Life has been rather weird for me lately. On paper it's been average, normal,
whatever. I have my 1+ days, I have my zero days... But I'm increasingly feeling
like my medicine is blocking progress for me. It increases my appetite, making
it harder to lose weight. It puts me *to* sleep, but the sleep that I get isn't
restful, I snore more, and apparently toss and turn a lot now when I didn't
before. I don't remember my dreams. I wake up irritable and sometimes
For what, though? I feel numb. Part of it's the way my interests are going
(Microsoft EEE'ing open source, kernel-level spyware in anti-cheat software, no
physical release for the latest Miku game... I could go on), but I don't feel
the same when I do things I usually enjoy.
This is the third or fourth medicine I've tried, and the last time I talked
to my therapist they suggested college to me. This is *after* establishing
a relationship indicating quite strongly that it wasn't in my near future's
cards and would be a bad financial decision for me. Like, sure, putting myself
thousands into debt for a questionable payout sounds like a *wonderful* idea.
That doesn't bring me anxiety at all!
So, I think I'm going to talk to my health providers and get on a plan to
ramp down off of this medicine. I need to do that because cold-turkeying
antidepressants is a no-no. When I get off of it, I want to try alternatives
that might actually help, like 5-HTP (the precursor to seratonin), sunlight
I'd rather be crazy and feel something than die inside but be "stable". And
it'll free up about $180/yr in medicine costs.
I'll avoid a rant and just state that I do not like the state of the medical and
insurance fields, as a bog standard patient. I do not want to be part of those
markets, but realities force me to be and I think any market that's captive
(like medicine, insurance, fuel, food, housing) is ripe for being abused.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the aqemu project is still active!  I
ran into a problem when I was starting to use it recently. It triggered an error
related to the '-vlan' argument it was passing to qemu. Turns out that behavior
was removed in qemu 3.x and aqemu hadn't been updated to fix it. I'm not sure if
the current master fixes it wholly, but in my research I learned that aqemu can
export a script of the options you configure it for, so you can at least use the
older version of aqemu to *build* the VM, then export the script and run it
yourself. Super useful, and will make my distro hopping easier.
Which brings me to my next topic. I'm distro hopping, after spending about 8
years with Gentoo. I compiled a small list of candidates, with possibly more to
Extremely interesting architecture, easy to package for
Very active and low barrier to contributing. Good tooling. A little
More or less dead. Small inner circle, little activity, hard-nosed
and elitist culture.
Too nu-Webby website and feel, though it has binary packages and is
otherwise a normal Gentoo install with sane preconfig.
Interesting, kinda like an alternative Gentoo. However, their
founder recently freaked out and left, so it's not going to be
good over there anymore. xbps might be worth looking into though.
Looks very solid, will need more attention.
Very much in line with my ideals. Will try in a VM.
The nuclear option.
Out of the list, KISS and LFS seem closest to my goal of RH-free
computing, but the Gentoo derivatives have powerful package managers with flags
and multislots, etc. I haven't tried Slackware as a daily driver in over ten
years, so maybe that will be fun.
Gentoo spoiled the fuck out of me, though. I love having so much control over
what makes its way onto my machine. If their tooling was easier to figure out
(specifically catalyst and the profile system) I'd probably just roll my own
portage tree. I'm not really married to portage or USE flags specifically, but
another source-based package manager that offered similar functionality would
definitely make it onto my "check out" list. Otherwise, my only options on other
distros are essentially custom packages.
I have to admit KISS has gotten my attention mostly due to a recent update on
the website, which mentions that it aims to be a distro that a single person
can maintain. That is a trait that I feel is lost on a lot of distros. A
distribution isn't an easy thing to put together, sure, if you let it. If you
narrow your scope sufficiently, it shouldn't be rocket science to maintain a
usable Linux-powered OS, or at least enough of one to have a cozy TUI ready
for customization. In the worst case scenario for a distro, it goes completely
dead. If it ever gets revived in the future, it starts with one person. That one
person will need to have the skills to, at minimum, build the distro and fix
any bitrotting issues that happened in the interim, for every package that the
distro ships. If you build distros that are built for bureaucracies, companies,
or foundations, you'll find that it's dependent on many hands to do basic
things. These are distros that will be harder to (re)bootstrap, should they die.
I'm not sure what KISS falls under in terms of ideology. It feels like
it's a more sustainable distribution due to its small size and emphasis on
maintainability, but I haven't yet played with its packaging to be sure if it's
a good fit for me. We'll see, once I get qemu playing nicely again.
(still taking suggestions on BSDs or other alternative OSes)