Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 17/03/2023: CentOS Newsletter and News About 'Mr. UNIX' Ken Thompson Hopping on GNU/Linux



  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • HowTo GeekThe System76 Meerkat Is a Tiny PC Built for Linux

        System76 is one of the few PC manufacturers with a focus on excellent Linux support, with a wide range of desktops and laptops. Now the company has brought back the “Meerkat,” a compact PC built for Linux.

        System76 first introduced the Meerkat in 2009, which was advertised as a “NetTop” (remember those?), and has gone in and out of production over the years with occasional hardware upgrades. The tiny PC is once again available for purchase, this time with your choice of 10th, 11th, or 12th Gen Intel Core processors. There are two sizes: a “short” model (1.42 inches tall) with only one M.2 drive slot, and the “tall” version (2 inches tall) adds a 2.5-inch drive bay for extra storage capacity. Both versions are 4.6 x 4.41 inches across.

    • Applications

      • Linux LinksExcellent Utilities: nvitop – GPU process management

        This utility is automatically installed with the NVIDIA drivers and lets users query and modify the GPU device state. While it’s probably the most well known NVIDIA monitoring tool, there are many other (and superior) tools available.

        nvitop is an interactive NVIDIA device and process monitoring tool and bills itself as “the one-stop solution for GPU process management”. Like nvidia-smi, nvitop is built on top of NVML, but the tool offers a lot more functionality. It’s free and open source software written in Python.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Leftovers

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • 2023-03-17 🔤SpellBinding: UFGHINC Wordo: CRORE
      • Playing cards with indicators along one edge

        Minimalists want indicators along as few corners as possible (if any… grumble grumble).

        Lefties want indicators in opposite corners so they can fan the cards in the opposite direction.

      • odd little film

        I was trying to find something worth watching on my neglected Tubi account and after some awful false starts (tip: much of Bryan Cranston's early work is best missed, though it's not his fault) I found a budget production called "Big Dark Energy" and was drawn in by the soundtrack (sounds like throat-singing in parts).

      • (privileged) work gripes

        I've been growing a little more unsatisfied with my work lately. I've been working there for nearly 2 years now, and generally, it is a comfortable job. Office job, home office 3x a week, lots of union protections and rights, flextime, nice coworkers, fair pay. I can call in sick for 3 days without a doctors note and only need one at the 4th. I get 30 days PTO a year and can take some over from the previous year, and we have no limited sick days. I have my own solo office - with walls, we do not have large offices with cubicles. We even have a sensible mission that I stand behind and my work actually leaves somewhat of a mark and ensures the safety of society in a specific way. I contribute my part to that. The work I get, what I actually get to see and handle, is very interesting to me. I enjoy seeing and reading it, and managing it.

      • Life's Not Too Bad

        Since late last year life's been going pretty well. Things that used to weigh heavily on my mind are no longer so burdensome. I've reclaimed my 'live in the moment' attitude and energy. I'm currently neck-deep in trying to start my career (again), and I'm uncharacteristically optimistic about how things will go over the next couple of months.

        I read this interesting article in Neuroscience News that talked about how our perception of time is directly linked to our heartbeat. I thought it was fascinating and that it totally tracks with my own lived experience.

        When I look back at times of stress and anxiety in my life, my perception of time was all over the place. Between feeling like I didn't have enough time to accomplish what I needed to accomplish while also feeling like every day was a slog, it makes sense that my skewed sense of time could be linked to an erratic heart rate.

    • Technical

      • Would You Like an OpenTTD Save Game?

        This game really deserves more players. It's absolutely amazing. OpenTTD owns my heart and soul nowadays.

        I've come to understand that most new players struggle to make a profit, and I assume some give up out of frustration and quit early on. When I started some 6-7 months ago I made a loss in my first game, but then read up a bit on how it works. I'm getting pretty good at it now.

        The least thrilling part of the game is that time between starting a new game and getting the finances going at a level where you can't feasibly spend money as fast as it's rolling in. I have no idea what the common length of that time is, but when starting in 1950 I usually make between $600k-$1000k in the year 1953. By 1955 I'm guaranteed to make more than a million per year.

      • Forced Obsolescence Hurts Security

        Project Zero at Google has reported a number of exceptionally severe vulnerabilities in Samsung's modem stack, allowing remote code execution with no information other than a victim's phone number.

      • Setting up GNU Emacs for Speedata Publisher

        If you follow my "Pebcak's diary" you already knew that I am trying to learn these high-level TeX implementations, such as ConTeXt and Speedata Publisher.

        The latter is especially challenging since works exclusively with "XML Schema" and I found very few native opensource editors able to work with this XML variation.

      • The Grand Code Restructuring

        In general I don't like to fuss over code, but this is exactly what I've been doing in preparation of the NLnet funded work. I've spent the last month restructuring Marginalia's code base. It's not completely done, but I've made great headway.

        Things got the way they got because in general for experimental solo-development projects, I think it makes sense to be fairly tolerant of technical debt.

        Since refactoring is something that is extremely difficult to break up into parallel tracks or do in small iterations, the cost of refactoring is effectively multiplied by the number of people that could be working on the code.

        It's a bit like Amdahl's Law applied to project management. When leaning into this, it allows smaller solo projects to be be extremely nimble compared to larger projects. Refactoring is very cheap when you're working alone because there is no resource contention. This may seem a weird notion if you're coming from working mostly on large projects where any technical debt is nearly irreversible, but that's mostly a problem of large scale software development.

      • Programming

        • Rainy

          I found a CodePen the other day that showed a method for a rain effect on a web page. I like it a lot, so I’ve modified it to work without a pre-processor, and included instructions for how to add it to a Midnight page (or any other, for that matter). There are, of course, plenty of other ways to play with it. I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible to customize the basics, but going beyond that will require at least some knowledge of JavaScript and/or CSS.

        • Man. We _really_ don't know git.

          I read through this and couldn't help but just shrug and say, "same." My college education never mentioned git. Ever. I wound up in some advanced classes early on, and wound up doing some actual programming with open-ended results (not workshop "program this thing the instructor said to do" kind of drivel). I was working with classmates older both in terms of their progress toward degrees and in chronological age.

          **Nobody else knew how git worked.** And the only reason I did is having fallen down the Linux rabbit hole years prior to that, and wound up picking up some _very_ basic (read: I didn't even branch things properly or grasp what atomic commits were and how awesome they are) skills with source control in general.


* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It's like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.



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