on the edge

computers & technology, books & writing, civilisation & society, cars & stuff

Greg Black

gjb at gbch dot net
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If you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

FQE30 at speed

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Worthy organisations

Amnesty International Australia — global defenders of human rights

global defenders of human rights

Médecins Sans Frontières — help us save lives around the world

Médecins Sans Frontières - help us save lives around the world

Electronic Frontiers Australia — protecting and promoting on-line civil liberties in Australia

Electronic Frontiers Australia


(Coming soon…)


(Coming soon…)

Software resources

GNU Emacs


The FreeBSD Project

Sat, 28 Jan 2006

Hard to be good

Late last year, while reflecting on the things I had accomplished (as well as the things I had not accomplished), I saw that most of the stuff I’ve written here has had a distinctly critical tone. So I decided that I’d make an effort this year to write at least some pieces with a positive pitch. Here we are, at the end of January, and I still haven’t found anything to fit this goal.

Today, however, I came across two items of interest in my reading and one of them seemed to fit the good news theme I’d been hoping for.

While waiting for my spouse to finish her business in the shopping centre, I picked up a book about C++ programming. This is not a subject dear to my heart, but the book had a cover that promised good things and the author was somebody with a genuine depth of experience in both the C++ world and the technical writing world. And, as far as I could tell from a 10-minute read, it was a pretty good book and encouraged what I’d probably describe as good practices for people unfortunate enough to have to work with C++.

The thing that was most apparent from the book, however, was what a bizarre dog’s breakfast C++ is. The entire book seemed to be aimed at providing guidance to the hapless programmer on the critical task of avoiding self-inflicted damage. Since nobody seems to be taught the important basics these days, junk like C++ is even more of an affront to sanity than it might once have been. Just Say No.

Now for the good news. I have had reasons in the past to visit Tim Bray’s blog. Something I read this morning sent me there again, and I took the time to look around beyond the original article. And I found three little gems, entitled Truth, Biz and Tech. They are great. And they come close to expressing my thoughts on those topics. Recommended reading.