The Null Device


On the bus today, an overweight, baby-faced man with shaggy brown hair and green canvas drawstring pants was accosting passengers, walking right up to them, holding a piece of paper, and asking "What temperature do you like the weather to be?". Some answered, and others told him to go away; in the latter case, he persisted in following them around saying "Sorry. Sorry." I wonder whether perhaps he wasn't perchance one of those Transport Victoria Association survey-takers I keep hearing about.


I downloaded the AtheOS boot disks today and tried playing around with it under VMWare. It boots, loads up the graphical interface (which looks rather Amiga-inspired) and gives me a shell, though I haven't had any luck installing it to the virtual hard disk yet.

AtheOS so far looks like an interesting little OS; probably no less practical than BeOS would have been had it not died. The design seems more clean and modern than Linux (or any other classic UNIX), and there are certainly more new ideas in AtheOS. It could have potential, at least as a hacker toy. (Though I don't think it'll replace Linux for a while.)


Remember when ProDOS wasn't just a Randroid loony? Retrocomputing hack of the day: One enterprising hacker is working on a CompactFlash IDE adapter for the Apple II; one which will give up to two 32Mb ProDOS volumes per CF card. (Or IDE hard disk for that matter.) (Via Slashdot)

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The Welsh city of Cardiff is experimenting with what could be the future of public transport. The ULTra system is somewhere between tranways and taxis, and consists of autonomous cars (large enough to carry several passengers and a bicycle) travelling on a dedicated track and taking their passengers to a destination of their choice. Meanwhile, Melbourne's airport rail link has been scrapped, because a study revealed insufficient patronage to justify the expense.

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Protecting the community: A man has been sentenced to nine months in jail for jogging naked through Shepparton. Thank God the police are able to protect us from dangerous felons like him.

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Possibly the cock-up of the year: A plaque intended to honour black actor James Earl Jones at a Florida celebration of the life of Martin Luther King instead paid tribute to James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated King. The plaque reads "Thank you James Earl Ray for keeping the dream alive." The mistake is believed to have come from a typographical error at the manufacturer of the plaque. (via Plastic)


This evening I went for dinner with two old friends (whom I hadn't seen for some years, as they had been in the UK); we went to the Curry Café (formerly the Salamander, and before that the Seven Sisters) in Northcote. A good time was had by all.

One minor annoyance: the café was out of chai masala, and thus unable to serve chai tea. Which is a step down from the usual situation of them having chai but being out of honey. Though the curries were quite good (as they usually are at the Curry Café), and they didn't play the Kenny G CD they had on on a few earlier occasions, so it's not all bad.


Life, liberty and the pursuit of bootywhang: Chicks don't dig Libertarians, or conservatives of any stripe. Unless the chicks in question are characters from an Ayn Rand novel, of course. According to this article, the dating scene is not kind to neo-liberalists, libertarians, neo-conservatives and such. (via Reenhead)

(Which is funny, really, as the dating game is the oldest form of laissez-faire market capitalism in history; I guess a dreadlocked Nu Marxist in a Rage Against the Machine T-shirt just makes a better capitalist than a polo-shirted Young Liberal.)