Old Flatulence

Ran across this cartoon [Link] this morning

Took me back to the daring days of yesterday when I had a shiny new IBM PC with two floppy drives at home and was looking for an alternative to FORTH which had proved to be a bit hair triggered.

Just then Phillipe Kahn introduced TURBO PASCAL and for the nest bunch of years I wrote (almost) all my code that way. And published several papers from the results.

Finally had to give it up when Winders crept into the seams and you had to spend 90% of your coding time doing GUI stercus.

Thence, on the LINUX and back to FORTRAN. And the numbers get crunched good.

But there for a while, PASCAL was the thing dreams are made of.

Alma Mater

This is not about mothers. I know it’s Mother’s Day but today I want to talk a bit about Freedom since it is a commodity that is fast vanishing in Amerika.

A few moments ago I read an article [Link] entitled “How Microsoft reinvented itself” which I found a bit discouraging. I am not a fan of Microsoft. I had to use its OS for quite a few years, mostly with the connivance (and oppression) of the Yankee government. I fooled myself into thinking that a commonality of OS is a necessity of the workplace while ignoring that some folks got away with using Apple, mostly people of high rank or office.

Once I “retired”, I quickly changed from a Windows that had steadily been decaying and becoming less functional to Linux. Today I use Linux except for a couple of old laptops that still have WXP on them  – the last barely workable Windows – so I can use one LaTeX client. This compromise is largely because of the perfidy of the client’s manufacturer, who promised a Linux version but became a lair because of MegaHard. 

Aside from that, I use Linux. Except for an adequate LaTeX client, it provides everything I need in plenitude. It is, in the way of an OS, everything of Freedom that Winders is not. I have multiple choices of almost everything and they are at least as good as Winders and in the main superior. The Linux version of Libre Office is an order of magnitude more functional and enjoyable to use than MegaHard Office. 

The epitome of this freedom is that I can choose from a half dozen (or so) desktop environments and modify them as I wish. This is a stark comparison to Winders which permits no effective customization or modification of its desktop environment.

So I can say on this day that I am happy to be free of the Mother of Operating Systems.

Pilgrimage Questions

As I was awandering this morning in the fields of Intronet, I ran across [Link] “Microsoft cyber security chief urges users to STOP using its own outdated browser Internet Explorer and move to a ‘modern’ system” and recalled something I heard on a podcast last Sixday (at the gym, natch!)

“Those who use Internet Explorer do not deserve Linux.”

Not that I completely reject their Weltanschaung. After all, they probably still use WXP or one of the versions of W that retains some vestage of utility and satisfaction, and thereby, enjoyment. Certainly since MegaHard sold out to the ceramics trust their OS has not only been nauseatingly obese but painful to see or touch. 

But since Mozilla played out its brief – too brief – period as liberator and patriot, there have been alternatives to IE whose singular characteristic has been being betterer. 

So do I waste pity on these people? No. Because it isn’t racism if the evil ones are evil because of their mind shackles. Only those who seek betterness deserve to find it. But they have to come to betterness in their own time, else it is torture and hatred.


I note [Link] that MegaHard has announced that it will permit users to continue using their older versions of Winders – you know, the ones that actually have some esthetic, however small, appeal and are minimally enjoyable to use, unlike the current Winders X which is ugly, nauseating, and painful bordering on either childbirth or rabies – if the proper baksheesh is paid.

How they are going to enforce this isn’t clear but then those who use Winders are not noted for intelligence, savvy, or canniness.

In the meantime, I shall continue using Linux at no charge other than my own time, sweat, and hormone-age. 

(Long Maniacal Laugh!!!!)

And reaping both enjoyment and satisfaction.

Dark Thoughts 4

I have made no bones, positive nor negative, of being a Linuxian. Once I retired from the civil service of the Yankee Republic, I was able to lay aside Winders along with my organizationally demanded loyalty and support to/for it. Nowadays, the only time I deal with Winders is when I have to bash FD SCP’s boxes or deal with a friend or colleague who continues to practice this aged and creaky “religion.”

That’s not quite accurate. I do still keep a few Winders boxes about, almost solely dedicated to running Scientific Word since there is no equivalent in Linux. The manufacturer of SW, who promised Linux support with the latest version, proved themselves to be a “true” Amerikan Capitalist by prvaricating and not producing a Linux client. Sic Transit…

But I still need SW, which I run in a aged version on an WXP box or two, to write Nerd papers, Linux lacking any equally useful alternative.

Anyway, I was reading an article [Link] entitled “A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream” and it provoked some cogitation. For those who do not know, which is the majority, Elementary OS is a Linux distribution, and it is billed as the Linux Messiah that will instantiate the “year of the Linux desktop.”

After years of stentorian announcements of the “year of the Linux desktop,” I have become cynical, or, at least, more cynical of the claims. But lately I have come to focus a different view of this.

If we go back to the period before Thucydides invented history, when the Greeks told fantasy tales of heroes, we find that heroes were not always nice people but they were few in number. 

In a similar vein, in the centuries just prior to the quantum/relativity revolution, “civilized” nations have Explorers’ Clubs, dedicated to people who went in harms way to find new places, people, things, and ideas. These Explorers were not always nice people, despite the propaganda of King and Country and Media, but they were few in number.

Heroes and Explorers were not majority human beings. They were driven to activities alien to the rest of humanity, and by so doing, enriched that majority.

I will argue that (at least one of) the modern equivalent of Heroes and Explorers are the folks who deliberately, without coercion, adopt Linux. Because doing so enriches the majority who remain Winders serfs and Apple slaves. 

We should not therefore try to entice great numbers to embrace Linux, for such power is inherently unstable and would damage the mundanity of society too much. 

There is no year of the Linux desktop any more than next year there will be fulfillment in Jerusalem.

Alternately, the year of the Linux desktop is every year that these few, these explorer/heroes improve the lot of humanity. And suffer as much from the apathy and hatred of that majority as they do from privation and opposition. 

Those who seek the Grail are opposed by all, good and evil alike.

Fenestrae Stercus Est

Opened the weekly Register summary [Link] and was deluged with no less that four different articles on four different ways that WX satsfies Sturgeon’s Rule.

Affirmed my own experience yesterday.

Sometime ago I purchased a refurbed Lenovo Yogi that came with WX. Yesterday I had a bit of slack time so I decided to see if I could get the box to dual-boot. The first step was to activate WX so I could cozen it into letting me into the system settings and get some Linux installed.

Things were going along fairly smoothly when the OS demanded I generate a MegaHard account. It demanded an email address so I entered mine.

It was rejected. Evidently MegaHard thinks academic addresses are bogus or something. 

So I turned the beast off. Got out a screwdriver and opened the box up. Popped out the hard drive and replaced it with a blank SSD. The HD was salted away in case I ever had the delusion again that MegaHard was worth any concern or attention span.

Void of the Redmond Cancer, I told the settings to silence secure boot and installed Linux – Netrunner in this instance, which is about as far from Winders as one can get being entirely NON-Proprietary! And there is great delight in the realm.

Perhaps that should be a message for MegaHard and the fascists inside the beltway?

I later read that Gooey has decreed that any telephony corporation parasite on their coding must provide at least two years of updates for the OS. 

Doesn’t make it a decent OS but at least it’s a good move, which is surprising given the tenor of Gooey’s interactions with humanity. 

There may yet be hope for the species and the planet.