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The Nature of Context: The context of Nature

The idea of the context switch has always facinated me. The whole concept really began to gel in my mind when I studied the now-obsolete QNX netrino operating system on a 1.44M floppy. You could boot an old box from the floppy and a wonderous desktop would appear complete with a browser! Working with the thing offline, you could load a special resource manager page and one of the key features you saw was a snapshop measurement of the context switch. What a nice tool that was for troubleshooting old boxen!

I gobbled up the QSSL documentation including most Noteably The "Philosophy of Neutrino" about the guts of the 'micro-kernel'. I was fairly new to *nix-like OSes at the time so I remained lost as to experimenting with QSSL's Realtime Community-licenced platform at that time version 6.0. ...but back to context.

It was during that time (around '99) that I was exposed to the wonders of IRC via irc.qnx.com. I was a member of a rag-tag dev group with high hopes and big dreams that sort of 'hitch-hiked' on the back of the mother channel #qnx. I won't name the group but it is still around. The point is that there was a Sense of Community in place. It is from that context that I became interested in Internet sociology.

An even more prior experience on the old MCSETutor Forum circa ('96/97) was built into my psyche and contributed to the notion of online community. But its always about context.

The reality of context (as opposed to the philosophy of it) really hit me when I tackled a study of perl. All perlmongers know that context is everything...

...to be continued[edit]