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#include '../template.wml'

#include "toc_div.wml"
#include "cpan_dists.wml"

<latemp_subject "Shlomi Fish’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List" />
<latemp_meta_desc "Shlomi Fish’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List" />

<p>
This document is a list of questions and answers to common questions I have
been asked or have found myself answering or telling about. I don’t mind being
asked the same question more than once (even by the same person) because I
still enjoy answering it. (See also
<a href="http://wilwheaton.net/faq.php">what Wil Wheaton says about it at the
beginning of his FAQ</a>
</p>

<p>
But this document is here just in case, you have a question, or at least so
I can link to it.
</p>

<toc_div />

<h2 id="about">About Shlomi Fish and this Site</h2>

<h3 id="who_are_you">Who are you?</h3>

<p>
I am <a href="$(ROOT)/personal.html">Shlomi Fish</a>, a professional Israeli
software developer, and author of articles, essays, presentations, and funny
stories, aphorisms and bits. I have a Bachelor of Sciences (B.Sc.) from
the Technion in Electrical Engineering, but it would be a stretch to call
me an Electrical Engineer, at least with my current level of expertise in
the field. I’m actually more of a programmer and a specialised mathematician.
</p>

<p>
At the moment, I’m a computer geek (person who is enthusiastic about
computers), and a nerd (a person without a social life). I’m interested in
many other fields, including linguistics, history, writing, children and
non-children literature, and T.V. and movies.
</p>

<p>
I should note that I am only <b>one</b> person, and in fact am unaware of
any other “Shlomi Fish”’es or “shlomif”’s of significance (at least not
according to Internet searches).
</p>

<h3 id="guy_or_girl">Are you a Guy or a Girl?</h3>

<p>
I am very much a guy, despite what my first name’s suffix (the “i” of
“Shlom<b>i</b>”) may imply to English speakers. I am also heterosexual,
and while hating being a macho in real-life, and having some other somewhat
feminine qualities, do not think I’m a woman born in a man’s body. (Or a
lesbian born in a man’s body, for that matter.)
</p>

<p>
Many Israeli masculine names end with an “i”: Avi, Ari, Meni, Beni, Ori, Uri,
Udi, Eli, etc. An “i” suffix means “of me” or “mine” in Hebrew, or
“having the property-of” (like “-ful” in English). There are also
many Israeli Hebrew feminine names that end with “i”. One reason I’m using
“Shlomi” instead of “Shlomy” is because “Shlomy” might be pronounced to rhyme
with the word “my”.
</p>

<h3 id="your_name">What can you Say about your Name?</h3>

<p>
Well, “Shlomi” or “שלומי” in Hebrew (see its <a
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomi_%28Hebrew_name%29">wikipedia
entry</a>) means “my Shalom” in Hebrew, or perhaps “Shalom-ful” or “the
Shalom of Jehuvah”. “Shalom” in Hebrew means “well-being”, “welfare”, “peace”,
“harmony”, etc. and is derived from
<a href="http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Proto-Semitic/%C5%A1al%C4%81m-">proto-Semitic
origins</a>. See also <a href="http://shlomif.livejournal.com/42172.html">what
I wrote about it on my blog</a> (and some of the comments I received).
</p>

<p>
Now, most Israelis pronounce this name with the stress on the “lo”. I, however
prefer it to be pronounced with the stress on the “mi”, albeit I also answer
to people who pronounce it the other way around. My version is the correct
Biblical pronunciation. You can hear me pronounce it in
<b>Hebrew</b>
(<a href="sounds/How-I-pronounce-Shlomi-Fish-Hebrew.ogg">Ogg</a>,
<a href="sounds/How-I-pronounce-Shlomi-Fish-Hebrew.mp3">mp3</a>)
and in <b>English</b>
(<a href="sounds/How-I-pronounce-Shlomi-Fish-English.ogg">Ogg</a>,
<a href="sounds/How-I-pronounce-Shlomi-Fish-English.mp3">mp3</a>).
</p>

<p>
Please spell the name as starting with “Sh”, similar to the common spelling
in English — not with “Sch” (the German spelling).
</p>

<p>
My last name - Fish - naturally means
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish">the aquatic creatures</a> in
English or (with a different spelling) in German. It was the last name of my
late grandfather who was a Polish-born Jew, and I’m still carrying it.
</p>

<p>
“Fish” is an uncommon name in Israel, but there are also some variations
such as “Fisher”, “Fishman”, “Fischer”, “Fishlov”, “Fishelson”, etc.
</p>

<h4 id="is_shlomi_fish_your_real_name">Is Shlomi Fish Your Real Name?</h4>

<p>
Despite what the name may imply to non-Israeli people, Shlomi Fish is my
real, and legal, name. See <a href="#your_name">the question above</a>
for more information about its etymology.
</p>

<h3 id="shlomifish_org_domain">Why did you get the
www.shlomifish.org domain?</h3>

<p>
Well, I originally set up my home-site on shlomif.il.eu.org, which is a free
DNS service, but it had a lot of DNS problems. Thus, I set up
<a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/">http://www.shlomifish.org/</a>. I didn’t
take shlomifish.org.il because .il domains used to cost a lot of money, and
also required co-ordination by a fax message (how low-tech) upon every
change. I also didn’t want a .com domain because I feel I’m a private individual
rather than a company.
</p>

<p>
http://shlomifish.org/ used to be a parked hostname of my DNS registrar, but
now I redirected it to a different site, which just contains a link to
the appropriate page on www.shlomifish.org. I’m not making it an alias
so the links and page rank won’t be fragmented.
</p>

<h3 id="website_in_english">Why is this website in English? Why not
Hebrew?</h3>

<p>
For several reasons:
</p>

<ol>
<li>
There are many more English speakers (either as their mother tongue or as
a secondary language) than Hebrew speakers. So I’m reaching a bigger target
audience by writing in English.
</li>
<li>
Most native Hebrew speakers (i.e: Israelis) can read English well enough to
understand my English writing. So most of the target audience for writing stuff
in Hebrew will benefit from it very little.
</li>
<li>
I find it more comfortable and faster to type in English and express myself in
writing using English for most types of writing (some
<a href="$(ROOT)/humour/">stories I’m writing</a> being an exception).
</li>
<li>
I often use a lot of tech jargon or slang, which is more difficult to
translate to Hebrew.
</li>
</ol>

<p>
That put aside, if you wish to translate a piece I wrote to any other
language (including Hebrew), feel free to do so. I contributed some
Hebrew translations to some English articles that other people originated,
and also translated some things I wrote in Hebrew to English.
</p>

<p>
Note that <b>I’m using Commonwealth English</b> on this site. Partly because
I think that’s what Israelis are supposed to use, partly because I have been
somewhat British-oriented, and partly because it feels nicer to use an
uncommon spelling. I am still using US English spelling for source
code and for technical documents, though.
</p>

<p>
My thoughts are that both the British spelling and the American spelling (and
their common denominator), are inconsistent and confusing, but I have to make
a choice of some sort.
</p>

<h3 id="nicknames">How else are you known?</h3>

<p>
I’m also known as “shlomif” or on the IRC as “rindolf”.
</p>

<h3 id="refer_or_address">How should I address you or refer to you?</h3>

<p>
When writing a letter to me you can start it with
“Hi Shlomi!”, “Dear Shlomi,”, “Hello Shlomi,” etc. or with “Hi Mr. Fish”,
“Dear Mr. Fish”, etc. Not “Hello Fish” please... I hate when people call
me “Fish” to my face, albeit “Mr. Fish” is OK.
</p>

<p>
Some letters begin with “Shlomi,” in a separate paragraph. I personally
feel that the person is always trying to preach to me in this case, but
I was told it is not considered bad form in English-speaking countries,
so it may just be a culture gap.
</p>

<p>
If you wish to refer to me in third person, you should start with
“Shlomi Fish” and continue with “Shlomi”, “Fish”, “Mr. Fish”, etc.
Alternatively you can start with “Shlomif” or “shlomif”, which are my
common Internet handles which I use everywhere I can. I also seem to be
virtually
<a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=shlomif&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;oe=UTF-8">the
only “shlomif” on the Internet</a>.
</p>

<p>
On the IRC, I generally use the nickname “<tt>rindolf</tt>”, after Rindolf
“Woman-Hands” [Last Name] who was a Dwarven warrior I played on an AD&amp;D
campaign. Sometimes I also use “shlomif”, in case of a net disconnect, or
if I want my identity to be clear. Please address me as my nick, so my
IRC client can highlight your message.
</p>

<h3 id="spent_on_the_site">How much Time Do you Spend on this Site?</h3>

<p>
Too much. I spent several hundreds of hours on the site, possibly several
thousands. While the pages of this site were originally just a collection of
hand-maintained HTML pages, they were then converted to use
<a href="http://thewml.org/">Website Meta Language</a>, and converted to have a
common look and feel, a style that’s hopefully semantic, converted to use
<a href="http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/">valid XHTML markup</a>
(XHTML 1.1 for the while); some navigation aids were added, etc.
</p>

<p>
All of the source code for the site is available online in various places. I’ve
prepared <a href="$(ROOT)/meta/site-source/">a top-to-bottom
document</a> on how to compile the site from
scratch). Some of the hand-crafted code was released as
<a href="http://web-cpan.shlomifish.org/latemp/">the Latemp Content Management
System</a> or various <a href="<shlomif_cpan />">assisting
CPAN modules</a> under an open-source license.
</p>

<p>
I am still working on the site, both by adding new content and attractions,
by revising or correcting existing ones, by making it more usable, or by
trying to publicise new attractions in various online resources.
</p>

<h3 id="site_history">What can you tell me about this site’s history?</h3>

<p>
Well, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step and continues
with many subsequent small steps.
</p>

<p>
My homesite started from a small number of static HTML pages kept on the
server of my workplace back then (<a href="http://www.smlink.com/">Smart
Link</a>). It had the address http://www.smlink.com/~shlomif/, now inactive,
where shlomif was my username on ibm.net back then (which ended up becoming
my general unofficial ID). We hosted the server behind our Point-to-Point
connection (not such a smart idea retrospectively) and we had to create the
alias in IIS specifically for me to put stuff there.
</p>

<p>
I recall that I had <a href="$(ROOT)/humour.html">the Humour collection</a>
with a few jokes I originated, as well as <a href="http://www.shlomifish.org/toggle.html">the report about the algorithmic solution to the Toggle Squares
puzzle</a> I sent to its originator (with whom I was corresponding at
the time). And it also had a rudimentary pageful of links and a bio.
</p>

<p>
When I became a student in the Technion, I moved my site to its undergraduate
server at the address http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/ . There I added more
and more resources to the site. I had a limited quota there, and when I got
an account on “vipe”, a server managed by the students, I hosted part of
my home site there as well, as http://vipe.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/ . The
two parts of the site had cross-links to one another.
</p>

<p>
Eventually, I was about to graduate and so moved the t2.technion.ac.il part
of my homesite, first to shlomif.il.eu.org (a free hostname, which ended up
causing too many DNS problems), and then to www.shlomifish.org which is
where it residing now. In the process, I converted all of the main pages to
use <a href="http://thewml.org/">Website Meta Language</a> and what would
eventually become <a href="http://web-cpan.shlomifish.org/latemp/">Latemp</a>.
This has enabled the site to have a common look and feel, a nice CSS
stylesheet, a navigation menu and other navigation aids and other nice
features.
</p>

<p>
Eventually I realised that the vipe server has too much down time (due
to problems at the Technion’s network) and moved all of its content over
to the www.shlomifish.org domain.
</p>

<p>
Throughout all this time, many resources were added to the homesite: software,
essays, stories, artwork, presentations, puzzles, and more information about
myself. I also now maintain a large number of
<a href="$(ROOT)/me/blogs/">blogs</a> and sites for my projects, as well as
sites I volunteered to maintain. I really like the way the web allows me to
express myself, and to communicate using text, hypertext, and other types of
media.
</p>

<p>
In case you’re interested in setting up a personal web site of your own, I
wrote
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/computers/web/create-a-great-personal-homesite/">an
article about it</a>, which you can read.
</p>

<h3 id="idf_service">Did you serve in the Israeli Military (the IDF)?</h3>

<p>
No, I did not. I’m exempt from service, due to the various
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression">depressions</a>
I got into during High School. Please don’t accuse me of being a “Mishtamet”
(“משתמט”), who is a person who purposely avoided a military service, while
being fully capable of it. That’s not the case for me, as back in the time,
I wanted to join the army.
</p>

<p>
That put aside, I
<a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/philosophy-il/message/25">oppose the
draft</a> in Israel or wherever.
</p>

<h3 id="favourite_music">What kind of Music do you like Listening to?</h3>

<p>
I mostly listen to Rock and Pop, but have some favourite songs of many genres
including Dance, Rap/Hip Hop, Soft Music, Classical Music (especially
Crossover Classic, which I find very fun), Instrumental Music, Country, Rhythm
and Blues and Soul, Ethnic Rock, etc.
</p>

<p>
My favourite Israeli artist is
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehuda_Poliker">Yehuda Poliker</a>,
and my favourite International artist are
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles">the Beatles</a>. My
favourite Israeli song is “Shlal Sharav” (or “Heat Booty” in English); it is
sang by Gidi Gov, but it was composed by Poliker with words written by Meir
Ariel. My favourite song in English is “You Gotta Be” by
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Des'ree">Des’ree</a>.
</p>

<h3 id="should_i_email">May I email you about X?</h3>

<p>
While the amount of emails that I receive is not overwhelming (yet), I still
find that people are sending me a lot of annoying emails. Here are a few
ground rules for when <b>not to</b> send me emails:
</p>

<ul>

<li id="reply_to_list">

<p>
If the email to which you are replying was sent by me to a mailing list,
<b>please reply to the list</b>. I loath such emails sent in private to mailing
list posts. They tend to be preachy, annoying, and worthless.
</p>

<p>
One person, who sent me a lot of emails like that, and whom I talked to about
it on IM and told him how I felt, claimed that he sent such emails when what
he had to say was not well-thought enough. Well, my reply now is that if you
want to send me a non-well-thought email - don’t. Please respect me enough
to make sure it is a mature idea or else don’t send it at all.
</p>

<p>
Feel free to criticise me in public, as long as you do it with decency,
respect, and while avoiding common logical fallacies.
</p>

<p>
If you do want to send me a private E-mail to a mailing list post, please
explicitly say that the E-mail is sent in private, and detail the reason for
it. Else, I am likely to throw away your E-mail.
</p>

</li>

<li>
<p>
Please don’t send me a <b>“Can you teach me how to become a hacker?”</b>
emails. See my
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/computers/open-source/how-to-start-contributing/">How
Can I Start Contributing to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)</a> essay
instead. If you’re living in Tel Aviv and vicinity and are
willing to pay for me giving you private lessons, then this is an option.
</p>
</li>

<li>
<p>
Please don’t send me emails, trying to interest me in contributing to an
open-source project <b>for free</b>, a pro-bono commission, or anything else
that doesn’t involve payment. I follow my own interests and
<a href="http://shlomif.livejournal.com/39551.html?thread=32127#t32127">don’t
work for free</a>.
</p>
<p>
If you have an online or offline publication, and can pay me for the trouble
of writing an article, then feel free to inform me about it. Other possible
commissions such as book reviews  are also appropriate.
</p>
</li>

<li>
<p>
Please don’t send me emails with <b>technical questions</b> about open source
projects. These better belong in an IRC channel, in your local Linux User
Group mailing list or web forum, in the local Perl mongers mailing list, and
so forth. An exception may be projects that I personally created or maintain.
</p>
</li>
</ul>

<h3 id="diet">What can you tell about your diet?</h3>

<p>
I don’t drink alcoholic beverages, don’t consume caffeinated beverages, don’t
smoke, don’t do drugs, and try to avoid consuming sugary foods. I find that
this way I’m less tired, more energetic, and less moody. I don’t need such
negative bio-physical aphrodisiacs to be happy, and neither do you.
</p>

<p>
Most of the people I talk with on the IRC who consume caffeine have become
dependent on it and cannot function without their
morning/mid-morning/midday/etc. coffee. On the other hand, I’m energetic
from the time I wake up until I go to sleep. As for alcohol, it has negative
short-term and long-term effects. And I also don’t want to become drunk
because it will cause me to lose control of myself, and do silly things and
say silly stuff.
</p>

<p>
I have never smoked or taken drugs, and never intend to do so. People with a
drug dependency reduce their happiness and self-esteem like this, and damage
their health.
</p>

<p>
All that put aside, I still believe
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/politics/drug-legalisation/">all these substances
should be legal</a>, and should not be regulated in any way.
</p>

<h3 id="mental_illness">Do you have any mental illnesses?</h3>

<p>
As a matter of fact, I do. I used to get into
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression">Clinical
depressions</a>,
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression#Anxiety">anxieties</a>
and
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_depression#Hypomania">Hypomanias</a>
and even a few <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mania">Manias</a>. The
presence of the latter may indicate I have
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_disorder">Bipolar Disorder</a>
(or “Mania-Depressia”).
</p>

<p>
I’m no longer getting into depressions or anxieties, which is good because
when I’m in them, I feel that I am a bad person, think the whole world is bad
and cannot concentrate on doing anything. I’m still getting some hypomanias, in
which I feel quite elevated, while in fact knowing that I feel bad, and where I
can still function, and still know that I’m a good person. Most of the time, I
am OK.
</p>

<p>
Note that the opinions I express and what I say are not a consequence of my
mental status, but rather of the
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/books-recommends/">many
philosophical influences</a>, I’ve been exposed to, which I feel made my
thinking process straighter and more logical. Some people take many common
“truisms” for granted, but I can demonstrate they are wrong.
</p>

<p>
Here are a few jokes about it:
</p>

<blockquote>

<p>
Shlomi Fish once defined himself as a “Programmer, Writer, Amateur
Mathematician, Wannabe Philosopher, and someone who studied in the Technion in
the vain hope of becoming an Electrical Engineer”. He does not consider himself
a sane person, but is quite certain that only makes him more interesting.
</p>

</blockquote>

<p>
And:
</p>

<pre>
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  rindolf: you are seriously the craziest fucker I know
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  and I know some crazy ass people
  &lt;mofino&gt;  haha
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: I am crazy. And proud of it.
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  rindolf: you should be
  &lt;mofino&gt;  haha
  &lt;mofino&gt;  Ahh man
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: being crazy is hard work. I worked all my life to be
            crazy.
  &lt;mofino&gt;  Normal people aren’t fun.
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: “Craziness is not an action. It’s a process.”
  &lt;mofino&gt;  heh
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  rindolf: I see
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  You need to tend to your insanity.
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: do you want to be crazy?
  &lt;tyler-&gt;  rindolf: that’s why I feed my leprechaun at least once a
            day.
 &lt;rindolf&gt;  tyler-: I can teach you everything I know.
</pre>

<p>
(and “Ask not what your insanity can do for you - ask what you can do for
your insanity.”)
</p>

<p>
My opinions are subject to change - they have changed in the past, and it’s
likely they will change again. Furthermore, reality is dynamic, and
Ethics, philosophy and opinions change with time, as technology, culture
and education progresses.
</p>

<h3 id="irc_part_message">What is the origin of your IRC part
message (“Yay! I’m a Llama again!”)?</h3>

<p>
It’s a quote from the Disney Animated film
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor's_New_Groove"><i>The
Emperor’s New Groove</i></a>, which is otherwise highly recommended.
</p>

<h3 id="obscure_email_addr">Why don’t you obscure/hide your email address?
People can spam you.</h3>

<p>
First of all, in this day and age, it’s unlikely that the spammers <b>will
not find</b> my email address. That’s because they also install a lot of
malware on vulnerable computers to harvest email addresses from. Since I can’t
refrain from sending email to Windows users, and would rather not, I can never
prevent spam entirely.
</p>

<p>
I deal with spam by filtering it on the client side. I’m using
<a href="$(ROOT)/open-source/favourite/#spamassassin">SpamAssassin</a>
to filter my email and so far it’s doing a very good job. Some spam still
arrives at my inbox, but otherwise very little. There are
<a href="http://freecode.com/articles/view/964/">several other open-source
spam filters</a> (and some non-open-source solutions), which you may wish
to look at. <a href="http://gmail.com/">GMail</a> and other webmail
services also do a good job in filtering spam (regardless of
<a href="http://shlomif.livejournal.com/46955.html">their other faults</a>).
</p>

<p>
All of that put aside, I think that having a convenient “mailto:” link
is recommended because people don’t need to go through inconvenient
hoops to send you an email. I love receiving (good) email about my site,
and I’d rather not throw the baby along with the water, just because spammers
may have an easier time harvesting (my already public) email address.
</p>

<p>
For more information, see
<a href="http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.717364.8">my
post to the “Joel on Software” forum</a> about
“Email at the bottom of every page”.
</p>

<h3 id="xhtml_11">Why are you using XHTML 1.1 for many pages on your site
while serving them as “text/html”?</h3>

<p>
I feel that validating against an XHTML schema makes my code cleaner and less
buggy, because I need to have closing tags, as well as use a trailing “/” for
standalone tags, etc. I also find the additional XHTML 1.1 restrictions
to be a good idea.
</p>

<p>
Therefore I decided to make XHTML 1.1 the default doctype for the pages
on my site. The reason I’m serving them as <tt>text/html</tt> is because
<a href="$(ROOT)/no-ie/">Microsoft Internet Explorer</a> does not handle
<tt>application/xml+xhtml</tt> properly, and I’d rather not needlessly
discriminate against people who still use it (possibly against their
will).
</p>

<p>
I realise that it stands against the XHTML standard, but I’m not a standards
purist, and want to be a bit pragmatic in still supporting Explorer.
Note that some pages in the <a href="$(ROOT)/MathVentures/">Math-Ventures
section</a> end with the <tt>.xhtml</tt> suffix and are served as XHTML
because they contain <a href="http://www.w3.org/Math/">MathML</a>.
</p>

<h3 id="evilphish-emblem">What can you tell about the Fish Emblem on the top-left corner?</h3>

<p>
This is <a href="http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030803">EvilPHish</a>
from
<a href="http://userfriendly.org/">the comics’ strip UserFriendly.org by
Iliad</a>. I was a big fan of UserFriendly.org when EvilPHish was featured
there, and it was so me, so I decided to make it my emblem. After downloading
the big version of the comic, and tempering with it a little with
<a href="http://www.gimp.org/">GIMP (= the GNU Image Manipulation
Program)</a>, I was able to produce a transparent PNG file that I could use.
</p>

<p>
After a while, I realised that most people recognised this emblem and
associated it with me (in part because my last name is Fish) and decided
to standardise on it everywhere, and so I did. Note that the image is still
copyrighted by Mr. Iliad, but I hope its use is OK.
</p>

<p>
Note that as a child and a teenager, I’ve been a bit frustrated by my last
name being Fish, and was often teased for it. But I feel OK about it now,
and it’s good that people can associate my last name with something
they are familiar with, and with a memorable emblem such as EvilPHish.
</p>

<h3 id="computers-specs">What are your Computers’ Specifications?</h3>

<p>
My primary machine is a desktop machine with a:
</p>

<ul>

<li>
An Intel Core i3 CPU (x86-64).
</li>

<li>
8 GB of RAM.
</li>

<li>
Intel Corporation Sandy Bridge Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
</li>

<li>
A 2 TB hard-disk.
</li>

<li>
A 19״ LCD Screen by ViewSonic.
</li>

<li>
Intel Corporation Cougar Point High Definition Audio Controller.
</li>

<li>
Intel Corporation 82579V Gigabit Network Connection.
</li>

</ul>

<p>
I’m running <a href="http://www.mageia.org/">Mageia Linux</a> on it. This
desktop computer replaced my older computer which was a:
</p>

<ul>

<li>
Pentium 4, 2.4 GHz CPU.
</li>

<li>
2.5 GB of RAM.
</li>

<li>
An ATI Radeon HD 2600 card.
</li>

<li>
One 160 GB Hard-disk and two smaller ones of 80 GB or so.
</li>

<li>
A 19״ LCD Screen by ViewSonic.
</li>

<li>
A standard built-in AC’97 sound-card.
</li>
</ul>

<p>
I’m using mostly
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_and_open_source_software">Free
and Open Source Software</a> (FOSS) on it, and try not to depend on
non-FOSS software. I explained
<a href="http://better-scm.shlomifish.org/docs/shlomif-evolution.html">the reason
I no longer trust non-FOSS software</a> on the
<a href="http://better-scm.shlomifish.org/">Better-SCM initiative site</a>.
</p>

<p>
I also have an Acer Aspire 5738DZG laptop with the following specs:
</p>

<ul>

<li>
Intel Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU       T4300  @ 2.10GHz. (x86-64).
</li>

<li>
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4570 (r700)
</li>

<li>
15.6״ 3D HD LCD Screen.
</li>

<li>
3 GB Memory
</li>

<li>
320 GB Hard Disk Drive.
</li>

<li>
“DVD Super Multi DL drive”
</li>

<li>
Acer Nplify™ 802.11b/g/n.
</li>

</ul>

<p>
This dual-boots between Windows 7 Home something and Mageia Linux
(which is what I’m using most of the time.).
</p>

<h3 id="programming_languages">Which Programming Language did you start with? Which programming languages do you know now?</h3>

<p>
When I was in the 4th grade (back around 1987), my father bought my family
a PC XT machine, with 640 KB of memory, and a colour CGA screen. Using this, my
friends and I started learning how to program, first using the BASIC
interpreter that was installed on the BIOS and was invoked if you didn’t put a
diskette inside, and then using some of the BASIC variants that ran on DOS such
as BASIC.COM, GWBASIC and BASICA. So for better or for worse, BASIC was my
first language.
</p>

<p>
I’ve neglected programming for a long while and just played games on the
computer, and possibly did some work on it. However, I returned to programming
when I was in the 9th grade, this time on a 386 SX with
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QBasic">QBasic</a> which came with
some later versions of DOS, and later on with
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbo_C%2B%2B">Borland Turbo C++</a>
3.0 (which sported a much more primitive variant of C++ compared to today’s
flavours). Despite knowing C and C/C++, I still found QBasic of use, due to
my ability to rapidly develop code in it (what Larry Wall later called
“whipuptitude” in some of his talks.). I also may have dabbled with Excel’s
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Basic_for_Applications">Visual
Basic for Applications (VBA)</a> before I graduated from high school, and
during my 10th grade, I learned some Pascal using Microsoft QuickPascal on
DOS.
</p>

<p>
After I graduated from high school, I worked at three firms. In some of them
I've done C or C++ development on Windows, but I also studied some SQL, and
became familiar with some
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix">UNIX</a> flavours
and with <a href="http://perl-begin.org/">Perl 5</a> and the UNIX shells. UNIX
has been an epiphany for me: until then I used DOS and Windows, and considered
them bad, but did not know what a good system is. UNIX was the first genuinely
good system that I have encountered. I also fell in love with Perl, and it
became my favourite language.
</p>

<p>
By the time I started studying the Technion, I had a relatively early
distribution of
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux">Linux</a> installed on my
computer, and started playing with various languages available there.
</p>

<p>
You can find a list of languages that I currently know on
<a href="$(ROOT)/SFresume.html">my résumé</a>.
</p>

<h2 id="foss">About Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)</h2>

<h3 id="how_to_become_hacker">How can I become an open-source contributor?</h3>

<p>
See
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/computers/open-source/how-to-start-contributing/">what I wrote</a> about it on my homepage. I’m giving instructions there.
You may also wish to read my
<a href="$(ROOT)/philosophy/philosophy/advice-for-the-young/">“Advice
for the Young”</a> essay.
</p>

<h2 id="political_correctness">Political Correctness (or Lack of it)</h2>

<h3 id="pc_rating">What is the Approximate Maturity Rating of this Site?</h3>

<p>
Most of it should be either U (Universal) or PG-Something (Parent Guidance).
I’m not a blatantly pornographic person.
</p>

<h3 id="pc_girl">Why are you using the terms “girl”, “chick”, etc.?</h3>

<p>
I’m using the term “girl” for lack of a better term for “a female guy”. I was
told that some feminazis consider it derogatory, but until a better word
emerges, that’s what I’m going to use. (And I don’t find it particularly
derogatory).
</p>

<h3 id="pc_nazi">Why are you using the term “nazi” to refer to people
who are “needlessly strict”?</h3>

<p>
Because it is an acceptable use for such a word. You can find the
fallout from one of my uses of it
<a href="http://linmagazine.co.il/node/view/9351">on
this linmagazine.co.il page (in Hebrew)</a>
(“And what does it have to do with anything? Did Hitler use Linux?”). I
didn’t stop using the word “nazi” afterwards.
</p>

<p>
Many people treat the Nazis/Hitler/Holocaust/World War II issue
with too much “holiness”.
</p>

<h4 id="pc_nazi_writings">Why do you mention Hitler, Nazis, etc. in some of
Your Writings?</h4>

<p>
I found it suitable to use it for them, so I did. For the record, my
grandfather lost most of his family during the Holocaust, and so I cannot
be accused of misusing such facts. Steven Spielberg whose parents
are Jewish Holocaust survivors, also featured the Nazis or Hitler in many
films (notably the Indiana Jones trilogy), so if a fire has caught the
Firs…
</p>

<h3 id="pc_porn">What do you think about Porn?</h3>

<p>
Every person has an inalienable right to expose his or her body in private,
and to allow people to photograph it, paint it, describe it, etc. Sexual
activity is also similarly acceptable. Claiming that porn should be illegal
or illegitimate undermines both the right of free speech, and the right of
a man or a woman to their body.
</p>

<p>
Furthermore, the artwork that a person decides to enjoy in his free time, is of
no concern to the Peace and Justice in a Liberal country, and should not be
enforced. Only when a person is influenced from such artwork in his everyday
actions, then he may be prosecuted.
</p>

<p>
Nevertheless, I find most porn disgusting and disturbing, but still think
one should be allowed to produce it, distribute it, and experience it. Some
of the greatest artists in history produced pornographic or erotic artworks.
</p>

<h4 id="pc_porn_links">Are there any Links to Porn on your Site?</h4>

<p>
There may be some links to soft porn, etc. Or to individual pornographic
pages that illustrate a certain point.
</p>