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April 27, 2012

Tor E-book Titles are DRM-Free (from July)

Filed under: Books Related,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:59 PM

Another publisher (Tor) sees the light and from July 2012 will start selling DRM free books. Yay! I have long advocated DRM free books for no other reason than the fact that I would like to read my books on all my platforms (Linux PC, Tablet + Android Phone) without restrictions or compatibility issues.

Tor is mainly a SciFi and Fantasy publisher with some great authors in its line up so I am glad that they are removing DRM from their books. Plus its not like the DRM was stopping anyone from making a copy of a book in any case.

Check out the Smash Words blog for a really good writeup on why DRM doesn’t work.

Five Reasons to Say No to DRM:
Readers (who know about DRM) don’t like DRM
DRM adds expense to books
DRM makes books complex
DRM limits accessibility to books, especially for those with vision disabilities who require Text-to-Speech (TTS)
DRM doesn’t prevent piracy

In all this is a great step forward in the fight against DRM. Now we just have to convince the publishers to price the ebooks reasonably and I will be all set. :) Ah well, one step at a time.

Source: Tor/Forge E-book Titles to Go DRM-Free | Tor.com.

April 22, 2012

Arree main Mama baan Gaya!

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 3:41 AM

Just about a week ago, my sister gave birth to a lovely boy named Vir. It feels great to have such a lovely nephew. :) This is the first kid for whose birth I was there at the hospital. Mom said “Sarb ka phal Meetha hota hai (Fruits of Paitience are sweet), Vir made us wait a lot for his arrival but is so sweet that the wait was worth it. I was asked not to post photos on the Blog/Facebook so have waited till now to let Vinit and Surabhi post the pics. but Now its my turn. I was also asked to make sure no fugly photos are posted but that’s not possible since Vir is too cute to have Fugly photos. Vinit and Surabhi on the other hand are a completely different story.

Without further ado, I present Vir:



Vir just about an hour old


Me and Vir at the hospital about an hour after he was born.


Vir and Me at home about a week later

Have more pics but need to get them past the censor board (Vinit & Surabhi) ;) before I can share them.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

April 14, 2012

How does painting trees blue raise awareness about their importance to our survival? Plus rants on ‘art’

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 4:56 AM

Seriously, can someone please explain this to me? This guy went and painted a bunch of tree’s blue and that is supposed to raise awareness about the importance of tree’s. I would be more concerned about the harm this paint might cause the trees. (Paint blocks the pores so could effect the ability of the tree’s to convert co2). I would understand if he went out and planted a lot of trees or did something that educated people about them. I really doubt that I will ever understand these so called ‘artists’, A lot of the ‘modern’ art looks to me like a mad monkey was dropped in paint and crawled across the canvas in its death throes. Or maybe its because someone supposed to be a big art critic said that the above is art and everyone else is just jumping on the bandwagon so that they don’t seem as if they don’t know art (kind of sounds like the emperor’s new clothes if you ask me).

Drawing a box bisected by a line with different colors on both sides or putting a rock on a fence does not make it art or you an artist. Making something that takes actual effort and skill (like this or this) is art.

Now a lot of folks say that it requires a lot of thought to create a painting and I agree with it, I just don’t classify my examples above as paintings. A while ago I visited a art exhibition with a friend and one of the paintings over there was a canvas painted yellow with a black line cutting across it diagonally about a third of the way from the corner. Another painting was a blank canvas with a red (or was it blue) dot in the middle of it (that’s it). Now please tell me what makes it so impressive that someone painted a dot on the canvas?

Source of the image prompted this rant (Although I have been meaning to post about this): Urber Humor: Daily Morning Awesomeness 32.

Any thoughts/Comments?

– Suramya

April 11, 2012

Doctor Who RPG Video

Filed under: Humor,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 11:52 PM

Normally I don’t post links to video’s on the blog but after watching this video I just had to share. Its a must watch for all Doctor Who fans but it has a lot of spoilers so don’t watch it if you haven’t seen the last season of Dr Who. The video shows the last season of Dr Who as an 8bit RPG and is awesome. Plus it has Fish and Custard :) I wish that this was a real RPG.

Click on the image below to watch the video:

BTW, Shipra: is 11:50pm better for this stuff than 6am? :)

Thanks to Nerdapproved.com for the link.

– Suramya

April 8, 2012

Day spent Geeking out

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 5:42 AM

Today was fun. After a long time I spent an evening completely geeking out at Krishna’s place swapping mother-boards to get a server back up and running. Initially we were going to hot swap the Bios chip to re-flash it as the chip seemed to have gotten corrupted. But then we realized that the board we were swapping to (my old motherboard) had a different Bios chip so the pin layout was completely different so obviously the swap wouldn’t work. :( Then we decided to take the motherboard from another computer (Preeti’s desktop), put that in the server (who’s MB had died) and put my MB in the desktop as a temp solution. Spent over 5 hours trying to get this to work. Gah. Most of it was because of the trouble Windows gave when switching motherboards.

The desktop was originally running windows 7, and there is a new program called sysprep that you can use to prep a Windows 7 system to move it to another motherboard. At first I was impressed that Windows finally supports something that Linux has had for a while. Even though it was a bit clunky and required an extra step but this is an improvement from what it used to be. But then we found out that sysprep really messed up the system. It destroyed the Windows 7 partition and we had to recover it using the windows recovery CD (That Krishna had thankfully created the day before). We recovered the partition but nothing really worked even after that. Basically after answering all the setup questions we kept getting put in a temp profile that would be deleted when you log out. So even though the data was all there, the system was unusable.

Looking at the system log didn’t get us any answer and finally we decided to restore the original partition (that we had created before the sysprep using dd) to the drive and put it in the new system without running sysprep. Hopefully this will work (I Left while the dd restore was running), will find out tomorrow. Otherwise lets see what other options we have.

When I upgraded to this new motherboard, all I did was plug in my old drive and Linux detected all the new hardware and booted up without any major issues.

The funniest part was when we booted up the disk after cloning it but before running sysprep (we had swapped the USB keyboard and mouse around) I got a message that new device was detected and drivers were being installed for the keyboard (the same one that was being used earlier) and once the installed finished we were asked to reboot the system for the changes to take effect. I always thought that this was a joke (“Windows detected that you moved your mouse cursor, please reboot for the changes to take effect.) but this happened today.

Once I came back home I watched a couple of episodes of “The Guild” which is an web series about a group of online gamers, and how they interact online and offline. I had found the series after listening to their music video: I’m the One That’s Cool and searching for more stuff by them. Check it out if you have some time, each episode is only about 3-5 mins long so doesn’t take long to watch.

Well this is all for now. I was planning on doing some coding but its hot and almost 6am so I should probably get some sleep. Will write more later.

– Suramya

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