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12:52 AM
What does these mean? Does these mean processor type? How can I know which one is mine? I am running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
6 hours later…
6:54 AM
@alhelal Are you running a 64bit system or a 32bit one? You are almost certainly running 64, but you can check by looking at the output of uname -m: if it is something like x86_64, you're on a 64 bit system.
2 hours later…
8:43 AM
@terdon Do you want to say i386=32bit and AMD64=64bit?
@alhelal Yes
9:06 AM
@terdon Then why the term is with a processor's vendor name(AMD)?
@terdon x86_64 what does mean by x86?
@alhelal Because that was the first commercially available 64 bit processor and the name has stuck.
@alhelal It's the name of the architecture.
@terdon Do you say 8086?
A: why is 64 bits version called AMD64 and 32 bits version called i386?

Jon LasserThe 64-bit version is typically called 'amd64' because AMD developed the 64-bit instruction extensions. (AMD extended the x86 architecture to 64 bits while Intel was working on Itanium, but Intel later adopted those same instructions.) The 32-bit version is called i386, because Intel originated ...

@terdon thanks.
@alhelal 8086 is one of the xc86 architectures as far as I know, yes.
@alhelal You're welcome
9:57 AM
So, Linux Journal is History. I remember reading it in UNC's Brauer (Math & Science) Library, a long time ago. UNC had a print subscription. Back in the days when Linux seems glamorous and exciting. We thought we were going to change the world.
10:48 AM
Damn! They're closing? That's awful!
11:46 AM
@terdon Apparently you don't follow LWN. :-)
@FaheemMitha I don't even know what it is.
@terdon Oh. lwn.net
Ah, found it. And no, I'd never heard of it before.
It's been around for awhile. I know Anthony reads it. Actually, I think he has a subscription.
They're mostly a news aggregator. Though they do publish some original articles.
I think it's safe to say that they wouldn't want to be described as an aggregator, though.
3 hours later…
2:41 PM
@FaheemMitha funny that — while it’s true that most of their content (by quantity) is news aggregation, their value (IMO) is in the in-depth articles they publish, particularly the kernel articles
3:12 PM
@StephenKitt There is value in news aggregation too. And I agree some of their content is good. But some of it isn't. Their kernel articles are unusually detailed. I suppose because the editor is himself a kernel developer.
But I suppose they would not mean much to those outside the kernel development community.
I think it's difficult to run a technical publication long term without some kind of subsidy. Cf. academic journals.
There are lots of interesting articles one could write in the free software space, but many of them would mean little to those outside the specific community, as, indeed, is the case with the kernel articles.
@FaheemMitha in many cases yes; there is the occasional article which ends up being canonical (e.g. the “How programs get run” articles I refer to in several of my answers here)
@FaheemMitha I definitely agree there
@StephenKitt I must have missed that one.
@StephenKitt I specifically had in mind version control. Lots of interesting quasi-CS problems/issues there, but how many people would actually care? Definitely a niche area.
(Maybe I should remove the "quasi" prefix, but I know little about what CS people consider CS.)
3:29 PM
@FaheemMitha a niche area with widespread applications — it helps an awful lot with git for example if you’re familiar with the kind of graph reasoning it uses
and version dependencies etc. are SAT problems, so knowledge in that area is also useful (but more for developers of package management tools, and people trying to figure out really complex upgrade scenarios)
@StephenKitt Agreed, version control usage is practically universal in software. But how many know or care about the issues behind it?
@FaheemMitha exactly
@StephenKitt Useful for the user?
there’s a huge disconnect between our ability to make software usable and non-dangerous and resistant to mis-behaviour, and the knowledge needed to understand things
we make computers too hard to use
@FaheemMitha not really in the package management case, no
@StephenKitt I think computers are intrinsically hard to use.
But everyone uses them anyway.
Well, using with understanding, at any rate.
3:32 PM
@FaheemMitha I don’t think they have to be
As opposed to doing semi-random things to get something to work, and then doing other increasingly random and desperate things when the first things don't pay off.
for example, if you lock a Linux system down, you can tell users “do what you want, you can’t break the system”, which is very liberating for users (I’ve seen this in practice)
add a continuous backup system and you can tell users “you can’t lose data either” which is even better
@StephenKitt Don't you think complicated software is complicated to use?
@FaheemMitha no, I don’t think it has to be
@StephenKitt Agreed to all of the above, but that isn't quite what I meant.
3:34 PM
if you know what users really need (not what they want) you can build systems which are easy to use and resilient
but it takes time and money
look at many industrial systems
Like using TeX. You can use it to some extent. But at some point you have to have some idea what you are doing. Well, either that, or go running to the experts for a recipe or a fix.
@StephenKitt If your users are doing easy and simple things, sure.
@FaheemMitha no, even for complex things, as long as you don’t give users too much choice
Actually, when it comes to TeX, I'm firmly in the "go running to the experts" camp. I can honestly say I have little idea what I'm doing.
TeX is a programming language for building pages, so it takes a significant investment to understand things
@StephenKitt That seems contradictory to me. How can one do complex things with little choice?
3:35 PM
@FaheemMitha you do it every time you drive a car
@StephenKitt Well, writing text.
@StephenKitt Well (a) driving a car isn't a software thing (b) is driving a car complex?
@FaheemMitha look at how hard it is to create autonomous cars
and how hard it is to teach people to drive (properly)
@StephenKitt Hmm. I suppose.
@FaheemMitha no, you write text as input to TeX, but TeX is a page-layout programming language
with a rich library to help you do things
Not quite the same as computer activity, though. Much less cerebral, for one thing.
@StephenKitt But ultimately you are writing text. Though I suppose it could be diagrams or pictures too.
3:39 PM
@FaheemMitha no, you’re laying out pages, and I think that it’s important to understand that to fully understand TeX
it’s really more like PostScript than a text editor or word processor
@StephenKitt From TeX's point of view, yes.
But from my point of view, I'm writing text.
@FaheemMitha right, and that’s the point of view you need to consider if you really want to understand TeX
At least, I don't think of it as laying out pages.
@StephenKitt (Shrug.) Yes, I suppose I don't really.
in the same way that git stores objects in a graph, and you need to understand that to really understand git — it’s not about version control etc.
It sounds like you use TeX too.
3:40 PM
@FaheemMitha yes
@StephenKitt But not on TeX SE, as far as I can see.
@StephenKitt I'm not a Git user. I use Mercurial.
@FaheemMitha no ;-)
@StephenKitt So sufficiently expert not to need help, then? :-)
@FaheemMitha But that's the whole point. You're not writing "text", but TeX or LaTeX. Your "This is my sentence" is not TeX, the \section{foo} is TeX and the contents of the section are irrelevant.
@FaheemMitha heh, or else limiting myself to things I know ;-)
3:45 PM
@terdon yes, I'm writing TeX code, some of the time. But the output is text.
TeX is quite similar to HTML, really. It's a language that defines how various elements are to be arranged, laid out on a page. That those elements are often text is irrelevant.
@FaheemMitha no, the output is pages
@FaheemMitha Ah no, the output is formatted text. But even if it were, the output of grep is also text, but that doesn't mean that C isn't a language.
@StephenKitt Ok, if you say so. I still think of myself as writing text. My focus is on the output.
Isn't that was the user is supposed to care about?
@FaheemMitha I think every program I have ever written produced text as output. Nevertheless, the language I wrote the program in was a programming language, no matter what its output is.
3:46 PM
And yes, it could be any marks on the page. Even invisible ones. But usually it's text.
@terdon I suppose I don't think of LaTeX as programming.
You could easily make an argument that the output isn't text at all. A PDF file or a ps file could just as well be considered an image as text.
@FaheemMitha if you’re using TeX, you probably also care at some level about how the text is laid out: how TeX handles line-breaks, paragraphs etc.
@StephenKitt Yes, of course.
the nice thing about TeX is that you can focus on the content when you’re writing it
It's formatted text.
3:47 PM
but the output is laid-out pages
@terdon It's (usually) text from a user point of view. Sometimes it's images. If one is using PGF/TikZ or one of those other TeX drawing programs.
@StephenKitt Laid-out pages containing (usually) text.
@FaheemMitha I usually produce PDF files. Why are those text and not images?
I suppose your point is that TeX considers a page to be some kind of processing unit.
If I'd had a proper education I suppose I would know more about that.
If I may paraphrase Magritte ^^
@terdon When you print the PDF it's usually a page of text.
Still focusing on the end result.
3:50 PM
@FaheemMitha Is what I posted above text or an image?
@terdon An image containing text.
@FaheemMitha Therefore not text :)
Ah, Magritte, not Duchamp. My bad.
@terdon That's a matter of semantics, surely.
@FaheemMitha Not at all. That's the thing. To a human, an image of text could be interpreted as text, yes. To a computer they are two completely separate things.
I understand that TeX's underlying machinery has little or nothing to do with text per se. As I recall, it manipulates tokens.
3:52 PM
Try saving the image of text I posted and grepping for the word "is", for example.
Something called a macro language. A weird thing.
@terdon Sure, I was just talking about how it would appear to a human.
Earlier we were talking about human usage of computers, and complexity.
It was in that context.
I know, but LaTeX is a computer thing, not a human thing.
@terdon exactly
For humans, we need to go back to Magritte and his pipe. Is that a pipe? :)
I’d say LyX is one step closer to a human thing
3:54 PM
@terdon Of course. But it's a computer thing that produces stuff of interest to humans.
Anyway, all thing is a tangent to what Stephen was earlier talking about. Which is that computers can be easy to use "properly". I don't think they can.
I think complicated things are complicated.
The essay "In the Beginning Was the Command Line" expresses that quite well. Part of what it talks about are the issues of hiding complexity. Non-human complexity.
Yeah, I wish someone would tell the Gnome devs that.
@terdon Hmm?
That said, I think computers do an incredible job of making something complicated simple. The whole point of UIs is to handle the complexity so the user doesn't have to.
@terdon Sure, one can try. But the complexity has a way of coming bubbling back up. Especially if one is trying to do complicated things.
@FaheemMitha Gnome devs have this thing about removing choices and making everything "simple". Which leads to the sort of useless user interface with no text and just obscure buttons (one button, actually, and everything under that) that we see these days.
3:59 PM
Simple things are not a problem.
@terdon Oh yes. I've had an unpleasant experience with that. Which is why I no longer use Evince.
I frequently recommend "In the Beginning". It's an excellent discussion of things that too seldom get discussed in computing circles.
Though I'm not sure if any of the people I recommend it to actually read it. It has some fairly interesting remarks about Disney, for example.
@FaheemMitha Yeah, evince is a prime example.
@FaheemMitha I think it's safe to assume most of us here have read it. I have, at least.
But then I've read most things that man has ever written :)
Although not the latest since it sounds like one of his crappy ones.
That's the Disney that started out as one person, and now is well on its way becoming the world's entertainment company.
@terdon Yes. I meant more generally. I think Stephenson is quite widely read in tech circles.
Cf. that Debian bug report he mentions in "In the Beginning...".
He didn't mention it in the essay, but if you go and look at that bug report, someone asks him - are you that Stephenson?
What bug report?
> (You wouldn't happen to be the author of "Snow Crash" and "The
Diamond Age", would you? If so, I love your work. If not,
well, never mind.)
Much of Debian's earlier bug archive is lost. But I think Joey Hess put this one back online after reading "In the Beginning...". It's discussed somewhere.
Stephen might know about this.
Ah, yes, found it :)
> Hardware: a fairly generic new Pentium motherboard; 32 MB RAM, 16 MB swap,
IDE hard drive and CD-ROM.
Ah, that takes me back :)
4:09 PM
@FaheemMitha yeah I don’t remember the details though
@terdon I purchased my first computer very late, in the fall of 1998. It was a DEC with 128 M of RAM. That much I do remember.
I guess RAM prices were still changing rapidly at the time.
Actually, I think I "won" it at some "auction". Maybe not a real auction.
That's about when I purchased my first as well. I still have bits of it next to me right now (I think the case, the floppy(!) and the sound card are all from the original build).
@FaheemMitha wow, 128MB was quite a lot in 1998 still
But my dad had bought one circa 1990 or so. A 386. That was the first one I got to play with.
the first PC I bought myself was a 386DX/33 with 8MB of RAM and a 120MB hard drive, in 1992
I installed Slackware 3.0 on it in 1995
4:12 PM
@terdon Ah. I left mine in the US when I left. For about a decade before that I'd been using it as a monitor stand.
@StephenKitt Wait, what? How old are you?
@terdon 40 next Wednesday!
@StephenKitt Maybe it was a good deal. :-)
@FaheemMitha Heh, mine has gone from Greece to the UK, to Spain, to France and back to Greece :)
@FaheemMitha heh, good for you ;-)
4:13 PM
@StephenKitt OK, that's three years older than I am, so you must have been 15 years old in '92! How'd you buy one?
@terdon That's a very well-travelled computer. But I suppose it's possible to do all that by road.
@FaheemMitha Well, I took it on a plane, I've shipped it and I've driven it
What's travelling from the UK to continental Europe like these days? Still the Tunnel?
@terdon Oh. Really? You must be attached!
@FaheemMitha Kinda. I get a kick out of the fact that it's still around. I might be taking it with me to the UK when I move there next month. But I'll probably just take its guts and buy a new case there (I use it as a NAS)
@terdon saved up for a looooong time
4:15 PM
@StephenKitt :)
@terdon New job?
@FaheemMitha Same job, but my girlfriend has started a 3-year postgraduate arts course at the Royal Academy so we're moving to London. Happily, my boss was amenable to my working from home and for a higher salary!
@terdon Ah, I see. Cool.
Cold, certainly. Cool? We'll see :P
Colder than Greece, I suppose. Not really a UK fan, but you know that already.
Is your gf still doing the Airbnb thing?
4:19 PM
@FaheemMitha And yeah, I know. That's one of the things we have in common. I console myself by repeating the mantra London is not England, London is not England over and over again.
Which is, admittedly, true.
@terdon London can be a great place to live if you want to get out a lot. Go dancing, for example. Probably not such a great place to raise a family.
Though I've spent like 2 weeks of my life in London, total. So what do I know?
(no offense @StephenKitt, en tous cas, t'est Français toi)
@terdon yeah not quite, the process is on-going
but I’ve never spent much time in London
I really like Edinburgh
@StephenKitt Oh? Aren't you a half-breed?
I thought you were.
@terdon yes, half-Scottish, half-English ;-)
100% European
4:21 PM
@StephenKitt Ah! I thought it was half-French half-English.
@StephenKitt And all British? :-)
But you're a native French speaker too, aren't you?
@terdon I am indeed
OK, so not completely wrong then.
Apparently some Scots think Scotland is a separate country. Never quite understood that.
4:22 PM
Oh stephen since youre here actually, i have a question, neurodebian still has no package for netselect provided for Ubuntu 17.10, what would i need to build it from source?
born in Scotland, raised in France, studied in Scotland, now live in France
They should take a look at the currency. There is that woman's face on it.
@FaheemMitha It is.
Hint: that woman isn't Scottish.
@FaheemMitha that’s the case in Australia and other places too
4:22 PM
@terdon It is?
@StephenKitt Those poor unfortunate Australians.
@StephenKitt And don't you feel French? I mean, if you've been raised there, after all?
They should wise up.
@Videonauth no idea, what’s netselect?
@StephenKitt You grew up in France? You don't sound very French.
@terdon I feel both really
4:23 PM
@FaheemMitha Well, depends on how you define country, but yeah. They have their own "currency", their own government, soccer team, and a passport that says "Scottish" (I think).
@FaheemMitha in an English-speaking household
@StephenKitt Yeah, exactly.
netselect, netselect-apt for finding the pastes server from a list pkgs.org/download/netselect
@terdon Their own currency?
@Videonauth oh OK, so dget -x whatever, then build it with dpkg-buildpackage
4:24 PM
Actually, I don't think there is such a thing as a Scottish passport. But let me check.
@FaheemMitha not quite their own currency, but their own banknotes
@FaheemMitha Well, it's the British Pound, but issued by the Bank of Scotland and says so on the bills.
@FaheemMitha there isn’t, it’s a UK passport
@terdon Oh. I didn't know that.
@StephenKitt i did a git pull since its not in any know source repo
4:25 PM
@StephenKitt But doesn't it say "scottish" somewhere? I thought it did, but I'm not at al sure.
@FaheemMitha No more than semantics, but semantics are important and can act as a balm on people's nationalism.
@Videonauth dget -x http://http.debian.net/debian/pool/main/n/netselect/netselect_0.3.ds1-28.dsc
@terdon Scottish Nationalism in this case, presumably.
@terdon it might mention Scotland, yes, but for everyone, because it’s the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Wales
Also, here's the highest authority on the matter:
Scotland (; Scots: [ˈskɔt.lənd]; Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] ( listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to...
See? Even Wikipedia says "country" :)
4:27 PM
@StephenKitt And Northern Ireland too.
Don't forget the Irish. They certainly haven't.
@terdon but I just checked and no, it doesn’t
@StephenKitt OK. I thought I remember a Scottish friend claiming that the passports were slightly different. Something like the bank notes: a British passport but one that set the nationality as Scottish or some such.
@StephenKitt OK, thanks.
@FaheemMitha Oh man. I should make that into a t-shirt :)
While I'm no fan of the British, at least they seem to have laid the Troubles to rest.
Great way to get beaten up.
@FaheemMitha they might be reviving them :-(
4:29 PM
In the meantime, fun continues with Israel/Palestine. And India/Kashmir/Pakistan.
@StephenKitt Oh, no. What now?
@FaheemMitha there’s no government in Northern Ireland any more after failed elections
and the whole Brexit border issue is getting people excited
And of course, we shouldn't forget to give the British due credit for both situations. Israel and Kashmir, I mean.
@StephenKitt Whether there's one in the UK is debatable too, these days :P
Busy folks, the British.
@FaheemMitha True dat
4:30 PM
@StephenKitt Sigh.
@terdon hah
Theresa may, but she probably won't.
Interesting Times.
@terdon /o\
@StephenKitt What's that one? Someone hiding?
4:32 PM
@terdon :-)
@terdon holding my head in despair
Seems like a reasonable reaction, yes.
@StephenKitt You need to get yourself a better emoji.
I wonder what the Unicode emoji policy is.
@FaheemMitha it’s fairly well understood in other circles I frequent
along with \o/
For example, if one was to submit an emoji of the Flying Sphagetti Monster, would they consider it?
@StephenKitt Does that one mean - Hello?
4:35 PM
@StephenKitt That one I read as "yay!"
Oh, I see. Hands in the air.
@FaheemMitha this is a useful cheatsheet:
A: I saw something in chat I don't understand

RobotHumansExpressions: -.- - sarcastic, can mean fail, you don't say... or any derivations of not sure if / can not believe in this o/, \o - Waving either hello or goodbye \o/ - excitement, exclaiming "yay!" /me - it's like "insert my name here" ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ - Shrug, I don't know ;P - Almost anyth...

@terdon Thanks.
@terdon yes, yay
mhmm dpkg-buildpackage fails
4:54 PM
well however the debian package is not split like the one for ubuntu zesty was with having 3 other dependencies, so i just installed the deb package for Debian9 stretch and it works for what i mostly use it
sudo netselect -v -s4 -t10 wget -q -O- https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+archivemirrors | grep -P -B8 "statusUP|statusSIX" | grep -o -P "(f|ht)tp.*\"" | tr '"\n' ' '
5:22 PM
^ for getting the quickest Ubuntu mirror
6:04 PM
> dpkg (1.18.4ubuntu1.3) xenial; urgency=medium

* Use ohshit() instead of internerr() for unhandled dpkg-split exit
codes. (i.e. do not abort). Closes: #812679, LP: #1601998

-- Brian Murray <brian@ubuntu.com> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:14:06 -0700
@terdon GCP Grey has a video about that.
Complicated... is all I will spoil you :P
6:38 PM
@Braiam I'd like to believe that is a joke.
Hi @Braiam. Long time no see.
7:17 PM
Pijul looks very interesting, but there is currently no Debian package for it. Not even an RFP.
@FaheemMitha Nope
@FaheemMitha Yeah, busy

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