For one of my classes I am required to take a short weekly exam via Proctorio. There’s been some controversy surrounding this software. Although it claims it’s trustworthy, it’s not open-source, so no one can verify their claims. So naturally, I was reluctant to install it on my primary machine. Enter: the spare raspberry pi I have sitting around.
This is the story of how I managed to get FreeBSD running on a Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB of RAM, though I think the setup story is pretty similar for those with 2GB and 8GB.1
I also managed to get Rust built from source, (kind of) which is nice because the default Rust installer doesn’t seem to work for FreeBSD running on a Raspberry Pi.
I noticed that my Internet was acting strangely: whenever I visited a web page, my browser would hang for a good second or two before it started loading anything. Zoom calls worked without a problem for school, so this tipped me off that something was wrong with the DNS lookup or the handshake. Sure enough, I popped open my Pi-Hole admin console, and was greeted with this: The green number in the Total Queries box would jump by 10, 20, or sometimes even 100 every second.
I am an avid Emacs user. I’m using it right now to compose this post. I use it every single day for everything from work to school to personal notes. Most of my activity on GitHub comes from me tweaking little things in my configuration files. I now have an editor that perfectly fits my hands. Emacs is a big part of my life.
I’m afraid it’s dying.
I just finished watching The Social Dilemma, and here’s my hot take: The Social Dilemma is an emotive, accessible introduction to problems that, without exaggeration, pose an existential threat to life as we know it. If you can, watch it.
Today is September 11th. I remember waking up 19 years ago, coming into the living room, and my dad getting down on one knee so he was closer to my level. He told me that earlier that morning two airplanes had crashed into some tall buildings in New York City. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but I soon found out.
It’s been a long six months that we’ve been under quarantine and other disease-limiting measures. It hasn’t been easy, but thanks to something I saw at Königsstein Fortress I’m not complaining. Here’s why:
In Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology, Neil Postman argues that our infatuation with technology has insidiously eroded our culture. We gain much through technology, but it comes at a price; all too often we are blind to that price. This book seeks to call attention to the costs of a technology-focused society. I felt this poignantly because I, as a technology worker, know what that infatuation feels like.
I’ve been thinking about programming languages a lot recently. A question I asked myself was: why do we work on, refine, and create new programming languages? I thought of several reasons, but they seemed to boil down into two broader reasons: Better abstractions and more automation: some languages automate and ease some tedious tasks like memory management, concurrency, or type annotations. Almost all languages give you some ways of creating abstractions that let you reason with concepts in your problem domain, but different languages do this in different ways.
I went on an adventure today. I left behind the stable comforts of the terminal and compiled bleeding-edge Emacs that uses a native window system. This is a big deal for me. As long as I can remember, I’ve used Emacs from within a terminal. I’ve decided to give the GUI’d Emacs a whirl. My Journey I’m running macOS Catalina (10.15.5). Originally I tried using the pre-built packages via brew (brew cask install emacs) and those available at Emacs for Mac OS X.