Birch Street Computing -

about me

John M is a Linux fan in Lowell, MA.

I work at at a company writing software. I fool around with Free and Open Source software for fun & profit.

I was big into and you can still see some of what I listen to there. I can also be found using github and recently sourcehut as well as bitbucket (historically). I don't care for most popular social media sites. If I have an account on one or the other it's probably either old and unused or was created just for tinkering.


Links to things I like, use, or otherwise feel is worth sharing. Things I'd like to see get more popular.

Only slight brain damage

It turns out that I can think of good subjects for postings when I am driving around in my car. Then, I forget what I was thinking about not long after. Anyway, I wanted to make up for not writing anything last week, and writing a paltry little the week before by creating something good today. I tend not to plan the content of my posts out, so I have no idea how much I will be writing next.

First off, my "link of the week" is pretty interesting. Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson which can be read entirely online. I've read up to Part 2-16, and am constantly amazed at how relevant the essay is, especially in regards to the Wall Street bailout, the talk of a "Big-3" auto-makers bailout, and the general economic reporting on the news. Which is, by the way, generally awful.

I am amused that I didn't find the link on a site like, which I read pretty regularly, but on a post in a blog linked off of Planet Python. It should be a handy link to pass to people when I'm asked, occasionally, to explain my opinion on the current econ. talk going around.

At work, yet another animated movie is coming out from a company that is a customer. I usually feel funny about posting about work related things, because I don't want to accidentally give out any secret info. :-) But since the some of the customers are right there on the front of the company webpage, I don't mind linking to that.

And it is kind of funny looking at the website, as someone on the inside, the marketing oriented material is like a fun-house mirror view of what were talking about all the time.

Lastly, for fun, I've started fooling around with some python code that would be used to organize and label my music collection (mostly mp3/ogg) outside of Amarok. I love that program, but the new version lacks some of the file management features that the KDE 3 version had. It is also a bit of a pain to fire up a GUI application on the headless box just to pull files from an outside directory into the collection and have them end up in the tree structure I like. It's also a bit of a playground for doing things like trying to copy the way mercurial does it's test scripts.

Every blog page or article on this site is available under the CC-BY-SA license unless otherwise noted.