Rajiv Patel

Starting Anew

It's been years since I've posted anything, so I decided to declare blog almost-bankruptcy. I've thrown out almost all my old posts, keeping only those with some sentimental value to me (mostly memoriam posts from the previous incarnation of this space). One nice thing about the blog-reboot is that since the last time I restarted the whole blog thing, hugo gained native support for org files, so I don't have to muck about with different formats.

Chimanbhai Purshottambhai Patel

Dada This is one of the last photos I took of my beloved grandfather. He passed away in his sleep last night, at the age of 91. Dada exited his life the way he lived it – with grace, humility, and quiet dignity. When my grandmother passed, I had regrets – regrets that I didn't visit her often enough, call her often enough, talk to her often enough – just didn't make enough of an effort to stay in contact.

Farewell, John

John McCarthy It's been a horrible year for losing giants in the computing industry. John McCarthy coined the term AI, and was highly influential in time-sharing systems (read: multitasking). Now, I don't write AI code, and I'm not an OS programmer, but John McCarthy's impact on my life is nonetheless immense, because he invented the LISP programming language, and LISP powers Emacs. If a warrior lived and died by their sword, a coder lives and dies by their editor – I'm a tenth as productive in a mundane text editor as I am in Emacs, and LISP is a beautiful (if, to the untrained eye, inscrutable) language.

Farewell, Dennis

Dennis Ritchie If I owe the start of my career to Apple, it's only fair to admit that I owe the bulk of it to Dennis Ritchie. Dennis Ritchie was a co-creator of unix, the inventor of the C Programming Language, and the co-author of this gem: The C Programming Language I'm long past needing this book, but I keep it on my shelf. Both as a reminder of where I came from, and as a monument to the absolute zenith of technical writing.

Farewell, Steve

Steve Jobs My condolences to the Jobs family, and all of their friends. I wish you'd had more time with each other. The first computer I ever used was an Apple ][+. The first I ever owned was an Apple //c, and I used that machine to learn how to program. Today, I use a Mac all day, every day, and earn my living writing software for iOS. Thank you, Steve.


Cricket My grandmother loved cricket. My grandfather does too. Here they are, watching a match between India and New Zealand. (I confess, the game makes no sense whatsoever to me.)


Ba For the past several years my mother's been making a trip to India at the start of the year to visit my grandmother. My grandmother's health has been failing – diabetes, a hyperactive thyroid, Parkinson's and even cancer. She'd had several close calls, but pulled through every time. Knowing her health was poor, my sister and I had been making trips to India as well – my sister went two years ago, I went last year, and my sister and mum were en route to India last night.