A rantbox

Thu 13 May 2004

Rhythm? Whazdah? And Minix? Is that edible?

Posted by Michiel Scholten in posts   

I'm going to have to work seriously about some rhythm in my day-to-day activities. Like sleeping. Sleeping is good, and if you have a good sleeping rhythm, life is good. Just look at my cat. He sleeps the whole day and gets free food and is allowed to play outside when it's nice weather and has a warm home when it's bad. Sometimes I think that modern life maybe's just too complicated.

But I drift away from my point. Point is, it seems to be extremely difficult for me these days to go to sleep before midnight. Or later. And I'm becoming quite tired, because there's enough to do, and that enough sometimes has to be done early on a day [like those damn presentations... Who's idea was it to let them start at 8:45AM? That's totally bad for my rhythm =) ]. And lots of real work [as in work that brings me cash] and exams are about to become my daily reality, so I'd better wrap myself around a sane and brand new biorhythm.

I'm so totally in need of vacation =)

I typed my previous posting in a Firefox window running from a Solaris server on the VU and opened on a Minix computer. Quite nifty, remote X things in unix [I use it quite often myself for similar applications]. I was trying to explain some important stuff about the Computer Networks assignments to my friends, which wheren't that taken aback by mentioned operating system and it's tools. I totally agree, because - besides being blazingly fast and a unix system - Minix just isn't our taste. It lacks things like a good editor [it uses Elvis, some ancient stripped down version of VI, or Joe's editor in various tastes, like jpico], some basic tools like grep and locate and even ssh. I'm still not comfortable with using plain ftp and rlogin or telnet, even not on the Computer Science network. Maybe especially not :) Try sniffing some network traffic while logging in with ftp or telnet with some basic sniffer. Mind the caps. Just scary.

So why is this course using Minix? Minix is a wonderful way of learning how an OS works. It's lean, mean and simple. And they cut the bloat; that's understandable. But why this course is given this way [first C assignment ever in the current courses structure, on Minix - which we never used before - and it's ancient editors]. It has me hooked on vim now, but now I just want to use vim on Minix. If they port vim, ssh, MozillaFirefox and a gzip [or is that included after all?] or bzip2, Minix would be quite some better place. It's amazingly fast! [Ever booted a 300MHz machine into X in 10 seconds? From cold?] So no wonder Linus Torvalds thought it was nice, except for some shortcomings. [Ooh, now I should prepare to get flamed by Tanenbaum. Please don't! I like both OSes! Only GNU/Linux is a bit more - erm - usable for me =) ]