ms-dos is now open… 36 years too late

I suppose Microsoft is trying to go with this whole… open source thing that the rest of the world embraced a long time ago. They’ve just placed the source code for MS-DOS out into the public domain about three or four decades after it’s useful. Seriously, guys?

It’s probably lost on most people that this code is utterly useless, unless you have access to a time machine, of course. In order to assemble the code you’d need MASM v1.10 which is a very old Microsoft Assembler program indeed. I remember actually owning that about thirty years ago, believe it or not.

Obvious chicanery

Looks like whoever made this available has added a number of poison pills: file-renaming, garbage characters to prevent assembly, the absence of an old (required) assembler, etc. It’s so blatant it would be funny otherwise.


adj. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating broke it

Jumping into the Wayback Machine to the year 2010, Google introduced a means of shortening URLs. Since they’d purchased the domain name, they took advantage of this plus an abbreviated means of issuing shorter URLs. The shorter URL would then redirect to the actual target address.


You might ask why Google would create a seemingly-free service that would redirect URLs for people. Part of it could be explained by re-using a domain name that sounds a lot like Google as a form of advertising their brand name. But the strongest reason would be to build a database of URLs which could be mined in some way, perhaps for their own search engine’s optimization.

It’s clear that analytics was a big reason for offering a service like this. There is value in knowing everything about what other people are doing.

And den?

Good question. What comes next after the Internet has then embraced the concept and created millions of shorter links? You guessed it…

Google is killing the [] service in March of 2019.

What will break?

It’s difficult to even fathom how much of the Internet will take a hit in three months. People routinely used these shorter URLs in combination with both Google Drive— and Microsoft OneDrive—related documents. There are numerous one-off solutions which automatically submit URLs to vicariously for you. These should be the first things to break.

Google will likely continue to redirect links for a while but they will eventually need to pull the plug.

Imagine the sheer number of times these shorter URLs were used in printed documentation to refer back to online support pages. This would have been typical of many consumer products with small printed manuals. Imagine the number of boxed consumer products still sitting on shelves in stores which contain these soon-to-be-deprecated links.

Is that it?

Google is now moving the service over to Firebase (which they bought in 2015) as Dynamic Links which presumably few people will use since they’re not Google Developers.


rpi-update => bricked raspberry

The Internet is full of advice. This is especially the case in the world of Raspberry Pi tutorials. The problem is that sometimes you get an anti-pattern with respect to upgrading the Pi’s firmware and/or operating system: people are confused and they’re giving the wrong advice. And then this same wrong advice is repeated over and over.

Two Upgrade Paths and Only One Is Correct

There are two paths available to people so that they may upgrade their Raspberry Pi. One is for a tiny fraction of the coders out there, those who actually create the Raspbian operating system itself. And then the other path is for everyone else.

sudo rpi-update

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y upgrade

Why is This?

Unfortunately, the people who wrote the Raspbian operating system included the tools they themselves use to develop it. Just because it’s there as a command line tool, that doesn’t mean that most of us were supposed to use it.

Granted, people will take the fewest steps to get somewhere. If they think that they can save a few characters with what looks to be a simpler command, they’ll try to use it. If things don’t figuratively blow up in their face, they assume it’s good and they’ll give this advice to others.

What’s the Difference?

When you run the sudo apt-get -y upgrade version, you’re pulling the latest code from the stable master branch of Raspbian. That sudo rpi-update command instead pulls from the development branch known as next. It’s a great way of trashing your Ethernet and wi-fi driver stack so that you can no longer get to it remotely, turning your Raspberry Pi into a brick.


a series of unfortunate search results

Calif. lawmaker Ian Calderon proposes jail time for anyone who brings you a drinking straw.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders describes how presidential hopefuls are recruited from the private sector.
If even the CIA can’t find you, then you are well-hidden indeed.
You would think that they work work on the important questions.
This puts a whole new twist on “higher” education.


Richard Nixon was educated at Whittier College.
Important issues were discussed at the conference, to be sure.

programming through advertisements

Imagine an alternate universe to ours, similar in many ways. Watching television and browsing through magazines is the norm in this world. Just as we in our universe have ad impressions and our own ideas about society are shaped in this way, the people in this other universe are also programmed on a daily basis. How to treat others, what to wear, what to eat and what’s socially-acceptable and even expected are all topics which are schooled, if-you-will, in both worlds by our & their collective media “teachers”.

Using some pretty sophisticated multi-universe equipment that I’ve just invented, I’ve managed to pull some of their advertisements across the ether over into our world to share with you but a warning: some of these images may seem shocking to you. One can only imagine what a wretched society would result from social programming such as this.

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