Linux needs Fun?

Into week out and what I hope is the last run of warm weather. I hate to say hot since there is always heat, a fact that seem impenetrable to the minds of even many nerds. They persist in this cold and (misused) hot metaphor without realizing that is all it is.

The other day as I was motoring, I heard a rather similar bit on the satellite wireless in my motorcar, some comic (sic) was talking about a cousin who upon observing a new house with glass walls and extravagant inset ceiling lighting commented how ‘the place would benefit from all the lighting because all that glass would let in a lot of dark.’  Similarly, one of my colleagues, an otherwise rational electrical engineer, Total Momentum Squared, was inordinately enamored of a humor piece about light bulbs being “dark suckers”.

I also happened across a rather disappointing article, the link forwarded me by another colleague, Magnetic Inductance Force, [Link] entitled “What Linux really needs is more fun.” My colleague had berated the author, an evident hack whose commitment to Linux is purely mercenary, that Linux does not need fun clients (apps for the less sentient boggerate) since Linux itself is the fun source.

The author claims that the stuff in the Apple and Google stores – the latter incidentally, sorta Linux – a point either oblivious to, or scrupulously ignored by, the author – there is all sort of “fun” apps. Since I have an Android cellular telephone I have some familiarity with both the Amazon and Google app stores and I presume that the author is referring to the time wasting, mind wasting STERCUS apps that are the poo of both stores, complicating the search for pony. I find myself preferring to look first on F-Droid for my needs and wants.

I am again reminded of an advertisement on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver lately from some pizza restaurant chain asserting that pizza is the Amerikan food of creativity. My first thought of this, every time I hear/see it, is that I had my first taste of pizza after I entered graduate schule, and did not eat pizza often until SCPdatter matured enough to add it to her repertoire of acceptable foodstuffs. It certainly is not connected with my creativity. I can associate none of either the discoveries I am proud of, or the ones that are named for me, with pizza. That does not mean I do not find it satisfying and enjoyable, just that the association with creativity is, for me, specious and spurious.

The same, in a negative sense, is the case with the assertion that Linux needs some fun. I was reminded of this forcefully and almost tearfully yesterday. I have to make use of one of the few, not MegaHard, Winders programs that I cannot find reasonable Linux substitutes for. So I dug out an old HP lapbox that used to be my close companion, all of week out and many evenings of week in, but is now only used when I have some nerd composing to do.

Since I use it seldom and it is a Winders box, a wrote off the first day of boot to catching up on update and virus downloads/installs and all manner of scans. The process was delayed by my punctuated attention and Winders demands to reboot NOW! But the disappointment dawned on day 2 when I had to wait about thirty minutes for the box to become usable after I turned it on. And when I did get to use it, it was pitifully slow compared to what I am used to now. I know that this is an old box with an old processor, but it is still sorely disappointing. It is hard to have fun on this box. It is not hard to have fun on the box I am using at the moment. It takes a couple of minutes to boot and reach a usable state. Short enough that I don;t wander away for a cup of coffee and a complete three course meal.

And Linux needs fun?

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Scout Monopoly?

Not much garrumphing today. Gym is over for the week and next week will be short courtesy of the holy day on Mundane day. So I shall have to extend my walking alternative one day and be cheated of a bit of money by the gym administration. Such fraudulence is common with these folks, they keep taking off on any holiday they can. Evidently the idea that a gym is supposed to be available 24/7 is alien to their sense of greed.

That’s one of the reasons I rather enjoy my walks in the park. The only thing I get reminded of organizationally is the incompetence of the city (?????????????) government of Greater Metropolitan Arab and how decrepit and haphazard the place is kept. The only real negative is the spider webs and the yahoos speeding on nearby Arad Thompson road with nary a police presence. In my short constitutional period I often count ten speeders which rather makes me wonder why this safety hazard is so studiously ignored?

On a more nasty tone, I see that the boy scouts of Amerika are harassing a start up effort, the Hacker Scouts, on some trumped up contention that they – the bsa – “own” the term scouts. Stercus Tauri! Someone should tell the Girl Scouts and sic some militant feminists on their sorry fundaments.

I have to admit that I was a cub and boy scout when I was a bairn and even then the whole thing was dated and withering. And it seems to have further withered, stuck in some kind of arch conservatism of Victorian ethos instilled by Baden Powell. And they have the chutzpah to assert that they own the word scout. Perhaps they need a visitation from the Yankee army and marines? That would be less painful, I suspect, than from the Girl Scouts.

And they have chosen to pick on an new organization that is everything good that they are not. Contemporary, engaging, active, and relevant. And by all indications, effective. So someone needs to give them a good bracing and explain about sharing, especially with those who do things better than you do. Perhaps you can learn from them.

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Arrogant Stupidity

Not a bad two day so far. Cooler this morning, and being an even day, the density of nasties was down at gym. I cannot say anything so well about the podcasts. Even the bits – two of them – about an optical lattice atomic clock were stark and dismal, absent of enthusiasm but not, I fear for the NIST spokesperson, a bit of snarkiness.

The last bit I listened to was about some famous film maker I had never heard of who had made a documentary about texting while driving. The thesis seemed to be that texters who cause accidents, and survive, are filled with guilt and remorse. I have to admit to feeling scant sympathy for these people, albeit considerable for their victims. And I found their remorse, the small number sampled, to be less than convincing, much less touching. Indeed, I began to consider why we permit these people to continue to walk about.

Texting is a deliberate act of irresponsibility. When it results in death or maiming the texters should be executed or, minimally, incarcerated for life? At least that is the question I am debating. Right now the AYE has the lead.

I also blame the council of thieves in the District. They should have passed a law requiring cellular telephone suppressors in all motorcars years ago. Another sin added o their roster.

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Mundane Mutters

Once more into week in and the morning has been refreshing so far. I broke 12 at the gym and despite having the weight bouncers playing obstacle in the walking track things still went well. So maybe I can be a bit more positive about the direness that lurks now that the silly season has been ended by the resumption of schule.

Not the least of which is why does the resumption end silly season?

One of my colleagues, Mass Momentum, called to my attention that the founder of Hobby Lobby, in a fit of what appears to be passive agressive superstition has threatened to close his business rather than implement Obamacare. I am no fan of Obamacare, largely because it portends to do rather great harm and little good thus offending my own prejudices and sensibilities. It increasingly appears that we, the people, need protection from a government that seems bent on protecting us into poverty and death.

Our discussion was rather broad and tried to avoid the nasty bits but centered on whether an employer has the right to project his (her) religious beliefs on employees or is this a form of persecution? I held with the latter. If your beliefs are anti-choice and you do not want to provide health coverage for contraceptives, and I am pro-choice then you are restricting my right of expression and belief and that is a form of persecution and tyranny. And it does not matter whether the employer is a private citizen or a religionist organization.

By analogy, denying contraception is the same as denying invasive medical care of any form and it is a form of negligence and endangerment and tyranny. Selah.

On a more negative azimuth, I see [Link] that the DoD is planning on a Reduction In Force next year if sequestration continues. I see no reasonable prospect of that IF statement being FALSE, so prepare now. I would opine that the easiest way to absorb this reduction would be to abolish the positions of political appointees below the level of Service Secretary. Such however is impossible since Tartarus has not yet frozen over.

I noticed [Link] that 1,896 entering freshman co-eds have pledged sororities at the campus of the Black Warrior. As I recall this was about the size of my entire entering class. I also recall that the primary cause of co-eds flunking out was being a member of a sorority. So while I am happy that more women are attending college than in my day, I am not sure that the stupidity quotient has decreased.

On which azimuth, I note [Link] that Scots drink about half again more whisky than do the rest of Britons. Sounds rather maudlin. Shame that they didn’t make a comparison with the ethanol consumption at the campus of the Black Warrior. As a party schule of recent failing I suspect they are working hard to regain their infamy and consume twice as much as the average Scot.

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Not ? a Failure

The heat returneth. Yesterday was passable but the weather beavers claim that this week will be an August week and not a May week or an October week. For one, I fear for the sanity of the boggerate when the weather beavers cannot distinguish calendar from weather. Ask them not about climate.

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, was relating how he had taken some of the weather beavers to task for their cavalier misrepresentation of atmospheric optical conditions. It is well known, at least among physicists who have studied or researched atmospheric optics, and Magnetic Inductance Force is certainly one such of these since he has both an absorption line shape and a phase function expansion named for him, that the distinction between haze and fog is visibility – in essence, optical depth. If the optical depth for a distance of one kilometer (for the bogs, approximately 0.62 Amerikan miles – we used to say English miles but the English have exceeded us in unitary intelligence and smarts and adopted the metric system,) is greater than one, then the aerosol condition is considered to be a fog, if less, a haze. The weather beavers seem unable to express this distinction and exhibit, blaringly, no inclination to learn.

One rather conjectures that they are more worried about dentition than professional excellence.

Along such azimuth, we noted this week, [Link] that the tyrant Mark Shuttleworth and his corporate sandbox, Canonical, were unsuccessful in gathering monetary support to market an Ubuntu cellular telephone. Shuttleworth has publicly rationalized this as obtaining publicity and thus not the failure it seems. To quote the great philosopher and comedian, Dr. William Cosby, “Right! How much is a cubit?” Identifying the source is left to the reader as an exercise.

I have been unshy about my dislike for Unity, the almost latest of Shuttleworth’s autarchic opressions. As a desktop environment – GUI – I find it wanting and counter-productive. Intensive study has indicated that this is the result of being a cumulative rather than a sequential worker. But I will concede that Unity might work on a cellular telephone or a tablet. Maybe. But do I want one?

That depends on the choices. I currently have an Android cellular telephone and it is adequate. Also exasperating at times. It requires entirely too much attention focus to operate for what it is intended as – a portable telephone. I realize that this is a tertiary – at best – use for many GEN Y, but for me the primary use is to conduct vocal communications beyond hearing distance. It does have the singular merit of being large enough that I can hear what is transmitted to me and be intelligible to the microphone to transmit to my communicant. This is rare among cellular telephones. Only my first, a Motorola folding brick, also had this necessary geometry/functionality. All the other phones were too small, having to be shifted down to talk and up to hear.

But otherwise, the size is an inconvenience that I can abide so long as someone continues to manufacture belt holsters for me to carry the thing.

Would I swap it for a Unity cellular telephone? I assume that it will also be a touch beast so that convenience/annoyance will not be changed. And I have no illusions of running Libre Office or any other meaningful client on it, or on a tablet. Neither are work platforms. So the question, IMHO, comes down to choices among phone OS.

Would I swap my Android phone for a Unity phone? Probably not. If the choice were an iPhone or a Unity phone I would grab the Unity phone as rapidly as I could without exceeding the speed of light. If the choice were a Unity phone or a Firefox phone, I would almost certainly select the Firefox phone, purely based on the utility of Firefox compared to Unity. Completely one-sided comparison.

So was the Unity phone venture a failure. Not to me, I can assure myself. I suspect Mr. Shuttleworth’s dream of a common OS/GUI for all (bog) electronics is already realized and it is either Chrome/Android or a browser. No good data yet, but I am watching. And enjoying him get punished for his arrogance towards those who have helped him in past.

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Late Season Pilgrimages

Yesterday was a rather strange day. Normally Friday is a transition state between week in and week out. FD SCP does bustles about doing house things and I have to keep a low profile. In effect we have to transition from interaction state to another.

But yesterday the day commenced with me taking FD SCP to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill to have her cardiologist check the flow in her legs. They do this every year and periodically put stents in. As with almost all medical activities these days it involved long periods of tedious waiting and as with most, the activities were painful. More for her than for me although I find that medicalists purchase hideously uncomfortable furniture. But that opinion probably reflects my own shattered coccyx.

Part of the wait was due to the tardiness of the technician who actually administers the test. Evidently these people combine a rare azimuth of training with rather low pay creating a situation where they have no great incentive to be at work but are rare enough and cheap enough that replacement is difficult.

Anyway after a couple of hours of hurry-up-and-be-uncomfortable, we got to retread our way through the city and return to Arab, not to resume our interrupted want but to re-attire ourselves and depart for Gadsden to attend the funeral of my last, best aunt. I normally do not attend funerals. I have detailed the reasons previously, but this was a different situation. My presence, short of my own discorporation, was demanded for family reasons. I suffer these things for the same reason I suffered social requirements on the job, however much I detest and loathe them.

This one was a situation where I was unsure of whether to laugh or cry. Neither seemed acceptable in the environment. This was not one of those funerals to help the attendees come to grips with their loss. Rather it was a curtain call for the discorporate. The whole activity was orchestrated, choreographed by her. At least the minister knew her. Too often the minister press-ganged for these things has no knowledge of the person. And the contents were well done and not bragging, but they were scripted and directed.

I am uncertain if the immediate family got much closure with this. They are used to her and I hope prepared for the form. But I did find myself feeling sympathy for those who attended and did not find the solace they came for.

Then we packed up and returned to Greater Metropolitan Arab. I reflected how the day had progressed. It had started with a great uncertainty. Going to physicians who have cut on you and told you the cutting is not permanent always carries the uncertainty than another ritual slashing must be endured. That threat has been alleviated, at least for one year. And then we went, for social reasons, to a funeral. And it never got beyond that point.

Hence I am happy to be returned to a semblance of regularity today. My morning constitutional is complete, and well done, and now I may seek for a bit of reality amidst the artificiality woven by humans.

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