MonthMarch 2010

Webfaction Review

I’ve been running and on my [Webfaction][3] account for a while. I got the account for free – after Remi Delon from Webfaction noticed one of my tweets.

Review: I’m going to save that when my free one year plan expires, I can upgrade to one of their better plans. It is so good :)

Highly Reccomended!

Samsung N210 Review

I bought a brand new Samsung N210 Netbook about two weeks back – and have been using it almost non-stop since. I’ve been taking it to college every day, using it at every oportunity I get – on the college bus, on MTC buses, on the train, while waiting for the train, hell even during a rather very boring class!

The Great

  • The Screen! The matte screen is totally awesome. Viewable under all conditions – full on sunlight during a train commute or at a weird angle snuggled under the desk during class. It is sharp, and IMO has enough resolution (1024×600). The bezel is small and not very distracting.
  • The Keyboard. 94% of a full size keyboard, I’m told. It is extremely comfortable, and I don’t miss too many keys. I do find the right shift absolutely useless though. The chicklet keys look great too
  • The Looks. One guy asked me if I was carrying a white MacBook.

The Good

  • The Touchpad. It is large and the mouse buttons are not bad. I don’t know if it supports two button finger scroll on Linux – but it does work on Windows. My hands do accidentally touch it often while typing, moving my cursor unexpectedly – but I have been able to stop that by using my right thumb for space instead of my left.
  • The Battery. I seem to get around 8 hours of usage under varying circumstances and conditions – while nothing to laugh at, I was expecting more. Might be because I haven’t been able to figure out a way to turn off the wifi chip from Linux.

The Bad

  • The Heat. The fan isn’t very noisy, but the heat buildup is appreciable. I can’t really work with it directly on my lap.
  • The inbuilt webcam. 0.3 Megapixels. Bleh!
  • WiFi. Drops very often, and not very sensitive. Ubuntu Autodetected it though.
  • The SD Card Slot. It has a cover that comes right off, and I guarentee I’ll lose it in a while.
  • Many of the Function Key functions aren’t supported on Linux. Was able to make the Brightness keys work after a hack though.

The Awful

  • The ugly black sticker ad for “Phoenix Hyperspace(tm) Instant-on”. Ewww! Atleast there is only one big sticker spoiling this white beauty

Was it worth the 20k bucks I paid for it? I’m typing out this blog post while waiting at my Doctor’s, so I’d say it is well worth the 20k bucks paid :)

“We must take [India] as it is” – Jules Verne

I’ve gotten back to reading fiction ever since I got my netbook (review comin up!). Project Gutenberg has been very helpful. Jules Verne’s Adventures of a Special Correspondent was the first one I completed. It is a good book – but not phenomenal. It does have a few very good moments, and one of them hit extremely close to home.

Towards the end, when Claudius Bombarnac rumbles about how the Chinese do not make full use of the engine’s power – always keeping it running at 40 mph even though it could be pushed to do way more.

“I agree with you, but where you have a railway you might as well get
all the advantage out of it that you can.”

“Bah!” said Pan-Chao carelessly.

“Speed,” said I, “is a gain of time–and to gain time–“

“Time does not exist in China, Monsieur Bombarnac, and it cannot exist
for a population of four hundred millions. There would not be enough
for everybody. And so we do not count by days and hours, but always by
moons and watches.”

“Which is more poetical than practical,” I remark.

“Practical, Mr. Reporter? You Westerners are never without that word in
your mouth. To be practical is to be the slave of time, work, money,
business, the world, everybody else, and one’s self included. I confess
that during my stay in Europe–you can ask Doctor Tio-King–I have not
been very practical, and now I return to Asia I shall be less so. I
shall let myself live, that is all, as the cloud floats in the breeze,
the straw on the stream, as the thought is borne away by the imagination.”

“I see,” said I, “we must take China as it is.”

India too, as I see it from where I am, is pretty similar. Practacality can go shoot itself in the head.

What do I gain by copying stuff from the board to the notebook? Nothing, but do it anyway because that is how it has always been done.

Why should I go back 10 years by not using a mobile phone? Because we aren’t good enough to hold your attention long enough, so we are going to force you to not do anything else even if you are going to be bored to death (even if literally).

Why should I use Turbo C, even though it is extremely antique and doesn’t really conform to any standards? Because that is what the people setting the syllabus learnt! (Nothing personal, TC.exe – just that I hope people stop believing Windows was written in Java/VB because you can do GUIs only in those!)

Doesn’t matter if there is a better way, if it is not the way it is done. Conservatism. Bah

I’m talking only from my point of view, from where I have been (apparently) hurt. I am sure this is not the only place – this happens everywhere. Anti-Change Conservatism. Which I am told, is not even the true meaning of the word conservatism. I hope someone sometimes explains to me what the word was supposed to mean, and how it came to represent parents who won’t let their kids out to have fun with their friends.

Good news is, trains in China are no longer run at a max of 40 mph. Change does occur, but it takes time, and hurts those who live during it. We are those people. I hope.

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