Tech Club


I’ve gotten it working on several occasions (in the sense that bash worked and anything I wanted to do on the command line worked) but the x-windows apps were hit and mostly miss.

The install procedure is (or was; haven’t installed cygwin in probably more than ten years?) pure evil.


The drowsy gold bear
aches in the wind-swept meadow.
Lotus flowers crunch.



I recall needing to use cygwin to build CHDK. I wrestled with it for about two days, finally got a good compile, and decided that was enough of an accomplishment for me.


some Data Science, MachineLearning, AI ebooks free today on O’Reilly:


Bookmarked cheers.


“I want people to wake up every day and the first thing they check is Twitter in order to see what’s happening in the world,” [current Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey] said between bites of his first crispy beef taco. “It’s a metaphor for checking the weather. Twitter has a similar potential.”

Well, I don’t do that. Despite having my own personal account, and a bunch of bot-accounts, I check the BBS first, Facebook second, NYTimes, the Scranton Times Tribune (newspaper of my former residential locus; I haven’t moved to a CT paper after 5+ years, yet), and NPR before Twitter - which would be via HootSuite, anyway.

From the below article, which is worth reading for much other information. Found via an article link-chain reading about Theranos.


I use linux for that.

ldapsearch -x -LLL -H ldaps:// -b ‘DC=example,DC=org’ -D -W ‘(&(company=EXTEROS)(objectClass=user)(objectCategory=person)(mailNickname=)(msExchHomeServerName=)(!(name=SystemMailbox{))(!(name=CAS_{))(!(msExchRecipientTypeDetails=16777216))(!(msExchRecipientTypeDetails=536870912))(!(msExchRecipientTypeDetails=8388608)))’ mail | grep ‘^dn:’ |wc


Has this been posted to the BBS?


So, the article, by Nick Bilton, led me to check out (literally - as in “from the library”) his book Hatching Twitter

TL;DR: enjoyed it, wish I had a couple billion dollars. Heck, I’d settle for a couple hundred at this point.


coMMOdORE 64 wOrkS FoR 25 yeARS withOut a bREak! The system is based on the homemade bench for balancing shafts with sinusoidal waveform generator and sensors to measure vibration piezo rotating...




It has two main points of interest:

  1. It happens to be the shell that coincides with Microsoft making an actually-somewhat-serious attempt to make the CLI a first class administrative interface. CMD.exe certainly sucked; but what really ruined it was how often you would run into the problem that there simply wasn’t a command line way to do something; or if you were really lucky there would be a slightly eccentric utility stashed in the VALUEADD directory of an old Windows install disk or included in an admin toolkit somewhere. With Powershell, Microsoft has made a real effort to ensure that if something needs administrating; there exists a knob in powershell to administrate it.

  2. Architecturally, it’s a shell built to be object oriented, rather than good at string mangling. There are some mechanisms for mangling strings; but what gets piped around and emitted and ingested are actually objects. From my perspective as a non programmer who just needs to bodge a script together sometimes, this is a mixed blessing: passing strings around occasionally requires really annoying caution(could the result of that command you ran possibly include characters that need to be escaped so they don’t munge everything else?); but it is conceptually pretty trivial. OO is harder to get my head around.


Okay, I finally got this working.

I haven’t really done anything with it yet – but I’ve hit all the pre-reqs and fiddly bits in the configuration to get it installed and restarted and installed and restarted and running enough to find the whereis command.

I’ve got some brief notes on it, that I hope to expand.

My goal? Run some NodeJS image libraries that require Linux packages that I’ve never gotten to work on Windows.



Maybe not impressive to you, but it was generated in NodeJS on my windows machine. WOO HOO!

Now, on to more prosaic things.


I think the biggest win for PowerShell is it’s essentially a front end to .NET. That’s incredibly powerful right there. You can directly address .NET objects and types. You can emit and compile C# code on the fly (great for getting direct access to Win32 APIs). There’s many other great things you can do.

For instance, want a GUID on the fly?


Need to convert a long to an IP address (something I needed to do today):



It’s well supported and constantly being improved.

Obviously I’m a pretty big fan.


Multipath TCP. On anyone’s radar? I’m just wading into it.

RFC 6824


I admit that my perspective on it is very much that of an administrative script-bodger, so most of the elegance is lost on me; but the thoroughness with which the bits of of Windows that need twiddling have been exposed in Powershell for twiddling is highly appreciated.

On a theoretical basis, I can appreciate the virtues of the fact that MS has gone from having pretty much the lousiest scripting environment available to having a shell heavily anchored in its (mostly well received) software development tools; but I’m too much of a lightweight for that to really change how I use it very much. This hardly means that “your shell scripts can seamlessly range from basic batch files up to basically full .NET development” is a bad thing; it’s just not a thing that I’m enough of a developer to make any use of.

The fact that Microsoft is taking a fairly serious stab this time around at making “If you can do it in the GUI, you can script it, period; plus you can script a whole bunch of other stuff.” actually true, by contrast, is something that has saved me considerable weeping and gnashing of teeth. If I sucked less at programming the elegance of the implementation would probably matter more to me; but since I don’t, the big change from my perspective is that MS is actually attempting to make CLI administration feature complete; which has historically not been the case, at all, on Windows.

(TL;DR: I in no way deny praise of Powershell’s elegance/architectural power/etc.; but from the perspective of someone with a limited ability to appreciate those virtues, the big deal is that Powershell coincides with MS moving to make CLI a first class UI and expose a lot more of what traditionally had no CLI mechanisms to work with.)


Last weekend for an emergency job I used AWK for the first time in like 20 years. It is astonishing how much you can forget in 20 years. (I’d also forgotten how limited AWK is. As much as I used to appreciate how lean *nix utilities are when working with 64k of RAM, that probably isn’t necessary any more.)



Toward a Constructive Technology Criticism

UPDATE: dang, scooped by Cory!