Monday, October 20, 2008

Elvis of editors.

I wont compare vi with any other editors, there are religious issues once I say that vi is better than emacs or vice versa.
But I would certainly like to say that vi is much much better than any editor i know of(sparring emacs). Okay, initially when u start learning vi, its terse and its quite unlike any other simpler editor, one might have came across. Even to edit one need to change the mode. But once you cross that level, where u can easily switch between modes and understand its fundamentals well. It is the most powerful tool a developer can think of. I cannot comment how many of them actually use vi, but its quite popular among kernel developers.
I mean with vi in hands, u feel like a elitist , u feel the power of creation. Vi stays so much close to the philosophies of unices, it is one of the most simple ones, it just do one thing with one command, and it does not bug u with questions. vi is so much compatible with so many other utilities in unix. Its clean design has made programmers life easy and lovable for last few decades. The powerful regex parser and its capability to gel well with other processing languages like sed etc. is so sublime that one will feel as if sed is a part of vi.
Vi cannot be instant love, but once it starts growing its an addiction. When first time I used sp: and vs: capability on my console, I gasped and gawked with awe.
vi is indispensable tool, a real friend and moreover one of the finest piece of code ever written. I consider it to be the best editor till date.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

One Laptop Per Child

All right this is so much around the web, you can't remain unaware about this one. But still only open source people like me are aware of it. Some people from MIT media lab dreamed of making a small $100 laptop for kids of poor countries for educational purpose.
But they have many hurdles like hardware, funding and biggest was software. I donno when, but hardware thing was shelled out by AMD and for funding many Biggies like News Corp, Google etc jumped up. But real pain was writing software. So here is where Open source came into picture, the good guys from Redhat(yeah I know that is a cliche, but open source is so much consistent.) dedicated an entire team of developer to port Fedora 5 (Linux distribution from Redhat)for this laptop.
Now as everyone know fedora is one of the heaviest of known OS, so it was mammoth task for developers to port it to save power, efficiency etc. Secondly many other open source developer collaborated for this good cause and created a nice GUI. GUI is very very intuitive and kids have responded well to it. Then, they placed servers which will be used for wi-fi internet! yes, that's true someone is funding for that as well.
The laptop is a green machine and it is powered by a handle which can be rotated to power the laptop(wow! that's the innovation.). Its keys and interface are beautifully designed.
Many countries have already starting using the same for their kids. I am not sure, but I would like everyone visiting this place to take note of this effort and if possible persuade some NGOs or Govt bodies to support the cause and find out if this can be used to benefit the needy. And if you are developer of any kind, right from embedded to web designed, you can directly contribute.
Please check any of the below sites for more details

Wikipedia had dedicated an entire section to OLPC :

The site for olpc is

In India following place has adopted the laptop for use in a school: