The sight of a thick technical book with an included (and probably out of date) CD has been common for years; however, this reversal strikes me as a good idea.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.Â 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?Â 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.Â Not much to live on, though.
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.Â This is why certain readers will find the Raymond Commodore Amiga store in Minneapolis interesting.Â You should be able to gues their exclusive inventory from the store name.Â It’s so old-school, the website is a ~username directory.Â (via Boing Boing Gadgets)
Something I encountered today: a story of the earliest start on BSD, ever.
While we’re on the subject, there’s an online Apple ][gs emulator at virtualapple.org.Â One of these days I’ll get around to scanning my original Castle Wolfenstein disk just to show how old-school I am…
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.
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.
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.Â … Another good reason to use open source, which the article touches on, by the end.
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:
- How do we tell truths that might hurt? (Edsger W. Dijkstra, 1975)
- On holy wars and a plea for peace (Danny Cohen, 1980)
- Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language (Brian W. Kernighan, 1981)
- Computer Languages History (Ã‰ric LÃ©vÃ©nez, 2006)
- Programming languages and their relationship styles (Meredith L. Patterson, 2006)
All the citations are worth investigating – take some time to read them.
This Associated Press story about a teacher assigning Wikipedia article writing as a project for students notes that “Knowing their work was headed for the Web …Â helped students reach higher”.Â I’d draw a parallel to open source, since knowing your code (or perhaps your news blog…) will be viewed by multiple people encourages harder work.Â (Via)
Nerdcore rap, specifically about kill -9.Â (Warning: Youtube video; contains strong language.)