• As mentioned in my survey of bolt-action pens, I decided to buy The Right Choice Painting Company’s bolt-action pen. Just as I was finishing that post, the pen arrived. Here’s my review!


    Specifically, I bought model 20 – "Titanium stone wash, groove grip, zircuti bolt handle, G2 refill, SS clip." Here’s what those qualifiers mean.

    • Titanium: There are also copper and brass models.
    • Stone wash: The pen body is tumbled around with stones to give it a (consistent) worn-in look, rather than being shiny. It’s the only option for finish on the bare titanium parts. If you get a Timascus (Damascus-style) tip, or a Timascus or zircuti bolt handle, I assume those parts are not stonewashed since you wouldn’t want to dull the fancy finish.
    • Groove grip: This is the only option; it means the rings near the tip that help you hold the pen.
    • Zircuti bolt handle: Plain titanium is the default, matching the pen body. Zircuti gives a patterned appearance; Timascus gives a patterned and colored appearance.
    • G2 refill: This is the size of the pen, and G2 is the longest, meant for Euro-style (e.g. Pilot G2) refills. The "Schmidt" size is for the slightly smaller Parker-sized refills, and "Mini" is for Pilot’s proprietary G2 Mini refills.
    • SS clip: The clip is stainless steel rather than titanium. Timascus clips and black cerakote-coated clips are also available.

    Materials and finish

    The stonewashed titanium finish is quite nice; I think it looks better than my poor photography can show. In their pictures, it looks almost gold, but it’s a normal silver color. The stainless steel clip matches it perfectly. I was considering other pens with black coatings, but this looks very professional and I’m confident it won’t easily show damage.

    The barrel is perfectly smooth, the tip rounds off nicely, and overall, I can’t see any defects. It’s certainly well-made. You can just barely see the line that separates the body from the tip (just above the ringed grip). Inside, you can see the threads and O-ring.

    The grip is a bunch of tightly packed rings cut around the circumference. This leads to a "zip" feel when your skin rubs against it, which I don’t care for. It does provide a good grip, though. You don’t feel it when you’re handling the pen body, because it doesn’t extend too far up, and you don’t feel it when you’re actually writing, because it’s held still – just when adjusting your grip.

    In future iterations, I hope they can offer different styles of grip. I’d love deeper grooves, spaced further apart.

    At the top of the pen is the slot for the bolt. There are no burrs, it’s not uncomfortable, but if you slide your thumb across it laterally, it catches your skin. In future iterations, I think it could use a bit of a chamfer or rounding so it’s totally smooth. This is the area you’ll be fidgeting with most, after the grip, so it deserves special attention.

    The slot has about 1mm of extra space side-to-side. Unfortunately, this means that the bolt handle jiggles around and makes noise if the pen is even slightly shaken. In future iterations, it’d be nice to have the slot width closer to the diameter of the bolt handle so this noise is lessened.

    Bolt action

    The reason we’re here! It’s very satisfying. The spring isn’t too loose or too tight, assuming you haven’t modified the length of your pen refill to the point of ruin. It won’t activate accidentally, and it doesn’t require too much effort to activate – just a pleasant motion.

    I can’t detect any grittiness in the movement. Some reviews of other pens called that out, and said they needed cleaning and lubrication before use, but I didn’t need to do that. I just feel the texture of metal on metal, and the tension of the spring.

    I like the appearance of the bolt handle. I chose the zircuti variant, and it’s not colored like some Damascus-like alloys; it looks more like a large-scale fingerprint or zebra stripes. It adds some visual distinction. I think their Timascus bolt is more blue.

    The bolt moves the right way for right-handed people! As I mentioned in my survey post, most have an "L" shape movement that requires your thumb to move back toward your palm, the direction in which you probably have less flexibility. This is "J" shaped, as I think it should be, and it feels good. Releasing the bolt only requires a straight lateral movement, so dexterity in that direction isn’t as important.

    I was curious whether the bolt would press against my leg when clipped into a pants pocket, or press against my chest when clipped into a shirt pocket. Nope! It sits at about a 15-20 degree angle when retracted, and apparently that’s enough; I couldn’t feel it when sitting or moving around.


    It’s a simple, sturdy clip made of stainless steel, perhaps slightly wider than average. As mentioned above, its appearance matches the titanium pen body perfectly.

    They also offer a black cerakote clip. I emailed them at the same time as my order and asked about it, since I couldn’t add it through the site. Unfortunately, I never heard back, but looking back on it, I think I’m just as happy with the steel. The bolt handle is distinction enough.

    The clip is fairly stiff. There’s a gap of about 0.5mm between the pen body and clip at rest, and I can only open it to about 2-2.5mm without straining. It clips easily onto pants and shirt pockets and feels safe there.

    If you want to clip the pen to a notebook, and the notebook’s cover is thin, the 0.5mm gap might not be enough to secure the pen. My Stalogy 365 notebook has a fairly thin cover – just some vinyl attached to one thicker sheet of paper – and the pen does slip off. I just clip in a few sheets of paper, too.

    In future iterations, it might be nice if the clip had no gap at rest and was slightly more flexible to compensate.

    Note: the pen came with instructions for removing or tightening the clip, which requires a 7/32 hex wrench. You have to remove the bolt assembly first, which it doesn’t explain how to do. I’m not sure why the clip would need tightening, as mine seems solid; I hope it doesn’t loosen over time.


    The sound is different than a standard retractable "clicker" pen because it’s asymmetric. Activating the bolt is rather quiet – quieter than a clicker pen. Your thumb is controlling the entire movement.

    Releasing the bolt is different, because the spring is pushing the metal bolt handle up against the pen body, and because there’s an air cushion above the bolt that’s pressed upward in the cavity. I quite like the "puff" sound of the retraction, but it is louder than a clicker pen.

    I sat playing with the pen for a while after receiving it, and the noise bothered my wife, but she’s sensitive to sharp noises like cracking knuckles, too. I don’t think it would be inappropriate to use in an office, but you shouldn’t sit and click it, just like you shouldn’t with any other retractable pen. (If you want to be quiet, you can hold your thumb on the bolt handle while retracting it.)

    Weight and balance

    I was looking for something heavier than a standard plastic retractable pen, but nothing that would weigh down my hand. I think this came out perfect. It weighs 24g, compared to 13g for an EnerGel RT, so not quite double. It just slightly presses down onto the paper for you, but doesn’t require any effort to hold upright. I think titanium was the right answer here. This won’t be true for everyone – my wife thought it was a bit too heavy.

    The balance isn’t perfect; it’s slightly top-heavy. I don’t think it affects writing, because the weight is just resting against your hand. It does make it harder to twirl in your hand, though.

    In future iterations, I would suggest they slightly narrow the clip, because it seems a bit wider than necessary, and removing some steel at the top could even out the balance. Or it could be made of titanium to reduce weight at the top.

    Pen refills and writing

    I wound up choosing this pen because of the price and because multiple reviewers said it fit my favorite Pentel EnerGel refills without trimming. Turns out… it doesn’t. I don’t know if they had a different refill or my pen was machined differently. With an EnerGel refill inside, you can’t press the bolt down far enough to lock it in place. I had a sad.

    I found an easy way to trim refills, though. I had previously used scissors and hated the process. The right answer is wire strippers. I have some Klein 11057 for electronics work, and they made it trivial to cut through my EnerGel refill because the slots for different gauges of wire hold the refill in place while you squeeze through. You can also use a craft knife, but it’d be trickier.

    Wire strippers.

    Just trim about 1mm off the top and an EnerGel fits perfectly. There’s no wiggle when writing; it’s quite nice.

    Unfortunately, when the tip is retracted, the refill does jiggle around inside the pen cavity a bit. [Update: I realized this is actually the bolt handle jiggling in the slot; see above.]

    The pen does fit a Pilot Precise V5 rollerball refill with no trimming. There might be a very slight tip wiggle, it’s so faint it’s hard to tell, honestly. It’s not bothersome to me, and I’m sensitive to pen wiggles.


    This pen is often on a "super sale" for $35. I find that quite impressive for a titanium pen with this level of quality. There are a number of finish and material options, and copper and brass options as well. If you like standard-sized G2/Parker refills, or you’re sure your preferred refill fits, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

    I’ll admit I’m jealous of the adjustability of the BIGiDESIGN (Home, Amazon) but I wasn’t ready to spend $60 more for it. (If they want to send me one, though…)

  • American Body Building was nice enough to send over a case of their energy drinks to review. I guess I’m an “authority” on energy drinks now. (Sweet.) See part 1, part 2, and part 3 of my energy drink reviews for non-ABB products.

    Note that free products are great, but they don’t affect the ratings. ABB did well overall, and there are a couple great drinks, but there were still a couple let-downs. I’ll have some suggestions for ABB at the end.

    I tried five types of drinks:

    • Speed Stack – No sugar, 250mg caffeine total.

      A couple ingredients you can pronounce, a few you can’t. This gives a moderately strong energy boost, and doesn’t seem to affect the flavor much.

    • Ripped Force – 350mg of their Adrenergic Catalyst mix, i.e. a bunch of things you can’t pronounce.

      This gives a strong energy boost, but affects the flavor slightly more than Speed Stack. Some of these still got very good scores.

    • Diet Turbo Tea – No sugar, 90mg of caffeine and guarana, plus some ginseng.

      A nice light energy boost. Doesn’t affect the flavor.

    • Adrenalyn Stack – 200mg caffeine and a whole pile of things you can’t pronounce.

      The most additives, the strongest energy boost. Unfortunately, it really affects the texture and flavor of the drinks. These got some of the lower scores.

    • Speed Shot Intensity – No sugar, but a lot of things you can’t pronounce.

      One of the more potent energy mixes. It doesn’t affect flavor consistently – sometimes it’s not noticeable, sometimes it is. See the individual reviews below.

    There are a number of flavors for each of the above types. Originally, I was going to review the types and the flavors separately, but they affect each other more than I expected.

    So, you get 15 reviews for the price of one!

    • Speed Shot Intensity – Subzero Red: 8/10

      This reminds me of a red Hug (the little barrel-drinks) but not as overpoweringly sweet. It’s sugar-free, so I’m not sure how they managed this without getting a chemical aftertaste. The energy boost was noticeable but it didn’t keep me up all night – just what I wanted. I can’t pretend I know what all of the energy supplements in this drink are, but they work well.

    • Diet Turbo Tea – Lemon: 9/10

      Tasty, natural tea with added guarana for energy. There’s only 90mg of caffeine total, so if your only goal is energy, try one of the stronger alternatives. The lemon flavor is balanced correctly for my taste. There’s a bit of tang from something – either the ginseng or the sucralose, I think. No chemical aftertaste. The tea flavor could be a bit more pronounced, but overall it’s quite tasty.

    • Speed Stack – Lemon Tea: 8/10

      The flavor base is the same as the Turbo Tea, but this one has a much more potent energy mix. It masks the tea flavor slightly, but it still doesn’t taste like chemicals. There’s a slight sticky, sweet aftertaste. I’m impressed that they’re able to make these drinks powerful without the strong overtones of common energy drinks.

    • Ripped Force – Grape: 7/10

      Similar to the Subzero Red, this flavor reminds me of a Hug. If you remember Hugs from when you were a kid, you can imagine these drinks. Sweet, slightly artificial fruity flavor. Not quite as sweet as a true Hug, which is a good thing. The energy boost is similar to the Speed Shot and Speed Stack, but a bit stronger. I’m a little jittery.

    • Speed Shot Intensity – Purple Frost: 6/10

      Tastes like the Grape flavor of Ripped Force, but you can taste the added chemicals in this concentrated form. It’s not too strong, but since it’s noticeable, it detracts a little bit. The energy boost is on the strong side.

    Stay tuned for part 5, the conclusion of the ABB reviews!

  • Mini-review: Inko’s White Tea Energy. 7/10. I appreciate that it’s all-natural, but it’s slightly too bitter for me. You definitely won’t get jitters from its tea caffeine, but you won’t be fully alert, either.

  • ABB Energy Drinks

    American Body Building sent me a case of energy drinks to try out because of my prior reviews. So far – very impressed. I’ll post a series of reviews as I work through the different varieties.

  • This is a continuation of parts one and two of my energy drink reviews. I’m trying to find an energy drink to keep me productive at work without too much sugar.

    Sobe Power: 8/10

    This is a nice break from the artificial tastes of typical energy drinks. It’s a standard fruit punch flavor but there’s no aftertaste or any hint of additives. It’s a little on the sweet side, but at least that comes from natural sugar. Don’t rely on it for an energy spike because the additives are relatively minor and you’ll have a slight sugar crash. High marks for taste and natural ingredients.

    Steaz Orange: 8/10

    Steaz is going for an earthier approach to orange flavor with the addition of yerba mate. If you’ve had yerba mate you’ll know what I mean. I don’t like pure yerba mate (or some other green teas) because it tastes a little like grass. However, adding a touch of it to orange juice is a nice combination and balances the sweetness. There’s also a hint of acai, and it’s lightly carbonated. If you want something a little sweeter, Kaboom Orange doesn’t have any tea and tastes more like pure juice. Steaz is good for a change if you like yerba mate.

    Emergen-C Health and Energy Water – Dragon Fruit: 7/10

    Emergen-C is the strange cousin of Vitamin Water that’s quiet at the family reunions. It’s definitely more of an enhanced water than an energy drink, so if you need a powerful kick, look elsewhere. There are a few things you have to look past – it has a disconcerting pale yellow color, it smells a bit off, and it’s a little thicker than water should be. If you ignore that, it has a nice, subtle fruit flavor and 16 times the vitamins. Seriously – up to 1660% of the daily value of some vitamins like Vitamin C, hence its name. It also has “Okinawa Deep Sea Minerals,” whatever that means. (They might be the culprit for the thickness.) A bottle was pretty cheap and it’s one of the healthiest options I’ve reviewed, while still offering a little sweetness. Worth a shot.

    Sobe Energy: 8/10

    There’s a hint of creaminess to go with the citrus flavor. The citrus is mostly orange but you can taste some others that add a bit of depth. (The label says lemon, cherry, and elderberry.) It’s definitely on the sweet side since they added sugar to the fruit juice – 66g per bottle total. That’s usually not necessary if you’re using good juice. Otherwise, it’s good – mostly natural, smooth, and the creaminess is a great addition.

    Red Bull Sugar Free: 4/10

    Tastes like Rockstar Sugar Free, but a little less sweet, so it’s not like being hit in the face with a five pound bag of Smarties. That’s a good thing, and it gains a whole point for it, but this is still very run of the mill. I suppose I should have expected that with Red Bull being one of the original energy drinks. If you want to imagine the taste, just water down some sour Smarties. On the plus side, they carve a bull out of the can’s tab. (Not worth it.)

    Rockstar Juiced – Guava: 6/10

    So close and yet so far away. This could be really good if it weren’t so carbonated and sticky. The flavor is nice – the guava itself is soothing – but the artificial texture throws it off. It also tastes worse and worse as it warms up. I have to give this drink some credit – it’s much better than the other Juiced flavor, mango/orange/passionfruit. I’ll save that for another review, to be written when I’m depressed.

    Vitamin Water 10 – Energy: 8/10

    Very light and refreshing citrus flavor. The difference between Vitamin Water and Vitamin Water 10 is that the newer 10 version uses stevia as a sweetener instead of sugar. This gives it less calories, a sweeter taste, and (unfortunately) a little bit of sweet aftertaste. High marks for taste and health benefit, but I have to take away a couple points because of the slight aftertaste and because I wish the citrus were a bit more pronounced.

  • This is a continuation of part one of my energy drink reviews. I’m trying to find an energy drink to keep me productive at work without too much sugar.

    • Arizona Green Tea Energy Drink: 2/10

      Tastes like honey. Honey that just fell out of a bee’s ass. A homeless bee that hasn’t showered in a year. Add in a little spoiled cough syrup. Tea could be a great base for an energy drink, but this is not the right tea, nor was it sweetened properly.

    • Monster M-80: 6/10

      80% juice. Tastes like passion fruit, pineapple, and guava. Not bad, but a little too tangy from the pineapple. Tastes a little like cough syrup. In fact, I just had some cough syrup, and it mixes well.

    • Sobe Essential – Berry Pomegranate: 8/10

      Only 7% juice, but very tasty. Raspberry and pomegranate flavor, lightly carbonated. It does have a hint of tanginess, whether from the fruit or the additives I can’t tell. A little too much sugar to be considered one of the “natural” alternatives, but it’s a great option.

    • Rockstar Sugar Free: 3/10

      Tastes like carbonated Smarties. Drinks shouldn’t taste like Smarties. I really don’t know what else to say about this one, except that Smarties are a lot better.

    • Full Throttle Zero: 7/10

      Citrusy, but it doesn’t hit you over the head. Overall it’s pretty nice, but it does have a little bit of funny taste from the additives, and I don’t know who needs so many additives in the first place. Each of the mainstream energy drink brands has a “standard flavor”, and this is probably the best of that lot.

    • No Fear Sugar Free: 7/10

      Mostly grape, a little blueberry taste. Tastes similar to the Full Throttle Zero except for the choice of fruit. A good option but a little artificial.

    • Amp Sugar Free: 7/10

      Tastes like bubble gum. Actually pleasant if you like the idea of drinking bubble gum. Not as many additives as some of the other energy drinks, and has no unpleasant aftertaste. Just bubble gum!

    • Rockstar Zero Carb: 5/10

      Slightly bitter, moderate carbonation. I can’t pick out the fruit flavors because it’s a bit medicinal, and they don’t list which fruits make up the “natural flavors.” I appreciate the lack of aftertaste, but it’s still a bit sticky and artificial. The No Fear Sugar Free has a similar fruity taste but it’s definitely a step up from this.

    • Lo-Carb Monster: 5/10

      Tastes incredibly similar to Rockstar Zero Carb. Really – just reread the last entry. Same artificiality and almost the same taste. I suspect they come from the same original manufacturer. It does add a few extra vitamins, but this is another one you could skip. Mixxd is the best of the Monsters so far.

    • Amp with Black Tea: 4/10

      This doesn’t taste as spoiled as the Amp with Green Tea, but it does have the unpleasant tea/syrup combination of the Arizona Green Tea energy drink. It leaves you with an awful aftertaste for quite a while. The only saving grace is that the honey flavor isn’t as strong as the Arizona, which makes the overall flavor a bit more like a regular Amp… but why not just drink something else?

  • Energy Drink Reviews


    This is the next entry in my series of short reviews. Today: energy drinks.

    The goal: I want a drink that will keep me conscious and productive at work, without having too much sugar. I’m not a health nut, I’m just afraid of the diabetus. So, I found all of the natural/sugar-free energy drinks I could and slurped them down over the last three weeks. So you don’t have to.

    • Bawls Exxtra: 7/10

      Slightly fruity flavor. If you like the Bawls taste, you’ll like this; it’s similar but more powerful. It has slightly less impact than Bawls because of the change in sweetener.

    • Bawls Cherry: 8/10

      One of the best cherry sodas I’ve ever had. Doesn’t taste like an energy drink, just a good cherry soda (even though it’s artificial.) If that’s your thing, definitely try it out.

    • Kaboom Orange Buzzzz: 9/10

      Excellent – tastes very much like orange juice. No detectable flavor from the energy components. Has a lot of vitamins and is organic. My favorite so far.

    • Rumba energy juice: 8/10

      Not quite as good a taste as Kaboom Orange, but still good and 100% juice. Tastes like canned OJ – slightly watered down and lacking punch, but still refreshing and you can’t taste the energy additives at all. Other fruit flavors are faint.

    • Red Bull Cola: 8/10

      The cola flavor tastes like Coke but more natural. Uses real sugar and no chemicals at all. Much lighter in color than normal cola. Has caffeine and no other energy additives – fine by me. Basically a really good cola with a bit more pep. Very slight (natural) aftertaste.

    • Monster Mixxd: 7/10

      30% juice. The ingredients say the fruit juice comes from apples and grapes, which is pretty accurate if you can imagine the combination. Pretty tasty. A bit healthier than a straight energy drink but still has all the sugar and chemicals.

    • Monster Khaos: 5/10

      50% juice. This time there are more fruit juices combined, but they don’t add up. The strongest fruit flavor for me is the peach. It comes across as medicinal, and I don’t want carbonated medicine. The juice can’t save this from mediocrity.

    • Amp with Green Tea: 3/10

      This is not natural. It tastes like spoiled grapes and rotten herbs. There is absolutely no green tea flavor whatsoever, and by “yuzu” I think they meant “motor oil.” This has very few redeeming qualities – they added a few extra vitamins, and I’ve had a drink or two in my life that tasted worse.

    • Mountain Dew Voltage: 5/10

      So highly carbonated it’s screaming to get out of the bottle. Try to avoid getting any in your mouth when it does come out of the bottle – you’ll thank me later. It tastes like a blue raspberry freezer pop. I like freezer pops, but the blue raspberry ones are the worst in the box, and I wouldn’t want to drink it.

    • Rockstar Punched – Acai berry: 8/10

      Surprisingly nice. I wasn’t expecting much but it’s actually very fruity (in a good way) from the acai berry. I think the “citrus” name is a bit inaccurate; it’s more subtle and flavorful. Still has a bit of energy drink aftertaste so it can’t get the highest marks, but it’s definitely tasty.

    Update: Here’s part two!

  • Clif Bar Reviews


    I prefer a lot of small reviews to a few big reviews. So, I’m reviewing seven types of Clif Bars in the same vein as the batches of Wii game reviews I did earlier.

    My goal: a tasty, reasonably healthy snack for breakfast that’s easily transported to work and doesn’t require preparation.

    • Chocolate Chip – 5/10

      Not very chocolaty; they taste more like a chemically processed health food bar. No actual chocolate chips – or they’re too small to see. If you’re after chocolate flavor, try something else.

    • Chocolate Brownie – 8/10

      Much more chocolaty than the Chocolate Chip. Tastes less like health food and more like a snack. And yet it’s still healthy… Worth a shot for anyone.

    • Oatmeal Raisin Walnut – 6/10

      There’s a hint of walnut in this one but hardly any raisin. The oatmeal flavor is very weak – it tastes more like the standard Clif mix. These bars really need something to cover up the default Clif flavor because I’m not finding it pleasant.

    • Chocolate Almond Fudge – 5/10

      I’m noticing a trend with some of the bars – they smell stronger than they taste. This one smells strongly of almond but there’s only a slight hint of almond in the taste. There’s not much fudge flavor at all – nothing like the chocolate brownie. Slightly better than the Chocolate Chip because of the extra flavor, but otherwise the same.

    • Banana Nut Bread – 6/10

      Strong smell of banana, but the taste isn’t authentic. It has small bits of chocolate to try to help the flavor along, but it either needs more chocolate bits or better banana flavor. It fades into standard (strange, tangy) Clif flavor while chewing.

    • Blueberry Crisp – 7/10

      “Blueberry” doesn’t belong in the title, but “Crisp” is it’s strong point. It doesn’t have the faintest hint of blueberry. It does add some larger nuts to the basic Clif formula, which help to add crunch and mask some of the regular Clif flavor.

    • Carrot Cake – 8/10

      They actually got the the texture right – it’s reminiscent of real carrot cake. I’m not sure how they did that in a plastic-wrapped product, but it was a nice surprise. The taste is pleasant and fairly subtle, and doesn’t have as much of the standard Clif flavor, even without another strong flavor to mask it.

    My favorites were definitely the Chocolate Brownie and the Carrot Cake. They had the most authentic flavors and textures, and I could probably eat them every morning for a while without getting bored. The others were forgettable because the base Clif formula is pretty gross and they didn’t do anything to separate themselves from it.

    Note: I wasn’t able to test any peanut butter-flavored bars because of the peanut butter recall. When more flavors come in, I’ll make another post with my impressions.

  • Exherbo is a Linux distribution led by a small team of opinionated developers. It’s lean, to say the least, but when they give you a solution for something you can believe it’s well engineered and that it does that task well – nothing more.

    Technically, Exherbo is most similar to Gentoo. It inherited some of Gentoo’s parts, and a fair bit of the mentality. You get deep configuration and understanding of your system. In fact, it’s required for use. If you don’t understand your hardware and the basic components of a Linux system, you’ll have a hard time getting it running. Don’t let that scare you off, though; it’s an excellent platform for learning.

    That said, it’s obviously meant for a subset of users. Let me describe some things about me that led me to Exherbo. I like to understand everything that’s going on at some level of depth. I can’t rest until I understand, and I mean that literally – I’ve been up late most of the week trying to get my wireless working perfectly. I also like a lean system without a lot of moving parts that I didn’t ask for. It’s harder to understand what you don’t know is there. I appreciate performance and stability, like anyone, but I believe they are borne of simplicity.

    I’m a long-time Gentoo user, and this reminds me of the early days of Gentoo before the committee. Progress is rapid and parts of the machine are being swapped out as it runs. The developers are passionate about what they’re doing, and if you agree with them, it’s a great place to be. One of the more vocal developers, Ciaran McCreesh, is a good example. He comes off as abrasive, but take his messages without emotion. I usually agree with him and he definitely writes good code. (He’s also a vim devotee.)

    If you just want things to work, don’t use it. In fact, until last week, they actively discouraged anyone from using it. That warning has been lifted since I did my install, and they even added some user documentation. (Think of it as crib notes for your install – Gentoo’s handbook run through a compactor.) If you want to learn how your system works, from the hardware all the way to the user environment, give Exherbo a shot.

    A side benefit of building a Linux system from scratch (with any low-level distribution) is that you get to see all the amazing work put forth in the free software community.

  • Squirrel Appreciation Day

    Today is SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY. Go appreciate a squirrel. Give them a rib roast with acorn topping. They are superior beings.