrow (Saturday, May 27, 2006) on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Karantaka attaining statehood.

She will be speaking on the society and value systems since the formation of the state in 1956, touching upon historical traditions, social movements, and status of women.

I do not know the exact time of her talk, sometime in the afternoon (it is a day long event at the Gokhale Institue). If convinient, attend the function and meet Amma.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, May 26, 2006
Last Modified: 5/27/2006 1:12:38 PM

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