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Reblogged:Beer, Linux, Laughs, and an Oxford Comma

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A Friday Hodgepodge

1. Contemplating a return to my long-dormant hobby of home brewing, I have learned of five brewing innovations. The neatest-sounding one of the lot would be the first on the list, namely cryo hops:
Whole hop cones are covered in a fragrant green powder called lupulin. This powder is rich in the oils and acids that make beers (especially IPAs) bitter, aromatic or juicy. Whole hops may also impart unwanted vegetal flavors, so brewers tend to use pelletized hops that concentrate the lupulin.

Washington's Yakima Chief Hops have taken the pelletization process to near-sci-fi levels. They process their hops in a low-temperature, low-oxygen, nitrogen-rich environment, which preserves the hop character that may be lost through handling and oxidation. Cryo Hops impart a super-intense tropical fruit aroma that works well in double IPAs. [links omitted]
More interesting is the next, mash filtration. I doubt I'll use the technique myself, and I'm not worried about my own water use -- it's the use of interesting grains to make beer afforded by the technique that I like.

2. While we're doing lists, here's a list of (just) "8 Things You Can Do With Linux That You Can't Do With MacOS or Windows." Top of that list is why I have stayed with it after switching to Linux for my daily computing needs over 25 years ago: the customizability.

Most recently, I combined "revive old hardware," "never worry about lock-in," and "run Windows software" to make myself able to get full use out of an excellent old scanner that came with proprietary software.

Due to peculiarities in how that scanner communicates with computers, this needed me to install a ... venerable ... version of Windows on a virtual machine, rather than the method for running Windows software in the list.

Problem permanently solved.

3. Something called Nix turned 20 recently. An article whose title incorporates the logical next question, What the hell is it?, does a great job explaining that, and has me interested in experimenting with it off and on with the view of perhaps eventually switching to it.

The article is a long, geeky read that had me staring at my phone for an entire 45-minute walk. Within, several experts explain aspects of this -- oh, I don't know -- package manager/configuration language/operating system.

What interests me most came near the end, from someone who likes the ability to quickly install and pre-tweak his operating system:
... I'm pretty much just focused on: I have this great monolithic, relatively monolithic, configuration file, and it makes my machine exactly how I want it, sets up my window manager, sets up my vim.rc, it sets up my terminal. Just everything is exactly configured, not just at, you know, a package layer, but deep down into the configuration of packages...
I just had to spend a bunch of time upgrading two computers and freshly installing on a new laptop.

I hope not to have to do this for a couple more years, and I say this, despite having a pretty detailed list of what I have to do already.

In the meantime, if I play around with NixOS enough to become comfortable with it, I can greatly reduce the amount of time future upgrades and installs take.

Since I set all my machines up to be as similar as possible, this alone sounds like learning about NixOS could be worth it in addition to being interesting.

4. Finally come the laughs. If you were young enough to enjoy the heyday of talk radio, you might remember one Phil Hendrie, whose show featured nutty, often argumentative "callers" -- all of whom he voiced himself, fooling many listeners enough that the more excitable would become upset.

By chance I learned that he's still kicking, only now in podcast land, via the interview embedded above.

-- CAV

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