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No, I wasn't suffering from writer's block.... it was more of a guilt sort of a thing - trying to cope up with the overdose of holidaying, and not working. Now that I'm back in my geek-workaholic-sit-in-front-of-computer-all-day mode, things should become normal soon.

The first thing I want to write about is where I'm writing from. As you can see from the header graphic, I'm writing live from Mumbai, more specifically from the Informatics lab at the Computer Science department at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, which is in Powai. The work environment at IITB is quite different from what I'm used to. The networks here are built like fortresses; everything is secured. It took me hours to get past the firewalls and figure out a way to check my own (outside) email. IITB(or atleast the part I've seen so far) is a linux country; windows machines are harder to find than girls on the campus.

Hence, I've also had to move exclusively to linux. It wasn't really an uphill task; I've been working on both *nix and windows systems for quite a while now. But I've never moved everything - my personal workspace was always on windows. I must say life with linux as the primary OS is not too bad. The linux desktop (I'm using GNOME) is not equivalent to Windows XP or OS X, but it's definitely an alternative. With a day of customization, I think I'm at the same level of efficiency as I was on windows. Also, in a highly networked environment as the one I'm currently in, linux fits like a glove.

In the last paragraph, I said OS X. Yes, I actually used OS X today! It's awesome. I've been a huge fan of OS X, and know pretty much all there is to know about it by way of features listed on the review sites and apple's homepage, but what I saw was even better. This was my first interaction with an Apple product, and I could see why the company has such a cult following. It was apparent that thought and care was put into even the tiniest bit of hardware, and the smallest widget on screen - everything seemed perfect. Once someone is used to such high quality, it would be hard to be satisfied with anything else. Gotta get myself one of these things. However, I must note that OS X is still not mature yet; there is so much Apple can do to fully expose the capabilities of the underlying UNIX core. I'm sure they'll be able to do that soon.

About the author:

Arnab Nandi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University. You can read more about him here.

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