I came up with a whole bunch of links at the last minute despite traveling and being sick. I’m dedicated to your idle reading!
Your off-topic link of the week: you have about a week to pay $35 to not die when the Earth is destroyed on July 5th. It’s the 18th time the world has almost ended, so it has to work out one of these times.
I had to do this early, too, so the link count is a bit low this week. Sorry!
Emulation is this week’s accidental topic.
Your comics link of the week: Behold! The Dinosaurs!
I guess the accidental theme this week is Unix.
- The truth about Unix: The user interface is horrid. From 1981, which says something. (via)
- Terminal: Beyond Ctrl + A and Ctrl + E. Linked because I needed to know what the nondestructive version of Ctrl-U was. (Ctrl-A)
- Tools don’t solve the web’s problems, they ARE the problem. I’ve been considering a static generator for this site, for similar reasons. (via)
- How to name things: the hardest problem in programming. A dry topic talked about in a very human way. (via)
- Floppy Drive Organ.
- Cold Weather, Gogol And The Rise Of The Russian Samovar. I don’t need one, but I’ve always thought samovars are interesting.
- Unix Shells: Bash, Fish, Ksh, Tcsh, Zsh. (via)
- When Poll is Better than Interrupt. (PDF, via EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- A Repository with 44 Years of Unix Evolution (via)
- Backblaze hard drive stats for 2015Q1. (via)
- Crystals and computer viruses. (via)
- Inadvertent collection.
- Bash history format.
- Vim Tips For Intermediate Users. (via)
- Why isn’t our fax working? (Hint: a power issue.) (via)
- The Problem with the Roguelike Metagame. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: svblm. Found via a link to Infinideer and Forest Ambassador.
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Finished page at the Toronto Comic Jam. I missed TCAF this year, dangit. It is awesome. (via)
Accidentally very roguelike this week.
As you read this, I am probably watching a storage processor reboot.
I’d love to see fewer developers demanding superficial perks, and more of them asking to have more time to contribute to the open source products we use, mentor young developers, and learning more about the space they occupy. All of those result in us growing as developers in more than just our coding skills.
Your unrelated link of the week: National Corndog Day. Has audio. (via)
Minimal link text this week. It just happened that way.
Snow snow snow!
Unrelated link of the week: Lenny Kravitz – Fly Away (lyrics) Watch to the end. “just like a dragonfly” (via)
Less links than last week, but still lots. Alliteration!
Your unrelated link of the week: Carpets for Airports. Requires Flash, unfortunately.
Settle back, there’s a lot to read.
- CERN Terminal font. I mentally expect the characters to be printed in green or amber, just from the shape. (via)
- Systems Programming at Twitter. (via)
- Richard Garriot’s D&D #1; his first game written in BASIC, long before Ultima. There’s a contest involved, but that’s not the important part. (via)
- Unix: Counting chickens or anything else.
- Matul Remit, a Dwarf Fortress story. Yeah, I know, third Dwarf Fortress item in three weeks. This one is about the story itself, not the gameplay. (via)
- The Pac-Man Dossier, Obsessive notes and details about Pac-Man. (also via)
- “…nothing worse for the future of home lighting than having to remember whether the lights in the bedroom were made by Sylvania or Philips before I can turn them off.” The Internet of (proprietary) Things.
- The Modern Perl book, 2014 edition, is out and is a free download.
- Your favorite 2-piece keyboard.
- The Novena laptop, has a crowdfunding campaign. It even has stretch goals, now. It sounds fun, but you have to be seriously interested in hardware twiddling. There’s a contest for a new logo, too.
- Worst common denominator programming. You can guess the source.
- Technology Monoculture as threat. It’s about OpenSSL, but I’d argue that Linux represents another monoculture problem.
- go in go. (via)
- A discovered quirk is just [a] few steps away from becoming a feature.
- Microsoft Word is not a terminal emulator. :wq
- Using Vim as a writing environment. (via)
- boycottsystemd.org. (via)
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Agatha Heterodyne & The Sleeping City. It’s a kickstarter for the 13th volume of a long-running story – which is also free to read online. As I have mentioned before, the artist Phil Foglio drew the original BSD daemons.
This is another week where I find neat stuff at the start of the week, start the post, and by the time the post date rolls around, those links have been seen everywhere. Yes, I’m complaining I don’t get “First Post!” the way I want.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Heads or Tails. Chris Ware’s comics are all about using the comic as a way of expressing the movement of time, in so many ways. (via)
I am all over the map this week.
Your unrelated animated image of the week: a seal with hiccups.
This week blew up with links fast.
Your unrelated video of the week: This trailer for Crawl. This is a roguelike multiplayer cross-platform game, though I don’t know if it would work on BSD. The important thing: the voiceover narration is fantastic.
Finally, a relatively quiet week.
Writing more efficient shell scripts.
The Occultation of Relations and Logic: Exposing the Hidden Meaning from within Shadows and Unix Command Lines. Piped shell commands seen as a set of relations. This is the most analysis I’ve ever seen of a command line. (via) Also related.
Perl Secret Operators. (via)
As a followup on last week’s Curse of the Leading Zero link, Thomas Klausner points out Python 3.0 explicitly stopped reading leading zeros as the prefix for octals.
The current Humble Weekly Sale (through the 31st) is all roguelikes. Dunno how many of them run on non-Windows. though.
Mastering Vim in Vim. Lots more ‘learning Vim’ suggestions where I found this link.
Not possible to have happen; I don’t believe it. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: 50 years of tape. Cassette audio tapes, that is. (via)
I was going to make excuses for a low link count because of being on the road this week – but somehow I managed to find a lot to read anyway. We all win!
- Dragonflies with brain-tracking backpacks. Not DragonFly-relevant except for the subject creature. (via)
- Speaking of the actual bug, my daughter caught a dragonfly for me. That moth, incidentally, wasn’t as dead as I thought it was…
- Roguelikes breakdown. It’s an overview of roguelike games, which may not contain any surprises for you… the screenshots of graphical versions are nice, however, and there’s a lot of links to roguelike games at the end. (via)
- “If those services don’t trust me enough to give me an RSS feed, why should I trust them with my data?” Talking about APIs and how you should not trust your data to companies that won’t let you access it the way you want. Also, that’s a great pull quote, which is why I’m the second one to use it. (via)
- Great Works in Programming Languages. This is a list of titles but not links to the actual documents, though some (all?) are freely available. At least a few of you reading this just said, “Hey, I know what I’m doing this afternoon!” (also via)
- Rewriting history. It’s about shell history, though unfortunately Bash-specific.
- Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe. Playable online. (via multiple places)
- I enjoy old analog computer(ish) pictures, so here’s two.
- Here’s another: the first stored program computer was 65 years ago as of yesterday.
- PDP-11 systems, still in service. Doesn’t saw what they are running. (via)
- Fax machine evolution, an animated gif. (via)
- The Pet Shop Boys don’t like BSD. Yeah, it’s a typo, but a funny one.
- Here’s an NSA/PRISM joke; one of many.
Your unrelated link of the week: Who you gonna call? This kills me because there was some obvious prop work and setup just to create this 7 second joke.
Not as wordy this week, but still wordy. And linky!
- Max Headroom and the Strange World of Pseudo-CGI. A discussion of how old fake CGI can look better than modern, real CGI. This is an opinion I’ve had for quite a while, and my children pretty much ignore it every time I bring it up. (via)
- The Colby Walkmac, which predates the Mac Luggable. Linked to because it includes good pictures of what the (external) hardware was like. I find all the old ports interesting, since it’s all USB and the occasional eSATA these days… not that I’m complaining! I’ve never had a good experience with a 9-pin serial port. (via)
- A brief education on escaping characters.
- I get worried when remotely rebooting a server in a different town or even state. In Praise of Celestial Mechanics covers much more stressful circumstances: interplanetary reboots. Does Voyager 1 or 2 have an ‘uptime’ function?
- The equivalent of what you are doing right now, 20 years ago. I personally never got to see this; my experience was MUDs. Speaking of which…
- The Birth of MMOs: World of Warcraft’s debt to MUD. MUD == MMO, Roguelike == Diablo/Torchlight, Doom == almost everything else. There’s a number of game archetypes that haven’t changed in some time. (via)
- Playing with powerlines. I used to work at a company that used these lines for data transfer. It was neat technology, but it sure wasn’t easy to set up. Imagine wiring a city but only being able to use Ethernet hubs. Not switches, hubs. That, combined with undersized ARP caches/MAC tables, made it really difficult.
- OpenVPN on FreeBSD, which will come in handy for at least several readers, I’m sure, as the directions should apply to any BSD.
- Is there anything DNS can’t be used for? Cause now it’s domain-based mail policy publishing. (via ferz on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- “Have you tried DragonFly?” posts on various forums seem to pop up with some regularity.
- Uses of tmux, explained. A slide show talking about how tmux works. (via)
Unrelated link of the week: I’ve had several deadlines and a mail server with issues this week at work, so this is all I got.
Last week was a lot of very brief links. I’ll go for verbosity this week…
- Regular expressions and regular grammar. I hope you like detailed explanations. I’ve said it before: you should understand regular expressions. The difference between knowing and not knowing is sometimes the difference between knowing how to finish a project, and being hopelessly swamped. (via)
- A plea for less (XML) configuration files. From the same place. I don’t advocate rejecting XML files out of hand like some people, but I think you need to have a certain existing level of complexity already in your program before you use XML. For example, so complex that nobody will notice some XML sprinkled in there too.
- Where Looks Don’t Matter and Only the Best Writers Get Laid, a talk about the Internet from roughly the late 90s to the 2000s. Some parts of this get farther into political notes than I usually care to read, but I like the point made with “Many women and men alike are using, not building, the web.” I am frustrated by how the Internet is effectively one-way transmission for so many, like TV. (via I forget, sorry)
- Bringing Unix commands to a Windows world. It’s about Cygwin. I’ve installed Cygwin a number of times, but it’s such a strange hybrid I eventually stop after using it for whatever specific reason caused the first install. These days, it’s almost easier to set up a virtual machine on a Windows system and just switch over as needed.
- The Weird Stuff Warehouse. How much does this look like your basement? I like looking in stores like there cause there’s always some hardware item that seems to be worth resurrecting. (via)
- Open Source Game Clones. I feel iffy about these things. This tends to be viewed as “I want a free game”, not “I want the right to modify a game”. Also, you could argue it takes revenue away from the original artists who work on a product when it copies the original game methodology, reducing the incentive to produce. That could be debated, but I am certain of this: I wish people tried original rather than rehashed ideas in open source, because it has a much lower threshold for success. You don’t need a studio to tell you when you can be published… which is sort of the idea behind “indie gaming“, I suppose. (first link via)
- Remember those old not-a-desktop-not-a-laptop computers? They looked like this image I saw recently. I actually learned to use vi in a mild panic on a Sparcstation Voyager, which would be another device in that land between categories.
- SSH Tricks, found by accident while I was searching for how to do per-host configs in ssh, so that I only had to type a short name and leave off the long suffix (like dragonflybsd.org) when connecting to a server. Someday I might even get remote port forwarding over ssh correct.
- USSR’s old domain name attracts criminals. Somehow I doubt you can identify a criminal site by domain suffix that easily. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: Massive Chalice, a Kickstarter for a new strategy and tactics game. It’s by Double Fine, who has made some fantastic stuff, and it has permadeath, turn-based combat, randomly generated maps… it’s a roguelike! It’s cross-platform, apparently, though I don’t know if it will work on any BSDs.
These are getting denser and denser with links, in part because I’m looking harder and in part because Hacker News is becoming a better and better source of links; there seems to be a new go-to site for tech links every 8-12 months. Slashdot, then Digg, then Reddit, then Hacker News…
- Intel has published a HTML5 development environment. I don’t even know if it would work on DragonFly or even any BSD, but I feel efforts to make tools that are actually, genuinely, crossplatform should be looked at. Defensive platform-specific content seems to still be a thing.
- The Eternal Mainframe. The argument is a little wild-eyed, but the underlying thesis: “Cloud == Mainframe” is valid. (via)
- A Primer on IPv4, IPv6, and Transition. I signed up for an IPv6 tunnel recently, but I’m not directing traffic over it. I should be. (via)
- How to make Your Open Source Project Really Awesome. The title is linkbaity, but the steps listed are correct. You will look at the “If you want to completely screw your users…” notes and nod to yourself, recognizing something that bit you. (via)
- There’s still Apple ][ software being sold. I vaguely feel like I bought from there before… (via)
- Everything’s being put into a git repo these days. (via) Wait, spoke too soon. (thanks, ‘bla’ in comments)
- Scaling Pinterest. I like seeing what technology is used as a site transitions from “oh yeah, running on leftover hardware in my basement” to “we need to hire yet another person to keep this all running”. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: Sometimes, repeated variations on a single theme can lead to some entertaining humor. Therefore, Dog Snack.
(Did I just sneak in two unrelated links? Yes I did.)
We are very close to the next release. As always, it comes down to building third-party software. Lots of material here to read, until then.
- E-TeX: Guidelines for Future TeX Extensions – revisited. It’s interesting to look at a software project that has had 20 years to run, with a very specific problem domain, and see that there’s always something more that could be done. (via)
- You SHOULD CONSIDER RFC6919. (via)
- The largest computer ever built. Why are there no SAGE emulators? (also via)
- The newlisp.org logo is a dragonfly, similar to ours. I don’t know why. Oh, wait: I bet it’s parentheses for the wings, which makes sense for Lisp. (thanks, Charles Rapenne)
- UNIX V5, OpenBSD, Plan 9, FreeBSD, and GNU coreutils implementations of echo.c. Not necessarily a fair comparison, but interesting; there’s some useful links in the comments, such as this similar exercise for cat.c. (via)
- Top 10 reasons I Like Postgres Over SQL Server. SQL Server is not that bad a product, but I do wish Postgres was run more often.
- Our Regressive Web. A story on how we’re losing the tools that let us focus on content on the web. The author doesn’t say, but should, that this is partially because we’re using platforms owned by other companies (Facebook, Twitter) instead of talking on our own. (email, blogs) (via)
- The earliest known version of D&D, the “Dalluhn Manuscript“, is on display at a museum right around the corner from me. (via)
- Workflow in Tmux. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: A bunch of monster models, all taken at a convention called Monsterpalooza. A bit grody, but still some very good construction work. (via)
You know what stinks? I find a really cool thing online somewhere, early in the week, or even in a previous week, like today’s unrelated link. Between me finding it and this always-on-Sunday post, other people encounter it, the link gets reposted everywhere, and it’s old hat by the time you see it here. Yeah, I’m complaining like it’s hipster linking!
- Has anyone noticed how there’s been an explosion in nontraditional peripherals lately? Seriously, follow those links. I know there’s more.
- A Roguelike Primer. An excellent overview of a lot of different roguelikes. I didn’t know NetHack had an isometric view. (via)
- There’s a programming language called Quylthulg. That makes me happy, in a D&D/roguelike kind of way.
- Abandoned Apples. I feel bad about the Apple ][ units, and the fatmacs. (via I forget)
- yes `yes no`. The comments on the linking page note how the linking description is all wrong (and here’s corrections), but one comment is fun: shell Russian Roulette: [ $[ $RANDOM % 6 ] == 0 ] && rm -rf / || echo *Click* (via)
- A note about Google Reader’s demise from an interview with one of the creators. It strikes me that there aren’t more people mad that RSS feeds are hard to find. There’s lots of conversations on Twitter and Facebook and Google Plus and other places, and I can’t see them without getting an account for each, and logging in. The overall effect of this separation is that it’s hard to follow any one source.
- The Thing, an art BBS.
- Here’s a chart of possible Google Reader replacements, plus my query earlier this week let to a number of comment suggestions. tt-rss looks like a good candidate, because I don’t have to worry about someone deciding not to run it anymore. There’s also newsbeuter, though maybe that’s too minimal.
Your unrelated link of the week: I almost can’t tell this is a parody. Actually, it’s more like a double level of parody. Seen on this inexplicable, wonderful Tumblog; found via arts inscrutable.
Bonus link: Dog Snack Episode 3.
I managed to come up with a lot of links this week, somehow, despite the start of the class I’m teaching in addition to normal work. And Summer of Code’s coming up! And we’re due for a release relatively soon! I may appear somewhat… stretched over the next few weeks.
Your unrelated link of the week: I’m the Computer Man. I always thought the mid-1990s were sort of a Internet/computer teenager phase. Everything had potential but everything was also awkward. (via I forget, sorry!)
I am all over the place with links this week – some of them pretty far off the path. There’s a lot, too, so enjoy!
- Puctuation obscurantism, punctuation humor; I like it all. (via)
- Exporting your git repository. Found while looking for something else.
- I want CTRL-D at a terminal to make something like this to happen.
- Visual Representation of Regular Expression Character Classes. I like visual ways of classifying complex data.
- Speaking of which: Anatomy of Data. Not sure how I found it.
- Digital Files and 3D Printing – In the Renaissance? The title sounds a bit linkbaity, but the story of the 14th century map designed to be recreated with a graphing tool is pretty neat.
- Postgres: The Bits You Haven’t Found. Advanced/odd Postgres usage. (via)
- Breaking your arrow keys is the latest idea in improving Vim usage.
- PC-BSD is moving to a ‘rolling release’ format, and also using the new pkg tools that are also in DPorts. Historic details on this new setup are available.
- Fred, taking off.
- Ten hours with the most inscrutable game of all time. I like the idea of Dwarf Fortress more than I actually like playing it. I’m somewhat afraid of it. It looks like this sounds.
- That last comparison wasn’t necessarily fair, but it was fun.
- If I’m going to talk about music like that, I should link Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music.
- The Wizard of Pinball. I just want my own standup pinball or arcade cabinet game. Yes, yes, I know, MAME cabinet.
- Appropriately this week, “Ball Saved”, page 1 and page 2 of a 2-page comic about pinball.
- UnReal World, an Iron-Age roguelike. Apparently pretty brutal, and two decades in development. Runs on several platforms, but not BSD. (via)
- You Are Boring. Some of the ‘boring’ items made me laugh. (via)
- The first review of Michael W. Lucas’s Absolute OpenBSD, Second Edition is available.
Your unrelated link of the week: I’ve already been offbeat enough in this Lazy Reading; I don’t have anything else.
For once, I didn’t accidentally post this too early. I hope you have some spare time; there’s a lot of meaty links this week.
- “Keep the workload off the pinkies.” is a good recommendation for any keyboard layout. (via)
- Dan Langille started doing some price comparisons for various hard drives; see the comments on his article for some specialty sites that do the same.
- “It was open source because we didn’t have any choice.” Spacewar, the first computer game. Or at least the first computer game like we’d expect it to be.
- If you read the details, Ethernet and Microsoft Word came from almost the same place. (via)
- YouCompleteMe, a Fast, As-You-Type, Fuzzy-Search Code Completion Engine for Vim. (via) Haven’t tried it.
- This article about the correct pronounciation of “GIF” is mostly a historical rehash, but I really like the last two sentences.
- This Wired article does a good job of describing what’s special about Flickr compared to all the other big photo services, and also has an excellent metaphor for Facebook buried in there. (via)
- This is perhaps one of the better descriptions of being a “nerd” and how it has changed recently.
- Well, that’s a bizarre translation. (via tuxillo on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- My favorite part of this excellent Economist article about Voyager 1 and 2 is this note: “Most ingeniously of all, Dr Stone’s team equipped the probes with an advanced bit of hardware called a Reed-Solomon encoder. […] The rub was that in 1977 a way to decrypt Reed-Solomon corrected data had yet to be worked out. Luckily, by the time Voyager 2 reached Uranus in 1986, it had been.“
- An HTML5-based roguelike. I’m sure there’s others. I like that HTML5 is starting to make things Just Work. (via)
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Anthony Clark of Nedroid.com is selling his sketchbook; 101 pages as a digital download, for $1. Look at his strip or his Tumblr doodles if you want to know more before, but that’s quite a deal. Nedroid is the source of one of my favorite character names: Beartato. Also makes a good shirt.
The last of the year.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Marlo Meekins’ Tumblr. Her lettering is refreshingly expressive. That may sounds strange to single out, but so many people place words as an set block of text rather than as part of a graphic layout.
It’s been a quiet week, but that’s OK. I have sick kids, sick coworkers, and a certification test this Monday…
Your unrelated link of the week: GET LAMP. I thought I had linked to it before, but I’m probably thinking of It Is Pitch Dark. It’s a documentary by Jason Scott of textfiles fame about text adventures.
12 18 hours of my life fighting with an Exchange 2010 upgrade this week. To compensate, I will never complain about Sendmail wonkiness ever.
- Homebrew Cray-1A. Duplicating the internals is interesting in a “that’s crazy/difficult” way, but the case is the best part. (via dfcat on #dragonflybsd)
- If you understand the structure of haiku, you can contribute to Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Ed.
- Here’s a browser-based roguelike called Second Wind, and another called Epilogue. No particular reason to link to them other than I haven’t had much roguelikes linked recently.
- “The role of the troll in social media is to ruin that product.” There’s a line that can be drawn to connect the idea of being esoteric enough that social networks (i.e. Facebook) don’t intrude on your interests, and the idea of being interested in BSD operating system creation. What I’m saying is that BSD is less hyped, and thank goodness.
- Another social media caution: it’s their space, not yours, and they can boot you at any time. (via)
- Yeah, I’m getting curmudgeonly. I’ll stop now.
- Go By Example.
- git-ftp, when the files you are working on are in a location only accessible by FTP – no git or ssh access. This appears to copy them in and out as part of the commit/change process. I can imagine a very specific workflow where this would be useful. (via)
- Bash One-Liners, part 4.
- OS Upgrades powered by Git. That’s a neat idea. I don’t think you actually have to follow the link; that’s the whole concept right there.
- The Ultimate Vim Distribution. (via) I like how slick the single-line install methods are on these things… but I want the number of packaging/install methods on every computer I administer to equal exactly 1, not (1 x number of installed programs).
- Why is Linux more popular than BSD? Some of the answers are just plain wrong, or don’t understand causality… but that’s no surprise. (via)
- Oh, hopefully this will solve the UEFI secureboot issue for DragonFly too. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: A CD that comes with its own turntable and record. Kid Koala scrapes over culture to find mentions of vinyl and DJing the same way I scrounge the Internet for mention of BSD. His “Nerdball” from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an astonishing display of turntable skill.
The weather is finally turning cooler, which makes me happy.
Your unrelated link of the day: Victorian Sci-Fi. It’s not just a reference list, it’s a link to a lot of the original material, since copyright no longer applies.
- deadweight, “Find unused CSS selectors by scraping your HTML”. I’ve needed something like this for years. (via)
- The same sort of thing for pkgsrc: pkg_leaves. Worth running at least yearly, or at least before any significant pkgsrc upgrade. There’s no point in updating a package you don’t use or need.
- GNU Coreutils cheat sheet, plus the instructions to make it. There’s other cheatsheets linked in the article that may be useful.
- Compiler benchmarks, comparing gcc and clang versions. For a complete benchmark, I’d want to compare what number of programs build with each, too. (via ftigeot on #dragonflybsd)
- When ‘your mom’ and Unix jokes collide.
- Distraction-free writing with Vim. (via)
- Also, there’s a “Modern Vim” book on the way. Will it be good? I have no idea; I don’t know of any prior books by the author or who the publisher is. Those facts might help.
- For a known author and publisher, here’s a status report on Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition. If you don’t know what a BOFH is from his last sentence, read the original stories.
- Quadrilateral Cowboy, a cyberpunk hacking game that actually involves non-boring programming and not just a pipe-matching game under the guise of hacking.
- While I’m linking to games, GUTS, sorta like Diablo but more… roguey? It’s turn-based. Also, an excuse to use the roguelike tag.
- 4 UNIX commands I abuse every day. Having done a fair amount of Perl programming, I am entertained by having side effects being the intended goal. Also, the author pays attention to what runs on BSD. (via)
- “Disks lie. And the controllers that run them are partners in crime.” Marshall Kirk McKusick describes just how hard it is to know when your data has really made it from memory to disk. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week. Dubgif. Random animated gifs and dubstep clips. Sometimes it doesn’t work, and sometimes it’s perfect. (via) If that’s too random, there’s also this .
There’s certainly no theme to this week’s links. I even manage to avoid my usual git and vim links, strangely.
- Ethernet’s Future: How Fast Is Fast Enough? The article doesn’t answer any questions, but I like the IEEE-supplied graph it opens with that shows the trend of overall network traffic doubling yearly. (via)
- Anti-open source propaganda in Disney kids’ TV show. I’m actually more bothered by trying to hyphenate a phrase made from separate words. Anti-‘open source’? Esoteric grammar issues appeal to me.
- Bash One-liners Explained, part 3.
- Perl hex and bit pack formats were added to fix the Magellan satellite’s output. A neat origin for something I’ve used trivally. Of course, I suppose any use is trivial compared to fixing output from a broken spaceship. (via many places)
- Here’s a DragonFlyBSD article from 2010 linked on Hacker News. The ensuing conversation in the Hacker News comments is lucid and useful, and not a single bit of whining about BSD being dead. That’s so refreshing to see!
- Looks like there will be a new version of ADOM. Will it run on DragonFly? It should, since the previous version is in pkgsrc.
- Do you like set theory? Then read this. I don’t understand a word of it, but I like seeing the mathematical characters encoded on the page, apparently using MathJax.
- I also enjoy reading about BSD users’ origin stories. In this case, Dru Lavigne.
- CDE has been open-sourced. There’s a good chance it will show up in pkgsrc soon. Seeing this interface will make you nostalgic if you are the right age.
- If you’re a fan of the Hammer filesystem, does that make you a hammerhead? That’s my weak attempt to segue to this comic.
- Artisanal, hand-crafted unsigned ints. Read the bottom of the About page for an explanation. This may not make sense to you if you haven’t encountered the trend it’s making fun of, which seems to be centered in Brooklyn. (via)
- I hope you enjoy scrolling, because this history of computers and history of computer graphics are very long single documents. I like seeing the early computer art. (via)
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Cul De Sac. The strip is ending due to the creator’s health issues, but what he has done is marvelous. This is one of the few newspaper strips that is both visually interesting and often abruptly laugh out loud funny, without being patronizing.
I think there’s a chance we’re about to see Microsoft start to slip downhill, in a way that may only be apparent a year from now if it continues. The company’s been a big moneymaker for years, but news items like the recent writedowns and my personal experience that they’re outsourcing license compliance checking makes me think that the rise of tablets and smartphones is cutting into their Windows/Office revenues like nothing ever has before.
It’s a guess, and it’s not likely that I’m right. If I am, it’s a seismic shift. Enough armchair theory! Here’s the links:
- Some details on the creation of the Bitrig project. It’s mostly the drama side of the story, rather than the practical details. (via) The project appears to be backed by a commercial company, which is helpful.
- “Get out of my way, window manager!” I don’t know if it’s any good, or evenif it works on DragonFly, but I like the name. (via)
- Dru Lavigne, the driving force behind a lot of good BSD things, gets interviewed. (via)
- Try Git in your browser.
- Building the British countryside generator. Come for the concept, stay for the explanation of Voroni diagrams.
- BSD 4.4 and IPv6, possibly mashed together. It’s kind of like making an all-electric Studebaker Land Cruiser, but worth it, in and of itself.
- DragonFly developer Alex Hornung has a blog, and I didn’t realize it. There’s some interesting stories on crappy multimeters and keyboard repair. Andsoftware.
- Hey, ADOM, which ceased development in 2002, is up as an Indiegogo project. It’s a very sophisticated roguelike, and it runs on DragonFly.
- Can someone help this guy with his NFS question? Maybe it’ll get answered before this gets posted, if I’m lucky.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: The Whole Story. A comics collection, sort of like the ‘humble indie bundles’ for games, where if you pay a bit more, you get even more comics.
It’s summer, and I’m too warm. I’m whiny but still making with the links:
- “The return of the FreeBSD desktop“, where Dag-Erling Smørgrav describes getting a BSD desktop working again due to a new ports system on FreeBSD. It’s still too messy a process to get to a GUI, I think, and to support that I’ll point at this post of a KDE developer giving up. (via) One of the issues is the rapid flux of the underlying systems X has to run on – something touched on before.
- Here’s someone looking for a ‘Linux like BSD‘. Most of the answers are “then use BSD”, though the poster is hampered by the new Intel video chipset.
- These “Ringbow” joystick controllers are described as being for games, but I think they could work as controllers like the Thinkpad nub. (via) It’s a Kickstarter project, so might be worth your money.
- With some minor changes, this command could find you all the BSD-licensed items in pkgsrc, I think.
- Phoronix thinks FreeBSD and Ivy Bridge don’t work together. I could have sworn I’ve already heard of Ivy Bridge systems running BSDs… Take it with a grain of salt.
- Several readers will find the intext: Google search phrase incredibly useful. (via) Also, typing ‘*’ in Google Maps actually does what you’d expect.
- Less is exponentially more, Rob Pike talking about Go. (via) The note about the Bell Labs numbering scheme explains a lot about UNIX’s terseness.
- Visual Git Reference. (via) Showing a physical position to correlate with time is really helpful here.
- A review of FreeBSD Device Drivers, the new No Starch book. Much of it should apply to DragonFly, I should think.
- I suppose this Dwarf Fortress book was inevitable.
Your unrelated link of the day: The Kleptones are great, and this collection of the music that influenced Paul Simon’s Graceland is a wonderful find. A happier album I’ve never heard. I feel nostalgic for the days when you had to actually search for music.
I got to use the ‘roguelike’ tag again this week, which always makes me happy. Surprisingly, it’s not about… that roguelike.
- RSA encryption explained. (via)
- Someone from Google went to BSDCan 2012 and blogged about it. The takeaways are interesting, especially something I’ve seen elsewhere: “Don’t buy systems that can’t take registered RAM in a bazillion sockets”.
- Occam’s Razor applies here, but still: trust nobody. (via)
- Bash One-liners Explained, part 1.
- They’re switching from ‘cvs import’ to ‘cvs add’ in pkgsrc. Now if they’d just switch the ‘cvs’ part out…
- Not even vaguely computer related: Please won’t someone make these commercially available? Wait, someone did!
- The Mechanics and Meaning of That Ol’ Dial-Up Modem Sound. (via) I feel nostalgic, but on the other hand… nobody missed 14.4 kbaud.
- Advanced Vim Macros. “As is typical in Vim, the rabbit hole of functionality goes much deeper than most users will ever plumb.” (via)
- Also at the same place: Vim Koans.
- Hey, there’s a DragonFly page on the Wine Wiki. It’s short but probably very useful if you want to run Wine.
- Also, an OpenCV fix for DragonFly, pushed upstream by a pkgsrc developer. That’s always nice to see.
- Fish, a new shell with some nice features. (via) Does this compile on DragonFly?
- Found near the same place: a screen saver that auto-plays Angband. OS X only, unfortunately. There must be an easy way to do the same with xscreensaver.
- CLANG, but not the compiler. Watch the movie.
Your unrelated link of the week: I happen to work at a salt mining operation, which leads to some unique problems (more). Mining in the US is regulated by MSHA, which has been cracking down since the Upper Big Branch incident. MSHA issues ‘fatalgrams‘ every time a miner dies. MSHA also shows up on site as soon as possible, which means they are there taking pictures within a few minutes, with equipment still running. It’s essentially crime scene photos, and a little worrying; many of the deaths are of people around my age with similar experience.
Drowning in links this week. Is that so bad? No.
Your unrelated links of the week: Turntablism. I was talking about assembled music last week, and this is a whole area to itself. Watch Kid Koala turn a few seconds of trumpet playing into an entire blues progression.
This is the week of in-depth items to look at. I hope you have some time set aside… Also, I’m doing something a little different; since Lazy Reading articles are built up over the week, I’m scheduling it for early Sunday (EST) so that you can read it in your bathrobe, drinking an astonishingly large amount of tea. Or at least that’s what I’ll be doing.
- Apparently there’s a Russian version of BSD Magazine, with a special Russian-only article. Anyone who can read it willing to tell me what it’s about?
- Did you know BSD also stands for something bike-related?
- 70 Roguelikes! The 7-Day Roguelike Challenge, just completed, has 70 games out as a result. This will keep you busy, and there’s a very good writeup on several of the games to help you pick from the options.
- 20 Years of Adobe Photoshop. (via) I link it because almost everyone, sooner or later, has used it or has used a program with a very similar tool layout. Though I suppose you could argue it all comes from MacPaint, designed by Susan Kare, who happens to have also originated Clarus the dogcow. Moof!
- Man, Apple used to really have a sense of humor, too. Maybe they still do. Companies still do funny things (caution, autoplay video), but it seems to be done with the company’s marketing image in mind these days. Also, get your ball out of my yard you darn kids etc.
- Michael Lucas is teaching a SSH class at BSDCan 2012.
- Lucas also has also disclosed numbers on his recent self-publishing venture. I love seeing numbers like this because self-publishing discussion usually brings a whole lot of biases to the table, and people come down on one side or another because of what they want it to be, not because of what it is. (Like discussions of the music industry, piracy, and software.) This is just the plain numbers. Also, Absolute OpenBSD, second edition, is definitely his next book.
- Still on ssh, This Undeadly article talks about using OpenBSD, make, and ssh to speed up research.
- 20 iconic tech sounds bound for extinction. (via) Something in there will make you feel nostalgic. I like the 8mm film noise.
- Speaking of noise, here’s Famous Sounds, mostly electronically generated or sampled. (via) I guarantee some of these will be instantly familiar even though you won’t have heard the original song.
Your unrelated link of the week: Traitor. (via) It’s a Flash space shootemup game. But dragonflies show up in one part! (to shoot.)
The links are sheer entertainment this week. No strong options or anything, not even about that U.S. legislative mess called SOPA.
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Basic Instructions. Well, not totally unrelated, since BSD author Michael Lucas’s tweet about it reminded me. I’ve got the first book; I need to get the second and third.
I build this up over the course of the week, so I’m never sure what to put here. Does it matter? The meat is the links.
Your totally off-topic link for the week: Fat Birds.
Happy birthday to my younger daughter, Claire, who is 9 today. That’s a much better anniversary to celebrate today.
- A musing about the waveform and how it’s the most iconic representation of music. It’s also a holdover from analog days, if you think about it. (via)
- There seems to be a new kinda-improper activity from GoDaddy found every 6 months or so. Find yourself a new registrar, if you haven’t already.
- Here’s how you know DragonFly is actually getting somewhere: exploits show up.
- Not directly BSD related, but it’s from Colin Percival, writing as “FreeBSD Security Officer”. With the recent Diginotar news, he points out what’s the best secure certificate to forge.
- Introduction to Arduino, a comic guide. (via)
- “A jpeg is worth 1000kb“, talking about ZORK and other text adventures. Look for the twisty column of familiar phrases, all alike. The Interactive Fiction genre of game is still going surprisingly strong, so many years later.
- That article about ZORK links to this excellent, excellent exploration of the original Colossal Cave game, which led to Adventure and so many other games. Oh yeah, the author was building ARPANet at the time, too.
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Chainsawsuit.
Posted in the past, for the future. I always build these up over the week, so if the links seem dated (as in more than 24 hours old), that’s why. My commentary will add the flavor.
- This NYT story about Dwarf Fortress has been linked lots of places, but I want to point out the one paragraph:
Growing up, Tarn was enamored of Dungeons & Dragons and J.R.R. Tolkien, but he has never been a lockstep member of the geek culture so much as a wanderer on the fringes. He didn’t read superhero comics as a kid, and later, he never became obsessed with the “Game of Thrones” books, say, or with “Lost.”
Are you over 35 or so? Then maybe you remember a time when there wasn’t a designated ‘Geek Culture’. It’s something specific to a period in time, like when pay phones were still common, or when people were on average still thin. It strikes me that the interviewer assumes that a computer programmer should become consumed with a TV media event; that it’s part of what makes them what they are. It’s as if all accountants need to have brown shoes, and all artists have to wear berets and ‘get’ abstract art. Maybe I’m just hipster complaining.
- “...while Bell Labs’ parent company AT&T flatly refused to believe that packet switching would ever work” – Have I linked to Shady Characters before? I think so. Anyway, this is part 1 about the @ sign, and it’s of course talking about email and the early days of the Internet, back when it was the ARPANet. Be sure to check the references at the end of the article; it contains gems like this ad for a 65-pound portable TTY.
- Tim Paterson has a blog. DOS is his fault. Worth reading, for the early hardware details. (via ftigeot on #dragonflybsd)
- Removing the Internet’s relics. An article about how FTP should die. It will… once there’s no place where it’s needed. Like gopher!
- Comparisons like this are usually cheesy, but this one made me laugh: Text editors as Lord of the Rings locations.
Somehow, I ended up with the most concise link listing I’ve ever done, even though I have a pretty good batch here. Go figure.
I hope I can get this together.
- This article asks “Does anyone in Silicon Valley care about Windows anymore?” It’s an inflammatory title, to get you to read it, and it’s based on anecdotal ideas, but I think there’s some truth to it.
- Something similar, in hardware: I see people who care about what they run either getting a Macbook or a Thinkpad these days. (I’ve owned both, and they are nice laptops…) Let’s run with that idea, in fact: Macbook is to Thinkpad running BSD as is… iPhone is to Android phone running custom ROM? This is turning into a “levels of nerditry” sort of comparison.
- Community is your best feature, a talk about how to encourage the growth of an open source group. I link to it because it’s useful and well done, but also because it lets me feel a bit self-congratulatory; we already use many of the listed concepts in DragonFly.
- Zero knowledge user identification is interesting, though it’s not something you could apply to a lot of users. (via)
- Things found via Google: A DragonFly 2.8.2 x86_64 VMWare image on Sourceforge. Don’t know who put it there.
- This article about passwords says multiple common words make more secure passwords than adding upper/lower case and numbers to passwords. An interesting contention, though I don’t think it works as well as it’s described. (Adding ” ” into the list of possible characters isn’t as effective as having to double the list for case, for instance.)
- It’s been a while since I posted a roguelike link. Well, how about “How Rogue Ended Up On The Sofa“? (via) It very nicely draws a line connecting rogue and a whole lot of modern games.
Entertainment, this week. There’s several items here that will be more entertaining if you’re over 25. Or maybe 35. Get clicking!
Somehow I ended up with a zillion links for this week’s Lazy Reading. I hope you’ve got some spare time for this… Let’s get right into it:
- Michael Lucas, BSD book author (see links on site), has started Twittering. He’s also found the Wikileaks/NetBSD association that I didn’t know about, as Julian Assange even shows up in the NetBSD fortunes file. Also, while linking to his blog, I’ll point at his post on “Write what you don’t know“. Think of that article next time you feel you don’t know enough to contribute to something – especially open source.
- There’s a lengthy dialog on the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list about pkgsrc, and “Making it easier to get and use pkgsrc“. You can follow the whole thread on the listing page. I am all for the idea. Everybody and their brother has an App Store these days. Ports/pkgsrc are perhaps the original app store ideas, and I’d like to see them brought to the same level as these commercial entitites. This is important: pkgsrc is perhaps the only app store equivalent in existence that is not tied to a platform; that exists only to get you software rather than to provide a way to tie a platform into its developers profits.
- Hey, a roguelike zombie apocalypse game! Aw, it’s Windows-only.
- Mikel King has an editorial that sums up the many places BSD serves as an underpinning to products – a good checklist, if you don’t know of them. He’s also written an instructional article on passwordless/SSH setup.
- Along the same lines, Promote Perl by Building Great Things. This applies to BSD products too; telling people it’s great doesn’t work as well as making something great and showing that a BSD system is part of what makes it so.
- Did you know there are even BSD Certification classes in Iran? I really need to do that… though probably not at that location.
- Yacc is not dead. (via) I link to this because I had a moment of nerd excitement realizing that blog’s title is intended to look like a bang path.
- Database design ideas. There’s been a good series of posts there lately, good for anyone wanting to move beyond the basic CRUD details.
Something for everyone this week.
This Lazy Reading post actually has some good lengthy reading in it.
- Modern Perl: The Book: (actually a pre-print draft) Even if you don’t know Perl, I’ve always liked the way the author, chromatic, writes. Many articles about a language or other technical subject tend to either wander about loosely or become a ‘shopping list’ of actions, but chromatic’s work retains focus.
- Robert Watson presents Capsicum; a recent USENIX talk on Youtube. (via a number of places)
- 12 Forgotten Games – the slideshow is of most interest. (via) Online games that predate the vast swarm of today’s titles. MUDs, MUSHs, roguelikes, etc. The nice thing about the slideshow is the link on each slide to a still-running, still-accessible online version of that game.
- Kieron Gillen‘s moving away from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, a gaming review site that has some honest to goodness decent writing. (My Lazy Reading posts are similar to their Sunday Papers for a reason.) One of his articles was all about ZangbandTK. I was all set to link to that in pkgsrc, but it’s not there – just games/angband-tty and games/angband-x11. Darnit. Anyway, read his article and then go play something roguelike.
I totally meant to post this yesterday. Oops!
- We’re using toeplitz. I just like the name; I don’t understand how it works.
- The idea of software forks has been around since, oh, BSD and System V Unix diverged, if not earlier. Here’s an article that talks about forking in general, rather breathlessly. After reading that, read this perhaps more accurate fork parody. (via)
- You know what we could use for pkgsrc, and all the other port/package collections? Explanation. They face the same problem phone application stores face: too many programs to easily select what you need. You could certainly build a whole site just around package reviews; it’s even possible to argue that Ubuntu or PC-BSD are built around just making some 3rd-party-app choices ahead of time on an existing operating system. Anyway, here’s an article talking about that idea specifically around the Apple App Store. Please won’t somebody who is not me do something like that for pkgsrc?
- This writeup of one man’s experience with Forth gives a good feel for the language, or at least as good a feel as I can understand. Posted in memoriam for our recently departed Forth bootloader. (via) There’s other enjoyable articles on that blog, too.
- This describes about two years of my life, except it was mostly Zangband.
I’m really behind on my posting (this is why), so I’m piling a lot of stuff in here:
- Yoinked from #dragonflybsd/EFNet IRC: Hiding sentences in IPv6 addresses.
- Red Hat did it: opensource.com. Good articles, but your eyeballs may get fatigued from reading the word ‘open’ too many times.
- Technically, this should have animated spacewar, not pong.
- Hypergit, a git plugin for vim, with a contextual menu. (via I forget) Also, digerati, a color scheme for both vim and terminal. (via)
- The Winter 2010 edition of the BSDA study DVD is out.
- Hey, this is vaguely like what Matt’s doing with disk cache. Well, not really, but it’s a good idea.
- More Crawlapalooza at @Play.
- The February issue of the Open Source Business Resource is out, with this issue’s theme being “startups”.
Still not used to typing “2010”.
- I have no idea if bup is a worthwhile backup tool or even if it would compile on DragonFly, but more products should be described this way. (via)
- I’ve seen plenty of articles along the lines of “Open Source and X”, where the article explains at great length how open source in certain situations can work well. “Doing It Wrong” comes at it from a different direction.
- BSD Magaine is going free, meaning it’s a free download starting with the February issue. The site says “sign up for our newsletter and get every issue straight to your inbox” – the correct link is “Newsletter” on the upper right corner of the page. PDFs of the print issues are available too.
- The Open Source Business Resource is now publishing weekly articles in addition to their monthly issue. The inaugural article is “Avatar, Open Source and Humanity 2.0” by Stephen Huddart, and the second is “Do, Delegate, Defer” by the wonderfully-named Emma Jane Hogbin.
- Why you should use OpenGL and not DirectX: linked many places. It’s a good argument, which reminds me… anyone want to work on DRM for DragonFly? It could use some loving.
- A Python script that takes your picture and uploads it every time a merge (in Mercurial) fails. Someone make this work for Git, please. (via)
- Speaking of Git, here’s a way to get auto-complete of git commands and local/remote branches in bash.
- The latest @Play covers the new, developing roguelike Dungeon Crawl, part 1 of many. It’s listed as running on “all the BSDs”, though I don’t see it in pkgsrc. It is playable via telnet to other servers, though.
Everything that _why the lucky stiff did. (via) _why is one of those things that only the Internet lets exist. And he used DragonFly!
Roguelike games, evaluated via the Berlin Interpretation, on @Play. Also, a dedicated Roguelike handheld?
Naoya Sugioka is working on bringing tmpfs to DragonFly – I am a big fan of that idea.
top now uses CTIME, not WCPU.
The National Center for the History of Electronic Games is looking for tangible artifacts having to do with old text-based games, like Adventure or Zork. The article includes some history, too.
(This place is in my town, and it’s eye-bleedingly awesome. I predict that a few years from now, when people realize what this is, it will become a game history Mecca along the lines of PAX.)
I’ll indulge myself in a bit of roguelike enjoyment: the @Play column is targeting roguelike equipment types, starting with Potions and Scrolls. Loot!
The latest @Play column, “A Date With Asuka“, covers an unlicensed Japan-only roguelike in 3D for the Dreamcast. I had to think about that sentence very carefully in order to type it; @Play is seeking out more esoteric roguelike variants than I thought possible.
The latest @Play column talks not about specific roguelikes, but rather programming them, delving into python programming. It’s a new level of nerdy.
This time, it’s what happens when you take Rogue, export it to Japan, and then see what you get back as a Sega Genesis console game.
I had no idea there were so many permutations of roguelike games. A few years ago, I’d have listed rogue, nethack, moria, [zmw]angband, and ADOM, and felt like I covered it all.
Another installment in my continuing obsession with roguelikes: Nethack, implemented as an AJAX application. (via)