Ancient Geek History

Those of you who know my older (now inactive) blog also know that I’m a Linux Jingoist. I like Linux because it gives me a clean, reliable, and superior user interface (I use Gnome most of the time) but also allows me to play with ancient, deeply embedded UNIX Mojo whenever I feel like it.

One of the early developments on old Unix systems was the “Calendar File” which was manipulated and accessed with the command: calendar. If you go to a terminal prompt in Linux and type in the word, you get a listing of historical events people have entered for today and tomorrow. On some systems, if it is Friday, you get Friday and Monday.

You can use this calendar instead of, say Microsoft Outlook if you can figure out how to enter dates for stuff you want to do. I’m still working on that.

Anyway….

… here is what I get for today:

Nov 06
Green March Day in Morocco
Nov 06
Bonne fête aux Bertille !
Nov 06
Aujourd’hui, c’est la St(e) Léonard.
Nov 06
N’oubliez pas les Winnoc !
Nov 06
Reichstagswahl: Rückgang der NSDAP, 1932
Nov 06
Melbourne Cup (Vic)
Nov 07
Abolitionist newspaperman Elijah P. Lovejoy murdered by mob, 1837
Nov 07
Lewis and Clark Expedition in sight of the Pacific Ocean, 1805
Nov 07
Anniversary of Great October Revolution in Bulgaria
Nov 07
October Revolution Day in Hungary
Nov 07
Joni Mitchell (Roberta Joan Anderson) is born in Alberta, Canada, 1943
Nov 07
Bonne fête aux Carine !
Nov 07
Aujourd’hui, c’est la St(e) Karine.
Nov 07
N’oubliez pas les Ernest !
Nov 07
Bonne fête aux Ernst !
Nov 07
Aujourd’hui, c’est la St(e) Willibrord.
Nov 07
Oktoberrevolution in Rußland, Putsch der Bolschewisten, 1917
Nov 07
День примирения и согласия
Nov 07
Día del Canillita

This is certainly going to increase my Google hit rate from France and Russia.

Notice also that the format of this listing uses the HTML/CSS method of “Definition List,” a very underutilized method of formatting text on web sites. If you are using Firefox Web Browser, you can hit “CTRL-U” to see the code that makes this work.

I’m playing with the CSS Style Sheet for my definition lists. So if it is now close to 9:10 AM Central Time, and you keep reloading this page, you may notice the format change. The software Science Blog uses to compose posts does not give an adequate preview of what the post looks like, and the method I would normally use off-line to do that does not yet work up here at the lake.

So, if you are a geek you already know all this stuff, but if you are only a semi-geek, or a half-baked geek, like me, you can have some fun playing with the calendar command (oh, try “cal” as well) and with the definition list formating!

Comments

  1. #1 Ahcuah
    November 6, 2007

    OK, I’m an old Unix guy (used to work in Bell Labs, when that meant something), but at this point I can only afford Windows (because I have to share machines with my family, etc..).

    I found old calendar source code, set myself up to run djgpp in a command window, compiled the source code, and get my calendar fix every day. I use vim to enter stuff.

  2. #2 greg laden
    November 7, 2007

    Ahcuah:

    Your family can’t afford to not switch to Linux!

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