Link Collection w31 2008

George Dyson, son of legendary Freeman Dyson, talks about the first computer, the first software bugs (both physical and logical) and the initial struggles of hackers. Fun history lesson for computer engineers and programmers alike. (Now, go crawl the web for “Dyson Sphere” and “Star Trek”! :-)

Is Ubuntu 8.04 really that buggy as everyone suggest? My guess is that we’ve reached a breaking point where beginner users (< 1 year) are starting to outnumber the older “hard core” users. Or have the top 20% moved on to other distros? Even XKCD has picked up on it …

Michael Meeks of Novell was interviewed recently by the Austrian paper derStandard.at, and one of the things he mentioned was the OpenOffice fork they maintain, very interesting new features, not (yet) included in OpenOffice.org, e.g. .docx and VBA support!

A couple of days ago I managed to convince a friend of mine to try running bleeding edge GNU Emacs from CVS. He almost gave up, kicking and screaming, due to his Bitstream Vera fonts becoming totally screwed up compared to Alexandre Vassalottis snapshot build from January. It turned out to be caused by the Emacs font back-end defaulting to the old X font renderer rather than the new XFT one.

Here is my ~/.Xresources file that seems to fix the problem. Run xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources to merge in the new settings without logging out/in again.

The Canonical SourceForge equivalent, Launchpad, is slowly turning into something really cool. Take the tour if you are curious and want to know more.

I cannot believe I haven’t heard of pastebin before. Thanks Rooth!

My dear wife is a GNU Nano user. Here are a couple of tips for her, and other die-hard Nano users.

Are you an electronics or computer engineer? Then you’ve probably had trouble explaining boolean logic to people. This dude explains it all using dominoes.

Finishing off with this, unbeatable, hardware hacker. He’s transformed his EeePC into a veritable monster! See his guide for the changes necessary …