Hmm, seems the latest Fedora kernel has borked the scroll wheel on my mouse. I find it rather funny how attached to that thing I've become - my computer felt almost useless until I fixed it (by reinstalling an older devel kernel).
jds: I'm not really sure how to say this nicely, so I won't. Your definition of geek seems to have no relation to what "geek" really means. It looks a lot more like you're trying to justify your own unpopular behaviour and liken yourself to respectful figures. I'm appalled to think others might read your writing and assume the rest of us are anything like what you describe - arrogant, pompous, self-centered and thoughtless. I almost think you're writing something closer to satire than anything you expect to be taken seriously.
21st Birthday Parties
Spent last evening at my good friend's 21st birthday party, which was interesting. I avoid alcohol almost religiously, for several reasons (not the least of which is that I rather prefer keeping my head in working order), but just about everyone else there was plastered after the first hour or two.
It wasn't so bad until later in the evening, where pretty much every game being played turned into a drinking game. ;-) That was about when I left, since I was relegated to watching the others have fun.
On a side note, I am ashamed to admit that I still almost always lose at Super Smash Brothers, even when the other three players are (ahem) smashed.
I've noted that many of my recent attempts at Linux/Free Desktop evangelism have failed since my personal box is so often borked. A few days ago I found audio had stopped working (due to the removal of OSS in the Fedora kernel), and while I got ALSA setup quick enough, the fact that friends watched me do all this intricate wizardry just to play Red vs Blue videos rather left a bad impression on them. Even my 'stable' boxes tend to have numerous problems, since I keep tinkering around with various things and end up breaking it in subtle ways. ;-)
I think when Fedora Core 2 comes out, I'm going to reinstall this box and my laptop, to get things in a clean working order. I need to save up and get a nice big harddisk for my home folders on my workstation first, tho. 40GB is too little when you want to install even a few large games, especially when you have the drive partitioned.
Drive partitioning in general is evil for the user, I believe. Yes, yes, it's great for numerous technical reasons, but that doesn't matter to normal people. What does matter is that it's very, very difficult to predict how much software you'll install system-wide and how much data/software you'll keep per user. You might very well have enough disk space for everything, but find out that due to your guess up front about partition sizes you don't have enough space in the right place.
Dynamic automatic partition resizing might fix this, might I'm not sure it could actually be done. I guess the lazy modern fix is just to buy 200GB hard disks. ;-)
Art of UNIX Programming
The book, as a whole, is quite good, I think. I really wish more so called programmers would read it. I wish even more than non-programmers would read it; managers in particular.
One thing that I must say, however, is that ESR definitely asserts his personality in the book. He, of course, is the author, but I would personally expect a little less of his personal opinion and more of the straight facts. The several new terms he's tried to coin in the book alone are a good example of the problem. In other places, applications (especially his own) are praised for design choices with either no reasoning given, or with reasoning that ignores how the apps break the philosophies he's preaching in the book.
One good example is the fetchmailrc configuration format. It's horrible for a number of reasons. The "English like" syntax is conter-productive. It's much more difficult to parse by scripts (more code, more bugs, etc.) more difficult to learn by humans (the rules aren't obvious and self explanatory) and more complicated than need be (remember KISS?). Fetchmailrc should've been one of the examples of what not to do in the book. The fact that it is (mis)placed in the mini-languages section of the book makes the problem even more obvious.
Again, tho, the books is on a whole quite good. I'm quite glad I bought a paper copy.