(   )
                          (    )
                           (    )
                          (    )
                            )  )
                           (  (                  /\
                            (_)                 /  \  /\
                    ________[_]________      /\/    \/  \
           /\      /\        ______    \    /   /\/\  /\/\
          /  \    //_\       \    /\    \  /\/\/    \/    \
   /\    / /\/\  //___\       \__/  \    \/
  /  \  /\/    \//_____\       \ |[]|     \
 /\/\/\/       //_______\       \|__|      \
/      \      /XXXXXXXXXX\                  \
        \    /_I_II  I__I_\__________________\
               I_I|  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I_II  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I II__I  I     XXXXXXX     I
            ~~~~~"   "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Mon, 11 Dec 2017

Unix Console Favorites

Jynx and Jandal posted on their favorite programs [0][1][2][3][4][5], and use of the Unix console in particular. I love hearing about how other people work in the console so I can try out new utilities or ways of getting things done.

read more after the break...

posted at: 13:42 | path: / | permalink | console, linux, unix

Mon, 04 Dec 2017

On Mutt and Email Servers

I read some recent posts by jynx ([0],[1]) on email, where he mentions mutt and the fact that self-hosting is difficult. I've been using mutt and self-hosting my own domains' email for many years, and have had few problems with blacklisting or blocking. Here is a broad overview of what I do and recommend. I haven't changed this setup in a long time, it just runs.

read more after the break...

posted at: 20:58 | path: / | permalink | anti-virus, email, iptables, mutt, self-hosting, spf

Sun, 26 Nov 2017

Old Books and Old Tech

I was back in the States last week to visit friends and family. We generally travel the week before the US Thanksgiving, just to avoid huge delays at the border. Anyway, while there I was able to grab some boxes of books that have been in storage for a while - not all of them but just the ones I'm likely to re-read or that have some sentimental significance. Most of the others I'll be giving away, but I have the fantasy and scifi classics I've collected over the years, including Heinlein, Bradbury, Asimov and Clarke.

read more after the break...

posted at: 09:58 | path: / | permalink | books, fantasy, retro, scifi, technology

Sat, 21 Oct 2017


Jynx started off the fascinating discussion on simple living, asceticism, and technology use [0][1]:

I think that my perfect life scenario is something akin to a cabin in the woods with no roads leading in. No humans for miles.

That pretty much sums it up for me, although I'd insist on the companionship of my wife. Our kids are getting older, too, and she has expressed interest in moving to a more remote locale in the next five years. Her ideal is a farm but I'm quite content with a simple cabin. Those of you who are married to an, *ahem* strong personality can tell immediately how that will end. So I'd better start researching how to run a farm.

read more after the break...

posted at: 21:51 | path: / | permalink | asceticism, cabin, finances, simple-living, technology

Tue, 17 Oct 2017

Old-Time Radio

My wife and I enjoy listening to old-time radio shows (OTR), mainly CBS's Radio Mystery Theater (CBSRMT) [0], but also CBC's Nightfall [1] series. This past weekend we listened to Orson Welles' rendition of Dracula, from 1938 [2]. They make a nice change from TV if you want some entertainment for an evening.

CBSRMT is my favorite, despite being not so old-time (1974-1982), mainly because I remember listening to them live as a kid, on a transistor radio, while hiding under my covers. That would have been the late 70s. Many of the recordings have ads edited out, but some do not and the old advertisements are sometimes as interesting as the shows. Archive.org has a large OTR section [3].

posted at: 18:28 | path: / | permalink | otr, radio, retro

Sat, 07 Oct 2017

Thoughts on Privacy

Like many other privacy-minded geeks, I've been trying to lessen my public footprint and use of big-provider emails. I've had my own mail server for many years - In the US I ran my own server from a decent business-class connection with static IPs, but that all went away when we moved to Canada. So I migrated my mail server to Ramnode, where it has been ever since. But for a time during the move, when things were uncertain, I relied more heavily on gmail/yahoo mail. Now that we're settled, I've stopped use of both of them entirely and moved everything back to my own email server again. I don't consider using SDF email in this context, since I don't want to associate my real name with my SDF account.

read more after the break...

posted at: 20:17 | path: / | permalink | data, mobile, privacy, social

Sat, 26 Aug 2017

Free Speech

There is some good commentary on free speech and protest rights lately in the gopher-verse [0][1][2][3][4][5]. I thought I'd add some comments on the matter.

While I broadly support the right of a private company to refuse to host hate speech, I would be careful. In some cases, these companies are so large, there are few alternatives. At what point does such a company become an essential public service? Cloudflare handles 10% of global internet traffic, and they recently terminated the Daily Stormer's account. The Cloudflare CEO was conflicted about the decision and raised some good points in a blog post [6].

read more after the break...

posted at: 08:36 | path: / | permalink | 1st-ammendment, free-speech, usa

Tue, 15 Aug 2017

Thoughts on Terror and Trump

Tomasino writes on his phlog about the recent terror attack in Virginia [0][1]. I have the same visceral reaction to these events, and I'm saddened to see hatred for race or political beliefs reach such a point that someone feels they have to kill for it.

But I'd like to talk about a more serious issue that has been facing the US since the 1970s, one that has arguably killed more Americans than domestic terror attacks.

First, let me say that we did not leave the US for political reasons, nor was Trump even a serious contender for the white house when we started planning our move to Canada [2][3]. But every day I am grateful we made the move when we did. I consider myself lucky to have been Canadian by accident of birth - if that had not been true, we also would be stuck in the US. We would still be contending with skyrocketing insurance premiums and college tuitions. Tuitions loading college graduates down with massive debt.

read more after the break...

posted at: 10:11 | path: / | permalink | capitalism, politics, terrorism, trump

Sat, 29 Jul 2017

HP-15C Calculator

I still have an HP-15C I bought new in 1987. I don't use its programmable features anymore, but just as a desktop calculator (after getting used to RPN, I could never get the hang of 'normal' algebraic entry again). These are probably the slide rule of my generation - every computer science and engineering student had one.

The good thing about these models is that they last forever (clearly), and the keys have this great, solid feel to them when pressed. I still have some of the programs I wrote in the back of the manual, written as a sequence of keypresses. At the time I was a sophomore in a computer science curriculum at UMASS, Amherst, so the programs were probably due to my discrete math class, although I have no memory of writing them now 30 years later.

read more after the break...

posted at: 17:24 | path: / | permalink | calculator, hp15c, retro

Fri, 16 Jun 2017

Happy 30th Anniversary SDF!

   *       (   +  /     \ . )
        )   )     |#    |  (   *  
    .  (      .    \___/         .
   +   .-"-.    *   /^    +  (
         /     \  )   (  .-"-.    )  +
   .  |#    | (    * /     \  (  )
       \___/   )  (  |#    |    (  '
    *   /^         )  \___/
       (    *  '  (     ^\   *  '
   .    \     , , , , , ' \       + 
         )    | | | | |    ) .
     *    . @%@%@%@%@%@%@ (    )
     (      {   happy   }  \  (   *
      ) *   { birthday! }   )    (
     (    @%@%@%@%@%@%@%@%@       ) '
   +      {      SDF      }  *   (
          {  1987 - 2017  }    .    )
    jgs   {    June 16    }        (
  *      @%@%@%@%@%@%@%@%@%@    +

From SMJ on bboard "On this day in 1987 SDF received its first caller at 300 baud."

It's also (almost) my 10th anniversary with SDF:

slugmax@iceland:~> uinfo Created: Fri Jun 22 02:21 2007 on ttyp7 Joined ARPA: Fri Jun 22 03:19 2007 MetaARPA on: Mon Jul 16 18:32 2007

posted at: 17:18 | path: / | permalink | 30, anniversary, sdf

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