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Comment: Hire the right people? (Score 3, Informative) 269

by Spinlock_1977 (#48027117) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

Lots of other companies manage to produce a great UI without telemetry. It's pretty sad that a company of Microsoft's depth needs telemetry data to break the management deadlocks that are contributing to the 'designed by committee' feeling of Windows 8. Talent and balls seem to be absent in these decisions.

Comment: Punch Cards in College - and Poor Peggy! (Score 1) 230

by Spinlock_1977 (#46881579) Attached to: One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

My college, in 1980, was running a Honeywell Level 2 GCOS mainframe. It had 208k of memory, and could run up to four concurrent tasks. The workstation I'm writing this post on has about 82,000 times the memory as that old beast, which physically approximated a large fridge laying on its side. The removable disk drives were sized like washing machines, had five 14-inch platters, and held 80k.

I took some Cobol courses, using keypunch machines and Hollerith punch cards. When assignments were due, you'd often see students lined up at the card reader, waiting to read in their programs. The first six columns of a punch card for Cobol programs was reserved for an optional sequence number, equivalent to a Line Number today. Nobody filled those in - not even our instructors. If you had to re-order your program, you really wanted to avoid having to re-type cards with new sequence numbers.

However, at the end of the last semester, minutes before the final assignment was due, my fellow student Peggy came running in to the data center with her purse and coat in one hand, and a six-inch deck of Cobol cards in the other, tripped in her haste to the card reader queue, and scattered 2000+ cards across the data center floor. And on the final day of the final semester, we learned why its sometimes good to put sequence numbers on your punch cards.

And btw, nearing the end of each semester, it ALWAYS took 24 hours to get a compile back.

Comment: Use GitHub (Score 1) 403

by Spinlock_1977 (#40031537) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Outsourcing Development a Good Idea?

We work with development partners. We use GitHub as a shared repository - works good, and separate repositories can ensure nothing goes to production without you pushing it. Manage permissions correctly to prevent them from going places you don't want them.

On the merits of outsourcing in general, in our case it makes sense. I can't make sense of your case.

Comment: No-Guilt Massive Energy Transfers (Score 4, Interesting) 384

by Spinlock_1977 (#39844301) Attached to: New Study Suggests Wind Farms Can Cause Climate Change

I think this almost falls into the 'no shit, Sherlock' camp. I'm glad someone with credentials is finally saying it. Please pass it along to the geo-thermal guys, who seem to think that sucking energy from the inside of this planet will never have an effect. Oh, and the wave-power-generation guys need to know too - they'll be disturbing ecologies and water flow patterns for miles around - who knows how far those effects will cascade? Scale counts - oil consumption wasn't a problem until we scaled it out - the same fate awaits any terrestrial energy source we scale.

There are only two places to get energy: 1. Earth, 2. Not Earth. Given a choice, I'll choose 2.

Comment: The Ancient Battle (Score 5, Interesting) 780

by Spinlock_1977 (#38686236) Attached to: Windows Admins Need To Prepare For GUI-Less Server

GUI vs. Command Line. I lived through that argument in the 80's and 90's. With a GUI, syntax problems go away - IF you can figure out how to find/launch the GUI. On the command line, all commands are available in one spot, but the syntax can be challenging. We really just traded one problem for another.

But for those of us who run production shops, a GUI isn't scriptable and is therefore not testable. Command line scripts can be tested in an offline environment, emailed around, put under version control, and printed out for enjoyable bathroom reading. Who doesn't love command line scripts???

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde