Introduction, purpose, rant #1

by debianjoe

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I have decided that almost 1/2 of what I write is better suited for a blog than for where I tend to talk about it.  So, let’s at least cover what I mean to talk about:

1).Unix (and Unix-based operating systems)

2).The C programming language.

3).Framebuffer builds.

4).Rolling Releases.

5).Old hardware.

As far as who I am…well, I’m DebianJoe from the LinuxBBQ.  Despite the very slanted name, I’m a huge supporter of the fact that all Linux is just Linux (and conversely, Unix) and that most of the separation within the world of GNU/Linux/BSD world is pretty pointless.  In the end, there are lots of points that people get all worked up about that don’t really make much difference.  If you stick 3 Linux users that are 99% similar in tastes in a room for a month, everything other than the first 20 minutes will be spent arguing about why the 1% that they don’t agree on is the most important thing in the world.

Now, onto business.  Let me first off throw out a plug to http://iso.killx.org which is one of the more fun projects that I’ve been playing with as of recent.  It’s a pretty interesting slackware64 build, which comes in a stage-3 tarball, and strongly pushes the user to not use an xserver.  There’s no dependency checking in any of the package managers, but it comes with git and most of the build tools you’d need to make most anything you can download.  It comes with twin, tmux, and viper already installed which takes away the need to set up a basic environment to get multiple terminals open in the same screen.  It’s a nice way to start off a build, and it’s easily configurable through init scripts.

My rant for the day is all about shell scripting.  I love shell.  It’s very useful for lots of user-level things in the Unix world.  On the other hand, there’s a subset of shell scripting, which use shell/bash as a form of art.  I’m not saying that these guys aren’t good.  They’re incredible at writing scripts.  On the other hand, when I played guitar for a living, I remember a much wiser guitarist than myself explaining his views on guitar solos.  He said, “I used to go around with a big lead-guitarist chip on my shoulder.  I’d spend forever trying to make the perfect guitar solo.  Really, though, the only people who care about guitar solos are other guitarists, and they’re all going to end up hating you because you’ll never be as fast as Yngwie Malmsteen.  Why spend all of that time trying to impress people who will always have something negative to say?”  This very discussion applies itself very well to the art of shell scripting.  There are those who write just to “play a song” or rather just to get something done, and then there are the lead guitarists of shell scripting.  These guys write scripts to use every neat trick in the book to make it not only functional, but to show off the art of script writing.  I don’t get the 2nd group, but I’ll admit…when I’m looking to get help with something I’m doing with shell, I’m generally glad that they spend so much time in a self aggrandizing venture.

I guess I’ll leave day 1 at that, but will certainly get around to more adventures in the ancient world of old-school computing as time goes on.

-joe

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