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{ Category Archives } GNU

An update on the HURD project

Last time, on Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programmers, I was building an object-oriented programming system on top of the HURD, and had realised that I needed to use its trivfs library for a sender to be able to discover an object to send messages to. I got it working very quickly, but ended up […]

Gently HURDing the side projects

I find it problematic that even at times when I’m avoiding computing outside of work, I still have ideas about things I would like to try out or improve in computing “if I had the time”. I tend to capture these somehow – usually written notes in paper or Evernote, and my personal technology radar. […]

The problem with not-Apple

I’ve read a few articles over the last week or so that point to the Mac having lost its shine among developers. There was a time when the first things you did when you wanted to be a developer on the Free Software platform Ruby on Rails were that you bought an Apple PowerBook and […]

Withholding the Four Freedoms

Having downsized my rather over-enthusiastic computer collection (thanks, eBay!), I was down to one computer. Unfortunately, as a rather long in the tooth MacBook Air, it’s no longer suited to my needs and neither is it upgradeable. I got all of the files I care about off of its disk and set out to look […]

The Design of the Bazaar

In The Design of Design, Fred Brooks makes an interesting point about ESR’s description of the Bazaar model of Linux (and, by extension, “Open Source”) development. Linux was actually designed in a cathedral. The design was supplied by Unix, where Linux was to be a work-alike replacement for a particular component. There was even a […]

It’s the little things

Today I learned that I don’t even know how to Unix. I discovered that it’s possible for a POSIX system to leave PATH_MAX and similar variables undefined if it truly has no restrictions on their length.

But where to go?

I agree with John Gruber here: it’s not like Apple’s stuff has become worse than a competitor’s, it’s just that it’s not as good as I remember or expect. It could be, as Daniel Jalkut suggests, rose-tinted glasses[*]. I don’t think there is a “better” competitor, except in limited senses: Solaris/IllumOS and OpenBSD both have […]

On switching to Linux

In November, I switched to GNU/Linux at home (I still use OS X at work, because I still write Objective-C in Xcode at work). Or rather, I switched back: I’d been using it around a decade ago. In December, I resolved to spend more time working with Free Software during 2015 and beyond. Now I […]