Cricket and tennis are two of my most favorite sports and each has its own charm and finesse that enchants the viewers. Cricket has started to become a game that is totally partial to the batsmen and that does take a lot out of the beauty. Cricket is supposed to be an even game between the bat and the ball it is no longer so and very recently money has started to take more importance than bat and ball or the pride of playing for the country and performing well. Of course it is always great to watch a Tendulkar or a Dravid or sometimes Sehwag or Yuvraj when they’re tearing the leather ball to pieces, but to watch it in every cricket match, it is boring. Great cricket is played only when there is an even contest between bat and ball or when the ball is slightly more dominant. It is a treat to watch a Dale Steyn charging in and testing the batsmen thoroughly and at the same time batsmen fighting to stay alive and at the same time score. When scores above 400 are becoming chaseable, it does say something about what cricket nowadays has for the bowlers. Budding youngsters will no longer want to become a bowler! Pity that Cricket is on a decline imo until something is done to get the focus back on good cricket instead of the goddamn money.

Tennis meanwhile is infinitely better, with two players matching their skills, athleticism and durability against each other. Pistol Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and of course my dear friend Venkatakrishnan were those who made me take a good look at Tennis and boy didn’t I fall in love with that game since then! Watching Federer’s wizardry, Nadal’s endless energy and never-stopping legs that help him reach unreachable balls and make winners out of impossible situations, unbelievable winners and angles from outside the court, wow this is a wonderful game, a treat to the eyes when the two players playing are good and evenly matched. It is also a game which requires focus on every single point of every game as that could be the difference in the final score. I thoroughly enjoy gasping for breath during tennis matches seeing impossibly good play. So any day, any time, I will always choose to watch a good tennis match than a good cricket match except maybe when Tendulkar’s playing 😉

I have been GNU/Linux user for the past couple of years and when I look back to see how much it has progressed, I can only gape in awe. I use Ubuntu in my laptop and Debian elsewhere and am familiar with these distros ( I badly want to try RedHat-based distros too! ), still when I came across this page http://bit.ly/6DUUBk which shows the wide range of nice software tools available for Ubuntu 9.10, I was surprised I didn’t know about most of the stuff though I have used Ubuntu for a long time, that too now I was using the latest Ubuntu Karmic Koala. I realized yet again of how little I knew though I often thought too much of myself.

Whatever software is there for the Windows platform, there are abundant equivalents that are at least as good in FLOSS and GNU/Linux world. There are also software for doing things which are impossible in a Windows environment which is GNU ecosystem’s niche. So am really glad that I got into FLOSS ecosystem and without doubt am benefiting hugely from its tremendous growth.

I have always had a strong sense of belief that when persons of diverse interests and expertise join and share, we can create a very strong ecosystem where there is nothing impossible. Still, God-knows-why, I did nothing about it. So suddenly when a couple of my friends from ECE asked me about learning Linux, it made me delve deeper and I had my Eureka! moment, feeling exactly as Archimedes would have. I thought, why not have a ‘Learning Club’, albeit an informal but thoroughly useful one with a few interested guys teeing off? So from the day this brand-new year was born, we (a few interested persons) decided to join and share our knowledge and learn? The benefit was going to be mutual and synergistic as each one of us brought something exciting to the plate. We decided to meet sometime everyday and discuss about virtually anything and everything and make ourself even more geekier.

For instance, most of these guys who use VLC, never knew it can be used to convert videos and audio to various formats. Ravi Teja gave a wonderful explanation on why a Hard Disk can have only 4 primary partitions. I had known vaguely the same thing, but his explanation made it even more clear though the answer was a Google search away.

Hoping to continue this initiative for a long time to empower a lot more friends and hand it over as a legacy to my juniors at college!