Code Life

Once upon a time, the buzzword "computer literacy" was hot, and I had the funny idea that this meant that everyone should learn to be a programmer -- at least in something like Basic, if not in any of the Serious languages, like, say, Fortran.

Imagine my surprise to learn that for most people "computer literacy" meant being able to use a word processor and juggle floppy disks. (And when it turned out that even many of my fellow programmers liked point-and-drool gooey interfaces, that was a bit of a shock, too.)

In any case, the way I actually live, and have lived for serveral decades is as a programmer-user. I'm continually faced with the choice of switching to "modern" software and living with it's feature set, or sticking with older, more hackable tools, and adding little tweaks to get them to do what I want.

Sometimes, this eccentricity seems even sillier than it sounds, but then there are other times when I think I've stumbled across some interesting ways of living and working with computers...

So here's a small collection of writings documenting my discoveries and dead-ends in this area.

Note my prejudices run toward linux, emacs, perl and postgresql, but still, even if yours differ, you may find an idea or two to steal in here.

Joseph Brenner, 10 Jun 2009