#6 : Panjab University, my experiences till now.

Its going to be roughly 3 months for me at Panjab University, Chandigarh (PU). For those of you , who don’t know, I am a student of 1st Year CSE at the Dept. of Engineering (UIET). So here’s a post on my experiences till now.

My first reaction : What the fuck !!! It’s hugeeee. There are a ton of Departments here. The list includes even Departments of Mandarin and Russian. It’s one of the oldest Universities in the country. If my statistics are correct (which usually are !), then PU stands 1st in India (Because of the Research). It was established in 1882 in Lahore (Pakistan). It was moved to Chandigarh after Partition. But enough with the facts. Lets dig in.

Every year the Students’ Election are held in the month of September. Our session started in August. That’s the high time for Student Elections in PU. All the parties are trying to persuade the freshers for votes. Ofcourse, we the freshers are easy to brainwash. I’ll rather skip the specifics.

There is a plethora of Student Parties competing for various posts. NSUI (National Students’ Union of India), SOI (Student Organization of India), PUSU (Panjab University Student Union), SOPU (Students of Panjab Uniersity) are among some biggies. Not to mention I have skipped a few like ABVP, HIMSU, GGSU etc.

Since, some parties are high on cash (Again ! I won’t take any name), we freshers get whatever we ask for. That includes Pen Drives too. Trips to Shimla and Kasauli for freshers, ofcourse as “a freshers’ treat !”. “Fresher’s  Parties” at Clubs. And movies too. For us hostelers, its a treat everyday.

Students’ Centre (StuC) is a place filled with shops offering nice food at cheap rates. But the sad part, it closes at 9:30pm. However nights for hostelers starts after 10:00pm. This is when NFS (Night Food Street) comes to rescue. Its outside the University Gate 1. And is open all night. I still don’t know if they deliver food in our rooms at night. Guess I’ll find out !!!.

The “parties” relied heavily on NFS and StuC those days. It was also the time of “ragging”. If it really was “ragging” after all. Just “some” Introductions with seniors. By that I mean, repeating the same thing over and over again many times a day. Many seniors cramped into those rooms for Intros. It had to be either completely in Hindi or completely in English. LOL !!. Also we had to start from our Foundation Day (Your DOB – 9 months). I hope you get it. LOL !. Sometimes we did the famous “Ikki Dukki Tikki Chauki”. I kind of liked all this. Helped us loosen ourselves with the seniors.

None of it was ragging. We were given an open choice to dance if we liked to, sing if we liked to, or do nothing if we were not in the mood. The days passed with the Election Campaigning gaining an even higher momentum than before. I made friends with many, including seniors. There are many plus points of being friends with a senior. He will tell you what to do or not. He will help you with notes, exam tips and movies. And most of all, if you go out, he pays 😉

Life at hostels is really fun. You get to learn a lot. You become a carpainter, a doctor, a cook and ofcourse an Engineer !!! Plus unlimited high speed internet. Back home I sucked at 60kbps Broadband Line. Now, I get impatient at any speed below 5-6 MBps.

You can almost always kill time by chit-chatting. Youtube becomes a precious gem. Here in Boys’ Hostel, there is no time limit. You could return to your hostel anytime. Even after 1:00 am. There is no fixed time to eat, sleep or study. TV series, Anime and most of all video games are played throughout all Boys’ Hostels. Counter Strike is played all night. Game of Thrones is finished in a couple of days. Not that websites are not banned. We just find our way around things. Torrent is still something I haven’t found out a solution to. Will write a post on it someday.

Now coming to the “guy” part. Going by statistics, 70% of the students at PU are girls. 40% of them (maybe) are good looking according to me, my roomies and friends. There are about 15000 students at PU. That means about 4000 girls are good looking. That may seem as an appreciable figure for many a guys out there. But for people like me, we have trouble becoming friends with even one of these 4000 girls. LOL !!!. Lets just leave this topic here. I’ll catch you later on this one. (No promises :p)

Unlike other colleges, students at PU are allowed to keep any vehicle at their hostels. May it be a car or a motorbike. This accounts for the large number of cars in the University. Also there is lack of parking space. Sometimes we don’t get water at the upper floors of hostels. But winter is coming !!!. Who cares ? We seldom bathe.

Also, we have this huge AC Joshi Library or easily the Central Library. I still don’t know how to issue books from the Central Library. Many of us still have no idea how to do it.

And there’s the PU Market. Yes ! its inside the University Campus. You can find almost anything here. Literally anything. Just outside PU Market, we have a Pizza Hut and a Dominos. Cheers Again.

So ending here, life at PU till now has been very good. I have some really interesting friends. My roommates are nice. Seniors are good and helping. And again, there’s PULUG. Here’s the link of my blog post on PULUG. 

Thats all for today.

Thanks for Reading

#5 : Dual Boot Windows 8(8.1) with Linux

In the last PULUG session they taught us how to Dual Boot Windows with Linux. Still, I see many of my classmates messing up their systems. One of them had to do a clean installation of Mint 17 (Cinnamon) after literally destroying both his Windows and Mint bootloaders. Ofcourse, he lost all his movies. We were in much despair.

I myself have been dualbooting since I was in Grade 8. No big deal! (is it ?). But that is only till you have Windows 7. Windows 8 and 8.1 that come pre-installed with laptops complicates matters (to a great extent). We lost the movies because of it. 😦

I myself am running a DualBoot of Windows 7 with an Ubuntu LTS. I had a Windows 7 Ultimate so it was a fairly simple task for me. Just the regular BIOS.

So, lets dig in. But not without some theory. (You can skip this part if you don’t want to go through the crappy details)


Windows 8 and 8.1 that come pre-loaded with laptops have replaced BIOS with UEFI. This is where the problem lies. UEFI has a “securemode” that doesn’t let us tinker with the bootloader. And even if it does, we won’t be able to boot through Grub if its not digitally signed into UEFI. And guess what !! It is not. That means we’ll have to find a way around this.

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a specification for a software program that connects a computer’s firmware to its operating system (OS). UEFI is expected to eventually replace BIOS.”

It was originally meant as a security tweak to avoid any potential malware.


Pre-requisites :

– A Linux Image (.iso) [Whatever flavour you like. I personally like Ubuntu]

– A compatible laptop/desktop

– A pen drive (atleast 2 GB)

– Linux Live USB Creator (LiLi) or Universal USB Installer

Step 1 :

Before starting anything, just to be safe , create a backup of all your important data .

Step 2 :

Create a live USB disk. Fire up LiLi or Universal USB Installer (whatever you have). Select the .iso image and make a live disk.

Step 3:

Make some space for your fresh installation (depending on your need). Make sure not to use the C partition for your distro. It will erase your Windows.

To make a partition in Windows 8, go to Disk Management tool. You can find disk management tool by searching for ‘disk’ in Control Panel.


In the Disk Management tool, right click on the drive which you want to partition and select shrink volume. Shrink the volumes to free up space.You can leave the free space as it is. We shall use it while installing Ubuntu.

Step 4 :

Disable fast startup for Windows. It’s optional. But it would be better to have it disabled.

Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > System Settings > Choose what the power buttons do and uncheck the Turn on fast startup box.

Step 5 :

Disable Secureboot. This is the most important step. The new secure boot feature of Windows 8, originally intended for security feature for rootkit viruses, prevents dual booting of Windows with Linux. To dual boot Windows 8 with Linux, we must disable secure boot in UEFI.

– Open the settings charms in Windows by pressing Windows+I keys. At the bottom, you’ll see the option of Change PC settings. Click on it.


– There will be a slight difference in PC settings for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Depending upon which one you are using, you can follow the respective procedure described below:

Windows 8: In Windows 8, you need to go to General PC settings and select Advanced startup and then click on Restart now


Window 8.1: In Windows 8.1, go to Update and recovery from left sidebar. Disable_Secure_Boot_Windows8_2

Then click Restart now under Advanced Startup


– After you have clicked Restart now button, you will be presented with some options to choose from in the next screen. Select Troubleshoot here


– In Troubleshoot menu, select Advanced options

– In Advanced options menu, choose UEFI Firmware settings


– Next, click on Restart button to reboot your system in UEFI settings.

– By this time you must have been booted in to UEFI utility. You can change various settings here but all we want to do right now is to disable secure boot option to allow dual booting of Ubuntu or any other Linux

Move to Boot tab, there you’ll find Secure Boot option which is set to enabled. Use the arrow key to go to Secure Boot option and then press enter to select it. Use + or – to change its value. Confirm it when prompted. Press F10 to save the changes and exit the UEFI settings.


Step 6 :

Once you have disabled secure boot, it’s time to install your distro. Plug in the USB and boot the system from it. To boot from USB, will have to choose boot from USB option from within Windows itself. Either with PC Setting (like for UEFI) or pressing shift key while clicking on Restart.

Step 7 :

Once you have booted in the live USB, you will be presented with option to try or install Ubuntu. Click on install. You will be presented with few screen options to choose the language. It will then do some checks on available space, power and internet connection etc. Just click on Continue.


Step 8 :

Now in the Installation Type, select Something Else.

Step 9 :

Remember we had created some free space beforehand? We shall use the free space to create Root, Swap and Home. Select the free space and click on the + sign. However its a matter of personal choice. If you have 8GB of RAM, you don’t need the swap space. Else, I strongly suggest you to create it, equal to the RAM you have. Also, you can have everything on your Root directory like me. Here’s a comparison.

You can have only one single partiton (C) in which your Windows Installation resides along with your data such as Music,Downloads etc. This is what happens when you create a single Root (/) Directory.


In Windows you can have a separate partitions. One for the Windows Installation (C) and others for your data like Videos, Movies etc. This is what happens when you create different partitions for Root(/) and Home Directory. The Linux Installation resides in Root and your data goes into Home.

Step 10 :

Depending on your choice you can either put everything in one partiton or have different partitions for Root and Home. If you chose the latter, the Root Partition could be anything between 10-20 GB. Other Space can be used for your Home.

In any case, select the Mount Point according to your need.

/ : For Root Partition


/home : For home Partition


If you need a swap space, then select it equal to the amount of RAM you have. (Optional for those with 8GB of RAM)


Well, you have almost won the battle. You can smell victory now. Next you will be asked to set username password etc. Basically, you just need to click next now. Select all the details.

And Voila ! You now have a Linux Distro alongside Windows 8. Tested with Ubuntu 14.04. Will work with other distros as well.

That’s all for now.

Thanks for Reading

#4 : PULUG

I am blogging after a week or two I guess. Well, I hadn’t promised to be a good blogger either :p.

PULUG stands for Panjab University Linux User Group. It was started by my seniors some time back. If I am correct, then maybe in 2012. KP Sir along with Nitin Sir started it. Unlike the other geeks who blabber on and on about Open Source, these guys are really (by that I mean “really”) awesome. They are pretty jolly and fun to talk with. I had some interests in FOSS but they brought it out to a different level. These guys are just to good to be nerds. Really fun.

I may be getting off topic as usual. Pardon me. 🙂

So, coming back to PULUG, its a community that comprises of our seniors along (passouts included). To us, ie to the juniors, they provide some really nice advise. They teach us things, that are not taught in classes but are really important (Shitty Syllabus !!!). These guys are really into it. They are frequent contributors. Not just that. They organize UIET CodeChef Campus Classes too. 😀 . For those who are into competitive programming. Its something that is missed out in most of the colleges around India apart from the prestigious ones like IIT’s and BITS’s.  Plus, these guys are really COOL.

TBH, the first time I heard about PULUG was at a class promotion event. Not Exactly that. Something similar. And my first thought was “What the hell. Who Cares”. Had my thinking not changed, I would not be writing this blog now, nor would I have been learning Vim (which I am doing at the moment). An awesome text editor for Linux, I came to know in today’s PULUG session. Cheers !

For those who still didn’t get it (:p), PULUG is all about LINUX. I myself use a 14.04 Trusty Tahr. I like the UI. Maybe, I’ll update to 14.10 Utopic Unicorn. Who knows !

They have a PULUG mailing list. A facebook page. An IRC. I am posting the Mailing List here. But don’t Spam. I don’t hold any responsibility if you are blocked. :p


To, sum it up. These guys really do awesome things. (Oops! Did I mention GSoC, JSFoo, KDESoC, ACM ICPC ? ) We’ll save that for sometime later.

Thats all for now

Thanks for Reading