No. 35 Vol. 1Since 2018 A.D.Price: 0/0d


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.

Online achievements

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.