Skip to main content

Something great

A few months ago, I got a second-hand laptop to use in Bombay. Though a little old, it came with amazing tech specs, including i7, RAM and loads of space. In terms of the OS, I wanted at least Windows 7, but it came with XP, which was a bit inconvenient. However, that tech cloud did bring a silver lining because it gave me an excuse to try something I've been wanting to for ages, that is, switch to a Linux-based OS.

Open to experimenting though I may be, I did not want to completely let go of Windows, so I configured a dual-boot with XP and Ubuntu OS. There are enough and more excellent Youtube videos to help do this and it did not take me long. Here are a few quick remarks on my experiences.

Ubuntu is free, amazingly light on system resources and I don't have to worry about installing anti-virus software. The Ubuntu help community is excellent and usually answers every question one could have. The layout is not terribly different from Windows and it will take you little time to get used to navigating through it.

In terms of software, I found everything needed at the Software Centre, another handy-dandy feature. It works like an App Store and has practically everything you'd need. Advanced users can tinker with various features using the Terminal, and codes and instructions available online on the forums. Firefox is the default web browser, which is my preferred choice anyway. The Linux version of Chrome, called Chromium is available for free but needs to be installed.

For those who need iTunes and MS Office Suite, the only solution is to dual-boot. The free Libre Office Suite that comes with Ubuntu is based on the Open Office Suite and is perfectly fine if, like me, you largely use only MS Word. The dual-boot is necessary for advanced users of Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook as you'll find Libre Office and Thunderbird inadequate for your work. Sadly, there is also no Linux version of iTunes and I have trawled through the forums for an adequate solution and am yet to see one which has mass consensus.

And then we come to music play, perhaps the raison d'ĂȘtre of this post. People of a certain age will understand my continued amazement and gratefulness at hard-disk sizes of today. Now we transfer any amount of music from friends without a second thought.10 years ago, we'd be agonising over what to delete before we added new music. In a way, our music folders were pruned for efficient listening, versus now, when I know there's music on my PC I haven't heard in years. Anyway, old habits die hard and I dutifully transferred a load of music onto the laptop. And then discovered Guayadeque Music Player.

An Ubuntu-only software, it comes with 4000+ internet music stations from across the world. And that ladies and gents, has effectively killed regular music for me. Unless there's no internet (a very infrequent thing), I don't need to access my regular music; instead I now frequently listen to stuff I'd never have come across and can change genres at will. Regular tech-savvy folk may be aghast at the perceived value reduction of Linux here, but hey, it works for me.

So, if you have an old laptop that's gathering dust, I encourage you to wipe everything off it and install Ubuntu and give you computer a new lease of life. You really have nothing to lose and could actually have all to gain. In a way, it's like Lego for adults; you could tinker around, keep your noggin active and find that you like it.

Update: You can use MS Office Suite in Ubuntu with Wine. What more can you ask for? Check it out here.

Song for the moment: Love in Spain - Ypey

 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Last of my kind

(This post hasn't come out as well as I wanted. But I'm still pissed off, so.)

Why do we have heroes? What is it about someone that triggers a decision to nail our colours to their mast? I don't have a neat answer so what you read from here on is both an explanation and an exploration. In a post-modern world driven by counter-points, certainty is a luxury.

I missed the boat when it came to India's ODI cricket madness. We moved abroad in the late 80s. When I left, my friends and I wanted to be Kapil, Kris or Sunil. When I returned, god was getting comfortable on his heavenly couch and all was right with a world I did not recognise. I had missed Sachin's opening batsman debut against New Zealand, the hullabaloo of the Hero Cup and other notable moments. So, I was interested in cricket, not any particular sportsman. Not even during the '96 World Cup. When India muffed it against Sri Lanka, I hurt for the team, not for a player.

Then came Dravid. And, personally, …

Let her go

Have you noticed how we throw things out a lot more than before? Of course, city-dwellers like us have more, now that disposable incomes are the norm. Does it also allow us to dispose of things so easily? I was the object of much mirth/ridicule at work today because I wanted to get a golf umbrella repaired. One colleague wondered if it was worth the effort, another asked why I did not just buy a different one while others chuckled when they realised neither of these thoughts had occurred to me. I trudged off, wondering if they were right. What exactly was driving me to take the trouble?

I think back to to the 80s and living in my Thatha's (grandpa) house. Today's 'use-and-throw' culture would have shocked him to the core. The man was the epitome of prudence. Since we weren't exactly floating in doubloons, the family followed suit. Thatha wore the same watch for over 50 years. A small umbrella, bought by my mother with her first salary, was well on its way to becom…