Ubuntu – pure awesomeness!

I have been using Ubuntu as my primary OS for the past couple of months. Starting from the mid year holidays (June) to be exact. Throughout this stretch of period, it has been a fun-filled and an enriching experience. It would only be appropriate to say that I have learnt to use my computer more efficiently than when I used to use Windows XP or Windows 7 (I never bothered to try Windows Vista by the way). But, of course I will continue to dual boot between Windows 7 and Ubuntu for the foreseeable future.

And, if you already didn’t know, the latest version of Ubuntu was released on 13 October this year. Version number is 11.10 and it has a funky name “Oneiric Ocelot”.  You can grab a copy of this awesome operating system which costs next to nothing from the official website. Or if you don’t feel confident enough to take the plunge, you can check out the browser-based desktop tour, which does a stunning job imitating the operating system inside your web browser, but do note that it is not the real deal.

I can hear some of you asking why should we switch to Ubuntu when Windows XP / Vista / 7 / Mac OS X does the job. Fair enough. But, are you really sure what you actually need? You should actually give Ubuntu a try before concluding anything. That’s what I have learnt from my experience with the digital tools.

So, what makes Ubuntu so awesome? There are just too many of them to be listed down here. Let me highlight some of the major awesomeness of Ubuntu. Many a times, you might have heard people remark that Ubuntu is open-source and that makes it great. While it is hard to deny that, they don’t understand that not everyone is interested in developing software or tweaking their systems to the last bit.

Other than Ubuntu being open-source and free of cost, there are so many other great features that make Ubuntu one of the most used operating systems around the world. In fact, it is the third most used operating system next only to Windows and Mac OS X. Now, let’s move on to the awesome features of Ubuntu.

A default install of Ubuntu includes Ubuntu One client, which lets you store up to 5 GB worth of files, folders, music and what not in your personal cloud for free. What is more impressive is that Ubuntu One is also supported in Windows and Android, so you can happily sync your documents across your computers and mobile devices. A sidekick of that awesome feature is One-Conf which lets you sync installed applications across all Ubuntu-installed computers you use. So, you don’t have to set up every other computer from scratch.

One other thing that might miss the attention of many Ubuntu users is that Ubuntu saves the sound settings for each instance. Don’t get it? Let’s say you have your sound muted for your speaker and you plug-in your headphones. And then, you turn on the sound to listen to music through your headphone. And then, you remove your headphone. Now, you don’t have to mute your sound again as Ubuntu automatically loads your last saved sound setting when you don’t have your headphones plugged in. And when you plug-in your headphones again, it goes back to the previous sound setting when you had your headphones plugged in. Cool right?

Last, but not the least. I wouldn’t be wrong if I said Ubuntu software center is the killer feature of Ubuntu that none of the other current operating systems have, giving Ubuntu a heads up. It pretty much works like Apple’s App Store, giving a quick access to all the available applications for Ubuntu desktop. So, if you are looking for some role-playing games or a mind-mapping software to use in Ubuntu, you know where to look for.

Definitely, these are not the only awesome features of Ubuntu. There are at least a bazillion more great items in Ubuntu but I have just focused on a very limited few. You should give Ubuntu a try to feel and know what I am actually talking about.

And on a side note, I thought it would be only fair to contribute back to Ubuntu and its vibrant community. Hence, I decided to be a part of Ubuntu’s translating team and I am currently translating Ubuntu OS to Tamil. If you want to contribute to Ubuntu, be informed that it is absolutely easy to chip in and the level of satisfaction you get is way worth the effort you put in. After all, Ubuntu’s motto used to be “Linux for Human beings”.

Oh dear exams!

Time and again, we students all have to endure with the amusing nuisance called exams. My immense dislike towards exams can never be articulated enough. Such is the amount of discomfort I go through during every exam period.

But, of late, even after finishing my exams, I am still feeling overwhelmingly uncomfortable, no thanks to the results that are going to be released after the latest set of exams. Looking back, it seems like I have no one else other than myself to blame for being in this state. If only I had put in a bit more effort, if only I had bothered to look into the consequences of my acts of stupidity, I think I wouldn’t be in such a state of bother. Sometimes, I feel like I have actually left myself down.

One thing that currently keeps me going is this quote:

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

How amazingly put to describe the volatility of human nature.

Enough of side tracking. I just have one request to the exams. Please stop coming back to haunt my peaceful life. If you don’t accede to this request, at least stop being an wild beast who refuses to be tamed. I mean, no matter how many times I slay you, you keep coming back wanting to seek revenge and that is not going down well with me. I hope you really understand my situation. And please do convey this message to your big brother result slip and ask him to be gentle with me. For I have almost no strength to deal with you like before.

To end this solemn post with a positive note, I have something to share that has been playing on the back of my mind for quite some time:

For exams may come and exams may go,
But I go on for ever.

If you can recognize, it is indeed the modified lines of the famous poem ‘The Brook‘ by Alfred L. Tennyson that I had to memorize once before to write down for an English exam. Such is life.

What really happened on my birthday?

So, if you had read my other post about the unsurprising part of my birthday, you might want to check this post about the cool thing that actually happened to happen on my birthday.

OK. I am just kidding. There wasn’t any cool thing that happened. But it was, at the very least, an interesting development that I never saw it coming.

It wasn’t the best day as I had exam on the day and I had another one to come the following day as well, which made sure that I was kept busy throughout the day. But, something was to happen, which managed to brighten the rest of the day that was remaining.

My senior Aravindh and my junior Vinith called me out of my hall and I wasn’t too sure what was about to happen. Surely, it can’t be something too surprising I thought. When I just got out of my hall, they were standing with a big grin in their faces. With a mysterious gift box in their hands. As none of us were really interested in building up the suspense and hence, they handed me that mysterious gift box and a birthday card. I have to note that the gift box was well wrapped and packaged! Inside the gift box was a nice little porcelain cup with the words ‘Happy birthday’ and a lot of other colourful candles painted on it. And the birthday card was really brimming with advice. I wish I can share those advices but they weren’t jotted down in English and I am just too lazy to translate it.

Who wouldn’t stop smiling when they get such an awesome gift on their birthday?

I can only wish that by next year, my birthday would be equally awesome, if not more and something really interesting and impressive to look forward to and cherish just like this year.

That cursed number called Eighteen

If you are wondering what this title is referring to, think again. Chances are that you already know what this blog post is going to be about. After all, what would the number eighteen really mean? Other than that special annual event that whizzes past in everyone’s lives, what would it really be?.

Yes, you are absolutely right. Last October 4 was my 18th birthday. To be frank, I had almost forgotten that it was actually my birthday that day (that night rather), no thanks to the final year examinations that is currently going on. For a full 3 minutes after the midnight had struck, I had absolutely no idea that it was my birthday. Until my good friend Prashanth called to congratulate me. Just then it actually struck me that it was my 18th birthday and I should be celebrating it like a mad man (Any reference to the American drama series Mad Men is purely coincidental and was never really intended).

As the day went past, I thought it is going to be the most uneventful birthday I ever had. Hardly anything noteworthy happened to interest or impress me for the best part of the day. Luckily, when the day came to an end, that wasn’t the case.

More on that in the next post. Keep your fingers crossed. 🙂