View of the outside world from inside a fishbowl

January 13, 2010

Time to retire an old boy.

Filed under: GNU/linux,moody blues,music,philosophy — coolantz @ 4:02 pm

11’th January, 2010.

It was a dark day. I had never imagined for a slightest of moment, that I’d be attached so much to a “non-living entity”, the way I did. Well, for all practical purposes, a computer is just a electronic instrument, to repetitively do the most boring of things, while you(it’s master), would either be getting entertained, solving your professional problems, or communicating with your friends.

My PC, an old warhorse, skipped a beat, went down, and has never come back. But when I think about it, it does seem more than just a device. I even had a name for it, “tiger”.

The times and means by which I got to acquire tiger, are also seemingly not ordinary.

It was a non functional PC I had bought from a college classmate, he was looking to get rid of it, and sold it to me at like throwaway price.He was happy, so was I. When I came home from college, dad was looking to close office, and so naturally keen on scavenging whatever I could lay my hands on. There I saw 2 of the most beautiful looking CPU cabinets. They were minimalistic (unlike the ornate box, I had purchased).

So I took one of those boxes, and removed it’s low form celeron processor, and threw in RAM, and a P4, and additional hard disk from the one I had bought in college, and up came the rig : called tiger. It was satisfying from the very beginning. Customized with switches, locks at many levels. I took pride in having that PC.

But seriously, I was not aware of how many roles it was going to play in my life. The first OS I had installed on to it, was Fedora 8. Wasn’t too satisfied, and wanting to know the guts of my PC, I put gentoo on it. That lasted for a good 2 years, and one of the many artifacts of me doing this, that installation span to many places. I learnt a lot about linux by tinkering things on gentoo. Now, in fact, I cloned the root partition, tweaked some settings, and presto .. I had a USB Hard Disk, which I could connect on any PC, and have it like my Portable machine. Sort of like a laptop for the poor.

People say that PCs do not age gracefully, and the signs of age do not look nice on them (yea, there’s a better version in the market, from the day you pick one up). But this kid was like like old wine. The older it got, the better it became.

Those were the days, I made some LIRC hardware for tiger, added a creative audigy, with 5.1 speakers, tried to install mythtv onto it, put freaky levels of automation for things, added a TV capture card. When I got a laptop, for my other typical computer related tasks, tiger lost it’s keyboard, mouse, and was only operable with a remote control. Along the way, it also got a 22 inch LCD screen, and soon, a 32 inch screen. It was not just a media center that people used to go gaga over, It also did the following things, and in great style, I tell you:

  1. It used to automatically download new torrents via RSS feeds.
  2. Host my music collection, serve it via DAAP, for apple products, and via uPnP for Microsoft based devices at home.
  3. Host my Projects, and code, and what not.
  4. Store and share videos and photos.
  5. Record shows from TV, and provideĀ  me the watch and pause functionality on TV.
  6. Play FM radio for me.
  7. Stream music from the net. That’s also how i discovered last.fm

to tiger:

“you may have passed on, but your legacy and soul will continue to flourish, and scale newer heights, you rest in peace”

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March 24, 2007

Free as in free dinner.

Filed under: GNU/linux — coolantz @ 4:01 pm

*Note: This post is for those end users, who are fed up of Windows XP and would be thinking in terms of upgrading to Vista, (or Linux)

the powerful tux

Linux? which distribution?will my so and so hardware work?Can I sync my songs with my i Pod? I’ve heard it’s a hackers OS …. can I surf the net?Can i play MP3s?

Now this is an issue, I could go on and on and on ….

But to cut things short and get across (and possibly, help) to many people out there, I’ll abstain from the background and zap into the present scenario of things and consider the future possibilities.

I feel there’s a lot of on and on ….

But to cut things short and get across (and possibly, help) to many people out there, I’ll abstain from the background and zap into the present scenario of things and consider the future possibilities.

I feel there’s a lot of stigma attached to the nice n friendly OS, available out there,LINUX, free of cost, and full of goodies, (and absolutely delightful surprises).

But, I feel that the end user is still afraid to let go of the much bloated, memory hog … MS windows.

and I think, the reason of such a state of concern is the fact that Linux is not hyped (read shamelessly publicized) to be a magic being, that enchants any living soul that goes near it. Linux people will state facts, but yet another fact is, that advertisement sells, and I hope this turns out as an interesting offer for those who want to take Linux for a spin, but have a problem going the last mile. (weak knee syndrome!).

But, I feel that the end user is still afraid to let go of the much bloated, memory hog … MS windows.

and I think, the reason of such a state of concern is the fact that Linux is not hyped (read shamelessly publicized) to be a magic being, that enchants any living soul that goes near it. Linux people will state facts, but yet another fact is, that advertisement sells, and I hope this turns out as an interesting offer for those who want to take Linux for a spin, but have a problem going the last mile. (weak knee syndrome!).

I hereby offer help …. for those who’d like to install Linux but have issues related to partitioning, h/w support and other application migration concerns.
If you happen to be in vicinity (constraints to area around south Delhi/gurgaon) … I will actually do it in person (possibly on weekends, if you care to reach out).

I can also offer ubuntu CDs, for those who haven’t checked it out (yes, it’ll work without installing anything), free of cost. You would have to make a slight effort of picking them up. Those who’re interested, mail me to fix a convenient place from where you can get them.

So anyone, who wishes to jump into the better world, please get i touch with me. If you don’t have the required know how about it, I’ll help.

Important positives in using Linux
Hardware support If you have a sound card/usb gadget, for which you don’t have “drivers” in windows…. try it with Linux. It just might roll
Security concerns! bye bye!No need to update your virus definitions?Much less chances of being bugged by spy ware.
you can use skimpy hardware. Have really old machines gathering dust in the corner of your store room. Turn them to routers/Media centers.

Don’t believe me ?
well, I’m not kidding one word, I go as far as to say, that at home , my parents have switched, for all of their day to day activities to Linux. and they’re loving it. šŸ™‚

Why would I do it?
OK, now, I’m sure you are unaware of FSF and it’s principles. I would have done it for free beer šŸ˜‰ , but there’s a slight problem, I don’t drink. So, how bout, free dinner? or lunch?

Give Linux a chance. If things don’t quite work out the way you’d want them to, you have the freedom to choose MS s/w.

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