Isaac Rabinovitch

His Blog

The Evil PST

I’m at Write the Docs and I pull out my smartphone to check the schedule on Lanyrd. Now, Lanyrd is a really impressive/cool web application, but they’re still conspicuously in bootstrap mode and have a lot of rough edges. The edge that rubs me raw at that particular moment is the fact that the mobile page is just the regular page rearranged in a narrow space. It takes forever to find the bit I’m looking for — and then when I finally get to it some late-arriving stuff rescrolls the page and I have to start all over.

So when I see “all times are in the PST time zone” I’m kind of in a bad mood and fire off a snarky tweet to Lanyrd. Of course, they don’t deserve my snark, especially since the note probably came from the Write the Docs organizers who don’t deserve any snark either (see above re impressive/cool with rough edges). But Lanyrd gets back to me, and basically asks a question that’s too complicated to answer in a tweet. And it’s a question I’ve had to answer more than once, so I might as well blog about it.

My .vimrc

Portia Burton wants to see my .vimrc. Here it is. Evolved over many years. Probably a lot of stuff I couldn’t explain without re-reading the docs.

Yikes. Parts of it are system agnostic, parts are Linux only. Stuff I disabled and don’t remember why. Need to give it some care.

Computers and Apples

I was going to write the follow-up to my previous post about the history of Sun Microsystems. But this will be mostly about Sun’s long struggle with commodity computers, and lots of people (even people in the industry) don’t understand that term. Here’s my explanation.

The G4, Sun, and Me (1 of 3)

I spent 3 years at Sun working in a unit known as x64 West. There’s an interesting blog post just on the history of that unit, but right now I want to talk about a particular product belonging to it, a rack-mount server called the Sun Fire X4600, also known as the Galaxy 4 or G4. (There were 3 computers in the product line code-named “Galaxy”; the G4 was the one that was 4 rack units tall.) I was the documentation lead for that beast, which had interesting connections with the Sun’s origins, its struggle to survive, and its eventual demise. That’s good for three blog posts. This is the origins one.

The WWW Conundrum

I’m the sort of person who worries about little details most people glide past. Like, how do you type in a web address? If somebody asks me “How do you access the New York Times web site?” I’ll tell them “en why times dot com” and then when they type