Pinned toot

Over the past year, my GNU Social timeline has gone almost completely silent; it seems that many people have moved to Mastodon and maybe those instances have stopped federating.

Further, GNU Social development has been stalled for a long time.

So this seems like an inevitable decision to give Mastodon a try. I'll start by following people and will post both on here and GNU Social initially. See

Check out this interview with Perttu Ahola, the developer of free software sandbox game Minetest: You can find Minetest in the Free Software Directory:

Writing As a Means to Another End:

On writing, exploration, and some personal experience with Imposter Syndrome.

(I feel like an imposter just claiming that I may have Imposter Syndrome; I don't want to offend anyone who may have it worse than me.)

When I'm bored and need to unwind, I apparently enjoy working with regular expressions. Here are some well-documented examples using sed (together with a script to animate them), including things like base 10 multiplication; a dynamic environment with assignment and retrieval; string comparison; and game-like animation resembling cellular automata:

Lifesaving technology should belong to everyone, but the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) is working day and night to restrict access, even during a global pandemic:

Some train of thought reminded me of an article I read many years ago about exploiting properties of ELF to create really tiny executables:

I remember printing out the resulting hex dump and marking every single byte and its purpose. That article was the first time I took the time to really explore ELF and understand at the lowest level what it is and how it works, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

To anyone who sees me posting on Mastodon and not doing the thing you're waiting for / expecting me to do: my very fussy newborn has made it nearly impossible to get into any sort of flow, and my productivity is at a near stand-still. So I fill much of my little free time with things that don't require much focus.

I hope that changes soon.

I thought 2020 would be something I'd be desperate to forget, and instead it's become a landmark year for common sense civil rights and human decency in the United States. And two of those things happened despite a conservative-leaning Supreme Court. And they're happening under (despite) a Trump presidency.

My thoughts go out to all of the people whose lives are so positively impacted by these changes, and to those who have suffered and still suffer so much from their absence.

A writeup on some of the obfuscation techniques used by Snapchat:

I just shake my head at how wasteful this all is. I'm a free software activist. I think of ways to make code more accessible to less technical users. I type this on a system that's full free/libre from the BIOS upward. And this article is about _one program_ that is more opaque than the entirety of my daily computing.

Just closed this 4-year old bug:

Yup, that means #Guix now authenticates commits.

Such a relief to close that bug!

History of Programming Languages, Volume 4. Freely available without a subscription.

I had a debilitating migraine most of the day that was bad enough to give me suicidal thoughts, despite strong medication. I have semi-frequent migraines, but not this bad.

While I was in pain, I thought of the people who have to deal with this, or worse, multiple times a week.

If you don't experience severe migraines, you can't appreciate the suffering people go though. If you're one of them, I'm sorry. You have strength that I don't.

Have legal needs as a result of your participation in protests? Send us an email at and we may be able to help find you pro bono representation.

A challenge in getting users to adopt services that respect their freedom and privacy is convenience. Video conferencing is one important example: you need a server to host it, which most users cannot set up properly on their own, and even if they can, it can be burdensome.

The @fsf has done something excellent: they're now providing a Jitsi Meet service where FSF associate members can create channels to talk with family and friends:

GNOME settles patent, gaining for the free software world a release and covenant for any software that is released under an existing free software license:

Videos from #LibrePlanet2020 are live! Watch Dennis Payne explain the importance of free software game restoration:

Lawsuits by patent trolls have gone up, not down, during the Coronavirus pandemic. They're 20% higher this year—including this one against a company that makes ventilators.

Show more
Mike Gerwitz's Mastodon Instance

Mike Gerwitz's personal Mastodon instance