Muni Sakya

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Muni Sakya is a Nepalese computer programmer credited with helping to usher in information technology in Nepal.[1] He's also known for designing computer systems that can be operated in the Nepali language.

Information technology in Nepal[edit]

Born in 1942, in Patan, Sakya was interested in science and technology from childhood. On the list of boyhood achievements is a radio receiver set that he designed and fabricated to listen to Radio Nepal. To satisfy his keen interest in electronics, he opted for engineering, and after obtaining his diploma in radio engineering from Calcutta, India in 1962, he joined Radio Nepal as a technician.

In 1970, Muni went to the UK on a British Council scholarship and obtained a degree in computer engineering. After his return from the UK, he designed and fabricated several devices; a laboratory type stabilized power supply and a sine wave generator. Muni went to France in 1973, where he worked from until 1979. It was in France that he decided to switch to the field of computers. He made microprocessor-based controllers and video cards while doing a course in communication, digital electronics and computer techniques there.[2]

In 1979, he made the first microcomputer in Nepal. For this, he made the power supply unit and video card himself. He bought a keyboard from the US and made the monitor from a Russian television. At the South Asian Regional Conference on computers, held in Kathmandu in 1979, Sakya demonstrated his microcomputer.[3]

Sakya went to the US in 1981. He worked in developing floppy disk controllers with 900Kb (quad density) storage space. As there were no I/O cards, after he came back from the US, he made I/O cards required for the hard disk. He also designed microprocessor-based traffic controllers in Kathmandu. Back in his own country, he opened the first company for manufacturing computer cards, Sun Moon Computer Industry, in 1995, and also established Hi-Tech Pioneer Ltd, an Internet Service Provider.

Sakya’s primary interest is in designing systems that can be operated in the Nepali language. It is not easy to program in the Nepali language. Because of the difficulty in programming, computing in Nepalese was limited to word processing. He did his first demonstration of computing in the Nepali language on a microcomputer with the display of Nepalese National Anthem in Devanagari script in 1983 on a CP/M-based computer. He received the Science Award in December 1983 for this work. He also developed a software package complete with all Nepali characters. Certificates and checks were printed in the Nepali language using it. Now professional Nepali packages can be developed in the Nepali language. Sakya is still working towards computing with Nepali menus and commands so that people can work with computers without knowledge of English.

Muni Sakya has been experimenting on robotics for number of years. Around 2004-2005, he developed a robot (known as the "Munis Robot") that can speak Nepali with the capability to discern obstacles by the help of built-in ultrasonic, infra red, mechanical whiskers, and other visual and audio devices.

In 2005, the Royal Nepal Academy of Science & Technology (RONAST) conferred Muni B. Sakya with felicitations and a cash award of Rs. 50,000 as an A class scientist in the field of information technology.

On May 17, 2006 for the first time in Nepal, Sakya's supercomputer with 16 nodes was demonstrated to the press and many other people as well. This supercomputer works on open source OS with OpenMosix and Oscar. The supercomputer that used to cost millions of dollars in the past is envisaged by utilizing sixteen computers in cluster bringing down the cost drastically for computing bigger and complex jobs with the fraction of a time that is many giga-flops per second. This computer is on display at High Tech Pioneer Pvt. Ltd, located at Kalikasthan, Dillibazar, Nepal.

Programs Developed by Muni Sakya[edit]

  • Voice Recognition System
  • Voice Dictionary
  • Computer-aided Education
  • Actual Nepali to English, English to Nepali dictionary
  • Radiation Monitor
  • Nepalese Subtitle Display
  • Nepali Multimedia[4]
  • Telemedicine[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.coremag.net/corex/archives/ivs/muni.htm, Core Express, The Pioneer of the Hi Tech in Nepal, Oct, 1995, Hune Biruwako Chillo Pat, Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  2. ^ http://www.coremag.net/corex/archives/ivs/muni.htm, Core Express, The Pioneer of the Hi Tech in Nepal, Oct, 1995, Hune Biruwako Chillo Pat, Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  3. ^ http://www.coremag.net/corex/archives/ivs/muni.htm, Core Express, The Pioneer of the Hi Tech in Nepal, Oct, 1995, Hune Biruwako Chillo Pat, Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  4. ^ http://www.coremag.net/corex/archives/ivs/muni.htm, Core Express, The Pioneer of the Hi Tech in Nepal, Oct, 1995, Hune Biruwako Chillo Pat, Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  5. ^ http://www.htpthif.org.np

External links[edit]