Lazy Reading for 2012/01/01

Happy new year!  Regular posting should resume soon now that my holidays are over.

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.)

Lazy Reading for 2011/12/18

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.

Lazy Reading for 12/11/11

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?

Lazy Reading for 2011/12/04

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.

Lazy Reading for 2011/11/27

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.


Lazy Reading for 2011/11/20

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.

Lazy Reading for 2011/11/13

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.

Lazy Reading for 2011/11/06

A bumper crop of articles to read this week.

Random unrelated link for the week: “War Photographer“.  This animation makes me so happy.

Lazy Reading for 2011/10/30

It’s snowing in the northeast U.S., which makes me happy!  Keep going, sky!

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.

Lazy Reading for 2011/10/23

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.

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.