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Showing posts from April, 2016

everyone's a metacritic

...there is no scorn more profound, or on the whole more justifiable, than that of men who make for the men who explain. Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is work for second-rate minds.

– GH Hardy, with "men" sic.

When someone raises points we don't like, there's always the temptation to spitefully psychologise them, to dismiss their points by reference to who they are, rather than the falsity or fallacy of what they're saying.* It is a universal trick; you'll probably have heard some version of it today ("yeah but he's a straight white dude"; "a syphilitic neurotic"; "ancestrally a victim of the British Empire"; "a woman").

In nominally rational subcultures like academia or literary society, there are some weak barriers to doing this (though Freud's brutallegacy continues to enable awful behaviour even there). In pop music and its journalism there is absolutely nothing to stop you.

Here are some revenge s…

troubleshooting a usb boot drive, something I could have done with having 5 hours ago

Possible points of failure when using a USB boot drive, in order of likelihood:At boot, you're tapping the wrong key to enter BIOS: try F2, Del, F9, right-shift, F12, F1, Escape, or Ctrl+Alt+Escape before proceeding down this list.Your monitor input is attached to the graphics card, not motherboard. BIOS has no drivers for that.Either Fast Boot or Secure Boot are enabled. Kill them.Your wireless keyboard requires an extra driver, not supported. Dig out that horrible beige one.Boot drive is in wrong format (GPT is wrong when using legacy BIOS, MBR is wrong when using UEFI)You're using a USB 3.0 device in a BIOS that can't understand it.Actually it's fine, it's just that your BIOS lists your USB boot drive as a "hard drive", not a "removable device".Your boot drive file system is wrong; it is NTFS when you need FAT32 for UEFI. Or vice versa.Boot drive was burned badly, somehow. Use Rufus instead.The OS ISO was ripped badly, somehow. Use a fresh dr…

web sites which you can go to on the internet which offer interesting services for technical people usually without charge and often with their very code available for you to read if you can and if you care

A good friend of mine is quite horrified by the present trend towards web app replacements for more and more core development work and architecture; such apps are, after all, a grave violation of the elegance and security of good old POSIX APIs. (Who can doubt that some people will use these unsecured client-server apps to work with confidential data? How much user foolishness are architects duty-bound to anticipate and preclude? Answer: surely more than this.)

The browser itself is already my debugger, linker, compiler, and garbage collector; the following lovely tools tempt us to concentrate more and more of our work into this one subjective spot - all running, objectively, on other people's computers. (Another transgression against the best old way.) But aren't they lovely:

Repl.it. Futuristic feeling: offers command lines for two dozen languages and saves shareable sessions for each. Very damn fast too; try running factorial(2000) on it. An incredible education tool and…