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Journal: "Automatically", I/O, and Linux robustness. 2

Journal by SurfTheWorld

Pisses me off how more things these days in our trusted "lil OS that could" are automatically done for you in order to make you more efficient. As it turns out, many of these things make me LESS efficient, and cause me to break things near my computer. And I'm quite certain that my computer is quite tired of me slapping it on it's face (monitor) for automatically doing something I don't want it to do.

For example, I copy a lot of my family movies that my Dad is now converting to DVD. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Start k3b, and let it Copy DVD, right? No.

Because I'm running Gnome, and fucking nautilus, automount, kd3init, and k3b are all competing for the same resource (/dev/hdd), I have to sit on my thumb for 30+ seconds until one of the asshat daemons decides to give up the buttplug it's rammed up the kernel's ass so that the rest of the deadlocked processes can unwedge themselves. Only then will k3b start copying. But we're not finished! Oh no, not by a long shot. When I'm finished sucking in a disk image, I have to wait for k3b to clean itself up. I don't know what this means other than k3b has to disassociate itself with the kde session it has established. To this day, I'd like to know who DCOP is, and why the hell he won't give up the goods when I want to start/stop k3b.

If I am fortunate enough to be able to exit the k3b process I started in an xterm, I face an insurmountable challenge the next time I want to run k3b. k3b (possibly through kdeinit) leaves some kind of droppings (in the form of defunct processes) that dont' allow me to run k3b again without rebooting my machine. Does this sound like Windows 3.1?

Other times, I can't even exit k3b. I can't Ctrl-C the process. I can't "Force the application to quit" (I love that - as if my "kill -9" shell commands were not forceful enough. But gnome is going to magically "force the application to quit". Possibly through some kind of jedi/vulcan hybrid mindmeld). If I do, it just leaves the window on the screen and it never refreshes itself. GIVE ME BACK MY "kill -9"!

Let's look at other applications that try to do things "automatically" to help you.

How about gtkpod? You can ask gtkpod to manage the ipod device for you (this presumably means mount and umount it). However, if you ask gtkpod to do this, you'll wedge your system in such a way that you'll get "Read-only filesystem" on just certain files on your ipod (not all files mind you. The key noun in the previous error message is "filesystem". Nowhere does it say "file". Asshats). Also, gtkpod will try to mount the filesystem using root privileges, which means that a regular user can't read/write to it! How assinine! It's so much better to simply tell gtkpod *where* the ipod is mounted, and then mount it yourself.

Now onto kudzu.

After adding the "user" option to /etc/fstab (allowing me to mount my ipod as "chris" and write it as "chris"), I rebooted to test the from-scratch process of putting music on my ipod. I reboot, login as chris, and execute "mount /mnt/ipod". Only root can do that? But I have the "user" option in /etc/fstab. grep ipod /etc/fstab. What?! How did this change?

It turns out that kudzu fucks up your /etc/fstab with it's own configuration when you reboot! I have absolutely no clue how this happens, as I have removed kudzu from my bootup runlevel. None-the-less, kudzu still farks my /etc/fstab trying to help me.

This brings me to my last "automatic" gripe: NFS. Why is it that anytime an NFS server becomes temporarily unavailable that every process goes tits up and becomes unresponsive?! Why does my Firefox process care that my /mp3 nfs mount is now stale?! Why does k3b choke up while writing a UDF image when /mp3 is hung? AND WHY GODDAMNIT DOES "df -h" HANG?! Can't we apply some of that "automatically" thinking to practical problems and make VFS return *promptly* if an NFS mount is stale?! Is that so hard?! Why does every IO based process I run become [defunct] when I accidentally remove my ethernet cord!!

I just wish that Linux could be more forgiving when unexpected situations occur. I just had to reboot 3 times in order to unwedge my ipod. I feel like I'm running Windows 3.x, and it's making me want to change OSes.

User Journal

Journal: Farking ads

Journal by SurfTheWorld

Never has a 17Kb animated GIF motivated me to make a purchase. To me, advertisements are like spam:

1.) They are unsolicited
2.) They only hit 1 / 1000 times.
3.) They consume resources and bandwidth.

There's an enormous uproar about spam, but how come nobody cares that CNN pops up an advertisement *every time you go to their page*?

10 to the 12th power microphones = 1 Megaphone

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