Saturday, 28 April 2007

Tonsillitis returns

:-( I had it when I was a kid and now it's back again.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Bheja Fry

Excellent movie, had me all rolling over with laughter.

NUnit + NCover

Deadly tools. Do use: NCover, NUnit. Usual recipe is to run your unit tests from within NCover and check how much code your unit tests are covering. This can even uncover silly mistakes where a test is not being run because you forgot to put the "[Test]" attribute.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

After a while she remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.
- Alice in Wonderland

Binary search ... anyone?

Friday, 13 April 2007

Mac OS X Live CD?

Just take a look at the number of Live CD distributions you have for Linux: Countless. In fact that has now become the de-facto standard for performing installations. It is a safe way to introduce a new user to the features of the operating system. It is ready to use out of the box (well.. most of the times).

But, if you see, there are no Live CD distributions for either Windows or Mac OS X. Now for Windows, it may not make much sense to have one (every other desktop user has used it). But for Mac OS X, this may be the way to go. Becoming a Mac fan-boy is easy... once you have used it. But that in itself is a challenge because of the steep price tag. So does making a cheap Mac OS X Live CD make sense? No.

Today, where desktop environments (Aqua, Beryl, Aero) are becoming more and more fancier, will the transfer rates supported by a CD/DVD ROM do? I don't think so. Also what stops anyone from copying the CD and distributing it? (Ans: No one, at least in India)
Maybe the way to go is USB. Sell bootable USB devices which are more or less mass storage devices, with the operating system on it. The device will be protected from tampering and illegal copying. And of course the packaging should be sexy. Sell it for a price of say 15K (with around 4 gigs of storage) and people should be tempted.

For Apple this would be a stripped down Mac Mini. Of course, what is left to see is how much the USB 2.0 transfer rate will be a bottleneck.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The Linux journey

The first Linux system I installed was Red Hat 6 back in the beginning of the 21st century. Which is the time when Linux was not sexy. We (me and my brother) had a 1 gig hard drive and we had somehow managed to squeeze both Windows 95 and Linux into that. Although I couldn't do much on the system, we didn't have sound or internet (yeah, I had a dial-up connection that time), but we did have a desktop. This lasted only for a few days, because slowly we got tired of sacrificing space for Linux and not being able to play games (Quake 2 Demo used to be my favourite apart from Age of Empires 1).

College saw another bunch of distributions. I started out with Red Hat 7.x; got sound and display to work and dumped it for Fedora Core 1. I got everything working in FC 1 too, but I got tired of the package manager (I don't know if its better now), so I did the unthinkable: I installed Gentoo.

It was not an easy ride, but in the end I had a pretty decent system to boast of. So other than the hours and hours I spent compiling stuff, I had no complaints at all from Gentoo. It was sleek, lean and mean. The best Linux system I have had till date. It was during this time I first learnt how to recompile the kernel. Not only that I tried to make it smaller. Packing in only what I needed into the kernel.
I would have never given away all my blood and sweat, but that is what happened. A freak accident wiped out Gentoo and I neither had the time or energy to make one again. But I thought that this is a good time to try out Ubuntu.

Ubuntu was good. Very good in fact. It worked out of the box. No hand tweaking of config files was required. Installing applications was a breeze. Moreover they shipped it to your doorstep for free! Only down side was that gcc, gdb etc was not installed by default. But that was OK. No big deal.
Ubuntu got wiped out when I completed college and parked my computer back at home.

But I guess there is always this thing with Linux distributions (or maybe with me). Most of them don't work out of the box. You have to go into the system, to get it working. Most people would say that this is a bad thing for Linux. Yes, maybe, for home users. But for engineers, developers and hackers, I guess this is what pulls them towards it (Of course, I don't say this is the topmost reason). It is that itch; that there is a problem and (surely) a solution, and I (will) want to find it.

And it is happening to me again. I installed something new called: archlinux. Took me two days and a lot of jugglery to get it working. But somehow, I'm drawn back to Ubuntu ...