It’s easy to understand why Emacs doesn’t run on Plan 9 and it’s also easy to understand why philosophically it *shouldn’t*. But sometimes I wish it did.

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Every few months I go down the rabbit hole of playing with old Mac outliners and weird note-taking tools and I always come out of it more solidly stuck with using Org mode for basically all outlining and initial drafting.

Org and pandoc are where I start regardless of what medium or format the end product needs to be in.

Like, this thing is so far out that I'm not sure I understand what it is, and I'm not sure anybody but Dave Winer ever has.

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For those of you that enjoy doing weird things in emulators, UserLand Frontier is pretty wild: frontier.userland.com/

deep into the intricacies of setting up auctex on Windows

deep into the intricacies of using luatex instead of pdftex

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@kl you've "spectacled" yourself, it's a problem with social networks sapping energy for actually doing things. That's probably why it's such an efficient tool of control.

This is The Twitter Problem in a nutshell: you throw something short and exploratory on social media, comb through responses, shape your thinking that way, and it's exactly like if you wrote the essay--or, usually, you get even more discussion and feedback. It feels like you've done the thing, even though you've just talked about the thing. This is a big reason Twitter is so toxic politically: tweeting *feels* like you've actually done something, but all you really did is post.

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Still thinking about Permacomputing, and how I was going to write a big thing and made a thread of posts (can we all agree that calling it a "toot" is bad) here instead that took all that momentum.

“Type stuff” is in quotes there because that’s a direct quote from my 4-year-old son.

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Turns out this $50 refurb Dell Chromebook I bought because my kids always want to “type stuff” actually has one of the best laptop keyboards I’ve ever come in contact with, and now I may buy another one for myself just to put Linux on or something.

@sirjofri was that you who had a nice wiki entry about setting up wifi and such on a new 9 install? I was using dogstar’s page as a reference but it’s gone from the internet now :(

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@kl

But there's also been hope, right from the start. Hints of a "shadow computer" that is possible. Vannevar Bush's memex, Licklider's "man-computer symbiosis", Engelbart's "augmenting human intellect," Ursula Franklin's "real world of technology", Bonnie Nardi's "small matter of programming," etc.

We can't choose the world we're born in, we can only choose what aspects of it we put our energies behind.

KL boosted

@kl There is a lot of personal power in simply saying no to what capitalism has on offer. No to endless and pointless growth. No to spending more. No to change that isn't improvement. As a performance, it can also be useful to demonstrate that capitalist realism is a problematic and needlessly constraining worldview.

KL boosted

@kl Nobody building minimalist systems is saying the problems are solved. The thing the authors are missing is that minimalist systems are a _reaction_, a backlash to the problems of mainstream systems. Of course they have problems. But when you're sick of the hegemony of one set of problems, it's sometimes a relief to leave behind the bugs you know for new bugs you don't know about for a while. Above all, it's a relief to depend on software created with less inscrutable motivations.

Another stray thought: think about something like Open Firmware. Something about "it's a regular PPC Mac laptop or Sun workstation, but you can also just boot it straight into a Forth REPL" feels like a future we shouldn't have left behind, a basis for a different relationship with our computing tools.

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(I did read the same authors' critique of uxn, and I thought they just sort of missed the whole point of uxn. From their point of view, it was a sound argument, but they totally missed the artistic nature of the project.)

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Instead, what would a "permacomputer" be if it were a way of working supported by hardware that lasted a very long time?

Plan 9, Emacs/Lisp machines, Smalltalk, hell even something like AS/400s--these kinds of "paradigm" environments seem like the thing we should be figuring out how to make "perma" instead of Linux on ARM or the Commodore 64.

The reality is that the "retro" part overtakes the "perma" and the two become intertwined. The reality is that you can buy a Pentium M laptop for $25.

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I'm sure there are critiques of Gemini in the article that are unfair; I don't really care one way or another about Gemini. But the bigger point--that a lot of what passes for "minimalism" is very misguided--still rings true. All these ARM SBCs are still more powerful than the laptop I got for college.

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the Alan Kay "metamedium" idea that runs through this article is powerful; reframing the discussion around the concept of "what do I do with it" rather than "how old of a computer can I do my work on." more like the @stevelord "heirloom computer," less like an old DOS laptop that is still useful.

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