This is a test

This is a test to see if the database server issue that froze this blog is resolved.

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My SubscribeStar account is live

I’ve finally gotten validated by SubscribeStar, which means I can get payouts through it, which means those of you who want nothing to do with Patreon can contribute through it: https://www.subscribestar.com/esr If you’re not contributing, and you’re a regular here, please chip in. While I’ve had some research grants in the past, right now nobody… Continue reading My SubscribeStar account is live

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How not to treat a customer

First, my complaint to Simply NUC about the recent comedy of errors around my attempt to order a replacement fan for Cathy’s NUC. Sorry, I was not able to beat WordPress’s new editor into displaying URLs literally, and I have no idea why the last one turns into a Kindle link. ——————————————————- Subject: An unfortunate… Continue reading How not to treat a customer

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Rules for rioters

I had business outside today. I needed to go in towards Philly, closer to the riots, to get a new PSU put into the Great Beast. I went armed; I’ve been carrying at all times awake since Philadelphia started to burn and there were occasional reports of looters heading into the suburbs in other cities.… Continue reading Rules for rioters

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Two graceful finishes

I’m having a rather odd feeling. Reposurgeon. It’s…done; it’s a finished tool, fully fit for its intended purposes. After nine years of work and thinking, there’s nothing serious left on the to-do list. Nothing to do until someone files a bug or something in its environment changes, like someone writing an exporter/importer pair it doesn’t… Continue reading Two graceful finishes

Term of the day: builder gloves

Another in my continuing series of attempts to coin, or popularize, terms that software engineers don’t know they need yet. This one comes from my apprentice, Ian Bruene. “Builder gloves” is the special knowledge possessed by the builder of a tool which allows the builder to use it without getting fingers burned. Software that requires… Continue reading Term of the day: builder gloves

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This is your final warning

Earlier today, armed demonstrators stormed the Michigan State House protesting the state’s stay-at-home order. I’m not going to delve in to the specific politics around the stay-at-home order, or whether I think it’s a good idea or a bad one, because there is a more important point to be made here. Actually, two important points.

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Lassie errors

I didn’t invent this term, but boosting the signal gives me a good excuse for a rant against its referent. Lassie was a fictional dog. In all her literary, film, and TV adaptations the most recurring plot device was some character getting in trouble (in the print original, two brothers lost in a snowstorm; in… Continue reading Lassie errors

PSA: COVID-19 is a bad reason to get a firearm

I’m a long-time advocate of more ordinary citizens getting themselves firearms and learning to use them safely and competently. But this is a public-service announcement: if you’re thinking of running out to buy a gun because of COVID-19, please don’t. There are disaster scenarios in which getting armed up in a hurry makes sense; the… Continue reading PSA: COVID-19 is a bad reason to get a firearm

The right to be rude

The historian Robert Conquest once wrote: “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.” Today I learned that the Open Source Initiative has reached that point of bureaucratization. I – OSI’s co-founder and its president for its first six years… Continue reading The right to be rude

Head-voice vs. quiet-mind

I’m utterly boggled. Yesterday, out of nowhere, I learned of a fundamental divide in how peoples’ mental lives work about which I had had no previous idea at all. From this: Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day. My reaction to that title can be rendered… Continue reading Head-voice vs. quiet-mind

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Missing documentation and the reproduction problem

I recently took some criticism over the fact that reposurgeon has no documentation that is an easy introduction for beginners. After contemplating the undeniable truth of this criticism for a while, I realized that I might have something useful to say about the process and problems of documentation in general – something I didn’t already… Continue reading Missing documentation and the reproduction problem

Beware the finger trap!

I think it’s useful to coin pithy terms for phenomena that all software engineers experience but don’t have a name to put to. Our term of the day is “finger trap”.

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Be the America Hong Kong thinks you are

I think this is my favorite Internet meme ever. Yeah, Hong Kong, we actually have a problem with Communist oppression here, too. Notably in our universities, but metastasizing through pop culture and social media censorship too. They haven’t totally captured the machinery of state yet, but they’re working on that Long March all too effectively.… Continue reading Be the America Hong Kong thinks you are

Loadsharers has a logo

Nobody stepped up to design a Loadsharers logo, so I did it myself. Here it is: Yeah, I’m not much of a graphic artist, but I can do a semi-competent job of whacking together a simple logo when I need to. If you’re an actual pro and think you can fix this or do better,… Continue reading Loadsharers has a logo

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