Music: moving on.

This might end up being too extreme, but I’ve decided to stop listening to any track in my Music collection.

It’s been a while since I’ve really listened to something new, something I really really took to. The first time that happened was to Linkin Park, back in early 2000s, then Metallica, then Maiden and Tool; Pink Floyd and Simon and Garfunkel followed soon after, and later some Blues; now, after three years of peer pressure, EDM.

I’ve picked up some alternative and punk rock; not to forget some absolutely amazing Post-Rock too ! But for the last two years or so, I’ve not really expanded existing or explored new musical horizons, apart from Avicii or Walldahl or Vicetone in the last few months.

Which is horrible. And apathetic. Or horribly apathetic. Bleargh !

It is the equivalent of sticking to the same gym routine for a year, reading the same couple of books over and over again, or re-mapping keys to different shortcuts while keeping your dotfiles functionally the same.

Or basically typing

sudo pacman -Syu

everyday for the last year.

So I’ve decided to stop listening to any track in my Music collection.

Instead, I’ll make a point to continually explore new artists. Each day, or each song will be one I haven’t heard of.

Quite extreme huh ?

I’ve given myself time to research artists and genres. It’ll be a fortnightly cycle. I’ll give myself a break after two weeks for a week then start again. I’ll keep you posted.

I start New Year’s Day. You know, just for that psychological clean slate.

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A trip to Dehradun.

 

I was at my aunt’s place in DehraDun, hence the brief silence. But I got busy with my camera there.

She just loves him.

Having fun. That’s me on the right there.

I’m not a macro person at all, but the way this turned out I was surprised.

Orange pickle in the making, I guess.

There’s just too much drama in this part of their balcony.

Still wondering what this was for.

The green texture on the book. This was an address book.

Their driveway.

On our way to Dhanaulti, a little higher than Dehradun. It had just snowed a day ago.

Slight use of a polariser. The sky turned out great.

Sunlight peaks out of the forest in Dhanaulti.

A frozen leaf.

I’m waiting for my 50mm/1.4. It was due in early Dec, but got delayed by a month. So now hoping to get it before the spring semester starts.

The terrible case of the two linux(e)s.

Houston, we have lift-off.

Not after quite a few hiccups, that is. On Monday, I formatted my laptop, removing my current install of Windows 7 and  Arch Linux. Having a rescue disk and a bootable USB at hand I was not worried.

I was wrong.

Over the last year or so, I had not overhauled my system. My current W7 ran without a desktop configuration file; I could not place icons on the screen and my Arch was throwing tantrums. And the whole machine was slowing down.

Hence the grossly thorough crackdown. Everything had been backed up, all the docs backed up on Google Drive and what-not save files taken care of.

After inserting and reinserting my rescue disk a couple of times, I realized that my CD tray was going to be of any help. Another casualty of technological redundancy. USB ports rule now and the wise words of (Dr.) Sheldon Cooper, ” Can you imagine a world without USB ports ? Oh, the horror !!! “, came back to me. Huh. 

Okay. I tried using my dad’s laptop to create a bootable USB for windows, from my rescue disk. Did not work. Turns out the CD, too, was damaged. So my plan of starting with windows and dual booting with Arch later on was out the window.

Linux had to go in first.

Now if you’ve hopped from OS to OS, looking for a perfect fit, you might have come across Arch. If you have, then you know that no other installation process is so self-involved or bare-bones, throwing you into the deep end of the pool with nothing more than a wiki to hold onto than Arch’s.

But a comprehensive and omniscient, raggedly efficient Wiki at that. One of the best I’ve seen out there. Still there’s a lot of places you can go wrong before you’ve even got the Desktop Environment up.

My ruination, this time, seemed to be the partitioning and the GRUB. After going through multiple installs, file-system definitions and declarations, and incorrectly installing the GRUB (mind you, the GRUB, not syslinux) on the wrong sda/b, I finally gave up.

For a day.

I left it on Tuesday, hung out with a couple of friends, saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ( sm-a-u-g not sm-o-g ). Quite good, I must say. Just does enough to carry the story forward, with a lot of non-sense of Legolas and Tauriel and unnecessary connections thrown in just for the sake of elongating the story. You want to see more of Smaug, but that part is only about a fifth of the entire running time. Not less, but not quite enough.

Anyways back to this.

I’ve been jerked around quite a lot by Arch. So has another friend, but because of a little better hardware support, he doesn’t feel it that much. But there have been times when just a simple

pacman -Syu

wrecks your system. And then Ctrl-Alt-F2″ is your saviour. Another time, your sound card stops working, but what hurts the most is when your graphics driver messes up color configurations on vim and urxvt. Back, then, to good old Sublime Text. 

All this running through my head, I decided this was the best time to go for Ubuntu, the dumb man’s linux. Easiest-to-use, gnome-revertible Unity, popularly blogged on across the world, good hardware support (awesome color configs ! Yay !).

It’s not like I was giving up or anything; and I had used Ubuntu countless times for HDD recoveries, so there was that. Apart from, you know, Ubuntu actually being my first linux OS.

But I was so familiar with pacman ! And the awesome wiki and forums ! And a part of my ego did not want to type

“sudo apt-get”

every time. But I was also fed up with the constant never ending tweaking of my base system. The constant fear of breakdown, cradling a fragile state of the system.

Having almost installed Ubuntu, I made a decision to try Arch one last time. One more chance.

After spending the entire morning going over my filesystem and grub directories after mounting them, I figured that my GRUB cfg was using the sample file to read UUIDs and the file that I was generating was being saved as *.new.cfg. 

I  just renamed this to the original file and deleted the old one and shifted every filesystem onto sda and voila, it worked !

With a sigh of relief I installed Gnome, and later, the entire pack of Chromium, vlc and Transmission. Probably the only thing that I needed then.

And yeah, contrary to common sense, I still have a lot, and I mean a LOT, invested in my Chrome and Google profile. This still freaks out a few of my friends. But more on that later.

I’ve still got a ways to go – configuring my urxvt, vim, zsh. And tmux. And my mpd, ncmpcpp.

As a friend said, in a rare moment of clarity, ” tweaking arch = actually making arch “.

One step at a time…

Phew. That semester was quite…overwhelming. And probably the best of them all. In every way except one. (Don’t ask) 

 

And now I have an entire month (or almost) to work and improve myself. To grow as an individual. Oh the endless possibilities !!!

Or while away time, binging on uncountable mind-numbing TV series, watching my brain rot away, and browsing the ever growing, omniscient, omnipresent Internet (probably imgur, HN, Twitter, Medium, svbtle, reddit, Mashable, in that order), combing my bookmarks and Pocket and Feedly for links of anything involving the lossy transaction of nondescript facts, memes, tweets and such junk. 

No, really !

Well, I really do hope to get something out of this, even if it is another batch of wine, a solved hexagonal rubiks cube, a properly set up Raspberry Pi, finishing Walden, hyperproductivity, an improved number of pages turned, an improved knowledge of Footballs greatest, more clicks on my A37 or more miles on the road.

Or code. Definitely. Yeah, code. An Nginx server, a tweet mining client and the likes. 

 

So although my posts have been too far too few, don’t be shocked to see one every few days. Yes, I said ‘every’ and ‘few days’ together. Don’t choke behind that wry smile of yours. 

Now go sit in a corner, watching (or rewatching ?) House of Cards, Downton Abbey and reruns of That 70s Show, while Manchester United probably end in the lower half of the Premier League table (what ? they might just !) and you overeat yourself to the other side of a Snorlax. And nervously waiting for the premier of Sherlock !

PS: Fletcher’s back ! And got to see Zaha play for the first time ! Though he needs more time on the pitch than (allegedly) in bed with a certain someone.