...and I'll code if I want to, code if I want to...

July 17th 1988:

I don't like to put too much stock into birthdays, but they are fun. I especially like that mine is in the summer, so it's as far away from Christmas and New Years which helps to get good gifts. It's also about midway through the year which makes it a perfect time for Mid-Year's resolutions and to refresh New Year's Resolutions. Without sounding like a yoga instructor, it's a great time to reflect and realign. For example, I started my "43 Things" on my birthday in 2007.


My summer project was to learn the Ruby programming language and the Ruby on Rails framework.
I started by reading Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide (aka "The Pickaxe" after its book cover). Rubyists either hate or love this book. I just loved its price: the 1.8 (2001) version is provided free online by the publishers under the Open Publication License.

From there I went to Half.com, a sub-site of eBay for books, music, and movies. I found an amazing deal on O'Reilly Ruby books. 

That's (30 worth of Ruby books for {0! (after shipping)

Right now I'm halfway through The Ruby Programming Language (aka "The hummingbird book").


The ruby books were a great deal, but my real gift to myself is a new solid state drive for my Thinkpad X200s

Ever since I started fully respecting copyright and intellectual property (New Year's Resolution) the amount of disk space I need has dropped by order of magnitude. Now that I use GNU/Linux more than Windows it's dropped even more. Nearly every distro of Linux can sit comfortably within 4 GB and Windows 7 needs 16 GB. I also have a 1TB external hard drive where all my programs, iso
files, and backups go and where my music would go if I had any.

Getting a SSD with around 128GB of space would have been nice but hopefully I won't need it and I really didn't want to spend that much.

I'm having it shipped back home and will pick it up next week when I'm in town.

Mid-Year's Resolution: Stop Distro-hopping
Today I just burned by 50th Linux disc (the first being Ubuntu 7.04). In an attempt to reduce the amount of different distributions I try and never actually use, I'm only going to use Debian and first derivatives of Debian (e.g. CrunchBang, Sidux, Ubuntu. but not Linux Mint, Peppermint, etc.). This cuts out a significant portion of distributions (Fedora/CentOS, Mandriva, Gentoo, Slackware, Arch) but leaves the most stable and most popular ones.

Along those lines I've been using CrunchBang Linux and am in love. The most recent version (10alpha2 "Statler)  is based on Debian Testing "Squeeze" with their own custom package source, drivers, codecs, and customizations. It comes in Openbox and XFCE versions, making it very light-weight and versatile. I'm using the Openbox version and it's awesome, freaking awesome. It's so fast, usable, and even as an alpha it's more stable than any other
distro I've used. It already boots and shutdowns in seconds, I can't imagine how fast it will be running from my new SSD.

I know I promised a post about MW2. It will happen. Maybe.

Happy Hacking!

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