update : arch + new hardware

2019-05-27 12:29:00

so recently, like 2 weeks ago, i received my first ever computer. its an asus vivobook; i opted for the 14 inch model with the i7 and mx 150, and this is by far the most powerful computer i have had the pleasure of using.

out of the box the boot speed [ into windows ] was really really fast. it takes a little longer than 5 seconds or so for the login screen to appear. i assume this speed is due to the ssd. in order to cut costs [ and believe me when i tell you i got this laptop for a killer price ], i decided to go with a 256 gb ssd as my sole storage device. storage isn't much of a problem for me considering that i don't really have a lot of huge files. most of my data is text, images and music, the latter of which takes the most space, so i'm hoping i won't get into a situation where i require additional storage, but if i do, then i have access to a few 1tb hdds and can obtain them with relative ease.

the first thing i did, as any other self respecting linux enthusiast would do with a new device, was to boot into a bootable drive and try and keep windows as far as possible. i've been using ubuntu for well over a decade now, and while its a super stable distro that "just works", i feel like i've grown too used to it. and when something becomes familiar it tends to become boring.

thus, in an attempt to try something new [ and potentially make my life way more difficult ] , i decided to give arch a try.

i'm a long time lurker on various linux customisation and ricing forums, notably r/unixporn, and i've been very impressed by some of the setups posted there, a significant number of which used arch, which piqued my interest, cos you can pretty much do the same thing on any other distro. so i did some digging and was very interested in the whole barebones approach arch provides. its the equivalent of being handed just an axe to build your cabin. this approach gives one better control of the system [ i think. idrk. i feel like this whole thing is an excercise in being pretensious, to gain the right to say "btw i use arch". relevant meme ], like i get to choose which wood to choose and how i want my cabin to look. i am completely responsible for my system, and there is something very nice about that. if something goes wrong then its my fault, and similarly if something works then its cos i set it up properly. i can't really explain it better than that. theres a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that accompanies doing stuff that way.

the thing about arch however is that the installation process is a bitch. its not really. but kinda. i've been using the really amazing gui installer that ubuntu provides for a long time [ i can already hear hardcore linux gurus grunt ]. in the past, on like three occasions i had to install ubuntu server, so i did have some experience with a similar process, not that it helped me in anyway as i had forgotten most of the tricky bits.

tbh configuration of this type is actually fun; it gets frustrating at times, but in the end, its worth it [ i guess xD ]. its akin to a puzzle or a game lol. [ "being a sysadmin is no joke, boy ! treat the installation process with respect, for it is pure and san!" ]

the asus vivobook s14 s410un doesn't come with an ethernet port, which is a shame tbh. while i believe that going forward we need to get rid of older connection ports, we shouldn't do away with wired interfaces entirely. the reason i'm bitching about the lack of ethernet port is that without an ethernet port, i had to use wifi to get internet working, and i had to jump through circles to get wifi working. i tried the wpa_supplicant method, and apparently wifi key and passphrase are two different things ? or whatever ? idk. on ubuntu nmcli is installed by default, which makes life soo much easier. that being said, typing scan in wpa_cli and seeing the list of wifi networks pop up was hugely satisfying.

arch is fun. so basically, the installer contains an iso of arch with a few packages. you partition your system and choose the required partition and then you chroot into it and then install the system using a package manager command. crazy lol. don't even get me started on worrying about drivers or problems with outdated pgp keys. luckily tho, i didn't run into any 'serious' problems.

so i did that, but ended up forgetting to configure grub and other boot stuff. in addition to this the laptop had uefi, whatever the fuck thats supposed to mean. i get that its similar to bios ? idk ? i didn't have the patience to read up on this. note that it took me like 4 days to actually install the damn thing. the fact i couldn't boot into it was frustrating in the most unbelievable manner.

grudgingly and with much shame i accepted defeat and redid the installation process using archfi, which is this script that launches an installer of sorts. super helpful. still disappointing that i couldn't complete the last few steps manually [ very audible grunt from the linux gods judging me. i have failed all of you ]. i mean i had everything set up. the damn thing just didn't boot lol. the problem here was that i really wanted to dual boot my system, cause as much as i hated windows i just *know* there'll be a time where i'll need it for some damn task or the other. better have windows and not need it than not have it and need it. its okay as long as you hate the fuck out of it.

oh and i discovered that wifi-menu exists. which is similar to nmcli, so connecting to wifi isn't that big of a problem. and besides i can always tether it to my phone and have it act as a wired network. [ cos wifi-menu stops working at the most inconvenient times lololol ]. all i want to know is why i didn't think of this before getting my hands dirty with wpa_supplicant.

so yeah. after a week of getting my muggy hands on this sweet, sweet computer, i am proud to say that arch is installed. [ "the damage has been done" ]

i've always wanted to try a tiling WM, and dwm looked pretty neat, so i installed dwm [ impulsive decisions that inevitably end in failure ftw ]. its going to take me some time to get used to it. i'm far too used to xfce and lxde. its like wearing a new pair of shoes when you're far too familiar to an older pair, its going to take some time to adjust before i can run again :)

i still haven't gotten things setup properly yet. its only a matter of time ik. i believe that one's productivity is limited by the interface they use, and i plan on taking some time to make sure things are exactly how i want them to be.

i feel there needs to be research in this field, measuring user efficiency with respect to user interface. i'm sure the findings would be significant. i'm sure we waste ridiculous amounts of time dealing with inefficient interfaces.

once i get my ideal setup [ or something close enough to it, anyways. perfection being unattainable and all ] , i hope to be more productive and get more stuff done.

another thing that shocks me about this laptop is the form factor. i am amazed that this tiny thing is as powerful as it is. the idea that it packs 8 gigs of memory is something that amazes me. i feel we take these things for granted lol. its amazing just how powerful this is. [ i'm a simple man. if it can ave more than 50 firefox tabs open then its fine ]. i was expecting it to be *slightly* lighter, but no complaints ! this is still super super portable. this has been a huuuge upgrade for me. and yet, in certain aspects it feels like a downgrade. the 14 inch screen seems insufficient compared to my desktop's 21 inch monitor. the small size also means that i have to make certain sacrifices with regards to the keyboard. i miss using a mechanical keyboard. also i need to use modifiers to access home, pg up, pg down, end, insert; 5 keys i use often to make things easier for myself. the delete key and backspace are really close to the power button, so its very possible to hit the power button accidentally [ yes, being the idiot i am, i have indeed performed this folly on multiple occasions. time to remap the keys lol ]. oh, and caps lock doesn't have an indicator. wtf. backlit keyboard ? yes. indicator ? no ?? lel it doesn't make sense. i don't really like the colors of this laptop. its this crappy golden color that makes me want to puke. will probably get a skin or sand the paint off and repaint it. idk.

but yeah. overall i'm happy with this machine. arch so far has been very good. dwm is also pretty interesting. can't wait to actually start using this properly.

oh, and btw, i use arch. xD

on not being able to fit in

2019-03-12 12:57:46

for the longest time now i've been feeling like i don't belong. its just that. a feeling of being alienated. of not being able to relate to people. not being able to get along with anyone.

its like i'm far too weird to fit in. like everyone i meet is from a completely different alien culture.

lol it sounds so angsty and so immature to say it out loud. but thats essentially whats been happening.

idk when but i eventually just stopped trying to fit in. no point in spending energy wearing some kind of painted mask just to fit in and to be validated. i mean i tried to fit in. i tried. and it failed. it backfired.

i guess most of my problems arise from forcing myself to fit in. i guess i got so tired and just stopped. as a result i feel i've now deviated so much now that reintegration seems to be a rather difficult task, should i ever want to pursue that line of action. i speak weird. i think weirder. my interactions with people are weird. every fucking thing about me is weird. "weird" is anything i consider a negative deviation from the mean. sure ik, "be different, be yourself" and all that; but to what extent ? i think i've taken my individuality to the stage where i feel like a goddamn pariah.

[ funnily enough, when looking up whether i was using it correctly, i found out the word pariah is derived from paraiyar, a lowly untouchable caste of people from south india. maybe its the universe trying to send a message ? xD. | sidenote : everybody be hating on dravidians smh ]

i'm socially awkward and i find it difficult to hold conversations with people. i mean i try to, but idk. i just can't seem to form connections for whatever reason. like i'm unable to relate to people on a deeper level.

i'm a loner. its something i've kinda always been. not by choice obviously. well... not by concious choice atleast.

i've seen that my productivity is max when i'm by myself. having people around me makes me less efficient. makes me sound callous doesn't it ? robotic.

like the things most people are worried about are things i find extraordinarily meaningless. idk. its like everyone is pursuing things that make no sense to me, and like everyone around me is wired differently. and it sucks not being able to enjoy the stuff people around me enjoy.

i mean sometimes i wish i was invisible. i've had too many negative experiences to believe in the possibility that anything else can ever occur [ despite knowing this to be false ]

i've never really 'belonged'. never truly felt at ease in the company of other people. never had a 'tribe' of my own. i guess its a result of me pushing people away. something i've grown exceedingly good at. i don't let people 'in'. i'm far too afraid they'll leave me or betray me, and thats something that has happened so many times, and each time it happens i end up hurt.

i make the assumption that nobody wants to talk to me. its a pretty reasonable assumption to make under the conditions, i guess. i want to talk to people, but every time i do, i want to back away cos most conversations can be stupid, long and painful. i never really make the first move in initiating communication with anybody. i believe that if people want to talk to me, well they would. no point in really talking with people who don't want to talk with you, is there ? and hell, if no one wants to talk with you, then good on them. i mean i get that my attitude makes me unapproachable. i get that i am part of the problem. attempts to rectify this have worked with varying degrees of success, but its something i have to force. not something that comes naturally. its not a passive skill, its something i have to actively enforce. and its not something i really want to spend my focus or energy on.

the few times i do initiate contact with someone, when i reach out, i'm usually greeted with silence, further strengthening the assumption that nobody really wants to talk with me lol. but i guess its something i'm doing wrong. idk. i'm in a continuos process of isolating what the exact cause is, so that i'm able to eliminate it. its not like i want to be this way.

to be very honest, it hurts. it hurts feeling like a goddamn outsider everywhere i am. always on edge, always on alert. like never really being able to relax around other people.

but hey, i guess its just another one of those super fun things about life that just keeps me going. yay. </sarcasm>

ps : i'm sorry for the incoherent and unreadable nature of this post. i'm not thinking straight, and am having difficulties producing meaningful content.

introducing ouroboros

2019-02-14 12:29:50

for the longest time ever i've been wanting to automate the process of how i post to this blog.

some of you old timers will remember the very rudimentary first version of this blog that i had to update by editing the html file by hand. having gotten tired of that, i created the second version, which was a simple find and replace script, which would "paste" the new post onto a fixed place. while this worked, my content and formatting were still linked. i couldn't make any changes to the layout of the page, everything was fixed, and in case i had to edit any post i still had to edit the actual html file.

so after a pretty long hiatus [ two years :o ] i created ouroboros. its what i referenced here.

yes. 'ouroboros' is the "cool" name i came up with. for those of you who don't know, ouroboros refers to the symbol of a serpent eating its tail, and is often used to represent infinity or the idea of being stuck in a loop.

ouroboros [ or 'boros as i like to call it ] is a small static site generator written in bash.

ouroboros can currently generate a series of posts in chronological order along with a timestamp and permalink.

the posts are all text files [ i've thought about making them markdown files, but is it something that makes a lot of difference ? idk ], and can be edited individually.

while i am happy with how ouroboros works right now, i realise there are still loads of things that should be done.

some things i'd like to do in the future would be to make the script more 'user friendly' and to change the definition of what a post is, which is currently rigid.

day out

2018-12-15 15:29:15

i'm a bit of a recluse xD

not really but kinda. like i can be a real badass when it comes to commuting [ grinning as i write this, i have all these weird funny google maps hacks. ] and i generally like to travel. unfortunately for me i live in a city [ bangalore. "bengaluru" for all you hipsters ] where it takes forever to get across the street in a vehicle. like walking is faster most of the time.

i have all these weird principles i try and live by [ i should really outline my various whimsical beliefs one of these days xD ], and one of them is an aversion to personal transport. the idea of taking up all those resources just to get from point A to point B is disturbing. i guess its understandable if you want to get to some place quick or far away....

anyways, i prefer employing a combination of public transport and walking to get me to the places i need to me. which i find fine. i like walking. i love walking. i mean theres something amazing about the feeling of walking down the streets and soaking in the general atmosphere of a place. its difficult to put to words [ cos i suck at explaining how i think xD ], and i get that its mundane, but its just something i like lol.

and the public transport system is pretty efficient around here, well, if you know how to use it properly xD. i used to find being cramped together with loads of people to be super uncomfortable, but like i've grown accustomed to that. i usually get quite a lot of work done on my commute nowadays. editing documents, keeping people in the loop, last minute cramming for tests idk lol. trying to make the most of my time i guess xD.

so yeah, i don't really venture outside for anything other than groceries and classes. which is essentially saying i go out when i *need* to not cos i *want* to. its rare that i venture outside for personal satisfaction. i don't have many friends [ that 'm' is totally redundant but whatever :p ], and i find being alone in public places, be it at a movie or like at a fast food joint or a concert or whatever, to be rather awkward [ i imagine people laughing at me and mocking me xD its irrational but whatever ], so i really avoid that kind of stuff.

so today was one of those days i actually headed out [ ugh, idk why, but i sound like this over excited kid xD ]. my stock of books was depleted and i needed loads more. that was my main focus. i also had to go out cos like there was this interesting workshop thingy, but it was in the morning.... so idk. it was actually the workshop that i left my house for, but i ended up like 20 minutes late [ idc much about punctuality :p ] and figured what the heck, i'll ask somebody who actually attended to fill me in [ the logic is flawless ]. so admitting defeat [ side quest failed. -3 exp ], i decided rather selfishly to get back to the main goal of getting my books.

i consider reading to be one of those few things that still make me happy. i can get comfortably lost within worlds bound by paper and ink. its an escape from reality [ and if you know me you know i love to escape the confines of dull, boring, monotonous, painful reality in any way possible ] and one i embrace gladly.

i like stories. the ability to live as other people in other worlds is interesting as it gives me a means to experience and feel things i couldn't otherwise. different perspectives, new and sometimes even impossible experiences.

its easy to see why then i would choose sci-fi/fantasy as my favourite genre, but i don't mind reading other stuff...

at any point in time i have a list of books that i just *have* to read. i buy books in batches every 4 months or so, and i prefer to buy from a bookstore, cos you never know what you're going to find [ i once found the Illuminatus ! Triology on a random bookshelf. ever since that incredibly unlikely encounter i have held the belief that foraging through chaotic bookshelves will always be much better than sifting through various filters on an online bookstore ]. and this list of mine is filled with esoteric weird shit [ well, not that weird.... but still not stuff you can go and buy from "mainstream" vendors ]

anyways after my epic fail attempting to attend that workshop [ i'm feeling guilty af tbh xD ] i ended up taking the wrong bus [ another story ] and finally found myself early, for once in my life, and that the bookstores hadn't opened yet. wow. okay. so considering i was in like the best part of the city, i decided to wander aimlessly, ended up finding a bunch of cool places to chill at [ new area unlocked. ]

and after a good hour or so wind up back at the bookstore and begin the long process of digging for books.

so what i found :

+ The Wastelands [ The Dark Tower III ] by Stephen King

+ On The Road by Jack Kerouac

+ Psychedelics by Aldous Huxley

+ Stranger in A Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein

+ The Colour Of Magic by Terry Pratchet

+ The Aleph and other stories by Jorge Luis Borges

+ Discource on Methods and The Meditation by Rene Descartes

+ Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

+ The Day of the Triffids by John Whyndham

+ Illusions by Richard Bach

+ The Salmon Of Doubt by Douglas Adams

which looks like a really good haul. the aldous huxley book actually contains "the doors of perception" so yeah, good find, and at a rather very good bargain. my quest for 'the colour of magic' has finally concluded xD. and i'm overjoyed at discovering the borges and the descartes books. psyched.

i've been following stephen king's dark tower series. i must admit that i started out rather recently, but i found that the writing is really good [ well... 'the gunslinger' was a little hard to follow, but i've been told that all would be revealed if i read it after finishing the series.... so yeah, but the next book, 'the drawing of three' was very well written ], and its really captivating... its been long since i pursued a series. it feels good xD i started off with this book. went to my favourite coffee shop and started reading this. really good stuff.

'illusions' was recommended by somebody a long time ago. i had previously read 'jonathan livingston seagull' and 'curious lives', so i'm no stranger to richard bach, and i kinda knew illusions was one of his best work. i was intrigued so i picked it up :p quixote is another one of those things i've heard so much about that i just had to pick it up and read through. 'the day of the triffids' might actually be the most surprising thing i found... idk lol.

i'm disappointed i couldn't find john scalzi's 'old man's war' which i've been told is really good :( but no worries. next time.

i really want to read all of these asap xD i'm thinking of sharing my thoughts on each book after i finsh it.... that'd be kind of cool. like actual reviews and like an analysis or whatever. idk.

so thats it for today. i went out xD; bought some really cool books and enjoyed the best coffee in town.

hectic

2018-11-08 07:40:17

super super busy.

so like school started back in august, and life was pretty hectic. i don't really seem to be getting loads of time. like it feels like i'm always on some errand. the lame side quests you just have to take cos the main quest is too damn slow and you need all the EXP and shit xD. so yeah apologies for not being able to find enough time to come and care for my little patch on the interwebs.

so i'm essentially in a whole new environment. its not great but yeah, i suppose its okay lol. met loads of new people, doing a lot of crazy shit.

classes are super boring. don't get me wrong. i love learning stuff, but classes are like suuuuper slow. the amount taught is insignificant compared to the time spent on teaching it. its like watching a movie you've already seen, but in super slow mo.

life is, idk, pretty boring and ik that its all my fault. i mean you can't really blame other people and external circumstances for being a boring miserable loser, can you ? xD

so like i tried to change shit up. you know do the whole 'get out of your comfort zone [ till you get tired of it]' excercise. so i kinda went ahead and volunteered to become the class rep. which i feel is a pretty huge step for me. overcoming my social anxiety and shit. i'm essentially responsible in a small way for 64 other zombies. which is pretty cool.... i guess. idk.

i know that if i just continued being the same asocial moron i am then things would get progressively bad for me. atleast this way i get to interact with people and i'm not so fucking invisible anymore. which i guess is good. people actually know i exist lol. and i like the feeling of being actually useful. this may come as a surprise but i'm kinda good at this thing. i guess i'm a 'natural leader' xD who knew ?

i feel like college is a waste of time and money. but its still practically mandatory to have a degree to get the kind of career i want, doing the stuff i want to be doing... so meh

i really wanted to take a gap year, and heck i really was going to.... but due to 'unforeseen circumstances' i'm being forced to go through college right now. not the worst thing ever. but still pretty bad.

college life would never have agreed with me. i would never really fit in with other people. i knew that. i knew i would suffer. and sure enough here i am suffering right now. boredom. lethargy. a waste of my fucking time. its bad for my mental health. too much time spent doing bs. and the fact that i'm still pretty much isolated. not good. it fucks up your head in the long run. sucks.

this whole situation sucks. i'm not where i want to be, nor am i learning anything new. so meh

i'm working on several projects [ yeah they're fucking top secret ] to keep me occupied. staying occupied keeps me stable. some pretty exciting stuff. so thats a silver lining.

the institute i'm going to is pretty strict when it comes to academics and shit. but its a fucking piece of cake. like the shit we have to study is super easy. college is for morons apparently. attending 85% of all classes is mandatory. so bleh. try to imagine that. in class being forced to go through this bs. again, its not very good for me, but fuck it. i don't really have a lot of choice in the matter apparently.

but yeah that's pretty much it. i can go on and on, but i guess this should be enough for now lol.

i wrote a bunch of stuff before, i'll see if i can clean them up and post them.... hopefully i get enough time to post that stuff :p

why ?

2018-08-06 10:19:50

why a blog ?

i needed a place to voice myself. i feel like i have a lot of things to say and i needed a place to do that.

i needed a place where i can share whats going on in my mind, what i think, what i feel and whats happening in my life to the rest of the world. a place where i can be comfortable being myself, without being judged [ visibly at the very least. you can judge me, but you can't do anything about it. mwahaha. seriously tho i don't want a visible audience, i.e the concept of views or likes or comments. i feel that if i'm being observed i can't be myself. some variation of the hawthorne effect i guess ]

i want to be able to log my life, in an effort to see how i spend my time and in order to hold myself accountable to use that time to the best of my ability.

i think of myself as a text based person and i find that the written word is the most efficient mode of communication. i like to write and i'd like to improve how i write [ i think my writing is okay ? idk. i often stumble around for words or a certain specific phrasing now and then. 'tip of my tongue' syndrome ]

and those are some reasons i use to justify the creation of this rant-space.

hello world

2018-08-01 10:43:13

hey

so yeah, after an eternity battling procrastination and boredom, i finally got the barebones of a blog generator down. i have no idea what to call it, but once i come up with a good enough name and polish the code up a little bit i'll share it on github or something. i'm pretty sure i can build on it and make it more streamlined or whatever. but all of thats later. as of now, "IT'S ALIVE !" and nothing else matters.

oh. its also the whole first post thing....

i hope to post to this [ not sure if its a blog. more like a journal ? ] seven times a month [ ambitious ! good luck ]. i won't outright delete posts, but i might edit them later on. i'm trying to emulate a stream of conciousness type [ not the joyce style stuff. like who thinks without punctuations ? not me ] thing, where i type what and how i think, if that makes sense. keep things real. basically a place where i can talk about stuff i want to talk about, stuff going on in my life, or just things that i find interesting. a sort of one sided conversation, if you will.

of course, occasional content warnings for suicidal/depressive shit and infrequent mild swearing. i'm not saying that *all* posts will be that way. more like some of will just inadvertently end up that way cos i'm that kind of a fucked up person.

all views expressed are my own and do not represent those of any other individual or organisation.