Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

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(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   difficult season for the impatient
Tuesday, March 30 2004
Today was one of those cold, clammy days that make springtime a difficult season for the impatient. I went outside at one point to check the range on my wireless network and decided fuck it, I'll wait for a warmer day.

For the past couple of days, I've been trying out various alternatives to the Windows desktop. Yesterday, for the first time, I installed the proprietary microkernel QNX operating system on a computer to see how it might work as an operating system for a hypothetical grandmother who just needs to check her email, write and print documents, browse the web, and avoid spyware and viruses. For that application it didn't seem too bad, since it can run both the Mozilla web browser and the AbiWord word processor. But it seems weak by the standards of modern operating systems. You can't put anything on the desktop, and if you want to do anything serious, you have to drop down into a terminal window to do it. Once you're there, though, you seem to have the full power of a real Unix.
This evening I wanted to see how well a Linux machine running the KDE desktop would serve me in my everyday computational tasks. Part of my motivation was a recent new instability on Woodchuck, my Windows 2000 box, that causes the screen to temporarily fill with a big blinking white box - I think it has something to do with Homesite 5 and FTP Explorer, the latter of which always crashes when this happens.
After a few minutes with KDE, I had to flee back to Windows. For starters, the SAMBA technology that allows me to copy from Windows network shares was extremely flaky, claiming it couldn't read some files that I needed to copy from Woodchuck. And then I encountered an instance where I couldn't just drag and drop an MP3 from a directory into media player's playlist. That last failure might sound trivial, but for me it was a dealbreaker. I refuse to go back to the bad old days pre-drag-and-drop. Hell, an absence of drag and drop is most of the reason I disliked QNX. (And the presence of drag and drop is what had me using Macintosh in preference to PCs from 1989-1997.)

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