Moving From Linux (Ubuntu) to Windows

The Journey sailing through different operating systems

Before, I begin, let me clarify things a little. I have not really moved from Ubuntu to Windows recently. I made the transition long time ago, what I am here to tell you is that, I don’t think there are really all very compelling reasons to move from Windows to Linux(for me and people like me).

I have been using Ubuntu on and off since the very beginning when I first stumbled upon it while in university. I have used multiple Linux distros, but I always keep coming back to Ubuntu. There was a time when Ubuntu was my primary driver. This was the time when I had quit my job to work on my startup. I had turned my old Windows XP (yes, that’s right, XP!) into a Ubuntu machine because I didn’t want to spend money on upgrading my hardware or the operating system to Windows 7. Plus, I didn’t really like windows 7. I used it for a couple of years until I needed to move around with my work so I bought a macbook which I absolutely loved!

However, my desktop operating system was still Ubuntu Desktop, while I used Centos Server for work. I have never liked Centos, the any variant of it – we used Redhat in University and I used Fedora for desktop for a little while. At that time, I thought, I will never in my life ever move back to Windows for anything. I even installed Ubuntu on my parents desktops. They were okay with it. Didn’t get many complaints.

As time went by, I upgrade my macs, and with every update, I became sadder and sadder. During that time, I had moved from Iphone and Android and was shocked at how well Android did things that IOS just coudn’t. I was tempted with Windows 8 after using it on my sister’s laptop, but I needed to the *nix experience because of my work. I had completely stopped using Ubuntu Desktop at this point. However, I had moved all my servers to Ubuntu.

Then came windows 10, and also the update to Mac OSX, which I don’t remember what it was called, but I clearly remember thinking, “IS THIS A F*CKING JOKE?”

Then I finally decide do take the plunge into windows. The touch screen, the new browser, the new menu system, the promise of Universal Apps(sadly this didn’t come to fruition). Everything about it felt better than Macs. Initially, for about a month or so, I regretted my decision because I finally realized how dependent I was on *nixy  commands. I tried to manage with cygwin, but truth be told, it was just awful. Crashes and bugs and just a whole long list of disappointments and endless frustration and workarounds.  But I stuck with it.

I converted my shell scripts to python scripts for my dev work. And it was going okay.

Touch Screen

Meanwhile, evernote had started to fail me with constant crashes and multiple changes to UI, and I decided to switch to OneNote. Up until now, I was always looking for an excuse to use my digital pen. But now, with one note, I rediscovered (and in some sense had to relearn) the joy of writing. I will never ever go back to MacOs, or even  think about going back to it unless and until Macos has touch screen capability.  I was already sold on having touchscreen on a laptop, but now with one note, things got to a whole new level.

Then came Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

You can read about my excitement here: Ubuntu on Windows. This started to change everything. With the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), I could start using some of my shell scripts again. SSHing to severs was easier, and my workflow became fun and my productivity just sky rocketed.

Then, (from what I remember), the WSL was separated from “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows” as a standalone thing with Ubuntu becoming a downloadable app from the Windows App store and other Linux distros were also introduced.

Gaming on Windows

After a long period of thinking “I have outgrown games”, I bought an Xbox One and rekindled my love for video games. Still not satisfied, I decided to build myself a gaming PC. Let’s be honest here, Windows is the best place to game on out of all the desktop operating systems.

SSH on Windows

SSH client is now natively built into windows, so I find myself using less and less of Ubuntu on Windows.

Windows Firewall

One thing that Windows has that Linux does not is a built in application level firewall. No, iptables is not enough and yes I do use iptables on some of my servers and UFW on other servers. Windows Firewall is THE BEST builtin out of the box firewall out of all the operating system I have used in my life. Paired  with something like Windows Firewall Control, I can have a very customized firewall, something that I have not found any other free or paid firewall do well.

WSL 2 is coming!

Windows Subsystem for Linux version 2 is coming and it could not have come at a better time. WSL 1 was like a translator between common Linux commands and the Windows Operating system. BUT, WSL 2 will be an actual real Linux kernel – THAT’s RIGHT! Windows will now ship with a Linux kernel. It will be a virtual machine, but Microsoft is saying, without the slowness of a typical VM. I assume they will be doing some sort of optimization to make this happen.

I was using Hyper V to get Docker working on Ubuntu since WLS 1 is not compatible with Docker. (Yes, I can use docker on Windows too). I do have Ubuntu installed on one of my desktop hard drives which I use when I feel like having a change. Recently, I found myself contemplating moving my work back to Ubuntu  Desktop, mainly because of consistency. I will not have to switch from git on windows to git on ubuntu or windows desktop to Ubuntu server etc.. etc…

I even tried it on Ubuntu Desktop for a few days. I missed Windows – I love Windows. With WSL 2, I hopefully will not have any reason to doubt calling Windows 10 my home.

So these are my reasons for using Windows Desktop. Working, note taking, gaming and just general ease of use, IMHO Windows 10 is currently the best desktop operating system.

Your Existence

Your existence whether a mere coincidence, or part of a grand scheme, whichever you believe in, is a small glimpse of fading, moving air across your open palms on a clear sunny day with a light breeze.

Your existence is temporary, so much so that if every atom, every molecule, every planet, star, galaxy, were to stop and watch you live your days from the time you take your first breathe to the time you take your last, they will not know a thing about you. The breathes you took, the laughter you had, the tears you shed, the songs you sang or the lies you told.

This short temporary moment that you have in this vast cosmos and this abundant infinite time, is a beautifully fragile stance that you must embrace and endure.

Know that on the skin of this vast cosmos and endless time, you are a tiny particle of air of a sunny clear day breeze that softly caresses and fades into distant nothingness.

Do not be saddened by this truth. This majestic insignificance of yours is the cause of serenity that the cosmos feels on its skin.

 

Uncertainties

The fear of not knowing, the fear of uncertainties and the anxiety surrounding an unknown state of future events is not only detrimental to productivity and general well-being of an individual, but also just simply put, an unnatural state of mind.

Uncertainties are very real – that is a fact, and although there are many uncertainties that one can and may change to certainties by working hard/smart, doing researching, reading, learning etc.. but there are some uncertainties which one will never be able to convert into absolute certainties. Some things simply can never be known 100%, and this is not a philosophical statement, this is no self-help BS stuff, this is a simple fact.

Uncertainties are fundamental part of existence. Uncertainties are woven into the very fabric of our universe. In fact just that statement is something that cannot be said with absolute certainty, because there may be multiple universes.

The natural state of the universe is uncertainty, it is chaos and randomness. There are things that we can know, but there are things that we cannot know. In moments like these when simple truths of our existence dawns upon us that sometimes we realize the relevance of naive phrases like, “ignorance is bliss”.  Well to a certain extent not really, but to a certain extent yes, maybe…

The  very act of wanting to know more about something increases the uncertainty of that thing or an aspect of that very thing which we seek to understand. This is not philosophical – this is the fundamental structure of our universe. One cannot know the position and velocity of an electron at the same time. Light even even matter has a dual nature. The yin and the yang.

Knowing this, why do you perspire? Why do you hanker over things which you do not have control over? The fundamental nature of the universe is a tease – why let it tease you? Do what you can, accept it and then move on with your life.

You have a choice now. Knowing what you know now, either brood and be upset about this truth, wishing it were not so, knowing that it cannot be changed, or simply surrender to it, accept it and do what is in your power. Why must you insist on hanging onto a rope that is tied to nothing?

There is a great level of peace in accepting this fundamental truth of your existence. Serenity is not in gaining, but in letting go.

My First Super Bowl Ever!

 

I had never watched The Super Bowl – NEVER! The closest thing to it was the “Bowl” of rugby. That all changed last night when for the first time I decided that was going give this American Football a try. Noticed I said American Football instead of just football? Because I still see it that way – a very much an all-American sport. Although, we do have a few Canadians playing in the NFL.

So yes! This was my first time watching the Super Bowl! And in fact, this was my first time ever even watching one full game of American Football! And boy oh boy, what a game it was! I don’t know (yet) if I will ever truly become a fan of the sport, but I will be joining in the festivities of the Super Bowl next year!

Before I get to the obvious part of why it was such an amazing Super Bowl, let me explain

Why I have never watched the Super Bowl until now.

The reason is quite simple to be frank. I come from a rugby background and American football looks a bit like rugby. The ball is very similar, the ‘try’ lines are very similar, the goal posts same and serves a bit of a similar purpose. It is also a very brutal contact sport.

However, the gameplay and the rules are completely different. That was the very thing that threw me off and turned me away from the game!

  • In rugby, you never pass forward – always back and move forward with the ball. But with football, you can and almost always pass forward.
  • In football, there is a lot of stopping where as rugby is a much faster paced game with no such stoppage unless a rule has been violated or the ball goes out of play. It drove me mad to see the game stop every 10 seconds.
  • They wear all this gear which at first made it difficult to know who was who. In rugby, players don’t wear such gear. It’s a much more dangerous game to me(personal opinion) and I always thought that is the way a contact should be play – a bone crushing, fast paced, heart pumping action packed game. Why the protective gear?
  • Lastly, I never really bothered to learn the rules or understand the strategies behind certain kinds of play. One can’t really enjoy a sport if one does not know what is going on.

But enough with that. Let’s talk about yesterday’s game.

Yesterday’s Super Bowl Made History.

(source: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000783986/article/at-least-30-records-set-or-tied-in-super-bowl-li )

  • Most appearances by head coach: Bill Belichick (7)
  • Most wins by head coach: Bill Belichick (5)
  • Most career passing TD: Tom Brady (15)
  • Most appearances by team: Patriots (9)
  • Most first downs in a Super Bowl by both teams: Falcons and Patriots (54)
  • Most passing first downs in a Super Bowl by both teams: Falcons and Patriots (39)
  • Most passing yards in a Super Bowl by both teams: Falcons and Patriots (682)

What an Experience!

But honestly, I’m not a huge fan of stats. I’m all about the experience a huge sporting event brings. I’ve never seen any team pull a come back like that. Yes, I know, you must be thinking about how I can even say that when this was my first super bowl ever.

The super bowl can be compared to any championship game. You can draw parallels to the intensity and the pressure that is there for the players and coaches and the high expectations from the audience and the on the edge of your seat drama in every minute.

All this is part of any major championship game regardless of the sport. To make a huge come back after being down to that degree is almost impossible for any team.

Source: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/02/06/sports/06SUPER2final/06SUPER2final-superJumbo-v2.jpg

I have heard so much about Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and now I can see why. That man had a look of an unbreakable conviction. When they were down in the first half, you could see a man who was not frustrated, not afraid, not given up. It was a look of a man, who was looking for a way, looking for some way to turn this around by focussing on the next immediate step – he was going to win that one step at a time.

In the second half when the Patriots scored their touchdown, you could see that search turn into a conviction. He is a true leader of the game. Most players and even most leaders would get under pressure and it would show on their faces. Either they would have given up, or after getting frustrated they would have started to fumble and make mistakes. Not Tom Brady.

I have new found respect for the sport of Football – yes I said football and not American Football.

That’s my take on a freaking amazing super bowl.

Pokemon Go – love it, hate it or just don’t get it?

By now you must have already played it, heard about it, or seen people playing it. And even if you think you have not, chances are that you might have actually already seen people playing it. If and when you see people gathered in an area, but no one is talking to each other and instead everyone is walking around in a daze with their heads buried in their phones, then those are what I call Pokemon zombies – or simply people looking for Pokemon. (Read on, I promise I’m not biased.)

I’m not going to talk about what Pokemon Go is. There are plenty of blog posts and YouTube videos on the Internet that dwell into this.

You generally will fall into one of the following categories when it comes to Pokemon Go:

  1. Love it
  2. Hate it
  3. Don’t get it

I fall under category 3 (somewhat).

I don’t get it, but I get it.

I know it’s not for me. I tried it, but I simply don’t feel the appeal. Although, I do get the appeal purely from an analytical point of view.

So what is the appeal? Why has Pokemon become such a craze?

Nostalgia


Here is a sample Pokemon Battle

Pokemon was a popular cartoon in the 90s and the Pokemon Go game gives players a very similar experience as the characters in the cartoon. Personally, while growing up I would watch the cartoon every now and then, but I was never a big fan of it.

Players get to go around (literally go around, as in, physically move and go to different places – not just virtually) looking for Pokemon, they have to capture the Pokemon and sometimes these creatures will fight back and not want to be captured, once captured players can ‘train’ them and evolve them into better fighters and eventually battle with other players.

The game keeps things very close to the original cartoon and for a lot of players it’s a way to relive their childhood.

Primal Instinct

The game at its core is a scavenger hunt. We humans evolved from a hunter and gatherer society so there is something that just clicks, perhaps the game taps into our primal instincts.

Bang Wagon

Some people just don’t care what it is, but they are more than happy to jump on the bandwagon and ride the hype wave so to speak. These drifters will drift from one hype to the other and at the moment it just happens to be Pokemon Go.

Social aspect

The game has a social aspect to it as well. There are Pokemon Go stops where there are lots of Pokemon hiding, battle arenas, Pokemon balls to collect etc… I’ve heard stories about people being glad to meet other players. Friends get to talk about their collections and have group meet ups.

I have to admit, even though I thought it was silly, I did actually meetup with a few friends to go Pokemon hunting. (My justification is that I had not seen them in a long time, and it was a call of curiosity more than anything.)

I personally will take people walking around and hunting for Pokemon over them drinking, sitting at home, drugs, fights, vandalism  etc… If this game takes people’s focus away from negatives, let it be.

Physical Exercise

This might not work if you are driving top Pokemon stops and then driving back home, however, from what I have heard from a lot of people is that they are doing some serious walking. A friend even claimed to have lost 5 pounds in the process.

Why might people hate it?

But for those of you who love Pokemon, it might be difficult (very difficult) to see why people hate Pokemon Go.

Trespassing and Traffic Chaos

This has to be the biggest problem caused by this game. Sometimes Pokemon are hiding on people’s backyards, lawns, buildings and other private property. Needless to say, most people do not like strangers on their property.

pokemon warning- tresspassing
You know it’s a problem when a game tells you not to trespass.

There have been numerous reports on the news about people creating congestion at busy places like transportation terminals, business areas and parks. It causes interruptions and delays for people who just want to go home or get to work, and try having a relaxing day at the park when you have the entire park filled with hundreds of people walking around to catch Pokemon.

All this can be a nuisance, but it becomes dangerous when people start crossing roads on red lights, or biking and playing or worse driving and playing Pokemon Go. There was an incident where a Pokemon Go player drove into a Police car. People have hurt themselves in road accidents and even hurt themselves falling of cliffs – yes that’s right people fell off of cliffs hunting for Pokemon.

pokemon warning- safety
You know it’s a problem when a game tells you to stay aware of your surroundings.

Social or Anti Social?

You might see hundreds of people gathered in an area, but is anyone even aware that there is another person next to them, much less be talking to them. I was near The Living Arts Center in Mississauga the other night and there were hundreds of people walking around with their heads buried in their phone. It was actually an eerie sight seeing people behaving like zombies.

Addiction

Yes, there are people who have gotten addicted to this game. Some have spent hundreds even thousands of dollars on this game. When I was out with a few friends near a popular Pokemon Go area, I saw a couple of people angrily swearing at their phones in frustration. There have been reports of physical fights resulting from Pokemon Go!

Of course, addiction is not just limited to this game or just games in general. The key is balance! I know this may sound funny, but if you see your friends or family addicted to this game, you may need to intervene.

The Neutral

As I said earlier,

I don’t get it, but I get it.

For people who think Pokemon Go is stupid,… is it really? Yes, sure there is no “real” point to the game. People aren’t achieving anything by collecting these Pokemon, but isn’t that true for almost everything. What’s the point of collecting baseball cards? Or playing video games on your xbox? Or watching TV? Sure you can come up with reasons to support doing those activities, and likewise the people who are into Pokemon have their reasons.

For Pokemon players, be safe, be respectful for other people’s properties, don’t create traffic chaos for people who need to go to work or home.

Have fun, be Safe, stay within your limits, and once in a while, just put your phone away and talk to people around you.

That’s my take on Pokemon Go, what’s yours?

Le Tour De Norfolk – 160KM

On Sunday, July 17, I went on Le Tour De Norfolk staring and completing in Delhi, Ontario.

160KM riding in pure joy – at least most of it. Norfolk county is a nice part of Ontario for cycling if you like flat roads. There were a couple of crazy hills, but you can avoid them if you are not into climbing hills. Certain parts of the ride are extremely windy.

Norfolk County is mostly farmland with a few wind mills. I always wondered how farmers manage to water their crops, and that day I saw it for myself – they had these huge sprinklers.

Hydration and refueling your body with energy is essential; having a twizzler, or a banana, or an orange while doing 160KM feels like the best thing in the world. I usually find energy/granola bars etc… too sweet for my taste, but even one bite of it while riding long distances is a life saver.

All in all, it was an amazing ride!

Happy Canada Day!

I love this Country! I really do! I love the seasons – yes all of them. Start of cycling, gardening, BBQ season in spring, beaches and camping and chilled beer on patios in the summer, beautiful colors painted on the canvas that is our one gigantic Pacific to Atlantic Canadian backyard in the autumn, and crazy wind chills and blanket of snow and watching hockey in the winter – love it all.

Before I came to Canada, I thought the best climate was the tropical climate of the beautiful Fiji Islands, and although I still love the sandy beaches and sunny blue skies, it’s always the same. In Canada we get to experience all the seasons! You can read more on why I love the seasons in Canada.

And the people? – kind and generous and open to all cultures, races, ideas and beliefs. I’m grateful for the free healthcare, democracy, and the relatively peaceful and safe place to live in, the education system, the roads and highways and all the infrastructure.

Canada has so much to offer with its gorgeous landscape – the Rockies, the Prairie, the east and the west coast, bustling cities, and the Great White North. Yes, sure, I haven’t seen a lot of it with my own eyes, but that which I have seen has already amazed me.

But like anything, not everything is perfect, but it is good as it gets!

Happy Canada Day!

Canada day

Bike Month 2016

bikemonth2016Bike Month in the Great Toronto Hamilton area starts on May 30th, which is also “Bike to Work Day”.

Bike Month is a great time to take your old bikes out or get new ones and ride it out with friends, family or just fellow bike enthusiast. If you don’t have a bike and don’t want to buy one, there is also the Bike Share programs in Toronto which you can take advantage of. Why not try it out for Bike to Work Day? Sign up for Bike to Work and you could win a brand new bike!

There will be many events happening all month. Check out the full list of events. There is something for everyone.

 

Bike the Creek Event on June 18, 2016

It’s that time of the year again. I attended the Bike the Creek Event last year and it was amazing. I got to meet new people, explored the Etobicoke Creek trail for the first time and got to explore the Brampton area a little.

This year it is happening on June 18, 2016.

This is a fun filled family event. The event is free, but you do have to register.

There are 4 rides to choose from.

  • 11 km approx. Bike the Creek Family Ride  10:15am start (1-2 hrs) short north route
  • 16 km approx. Bike the Creek Nature Ride – 10:00am start (2-3 hrs) north route
  • 25 km approx. Bike the Creek City Ride – 9:15am start (2-4 hrs) – south route
  • 41 km approx. Bike the Creek End-to-End Ride – 9:00am start (3-4 hrs for experienced riders) north followed by south route
  • Bike Rodeo for kids – 9:30am – 12:00pm

 

biketheCreeksponsers

The Great Cycle Challenge

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living life

27 children are diagnosed with cancer every week across Canada – please sponsor me and support my challenge to fight kids’ cancer!

This June, I am taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kids’ cancer!

My goal is to ride 300 kilometres throughout the month and I will be pedaling as hard as I can to reach my target…and my challenge starts NEXT WEEK.

Why am I doing this?

Because cancer is the largest killer of children from disease in Canada – 4 children die of cancer every week.

It will be tough, but it’s nothing compared to what these brave kids face every day of their lives as they battle this terrible disease.

Kids should be living life, NOT fighting for it.

And so I am taking on this personal challenge to raise funds to fight kids’ cancer and give these kids the brighter futures they deserve…but I need your help.

Please support my challenge and join me in the fight to end childhood cancer by making a donation through my fundraising page.

Here’s the link to my page: https://greatcyclechallenge.ca/Riders/KapilBulsara

All funds raised will support SickKids Foundation to provide care, develop treatments and find a cure for childhood cancers.

Thank you for your support.

225GCC