Back to college in an eventful week.

It’s been quite a while since I have had the time to update my blog. The past week has been a pretty interesting one for me.

College kicked off last Monday for the new semester, and we had some fairly decent subjects and staff. I’m taking a C# course as an elective, and it sucks big time. I guess C and Python would be my favorites while I might do some coding using C++ and Java.  The labs we have this semester (only 2) are fun, what we call Jolly Labs, where you do something useful for half an hour and talk away the remainder of the time.

I finally got my Ubuntu One account, and immediately chose the 2GB free plan. I would evaluate it, and then when it is mature enough and distro-independent I’ll upgrade to a paid plan. I’ve also joined up with Saravanan to do something about Linux, and I’m learning something from him.

A few(very few, seventeen) of my classmates have chosen Natural Language Processing as an elective this semester, and we hear that no one else has chosen it for the past few years. I guess they saw the large syllabus and backed off, but they missed a lot. It is a very interesting area, and I just love it.

Seshadri finally came to college this Monday after a week’s holiday and he looks awkward without his spectacles. Guess it’ll take some time to get used to the sight if him without spectacles, but I’d have to stop poking fun at his eyesight. He’s a fine fellow, and a good friend. It’s great to see him back again.

Mozilla Firefox 3.5 was launched and it hits the competition for a sixer with the revamped and new features. It renders almost every page flawlessly, and a page I designed using CSS 3 worked only on Firefox versions 2 and above. TraceMonkey is real good, considering the speed at which I could use Google Docs. Firefox matched Google Chrome while typing text real fast, and beat it while opening and saving files. The most important feature I’d have loved to be in the specifications for HTML 5 is built into this version – open video and audio using Ogg Vorbis and Theora codecs. For more on my experiences with Firefox, look here: http://bit.ly/shiretoko_week

I had some trouble setting up a Drupal site on my local PC, but upgrading from 6.12 to 6.13 fixed it. I could not go past the database configuration page in 6.12, but after downloading 6.13 last night I created a small site in no time. I also learnt to back up and transfer a Drupal site to another host using a module. I must learn to do it manually by this month-end.

I’m looking forward to the Ashes and hope for a series like 2005, which is the best Ashes series I’ve seen. The first Test starts today, and I’ve bunked a few hours to catch the action. And I’m going to report on a couple of days at World Cricket Watch, my first matchday reports. The first Sri Lanka – Pakistan test surprised me. I was in class talking with my friends when the match would end, and how much Yousuf would score, but when I saw an update on my phone, SL had won! Now that is test cricket! Given a Test like this, and who wants T20?

Meanwhile in the cyberspace, rumours about a Google OS have finally become reality, according to a post in the official Google blog by Sundar Pitchai. I don’t see the need for another OS, whatever Google says about it. I think they’d better adopt a community project like Fedora and optimize it for whatever purpose they see fit.

Tata DOCOMO have launched their GSM services in my city, and I got a card. The voice quality is very good, but I’ll wait till enough people choose the network to see the quality. The GPRS charges are on the higher side compared to CellOne, and anyway I won’t be using DOCOMO regularly. It has the same status as my Reliance GSM connection, which I use sparingly.

That’s it for now, I’ll write more on all these matters as the events unfold.

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