University is starting: next week
I thought I’d write a helpful blog-post on how I’ve been prepping for college, some sacrifices I’ve to make and the tech-stack that’s changing. Don’t worry I’m still running arch btw :3
Here’s how the campus looks like
I’m not having any expectations and can’t really complain about college-life and a lush green campus inside Bangalore these days. Let alone the traffic and the never ending Metro construction work.
Most people (parents) gift their kids a new phone / laptop as they begin this new chapter in life. You most probably don’t need one unless you’re absolutely are in need of one. By the time I graduate I would probably need a better device anyway.
I’m a minimalist and I like having the best use of my resources. At most, I’d need to worry about battery-life and take care of the wear-n’-tear of classroom / college life. I’ll be living in the hostel for the first year. I know — it doesn’t look all that fancy compared to the: new medical-block or PESU’s sister RR-campus.
Here’s a list of devices I have at hand: In order of computation power
- My 4 year old laptop:
- My 6 year old phone:
- A 1TB hard-disk for backups:
argentum(yes I named this too)
- A dumb-watch: it tells the time
Tools I use / have built
- Tailscale: Let’s you
SSHinto any of your devices and also use them as exit nodes (like a traditional VPN). I use it to listen to music.
- Beeper: A hosted-matrix instance which has easy to use bridges for your proprietary chat-apps/networks. Think of it like Thunderbird: but for texting!
- newsboat: I haven’t used regular YouTube in ages. My feed has grown past 400 URLs and I find it very useful quickly filtering content I need, and junking the rest. It also let’s me archive/cache posts for later.
- Anki: Flashcard / memorization tool. I plan to use this to keep note and revise quickly before ISAs (exams). You’d have to keep reviewing your notes every 2-3 days and the fact that it’s on both F-Droid and Flatpak is pretty cool.
I made /jukebox: a bash script which lets me play my LastFM recommendations on linux using mpd, yt-dlp and bash music recomendations on linux and now, (any device) over tailscale.
I ssh into my VPS to listen to music over mpd/snapcast and listen to music on my phone on commute and probably during during short-trips!
jukebox -h -a: <artist name> -g: <genre name> -s: <song name> -u: <lastfm: username> -m: <lastfm: mix | recommended | library> -l: vosk: uses your mic to search songs -y: use ytmusic tags for songs -c: top charts in your region (setup your api_key)
Like most colleges/unis in India: students don’t get the freedom to use the internet like regular people. (Unless you happen to live in a campus like BITS :P where there’s an active P2P file-sharing culture.
Have a look at r/BITSPilani’s DC culture: 🏴☠️ arr!! It’s pretty rad.
Anyway, let’s maintain good OPSec — assume everything on campus is logged & censored; even regular educational/professional sites like GitHub, StackOverflow and probably ChatGPT are blocked. I’ve heard from seniors that one time our college’s own assignment portal was blocked on the campus network.
In general, most people stick to using their phone’s internal WiFi hotspot or wired tethering for power efficency.
P.S. If I’m lucky I get to enjoy 100 Mb/s of bandwidth during off-peak hours.
I’ve joined 2-3ish clubs officialy, so far. I have met some really smart people in these tech/social circles. This is one of the major perks when you attend a physical university. There are a lot of hackathons planed this year and I for one am very excited to take part in them. Not all clubs on campus are active and I barely know any of the non-tech ones.
The events that I’ve heard so far are very-well organized and are entierly student oriented. I must say Bangalore has one of the best seniors that you are probably gonna work with in the future!
You’d find a mix of Bangalore folks and non-BLR folks who are extremely competetive in nature (based purely on merit). It’s not your average lay-back chalta hai college. At the same time most people are just being pushed by an external-factor like placements (aka compensation). This is a major feat. of city colleges situated in Bangalore: the silicon valley of India.
I think you should be able to place-yourself. On your own — with the skills you develop during your time on/off campus. I don’t want to get mass-hired into FAANG or a company that doesn’t really match my goals. Who knows, I may even pursue-research full time like an MS after giving it a shot during my time at uni.
The first week of college is spread over 5 days of events held by each department and is called bootstrap.
I’ve had the notion that my college and other city-colleges in Bangalore are just filled with the same folks you’ve met at school all these years. I think I’ve met a couple of dozen people: and infact more people from other states and cities in India (because I stay in a hostel).
It feels great meeting 2-3 people with the same name but totally different personalities. Having a diverse student-pool is what I’d wish for when I was targeting JEE 2 years ago.
He forgot that I even exist 💀
Diesel was crying the first day that I left. He literally thought that I got kidnapped or something. Twelve hours later he probably forgot about me: he’s back to being the crazy, dorky-dachshund boi he is ૮・ﻌ・ა