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Comment A lot of good changes (Score 1) 162

Changes I enjoyed.

  • Logical Volume Manager: I don't miss working with partitions. I love mirroring and being able to migrate live filesystems.When mirroring came along I was able to sleep more.My first LVM was on AIX, so I enjoyed having the entire system handled by an LVM. Solaris took forever to catch up. Now all UNIX OSes have an LVM.
  • SAN: I don't even have to worry about mirroring any more, on the OS level. I can add, remove, grow and move disks dynamically.
  • Virtualization: VMWare, KVM, AIX Lpars, I can dynamically change the processors and memory with a command line.
  • LVM+SAN+Virtualization: can migrate a server from one piece of hardware to another with a command line.
  • 64 bit: Large files over 2GB was such a relief and it was nice being able to use more memory on a large server.
  • Hot pluggable devices: Less downtime.

Comment Re: It's not just IT (Score 5, Insightful) 152

There are a couple of problems with that.

A company, especially a large one, would have multiple levels of management. A vice president has meeting with his directors, they can't answer until they talk to their direct reports who can't answer until they talk to their direct reports who actually know something. You end up with high latency for even simple topics.

If the intermediate managers have no technical background, you will end up with a grapevine effect. If you don't understand what you are getting from your direct reports how can you effectively write it down in preparation for the upcoming meeting?

"The application has a high turn rate and the high latency on the network is causing it to be slow"

"He said the network was too slow."

"I was told that we doubled the bandwidth on the network. What are you talking about?

"Upper management said it can't be the network, they had the bandwidth doubled."

"It's not a bandwidth problem, it's a high latency problem.

"I don't understand. Should we have networking check to see if there is a problem with the network? I''l setup a meeting with the networking group."

They have to understand the technology, otherwise the grapevine effect will kill you. The bigger the company, the worse it will get.

Finally, if you have multiple direct reports, how do you resolve a conflict of ideas when you have no idea what they are talking about? Put it to a vote? An experienced manager with a technical background would be able to ask the right questions to determine the pros and cons of each idea.

Comment Re:If you ride a bike... (Score 4, Insightful) 696

Some drivers are malicious. One of my wife's students was rear ended after stopping for a stop sign. He went flying and broke his arm. The driver told him to get off the road and drove off. I stopped riding a bike in the 80s after multiple cars sideswiped me, once when I was on the sidewalk. It seemed like it was safer in the 70s and then in the early 80s drivers starting hitting cyclists like it was a sport.

My wife and I are riding again, but only on the rail trails.

Comment Re:wtf? (Score 1) 270

Windows 3.1 wasn't complicated at all. What kind of moron thinks otherwise??

I'm guessing it's the same person who provoked a study into whether the instructions for using a condom required a college degree.

What nobody realized is that Boeing pawned a janitor off as a scientist and Microsoft didn't catch on. Having used their products, I can honestly see that happening.

Comment For people with only one hand for typing? (Score 1) 698

I went six months without the use of my left hand because of an injury. During that time I used the "caps lock" key extensively. I know I'm not the only one who had to use it at some point in time. Some people will always need access to it.

Are you seriously hoping to make a change that will mess with the unfortunate because YOU don't require it? Maybe they should spend extra to get a special keyboard after the "caps lock" is removed? Was there a study done to see how many people use handicap ramps?

Comment Re:High fat? (Score 1) 244

Why do you care how I kill myself, as long as I'm making an informed decision?

The lifetime cost of diabetes is around $85,000, so I suppose you might argue that my poor diet raises your health insurance premiums. The lifetime cost of a single knee replacement is around $130,000, so I would counter that it is 3x more expensive to be an avid runner who wears out both his knees than to be a diabetic.

The cost for diabetes is a lot higher than that, especially when the patient is older and requires home care. Healthy walks or bicycling work as well. And you're assuming someone with diabetes is less likely to require knee replacement surgery or are they more likely to have their limbs amputated? What's the cost for a prosthetic?

Comment Re:Height increase justifies nothing (Score 1) 409

It's inaccurate for most people. If you're tall then it doesn't scale correctly. I'm 6'2", should I weigh 145 pounds? The BMI calculation would say that was normal weight! I'm 225 with a 36" waist, which almost makes me obese. I exercise and try to eat right, most of the time. If I trimmed down to 200 pounds I would still be considered overweight!

Using a bad formula that doesn't take into account body fat% is ridiculous.


Comment Re:Allow me to respond from the perspective of an (Score 1) 614

All good, right? No--because of wage creep. Wage creep means that because salaries must always go up for retained employees, labor costs must always go up.

They do not always go up(I wish!). Most companies have a range for each position. When you hit the ceiling for your position, you do not get a raise. Also, even if you are not at the limit, your raise will depend on how close you are to the limit. The ceiling is usually based on what the current market value is for that position in the geographical location you are in. Bonuses are not guaranteed, the company usually has to be doing well, and if it is doing well, why not reward those responsible?

There is additional value in having employees who know the company well and are loyal to the company. They have a vested interest in not just doing their job, but doing it well. But if you treat them as a commodity, they'll treat you like a nameless chump with money. They might do their job, but if they see something that should be fixed, they won't care unless it is their responsibility. A loyal employee will point it out or fix it themselves, even if it wasn't their responsibility. It makes a huge difference, I can tell when loyal employees made a software product. It's the one where software support knows it well and actually help you as opposed to going through a useless checkless!

Comment Re: Why isn't this illegal again? (Score 1) 614

The government is supposed to serve the people, not the corporations. I do not see the point in paying taxes to a government that gives some of it away to other countries, pander to corporations, spend ridiculous amounts of money on military actions across the globe, overpaying congress to make decisions that are not necessarily in favor of the people, paying millions to defend terrorists, etc. Lobbying(aka bribery), has made it easy for corporations to get congress work for them. They should make lobbying illegal along with other types of bribery. And when they want a raise, the people should vote on it. If their pay was dependant on the people being happy, there would be less H1-B visas

There are multiple problems with competing for jobs with H1-Bs. When you start out, you have little experience and no job history. You will probably have to take an entry level job and work your way up, or at least gain experience and history for your next job. H1-B visas can take those jobs and you can't really compete when the company prefers someone they can control more and you can't offer anything more without a job history. This means less opportunities for people starting out and there's nothing they can do to compensate. Later, the H1-Bs will have more experience because they got those entry level jobs and when they move up they will be in a position to increase the number of H1-Bs for their friends.

Another problem is that senior executives will get bonuses for saving the company money, even if the company loses money in the long run. They can go to another company before the losses begin and the next company will hire them based on their short term track record at their previous company(IE: Chainsaw Al). Replacing a large portion of your workforce with unproven employees is a long term risk. If your current work force is competent enough to train their replacements then you are risking long term disaster. You are replacing something that works with something that might work. A percentage of hires do not have the skills they claim to have and I suspect H1-Bs are even more prone to have fabricated skill sets.

When a corporation performs an action that is hurtful and degrading like this, it proves they are sociopathic in nature. You don't want to encourage a corporation to act like a sociopath. Individual sociopaths can be dangerous, but sociopathic corporations are terrifying.

Comment Re:a phone (Score 1) 237

They hired GM Joel Benjamin and other GMs as a consultant. He studied Kasparov's career for Deep Blue. He could play games against it and help tune it against Kasparov.

I'm willing to bet that they took all of his openings and had Deep Blue put some serious time looking for potential novelties(maybe months) and when they were found, a team of GMs would decide if it was good enough to put into Deep Blue's opening database. They basically nullified Kasparov's repertoire. Studying your opponents games before a match is standard OP. Joel and IBM got to prepare against Kasparov, but he did not get to prepare against Deep Blue.

Comment Re:Who cares about this guy? (Score 1) 237

There isn't a smartphone that can take on a GM, especially under those conditions. If he used it for every move, he would probably lose on time, you get close to 3 minutes a move(40 moves/90 minutes, 30 seconds added per move, then 30 minutes sudden death). He would probably use most of that time round-trip, his opponent would get serious time odds against a smartphone! It's not going to come up with anything amazing in 30 seconds.

But, you could setup a powerful server at home to run a chess program like Houdini and access it remotely with your smart phone. You would still have to carefully pick when you used it and memorize multiple lines.