Thursday, August 07, 2008

Open Quiz: Pew News IQ Score

Your Pew News IQ Score

As I was taking Frank up on his challenge recommendation I came to a stunning realization. Actually a couple of them. First, Frank is one smart guy (but we all knew that.) Second, I wouldn't have had a clue about any of the 12 questions had it not been for my daily dose(s) of NPR. Usually the morning commute and sometimes the evening, 30 minutes each way.

I am going to vote for Barack Obama.
I am William "Papa" Meloney and I endorse this message.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Open Linux Elitists

There are all manner of Linux Elitists. There are distro elitists, window manger elitists, really really FLOSS elitists. There are Really-Damned-Small-Puppy-Peanut elitists. There are DIY Linux elitists. I, for one, fall into the Slackware distro elitist category. Slack and I go way back.

In fairness I can say that I have tried in the neighborhood of 30 different distros. I have looked so far afield as the BSD flavors and I have even touched Plan9. It took me just a minute be I was also able to lay hands on my copy of Sun Solaris(tm) Express. I believe, speaking of Linux, that I have been around the block at least once.

So after all of my wanderings I return to my Capistrano, my Slackware. This infatuation is not born on the sharp point of one like or dislike. Afterall, Linux is Linux, for the most part. I return first to the comfort of what I know. What is familiar to me. Then I return for what Slackware isn't - or should I say doesn't.

Slackware doesn't choose for me. Slack doesn't make up my mind for me. If there is something that I want from Slackware I am responsible for making it come to the surface. And here it is that I come to the crux of the elitist bisquit. Recently, perhaps in the past 18 months, it has become increasingly difficult to integrate certain software packages into what I consider the ultimate vanilla Linux distro, Slackware.

More and more I am finding some larger applications that are engineered for a specific distro. Or the program requires an essoteric set of libraries. Or it needs so-and-so's widget package. So I begin to play the dependency game. Find out what the program wants, go get and compile, then find out what the dependencies want, go get and compile ... then try to remember what was important about the original program. Very quickly the law of diminishing returns takes its toll.

Then there are other large applications suites that which are wholey self-sustained. OpenOffice as an example requires only that I rpm2tgz convert the distribution files and then installpkg them right into Slack. No dependencies, no drips, no runs, no errors. VMware is another example of arun-it-and-forget-it large application BUT the promise of their next version may negate that claim.

With regard to Linux elitists I would offer this cautionary note: complexity of implementation can be just as alienating as the prospect of proprietary software. If I cannot compile (with a minimum of dependencies) and run your sparkling new program or application then I simply walk away - no matter how important your contribution.

Yes, I am a Linux Elitist. I am a Slackware Snob. I will not give up a galloping stallion to change in mid-stream to a plodding donkey just so your software will work.

I am going to vote for Barack Obama.
I am William "Papa" Meloney and I endorse this message.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Open for business? Funny business?

Topless Women, Kid Rock, Bikers, And John McCain

I think it is safe to assume that JMcC has finally secured the Soccer Moms vote.

I am going to vote for Barack Obama.
I am William "Papa" Meloney and I endorse this message.


The Immediacy of Dreams: The Convergence of Being and Meaning

No single light cuts through
an image of cacophony dreams
sibilant whispers
white-noise voices
continuous word picture
illusions drift shifting
disquieting unsilence
each desperate grasping
demanding the attention
of his moment

Empty the dishwasher
put away clean
to make room for those
cluttering the counter

Seeking measured order
in the mundane ritual
of daily dutiful chores
in his moment

Hashbrowns into a hot skillet
salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil
two eggs over easy in the
well seasoned cast iron

Push clear to one end of the
kitchen table the detritus of
this weeks bills, prescription
notes, bird books and the flyer
announcing imminent school
year functions

Thirsting for the release
of physical exertion
to quench the dream desires
in his moment

Set in that clear space the
steaming breakfast plate
toast on the side

Reflecting upon the
morning haiku
dew diamond pendants
in symmetric suspension
grace last night's cobwebs

so both fed and nourished
in his moment

Cross posted to 2Voices

I am going to vote for Barack Obama.
I am William "Papa" Meloney and I endorse this message.

. . .