Mode of the Reposturgeon!

It was inevitable, I suppose; reposurgeon now has its own Emacs mode. The most laborious task in the reposurgeon conversion of a large CVS or Subversion repository is editing the comment history. You want to do this for two reasons: (1) to massage multiline comments into the summary-line + continuation form that plays well with… Continue reading Mode of the Reposturgeon!

MIXAL is dead

I terminated one of my open-source projects today. MIXAL is dead; it has been replaced by the GNU MIX Development Kit, alias MDK. Open-source projects die so seldom that the circumstances deserve a minor note.

Penguicon Party Preannouncement

No details yet, but this is a heads-up: I will be at Penguicon 2013, 26-28 April in Pontiac Michigan…and there will be a second annual paty for friends of Armed & Dangerous (or FOAD – now where have I seen that before?) Convention info at

Categorized as General

Why I don’t accept would-be disciples

Every few months I get a letter from a would-be hacker petitioning me to accept him (always a “him” so far) as my disciple. Happened again today; I think this time I’ll share part of the request, and my response, so I have it to point to next time this happens.

Sugar turns twenty

This is a bulletin for Sugar’s distributed fan club, the hackers and sword geeks and other assorted riff-raff who have guested in our commodious basement. The rest of you can go about your business. According to the vet’s paperwork, our cat Sugar turned 20 yesterday. (Actually, the vet thinks she may be 19, but that… Continue reading Sugar turns twenty

Is closed source worth it for performance?

The following question appeared in my mailbox today: If a certain program (that you need) was proprietary, and its open-source counterpart was (currently) 40% slower. Which would you use, the open-source one or the proprietary one? The answer is: it depends. I’m going to answer this one in public because it’s a useful exercise in… Continue reading Is closed source worth it for performance?