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Semiformalishmaybe

New Digital Homes

Ordered a new computer; old one is becoming quirky and its case is starting to come apart. Specs:

  • HP Envy 17 3D
  • Intel i7-2630QM
  • 8G RAM
  • 1G Radeon HD6850M, LCD that does 1920x1080
  • 640G HD (will swap with SSD)
  • Extra 9-cell battery
  • Extra power adapter
  • Built-in Webcam
  • Blu-Ray Player, DVD Burner - Could've done without any disclike media at all. Oh well.
  • HP 3D Active Shutter Glasses (???)
  • Windows. Eww. Adobe crapware. Also eww.

I captured my general opinions accurately in my last post, regarding Westboro's picketing of US Soldiers, but got the facts wrong in that specific case; Westboro's pickets were not in fact in the immediate vicinity of the funerals, and so that falls into the grounds of what I think should be legally permitted. I think protesting funerals/births/weddings should be strongly frowned upon, even for people/families that did monstrous things.

I'm bothered at certain advances in military technology. It's weird to be part of a university that's active in developing these things.

Someone on a soapbox gets nostalgic about Linux in "the old days", but it's 60% BS:

  1. Linuxconf - Seriously? It was one of the worst management tools for a Unix I've ever seen. It was trying to do an impossible task; change the configuration files of a number of unmodified pieces of software, and to that end it'd happily overwrite all their configs without making any effort to read/parse any changes you made outside of it. Eventually, companies decided to hire their own engineers and modify much of the software on their system to make them more easily managed by config tools, and more easily handled by package systems. Linuxconf was happily buried a long time ago.
  2. The challenge? Dude's a snob.
  3. Wordperfect - There were a few versions of WordPerfect for Linux that were decent. Yes, it was a great product, just like it was on DOS. Still, we have other nice software available today; we're not that badly off. Abiword for those who want speed, various descendants of StarOffice for heavy-lifting, and LyX for LaTeX fans. The latter are those who really have the spirit of Unix; I suspect people nostalgic for Wordperfect are really people who kept some of the DOS mentality.
  4. Linus Torvalds' sound byte - What distro did that? Also he uses this to soapbox about missing the old opensource community ... which is maybe an ok thing to say, but say it directly.
  5. Window managers - Still possible. I'm still on WindowMaker. Given what I've read about the next version of GNOME (no minimise button? Really? Well then DIAF, GNOME developers), I'm in no rush to leave.
  6. Linus Torvalds - No. Linus has technical skills, but he's a bit of an idiot when it comes to thinking about licenses or social things. Maybe the author was a bit of a fanboy and his personal journey took him out of that. Too bad.
  7. Loki Games - I agree with him here. I have a lot of Lokigames products, and hung out with a number of company folk on IRC. It seems a pity to have lost them.
  8. Vi/Emacs wars - I do not miss these, because I am not 12 years old.
  9. Thousands of distros - What is he even talking about.

Hillary Clinton recently pointed out the elephant in the room - that out news media in the United States is very poor, and that there exist good alternatives overseas (many of which are publically funded). Al Jazeera, she notes, is taking off because it provides real news. I'm surprised that she said it (sensitive topic!), but she's right. I've used Al Jazeera for years as one of my few always-read news sources; it's really high quality for news all over the world. If it catches on in the US, I'd be delighted. Our existing news media do a bad enough job that it's very hard for Americans to stay informed, and it's hard to believe that CNN is making a serious effort anymore (Fox is better, despite its crazy bias).

I've wanted to do the dancing thing, but my throat/lungs have been frustratingly reluctant to declare a full recovery from flu, despite everything else being pretty much ok. Le sigh.

Comments

Yeah, what the fuck happened to CNN?