Saturday, February 13, 2010

Working in the Winter Sunlight

Winter sun in North India really feels nice. It seems silly to be sitting in a cold, dark room when I could be enjoying the final few days of sunlight before it gets miserably hot.

I tried using my netbook but it was virtually invisible. There seems to be hope - OLPC-like hybrid screens on commercial netbooks. "Put simply, we've never seen a laptop display look as good in broad daylight as Pixel Qi's display"

My next netbook will have to have such a screen!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Discovering Stuff one Likes

I didn't realize that I liked 'literature' until a college friend suggested I read Albert Camus' The Outsider. He also suggested Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. I discovered that I had a liking for European modern classics. Had he not made that suggestion, I would have missed a lot.

The other 'discovery' was by casual browsing - I do not know why I was attracted to Ian McEwan's First Love, Last Rites. It had just been published and I knew nothing about the author. But these were among the most memorable and weirdest stories I have ever read. I have continued to enjoy most of what McEwan has written, particularly, Enduring Love, Saturday and Atonement.

I find casual browsing very hard now. There is too many chaos in book stores. It is hard to find one rack which is likely to have books which fit my brain.

So, a recent 'discovery' was thanks to Amazon. I looked at the books bought by people who bought Ian McEwan's novels and found Kazuo Ishiguro's When We were Orphans and The Remains of the Day. It is amazing how he plays with human memories.

Last but not least, I 'discovered' Python by reading Eric Raymond's article, Why Python?

But I still don't know why I chose one recommendation and not another. Did I try others but remember only the ones which worked?

Importance of DIY

Squid wouldn't start after rebooting. Seemed strange - missing files and directories.

And then it struck me. After installing Ubuntu Netbook Remix, I had optimised the installation and changed /var/log /tmp to temp file systems! Squid wouldn't start because it needed /var/log/squid. So, the problem could be resolved very quickly.

I am finding that I now understand Fedora and Ubuntu distributions better after working with Arch Linux!