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Comment: Re:Unfortunately (Score 3, Insightful) 144

by WalrusSlayer (#49308165) Attached to: Excess Time Indoors May Explain Rising Myopia Rates
Either you aren't a parent or you greatly resemble a helicopter.

I'm 'guilty' of leaving the kids (9 and 11) to read in the car if I know I'll only be in a store for less than ten minutes. But even lately I've limited that to things like a quick pop-in at the drug store, since it seem more likely people would overreact to seeing a child in a car at the grocery store, where the average time the child would be left along is much higher. That I even have to worry about that is just crazy.

The problem with bring authorities into a situation is that they are a very blunt instrument. They are not going to care that I actually am being mindful about evaluating (the usually miniscule to begin with) risks involved. For example:

  • If it's too hot, they stay with me.
  • If I think there's a chance I might get hung up past 5-10 minutes, they stay with me
  • If it's both of them, I'll often apply stricter standards, since the biggest risk is them getting into fight. And the biggest risk with a fight is them causing undue attention to the fact that there are alone in the car.

Ironically, this sort of unnecessary heightened vigilance leads parents to make potentially riskier decisions, if that decision is less likely to come under public scrutiny. For example, if I'm the only parent covering after school, sometimes one or the other has to be picked up, or I have to run out for some other reason. If it's less than 30 minutes, and the child's time would be better spent finishing homework than being stuck in the car, then I'll consider leaving them home. Fortunately they have good judgement, as the hazards in the home far outweigh that of being in a car.

And even then, I'll almost never do that if it means leaving them both alone, as the sibling rivalry factor raises the other risks by several orders of magnitude.

So some stranger's knee-jerk reaction to something that has actually had some thought applied to it poses a greater risk to the welfare of the child than whatever it is they think they are saving them from.

Comment: Re:Oops (Score 1) 450

by WalrusSlayer (#49230439) Attached to: Reactions to the New MacBook and Apple Watch
You'd be surprised what you can do with an Air. Mine, which is admittedly tricked out with max memory an i7 and a 512G SSD, can do some pretty heavy lifting. In addition to the native OSX (which gives me tight integration to my iThing collection), I also run Win7 in Parallels. We're talking full-up Visual Studio plus some other tools that I can't run in OSX.
Short of the too-small screen, it performs admirably. And the size/weight/battery-life has a lot going for it. I recently was spending day-long sessions on a deployment site upgrading firmware to over a hundred embedded devices. The two other guys had Dells, which crapped out by lunch (why they didn't bring a spare battery is beyond me, but whatever), whereas my Air cooked along all day. And was way less fatiguing to carry around from station to station.

So these aren't necessarily status symbols for light workloads. They are capable of real work.

Comment: Re:None (Score 2) 55

by WalrusSlayer (#49028239) Attached to: Which Freelance Developer Sites Are Worth Your Time?
Funny thing is, even as a very experienced developer, I often fall prey to my own version of that: "All I Wanted To Do Was..." Things that seem simple on the face of it almost always turn out to be some of the biggest time sinks. Combine that with a general ignorance of how much time programming takes to begin with, and the situation turns toxic quickly.

Comment: Re: .NET is NOT “Open Source” .. (Score 2) 253

Nice ad hominem. Not posting this anonymously, nor am I a Microsoft booster. Now will you go check your facts? It is indeed MIT licensed (as been cited a dozen times above), and does have a patent promise attached. What more do you want? Yes, there could be some clever devilry hidden about somewhere, but on its face it seems pretty legit and straightforward.

Comment: Re:Big city thinking (Score 1) 397

by WalrusSlayer (#48919783) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

I went to college on the east coast and spent plenty of time in NYC and the folks from NYC were among the most parochial people I've ever met.

Yeah, no kidding. Unexpectedly spent three years there and was amazed at the juxtaposition of metropolitan and provincial. Our next stop (RI) outdid NYC in terms of provincial, just without being as metropolitan.

Comment: Re:Problem was underinvestment (Score 1) 397

by WalrusSlayer (#48919589) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms
+1 for Wunderground. A refreshing break from the hysteria of "weather as panic button" that is pretty much every other source of weather information I've seen. I constantly get comments of "OMG! They're saying the sky is gonna fall!" from friends and relatives, only to find a calm factual forecast on wunderground. It's about as reliable as weather forecasts tend to be, but without the hype.

Comment: Re: Suppository form works just fine. (Score 1) 135

by WalrusSlayer (#48126733) Attached to: Feces-Filled Capsules Treat Bacterial Infection
Indeed, not to be messed around with. I was lucky a few years ago in that I developed C-diff but the standard antibiotic took care of it and it never recurred. I have read horror stories of people having chronic C-diff that goes away with treatment but just comes back. Didn't know it had turned lethal, but it is damned unpleasant. Not something I would want to live with on a chronic basis.

Comment: Re:Wow, a dose of pragmatism... (Score 1) 385

by WalrusSlayer (#47929013) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

> You mean.... gasp! ... PostgresSQL isn't a shell script pipelining a bunch of sed/awk/grep/mv/cp commands?

In terms of the larger systems that it is integrated with, that is EXACTLY what it is. It is a highly specialized application that does one thing well and leaves the scope creep for other programs that consume it's services.

It may even be broken down into a lot of highly specialized background processes like Oracle.

Well, ok, a database server isn't a great example. Because a database server is essentially an API exposed for the purpose of being consumed by other applications. This is nothing specific to Unix, since database servers work more or less the same way on other OS's.

But my point was that often-touted killer design feature of Unix (take a bunch of little specialized programs, add pipes, mix well, and bake in a 350F oven) isn't really how complex programs are designed. On that point Torvalds is spot-on.

Comment: Wow, a dose of pragmatism... (Score 2) 385

by WalrusSlayer (#47926677) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

There's still value in understanding the traditional UNIX "do one thing and do it well" model where many workflows can be done as a pipeline of simple tools each adding their own value, but let's face it, it's not how complex systems really work, and it's not how major applications have been working or been designed for a long time. It's a useful simplification, and it's still true at some level, but I think it's also clear that it doesn't really describe most of reality.

You mean.... gasp! ... PostgresSQL isn't a shell script pipelining a bunch of sed/awk/grep/mv/cp commands? Minecraft isn't some big long awk script that calls perl when it runs out of gas? I never woulda guessed!

Seriously though, and without belittling the value of the bunch 'o pipelined commands (especially for sysadmins), it's nice to hear someone clearly and concisely articulate this rather obvious reality.

Comment: Re:Usability is THE killer feature that Linux need (Score 1) 209

by WalrusSlayer (#47649835) Attached to: Elementary OS "Freya" Beta Released

So you expect to be able to use a general purpose system that does accounting, astronomy, genomics, etc etc on everything from a modern mainframe to a pocket watch with NO learning whatsoever? Were you born knowing how to use Windows 7 or did you learn it?

Sigh... Read the GP again. He uses Linux as a primary OS for home and work. Learning curve is not the issue here.

That's what he was saying. It's not hard at all but we can't learn it for you.

In other words, "it's your fault for not learning it, not our fault for not making the user experience on par with commercial alternatives".

the simplest and most obvious 'user interfaces' of any tool we have today and yet I see people using them poorly all the time.

In other words, "it's your fault, you must be using it poorly". Or, "you're so incompetent you can't even use a hammer or a screwdriver".

I know I ramped up the flammage factor in my paraphrasing, but seriously, that's the type of worldview that has Linux desktop going nowhere fast.

Comment: Re:Usability is THE killer feature that Linux need (Score 1) 209

by WalrusSlayer (#47649129) Attached to: Elementary OS "Freya" Beta Released

To be fair, you phrased it nicely. But it's still the same old mindset underneath that prevents Linux desktop from getting any traction.

No, it's really not. Familiarity is amazingly important. The thing is I use Linux more than anything else. If I go on a Windows or OSX machine, I'm presenetd with all sorts of weirdnesses and illogical things and things which plain old get in the way.

It's not a question of n00bishness but not working on the systems I work on day-in day-out every day.

Except the GP explained that he uses Linux as his primary OS at home and at work. Your response was to question whether he was familiar enough with it. Well yeah, it's safe to say that he's familiar with it.

You can make all of those disappear by making it *identical* to your OS of choice. That won't necessarily make it better, just more familiar.

If the cost is that in order for Linux to gain traction then it has to be like Windows or OSX, then there doesn't to be a whole lot of point.

Making it familiar and making it complete are different. Don't think that the GP (nor I) were arguing that Windows/OSX are perfect and should be verbatim copied.

Comment: Re:Usability is THE killer feature that Linux need (Score 1) 209

by WalrusSlayer (#47647575) Attached to: Elementary OS "Freya" Beta Released

There are so many little things daily that cause the OS to be hard to use for regular people. And yes, that includes Ubuntu.

Such as? Are you sure it's not a question of familiarity, where someone who has used almost nothing but Linux might notice similar irritations about other OSs?

In other words: "Are you a complete noob and therefore it's your fault?" "Are you sure you're smart enough?"

To be fair, you phrased it nicely. But it's still the same old mindset underneath that prevents Linux desktop from getting any traction. As soon as the Linux community takes on are default mindset that any negative user experiences are the desktop's fault and not the user's fault, things might have a prayer of getting better. Sure, you're never going to make an OS that has zero learning curve, but apologizing for the learning curve rather than trying to lessen it doesn't help anybody.

Your good nature will bring unbounded happiness.