Achieving BSD samadhi

On the lighter side of things, I have been playing around a lot with BSD operating systems at home late night, trying to sharpen old UNIX skills, and to just have some fun.1 I’ve always been a big fan of FreeBSD since my college days when I first learned to use UNIX, but these days I have a family and can’t afford the resources to setup servers and so on.2 Now that virtualization is increasingly popular, I don’t have to worry as much about hardware as just getting virtual applications that work.

In the past, I spent a lot of work trying to make things work with Sun’s free application VirtualBox. With some effort, I could make things like OpenBSD work pretty well,3 but then FreeBSD by contrast always had kernel panics, even with the OS and VBox applications. I think the problem is just that the primary focus of support for VBox right now is on development for Windows and Linux guests, thus Ubuntu for me works very well, but BSD works only intermittently.

Finally I got frustrated with this and decided to try a 2-week trial version of Parallels Desktop for my Mac, to see if things worked better. I was quite pleased to see my FreeBSD 7.2 install worked right out of the box, and have been using it ever since. It’s nice to finally be able to use an OS long enough to enjoy the features and subtleties that I could not enjoy before as I was to afraid to make the OS fall over and crash.

So now I feel at last I’ve achieved a kind of BSD samadhi. The term ‘samadhi’ is a Buddhist term for achieving a profound state of mind after much practice and meditation. Here, I am joking of course, since I am not a BSD guru at all, and have had no profound religious experiences. I am just an amateur user enjoying something I could only enjoy briefly in the past.

I avoided the term “zen” here, as I think it’s way over-used in pop-culture. Samadhi is a more analogous term I think. Others are welcome to offer suggestions.

Anyways, recently, I found this on the Internet and thought the picture was just great:

Beastie in Japanese Teahouse
(From the FreeBSD Image Gallery)

This is of the original BSD mascot, “Beastie” at what looks like a tea-house in Japan. When I first saw this picture, I actually thought this was the tea-house at Ryuanji Temple in Kyoto, which I once visited a long time ago, but it seems a little different.

I guess like this picture a lot because I enjoy playing with classic UNIX technology, hope to live in Japan someday, and somehow apply it toward my life as a Buddhist.

It’s a goal to work towards, I guess. ;)

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

1 It’s good to have a hobby other than studying things all the time, but still good skills to learn. :)

2 My old Sun Sparc 5 used to provide many hours of fun with NetBSD and setting up test email servers, DNS servers, DHCP servers and so on. What better way to learn? :)

3 OpenBSD 4.5 along with the last VBox 2.x series worked pretty flawlessly, expect for niggling segfaults on X during startup or shutdown. Version 3.0 somehow made things worse again. Ah well, time will tell.

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