ShreeKumar’s at it again:

It’s december, and I am bitten by the travel bug again. This time, I intend to cover the areas on the western coast of India on my cycle. The trip would cover 2000+ kms of gruelling terrain and span 21 days !

From Mangalore, I am cycling to Goa. From there, I will go to Hubli and then to Pune over Aihole, Badami, Pattadakal, Gokak and Mahabaleshwar. After Pune, it will be Mumbai. After Mumbai, I will be off to see Shirdi(?), Ajanta, Ellora, and Lonar (yes, you haven’t heard of it yet). From there, I hope to end triumphantly in Ahmedabad.

An uncle had come down from US yesterday, and we were having a long discussion over breakfast. One of the things that he raved about was GeekSquad.

GeekSquad is a company run entirely by college students. What do they do? They fix any kind of computer problem for you.

“Whether your laptop is dead, your network is down, your hard drive is crashing, your printer won’t print, or you just need to get on to the Internet, we can help you.”

It’s interesting because I see a range of possibilities here.

  • Students meet real people who use computers not for programming. For example, I feel I have a warped sense about how computer users think because most of my friends I know are not average computer users. When you’re designing some computer hardware or software, it helps immensely to know how users approach a computer.

  • You build your network right from an early age.

  • You earn money while you’re in college. Need a better incentive than that?

  • You get an idea of what computer users want, which may eventually lead to your big idea.

  • Interested students can recommend FOSS to people who are willing to try them, provided there will be support. This would be an excellent way to get people to try FOSS, even with just Live CDs.

  • If you want to become a FOSS developer, you get first-hand feedback on what’s wrong, and you can go fix it, which benefits your customer, the FOSS world and yourself all at once.

Uncle thought it was a good idea for someone to start a GeekSquad in Bangalore. Any takers?

What do you think?

After reading some good reviews about Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor album, I bought the CD at Planet M today.

I had installed Kubuntu 5.10 (breezy) recently and have been hooked to it. I especially like the way it has good support for restricted formats, and the Ubuntu wiki helped me fix the jerky DVD playback as well.

Coming back to Madonna, I followed the normal routine… I popped in the CD, KsCD opened up, and started playing ‘Hung Up’, the first song in the CD. Konqueror also opened up and showed me the CD contents, and surprisingly, I see a folder called Ogg Vorbis and there are .ogg files inside! Just to make sure I’m not seeing things, I copied over the ogg files and played it in Amarok.

![74788955][Small][]

It seems KDE shows an Ogg folder and a FLAC folder view for any Audio CD, from where you can copy the “songs” and KDE will automatically convert it into Ogg/FLAC respectively on-the-fly when you copy it to your hard disk. How’s that for ease of use?

![74788954][Small][]

Now, back to my deadlines …