lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

one relating to, belonging to, or resembling lunatech

BW interview with Linux

Business Week has an interview with Linux Trovald. Very interesting and quite insightful. My favourite quote

Q: Some say Linux and a lot of open-source projects really aren't innovative, that they're copies of commercial products. What's your reaction to that?

A: I disagree. It's an easy argument to make. One reason people make it is that, in open source, they don't see the revolutionary new versions magically appearing. In comparison, look at commercial closed systems. They make a new release every year or three to four years with a huge marketing splash. They make it look very different. But it's a circus to make it look like a sudden innovation.

In open source, you don't have a circus. You don't see a sudden explosion. It's not done that way. All development is very gradual -- whether commercial or open source. Even when you have a big thinker coming along with a new idea, actually getting it working takes a lot of sweat and tears.

There's innovation in Linux. There are some really good technical features that I'm proud of. There are capabilities in Linux that aren't in other operating systems. A lot of them are about performance. They're internal ways of doing things in a very efficient manner. In a kernel, you're trying to hide the hard work from the application, rather than exposing the complexity.

As a result of these innovations, you get good performance, better security. Linux is actually very stable. People complain about how long it takes us to develop new versions, but we made sure that with new upgrades, old programs continue to run. We have programs written in 1992 that will run on the latest versions.

Also it's good to copy good ideas. It should be encouraged. We don't say Einstein was a really smart guy and we should come up with a better theory of relativity. We build on top of his good ideas and have new exciting quests.

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evil yahoo chat rooms

Yesterday I logged into the yahoo chat rooms after a long time. Man, those guys lack the brains of a piece of rock. One guy kept repeating his question ("Is there anyone who works in the call center as technical support"). Another asshole sent me a personal message "hello, a/s/l plz". Frigging idiots. I cannot believe that at I was once addicted to Yahoo chat rooms. Needless to say, I am not going back to that stinkpile again. Ever.
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justification for being lazy

Been reading the book extract from "how to be idle". Some nice points made in the extract.

It is your patriotic duty to work hard - another myth, particularly convenient to the rich who, as Bertrand Russell said, "preach the dignity of labour, while taking care themselves to remain undignified in this respect". Or as the late, great British writer Jeffrey Bernard put it: "As if there was something romantic and glamorous about hard work ... if there was something romantic about it, the Duke of Westminster would be digging his own fucking garden, wouldn't he?"

The process of sitting or laying down and thinking something through always seems a bit strange to my family and a few of my colleagues. Physical activity does not necessarily translates to more productivity, and especially for programmers. I always distrust someone who immediately starts coding after hearing a project's specification.

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some notes on intalling a new window manager on RedHat

Two days ago I installed the Fluxbox window manager(WM), a very nice and lightweight WM. I had to do some digging around on the Internet and startup script files to get Fluxbox as an option in the GDM (the login box, where you have the option to start either the GNOME, KDE or the Failsafe session)

Here is how it is done

  1. Compile, install the WM of your choice.
  2. login as root and go to directory /etc/X11/gdm/Sessions
  3. Create a file in the diectory, and give it he name of whatever WM you have installed i.e. Fluxbox, Enlightenment, WMaker etc.
  4. Enter the following lines into the above file
    exec  [Path to the WM launcher]
    Change the [Path to the WM launcher] to whatever your WM uses. In case of Fluxbox it is /usr/bin/startfluxbox , in case of Enlightenment it is /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession enlightenment and in case of WindowMaker it is /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession wmaker. These locations may change according to the options you have used while compiling.

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naming conventions

I have a very particular style of naming variables and functions in programs. I usually prefer the Linux Coding Syle I keep my variable and function names in small case and put an underscore (_) between the words, for example create_ftp_user.

A common practise found in the programmers using M$ technology is the use of MixedCase names. I find this type of names extremely prone to errors. For example, what would you keep your function's name, CreateFTPUser or CreateFtpUser ? Would you be able to recall the name correctly 4 days later ? find it easier to have everything in small case with an underscore between the words. A no brainer and easy to remember.

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