Woe, make me your student

Devine Lu Linvega's journal


2022-08-16 Farewell Desolation

16Q ; We've left Desolation Sound, and stopped in Texada to reprovision before sailing south. We finally have access to reliable internet access again, but despite my near-endless supply of things to catch up on, none of it sparks any interest in me right now.

Have you ever had this feeling like all the music sounds the same? And, like all the pictures are of the same place. It seems that the whole of the web is marching to this tune that goes "Easter Time! Chocolate Time! Do all your shopping At Wal-Mart!"

2022-08-01 A Potato

16P ; We've sailed ourselves into somewhat of an internet deadzone, where my evenings consist of lying in the hammock hung between the jib and the mast, thinking about what sort of an operating system I'd like for myself; what would be both realistic for the Uxn platform, and the limits of my own aptitude for realizing it.

2022-07-16 Slideshow Tech 2000

16O ; I haven't had it in me to start new projects these past two weeks, so I've instead revisited projects in need of care; namely Adelie which was until now undocumented, leaving people to guess at how things worked. It has been nice to see some terrific projects made with it, like tower of hanoi, and these gorgeous slides. It took all the restrain in the world not to turn it into another Hypercard.

2022-07-02 Self Documenting Binaries

16N ; The more I try to imagine what resilient software might look like, the more shortcomings I find in Varvara roms, namely, the ones that rely entirely on external documentation. So, I decided to try and begin to tackle this problem by adding a menu navigation manifest to each one, which not only makes the application self-documenting, but also improves accessibility.

2022-06-19 Dwindling Stores

16M ; I hate to think that we will, at some point, have to sail south to re-supply, we've both decided that we shall stretch our supplies for as long as we possibly can. We will soon run out of fresh produce, but we have prepared enough preserves to last us for months.

2022-06-03 Uxntal Communication II

16L ; We've arrived in Desolation Sound and met up with friends. We spend the long afternoons rowing the dinghy along the shoreline and exploring the thickly forested coast. I went ahead and assigned a glyph to each Uxn opcode, to make an Uxntal Alphabet, it adds a wonderful conlang aspect to the project. I'm hoping to turn this into a little graphical assembler at some point.


2022-06-01 Uxntal Communication I

16K ; I just couldn't stop thinking about a potential Uxntal Sign Language. So, Rekka and I began assigning hand gestures to numbers, operators and modes. I'm also thinking that I might like to assign glyphs so an assembler that does away with English altogether could be envisioned.

2022-05-30 Heading North

16J ; We are finally making our way north toward Desolation Sound and the Broughton Archipelago. We are spending these late spring days anchored between high mountains, revisiting ideas for projects we had conceived of this last winter, but decided to leave for a later time. I've been fascinated by how an entire computing paradigm can emerge from the primitives of combinatory logics, my recent thoughts have been populated by these strange talking birds.

2022-05-14 Slides rules

16I ; Aquired a couple of slide rules from a retired teacher, and figured out how to use them, my plan is to gift them to people we meet in our travels. I've spent the better part of the week plotting shapes on paper with the help of the slide rule, while also experimenting with a line-plotting engine, inspired from Turtle Graphics, for creating procedural graphics.

2022-04-30 Uxn Specs

16H ; I felt frustrated by the development of Uxn this week. I was thinking back on the creation of Orca, especially about the period when the last few operators were being finalized. A handful of livecoders and myself were already using it as the remaining rough edges were still being figured out. I recall people in the chatroom who would raise hell each time operators were moved around. Looking back, I'm glad that I didn't freeze the specs then, or Orca would not have its current operators and symmetries, I had to remind myself of that.

2022-04-14 Bedrock Failure

16G ; Inspired from the Cuneiform Tablets paper, I considered realizing the paper's point of implementing Smalltalk72 on a UVM, I spent a few days experimenting with the ST72 environment — Only to realize that, like the ChifirVM, it is poorly thought out and fundamentally irreconcilable with smol computing.

2022-03-30 FSF

16F ; We gave our talk at LibrePlanet 2022, and it went very well. During the Q&A, we talked about living without a fridge, from food preservation to sprouting, and we were delighted to see so many people interested in that stuff. I guess the intersection of computers and gardens is slightly larger than I thought.

2022-03-14 Digital Preservation

16E ; Took a deep dive into the various experiments in digital preservation(PADI, CAMiLEON, Domesday, etc..), didn't really find anything worthy of note, but it did inspire me to rewrite some of the content on permacomputing. I've also spent the past couple of days improving Noodle, and adding support for tga images.

2022-02-30 A Dice Game

16D ; Rekka is putting the finishing touches to the Wiktopher novel, and asked me to design a game that the people of Iridi could be playing. I thought a dice game combining the capture mechanism of Go and the randomness of the Domino draw might be a good fit, learn to play Hako.


16C ; Our upcoming keynote for Libre Planet 2022 has been announced, we've built a little slideshow program for the presentation. I've revamped the Orca documentation and added a reference page, as well as fixing a few bugs in the Uxntal implementation. Toying with wireworld sucked much of my time, again.

2022-01-30 Tamagochi

16B ; Rekka and I completed Yufo, our entry for the Virtual Pet Jam 2022, we also added a Serbian and Polish translation to Thousand Rooms. When I wasn't playing with primes, or reading, I was noodling in wireworld. Ah! Also, Uxn turned one year old.

2022-01-14 Devlog Start

16A ; To kick off 2022, I've decided to write 3 documents for the Uxn project, in which I'll save my design notes, the first one is about the virtual machine itself, the second one is about a personal computer and the last one will be a simple operating system. Hopefully, by the end of this year, this project will have have matured into something that is more easily definable.



The pandemic restrictions forced us to stay at one place, if only for a moment. To stop running and possibly build something, to spend more time with the same people and to become familiar with our surroundings. Every year is meant to be my depth year, every January, I tell myself that this time, finally, I will look deeper into things. I typically don't follow through, and this year might not have been as deep a year as I had hoped, but I can say that my understanding of a few specific things have deepened.

By the year's end, I, along with a handful of amazing people, had brought a little programming language into the world, it cannot do much at all, but building this project brought me closer to understanding the deeper questions I had about programming, especially how human-language maps to symbols that computers can understand.

Between the air that's hard to breath due to forest fires, and the water rationing that stops us from filling up our tanks, the tumbling down of everything has, to my surprise, not paralyzed me as much as I expected. It has been a constant creative force that pushed me through the year to learn about food preservation, water purification, insulation, heating, and various endeavors that I had previously overlooked, and that might come in handy would things keep on deteriorating.

Among the more trivial things that brought me joy this year, I've successfully grown a large lion's mane mushroom aboard the boat, worked on a wonderful tribute of the catclock with Rekka, did plenty of origami with our friend's kids and played accordion for the first time.

For the year of 2021, Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang, was my favourite book. The Lobster was my favourite movie. Tamaryn's Dreaming The Dark was my favourite album.


15Z ; Began the second week of December by learning about the tga format and implementing a viewer for Varvara. Time to revisit the notes I've collected on paper computing and reflect on this massive year that is now closing.


15Y ; Spent the first few days of December solving the Advent Of Code puzzles in Uxntal, got bored, and started thinking about displaying little pictures inside of Left, as well as rewriting Marabu. I've also spent time experimenting with the Subleq virtual machine.


15X ; Was away from Pino to visit family, spent evenings catching up or watching movies. Received a replacement keyboard for Ayatori, it's good to be back on the Thinkpad.


15W ; Wrote a little brainfuck interpreter in Uxntal while traveling. My thoughts have been drifting back to primes and fractions for computing, I've been considering a twist to fractran where fractions with a zero as nominator or denominator might be used for as jump operations, but I have yet to implement this.


15V ; Decided to stop doing daily drawings and port Donsol instead. I had it all planned out in my head before starting, I went ahead and completed the port within just a few days. The work was done on a Pinebook Pro, revealing a few issues with Left, so I spent some time optimizing the text-editor so it would run faster.


15U ; Spending the month of October between daily drawings, and various food preservation projects. As I work on a picture, I'll occasionally stop to improve Noodle in some way or correct a bit of friction. The near totality of my computer activities(drawing, composing and programming) are now done from within the Uxn virtual machine. I couldn't be happier.


15T ; Rewrote Dexe to be compatible to the latest changes to Varvara. I'm unsure what to do about Oscean's twtxt and RSS feeds, generating them in Uxntal will be hard, especially the date conversion. Maybe I could build the now page's body from the twtxt feed, but if I did, I would loose the Arvelie timestamps and links. Picked up Moogle again, cleaned up the codebase.


15S ; The grey weather gives us only a few hours of solar power each day, so we alternate between cleaning and doing other things, such as origami. I've been optimizing Orca, trying to make it run faster, following in the line of optimizations of Noodle.


15R ; Currently rewriting Oscean in Uxntal, as an experiment to see how far I can push Uxn, and what a wiki-from-first-principles might look like. A few features have yet to be ported, but the main components are done. We're slowly sailing North toward Vancouver to see friends, we left Saturna for Ladysmith and Silva Bay, Pino has engine problems, again.


15Q ; Anchored near Saturna, it has been nice to be working offgrid again. I've started porting paradise in Uxntal, it would be nice to port Oscean at some point too. I'm considering stopping to keep a daily diary now, it has been 16 years, I think the experiment has run its course.

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