Pragmatic Library Science

Before I got started down my current career path--that would be the information management/work flow/web strategy/technology and cultural analyst path--I worked in a library. I suppose I should clarify somewhat as the image you have in your mind is almost certainly not accurate, both of what my library was like and of the kind of work I did. I worked in a research library at the big local (private) university, and I worked not in the part of library where students went to get their books, but in the "overflow area" where the special collections, book preservation unit, and the catalogers all worked.…

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new awesome

I've been (slowly) upgrading to the latest version of the Awesome Window Manager. Since Awesome is a pretty new program, and there was a debian code freeze during development for a huge chunk of the awesome3-series code... it's been hard to install on ubuntu. Lots of dithering about, and then compiling by hand. For the uninitiated, ususally installing new software on a Debain-based system (like ubuntu; and many GNU/Linux systems are this way) is as simple as typing a single command.…

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free network businesses

I've been reading the autonomo.us blog and even lurking on their email list for a while, so I've been thinking about "free network services," and what it means to have services that respect users' freedom in the way that we've grown to expect and demand from "conventional" software. This post explores issues of freedom in network services, business models for networked services, and some cyborg issues related to network services. A long list indeed, so lets dive in.…

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why tiling window managers matter

I've realized much to my chagrin that I haven't written a post on about the Awesome Window Manager in a long time. It's funny how window managers just fade into the background, particularly when they work well and suit your needs. Why then, does this seem so important to me and why am I so interested in this? Funny you should ask. Tiling window managers aren't going to be the Next Big Thing in computing, and if they (as a whole) have an active user-base of more than say 10,000 people that would be really surprising.…

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The Obvious and the Novel

I've been working a bit--rather a lot, actually--on getting myself ready to apply for graduate school (again) in a year to eighteen months, and one of the things that I'm trying to get figured out is the "why" question. Why go? Why bother? Questions like that. For starters, I hope to have some of the youthful angst regarding education knackered by the time I go back, and second, I think I'll be able to make the most of the experience.…

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martian economics

I've been reading--and by god I hope by the time I post this, I'm done reading--Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy. I read (parts of) these once before, but I was busy adjusting to college at the moment and I didn't retain a great deal from that experience. In any case, there's a lot in these stories to pick apart and absorb. And I enjoy that. I really like science fiction that both tells a good story and contributes to some sort of intellectual conversation that's bigger than it.…

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Cooperatives, Competition, Openness

I've been thinking, in light of the Oracle purchase of Sun Microsystems, about the role of big companies in our economy, the role of competition, and what open source business models look like. This is a huge mess of thoughts and trains but I have to start somewhere. The Hacking Business Model isn't so much a business model, as it is an operations model for hacker-run business. In that light it's a quite useful document, and it's understandable that it mostly ignores how to obtain "revenue" (and therefore, I think, falls in to the trap that assumes that new technology creates value which translates into income, when that doesn't quite work pragmatically.…

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