2. My eyes and my
This is about programming in and working with Smalltalk/Squeak and about programming in and working with
It is - mostly - not for you if you don't care about these subjects.
1. Squeak vs Linux
I discovered Squeak in 2001, learned myself Smalltalk to
program in it, and still use it, also on Linux/Ubuntu, on which it was
easily installed in a Linux
version, with the instructions on squeak.org for doing so.
Smalltalk is one of the first object-oriented programming languages. It
was invented in the early 1970ies by Alan Kay and Dan Ingalls at Xerox.
It had its own environment, that functions like an OS (Operating
System) that also the first graphical environment.
As a programming language it is very nice and elegant, and as
environment it was quite spectacular until the mid 1990ies, when it was
relaunched again by Kay, Ingalls and some others, with the support of
Disney and Apple, that had come to own the code, after Xerox had made
rather a mess of selling Smalltalk in the
I have written quite a lot about it and some in it, since I was quite
taken with it from 2001-2004, but since gave up for reasons explained
here: About Smalltalk; About Squeak; More about Squeak - and also here Object-talk
and OOP-talk (see especially the end) on the subject of
explanations of Smalltalk, that
turned out to have irritated Edsger Dijkstra
for the same sorts of reason as it irritated me, much later, and
without then knowing about Dijkstra.
Squeak still exist
and is still being developed, as are some of its forks (alternative
developments) and I still use it occasionally, because it is easy to
program once you've got the hang of it, but as I explained in the
links, basically I think it is finished, except for a few diehards, and
perhaps a few who are very curious about programmming. (Mind you: There
are some who disagree.)
One of the things that I really liked about it was that it is much like
OS: You can write text in it, write graphical programs in it, draw in
it, record sounds in it, and much more, albeit in an environment that
will strike many as quaint and unfamiliar, for one thing because it is
still based on the core of the environment of Smalltalk of 1980.
But then you get all the source code for everything, so in principle
you can alter everything, and also everything is free.
And that brings me to Linux/Ubuntu,
that I have been using now since May 2012, and that I still like a lot,
indeed because it is an OS, and a much better one than Windows, and
is - in a way - much like Squeak in that you can write text in it,
write graphical programs in it, draw in it, record sounds in it, and
much more - but in an environment that is rather like Windows XP,
except that it is better, and again you get all the source, and
everything is free.
Linux/Ubuntu is much more powerful than is Squeak, and is developed and
used by very many more people. Also, it is much better documented than
Indeed, Linux/Ubuntu also is more powerful and much better
MS Windows, in any version, and it has some amazing programs.
Some may say it is still for techies (nerds, geeks), but if so, this is
so to a much lesser extent than Squeak or Smalltalk. Also, the
basics are not very different from Windows:
One can browse the internet with Firefox, write mail with Thunderbird,
and it comes - for example - with the very fine LibreOffice
(what I would consider the flagship for Linux, though it also exists
for MS Windows), for doing the things Microsoft Office does, except
LibreOffice does it much better, and is free.
And for most things one can do on a desktop computer there are mostly -
not always - better programs available on Ubuntu than for MS
Windows, and on Linux/Ubuntu things are free, come with source code,
and are much better integrated in the OS than on MS Windows, especially
if one knows how to program.
The reason this enters here is not that one needs to program in
Ubuntu, though of course one may, but because this gives one a much
better grip on understanding what is possible, why things are as they
and how to get things done.
Also, it is another OS than is MS Windows, and some ways are just
organized differently. Generally, this is better, but to get to grips
with it, one needs to be able to make sense of it, though there is fine
documentation for beginners e.g. here:
As to programming:
(very good introductory
monthly about Ubuntu)
First, knowing how to program helps a lot with working with
Linux/Ubuntu, not so much to (re)program it as to know what is possible
and to understand why things are as they are.
Second, if you do want to program, Linux/Ubuntu has a lot of
programming environments available for you, and at least two I find
1. Python: There
are many Python environments for Linux, and Python is an
object-oriented language that is as nice and elegant as Smalltalk, but
much better documented, and meanwhile also much further developed. In
particular, I've come to like Spyder.
2. Qt: This is a programming
environment made (mostly) by the developers of Nokia, but free and open
source. It is based on C++ but a lot more elegant. I have only found
this a few months ago, so I can't say much about it except that I am
For those who
want to program in
Smalltalk and can, one can run Squeak in it:
for those who DO want to
program, the above two - Spyder and Qt - seem very fine, and there are
By and large, I suppose Python is best for most ends and most people,
since it is simple,
clear and well-documented.
the story is that Linux delivers for me what Squeak promised, and much
more plentiful, and much better: Smalltalk and Squeak definitely have
been overtaken, in my opinion, namely by Linux/Ubuntu.
2. My eyes and my condition
eyes are definitely somewhat better, as regular readers may have
They are far from well, but I have been jumping through various hoops
to allow me to use the computer - which is my main connection with the
world outside my room - which I can do now thanks to the facilities
Ubuntu gives, and that Windows does not, and thanks to
Duratears and a better way of administering them.
Both are necessary condition: I cannot use Windows with such eyes as I
have: the screen needs to be mostly dark not white, and if my eyes get
to be as bad again as they were, I hardly can use the computer.
What is rather odd is that apart from my eyes, also while
sleeping too little because of them, I am otherwise tolerably well,
comparatively, also without the mB12 protocol now since a
month, and in fact without any supplements.
I can account for that in various speculative ways, but none that I can
attribute a high probability to.
In any case, these two facts explain why I have been able to set up
NOTEBOOK, and indeed I also always could write fast and easily if I
could write at all.
As to "without any
I've always followed the rule that if I get problems while taking
supplements, I stop taking the supplements (i) to find out whether
this seems to help and (ii) to be able to find a familiar baseline, and
then take it from there.
As it is now, there is no known baseline for me: I have not head the
problems with my eyes before, and I also have not slept as little as I
have been doing now for quite a long time without collapsing.
I am puzzled, which is a fairly common condition with me about
things. (There is very little I confidently know, apart from
that I know I do
not confidently know much - besides some mathematics,
logic, linguistic knowledge, common sense, and some basic
What I am not puzzled about is that any decent explanation for my
condition must be physiological: If it is not physiological
(biochemical, physical) it is not really scientific.
And those who are more fond of psychology or psychiatry than I am
should note that I agree quite willingly that there are known
physiological explanations for some forms of madness/deviance/problems:
drink and drugs. But then I don't use these. And I know of no
physiological explanations for any of the ailments I have (ME/CFS,
Dupuytren's Contracture and Keratoconjunctivitis sicca/Sjögren's
syndrome, which may all three be autoimmune
diseases, and indeed the last two - Dupuytren's and Sjögren's - are medically supposed to belong in that
And I do not know of any sound physiological explanation for
3. NOTEBOOK vs Nederlog
I am aware
NOTEBOOK gets to look more and more like Nederlog (with a different
But I will return to it - if ever - only on condition that my
eyes get a lot
better than they are, and one reason to set up NOTEBOOK (aka NB)
it allows me to only maintain that. I can look at my
site, but only with colors reversed in Firefox in Ubuntu, and I cannot
edit it that way.
P.S. My eye
necessary corrections have to be made later.