Happy new year! Regular posting should resume soon now that my holidays are over.
- I like the line, “Please note that BSD manpages are usually better as compare to Linux” [sic] found on this odd page of where to find documentation.
- Hey, this encryption of DNS requests is a good idea. Then again, so is DNSSEC. I’ve done neither.
- Stop using GoDaddy, if you can. There’s plenty of reasons, other than support for SOPA.
- There’s got to be at least one reader who gets this joke.
- If you don’t mind digging through all the comments in this Slashdot article about building a desktop environment, there’s some neat descriptions of different window managers and so on.
- A mild brain teaser to start the year: a regular expression to find prime numbers.
- This is a nice description of just what the Archive Team does. (via)
- The Coming War on General Purpose Computing. Sometimes the stuff on BoingBoing gives me the same irritated feeling as sensationalistic Wired articles, but this one is good to read if you happen to be working on your own operating system. Also, the similar thing with APIs.
- This “best tech writing of 2011” summary on Verge (via) led me to this excellent article: “The Web Is a Customer Service Medium“. There’s lots more reading in that summary.
- I’ve seen this mentioned before, but now it’s with a graph so it’s better! On the continuing decline of the GPL.
- OK, I admit graphs are not always a good idea. (via)
- Trivium, from which I yoinked that last link, also has an blog from its author, Chris Neukirchen. It’s not updated often but there’s some entertaining sysadmin tidbits on there, such as going all-ed, or zsh tips, or Why I use the MIT license.
Your completely unrelated link of the day: Tiny Legs of Fire. (video) Worth it for the origin of Beardslap.
(Sorry about the giant text block. This isn’t as readable as I’d like.)
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.
Last week was low on links, but this week is great! I hope you have some time set aside.
- This article “The Strange Birth and Long Life of UNIX” has a picture of a PDP-11. I don’t know if I ever actually saw one and knew it before. (via)
- Also from the same place: Window Managers Bloodlines.
- Anecdotal, but probably true. (via luxh on EFNet #dragonfly)
- nginx is the new cool and unpronounceable web server these days, apparently. Michael Lucas covers how to transition static Apache sites over to it.
- This PDF showing slides from the recent NYCBUG presentation by Ike Levy, titled “Inappropriate Cloud Use”, is entertaining, and makes a good point. Cloud computing is cheap on a per month basis, but since it’s a reoccurring cost, it can cost a surprisingly large amount in the long run. (via)
- Hey, a patch for DragonFly (and other BSD) support in Google’s leveldb.
- “Don’t Be a Free User” (via) The last paragraph is the best.
- An expanded grep and diff. ‘grep’ and ‘diff’ have been present for so long, and people understand what they do, generally, that new tools get named after them just because the concept is ingrained in people’s minds. Note that I said “generally”, as regular expressions can be difficult. (via)
- A lot of people don’t realize how they infringe on copyright. This writeup describes something I’ve seen for years: people think a disclaimer that effectively says “I’m infringing but I’m doing it with the best of intentions” makes a difference. It doesn’t.
- So this is what that Xerox Star GUI interface looked like. You know, the ‘first’ desktop GUI. (via) Also, there was some advanced stuff in 1968.
- I like this indicator light setup. (also via luxh on EFNet #dragonflybsd) There’s some other interesting old computer stuff at that site too. I wish there still were computers like these.
- While we’re talking about old things with a certain feel to them, why not Battersea Power Station? Here’s some pictures. (via)
Your unrelated link of the day: Since we’re talking about old things and environments, why not look at some pictures of my workplace?
Another week, another linkpile.
- Here’s some old software. I’ve got something older sitting on my shelf here, though.
- A patch to DragonFly, taken from OpenBSD, submitted by Loganaden Velvindron and committed by Venkatesh Srinivas. The patch isn’t that exciting, but it makes me feel cool to namedrop non-Americanized names. If only I could pronounce them!
- Speaking of which, there isn’t always a lot of comments on this Digest (which is good; a long series of comments on the Internet tend to be the result of trolling or inanity.), but the recent strlen() story led to some juicy details.
- Man, I wish this NoteSlate device existed. There’s the BoogieBoard, but it’s not quite the same.
I’ll make up for my relatively low number of links by asking a question: Where do you go for your end of year gift giving? Where do you wish people would go to buy you gifts? I’m looking for suggestions for a gift guide.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Gun Show. This one and that one are my favorites.
Happy (post) Turkey Day for the U.S. readers! A light link week this week.
- Facebook is bad for the Internet. ‘Gaslighting’ is a new term to me. As that article points out, I can’t even put my posts to the Digest onto Facebook in any sort of automated way. Facebook suggests that of course I’d love to retype them all by hand. That’s not realistic. Facebook doesn’t want any sort of useful external link to be visible to their customers. Customers isn’t actually the right word; the customers are the advertisers. What would be a better word for the users? Crop?
- “the internet is above and beyond all else a resentment machine.” It’s a very long essay that points out people are confusing brand identity with personal identity. (via)
- You know what would be good? More conversations about games on BSD, cause it could use some attention. Oh hey there you go.
- A Dragonfly lamp (via Julian Gehtdichgarnichtsan)
Your unrelated link of the week: Animals Talking In All Caps. It is what it says it is.
Hey, the date’s sorta palindromic! Sorta.
- “Bundled, Buried and Behind Closed Doors” – a video description of the physical parts of the Internet. Remember when MAE-East or MAE-West would have a bad day and half the Internet felt it? Really, half. I don’t think I’m exaggerating. (via)
- Google has a verbatim search mode now, for those of you who regret the loss of ‘+’ as a required search term designator. (via and also sort of via) There’s always alternatives.
- “The expr program is a real piece of crap.” Laser-focused complaining about a small program that’s had 4 decades to improve, and hasn’t.
- “Mechanics for Pure Aesthetics” The videos are interesting, and I’m linking to this because so much of what I post here and deal with is focused computer work. Everything is a tool, with a purpose, and a result that you expect. This idea of machinery or even software having a purpose other than result generation is underexplored. There’s lots of tools to create art, but there’s little that is art itself. Even with that general lack, we still get excited when the edge of some sort of aesthetic appeal nudges its way into the materials we use. You could argue that Apple’s success (for instance) comes from being the one company that consistently thinks about what a product is, instead of what it does.
- If you use fastcgi, you may need the patch that this blog post talks about. Also, apache-mpm-prefork is the better choice for Apache on DragonFly.
- “DragonFly mug shot“
Your random comic link of the day: Calamity of Challenge. Also here. And here. If this artist’s way of drawing grabs you like it grabs me, he has pages and commissions for sale.
I’m going for more verbose linking. Because my opinion layered over a bunch of linkblogging is just what you wanted on a weekend, isn’t it? If not – too late!
- NYCBUG posts audio of their regular presentations, and I’m linking to this one by James K. Lowden, titled “Free Database Systems: What They Should Be, And Why You Should Care“. He was one of the more colorful speakers at NYCBSDCon 2010, so this should be good.
- It’s Slashdot, so whatever, but this “In Favor of FreeBSD On the Desktop” linked story had a few good comments – BSD hasn’t done enough to differentiate itself from Linux. “BSD: In Need of a Narrative“. Or perhaps, “Who cares if it’s clang or it’s gcc – what do you build with it?“
- I read this essay about social networks (via), and the last paragraph is an excellent summation. Read it, then cancel your Facebook/Google Plus/whatever accounts.
- Xv6 is a modern version of Sixth Edition UNIX, used at MIT for teaching operating system design. (via) The source is available via git, and as a numbered PDF. The book for the class should make interesting reading. Oh, you can see the class details, too.
- FOSDEM 2012 in Brussels, February 5th, 09:00 – 17:00: “Open Source Game Dev”. Get on the mailing list if this interests you. Microsoft operating systems still rule the market for games, really, even indie work, so it’s neat to see something that is both open source and game oriented. There will be BSD “devrooms” there, too.
- If you are looking for a particular Unicode character (and there’s lots to choose from), Shapecatcher lets you draw what you are looking for and looks for matches. (via) I’ve needed that here a few times for people’s names, and it’s fun just to see what comes up from a random scribble.
Your unrelated link of the week: The New Shelton Wet/Dry. Titles, content, and images are all picked from unrelated sources, but it forms an oddly compelling digest of multiple topics. Slightly NSFW, sometimes.
A bumper crop of articles to read this week.
- Ruby went to a BSD license. That’s nice to see. Commence licensing argument in 3… 2…
- DragonFly BSD on Ohloh hasn’t been updated in months – it should be noticing new commits automatically. Don’t know why. Any more vigorous users of Ohloh that know why?
- “Which OSS clustered file system should I use?” The commenters point out something that many people mix up: RAID redundancy is not backups.
- I always enjoy accounts of completely ineffective break-in attempts.
- In praise of “crap” technology. I must admit, I love just looking at stuff like what Brando sells, or various surplus sites. It’s never high-end fancy, but that is part of the appeal, as the linked article notes.
- Think of this speech the next time someone asks you for help online, no matter how accessible the answer.
- 20 years of Vim. Vim started on the Amiga, of all places. That would make vi itself about eleventy kajillion years old. Does it predate the release of 1BSD? I don’t know. Looking at a BSD family tree to see what I could learn, I also found that QNX was originally QUNIX. I didn’t know that either. Everything leads back to UNIX, really. I look forward to Jeremy C. Reed’s book about this early history…
- This electronic music site entertains me, for it is also available in amber. (You have to have seen monochrome monitors circa 1982 or so to understand…)
- Speaking of 1982, you may enjoy Nintendo Legend, CRPG Addict, and Blogging Ultima. (via trevorjk on #dragonflybsd IRC)
Random unrelated link for the week: “War Photographer“. This animation makes me so happy.
It’s snowing in the northeast U.S., which makes me happy! Keep going, sky!
- Richard Stallman’s requirements when giving talks/lectures. (via) I read this not unreasonable but long list and thought about it. Every requirement on there probably has an experience/story behind it… (“If you can find a host for me that has a friendly parrot, I will be very very glad.” – so this)
- Continuing the famous computer people trend of dying, John McCarthy died. He invented LISP (((insert parentheses joke here))) among other things, and wrote this story. (also via)
- I mentioned issues over the time zone database previously, but there’s a new home, and we’re still getting updates in DragonFly.
- And, it’s Dennis Ritchie Day. (via) That linked article does a good job of describing just how universal his influence has been.
- 64-bit ARM chips. (design PDF) This is just the announcement, but I bet these will be a good porting target in the next year or two if these designs wander out into the general market. (via many places)
- I’ve linked to similar deals before, but this one’s quite cheap: the Power Squid power strip sold as surplus. I find the design and name both great.
- Speaking of names, “I think Dragonfly is the coolest, cuz of the name.“
- I like this article on web advertising just because it has blocked-out screenshots that show exactly how much space gets used up by ads.
Unrelated link of the week: Manly Guys Doing Manly Things. Most of the jokes revolve around games you may or may not know, with the occasional realistic experience that I’ve had myself.
Not a lot of links this week, for some reason.
Your unrelated comics link for the week: Oglaf. This week’s OK, but it’s frequently NSFW, and frequently hilarious.
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.
Getting close to 2.12 release…
Yep, fall hits and it’s easier to find links.
- DragonFly morphology. The insect, not the operating system, though that would make an interesting diagram.
- Stick your pinkie in the corner of your mouth, Dr. Evil style, and say, “One MEEELion TCP connections on BSD!“. (via several retweets)
- Sudo vs. SSH public keys.
- The app store concept is taking over. Not that it’s a totally bad thing! We could implement one for pkgsrc, and should. (via)
- A nice (OpenBSD-centric) walkthrough of routing. (via)
- Ooh, decent disk benchmarks. I wish there were graphs, of course.
- I think this happens to most CS grads; you sit around one day and say to yourself, “Hey, I could write an operating system!” This forum post shows someone getting that idea and then realizing it’s not necessarily the goal he wanted. Why do I link to it? I appreciate the optimism.
- Or you can just build a functioning computer in Minecraft. This sort of thing has been happening for a while – this movie is just a link to the craziest example I’ve seen so far.
Your unrelated link of the week: Scientific Illustration. Not a comic, but still visually interesting.
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.
- 9vx, Plan 9 as a user process. (sorta like a vkernel?) Via Sascha Wildner on IRC.
- Found at the same location: You are not expected to understand this.
- Michael W. Lucas, sometime BSD author, has 3 short horror stories available for free, for a limited time. Be warned; there’s no BSD in these stories, as far as I can tell. In fact, they contain genuine horror, not “and then… the server ran Windows ME!” kind of nerd horror.
- Also from Mr. Lucas, it’s always nice to see DragonFly hit production.
- A nice explanation of the recent TLS vulnerability. (via)
- Chumby creator Bunnie Huang’s look at future hardware is optimistic, but I like it. If nothing else, it implies easier driver support. If that names seems familier, Bunnie’s MicroSD saga was previously linked here. (via)
- This short Overcoming Bias post is about nanotech, but a certain sentence in there struck me as a good way to determine how you plan out your computer infrastructure (via):
There are four ways to deal with system damage: 1) reliability, 2) redundancy, 3) repair, and 4) replacement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Man, it’s like the whole Internet decided to take a nap lately. Warm weather in the northern hemisphere does that.