Thoughts on “convergence” in platforms

tl;dr: Convergence is a “white elephant” that platforms chase, only to realize there is little appeal. If it’s not a lark, it puts everything else at stake.

One of the biggest buzzwords is “convergence” – the idea that with some additional cables or gadgets, you can turn your smartphone into a laptop. Platform makers have been targeting such a thing for years, pouring millions and changing platforms for it. Yet after all of this investment, there has been very little buy-in from consumers. Why is this?

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Dealing with the vending machine achievement in Control

I was trying to get the last achievement in Control; killing four of the possessed vending machines that drop loot. Unfortunately, it seems that if you die while one is active, they never seem to respawn again. Even worse, the only way to unbreak this is to use the mission select and take you back to the Endgame chapter, which is after you’ve completed the main campaign. Note that said chapter will have your last progress of the AWE DLC; if you’ve had the issue at Endgame, you’ll need to roll back to an even earlier chapter. For me, I had beat AWE at Endgame, but the vending machines were still untouched.

You’ll lose progress, so make a backup of your saves. I found them in this directory (Steam version, on Linux):

~/.local/share/Steam/userdata/<Steam User ID Here>/870780

After you do what you needed to do, you should be able to roll back to your original saved game and get your progress back. I was able to do this and now I’ve got 100% achievement progress with my original saved game.

Adding a trusted certificate for FortiSSLVPN in NetworkManager

I needed to connect to a Fortinet SSLVPN, but the certificate on it had expired. While the official Mac client prompts and lets you connect anyways, Linux with NetworkManager (and the FortiSSLVPN plugin) would refuse without providing any messages. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ask the administrator to renew the certificate. What you can do is add the certificate as a trusted certificate for that VPN. Unfortunately, the interface to do this is unclear, so I’ll try to explain it here.

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Loose ideas for operating systems

This post has been copy-edited by doppler. Thanks!

Most research nerds either start writing Unix hagiographies or start stapling a 99-point thesis at the doors of Murray Hill. This is the latter kind of post; I’ll try to cover ideas for systems that could be meaningfully different from current systems. I’ve done a lot of research on existing concepts and existing systems, particularly those that could have been the future. Existing systems can be extrapolated into something new.

A lot of the ideas have been percolating in my head for a while now and are rough ideas for what could be. Perhaps I’ll iterate on them further, or realize there’s a reason no one was doing these before. The main idea is a place to start off, and it iterates from there. Treat it like a buffet of ideas; caveat emptor for people who don’t like musing.

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