Simple Gifts

I suppose I should apologize for the awful relationship between the title and what I'm about to write about. Titles, particularly for blog posts should be functional and descriptive: google won't enjoy or take pleasure in your puns. Nevertheless... I've been working on something of binge of blog posts to prevent this from happening again any time soon, and I've noticed something: my posts aren't nearly as epic as they used to be.…

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Managing Management Costs

Every system that requires your attention and responsibility comes with some sort of "management cost," this includes servers that run websites and email, as well as the notes you take and--in my case--the novels you avoid writing. This post, and really the last one as well, grows out of my interest and desire to stay organized, to work effectively without spending too much time and energy thinking about organization. Except of course that I write a bunch about this sort of thing on the blog, so maybe I'm a bad example of success.…

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System Design and Organization

By day I write documentation for systems administrators, and as a result I spend a lot (perhaps too much?) time thinking about how we organize computer systems so that they can be both useful and easy to manage in the long run. "Right, so..." you say? Well indeed. Recently it's become clear to me that there are some generalizable lessons to be learned from sys-admining that might be helpful to those of us who are less organized than they'd like to be.…

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Some Future in your Science Fiction

I finished reading Kim Stanley Robinson's The Martians, on my Kindle the other day (the short review: It was great, I don't know how I felt about the poetry at the end, but I liked the collection.) and promptly began reading this month's Asimov's. The first story is an alternate history/fantastic history/I-think-there's-science-fiction-coming-but-it's-not-here-yet, piece and I can't bring myself to really read get into it. It's well written, and I even find myself delighting at the text (in a technical sense.…

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Git Tips for Writers

The Context git writing on wikish. haikus in git writing like a programer git thoughts git is this version control system that's designed to be used in a distributed manner, and supports a very divers and non-linear workflow. While it's designed to support the work of software developers--particularly in large projects like the linux kernel--at the core, git is just a file system layer that has an awareness of time and iteration.…

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iPad Reactions

Ok, as a self-respecting geek, I think I have to say something about this whole "iPad" thing. I'm not as much of an Apple geek as I used to be, that's for sure. It's not that I don't think that Apple's doing something quasi-innovative and useful in the world of technology and the business around consumer technology. I think bringing UNIX to the hands of "mass market" desktop users was a great move.…

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Status Update

Ok, a confession: I totally ran out of my usual backlog of blog posts, that keeps these pages humming with the signs of life despite the fact that I don't have time to write a post every day, and often don't have reliable weekend time to write blog posts. This hasn't happened in a few months, so it's sort of disconcerting. One of the reasons why I ran out, is that I've been busy doing non-writing things for a few weekends, but a third (or forth?…

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