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Magazine Web Edition > October 1998 > Digital Dharma

Digital Dharma



FOOD
On-Line Cookbook
No one has solved the interface problem between cookbooks and kitchens, nor CDs and kitchens, and certainly not the WWW and the kitchen. Fingers soaked in ghee or covered with flour just don't go well with keyboards and pointing devices. So, if you want to try the delicious recipes available at http://www bawarchi.com/, print them out first. "Your Indian Cook, Bawarchi" is one part of the web site, www.indiaworld.co.in, sponsored by India World Communications. Bawarchi.co alone is huge, with recipes (including some non-vegetarian, ones), feature stories (such as the 77 kinds of mangos grown in Goa), glossary of terms and corresponding English/Hindi food and spice names, tips for cooks (such as making perfect eggless cakes) and a place to submit your own favorite recipe. Discover creative replacements to hard-to-find ingredients, such as khoya, buffalo milk cooked down to a semi-solid state and essential for the famed Indian sweets, burfie and laddu. North Indian dishes tend to dominate, with a lesser number from the South.

ORIGINS
The Web Weaver
Just nine short years ago, Tim Berners-Lee sought to improve communications among researchers at the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. The UK-born, Oxford educated, son of computer engineers developed "hypertext" to uniformly link information stored in the many computers already connected by the existing Internet. And voilà!--the World Wide Web. Just two measures of the impact: 217,000 documents mentioning "Hindu" and 2.5 million referencing "India."

MULTIMEDIA
Virtual Stonehenge
Forget this web site is really a pro-promotion for Superscape programs and Pentium II processors (it won't run on your Mac). Borrow a PC, if you must, but check out www.connectedpc.com/cpc/explore/ stonehenge/ for a trip into virtual reality. Don't just look at pictures of Stonehenge, the ancient English Druid astronomical calculator, as you might on any other website, but take a walk through the giant stones, fly over them if you like, jump backward to 8500bce or forward to the future, all with a click of your mouse. Don't let the fog--part of the special effects--chill your tour, and save lots of money over actually traveling to the Salisbury Plain in southern England.

LANGUAGE
Bytes for the Masses
To date all hardware manufacturers have been marketing computers to the five percent of India that speaks English," said Manu Parpia, president of the Manufacturer's Association for Information Technology. MAIT has begun a national Indian effort, named the BharatBhasha Project (www.bharatbhasha.org), to "make computers accessible to the 855 million Indians who speak vernacular languages," according to Parpia. Both computer use and programing in any Indian language will be possible from a standard English keyboard. It will also be possible, with special fonts, to create World Wide Web pages in regional languages.


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