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Comment: Re:Can they do that? (Score 1) 217

by SL Baur (#33614642) Attached to: SCO Puts Unix Assets On the Block

In fact, I don't know anyone in the industry that's actually using real UNIX V code in production anymore.

Be careful with the terminology. Unix V was the first VM implementation of Unix and I don't think anyone uses it any more. It ran on ancient DEC equipment (early Vaxen IIRC). In terms of standard naming, think of Unix V == Version 5 or 5th Edition.

The only significant (mis)feature of System V was Streams, and nobody sane uses that any more. The SVID mostly codified existing practice.

Solaris is like the spiritual descendant of System V. How much of the original System V from around the time of the AT & T break up remains, I don't know. I've never had a source license to anything other than System V/386 (which was R3).

Comment: Peak Oil is a myth (Score 1, Interesting) 764

by SL Baur (#33543054) Attached to: German Military Braces For Peak Oil

When I took geology in college (~1987) they were predicting that oil was going to run out by early 2000. I guess fifteen years in the future is farther ahead than they expect most people will remember.

Peak oil is a myth and there is very strong evidence of abiotic oil. See http://www.viewzone.com/abioticoilx.html for example.

Comment: Re:So that's why the UW mail system went down (Score 1) 473

by SL Baur (#33532892) Attached to: New Email Worm Squirming Through Windows Users' Inboxes

How easy would it be to prepend ~/bin to $PATH and stick it in there?

Irrelevant. /home should be mounted noexec unless you're a software developer and even then it's probably better to set up a special area that you don't normally touch to do program development.

But, you could set the system login scripts to forbid ~/bin, ., etc. being in the $PATH. And you can set $PATH to READONLY before allowing user .profile/.bash_profile/.zlogin etc. to execute. This can be defeated, but not without command line magic and it won't have any effect on the window manager.

Comment: Re:The hard way is more fun (Score 1) 590

by SL Baur (#33526416) Attached to: Programming Things I Wish I Knew Earlier

Do you have any idea of what the system administrators will do with your log?

Oh yes, I do. They won't touch it. Their job is only to keep the server(s) running. If it's an application problem, the hammer comes down on me.

The admins only keep the machines running. Application support isn't in their job description.

Of course, we don't leave our logs in system directories. We have our disk where we keep those.

We're talking "Enterprise computing". It's a very different environment.

Comment: Re:Lesson #8 (Score 1) 590

by SL Baur (#33496920) Attached to: Programming Things I Wish I Knew Earlier

Ya know, I actually DID walk to classes, barefoot, in the snow. Yes, I was weird. (I growed up as a hillbilly. My mamma never could learn me to wear shoes much.)

The paper tape and punch cards part I wrote was real.

Seeing how you have similar experience I don't whether to invite you inside to talk about the old days, order you off my lawn, or quietly step off of your lawn.

Comment: Re:Yea.. (Score 2, Interesting) 337

by SL Baur (#33492758) Attached to: Glibc Is Finally Free Software

I remember -- RMS *did* bitch about the copyright assignment thing.

Correct. It wasn't enough that we were GPL (v2), but we had to get copyright assignments to the FSF from an organization that didn't exist and people who were unwilling to do that.

My only personal contact with Stallman was a phone call just a bit after I took over from Chuck and he promised to "go to war against me" (his words) if I didn't get all the copyright assignments. I couldn't and he did.

In an interesting twist, my successor has managed to get the code base to GPL v3. Sigh.

Comment: Tao of Programming (Score 1) 590

by SL Baur (#33492544) Attached to: Programming Things I Wish I Knew Earlier

That was a truly a forgettable book. I had a copy and even tried to read it through several times. I cannot recall anything about it other than the title.

That makes me sad in a way, because I usually can read something end to end.

Regarding the quote: It's not that COBOL was such a bad language for its time. It wasn't. Of the three languages COBOL, FORTRAN and Lisp, only Lisp survives (in new code) in anything resembling its ancestor. COBOL survives in legacy code that will probably never be retired. FORTRAN has mutated into something unrecognizable and arguably didn't last.

We can be grateful for FORTRAN because it buried the notion that compilers could never beat hand coded assembly.

We can be grateful for Lisp because it later spawned The One True Editor.

We can be grateful for COBOL because it made so mistakes that were so glaringly obvious, no one ever made them again.

Comment: Re:Lesson #8 (Score 2, Funny) 590

by SL Baur (#33492464) Attached to: Programming Things I Wish I Knew Earlier

There's no substitute for a few solid courses in theory and design.

You must be new here. When I started programming, there were only a handful of colleges that had computer programming departments.

You came along late enough that you might have had decent instructors.

And I walked to and from college both ways, uphill, in the snow, barefooted, my first programming class used paper tape, my second programming class used punch cards, yadda yadda yadda.

Now, get off my lawn!

Comment: Re:The hard way is more fun (Score 1) 590

by SL Baur (#33492408) Attached to: Programming Things I Wish I Knew Earlier

I recently replaced a SMTP protocol implementation with a pipe to /usr/sbin/sendmail. Guess what? It worked much better.

It depends. Did you get all the quoting correct when starting sendmail? How did you handle error returns?

For any kind of enterprise code, I'd lean towards an SMTP implementation exactly because when something fails (and pagers are going off everywhere at 3am) you can make a log of exactly what went wrong.

Your code should be more efficient!

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