This Blog Is Not For Reading

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    • Favorite 14 October 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by thj: Cool teardown video from Applied Science that reveals how analog era snapshot cameras printed the date on the film negative:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezME4_xMMnkWith the segmented digits, you'd think it's a tiny fluorescent display, but it's actually more interesting that that.
    • New note by bobjonkman 6 October 2019
      And now I've discovered your website, and I'll be rabbitholing for the rest of the afternoon... @mattskala
    • New note by bobjonkman 6 October 2019
      Terrible title, great article. I remember just enough from my Uni "Electricity and Magnetism" course that I could follow.
    • New note by bobjonkman 6 October 2019
      Moar info on #SynthFestival, plz!
    • Favorite 6 October 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by xj9: time to focus on the real issue at hand: end intellectual property, end copyright, end software licenses altogether: dedicate all of your work to the public domain.
    • New note by bobjonkman 30 September 2019
      Daily grind? Does that mean you get fresh !coffee every day?
    • New note by bobjonkman 4 September 2019
      They're made out of meat https://web.archive.org/web/20190501130711/http://www.terrybisson.com/theyre-made-out-of-meat-2/
    • Favorite 4 September 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by tom: we're all just markov bots made of meat
    • Favorite 4 September 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by o0karen0o: Free and open source software's all about the fact that no one and nothing is perfect. #reminder
    • Favorite 31 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by natecull: Dear everyone who is considering making a video of yourself talking rather than just writing the *exact same words* into a text file, a blog post or a PDF:Unless you're specifically targeting people who literally cannot read...Please don't.Sincerely, A Person Who Doesn't Have Literal Free Hours To Hear You Slooooowly […]

Why I’m an E-mail Luddite

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 2nd October 2013

Statue of a Luddite

Luddite Memorial, Liversedge

The pervasive expectation of HTML everywhere came to light in a recent e-mail exchange:

Him: Bob, have a look at this video: LOLcats at work

Me: Did you intend to send a link with that?

Him: Yes, here it is: LOLcats at work

Me: Sorry, still no link. Remember, I don’t receive HTML e-mail…

Him: Wut? I’ve never heard of someone not receiving HTML e-mail!

E-mail was never designed for HTML; it is intended to be a plain-text medium. HTML is merely cobbled on, and mail clients have no standard way to render HTML messages, resulting in different displays on different mail programs. Some mail programs, especially those run from the command line, can’t show HTML rendered messages at all.

Although I use a graphical mail client (Thunderbird), I choose to not display HTML for two reasons:

1) Security: HTML mail can have Javascript code or other objects embedded. That’s a great way to get virus infections on your computer. I don’t want any code running on my computer that I didn’t put there myself.

2) Privacy: HTML mail that links to external images allows the owner of those images to track your mail usage: When you open the mail, how often you open it, the location you open it at, what computer you’re using, and whether you forward it to others (and then, when they open the mail, how often, their location, &c).

Not to mention that HTML messages are far bigger than text messages, especially when the HTML contains embedded images, fonts, and other stuff. Now, that’s not such a big deal with fast connections, unlimited download caps, and cheap disk drives, but it will still make a difference on small-format devices like phones and watches.

That said, if you do send me HTML e-mail, be sure to embed any images or LOLcat videos. That way I can still view them as static attachments, without revealing when, where, and how often I view them.

For more info have a look at the Wikipedia article on HTML e-mail

–Bob.

You can send HTML e-mail to Bob Jonkman at bjonkman@sobac.com

The Luddite Memorial, Liversedge by Tim Green is used under a CC-BYCreative Commons — Attribution 2.0 Generic — CC BY 2.0 license.

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Posted in email, privacy, security | 1 Comment »

Lightweight GNU/Linux distributions

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 13th June 2011

This is a list of lightweight GNU/Linux (or other free/libre OS) distributions.

I’m specifically looking for a free/libre operating system that will run a Graphical User Interface on a 10-year-old laptop, 700 MHz Intel CPU, 256 MiBytes RAM (but 128 MiBytes would be better), an 8 GiByte hard drive and an 800×600 screen.

If you know of any other lightweight distributions please leave a comment. Also please leave a comment if you can help fill out the chart – the distributions’ documentation is pretty inadequate when it comes to listing minimium system requirements.

Name Minimum System Requirements Windows Manager
CPU RAM Disk Space Video
Mandriva XFCE 2010 Spring         Xfce
Xubuntu         Xfce
Lubuntu 10.04 Pentium II or Celeron 128 MB 1.5 GB   LXDE
Linux Mint Xfce (201104)   114 MB     Xfce
Linux Mint 10 “Julia” – LXDE x86 processor 256 MB 3 GB 800×600 LXDE
Trisquel Mini         LXDE
Crunchbang         Openbox
SlimPup   35-50 MB 150 MB ISO    
Debian         Fluxbox
Arch Linux 2010.05 i686 or x86_64 64 MB 7.5 GB   xmonad
Tiny Core Linux i486DX 48 MB   TinyX
WCLP 25 MHz 486 16 MB 400 MB    
antiX PII 266 MHz 64 MB 2.2 GB VGA  
Dragora GNU/Linux-libre Intel 486 64MB (1GB suggested) 4 GB VGA  
Bodhi Linux 300+ MHz 128 MB 2.5 GB   Enlightenment

I expect this post to be a continuous work-in-progress.

–Bob.

Added 14 June 2011: Thanx for the suggestions from @dwa, @headphonica, @darkestkhan, @flying_squirrel and @circuidipity, all added above.

Added 17 June 2011: @schestowitz points me to a Linux Devices article on Tiny Core Linux.

Added 28 July 2011: @chaslinux reminded me of The Working Centre’s distribution, WCLP.

Added 4 August 2011:Just saw antiX mentioned on Identi.ca.

Added 12 October 2013: @tekk writes: @bobjonkman If driver support isn’t an issue, maybe look at http://dragora.org . I’d also put slackware on the list for that, maybe freebsd as well?

Added 23 November 2013: Bodhi Linux

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Posted in FLOSS, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Operating System | 5 Comments »

 
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