Monday, July 16, 2007

Wet, wetter, wettest

We take far too many things for granted; being dry for instance. I have never before appreciated the pleasure of being dry as I do now.

Just dry.
Just going out in dry clothes, without worrying about getting wet.
Just not having the first millimeter of my skin completely wrinkled due to excessive water-logging.

If you want to get really wet, go to Honnemardu during the peak of the monsoon season.

Enjoy the freedom that comes with having no cell phone coverage, no Internet access, no TV, and no electricity. At the end of two days, I had no problem with eating lunch standing in the rain, or walking about in the warm, wet mud in the rain. Or in the cold, wet, mud in the rain. Or just generally in mud in the rain.

It's certainly a place for the severely water deprived; Madras-folk will be in awe at the litres of water that pour out of every square millimeter of sky. At the millions of liters in the reservoir. At the clouds that never dry out. At the humid wind that blows ceaselessly from the south-west.

My reluctance to getting wet seems to be a function of how many valuables I cart around. Once I got rid of the cell and the wallet, and after a couple of cycles of getting wet and dry, I was less hesitant - after all it seemed I was pretty water-proof and the liquid just ran off my skin.

The absolutely awesome Ganapathi a.k.a. Ganesh is a master of all trades. He teaches you how to swim in the reservoir, boat with coracles, or canoes or kayaks, trek in the Western Ghats, light a camp-fire in the rain, identify which call is which bird, which trail goes where, and so on ad infinitum. His list of skills seems to be countably infinite.

Fair warning! Don't think it's a resort where you can go and laze around. You have to do everything yourself; it's fully self-service. Planning your activities, pitching your tent, and washing your plates - all of them are your jobs.

Go to Honnemardu. Leave behind the mundane dryness that plagues all of us. Experience a life where every moment of every minute is spent with your body in full contact with, and at full mercy of, the Elements. Rich color seems to seep out of our lives as we battle with endless issues at work and home. Honnemardu is a chance to go full color for at least one weekend.

Thanks to Sudhir, Prashant and all the other folks who made this possible, and to Piyush who dragged me there when I was not convinced I could go!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Freedom and freedom

There are a lot of people who are confused about what the GPL and BSD licenses do to the code involved.

The best and most succinct explanation that I've seen so far considers the two parties involved - the code itself as one party, and people as the other.

The BSD license frees people. People who use code under the BSD license are free to do whatever they want with the code.

The GPL frees the code itself. Once code is under the GPL, until it falls out of copyright, it cannot be 'imprisoned'. It's free for ever. It accumulates changes which are also free.

Remember that the next time you are confused between Open Source(BSDish) and Free Software (GPLish). The FSF has a definition of 'free code'.

And if you've got similar metaphors to explain the difference to lay-people, I'd certainly like to see them.

  1. I read this in a /. comment. Not original.
  2. Yes. I know the GPL does not restrict use, it only restricts distributors' rights.