Nixers Newsletter

Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"Words are where most change begins." — Brandon Sanderson

The words we use often reflect how we think, even implicitly. We say 'fake it till you make it', that doesn't work most of the time, but with language it has a big effect.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

Shit happens!

Hope everything is going fine in your life. Let's appreciate the small pleasures of everyday, we never know what tomorrow will bring.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"Knowledge is power." — Francis Bacon

Do you agree that knowledge alone is power? What about taking action?

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

F U cn rd dis U mst uz Unix. — Tim Roberts

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"When you come up with a theory, you fall in love with the beauty the simplicity and elegance of it. But then you have to get a sheet of paper and pencil and crack out all the details. Hundreds and hundreds of pages. Because you have to prove it." — Michio Kaku

Do you think the same applies to computer science and programming, simple programs are beautiful, but what does this imply on the proof?

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

Code never lies, comments sometimes do. — Ron Jeffries one of the founders of XP methodology

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

That's a lot of Unix content for one week! It seems like there's a hype to write about anything related to OS since the start of the year, it's thrilling.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the universe trying to build bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning." — Rick Cook

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

I don't know who initially created the joke, but it's been spread around so much.

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts:
"Excuse me, can you help me? I promised my friend. I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The man below says, "Yes, you are in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above this field. You are between 40 and 42 degrees North latitude, and between 58 and 60 degrees West longitude."
"You must be a programmer," says the balloonist.
"I am," replies the man. "How did you know?"
"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost."
The man below says, "You must be a project manager"
"I am," replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"
"Well," says the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You have made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is you are in the exact same position you were in before we met, but now it is somehow my fault."

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

A gentle reminder:

Deleted code is debugged code. — Jeff Sickel

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

It might not be your fault, but it is your problem.

This could be a sentence you tell yourself, or that someone else tells you. Often things happen that aren't caused by us, but we still have to deal with them.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"Writing program code is a good way of debugging your thinking." — Bill Venables"

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

Consistency Is the Last Refuge of the Unimaginative — Oscar Wilde
I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.
Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.

Challenging quotes, I'll let you ponder on them since Mr.Wilde was so adamant to repeat the same idea in many of his work.

On that note, let's mention this website: https://quoteinvestigator.com/, I find it fascinating to dive behind the origin of quotes. Even though most quotes are by definition extracted from their context and infinitely reinterpreted, I still like to shatter that and try to find even more meaning by doing so.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"People don't spend sixty bucks on a game they know they can beat." — George Wood

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"A witty saying proves nothing." — Voltaire

Since we're always adding quotes here, let's add a quote criticizing quotes/sayings.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

  • Cyber Hunt
    https://cyb.farm/

    This is the scavenger hunt/CTF that z3bra has been working on for the past year. It's amazingly well made, enjoy!

Thoughts

The competence sufficient to produce sentences capable of being understood may be completely insufficient to produce sentences capable of being listened to, sentences capable of being recognized as admissible in all situations where there is reason to speak — Pierre Bourdieu

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"A game is over when you start to wonder if the game is worth it" — Pierre Bourdieu

"The battles were so ferocious because the stakes were so small" — Henry Kissinger

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

All advertising advertises advertising. — McLuhan

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

The People are the workers, provided they are unorganized. The Public, and Public Opinion, are the consumers, provided they content themselves with consuming. — Jean Baudrillard

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

Don't assume that because somebody has one intellectual skillset, they have another — that those tools apply to all types of intelligence, thinking or claims. They don't. — Steven Novella

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"If you don’t understand the basics of a subject, it’s easy to form conclusions that seem logical, but these same conclusions seem silly to those who have a deeper understanding of a subject." — Peter Lipson

Or said another way: https://m.xkcd.com/675/

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." — Kierkegaard

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

If we, the Web's users, allow these and other trends to proceed unchecked, the Web could be broken into fragmented islands — Tim Lee (13 years ago)

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

Nobody comes here anymore, its too crowded.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"citizen journalism" is what we used to call rumour, gossip, and hearsay. It still is. — bregma a user on HN

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

Don't allow anyone to feel humiliated in front of you.

Sometimes it's hard to do because we aren't aware of how people feel about things, most often we are wrong.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

A place that looks like any place is no place at all.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

  • Normal web thing
    https://heather-buchel.com/blog/2023/07/just-normal-web-things/

    A listicle of things that break the normal usage of the web but that are becoming more prominent these days.

  • More about blogging and finding inspo
    https://www.henrikkarlsson.xyz/p/search-query

    A tale of how the internet allows to find niche communities to regroup around a particular topic, sometimes human-cured. However "if you pursue them too far you will end up obsessed with things that no one else around you cares about". This article also deals with other topics such as what it means to write in public, what to write about, how to write about it, how it spreads, etc..

Thoughts

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. — Goodhart's Law

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

  • Encyclopedia of life
    https://eol.org/

    A truly impressive encyclopedia, regrouping geographic information, attributes, pictures, predator/competitor/prey, and so much information. Bookmark it!

  • On the Loss and Preservation of Knowledge
    https://samoburja.com/on-the-loss-and-preservation-of-knowledge/

    We've talked about the digital dark age before, this topic is intertwined with the above: how do we preserve and transfer information and knowledge across generations. This is an excellent piece about exactly that.

Thoughts

  • Without great solitude, no serious work is possible — Pablo Picasso
  • Perhaps the primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid: the state of being alone. — James Baldwin
  • To be creative you've got to be unsociable and tight-assed. — Bob Dylan

But what is solitude in a world that's always connected, or are we even connected?

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

The head that will become a skull is already empty. Madness is the déjà-là of death. — Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. — Lao Tzu wisely

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"The existence of a nation (you will pardon me this metaphor) is a daily plebiscite, just as the continuing existence of an individual is a perpetual affirmation of life." — Ernest Renan in What is a Nation

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

"My Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get."

Good quote from a good movie. On that, have a wonderful week.

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It's always your own ass you sit on.

I'll leave you hanging with this.

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I'm a big believer that what is easy to produce is generally less valuable than what is hard to produce. — internet randos

While this applies to most things in our current type of economic society, do you think it also applies to sentimental and knowledge value too. Comparing daily news articles, let's say, to books or journal articles.

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The first grand discovery was time, the landscape of experience — Daniel Boorstin

In view of all you have to do, when you waste an hour it seems to me a thousand... For I deem naught so precious to you, both for body and soul, as time, and methinks you value it too little — Letter to Francesco di Marco Datini

Memory's vices are also its virtues, elements of a bridge across time which allows us to link the mind with the world — Daniel Schacter

These days it seems we're always running for something, wanting to fill all gaps, not wasting anything. But aren't we wasting something precious while at it?

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"Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?" — Brian Kernighan, The Elements of Programming Style

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The purity means you have to sacrifice everything. Everything that makes it worth it. — Nile Blue YT Channel making the World's Purest Cookie

I truly enjoyed that video, search for it!

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  • American Self-Made Big Persona Clichés Incoming
    https://tim.blog/2020/02/02/reasons-to-not-become-famous/

    While the title I put on that link can put you off, the content is true to the heart, and honest. It can shift your outlook on what it means to be under the public eye, even to a low degree, and what it means when a community around a topic of discussion grows.

Thoughts

The first grand discovery was time, the landscape of experience. — Daniel Boorstin

Computer scientists were confused by such statement.

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"We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery" — H.G. Wells

I've finished reading the Time Machine, and kept wondering about this, especially in the context of the writing.

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"He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it." — Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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In relation to the previous link, and probably more.

"What really matters is what you do with what you have." — H.G. Wells

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"Debugging Is Like Being The Detective When You’re Also The Murderer" — Filipe Fortes

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  • What we hope we know
    https://apenwarr.ca/log/20230415

    A article pondering on system design, science, engineering, and insight. "The article is a fascinating exploration of the interconnectedness of magic, emergent complexity, systems design, and engineering, and how they all play a role in shaping the future of technology and society."

Thoughts

"Make it work, make it good, make it faster."

... But everyone can have their own priorities too!

I'll be busy tomorrow, and thus I'm sending the newsletter early this week.

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"The first thing you think of looks sensible. Easy to implement. Terrible, ineffective solutions will cause suffering. Why are we made to suffer?" from https://youtu.be/oAHbLRjF0vo

Similar to this quote: "We Don’t See Things As They Are, We See Them As We Are", which doesn't seem to have a clear origin.

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You can't force someone to learn something, all you can do is plant seeds of knowledge which might grow in the future. That's true of a lot of things, be it learning or changing someone's opinion.

This is the 189th issue, that number might not mean much, but it's been a year since we relaunched the newsletter after the previous multi-year hiatus. Hence, congratulations!
Let me know what you thought and feedbacks on the issues this years, what you'd like to see, or simply share your feelings about how it's going so far.

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"Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part"

https://www.incirlik.af.mil/News/Commentaries/Display/Article/303134/poor-planning-on-your-part-does-not-constitute-an-emergency-on-my-part/

His remark served as a lesson. This taught me, no matter what task I'm working, more than likely it isn't more important than any other task just because I failed to properly plan.

Keep that in mind!

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Duplication is far cheaper than the wrong abstraction. — Sandi Metz

A programming quote that resonates with most of us. We've all encountered over-engineered codebases.

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  • The advent of AI and memetic wars
    https://xeiaso.net/blog/a-weapon-to-surpass-metal-gear

    A blog I truly enjoy reading. This particular article delves into the idea of narrative warfare, and AI taking over the endless media machine along with all the worldwide political implications, and then the slam from fiction back into reality.

Thoughts

If you have to ask if you're a member of a group, you're probably not.

A cliché quote, nevertheless, that makes you think about some things in your life. What's a group? What does membership means?

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  • Wimmelbilderbuch, a bottom-up drawing
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/wimmelbooks-hidden-picture-dutch-masters

    In art they often say to not focus on the details, to focus on the overall aspect. Well, for that type of pieces the authors do the exact opposite, embracing them and going wild. I find these fascinating, staring for hours at every minute things that are in the image.

  • System design interview
    https://interviewing.io/guides/system-design-interview

    The interview aspect aside, you can think of this as a resource to learn about different architectures. I remember linking a book with different real system architecture but I just can't find the URL.

Thoughts

Art has multiple definitions, it's hard to pin down, for example here there are many of them, from transmitting emotions, to create aesthetically pleasing objects, and a form of expression. For me, art is what makes you ponder about deep topics you normally wouldn't encounter, something that challenges your perception of life, maybe even shock and touch your own cultural malaise and boundaries, something that is hard to define until directly experienced. "What if something has meaning away from you and your own assignation to it." Like spoken or written language, local context shapes art and changes its signification. I often like to challenge people by throwing words that have a widely different meaning than what they presuppose, to blow their own contextual bubble, break away from their inner limitations.

One especially interesting piece I've stumbled upon is "The Caretaker, Everywhere At The End Of Time". You can find it on YT here. It has this ephemeral aura, it carries you on a journey of frightening feelings you might have never touched before, "a series exploring dementia, its advancement and its totality". Some describe it as making you doubt your own reality, the edge of consciousness, trying to transcribe something you might never experience.

Similarly, the psyche.co website has a series of wonderful indie films that I truly enjoy. Man on the chair touches upon the upside downs of life, its inner meanings and cloudiness.

I've digressed, let me know if you like this type of content.

NB: You might have noticed but I linked quite a lot of my favorite tech bloggers in this issue. Kudos these fabulous writers, Julia Evans (jvns.ca), solene (dataswamp.org/~solene/), Soatok, Vermaden, Matthew Garrett (mjg59), and Rachel Kroll (rachelbythebay), o7 I salute you!

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  • Culture Shock
    https://hr.un.org/sites/hr.un.org/files/Culture%20Shock_1.pdf

    We hear these catchy two words often, but do we ever spend the time to ponder on them. What has local contextual meaning might not have any in another context. It's easy to transpose our own life experience unto another, however it never match up, and that's even truer across cultural boundaries. I'd recommend a recent book I've read called "The Culture Map" by Erin Meyer, if you can afford it, find an online version, or simply read summaries.

Thoughts

"Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it's the way things happen in life that's unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it's like watching television – you don't feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it's all television." ― Andy Warhol

I kept wondering about this quote after watching this video.

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Form follows function. — Louis H. Sullivan

I've been diving into architecture topics these days, and it's akin to software in a lot of ways. The levels of designs, theories, and thoughts that go into constructing a space is incredible. Check just this.

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Beauty is the promise of happiness. — Stendhal

How can beauty promise happiness? And what kind of beauty would this be? What sort of happiness?
Some take it quite literally, meanwhile others go deeper in the meaning.

What do you find beautiful? What makes you happy?
Have a great week!

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Mechanisms determine how something is done; policies dictate what is done. Flexibility requires the separation of policy and method.

This has been an adage of computing, yet when taken to the extreme it can lead to such complex system with features that lay unused because the policy isn't relying on it.

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  • su without ROOT
    https://sites.google.com/site/fullycapable/su-without-root

    The past 2 weeks I've been away, working on an article on access control, coincidentally, POSIX capabilities is one topic that came up. The only real articles we've mentioned in the newsletter that is properly explaining POSIX capabilities on Linux are "POSIX Capabilities, Not a Capability-Based System" in 156. Yet, that article wasn't so good either, so I went to the source: the maintainer of the Linux version of this POSIX.1e/2c draft, libcap: Google. That particular linked article discusses converting su from a setuid binary to a POSIX capability binary, aka capability-aware. It's still hard to grasp, so wait for my future article to finally understand all this :D !

  • doas as a dedicated subexecutor
    https://flak.tedunangst.com/post/doas

    In the same note as the above link, while writing I also dabbled with sudo and doas, in ways in which I felt like I never understood them before. In this beautiful historical article from 2015 linked above, we can see the progression that the author of doas has been through, slowly leading to its adoption on OpenBSD.

  • Randomize anything that can be randomized
    https://undeadly.org/cgi?action=article;sid=20230119075627

    This time it's sshd randomized boot-time relinking.

  • Troubleshooting ssh generic issues
    https://ittavern.com/ssh-troubleshooting-guide/

    A quick and neat list of common ssh issues that can easily be fixed. There's nothing very particular here apart from having it as a checklist, which can come in handy when you're running out of options for debugging.

  • Difference between Linux secure boot and kernel lockdown
    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/60092190/is-there-any-relationship-between-secure-boot-and-kernel-lockdown

    Two interesting features: making sure a binary is signed properly, and enforcing not being able to modify the kernel code as it runs. While independent, combined they offer a good defense surface.

  • TPM, PKCS#11, Okta, Apple, and more
    https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/64311.html
    https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/64968.html

    There's a lot of solutions to store keys and password, and methods to access them, via some sort of verification/signature, within a hardware, and more. The above blog enjoys discussing this topic to great ends.

  • USBGuard
    https://usbguard.github.io/
    https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/USBGuard
    https://docs.kernel.org/usb/authorization.html
    https://usbguard.github.io/documentation/rule-language.html

    Yet more security content related to the previous post! This one is specifically about creating a whitelist/blacklist of USB devices. It can also integrate with polkit for interfacing with the DE and can be secured with seccomp. The nice thing is that it relies on the kernel pseudo-fs sysfs for authorization policies instead of udev (it has deprecated the udev backend in favor of the file backend).

  • Vermaden's Twitter friend NeoMoevius about running Urban Terror on FreeBSD
    https://vermaden.wordpress.com/2023/01/20/native-urban-terror-on-freebsd/

    A straight forward raw tutorial on making something run.

  • Monochrome terminal setup for an E-ink monitor
    https://bsandro.tech/posts/monochrome-terminal-setup-for-an-e-ink-monitor/

    Who wouldn't want an E-ink monitor and plug it in their day-to-day machine, having crisp text that doesn't hurt the eye. Yet you got to forgo a couple of things when on a colorless screen with the framerate of 15fps.

  • OpenZFS — the final word in file systems
    https://jro.io/truenas/openzfs/

    An article rounding up some features of OpenZFS, explaining them in coherent and expensive details.

  • eBPF XDP
    https://www.tigera.io/learn/guides/ebpf/ebpf-xdp/

    Networking monitoring and decision making is always getting faster and smarter. XDP, eXpress Data Path, allows processing packets at high speed, either directly on the NIC or in software in the kernel, meanwhile eBPF let you interpret programs within the kernel. A combination of both is electric!

  • send2trash
    https://pypi.org/project/Send2Trash/

    This chic little python package will also install a cli going by the same name: send2trash, which respects xdg standards for trash and will be a good replacement alias for your rm.

Life & Other

Thoughts

We're back on track!
We all need a reset from time to time, a change of pace is welcome. So let's throw a cheesy quote to get this going:

We all get so caught up in the moment of what we're doing every day, it's hard to hit that reset button and get pulled away from all that and see life from a different perspective. — Tony Stewart (race car driver)

It's not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities. — Kristin Armstrong (road bicycle racer)

"Gotta go fast" to understand what some breathing space can offer.

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The newsletter will have a two weeks hiatus.
See you later!

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

  • Write more more
    https://candrewlee14.github.io/blog/i-will-write-more/

    Alright, alright, it's been a couple of motivational writing weeks, so let's keep it going! In 2023 I'll indeed write more.

  • Security and privacy
    https://invisv.com/articles/privacy-and-security.html

    I find this sort of discussion confusing, because often the terms are misused and barely defined properly. As I'm currently writing on the topic of security I've found that the definitions can be conflicting, but once you settle on one that is scientifically sound (as in measurable) then you can move from there. One policy that is often taken as the definition of security is the CIA: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Now if confidentiality contains the one of the users of the system, and not only the internals, their privacy is included.

Thoughts

People are usually afraid of change because they fear the unknown. But the single greatest constant of history is that everything changes. — Yuval Noah Harari

What a great quote to initiate the year, start with a change and growth mindset.

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Unix

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Happy end of year!
Let's hope for more adventures and cool newsletter links for the next one.

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Unix

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Thoughts

Take a glance at "The Most Productive Ways to Disagree Across Cultures", it's a nifty article. These cultural trivia, differences, points of confluence, are often hidden or misinterpreted until the moment they finally float up and unfold on top of the water of our minds like lily pads. That shows how blind we can be without realizing it.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

  • Scams these days
    https://indeedjobscam.pages.dev/

    A bit technical, and also an entertaining read, that's why I added it.

  • IPv6 is broken
    https://adminhacks.com/broken-IPv6.html

    An article that made it all around tech news websites. The conclusion most had in the comments was to blame the mentioned AS provider. That's probably the first thing that would come to mind, but I'd also fall down to the Five Whys.

Thoughts

A system that is trustworthy is not the same as a system we must trust. This distinction is important because systems that need to be trusted are not necessarily trustworthy.

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Unix

Life & Other

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Not all who wander are lost, not all who are lost have wandered

https://www.publicstreet.org/derive

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Unix

Life & Other

  • The Ultimate Guide to ffmpeg
    https://img.ly/blog/ultimate-guide-to-ffmpeg
    https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Media/Formats/Video_codecs

    A well-rounded and very approachable guide to ffmeg, from start to end. Long time ffmpeg users won't learn much but it's a great reminder, or a must if you've always wondered about video encoding/decoding.

  • I/O is no longer the bottleneck
    https://benhoyt.com/writings/io-is-no-longer-the-bottleneck/

    An article that was controversial mostly because of its title. I agree with the general argument as its presented. It's somewhat similar to "A book on Algorithms For Modern Hardware" in issue 144.

  • Programming paradigm can be applied to more tha one place
    http://boston.conman.org/2022/11/25.1

    If one thing is true it's that there often are clans and holy wars between programming language advocates. This articles takes a step back to theories to make us remember that paradigms are paradigms and the things we learn somewhere, even research programming language (See "Ownership and capability, in language and hardware" in 171), can often be applied somewhere else.

Thoughts

Niklaus Wirth, wrote "the belief that complex systems require armies of designers and programmers is wrong. A system that is not understood in its entirety, or at least to a significant degree of detail by a single individual, should probably not be built." Not only have we built such systems, all our collective livelihoods depend on them!

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"You know what's truly weird about any financial crisis? We made it up. Currency, money, finance, they're all social inventions. When the sun comes up in the morning it's shining on the same physical landscape, all the atoms are in place." ― Bruce Sterling

And now that there are talks of central banks digital currency along with cryptocurrency amongst others, plus a global economic crisis, this quote is even more obvious. We're left dumbstruck wondering why all this is happening.

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Unix

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Thoughts

"The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images." — Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle

Don't forget the online sphere is often a digital world of facades and templates. The rules we make up are all spectacles that we willingly choose to abide by. It's good to be reminded of that.

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I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone." - Aloha (on an HN thread)

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Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

No == "can't you be more creative than that?"

The newsletter is a bit shorter this week, I was on holiday and didn't get the time to read more content.

Have a great start of end of day, wherever you are in the world!

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Why think! We have computers to do that for us. — Jean Rostand

Jean Rostand was a half-baked futurist/scholar in biology and other fields, interested in human evolution along with the degeneration of mankind and how to remediate it. A more famous quote of him is "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a God."

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Unix

Life & Other

  • Better check this
    https://ciechanow.ski/archives/

    A blog full of explorable explanations done beautifully. See also "Awesome GAMES for kids!" in 23 and "This week we have fun in space" in 100.

Thoughts

"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes." — Oscar Wilde

This is related to the quote in issue 125, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.".

All and all, it seems that anything wrong, unexpected, and mistakes, will lead to more experience. Isn't that a tautology: Anything new will be an experience.

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The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in a block of concrete and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards. — Gene Spafford

Is that why cold storage is great?

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There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things. — Phil Karlton

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The most potent weapon of mass destruction is the humiliated mind — Dr Evelin Lindner

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Your sixth sense works quickly and is not prone to second guessing — Nicholas Epley

We tend to think we got skills we sometimes don't have. One of them is reading other's minds, we can't do that.

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"Clothes make the man", "don't judge a book by its cover"
"birds of feather flock together", "opposites attract"
"just be yourself", "when in Rome, do as the Romans do"

We just got to admit sometimes, we have no clue what we're doing.

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Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

Prevention is better than cure.

It's definitely better to be proactive than reactive. Yet, we can't be proactive with everything, we all have a limited amount of power.

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Unix

Life & Other

  • A real capability-based system
    https://sandstorm.io/how-it-works#grains
    https://sandstorm.io/how-it-works#capabilities
    https://capnproto.org/

    Sandstorm is mostly used as a proof of concept of capabilities through a WYSIWYG suite. The particularity is that in the backend it implements a capability based system, permissions are dynamic, through tokens exchanged moving from person to person, with all the management around it. See also "Don’t separate designation from authority" in 158.

  • Homoglyph attack
    https://util.unicode.org/UnicodeJsps/confusables.jsp?a=nixers.net

    We've had a couple of linked related to unicode before such as "Unicode" in 116, "Normalization of unicode" in 120, "Text on computers" in 137. Additionally, we've also dealt with normalization of URL on the forums in a thread called "having fun with domain names". What this can give rise to are homoglyph attacks.

Thoughts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_satiation

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Resignation

I find it fascinating to read about current social phenomena from a Wikipedia's retrospective.

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Unix

Life & Other

  • A website I thought I had linked before
    https://emotionalgranularity.com/

    This is quite a fun site to visite, especially to learn about how to express some things that are hard to put things into word.

Thoughts

You can learn from anyone, you simply have to approach the situation with this intent and keep reminding yourself of this.

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Thoughts

If someone shares some piece of information that doesn't mean they agree with it, nor support it, nor imply it has anything to do with them.

Just some common sense, but that needs so often to be reminded.

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It might just be a lonely rainy night on the side of mount Everest — A random sentence from a podcast

Life's hard, sometimes we focus on momentary pain while we're on our path to something else.

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Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

Slowdown.

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"Read a Lot, Forget Most of What You Read, and Be Slow-witted"
https://fs.blog/what-did-montaigne-like-to-read/
https://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2010/02/-read-a-lot-forget-most-of-what-you-read-and-be-slow-witted/190691/

Sometimes we dwell too much on the appearances or efficacy of all our minute actions. Why not take things more lightly this week, read and let it imprint you in whatever way it does, without forcing it.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

  • Software Over Time
    https://blog.jim-nielsen.com/2022/software-over-time/

    Pondering about the implications of an observation: Will this piece of software live long enough, or can it only live a small burst of time. What does it take for software to be maintainable, changeable, and adaptable? All good software architecture and engineering questions. Somehow this reminds me of the credo of chaos engineering and the stringent stress it incurs on software to make it resilient and flexible.

  • A Very Regional Thing
    https://text.npr.org/1109498551

    Plastic is omnipresent. Some places use it more than others, some places use it less but don't recycle, some places have litter issues, some have waste management issues, and some have very different issues. This article puts you in the shoes of someone in the USA, take it with a grain of salt if you're not from there and can't relate.

  • Open Source Pain Logger for Patients
    https://medevel.com/pain-diary/

    I had read about these scales in the past, and their gruesome history. It makes me happy to see that we can do that without being tracked by Big Corp, thanks to this team in Germany.

Thoughts

We all gradually change, sometimes more abruptly than others, but we all do. What are some changes others have noticed in you that you might not have yet? Think back to the Johari window I mentioned back in issue 141, apart from relationships, what are other changes happening.
Boring?
Have a fun week!

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Unix

Life & Other

Thoughts

Take the time to really listen to someone this week, we often forget that.
Have a great day!

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Live your life so that whenever you lose, you are ahead. — Will Rogers

Yet another cheesy quote! Not one to take too literally, but one to ponder upon. This isn't a call for action to let go and keep your head high, nor to lose everything, but about what it means to take risks and learning from experience. At least that's how I see it.
Have a nice week!

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Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell. — Karl Popper

Great quote that asks for due diligence. Rhetoric is an art and those who master it can often be only about talk and no actions.
Have a phenomenal week!

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Unix

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  • Software engineers and woodworking
    https://www.zainrizvi.io/blog/why-software-engineers-like-woodworking/

    The online cliché of software engineers wanting to leave their jobs to do woodworking or live on a farm has always been foreign to me. Maybe it's a cultural thing very specific to certain regions. This article sheds some light on the subject.

Thoughts

Everyone should know how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think! — Steve Jobs

What a cheesy quote, right? Also a big hyperbole! Yet, I think there's some truth to it, programming computers does change the way you think about some things and approach problems. It probably doesn't teach you to "think" but it does teach you how to apply a certain methodological way to look a things, similar to how learning a new skill set would.
How did that affect you in your life?

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Don't worry about what anybody else is going to do. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. — Alan Kay

An inspirational quote that you can listen to while working out. In all seriousness, sometimes we pay more attention to what is happening around us, what others are planning for, than what we would like to see. Think about this for next week.
Cheers!

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There are no shortcuts to any place worth going ― Helen Keller

Life can take us on so many path, some of them taken deliberately, some of them serendipitously. Yet, when we yearn for something, we want to arrive there early, but for things that matter, it's the road that is more important than the end.
Enough sentimental jargon, enjoy the week!

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Wear sunscreen
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1198000-wear-sunscreen

A classic monologue, with a single punchline. Yet, I also think sunscreen is very important, put some today maybe.

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Never wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty and the pig likes it.

In continuation with the previous link, sometimes a fight isn't worth fighting.

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A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. — John A. Shedd, according to Quote Investigator

There's a lot of things we prepare for indirectly, unconsciously, but never actually practically do. Maybe because we're afraid of failure, consequences, or the unknown. This week, let's ponder on such scenarios, turning them from tacit to explicit and deliberate.

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  • Since when have we been polite?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9qIwF5YcjA

    There's a lot of things we take for granted because we're inundated with them and haven't experienced otherwise. This channel (with videos translated in multiple languages) offers a lot of valuable historical distance to these topics.

Thoughts

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. — Khalil Gibran

Be there for the people around you, this is something these past few years have made even more apparent. "A friendship isn’t a forced duty or responsibility, it’s a relation that we choose to keep out of love."

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  • Google's Arts and Culture Exploration
    https://artsandculture.google.com/

    Yes, I know it's evil Google, but I'm personally enjoying that website quite a bit and thought of sharing. Tell me if it's worth it and whether you know other similar pages.

Thoughts

If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. — Everybody's parents, friends, and teachers

I'd take this further and put it as: prioritize talking about what you love or learned instead of what bothered you, and if you absolutely have to, at least put in a constructive way. I'm definitely guilty of this too, and I know it's hard to get out when you start going down this spiral. In the age of the internet, toxicity is omnipresent. Take some time to revise your own Johari Window too, this might help.
Have a wonderful week.

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Each picture has some sort of rhythm which only the director can give it. He has to be like the captain of a ship. - Fritz Lang

Coming from a film mastermind like Fritz Lang, this quote displays the difference in quality between craftmanship and mere industrial consumption. Do you feel the passion that you put in work, or that other put, shows up in the end?

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When a thing looks complicated, it's possible that we're looking at it wrong and missing some of the pieces of the puzzle.

I like this quote, it applies in multiple places. Sometimes the pieces of the puzzle are missed because they're out of our expertise, touching domains that weren't even in our concern when approaching the problem.

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The best writing is rewriting.

It's good to have the newsletter back. Think about people, hobbies, and others that you haven't given much attention to lately, maybe it's time to rekindle, to re-form bounds.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Life & Other

  • Text on computers
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYd2KkuZLbE

    It's always fun to talk about the assumptions we have about textual representation on machines. This talk by Dylan Beattie does a pretty good job at going into historical tidbits and anecdotes. This is somewhat related to this forums thread on unicode.

  • Taking distance from war propaganda
    https://venam.nixers.net/blog/internet_communication_narrative_control_booklet.pdf

    This is a shameless plug of something I've written. Internet propaganda is thriving and everyone is attempting to drive others into their camp of vilification. This is a short research I did on the topic of narrative control on the internet, the first section is especially relevant today (The Artifacts And Spaces). Opinions are my own, so take everything with a grain of salt, and stay safe!

Thoughts

The newsletter is alive once more!
For the first edition, as you might have noticed, we're starting the easy way by sharing stuff you might have already seen on links aggregator websites. There's some re-contextualization, and extra content, and I hope it's enough to open an appetite for the newsletter again. In the next one we'll try to touch things that aren't stuck in the zeitgeist.
Let me know what you think, if it encourages you to read more, and get in touch on IRC, or help out.
Thank you!

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Unix

Thoughts

HE is lucky who realizes that "luck" is the point where preparation meets opportunity.

This is going to be the last newsletter in quite a while. I'm going to take a pause and free up time to study software architecture, a topic that captivates me. I'll foster my love of diagrams explaning complex software stacks.

vermaden will shortly send an email to the currently subscribed readers of this newsletter with a link to his to those who are interested.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

vermaden valuable news

UNIX (vermaden)

Hardware (vermaden)

Life & Others (vermaden)

Thoughts

Don't praise the knowledge, praise the thirst for knowledge.

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Unix

vermaden valuable news

UNIX (vermaden)

venam: I'm surprised the tool wasn't there by default, it's a must have for SSD.

venam: They didn't change much from the look of it.

Hardware (vermaden)

Life & Others (vermaden)

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vermaden valuable news

UNIX (vermaden)

Hardware (vermaden)

Life & Others (vermaden)

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vermaden joins us again for this issue. Be sure to check his blog there's some awesome content out there.

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Unix

Thoughts

https://theblog.adobe.com/the-half-life-of-your-skills-is-shrinking-heres-what-you-can-do-about-it/

Keep learning, whatever it is, keep moving.

Have a great week!

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Unix

Thoughts

Just go back from vacations.
This newsletter was super hard to put together but I did it.

Also, I'm surprised that after 2 weeks nobody has even started the scavenger hunt: https://nixers.net/showthread.php?tid=2275

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Vermaden Valuable News

UNIX

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Life & Others

https://vermaden.wordpress.com/

Thoughts

I'm going on a two week vacations, so there won't be any newsletter in a while. Let's wish everyone a sweet month of June.

Also, enjoy the scavenger hunt: https://nixers.net/showthread.php?tid=2275

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Vermaden Valuable News

UNIX

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Life & Others

https://vermaden.wordpress.com/

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Software engineers live in a world of deep introspection. They spend most of the day solving complex problems, breaking problems apart and reconstructing them. Often, when they are distracted, their subconscious can make the most bizarre leaps, connecting half-baked ideas and partially solved algorithms. This can happen in the oddest of places, for example, in the shower, or cooking in the kitchen, or driving in a car.

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Haste Makes Waste.

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Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones. Stephen King

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Thoughts

Enter with the intention of growing as an individual.

You may not always enjoy your days but there can still be something that could help you grow. You may not always enjoy a conversation but it could help you grow.

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Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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Vermaden Valuable News

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In science if you know what you are doing you should not be doing it.In engineering if you do not know what you are doing you should not be doing it.

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https://jamesclear.com/deliberate-practice-theory

I was dumbfounded when I heard about this concept in the first link of this issue. Not because I didn't know about it but because it's something I'm doing instinctively, naturally. I couldn't even imagine having to write an article about it. And having it as a concept means that some people out there are not benefiting from this simple thing. So here we go, be it obvious to you or not.

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Vermaden Valuable News

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https://vermaden.wordpress.com/

Thoughts

Never be satisfied, that's the way you'll fall short. See past yourself.

A quote that may seem would lead to pessimism but that I think is about the contrary. I guess it goes along with the following:

Does the tournament make sense as you keep going?

or again:

There's no such thing as perfection.

It's not the end goal that matters, it's the path, the adventure on the way, the progress, the intention. Sometimes it has boundaries, sometimes it doesn't. However if you're satisfied with the status quo you'll stop your journey short.

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https://vermaden.wordpress.com/

Thoughts

I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. - Richard Feynman

Archive

You can find the archive of past newsletters here:
https://newsletter.nixers.net/entries.php

Contribute

There are many ways to contribute:

  1. If you find anything interesting you can contact venam on the forums and that may be featured in the next newsletter.
  2. Share it with your friends.
  3. Share your point of view about the newsletter.
  4. Open a thread on the forums to discuss one of the topics that has been brought by reading this newsletter.
  5. If you want to help with the forums server fees or simply donate then you can send something to my btc address (ask for it) or patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/venam.

Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Vermaden Valuable News

UNIX