Site FAQ


I’m lost. Do you have a FAQ ?

You’re looking at it.

What is this site?

Well, first and foremost, it is my personal wiki, running atop a custom-designed content management engine where I jot down some technical notes and (of course) my bookmarks and topics of interest.

No big articles, no in-depth discussions - just a digital scrapbook on steroids with a lot of notes (most of them historically related to the telco market), short (and hopefully clear) articles and the odd opinion piece.

Why “The Tao of Mac”?

Well, because the site’s creation mostly coincided to my buying a Mac, and using it was a lot like Taoism: It just happened, and things things just (mostly) worked.

What is Tao?

Enlighten yourself. You can also buy a “personal enlightenment kit” on any supermarket (hint: look for the flashlight section).

Why the Mac?

At the time, the Mac was different, shiny and an enticing mix of power and polish – this was around 2002, when other computing environments weren’t as sophisticated. “Switching” was popular, and I even wrote a guide on it, but as it turned out I kept using other platforms, and at the time of this writing (2014) the OS has become somewhat irrelevant.

Also, arguing about computer platforms is like arguing about cars - it’s both a matter of personal preference and convenience, and one size does not fit all.

Where do you live?

In Lisbon, Portugal. Although I’m often asked if I want to relocate elsewhere (and have friends scattered around the globe), I like it here, and so does my family.

If you’re Portuguese, why do you write in English?

If you’re asking that question, then you’re probably Portuguese yourself.

The short answer is: Because I spend half my waking hours thinking, writing and speaking in English, and have done so for several years now.

The long answer involves explaining in rather painstaking detail why I don’t subscribe to the usual navel-gazing attitude followed by Portuguese bloggers (usually along the lines of “if foreigners want to read my stuff, they can stick a fish in their ear”), which stems from our nation’s peculiar form of nostalgia for the imperial days and prevents us from making any sort of headway into the modern world.

The even longer answer includes a statement to the effect that I did, in fact, write in Portuguese, and still do - just not here, where I take notes on tech stuff that is of general interest and don’t want language getting in the way.

Why a Wiki ?

Because it’s better than a traditional weblog. It makes it substantially easier to jot down down notes on interrelated concepts and (with a few enhancements like the See Also section at the bottom of each page) makes it easier to find related items even if you don’t know all the relationships.

Plus it’s probably the oldest way to publish content out there (no matter what “Internet historians” and journalists say), and - most importantly - it is, conceptually, the simplest thing that could possibly work.

Wasn’t this called mac.against.org?

Yes, it was. Not being a platform zealot in any sense (I use Windows, Linux and Mac OS X), I thought it peculiar to be put on when I decided to switch to the Mac at home, and at the time it was somewhat risqué to switch.

Aren’t you the guy that ran/wrote/coded/did/sold/designed (whatever) ?

Yeah, I’ve been around for a while. I used to run a FPS online games site called accao.net, kept a Portuguese weblog at na-cama.com before the domain became NSFW (when it started, it was more of a writer co-op), worked for a few consulting outfits and integrators, did quite a few site designs for other folk and contributed small snippets of code to quite a few Open Source projects in my leisure time.

Last time I bothered to check, a few FreeBSD and ISDN posts circa 1994 were still archived somewhere, and I have an e-mail archive from 1990 or so with VAX/VMS stuff in it…

Do you do this sort of thing for a living?

Definitely not. around 95% of what happens on this site is related only to my off-work pursuits. Over the past 20 years, I’ve actually only coded for a living for around 10 (plus the times when I got called in to fix something really nasty). I also don’t maintain the site for profit (the ads don’t even cover hosting costs, they’re more of a way to keep in touch with the current state of affairs in advertising).

Pretty much everything you see here is the result of a few minutes a day keeping tabs on current technology or noting down some of the things I do in my spare time. If I did this sort of thing for a living, I’d probably blog about Fine Arts or something.

I do use the site to store some interesting information that I come across during work, but nothing of real consequence to what I do. And that’s where this little bit of text comes in.


See Also:

Mac