December 15th, 2006


Debian on the Slug - Part 3

The whole of last night was spent installing Debian on the slug - and yes, it worked great!

There was nothing much to do, other than ssh over to the box; a menu based installer started automatically. There is an option within the installer to drop into a shell. I first verified that I could access the net from the slug - this was a bit of a nuisance as `ping' was not available; had to be satisfied with `wget' for testing connectivity. Two things had to be done on the laptop - enable IP forwarding and masquerading:

echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth1 -j MASQUERADE

The Slug was connected to eth0 and eth1 was the wifi connection to a Linksys WRT54G via which I access BSNL DataOne.

Once net connectivity was established, everything went smoothly ... though it was *real* slow. Haven't got the courage to overclock, yet!


Atlas Shrugged!

Sandeep gave a talk at GECT today on his experiences as a M.Tech/PhD student. The idea was to make students understand that after doing a B.Tech in CS you have much more exciting options than joining Infy/Wipro/TCS/XYZ company and writing/fixing some stupid code. Because its so easy to get an `IT' job these days, students (even the best ones) have no ambition other than landing up a `cosy' job. This is going to cost us dear in the long run.

One thing which may dissuade potential candidates from choosing a career in research might be the misconception that researchers are forced to become `sanyasis' because they find it difficult to make a decent living out of the money they get paid for all their `research'. Even being a PhD student, especially in a foreign university, is a good financial proposition, according to Sandeep. Most of his talk was aimed at convincing students that you can do exciting intellectual work, and still thoroughly enjoy life.

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Being an ex-MS employee, Sandeep had to answer the inevitable MS vs RMS question. He made it clear that he started out as a Free Software advocate but later realized that MS was not doing a bad thing after all. He agrees that Ayn Rand has had a role to play in this `transition'.

I still believe that Sandeep has not studied RMS as clearly as he has done Ayn Rand; the day I finish reading `Atlas Shrugged', I will have a big fight with him!