Segfault

Random Thoughts of a Scrambled Mind

I keep coming back to Gentoo!

I don’t know why, but somehow after using Gentoo it is impossible for me to use any other Linux Distro. I wanted to try KDE-4.1.1 quickly and I anyhow wanted to do a fresh install of my linux system (for some reason, I like reinstalling Linux) so I just went ahead and burned Kubuntu Ibex Alpha 6. No problems with the installation there, everything was as easy as pi, and then I booted into KDE-4.1.1. The first bootup was slower than an ant, and then there were all these applications installed that I did not want to be there. I wanted a pure KDE-4 desktop, no KDE-3.x app, even if that meant some loss in functionality. But, no, that is not Ubuntu’s philosophy. Nothing wrong in that, it is just not what I wanted. But I still wanted to try KDE-4.1.1 for some time, so I installed the necessary codecs and stuff and played around with it for some time. But it just felt so wrong – so unlike Gentoo. Everything was already configured, and in some cases there was no easy way to change the defaults. Most of the configuration in xorg.conf was listed as “Using Defaults” or something similar, how do I know what the defaults are? And then of course there is the fact that it is not a rolling release. And many other small issues, which without being a show stopper, were just as effective as flies and mosquitoes in irritating me. So, I could only tolerate it for 45 minutes and I went ahead and installed Gentoo again.

Sure, it took a lot longer than Ubuntu to install (compile 😉 ) everything on gentoo, yet I must say it was worth the wait. It is so easy to configure everything, just because there are no defaults, or let us say, no sane defaults. I have a resolution of 1280 X 1024 in my terminal, the font rendering is extremely smooth and is easily configurable. And yes, the system is more far more responsive and I have a pure KDE-4 system, there is no kdelibs-3* and qt-3* installed.

And in general, portage and all the gentoo associated tools feel better, maybe because I have become more accustomed to them. And final point, I do not have to install g++, it is already installed. The toolchain is already there to compile anything that I want.

Posted by Rahul on September 27, 2008 | Posted in Gentoo, Linux, Open Source | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

14 days in hell and fried salad

Past 14 days = {Assignments, College Office}* U {Eat,Sleep}.

How I have managed to survive the past 14 days, I do not know. Nearly two assignments due each day, quizzes in between, some work here and some work there. And in between all this one has to find some time for sleeping and eating as well, and when the caterers are Aramark, one wishes that survival without food was possible.

And here I must say that I am thankful for the summer that I spent interning in Aachen. Granted, that I wanted to go home and would have loved to be there, but the time I spent alone taught me to how to quickly fix a nice and edible Indian meal in Germany and that has indeed come helpful over the past couple of weeks. One of my innovations that I am really proud of is frying rice and salad. (Mmmm, I can even smell it as I type) It is often the case that there is nothing edible (vegetarian) for dinner, but there is always a lot of Salad. And this is where my recipe comes in, just take some tomatoes, cabbage, onion, paprika and pepperoni. Chop it in small pieces, fry it and add boiled rice to it. Cook for some more time (using Indian spices, of course) and you have a wonderful Indian dinner. Other than that, there is pasta and my new love – Spaghetti.

Another saving grace has been that we usually study in groups and I personally find that really effective, it is easier to work at 5 in the morning when you are surrounded by a group of people who are as famished and tired as you are.

What with group work and my innovations with regard to cooking, I have managed to survive these couple of weeks with just a bout of flu. Hoping things improve in the future.

Posted by Rahul on September 26, 2008 | Posted in Food, Random Ramblings | Tagged , , | Comment

My country is divided

There is Kashmir, there is Jammu, there is Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and there is Maharashtra. We have the Mufti Mohammed Sayyeds, Omar Abdullahs and the Thackerys. And of course, there is BJP and Congress. And amongst these, India is lost.

Nearly a hundred people lost their lives in the blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore but Mr. Raj Thackrey is more concerned about the fact that the shop signboards are not in Marathi. Oh, but the people who lost their lives were Kannads and Gujaratis, were they not. And Mr. Raj Thackrey is only concerned with Marathis, so why should he bother about these people. His energy is better spent in enticing the masses against the North Indians. For it is of paramount importance that these people be kicked out of Maharashtra as they are the only reason why thousands of Marathi, the true “sons of soil” are without a job. And in between, he finds the spare time to ensure that the Bachchans and the Khans comply with his wishes.

Not a murmur from the centre, but then what better can be accepted from a government consisting of clowns and criminals. They have very important matters to deal with, after all they are responsible for running the country. But I do not think that they need to worry, they have done a fantastic job already. Led in this honourable mission by the charismatic Arjun Singh, they have managed to divide the country on basis of caste. They are really good, they have managed to do better than even VP Singh, and I thought that was impossible. 60 years since Independence, 60 years of reservation, and if even then if we have managed to make a difference then maybe we need to look at alternatives. But obviously, how can our politicians compromise with their vote-bank?

But caste is not the only line that is drawn through my country. Religion is not far behind, is it? Nearly 20 years down the line Ayodhya is still the main agenda for the BJP, with the VHP and the RSS continuously making noises about the issue. Orissa is not new, for there was a Graham Staines before as well. Maybe one day we can all learn to respect each others religion.

Jammu and Kashmir, if I could only describe it in words. 20 years of war, thousands of lives lost, and countless ruined. A heaven ravaged, a paradise lost. I only wish it can be regained, not for me, not for you but for the people suffering there for two decades.

I do not know why I wrote this. Maybe because this is all what the Indian media feeds me. Strife, discontent, violence everywhere. All I hope for is that someday we all can just call ourselves Indian. Maybe we can learn to respect each others language, learn to appreciate the fact that each Indian has some different sets of traditions and values. Maybe there will be no SC/ST/OBC, just Indians. Maybe Ayodhya will house a mosque and Ajmer a temple. Maybe….. Maybe……

Posted by Rahul on September 10, 2008 | Posted in India, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comment