About Nex6

I wanted to have all my writing in a single place so I could maintain, revise, and extend pieces like:

[Inside the Internet Mind](), [Beating the Brand](), [Uncle Bill’s Helicopter](),X11 is dead, long live X11, Patents and Copyright, and everything I’ve ever written about space and asteroid exporation.

Well, I’m not getting there, fast. I’ve been blogging heavily using the new system I’ve got in place, however, so I’m thinking about splitting my life into two blogs at least temporarily, and call this one NeX-6, for now.

Why NeX-6? For starters it’s FAR SHORTER than PFTBE, and pronounced similarly to the word Nexus, which means:


       /ˈnɛksəs/ [nek-suhs] –noun, plural nex·us·es, nex·us.

    1. a means of connection; tie; link.

    2. a connected series or group.

    3. the core or center, as of a matter or situation.

    4. Cell Biology . a specialized area of the cell membrane involved in intercellular communication and adhesion.

Secondly, I have a ton of things to write about ipv6 issues, thus the “6” made sense. (I don’t intend to write purely about ipv6, of course, nex-6 is just the name of the blog!)

After coming up with “nex-6” I googled and found it had been used in a few places already, none really critical, but… Damn it. OK, “nexus”. Nope. “Nex8” - ooh, cool, I could invent a new word “nexate” - “to think about a series of connections, series, or groups”. Nope, that’s used up too, for some drug or another. Dang it. So I went for antonyms… I’m still not getting there, so nex-6 it’s going to be until someone comes up with something else.

Thirdly, I want to open up the writing process here to more writers and editors than just me. When I started PFTBE single authors were how it is done. Now, if you want anyone to pay attention to you, you need to have a group involved, and post a lot more often. Also, I wanted to repost stuff that was important to me, and give credit to the author(s) - in the hope that the rss and blogging format would reach a new generation of audiences.

Lastly, I’ve long felt that dumping EVERYTHING I worked on into PFTBE was not a particularly good idea - the technical stuff lost half of one audience, the personal stuff, half of another.

The stream of conciousness flow of a blog is not what I want to be writing all the time, either. I conciously adopted the personal/technical format of PFTBE because I was tired of writing in business-speak at the time - and I wanted to write clearly, more about the human side of technology rather than the technical. I thought I’d reach a broader audience that way. One book I admire greatly is “The soul of a new machine” - by Tracy Kidder, and what I hate most about technical writing is how boring most of it is.

NASA style writing would make the act of sex seem tedious!

    “At T+6 minutes, orgasm was achieved.”

So, in PFTBE I adopted a “Feynman” style, showing all the warts in my mental processes, conciously always trying to show the human side.

These days I also feel the need to write in more of a “Murray Gell-man” style, serious, and factual, with all the warts removed. The integrated wiki in the blog software I’m using for this [ikiwiki) will let me (and others with access privs) do that.

Switching to a new format is driving me a little crazy. I have high hopes that ultimately I’ll find a good way to interface from org to wiki format, but so far, not a lot of luck.

I find myself surprised by how much I care about the graphic design issues in addition to the writing itself. I also care about usability more than I thought I would. I really want something that looks good on a handheld and is readable by the blind, with the bare minimum of UI cruft that makes it usable. The trendline in the web world has been to make everything look like a sheet of paper, and EVERYTHING isn’t. (not only that I can’t remember the last time I read something on dead trees!)

People have 1900x1200 displays and 320x240 displays. They have kindles and ipads and cell phones and TVs. Designing for paper isn’t acceptable to me.

All that said, I AM primarily a coder and writer and I hope to get the design of the blog worked out, after I solve the important things in getting it published - getting the code to work, RSS feeds working, the git database mirrored, authentication fixed, and the site itself up…

…and oh, yea, having actual content would be good too!

I’ve had to sort through tons of blogging software, stylesheets, etc, just to get as far as things stand today. Adopting wordpress would have been much easier!

But at some point, I need a name that I can use.

Find me elsewhere.

Best of the blog Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
David Brin
Charlie Stross
Eric Raymond
The Intercept
Chunky Mark
Dan Luu's rants about hardware design
Selenian Boondocks
Transterrestial Musings

February 10, 2011
825 words

latency usability