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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lessons from fiction

In the last several days, I've spent a lot of time writing and working on this new novel that seems to be capturing too much of my attention. It's a nifty story, definitely the best piece of fiction that I've written henceforth, despite all my worry, dread, and seemingly limitless self-doubt in relation to the project. Despite the gremlins on my shoulder saying "why aren't you working on short fiction; why aren't your characters having more sex; do you really think you can float such a disjointed/complex narrative; do you have a clue where this is going?…

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jaunty upgrade

So I've upgraded to the latest version of Ubuntu, 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope," and I thought I'd post some thoughts on the matter. On my desktop the upgrade (eg. sudo apt-get dist-upgrade) was a bit touch and go, but I managed to save things (logging in running the old kernel into a root shell to fix the upgrade which mysteriously held back some packages it shouldn't have) and here I am. The laptop was easier to upgrade, and I suspect this has something to do with the blob video card drivers I'm using on the desktop.…

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Post Bar Camp Dirrections

As those of you who microblog may have noticed (or were there) I attended and went to a cool little bar camp last weekend. It was a small affair in Central Illinois (I also visited friends, which was amazing.) but there were some cool freelancers, and some folks from NCSA, and I think we all learned something from the encounter. Good times. Since I got back, however, I've had a serious case of the stupids.…

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