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Comment: Re: What's wrong with Windows Server? (Score 1) 613

by fluffynuts (#47820721) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

And I'm not trying to spew vitriol about Windows or services in that platform, though I'm sure you might expect that here and I might even have appeared to be doing just that (: I was just answering your question (:
I've come to understand that all tools have their rough edges. I make my living from writing software for the Windows stack and most likely will continue to do so for many years to come.

Comment: Re:What's wrong with Windows Server? (Score 2) 613

by fluffynuts (#47818655) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

The biggest issue I have with the Windows service model is that certain services are run in the same shared process, which means that if you want to take one down, they all come tumbling down.
Secondary to that is the flakiness of the install/uninstall process -- I've found it far too easy to get the services subsystem into a dodgy state where a service is scheduled for deletion, but not actually deleted until you restart, even though it's no longer running or in use. Which means that you can't re-install a newer version of the service until you reboot because your new version shares the same name.
Tertiary to that is the fun and games that you have to endure to be able to run an application as a service but also run it once-off for debugging / development. Hence the birth of projects like this: (full disclosure: I wrote it and (a) I'm sure it's not a unique solution and (b) there are probably better ways of doing it but (c) I found I needed to do this far too often). Much of this hinges around how messages (start/stop/pause/resume etc) are sent to the service -- and these are also (IMO) far less elegant than *nix signals. It's also this architecture which makes a flaky service gain the ability to cause havoc with your system by not responding to requests properly, etc.
In addition, programming a service for install / uninstall is a mission in and of itself -- even the "standardised" .net way is well unintuitive. Again, this is solved in my shell, using (again, full disclosure, written by me), but basically involves telling the system where to find entry points in your service code; in other words, forget the standard main(), there are other entry points that the Windows service system uses. Coming from another platform, you'd expect services to be easier to write -- they're just regular, daemonized processes launched from an init script (which you can find a template for easily enough).

All of that doesn't mean that I could have done better or that it's absolute shit. It's just that it takes time to figure this stuff out -- many burned fingers before you start getting it right. And I still get the feeling (oodles of services later) that I'm missing something. Because I probably am.

I sincerely hope that systemd doesn't foist this same mess on us. I haven't investigated it enough to know much about it, but the facts that I have read (primarily who the dev team are and my experience with their prior fuckups and most especially how they like to shift blame after royally fisting someone else but also how they don't give two shits about user problems or reinventing stuff that didn't need reinventing) don't give me that warm fuzzy feeling.
PulseAudio is a great example: pretends (poorly) to be ALSA and then the devs blame userland software when audio gets choppy (even when audio wasn't choppy on ALSA). It also poorly implements features like simultaneous output to multiple physical devices and devs don't take bug reports on that shit -- I tried and was shut down for using a feature I apparently wasn't supposed to be using (ie, simultaneous output). They'd rather leave broken shit in place than fix or remove it.

Comment: PDFSharp, if you're using .NET or Mono (Score 1) 132

by fluffynuts (#47632019) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

I'll be honest that I don't have a broad range of experience with libraries. I've used a couple of html-to-pdf implementations and PDFSharp. The licensing for PDFSharp is very permissive, support can be paid for if required and the library is quite fast. As an aside, it has a cousin, MigraDoc, which produces abstract documents which you can finalise to Office formats, if you need that too.

IMO, there is no perfect tool, but PDFSharp has served me well.

Comment: Gave up when the card-to-mobo interface shifted (Score 1) 502

I have an SBLive sound card. Loved it for years. Defended it and all of its virtues (hardware mixing! oh, emm, gee!). Then I had to upgrade my motherboard and found that PCI is "old tech", so that card hasn't been used since then. I'm not enough of an audiophile to care (yes, it *was* better than the onboard Realtek stuff I have now) to buy a card which costs about as much as my graphics card (which provides a lot more bang for the buck) just so that I can throw it away when AMR is not the new hot shit any more.
I'd be more inclined for something USB but my experiences there have been less than stellar and posters higher up can back me up -- a lot of USB sound solutions out there are crappy-poop.

Comment: Re:Maybe not extinction... (Score 1) 608

by fluffynuts (#46843521) Attached to: Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?

Indeed. I think that the moment we can stop acting like a bunch of "you're wrong, I'm right" douches and just work together, we can overcome this bottleneck. Unfortunately, other commenters are about to prove how we can't by telling you how wrong [X] is and how right their version of [X] is ):

Comment: Re:what happens when the batters wears out? (Score 1) 398

by fluffynuts (#46825513) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

Yes, dealerships can rip you off for services. That being said, you should damn well replace oil (engine most often, gearbox at least 3 times in the time you had it), brake fluid and spark plugs, at least every 20000 km. Engine fluids are not built to last: they break down and become inefficient, costing you money at the pump, increasing your emissions, wearing your engine. If you have an air-conditioner, you also need to fill the gases there at some point -- they tend to make their way outward.

You'd probably find that your car would easily double or possibly even triple that distance if it were looked after. Cars which last longer put a lower burden on our planet as they lighten the demand for new cars, obviously.

The best bit is that oil, oil filter, brake fluid and spark-plug changes are trivial and can be done by absolutely any able-bodied person with the 10 minutes it takes to learn how.

Comment: Re:Oh noes, I can't drive X miles (Score 1) 398

by fluffynuts (#46825429) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

I bet you're never more than an 10 minutes away from a power outlet but you'd also never consider owning a phone with a four hour battery life. Bear in mind that some people simply don't want to have to juice up so often, much like you wouldn't want to for your phone.

Comment: One of my prior employers did this (Score 1) 572

And it's one of the reasons I left. It was all part of the erosion of the "cool place to work" ethos that was there when I joined them.

If you can, vote with your feet. I totally appreciate that not everyone can. But if you can, do. And make sure that your employer knows about it. Also, it helps to inform the unaware masses if you know about it -- most of the people at my old work didn't know, and that, in and of itself, is possibly worse than the actual act.

Comment: It /is/ a PITA but... (Score 1) 860

by fluffynuts (#46421369) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

Put your XP stuff in a VirtualBox VM. Snapshot it so you have a safe place to roll back to when it breaks (because it will) and run it on a newer OS. Win8 if you like, or some variant of Linux. The point is that XP is (like any piece of software) imperfect and bound to have security issues in the future. If you're the kind of user who doesn't go online and your world never changes, then you have no incentive to upgrade anyway. This message is aimed at people who would have some advantage in having a harder system and/or access to newer software.

Really, the only thing needed for this is a tool which guides the novice user through:
1) resizing their main drive so that there's enough space (or stop if there's no space and inform the user; disks aren't that expensive these days) to
2) dump the drive to a VB disk image, in a partition in the remaining space
3) install whatever upgrade path you've asked for (so the tool needs a "resume" mode so you can launch it again from wherever you left off)
4) set up the VB VM for use.

Ok, it's non-trivial, but the process *is* trivial for a technical user. If you're one of those, or prepared to support a family member, put your pride aside and help them to upgrade to the platform of their choice (whatever that is) with a VB VM to hold their old environment.

Stop whining about it -- decide if upgrading to anything else is actually worth it and then just do the above. Time changes everything. Life moves on. It's time you do too -- or just accept where you are and shaddup. /2c

Comment: Perhaps it was an experiment? (Score 1) 255

by fluffynuts (#46311981) Attached to: Ubuntu 14.04 Brings Back Menus In Application Windows

When you have an idea (and this applies especially to software, where it's easy to run this course), a good idea is to run an experiment -- see if your idea actually holds water.

100 million kudos points, however, to the person who recognises the experiment for what is is (an experiment) and has the kahunas to recoginise failure and roll back.

Personally, I don't like global menus, But if they had worked for most users, then that alone would have given them value -- and I'm free to not accept and work around them. I, for one, applaud the ability of Ubuntu and Shuttleworth to run an experiment, recognise failure and go back to what is known to work. It shows respect for the user.

Comment: Re:What the (Score 1) 207

by fluffynuts (#46305173) Attached to: Chevron Gives Residents Near Fracking Explosion Free Pizza

I would have thought that groundwater contamination was enough of a risk? Perhaps you need to go check out what happens when groundwater becomes unfit for human or animal consumption and what crap is pumped into the bedrock to force out the gas?

Whilst you're completely right about nuclear, the question "Are there risks with fracking?" combined with the answer "..., not really", has to be one of the most stupid things I've ever had the misfortune to read.

I must, however, congratulate you on your ability to mix completely sane logic and reason with utter crap and sell that dish as a package.

Comment: Whilst the generic /. anti-Microsofties will bleat (Score 1) 303

by fluffynuts (#46164527) Attached to: Will Microsoft IIS Overtake Apache?

(disclaimer, I'm a fan of "use what works" and prefer open-source; but my daily job and freelance stuff has often been on a Microsoft stack)

MVC. Oh yeah, and legacy aspx.

That should say enough. MVC is *dead easy* to dev against and, in the process, produce good code. I'm not running down other frameworks and languages (another disclaimer: I've used and loved at least 12 languages including PHP and Python; I've dealt with CGI; all tools with a reasonable following must have some merit or they wouldn't have a following). I'm just saying this: it's super-easy to get an html5-compliant, fast, well-separated, unit-testable (indeed, TDD-driven) website out of the MVC stack. You almost have to try not to. Cake is cool. Rails is nice. Again, cool your jets -- I'm not running down your tech. But MVC/VS201(2|3)/Entity/SQL Server (2012 express handles a 10 gig db and it's free!) make your average and even above-average sites dev a breeze.

So yeah, I'm not fond of IIS. But I totally understand why it's getting traction. The toolchain, the dev workflow -- those are some good incentives right there. I got a client to pay 50% monthly fees more for a win32 stack by promising (and delivering) a TDD'd site in shorter time. Everyone is winning here. I'm sure other servers beat IIS on performance, sexiness and general karma -- it doesn't matter in the face of total cost and ease of dev.

(Please note that, at no point in the above, did I say this was the only way. Don't waste your time trying to convince me [X] is better -- (a) I know I can do what I want in other environments and (b) I don't really care to be told, mainly because of (a). The OP was bringing up a point and the comments I've seen so far are typical anti-MS /.-isms based solely in the hate for Redmond (not that Microsoft is golden by any stretch of the imagination))

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun