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User Journal

Journal Journal: Coming Home Again? 11

I've been hopping Linux distros since I decided (for reasons of my own) against intentionally using systemd-based distros. I'm not interested in systemd flame wars, so don't bother here.

At any rate, I've come across SalixOS, and so far I think I like it. It's a direct Slackware derivative, which I find quite interesting because Slackware is the first distro I ever used.

Waaaaay back in the early-to-mid 1990s, my dad sent me a box of 3.5" floppies. On these floppies was Slackware Linux. I don't remember the version, but I think I have most of them kicking around still, so if I felt the need, I might dig them up and see if I can install enough to get a version number from it. What I do remember is that it had kernel version 0.99pl10 on it.

Since my introduction to Linux on Slackware, I've used Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS (professionally and personally), Debian/Devuan, Arch, and Aurora (a Red Hat derivative for use on the Sun SPARC platform), in no particular order.

It's interesting, having to find all the dependencies again and having to re-compile kernels to get something newer than what comes in the box.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A simple reason... 9

I'm writing this here, largely because I don't trust Facebook to not remove the post when someone gets all butt-hurt about the subject matter.

If you're going to read this, I encourage you to read through the whole thing before you decide to trigger off of one or two phrases I choose to use.

That said...

I have one simple reason why people (in the US) should vote for Donald Trump: he's a white man.

I don't mean that in the raaaacist sense. Consider this:
  • The President of the United States can be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors". The details are pretty-much up to the House of Representatives to decide what constitutes "misdemeanor". This could be evidenced as recently as December 19, 1998, when Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives.
  • If Hillary were elected, nobody in Washington would even dream of attempting to impeach her. Who wants to go on record as being the one to initiate impeachment proceedings against the first woman president? Seriously, that's the same mindset that has protected Obama-- There have been lots of people trying to get the House to consider impeachment proceedings against him for any of several dozen actions he's responsible for, but nobody wants to have that hanging over their head in an election year, especially if the impeachment failed to pass. A win for Hillary would give her permission to do whatever the heck she pleased, with absolutely no concern for repercussions. It has worked for Obama, it will work for her.
  • If Trump were president, there is not a soul in Washington that would not hesitate to attempt to impeach him if he messed-up. People in Washington hate him so much, I'd be surprised if he finished his first term (remember that first point?). Even if he did finish it, the likelihood of him performing well enough to justify a second term is pretty slim at this stage of the game.

In short: Nobody wants to take the blame for attempting to impeach the first $CHARACTERISTIC president. Trump has no characteristic that would possibly protect him if he screwed things up: he cannot play a race card or a sexism card. He's got nothin'.

He's got everything to lose by getting impeached and everything to gain by doing the Right Things.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Two things... 6

First thing: I see that articles and Journals on /. now have icons to facilitate sharing said articles on other sites. How would one request adding others, like Voat?

Second thing: I got myself a new computer, an Alienware Alpha. The system I have has the i7 processor. It's been in my possession a couple days and I have to say that so far, I am quite happy with it. It's not a top-of-the-line system, but for the price point (less than $700, and I had a discount on top of that), it appears to be worth every penny. The only thing I'm not thrilled about is that it came with Win10, but there's not much one can do about that these days.
User Journal

Journal Journal: What is the point?

So, Dice.com. Why do you give me a check box to disable ads if YOU ARE GOING TO DISPLAY ADS ANYWAYS?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Teaching Python 4

Well, it looks like I'll be teaching one of my kids how to program.

To an extent, he's already familiar with some programming, as he's figured out how to program a TI calculator (not sure of the model, but it's in the 80s). Whether he understands the instructions he gives his calculator or not, I don't know. He'll know far more when I'm done. :)

I've decided to go with Python instead of any of several other languages available. One thing that I thought was important is that the base installation (in Linux and in Windows) has a module called "turtle". If you're old enough to remember learning Terrapin Logo or Karel (by way of Apple Pascal), then the idea behind turtle should not be foreign to you.

The idea is that you have a "turtle", a cursor that represents where all the action is going to happen. You give it instructions and depending on whether the pen is "up" or "down", it will draw as it goes. Tell it to move left, right, forward, or backward, and off it goes.

turtle is cool because its programs are really Python, whether the student realizes it or not. New functions (methods) can be created. What is drawn by the program is displayed with no hassle.

In all, it's pretty cool. I'm actually looking forward to playing around with it as I teach it to my son. Maybe one or both of the other two will become interested as well? Only one way to find out. :D

User Journal

Journal Journal: Your opinion matters... 3

...to me, at least.

Does anyone else have experience with keybase.io ?

I was given an invitation to it. I've signed in and set up a couple things, but I haven't had much else to do with it so far.

I'm curious to see what others think of it. Your thoughts?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Back into Python 1

Okay... A couple weeks ago, I decided to take another look at Python-- the first such look I've given the language since around 1997.

So far, I have the basic stuff down. I've got a quick script down that provides functions to add ANSI colors to my output, so I have that going for me. :D

I have Python 2.x on a VM on my work system, but I'm using Python3 on my home system.

Now I need to look at learning classes and lambda (I know OF classes but I've only heard of lambda in passing), and that may take me a while.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fallout 7

Pretty interesting, that Reddit has been undergoing some grief over their policy changes. Many of their readership have jumped ship (to one extent or another) to voat.co, a site that has recently incorporated as an American entity in order to improve their chances of success. Factors in play (according to their announcement) include the ability to host in the US, ability to get financial support from the readers, and freedoms guaranteed under the US Constitution.

Reddit looks tired and old. Voat appears refreshing (mostly), though some of the attitude that drove Reddit is now driving Voat. By this, I mean the Hive Mind is active there, already able to "downvoat" points of view that they don't like.

I'm really hoping Slashdot improves again. The tales I've heard of Dice wanting to sell Slashdot might be a Good Thingâ, if it means that the buyer is willing to go back to Grass Roots.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Google, my Hero! 6

Yeah, I said that.

Many, many moons ago, anyone that knows me that long might remember me asking about where to find a two-page advertisement that Sun Microsystems had put out some time around 1998. It had a picture of Sally Struthers and a caption that said something like "Thinking of running your critical apps on NT? Isn't there enough world suffering?"

Well, it's been found in the November 23, 1998 issue of InfoWorld, on pages 8 and 9.

Needless to say, I'm very happy. :)
User Journal

Journal Journal: Well, this should be fun... 3

I went to SlashCode.com and saw there was a link for the code that runs Slashdot (well, probably several versions ago). Fine. I have a file called Bundle-Slash-2.5.2.tar.gz . There's a link for instructions, BUT it's a dead link.

I wonder how long it will take before I have something useful?

If I can get it running, I'll let you all know... Pudge, if you're reading this... A little guidance would be greatly appreciated. :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Two-Factor Authentication 2

Finally got TFA working on my home system. Trying to SSH into the box will require the PIN and the password. This will only present a problem when I'm using an SSH client from my phone.

Does anyone have personal experiences with this sort of thing? (I have professional experience with it, but this is the first time I've done anything like this at home.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Undercover police cars 5

I was on my way to work today and saw a State Trooper's car on the side of the road. I knew it was a State Trooper not because of the distinctive two-tone blue that cruisers have (this one was black), but because it had several antennas and a radar gun on the driver's side.

It reminded me of the graphic that has gone around on Facebook with a picture of a police car in Europe (bright colors designed to attract attention) compared with an American undercover police car (designed to look like any other car and not stick out in traffic). It occurs to me that there are a few different reasons why American police departments (on the state and local levels) might employ cars with stealth-ish designs, one or more of which may apply:
  • The police department may not be able to afford the number of officers required to patrol all parts of their jurisdiction. Having undercover cruisers means the people are going to be more careful about their habits in an attempt to not get ticketed.
  • The police department is attempting to generate revenue for their {State|Community} by catching people off-guard.

In the first case, it would make sense, and it kinda works after a fashion. That isn't what bothers me.

In the second case, it's sneaky and underhanded. My train of thought (such as it is) went on to consider the fact that when people hunt, they have legal restrictions on what they are allowed to do to bag their prey. They cannot set certain traps or route their prey into certain areas for the purpose of killing them. If a hunter is found to have employed entrapment techniques, the Games Warden will likely take the kill and the hunter could lose his hunting license.

Why are police allowed to get away with the same sort of thing?

User Journal

Journal Journal: H2G2: The saga?

I was talking to someone at work about how some of the best political wisdom I've heard came from a Douglas Adams book, specifically the bit about how the ones who aspire to positions of authority are those least qualified to have said positions. The conversation then devolved into how the Beeb had created a site to act as a real-life Guide.

Out of curiosity, I set out to see if I could find my posts, and I did. The problem is that I hadn't posted there since April or so of 2000. I had no idea what my login was, no clue on the email address associated with it, and certainly not my password. I went back and forth with their "Gurus", explaining all this and how I would gladly answer any question they had in an effort to identify myself. I gave email addresses I used at the time, too. Next thing I know, they're sending me my login and my password via email, in cleartext.


Needless to say, I changed the password right quick.

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Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?