on public key encryption and security

As part of the moving process I got a bank account, and I was reminded, again, of how much the security systems of most online banks are comically flawed, which lead me to even greater anger about security in general. The following rant is what happened. I should say at first, that I'm not really a security expert, and I just dabble in this stuff. Having said that... "Security" online and in a digital context covers two pretty distinct aspects:…

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on package management

I was writing my post on distribution habits and change, and I realized that I some elaboration on the concept of package management was probably in order. This is that elaboration. Most linux--and indeed UNIX, at this point--systems have some kind of package management: Rather than provide an operating as one-monolithic and unchanging set of files, distributions with package management provide systems with some sort of database, and common binary file format that allows users to install (and install) all software in a clear/standardized/common manner.…

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why arch linux rocks

So, long story short, I've been working a lot with ArchLinux in the last few days, getting it setup, and starting to use this peculiar little distribution. While I will surely be blogging more about Arch in the coming days, I think a brief list of first impressions are in order. I share values with the Arch Developers. This is, I think, a factor of "choosing a Linux (or BSD) distribution" that is really hard to understand or explain.…

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distribution habits and change

Here's another one for the "new workstation series." Until now my linux-usage has been very Debian based. It's good, it's stable, and the package management system is really intensely wonderful. I was happy. And then I was somewhat less happy. Ubuntu--the distribution that I'd been using on my desktop. Don't get me wrong, Ubuntu is great and I'd gladly recommend it to other people, but... with time, I've found that the system feels clunky.…

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Multiple Computers and Singular Systems

Here's another episode in my "work workstation" series of posts about setting up my new computer for work, and related thoughts on evolving computer setups. First, some history: My tendency and leading desire is to make my working environment as consistent as possible. For a long time I was a one-laptop, kind of guy. I had a PowerBook, it did everything just the way I wanted it to, and when ever I needed to do something digitally, I had my computer with me, and I didn't have to worry about other people's computers being configured wrong.…

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My Workstation Choices

I've been talking in fairly abstract terms about this new workstation that I've been setting up, and about how this fits into the general ethos of my existing hardware setup, but I think, it's probably the right time to interject and clarify some of the choices and base-assumptions that I've made during this process. My current systems (hardware): A moderately powered dual-monitor workstation (ubuntu-from-Dell, circa October 2008) that's running Ubuntu for the moment (probably move to arch or Debian in the next few months.…

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Fa Sol La

I've developed a new recreational activity. As if I needed another one. I did a little shape note singing at the Morris Dance gathering, as I usually do, but this year something clicked. I'm not sure exactly what it was: I'd been singing a lot that weekend and my ears were used to listening to and picking out harmonies, my voice was a bit tired (and thus a more comfortable bass), I was sitting directly behind an incredibly powerful base.…

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