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.