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Final (?) edits

tags/Issue-002
Kenneth John Odle 2 months ago
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      002/build/codex-002.pdf
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002/build/codex-002.pdf

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002/codex-002.tex

@ -181,7 +181,7 @@ Hold on. (Again.)
1,024 is \textit{not} a thousand, and 1,048,576 is \textit{not} a million. For my entire life, we've just walked right past this and pretended that we didn't notice. Doing science stuff? \textit{kilo} is a 1,000 and \textit{mega} is a million. Doing computer stuff? Then \textit{kilo} means 1,000\textit{ish} and \textit{mega} means a million\textit{ish}. Move along now, nothing to see here.
That discrepancy should bug you. It bugs me, but I also have bills to pay, so when someone asks ``\textit{how much} does it bug you?'' my honest answer is that I've worked hard to not let it bug me all that much.
That discrepancy should bug you. It bugs me, but I also have bills to pay, so when someone asks ``\textit{how much} does it bug you?'' my honest answer is that I've worked \textit{very} hard to not let it bug me all that much.
But still.
@ -222,7 +222,7 @@ I purchased this computer from the back of a K-Mart, in much the same way the me
\vspace{-12pt}
\end{wrapfigure}
Unfortunately, when you bought a computer in those days you got exactly that in the box: a computer. There was no monitor, there was no disk drive, there was no printer. You just got a computer in a box with a power supply. I had scrimped and saved forever to buy this, and had fortunately also managed to save enough for a monitor, which in those days was a big, heavy cathode-ray tube device (CRT, for short). One of the selling points of the C-64 was that it was portable. You could just pick it up and take it with you. (It seems like all computers in the movies back in the day either took up entire rooms or buildings---think Hal-9000 in \textit{2001: A Space Odyssey}---or were something you could carry in your hand---think the tricorders in \textit{Star Trek}. We've never managed a happy medium.) The monitor, however, was anything \textit{but} portable. It was heavy, it was bulky, and it was fragile. Slam a lid closed on a modern laptop and everything will probably be fine. Knock a CRT off the table and it's toast. If it lands on your foot, you'll probably end up in the emergency room.
Unfortunately, when you bought a computer in those days you got exactly that in the box: a computer. There was no monitor, there was no disk drive, there was no printer. You just got a computer in a box with a power supply. I had scrimped and saved forever to buy this, and had fortunately also managed to save enough for a monitor, which in those days was a big, heavy cathode-ray tube device (CRT, for short). One of the selling points of the C-64 was that it was portable. You could just pick it up and take it with you. (It seems like all computers in the movies back in the day either took up entire rooms or buildings---think Hal-9000 in \textit{2001: A Space Odyssey}---or were something you could carry in your hand---think the tricorders in \textit{Star Trek}. We've never managed a happy medium.) The monitor, however, was anything \textit{but} portable. It was heavy, it was bulky, and it was fragile. Slam a lid closed on a modern laptop and everything will probably be fine. Knock a CRT off the table and it's toast. If it lands on your foot, you'll probably end up with a broken foot.
The second computer I ever owned was a Commodore 128. Whereas its predecessor only had 64 kb of memory, the C-128, as we called it, had a whopping 128 kb of memory—twice the memory for nearly the same price. While the C-64 could only run in the 1 Mhz\footnote{megahertz—a measure of a computer's computing speed} mode, the C-128 could run in 1 Mhz mode or 2 Mhz mode, but such were the demands on its resources that running in 2 Mhz mode meant the screen would go blank—it simply didn't have the power to process that fast and display that processing on the screen at the same time. For comparison, I just pulled up a cheap Lenovo laptop on Best Buy's website that has an Intel i3 processor with 8 GB of memory and a 256 GB solid state drive and is on sale for \$389. It has a clock speed of three \textit{gigahertz}.
@ -232,7 +232,7 @@ The second computer I ever owned was a Commodore 128. Whereas its predecessor on
\vspace{-12pt}
\end{wrapfigure}
Unlike the C-64, which was round and bulky, the C-128 was slim and sleek. In fact, one of its selling points was its portability, and I recall seeing a brochure where a college student is walking around campus with one under his arm. What they left out of that illustration, of course, is his friend dragging a little red wagon with a terribly heavy CRT monitor in it, along with an incredibly heavy power source. They were portable in theory, but not in any practical manner. But compared to a mainframe that took up an entire room or building, it was light years ahead of its time. And I \textit{felt} like that, too, like this computer was going to take me places where I would be light years ahead of where I was then.\footnote{It didn't, because you need so much more than just a computer to get ahead. You need resources, you need people who believe in what you're doing and support you, and you need people who can point you in the direction of the next step. If you don't have those things, you're not a visionary with a bright future ahead of him, you're just a nerd with a computer.}
Unlike the C-64, which was round and bulky, the C-128 was slim and sleek. In fact, one of its selling points was its portability, and I recall seeing a brochure where a college student is walking around campus with one under his arm. What they left out of that illustration, of course, is his friend dragging a little red wagon with a very large and very heavy CRT monitor in it, along with an incredibly heavy power source. They were portable in theory, but not in any practical manner. But compared to a mainframe that took up an entire room or building, it was light years ahead of its time. And I \textit{felt} like that, too, like this computer was going to take me places where I would be light years ahead of where I was then.\footnote{It didn't, because you need so much more than just a computer to get ahead. You need resources, you need people who believe in what you're doing and support you, and you need people who can point you in the direction of the next step. If you don't have those things, you're not a visionary with a bright future ahead of him, you're just a nerd with a computer.}
Like I said, the laptop I am using now has 8 GB of memory, which is a lot more than 128 kb of memory. But how much more? It's difficult for most people to visualize numbers, especially when they are orders of magnitude apart, and looking at raw numbers doesn't give our brains much to latch onto. We need to \textit{visualize} these numbers, which is why I used money earlier. But because I like math and most people like food, let's visualize these numbers a different way: through food.\footnote{A\&W once tried to launch a $\nicefrac{1}{3}$ pound burger to compete with McDonald's quarter-pounder, the idea being you get more meat for the same price. But it didn't sell because people thought a third of a pound was less than a fourth of a pound. (Again, the metric system for the fucking win.) They could get $4>3$, but they couldn't understand $\nicefrac{1}{4}<\nicefrac{1}{3}$. See \href{https://awrestaurants.com/blog/aw-third-pound-burger-fractions}{\texttt{https://awrestaurants.com/blog/aw-third-pound-burger-fractions}} for the full story.}
@ -276,7 +276,7 @@ It saddens me that we are now at a price point where technology should be able t
Now it's the other way around: technology manipulates you and you \textbf{can't} shut it off. Websites (I'm thinking of Amazon here, as they are the best at it, but plenty of other websites do this as well) now \textit{tell} you what you want to buy. You can buy things on subscription so that you don't have to think any more.\footnote{It can be devilishly tricky to actually unsubscribe from some of these things, to the point where it's easier just to absorb the expense (we can always get the kids vaccinated \textit{next} year) and just decide that this is how we live now.} Streaming services control what you watch or listen to. No longer can you just walk into a record store or a video store and get what you actually want. No longer will people experience the serendipity of walking into a store and finding a movie or album that becomes a huge part of their life. (I've discovered some of my favorite books that way. I truly believe certain objects just call to you.\footnote{I know that's kind of woo-woo, and I am not into a lot of woo-woo stuff. Maybe it's more just a matter of getting out of the house and walking around with our eyes open.})
People have become addicted to their phones in a way I'd never imagined possible. (If you are ahead of me at a red light, and the light turns green, but you don't go because you don't notice that the light is now green because you're looking at your phone—I \textit{will} let you know that the light is now green and you can proceed through the intersection. Believe me, you will \textit{know}.)
People have become addicted to their phones in a way I'd never imagined possible. (If you are ahead of me at a red light, and the light turns green, but you don't go because you don't notice that the light is now green because you're looking at your phone—I \textit{will} let you know that the light is now green and you can proceed through the intersection. Believe me, you \textit{will} know.)
Advertisements are everywhere, on every app, on every streaming service.\footnote{Including mindfulness meditation apps—see the back cover.} They are constantly telling you that you need this product or this service, and it has become very difficult to screen that out, so much so that even drunk purchasing is now a substantial part of the economy.\footnote{\href{https://www.finder.com/drunk-shopping}{\texttt{https://www.finder.com/drunk-shopping}}, \href{https://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-is-prime-territory-for-drunk-shoppers-2019-03-25}{\texttt{https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ \\ amazon-is-prime-territory-for-drunk-shoppers-2019-03-25}}, \href{https://www.techtimes.com/articles/240241/20190326/drunk-us-adults-spend-48-billion-shopping-online-and-amazon-is-so-happy-about-it.htm}{\texttt{https://www.techtim \\ es.com/articles/240241/20190326/drunk-us-adults-spend-48-billion-shopping-online-and-amazon-is-so-happy-about-it.htm}}.} Before, you had to leave your house to get manipulated into buying something, now you don't even have to leave the house. You can literally shop yourself out of house and home without ever leaving your house or your home.
@ -439,7 +439,7 @@ alias gpush="git push origin main"
You can also execute bash scripts as well. In addition to a local backup on an external drive, I also backup the directories in my home drive to a remote storage location. To make life easy, I created a script (called, naturally, \texttt{backup.sh}) in each of those directories to back them up. To execute those backup scripts, I just need to go to that directory, open the directory in a terminal and type \texttt{./backup.sh}.
The problem here is that a lot of times, I'm not even in those directories when I'm saving files to them. I'm somewhere else. And to open the directory in my GUI and then open it in a terminal, or to open a terminal and then navigate to that directory, is a little \textit{too} much when I want to run that backup script. Remember, you want to back up soon, and you want to back up often. Backing up on that basis is a good habit to have. So let's remove as many obstacles to that habit as possible.\footnote{I am often amazed by how often people (myself included) want to form a new good habit (eat more fruit, get more exercise, etc.) and then put as many things as possible in the way of that habit. Again, it's because we're so used to the old, bad habit that we don't think. Sometimes, we just need to get out of our own way.} In this case, we'll add an alias to run those backup scripts.
The problem here is that a lot of times, I'm not even in those directories when I'm saving files to them. I'm somewhere else. And to open the directory in my GUI and then open it in a terminal, or to open a terminal and then navigate to that directory, is a little \textit{too} much when I want to run that backup script. Remember, you want to back up soon, and you want to back up often. Backing up on that basis is a good habit to have. So let's remove as many obstacles to that habit as possible.\footnote{I am often amazed by how often people (myself included) want to form a new good habit (eat more fruit, get more exercise, etc.) and then put as many things as possible in the way of that habit. Again, it's because we're so used to the old, bad habit that we don't think. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way.} In this case, we'll add an alias to run those backup scripts.
This is what I have in my \texttt{.bashrc} aliases:
@ -539,7 +539,7 @@ list is somewhat similar to dpkg-query --list in that it can display a list of p
This command is giving us a lot of output because it's showing \textit{everything} that was installed using the \texttt{apt} command. You might think that you haven't really installed that much stuff, but \texttt{sudo apt install} will sometimes install additional software needed to make the software you are actually interested in run. If you ever install something using \texttt{apt} and see a message like ``The following additional packages will be installed:'' those additional packages will appear when you use this command.
Remember those glob patterns? If you want to check to see whether a particular app is installed, you can pipe the output to grep and let it do the work. For example, let's see if I have ghostscript installed:
Remember those glob patterns? If you want to check to see whether a particular app is installed, you can pipe the output to \texttt{grep} and let it do the work. For example, let's see if I have ghostscript installed:
\begin{verbatim}
$ apt list --installed | grep ghostscript
@ -616,7 +616,7 @@ That's all I have. Sorry, but I have just haven't gotten around to using flatpak
The real problem with all of these approaches is that none of them do a very good job of telling what you actually want to know: which software packages did I \textit{deliberately} install? And that's because computers aren't smart. (They also aren't stupid. They just \textit{are}.) They only know what you tell them. They have no idea what you \textit{mean}.
In fact, I found a page on StackExchange\footnote{\href{https://askubuntu.com/questions/17823/how-to-list-all-installed-packages}{\texttt{https://askubuntu.com/questions/17823/how-to-list-all-installed-packages}}} that was first asked in December 2010 and was last modified in March 2022, has 24 answers, and has been viewed 4.6 million times. There simply isn't a way (that I could find, at least) to figure this out easily. Even something as straightforward as \texttt{\$apt-mark showmanual} still show s a lot of programs that I \textit{technically} installed myself, simply because I updated from 20.04 to 22.04 via the command line.
In fact, I found a page on StackExchange\footnote{\href{https://askubuntu.com/questions/17823/how-to-list-all-installed-packages}{\texttt{https://askubuntu.com/questions/17823/how-to-list-all-installed-packages}}} that was first asked in December 2010 and was last modified in March 2022, has 24 answers, and has been viewed 4.6 million times. There simply isn't a way (that I could find, at least) to figure this out easily. Even something as straightforward as \texttt{\$apt-mark showmanual} still shows a lot of programs that I \textit{technically} installed myself, simply because I updated from 20.04 to 22.04 via the command line.
\newpage
\noindent \textit{Meet my friend, Occam.}
@ -680,7 +680,7 @@ First, who am \textit{I} to decide if something is beginner, intermediate, or ad
Second, these words are highly contextual. What does ``beginner'' even mean? Someone who's just sat down to a computer for the first time in their life? Or someone who's been working on computers since they were ten years old, but are just now beginning to learn LaTeX? These words are easier to define in other areas, such as sports or music, where you have to learn to skate before you can play hockey, and you have to learn scales and chords before you can play music.\footnote{Although I am not an expert in either of these things, and maybe it is possible to learn hockey and music without learning how to skate or learning scales and chords first. To each their own.} Computers are the great levelers of walls and fences, provided, of course, that you have access to one.
Third, people may self-select out of things. Many years ago, I taught computer classes at my local community education center.\footnote{One of the things I learned is that is a right way and a wrong way to teach people how to use computers. I should write about that sometime.} It was a tremendous amount of fun, both for me and my students, who came from all walks of life.\footnote{A bit of a clichè that, I know. But I can't think of a better phrase.} They were \textit{occassionally} intimidated by certain things, but for the most part, they were eager to learn as much as they could.
Third, people may self-select out of things. Many years ago, I taught computer classes at my local community education center.\footnote{One of the things I learned is that is a right way and a wrong way to teach people how to use computers. I should write about that sometime.} It was a tremendous amount of fun, both for me and my students, who came from all walks of life.\footnote{Or as many walks of life as one could find in this one-stoplight town.} They were \textit{occassionally} intimidated by certain things, but for the most part, they were eager to learn as much as they could.
The class was extremely inexpensive, but it was rarely ever full, which made me wonder why more people didn't take this class. There are two answers here. First, this was the early 90s and a lot of people didn't even have computers at home, so what would be the point for them? (You don't need a car if you have no place to go.) Second, a lot of people were terribly intimidated by computers, because they thought you had to be really smart to use them. So they self-selected out of something they were perfectly capable of learning because they thought it was too advanced for them.\footnote{People are really afraid of making mistakes and looking stupid, but that's a by-product of our public education industrial complex. You can't learn \textit{anything} without making mistakes. In fact, people who are truly experts about things often point out that they learn as much or more from their mistakes than they do from their successes. But we have turned making mistakes into something to be ashamed of, rather than something which will help us learn and understand things. Fuck that attitude. Go forth and make mistakes. (Just not in the voting booth.)} Let's encourage people to self-select \textit{in}, rather than out, because once they get here they'll have a lot of fun. Let's not be gatekeepers.
@ -692,17 +692,17 @@ I don't want to be a gate-keeper. I want to be a gate-opener. In fact, I want to
I've been with Ubuntu for a while now, and generally get pretty excited about new releases. Ubuntu 22.04 was no different. Until I installed it, that is.
Ubuntu 22.04 is without a doubt the buggiest LTS\footnote{Long Term Support} version of Ubuntu I have ever used.
Ubuntu 22.04 is without a doubt the most bug-filled LTS\footnote{Long Term Support} version of Ubuntu I have ever used.
First, they have removed Python2. If you have any applications which depend on Python2, such as PDF Booklet,\footnote{Which is what I use to make the physical form of this zine. See \href{https://pdfbooklet.sourceforge.io/wordpress/}{\texttt{https://pdfbooklet.so\\urceforge.io/wordpress/}} for more information.} those tools are now unusable. And despite numerous attempts to reinstall Python2 just to make this one app work, I have thus far been unsuccessful.
Second, there is this weird problem with saving files from \textit{any} browser. You can pick a folder to download to, and from that point on in your session, this is the only folder you can download items to. Sure, you can migrate to a different folder and try to download there, and it looks like you're actually saving your file there, but nothing gets downloaded. You can look at the folder and at your download history and quite plainly see that there is nothing there.\footnote{See \href{https://askubuntu.com/questions/1406265/ubuntu-22-04-firefox-does-not-download-file-to-desktop}{\texttt{https://askubuntu.com/questions/1406265/ubuntu-22-04-firefox-does-not-download-file-to-desktop}} and \href{https://askubuntu.com/questions/1406674/cant-download-files-after-upgrade-to-22-04}{\texttt{https://askubuntu.com/questions/1406674/cant-download-files-after-upgrade-to-22-04}}} As it turns out, if you click on the \textit{filename} in the save dialogue box (and therefore give it focus), then you can change where you download the file to.
This is an odd bug to allow to get through, as for the longest time the question ``What does everyone use Internet Explorer for?'' was answered by ``To download Firefox.'' I guess you can always use Ubuntu to download a version of Linux which is not plagued by such obvious mistakes.
This is an odd bug to allow to get through, as for the longest time the question ``What does everyone use Internet Explorer for?'' was answered by ``To download an actual web browser.'' I guess you can always use Ubuntu to download a version of Linux which is not plagued by such obvious mistakes.
Third, the default video player (Totem) cannot play .mp4 files.\footnote{See \href{https://askubuntu.com/questions/1406254/after-installing-ubuntu-22-04-the-default-video-player-is-unable-to-play-any-vi}{\texttt{https://askubuntu.com/questions/1406254/after-installing-ubuntu-22-04-the-default-video-player-is-unable-to-play-any-vi}}.} Yes, I know that .mp4 is not strictly open source (as some of the codecs are patented) and I also know that you can install these codecs with \texttt{\$ sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras}, but if you have a phone, or a video camera, they probably record video as .mp4 files, and it would be nice if you could see view them on your computer.
Fourth, the new screen capture tool in the Gnome desktop is an absolute disaster. It requires you to go through a ``screenshot portal'' each and every time you create a screenshot, \textit{regardless} of which screenshot tool you use. It's ridiculous, as I (and many other users) already had a workflow for screenshots, and this is not acceptable in an open-source operating system (which actually makes me wonder how ``open-source'' open-source software actually is). Of course, people are upset, because this is a solution in search of a problem to solve. I have no idea why \textit{anybody} thought this was a good feature to include. And of course, the developers have closed off any discussion of this topic.\footnote{See \href{https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/-/merge_requests/1970}{\texttt{https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/-/merge\_requests/1970}}, \href{https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/-/issues/4895}{\texttt{https \\://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/-/issues/4895}}, and \href{https://github.com/flatpak/xdg-desktop-portal/issues/649}{\texttt{https://github.com/fl \\ atpak/xdg-desktop-portal/issues/649}}.} Listen, if people complain, you should listen to them. If a lot of people complain, and complain vehemently, then it's probably because you fucked up really badly.
Fourth, the new screen capture tool in the Gnome desktop is an absolute disaster. It requires you to go through a ``screenshot portal'' each and every time you create a screenshot, \textit{regardless} of which screenshot tool you use. It's ridiculous, as I (and many other users) already had a workflow for screenshots, and this is not acceptable in an open-source operating system (which actually makes me wonder how ``open-source'' open-source software actually is). Of course, people are upset, because this is a solution in search of a problem to solve. I have no idea why \textit{anybody} thought this was a good feature to include. And of course, the developers have closed off any discussion of this topic.\footnote{See \href{https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/-/merge_requests/1970}{\texttt{https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/-/merge\_requests/1970}}, \href{https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/-/issues/4895}{\texttt{https \\://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/-/issues/4895}}, and \href{https://github.com/flatpak/xdg-desktop-portal/issues/649}{\texttt{https://github.com/fl \\ atpak/xdg-desktop-portal/issues/649}}.} Listen, if a lot of people complain, you should listen to them. If a lot of people complain, and complain vehemently, then it's probably because you fucked up really badly.
I've lived and worked with Ubuntu for several years now. And until 22.04, I've always been extremely happy with each new release and upgraded as soon as it was available. And I've always upgraded without regret. I guess that is now a thing of the past.
@ -760,7 +760,7 @@ file.log
$ dvipdf file.dvi
\end{verbatim}
This should generate \texttt{file.pdf} which you can read in any document viewer. You may need to install \texttt{dvipdf}---on my system (Ubuntu 20.04) it was not installed.
This should generate \texttt{file.pdf} which you can read in any document viewer. You may need to install \texttt{dvipdf}---on my system (Ubuntu 20.04 at the time) it was not installed.
You can also just run \texttt{pdflatex} (which again, you may have to install), which skips over making a \texttt{.dvi} file:
@ -876,7 +876,7 @@ For what it's worth, I've added a repo of these experimental files to my gitea i
\section{Why I Love \LaTeX{}}
I didn't draw this. It's an example I got from \href{https://texample.net//tikz/}{\texttt{https://texample.net//tik \\ z/}}. I sometimes find it easier to learn a thing by finding examples and playing around with the parameters to see what they do. \footnote{If you are interested in drawing in LaTeX, be sure to check out \href{https://texample.net/tikz/resources/}{\texttt{https://texample.net/tikz/resources/}}}
I didn't draw the picture on the next page. It's an example I got from \href{https://texample.net//tikz/}{\texttt{https://texample.net//tik \\ z/}}. I sometimes find it easier to learn a thing by finding examples and playing around with the parameters to see what they do. \footnote{If you are interested in drawing in LaTeX, be sure to check out \href{https://texample.net/tikz/resources/}{\texttt{https://texample.net/tikz/resources/}}}
\bigskip

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