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Comment: Re:Listen to the old guy (Score 1) 173 173

How many down times do Mainframes get per year...
I work with mainframe systems... And they go down 3 or 4 times a year. Sure it is not a full system freeze, but enough to stop work. You are just hating cloud because it is buzzwordy and afraid that it will take your job.

Comment: Re:Listen to the old guy (Score 1) 173 173

I just checked that last 90 days of ncidents for eastern US for Azure. And I saw 19 incidents. None of them accounts for a full outage, only a particular feature may be down.

I have worked with mainframe maintenance. For one this "24/7/365 for decades at a time" isn't really true. As even the best maintained system will have scheduled outages. Otherwise you may have a "God help us if this system ever fails" issue, as a failure over such time could show off all the other systems that have failed.
I have seen such long running systems, up for years, without being maintained. The system just did its thing and did it well. So much so that the application ran completely in active RAM, and once the system went down, we found out the drives failed a long time ago. Why didn't we see it in the logs? Well the logs were attempted to be written to the disk. And the operator at the time had a tendency to ignore and clear out console errors on the terminal.

    Also much like Azure, while the System may be running, there are often parts of it that may fail, and would need to get restarted. Stop and restart the database. Unmounted the drive and replace a new one.

Comment: Re:Seems obvious (Score 1) 173 173

I am not sure if I follow your example.
Normally getting a faster box, will improve performance is a given. The more outside the box would be the following.
With having your DB running in volatile RAM. What changes are needed to prevent sudden power outages. Would the time it would take do do a safe shutdown be increased ( as more data will need to be saved )
Being that it is running in RAM, should we go back to a slower/cheaper magnetic drives again.
Outside of the box, is considering items that are beyond the normal.

Comment: Re:Listen to the old guy (Score 1) 173 173

Yes Listen to the old guy, he has years of experience, and is at a point where he has little to fear from retaliation. You may be asking to solve problems that had been solved before. We have found cycles in computing where old ideas come back up new again.
The early computers: They just ran one program for one user.
Mainframes: One computer for many programs and users either with Time Sharing or multi-tasking
Desktops: A computer for each person again.
Cloud Computing: Many people accessing a computing infrastructure again.

We get cycles where improvements in communication push us towards a remote hosted solution, then we get improvements where processing get faster and cheaper so we are better off having our own stuff.

The old guy has gone threw such cycles, and when they swap again, there is a tool-set in his bag of tricks for this case.

Now that said... The Old Guy may also suffers from not embracing the new technology, and may no longer be as sharp as he use to be. Because as things do cycle, the new version actually solves issues from the previous incarnation.
The Desktop is more reliable and affordable than the old Univax
A Cloud infrastructure is more fault tolerant and has less single point of failures then a mainframe.
So many of the concerns are less of an issue. As well they may be new issues and tradeoffs that need to be considered.

Also...
There needs to be passing down the torch to the younger generation and stepping aside. The Baby Boomers are having a hard time with this. With the set of Millennial bashing, trying to stay young where they should be considering retirement. So they are not passing down their wisdom and training replacements, but staying in the job until they die, leaving a gap that is hard to fill. Creating gaps towards promotion. That Entry Level programmer didn't get enough training for the Sr. programmer. So when the Sr. Programmers leaves the Entry level isn't skilled enough to take his place.

By the time you peak in your career, you should be working on a succession plan, trying to get the new guys to work with you, you may end up learning some stuff from the new guys and the new guys will learn stuff from you.

Comment: Re:The problem with that (Score 1) 173 173

Yea. Everyone thinks all others code sucks.
There is a degree of temperament from experience that we need to account for that.

Now what we as Engineers can do, is improve on the design, get rid of those calls to Microsoft Access, and switch it to a more sturdy relational database. Fix the indenting so it makes sense. Finding the Copy and paste code and make functions and procedures out of them. And sometimes you will just need to tolerate the weirdness and when you figure it out put a comment explaining it.

Granted the Code isn't professional. But it got the job done, and now there is an open software engineer job to maintain and expand the code where they wouldn't be one.
For the most part a new idea, doesn't come with funding to pay for a software engineer. So you will have to do it yourself. Life ain't perfect.

Comment: Re:As long as they're not forced (Score 2) 173 173

Just like how we are forced to learn how to read, write, and do arithmetic.
In today's world, everyone should have a basic level of programming skills, I don't think it needs to be comprehensive, but to a level where they can solve simple problems and know where your limitations are. Basic Programming literacy should be at least the following
IF conditionals (with AND and OR)
LOOPs
Varables
and nesting.

Mostly a CS101 type of stuff. But that should be generic everyone is taught skills.
Not so they can grow up to be programmers, and software developers, but as a tool to train their brain in different methods of solving issues.
We have Liberal Art skills, that gives critical thinking
We have Mathematics that gives us tools that we can use to solve problems.
Computer science is actually a good way to glue both together. You want to create, you have an problem, you can use the tools of math in different ways to help create a solution.

 

Comment: Re:Seems obvious (Score 2) 173 173

There is a lot of talk about Thinking Outside the Box. However that is rarely useful, and doesn't happen. I have been credited and celebrated for my out of the box solutions to problems. However they were not really outside the box, just not how things were normally done.
1. Everyone has a different box to think in. Their experience determines its size.
2. Many of the ideas may be standard in each box, however some ideas are unique to a box, differences in skill sets determines this.
3. Fear normally keeps us in following "this is how it is done" method. A new method already exists in someones box, you just need to get them to speak up.

Comment: Re:useless idea person... (Score 3, Insightful) 173 173

There is value from someone outside the box. Normally I like to work with the lowest ranking person who would be using such a tool. As they are often the ones with the best ideas, because they know what is going on at the detail level. Not some high up Big Picture Idea guy. Who just crams features that may or may not be useful. Also dealing only with techs (unless your product is made for them) can be not productive, as they will normally resolve down to what is easiest to build, because to make a good product, you will sometimes need to push the boundaries a bit more.

Now that said. Any ideas needs to be balanced with the limitation of technology. I had to once reject a customer who wanted me to make an App to do the following. OCR documents, If the document date (which was not formally standardized, nor was willing to standardize it) was past the data retention period would flag the document to be deleted, as well put them in a work queue for the hard copies to be destroyed. I had to turn them down, because the application was a constant high risk of huge failure. OCR isn't perfect, the fact that the date wasn't standardized made it worse, combined the result is intended to cause data loss means any glitch is a problem. I offered an alternate solution, where when they store the documents they enter the retention date, manually, and if they added a bar code to them it would make the process simpler. However that required too much manual effort. He just wanted to put a stack of documents on a scanner. Scan them and have everything go automatically.

Comment: Re:When it has no value (Score 5, Insightful) 42 42

Normally products are released Open Source as that they are not part of their business model.
If your business model is based on consulting, then for the most part it makes sense for most of your products that you make to be Open Source as you are not expecting to make money selling software, but consulting services.
Even if your model is selling software, particular tools that you make are outside of your sales area. Say if you make Electronic Health Records as your core business, your Web Framework that you made, or tools that you use for searching data etc... You might want to Open Source.
There is some advantages in Opening Source such systems.
1. You might get some support outside the company to fix bugs, make improvements etc...
2. Your company will get some good will for releasing the free tool.
3. Your code may create a workforce trained in your system, so there is less training for new hires.
4. You may be able to become the standard, vs trying to deal with a large sets of different methods all closed and expensive. You could kill your competition from you pet project.

Comment: Re:Because...it's the LAW! (Score 1) 395 395

How is 3D printing enabling anyone?

If you wanted to make your own gun. Any Joe Smo with a garage workshop could make one, even without a 3D Printer. A bench drill, with a metal drilling bit, and some metal cutting and welding tools. is enough for someone to make their own gun. And just like a 3D printed model. It may not be the safest or relabel gun. But it can get the job done.

Comment: Re:Just in time (Score 4, Insightful) 174 174

Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT.

While Windows XP had a 64bit version the 32bit version was still popular, as PC's at the time were still mostly under 4 gigs of ram, and most were 32bit processors.
XP lasted too long. There was too much effort in Vista, they wanted to make an ultimate OS, thus failed miserably, a system designed to take advantage of many of the next generation Ideas, that was not implemented.
Windows 7 "the new golden age of Windows?" really took the fact that there was competition with Mac OS and Linux seriously and made one of their most Solid Consumer OS, they fixed Vista's features that were over engineered and made it work well again. Windows 7 was good enough to put an end of the "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" commercials. Windows 7 is also when people started switching seriously to a 64bit OS. And actually loosing compatibility with many of the old 16bit apps.
Windows 8 and 8.1 isn't that bad. However they tried to make a tablet and PC OS. By in turn making a system that isn't optimal for both. Granted now with the Ultrabooks with touch screens getting more popular, the interface changes are paying off a bit more, however we are missing what we need for a good workstation OS.
Windows 10... From what I have seen so far they seem to be going back to making it more of a workstation OS, with touch capabilities. The Tablet never caught on as well as people hoped. It didn't send the Desktop/Laptop into a doom spiral. However it changed that nature of the desktop to a smaller market share. Those who need to do real computing still needed these systems. And the new Ultrabooks convertible systems have caught on.

Now what about Linux and Macs?
If you don't like windows, there isn't anything wrong with Linux or Macs, so even if Windows 10 is a huge success... It doesn't mean it will kill your favorite OS as I am sure they will be around for decades to come.

Comment: Re:Internet without evangelicals = Win (Score 1) 286 286

Part of the issue, is that too many people interpret a disagreement as an attack on them.
A lot of the biggest disagreements are over such petty little things.
Here are some Slashdot arguments in no particular order, where I had found some posts to go way whacked out, and take descending views rather personally.
Your preferred diet: Organic vs GMO food or An Omnivorous diet vs vegetarian or vegan
The Computer Operating System you are using
The Preferred default Text editor
Which Open Source License variant
New Slashdot features.
Changes to the Operating systems initialization routine.
Choice of Windows manager.

If these things which have little impact of the general word make so much fuss and anger. Imagine how it feels about something actually important.

There has been this idea that seems to have re-surged. "If everyone thought about x the same way I do, then all the problems would be solved" That is a dangerous approach that leads to tyrannical type of control of the population. We will have descending views, we need to learn to argue our point rationally, and realize we may not win every argument, or sway an opinion. However if in the process of the argument you listen to the other side you just may find a point that you didn't consider. After considering it and researching it, it may change your opinion, or it may be added and weighted to strengthen your own opinion.

Comment: Re:Internet without evangelicals = Win (Score 1) 286 286

The problem when you separate these people they will only be more extream, as well your side would get more extreme.
Taking out the invisible men, and magic trick religions are still based on philosophies thousands of years in the making, where there are people who job is to study these philosophies. Vs the non religious folk unless they are a full time philosopher (and we don't have many of those on payroll) most of us have a system of belief based on short term ideas and can change when a political party gets a new funding source.
I am not saying that religions can't get corrupted as I think many of these evangelical religions are. But by isolating a group of people we will in generally miss out overall.

All the simple programs have been written.

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