Lazy Reading for 2012/11/25

It’s ‘old week’!

Your unrelated link of the week: Disused Rochester Subway.  I used to work about half a mile from one end of this structure, and have been in several of the locations pictured.  (via)

Holiday Buying Guide

Shopping!  This is the big holiday shopping weekend in the US, and I usually put together something here.

If you have suggestions, please comment!

Two very specific tools, upgraded

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.

Also, Sepherosa Ziehau has updated the pktgen program to generate even more packets, even at relatively low CPU clock speeds.

SMBIOS access now possible

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.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.

Lazy Reading for 2012/11/18

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.

Your unrelated link of the week: The Useless Web.  Random single-purpose sites, and oddly compelling.  (via)

Ecumenical BSD

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.

Lazy Reading for 2012/11/11

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.

Your unrelated link of the week: This roundup of ultrarealist human sculpture.  You’ve probably seen Ron Mueck‘s art before, at least.

MSI-X for the masses

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.