How Linux got to be Linux: Test driving 1993-2003 distros

Here’s a trip down the memory lane – “How Linux got to be Linux: Test driving 1993-2003 distros“.  The article looks at some of the early Linux distributions, remember what was already in and what came later.  Complete with screenshots.

I don’t remember for sure which versions of which distributions I used in the early days, but Slackware, Suse, RedHat and Mandrake were definitely among those.  Slackware was probably my first one, when I found the floppies in the only book on Linux at my college library.  Then, somehow, I found RedHat (I think 5.1 or so) in one of the local computer shops.  Later I tried Mandrake and Suse, cause those were laying around at work.  But RedHat stuck with me ever since.  I think I’ve used pretty much every version, including the move to Fedora, CentOS, and even the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which we had the licenses for at some of my early work places.

Fun times!

The True Reason Behind The 40-Hour Work Week & Why We Are Economic Slaves

The True Reason Behind The 40-Hour Work Week & Why We Are Economic Slaves” doesn’t really say anything new, but it explains things nice and simple.

We automatically accept a 40-hour workweek with meager hourly pay as normal, even though many work overtime and still struggle to survive. There are also those who make enough to live comfortably but are unable to request less hours—you either work 40 hours a week, or you don’t get to work at all. We submit when told what to wear, when we have to arrive and depart, when we’re allowed to eat, and even when we’re allowed to use the restroom. How is it we have come to allow this?

The 40-hour-work week came about during the Industrial Revolution in Britain when at one point workers were putting in 10 to 16 hour days and began to protest. Working situations for Americans began to worsen as well, and by 1836, labor movement publications were also calling for a 40-hour workweek. Citizens in both situations were so overworked, an eight-hour day was easily accepted. This system is unnecessary now, if it ever was, but we still accept it due to the effects of our capitalist society.

It goes over the relationship of inflation, debt and consumerism with a few historical references.  Good reading for anybody wondering why the paycheck-to-paycheck life cycle is difficult to change, no matter what’s the size of the paycheck.

100 Favorite Programming, Computer and Science Books

Peteris Krumins, of the Browserling fame, has a series of blog posts on his top favorite programming, computer and science books.  It’s an excellent selection of titles, from which I’ve read only a fraction.  Good timing for the Christmas shopping too.  Here are the blog posts in the series so far (5 books per post):

Even with the 30 books mentioned so far, there are new things to read and learn.  I wonder how many of the notes to self I’ll have by the time the whole 100 are listed.

Imagine the world without Muslims

This is one of those things that I love about the Internet.  When you are wrong, the Internet doesn’t just gently mention it.  It absolutely destroys you, shoving the reality so hard down your throat, you forget how to breath for a while.  And then, next time, if you haven’t killed yourself yet, you think long and hard before saying anything out loud.  If you have a half a brain or more, of course.

Continue reading “Imagine the world without Muslims”

The curious case of the switch statement

The curious case of the switch statement” is a nice historical perspective on the switch statement in most modern programming languages, where it come from, and how it transformed over the years.  It starts of with ALGOL 58 (yes, a programming language from 1958), and traces the history down to the modern reincarnation of the statement to BCPL (1967!), where it looked like this:

switchon EXPR into {
    ...
    ...
    case CONST:
    ...
    ...
    default:
    ...
    ...
}

Apart from the historical perspective, there is an interesting discussion about how different languages approached the statement, how it varies, and what are some of the benefits of each implementation.

Kids react to Metallica

This video made me feel very, very old.  Ancient almost.  I grew up with Metallica and it is shocking to realize that kids these days don’t even know the band.  Apart from that, the reactions are funny.  New generation …

By the way, there are more videos in that YouTube channel (see the Windows 95 for example).   Radio Nostalgie … :)

The History of the URL

The History of the URL is a brilliant compilation of ideas and resources, explaining how we got to the URLs we use and love (or hate) today.  In fact, the article comes in two parts:

  1. Domain, protocol, and port
  2. Path, fragment, query, and auth

Read them in whatever order you prefer. But I guarantee that you’ll have a number of different responses through out, from “Wow! I never knew that” and “I would have never thought of that!” to “No way! I don’t believe it“.

And here is one of the bits that made me smile:

In 1996 Keith Shafer, and several others proposed a solution to the problem of broken URLs. The link to this solution is now broken. Roy Fielding posted an implementation suggestion in July of 1995. The link is now broken.

Rejected Princesses

Rejected Princesses is a series of illustrations of women whose stories wouldn’t make the cut for animated kids’ movies, illustrated in a contemporary animation style. Women too Awesome, Awful, or Offbeat for Kids’ Movies.

Lyudmila Pavlichenko

Love the website! All of it – the design, the content, the idea, the stories, the illustrations!  Found it by following the link to Lyudmila Pavlichenko story – the deadliest female sniper ever lived.