tu marathi aheska?

It's just a co-incidence that this post is coming on Independence day.

Last night I was in an auto with a couple of friends, and the auto couldn't get up a slope and stopped near the edge of the slope which was leading onto a main road. We had to get down from the auto, and after a lot of fight, the auto got on top. As the driver was trying hard to get the auto moving, a guy comes over and starts talking to him in Marathi. I'm not sure if he was a traffic police. He was dressed in white, but didn't really look like one.

After asking a few questions, but not getting any replies, the guy asks him in Hindi, if he understands Marathi, and on getting a negative reply, starts shouting on him!

The guy harasses the driver, asking him to handover his license and threatens him of horrible consequences, if he doesn't do so. We tried to intervene saying, we want to leave early and stuff, but the auto refused to start. The driver asked us to leave and said he'll take care of the matter.

And then, today I hear people talking of national integration and stuff. I hear stuff about changing the country, getting rid of corrupt politicians and all the high ideals crap. I keep hearing all sorts of patriotic songs that I hear only twice a year. Not once more than that.

Why is it that we talk of all this only on these two days of National importance? Why are these songs played only twice a year? Don't we get that feeling of patriotism on other days? Isn't patriotism a "true" feeling?

I think, India will only take a leap in it's progress, when that happens.

Restoring GRUB with Grub2

It's a one liner with grub2.

$ sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mount/point/of/root/ /dev/sdX

where sdX is sda,sdb,.. depending on which hard-drive it is on.

This is the first instance when I found grub2 to be better than grub.

Pair Blogging

I like the idea of pair blogging. Cate and Sacha, seem to be doing it (intentionally or not). One person blogs on a topic he/she's presently thinking about and the other person posts his/her views on the same issue. Well, comments are meant for that, but a blog post seems to give you greater freedom.

PS: I called it pair-blogging. I don't know if it already has a name or if pair-blogging means something else.


Drafting behind trucks (when cycling) could be a great energy saver. I came across this idea when reading up a blog post by a cyclist.

The idea is similar to birds flying in a V-shape to get a greater lift. While drafting, the goal is to reduce the drag force.

Pacelines in cycling races are formed precisely for this reason. This page has a short summary of what drafting is all about.

Should be trying this out, the next time around.

Advice - Programming in Elisp

Below is a mail sent by Eric Schulte to the org-mode mailing list answering a query on how to write elisp for org-mode. I am reproducing it here, since it is useful advice for me. The actual thread is here.

The way that I learned how to program in emacs lisp was mainly using two commands `elisp-index-search' bound to `C-h e' on my system, and most importantly `describe-function' bound to `C-h f'. With `describe-function' you can look at the source code of functions whose behavior you are familiar with, you can then copy portions of the code to your scratch buffer where they can be edited and evaluated with `eval-defun' bound to `C-M-x'. Now with Babel, instead of doing this in the scratch buffer you could do this in emacs-lisp code blocks in an org file, enabling notes and hierarchical organization – it can be nice to have your noodling all collected in one file for later reference.

If you are going to do any serious work with lisp, I would emphatically recommend using paredit-mode, and becoming friends with the Sexp movement functions

C-M-f runs the command paredit-forward C-M-b runs the command paredit-backward C-M-u runs the command backward-up-list C-M-k runs the command kill-sexp C-y runs the command yank

They allow you to manipulate lisp code on the level of logical expressions, the utility of which can not be over stated.

As for working with Org-mode in particular, I'd recommend looking at the documentation and source-code of Org-mode functions with `describe-function', and then looking for how these functions are actually used in the Org-mode code base with `rgrep'.

For a more structured learning experience, I've heard very good things about http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/emacs-lisp-intro/, although I haven't used it myself.

Hope this helps. Happy Hacking – Eric

Lesson with RSS feeds & Wordpress

In a world of (RSS & Atom) feeds, deleting your posts is not the way to do it.

First re-post using no content and give the post some time for it to be caught by the feed aggregators. Then, delete your post.

Update: This post also has similar advice.

org2blog annoyance

I hate it when I'm trying out things with org2blog - fixing bugs or adding features - and my testing buffer gets posted. Why do I keep passing the prefix argument with C-u? I should probably work with a local instance of WordPress.

Aluva to Mumbai

Heavy down-pour and landslides caused our train to be delayed by over 12 hours. But the journey was on the whole enjoyable.

The novelty of the journey was that we had a bus ride from Adavali to Ratnagiri, arranged by the Indian Railways, owing to bad tracks near Ratnagiri. It was very well planned and neatly executed. Kudos Indian Railways! The Konkan Rail route was at it's usual best.

[2010-08-15 Sun] UPDATE: A post by Nishanth is here.

Thanks Sacha

I just wanted to thank Sacha Chua for bearing with my newbie elisp code and trying out org2blog.

Also, thanks for the two patches she sent.

  1. Feature addition - Posting sub-trees instead of whole buffers. I had this feature in mind, and had started working on it after her request, but she was too quick for me! ;)
  2. Cleaning up of the code that uploads images.

I'm loving it!

Change & Free flow

No. Not the Obama change. I'm talking of change as in small denominations of cash. Everybody is reluctant to part with it. There's always a problem with getting it. I'm often worried before getting into a bus or an auto, or going to a shop whether or not the guy would give me change for a 50, 100 or a 500. People so reluctant to "part" with it. What are they saving it for?

I think the situation would be much better if people readily gave it, when required. There would be a free flow and if not anything more, I wouldn't have to worry about it when going somewhere. But, I "feel" this would actually reduce the instances when both the parties don't have enough change with them. What do you think?