I was starting to write a really big thing about permacomputing--I'd already made an outline and was drafting--but then I read this article and feel like I see things very differently now: applied-langua.ge/posts/termin

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.

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.

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.

(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.)

@kl Hopefully I won't get in much trouble for sticking my head in; you're right the artistic element is perfectly fine, and that's plainly not something one can argue about. But there's also this association with sustainable computing and permacomputing and such which doesn't appear to make much sense. I edited the article yesterday to be more precise about what we were critiquing, since others had the same conception and we could have avoided it with just that editing, I think. Many thanks!

@nodefunallowed I see what you mean, for sure, I just don’t know that that association is near as much a motive behind its existence than the philosophy of owning one’s tools. Not really my place to speak for the creator there though. Thanks for writing the piece! Thought-provoking stuff. Does your site have an RSS feed hiding somewhere?

@kl Sure. But then there's the issue of what one can do with their tools, as you put it. It'd be nice to allow for a decently efficient implementation that is still quite simple, or something that works better with mental models (though that's subjective, all I know is I make a lot of bugs with fixed-size integers).

Someone asked yesterday for an RSS feed, so I guess we better set one up. We don't have one yet since we publish very infrequently, and just use plain org-mode to produce pages.


@nodefunallowed Makes sense, and I think that's a fair critique.

(FWIW Org is how I do all my writing, too, and then use pandoc to export Markdown from there. I def wouldn't have RSS either if Hugo wasn't doing it for me, otherwise it'd be a pain. ox-pandoc is the Emacs package that glues it all together)

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@kl Does applied-langua.ge/posts/feed.r work? I wrote it by hand, since RSS doesn't seem that complicated, but I've never written a feed before.

@nodefunallowed it does! Only issue I see is you're missing a <pubDate> element for the entries, so they look like they were all published when I added the feed to Feedbin. It's just an RFC 2822 datetime (validator.w3.org/feed/docs/war).

Either way, thanks for doing this for those few of us from the neolithic period still using feed readers.

@kl Thanks. I also spotted I forgot to change an example name from the tutorial I was reading; I'll get onto that tomorrow.

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