Ubuntu Again

So this is what happened:

Something happened after I wrote the post about moving from Linux to Windows , where I talked about how Windows 10 really is the only operating system most of you would need and there is no real reason, at least not for me.

I came across a project where the best option was to use docker. For now, docker on WSL( Window Subsystem for Linux) does not work – WSL2 will fix that. Then I tried using Hyper-V to install Ubuntu on a virtual machine – which was not a great experience. I had to fiddle around a lot to make networking barely work.  I tried to setup docker on windows and yes it worked, but it was not as seamless as I would have liked it to be. Then I started to have issues with Python on Windows. I regularly write and use python and shell scripts to automate things sometimes for ridiculously simple things which manually might take less than 30 seconds. My python scripts were working on Ubuntu, but kept failing on Windows. When I tried to install packages, pip wouldn’t work and there was just a long and torturous 3 hours “I can see it, it’s right there”, “but that’s exactly what I did”, “I love this keyboard, but this time if it doesn’t work, I will smash it”.

If you’re a developer, go Linux(Ubuntu) – it’s so much easier

Since Widows 10 came out, it has been my daily driver, but now…ironically right after I touted Windows to be the number 1 choice, I’m back on Linux, and I am really enjoying it. Working on Linux is amazing. I had forgotten how powerful apt-get was.

Missing package? No problem

sudo apt-get install this_feeling_is_glorious

In no time, I had customized my workspace just the way I wanted and it seems over the years, the Ubuntu Desktop has improved considerably.

For example, by default, all apps no matter if they are spread out across different workspaces, get bunched into one – a nuisance when switching between apps/windows with “Alt+Tab”, but you can easily customize this by downloading a package from apt-get.

Also, the Snap App Store is great. The terminal is such an integral part of Linux and as much I admire Windows Powershell and the object oriented nature its commands, the Linux terminal is really where its at -it’s hard to quantify, but makes me feel like wizard. With linux permission levels and UFW + Iptables ( the Linus firewall), I was quickly and easily able to secure and compartmentalize things.

Linux isn’t perfect – nothing is

It’s not perfect; it does have issues, but they are different from issues on Windows. For an average user, Windows IMHO is still the best general purpose Operating system – it does almost everything pretty well.

For power users, developers, opensource enthusiasts, Linux is where it’s at.

I recently got into skateboarding, and a fitting analogy is Linux is the shortboard  0f operating systems that lets you do cool technical tricks, but you’re you’re not into doing tricks, get Windows because that’s a cruiser. 😉

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.

 

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.

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