Windows Subsystem for Linux

If you are someone that uses Windows for (enter reasons for using Windows here) and someone who uses/administers Linux servers, you have probably attempted to use various combinations of software to either run Linux things in Windows, build Linux things in Windows or just to get a simple command-line for doing command-line things.

When I heard that Microsoft had released a subsystem for Linux, I was intrigued and leery. The more I read about it, I thought, hey, let’s give this a whirl. If this works, it can be pretty awesome. Microsoft’s announcements of availability of multiple technologies on Linux (SQL Server, PowerShell, .NET Core and Visual Studio Code) the last couple of years indicate that there has been a change in how Microsoft views Linux.

A little over a year and a half later, it has shed the beta tag (it used to only be available if you were running in Developer Mode and that is a deliberate process) and it has added support for Fedora and OpenSuSE in addition to its already existent Ubuntu support.

My humble opinion is that it works very well. I am able to install one of the distributions (side note: yes, you can install multiple distributions and here’s a link to how that is managed) and do normal things like install packages, generate ssh keys and even install X (if you have an Xserver such as VcXsrv, you can display your X applications using that server). All of the Windows drives are available via /mnt and are mounted as their drive letters (e.g. /mnt/c is C:, /mnt/d is D:, etc.). It gives a full (enough) Linux experience short of dual(or more) booting.

Coding != Magic

“But coding is not magic. It is a technical skill, akin to carpentry. Learning to build software does not make you any more immune to the forces of American capitalism than learning to build a house. Whether a coder or a carpenter, capital will do what it can to lower your wages, and enlist public institutions towards that end.”

–from “Tech’s push to teach coding isn’t about kids’ success – it’s about cutting wages” (

In My Queue – 9/20/2017

“Cory Doctorow: Demon-Haunted World” –
Dieselgate was just the tip of the iceberg.
“The Secret, Multicultural History of Rosh Hashanah” –
Rosh Hashanah starts at sundown and I learned a few things from this piece.
“Looped:Prince Paul”
Some of you may know Prince Paul from his work with Stetsasonic. Some of you may know him from his production work for De La Soul’s first three albums. Some of you may know him from Gravediggaz. Some of you may know him from Handsome Boy Modeling School. Regardless, he’s a DJ/Producer par excellence.

Adventures in Python: Part 0 or My Like Letter to Python

I first encountered Python (as far as I can remember) in the Winter/Spring of 2001.   I had to calculate some grades and I was trying to think of a creative way to calculate them while dropping the 3 lowest ones (there were 10 total).  The tests (which weren’t dropped) had more weight so, because using Excel for this would have been too easy — really, I didn’t bother to leverage Excel for this–I thought, hey, let me use this tool that I recently heard about called Python.

So, I wrote a Python program that took a CSV with grades and calculated them and wrote that calculation out into a text file.  Pretty rudimentary, I must admit but I never forgot how flexible (but strict…damn spaces) Python could be…it always sat in the back of my mind as a tool for lots of odds and ends jobs.

Python has come a profanely long way since then.  If I were to list projects that use Python…well, I won’t because there are too many.  While PHP is still one of the lingua franca of the web, Python is making inroads there, in systems programming, scripting, scientific and numerical computing and other areas.  It seemed like whenever a cool problem came along, here comes Python with a module as an answer. A few examples:

  • Hey, I want to get things from the web: here comes the Requests module
  • Hey, I want to do stats analysis like my friends do with R: here comes PANDAS
  • Hey, I want to install these software packages, ensure these users exist with these permissions, on these servers running this revision of this OS: well, there’s not a module for that..just kidding,  Ansible and Salt

I appreciate the structure, quality and volume of Python module offerings.  Yes, PHP folks (which was my first web-based dynamic language), I know about Composer and PEAR and PECL and — yes, Perl mongers, I know about CPAN — but, I find Python and pip to be pretty damn useful regardless of platform ( I use Windows, Linux and Mac for development at various times for various reasons…hell, I have even used Python on embedded hardware projects. Python — by way of pyserial — helped me learn how to communicate over Bluetooth).

In short, I want to do more with Python.   When I do, I will post it here.

( Image Credit: )

Time’s Up

Well, the day has finally come.  After seven and a half years, my Macbook is officially too old.

Today was the day that Apple officially announced the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.  I am somewhat ambivalent.  I do, however, want to upgrade my work phone to iOS 10.

But, as far as my personal MacBook (Early 2009) and macOS Sierra…nope. Not happening.  I bought this laptop with Leopard and I traversed through Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite and, finally, El Capitan.

Well, there’s always Linux.

Van and Newt

Newt Gingrich and Van Jones

I think that Van Jones and I agree on a lot but he hasn’t forgotten the humanity of those who disagree with him.

Newt and I go back to when I saw him talk at Presidential Classroom back in ’94. Little did I know that he was about to become Speaker of the House and shake up Congress. I disagree with lots of what he has said/done over the last 22 years.
…but these cats came together and said some worthy things. Give it a look.

The NBA Free Agency Tilt-A-Whirl

I don’t have a problem with Dwayne Wade going home to Chicago. Sure, they have Rondo and Robin Lopez now but I still think that the Cavs are the beasts of the East.  Barring the i-word, we will be back in the Finals.  A by-product of the Wade deal is the Cavs getting Mike Dunleavy, Jr. (yes, another Dukie-he and Dahntay Jones were teammates in Durham back in 2001-2002. ) by using Andy Varejao’s trade exemption.

None of the moves bother me…Delly, go get that paper man.  You put in that work and you may have a shot to start.  Plus, playing under Jason Kidd will be a good move.  T-Mo, same thing.  except for the Durant move.

I have said time and again that his leadership is either not enough for that team or suspect…and it is what prevented them from maximizing their shots. They had three shots to take out GSW (one of them in Oklahoma City) but nobody on that team could put on their clutch hat and get them over the hump.

Looking back at LeBron leaving, he didn’t defer in Miami (I didn’t think he would). Dwayne Wade was the incumbent talent and HE knew LeBron was a once-in-a-generation player so he changed his role a bit while still being a superstar. LeBron learned champ-level leadership from guys who did it before like Pat Riley, Wade and the rest of the Heat. He brought that back home and you know the rest…the Cavaliers are champs.

So…the Golden State Warriors have Kevin “Kevin” Durant.

Kevin Durant’s just a guy on that team now. I don’t think he has ever had take over a game talent when it mattered. LeBron does and did. Kyrie is developing that edge.

But, as always, we will see on the court.

NBA Scheduling gurus, I ask for two things…

Warriors at Cavaliers on December 25th (anybody AT Cavaliers on Christmas, really) and Cavaliers at Wizards sometime before January (Coach Lue is hustling hard to get to meet President Obama).  Make it happen, please.

The machinations of this offseason don’t matter because…the Cleveland Cavaliers are still the 2015-16 NBA World Champions.  We have #onefortheland let’s get #twofortheC !