“DD-WRT – An affront to the good will of the F/OSS community”

Retrieved from Google Cache 2009-12-19. Originally posted by db90h at http://bitsum.com/about-ddwrt.htm

DD-WRT – An affront to the good will of the F/OSS community       
It is hard to persuade a man of something when his income
depends on him not being persuaded.  –todo: quote from?

DISCLAIMER: The statements here reflect my
own personal observations and opinions. I encourage the reader to verify these
assertions for himself or herself
. Everything written here can be easily
confirmed by the reader through an analysis of the DD-WRT web site, DD-WRT
source code, DD-WRT forums, and admissions of Brainslayer and other DD-WRT

For a long time now I’ve been working to add value to DD-WRT. I supported the
project in a number of ways, including developing the technology to flash v5
series ‘micro’ routers and the Firmware Modification Kit. Both these
technologies, particularly the former, have greatly increased DD-WRT’s user base.

In the last few months I started to notice some disturbing trends in the DD-WRT development. You can
see these trends yourself, you don’t have to look hard. This article has the
intention of introducing the reader to what DD-WRT is, how it came to be, and
why I think the direction of development is very wrong. You may think otherwise,
but it is important that the FACTS be heard, instead of suppressed.

How DD-WRT came to be

The DD-WRT firmware was originally a fork of Sveasoft’s firmware. It came about because
Sveasoft started placing restrictions on their supposed open-source firmware in
an attempt to generate revenue. Major complaints about Sveasoft are summarized

  • Sveasoft started charging for their GPL firmwares (nothing
    inherently wrong with this, as unpopular as it may be).
  • Sveasoft started trying to prevent distribution of their source
    code, even to paying customers (illegal since their firmware is based on
    GPL code).
  • Sveasoft placed anti-piracy mechanisms in the firmware to prevent
    redistribution, something that would not have been illegal since their
    project is GPL.
  • Sveasoft started a campaign of banning from their forums anyone who
    spoke remotely critical of their firmware or merely mentioned
    alternatives, even in OTHER forums than their own.

Sveasoft got to this shameful state because the focus of the project shifted
from helping the community and having fun to pure revenue generation. Even if a
project has noble intentions, once profit is the motivating factor, natural
forces propel the project into a commercial direction, which is often directly in
contrast to the free open-source community-driven philosophy. Again,
nothing inherently wrong with this – as long as it is done right and without
violating GPL licenses.

So, in short DD-WRT was born because Sveasoft went ‘commercial’ and
started trying to restrict technology instead of advance it

What is DD-WRT? – Mostly the work of others

DD-WRT is an open-source project built upon the works of Linux, Broadcom,
Linksys, OpenWrt, Busybox, and countless other contributors.
Probably far less than 1% of the code has been authored by Brainslayer. In fact, I would estimate the actual authorship of code
somewhere between 0.01% and 0.10%
most all of which is modifications to the GPL code of others, not brand new
libraries and applications.

For instance, the most major development of DD-WRT is extensions to the HTTP
management console. These were all done on top of the existing code he forked
from Sveasoft, which was forked from Linksys, who forked it from someone else.
DD-WRT’s code is NOT separate and distinct, rather it is tightly integrated,
direct modifications to existing code. This hasn’t stopped DD-WRT from trying to
make their extensions to the web interface suddenly

Consider it for yourself. The linux kernel, drivers, and all the common
packages you see on most any linux distribution make up the vast majority of
DD-WRT, not Brainslayer’s few additions. Furthermore, it isn’t just him who has
extended the code. When DD-WRT was thought to have altruistic motives, many
developers joined the cause. If there is any reluctance to accept the fact that
almost all the code is written by others, it is simple arrogance — and, yes,
surprisingly there is a denial of this fact. If you aren’t a developer, don’t
take my word for it — ask someone you really trust how much they think
of DD-WRT is original code.

Consider it for yourself. The linux kernel, drivers, and all
the common packages you see on most any linux distribution make up
the vast majority of DD-WRT, not Brainslayer’s few additions.
Furthermore, it isn’t just him who has extended the code. When
DD-WRT was thought to have altruistic motives, many developers
joined the cause.

Instead of giving credit where credit is due, Brainslayer has
changed strings in the software to in an attempt to hide the
true authors of programs simply because he, or someone, changed a handful of
lines of code amongst tens of thousands. Consider
Busybox, which is the single component
responsible for implementing almost all core system utilities and the system
shell. Its shell startup message was changed in DD-WRT to downplay the
contributions of the numerous developers of Busybox from all over the world:

BusyBox v1.01
(2006.05.16-18:12+0000) Built-in
shell (ash)


Now DD-WRT VeryBusyBox v1.01 (2006.05.16-18:12+0000)
Built-in shell (ash)

Furthermore, DD-WRT at one point did give sparse credit to a handful of
contributors. This was later removed as Brainslayer decided more and more of the
code was ‘his’. Although this lack of attribution may be offensive to some, it is not
illegal. The fact that DD-WRT is so much the work of others is a critical part
of the argument that follows below.

DD-WRT: Profit in sight

Brainslayer received many donations from users around the world in support of
‘his’ free open-source project. Many developers came to give contributions –
advancing the project farther than Brainslayer could have ever done himself. The
community loved DD-WRT.

After a while, Brainslayer realized that he could make money with DD-WRT. The
potential of making big money overshadowed the original purpose of the project,
and he started to formulate a plan. Now, we all want to make money, there is nothing
inherently wrong with
that. Although he would be turning his back on his ‘base’ to go commercial, we
can not fault him for wanting to make money. We can, however, fault him for how
he is going about it. Violating GPL licenses, removing credits, and soliciting
donations under the pretense of being a free open-source project is NOT

Although he (Brainslayer) would be turning his back on his
‘base’ to go commercial, we can not fault him for wanting to make
money. We can, however, fault him for how he is going about it.
Violating GPL licenses, removing credits, and soliciting donations
under the pretense of being a free open-source project is NOT

At first, he didn’t want to admit even to himself his commercial aspirations.
Little things were done, which were clearly the start of a slide down a very
slippery slope.
A few of these early actions are below, in order of LEAST
egregious to MOST egregious.

  • DD-WRT Web UI protected against modification
    After development of the Firmware Modification Kit by third-party
    developers (namely me), Brainslayer was afraid someone might take the
    free/open-source code and re-brand it, much like he did. He
    therefore encrypted the web UI, making it very difficult to change with
    the firmware modification kit, and further at first ‘forgot’ to distribute with
    the source code the component that encrypts the web UI. Whether or not
    DD-WRT can fully be rebuilt from its publicly available source code is
    unknown at this point. The build root is intentionally kept hard to use.
    Remember, DD-WRT is mostly NOT his code and is all GPL, this is a direct
    offense to those whose code he uses freely. It’s ok for HIM to sell
    other people’s code, but not for others to sell HIS.
  • DD-WRT Free for home use only
    Adding this ILLEGAL statement to DD-WRT clearly showed the
    intentions of the author. Brainslayer has no right to restrict where his
    GPL derivative works are allowed to be used.
    Again, DD-WRT’s code is not stand-alone,  dynamically linked
    extensions. Instead, all major components are built upon the code that
    was originally there (i.e. the original Linksys http management
    console). Update: He removed this text from the license in v23 SP1,
    probably because he discovered it to be illegal.
    See Appendix A for a snippet of the license text in DD-WRT v23
  • DD-WRT ‘Special Edition’ for sale: approx.
    $17-$22 USD

    This special edition of DD-WRT offers more features than the ‘free’
    version of DD-WRT. Call it what you want, but this is the full
    of DD-WRT and the free edition is a crippled
    counterpart. Where do you think new features will go first in the
    future? The free version or the ‘special edition’ version? In order to
    protect revenue, Brainslayer will feel increasingly compelled to add
    exclusive features to the special edition, add anti-copying mechanisms,
    and illegally protect GPL code.
    That is what happens when paying your bills is dependent on how
    many sales you make. He admits to this very fact on the DD-WRT store
    page that sells the ‘special edition’: “we will additional features
    in this version in future too
    .” (reference)  You’ll find this ‘special edition’ of DD-WRT for
    sale in the
    DD-WRT store right now.
  • DD-WRT x86 Edition license required
    If you want a license to use the x86 edition at home you must
    request one nicely from Brainslayer and hope he responds, otherwise you
    must purchase a license. No unlicensed copies will exist! This version
    DOES HAVE copy protections. You can go see for yourself, or just ask
    Brainslayer and he’ll admit it.

If by now you don’t see that DD-WRT is a commercial project, not a
F/OSS project, then you need to re-read the above.

When profit becomes a primary motivator, there are almost irresistible
pressures to let the pursuit of profit guide all decisions in the project.
Things like restricting distribution of GPL source code, intentional
obfuscation of source code, anti-copy mechanisms, and suppression of competing
technological advances have real advantages when the
goal is to make money. If DD-WRT weren’t a GPL’d project, these issues
wouldn’t exist..  but it is.

When profit becomes a primary motivator, there are almost
irresistible pressures to let the pursuit of profit guide all
decisions in the project.

Things like restricting distribution of GPL source code,
intentional obfuscation of source code, anti-copy mechanisms, and
suppression of competing technological advances have real benefits when the goal is to make money. If DD-WRT weren’t a GPL’d project, these issues wouldn’t exist.. 
but it is.

DD-WRT: Suppressing criticism (or protecting revenue)

When I voiced my concern about profit becoming a primary motivator and the
irresistible pressure to commercialize that comes with it, I was treated as if I
ran over Brainslayer’s dog. So, I just went elsewhere and
started work on a community-driven multi-developer project with built-in
protections against having the project itself go commercial since I knew market
forces are hard to resist.

Later, I heard Brainslayer said I was ‘exiled’ from the DD-WRT community, as
if because I had a different opinion I was run off and ridiculed. It was clear
his ego was getting out of control at this point. No big deal, I let it slide.

A few weeks later during a discussion in the DD-WRT forums about the Tomato
firmware, I posted a message that mentioned reasonable rationale for using
competing products. It was CENSORED despite clearly inflammatory posts
being left in place
, further demonstrating that Brainslayer is about
protection of revenue and suppression of competing technologies.

After it was clear to Brainslayer that I might spread the truth about his
plans to commercialize the project, he sought to find a way to ban me from the
forums. Since I did not actually post in the forums after this, it
was not easy for him. Finally, I made a single topic change on the
#dd-wrt channel on irc which gave him a ‘reason’ to ban me. After that, I
changed it a couple more times the next day for fun, but always clearly showing
who changed it.

Here is Brainslayer’s post explaining what I supposedly did to get banned
from the forums. He made this post publicly for whatever reason.


he was doing the following

18:38 -!- db90h [n=kgb@*] has joined
18:39 -!- db90h is now known as ddwrtusr
18:39 -!- ddwrtusr changed the topic of #DD-WRT to: DD-WRT goes commercial on

then today again

16:42 >>> #dd-wrt, db90h [n=kgb@*]
16:43 — #dd-wrt topic by db90h: DD-WRT full edition – only $19.95

he is doing vandalism within the irc etc. he is also posting such topics under
my name or better he changes it to a style that i looks like i wrote it.
this is why i disables his forum account. he still can read here under his name
but not post. maybe he will create another account with another same to flood
this forum with other bogus stuff. who knows


  1. Yea, I did change the IRC channel topic ONCE prior to being
    banned from the forums, and made it clear I was the one who changed the
    topic (see log he gives above). I was really
    just joking, though DD-WRT is quite obviously a commercial operation since
    they are out to make money. Besides, what happens on the apparently
    unofficial and unmoderated #dd-wrt irc channel has nothing to
    do with the forum. After he banned me, I went ahead and changed the topic
    again to ‘DD-WRT full edition – only $19.95’. The truth is that the
    special edition is about 20 euros in Europe, or about $22 in the US.
  2. I DID NOT set the topic so that it appeared to be written by
    BrainSlayer, someone else did that.
  3. I have NEVER posted bogus information in the forums and haven’t
    even posted anything in over a month (at least). Yet he is afraid I ‘might’
    so preemptively bans me. Perhaps he is afraid I will do something else? Like
    spread the truth?
  4. There have been completely baseless accusations that I am trying
    to advertise for my own project. First, it’s not my project, and, second, I
    do not have any financial interests in its success (unlike Brainslayer and
    DD-WRT). Lastly, I never mentioned the X-Wrt project and it was Brainslayer
    who made the public announcement about me being banned for simply setting a
    topic saying DD-WRT was commercial (which it is).

Sliding down the slippery slope…

So, today the slide towards commercializing continues unabated. That is
DD-WRT’s right, but let us FORCE them to do it ethically and within the
guidelines of the GPL code they have based their project on. They are NOT
ALLOWED by the GPL license to take someone else’s code and claim it as their
own, put new restrictions on its use, or not distribute the modified sources.

Granted, what DD-WRT does or doesn’t do isn’t that important in the grand
scheme of things, but I feel users should be
AWARE of what is going on, specifically those users who donate to DD-WRT
under the false pretense of it being a free open-source project

Here are my recommendations:

  1. DO NOT DONATE TO DD-WRT. It now sells firmwares, donating to them
    would be like donating to any commercial software company.
  2. DEMAND BUILD-ABLE SOURCE CODE. The entire source code should and
    MUST be build-able without having to ask the author to kindly include
    missing pieces.
  3. DEMAND SUPPORT. Now that DD-WRT is in the business of making
    money, they are also RESPONSIBLE to provide support they currently DO NOT
    provide. Also, they are more liable for all the routers they brick.
  4. SPREAD THE TRUTH. One merely has to point to the
    DD-WRT Store. Don’t listen
    to their spin, look at what they are doing.
  5. ALTERNATIVES SHOULD BE USED. Instead of encouraging users to find
    the firmware best for them, Brainslayer has started a campaign of
    suppressing information about firmwares that might hurt his revenue. There
    are plenty of alternatives, but to remain neutral I will leave it up to


You decide. Don’t listen to me, look for yourself. It
doesn’t take much effort to verify assertions made here.

 – db90h

P.S. An addendum

This article was written a very long time ago, back when I was invovled in embedded
F/OSS. Since its publication, DD-WRT has grown completely commercial – as I predicted.
I have no problem with this, and I certainly understand the need to generate some revenue from
F/OSS. Whether or not they are currently violating any GPL licensing,
I do not know.. nor do I care anymore. This page WILL be removed in time..
I recommend checking out the Tomato, OpenWrt, and X-Wrt firmwares.

Appendix A

FROM v23 (sp0):

the use of the “NON GPL Parts” of this
firmware and the distributed source
is permitted without any charge for PRIVATE USE ONLY unless
other rights are
granted by the firmware author only.

26.8.2005 Sebastian Gottschall / Blueline AG

the following features are tagged as NON-GPL

Webinterface   <– ***

macupd (mac update daemon for rflow collector)
the configuration scripts and definitions within /etc/config


Thoughts on the Girl Effect video

We were talking about the “Girl Effect” video the other day, thinking about what makes it tick, and I guess I got a little carried away. I figured I might as well write it all down, at least.

The video is organized into three parts. The first part is 0:31 and displays 51 words, or 1.645 words per second.
The second section, from 0:32 to 1:40 (68 seconds) is 147 words; or 2.162 words per second.
The final section runs until 2:23, displaying 65 words in 43 seconds or 1.512 words per second.
The entire video averages 1.860 words per second (266 words in 143 seconds).

The video uses music and color to emphasize the text.

The music in the first section is fast and moving. It creates a sense of anticipation, of wonder, and perhaps pending discovery. One friend described the music as appropriate for approaching Hogwarts in a Harry Potter story.
The music in the second section starts slow and simple, building every eight counts. The layering effect emphasizes the cascading effects promised by the Girl Effect.
The third section is a reprise of the first–the same music, but much slower, since things aren’t as bad now that we’ve discovered how to save the world. We still have to actually do it, so there’s still some of the initial urency and anticipation, but at least now we know how to do it.

Beginning as white text on a black background, the words “a girl” introduce the first color into the video–white text on an orange background. The word “girl” remains in orange, as we quickly transition through black text on a white background to orange text as the solution is further described. The last three lines, in addition to the “changed the course of history” line a few lines previous, return to the white-on-black theme.

The music matches up with the text at three points–at each of the section transitions, and again at the end.

The video was produced by Wieden+Kennedy for the Nike Foundation. Their page on the effort is at http://blog.wk.com/2008/06/the-girl-effect.html

The transcript:

The world is a mess.
So what else is new?
What if there was an unexpected solution that could turn this sinking ship around?
Would you even know it if you saw it?
It’s not the internet.
It’s not science.
It’s not the government.
It’s not money.
(dramatic pause)

a girl.
Imagine a girl living in poverty.
No, go ahead. Really, imagine her.
Girl, flies flies flies, baby, husband, hunger, HIV. [animated]
Now, pretend that you can fix this picture.
[remove all of these things and start over]
Girl. OK. Now she has a chance.
Let’s put her in a school uniform and see her get a loan to buy a cow and use the profits from the milk to help her family.
Pretty soon, her cow becomes a herd. And she becomes the business owner who brings clean water to the village, which makes the men respect her good sense, and invite her to the village council, where she convinces everyone that all girls are valuable.
Soon, more girls have a chance, and the village is thriving.
Village, food, peace, lower HIV, healthier babies, education, commerce, sanitation, stability. [animated]
Which means the economy of the entire country improves, and the whole world is better off.

Are you following what’s happening here?
Girl -> school -> cows -> $ -> business -> clean H2O -> social change -> stronger economy -> better world. [animated]
It’s called the girl effect.
Multiply that by 600 million girls in the developing world,
and you’ve just changed the course of history. [white on black]
The girl effect. [with logo]
Invest in a girl and she will do the rest.

It’s no big deal.
Just the future of humanity.

Girl Effect:

And a parody:

Genealogy Without Ancestry.com

When I first started researching my family history it seemed like ancestry.com was the only place on the internet to find information about my ancestors. It seemed they had something for every person in my family tree. After a year using ancestry.com, and now that I’m without, I’ve discovered a number of other great online genealogy resources.

Local Historical Societies

Local organizations will often collect information about families who lived in their area, such as the Minnesota Historical Society and the Kosciusko County, Indiana USGenWeb Project.

Google Books

Google Books scans books and makes them available online, fully searchable. I’ve found reference to my ancestors in histories such as the History of Delaware County and Ohio or publications like Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine (vol. 28, no. 4), and even entire books about a particular family line, such as Thomas Family of Hilltown, Bucks County, Penn’a. Many of these I found just by typing names into the search box. If the full version isn’t available online you can usually request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.


Many old books contain lots of genealogy information, and many of these are available through Interlibrary Loan in the probable event that your local library doesn’t have a copy. You can search multiple libraries across the country simultaneously at WorldCat. I’ve been able to thumb through such rare finds as Knox County, Ohio, will book “D”, 1855-1861 thanks to WorldCat and Interlibrary Loan.

Libraries local to the area you are researching often have special collections relating to those area; the Library of Virginia, for example, has all kinds of good Virginia records, many online.

Library Databases

Many libraries subscribe to paid databases and serves and then give free access to their patrons, often from home. Some useful databases to which libraries near me subscribe include HeritageQuest Online and World Vital Records.

Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements, such as this one at the King County Library System, allow patrons of one library to obtain free library cards from other library systems. You can often apply for your card online and obtain your new library card number electronically or via snail-mail. This gives you full access to all of the online databases that your neighboring library systems subscribe to as well, often without ever needing to visit a branch in person.


And of course there’s FamilySearch.org and their “pilot” site which has images of various birth, death and census original records.

If you do need to access ancestry.com, this can usually be done free of charge through most library branch locations.

Is it illegal for telemarketers to call cell phones?

I haven’t had a land line since sometime in 2004. Yesterday, I received a telemarketing call on my cell phone pushing Discover Business Credit Cards. I seemed to have heard somewhere that it’s illegal for telemarketers to call cell phones, and endeavored to arm myself for any future encounters.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), or 47 U.S.C. 227 Restrictions on use of telephone equipment, lays out what telemarketers may and may not do. While the TCPA does not specifically ban calls to cell phones, 47 U.S.C 227 (b) (1) (A) (iii) does state that

It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, or any person outside the United States if the recipient is within the United States—to make any call … using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a … cellular telephone service, … or any service for which the called party is charged for the call.

Requiring an actual person to manually enter each digit of each telephone number increases the cost of soliciting to cell phones such that it generally isn’t worth it. I guess one could ask a telemarketer if they used an autodialer when calling your cell phone–if they have they are probably in violation of the TCPA.

There are a few exceptions, of course, namely if the call:

Junkbusters helpfully offers this Anti-Telemarketing Script, and the FCC publishes instructions on how to contact them with a complaint (scroll down to “What You Can Do” and “What to Include in Your Complaint”). You can also sue telemarketers in small claims court, and of course there is the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry, which has a separate complaint process.

Fine Art

I was looking at Monet art prints on eBay today, and noticed some sellers offer hand-painted replicas. “Neat,” I thought–oil on canvas, with real texture and color. But then I compared the images with the original; I was surprised by how noticeable the differences were. I guess that’s why Monet is famous and they aren’t. Can you tell which is the real “San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk”?

The Real Thing

Advanced GTD with Remember The Milk: A Summary

Doug Ireton recently shared his finely honed GTD with RTM setup. In his guest post on the RTM blog he goes step-by-step through the lists, smart lists, tags, and locations he uses to GTD. These are presented in an evolutionary manner; I thought it would be useful to see a summary of the system all in one place. Thus, what Doug recommends is:


  • ps-Daily
  • wk-Daily
  • {a list for each personal and work project (prefixed with ps- and wk- appropriately)}
  • ps-Someday
  • wk-Someday
  • iTunes
  • Books
  • Lent/Borrowed

Smart Lists

  • @Home [tag:na AND location:@Home]
  • @Calls [tag:na AND tag:@call]
  • @Errands [tag:na and tag:@errand]
  • @Web [tag:na AND tag:@web]
  • @Work [tag:na AND (location:@work or location:@downtown) AND NOT dueAfter:”2 weeks from today”]
  • @Work-MIT [tag:na AND (location:@work or location:@downtown) AND NOT dueAfter:”1 week from today” AND (priority:1 OR priority:2)]
  • Wait-Personal (or ps-Wait) [tag:wait AND NOT location:@work)]
  • Wait-Work (or wk-Wait) [tag:wait AND (location:@work or location:@downtown)]
  • Work-WeeklyStatus [completedWithin:”1 week of today” AND location:@work AND NOT list:ps-Daily]


  • na (next action)
  • @web
  • @call
  • @errand
  • {a tag for each person who has been delegated a task from a Wait list}


  • @Home
  • @Work
  • @Downtown

Linux vs Windows

Yes, both operating systems have their faults and their virtues. I just wanted to jot down some reasons why I personally prefer Linux to Windows. I’ve been using Xubuntu as my primary operating system at home for about two years now and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I like not having my file manager and other components integrated directly into the operating system. In Windows, if your file manager hangs or crashes, it often takes the rest of the OS down with it. In Linux, everything is separate components–the kernel, the window manager, the desktop manager, and each of the applications are separate components, able to live (or die) on their own.

I like having control over my computer. In Windows if a process hangs, sometimes it just won’t die no matter how many times you click “End Now”. In the process manager, there are some processes where trying to end them gives “permission denied” even when logged in as an administrative account. There are files that Windows tells me that I may not delete–my files, on my computer?!

Windows is always trying to guess what I want, and it’s usually wrong. Linux makes no such assumptions. Microsoft Word is the worst offender, but the mindset is riddled throughout the operating system.

Windows is built for the lowest common denominator, and tries to protect users from themselves. For example, filename extensions are hidden by default–Windows won’t even tell you the real names of your files! Linux, on the other hand, is happy to always do exactly as you tell it.

Linux provides easy visibility into all of your system resource usage right on your desktop (usually with a panel plugin). Windows will at most display CPU usage through a minimized Windows Task Manager, when the taskbar feels like showing it.

Simple tasks are made difficult in Windows. In Windows, what is the best way to find out how many lines are in a file? View the OS startup logs or recent system messages? Find all filenames which match a given regular expression?

Linux comes standard with so many useful features. On Windows you have to hunt down functional, reliable, and trustworthy third-party apps to gain simple functionality.

The Linux command line is immensely powerful. I have at my fingertips all system status and information, I can easily move between scripting language sub-shells or even entirely different machines. On Windows you have to go clicking around into all kinds of different places to get anything done. The Windows command line is severely lacking.

The Best Place To Live?

I want to live on top of a grocery store.

The other night there was a dish I wanted to make, but I was missing one ingredient. I didn’t want to drive all the way over to the store just to buy the one missing ingredient–I wanted to eat dinner. “If I lived in one of those apartment complexes right over a grocery store,” I thought, “I could just run downstairs and get just what I need.”

There is nothing that we buy more often than food, so of all possible stores a grocery store is th e one you want to have closest.

I know of two apartment complexes built over grocery stores, Uwajimaya Village Apartments over Uwajimaya downtown, and another set built on top of PCC in Fremont. (Update: a new building has opened up above a QFC next to the Seattle Center, and then I found out there are condos above a Whole Foods on Westlake by Denny.)

If you lived over a grocery store you could always have the freshest fruits and vegetables.

Your perishables will never spoil, because you’re constantly rotating your supply.

You never have to worry about when you’re going to run out of milk or bread, because there’s always more downstairs.

Instead of looking though your cupboards trying to decide what to have for dinner, you have an entire grocery store at you immediate disposal, where you can pick the items required for just the dinner you want.

It would be an entirely different shopping paradigm. In the old style you compile a list of things you’ve run out of until it’s long enough to warrant a trip to the grocery store, where you stock up on everything you think you might need over the coming weeks. With the new style you could make much more frequent trips just for the tings you need, when you need them.

The next time I look for an apartment, I’ll check out the ones close to the grocery stores first.

After writing this I found an article from the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce called “Living over the store in funky Fremont”, which discusses some of the benefits and challenges of building an apartment complex on top of a supermarket.


An interesting experience from the other day, with a lesson to be learned:

I was nearing a project deadline at work. I checked in my changes and when I did a production build, found that my coworker had checked in some code without fully testing it, and it broke the build.
I wrote him an email asking him to fix his code. I was tempted to mention how it was holding me up from deploying an important change and otherwise berate him for his laziness.. but thought better of it and changed the tone to something a little more pleasant. It turns out part of my change didn’t build either.. I had just missed it because my errors were farther down the log than his.

Every time I’ve resisted my first inclination to be a little angry, harsh, or even just put-off, and switch to something nicer, I’ve always been grateful afterward. As with President Lincoln’s never-sent letter to General Meade, the trick is just to resist that initial impulse, or even better, change the impulse so it never comes.

Lundquist Family Reunion 2006

In early July I made the drive over to Garden Valley, Idaho to attend the 2006 Lundquist Family Reunion. I’m really glad I went. Beforehand, the prospect of driving 10 hours seemed daunting, but when you just get in the car and do it, it’s not so bad. It makes me worry that something so small has kept me from past family activities.. We had 44 adults and 28 children there. Activities included attending the Cascade parade and fireworks, a day playing at the lake, whitewater rafting, geocaching around the campground, family history skits, games, and talking around the campfire. Talking around the campfire was probably my favorite part.

We talked about how we’d changed over the years, and some of where we were at now, with our current projects and desires. We talked a lot about desire; how change originates not in the actions, but in thoughts–the seed for all action.

I liked how Gen commented that the reason our church doesn’t have nuns is because that would be too easy.

I didn’t spend too much time socializing with my extended family, but kept mostly with those I already knew. It was fascinating, however, just watching the others, knowing that they are my family. Seeing what they do and how they do it. Yeay for family.

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