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I used to like Paul Graham's "Hackers and Painters"...

... I was to­tal­ly wrong. Read Dab­blers and Blowhards for the re­al thing.

In­spired para­graph:

Great paint­ings, for ex­am­ple, get you laid in a way that great com­put­er pro­grams nev­er do. Even not-­so-­great paint­ings - in fac­t, any slap­dash at­tempt at splash­ing paint on­to a sur­face - will get you laid more than writ­ing soft­ware, es­pe­cial­ly if you have the slight­est hint of be­ing a tor­tured, brood­ing soul about you. For ev­i­dence of this I would point to my col­lege class­mate Hen­ning, who was a Swedish dou­ble art/the­atre ma­jor and on most days could bare­ly walk.

Bash does thing I never suspected.

Try this and be amazed:

$ cat < /dev/tcp/
220 ESMTP 12si345086nzn

Be hon­est: did you know bash could do that? I did­n't un­til find­ing it in the man page

Now try this and be amazed it does­n't work (yes, it's in the doc­s):

$ cat /dev/tcp/
cat: /dev/tcp/ No such file or directory

And re­mem­ber, on unix ev­ery­thing is a file, but maybe that file is on­ly there in some very spe­cif­ic cir­cun­stances.

UP­DATE: There is a chance this will not work in your dis­tro, specif­i­cal­ly De­bian.

Lateral Opinion's greatest hits

Since this blog just broke the 100K vis­i­tors bar­ri­er yes­ter­day (although it had about 150K more when it was lat­er­al.pyc­, it's a good time to re­vis­it some of the old stuff that was some­what good.

So here are (IMVHO) the best ten things I re­mem­ber writ­ing in this blog in the last 7 years.

  1. Data-aware wid­gets in PyQt

    This ar­ti­­cle de­scribes a cool (a­­gain, IMVHO) way to im­­ple­­ment DB-backed apps us­ing PyQt. It's short, work­ing code and you end be­ing able to cre­ate neat stuff. I liked it, noone else did.

  1. Be a good lamar­ck­­ian frog­­gy

    It has it al­l! Evo­lu­­tion the­o­ry (the­o­ries)! It pre­­tends to pro­­vide in­­sights in­­­to FLOSS! Movie-­crit­ic-­­like quotes in the com­­ments!

    best blog i've read in a long, long time.

    —Aaron Sei­­go

  1. Rapid Ap­­pli­­ca­­tion de­vel­op­­ment us­ing PyQt and Er­ic3 ... in re­al­­time!

    An orig­i­­nal premise, a semi-use­­ful app writ­ten, got good re­views. I still like it, but sad­­ly it's not a for­­mat that ages well, since you can't up­­­date the tu­­to­ri­al for new­er ver­­sions of PyQt.

  1. Squid au­then­ti­­ca­­tion via POP or IMAP

    It solves a re­al prob­lem, does it el­e­­gan­t­­ly, and I still am in­­stalling it.

  1. Shared: Nar­­nia, The Da Vin­­ci Code is Bro­ken., Kong at dawn, Ma­trix Rev­o­lu­­tions, Troy (not Mc­­Clure), Dou­ble fea­­ture at the Elec­tric

    I some­­times try to "re­view" movies in an odd­­ball way. Please read them if you saw the movies. I think I made sense.

  1. Skele­­tons of sto­ries that won't ev­er be writ­ten.

    I have no idea why I wrote it, but I still like it.

  1. The world cup and I

    Too sen­ti­­men­­tal, but hey, I did feel that way.

  1. Fro­­do as a Hack­­er

    The sub­­ti­­tle is "Shame­­less ex­­plo­­sion of nerdi­­tude." and it is that. I am at the same time very ashamed of writ­ing it, and rather amazed by it.

  1. The Lin­ux Boot­ing Process Un­veiled

    One of my most pop­u­lar ar­ti­­cles. It's even cit­ed as a re­f­er­ence on Lin­ux boot­ing in Wikipedi­a! (I ed­it­ed it be­­cause they had the link wrong, though). It was even copied with­­out atri­bu­­tion a cou­­ple of times.

  1. A Mod­­est Us­a­bil­i­­ty Im­prove­­ment

    Oth­­er ar­ti­­cles had more links, more views, or more com­­ments, but this ar­ti­­cle in­­spired the cre­a­tion of two new apps that are much bet­ter than what was around be­­fore I wrote it, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy in­­sid­e. So, check it out, then use Speed­crunch or Abakus in­­stead of kcalc (or win­­cal­c).

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