OSScamp Bengaluru Mobile 2008


OSScamp Bengaluru Mobile 2008 is an unconference, unlike a conventional conference where discussions and panels are arranged beforehand, The unconference lets everyone decide what will be discussed on the day. Obviously like other unconferences it is free but you are expected to participate. If you are in the camp you are expected to share, speak, volunteer, blog, help or participate in some form. Unconferences are all about the power of individuals when they come together and change the world.

The conference is scheduled for 19th July. This is a short notice, I know, but the organisers are looking for more speakers. Although, anyone can hold a talk impromptu at an unconference, a ready list of scheduled talks just makes things a bit streamlined.

Register as a sponsor, attendee or a speaker by visiting the wiki link above.

Unix 101: Listing and reading files and moving between directories

In the last post of this series, we learned about logging in to a Linux box, creating a new non superuser account and start using that.

In this post we’ll learn how to start working with files. Creating, deleting and managing files is the reason you use a computer, right ?

Unix has a concept of directories, which is the same as a folder on Windows.

To list all the files in the current directory, use the following command:

$ ls

This will give you a list of directories in what is called the wide format.

Continue reading “Unix 101: Listing and reading files and moving between directories”

Unix 101 – Basic Unix skills

I have a confession to make. I’m a Unix guy, have always been and will always be. I’ve been using Unix for the last 10 years or so and will continue using it for as long as I can. There is something about the simplicity of the unix command line that none of the flashier operating systems can match.

I’ve also been interviewing people with basic Unix skills for various positions over the last couple of years. For some reason, I’ve found that Indian college curriculum doesn’t put too much emphasis on Unix and so, most people who come out of these colleges don’t know much beyond the flashy GUIs that most Unix/Linux distros have. Infact, a lot of people who come for interviews tend to thing that Redhat/Fedora IS Linux. And when asked, tell me that the only Linux they have experience on is Linux version 9 !

Anyway, I’ve decided to start series on basic Unix skills on this blog in the hope that this’ll be a useful reference for someone starting to learn Unix/Linux. I’ll be mostly concentrating on Linux as that is what I’m most comfortable with and currently work with, but if I do get requests for similar posts on other Unix systems, I’ll be happy to oblige.

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The Boy Who Left Home to find out about the Shiver

The Boy Who Left Home to find out about the Shiver

How many times have you watched FRIENDS, Star Trek, DDLJ or your wedding video. Ever wondered why there are these things that we go back to again and again. The logical reason is that either they are entertaining every time you watch them OR there are some memories associated with them that you RE-LIVE each and every time you watch those videos.

Well, I have one of those awesome memories about watching “The Boy Who Left Home To Find Out About The Shivers”. Based on a not-so-well-known tale from the Brothers Grimm, this is the tale of a boy who has never known fear. Every year, from the time I was 8 till 11, when my cousins and I would gang up together during summer holidays at my grandparents’ house, this was our number one choice to watch. It was pretty spooky & the castle scenes scared the heck out of me when I was little, but were a lot of fun.

Recently I watched the video again and it was fun to look back at what I found scary then ;).

This is one childhood memory of mine I will always cherish.

Quick and Cheap North Indian Lunch

Tasty doesn’t mean Expensive

One of my favourite things to have for lunch is Chole-Kulchey and if you haven’t stayed in Delhi/Amritsar, in all likelihood, you haven’t tasted the real thing. Sweet…chilly…tangy… utterly delicious food. Do not ever do the mistake of eating this dish anywhere except the North. South/West/East Indians just can’t make it the way its supposed to be.

In the inner circle of Cannaught Place one can see vendors with hand pulled carts with Shiny Big brass vessels filled with the cholley (channa/matter) & a small burner heating the kulchey AND if one misses that the smell of the mouth-watering channa will anyway guide you to the right place.

It takes less than 5 min for the guy to mix the chickpea with spices, lemon, chopped tomatoes, onions & chillies and serve it on a leaf plate … all for Rs. 10/- (in budget and for the cal conscious LOW CAL).

The hot spots other than CP for this delectable dish are Chandini Chowk, Shankar Market, Green Park (basically everywhere) , although my absolute favorite is Nathu’s at Defence Colony (Def Col. for the uninitiated).

So if you are lucky enough to be in DefCol right now …Go to Nathu’s and have the meal of your lifetime.

PS: This post has been written after an utterly disgusting and tasteless food at the company cafeteria.

WordPress for iPhone

WordPress is working on a new mobile application for the iPhone.

The WordPress for iPhone App is nearly ready to go.  It supports WordPress.com blogs as well as self-hosted WordPress.org blogs running version 2.5.1 or newer.

This, I beleive, would be great for technology or news based blogs which would now be able to report on the latest greatest in the world almost as soon as they hear about it.

Indian Politicians and the Nuclear Deal – The left (and right) of it

The last few days have been pretty exciting for the Indian media. The govt. (or the lack of it) has been making a lot of news lately. The Left and the BJP has been holding press conferences right, left (pun intended) and center (against the central govt., of course) and providing enough fodder for the mainstream news channels, newspapers and Indian bloggers, like me.

I’ve been trying to follow the saga of the Nuclear deal since a long time and I still don’t understand why is the Left against it. Is it only because the deal is being signed with the US of A ? And why is the BJP against it ? Only because the deal is being signed by the ruling coalition government ?

What I do understand is that the deal would ensure that India is able to purchase fuel for its Nuclear reactors. Which would mean that that India can build more civilian reactors and atleast solve the perpetual power crisis in our cities to a certain degree. Would the Left please care to answer how is that a bad thing ? Do they have any other solution to the energy problem that India faces ?

Sagarika Ghose has written an excellent article on how relevant the Left is to a modern India and I tend to agree with her viewpoint. I cannot believe that such politicians can even be allowed to exist. I understand India is a democracy and the politicians have a right to be, well, politicians, but seriously, there should be some laws against the Left parties !

Would someone care to let me know in the comments how the nuclear deal is bad for India. I haven’t seen any coverage of the views of the media on the deal. All the various channels/newspapers have been doing is reporting stupid politicians talking in favor for or against the deal. Can we have some real views please ?

The Dirty Car index for measuring Pollution !

I’ve been reading a lot on environmental issues lately, or rather a lot is being written about the environment in the media these days. There have been hundreds of articles, videos, blog posts and surveys done to find out the most polluted city in the world and the Indian media is not far behind. In almost every Indian survey/article I’ve come across, Delhi holds the dubious distinction of being the most polluted city in India.

I live in Bangalore and have at one point or the other in my life, lived in or travelled to various other cities in India like Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and a lot of other cities. Now, according to the surveys mentioned above, the level of pollution in any of these cities is nothing to be proud of. While Delhi comes right at top, most cities in India are just as bad, even if they don’t get mentioned in media.

If you ask me, I never know what to make out of these pollution surveys. How do they measure the amount of pollution in a city and how does that affect me ? I’m sure 90% of the consumers of these surveys don’t understand the numbers. I’ve never had a problem living in any of the cities I’ve mentioned and in fact, I think I’m doing quite well, health wise.

To make it easier for people like you and me I’ve devised a simple index, henceforth referred to as the DC/DV index (which stands for the Dirty Car/Dirty Vehicle Index).

Continue reading “The Dirty Car index for measuring Pollution !”

Punjabi Dhaba – Ulsoor, Bangalore

Yes, that is the name of the place. “Punjabi Dhaba” is a no frills place which was recommended by a lot of people and I decided to check it out myself this weekend. The place is a bit tough to find since it looks like a tea stall more than a famous dhaba.

While coming from MG road towards the Ulsoor gurudwara, DO NOT take the road which goes towards the Old Madras Road and instead take the small road which goes down from the gurudwara. Right next to the gurudwara is this innocuous looking place and if you’re lucky you’ll even see the sardar owner with his big fat paunch sitting over the cash counter. But trust me, when I mean small, the place is really small. There are four tables seating four people each and a seperate cooking area where the only person than can fit is the owner himself :-)

Well, coming to the food, we ordered a methi chicken, dal makhani and bhindi masala. The bhindi was fine but the chicken, which smelt really good btw, wasn’t up to the mark. The meat could have been cooked a little more but then since this is a dhaba I’m willing to overlook that. But the dal makhani ! That is one thing I EXPECT all dhabas to make well ! Period. This ones dal was quite bland and it looked to me that he had forgotten to put the magical fried onions that all dhabas do. Other than that, for the money I paid (Rs 170), I couldn’t really complain. The quanity was enough and I had the leftover the next day too :-)

It looks like the place doens’t have a tandoor though since the parathas that we ordered were made on a normal tawa and weren’t the tandoori paranthas I was expecting.

My verdict: I’ll go there again, If I’ll really hungry and am in the vicinity but I’ll probably stick to the chicken curry and dal makhani and not experiment with the other types of chicken that they serve.