DigitalOcean is fun, but is it worth it?

It’s fun! No doubt about that. If you are a web developer or a cloud enthusiast like me, you will love DigitalOcean. I found it to be a true personification of creating cloud infrastructure that scales as you grow. Unlike the wild pricing jungles of Azure and AWS, DO has a pretty neat price sheet. Creating and deleting VMs is stupendously easy. They have done a great job with their community documentation, which has now evolved into a gold standard for everything servers.  And it’s reasonably cheap! Is there anything to NOT like with DO? Let’s see.

I have moved my blog (this website) from Arvixe (cheap shared hosting, batshit customer support) over to DO (fully managed VMs, apparently great customer support), including my domain. Through Let’s Encrypt, I now even have my very own SSL certificate (see that green https thing in browser’s address bar?). I have hardened my LAMP installation to my liking.

I had opted for the cheapest plan ($5/mo), where my VM’s performance is comparable to what we get in shared hosting. Frankly, $5/mo is not a big amount to pay in exchange for full control of the server and a great technical support.

With the help of their one-click apps, I am very much looking forward to deploying Ruby on Rails and Node.js applications some time in the future.

P.S. If you sign up at DigitalOcean using my referral link, you will get $10 to start with. Wish I knew about it while I was signing up πŸ™

TweetDeck — Installing in Ubuntu 64-bit


With Adobe AIR‘s (the runtime required by TweetDeck) official support for Linux ended, and no Linux 64-bit edition already in place, installing TweetDeck it in Ubuntu 64-bit is one hell of a task. You can get it installed in your 64-bit Linux system by following one of these tutorials, but chances are you’ll end up with a partially working installation, as happened with me.

Here I list out 4 simple steps to get the thing properly installed & working in Ubuntu:

  1. Download the 64-bit Adobe AIR deb package.
  2. Install the deb using the command: sudo dpkg -i adobeair_64.deb
  3. (Important) Install ia32-libs: sudo apt-get install ia32-libs. This is required for 32-bit environment emulation. Remember, the above packaged “64-bit” AIR is still 32-bit Linux version only. If you do not install ia32-libs, you may get errors like – Error loading the runtime ( wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64)
  4. Download the latest TweetDeck AIR package. Install the package by double-clicking on it. Alternately, fire the command “Adobe AIR Application Installer” (with quotes) to invoke the GUI app installer, from where you can browse to the location of the downloaded TweetDeck AIR package to install it.

Tested on Kubuntu 11.10 (64-bit)

In and around

So, what’s keeping me busy these days? It’s office work, of course. Working on quite a challenging and bigger project has its side-effects as well (working till late and missing daily fruit juice doses in my case). Other than that, I am enjoying the work as it has to do with web development, my area of interest.

Being a strong advocate of open-source and Linux, I read a lot of articles on these topics daily. And I hate when people use words like “switch”, “migrate”, etc. when referring to making the move from Windows to Linux. Why do people, who try to compel people to switch from Windows to Linux, forget that there is always an option called “dualbooting” and that Windows still has the astronomically largest market share? I really hope people use the word “dualboot” more when advocating the use of Linux to others. By the way, I am also writing an article highlighting this matter (Why Switch? Dualboot!), which I intend to share pretty soon.

Talking about Linux, the latest Ubuntu release (10.4; Lucid Lynx) has been getting good reviews from all around. I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. I am planning to install it on my home PC (the one currently in use by my Dad and sister).

Also, two of my good friends, Chandan Puggal (working at Aricent) and Amritpal Singh (working at Accenture) recently joined me in Gurgaon (my present work location). πŸ™‚

Finally, I did mention it earlier also, but it really is a frustrating life without a proper Internet connection. (Looking upward) God, please me my EV-DO back. Amen.

Vista & Ubuntu – the similarities


Windows Vista and Ubuntu Linux – both are totally disparate entities and I am talking about similarities? Yup, I sure am. And I have reasons to believe this.

Most of us know what Vista is. Vista is the latest edition to the most popular operating system (OS) lineup – Windows. For those who are unfamiliar with Ubuntu, Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux-based OS that is available for free.

Here I discuss some of the similarities that I have noted in due course of my usage of both the operating systems.

In both, the name given to the central access point to all the disks and partitions on a computer is “Computer”. In earlier versions of Windows, we used to know it with the name “My Computer”.

Sub-folders in user profile folder
The default folders present in the user profile folder (or the home folder) are something like – Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos – in both the OSes.

Graphical effects
Starting from Ubuntu 7.10, both the OSes have given stress on providing graphical desktop effects to the end user. In Ubuntu, the effects are a result of Compiz Fusion software. In Vista, the most common and appealing effect is Flip 3D.

Creation of a new folder
When a new file/folder is created within another folder in either of the OS, the newly created item rearranges itself automatically in alphabetical order with respect to the other items contained by the parent folder. This wasn’t the case in earlier versions of Windows.

Renaming file
When a file is renamed (by right-clicking and choosing “Rename” or by pressing F2) in either of OSes, only the name of the file is selected, leaving the file extension unselected.

Navigation strip
When a folder within a folder within a folder (and so on…) is visited, a navigation strip appears near the top of the explorer/file manager window. In both the OSes, this navigation strip is very similar looking and a helpful aid.

Does this imply anything? Were Vista’s features inspired by Ubuntu? Or Ubuntu’s features by Vista? Or neither of the cases. It’s upto you to decide. πŸ˜‰

Note: The similarities between Vista and Ubuntu are primarily because of the desktop environment used by Ubuntu – GNOME. So, these similarities are common between Vista and many other Linux distributions that use the latest version of GNOME.