The Story of the Birth of PARAM – India’s First Supercomputer


In 1985, India wanted a supercomputer for weather forecasting as it was very important for our farmers and for our agriculture at large. Similarly, Indian Institute of Science aspired to have a powerful supercomputer for advanced education and research. At that time, only US had supercomputing capability and Cray was the pioneer of Supercomputers. Japan was trying to follow but was nowhere near, quite lacking in software capabilities. Cray supercomputer that we wanted was denied to us as US considered supercomputing as a strategic and dual-use technology as supercomputers could be used for Defence, Space, and Nuclear programs. When Mr. Rajeev Gandhi became the PM, he took-up the issue with the then US President Ronald Regan. With a lot of negotiations, US agreed but humiliating conditions for its use. Rajeev Gandhi then gave a call to Indian scientists to develop an indigenous supercomputer. The year was 1987. At that time Mr. KPP Nambiar was Secretary of Department of Electronics of Govt. of India and Mr. K. R. Narayanan was the Minister of State for Science and Technology. I was the Director of ER&DC, Trivandrum and Mr. Nambiar was the Chairman from 1980-87. Mr. Nambiar called me to take up the Supercomputing challenge. Earlier, I had taken up similar challenge to develop India’s first fully solid-state colour TV, components and launch of colour broadcast for Asiad at the exhortation of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. I was also given the responsibility of developing a modern security system at ER&DC for Mr. Rajeev Gandhi. So I was called upon to lead India’s national initiative in supercomputers. Rajiv Gandhi had asked me 3 questions:

1) “Can we do it? I said, “I have not seen a supercomputer as we have no access to supercomputer, I only have seen a picture of Cray!”

2) “How long will it take?”, he asked. I promptly replied, “Less than it took for us in trying to import Cray from US. And we could develop the whole technology in less than 3 years. And we could develop the whole technology in less than 3 years!” He smiled and then asked,

3) “How much money it would take?” I replied, “The whole effort, including building an institution, developing technology and delivering India’s first supercomputer of YMP capability would cost less than the cost of Cray YMP, including its site, installation and commissioning!! This immediately pleased the PM and the C-DAC mission was approved on the model of Sam Pitroda’s C-DOT.

We launched C-DAC in Pune on Gudhi Padwa of 1988. First prototype mode was ready in 1990, in spite of the fact that I could not recruit a single person for 6 months, including my secretary, due to bureaucratic hurdles! We called it Param, meaning ‘Supreme’ in Sanskrit. First nobody believed that what we developed was a Supercomputer, as it did not look like the Cray machine, including my computer scientist professors. Then I decided to take the Param prototype to a major international conference and exhibition of supercomputers, where it was demonstrated and benchmarked. And we came next to US and it was declared that India has developed a supercomputer. The following year, we built a full-fledged parallel supercomputer called Param 8000 with one gigaflop per second speed and the US Newspapers had published this news, “Denied supercomputer, Angry India does it!”

As told by Dr. Vijay Bhatkar to

Dr. Vijay Bhatkar is best known as the architect of India’s first supercomputer and as the founder Executive Director of C-DAC, India’s national initiative in supercomputing. He is credited with the creation of several national institutions, notably amongst them being C-DAC, ER&DC, IIITM-K, I2IT, ETH Research Lab, MKCL and India International Multiversity.

Ever wondered why airplane windows are always round or slightly curved?



Ever wondered why airplane windows are always round or slightly curved? Well actually they were not always round. In fact, till 1950’s they were rectangular in shape.

As the planes became more popular, planes needed to fly high, flying high meant less drag because the air density is lower in the upper atmosphere, and lesser drag meant less fuel is wasted. Flying high also meant lesser turbulence because the plane could fly above the turbulent lower atmosphere.

Certain design changes had to be incorporated to allow planes to fly higher. The cabin has to be pressurized to create a survivable environment for the passengers. Second, the cabin must be cylindrical in shape because cylinder can resist the new internal pressure. But one design flaw which was not corrected when the cabin pressurization was first introduced – the windows remained square. So, why is this a problem?

As a plane increases in altitude, the external atmospheric pressure lowers more than the internal cabin pressure. This causes a difference in the pressure in the inside and outside of the plane causing the plane to expand ever so slightly. When a material changes shape like this, stress is created in the material. As the material is stretched more and more, stress begins to rise. Eventually the stress can rise so high so that the material can break. And there are a lot of factors which can elevate this stress. One of them is the shape of material. In planes, the shape of windows has a huge effect on the level of stress. Let’s see how.

Stress will flow smoothly through material, but if an obstacle is placed in its path, it needs to change direction and this causes pressure to build in certain directions. This is called stress concentration.


Comparing square windows to oval windows, we can see that square windows provide a larger barrier to the smooth flow of stress which means that the stress builds in the sharp corners of windows.


This elevated square stress formed due to square windows actually caused two planes to fall apart in the air in 1953, killing 56 people. It took engineers some time to realize that it was due to the square shape of windows. Since then, airplane windows have always been oval or round in shape.


Dr. Yellapragada SubbaRow – He lived so that you could live longer



Dr. Yellapragada Subbarow was one of the most important biochemists and scientists of not only India but of the entire world in the 20th century. He led one of the most important medical researches in the USA during World War Two.

  1. He discovered the role of phosphocreatine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as an energy source in the cell. This lead to the foundation of biochemistry and all the further discoveries in this field are directly or indirectly influenced by this.
  2. He developed methotrexate for the treatment of cancer. This, without a doubt, is the single most important drug for the treatment of innumerable cancers. He has literally saved millions of life through this drug.
  3. He discovered Diethylcarbamazine. This drug is the only good treatment available for filariasis or elephant foot, which if not treated, makes the life of the patient a living hell.
  4. Working under Subbarow’s guidance, Benjamin Duggar made his discovery of the world’s first tetracycline antibiotic, Aureomycin, in 1945. Aureo is the Latin word for Gold, meaning that it ushered the Golden Era of Antibiotics where millions of death will be prevented.

22 Interesting Facts about Diamonds




  1. With a hardness of ten on the Mohs scale, diamond is the hardest natural substance. Diamonds are so hard that the only tools that can be used to cut a diamond must be made from another diamond.
  2. The United States is the world’s leading consumer of gemstones. In 2014 it consumed about $22.5 billion in unset gem-quality stones. That was about 35% of the world’s gem diamond production.
  3. Diamonds were discovered in India at least 2400 years ago and India was the first commercial producer of diamonds. The country dominated commercial diamond production until South American discoveries in the 1730’s.
  4. The value of a diamond is based upon its carat weight, clarity, colour and the quality of its cut. Most diamonds are in a colour range that runs from clear to yellow to brown. Colourless receive the highest grade and are generally of highest value.
  5. A small number of natural diamonds fall outside of the typical white-yellow-brown colour range. They are pink, blue, purple, red, orange or any colour. Those of a pleasing hue are extremely valuable and are given the name “fancy” diamonds.
  6. As in other gemstones, colour variants in diamond can be caused by impurities, heat or irradiation. Nitrogen in the stone causes a yellow colour. Irradiation can produce greens. Irradiation then heating can produce almost any colour.
  7. Diamonds are a high-temperature, high- pressure minerals. They do not form naturally at Earth’s surface or at shallow depths. The conditions where they can form are in Earth’s mantle about 100 miles below the surface.
  8. Poly-morph means “many forms”. Diamond and graphite are poly-morphs. They are both made up of carbon but have different properties. This results from their different crystal structures and different types of bonds between carbon atoms.
  9. People have been able to manufacture diamonds since the 1950’s. At first the cost was very high. Now, over 100 tons of synthetic diamonds are produced every year. Most of these diamonds are used to make cutting tools and abrasives.
  10. The largest known diamond deposit is at Popigai Crater in Russia. There an asteroid impact provided enough heat and energy to convert carbon surface materials into diamond. The diamonds are of industrial quality.
  11. People have successfully made synthetic diamonds for use in fine jewellery. The stones are undistinguishable from natural diamonds, even when observed by experienced gemmologists. They can be identified only by laboratory tests.
  12. Most of the world’s most famous diamonds have been found at the Cullinan Diamond mine in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. An example is the 507-carat “Cullinan Heritage”, a Type IIA diamond of extreme quality and clarity.
  13. Canada’s first commercial gem-quality diamond mines delivered their first production in the late 1990’s. In the short years since, Canadian diamond mines have become some of the world’s leading producers.
  14. There is only one diamond mine in the world where anyone can be a miner. That mine is at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. For a few dollars you can mine for a day and keep anything you find.
  15. Diamonds from space is a reality. They have been found in some meteorites and the impact of meteorites with Earth is thought to produce enough heat and pressure to transform carbon into diamonds.
  16. Many uncut diamonds have a geometric shape. These natural diamond crystals commonly are in the form of an octahedron. This shape is similar to two four-sided pyramids connected at their base to form a geometric solid with eight faces.
  17. Drilling oil and gas wells down through thousands of feet of rock requires a tough drill bit. Small diamonds are embedded into the cutting surfaces of these bits. The extremely hard diamonds wear away the rock as the drill bit is turned in the hole.
  18. Diamonds are used to make saw blades used to cut concrete, rock, brick and even gemstones. These are circular saws with a blade tipped with tiny particles of diamond. As the blade turns the diamonds saw through the concrete.
  19. Diamonds form at high pressure and that makes them stable in such an environment. When scientists need to place small objects under ultra-high pressure they often press them between two pieces of diamond known as “diamond anvils”.
  20. Diamonds have a simple composition. They are composed of carbon. Diamond is the only gemstone composed of just one element. Trace amounts of other elements exist in diamonds as impurities. These can give diamond a slight colour.
  21. The highest price ever paid for a rough diamond was $35.3 million. Chow Tai Fook, Hong Kong’s largest jewellery company, purchased the 507-carat “Cullinan Heritage” diamond in 2010.
  22. Although the United States is the largest consumer of gem diamonds it has almost no production. The only mine is a state park where tourists can pay a fee to look for diamonds. The park yields just a few hundred carats per year.


5 Facts about the Human Brain that will Blow Your Mind!


  1. The human brain contains roughly 100 billion neurons.
  2. Most computational neuroscientists tend to estimate human storage capacity somewhere between 10 terabytes and 100 terabytes, though the full spectrum of guesses ranges from 1 terabyte to 2.5 petabytes. (One terabyte is equal to about 1,000 gigabytes or about 1 million megabytes; a petabyte is about 1,000 terabytes.)
  3. One thing is certain: The notion that humans only use 10 percent of their brain is a myth—information may be stored in every part of the brain.
  4. Each neuron seems to have a “clock speed” on the order of kilohertz, which are a million times slower than gigahertz.
  5. The brain is remarkably energy-efficient, running on about 12 watts—the electricity it takes to light some high-efficiency light bulbs.

20 Fascinating YouTube Facts that Will Surprise You. No. 17 is Called Business Vision!

  1. YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steven Chen, and Jawed Karim, former employees of PayPal, an online commerce website. They registered the domain name in February 2005. It was officially launched in December of that year.
  2. In October 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in stocks, just18 months after YouTube’s creation. Karim received $66 million in Google stock, Chen received $310 million, and Hurley received $334 million.
  3. The first month after its creation, YouTube had 3 million visitors. The number of visitors tripled by the third month (February 2006), and then tripled again by July to 30 million visitors. By the end of the site’s first year, the number of visitors reached over 38 million.
  4. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google (bigger than Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask combined).
  5. YouTube’s viewers are approximately 44% female and 56% male. Most viewers are 12-17 years old.
  6. In 2007, it was estimated that YouTube used as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000.
  7. The name “YouTube” and its motto “Broadcast Yourself” reflect the founders’ hope that anyone could use the site freely.
  8. YouTube has become such a cultural phenomenon that a college course was devoted to it. In 2007, Pitzer College in California offered a course called “Learning from YouTube.” The teacher wanted students to think about YouTube’s place in society.
  9. In May 2008, L.A. police arrested Cyrus Yazdini for vandalism. He had published many of his graffiti adventures on YouTube with a rap soundtrack. His YouTube publications helped police find and arrest him.
  10. YouTube broadcasts about 1/3 of the U.S.’s multimedia entertainment.
  11. The very first video-sharing Website was a page on, which was started in 1997. However, because technology at the time was not good enough for sending and watching videos over the Internet, it soon went out of business.
  12. In September 2005, Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho’s Nike ad “Touch of gold” became the first YouTube video to be viewed 1 million times.
  13. As of 2010, it would take 1,700 years to watch every YouTube video.
  14. In 2007, British Prime leader Tony Blair became the first world leader with a YouTube channel.
  15. While tools such as Audio ID and Video ID (programs that help identify copyrighted material) and agreements with industry giants such as SONY have helped address YouTube’s longstanding issues with copyright infringement, content appropriateness continues to be YouTube’s main criticism.
  16. In 2007, YouTube cofounder Hurley told BBC News that one of the aims of YouTube is to entertain, inform, and empower the world through video.
  17. In 2006, when Google bought YouTube, YouTube was losing money at a rate of $500,000 a month despite its immense popularity. Google, however, saw its immense advertising potential.
  18. In 2013, You Tube had more than 72 hours of video uploaded per minute—or over a decade of content every day.
  19. Over 4 billion hours of video (over 450,000 years’ worth) are viewed each month on YouTube.
  20. Every second there are 46,296 YouTube videos being viewed all around the world.


7 Interesting Facts about Google that You Never Knew!

1. The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. In fact it was noted that the submit button was a long time coming and hitting the RETURN or ENTER key was the only way to burst Google into life.

2. The name ‘Google’ was an accident. A spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for ‘Googol’.

3. They have a dinosaur! Yup! A dino’s skeleton was found near their building in Mountain View, so Google has erected a giant t-rex skeleton and named it “Stan” in its honor.

5. Google owns common misspellings of its own name as well, including,, and They also own which is google spelled out on the phone.

6. Google’s first ever Twitter post was as satisfyingly geeky as you could hope for. The message, sent in February 2009, reads “I’m 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010.”
For anyone not fluent in binary, here’s a hint — it is a well-known phrase from the company’s homepage. Got it? Yes, it reads: “I’m feeling lucky.”

7. Google’s famously sparse homepage is considered a classic design in the online world. The Google logo, however, wasn’t actually centered on the page until March 31, 2001. As early users will remember, the homepage had a bias to the left-hand side, and even earlier — back in 1998 — Google sported a Yahoo-style exclamation mark.

Computer Application Buying Guide



Purchasing a software application or program can be a big consideration, especially when purchasing advanced and usually expensive programs such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop. When considering purchasing these programs, it is important that you or your staff be familiar with the program and are sure it’s going to be capable of what you need it to do.

Here, you can find the different considerations to think about before buying a computer software application.

  1. Competition

Before buying any application, make sure there is not a competing program that may be cheaper or even free. If available and something that’s capable of doing what you want it to do this could save you hundreds of dollars.

A good example of such a program is OpenOffice and Corel WordPerfect that would be a competitor to Microsoft Word. Both programs are an excellent choice for a word processor but can be a considerable price difference. In the case of OpenOffice, it’s 100% free.

  1. Documentation

Make sure proper documentation is included. Many programs today will include online documentation that is more than sufficient. However, it is also useful to obtain a manual or user guide for the software program or application.

  1. Licenses

If you are a company who plans on having software programs used by its employees (more than one person), you need to consider licensing options. It is required that for each computer a product is installed onto that it have a software license. If a company purchases the program and shares it with all its employees without the proper licensing, this would be illegal and can cause your company to face a criminal lawsuit.

  1. Price

Look at your overall price and shop around. Because a software price can change often, you can sometimes save hundreds of rupees on expensive software. If possible, do not purchase directly through the company; many times, the company’s price doubles a retailer’s price.

Be cautious of OEM software. Many resellers will sell a program as OEM, which requires you buy a computer or motherboard. OEM software is software that is included with large manufacturers’ computers and only includes either just a CD or a slim manual and CD. This is not what you would find at a retail store. This option is not a bad option, it is only important that you are aware of what you are getting.

  1. Package

Look at the overall software package. How many CDs or DVDs are included, what inserts and documentation is included, and is there any bonus or extra software included?

  1. Media

Today, the majority of software is included on CDs and DVDs. When looking at a program, make sure you have an acceptable drive that’s able to read the media, While not common today, an example of why this is important is it’s better to receive one CD instead of 32 floppy diskettes.

Designer’s vs Artist’s Choice of Tools

Art has varied meanings that can be different based on a person’s experiences and emotions, whereas Design communicates a distinct message. Whether it is information (as in the instance of graphic design) or function, design is a communication device. Artistic ability is a talent that a person is born with. It can be cultivated and refined but part of the ability is innate, whereas Design can be taught and learned. Think of all the graphic design schools out there. Often many of the same people who have that born artistic ability are drawn to design as well but you don’t have to be an artist to succeed as a designer.

Many of us, learners of KLiC Courses, are aspiring to be both Artists as well as Designers. Both are distinct roles and require specific skillsets and specific tools. Comparing Photoshop and Illustrator; an image manipulating suite and a vector graphic designing package. So what are you, and what are you using the most!?


8 Google tips & tricks that you must know

Google TnT


Below is a list of 8 Google tips & tricks that would make your life simpler.

  1. Weather and Movies

Type “weather” or “movies” followed by a city and state in Google Search Bar to display current weather conditions or movie theaters in your area. For example, typing weather mumbai gives you the current weather conditions for Mumbai, Maharashtra. Typing movies mumbai gives you a link for show times for movies in that area.

  1. Definitions

Pull up the definition of the word by typing define followed by the word you want to define in Google Search Bar. For example, typing: define computer would display the definition of that word.

  1. Local search

Visit Google Local ( and enter the area you want to search and the keyword of the place you want to find. For example, typing: restaurant would display local restaurants.

  1. Translate

Translate text, a full web page, or search by using the Google Language Tools. To translate text, visit

  1. Pages linked to you

See what other web pages are linking to your website or blog by typing link: followed by your URL. For example, typing link: displays all pages linking to Computer Hope.

  1. Find PDF results only

Add fileType: to your search to display results that only match a certain file type. For example, if you wanted to display PDF results only type: “dell xps” fileType:pdf — this is a great way to find online manuals.

  1. Calculator

Use the Google Search engine as a calculator by typing a math problem in the search. For example, typing: 100 + 200 would display results as 300.

  1. Stocks

Quickly get to a stock quote price, chart, and related links by typing the stock symbol in Google. For example, typing NSE:HDFCBANK displays the stock information for HDFC Bank.

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