The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, March 31, 2014

So how does one bootstrap a development system from the command line?

A few years ago I mused about bootstrapping a development system under MS-DOS from the command line. Now, I personally haven't done that, but I can see how it could be done.

But Edmund Evans came close to doing just that (link via Hacker News). He “cheated” by having a program that converted hex codes to binary. It's not that bad though, under Linux, you have a bit of an easier time generating binary data:

/bin/echo -e "\177\105\114\106\001\001\001\000..." >hex1

(it's coincidental that this method also uses octal values instead of hex—Unix began life in an octal environment).

That small quibble aside, Edmund did the bootstrapping procedure pretty much how I envisioned it.

And in following a few more links from the Hackers News commentary, I see that Kragen Sitaker referenced my previous entry and did the initial bootstrap (making a program to read text into binary) from the MS-DOS command line (how odd—that mailing list with only one member).

A diner the Rat Pack would love

Twenty years ago, back when I was in college, my friends and I would often eat at the Boca Diner. The primary reason: it was open 24-hours and it wasn't Denny's. It's not that Denny's is bad, but really, it's the type of place that you end up at, not a place you set out to go to (if you get my drift). Also, the food was better and it had a wider selection. And it didn't hurt anything that it was a few blocks closer to FAU.

Alas, that was then—this is now. The Boca Diner is still around, but it is no longer 24-hours (so I want to know how can it still call itself a “diner?”, but I digress) and thus, we are back to Denny's, the type of place you end up at, not a place you set out to go.

But a few days ago Bunny noticed The Flashback Diner, south of the Boca Diner by about a mile, that is open 24-hours. This is a place we had to try out.

This is no ordinary diner.

[This gives off a distinct Rat Pack Vegas Vibe]

Marble topped tables. Straight back chairs. Low mood lighting. An actual bar! It even has a glass waterfall for crying out loud!

[All we're missing is the grand piano and torch singer]

And I'm still not sure how I feel about the television sets in each booth.

[A remote?  Really?  The TV is right there, and we need a remote?  Wait?  Why do we really need a private TV in the booth?  What have we become as a nation?]

And the menu doesn't exactly scream diner either. The food is too upscale for a diner. And the prices are a bit high for a diner. I'm beginning to wonder why this place bills itself as a diner. I mean, the only thing it has so far in common with a diner is that it's open 24-hours. I mean, I could almost buy this if it were in Las Vegas, but we're not—we're in Boca Raton, Florida. Yeah, it's an upscale type of town, but not quite this upscale … I think.

Anyway, we place our orders. Bunny ordered the pain perdu avec saucisse and I ordered the poisson-frites. I'll admit, the food looked good.

[Yup, it's French toast and sausage] [It's not proper fish-n-chips.  For one thing, it's not served in newspaper …]

Bunny's meal was really good, and with hindsight being 20/20, I should have ordered that. The fish-n-chips … well … this was the first time I actually had to return a fish-n-chips order back because it was basically sushi-n-chips. The manager was very apologetic, took my meal off the check and returned with properly cooked fish-n-chips. The second dish was okay; I think their choice of fish (dolphin) was ill-suited for this application (cod is more appropriate) and I doubt I'll order this again.

The desserts though … oh my!

[9′ high, 12′ across and all cake]

We're talking an embedded pastry shop here. Gigantic cakes. Huge cookies. Donuts. Muffins. Pies. It was a fantastic selection of desserts. What we did order (turtle cheesecake) was, in the words of Bunny, “to die for.”

It was heartening to see we weren't the only patrons there at 10:30 pm on a Monday night, and it was even better to see several parties arrive after us. It wasn't crowded, but it was lively enough to think they'll keep the place open 24-hours for a long time to come.

And we'll definitely go back.

This is not your father's Ford Pinto

We believe these changes will also help prevent a fire resulting from an extremely high speed impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S impact fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph (177kmh), shearing off 15 feet (4.5m) of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later. The underbody shields will help prevent a fire even in such a scenario.

Via Instapundia, Taking Tesla safety to the extreme | Business Spectator

Wow. That's certainly a far cry from the Ford Pinto.

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