weblog? what weblog?

Hey, remember me? I used to have a weblog here…or at least that’s what it feels like. It’s amazing what a little time off will do to your perspective; I feel a bit more balanced about the whole 'blogging versus thesis versus the 16 other things I’m doing part of my life – we’ll see how long that lasts. And now, I think I have some links buried around here somewhere…

Last week, perl.com had a short piece in defense of coding standards. (Those of you who hang in the SDM might recognize the author.) This is something I’ve thought about a bit in the past, because most (if not all) of the code I write at work is going to end up being publicly available – and you don’t want to look sloppy to potential employers or co-workers. I’m also (in my infinite amount of spare time) trying to work on a style guide for the xemacs.org website, and some of this stuff could apply there too. Gonna have to sit down and devote some cycles to this…

A couple of other people pointed to this nanobe story, about very, very small things that may or may not be alive (the rational scientific opinion isn’t in yet; the non-rational scientists are calling each other names and jumping to conclusions, per usual). If they are ‘alive’, they’re probably only ‘alive’ like viruses are – that is to say, only when they’re infecting something. Another, much more interesting possibility is that they’re alive in a distributed sense, with different individual cell-like bodies doing overlapping subsets of basic life functions to support the growth of the whole ‘organism’ – which would give people studying them fits, and make the rest of us sit up and pay attention. Those of you wondering which kind of scientist I am…well, guess. Sissies. 8^)=

What’s on it for me? kicks big w3b gh0d a$$ – you go, lawyer boy!

The new RISKS digest is out, featuring the true (or at least another version of the) story of the Stinger missile-wielding kangaroos. (I’d link directly to the item, but it appears Lindsey hasn’t HTML-ized it yet – but I’m sure it’s there now; go look.)

For my later use: information about changing the fonts and colors in *nix Netscape with .Xdefaults.

Speaking of Netscape, I built a CVS snapshot of Mozilla this weekend (after waiting 8 hours or so for it to download; I’m sure my ISP loves me). The good news is I was able to get it to build on my LinuxPPC box, and it runs and is fairly stable. The bad news is, even with optimization, and without debugging info compiled in, it’s still slower than dirt on my 166 MHz 604e. I’ll be sticking with Netscape for now, I think.

And speaking of LinuxPPC, I see that Yellow Dog Linux (who make another Linux distribution for the PowerPC platform) have started their own mailing lists. That’s really too bad; the community lists hosted at linuxppc.org have always been about Linux on the PowerPC platform, not just the LinuxPPC distribution – and it’s all Linux, mostly, which means all the Linux resources on the 'net apply too.

And speaking of Linux, after much mental deliberation, and a fair bit of talking The Wife around, I think we’re going to be picking up an x86 setup. I’ll run *nix on that (probably Debian, but feel free to pitch your favorite distribution to me), and The Wife will inherit the 7500++, which will go back to running the MacOS. (Haven’t decided if I’ll leave a LinuxPPC partition on it or not – I probably will, and I’ll keep trying to convince her to shift over.) So, I spent quite a bit of time this weekend checking out reviews, and buyer’s guides, all and that rot. I’m a PC hardware newbie, and I’m about half convinced that it’s made deliberately cryptic, just to mess with people. Anyway, I’m looking to put together a Celeron-based system for around US$500 to US$600 (that’s just the box; I’ve got a monitor and printer). Pointers, opinions, etc., etc., are all very welcome – I’ll post more of a spec sheet when I have a better idea of what I’m looking for. (Okay, it’s pretty close to Ars Technica’s budget box, but I’d like to bring the price down US$100 or so.)

Wow – look at all that text I had backed up. I should probably go back, and edit a lot of that way, way down, but it’s late, and I’m tired, and I actually have to go to work tomorrow and Get Things Done On The Thesis. I’ll be trying to 'blog this week, like normal, or at the very least putting up a “no update” update. Oh – and if you need to mail me about any of the things above, I’ll be at jacobs@genehack.org, like always. Have a good one, and keep yer head down – it’s Monday, after all.