Lazy Reading for 2011/10/16

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.

  • The Binding of Issac.  It’s a roguelike, with shooter elements.  It’s also creepy.  Here’s the Flash demo.  (Windows and Mac only, aww.)
  • Why transparency is a good idea.  (via…  Michael Lucas?  I lost track, sorry)
  • The JFDI Theory of Language Adoption.  This applies to operating systems too; create the shortest possible path between people and what they want to do on that OS.
  • NetBSD has added SQLite to the base system.  (via)  Interesting…  having a database(ish) always available leads to some new ways to keep data, outside of the usually “stuff in a text file” format.

Your totally off-topic link for the week: Fat Birds.

Lazy Reading for 2011/10/09

Getting close to 2.12 release…

Lazy Reading for 2011/10/02

Yep, fall hits and it’s easier to find links.

Your unrelated link of the week: Scientific Illustration.  Not a comic, but still visually interesting.

Lazy Reading for 2011/09/25

This week’s Lazy Reading just built itself up quickly; autumn arrives in the northern hemisphere and suddenly a lot more activity starts going on.

There are four ways to deal with system damage: 1) reliability, 2) redundancy, 3) repair, and 4) replacement.

Lazy Reading for 2011/09/18

I might have a job open at my workplace soon, for a junior admin/support/network role.  (Department is too small for narrowly defined roles…)  I’ll post about it here if it happens.

  • libguestfs, ‘tools for accessing and modifying virtual machine disk images’.  (via)  I can think of a lot of places that could be useful.
  • I did not know this, but FreshBSD tracks DragonFly commits, along with the commit logs of most (all?) other BSDs.
  • Bruce Perens set up a “Covenant” license for the HPCC database (powers Lexis/Nexis) that is actually pretty good at allowing something to be both open source and commerical; the ‘release notes‘ talk about it.
  • I agree with these sentiments on hiring exactly.  If you really like what you do, you don’t just do it at work.  (The author’s followup.)  Putting it in a more positive light, showing work on open source, outside of your workplace, is a great thing to add to your resume.  Never trust the graphic designer with sloppy handwriting.
  • The majority of the 10 most stable web providers out there are running a BSD.  FreeBSD, in this case.  (via, via(why does Twitter make it so hard to link to things?  Cause they don’t want you reading the web – just them.)
  • Usenet, as of 1981, with posts arriving in actual time (-30 years).  (via)  You can even use a NNTP reader to connect.  Similar to but not as colossal as telehack, mentioned here before.
  • DragonFly deployment.
  • I am so proud of myself for coming up with this joke.

Your unrelated comics link of the week: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.  It used to mostly be violent and nonsensical, but recent strips are excellent, like this one or this.

Lazy Reading for 2011/09/11

Happy birthday to my younger daughter, Claire, who is 9 today.  That’s a much better anniversary to celebrate today.

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Chainsawsuit.

Lazy Reading for 2011/09/04

It’s almost the end of summer here, or at least the traditional end of summer in North America.  About time, too!  I don’t like the heat.  Anyway, as people trickle back to school, some more interesting doodads should show up for these weekly Lazy Reading posts…

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Jack Kirby art on what would have been his 94th birthday.  I have trouble communicating how dramatic and influential his art has been.

Lazy Reading for 08/21/2011

Ah, August.  The month where everybody goes on vacation.  I’ve been gone off and on for the last few weeks, so my link collection has been slower, but I’ve been able to keep up something.

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Nedroid.  “Beartato” is one of the best names ever.

Yeah, unrelated links seem to always be comics.  They offer the most reading.

Lazy Reading for 2011/08/14

This is a shorter version of a Lazy Reading post, but it’s linking to some extensive writing.  Yay for having other people make up for my brevity!

Your unrelated link of the day: the comics of Lucy Knisley.  (follow the ‘Previous’ links for more)

Lazy Reading for 2011/07/17

Man, it’s like the whole Internet decided to take a nap lately.  Warm weather in the northern hemisphere does that.

Lazy Reading for 2011/07/03

I digress mightily this week, so I’m not doing the bullet points.

You probably heard of this already, but hey, look!  DragonFly BSD, ubersearched.

Along with all the other Google announcements recently, there’s the Data Liberation Front.  This, I bet, is the one product that only Google creates.

While on that whole topic, I see ads now that contain a URL on Facebook rather than the product’s website itself.  It makes me think of years ago, when commercials would list the “AOL Keyword” for people to look up.  Yeah, that worked out just dandy.  There’s a similar perspective that goes for writers (via).

The Eternal Shame of Your First Online Handle. (via lots of places)  Here’s my story.  It was, and still is, “Fupjack”.  Years and years ago, a friend of mine had a friend named Zack.  Zack was interesting like a car accident; he was famous for screaming “Give a hoot!  Don’t pollute!” and flinging a Big Gulp drink into oncoming traffic while driving down the highway.  He also destroyed both front tires of his car by ramming a parking lot median at 40mph.

Anyway, apparently he yelled something rude at a woman at some public event, and what she yelled back sounded like “something something fupjack!”  I wasn’t there, but from then on, “fupjack” was the default name we’d use whenever we needed one.  People certainly mispronounce it in interesting ways…

Lazy Reading for 2011/06/26

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.

 

Lazy reading for 2011/06/12

A nice big pile of links this week.  Some of these may have cropped other places by now, but oh well.

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/29

Whee!

  • Do you like the Opera browser?  Apparently all it takes is a little misspelling to confuse it with a U.S. daytime talk show host.  The “Best of Oprah emails to Opera“.   (via)  Mistaken identity on the Internet is always fun.
  • Popular free software licenses, described.  (via)  One of the better, non-polemic descriptions I’ve seen.
  • For the opposite effect, the Free Software Foundation’s license recommendations.  Somehow, the BSD license isn’t even mentioned.  (via)  A commenter at the source link notes that the GNU Free Documentation License isn’t even considered ‘free’ by Debian.  Along those lines, I’ve always thought that GPL licensing creates a perverse incentive to keep your software undocumented.
  • The FreeBSD and NetBSD Foundations have acquired a license for libcxxrt from PathScale, which I assume is for C++ support in conjunction with clang.  (or pcc?)  This isn’t as much of an issue for DragonFly right now since we’re continuing down the GCC route.
  • Temple of the Roguelike, a searchable database of roguelike games.  It’s an idea that you would totally expect for this genre.  (via trevorjk on EFNet #dragonflybsd)  Also: a roguelikedev subreddit.

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/15

This week: lots more reading!

  • Michael Lucas describes an extra layer of protection for when you can’t force public key usage on every SSH user.
  • Cool, but obscure Unix tools (via)  The screenshots are all from a Mac… How many of the 24 tools listed are in pkgsrc/pkgsrc-wip?   Almost all of them.  (tpp sounds entertaining.)
  • NYCBUG, in addition to having a really fun convention, has been regularly posting audio of the presentations they host.  The most recent is “William Baxter’s NYCBUG presentation on The Unix Method of Development Management”.   See the BSD Events tweet for the download.
  • What Ubuntu means.  (via)
  • Here’s a nice explanation of Intel’s new Tri-Gate design and with it, an incidental explanation of the processor market.
  • This ycombinator post about Hammer2 work has an in-depth comment from Venkatesh Srinivas about DragonFly’s network setup, memory allocator, and token use.  (Ignore the trolling in other comments.)
  • Michael Lucas’s next No Starch Press book is Absolute OpenBSD, second edition.
  • Pictures and video are starting to show up from the just-passed BSDCan 2011. (via this and also thesjg on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
  • My first experience of The Internet was very similar to this.  It should be bizarrely unfamiliar to anyone under 20 or so.  (via)  Get this: I typed ‘exit’ instead of just closing the browser window when I was done messing with it, because some habits cannot be broken.

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/08

Let’s see, what do I have now…

  • Did you know we just released DragonFly 2.1?  Neither did I.
  • The AppleCrate II (][?), a set of parallel Apple //e systems.  It makes me so happy.  I love to see how simple uncomplex the old Apple systems were, almost at the level of programmable logic controllers today.  I was struck by the fact that the Apple //e requires less than 5 volts, which means it could run off a USB port.  (via lots of places)
  • Removing the internet’s relics: a call to kill FTP now that it’s 40 years old.  There’s no easy alternative, though…
  • 20 years of Adobe Photoshop.  (via)  Obviously that’s not found on any BSD platform, but almost every raster-based image editor out there tries to emulate Photoshop in some way, on every platform.  It casts a long shadow.  Plus, I remember the Photoshop 2.0 loading screen, so now I feel old.
  • Is tech blogging becoming worse? i.e not really tech any more?  I’ve mumbled about this before, since this site is arguably a tech blog.  Sites tend to diversify and lose focus to grow their audience.  You can see the same pattern in the magazine market, back when there was a magazine market.  You don’t have to worry about the Digest – I’m targeting BSD users, so I’m totally not growing my audience!  (Joking, joking.  Readership is staying even to slightly up, over the last while.)

On a separate note that has nothing to do with DragonFly: if you live outside the United States and have a postcard handy, can you send it to “St. John Neumann School, 31 Empire Blvd.,  Rochester, NY 14609 USA”?  My daughters’ school is collecting international postcards this month as part of their geography lesson.  It doesn’t have to have anything specific, other than be interesting to 8-year-olds.

 

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/01

There hasn’t been much to nab for Lazy Reading, lately.  Oh well.  The last few weeks were good so it has to even out sometime.

  • Did you know GBC stands for Great Ball Contraption, a Lego device designed to move little plastic balls?  Here’s 20 of them chained together.  (via b3ta)
  • The original University POSTGRES.   (thanks, Jan)  This is a source for PostgreSQL, as far as I can tell, which makes it in some ways contemporary to BSD’s origins.  I am not surprised.  PostgreSQL seems to be the thinking person’s alternative to MySQL like BSD is the thinking person’s alternative to Linux.
  • Do you have a pf.conf?  The people behind fwbuilder can use it for examples, so they can support pf in their config builder.  (via)

Lazy Reading for 2011/04/17

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.

Lazy Reading for 2011/04/13

Get out your wallet!  I encourage purchasing here.

  • You should buy a SSD.  Not necessarily news to you, but that article does a good job of summarizing why.
  • On the other hand, SSD prices are already on their way up/availability is way down.  Japan’s disasters are having a ripple effect through the high-tech supply chain.  Either buy immediately or get ready to wait for a while…
  • Introduction to Architecting Systems for Scale – you either don’t care, or find scaling questions immediately engaging.  I am one of the latter, so here’s the link.
  • I’ve been watching pkgsrc-changes@netbsd.org for a little while.  One thing I’ve discovered: there’s a lot of updates going on!  Another thing that’s nice to see: DragonFlyupdates, including ones that help with our move to gcc 4.4.
  • Aw, no more Kermit.  (via)  Not that I have a use for it at this point, but still: aww.  I bet in about 10 years I’ll say the same thing about… gopher?  Remember that?  It’s not even supported in Firefox 4 now, which kinda makes me feel sad.  And old.
  • Server plans: Facebook vs. Google.  (warning: Facebook article is somewhat giddy.)
  • The infinite hard drive.  (via I lost it, sorry)

Here’s an extra little thing: next time you’re dealing with dusty computer equipment, remember this picture:

That is what happens to an exposed RJ45 port after a few years in a salt mine (my employer).  This was inside an enclosed, mostly-sealed  structure, too.

Lazy Reading for 2011/04/03

Getting into the swing of this link collection thing…