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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Thu, 29 Oct 2015

First chapter of The Go Programming Language

First chapter of The Go Programming Language: http://www.gopl.io/

An Introduction to Programming in Go

An Introduction to Programming in Go, the free book: https://www.golang-book.com #golang

Wed, 28 Oct 2015

ZDNet: Why I dumped my iPhone 6 and went Android

ZDNet: Why I dumped my iPhone 6 and went Android http://www.zdnet.com/article/why-i-dumped-my-iphone-and-went-android

ZDNet: Record number of Android users switch to iPhone

ZDNet: Record number of Android users switch to iPhone http://www.zdnet.com/article/5-reasons-a-record-number-of-android-owners-have-switched-to-iphones

I want GNOME to be better than Xfce, but it's not

I want GNOME to be better than Xfce, but it's not

I answered a Linux question on Quora

I answered a Linux question on Quora.

In the interest of running my own writing on my own site, here is what I said.

The question:

I want to revitialise my old Windows 7 laptop with Linux. I want to use this as an excercise in learning about Linux too. The laptop is a Samsung RV 510. What distributions could I consider?

My answer:

Try whatever strikes your fancy, as they say. Back when I was getting started with Linux (around 2007), every distribution I tried taught me something. Puppy, Debian, Ubuntu (and Xubuntu), Fedora, CentOS (I ran versions 2 through 5 at the time), Damn Small Linux, Knoppix, Slackware, Wolvix (a favorite Slackware derivative of mine) and Zenwalk all showed me something different and taught me something I carry with me today. I never did much with Mint or anything with Arch (though it has the best wiki in Linux), Gentoo or OpenSuse, but I do recommend them, too.

I also spent a lot of time with OpenBSD, which I ran as my main system for six months (installed from a floppy because I couldn't get the CD-ROM to work on my trash-bin laptop at the time) and less but very productive time with FreeBSD and DragonflyBSD.

I even ran Solaris on a Sun Sparcstation I bought over eBay.

I don't distro-hop nowadays. On my last laptop (2010-2012, RIP), I started with Fedora because I find that new hardware works better with its newer bits. When I "broke" that system, I moved to Debian and stuck with that until the laptop died.

On my current laptop (since 2012), I started with Fedora 18 and have been sticking with it ever since (now on F22) with Xfce. I love Fedora, but I still consider Debian my "home" distro, even though I appreciate the new everything that Fedora constantly brings to the table.

Since I use Linux as my daily OS and don't distro hop, I go for what's practical and what works for me. That's Fedora with Xfce right now but could just as easily be Debian or Xubuntu.

Linux distributions are more alike than they are different. That's the "secret" that you might learn (or at least I did) when you try a lot of them.

Whenever you try Linux on "new" (either really new, or new to you) hardware, you're going to need to be flexible. One distribution might work better than another, and another might need more work on your part. Your desire to do that work also matters, and I can tell you that I've stuck with Fedora for so long on my current laptop because it has worked so well for so long. There are always issues, and my laptop is at the point in its life where Debian Stable treats it quite well, so I might go for the "stability" that it offers (which is really more "not changing," than "works better," so if it works, great; if not, not so much).

tl;dr: Try it before you buy it. And since it's all free, you've got nothing to lose and everything to learn.

Now and then: I'm adding this after the original post to clarify how I went from distro-hopper to what I am now, which is a person who rides the same distro as long as possible.

What changed was that I started relying on my Linux-running computer to safeguard my real data. And it needed to work every day, every month, etc. So I go with the "big" distros, and I make them work.

Sunrise is a calendar app on pretty much all platforms

Sunrise is a calendar app on pretty much all platforms - blog: http://blog.sunrise.am get started: https://calendar.sunrise.am

Tue, 27 Oct 2015

Jeff Atwood: The state of JavaScript on Android in 2015 is ... poor

Jeff Atwood: The state of JavaScript on Android in 2015 is ... poor https://meta.discourse.org/t/the-state-of-javascript-on-android-in-2015-is-poor/33889

Mon, 26 Oct 2015

GNOME not offering more than Xfce

Decided to run GNOME 3 today. While everything is working, it's not smoother or better than Xfce.

Sat, 24 Oct 2015

Ode test of the dollar sign

Can you see this word?

Here it is with backticks:

Here it is on a line with backticks:

Can you see the ?

It begins as a dollar sign: $

Here it is as a code block set off by a tab/indent:

And here it is at the beginning of a line with backticks:

I imagine this is a potential problem because of the way Ode passes data from the script to the HTML.

My question: Is there a way to "escape" the $ so it appears on the live Ode site without resorting to backticks?

It seems that I can get a single $ but not a with backticks.

See the markup: Here is this file as plain text.