Robert L. Frazier ( www.rlfrazier.org )

Computing

Welcome to the home of area for all things having to do with computing.

Information about this site.

From 1995 until November 2014, I hosted this site on a server in my office (kant1.chch.ox.ac.uk). Because of changes to the college’s network, resulting in the demise of my segment section of the network, this is no longer possible. Consequently, I’ve moved it to a commercial hosting service ( UK2.net ), and the address/URL has changed to www.rlfrazier.org.

I create the site locally and just copy it to the hosting server. I test it by running a local only website using lighttpd, which is the webserver I used before the switch.

Software used for creating the site.

The Debian distribution of Linux is my operating system of choice. I've been using Linux since 1993 and Debian since 1994. The choice to stick with Debian is becoming more difficult as a result of the move from sysVinit to systemd. Perhaps more on that later.

Vim is the editor that I use.

For relatively simple documents and pages, I just mark them up in HTML. For more complicated documents, such as reading lists containing lots of references, I first mark them up in LaTeX, and convert them from that (one source, many formats).

To convert LaTeX documents to PDF documents, I use pdftex.
To convert LaTeX documents to HTML documents, I use tex4ht.
To convert HTML documents to EPUB documents, I use ebook-convert, which is part of the Calibre suite of ebook management tools.

All of the conversions are automated, of course.

The gimp is used for most graphics manipulation.

Website generation.

For quite some time I used various Content Management Sysytems (CMS), but these were overly complicated and resource intensive. Over time, I've become much less interested in what is new and cool, rather than what is best for the job in hand. So, I've greatly simplified things by using webgen, which generates static webpages using templates.

Most of the site is HTML5, but not all. I make heavy use of CSS for display related things, especially in my attempt to make the website fully usable on displays of various sizes, such as you find in desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. This is called "Responsive Web Design".

The display system for photographs is lightbox by Lokesh Dhakar

Some operating systems

GNU/Linux There are dozens of linux distributions. Here are some.

FreeBSD is targeted at IBM PC compatibles.

OpenBSD focuses on security.

NetBSD is designed to run on as wide a variety of hardware as possible. It can probably run on a toaster.

Plan 9 is .... Well, I'm not sure. It is either a manifestation of madness or an operating system way ahead of its time. It is hard to tell.

Minix is a very small unix like operating system written by Andrew Tanenbaum.