BSDTalk 220 is up. It’s a conversation with Eric Oyen, OpenBSD user. It’s about 20 minutes and I don’t know the subject past “OpenBSD” cause I haven’t listened to it – yet.
Month: November 2012
NYCBUG is joining up with a whole bunch of other software user groups (Linux, Lisp, Puppet, etc.) for a holiday party on December 11th. This may not do you much good unless you live within a few hour’s travel, but I like seeing that sort of cross-group get-togethers, with no sponsor other than the desire to talk and drink.
This discussion of cryptographic hardware for FreeBSD may include hardware that would work for DragonFly too. Can someone verify?
It’s ‘old week’!
- Your team should work like an open source project. It’s not as complete a possibility as I think this person paints it, but there’s principles outlined in that article that could apply to any office. (via)
- World’s oldest d20. If you told me it was, say, a few decades old, I’d have believed it. (via)
- World’s oldest digital computer turned back on. From 1951. I like the name “Harwell Dekatron”.(via)
- Speaking of old, Windows 95 Tips, Ticks, and Tweaks. (via multiple places)
- A horrible computing idea from the 1960s. (via)
- Old computer art updated to work in Processing. You know what Processing is, right? If not, you may be in for a treat. (via)
- xmonad layouts for netbooks. I’ve thought that a tiling window manager is a good solution when low on screen real estate, but I never got this detailed. (via)
- Remember the complaints about Linuxisms last week? ITWire followed up on this with Marc Espie of OpenBSD. He makes the good point that computers are complex systems, and when you stop thinking about compatibility, everything – including Linux – gets crappier. (via)
- Vi-style shortcuts appear everywhere, including on Tumblr. (slightly related: I have a Tumblr with images from the mine where I work.)
Shopping! This is the big holiday shopping weekend in the US, and I usually put together something here.
- Buy an SSD for someone who doesn’t have one – including you if that’s the case. There’s better and worse SSDs out there, but you’ll get a speed benefit no matter what, and other bonuses are possible.
- The Tea Bag Buddy, which also comes in a color-changing version. Because tea.
- My perennial Science! suggestions: ThinkGeek, American Science and Surplus, Ward’s Scientific, Carolina, and United Nuclear, The Bone Room, and Skulls Unlimited.
- The Best of BSD 2011 and Last Year in BSD Security, from the BSD Magazine publisher.
- For more BSD, there’s always the orgs themselves. FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD – no DragonFly, though there ought to be. Also, ISC.
- For lists of gifts, there’s the Verge Gift Guide, which has some interesting offshoots.
- Another long list: The Comics Reporter’s Shopping List.
If you have suggestions, please comment!
If you are one of the few people still wanting to read an OS/2 HPFS drive, support for it in DragonFly has been updated by Antonio Huete Jimenez. It’s read-only, but writing didn’t work well, and I’d be surprised if there’s any hpfs disks that aren’t archival, out there.
The initial download of pkgsrc via Git on DragonFly is a little bit faster now, with the ‘make pkgsrc-create-shallow’ option recently added by John Marino. Note that there’s a similar option for src. It skips downloading file history.
Sascha Wildner has added system management BIOS (SMBIOS) support, visible with kenv, from FreeBSD. Use it for getting things like the BIOS revision, system manufacturer, and so on. For example:
smbios.bios.reldate="12/04/2006" smbios.bios.vendor="Dell Inc. " smbios.bios.version="2.1.0 "
This may seem minor, but this can be very helpful when dealing with hardware you aren’t physically able to access.
Apparently this is history week for Lazy Reading.
- You know what I like about older retail games? Not the playing, but the paraphernalia that came with it – maps, histories, stories on printed paper. This Empire for Apple ][ description even has pictures of a hand-drawn timeline.
- Remember when Enlightenment was considered too graphically intensive to run easily? Now E17 is in alpha! (via multiple places including here.)
- The regular expression that’s the equivalent of a shrug and a handwave.
- “Why BSD is better than Linux” (2002). It’s an old PDF presentation, but a good history overview. I got a kick out of slide 40.
- Rob Pike on why object-oriented programming isn’t always awesome. Slightly related: I wish Google+ pages had RSS feeds. (via)
- The GPL is usually described as a defense for users against companies. What if it’s being used as a bludgeon by one company against another?
- Remember in last week’s Lazy Reading, I pointed at complaints about Linuxisms; changes that assumed Linux was the only Unixlike system. The problem continues even within distributions. There’s a common thread of the people involved.
- When In Git, different animated gifs set to different git habits and events. This is the next stage after rage comics.
Because of the recent good results for pgbench on DragonFly 3.2, Phoronix has a new benchmark of DragonFly using other (possibly unrelated) tests. There’s not a lot of information to glean from them; they are testing operations different than what was optimized for pgbench in 3.2. I’d like to see DragonFly 3.0 tested the same way to see how much improvement there was between versions.
A person labeled only as ‘wicked’ sent me a link to this conversation about BSD unification. I’ve seen the topic brought up before, and I’d argue that it’s already happening, slowly. DragonFly has code brought in from FreeBSD, pkgsrc from NetBSD, pf and dhclient from OpenBSD, etc. ‘bmake’ is used in NetBSD, FreeBSD, and DragonFly now. Clang works across the board, I think (dunno the status on OpenBSD). There’s more of that cross-pollination going on if you think about it.
The 3.2 release seems to have gone well. Who has tried the new USB support? I’m curious to see how it’s going.
- :syntax Off, about working without syntax highlighting. (via)
- The previous link led me to this .vimrc with by-line explanations. I never get tired of looking at these things, though I also never implement anything out of them.
- 102 FreeBSD Tips. It’s really the contents of the FreeBSD fortune file. Almost all these tips apply to DragonFly, too, and often the other BSDs.
- A tcpdump primer. Always a good tool to know. It’s not as easy to use as Wireshark, but it’s certainly possible to end up with access to tcpdump and not Wireshark, right when you really need to see what’s happening on the network. (via)
- An HTML5-based terminal in your browser. Displays images, runs vim, etc. All that technological growth since 1972 has come full circle to replicate an 80×25 screen again. (I kid; it’s pretty neat.)
- A 6-week cryptography course, free of charge.
- Nothing to do with this operating system, but: Robot DragonFly, an Indiegogo project. (via)
- When you’re young and getting paid to work on open source, you can be surprisingly naive. (via several people)
- I agree with this sentiment about Linuxisms coming from an OpenBSD developer. (via Tomaz Bodzar)
- Someone want to work on ssh-ldap-helper for BSD? It sounds like a very good idea.
- A bunch of free computer books. Ignore the Linux ones; there’s free books for Ruby/Python/Perl there. (via)
Sepherosa Ziehau is switching a number of network cards over to use ifpoll, which means they will have capabilities similar to MSI-X, even if the network card doesn’t support it. My suspicion is that it will make these cards perform better in busy situation where they would otherwise get bogged down… but that’s based on hunch rather than empirical testing. As Sepherosa Ziehau pointed out, it certainly can’t hurt.
On the 10th of November, I’m going to remove the binary pkgsrc packages from mirror-master.dragonflybsd.org for DragonFly 2.8 through 2.11. They are closing in on 2 years old at this point, and are from a pkgsrc branch that hasn’t been updated for that long.
If you are actually using version of DragonFly that old, you can continue building from pkgsrc normally; these are just prebuilt packages.
Today is the day that FreeBSD moves to using clang by default. This is not necessarily a surprise, but I like the finality of calling it “Clang-Day”. I think Clang will probably be the next compiler brought into DragonFly’s base system, instead of the next release of gcc. Don’t make any bets on my statement, though, cause I certainly won’t be the one doing it. (It’s hard.)
I’m glad 3.2 is out the door. I think I spent more time on release notes and watching package builds than any other release.
- This in-browser recreation of an Apple ][+ is a trip down nostalgia lane. (via)
- HappyEdit, “Vim-based” text editor. It’s actually an IndieGoGo project. (via)
- A physics paper with a description of a non-Euclidean universe, which happens to mention Cthulu. (via)
- NetBSD now supports these 100-core Tile-GX processors; I didn’t know such hardware existed. (Thanks, Tomas Bodzar)
- Active vs. Passive Benchmarking. (Tomas again.)
- The Search for the Ultimate Engineer’s Pen. I like looking at some of the pen models mentioned. The best way to find the “ultimate” pen, that nobody mentioned: go into a good art store and ask to sample a few pens. Bring the type of paper you normally use. Pens are usually out loose, and having it in your hand is the best way to tell. If there’s a college near you with a good technical art program, check the campus store. Why, yes, I did base that example on direct experience.
- The evolution of the computer keyboard. The descriptions of the various mechanisms are neat to hear about. It of course repeats the Dvorak story. (via)
- All the back issues of science fiction magazine Omni, online and free.
Your unrelated link of the day: Sir, You Are Being Hunted. I link to the Kickstarter for this game for no other reason than I think it would be fun to play.
Every year, the Chaos Communication Congress tends to gather at least a few DragonFly-using people, and this year is no different. The event is being held in a much larger arena this year, in Hamburg, Germany, so there’s a good chance a DragonFly ‘assembly‘ could be held. Speak up on the users@ mailing list, or EFNet #dragonflybsd, if you’re going too. It’s happening on the last few days of this year, December 27th through 31st.