Ah… 2010. It seems my website survived, and so did I.
I don’t really have any resolutions, other than that I generally want to move toward more simplicity and minimalism, in my personal projects (programming-related and otherwise), but also in my life.
One of the things I want to try is to set up a dedicated machine that only has a command line interface, no GUI or other kind of desktop environment. To this effect, I picked up an iMac G3 from eBay (for $70 including S&H — can’t beat that :-). When it gets here next week or so, I plan to install some sort of Linux on it… maybe Debian or an Ubuntu server edition for PPC. I want to use the “new” machine for as much as possible: hackery, but also stuff like blogging, chat, and maybe keeping up with social networks, as long as they have command line interfaces. (But all the important stuff should work: Emacs, vim, svn, git, programming languages, zsh, IRC…)
Of course I won’t be able to do *everything* on an old iMac with a text prompt. Work will be done on my new HP Mini 311, for example. Other things like burning CDs, reading comics or blaring my music will still be done on the MacBook. Etc.
But, the idea is that the command line should help me focus. Modern computing environments can be very distracting. Multitasking operating systems are great (wouldn’t want to go back to the MS-DOS days, which was the last time I really used text mode), but that doesn’t mean I want to see everything at once. As more and more applications become web-based, this only becomes more of an issue, as many web pages are overloaded with links, sidebars, menus, ads, search boxes, irrelevant images, etc. Not too mention that it’s way too easy to click on this link, and that one, and oh yeah did I get an email back yet, and who’s on Facebook right now?
I am not a luddite… but it may be a good idea to have an alternative environment where all of this information overload doesn’t necessarily happen. Or at least, where it’s not right in your face.
I also, finally, figured out that I love text. Many of the projects I did, am doing or want to do, are centered around text. Some of these things keep coming back, like writing text adventure frameworks, interpreters / compilers / assemblers, client-side blogging tools, text editors, even roguelikes (still text!). I love languages (both programming and “natural”), reading, writing, blogging… so what better environment to do all this than a text prompt? :-)
(Using a text editor sure beats having to type your blog post in a 400×200 frame inside a browser window, I tell ya.)
Related to this are a few minor sub-goals, by the way. I turned off aMule. I got a Palm Zire last year that has been helping me become more organized. Keeping workroom and bedroom tidy (well, as far as that works around here :-) seems to help too, and so does getting rid of stuff you don’t really need or use. Hopefully all this means that I will have more time for important stuff, like studying, spending time with family, or maybe picking up some old pastimes, like painting.
I talk too much… apparently the focusing has not taken effect yet. :-) Happy new year!