Sunday, March 27, 2011

O Bradman, God of Cricket

Let Dilly make balls evade the stumps, as easily as he did today
Let Upul flirt with the ball, batting as gracefully as a Left-hander ever could
Let Sanga be the rock of the innings, while everything around him burns
Let Mahela continue to make me wish I batted Right-handed ;)
Let Thilan miss no more sitters!
Tell Angie to lay off the lasses, for he seems to be missing practices
Let Mali find Kenya again
And let Murali be fit, two last times!

Let the island of so many,
of so little,
beautiful people,
blood spilt in vain,
of the finest tea,
and the finest kasippu too,
of beaches,
and landfills,
of smiling assassins,
and frowning salesmen...


Let us be at peace with the world,
at peace with our past,
and at peace with the rocky journey ahead...

"Looking ahead with hope"
Image © Getty Images

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Linux: Making the jump to Free Software

I was reading an article about introducing your better half to Linux. It's something every geek goes through: having to pick between their girlfriend and their favourite operating system (good thing most of us are hopelessly single! :P ). But in all seriousness, weaning off Windows isn't that hard.

My Desktop at the moment

There are obvious categories of people that this post is not meant for: Hardcore gamers (let's face it, gaming options on Linux are seriously limited), People who live on Visual Studio/Photoshop and Microsoft employees. For everyone else, there's Linux. ;)

I started using Fedora as my primary OS last year, when I got my own laptop (I have since switched to Ubuntu due to the whole 'ease of finding and installing software' (PPAs) thing). Using it on the desktop was never an option. For one, I had a USB modem (unsupported by Linux) and my mom was constantly on Excel, and retraining her to use Linux would've been a lot of work (not that difficult, but I tend to cut corners when it comes to my parents).

Anyhoo, I was never a serious gamer, nor used Office obsessively. Most of my work is done on Google Docs (or in text files. I'm using gedit to write this post) and most of the time I'm stuck on a browser (Firefox 4 there, which coincidentally is leaving the testing phase and being released today!). Banshee is much better a music player than either Windows Media Player or Songbird, and GIMP works really well if you're not really into photoshop but want to mess around with some images or something (there are a load of extensions for it that make so many things possible). Emesene is an awesome Windows Live Messenger clone, and Pidgin is the best chat client that money can't buy.

And for those pesky tasks that can only be done on Windows, I have installed Windows XP inside a Sun VM VirtualBox (but seriously, FUCK ORACLE!). I've run MS Office 2003 and SPSS 13 (a statistical package by IBM) without issue in the virtual box.

I've used Linux exclusively for over 6 months now, and save a few occasions when newly installed kernel images refused to boot (rebooting always fixed the issue), I have faced no major issues with the OS. No blue screens, no security threats, no OS crashes and little or no unstable software. This in spite of me using Alpha or Beta quality software (Hotot and Firefox).

So, my friendly advice to all of you looking for a change is: Think about it. Find out about it. Run a live CD, experience it. Discover that Linux is not all typing complex commands into the console (in fact, the themes coming out these days can pwn Windows sideways!).

Also, for the latest updates on Ubuntu and free software, check out OMG! Ubuntu! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I've been a bit busy in the past few days. And things will only get more so, with exams approaching. I'm kinda excited about the things we're learning these days, bar the antics of a certain Statistics teacher who has wild mood swings. We're learning regular expressions next week! Things I've heard about for such a long time, and we're getting to try it out! :D And yes, we've hit the fifth stage by learning Perl. ;) So exciting stuff, albeit very tiring.

I've been keeping a close eye on the destruction in Japan. My mom got the text message about some radioactive rain falling in Sri Lanka or something. Totally agree with Pseudo that children should be taught basic nuclear science so that people don't panic unnecessarily like that. I mean, every time someone mentions the word 'Nuclear', people think of Chernobyl, Hiroshima and cancer. The phobia is so much that MRI scans, which should be called 'Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging', had to drop the N so as not to scare off patients. But seriously, panicking over Nuclear power is so 1950s! People should get with the times already.

And in other news, I will be casting my first vote tomorrow! :D Yep, pretty excited about this. Look for a purple pinky to be my profile pic on Facebook for a couple of weeks to come. ;)

P.S. I broke with tradition and didn't post a big match update this year. I didn't get tickets early for the match, and when it looked like a friend could set me up with some tickets, I fell ill. I should stop this nasty habit of falling sick right before the big match. :( Anyway, it was a wonderful game and I watched a lot of it thanks to the live broadcast on Prime TV (or CSN) and on A big "Thank You!" to those guys for making it possible for us unlucky folk to catch the action. :D

Why Windows is better than Linux


Can you find one wallpaper for Linux that doesn't have a penguin or a gnu in it?

You don't have to use the command line in Windows, ever

(...because it's underpowered)

Anything runs on Windows

Even scripts off some random site that some script kid in Russia copy pasted together to steal your personal data. M$ loves 'em script kids!

Windows never asks for the root password

Any user can delete all the OS-critical files. Such an egalitarian design.

The blue screen of death

From here
So blue. So pretty. I think I'm in love.

If my little jab at your beloved Windows pisses you off, you should totally read this! :D

Sunday, March 6, 2011

And you...

...are probably the nicest, most graceful, intelligent, beautiful, forgiving, mature, loving person I've ever met. And I'm lucky to have even met you.

There are three things that I suck at very badly. Saying 'Thank You', saying 'Sorry', and saying what I feel like, for real. Every single time I put up a stupid update about some programming thing, or some non-event, I'm preventing myself from expressing how I really feel inside.

And like you said, we're all human, and we all screw up. But I will beat myself up over this. Yet, if I could go back to December, I don't think I would've changed a single thing. I learned more about myself in the past few months than I had for years, and I learned about the world, and I learned about my responsibilities to other people. I dare say I even peeked out of my self-centred bubble for a while, and saw the sun shine outside.

Things always dawn on me a little slowly. And as upset I am about this right now, things will only really sink in once I understand your true value. Under-appreciate the people who love me, I always will.

And maybe someday, just like you said, I will learn to lower my guard. Let my heart lead me, and not my useless brain. Love as fully as I am loved.

Someday. Maybe.

I miss you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Obsession [update]

Remember my little obsession?

So, I got to uni a liiiittle early today, and even though the sky was cloudy, I was greeted to this outside the windows:

Look just below the clouds and just above the towers...

After a bit of messing with levels

All photos courtesy of my friend Heshan, who saved these images for posterity with his camera phone. Thanks mate! :D