not all change is progress
November 1, 2015
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0:22:01 Lukas F. Hartmann Interview
Breaking with tradition, this show kicks off with your feedback, before pitching into an extended interview with Lukas F. Hartmann. Like us, Lukas has long been concerned about the increasing complexity of modern computing environments, including Linux. In an effort to recapture the immediacy of the home computing era of the 80’s, Lukas has developed a Lisp-based operating system called Interim OS. So join us as we talk about Interim and much more with an honorary Luddite.0:01:23 Feedback
A huge thank you to Kristian Tizzard for the PayPal donation, and to Galen White for becoming a Monthly Supporter.
We received a predictably full postbag about the latest Sarah Sharp affair; special thanks go to Keith Zubot-Gephart, Enzro Greenidge, Lynne Dixon, Matthew Platte, Ouan, Will, Nathan D. Smith and Jezra, all of whose comments provided an idea of the breadth of the feedback we received, and which we used on-air.
We’re looking forward to hearing how Dave Allan gets on with his new Steam Controller, and are grateful to Lars Falk-Petersen for the tip about DietPi.
Whilst his comment was far too long to read on air, a big thank you to Jon “The Nice Guy” Spriggs for setting a few facts straight on the topics of certificates and security protocols.
0:22:01 Lukas F. Hartmann Interview
Lukas F. Hartmann is the founder of the German company MNT Media and Technology, which specialises in software and board-level hardware integration, and was the technical co-founder of Spacedeck. Lukas has also written a minimalist DAW for Linux which uses a cut-down version of Lisp as a scripting language.
And Lisp is also the focus of Interim OS, which is Lukas’ attempt to produce a compact and understandable operating system built from scratch. Interim runs bare metal on the Raspberry Pi 2, with hosted versions available on other platforms.
But our interview with Lukas was as much about what has changed in general purpose computing over the last few decades, and how the empowerment initially offered by that technology has largely ceased to be, as it was about Interim itself. For more of Lukas’ thoughts on this topic, we recommend you grab a cuppa, put your feet up, and read Interim OS: Reclaiming the Computer through Minimalism and Genericity. A huge thank you to Lukas for finding the time to talk with us.
Sorry for putting words in your mouth, Joe. In that case, I strongly disagree with you but won’t dwell on a topic you don’t to discuss. Since you guys referenced Linus’ rant where he describes a proposed patch that he doesn’t like as a dick-sucking contest and as deep-throating Microsoft and then in the same conversation said you haven’t seen him say anything misogynist or homophobic, I think you will probably never find common ground with those on the opposite side of this issue.
Enjoyed the interview with Lukas F. Hartmann. I thought i was the only one that had a feeling that Information Technology has become more complicated than it should be. I rememeber the commodore days, but I miss the days where I used to look after VAX/VMS clusters and systems. These systems were highly proprietary but so powerful, simple and stable.
You could use small arms fire on things things all day and they would still stand up. My laptop has more power and complexity than some of the VAX systems that were used to run Goonhilly Earth Station.
And the irony is, to bring back simplicty we are adding more complexity. Just take a look at DevOPS such as puppet or OpenStack, and you will see what I mean.
I wanted to respond to Paddy’s question about “what is LibreOffice doing on a distro for Raspberry Pi”? There was a lot of speculation about this with the original review, but I think a major point was brought up and then completely missed That is, who this is aimed at and the end user experience.
Imagine for a minute a ten year old or even a young adult getting this piece of kit that looks like what for most people could be the insides of any piece of electronics. They then propose that they got it and excitedly explain that they are going to learn to program it. And hopefully sometime rather soon, they come back and show the parent, friend or sibling a fully installed office suite that anyone could recognize.
For most people, office suites are quite a step above watching youtube or checking messages and may represent the epitome of what a computer does. For the 10 year old – they may use LibreOffice but their demands won’t be great. They’re unlikely to be monitoring the temperature in there closet or massing astro-physics or weather data when they start. They might produce a one paragraph story.
That LibreOffice does what it says and can produce a document for the school user – AND when the parent or significant adult is certain they won’t need to reproduce this feat or even use thisodd piece of equipment they ARE going to be impressed.
When the target, younger user (or ever tinkering partner) goes on to say they’re going to build a server, design games, use a makey-makey, play music or monitor the home and get a jump on the internet of things. You can be sure they have established their creds when they produced an office suite. They’ll be taken seriously and will be watched with interest. Not to mention raise questions in those ‘everyday people’ around them who start asking why their beloved i-product or new and very expensive computer thing they have trouble with all the time can’t do that??
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