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 2011/09/11

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 2011/07/31

Posted in the past, for the future.  I always build these up over the week, so if the links seem dated (as in more than 24 hours old), that’s why.  My commentary will add the flavor.

  • This NYT story about Dwarf Fortress has been linked lots of places, but I want to point out the one paragraph:

    Growing up, Tarn was enamored of Dungeons & Dragons and J.R.R. Tolkien, but he has never been a lockstep member of the geek culture so much as a wanderer on the fringes. He didn’t read superhero comics as a kid, and later, he never became obsessed with the “Game of Thrones” books, say, or with “Lost.”

    Are you over 35 or so?  Then maybe you remember a time when there wasn’t a designated ‘Geek Culture’.  It’s something specific to a period in time, like when pay phones were still common, or when people were on average still thin.  It strikes me that the interviewer assumes that a computer programmer should become consumed with a TV media event; that it’s part of what makes them what they are.   It’s as if all accountants need to have brown shoes, and all artists have to wear berets and ‘get’ abstract art.  Maybe I’m just hipster complaining.

  • “...while Bell Labs’ parent company AT&T flatly refused to believe that packet switching would ever work” – Have I linked to Shady Characters before?  I think so.  Anyway, this is part 1 about the @ sign, and it’s of course talking about email and the early days of the Internet, back when it was the ARPANet.  Be sure to check the references at the end of the article; it contains gems like this ad for a 65-pound portable TTY.
  • Tim Paterson has a blog.  DOS is his fault.  Worth reading, for the early hardware details.  (via ftigeot on #dragonflybsd)
  • Removing the Internet’s relics. An article about how FTP should die.  It will…  once there’s no place where it’s needed.  Like gopher!
  • Comparisons like this are usually cheesy, but this one made me laugh: Text editors as Lord of the Rings locations.

Lazy Reading for 2011/06/26

Somehow, I ended up with the most concise link listing I’ve ever done, even though I have a pretty good batch here.  Go figure.

 

Lazy Reading for 2011/05/29

Whee!

  • Do you like the Opera browser?  Apparently all it takes is a little misspelling to confuse it with a U.S. daytime talk show host.  The “Best of Oprah emails to Opera“.   (via)  Mistaken identity on the Internet is always fun.
  • Popular free software licenses, described.  (via)  One of the better, non-polemic descriptions I’ve seen.
  • For the opposite effect, the Free Software Foundation’s license recommendations.  Somehow, the BSD license isn’t even mentioned.  (via)  A commenter at the source link notes that the GNU Free Documentation License isn’t even considered ‘free’ by Debian.  Along those lines, I’ve always thought that GPL licensing creates a perverse incentive to keep your software undocumented.
  • The FreeBSD and NetBSD Foundations have acquired a license for libcxxrt from PathScale, which I assume is for C++ support in conjunction with clang.  (or pcc?)  This isn’t as much of an issue for DragonFly right now since we’re continuing down the GCC route.
  • Temple of the Roguelike, a searchable database of roguelike games.  It’s an idea that you would totally expect for this genre.  (via trevorjk on EFNet #dragonflybsd)  Also: a roguelikedev subreddit.

Lazy Reading for 2011/04/17

I hope I can get this together.

  • This article asks “Does anyone in Silicon Valley care about Windows anymore?”   It’s an inflammatory title, to get you to read it, and it’s based on anecdotal ideas, but I think there’s some truth to it.
  • Something similar, in hardware: I see people who care about what they run either getting a Macbook or a Thinkpad these days.  (I’ve owned both, and they are nice laptops…)  Let’s run with that idea, in fact: Macbook is to Thinkpad running BSD as is… iPhone is to Android phone running custom ROM?  This is turning into a “levels of nerditry” sort of comparison.
  • Community is your best feature, a talk about how to encourage the growth of an open source group.  I link to it because it’s useful and well done, but also because it lets me feel a bit self-congratulatory; we already use many of the listed concepts in DragonFly.
  • Zero knowledge user identification is interesting, though it’s not something you could apply to a lot of users.  (via)
  • Things found via Google: A DragonFly 2.8.2 x86_64 VMWare image on Sourceforge.  Don’t know who put it there.
  • This article about passwords says multiple common words make more secure passwords than adding upper/lower case and numbers to passwords.  An interesting contention, though I don’t think it works as well as it’s described.  (Adding ” ” into the list of possible characters isn’t as effective as having to double the list for case, for instance.)
  • It’s been a while since I posted a roguelike link.  Well, how about “How Rogue Ended Up On The Sofa“?  (via)  It very nicely draws a line connecting rogue and a whole lot of modern games.

Lazy Reading: down memory lane

Entertainment, this week.  There’s several items here that will be more entertaining if you’re over 25.  Or maybe 35.  Get clicking!

Lazy Reading: Lots and lots of it

Somehow I ended up with a zillion links for this week’s Lazy Reading.  I hope you’ve got some spare time for this…  Let’s get right into it:

  • Michael Lucas, BSD book author (see links on site), has started Twittering.   He’s also found the Wikileaks/NetBSD association that I didn’t know about, as Julian Assange even shows up in the NetBSD fortunes file.  Also, while linking to his blog, I’ll point at his post on “Write what you don’t know“.  Think of that article next time you feel you don’t know enough to contribute to something – especially open source.
  • There’s a lengthy dialog on the tech-pkg@netbsd.org mailing list about pkgsrc, and “Making it easier to get and use pkgsrc“.   You can follow the whole thread on the listing page.  I am all for the idea.  Everybody and their brother has an App Store these days.  Ports/pkgsrc are perhaps the original app store ideas, and I’d like to see them brought to the same level as these commercial entitites.  This is important: pkgsrc is perhaps the only app store equivalent in existence that is not tied to a platform; that exists only to get you software rather than to provide a way to tie a platform into its developers profits.
  • Hey, a roguelike zombie apocalypse game!  Aw, it’s Windows-only.
  • Mikel King has an editorial that sums up the many places BSD serves as an underpinning to products – a good checklist, if you don’t know of them.  He’s also written an instructional article on passwordless/SSH setup.
  • Along the same lines, Promote Perl by Building Great Things.  This applies to BSD products too; telling people it’s great doesn’t work as well as making something great and showing that a BSD system is part of what makes it so.
  • Did you know there are even BSD Certification classes in Iran?  I really need to do that… though probably not at that location.
  • Yacc is not dead.  (via)  I link to this because I had a moment of nerd excitement realizing that blog’s title is intended to look like a bang path.
  • Database design ideas.  There’s been a good series of posts there lately, good for anyone wanting to move beyond the basic CRUD details.

Lazy Reading: puzzles, git, old things

Something for everyone this week.

Lazy Reading:books, talks, games, games

    This Lazy Reading post actually has some good lengthy reading in it.

    • Modern Perl: The Book: (actually a pre-print draft)  Even if you don’t know Perl, I’ve always liked the way the author, chromatic, writes.  Many articles about a language or other technical subject tend to either wander about loosely or become a ‘shopping list’ of actions, but chromatic’s work retains focus.
    • Robert Watson presents Capsicum; a recent USENIX talk on Youtube. (via a number of places)
    • 12 Forgotten Games – the slideshow is of most interest.  (via)  Online games that predate the vast swarm of today’s titles.  MUDs, MUSHs, roguelikes, etc.  The nice thing about the slideshow is the link on each slide to a still-running, still-accessible online version of that game.
    • Kieron Gillen‘s moving away from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, a gaming review site that has some honest to goodness decent writing.  (My Lazy Reading posts are similar to their Sunday Papers for a reason.)  One of his articles was all about ZangbandTK.  I was all set to link to that in pkgsrc, but it’s not there – just games/angband-tty and games/angband-x11.  Darnit.  Anyway, read his article and then go play something roguelike.

    Lazy reading: toeplitz, forking, curating, Nethack

    I totally meant to post this yesterday.  Oops!

    Messylaneous for 2010/02/05

    I’m really behind on my posting (this is why), so I’m piling a lot of stuff in here:

    Messylaneous for 2010/01/15

    Still not used to typing “2010”.

    @Play: going overseas

    The latest @Play column, “A Date With Asuka“, covers an unlicensed Japan-only roguelike in 3D for the Dreamcast.  I had to think about that sentence very carefully in order to type it; @Play is seeking out more esoteric roguelike variants than I thought possible.

    @Play: Fatal Labyrinth

    This time, it’s what happens when you take Rogue, export it to Japan, and then see what you get back as a Sega Genesis console game.

    I had no idea there were so many permutations of roguelike games.  A few years ago, I’d have listed rogue, nethack, moria, [zmw]angband, and ADOM, and felt like I covered it all.