You did good!

After two years…. it was time to retire my trusty Thinkpad T60 that I turned into a WiFi AP for my LAN. Its name is blackslab and it’s been with me for about 8 years now. She’s earned a nice long break.

Thinkpad T60

I had been running into a ton of issues lately:

  • There are way too many wireless networks around me. A quick look at the network selector on Windows has 11 networks in there. This was interfering with my gaming.
  • Debian is a fucking bitch to deal with these days. Systemd is polluting everything in it.
  • Network instability is a thing. After every reboot I had to manually bring the WAN interface up. It’s a thing and I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore.

So now I’m setting up FreeBSD on a small form factor PC to take its place. It’s not the cheapest when it comes to energy use but it should do the trick. In the interim I’ve got a cheap ASUS router running things since Windows ICS is so fucking unreliable; tried setting up FreeBSD through it and it was a slog.

Hopefully I’ll be able to stop banging my head against PF sometime in the next 12 hours so I can actually set the thing up as the main LAN controller.

UNIX vs. FLOS

To me, the core of a UNIX system is a philosophical matter. To quote Mike Gancarz’s The UNIX Philosophy from 1994, UNIX has 9 paramount precepts:

  1. Small is beautiful.
  2. Make each program do one thing well.
  3. Build a prototype as soon as possible.
  4. Choose portability over efficiency.
  5. Store data in flat text files.
  6. Use software leverage to your advantage.
  7. Use shell scripts to increase leverage and portability.
  8. Avoid captive user interfaces.
  9. Make every program a filter.

FLOS is a nearly diametrically opposed design, with design concepts like the following:

  • FLOS avoids scripts, and prefers to split tasks into compiled logic interacting with logic-less configuration files.
  • FLOS prioritizes ease of machine manipulablity over human manipulablity.
  • The components of FLOS communicate over D-Bus rather than sockets and pipes.
  • FLOS is built on a core of monolithic programs which attempt to synergisticly manage multiple complex components.
  • FLOS leverages features specific to Linux and ignores portability.
  • FLOS prefers tightly integrated components to generic solutions.

I’m not sure that this is a bad design, but it is most definitely not UNIX or anything like it.

Linux Future | PAPPP's Rambling.

via Linux Reddit.

This here explains why a lot of stuff simply doesn’t work the way it used to: Xorg, NetworkManager, Pulseaudio. It also explains why no one outside of IT uses Linux for real-world software development; you don’t have to fight OS X to get started writing code. FreeBSD is almost there as well, with people switching over to it to avoid dealing with the eldritch abomination that is D-Bus.

Are FLOS proponents still butthurt by Microsoft? So much that they would turn the OS on top of Linux-the-kernel into a bad imitation of Windows?