Is initiation a significant event? The only one I could find from this period was a legendary hack. It was done with Linux. Anyways, I downloaded a whole bunch of Linux distributions at school and tried them out. In the end, I decided on Sabayon because it was a Gentoo distribution with a lot to play around with. When it came to formatting, I read a forum post and decided on ReiserFS. At first, I saw some files with size 0 and thought I could delete them. Later, I found out ReiserFS had tail-packing, which put small files at the end of a block, if they fit. This makes file access faster, but can increase fragmentation. The amazing performance of ReiserFS made me read some articles about Reiser4, which has not been accepted into the kernel to date.
The point of a Gentoo distribution is to build optimized binaries, resulting in speed increases. The Gentoo wiki had many articles on how to increase the performance from internet browsing to the x windowing system. I remember getting Firefox to display pages as soon as I click on the links and getting the boot down to a few seconds.
Another initiation came from reading The Fountainhead. It was a really inspirational book, built on Nietzche’s philosophy, along with Kant’s. I definitely enjoyed reading it. It helped me make sense of where technology and I fit into the picture.
All this comes down to finding out what I wanted to do for a while. I decided I might as well go with the accelerating trends if I’m going to study anything useful. Just reading a book like that put everything into perspective.
Later, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance added a nice metaphysical touch when working with computers. It’s one of the books every programmer should read.
- Beginner’s Guide to Reality
- The Catcher in the Rye
- The Fountainhead
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
- Meditation Classics of a Roman Emperor
Next episode: blastoff!