Jay Little - Software Obsessionist
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What I do, first thing [in the morning], is I hop into the shower stall.  Then I hop right back out, because when I hopped in I landed barefoot right on top of See Threepio, a little plastic robot character from "Star Wars" whom my son, Robert, likes to pull the legs off of while he showers.  Then I hop right back into the stall because our dog, Earnest, who has been alone in the basement all night building up powerful dog emotions, has come bounding and quivering into the bathroom and wants to greet me with 60 or 70 thousand playful nips, any one of which -- bear in mind that I am naked and, without my contact lenses, essentially blind -- could result in the kind of injury where you have to learn a whole new part if you want to sing the "Messiah",
if you get my drift.  Then I hop right back out, because Robert, with that uncanny sixth sense some children have -- you cannot teach it:
they either have it or they don't -- has chosen exactly that moment to flush one of the toilets.  Perhaps several of them.
 -- Dave Barry, "Saving Face"

12/25/2019 12:57:26 AM

So here I am sitting in an AirBnb on Christmas Eve in North Augusta on my laptop while Annette is watches Wheel of Fortune as she likes to do on weeknights. Inside I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for a full day of Christmas related events and visits with various in-laws tomorrow and thought to myself, "This would be a great time to spew out a new blog post."

Dare I say that your opinion on that may clash with mine after you finish reading what I have to say. It's Christmas related and as with most topics I'm going to make a lot of powerful statements which I may or may not choose to back up with any real degree of supporting information. Though in this case, I probably won't be providing a lot of links and references as most of this post is likely going to consist of me preaching and I simply don't have enough time to make this a proper essay. So if you like my typical content, you may want to just skip this one. Whatever you ultimately choose to do, consider yourself warned.

Most people who know me, know me as a bah humbug. While I don't consider that to be a particularly fair or kind adjective, I will begrudgingly admit that I have earned the title over the years. To me the real problem with Christmas isn't the religious aspect of it even though I am absolutely not religious at all. The real problem I have with Christmas is the secular aspect of it. Frankly given the way that people talk about it and the tribal behaviors they all feel compelled to participate in, I don't really even see it as a religious holiday at all. In terms of every technical and historical measurement available, Jesus' birthday has absolutely nothing to do with either Christmas as a holiday or the Winter Solstice (the event we ripped off during the creation of Christmas). My firm opinion is that people who engage in the secular holiday behavior while referencing the religious aspect of it from time to time are lying to themselves.

12/12/2019 4:21:33 PM

So over the years I've had a number of people tell me that I tend to focus on the negative aspects rather than the positive aspects of situations. This feedback has been relayed to me on both professional and personal levels. Let me tell you: That this is absolutely the case. However I don't see it as a failing so much as an asset. The purpose of today's post is to both delve into why I feel this way and why clients, co-workers and compatriots feel the way they do.

The easiest way to explain my mindset is as follows. I'm a professional problem solver whose primary tool is code. People don't come to me and ask me to write code because everything is hunky dory. On the contrary they come to me and ask me to code a solution for whatever problem they are currently experiencing. When your entire career revolves around solving other people's problems (and occasionally your own) it's very hard to maintain the facade that comes with a figurative set of rose tinted glasses.

That's not to say you can ignore the positive aspects even while solving a problem. In fact I would say that doing so runs the risk that you could inadvertently create a regression that diminishes some of those positive aspects. In addition sometimes it can be very beneficial to study the positive aspects of a given situation just as much as the negative aspects you are tasked with addressing as they can provide very important hints on how a client defines success.

11/16/2019 1:49:28 PM

So in light of the exceptionally serious posts that have graced the front page of this site over the last month I have decided to do something a little different today. Consider this my official attempt to remind you all that I am actually capable of doing something other than bitching about the behavior of corporations and people. The topic of conversation today will be the MiSTer and why I'm absolutely enthralled with it.

So what is the MiSTer? Well sadly the official wiki I just linked to doesn't actually answer that question very well on its front page. This is a device that emulates other devices. So in that basic sense, it doesn't appear very different than something like a Raspberry Pi with RetroPie installed. However it is very different and very notable for a number of reasons.

MiSTer is effectively a collection of non-mass produced add on boards designed to interface with a specific Single Board Computer known as the Terasic DE10-Nano. By a traditional SBC measuring stick it appears to be relatively weak, as it is only equipped with a relatively low speed dual core ARM processor and a gigabyte of RAM. However the real thing that it brings to the table is the FPGA chip it comes with. That chip along with the amazing community around this board form the core of what makes this project so amazing.

10/25/2019 9:20:27 PM

This post marks the third in my series about the sad saga of Purism and the Librem 5. If you haven't read the first or second posts yet, I highly recommend that you click here and then click here. Give them both at least a quick skim before reading this one as they contain important background information that is required to appreciate this one.

After mulling over everything I had seen along with what my source had shared with me, I decided that I had a moral duty to spread the word as far and as wide as possible while protecting the identity of my source as best as I could. I resolved that the best way to do this would be to create threads with specific questions directed towards Purism which would help to shed some light on some the questions I now had. I created two threads, one on the Purism forums and one in the Purism subreddit.

These threads did not go well. I severely underestimated the negative feedback I was going to get for daring to ask Purism a few basic questions. The most inflammatory one appeared to be the financial question I asked which strongly implied that the project had devolved into a Ponzi scheme. Regardless, nobody from Purism was willing to answer a single question and the community refused to use their collective influence to hold Purism accountable. This is when I decided to get a refund. Prior to this, I felt that getting a refund would be immoral because I was acting on information that most people were not privy too. However after experiencing the combined negative kickback from both communities after I attempted to share the truth, I changed by mind. At this point it seemed clear that I was no longer going to be stealing from Peter to pay Paul as these people had now made a conscious decision to stay the course with Purism regardless of what facts I presented them with.

10/25/2019 9:54:11 AM

This post marks the second in my series about the sad saga of Purism and the Librem 5. If you haven't read the first post yet, I highly recommend that you click here. Give it at least a good skim before reading this one as it contains important background information that is required to appreciate this one.

Sometime in the midst of the Aspen shipping window I began to casually express skepticism on the Purism subreddit. In some of my comments I posited the theory that Purism had hit rough financial straits. I also further theorized that Purism was using PR to generate more revenue in the form of pre-orders for the device so that the project could continue. Within a day of posting this, I was contacted by an informed ex-employee of Purism. They gave me their credentials which I verified using information they provided and information I was able to dig up. My source has decided not to go public yet at the time of publication. This means that while I have verified their identity, I cannot share any information you would require to do so.

Before we continue, I need to make it clear that as of right now, I have not verified all of the following claims. After listing the claims, I will attempt to correlate them with publicly accessible information. Readers should also take care to understand that these claims come from my verified source and not from me. That being what it is, here is a paraphrased summary of what my source has authorized me to share:

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