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Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order?

Riktov Still Slacking After All These Years (867 comments)

1996: Slackware? -> Yggdrasil -> Slackware -> TurboLinux -> Slackware/Ubuntu.

Still Slacking After All These Years.

more than 2 years ago

Designers Criticize Apple's User Interface For OS X and iOS

Riktov Re:iOS Maps (484 comments)

The Calendar and Newsstand apps icons are dynamic, they ought to make Maps like that too.

more than 2 years ago

Rick Falkvinge On Child Porn and Freedom Of the Press

Riktov Re:Philosophical thought experiment (580 comments)

This view that viewing something somehow metaphysically harms or otherwise affects the subject of the image is outright absurd.

Suppose that we decide to base punishment, or any action for that matter, on such "harm-at-a-distance". Keep in mind that we're not basing punishment on the ascertainable *effect* that the pornography has had on on the subject, we are basing it on a completely separate act in a completely context: the act of someone viewing the image, which the subject may not have any knowledge of.

And what if we later find out that the subject has been dead for years? What happened, then? Did the viewing of the image cause harm to a dead person? The person's soul? Or do we, on the other hand, determine that because the person was dead, it turns out no "harm waves" were "emitted" by the viewing waves? So the harm waves actually know whether the subject is alive or dead, happy or sad, offended or unconcerned?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Language Should a Former Coder Dig Into?

Riktov Programming for fun? Lisp and Smalltalk (530 comments)

You say you want to "code for personal reasons", which I take to mean because you find programming enjoyable and want to write programs for fun.

Then I would absolutely recommend Lisp and Smalltalk. For Lisp, you can get started with Lisp In A Box and Peter Siebels' "Practical Common Lisp". For Smalltalk, try Squeak accompanied by Squeak by Example. It's all free.

No, you are probably not going to get a job writing in either of these languages, but learning them may indeed help you get a job, as they are both conceptually deep, and their influences are broader than many realize: JavaScript borrows heavily from Lisp, and Ruby and Objective C from Smalltalk. Even Python and Perl have some Lisp concepts in them. In fact it seems that every new dynamic language to come out in the last twenty years owes something to these two languages. They are like the Greek and Latin of programming languages.

more than 2 years ago

25 Years of IBM's OS/2

Riktov The one time I saw Bill Gates in person (342 comments)

was when I heard him give a talk on OS/2 and how it was the future of Microsoft. This was at the University of Washington, and obviously sometime between late 1987 and 1988. A very narrow slice of history indeed.

more than 2 years ago

OLPC XO-3 To Debut At CES, Starting Under $100 (But Not For You)

Riktov Re:What does it mean to have a price? (119 comments)

So the price is $100 and proof that you are part of a large government organization. The price of the second element Is variable, and is a combination of time, money, effort, and circumstance.

about 3 years ago

Japanese Use Wild Monkeys To Track Radiation

Riktov Re:Lighten up (85 comments)

Mid-forties; nowhere near old age.

In my comment I was just making the point that I am one of those poor people - ZOMG, I could die any day from an earthquake or radiation poisoning!!! - that the parent poster thinks people should not make jokes in front of.

More radioactive rabid robot monkey jokes, please.

more than 3 years ago

Japanese Use Wild Monkeys To Track Radiation

Riktov Lighten up (85 comments)

Bah. I live in Japan, was born here, and will probably die here; hopefully from old age, perhaps from radiation or from earthquakes, who knows?

But hey, monkeys are funny. They are also fascinating.

And I love stupid Planet of the Apes jokes. Even stupid Godzilla and radiation jokes don't bother me. They probably don't bother the researchers either, and they sure as hell don't bother the monkeys. After all, they're monkeys! And get your stinking paws off me you damned dirty apes!

more than 3 years ago

GamePro Shutting Down After 22 Years

Riktov GamePro has certainly served me well for 22 years! (91 comments)

Though I haven't even read the magazine once in the past two decades, I have a beach/bath towel with the GamePro logo on it, which I received as a giveaway at the June 1989 Consumer Electronics Show, which would make it right when the mag started. I was doing graphic design/advertising at my first job then, and there might be an ad I worked on in the very first issue.

The towel is still in excellent condition - not a tear and little wear. I'll be sure to use it after this evening's shower.

more than 3 years ago

China Building Gigantic Structures In the Desert

Riktov Re:West of that location (412 comments)

Surprisingly enough, it says "Danghe Reservoir".

more than 3 years ago

John McCarthy, Discoverer of Lisp, Has Passed Away

Riktov Re:Lisp is a fascinating language with honored his (354 comments)

A lot of the advanced features you see in popular "cool, cutting-edge" languages like Python, Ruby, JavaScript, etc. - stuff like closures, functions as first-class objects, lambdas, filter/map/reduce, continuations - were pioneered by Lisp. If you know Lisp, and you look at such languages, it's obvious that the creators also knew Lisp, and when they needed their language to do something that it couldn't otherwise do, they adapted something from Lisp. Interestingly, many such features were not, or could not be, or have been only with great difficulty, adapted to older languages like C/C++.
It's taken fifty years for these modern languages to catch up to Lisp.

The same thing to a lesser degree can be said about Smalltalk. Lisp and Smalltalk's influence is not so much in being used directly to create applications, but in creating other languages.

more than 3 years ago

John McCarthy, Discoverer of Lisp, Has Passed Away

Riktov Re:Thanks (354 comments)

No need to bother with strings or side effects. This is all you need:


more than 3 years ago

R7RS Scheme Progress Report

Riktov Re:Crap... (47 comments)

(re-posting what I just posted anonymously)

A lot of the "cool, cutting-edge" features you see in popular modern languages like Python, Ruby, JavaScript, etc. - stuff like closures, functions as first-class objects, lambdas, and filter/map/reduce - come straight from Lisp. Even the very idea of XML is just a variation on the list structure of Lisp. It's taken fifty years for these modern languages to catch up to Lisp.

more than 3 years ago

Who is Your Favorite Avenger?

Riktov Missing options: (300 comments)

Grumman TBF
Grumman A-12

more than 3 years ago

I Name My Servers After:

Riktov NATO codenames for Soviet Aircraft (722 comments)

Fresco, Farmer, Fishbed, Flogger, Foxbat, Fulcrum (yes, the MiG-15 is deliberately left out)
Fitter, Fishpot, Flagon, Fencer, Flanker
Flashlight, Firebar, Forger
Bear, Badger, Blinder, Backfire, Blackjack

The good thing is that the names are ordered... though I'm not sure if Bear should be first or between Backfire and Blackjack.

more than 3 years ago



"Universal Jigsaw Puzzle" Hits Stores in Japan

Riktov Riktov writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Riktov (632) writes "I came across this at Tokyo toy store last week, and it's one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. Jigazo Puzzle is a jigsaw puzzle, but you can make anything with it. It has just 300 pieces which are all just varying shades of a single color, though a few have gradations across the piece; i.e., each piece is a generic pixel. Out of the box, you can make Mona Lisa, JFK, etc, arranging it according to symbols printed on the reverse side. But here's the amazing thing: take a photo (for example, of yourself) with a cell-phone, e-mail it to the company, and they will send you back a pattern that will recreate that photo. This article is in Japanese, but as they say, a few pictures are worth a million words. And 300 pixels are worth an infinite number of pictures."
Link to Original Source

Kleenex, Xerox, Linux, and other generic words

Riktov Riktov writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Riktov (632) writes "Thomas Friedman's latest column in the New York Times is about global warming and new innovative technological solutions. It has nothing to do with IT and computers. Yet there in the middle of a description of an MIT collaborative project towards an energy-efficient vehicle, Friedman describes it as "the Linux of cars." Not a word of explanation, qualification, or elaboration of just what Linux is or how the MIT project is analogous to some computer OS. Not even a hyperlink. It's Linux, and you, dear reader, surely know what that means, don't you?

When the term "Linux" can be used in any context in the general media with the assumption that anyone reading it knows what it means, surely it's as mainstream as it could possibly be."

Link to Original Source

Riktov Riktov writes  |  about 8 years ago

Riktov writes "The New York Times has a short piece on how clothing sellers and manufacturers are looking at the ecology of clothing and possible future trends in the area.

Current consumer habits, driven by "fast fashion", where people buy and go through clothing at a rapid rate, and then end up throwing it all away, may have to give way to green fashion, where clothing is more durable, requires less energy to clean and maintain, and ends up being re-used or recycled (or even rented in the first place). Did you know that your "all-natural" cotton T-shirt uses more energy over its lifetime than the polyester equivalent?

Of course, when it comes to not following fickle fashion trends and cutting back on washing clothing, perhaps the Slashdot crowd is way ahead of the game..."




Riktov Riktov writes  |  about 7 years ago

Snow in Tokyo. We didn't get any at all last year. The year before, we got some heavy stuff, though I wasn't around to see it.



Riktov Riktov writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Today's my birthday.

My girlfriend called at 6:15 this morning from Bolivia, I was still happy to hear her.


It's a laptop, for Pete's sake!

Riktov Riktov writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Yesterday my girlfriend came by, though she barely had two hours to spend. And one thing she needed to do was go to the local internet cafe to print out a report that was due the next day.

She's been living in a dormitory for two months now, training for her overseas volunteer service, and she's incredibly busy with classes in Spanish, health, and economic development, which was the subject of her report.

The first time she asked about printing out a report, she asked if I had "Japanese fonts" on my computer. So I corrected her, saying she probably wanted to know if I have Microsoft Word, and the answer was no. The only Windows I have is English-language 98SE, and I don't have any Microsoft Word. Yeah, I've got Linux with KDE and OpenOffice and some other MSOffice-compatible office suite, but I didn't have high hopes that they'd handle Japanese Microsoft Word files, especially printing. I do have a Japanese printer, an ALPS MD-2010J.

So I suggested she just bring her computer over. I've got Windows drivers for the printer, I'd install them on her machine, which has Japanese Windows 98 and Japanese Microsoft Word. And it won't cost a thing. But no! I don't want to bring the computer over. It's too heavy.

So twice so far she ended up spending Y600 at the internet cafe, and I had to kill half an hour at the local konbini waiting.

We were walking home yesterday, and she told me, "They charge Y50 per sheet to print! Isn't that expensive?"

I asked her how the other people in the dorm print their documents. "Oh, they use the printer there."

"What printer?"

"The printer in the dorm."

You mean there's a printer in the dorm? Why aren't you using it?"

"Oh, I've never tried it before, and other people are always using it, so I wanted to be sure I'd have this report printed out on time. And I like that net café, anyway."

The funny thing is, I think the net café is smelly and full of creeps who are just killing the midnight hours reading manga, checking net auctions, and smoking.

It's a five minute walk from her dorm to the subway station, and five from my station to my place. If she can't even lug a laptop computer for fifteen minutes, how's she going to survive in Bolivia??


Holy smokes, it's crunchy grasshoppery goodness

Riktov Riktov writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Saturday evening, on the way home from the swimming pool, I stopped at the local temple, Meguro Fudo, as they were having their monthly festival. It's the time of year in Japan when the plum and peach trees are in bloom, so the local residents were out selling flowers and bonsai trees.

The temple building itself was also open, though when I arrived around 8p.m. they were closing up. There's a big incense burner out in front, with several bundles of lit incense. Three or four people were gathered around, gently scooping up the smoke and spreading it around their bodies. It's believed that the smoke brings good luck, if not good health. It certainly didn't do me any good when I visited on a chilly New Year's morning last year, and the smoke merely aggravated my asthma. Well, Catholics have their holy water, and Buddhists have their holy smoke.

I wandered through the various food stalls, and got myself a serving of takoyaki - chunks of octopus in balls of griddle-fried batter, smothered with sauce and sprinkled with seaweed flakes. I also bought a bag of sembei (rice crackers), and as I was about to leave, I found a stall selling traditional condiments like pickled vegetables and dried fish. They had my favorite, inago no tsukudani. Locusts cooked in a soy and sugar sauce. Crunchy, full of protein, and delicious on a steaming bowl of rice.

Anyone want a bite?


One Man's Treasure

Riktov Riktov writes  |  more than 10 years ago

A few weeks ago I was walking home from the train station around 9pm, and a block from my apartment, I noticed a PC on the sidewalk. It wasn't exactly on the sidewalk, it was sitting on the driveway of a house, but close enough to be indistinguishable from garbage. Just so there was no doubt, though, it had an Oversize Garbage sticker on it. In Tokyo, regular garbage must be sorted into burnable, non-burnable, and recyclable, with different collection days for each. Other items such as domestic appliances are classified as oversize garbage, and require an additional fee to be collected, and the sticker indicates that the fee's been paid.

As it was rather dark, I had to take a closer look to see that it wasn't just an empty case, and sure enough it had at the very least an ATX motherboard. Then I noticed that sitting next to it was an LCD monitor. And a small wooden shelf.

I got home, and on the phone with my girlfriend, I mentioned the stuff and asked her what she thought. Should I take it? After all, it was clearly garbage. But it was a PC!
She thought it was probably OK.

About half an hour later, I stepped out, walked down the block, and stealthily grabbed the monitor and brought it back to my room. It had a VGA cable connected, but it needed an AC adapter, so I couldn't try it out. So I put it aside, and went back to get the PC.

The case was a tacky, cheap-looking affair with faux-iMac trim around the front. I immediately opened it up and removed a network card, SCSI card, and 1394 card, all pretty old, from the PCI slots. There was no hard disk, no floppy, but a 32x CD-RW was still attached. I grabbed a power cable, plugged it in, and tried turning it on. Nothing. OK, so it was probably a dud. It was garbage, after all. So I swapped it with the power supply from my other dead PC. It came alive. It tried the original power supply again, and this time it worked as well.

I hooked up my monitor and booted it up again. 1GHz Athlon, 512MB RAM, nVidia GeForce. Runs fine. I've been using it for several weeks now, with no problem. I've kept the Oversize Garbage payment stickers on the case, though. Just in case anyone asks.


Riktov Riktov writes  |  more than 12 years ago

I just found out the ./ identity of a guy in the office just a few cubes down. He's on /. all day (OK, so I am too). Intersting thing he wrote about the company...

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