Software archaeology

A nice note about how to deal with legacy systems:

“Mitch Rosenberg of, Inc. claims that the first law of software archaeology (he calls it code or data archaeology) is:

Everything that is there is there for a reason, and there are 3 possible reasons:

  • It used to need to be there but no longer does
  • It never needed to be there and the person that wrote the code had no clue
  • It STILL needs to be there and YOU have no clue

The corollary to this “law” is that, until you know which was the reason, you should NOT modify the code (or data).”

Retro linux

Recently, I got again into one of those retro-computing nostalgia phases.

I’ve been reading material about old computers like the TRS-80 or the Apple ][, older mainframe ones like the PLATO and PDP-10, and random retro-games blogs like The Digital Antiquarian and The CRPG Addict. Finally, stumbled upon this site:, dedicated to the very early history of linux, and decided to try to run some of the software available for download there.

Some of the things that I’ve found are, in historical chronological order:

Next, I decided to give them a try in my laptop via virtualization and emulation… with quite miserable results up until now. The results report goes next, but first, a list of the virtualization / emulation software that I’ve used up until now. This is the current result report:

  • debian 0.91 doesn’t really boot, and I can only get Lilo to output the “LI” string. The Internet suggests that it may be having problems with the virtual drives.
  • debian 0.93R6 boots and I get to the first or second install screen. Then, my keystrokes don’t have effect and can’t continue installing the system on the HDD
  • RedHat 1.0. I can only boot the system, but then I don’t know what to do. It’s asking me for the root floppy, but I can’t find it in any folder
  • The linux kernels. I don’t even know how to start with them, so parked for now
  • Slackware 1.1.2 goes next

I have tried with VirtualBox, Virtual Manager (libvirt) with Qemu, and Mess.

Even with all the complications, I have found the process quite fun. If anybody finds this post and has some ideas on how to continue with the exploration, please feel free to add your comments

Just a dream

Up until then, travel and the idea of going far away had just being a dream, and dreaming is very pleasant as long as you are not forced to put your dreams into practice. That way, we avoid all the risks, frustrations and difficulties, and when we are old, we can always blame other people -preferably our parents, our spouses or our children- for our failure to realize our dreams.

Paulo Coelho – Eleven minutes

Nena2 – The queen of the night

Nena2 -“Babe2” in Spanish-, is the real queen of the night, and includes a bag of pills to prove it!!

Found in a cheap store in León.

Facebook detox

photo by Massimo Barbieri

That's it! The real facebook

It’s being some time already that I try to simplify the life around me. Before this, every day, I  was receiving more than 50 emails, SMSs, chat conversations, regular facebook and twitter updates and notifications, tons of updates in my news feeder, events from google calendar… a big torrent of information to process, answer and read.

So I decided to put a stop on that and concentrate on listening to less things at the same time. So I made it to bring my emails down to zero, remove some old mail and messenger accounts.

So, next is facebook: a big fountain of crap. I have some notifications enabled, so that’s already two places to check: the facebook counter and the associated email that I receive each time. I will limit those.

But that’s not enough, so next comes to remove some other sources of information that I don’t need: people. It’s nothing personal, but that I want to reduce the level of stuff that I receive to the things that just interest me.

Basically, I’m going to “unfriend” people I can contact in other ways and:

  • I have no updates from them. Either they don’t really use facebook or are stalkers: people that just goes around looking at profiles but never say a thing. We’re not using the thing to talk anyway, so I’m losing nothing here.
  • Repeat all time too boring or too negative stuff. You hate Mondays? you hate snow? you hate heat too? you hate lazy Sundays? You hate boredom? You hate work? You hate negative people? Wait, Really?
  • I met one or two times in the real life, I know them from nothing else, we never speak and they keep feeling strangers.

This three groups should give me some margin. The first one does not post too much, but is a clean up in any case.