Thursday, January 27, 2005

On GNU/Linux, my resistance and Freedom

on GNU/Linux, my resistance and Freedom
by vishal sah
Posted on August 13, 2004 17:27 PM EST
Accessed 157 Times
Hot List Score: 65

Have been thinking about the macro trends in the software industrry for a while and especially the keenly debated question - 'Is linux ready for desktops?'

Some observations -

I have figured out that other way of looking at this is by asking - 'Are you ready for Linux?' I had been reading a lot about GNU. opensource and Linux since last 3-4 years, but in hindsight it seems that it was a very passive mode of getting to know about the GNU/Linux world. Being a part of Indian software industry I would inveriably find myself in hot debates amongst colleagues regarding merits of O/S, which applications were good and why Apache should command such a huge market share etc etc. Though I had seen some of my friends working on the Linux platform, I could not make the mental switch to try it on my own system.

So a year back, I finally installed RedHat 9 on my office desk-top ( dual boot ofcourse ;o) ) Ok so I was able to configure almost everything, except for accessing Printers and allowing the Windows machine on Lans to access my shared folders. The ease of transition was such a moral booster that I partioned my Toshiba lap-top and got Redhat to sit along side Win XP. Then I got slightly more adventuorous and installed Vmware on RedHat and installed XP inside it. After effects - my Vware trial period expired, and my Windows XP partitio got corrupted. So all I was left was with Linux installed on half the hard-disk. I decided to check if I could stay without Windows in the normal corporate world or would I be forced to come to the Windows world. Just to mention that at this time I was working in a Financial BPO as a Process Manager, and my main Task was donig technology evaluations for deployments, creating presentations for clients, making progress reports etc etc. Ok I survived and I proved that Linux was not only ready for desktops it is ready for Laptops too ;o) btw - HP has recently come out with Linux loaded Laptops as an experiment.
About 2 month back bought a AMD based PC at home and installed RedHat on it. Had some issues with Drivers .. so swithced over to SuSE 9.1 personal edition. This one blew me away - Installation with YAST is so easy and the desktops etc can be given different look and feel - For example the Redmond theme mimicks the behaviour of WinXP Am pretty happy witht he system so far.

At work ( btw I switched job to another Financial BPO in chennai, and am working as a Finacnial Analyst covering some European sectors ) I have to use Windows - no alternative to that. So have configured my system so that I am using GNU/open-source tools. Apart from the O/S I am forced to use Windows Explorer. Havent been able to find any good substitute for it so far. Any SUGGESTIONS on this ?

So now I have Mozilla, opera ( note - its closed source) and Firefox on machine. Had previously been using Netscape Communicator so Mozilla mail client was a natural shift. Have installed Gaim - which integrates my yahoo, icq and msn chat Ids. Have installed the GNU RSS reader, have got OpenOffice1.1 for my Financial Modeling work. Overall a workable solution.

I have been thinking why is this so important for me - why this resistance to use proprietary softwares, what do I get for all this seemingly unnecessary activity. I am usually at a loss to explain it to my project mates (one day a colleagure of mine sat on my computer and was deeply perplexed- Why ? because he could not find IE icon ;o)

I guess the answer is that I am sitting before a computer at least 80% of my waking hours, so I need complete control over it - I must have the Freedom ...and GNU/Linux soultion at the moment seem to be the Liberators


Have been reading on IBM a lot lately. Seems like they have got it figured it out correctly. I am quite bullish on the stock.


Have been reading on IBM a lot lately. Seems like they have got it figured it out correctly. I am quite bullish on the stock.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Tech Analyst

One of the best articles on the role of IT analyst and the IT Consulting industry as such is available at -

I want to be a Tech Analyst

I am a Tech analyst, though not for the reasons sited at -

It makes for an intresting read ;o) and reminds me of the articles published by The Register -

Itanium sales fall $13.4bn shy of $14bn forecast