Writing an Emulator

August 5, 2007 | programming, technology
I don’t know why, but recently, as my love of really low-level hardware and my desire for low-power, high-performance computing has increased, I’ve been researching all the old, famous CPUs and operating systems. I started over what I swore was going to be a computer-free vacation by delving into programming in assembly for 680x0 Macintoshes (during which time I fell in love with 68k assembly), then explored ARM chips, and finally somehow or another ended up at 4:30 AM on a Sunday working on an...

I'm Sorry, I Can't Hear You

May 7, 2007 | politics, technology
Ars Technica reports that used CDs are going to be subject to waiting periods and resale restrictions in Florida, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Utah. Ken Fisher writes: In Florida, Utah, and soon in Rhode Island and Wisconsin, selling your used CDs to the local record joint will be more scrutinized than then getting a driver’s license in those states. For retailers in Florida, for instance, there’s a “waiting period” statue that prohibits them from selling used CDs that they’ve acquired until 30...

Politics and Tech Blogs

May 6, 2007 | politics, programming, technology
When I first started bitquabit, I wanted it to be strictly a technology blog. When people wanted to read something about Squeak or db4objects or Copilot, they could come here. When they wanted to read someone writing a meandering essay on farm subsidies and ethanol, they could go somewhere else. That position is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. On the one hand, technology is inextricably tied to certain political agendas that, I feel, must constantly be discussed—patents and...

Diehard Sysadmins

May 6, 2007 | technology
I don’t exactly consider myself a bad-ass system administrator. In fact, to be honest, I’m a pretty poor one. I like programming computers, not maintaining them, and the hoops that system administrators have to jump through to get everything configured and running smoothly give me headaches. Granted, machines under my dominion usually end up stable after a week or two of heavy dogfooding, and, so far as I know, no machine I’ve administered has ever been hacked (knock on wood), but administration...

Gmail Thinks I'm Spam

May 3, 2007 | technology
Since I moved from Dreamhost to Linode, Gmail thinks that all email coming from this domain is spam. As near as I can tell, my SPF records are correct, and exim is definitely not set to be an open relay. Does anyone know what might be up? Edit: At a friend’s recommendation, I checked Spamhaus and friends to see whether the previous owner of bitquabit.com’s IP might have been a spammer, but it’s not on any of the lists.

Editor Addiction

April 30, 2007 | programming
A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a Dell Inspiron 6400 to replace my old and quite literally beat-up PowerBook G4 Titanium. The PowerBook is slow, its screen is damaged, its paint’s chipping off, its wireless has never been especially good, and nowadays, I find myself politely wondering when the hard disk is going to simply keel over. It’s done an amazing job over the last six years, but I felt that it was time to let it take a much-needed rest. Because I’ve been a diehard Mac user for nearly...

It Says Quiet Car for a Reason

April 28, 2007 | personal
I’m currently on an Acela bound from New York to Boston. The train’s unfortunately full, so I got stuck in the quiet car. I’d much prefer to be able to talk on my cell phone, but because the upper half of the Northeast Corridor is absolutely beautiful, I placed a high premium on getting a window seat. Choosing between facing backwards on an aisle with my cell phone or looking at the lakes and forests rush by at 120 MPH, I’ll take the latter. That said, I’m somewhat dumbfounded by how few people...

Everybody Dies

April 24, 2007 | personal, technology
I was extremely happy to discover today that Ambrosia Software has finished porting Introversion’s DEFCON to the Mac. DEFCON is a happy-go-lucky simulation of global thermonuclear war. Each player controls a collection of boomers (nuclear-missile-armed submarines), missile silos, aircraft carriers, and airfields in an interface highly reminiscent of NORAD as depicted in the movie WarGames. Over the course of the game—which can range from a few minutes to a full eight hours—players compete to...

Oh, Hells No!

April 20, 2007 | personal, technology
So Google already has my email. They already know what news I read and what hobbies I have. They have my essays, my portfolio, my photos, and even my encrypted bookmarks and passwords, not to mention my code, my data, my spending habits, and my readership. This morning, I log into Google, and discover that they’re now willing to track everything I do at any time anywhere on the internet and show it to me in a cute and cuddly UI. I’m getting to the point where I’m having serious trouble...

Switching Control and Caps Lock on Windows

April 17, 2007 | programming, technology
I’m a diehard Emacs user. When I first get into the office, I fire up Emacs, then check my mail in Emacs, then update all of my source files using either the built-in Subversion bindings or a Cygwin shell via Emacs, and finally get down to coding for the day in Emacs. Windows and Mac OS X at times feel like just the kernel that allows me to run Emacs. Productivity-wise, that’s actually a great thing. My work environment is basically identical no matter what machine I’m on, enabling me to focus...