$ tar zxvf ghostpcl-9.07-linux-x86.tgz
$ cd ghostpcl-9.07-linux-x86
$ ./pcl6-907-linux_x86 <file you downloaded>
pcl6 -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=out.pdf infile
EDIT: Updated all the way to the most recent. This is crazy that it's still going...
EDIT: nvm, someone else did already. no need to repeat!
If that link doesn't work, then use http://why.attendance.hypeno.de or http://why.dev.brightswipe.com/
either way, when they are all done, i'll compile them all together into a pdf and post that so it's easy to read through. like a little book : )
For grabbing / building the files.
It's quite magical. I was woken up this morning by my printer, when the first pages were being published. Now every 5, 10, or 15 minutes my printer starts clanking away (it's an old one) and a brand new page slowly emerges. Great way to read a novel, if that's what it is.
I realized recently that my tries to stay or become more anonymous on the web didn't really have the ideological reasons I thought it had. I thought it was all about internet privacy rights and avoiding the inevitable creep of privacy loss; once your data is out it is unerasable.
I found out that my interest in internet privacy varied wildly with how depressed I was during that period. That when I'm clear I don't really care about it.
But when I'm depressed I wish that my every contribution on the web of forums, github, etc was disconnected and anonymized. Commenting without committing your identity to it, seeking praise (github stars) without a face..
In truth, most of my motivation to disconnect my online identities is just an echo of my unwillingness to be one, whole, person; unwillingness to be me.
I would say that regardless of mood, it's still a worthwhile pursuit. Because to sometimes be unwilling to be one, whole, person is essential to finding who you are, eventually.
Once you have found who you are, you are less likely to see changing who you are as a top priority - granted that you like who you are. But it most likely took a lot of time to be who you are and during that time, it would have screwed you forever to be forced to stay who you were. Which is, I guess, why young people care about privacy. And who is to say that you will always like who you are? Which is probably why old people care about privacy.
Becoming a person in the first place has a lot to do with trying out traits or persons. I don't think Depression is necessarily a cause (although it may be) for pursuing privacy about that search, maybe it's just a symptom - that not being whole is depressing and thus searching for yourself deserves privacy. To protect your unfinished person to be finished by the outside world.
But it's also about the pressure we put on ourselves. Merlin Mann said somewhere that Procrastination is forgetting who you are for a certain period of time. I initially thought that that was an entirely negative statement. It just now occurred to me that it can be a positive statement as well. And that being depressed about not "getting things done" is entirely useless, because you're basically punishing yourself for trying harder to find out who you are (instead of finishing stuff that who you were cared about). Which stunts your development and leaves you more likely to procrastinate, kicking you back into a cycle of self loathing.
I sincerely hope I'm wrong but this whole thing reads like a suicide letter. I'm wondering if anyone else has had that thought while reading it? Perhaps it's about the death of the _why character; however, given the seemingly personal nature of so much of the writing I can't shake the thought that there may be a very real person in real trouble behind these writings and there's a whole community completely missing that piece of the puzzle.
(08/13/2009 03:36:54 PM) twitter.com: _why: i thought that RIP was strictly for cremation.
(08/17/2009 10:22:45 AM) twitter.com: _why: burying myself feet first in the woods with the hope that this will lead to a career as a much beloved and sought after mouth-under-a-rock.
(08/18/2009 12:16:43 PM) twitter.com: _why: programming is rather thankless. you see your works become replaced by superior works in a year. unable to run at all in a few more.
(08/18/2009 12:32:21 PM) twitter.com: _why: if you program and want any longevity to your work, make a game. all else recycles, but people rewrite architectures to keep games alive.
(08/18/2009 01:17:43 PM) twitter.com: _why: ahh i’m just so totally suspicious of anyone who claims to love progress but stridently defends the status quo!!
(08/18/2009 01:55:00 PM) twitter.com: _why: kafka would be a lot harder to get into if the trial only ran on a power pc.
(08/18/2009 07:50:07 PM) twitter.com: _why: nailing a small ornate gold shelf at arm’s height above the bed for my cat to sit on. i give you: norton’s perch.
(08/18/2009 07:54:20 PM) twitter.com: _why: i should probably have little teeny shelves all leading up to it. with their own miniature portraits or doll banisters or something.
(08/18/2009 08:06:21 PM) twitter.com: _why: an ascending homage to fish bones. culminating in a delicate canopy of mouse furs.
HN is not for this kind of stuff and it should be flagged. Tech news; not personal drama.
Also worth nothing- Jonathan Gillette never vanished into thin air. _why was just his made up character. Like kermit the frog.
"A hacker is someone who loves to program or who enjoys playful cleverness, or a combination of the two. The act of engaging in activities (such as programming or other media) in a spirit of playfulness and exploration is termed hacking."
What _why is doing definitely fits that definition.
There's nothing I've done that could command such attention. I suspect the same might be true for you.
Yes, but knowing full well that they would be read and discussed and linked by thousands of people.
That's the whole point on doing it on his website -- ie on a publication medium. If he did it on his hard drive, nobody would have noticed.
That said, why nobody worries that those sounds like the texts of a depressed man, maybe even someone about to do something D.F Wallace style?
Everybody merely assume this is just playful clues to some cool new project, while they don't read that way to me.
"Also, is it too late to be real?"
"she did a feature on individuals who had left society and, in the process, had eliminated every trace of themselves."
"Maybe it's me. I'm a relic which is already out of his time in the present age. Maybe I am what is holding things back, maybe I am already not of any relevance. Good things to consider."
"That's a lot, but I think he could have doone it, even alone, even with tuberculosis. Imagine Kafka's fiendish little face rubbing his hands over that fire! Seems fun. Or he could have hidden it inside an old 32-bit PowerPC. No one's going to look there. Just goes to show that you can't trust people who aren't you. Of course he didn't want them burned. That was just Kafka, writing his own death. The ending has his signature on it. Reality's kind of a medium, maybe greater than paper."
People care enough about half life and portal that their cryptic games are part of the fun. The same goes for _why. It isn't cocky, perhaps there are many people doing it right now, and none of us know because no one is paying attention to them.
But we value _why. You may not, that's your judgement to make.
The guidelines on HN are frequently ignored but in this case I think it might "gratifies one's intellectual curiosity" even in just the way it's been released and encoded.
In contrast, the Boston news was huge on here the other day yet ran against the "if they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic" suggestion and the "stories about crime" guideline, but much of HN's flavor, like it or not, lies in what actually makes it to the front page rather than what is strictly valid HN content.
Or, perhaps I give him a pass for whatever he does, because I enjoy his personality. In any case, it doesn't seem to me that such vitriol is necessary toward another human being, and fellow hacker. If you find him so annoying, why are you paying so much attention?
Whether it's deserved or not, the drama and idolization the Ruby community tends to exhibit can get kind of annoying to others.
I don't think that anyone would really object to discussion of _who, or Zed, or DHH, or whatever the current drama-of-the-day is, as long as it's done within a Ruby-specific mailing list, IRC channel, conference or other locale.
However, once this starts spilling over into more general discussion forums, it can be seen as disruptive and out-of-place by some.
steveklabnik found user thdvl whose is a contributor to http://github.com/cwales/cwales.github.com (the source for whytheluckystiff.net). thdvl's repository http://github.com/thdvl/shore has this eerie little gem.
Edit: Notice the pronunciation of that domain: "The Devil"
"What progress, you ask, have I made? …
I have begun to be a friend to myself."
A github user thdvl (likely _why) communicating with another github user cwales (also likely _why) saying he's begun to be a friend to himself. Is _why coming to be at peace with himself? So many ways to interpret this art :)
watch the fire on the other side of the river, basically it means it's not my problem so LOL
(totally sfw, by the way)
(edit: except for everything else on that domain)
And I find my heart suffused with joy, for @_why has returned to us:
An improvement to the world that I was not expecting this morning. Huzzah.
Such a kind thing, to provide the warmth of culture, in this cold, cold place. I'm warmed to the bone by this.
For example when he released the book "why's poignant guide to ruby" (http://mislav.uniqpath.com/poignant-guide/) teaching the Ruby programming language, he released a soundtrack with it as well! Here's my favourite song from that: https://soundcloud.com/wondible/chapter-2-this-book-is-made
Hopefully the primer I'm writing will help for those new to the person that is Why the Lucky Stiff.
A lot of his Ruby code was fuckin' genius, too.
I'll be uploading PDFs of the files as they come in here: http://www.scribd.com/collections/4230081/-why-s-print-spool
Nice to have you back, _why. We missed you :)
Dr. Pestus, good afternoon,
I am a fellow, a professor of sorts, who is doing work under an anonymous guise and I have just finished reading your book "Kill Yourself! The Terrible Things People Say and Do When They Aren't Themselves." Now, before you start to usher a reply, I am not writing to disagree with you.
My complaint is that my real name is very plain and I prefer to have a fictional one. You don't seem to suffer this problem, since your real name is quite fictional-sounding on its own.
I do realize that having a fictional name makes me a bad person, but how bad of a person does it make me? Please rate on the scale of John Q. Public to Mister X.
Also, is it too late to be real?
His reply came in a few days:
Yes, it's true! I know your real name! I asked a few of my experts to trace back the little e-mail you sent and it lined up with the coordinates of one Pirate O's General Store in Draper, Utah. It seems that you composed the e-mail while you were plugged into their connection, enjoying a Sangria Senorial it seems. A quick call to store owner Chase McGuinn sorted all of this out. Now
Many, many years ago, so long ago that it's a real stretch to find anyone else who can remember this, on the old Oprah show, she did a feature on individuals who had left society and, in the process, had eliminated every trace of themselves. She had like three or four guests up on stage, if I recall correctly, and they had all gone back and diligently destroyed every little bit of information previously known about them. Burning birth certificates and ID cards, canceling bank accounts. Stealing photos out of family member's albums and destroying them. They had hired hackers to break into schools and erase their records. In fact, each of these persons had done such a bang-up job that all that was know about each of them was their social security numbers. (Although Oprah's researchers were unable to say which social belonged to which person; these numbers were only know because of the noticeable gaps that were left in the government's records.) On the program, these people sat in the dark, nameless and unsorted. No one know who the were.
The audience laughed, female laughter. Incidentally, the videotape of this program can be seen at http://youtube.com/watch?v=ShpcjWG_Me0. (I don't know if it is proper to
dump a YouTube address here. It feels like I have maybe just gone ahead and ruined what I am writing by doing that. Has all of this writing lost its timelessness, to have this relic here? But maybe this link will never break, maybe it will stay there for all time. Maybe it's me. I'm a relic which is already out of his time in the present age. Maybe I am what is holding things back, maybe I am already not of any relevance. Good things to consider.)
Allow me to leave the jerktoasters on Oprah's darkened stage while I drop a name. Any of you happened to read the work of Dr. Emery Pestus? I can't go on with this story until you've read him, he's a big name in -nymity. Knows everything about it. Naturally, he goes on about all the things you know already: that anonymity obscures the truth, that it opens a vent for hatred, basically that it turns people into vile and slanderous beasts. But too often we let disguised persons slide when it comes to little poems or donations.
On that point of Anonymous donations, he writes:
Where one sees Anonymous etched, one witnesses the spoil of all the other names etched on the stone beneath it. In many cases, the gift of each part is the same, but the gift or Anonymous seems somehow the more virtuous. This lie speaks to the cynicism of our time! Where is the real man in all of this? Where has he hidden? We hate the man who is good and who is himself.
Edit: corrected YouTube link.
Edit: ...probably not, other video ids ending with a zero show the same behavior (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtKZKl7Bgu0)
I've tried to google for "Jerktoaster", but there's only 5 links, non of them relevent.
Turns out this is where he refers to in the /SPOOL/ELEVENTH file
curl whytheluckystiff.net | grep SPOOL | cut -f1 | cut -d/ -f2 | while read line; do wget http://whytheluckystiff.net/SPOOL/$line && pcl6 -o $line.pdf -sDEVICE=pdfwrite $line; done
Once a year, I take a month & I read everything I can by one author.
This year I read 4 books by Thomas Bernhard in one month.
And the year before that, it was everything by Denton Welch in one month.
But - in 2009 - see, this was very very dangerous - I read everything by Franz Kafka in one month.
I started with "Amerika."
It was August.
I read The Castle.
I read The Trial.
I read all the short stories.
I read The Stoker, even though it's (verbatim) the 1st chapter of Amerika - because I really enjoyed Amerika.
I read all the deleted stuff.
All the Blue Octavo notebooks.
The Burrows and so on.
I skimped on the letters.
(Don't care who he was outside of his own imagination.)
And when I was finished, I felt done.
It went quick.
I finished early.
I was done.
I was decimated.
To program any more was pointless.
My programs would never live as long as the trial.
Hadn't he told Max Brod to destroy all of those books?
He had sad to burn them, my friend, to burn these books.
But look, here was Amerika, thoroughly reconstructed.
And yet completely unfinished, in my hands.
What if Amerika was only written for 32-bit PowerPC?
Can an unfinished program be reconstructed??
Can I write a program and go, "Ah, well, you get the gist of it."
If The Trial was written for 32-bit PowerPC, Max Brod wouldn't have to burn them! He would just be like, "How do I even get this thing off the hard drive?"
It wasn't written for 32-bit PowerPC.
It was written for eyes.
At the end of Amerika, we don't even know how Karl gets to Oklahoma.
Who cares - he's in Amerika and he goes to Oklahoma.
In that last chapter, they say, "Does everyone have their identification papers?"
And a woman pulls a large bundle of papers out of her baby carriage - her perambulator - and raises them.
Karl has no papers, he simply raises his hand.
This is good enough, so they let him by.
What if he had not told Max Brod to burn them?
What if he had just not said anything to Max Brod except, "thanks a lot," and, "A fond farewell to you!"
In fact, seems weird he didn't burn them himself.
Tuberculosis doesn't stop you from burning paper, right?
A thousand pages.
Two thousand pages.
Maybe three thousand pages.
That's a lot, but I think he could have doone it, even alone, even with tuberculosis.
Imagine Kafka's fiendish little face rubbing his hands over that fire!
Or he could have hidden it inside an old 32-bit PowerPC.
No one's going to look there.
Just goes to show that you can't trust people who aren't you.
Of course he didn't want them burned.
That was just Kafka, writing his own death.
The ending has his signature on it.
Reality's kind of a medium, maybe greater than paper.
We all want life to have the same texture that we read about in novels.
Promise me you'll never read all 3 Kafka novels in a month.
A computer will never live as long as the The Trial.
He had [said] to burn them, my friend, to burn these books.
[This] was just Kafka, writing his own death.
[This] ending has his signature on it.
Useful to have the specific confirmation. I've edited my comment so it's now clearer, but I guess the downvote will persist and the comment will sink. <fx shrug /> Never mind.
My mirror's at http://thomas.fach-pedersen.net/SPOOL/ has all the documents in PCL, PDF, and properly oriented PNGs if you're tired of turning your monitor upside down :)
I made an imgur album of the PNGs too: http://imgur.com/a/dJpuG
 SPOOL/TORN http://imgur.com/jMi4TiZ
 SPOOL/AMANDA: http://imgur.com/9Gh4mRs
 SPOOL/REVERSE: http://imgur.com/keddF4h
Whatever the reason, I'm enjoying the ride!
I don't really know much about _why nor the Ruby community.
On the Mac PCLtoPDF does a really nice job http://www.columbia.edu/~em36/pcltopdf.html