6 Apr 2000 Rasputin   » (Journeyer)

I really feel as though the planet-wide clue-meter shallowed out while I was sleeping. I saw another post in one of the lists I follow (FreeBSD-Hackers, I think) from some would-be journalist asking us to explain why FreeBSD is better than Linux for his article. This question is not only not answerable, it's completely meaningless without a context - FreeBSD is/is not better than Linux in what circumstances, what way... You have to look at specific needs and circumstances and make a decision based on that. Even Win (please don't get your knickers in a knot, I'm still an open source type guy) is better than BSD or Linux in some situations. Specifically, for the average home user with neither the time nor desire (and arguably no ability) to go beyond starting the box, reading email and browsing the web (or playing games) the burden of learning and administration of anything except Win is probably excessive. That will probably change in time ( I suspect the majority of people in Advogato are working to change that ;), but it is the case right now.

I get into work today to find customer questions that I would never have expected to see. How can someone who apparently knows so little about network administration have a position of responsibility over a large corporate network? The only good news about it was that it moves me back to the end of the queue for cases, so having resolved the problem quickly, I can get on with important things (like figuring out how to write a BSD device driver ;)

To make absolutely sure I was paying attention, I actually heard there is some consideration of making bridge a demonstration sport for the 2002 Olympics. Complete with random tests for performance enhancing drugs. I really wish I was clever enough to invent this stuff as a joke ;) How is sitting around playing cards a sport? What kind of drugs could possibly enhance your performance at bridge? Steroids? Valium (or would that just help you sit through it)? Caffeine?

I actually have a big piece of my Travan driver for BSD done. I still have a lot of work and a bunch of implementation type decisions to make before it sees the light of day, but it should be ready for testing outside my boxen in a week or so. If I was young, single and still able to function on 2 hours sleep per night for long stretches I would probably already be done. This is a nice (but accidental, really! ;) segue into...

My thoughts on hackers and relationships. It's impossible to generalize enough to say what type of person is most appropriate for a relationship with a hacker. I've been very happily married for 9 years, and my wife will never get beyond very basic computer use (she's not techno-phobic or anything, it's just not something she wants to do). She has, however, helped me grow spiritually, which I never really would have done on my own. We are complementary to each other and, for us, this works really well. The only draw back is that I've had to reduce my total hacking time to make sure there is room in my life for the relationship, including our children. Add to that the fact that as I've gotten older I need more "down-time" and my productivity as a hacker has definately decreased since I started 15 years ago. I still manage 2 or 3 hours per night during the week, so I'm not a total write-off. I even do an occasional all-nighter during the week-end ;) My point (other than the one between my ears) is that we're individuals and the solutions to these problems have to reflect that. What works for me is not guaranteed to work in all cases ( or any case as far as that goes) and what works for someone else cannot be assumed to work for me.

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