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.
Your totally off-topic link for the week: Fat Birds.
Happy birthday to my younger daughter, Claire, who is 9 today. That’s a much better anniversary to celebrate today.
- A musing about the waveform and how it’s the most iconic representation of music. It’s also a holdover from analog days, if you think about it. (via)
- There seems to be a new kinda-improper activity from GoDaddy found every 6 months or so. Find yourself a new registrar, if you haven’t already.
- Here’s how you know DragonFly is actually getting somewhere: exploits show up.
- Not directly BSD related, but it’s from Colin Percival, writing as “FreeBSD Security Officer”. With the recent Diginotar news, he points out what’s the best secure certificate to forge.
- Introduction to Arduino, a comic guide. (via)
- “A jpeg is worth 1000kb“, talking about ZORK and other text adventures. Look for the twisty column of familiar phrases, all alike. The Interactive Fiction genre of game is still going surprisingly strong, so many years later.
- That article about ZORK links to this excellent, excellent exploration of the original Colossal Cave game, which led to Adventure and so many other games. Oh yeah, the author was building ARPANet at the time, too.
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Chainsawsuit.
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.
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.
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.
Entertainment, this week. There’s several items here that will be more entertaining if you’re over 25. Or maybe 35. Get clicking!
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 email@example.com 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.
Something for everyone this week.
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.
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.
I’m really behind on my posting (this is why), so I’m piling a lot of stuff in here:
- Yoinked from #dragonflybsd/EFNet IRC: Hiding sentences in IPv6 addresses.
- Red Hat did it: opensource.com. Good articles, but your eyeballs may get fatigued from reading the word ‘open’ too many times.
- Technically, this should have animated spacewar, not pong.
- Hypergit, a git plugin for vim, with a contextual menu. (via I forget) Also, digerati, a color scheme for both vim and terminal. (via)
- The Winter 2010 edition of the BSDA study DVD is out.
- Hey, this is vaguely like what Matt’s doing with disk cache. Well, not really, but it’s a good idea.
- More Crawlapalooza at @Play.
- The February issue of the Open Source Business Resource is out, with this issue’s theme being “startups”.
Still not used to typing “2010”.
- I have no idea if bup is a worthwhile backup tool or even if it would compile on DragonFly, but more products should be described this way. (via)
- I’ve seen plenty of articles along the lines of “Open Source and X”, where the article explains at great length how open source in certain situations can work well. “Doing It Wrong” comes at it from a different direction.
- BSD Magaine is going free, meaning it’s a free download starting with the February issue. The site says “sign up for our newsletter and get every issue straight to your inbox” – the correct link is “Newsletter” on the upper right corner of the page. PDFs of the print issues are available too.
- The Open Source Business Resource is now publishing weekly articles in addition to their monthly issue. The inaugural article is “Avatar, Open Source and Humanity 2.0” by Stephen Huddart, and the second is “Do, Delegate, Defer” by the wonderfully-named Emma Jane Hogbin.
- Why you should use OpenGL and not DirectX: linked many places. It’s a good argument, which reminds me… anyone want to work on DRM for DragonFly? It could use some loving.
- A Python script that takes your picture and uploads it every time a merge (in Mercurial) fails. Someone make this work for Git, please. (via)
- Speaking of Git, here’s a way to get auto-complete of git commands and local/remote branches in bash.
- The latest @Play covers the new, developing roguelike Dungeon Crawl, part 1 of many. It’s listed as running on “all the BSDs”, though I don’t see it in pkgsrc. It is playable via telnet to other servers, though.
Everything that _why the lucky stiff did. (via) _why is one of those things that only the Internet lets exist. And he used DragonFly!
Roguelike games, evaluated via the Berlin Interpretation, on @Play. Also, a dedicated Roguelike handheld?
Naoya Sugioka is working on bringing tmpfs to DragonFly – I am a big fan of that idea.
top now uses CTIME, not WCPU.
The National Center for the History of Electronic Games is looking for tangible artifacts having to do with old text-based games, like Adventure or Zork. The article includes some history, too.
(This place is in my town, and it’s eye-bleedingly awesome. I predict that a few years from now, when people realize what this is, it will become a game history Mecca along the lines of PAX.)
I’ll indulge myself in a bit of roguelike enjoyment: the @Play column is targeting roguelike equipment types, starting with Potions and Scrolls. Loot!
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.
The latest @Play column talks not about specific roguelikes, but rather programming them, delving into python programming. It’s a new level of nerdy.
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.
Another installment in my continuing obsession with roguelikes: Nethack, implemented as an AJAX application. (via)