Monday, April 22, 2013

Ugh.. more off topic

Oy, time has been short.  Exciting things are going on at the start-up I work for, so most of my efforts have been focused there.  I was able to do some brainstorming today about nethack stuff, so I'm excited to get back into nethack coding.

A quick rant, very off-topic:

I run Arch Linux on my home laptop.  It's an absolutely brilliant distribution.  Forever, I've loved everything about Linux.  When I gave FreeBSD a try, I was introduced to the ports tree, and quite frankly, it's the greatest thing existing in the field of operating systems.  On top of that, the rolling release model just made so much more sense than, for example, Ubuntu's "every six months whether it's broken or not" release model.

Anyway, a few months back, I discovered Arch Linux.  It had everything I could ever ask for in this world.  It ran a Linux kernel, but also had a ports tree, called the Arch Build System (ABS), as well as a rolling release model.  Fucking brilliant.

Gnome.  Underrated race in nethack, and also a perfect desktop environment for Linux/BSD.  I'd go as far as saying that Gnome2 is the Holy Arc of the Covenant of desktop environments.  Unfortunately, Gnome3 is the Treblinka of desktop environments.

No problem, though, because some clever folks forked Gnome2 and made MATE.  I've been running with MATE on Linux for a while now, and am lucky enough that Gnome2 is still supported in FreeBSD.

Things changed recently when I did a full system upgrade on my Arch box and installed MATE 1.6.  They got rid of the weather applet!!!  Granted, this could be Arch Linux specific (please comment and let me know if it is), or maybe I'm doing something wrong, but damn!  I loved that panel applet.

These days, UI innovation seems to revolve around "what can we remove?" rather than "what can we add?"  It's a fucking awful approach, because you lose users each time beloved features are removed, and with Linux, you rarely gain new users because people are somehow afraid of the best operating system currently in existence, thanks to FUD campaigns by various entities that view Linux as a rival... as they should, because technology that existed in the Linux kernel (and BSD kernel) 10 years ago is finally gracing OS's like Windows and OSX today (Hell, OSX took their kernel from BSD and Mach, because Apple realized they could not produce anything better).  10 years is a very long time when it comes to computer technology.

So, I've switched to Xfce 4.10 for the time being.  So far, I'm very happy with it.  The Xfce4 weather applet even has wind speed!  6mph in Allston, MA right now.

In other news, my (as my co-worker puts it) +1 Gauntlets of Coding arrived.  They're just wrist braces to combat carpal tunnel syndrome, but with my ergonomic keyboard and vertical mouse, carpal tunnel doesn't stand a chance.  The wrist braces were supposed to arrive last Friday, but when I saw the tracking info, they were listed as being in Watertown, MA, in the heat of the lockdown... no way in hell they would be delivered to me then.  I'm glad we got the younger brother/bomber alive.


  1. It is almost July - I hope this blog resumes soon.

  2. I apologize.

    Part of it is due to the nethack/slashem code base being so ridiculously messy, and part of it is the events going on at my company. I've been spending more brain cycles on developing an SSD cache coherency design than anything else. It's pretty difficult because I think there's no way to actually "do it right", i.e., conflicts will happen regardless of the approach.

    The start-up life is very hectic, though I believe things will calm down soon. I'm glad that there are folks, such as yourself, still interested in this nethack project of mine; it's truly touching, and I realize that saying "it's truly touching" reeks of the type of bullshit a politician would say, but I mean it.

    My plan is to resume spending time on this project once things calm down. Early July.