Processors, visually

In my ongoing effort to stray farther off the beaten path than other nerdblogs, I bring you a link to this post at the Nonist: Objectified Circuitry.  Think of it this way: the computer you are sitting at right now has probably at least a million of each circuit type pictured in that article.

A good sales idea

OpenBSD is, as usual, selling CDs of their 4.3 release. It appears that related-but-not-directly-linked goods like The Book of PF are being sold right along side.

The sight of a thick technical book with an included (and probably out of date) CD has been common for years; however, this reversal strikes me as a good idea. Selling a good book along with the operating system that will use it is worthwhile.


Not necessarily about me, but I read an article about the continuous stress of blogging, in the New York Times.  Entertainingly, the article says:

Blogging has been lucrative for some, but those on the lower rungs of the business can earn as little as $10 a post, and in some cases are paid on a sliding bonus scale that rewards success with a demand for even more work.

$10 a post?  Given that I’ve been doing this for near-free (the Google Ads buy me a sandwich every now and then) for years, that seems like a lot.  Not much to live on, though.

Everyone has an old favorite computer

Despite the logarithmic expansion of computers and drop in costs of the years, everyone looks back on their first computer systems with a sense of nostalgia.  This is why certain readers will find the Raymond Commodore Amiga store in Minneapolis interesting.  You should be able to gues their exclusive inventory from the store name.  It’s so old-school, the website is a ~username directory.  (via Boing Boing Gadgets)

Modding by non-modders

An experiment in Barcelona, last year, took a number of people with no coding experience but plenty of graphic design experience whatever and got them to modify a version of the old game Breakout. The results were quite interesting. You’ll need Flash to see the video of the abstract results. (Via waxy)

Why do I mention this? Open source systems tend to assume users are either very experienced or totally inexperienced. Looking for people who don’t fit either of those categories is a much more useful goal, as it produces new methods and ways of looking at things.

Angband, Nethack, MOOs, and other text

GameSetWatch has a very in-depth article talking about Angband and Nethack, two classic roguelike games. It’s well worth a read if you are familiar with the genre.

Along the same lines, Julian Dibbell’s book “My Tiny Life” is now available. It describes his time playing in LambdaMOO , and is based in part on his Village Voice article, “A Rape In Cyberspace“.

For those readers too young to know these games, roguelike games are single-player dungeon exploration games like Diablo, and MOO/MUDs a type of MMORPG. The mechanisms are remarkably similar, but the graphics were all terminal based. Keep in mind you can still try these games right now.

While we are on the topic: It Is Pitch Dark.

Make money by driving away customers

This AP news story seen in several places describes how the BSA has been vigorously obtaining money in and out of court for pirated software, and it appears to be procuring more money than the actual value of the pirated software.  … Another good reason to use open source, which the article touches on, by the end.

Programming languages, then and now

Some entertainment: This article at American Scientist talks about programming language choice and the arguments that have come up over the years. The bibliography at the end of this 5-page essay is worth special attention, because of the links to early documents describing these battles over languages and choices nobody thinks of these days, like PL/I or Cobol.

Some specific links to articles cited:

All the citations are worth investigating – take some time to read them.