Plugging Into Culture Challenge (Movie Edition)

I’ve long recognized that I’ve let pop culture pass me by in all areas. I was never the most plugged in person on that matter to begin with. Like most people as I got older I’d rather listen to old songies, now definitely “oldies”, or my favorite older movies, now often definitely “classics”. That has left me feeling more disconnected than ever from the modern world. I have no idea who current actors, singers, writers, directors, etc. are. I am somewhat plugged in to some of the shows on the streaming services but that is not exactly the same thing. So for 2020 I decided I’d make an effort to see every first run movie that came through my local movie theater. COVID killed all that. Now that I’m fully vaccinated I’ve decided to revive the challenge.


Linux Rolling Releases Head to Head Competition One Month Update
Rolling Release Icons

About a month ago I decided to try a head to head match up of various Linux rolling release distributions, documented in this blog post. A month in I’ve added a few new distributions and have some initial observations.

NOTE: the continually updated results spreadsheet is hosted on a NextCloud server here and the repository with all of the most recent data, commands, etc. is hosted here.


Lessons Learned From Basecamp Debacle

For a long time I’ve felt that we need a better way to do capitalism, or more generally a market based economic model. My first foray into actually studying that was running across John Abrams’s The Company We Keep back in 2007. I was suffering extreme burnout from starting my own company with the traditional workaholic model and thought there had to be a better way. In my own company at the time I started advocating for and pushing some of these sorts of things within the bounds that we could. If I ever started another company, I said, I wanted to do a radically different model of ownership, governance, and culture to really test out these newer ideas. In recent years I ran across the writings of the founders of Basecamp, David Heinemeir Hansson (DHH) and Jason Fried. They have a whole podcast called Rework which covers these topics as well. It is very much about rethinking a lot of the conventional wisdoms in the corporate world using techniques they’ve used at their own company for 20 years or so. I thought they were a good model to look at when trying to formulate what my own new corporate culture and structure should be. That fact is what made the events of the last two weeks even more distressing to me. I decided to re-read their two books It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work and Rework as well as looking at how these events unfolded to see how if I was confronted with the same scenario I would handle it differently. I’m not doing this as a beat up on Jason and DHH exercise but instead to try to process this to learn from this whole thing.


On My Idol Worship of Steve Jobs (A Book Review)

Back in March I wrote this piece on the whole RMS debacle and how we have to stop worshiping and coddling idols. I came to that conclusion long before the RMS debacle. I experienced my own idol worship experience in my early years. My most intensive idol worship was around Steve Jobs. I’ve read many biographies on him, watched all the movies, documentaries, etc. I could find. The biography and history story of NeXT chronicled in the 1993 book Steve Jobs & The NeXT Big Thing by Randall E. Stross though is something quite different. Most Jobs biographies are fawning with a hint of mild criticism in a few choice places. Some like The Second Coming of Steve Jobs by Alan Deutschman and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson provided a more nuanced picture that showed a bunch of Steve’s warts, and not in a “well akshully that was a good thing” rationalization sort of way. They were written after Job’s had his redemption with the return to Apple though. Stross’s book on the other hand is a very one sided scathing critique of Jobs with very little if any positive things to say. It was written in 1993 at the trough of NeXT the hardware company and before they “successfully” converted to a software company. While it is scathing and solely/mostly negative I believe it is fair and accurate.

Steve Jobs at NeXT Computer Launch Promotional Photo
Steve Jobs at NeXT Computer Launch Promotional Photo

In this era of new idol worship I’m finding myself rethinking my own prior positions in the context of the now-known reality. Beyond my prior worship of Jobs I absolutely love NeXT computers, the hardware and the software. I obsess about the design aesthetic and think it is peak computer design. I collect them along with other classic computers. I spend way too much time reading about them. I love the fact that modern macOS and iOS are built on them. I still need to look at the dark history of the company revealed in this book and confront it. So the TL;DR are that I love this book for bringing this harsh reality of this thing and person I paid too much deference.


April 2021 Blog Statistics

This is an update on my monthly blog stats generated with my non-tracking The BlogStatViewer program. I followed the same steps as in last month’s post for refining the updates to make sure that bots/spiders/etc aren’t in the statistics. This month it took a grand total of ten minutes cleaning up about a dozen new bot type accesses. Below are the updated stats for the month of April.


Picture of Me (Hank)


Updates (128)
Software Engineering (123)
Journal (119)
Daily Updates (84)
Commentary (72)
Methodology (59)