Thran

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No. 48 Vol. 1Since 2018 A.D.Price: 0/0d

About Thran

This question fills me with the same existential dread as mandatory personal introductions in corporate settings, or online dating profiles. Without disclosing too much, I'll give only a brief bio. The Internet has enough self-aggrandisement already.

Short bio

Programmer & Linux Enthusiast. Attempted guitarist. Recreational photographer. Enjoyer of imaginative music and films. Internet connoisseur and opinionator.

Aphorisms

I enjoy playing with computers, but I don't enjoy working with them.

Some of my favourite music is things I haven't heard yet.

I don't hate Python, I just think it shouldn't be used anywhere.

My favourite thing with new computers is they just tell you that something is wrong, not what’s wrong. That way you won’t get too overwrought.

Instead of doing pointless things I’d rather argue over them. This makes me better than a jobsworth.

I plan to have my public ssh key tattooed across my arm. As for my private ssh key, I can’t tell you where that’s tattooed.

I prefer my milk on draught, i.e. unpasteurised.

Scientific discoveries

If you filter water in a filtering jar before pouring it into a kettle, it will boil in half the time.

Contact Me

Write me letters@<THIS_DOMAIN>.uk. Letters to the editor are appreciated but replies aren't guaranteed.

BTC wallet: bc1qmdkn09q6u4h6mpd7qedpwj7j6lckzuun0mqqht

Around the web

Tastes and Preferences

Likes

  • 1990s Alternative music
  • Linux and the BSDs
  • Fluxbox window manager
  • VIM text editor
  • Perl programming language
  • Ground or Nespresso coffee
  • Stuffed bookcases
  • Mechanical systems
  • Railways
  • Real ale
  • Tankards
  • Individualism
  • Old Buildings
  • Photography
  • Fireplaces
  • Forests
  • Pre-Classical history
  • Bicycles
  • South Park
  • Brass Eye
  • Peep Show
  • Wired Headphones
  • Pedestrianised streets
  • Gibson Les Paul guitars
  • Vintage Apple, Amiga and Sinclair computers
  • Birds of all feathers, but especially starlings and corvids

Dislikes

  • Airports
  • Windows >=8
  • Google's business model
  • 'single page' websites
  • Nano the text editor
  • Python the programming language. Not the reptile, those are fine.
  • Lazy or repetitive songwriting
  • Capeshit movies
  • Advertisements (especially "targeted" ones)
  • Statism
  • Political Parties
  • Censorship
  • Hubris (i.e. previous three above)
  • Non-mechanical keyboards
  • Touchscreen controls, especially in cars
  • "Login to see more"
  • The British government's Internet policy
  • One way traffic systems
  • Buses
  • Wars
  • Red wine
  • Fiat currency

Loathes:

  • Applications made from web browsers. E.g. Slack, VSCode, MS Teams, countless others
  • REM (the band)
  • Militant Irish Republicanism
  • Non-Militant British Republicanism
  • Bureaucracy and insulting rules
  • Those who devise and enforce the above
  • Reddit moderators
  • Tomatoes
  • Seed oils
  • Taxation

Programming parlance

I program in Perl when I want to have fun, C when I wish to show off, and anything else if I am paid enough.

Praiseworthy Websites

Websites I mostly like may be found here - linklist.

Websites I liked when they were in their prime

  • Last.fm
  • Flickr
  • Bebo
  • Many phpBB forums
  • Many flash game portals
  • Xfire
  • 2007-2012 YouTube

Woeful Websites

How not to do it.

  • Facesbook
  • Medium
  • New Reddit
  • Any page that takes >100Kb to load (excepting images)
  • Sites with intrusive cookie notifications
  • Websites that require javascript just to display text
  • Websites that require so much scrolling your index finger muscle gets ripped
  • Anything to do with tracking, profiling and advertising (beyond text links)

Causes I support with money

Free software is necessary for privacy in computing. Privacy is foremost in the digital age, with everyone trying to abuse your data. Both of these organisations do much to fight for your freedom in the digital realm:

Naturally, I would encourage your financial generosity to these worthy causes, if possible.

Stickers and Userbars

If these look old it is because they aren't making them anymore.

GNU/Linux

Debian Linux

perl

ebay

bitcoin

sennheiser

fluxbox

val_css

firefox

val_firefox

vim

no code and run

download perl

internet exploder

wiby

web services

Computers I own

Here's an outdated photograph of my "current" setup:

The 2021 desktop

Thinklad and Orcrist.

OS2DAMAX (MacBook Air, 2017 7,2)

The go-to portable.

  • OS: Mac OS 12 Monterey
  • CPU: Intel i5 (2) @ 1.8+Ghz
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD

Orcrist (Big Desktop)

Hand built from components.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core @ 3.6Ghz (x86)
  • GPU: Nvidia 1060 something (Scrounged)
  • Mobo: Gigabyte x570
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256 GB eMMC SSD + 2TB 7200 RPM HDD
  • Keyboard: Aukey mechanical keyboard, MX blue switches.
  • OS: Void Linux, Windows 10 LTSC
  • WM: Fluxbox

Thinklad (ThinkPad T450 Laptop)

The benchwarmer.

  • OS: Debian 10 (Buster)
  • CPU: Intel i5-5300U (4) @ 2.900GHz
  • RAM: 16GB DDR-something
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • DE: KDE Plasma 5

Other systems include: Multiple Raspberry Pis, a Pine Rock64, A heap of Dell R200 servers, a useless HP Pavilion box, an old Dell laptop or two, more I have certainly forgotten.

What can I say? I am a programmer. Computers just appear in my house overnight.

For the desktops, some screenshots I've taken may be seen here: August 2021 Screenshot Showcase

Vintage computers I own

Yes, I collect them. I don't know exactly why, but I like the aesthetics and simplicity of old hardware. Eventually I'll have a proper web gallery for my collection. But for now I'll note them here:

An iMac G3

  • Bondi Blue
  • 400MHz Power PC.

I have a fondness for see-through plastic; this has the most see-through plastic on any single item I've ever owned. I still own this computer but it is currently a dud.

Photograph of it back when it worked here

iMac G3 as it was in 2006.

Others

  • Apple Macintosh SE
  • Apple Macintosh Performa 6200CD
  • Apple MacBook (Late 2009). Identical model to my erstwhile one, but not the original MacBook I owned.
  • Amiga A500
  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k
  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum Plus
  • Toshiba MSX HX-10 64K

Portables

  • Apple iPod (4th generation), 20GB
  • Apple iPod Nano (1st generation)
  • Apple iPod Touch (2nd generation) x2
  • Apple iPhone 4
  • Casio Cassiopeia E-115
  • Psion Series 5
  • Palm IIIe
  • Palm Zire 31

Games consoles

  • NES
  • SNES
  • PlayStation 1

Portable gaming machines

  • A fat PSP with custom firmware. Back in the day (2007-2008) I used it to play all kinds of emulated SNES games. Fairly cool. Unsurpassed among portable gaming devices.
  • Gameboy Colour
  • Gameboy Advance SP

Details and photos pending when I create a new page for them.

Computers I used to own.

These included:

A white MacBook (Late 2009)

  • MacBook6,1
  • 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo.
  • It ran Snow Leopard, which is likely the peak of software design we will experience.
  • Full spec: MacBook (Late 2009).

I regrettably sold mine in 2011.

Photograph of the original MacBook here

MacBook, depicted in 2010 featuring Blur.

Thinkpad 600e.

It was my first own computer. It give out quite a kick for the Pentium II 366MHz processor. It ran Windows 98 on a 6GB hard drive. I installed a 20GB and had to upgrade the BIOS before it recognised a drive of that voluminous size.

Asus Eee PC 900.

  • 900Mhz Celeron
  • 12GB storage
  • 1GB RAM.
  • Black case
  • 9" screen

I purchased this in 2008 one week before Asus launched the Eee 901, which boosted a 1.6Ghz Atom processor at double the power. It was mostly used to browse random forums and visit Facebook and Bebo, which in 2009 were not decrepit or dead as they are now.

Palm devices

Long ago, I had a Palm Zire 31 and a Palm Tungsten E. I preferred their take on a mobile OS much more than anything available today.

More?

For more 'about me' babble, you may read the Never Asked Questions.