(   )
                          (    )
                           (    )
                          (    )
                            )  )
                           (  (                  /\
                            (_)                 /  \  /\
                    ________[_]________      /\/    \/  \
           /\      /\        ______    \    /   /\/\  /\/\
          /  \    //_\       \    /\    \  /\/\/    \/    \
   /\    / /\/\  //___\       \__/  \    \/
  /  \  /\/    \//_____\       \ |[]|     \
 /\/\/\/       //_______\       \|__|      \
/      \      /XXXXXXXXXX\                  \
        \    /_I_II  I__I_\__________________\
               I_I|  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I_II  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I II__I  I     XXXXXXX     I
            ~~~~~"   "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sat, 18 Jan 2014

2600 Magazine's Ebooks

I've been a subscriber to 2600 magazine for about four years, and while the technical content is of varying quality, I enjoy reading the opinions, letters, 'hacker perspectives' columns and fiction. I also like reading the older 2600 magazines - from the 80s. This is when I got my start in computing, so there is definitely a bit of nostalgia there, but I also enjoy reading about the computing history of that time.

One of the things 2600 is doing right is that they are selling their older issues as part of annual archives, DRM-free, in multiple formats and at a reasonable price [0]. Electronic subscriptions via the Kindle are priced much less than the print issues. I know, it sounds almost unbelievable. Why don't more legacy publishers do this with their out-of-print backlists? What are they afraid of? Apparently, making money _and_ pleasing their customers. I guess they could never imagine both.

posted at: 12:37 | path: / | permalink | 2600, ebooks, magazines

Fri, 03 Jan 2014

SDF Dialup

I'm typing this over a dialup connection into SDF. I've had an SDF dialup account since I've joined, but seldom use it anymore. I do like to keep it around as a last-ditch internet access method, so I test it from time-to-time. It *has* come in useful before during extended power outages.

Our house still has copper phone lines from when it was built in the 80's, so I have a standard home phone line and this gets power from the CO. So we have working phone, aka internet even when the cable modem has long since died. The modem is a Rosewell RNX-56USB, one of the few remaining hardware-based modems still for sale. It is a nicely compact USB modem that works flawlessly with any Linux distro I've tried it with, as /dev/ttyACM0.

For my mostly shell-based work flow, I really don't notice much of a slowdown. Screen refresh in the color terminal is slow, but this is a one-time thing when I switch screen windows. Graphical browsing via dialup is, as expected fairly useless on today's internet, it gets bearable only if you turn off HTTP pipelining, DNS prefetching and javascript. Lynx works great for gopher and http, though, so I don't typically use Firefox. Mobile sites do tend to be more usable via dialup, however, so judicious use of the user-agent switcher plugin helps here.

posted at: 20:50 | path: / | permalink | Dialup, Internet, SDF, Shell