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Welcome to Nerdvana

When I first got into engineering, we used to do our mathematics by rubbing sticks together. Now the slide rule is as hard to find as these obsolete computers. At one time or another I have owned or used many of these "classic" machines.

Now you can buy powerful computers at the local discount store. Useful information about how to use the machines, is harder to find. The bookstore is helpful, but there are a few good on-line places to shop for information.

  • Walnut Creek CD-ROM publishes a large collection of software that emphasizes share ware, public domain software, and GNU software.
  • InfoMagic is another CD-ROM publisher dear to the hearts of geeks.
  • Educorp has a more commercial mix in the CD-ROMS that it offers for sale.
  • O'Reilly and Associates books are inextricably bound to show up on the desks of computer geeks.
  • Specialized Systems Consultants publish a number of useful reference cards for Un*x software.
  • Also, in these turbulent times, the average Geek may be shopping for something more than software.
    • The Online Career Center is one place to start looking for job leads.
    • Career Path is another useful link to current job openings advertised in several newspapers across the United States.

There are several other freee sources of information useful to the average Geek. Once you check out the following, you will know what you might want to shop for at the sites above.

  • The EFF may be able to help when you really mess up and the Secret Service shows up to grab your computer.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory has an extensive numerical software archive.
  • The GAMS: Guide to Available Mathematical Software listing is maintained by The National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • OS/2 is the workhorse operating system on my home computer. There is a wary truce between it and (Braak Phppt!) Windoze 95.
  • S.u.S.E. Linux is my current choice for a Un*x clone on my second hard disk. I have also been a long time user of Caldera Open Linux. Caldera has released products that are based on the Red Hat Linux distribution and the LST Linux distribution. I am currently trying out the Debian distribution on my secondary machine. Also, Walnut Creek CD-ROM is the source for the Slackware distribution of Linux.
  • FreeBSD is the other Un*x clone that I currently run on an older Cyrix 5x86 machine. One of these days, RSN, I will get network cards installed and configured for my own home network. After all, no Geek household is properly furnished until the LAN is installed.
  • FORTRAN resources for Linux make the free Un*x clone a worthwhile development platform for scientific work.
  • SAL -- Scientific Applications on Linux is a list of useful resources maintained by Kachina Technologies.
  • FORTH is a programming environment for a virtual stack machine. It is a good way to get the most out of a limited machine. The 8080 assembler that I wrote for my S-100 machine was only two pages long.

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HTML 4.0 Checked! Last revised on September 14, 1998
Gregory W. Smith (WD9GAY)
To comment, please email gsmith@well.com
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