Sunday, June 28, 2009

BYBS: Spiritual Exercises

There are lots of things that I do that do not have an immediate reward. Some of them are recognizable like dieting and exercise. I change my diet, but my waistline does not immediately shrink. If I eat a pint of ice cream, I don't expect to see my weight increase by 5 pounds over night. But over time these things have a very definite effect: though my day to day weight may vary like a drunken sailor navigating an alley, the trend does go up or down.

This posting is about the same principal applied to a different area: the mental or spiritual. There are exercises that I do that have a long-term benefit, but I often times find them even harder to do than the physical ones. After all, you can't measure mood by standing on a scale and then use that info to graph your progress.

One of these exercises are my BYBS postings. Over time I have found that I lead a happier life when I regularly stop and think about the things I am grateful for. As a person who is at times overly focused on stuff that I don't like it is important for me to remember the things that I do like.

If you would care to share, comment on similar examples of mental or spiritual exercises that help you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

BYBS: Open Source Software

Open source software has done a great deal to make the modern internet that I know and love possible. Over the years, I've used quite a few of these packages to do my day to day work. Here's a very quick glimpse of a tiny fraction of the packages out there that have helped me:

GNU is one if not the pioneer in the open source arena. They were at it a long, long time before it was fashionable or even thought to be possible. Though not know by lots of non-technical people virtually nothing on the internet would be working today without these folks.

GNU is responsible for thousands if not more programs. One of the most fameous is a compiler suite known as "gcc"

The letters "GNU" are emblematically geeky of the organization and stand for "GNU's Not Unix." Yes, the "GNU" in the "GNU" are the same.

ASF is the Apache Software Foundation. The name "Apache" originally came from the observation that the major software package from them, a web server, was prone to problems and needed lots of adjustments, called "patches" by software people. Thus people observed that it was "a patchy web server." The name stuck and the server was called "Apache."

In addition to Wikipedia and other popular projects, the Wikimedia foundation also makes the software that is used to host their projects, MediaWiki, available for free. The package is used by a variety of people to host information sites.

The Eclipse Foundation is responsible for the excellent software development package, Eclipse. They hold a place that is near and dear to my heart since I have used that package to develop software for years and year. To my mind, it is one of the best environments available for such a purpose.

There are many, many other open software systems available that find use in a variety of situations. Click on the logos to find out more about them. I think that this sort of effort, with their emphasis on helping others rather than making a quick buck, are truely a blessing.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

BYBS: A Walk in the Mountains

Went for a walk in the beautiful mountains today and chose this for my BYBS entry. Didn't have a camera, so this isn't what it really looked like, but you get the idea.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

BYBS: Wikipedia

I don't know how many times I've turned to Wikipedia for information, but it's a lot. The site consistently has very high quality articles on an unbelievable range of topics. What's more, the whole thing is put together by the very people who browse the web.

In short, the site is a showcase for what I wish more of the web was like: people working together to help each other in an "ain't it cool?" sort of way.