I think I’ve made it through my backlog of things to post. For no apparent reason, I ended up with a whole bunch of ‘this vs. that’ links this week.
- BSD vs. Linux. The target article is way old, but it’s interesting to see the comments.
- Arch vs. Slackware, a friendly comparison. Mentions BSD in passing, and Arch is the most BSD-ish Linux distribution I hear mentioned. The package count for both Arch and Slackware is much smaller than I expected, relative to pkgsrc. (via previous link.)
- Internet arguments about similar products, crystallized: WikiVs. Allthearguments you’ve ever seen, plus more.
- Emacs for Android. Requires “a rather big display”. (via)
- It’s somewhat off-topic for this site, but I’ll mention it: I read Ubuntu Made Easy from No Starch Press (who publishes a number of BSD books) recently and reviewed it on Amazon.
- The original drawing for the HP-35 calculator. The creation story is neat, but if you look closely at that drawing, you can see the little bumps in the red lines where the artist used a radius template to draw the curves with his marker. I learned to render that way, and it’s a visual flavor you don’t see often, given the ubiquity of computer rendering. (via)
- Maaaaybe it’s time to slowly sidle away from MySQL? Lemme bring out my favorite quote. (via many places)
- The problem and the fragmentation of content and communication. Maybe it’s just me that finds this interesting because of what I do here.
- Ken Thompson’s debugging method, as told by Rob Pike. Sounds a lot like the Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm.
Your unrelated link of the week: Taipan! I played this on the Apple ][ and loved it. The buy-low-sell-high game is an old genre that hasn’t been used in newer games in the same fashion as roguelikes or sidescrollers. The only recent equivalents I can think of are Drug Wars and maaaaybe Eve Online.
I spent the last week on an island in Lake Huron in Canada, so I missed that the latest issue of BSD Magazine is out. I’ll catch up when I can. Anything interesting happen while I was gone?
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.
If you’re going to be near Warsaw, Poland, in late October, you can visit EuroBSDCon. Registration is open now.
(The logo makes me think of a certain meme.)
I’m back home and getting back into things, so here’s thing one: Michael W. Lucas was interviewed at BSDCan 2012 for 16 minutes about his recent and upcoming books.
Lucas also recently talked about a problem with port installation on FreeBSD. What he says there I think applies to pkgsrc as well.
(I haven’t even read my email yet, gee whiz.)
It’s a short week this week, but that’s OK. The last few weeks have been a deluge of links.
Your unrelated link of the week: Crane Recursion. (via)
NYCBUG has a presentation tomorrow night titled “Bring a Box, Rock Your tmux(1)“, with Matthew Story. If you’re near the area, it’s worth seeing.
(posted for the benefit of the people who keep telling me “stop using screen and switch to tmux.”)
July’s BSD Magazine has, among other things, an article from Michael W. Lucas along with a 30% off coupon for his Absolute FreeBSD book. There’s also an interview of Gabriel Weinberg of DuckDuckGo. Apparently DuckDuckGo uses FreeBSD? That’s good news.
New company Gainframe is offering up OpenBSD dmesg/pcidump/usbdevs output for every system they build. I was originally going to link to this in a Lazy Reading entry, but then I realized it’s also a new company specializing in BSD-compatible hardware. Read the interview; I met Michael Dexter at the last NYCBSDCon and he is a decent guy.
We need more of this sort of specifically targeted work. Sites that rely on crowd-sourced contribution are good, but it’s not necessarily comprehensive, and you need a very large crowd for it to work.
It’s summer, and I’m too warm. I’m whiny but still making with the links:
- “The return of the FreeBSD desktop“, where Dag-Erling Smørgrav describes getting a BSD desktop working again due to a new ports system on FreeBSD. It’s still too messy a process to get to a GUI, I think, and to support that I’ll point at this post of a KDE developer giving up. (via) One of the issues is the rapid flux of the underlying systems X has to run on – something touched on before.
- Here’s someone looking for a ‘Linux like BSD‘. Most of the answers are “then use BSD”, though the poster is hampered by the new Intel video chipset.
- These “Ringbow” joystick controllers are described as being for games, but I think they could work as controllers like the Thinkpad nub. (via) It’s a Kickstarter project, so might be worth your money.
- With some minor changes, this command could find you all the BSD-licensed items in pkgsrc, I think.
- Phoronix thinks FreeBSD and Ivy Bridge don’t work together. I could have sworn I’ve already heard of Ivy Bridge systems running BSDs… Take it with a grain of salt.
- Several readers will find the intext: Google search phrase incredibly useful. (via) Also, typing ‘*’ in Google Maps actually does what you’d expect.
- Less is exponentially more, Rob Pike talking about Go. (via) The note about the Bell Labs numbering scheme explains a lot about UNIX’s terseness.
- Visual Git Reference. (via) Showing a physical position to correlate with time is really helpful here.
- A review of FreeBSD Device Drivers, the new No Starch book. Much of it should apply to DragonFly, I should think.
- I suppose this Dwarf Fortress book was inevitable.
Your unrelated link of the day: The Kleptones are great, and this collection of the music that influenced Paul Simon’s Graceland is a wonderful find. A happier album I’ve never heard. I feel nostalgic for the days when you had to actually search for music.
Will Backman, the usual interview in BSDTalk episodes, gets interviewed himself by Paul Schenkeveld, for 14 minutes.
Riak, an open source distributed database product, is running on FreeBSD at least. It’s probably able to run on other BSD flavors given that it sounds like the developers were actively working in that direction; someone want to get it into pkgsrc?
I have such a surplus of links these days that I started this Lazy Reading two weeks ago.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Elfquest, every issue ever. The dialogue is cheesy but the original art is fun, in a way that grabbed me when I read it at 10 years of age.
If you’re involved in application development or BSD development in any way, and you write about it somewhere on a personal blog or page or publication, please let me know. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My goal is to point out as much interesting development as possible, and I find that getting notes right from the people that make them is the best way. Trade publications and magazines will skip over that stuff and go to the press releases, but that doesn’t work for BSD. I’ve found better, more interesting writing watching Peter Hansteen’s blog or Trivium. If you have someplace you write about technology, and especially BSD-related development, please point me at your RSS feed.
Seen multiple places, but Tomas Bodzar was the first to tell me: there’s a new BSD in town, called Bitrig. It’s forked from OpenBSD. The first release is planned for the end of the month, and it appears to have a more aggressive intended development plan than OpenBSD.
The June issue of BSD Magazine is out as a free PDF download. The theme is the same as last month – security – and there’s a number of other topics covered.
BSDCan 2012 spawned a lot of interviews. We all benefit from that. For example, another BSDTalk interview, talking with Kris Moore of iXSystems about what’s in the next version of PC-BSD.
Let’s get right down to it:
- Hey, Nmap 6 is out. It’s one of those always-useful tools, similar to wireshark.
- Biculturalism, a fair assessment. (via) The generalizations are a little extreme (1 Unix-based author who Got Religion, vs. a diffused Windows developer stereotype) but still has value.
- A Git Horror Story. (via) Not a true story, but useful for describing how git commits can be GPG-signed.
- A recent Google Doodle, a playable Moog synthesizer, done for Bob Moog’s birthday. The Moog Music site has instructions. I happened to notice they’re using FreeBSD as the server – cool! Maybe it’s just the hosting org? Anyway, I link to it because Bob Moog’s cousin was for a while my father’s employer.
- “Google is transitive, whereas Facebook is reflexive.” (via) This sums up the practical difference between Google and Facebook rather well.
- I did not know this existed: OpenBSD Network Shell. (via) Interface like a Cisco-ish router, internals are OpenBSD.
- There’s been recent news articles about how programmers over 35 tend to not get hired. Here’s one of the reasons: younger programmers discount the value of their own time. Anything where all the benefits (cheaper labor, more products) accrue to the company, and all the costs go to the employee (time lost, extra work) is not a good idea in the long run.
- “Now I’ve met the other DragonFly BSD user, too.” That’s two more than I expected for any given project, really.
- Undeadly.org has an extensive interview/article about OpenSMTPd. It’s OpenBSD’s implementation of a SMTP daemon, which is something I haven’t heard much about before. Compare with DragonFly’s much-smaller-in-scope dma.
- Van Jacobsen Saved the Internet. Or just fixed a timing bug. Depends on whether you listen to Wired or to him. The interesting part is that he had to build the tools to troubleshoot the problem.
- Here’s something I don’t think anyone’s noticed yet: Microsoft is responsible for half of Google’s DMCA notices last month. My employer recently was audited by Microsoft (technically by Accenture contractors for Microsoft) for license compliance. My Dell sales representative, when I asked him for a list of what Microsoft-licensed OEM devices we had bought, said many of his customers were asking for the same thing. He joked that Microsoft was trying to improve its profitability numbers for the quarter. Given that they are trying to push to Windows 8, that might just be true, and they are trying to enforce their way to it, not sell their way to it.
Your unrelated link of the week: MAD GOD, the film.
The presentations from BSDCan 2012 are up in video form. I was going to link to this in a Lazy Reading post, but there’s a lot of video there. (via) Of interest: Intro to DNSSEC and FreeBSD’s new package manager. Check the list, cause there’s a lot more.
BSDTalk 215 is out, with several NetBSD folks being interviewed at BSDCan 2012 about NetBSD 6.
BSDTalk 214 has nearly an hour of conversation with Peter Hansteen and Henning Brauer, all from the recent BSDCan.
I’m starting to pack these full enough that I might have to go biweekly.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Wizzywig. A self-contained comic about the early days of phone phreaking and hacking, written and drawn by Ed Piskor. The first two chapters are available as a PDF. Read and if you like it, order the whole thing. Also: Steve and Steve. If you know your history, you’ll get the cartoon.
Ed Piskor is currently cartooning the origin of hip-hop at BoingBoing; it’s a good read.
BSDTalk 213 is out, with 14 minutes of conversation with Paul Schenkeveld about EuroBSDCon. EuroBSDCon is happening in late October, in Poland. Also, the BSDTalk website has a new layout.
BSD Magazine for May is out, with the theme of BSD security, though of course there’s a lot more than that topic in the free PDF.
There’s a Day Against DRM sale going on for O’Reilly. 50% off everything, and all the books are DRM-free. I found out about this through Michael Lucas, whose No Starch books are represented there too. It’s a fantastic deal and it’s today only, so strike now while you have the chance.
(I should make a ‘buy buy buy!’ tag for articles.)
I go a bit beyond presenting links and comment on them too, this week. Not too much! Enjoy.
- Best ad for a front-end designer ever. (via) It will make sense if you used the Web in 1995.
- A while back I linked to a article about Valve’s development process. Now, here’s the Handbook. (PDF, via) As I said before, they’ve arguably taken the best parts of open source development work and used then to create a workspace. These best parts are not the ones usually talk about when they say, “open source company”, though. There’s a Harvard Business School paper that talks about the carrot or stick approach to motivation, and I think Valve nailed it. Read the PDF, cause it’s more fun than this.
- Animated Engines. (via) Animations that show how different engine types work. I find them oddly soothing. Also, I finally know more about a Wankel Rotary Engine outside of its existence as a punchline in a Monty Python sketch.
- The best reaction to space mining. (via)
- LOL memory, to the moon.
- A BSD-specific fork of ekg2. Never used it; just saw the BSD part of the name.
- “Imagine that you’re crazy enough to think about building a search engine.” (via)
- “Before you write a patch, write an email“.
- If you’re going to fund open source work, you should fund the boring stuff for maximum effectiveness.
- Volatile Software (via) You may or may not agree with the strategy, but I can agree with the sentiment. For better or worse, BSD is generally a more sane/stable platform.
- Twitter CLI. (via) Ruby-based, and seems like an actual good idea, not just a hack to see if it can be done.
- “FreeBSD Device Drivers” for a pre-release 40% off. Some of the contents may apply to DragonFly. Or perhaps you enjoy device driver documentation?
- Go Right (via), for anyone who played a game console more than 10 years ago.
- VIM Adventures. (via) Surprisingly fun.
Your unrelated link of the week. Youtube Poop. As far as I can tell, ‘Youtube Poop’ are glitched videos made from Youtube content but with segments repeated, frames modified, or new sentences constructed from reassembling the frames. Sometimes noisy, sometimes rude. Also, an art form that can only exist now, and never really before. Reminds me of the old Fensler Films, or that odd series out of Japan. I find the idea of assembling new rhythms and music out of non-musical items fascinating, but I would, wouldn’t I?
(Turn your volume down before trying some of those links.)
- I like the sentiments here about Instagram. (via) I can see why it was popular, but not how it represented anything but a cosmetic tool, dependent on other services.
- Waxy.org turns 10. I relink (reblog? I don’t know) material from the links page on waxy.org, because Andy Baio has a keen eye. That article has links to various high points over the last 10 years, so it’s worth setting aside some of your time and looking at previous features. Come to think of it, he started that only a year before I started this Digest.
- Supercomputers installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. All the way back to UNIVAC. (via swildner on EFNet #dragonflybsd) This picture is one of the more realistic I’ve ever seen about rack installation.
- RFC6540: IPv6 Support Required for All IP-Capable Nodes. (via) YES.
- The Story of BSD and Open-Source Linux, unfortunately incorrect, starting with the headline.
- 40 years on: Why Unix standards still matter. A brief note about the Single Unix Specification. There’s some implication that Unix was involved in the moon landings; was that the case? I didn’t think so, since at least a chunk of the moon landings predate Unix existing. (i.e. before the Epoch.)
- A photo followup on the one PHP article from last week. (via aggelos on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- From the same site as the PHP article, tmux is sweet as heck. It’s nice to see the positive points of tmux defined outside of licensing. Also, it serves as a good tmux configuration checklist.
Your unrelated link of the week: One Thing Well. The BSD tag might be the most useful.
The links are all over the map this week, which is fine. Enjoy!
- This makes me laugh every time. (via)
- Etsy has an astonishingly good internal development practice. And open source code? (via)
- For contrast, Facebook’s release engineering process. (via I lost it, sorry) Not as interesting but I can’t tell why.
- Mosh, a program designed for the persistence of screen but differently. (via) Dunno if it builds on DragonFly, but it looks neat.
- “I just ran emacs. LOL!“
- 0x10c, a sci-fi game set in the future with spaceships running a 16-bit CPU. That you can program.
- I wish I could write here with the same mix of loathing and excitement found in this comics review. Warning: mildly… gonzo?
- The journey from user to contributor, a NYCBUG talk in mp3 form. (via)
- I’ve mentioned RetroBSD before, but here’s an example of it being installed on a Duinomite board. 2.11 BSD on a super-cheap, super-small Arduino-style board! (via) I don’t know what I’d do with it, but I want one. It even has keyboard and VGA ports.
- At some point, this CPU database will be handy. (via)
- A new, slow form of brute force ssh attack. (via) What I find interesting here is not so much the new attack itself, but Peter Hansteen’s careful gathering and analysis of data around it.
Your unrelated link of the week: memepool. It’s seen some activity lately. It was a blog before there were blogs, and I was part of it.
BSD Magazine’s April issue is out, and it’s about the Cloud. Or clouds, depending on how you look at it. Anyway, there’s several conversations in there about BSD-based hosting services, which I’m sure everyone has wished for at some time or another.
BSD Magazine is looking for articles – specifically DragonFly articles, though I imagine it doesn’t have to be. I’m stretched too thin to write anything right now, but if you have something, contact them.
Another “first BSD to try it” feature: GNU hash table support has been added by John Marino. These apparently speed up symbol searching during program startup, so it should improve large program startup time. Think KDE or Open Office, though I don’t have numbers to back it up.
The March issue of BSD Magazine is out, as a free PDF as always. It’s a real grab-bag of topics this time, so there should be something to interest you. This time, it might be an article on DragonFly and Beowulf clusters. (I was totally not expecting that.)
I’ve seen notices in the past 24 hours for 2 different BSD events: BSD-Day, at UAS Technikum Wien in Vienna, Austria on May 5, 2012, and EuroBSDcon 2012, in Warsaw, Poland, October 18-21. The Call For Proposals is out for EuroBSDcon, for submission by May 20th.
Thanks to John Marino’s work, it’s now possible to build the DragonFly kernel and world using gold, and have it work. You just have to set WORLD_LDVER to make it work. I don’t think there’s any user-visible change from this, other than a tiny speedup in building. I don’t know if any other BSD is using gold yet.
Take a look at the schedule if you’ve been thinking about going… (seen via multiple places) This is as good a time as any to point out, once again, the very valuable BSD Events Twitter feed.
If you were thinking about implementing DNSSEC, Michael Lucas did it himself and wrote down his notes. You can read them and either follow along to implement it yourself, or just spectate. The one disadvantage is that it uses BIND 9.9, and I only see 9.8 and 10 in pkgsrc.
Here’s several things to look at:
Michael Lucas’s “BSD Needs Books” talk from NYCBSDCon 2010, on Youtube. I’ve talked about it before because I saw it in person; it’s a good talk. Ironically, he talks about getting a publisher interested in your book, and he just self-published.
Hubert Feyrer linked to the slides of two pkgsrc talks at FOSDEM; one about bringing pkgsrc to MirBSD, and one about pkgin, which is included in DragonFly.
BSD Magazine for February 2012 is out, and the feature item is BSD Certification.
I’ve reviewed Michael Lucas’s book here before, so when he offered a chance to read his newest, SSH Mastery, I jumped at the chance. Michael Lucas has published a number of technical books through No Starch Press, and started wondering out loud about self-publishing. This is, I think, his first self-published technical volume.
It’s a very straightforward book. The introduction opens with a promise not to waste space showing how to compile OpenSSH in text. Chapter 2 ends with the sentence, “Now that you understand how SSH encryption works, leave the encryption settings alone.” This stripping-down of the usual tech-book explanations gives it the immediacy of extended documentation on the Internet. Not the multipage how-to articles used as vehicles for advertising, but an in-depth presentation from someone who used OpenSSH to do a number of things, and paid attention while doing it.
It’s a fun read, and there’s a good chance it covers an aspect of SSH that you didn’t know. In my case, it’s the ability to attach a command to a public key used for login. It even covers complex-but-oh-so-useful VPN setups via SSH.
If you’re looking for philosophical reasons to buy it, how about the lack of DRM?
The physical version is not available yet, but the electronic version is available at Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), or from Smashwords (every other format ever, including .txt). The Smashwords variety of formats means that you’ll be able to read it on your phone, one way or another; I’d like to see more books that way in the future.
There’s a single day between BSDCan and PGCon, May 13th. That day will be the 2012 Joint Documentation Summit. People from BSD projects and Postgres will get together to discuss documentation tools, projects, and so on. If you are going to either convention, I’d recommend visiting this too. This sort of cross-project pollination leads to good things.
Deb Goodkin of the FreeBSD Foundation gets 24 minutes of interview on BSDTalk.
The deadline for submitting papers for BSDCan has been extended, since the convention’s site suffered some downtime this past weekend. Submit proposals by tomorrow, the 31st, now.
This is the week of the funny, apparently.
Your totally unrelated video link of the week: The Necronomicon. Pitch perfect.
I even have some comedy in here this week.
Your unrelated comics link for the week: Tom Neely‘s Doppelganger. Page 11 is my favoritest.
Another unrelated thing: David Shao, are you out there? Can you get on IRC (EFNet #dragonflybsd) and help some people out with GEM/KMS questions? Nobody’s been able to find you.
Getting back into the rhythm, here…
- Jeff Vogel, who is a funny and smart guy, wrote this article, essentially about crowdsourcing. It’s another way of saying “bikeshed“. Plus: D&D!
- Michael Lucas, sometimes BSD author, has a new fiction collection out. He’s working on a SSH book too.
- Hey, AsiaBSDCon is coming up in March, BSDCan in May. I don’t know about EuroBSDCon or NYCBSDCon, though. Plan ahead!
- Did you know there’s a bsd.org? Very old-school: here’s a list of commands, get going.
- GNU Tar doesn’t have a man page. (via) Weird. I didn’t verify that, but I’m not sure how to.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: there’s a Freddy, and a dragonfly, but it’s not DragonFly BSD. It’s still fun though.
BSDCan 2012 is happening on the 11th and 12th of May, 2012, with 2 days of tutorials beforehand. It’s at the University of Ottawa. The call for papers is out. These are proposals for talks, not academic papers. The deadline for submissions is Jan 29th, unlike what the site says as of this writing.
It’s listed both as the December and the January issue, but either way, there’s a new issue of BSD Magazine.
(I’m way behind on posting news; I apologize. I’m working my way through several crises. Crisises? Not sure of the plural form of crisis.)
Happy new year! Regular posting should resume soon now that my holidays are over.
- I like the line, “Please note that BSD manpages are usually better as compare to Linux” [sic] found on this odd page of where to find documentation.
- Hey, this encryption of DNS requests is a good idea. Then again, so is DNSSEC. I’ve done neither.
- Stop using GoDaddy, if you can. There’s plenty of reasons, other than support for SOPA.
- There’s got to be at least one reader who gets this joke.
- If you don’t mind digging through all the comments in this Slashdot article about building a desktop environment, there’s some neat descriptions of different window managers and so on.
- A mild brain teaser to start the year: a regular expression to find prime numbers.
- This is a nice description of just what the Archive Team does. (via)
- The Coming War on General Purpose Computing. Sometimes the stuff on BoingBoing gives me the same irritated feeling as sensationalistic Wired articles, but this one is good to read if you happen to be working on your own operating system. Also, the similar thing with APIs.
- This “best tech writing of 2011” summary on Verge (via) led me to this excellent article: “The Web Is a Customer Service Medium“. There’s lots more reading in that summary.
- I’ve seen this mentioned before, but now it’s with a graph so it’s better! On the continuing decline of the GPL.
- OK, I admit graphs are not always a good idea. (via)
- Trivium, from which I yoinked that last link, also has an blog from its author, Chris Neukirchen. It’s not updated often but there’s some entertaining sysadmin tidbits on there, such as going all-ed, or zsh tips, or Why I use the MIT license.
Your completely unrelated link of the day: Tiny Legs of Fire. (video) Worth it for the origin of Beardslap.
(Sorry about the giant text block. This isn’t as readable as I’d like.)
BSDTalk has 20 minutes of interview with James Nixon of iXsystems, from LISA 2011.
The links are sheer entertainment this week. No strong options or anything, not even about that U.S. legislative mess called SOPA.
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Basic Instructions. Well, not totally unrelated, since BSD author Michael Lucas’s tweet about it reminded me. I’ve got the first book; I need to get the second and third.
Last week was low on links, but this week is great! I hope you have some time set aside.
- This article “The Strange Birth and Long Life of UNIX” has a picture of a PDP-11. I don’t know if I ever actually saw one and knew it before. (via)
- Also from the same place: Window Managers Bloodlines.
- Anecdotal, but probably true. (via luxh on EFNet #dragonfly)
- nginx is the new cool and unpronounceable web server these days, apparently. Michael Lucas covers how to transition static Apache sites over to it.
- This PDF showing slides from the recent NYCBUG presentation by Ike Levy, titled “Inappropriate Cloud Use”, is entertaining, and makes a good point. Cloud computing is cheap on a per month basis, but since it’s a reoccurring cost, it can cost a surprisingly large amount in the long run. (via)
- Hey, a patch for DragonFly (and other BSD) support in Google’s leveldb.
- “Don’t Be a Free User” (via) The last paragraph is the best.
- An expanded grep and diff. ‘grep’ and ‘diff’ have been present for so long, and people understand what they do, generally, that new tools get named after them just because the concept is ingrained in people’s minds. Note that I said “generally”, as regular expressions can be difficult. (via)
- A lot of people don’t realize how they infringe on copyright. This writeup describes something I’ve seen for years: people think a disclaimer that effectively says “I’m infringing but I’m doing it with the best of intentions” makes a difference. It doesn’t.
- So this is what that Xerox Star GUI interface looked like. You know, the ‘first’ desktop GUI. (via) Also, there was some advanced stuff in 1968.
- I like this indicator light setup. (also via luxh on EFNet #dragonflybsd) There’s some other interesting old computer stuff at that site too. I wish there still were computers like these.
- While we’re talking about old things with a certain feel to them, why not Battersea Power Station? Here’s some pictures. (via)
Your unrelated link of the day: Since we’re talking about old things and environments, why not look at some pictures of my workplace?
BSDTalk 209 is out, and it’s a 16-minute conversation with Jim Brown about BSD Certification. (who I think I met at NYCBSDCon 2010; a pleasant guy)
The December issue of BSD Magazine is out, with the title “Rolling your own kernel”, though that’s just one of the articles there. No article from me this month.
The FreeBSD Foundation is putting out their end of year donation notice. Donate if you can; the support for active developers there helps everyone.
Another week, another linkpile.
- Here’s some old software. I’ve got something older sitting on my shelf here, though.
- A patch to DragonFly, taken from OpenBSD, submitted by Loganaden Velvindron and committed by Venkatesh Srinivas. The patch isn’t that exciting, but it makes me feel cool to namedrop non-Americanized names. If only I could pronounce them!
- Speaking of which, there isn’t always a lot of comments on this Digest (which is good; a long series of comments on the Internet tend to be the result of trolling or inanity.), but the recent strlen() story led to some juicy details.
- Man, I wish this NoteSlate device existed. There’s the BoogieBoard, but it’s not quite the same.
I’ll make up for my relatively low number of links by asking a question: Where do you go for your end of year gift giving? Where do you wish people would go to buy you gifts? I’m looking for suggestions for a gift guide.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Gun Show. This one and that one are my favorites.
Adrian Chadd showed up on the DragonFly kernel@ mailing list, offering some help in keeping things compatible with FreeBSD and 802.11 networking. That’s quite neighborly of him, especially since his hands are already pretty full.
As Brooks Davis kindly posted to users@, FOSDEM 2012 will have a “BSD Licensed Operating System Developers Room”. This has the most value to you if you’ll be near Brussels, February 4th and 5th.
Happy (post) Turkey Day for the U.S. readers! A light link week this week.
- Facebook is bad for the Internet. ‘Gaslighting’ is a new term to me. As that article points out, I can’t even put my posts to the Digest onto Facebook in any sort of automated way. Facebook suggests that of course I’d love to retype them all by hand. That’s not realistic. Facebook doesn’t want any sort of useful external link to be visible to their customers. Customers isn’t actually the right word; the customers are the advertisers. What would be a better word for the users? Crop?
- “the internet is above and beyond all else a resentment machine.“ It’s a very long essay that points out people are confusing brand identity with personal identity. (via)
- You know what would be good? More conversations about games on BSD, cause it could use some attention. Oh hey there you go.
- A Dragonfly lamp (via Julian Gehtdichgarnichtsan)
Your unrelated link of the week: Animals Talking In All Caps. It is what it says it is.
Francois Tigeot has updated his PDF of Postgres benchmarks with some OpenIndiana results. They’re crazy high, though he reported some freezes too, as with Linux.
BSDTalk 208 is out, where Will Backman talks for 15 minutes about how he uses BSD in his University of Maine UNIX class.
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“
Your random comic link of the day: Calamity of Challenge. Also here. And here. If this artist’s way of drawing grabs you like it grabs me, he has pages and commissions for sale.
Remember the Postgres benchmark I described here a few days ago? Francois Tigeot has updated it with numbers from Scientific Linux running the same pgbench procedure. (see page 2) If you’re too lazy to look at the PDF, his summary is this: Linux is fastest of all, and also crashes the most.
The November issue of BSD Magazine is out. No DragonFly content again, in part because I wasn’t even sure when the deadline was. (The editor changed.)
A bumper crop of articles to read this week.
- Ruby went to a BSD license. That’s nice to see. Commence licensing argument in 3… 2…
- DragonFly BSD on Ohloh hasn’t been updated in months – it should be noticing new commits automatically. Don’t know why. Any more vigorous users of Ohloh that know why?
- “Which OSS clustered file system should I use?” The commenters point out something that many people mix up: RAID redundancy is not backups.
- I always enjoy accounts of completely ineffective break-in attempts.
- In praise of “crap” technology. I must admit, I love just looking at stuff like what Brando sells, or various surplus sites. It’s never high-end fancy, but that is part of the appeal, as the linked article notes.
- Think of this speech the next time someone asks you for help online, no matter how accessible the answer.
- 20 years of Vim. Vim started on the Amiga, of all places. That would make vi itself about eleventy kajillion years old. Does it predate the release of 1BSD? I don’t know. Looking at a BSD family tree to see what I could learn, I also found that QNX was originally QUNIX. I didn’t know that either. Everything leads back to UNIX, really. I look forward to Jeremy C. Reed’s book about this early history…
- This electronic music site entertains me, for it is also available in amber. (You have to have seen monochrome monitors circa 1982 or so to understand…)
- Speaking of 1982, you may enjoy Nintendo Legend, CRPG Addict, and Blogging Ultima. (via trevorjk on #dragonflybsd IRC)
Random unrelated link for the week: “War Photographer“. This animation makes me so happy.
It’s snowing in the northeast U.S., which makes me happy! Keep going, sky!
- Richard Stallman’s requirements when giving talks/lectures. (via) I read this not unreasonable but long list and thought about it. Every requirement on there probably has an experience/story behind it… (“If you can find a host for me that has a friendly parrot, I will be very very glad.” – so this)
- Continuing the famous computer people trend of dying, John McCarthy died. He invented LISP (((insert parentheses joke here))) among other things, and wrote this story. (also via)
- I mentioned issues over the time zone database previously, but there’s a new home, and we’re still getting updates in DragonFly.
- And, it’s Dennis Ritchie Day. (via) That linked article does a good job of describing just how universal his influence has been.
- 64-bit ARM chips. (design PDF) This is just the announcement, but I bet these will be a good porting target in the next year or two if these designs wander out into the general market. (via many places)
- I’ve linked to similar deals before, but this one’s quite cheap: the Power Squid power strip sold as surplus. I find the design and name both great.
- Speaking of names, “I think Dragonfly is the coolest, cuz of the name.“
- I like this article on web advertising just because it has blocked-out screenshots that show exactly how much space gets used up by ads.
Unrelated link of the week: Manly Guys Doing Manly Things. Most of the jokes revolve around games you may or may not know, with the occasional realistic experience that I’ve had myself.
It’s out, titled “The Inevitability of IPv6″, and featuring an article by yours truly on the upcoming DragonFly release. (I thought it was already published? I’m not sure.)
Did you know that there’s a BSDDay 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia, on November 5th? Well, I do thanks to a random Google search and now you do too. You and I both need to keep watching BSD Events.
I didn’t know this existed, but there it is: the BSD Router Project is a software router, which just reached version 1.0. (via)
Go, look at the BSDday Argentina 2011 site. Follow the appropriate link for the languages you understand – it’s a console simulation! (via)
Some newer laptops have Intel integrated video chipsets that require GEM/KMS to work well; they are supported by the vesa driver in X, but performance isn’t great. Johannes Hofmann found this out the hard way. GEM/KMS support is on the way for various BSDs, but it’s not here yet. Just be aware of this if shopping for a new laptop in the next little while…
You’ll see Steve Jobs memorials all over the place for the next few days, but here’s something that won’t get mentioned much: He probably is responsible for putting UNIX – real, BSD-based UNIX – in the hands of more people than anyone else, ever.
I might have a job open at my workplace soon, for a junior admin/support/network role. (Department is too small for narrowly defined roles…) I’ll post about it here if it happens.
- libguestfs, ‘tools for accessing and modifying virtual machine disk images’. (via) I can think of a lot of places that could be useful.
- I did not know this, but FreshBSD tracks DragonFly commits, along with the commit logs of most (all?) other BSDs.
- Bruce Perens set up a “Covenant” license for the HPCC database (powers Lexis/Nexis) that is actually pretty good at allowing something to be both open source and commerical; the ‘release notes‘ talk about it.
- I agree with these sentiments on hiring exactly. If you really like what you do, you don’t just do it at work. (The author’s followup.) Putting it in a more positive light, showing work on open source, outside of your workplace, is a great thing to add to your resume. Never trust the graphic designer with sloppy handwriting.
- The majority of the 10 most stable web providers out there are running a BSD. FreeBSD, in this case. (via, via) (why does Twitter make it so hard to link to things? Cause they don’t want you reading the web – just them.)
- Usenet, as of 1981, with posts arriving in actual time (-30 years). (via) You can even use a NNTP reader to connect. Similar to but not as colossal as telehack, mentioned here before.
- DragonFly deployment.
- I am so proud of myself for coming up with this joke.
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It used to mostly be violent and nonsensical, but recent strips are excellent, like this one or this.
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.
BSD Magazine’s September issue is out. This time, I have an article in it about data recovery with Hammer:
We’ve all experienced instant regret. That’s the feeling that comes within a second of executing a command like “rm -rf * .txt” (note the space) or of cutting the wrong cluster of wires at the end of a long conduit. Not that I am quoting from experience, or anything like that, no…
It’s almost the end of summer here, or at least the traditional end of summer in North America. About time, too! I don’t like the heat. Anyway, as people trickle back to school, some more interesting doodads should show up for these weekly Lazy Reading posts…
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Jack Kirby art on what would have been his 94th birthday. I have trouble communicating how dramatic and influential his art has been.
This week has taught me one thing for sure: Always make sure your backup generator is working. And over-plan battery capacity. That’s actually two things, but what the heck. I’m tired, for reasons that can probably be inferred! I’m not the only one suffering these problems, it seems.
- There is a certain subset of readers here that will find this fascinating: a video of a game postmortem. Specifically, Elite. (via) Needs Flash.
- This is as good an article as any I’ve seen describing where the tablet computer market is going, at The Economist.
- Remember RetroBSD, mentioned here previously? Here’s some discussion of it.
- EuroBSDCon’s 2011 conference is open for registration, but the early bird discount only lasts until the end of August, so jump on it soon if you’re thinking of going. It’s the 10th anniversary of the event!
- PHP 5.3 is coming to pkgsrc as default, soon? The PHP 5.2 -> 5.3 transition seems to mess up a lot of code because of some changes in the way things are handled, or at least that’s my experience, so watch out.
- Make sure you aren’t running mod_deflate on your Apache 2.x server.
- Kristaps Dzonsons, the fellow behind mdocml (which is in DragonFly now and mentioned here before) is working on a mdoc manual. It’s an actual book, with examples. It’s titled “Practical UNIX Manuals: mdoc”, which sounds like part of a series, though I don’t know if there’s anything else. I’d sure like it if there was. (via Undeadly.) Look very closely at the mdoc web page and you will see the markup, too. Neat!
- Breakout treated as a musical instrument, in 1983. That’s too glib a summary of this explanation of an old book studying the game Breakout and playing it. Really, read the article, and remember that the book described would just be lost in a sea of
blog posts noise today. (via)
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Wonderella. This is the comic that ruined Batman for me. I can’t unthink it.
Ah, August. The month where everybody goes on vacation. I’ve been gone off and on for the last few weeks, so my link collection has been slower, but I’ve been able to keep up something.
Your unrelated comic link of the week: Nedroid. “Beartato” is one of the best names ever.
Yeah, unrelated links seem to always be comics. They offer the most reading.
I’m a bit slow in reporting this, but: BSD Magazine for August is out in free PDF form. The theme article is memory file systems, but there’s all sorts of stuff, including an article from me talking about how I set up bulk builds of pkgsrc.
We went from feast to famine, and now back to feast. grok.v12.su is back up and running, for your source comparison needs. It complements the one at pkgbox64.dragonflybsd.org – plus it still contains source for multiple operating systems.
Note/update: grok.v12.su is having some problems keeping Tomcat running, so your mileage may vary…
EuroBSDcon 2011, which is happening in Maarssen, The Netherlands 2011/10/6 to 2011/10/9, is now open for registration. This is the 10th anniversary!