Patrick McFarland's articles

From XMMS to Audacious: the history of a Winamp clone

One of the most used functions on any modern computer is the ability to play back music. From the first beeps and bloops in arcade machines, to the AdLib and the first Sound Blasters in home PCs, to the monstrosity of the 51 million transistor Sound Blaster X-Fi, people have listened and continue to listen to music on computers.

Back in 1997, someone finally decided to write a usable music player for GNU/Linux: X11Amp, now known as XMMS.

Inside the mind of the enemy: the community

A few years back, Eric S. Raymond (or, as everyone else calls him, ESR), wrote a lengthy paper about this community. Entitled The Cathedral and the Bazaar, he wrote about how the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) community does what it wants when it wants to.

I don't think he was entirely wrong; I just don't think he was entirely right, either.

Inside the mind of the enemy: the business analyst

For those who don't interact with the business world, there are a classification of middle management assistants called the 'business analyst'. These analysts help middle management hobble along, either directly or through some widely read newspaper or magazine or website by telling bosses what the future of their industry is. They are our enemy.

They predict the future through a combination of careful wording, stating the obvious in an interesting way, voodoo magic, and rubber chickens. Most people don't take stock into what most business analysts say, but the atypical pointy haired boss will buy right into what they say.

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