Monday, December 22, 2008

The weekend that was

I've just installed Linux into my old desktop and it works like a breeze.

This is a version called Puppy Linux. It's less than 100 MB, loads into the memory like a flash and works perfectly. And this on a decrepit old desktop.

It detected everything automatically, including the internet, the audio and the cd drive, which was a good thing because when it comes to a computer, like sex, I can talk a lot better about it than actually do something.

And the thing is this. It is the work of a solitary person, a guy named Barry Kauler, who apparently did it in his spare time. And it is free.

Compare this with the offerings of a certain company based in Redmond, Washington, owned by a super geek whom I shall call, for fear of being assassinated, Gill Bates (who,by the way, is such a nasty that he reportedly gives his lieutenants a condition which, for reasons of delicacy, we shall call "Betty Swalls").

Their competing product costs some 12,000 rupees, occupies several gigabytes of space, crashes oftener than George Bush on a bicycle and works at a speed which makes road construction look exciting. So naturally, it is the most successful corporation in the world, makes obscene amounts of money and screws millions of people all over the world. To my mind, this is conclusive evidence that there is no god.

With this depressing thought in mind, my old pal Akhil and I paid homage to a nice little beverage from rural Scotland and ended up discussing the future of the world. Of the discussion itself I have scant recollection, so abstruse were the points considered, but we reached the conclusion that the problem with India is that the people of India are more fertile than the soil of India.

On Sunday, with an ice-pack tenderly balanced on the cranium, I surveyed my world with hesitation. We had been invited for a luncheon party which I tried to wriggle out of on health grounds. My wife however - and I strongly suspect she's related to Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple - possibly all three - saw through it in a flash. "Shave, bathe, dress and be in the car in ten minutes. I'm going to the stationery shop and I expect you to pick me up in"...... she looked at her watch.... "in twelve minutes". Who does she think she is, ordering me around like that! Anyway, I made it in eleven and a half.

The lunch turned out to be very nice. A few beers proved to be therapeutic and I was able to be the life of the party again. A restful snooze in the afternoon prepared me for the evening's program which was an exciting 5 hours in Mumbai traffic, in order to attend a Navjote ceremony of a Parsi friend's son. I love Parsis. Their quaint speech, their idiosyncrasies, their impeccable manners and their awesome food. I hogged up some 17 weeks of calories (I'm on a diet) so for the next four months I am going to be Swami Vayubhakshananda, he who lives on air alone.

And I still haven't watched Rab Ne... but the missus has given us an ultimatum. By Thursday or I watch her soaps daily for 2 months straight.


Susa said...

Rab ne or the soaps? Caught between a rock and a hard place you are.. And quite some venom spewing against Gill Bates eh? The limericks on Krish Ashok's blog were hilarious :)

Mahesh said...

perplexed said...

i agree about the fertility status of our country and it's people! you have a very serious point there!

n also, watching rab ne...might just make you or rather force you to believe in the existence of god again!! no proof or evidence required...when you walk out of the theater all you can say or think is 'rab'!

Coconut Chutney said...

please dont watch rab ne bana de jodi, for the sake of your own cranium!

Idling in Top Gear said...

Betty Swalls! ROFLMAO!

Good luck w/ the lose-lose decision.

Anna Bond said...

Swami Vayubhakshananda.. priceless!!
I shall refer to you VB Swamy from now on :)

Gradwolf said...

I thought you are a meeting attending yem-bee-yay!

What are you doing with techie stuff like Linux?

rads said...

Yeah, Linux is q cool :)

Btw, how the hell do wives manage to yank the husband around?! Seriously, it's a shame I have to admit this, but I think I need lessons. After 15 years :((
I feel like a loser *sigh

maxdavinci said...

people more fertile than the soil eh? it's coz we get turned on far often than a light switch.

Vivek said...

rab ne or TV serials? Hmmm
Looks like a lose lose situation.
(I'd recommend the latter)
Try Ubuntu,Its the Layman's Linux and its very very popular.
Somehow is seems all wives are related to these characters. In some cases even the Tazmanian Devil.

Anonymous said...

Oh .. you meant Vayubhakshananda in that way - you eat only air ! *Phew*. I thought you were going to spew vayu out of your exhaust *wink*, because of all the food that you ate at the ceremony/party :-)

Preeti said...

If u ask me...rab de is the safer bet...u cud catch some shut eye in an 'a/c hall'... ;)

Devil Incarnate said...

well comapring to soaps, u better watch rab ne, coz atleast that horrow will end up in 2 hours, but the horrow of soaps will haunt u 2months....!!!!!!!!!!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

..ah george bush. the most telling memory he will leave behind ( apart from falling of bikes) is ducking a shoe missile now.

and go for rab de - thats only 3 hours as opposed to 2 months of soaps - many, MANY hours.

SRK said...

"inspired" by your limericks in KA's comment section :)

To choose between Rab ne and a soap
is indeed a live with no hope
rather than watch a film from Yash
full of muddled but divine mush
I'd rather hang myself with a rope!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that she uses a small vooden replica of yours to prefix your mind? This is a serious condition, and calls for strong chemotherapy. My prescription (I normally charge a business class fare to LHR to give this kind of advice): take 42% ethanol, around 200 ml, every evening, from 6 pm to 9 pm. These strong-willed wives have a way of not being able to stomach the rub of this....

Princess Fiona said...

You should know Swami Vayubhakshananda has a severe case of halitosis as a result of surviving on air alone!!!

I'm guessin that's not someone u should aspire to be ;)

Anonymous said...

I second rads...being a great admirer - will the commander-in-chief consider giving lessons? :)...for the sweetly uxorious though - good luck with the viewing decision - my vote is for the shorter torture :)

narendra shenoy said...

@susa - Thanks!

@mahesh - It's three days now and my Linux still hasn't crashed. Windows Vista did it some 17 times

@perplexed - I'm told that Freddie Flintstone was forced to watch Rab ne ...
He has changed his yell from Yaba Daba doo to Raba daba doo.

@chutney - You watched, huh? That explains your hilarious post on the subject!

@Idling - Thanks! I will need all the luck I can get


@grad - It's a little out of my league, but that's even more of a recommendation for Puppy Linux. "If Naren can do it, so can you!"

@rads - The synopsis of her strategy is roughly like this -
Disobey me and give up all hopes
Of your love life being any better than the pope's

narendra shenoy said...

@max - accurately put!

@vivek - ubuntu was far less friendly than puppy. i'll try it though. I'm like a drug addict now!

@gcmouli - That was "Below the belt" ;)

@preeti - Hmmm. That's a possibility ;)

@devil - on the other hand at home i can sleep in my sons' room. I need to think this out :)

@cynic - needs evaluation :)

@SRK - I assume you're not THAT Srk! Nice limerick, btw. Join the club!

@doc - Advice taken!

@princess F - :-)

@anon - Second strategy (first one in prev comment)

If I see any back-chat or sass
I might just come and whip yer ass.

SRK said...

THAT Srk is busy promoting Rab Ne...

This Srk is trying to save people from THAT one ;)

Amrita said...

I need to install Linux! Of course, given my track record, I'll probably end up wiping my entire hard drive.