TechCruch's Tablet PC – And what we really want

[tablet] Michael Arrington from TechCrunch recently posted about a tablet PC that he wanted built. And I have to admit that the mock up looks very cool.

Michael Arrington from TechCrunch recently posted about a tablet PC that he wanted built. And I have to admit that the mock up looks very cool. And he wants to sell it around the $200 price point, which is doubly cool.

What is not so cool, however, is that our man Arrington hasn’t put in much thought in the product itself. Don’t get me wrong here, I, more than anyone else, would love to have a gadget like the one that is being talked about, but I just don’t think it is technically feasible to make such a device right now. And given the cost of the parts it is highly unlikely that the cost can be anywhere close to $200. I’d  have been less skeptical if Michael had spoken of a $1000 price point.

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Google Knol – Wikipedia killer or just another hubpages.com

So, Google launched Google Knol today and the whole blogosphere is talking about it. That’s understandable. It’s not everyday that Google releases a new product which gets its own sub domain. But, what I don’t understand is: why is everyone, including reputed blogs like Lifehacker, Problogger and others calling it a wikipedia killer ?

I think that this is just another way for Google to display adsense advertisements on the internet. And the real competitors are sites like hubpages.com which work on almost exactly the same model, that Google Knol is working on. You know, the model where you write something on someone else’s site and include advertisements in it and hope to earn some money. The difference is that this is Google and the reason why people are worried is that Google might give a preference to one of it’s own sites when displaying search results for a particular topic, rather than displaying, say, a wikipedia article, which is what comes up now if you search for a lot of generic topics.

But, I don’t think this will be the case. Even if Google tries to give a preference to it’s own sites, a backlash from users will probably contain Google’s evil plans and if Google still doesn’t agree, most users, including I, will happily move to another search engine. Infact, looking at the kind of knols that Google is hosting right now, most of them are not the kinds that would be competing with wikipedia articles. It looks exactly the kind of content that hubpages holds.

So, I think the blogosphere should just relax and let Google roll out another product and another way for the publishers out there to make money 🙂

Unix 101: Unix processes

I’m sure you’ve heard people tell you that Unix (and Linux) is a multiuser/multitasking operating system. But, what does that mean ?

Well, for one, you can create multiple users on linux and let all of them use the machine at the same time, by letting them login remotely (We’ll cover this later). And thus, Linux is a multiuser operating system.

Multitasking is a little more complicated.

You see, a Unix system at any time is always running more than one programs simultaneously. Ah, but I am only running my browser, you ask ? Well, yes and no. The browser is the only program that you are running but there is more to the operating system, than just the browser, right ? For example, the graphical interface that you’re running. And what if there are more people working on the same system (the multiuser part of it), then all of them would be running their own programs, right ? So, to cut things short, any Linux or Unix system at any time is always running multiple programs/tasks and thus, is a multitasking system. How does it do that ?

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The story of a Linux convert

First of all I’ll get my credentials out of the way. I have been using computers since the last 10 or so years. That’s not much by a lot of people standards, but I like to brag about it anyway !

I used windows for the first year of my computer using life, got bored, moved to Linux, was fascinated and used Redhat, fedora, debian, slackware, ubuntu for the next 6 or so years.

I then got myself a Mac, a 2004 model iBook (I like the way Macheads use the year to describe their machines, as if its a car or something … like I’ve got a 2008 model Ferrari ! ), and fell in love with Mac OS X. I did install Linux on the iBook once but removed it soon after since, obviously, Mac OS X was so much better ! Or so I thought. My iBook came with Mac OS X 10.3 and soon after I bought the iBook, Apple released Mac OS X 10.4, the version with spotlight (which, by the way, beats the crap out of beagle anyday). I *had to have* 10.4 on my iBook but I realised that I had to pay for it, so I did what any self respecting Indian would do. Asked a friend for a copy (Well, actually he pointed me to a torrent which I then used to download my copy).

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Mystic in Bali – GK, New Delhi

MYSTIC IN BALI

Having seen tons of banners and being a hard core Chinese food fan, I decided to check out this place with my two friends. Considering its a second restaurant from those who run “Big Chill” (one of the best Italian joints in Delhi), this place already has a great reputation to back it up, but will it live up to its Italian brothers? Thats what i went to find out?

The decor as such is more Bhutanese than Chinese. Since I have been to Bhutan, i recognized a lot of the decor in terms of the masks, symbols and artwork has been inspired from there. One thing i felt which was lacking in the decor was that, they went a little overboard with it. A wall with just one central hanging with a bright background would have been great, but they decided to stuff it up with masks and other stuff, making the decor a bit stuffy.

Coming to the food, (the real purpose of this review) which was to my liking. The portions were good and the prices were those which you see in Big Chill, ranging from Rs.100-400. What we ordered were the King Prawns with noodles (a combo) and Sesame seed noodles with chicken and prawns. Both to my delight were quite good and had distinct flavours, not like the Indian Chinese, which tends to me more on the Indian side than the Chinese.

Overall, i think this restaurant is worth going to, if you do want to try out new and improved Chinese.

Manali – Leh travel guide

The Manali to Leh road route is considered by many to be the greatest and arguably the toughest motorcycling road in the world.

Every year, dozens of bikers from all over the world ride over this road, which crosses over some of the highest mountain passes of the world.

The road is open from the end of May to about October, give or take a few weeks. The exact timings are dictated by the amount of snowfall that the passes recieve each year.

After my trip last year, a lot of people have been asking me time and again about the trip and for some tips on this route.

The Manali to Leh road route is considered by many to be the greatest and arguably the toughest motorcycling road in the world. Every year, dozens of bikers from all over the world ride over this road, which crosses over some of the highest mountain passes of the world. The road is open from the end of May to about October, give or take a few weeks. The exact timings are dictated by the amount of snowfall that the passes recieve each year. This road is maintained by the Indian Army and is of strategic importance and so the Army takes all pains to ensure that for the few summer months, the road is never closed for more than a day or two, even if the weather is particularly bad.

The Route: Manali – Rohtang Pass – Tandi – Keylong – Jispa – ZingZing Bar – Baralacha La (Pass) – Bharatpur – SarchuGhata loops – Nakee La – LachLung La – Pang – More PlainsTanglang La – Upshi – Karu – Leh

Planning

You can never plan enough to ride on this highway. There are just too many unknowns. Even if everything else is all hunky dory, the weather can play spoilsport anytime. The only way to ride on this route is to keep an open mind and be open to exploring new options.

The Manali-Leh highway is full of bad roads, water crossings, glaciers (if you’re lucky) and crosses over some of the world’s highest passes and such the journey is highly unpredictable. Be prepared for uncertainties like inclemental weather, tyre punctures and any other mechanical problems with your vehicle. Carry any spares you think your vehicle might need and prepare for the worst.

Plan to take atleast three days to complete the journey although some people do the entire stretch in two days, it doesn’t make sense to rush up. The real fun is in the journey and not the destination.

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Unix 101 – Help aka 'man' pages

UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.”

– Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie is one of the creators of Unix and the above quote summarizes the philosophy behind Unix. The Unix command line is terse by design and it can take a new user a long time to understand (and remember) the nuances of a particular command line.

Fret not, cause man is at hand.

man is the unix/linux command line utility designed to display documentation about a given command. For example, suppose you’ve forgotten the option used to display the long list of files in a directory, you can use the following command to view the help manual for the ‘ls’ command:

$ man ls

That’s it.

This will display a page with a description of the ‘ls’ command and all the options that it supports. If you’re lucky, the man page writer would have also included some examples describing the usage of the command.

Now, try viewing the man page for all the other commands that we’ve discussed till now.