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Comment Red Hat - Slackware - DSL - Ubuntu (Score 1) 867

My first was Red Hat 7.x out of the back of a book I bought at Barnes and Noble. I got a number of later Red Hat distros the same way, largely because downloading ISOs isn’t an option when you’re on dial-up.

The first set of ISOs I did download was for Slackware. Can’t remember the version, but I ran it until a hard drive died. Kinda lost the ability to run a full-size distro without a hard drive.

(At some point prior to Slackware I fooled around with OpenBSD. Not entirely relevant, but true.)

Damn Small Linux (DSL) was next. That worked extremely well and got me hooked on package management as a concept.

After I got a new hard drive I looked at Debian but the install process was too much of a pain in the ass. Remember that I’m coming from Slackware and OpenBSD at this point, with MS-DOS in my more distant history. So, no, I refuse to see this as my fault. Back then, Canonical was still giving away free Ubuntu DVDs so I ordered one. I got it in the mail and I've been using Ubuntu ever since. I think it was either Dapper or Edgy.

Also: I’ve been using the same window manager since Slackware. Window Maker just fits me.

Comment “Wasp” by Eric Frank Russell (Score 2) 1244

Wasp by Eric Frank Russell is about a human dropped onto an enemy alien’s planet to cause as much confusion and destruction as possible to destabilize the occupying force in advance of a human assault. It’s a great ‘war novel’ about, essentially, spy stuff and what would now likely be called terrorism. Eric Frank Russell is generally ignored now, in fact, and does not deserve to be.

Comment Re:Why haven't we heard about this? (Score 1) 539

Well, the analog over the air signal was phased out already. OTA should be digital now.

Unless you’re served by LPTV stations, for which there is still no mandated analog sunset:

The June 12, 2009 DTV transition deadline does not apply to low-power television stations. The FCC will determine a deadline for these stations to transition to digital at a future date.

Personally, I’m still receiving analog OTA TV near Havre, Montana from four American broadcasters and two Canadian ones. The American stations, being translators, identify as digital, but they are analog. I can’t get any digital OTA TV out here.

Comment Re:We need standards, good ones too. For Linux, to (Score 1) 558

Cars work with today's gas and roads.

No, not if they need leaded gas.

Old televisions work with today's services and electricity.

Not in the US they don’t, unless some old TV maker had a time machine and access to ATSC hardware, or if your definition of an ‘old’ TV includes TVs recent enough to be cable-ready and you have an analog cable hookup.

Yes, recompiling and recoding works - but why does Linux always have to rely on that, and other systems less so, having better binary compatibility?

I can run 32-bit binaries on my 64-bit system just fine. I just need the right libraries, just like with all of the other software I run. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Comment Re:A possible solution to this problem for all tim (Score 1) 1131

What if hundreds of thousands or even millions of westerners drew and posted online depictions of the prophet Mohammed? Would that finally make the point that secular cultures are not bound by religious law and enjoy the freedom to ignore dogma as desired?

No, it would convince them (the morons protesting South Park, the morons who rioted over the Danish cartoons, and similar people) that all Christians hate Islam and the Prophet and therefore want to kill them. They are convinced that we would be just as angry as they are if someone made really offensive pictures of Jesus. They do not understand our way of life.

I think a better plan might be to give them those offensive pictures of Jesus. Make a million images of Jesus being humiliated, urinate on a few thousand crucifixes, and maybe then they will begin to understand that we are not like them when it comes to religion.

Of course, then we might have to work on the fact a large number of us have no religion at all. That might take a while.

Comment Re:Problem (Score 1) 694

The fittest survive.
What is meant by the fittest?

The ones whose children have the most viable children, where ‘viable’ means ‘healthy and able to reproduce.’

That is not a quote from Darwin, by the way, but it sums up one small aspect of his whole theory. Where some people who do not understand it go wrong, however, is ascribing a moral dimension to all this. Nature is not moral.

Comment Re:For one thing... (Score 1) 368

You get to talk without infrastructure

But with a large amount of more-or-less direct Federal government oversight. To quote the artist, the FCC won’t let you be: As long as you are using the “public airwaves”, you are subject to laws that would not pass Constitutional muster in nearly any other space. You can’t even encrypt your communications to prevent ‘sensitive ears’ from hearing them.

Anyway, that’s what prevented me from pursuing a Ham license about fifteen years or so ago. I doubt very much has changed since.

Comment Re:"many developers are so intrigued" (Score 1) 434

There hasn't been a successful new systems programming language

Go is garbage-collected. That keeps it from being a systems programming language for a lot of people who actually use systems programming languages.

I’m not saying that’s ‘fair’ or ‘right’, it’s just the way it is.

(The difference with D is that in D, you can explicitly disable garbage collection for stretches of the code. A ‘Real Programmer’ would presumably disable it for the whole program.)

Comment Re:List his peace initiatives... (Score 1) 541

Saying that Tibet must be either an aristocratic theocracy or an imperial possession seems like a horrible false dilemma. Would the theocracy necessarily be re-established in a new free Tibet? I doubt that, given that the world would be watching, and not just hippies: An oppressive theocracy so close to Central Asia would be an intolerable power shift.

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