Lazy Reading for 2012/09/30

It’s been an extremely busy week for me, but I still have a batch of links here.

Your unrelated link of the week: Did you know one of the original ideas was to name DragonFly “TortoiseBSD” “TurtleBSD”?  Probably not the best name.

Lazy Reading for 2012/09/23

The weather is finally turning cooler, which makes me happy.

  • I don’t think I’ve seen this before: Very old UNIX releases, listed for running in emulation.  (via)
  • Where the red-black tree name came from.  A red-black tree underpins Hammer 1’s data structures, though it does not in Hammer 2.  (also via)
  • Someone with a HP passport login want to help this guy?  He just needs to reinstall Windows in IDE mode, or perhaps find the right sysctl to toggle.
  • The acme editor, from Plan 9.  I didn’t realize it’s 20 years old.
  • Speaking of editors, Replace in Multiple Files with Vim.  I haven’t seen the argdo command before, or the Vim Ninjas site.  Their color schemes article is useful just for the screenshots. (via)
  • Adbuntu.  It’s not as bad or as inconsequential as most reactions would lead you to believe, but advertising within an OS seems heavy-handed.  The BSD model has been to use the operating system as a vehicle for selling hardware, and that’s been much more successful.  (see iOS, PC-BSD.)
  • Where Did the Internet Come From?
  • The map for Adventure.  (via)

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.

Posting but not reading mailing lists

The old mailing list software for mailing lists, bestserv, apparently allowed people not subscribed to a list to post to it, after answering a confirmation message for each message posted.

The closest way to duplicate that for Mailman is to sign up for the list you want, and then turn off mail delivery for your email address in the config page for that mailing list.  This won’t affect a lot of people, since most people want list output in their mailbox, but there’s at least a few I’ve fixed that way.

A flurry of fixes and scheduler improvements

The combination of Mihai Carabas’s successful Summer of Code work on the scheduler and the recent Postgres benchmarking got Matthew Dillon to start thinking about making UNIX domain sockets work better, a shortcut around the buffer cache, scheduler improvements and then a new default scheduler, along with a change in idle CPU behavior.  The best place to understand all the changes is in his long post to users@.

We should have benchmarks soon to show the performance improvements from all this.

SYSV shared memory vs. mmap

Francois Tigeot benchmarked the recent Postgres 9.3 release.  Postgres apparently switched to using mmap instead of SYSV shared memory, and Francois has done this to show the performance differences.  (view the PDF in his post.)  Of course, work has continued since this was posted, so there should be new numbers soon, and new changes I’ll document in a future post.

I haven’t found a reference to the exact decision Postgres made on how to handle memory; please post a link in comments if you know a good source.

Lazy Reading for 2012/09/16


  • What will you have: tea or chai?  Mapping out all the names for tea around the world.  I love etymology and tea, and I know there’s some tea drinkers reading…  (via)
  • Speaking of tea, this London universal tea device sounds awesome.  (via)
  • Uncle Miod’s machineroom.  There’s some pictures of some old hardware buried in there that was incredibly expensive when it first came out…   (via)
  • This security issue is interesting because it’s a new kind of problem, but also depressing because it’s a new kind of problem.  (via)
  • Apparently a packaging system is always a good idea.  (explanation)
  • A patient explanation of /usr/local and a bit of UNIX file system history, too.  (via)
  • The history of Unix from where it happened, Bell Labs.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t linked to that before.  Interesting trivia note: playing the original Space Travel game in 1969 cost $75 for the computer time.(via)

Your unrelated link of the week: Top Shelf is having their annual $3+ comics sale.  There’s some really good books for cheap, there.  Of special note: From Hell, about Jack the Ripper, drawn by my favorite artist.  Wizzywig, mentioned here before as a fictional mishmash of real stories and rumors about hackers and BBSes and other things people need to be a certain age to remember.  The Ticking, drawn by Renée French, whose art should be familiar to fans of Plan 9 or Go.