Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Virtualization and the Indian Driver.

After the conclusion of a recent 3-week vacation in India, I feel compelled to state that virtualization as a concept has been practised in India much before VMware (NASDAQ: VMW) came on the scene in 1998, and even before the advent of the virtual machine by IBM as VM/360 in 1972.

Consider lane markings. Lane markings are a way to physically partition a road so as to promote effective sharing of the road. However, drivers in India routinely ignore lane markings probably because they feel they can promote better sharing of roads without paying the needed amount of attention to the markings. How else can you explain the following driving behavior?
A driver prefers to drive on a road so that the lane marking is at the center of the moving vehicle span. Indeed, many drivers seem to make an attempt to use the lane marking as a guide to keep the center of the vehicle right on top of the lane marking.
An illustrative behavior arising from the use of the virtualization concept can be seen in the following style of driving.
A vehicle A is going on an undivided road 2-lane highway at a certain speed. (For planning purposes, the maximum speed you can expect on most Indian roads is 30Km/hour, and that is a separate subject). Another vehicle B close behind A determines that it needs to overtake A, unmindful of whether there is a vehicle C coming in the opposite direction in the other half of the road. You as a passenger in the vehicle B squirm in your seat. However, this is where virtualization happens! Thanks to the honking by vehicle B, drivers of vehicles A and C promptly swerve away from the median mark towards their respective shoulders and a clear virtual lane in the middle is formed for vehicle B. In other words, what was a 2-lane highway to begin with is now transformed into a 3-lane highway, the lanes now virtual.

Clearly, this is partly in jest, but you get the idea.

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