Back in action!

After a hiatus of about 6 months, which included a 3 month project with a startup, in Bangalore and a 3 month sabbatical during which I traveled a good lot, I’m easing into the summer in the good ‘ol land down under. A lot has happened in the last 6 months. I will hopefully post all that I’ve written, over the next couple of weeks.

Feels good to be back here!

I’m not dumb!


I’m not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.

I’m going through a phase in life, where I’m feeling like how Calvin is, in this strip. I’m hoping that it will pass and I will feel relevant again.

NH7 in Town

NH7, my goto place to listen to my favourite artists and discover new ones, has released NH7 in Town, a brand new service to find things to do where you live. Currently only available for Mumbai, but they plan to roll out support for other cities too. Read more about it here.

Can’t wait for them to cover Bangalore.

Arch Linux Systemd upgrade issues

After an update of my Arch OS over the weekend, my system refused to boot with this error:

Error: Root device mounted successfully, but /sbin/init does not exist. Bailing out, you are on your own. Good luck.

I should admit that I love the unassuming tone of the message.

For the latest update to happen, a bit of manual intervention is required.  More details on that here. Once the update is done, the machine will refuse to boot when restarted. To get your system running again edit the grub entry in the grub menu, find the line init=/bin/systemd and replace it with init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd and continue to boot the system with modified init parameter.

To make the change permanent, modify the /etc/default/grub file, and change the value of GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT by appending init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd to it. On my machine, it looks like this:


And generate a new grub.cfg by running grub-mkconfig. Make sure that you replace your existing grub.cfg (typically in /boot/grub/) with the new one.

The reason for this problem is that with the latest version of systemd (version 204-1) on Arch, the symbolic link that existed earlier to /bin doesn’t anymore, since /bin doesn’t exist anymore (read this post, for the reason behind that).

Encourage, it doesn’t take much.

A very interesting opinion from Mike Johnston  :

A bit of encouragement or constructive criticism, goes a long way. I’ve had personal experiences where I  have once been at the receiving end of very negative criticism for various reasons in the open source project that i contribute to. And such incident(s) does impact ones self-confidence. Being sensitive to others feelings, tolerance and words of encouragement do make a lot of difference.

Somebody once told me, If you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything.  And I can’t help but agree.

Speed!!! report

What you are seeing isn’t doctored. It is a report, generated at my friend’s apartment, here in Melbourne. His apartment block features NBN connectivity from Telstra.

This is the fastest internet connection i’ve ever used.

Here’s how it fared against the average global network speeds:


Second part of the report


I just can’t wait to get one of those connections at home.

One Mo’ week!


Me with my ‘mo’.

ImageFor a second year in a row, I’ve committed myself to growing, and more importantly, maintaining, facial hair for a cause.

It’s November and it’s time to grow a moustache in support for men’s health. The effort is to generate awareness among people about the men’s health. And this tiny bit of facial hair does manage to generate  awareness, specially when people who are not used seeing me sporting a moustache, notice that i have one and ask me for the reason behind it.

Movember‘ started in Australia, has now spread to many countries around the world. And the funds generated during this campaign, are routed to research and treatment of prostrate cancer and depression in men the world over.

This is the last week of the campaign (ends on the 30th of November). You can read about where the money from the campaign here. And if you appreciate my effort, please donate for the cause.

Suspend issue with my Linux box

A few weeks ago, i completely moved to using systemd on my machine (it runs Arch). And since then i was facing a really weird issue when i closed my laptop lid. My laptop, with Gnome3, suspends itself when i close. And when i open my laptop lid, i was prompted with the familiar gnome-screensaver password dialog, as expected. But right after i could see the password dialog, the system went back to suspend state again. Looking through the system logs, i saw that the suspend was being called twice in succession. And i didn’t have the problem, if I ran pm-suspend from the command-line. It was clear that suspend was being done twice, but i wasn’t sure what was actually triggering it.

After a quick web search and not finding anything useful, i started digging into systemd’s man pages and found the logind.conf(5) man page.  Voila, there it was:


Controls whether logind shall handle the system power and sleep keys and the lid switch to trigger actions such as system power-off or suspend. Can be one ofignorepoweroffreboothaltkexec and hibernate. If ignore logind will never handle these keys. Otherwise the specified action will be taken in the respective event. Only input devices with the power-switch udev tag will be watched for key/lid switch events. HandlePowerKey= defaults to poweroffHandleSuspendKey= andHandleLidSwitch= default to suspendHandleHibernateKey= defaults to hibernate.

The Arch Wiki has a good explanation of the settings in the power management section of the systemd wiki page.

I realised that gnome does its own power management and with systemd running, it does its job of suspended as well. So i had this happening twice. My first instinct was to disable suspend settings in Gnome, but that didn’t seem possible, even with the gnome-tweak-tool installed. So I just put the following lines in my /etc/systemd/logind.conf:


This essentially will make sure that systemd doesn’t handle the system lid and suspend functions.

This is the first issue that i encountered after i moved to using systemd. (A non-issue actually). I am very happy with how systemd works. I should admit i was quite skeptical before i started using it, but now I’m very used to the whole idea. And whats more, i do notice the faster boot and shutdown times. I haven’t actually measured it, but I’m quite sure that if i did, i would notice a difference. But, thats for later!

Reality in perspective!

The latest xkcd strip is just plain incredible. To put reality into perspective so subtly requires immense talent and imagination.I hope creationists everywhere realise that our planet isn’t unique, and the probability that neither is the human race.

This is an exciting time indeed.


EDIT: I found an interesting video here, that will aid us in visualising how tiny we actually are.

Do we really need a president?

While the people in our country are battling the ever-rising living costs, the high inflation and an overall slump in our economic growth, it doesn’t seem to be bothering our political leaders much. Despite several warnings, the polity seems to be battling on the choice for the next president of our nation.

The role of a president in our country is mostly defunct. And for something that has nothing more than a ceremonial value, so much of the government’s time and effort (not to forget the amount of coverage that this gets in various forms of media) is very disturbing in my opinion. Moreover, the amount of tax payers money that goes into maintaining the presidential estate and the president (him/her)self, is not trivial. And even if we do need a president, it should be somebody with a character and intellect that the formal head of a nation needs.

Like my friend said, this whole exercise, seems like an abysmal waste of resources.