BSDCan 2013, which is happening in a few weeks, is going to have a “Documentation Lounge“, which is essentially a docs sprint, but with a much more relaxed-sounding name. Anyway, it’s a good thing to contribute to.
Eric Radman sent along a plug for a utility he is working on called entr(1). The desciption is “Run arbitrary commands when files change.” The site for it has several nifty examples – run make when *.c files change, or convert Markdown files to HTML as soon as they are modified. The really nice thing about it is that it’s perfectly BSD-friendly, and uses kqueue, but will also work on Linux. This beats the “This runs on the one flavor of Linux I use, in one particular shell!” approach I’ve seen from some other developers. See the reddit discussion of it for comparisons to inotify.
No, it’s not in pkgsrc/ports yet.
This is interesting: Verisign is sponsoring a new BSD convention (PDF link) in October, in Dulles, Virginia, USA. Apparently the use of BSD systems at the company is increasing, and they want to host something for it. The pkgNG presentation may be very interesting for DragonFly users. See the announcement. A new convention to support increased BSD uptake is really a nice surprise.
We are very close to the next release. As always, it comes down to building third-party software. Lots of material here to read, until then.
- E-TeX: Guidelines for Future TeX Extensions – revisited. It’s interesting to look at a software project that has had 20 years to run, with a very specific problem domain, and see that there’s always something more that could be done. (via)
- You SHOULD CONSIDER RFC6919. (via)
- The largest computer ever built. Why are there no SAGE emulators? (also via)
- The newlisp.org logo is a dragonfly, similar to ours. I don’t know why. Oh, wait: I bet it’s parentheses for the wings, which makes sense for Lisp. (thanks, Charles Rapenne)
- UNIX V5, OpenBSD, Plan 9, FreeBSD, and GNU coreutils implementations of echo.c. Not necessarily a fair comparison, but interesting; there’s some useful links in the comments, such as this similar exercise for cat.c. (via)
- Top 10 reasons I Like Postgres Over SQL Server. SQL Server is not that bad a product, but I do wish Postgres was run more often.
- Our Regressive Web. A story on how we’re losing the tools that let us focus on content on the web. The author doesn’t say, but should, that this is partially because we’re using platforms owned by other companies (Facebook, Twitter) instead of talking on our own. (email, blogs) (via)
- The earliest known version of D&D, the “Dalluhn Manuscript“, is on display at a museum right around the corner from me. (via)
- Workflow in Tmux. (via)
BSDTalk 244 is Marshall Kirk McKusick and George Neville-Neil talking about the FreeBSD Foundation, for a generous half-hour.
Constantine Aleksandrovich Murenin has put together a new site, bxr.su. His announcement to users@ goes into a lot of detail, but here’s a preview: it’s an OpenGrok site that has a forked version of OpenGrok that’s both speedy and takes BSD into account, along with other nice features.
Here’s the catch: it’s currently IPv6 only. IPv4 will be on as a test just today, and on for good shortly after. Read that announcement I mentioned for details.
I hope you like reading; there’s some very meaty links this week. Go get a cup of tea and settle in. You drink tea, don’t you? You ought to.
- Reading about KDE’s repository near-meltdown makes me think we need more checks for DragonFly. We have the advantage of Hammer, of course, which would help in the same way that the linked article names ZFS as a ‘fix’. (via multiple places)
- We know that Apple will reject apps it disagrees with. Google also will do so. Has there ever been a program rejected from pkgsrc or (FreeBSD/OpenBSD) ports on content grounds? Not that I know of – anyone remember differently? I’d argue that’s a favorable point for the BSD packaging systems, though it may just be that no application has tested those boundaries yet.
- Portscanning all IPv4 addresses on the planet. Possibly the largest distributed effort ever? The detail in the maps and returned services is especially interesting. (via)
- Scale Fail, a Youtube video of a 2011 talk about screwing up your services. Mostly about the humor, but the underlying points are valid. (via #dragonflybsd IRC)
- There’s still improvement possible to fsck, apparently based on this. That’s UFS2 fsck.
- What is your most productive shortcut with Vim? A very thorough explanation of verbs, marks, and registers. Holy cow, I wish I had known about ‘: … v’ before. It’s long, but worth it. (via)
- Matthew Garret’s description of Secure Boot vs. Restricted Boot with UEFI, (via a coworker who went to Libreplanet 2013). I’m still not sure what DragonFly will need to do about this.
- I missed mentioning this earlier: 20 years of NetBSD. We’re coming up on 10 soon.
- Dragonfly drones. Unrelated except for name.
- That guy who starts to froth madly every time BSD is mentioned on Phoronix is still there (see comments).
- Mainframe computer supercut. (via)
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter asked people for their lists of webcomics that could go in a ‘Hall of Fame’. The resulting list is a lot of really, really good material. Go use up a few hours reading.
OpenGrok is a source browser that I have not used extensively, but many people say is a great tool. The same people say it’s difficult to run. Zafer Aydogan just posted that DragonFly’s source is available now from his perfectly-functional OpenGrok installation.
(I’ll put it in the links sidebar here, too.)
Michael W. Lucas posted about his results selling an early edition of his recent DNSSEC book through Leanpub. He lays out all the numbers in detail, the sort of thing I love to see. The idea of self-publishing and open source go hand in hand, but the idea of that selling is often talked about in speculative terms rather than concrete. He’s now opening his own direct sales store, which hopefully means more direct BSD material.
NetBSD is using/will be using? ‘npf’, a new
version of pf similarly-named-but completely-different firewall from pf. Hubert Feyrer put together a bunch of links talking about it. I link this because DragonFly is using a version of pf equivalent to what OpenBSD 4.8, and there’s been some discussion of what to do next; it appears FreeBSD and NetBSD are forking off separately from OpenBSD’s version.
Update: npf and pf share 2 letters in the name and nothing else, as Joerg told me – corrected.
Peter Avalos has committed another batch of updates to sh(1), from FreeBSD. I was going to comment on how strange it was to see software getting updated so many years later; you’d think everything there was to update for /bin/sh had been done at this point. Digging casually, the oldest bit on sh that I can find is from 1991 – 22 years old. The man page mentions a rewrite in 1989 based on System V Release 4 UNIX, and there were versions of sh all the way back to version 1.
Here’s a trivia question – what’s the oldest Unix utility, and what’s the oldest code still in use? I don’t know the answer.
I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently DragonFly’s version of patch(1) comes from OpenBSD and NetBSD. FreeBSD’s old version of patch is being replaced by this and modified to match the old one’s behaviors. It would be worthwhile to bring these changes back, if possible, just to reduce the differences in a utility that’s already been around the world, so to speak.
As an aside, I always thought patch was one of Larry Wall’s unsung successes, and I’m entertained by any program that has “Hmm…” as one of its official outputs.
I am all over the place with links this week – some of them pretty far off the path. There’s a lot, too, so enjoy!
- Puctuation obscurantism, punctuation humor; I like it all. (via)
- Exporting your git repository. Found while looking for something else.
- I want CTRL-D at a terminal to make something like this to happen.
- Visual Representation of Regular Expression Character Classes. I like visual ways of classifying complex data.
- Speaking of which: Anatomy of Data. Not sure how I found it.
- Digital Files and 3D Printing – In the Renaissance? The title sounds a bit linkbaity, but the story of the 14th century map designed to be recreated with a graphing tool is pretty neat.
- Postgres: The Bits You Haven’t Found. Advanced/odd Postgres usage. (via)
- Breaking your arrow keys is the latest idea in improving Vim usage.
- PC-BSD is moving to a ‘rolling release’ format, and also using the new pkg tools that are also in DPorts. Historic details on this new setup are available.
- Fred, taking off.
- Ten hours with the most inscrutable game of all time. I like the idea of Dwarf Fortress more than I actually like playing it. I’m somewhat afraid of it. It looks like this sounds.
- That last comparison wasn’t necessarily fair, but it was fun.
- If I’m going to talk about music like that, I should link Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music.
- The Wizard of Pinball. I just want my own standup pinball or arcade cabinet game. Yes, yes, I know, MAME cabinet.
- Appropriately this week, “Ball Saved”, page 1 and page 2 of a 2-page comic about pinball.
- UnReal World, an Iron-Age roguelike. Apparently pretty brutal, and two decades in development. Runs on several platforms, but not BSD. (via)
- You Are Boring. Some of the ‘boring’ items made me laugh. (via)
- The first review of Michael W. Lucas’s Absolute OpenBSD, Second Edition is available.
Your unrelated link of the week: I’ve already been offbeat enough in this Lazy Reading; I don’t have anything else.
Here’s 3 recent and different commits to DragonFly that I’m commenting on all at once:
- Peter Avalos upgraded libarchive in DragonFly to 3.1.2, with a note of the changes. An ordinary and appreciated update.
- Sascha Wildner updated the ISO639 file to include the newest update: “Standard Moroccan Tamazight”. There’s no particular utility to that; I just like saying “Standard Moroccan Tamazight” out loud.
- Work on poudriere, the utility for bulk-building DPorts packages, has caused some nice speedups for DragonFly in extremely stressful situations. See one of Matthew Dillon’s recent commits.
I really wish the other BSD projects would include commit lines in the mail message subjects, so it was easier to catch things like these.
A calm week, for once.
- Via Michael W. Lucas: Absolut OpenBSD.
- Another ‘How I customize Vim’ style post. These things always sound great, but I worry that it’s not something that can be duplicated. If you had to rebuild or duplicate your Vim environment elsewhere, you’d have to write out your own instructions. Not impossible, but I don’t have to do that for anything else. (via)
- Twine, a game creation tool that really requires only writing. (via)
- The Oxford Comma, or how it doesn’t matter. (via)
- The Story of the PING Program. I could have sworn I linked to this before. I remember having someone explain ping to me when I was young and had little experience of IP networking; it seemed like magic where the computers would actually talk. (via vsrinivas on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- ARPANet, 1971, as a tattoo. (via)
Your unrelated comics link of the week: Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman. All the early issues, available in electronic form, for pay-what-you-want. (And I advise paying; it’s a fun comic) Look at a sample page if you are curious.
Michael W. Lucas needs people who know DNSSEC, BIND, have some time, and are willing to criticize him. He’s finished his first draft of DNSSEC Mastery, and needs reviewers.
The February 2013 issue of BSD Magazine, available as a free PDF, talks about VAX/VMS ‘rehosting’, has a PC-BSD preview, and other things. The teaser paragraph for the “Fear, Loathing and Misunderstandings” article (shown on that linked page) is perfect.
This week I will both post this on the correct day AND get the date in the title correct.
- An oldie but goodie. ENHANCE. This will make anyone who has done photo/video editing twitch. Check the author’s Tumblr for more supercuts. (indirectly via)
- Many people complain about regular expressions (and more recently), but they are an insanely powerful tool if you know them well. If you do, figure out this crossword. (PDF) (via)
- Followup on the first two links in that last item: xkcd drives a lot of traffic!
- If you are on Windows, you probably use PuTTY for ssh. It saves everything in the registry, which can occasionally mean losing all your configuration. There’s manual ways to save it, but there’s also PuTTYtray. (I’ve used portaPuTTY in the past, but it seems to be missing/no longer updated.)
- Actually, holy crap there’s a lot of variations/addons for PuTTY.
- That makes sense given how many terminal emulators there are, really.
- Why piping something off the Internet right to a shell isn’t a good idea. (via)
- Remember when the computer section in bookstores had books that involved programming? (unfair, I know.)
- “Don’t Be A Stranger“, musing on how there isn’t enough meeting strangers through the Internet any more. Here’s the odd thought I had while reading that article: I couldn’t pick most of the other DragonFly developers out of a lineup, but I’ve been working and talking with some of them for a decade.
- You could build Photoshop version 1 yourself – just substitute the original Mac libraries.
- Related: Photoshop is a city for everyone.
- Some of the oldest color film footage. Not the oldest,but possibly some of the earliest commercial film. Of course, the first thing filmed are young, attractive women. This is a re-occurring theme.
- Hey, a comprehensive year-end BSD roundup.
Wait, this is better! That previous link led to this film from an English chemistry professor about tea chemistry. At first I was just entertained by his hair and his accent, but when he put tea in a NMR spectrometer, I decided this was the best tea thing ever. Even better than Elemental!
No theme evolved this week, but that’s OK.
- Here’s a good coincidence: I already had a link to post from Ycombinator about the rather scary Ken Thompson compiler hack. Note that the Ycombinator answers are generally, “Nah, this hack is extremely unlikely to happen.” Except Christian Neukirchen happened to note separately that this really happened as recently as 2009, with Delphi.
- This poster doesn’t understand that “removing the license” is not a legitimate use of BSD-licensed code.
- That crazy anti-BSD ranter on phoronix is getting a fan club – just what every troll desires, unfortunately.
- OpenBSD is actually looking at paring down ports, which makes sense when you read why.
- LearnYouAHaskell.com – a free tutorial on the programming language Haskell. It’s entertainingly written. (via EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- Courier Prime, a new version of the ‘traditional’ Courier monospace font. (via) Reading about Courier Prime to the end leads to a mention of Inconsolata as a good ‘coding’ font. Anyone tried it? Sans-serif monospace fonts are the most subtle way you can make your xterm look modern, I think. Update: Thomas Klausner just added courier-prime to pkgsrc, so you can try it now. Inconsolata is already there.
- Who hasn’t thought about doing this with the computers in their house, really?
- “Storyboard was born of my insane desire to consume videos without actually having to watch them.“
- A modem from the 1960s, communicating. I’d like this even if it didn’t work; the box is nice. I remember watching text scroll on screen like that with a 1200-baud unit. (via aggelos on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
- Related to that: The sound of the dialup, pictured. (via)
Your unrelated link of the week: MeTube: August sings Carmen ‘Habanera’. Might be NSFW, probably will make you mildly confused or uncomfortable. Here’s the ‘making of’ video which is all in German, I think. If that’s too much, try a recent Cyriak-animated video. I never thought I’d recommend a Cyriak video as the less disturbing thing to watch.
The Phoronix benchmark has been pretty Linux-specific over recent history. However, whatever your feelings about benchmarks in general, it looks like there’s a distinct effort to improve BSD support.
Michael W. Lucas is working on a DNSSEC book that he’s self-publishing, similar to SSH Mastery. He’s making an early draft available for purchase, at a discount. You get access to the updates, so you effectively get the book for less, plus you can offer feedback before the publishing date.
This is a familiar concept for software, where early purchasers get access to a ‘beta’ version of software for testing… It’ll be interesting to see how it works for a book.
Will Backman has a new BSDTalk episode up, with a bit of Peter Salus from BSDCan 2011 and a bit of Raspberry Pi on FreeBSD.
We need more fiddling-with-BSD-on-hardware stuff out there. That would be a good thing for Youtube – hint, hint.
Here’s an unsolicited testimonial for a BSD-based company. My employer recently bought some of the assets of another company, in another state. I showed up not sure exactly what I’d encounter, since the facility had never had anything better than out-of-state IT support via phone, and there had been very little time to plan.
The facility had 3 different network gateway devices from varying manufacturers, all old, and mostly dead. The one working ancient Linksys small business gateway wasn’t physically able to work the way I wanted for extending our corporate network. So, in a mild panic, I grabbed one of the defunct machines there and installed pfSense - a FreeBSD-based firewall/gateway solution, for those who aren’t familiar with it. This is not unlike Michael W. Lucas’s BSD Origin Story.
It worked wonderfully. It was very easy to configure. I had exactly one problem: certain protocols like RDP would drop every few minutes. I bought the basic support tier for pfSense – and had a working answer immediately. Even with the support purchase, this has been cheaper and less work than purchasing the Cisco equipment my workplace normally uses.
Peter Avalos has updated m4 for DragonFly. This will bring us a little more in sync with the other BSDs. Also, John Marino has updated flex, which is apparently 17 years old? Meaning it hasn’t been updated in DragonFly ever, and then not in FreeBSD before that, for a long time. Looking at the timeline on the flex web page appears to match.
It’s a very short week this week. I was on the road for work, so I didn’t see anywhere as much of the Internet as I may have liked. Count my dports writeup yesterday as part of this and it averages out to a good amount of reading.
- Favorite Linux Commands. Not all of them are Linux/bash specific. (via)
- Advanced Vim Registers. Or buffers, or clipboards, if you want to get messy with terms. (via)
- “I hate BSD so much!”, he yelled at his spittle-flecked monitor.
- TOME, a roguelike. Read through the comments for discussion of many other roguelike games.
January’s issue of BSD Magazine has something I didn’t expect: an article on panoramic photography on BSD – among other material.
BSDCan 2013 is looking for papers, all due by the 19th. I mentioned it before, but a reminder went out and Michael W. Lucas wrote up a lengthy explanation of how and why you should present that paper.
Are you anywhere near Italy? BSD-Day is happening April 6th, 2013, in Naples, Italy, and it would be nice to have some DragonFly representation. (seen on #dragonflybsd on EFNet.)
Will you be near Berlin, Germany, in March? The pkgsrccon 2013 technical conference will be held there. Julian Djamil Fagir posted details about the event. The conference is free; you pay for your food and drink. If you’re interested in presenting, you need to contact them before March 8th.
The Open Graphics Project, which is building a completely open video card, needs a wiki maintainer. It’s a volunteer effort. If you were perhaps thinking you wanted to step up to a more complex project but didn’t want to just be writing code, here is a perfect opportunity.
(Not too different from maintaining a project work blog, after all, and I know that’s rewarding.)
Right in time for the end of the year, BSDTalk 221 is out, with Michael Dexter interviewing Matthieu Herrb at EuroBSDCon 2012 for 11 minutes about Xenocara.
BSDCan 2013, which is being held in Ottawa May 17th-18th, has a call for papers out. You’ve got until January 19th to submit, so just about a month.
BSD Magazine for December is out, offering the usual mix of articles in a free PDF. There’s several Postgres articles in this one.
Whomever submitted this story to Slashdot really doesn’t like FreeBSD; they’re describing FreeBSD’s annual end-of-year fund drive as failed. The month-long drive is only about a week old and has already picked up donations at a faster rate than any previous year’s donation drive, but apparently the poster – and Slashdot’s editors – can’t be bothered to do math. While we’re on the topic, donate to the FreeBSD Foundation; they do good things.
(There’s DragonFly too, though we’re not as ambitious or officially 501(c)(3) non-profit.)
It’s the end of the year, so it’s time for the FreeBSD Foundation’s end of year campaign.
NYCBUG is joining up with a whole bunch of other software user groups (Linux, Lisp, Puppet, etc.) for a holiday party on December 11th. This may not do you much good unless you live within a few hour’s travel, but I like seeing that sort of cross-group get-togethers, with no sponsor other than the desire to talk and drink.
A person labeled only as ‘wicked’ sent me a link to this conversation about BSD unification. I’ve seen the topic brought up before, and I’d argue that it’s already happening, slowly. DragonFly has code brought in from FreeBSD, pkgsrc from NetBSD, pf and dhclient from OpenBSD, etc. ’bmake’ is used in NetBSD, FreeBSD, and DragonFly now. Clang works across the board, I think (dunno the status on OpenBSD). There’s more of that cross-pollination going on if you think about it.
The free download of the October issue of BSD Magazine is available. The theme this month is security, though of course there’s more covered.
DragonFly 3.2 branches tomorrow if all goes to plan. Until then, I have a lot of reading here for you.
- Winners of the International Obfuscated C Code Contest for 2012. (via) The winning entries don’t appear to be listed yet, but you can look at previous years.
- “At often, the goat-time install a error is vomit.” (via)
- This makes the D&D player in me take notice: A set of 12 sided dice that never tie. You can buy them, along with a bunch of other custom dice, right from the maker. (also via)
- “To understand the command line…” There’s some good UNIX history notes in there. Don’t hold the ‘User Friendly’ cartoon image against the author. (via)
- Dan Langille does it right when figuring out where his disk space went.
- Monthly Catonmat geek T-shirts. I know, I know, the last thing the world needs is more nerdshirts, but I like the first one on offer.
- Images to make perfectionists suffer. At first I laughed, and then I started to get irritated. (via)
- This networking change in Linux just makes me feel icky. (via ftigeot on #dragonflybsd)
- An Interview with Brian Kernighan on C and the C Programming Language. (via)
- Statistics from 777 .vimrc files. (via) Hover your mouse over the ‘sparkline’ graphs for more information. That’s a very slick way to get more information into a small space. It also led me to this wonderful Solarized colorscheme.
- OCaml 4 will show up in pkgsrc soon.
- Bob Bagwill got DragonFly added on AlternativeTo.net.
- I link to this step by step sed explanation because I found it useful, and because it has this “perverse” example:
- The “dragonfly issue“. (thanks, Dean.)
- The Hall of Unwanted Dotcoms. Some of these are just fun to say. (via)
- 20 Years of Thinkpad. I have a Thinkpad x220 for work and I like the way it’s built far more than any other laptop I’ve dealt with.
The weather is finally turning cooler, which makes me happy.
- I don’t think I’ve seen this before: Very old UNIX releases, listed for running in emulation. (via)
- Where the red-black tree name came from. A red-black tree underpins Hammer 1′s data structures, though it does not in Hammer 2. (also via)
- Someone with a HP passport login want to help this guy? He just needs to reinstall Windows in IDE mode, or perhaps find the right sysctl to toggle.
- The acme editor, from Plan 9. I didn’t realize it’s 20 years old.
- Speaking of editors, Replace in Multiple Files with Vim. I haven’t seen the argdo command before, or the Vim Ninjas site. Their color schemes article is useful just for the screenshots. (via)
- Adbuntu. It’s not as bad or as inconsequential as most reactions would lead you to believe, but advertising within an OS seems heavy-handed. The BSD model has been to use the operating system as a vehicle for selling hardware, and that’s been much more successful. (see iOS, PC-BSD.)
- Where Did the Internet Come From?
- The map for Adventure. (via)
Your unrelated link of the day: Victorian Sci-Fi. It’s not just a reference list, it’s a link to a lot of the original material, since copyright no longer applies.
Francois Tigeot benchmarked the recent Postgres 9.3 release. Postgres apparently switched to using mmap instead of SYSV shared memory, and Francois has done this to show the performance differences. (view the PDF in his post.) Of course, work has continued since this was posted, so there should be new numbers soon, and new changes I’ll document in a future post.
I haven’t found a reference to the exact decision Postgres made on how to handle memory; please post a link in comments if you know a good source.
The September issue of BSD Magazine is out, as a free PDF as usual. Visit the site to find out the table of contents.
David Gwynne talks for 31 minutes about OpenBSD on BSDTalk 219. Also, Will Backman, the host of BSDTalk is heading to Tbilisi, Georgia next month. Say ‘hi’ if you’re a Georgian.
This recent question asked on-list about creating your own file system meandered into good reference books. This so far was “The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System“, “Modern Operating Systems“, and the paper “Vnodes: An Architecture for Multiple File System Types in Sun UNIX“. Looking for links on those things led me to this Unix filesystem history paper from IBM, which is fun reading.
I’m saying that unironically! It really is an interesting document to read, for historical and general knowledge. I am a nerd.
BSD Magazine has a “Best of 2011″ issue out for purchase; it has updated versions of various articles published over the last year in BSD Magazine. The price is not clear on the website.
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 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.
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.
- Coming Home to Vim. More tips than you can get through in one reading, I think. (via)
- This is a time saver: Vim completion. (via same place)
- You might be a Unix geek. (again)
- Hey, this is a good idea: OpenBSD commits on Twitter.
- I miss cassettes.
- “BSD is a Microsoft plot” is the craziest thing I’ve heard in a while.
- I like this Kickstarter for a USB LED indicator, and not just because it includes the man page reference in the project name. (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.”)
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.
I have such a surplus of links these days that I started this Lazy Reading two weeks ago.
- Setting Up spamd(8) With Secondary MXes In Play In Four Easy Steps. Reprinted from bsdly.
- A Brief History of Videogames. (via) A 3 minute movie.
- Networking by Example with the Packet Construction Set. An mp3 of the NYCBUG presentation from George Neville-Neil. I wish I was just a little closer to NYC so I could attend these… but then I’d be in Syracuse or Albany, and that’s not as cool as Rochester.
- I knew Interix existed, but I had never looked at it. Apparently there’s community-created bundles of software to go with it. I think pkgsrc works with it too.
- SSD prices appear to be crashing. Now may be a good time to buy. Having a SSD is possibly the bestest part of my work laptop.
- Buffers, Windows, and Tabs in Vim. A good explanation for terms unfortunately used somewhat differently in Vim that you’d expect. (via)
- Magenta, Darwin/BSD (so sorta FreeBSDish?) on top of Linux. Quoted from page: “This is a very weird project.” As time goes on, what you would think of as BSD goes through new mutations and growths. (also via)
- Some selected BSD desktops. XFCE seems to be the most popular; that may not be a surprise in an environment where you are compiling or installing yourself. Various Linux distributions coming with a set desktop hide the pain of compiling all of GNOME/KDE from the user. Whether that is good or bad is a matter of debate.
- I never heard the term troll-hugging before, but this description of how a caustic software community will become a smaller software community makes sense. (via)
- This emulated VMSCluster setup cost probably close to $150. It would have cost a quarter million or more when I was in college. (via)
- It’s a Learning Perl book, from Wrox. But the whole thing appears to be available online at O’Reilly’s site for free? I’m not sure what that is.
- Zork 1 played via Twitter.
- The Interrupted Unix FAQ. (via) Funny, but probably also a good thing to memorize.
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.