Why Open Source Matters

A reader (hi grandma!) asked me to write a post about why I'm so interested in open source, and who am I to refuse. In fact, I tend to do requests pretty well, so if there's a subject you'd like to see me cover here, just ask and I'll see what I can do. In any case, I've been involved, for varying definitions of involved, in Free Software and open source for a few years now.…

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Ritual, Velocity, and Getting Things Done

I finished chapter eight of the novel that I've been working on for... Oh? Way. Too. Fucking. Long. And you want to know how I'm even comfortable asserting that I'm done with the initial draft of Chapter 8? I wrote an entire scene from Chapter 9 without saying "wow, I need another scene in Chapter 8 so that the story works out." Because I've finished Chapter 8 at least three times, but this time I'm pretty sure.…

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Objective Whatsis

Ok, confession time, I don't really get object orientation. So in an effort to increase my understanding, I'm going to write some overview and discussion in an effort to understand things a bit better. Hopefully some of you will find this helpful. I've tinkered with programing for a long time. I read a huge chunk of a popular Python introductory text, and I've read a chunk of Practical Common Lisp, but people start talking about objects and I loose track of everything.…

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Skill and Mastery

A few years ago, at a Morris Dance weekend, I saw a woman sitting in one of the common rooms obviously struggling with a piece of knitting. I helped her figure out something, and then went back to singing or whatever it was. When I returned to my chair the experienced dancer sitting next to me assumed I was the student and said, "Getting a knitting lesson, eh?" And I chuckled in between choruses and said "Not really, I'm an even better knitter than I am a Morris dancer.…

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Planned Obsolescence and Gadgets

I've had a tab open for most of last week for a 128 gig solid state hard disk that would fit my laptop, and that had a list price that I was comfortable with, and a maker that I tend to consider reputable. I haven't ordered if for a number of reasons (not ready to swap drives, I'm using the wrong kind of file systems, given that my current drive works fine it's a bit more than I want to spend at the moment.…

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Content Management Beyond Wordpress

As a follow up to my, surprisingly popular post on the Limitations of Wordpress, and also I suppose my post on the current status of tumblelogs, I wanted to ruminate on "where Wordpress" is as a piece of software (and a platform,) and what the whole content management space looks like today. In a lot of ways Wordpress won. Wordpress does what it does very well. And the thing it does, powering blogs, is in point of fact what most people need.…

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Installing Mcabber .10-rc3 on Debian Lenny

mcabber is console based XMPP or Jabber client. It runs happily within a screen session, its lightweight, and it does all of the basic things that you want from an IM client without being annoying and distracting. For the first time since I started using this software a year or two ago, there's a major release that has some pretty exciting features. So I wanted to install it. Except, there aren't packages for it for Debian Lenny, and I have a standing policy that everything needs to be installed using package management tools so that things don't break down the line.…

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