I've read too many Frequently Asked Questions online that were clearly never asked by anyone. So a more honest title is NAQs, or Never Asked Questions. Here are answers to questions no one has ever asked, but regardless, I felt like answering.
Q:/> What does Thran mean? Explain your name!
A:/> No. If I did what you wanted, that wouldn't be thran.
Q:/> What is your proudest moment?
A:/> Proudest? I haven't given enough years to truly judge that. I'll instead share some moments that make me proud:
In 2009 I was one of the 502,672 people who helped ensure Rage Against the Machine was the U.K. Christmas Number 1, beating the X-Factor off the chart for the first time in a half-decade. I remember the MP3 download was priced at 29p on Amazon MP3. Perhaps we had a man on the inside?
It is an outstanding moment because it was the first time I noticed the power of spontaneous self-organisation. I was a small part of something I really wanted to happen. I enjoyed every moment of it.
More recently, I've designed this website's layout entirely afresh. I use the Pelican engine to build my pages, so I had to design and format the theme carefully to ensure it met Pelican's standards.
Then I had a go at building my own static website generator. This I used to build the WMW (Well Made Web) section of this website. I made the website builder reasonably generic so others may make use of it too. See the details at Thransoft.
Q:/> What is your exact political persuasion? I demand to know!
A:/> Error reading device in drive A.
Abort, Retry, Fail?
Q:/> What computers do you use?
A:/> Too many. I will describe some. Later I might upload photos if I can find the motivation.
Thinklad (ThinkPad T450 Laptop)
- OS: Debian 10 (Buster)
- CPU: Intel i5-5300U (4) @ 2.900GHz
- RAM: 16GB DDR-something
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- DE: KDE Plasma 5
frizzle-fry (Pinebook Pro)
- OS: Armbian
- CPU: Rockchip ARM Dual Cortex-A72 + Quad Cortex-A53, 64-bit CPU
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB eMMC
- DE: Default Xfce4
Orcrist (Big Desktop)
- OS: Void Linux
- CPU: AMD Ryzen (x86)
- WM: Fluxbox
Other systems include: Multiple Raspberry Pis, a Pine Rock64, A heap of Dell R200 servers, a useless HP Pavilion box, a Thinkpad T61.
I am a programmer. Computers just appear in my house overnight.
Q:/> What do your desktops look like?
A:/> I put in some effort in making my desktop look presentable, in keeping with my own preferences. I shrug whatever hideous flat trend exists in whatever way I can.
The latest screenshots I've taken may be seen here: August 2021 Screenshot Showcase
Q:/> What were your favourite computers from the past?
A:/> These were:
A white MacBook (Late 2009). 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo. It ran Snow Leopard, which was an excellent release of Mac OSX.
iMac G3, Bondi Blue, 400MHz Power PC. I have a fondness for see-through plastic; this was the most see-through plastic on any single item I've ever owned.
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 was recognised.
Q:/> Why don't you include a comment section? Are you afraid of rebuke?
A:/> No. This website is built using Pelican, a static HTML blogging system. No code is executed by the server. What this means is that there is no means for the website to take your comments.
Notwithstanding that, I don't fritter in the face of debate. A suitable commenting or discussion system may be installed in the future.
Q:/> Why is your topic selection so scattered? Pick one thing and do it well!
A:/> I'm partial to the 'do one thing and do it well' rule because that is the Unix philosophy. The philosophy works well for small and well-defined software tools. Now, I don't consider myself a tool, software or otherwise.
Besides, though I am a programmer by trade, who says my opinions have to stop at programming? I'll apply curiosity where I please until I dry up my restless, inquisitive side.
Q:/> Why don't you just give in and join WordPress or Medium? Think of the reach!
A:/> Because I like owning things. I like owning my own blog template. I like owning my own words. I hate advertisements. I hate needless over-engineering.
I couldn't stay sane offering my effort and passion to the closed, corporate web. Hence, this site. Proudly independent for as long as I can support it.