Archive for June, 2013

Monthly Donations: Perl Dancer and the Treatment of Czajka

Friday, June 28th, 2013

It’s donations time, everybody!

Today I’m once again supporting an open source project that I’ve already donated to last year. There are many projects that I use on a regular basis or even every day, so I feel they deserve more than just a one-time donation. One of these projects is Dancer, the Perl web framework that I admire and which has been powering this site for more than two years now. Sadly, these days I don’t have as much time to contribute to the project as I had in the past (when I wrote a few Dancer plugins), so at least I’m going to help the project with my little donation.

The second of this month’s donations is to help fund the treatment of Czajka, the horse that was rescued from being sold to a slaughterhouse — as you might recall, I wrote about her last month. Medical tests revealed that Czajka suffers from a serious injury to one of her back legs which must have happened sometime in the past. She needs to undergo an operation and have the leg put in a cast, then stay in a horse hospital for two months, until the cast is ready to be removed. As you might imagine, all this costs a lot, so the Gift of Heart Foundation (who is taking care of Czajka) is accepting donations to fund it.

I hope the full amount gets raised soon and Czajka won’t have to wait much longer for her treatment to begin. If any of you, my dear readers, would like to chip in but don’t know how to proceed (because of, for instance, not understanding the Polish website of the Foundation), feel free to contact me and I’ll assist you.

Goodbye Old Dell

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

In my apartment, there’s a deep dark closet that serves as a morgue for old computers and other electronic crap that I no longer use. A few days ago I decided it’s time to clean it up a bit and get rid for good of some of the junk, including a few ancient laptops. One of those laptops brought back many good memories, and I decided it deserved a little memorial in the form of a blog post.

The machine was an old fat Dell Latitude XPi CD, with a 150 MHz Pentium CPU and some ridiculously little RAM. I ran Slackware Linux on it, and since the system was rather slow, I couldn’t really work comfortably with a GUI, so I mostly lived in Emacs. At that time, it was my one and only programming editor, as well as mail/Usenet client (courtesy of Gnus).

Not having a bunch of windows around was actually a productivity boost, as it meant less distractions — there was just me and the code on the screen (and usually some documentation in a hidden buffer). A Zen mode of work, as it tends to be called these days.

The laptop accompanied me on a few snowboarding trips, when I was spending most part of the day cruising the slopes, then in the late afternoon grabbed a beer and did some coding. I remember on one of these trips I wrote MIXemu, the MIX computer simulator. Snowboarding, beer, and programming was my idea of sex, drugs, and rock and roll back then — ah, good old times.

Here’s a last, pre-mortem photo of the machine, looking as majestic as it possibly can:

Rest in peace, my crappy old laptop, you won’t be forgotten.

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