Seen on Ycombinator News, the Vim and Vi Tips e-book on Amazon is _free_ today, and possibly just today. It’s a Kindle book, but there’s software Kindle readers from Amazon if you don’t have one.
I seem to include a vi/vim tip every week. It’s not on purpose, or at least it wasn’t until now.
- vimwiki – maintain a wiki within Vim. Not as extreme an idea as you’d think. (via)
- Oh yeah, something about git too. How about “10 Things I Hate About Git“? (same via)
- Revisiting the 2002 Radio Shack Catalog. Drop your phone/tablet and look at this. It’s only 10 years old. (via)
- The ELF Tool Chain project. This is a good idea. I found out about it by reading this description of the build system they are working on. (via)
- I’m sure anyone reading this is familiar with BSD – license, history, and so on. But are you familiar with the BSD battles with GRizzEAT?
- The apparently accidental origin of dotfiles, from Rob Pike. I wish his Google+ page had an RSS feed. (via)
- Speaking of Google things, did you know there’s a Google Store? Where you can buy such things as a light-up dog leash with the Google logo? And a Go Gopher Tote. Actually, the tote is kinda neat.
- Is the Go Gopher a Renee French illustration like Glenda, the Plan 9 bunny? Apparently yes. It’s from a WFMU t-shirt, and Renee French has a number of comics you can buy. Her Marbles in my Underpants book is one of the more disturbing things I’ve ever read.
- If you aren’t familiar with WFMU, you really should be. It’s my second-favorite radio station after my local college station, WBER.
- When I wander off track, I run.
Your unrelated link of the week: a thorough investigation of the history of the ‘long s’ character, via. If that’s too cerebral for you, try this video of a man making turkeys gobble, which made me laugh and laugh.
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“
A position opened up for a junior systems administrator at my workplace. You have to be willing to live near Rochester, NY, administrate a mix of Windows and unixy machines, do desktop support, and network management. (e.g. everything possible) The work environment is neat, informal, and somewhat adverse. I’ll have a job description soon, I hope.
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
simpleuncomplex 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.
Normally I hold this for Sunday, but I’ve got a good batch of links already. Something here for everyone, this week.
- A git cheatsheet, and another git cheatsheet. I may have linked to the latter one before, as it looks vaguely familiar. Anyway, bookmark. (Thanks, luxh on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- What should you do about bad blocks on a disk? Get a new disk.
- If you ever wanted to port software, there’s a pkgsrc developer’s guide (thanks Francois Tigeot) that shows you how.
- It’s NOT LINUX, for the billionth time. It’s BSD UNIX (certified, even) under there!
- “Children of the Cron“. An entertaining pun. (via)
- Nothing to do with BSD, or even computers, really: Gary Gorton, interviewed about the recent financial crisis, at a Fed bank website (!?). Interesting because I like economic matters, and because it’s the first web page where I’ve ever seen pop-up links added usefully, as a sort of footnote that you don’t have to scroll. (via)
- Michael Lucas recently had a machine broken into. Since everything on the machine is suspect, he’s using Netflow data to figure out when it happened, and how, which is not surprising given his most recent book. He has two posts describing how he backtracks his way to the probable source.
I did this last year and the year before, so why not make a habit of it? I get no commissions; these are mostly places I’ve shopped or plan to shop. It’s based on “This would be SO COOL to have”, and nothing else.
Bookwise, Jeremy C. Reed publishes a number of BSD–related books. Buy his stuff through Amazon. There’s also No Starch Press, which has a number of BSD publications. (and LEGO, too?) And of course O’Reilly, for a bunch of things.
Nice things to do:
The FreeBSD Foundation is having an end-of-year appeal for funds, so you can donate in someone’s name. The NetBSD Foundation probably accepts donations, though I don’t have a specific page to link to for that.
Donations to the Itojun Service Award fund are also a good thing.
Everything else I could think of:
- MAKE Magazine subscriptions
- SparkFun Electronics (I want one of their Port-O-Rotary phones),
- Topatoco shirts and books
- Klein bottles
- RLT.com (check out the many subsites linked there)
Further suggestions welcome, especially for European shoppers. I’ve been slowly growing this list year-to-year, and I can always use more interesting and unique places.
Update: George Rosamond pointed at DealExtreme.com. There are some crazy cheap prices there.
OH CRAP I WAS JUST HOLDING SHIFT. IF YOU HAVE USED THE INTERNET FOR MORE THAN 1 YEAR OF YOUR LIFE, THIS LOOKS LIKE SHOUTING TO YOU. ENJOY CAPS LOCK DAY.
I totally meant to post this yesterday. Oops!
- We’re using toeplitz. I just like the name; I don’t understand how it works.
- The idea of software forks has been around since, oh, BSD and System V Unix diverged, if not earlier. Here’s an article that talks about forking in general, rather breathlessly. After reading that, read this perhaps more accurate fork parody. (via)
- You know what we could use for pkgsrc, and all the other port/package collections? Explanation. They face the same problem phone application stores face: too many programs to easily select what you need. You could certainly build a whole site just around package reviews; it’s even possible to argue that Ubuntu or PC-BSD are built around just making some 3rd-party-app choices ahead of time on an existing operating system. Anyway, here’s an article talking about that idea specifically around the Apple App Store. Please won’t somebody who is not me do something like that for pkgsrc?
- This writeup of one man’s experience with Forth gives a good feel for the language, or at least as good a feel as I can understand. Posted in memoriam for our recently departed Forth bootloader. (via) There’s other enjoyable articles on that blog, too.
- This describes about two years of my life, except it was mostly Zangband.
You have probably seen reports declaring the demise of OpenSolaris by now, many taking a less than conservative approach in reporting the news one way or the other. So what do you make of the news? By all accounts, the source code (including future changes) for things such as ZFS will continue to be published under the CDDL. Will Oracle closing up development make it impossible for operating systems like FreeBSD to maintain ZFS without forking it? What do you think the ramifications will be for DragonFly’s HAMMER and DragonFly in general?
- The BSD Certification Group needs reviewers for the BSDA exam objectives. It’s as easy as writing on a wiki.
- Undeadly has a lengthy article up about the OpenBSD equivalent of pkgsrc bulk builds, called dbp3. Interesting, because it was constructed on purpose, for that purpose. It’s interesting to me because I have pbulk running all the time, and it’s not as liner a process as I’d like.
- The PC-BSD installer is now present in FreeBSD; I think this is based on the same original installer used for DragonFly. Maybe, maybe not, but I’m curious about the feature set if it’s able to displace the venerable and firmly lodged FreeBSD sysinstall.
- Off topic: I bought an Android-based phone recently, so this (kinda grody) comment on how Apple handles bad reception for the new iPhone is entertaining.
- Really off topic: this man’s conversation about polyhedral dice (Youtube) is strangely compelling. You may or may have needed to play tabletop games previously to really appreciate it. (via)
An entertaining infographic, posted over the break cause it’s big:
I suspect most people who are interested in BSD or open source in general have the same reaction to the iPad: it’s pretty, it looks neat, and hey Apple wait what do you mean I can’t use it the way I want to? I’ve managed to hold out for a few days on commenting about it, and the benefit is a bit less incoherence.
It’s relevant because it’s a BSD-based device without the normal freedoms you’d associate with it. I’m going to just point at these three articles that do a good job of describing what rubs me the wrong way.
(This is off-topic) The National Center for the History of Electronic Games has opened at a museum in my town. They are looking for donations, so if you have old game equipment around that you want to see get a second life, contact them.
The collection there is already huge (15K games), and visitors get to play whatever games they have on display. In my last visit, I played the arcade versions of Gauntlet, the standing and sitting versions of Star Wars, and Battlezone. It was awesome in a way that may only be apparent to people born before 1985 or so.
For your weekend reading: A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages. It’s far more clever than the source material suggests. (via)
Bring in money and then take it out again. It’s conceivable that Impi Linux would have fizzled on its own, being one of a zillion Linux distributions out there, but becoming a commercial product seems to put different, and tougher, contstrictions on any open source project.
Here’s an article on chiptunes. (What’s that?.) The writing is very exacting, but the page has been liberally sprinkled with video examples of the source material. Read the dry text while being serenaded. Highlights: comparisons of Metallica to a 1988 C64 game, and compilation of crack screens. (via I lost track of it, sorry)
Off the beaten path: Jason Brown is giving a talk called “Paranoid Machines”.
Jason Brown’s talk will examine contemporary gnostic mythologies of technology and paranoia, focusing on Vannevar Bush as a self-embodied allegorical emblem of information perversity. Bush’s famed “memex” and the modern UFOs are both hypothetical machines—devices which use association and performativity to spin information out of noise. In modern techno-myths, this process is often represented as an alchemical self-destruction resulting in god-like power. Not coincidentally, all these issues are illustrated with disturbing density and prescience in the 1981 Disney film “Tron.”
This is just old-school enough to be interesting to some readers, and I like to think I find things you won’t see on Reddit or Slashdot. (via my second favorite magazine)
It might be time to stop buying Apple audio products, as the company is deliberately picking physical incompatibility to force upgrades.