I feel old, guys. I feel like the old man sysadmin with the Unix Beard and suspenders (which I continually think of as a halloween costume, less and less ironically). My coworkers are all... what would have been slashdotters had they not found digg or reddit, or whatever it was.
These are "kids" who grew up with linux. (They're all 30.) But they don't have the base knowledge that I expect them to have. They only know bash. They mostly know Ubuntu and Red Hat, although the one 'sysadmin' type dude knows virtual machines with Xen, and seems to know what he's doing most of the time.
I figured I'd pick up python, because I ordered a raspberry pi, and it seems that's what all the cool kids are doing. (I get along fine with shell and perl for most of whatever it is I do around here.) The advice I got from one of my coworkers was that I should "uninstall the IDE." IDE? For python? Seriously? It's interpreted, you use a goddamned text editor. Apparently that's one of the 'tips' from "Learning Python the Hard Way." (I'm reading Programming Python on my nook, FWIW. And I'm already yelling at it, as the examples are how to create a database from your filesystem with pickle, because seriously, if you're managing peoples' salaries, you don't want your data in flat files, or necessarily in a readable format to your other employees. But that's my cross to bear.)
When I got home, I started ranting about that to the Benny. Frothing at the mouth kind of ranting like I used to be able to do. Who uses a goddamned IDE for an interpreted language!? There's no "I" for your "DE". When you're writing C, in a complex environment, sure. When you're writing Obj-C for your iPhone app of the year, fine. You have libraries, you have interdependencies, you have reasons to have a debugger and a compiler. Python is interpreted. There's no need for these things.
Goddamned kids these days. In my day, we had emacs and vi, and flamewars about both. There was no IDE for writing shell scripts. There was no IDE for perl. There wasn't even really decent tab completion! We used 'more' instead of 'less'. We knew how to pipe things to awk and grep. We used which instead of locate. And we liked it, damnit!
I'm running OpenNMS on Ubuntu at work, using vi (technically vim) to edit all the xml files and java.properties style files. I don't run KDE, Gnome, or any other desktop on the damned thing. It's a server, for pete's sake. Not that it's lacking RAM or CPU for me to run that, but because I'm old, and old-school. Some of my coworkers (and I use that word loosely, as I'm a department of one) run linux on the desktop
I am not a Windows troll.
I have read my older entries and realized I have aged and become less crazy about principles like I once was. I guess I view machines as tools now to get work done. In addition, from day one I hate people who choose to become zealots, and wear rose colored glasses with their heads in the sand to appear cool. This is true with GNU and Linux zealots as well. Dumb people or ill informed are one thing. No one but God knows everything about anything. However, ignorance with a smile is something totally different that does a great diservice to yourself and everyone around you. People need to learn and adapt to better themselves.
My views on Windows and Microsoft has shifted because they do good work in attacking bugs and being part of the security community. Also, I have given up on Linux for good as of March of last year when Gnome 3 and unity was coming out. IE 9 and Firefox 4 also came out with full hardware acceleration for Windows only. Windows 7 is MUCH MORE secure than its previous versions. I stand by my earlier principles. XP and IE 6 and 7 SUCK. But we should commend people or organizations that change and rightfully condemn those who do the opposite.
Instead of evangalizing people on Linux I choose to tell them to upgrade or get a Mac. My exwife was correct in wondering why I spend so much time reconfiguring computers with weird operating systems when her Vista box just works. I can't argue and I can't think of any non server related thing Windows can't do anymore. 1999 is over folks. Its time to move on.
I've been 35 for almost a month now. I'm working at a place with linux-only guys, who think that the best solution is always free software. I feel like the old unix dude with the suspenders who still reads a.s.r. I feel ancient, as I've worked with big iron, or at least medium iron since my first job, and the guys who work in the IT department here are used to virtualization on intel platforms (so, machines considered big for their time, but not SPARCs or RISC machines).
Benny pestered me incessantly about what I wanted for my birthday. I couldn't figure it out; I was (and still kind of am) on the dark side right now, about a 4 on my personal 1-10 depression scale. It doesn't affect my ability to work, but it numbs and dulls my senses. Like I should've been elated to get the job I have now (which is almost perfect), but I wasn't. I couldn't express that level of joy. I'm still not quite there, but I'm digging out of it slowly but surely. Anyway, the day before my birthday, I figured out what it was I wanted. I wanted a guitar and lessons.
We headed to Guitar Center and I found a decent guitar, and we walked out with a guitar, case, book, picks, and an extra set of strings. I called up the music store in Castle Rock (which is where I work, 17 minutes from where we live, just north of Sedalia), and started lessons last week. I suck, but I'm sucking less at it every day. I practice until my fingers are tender, as many days as I can actually get the time, and I figure that has to be good enough.
I don't want to be the next Joni Mitchell, or even Lisa Loeb. I just want to make music, in the way I still take photos because I want people to see what I see in the world.
I gave my notice for the contracting company. I'm going back into NMS with a passion that can't be denied.
Just 2 more weeks of waking up when other people are coming home from work.
Just 2 more weeks until I can take the dog to the dog park after work, or go to the normal park with her on her leash (we're right near Chatfield, and they have a great dog park, I've been told.
Just. 2. more. weeks.
So Ben (el Husband) is building/has built a CNC router using Ubuntu and a couple of pieces of software, a CAD program (for which he paid), a CNC controller program (which I can't remember if it was free as in beer or not), a tiny motherboard, and a couple of other pieces of actual hardware for which he paid a decent amount of money (but not enough to justify actually buying a mill the size he needs). Motors, threaded rod, etc. If you want to see, he's got a video on youtube linked from the woodshop blog showing it in action.
We've had problems with ubuntu deciding to boot from the usb stick, partially because Ubuntu decided it didn't want to shut down properly, and corrupted libraries, and someone decided that certain useful utilities (say, fsck) didn't need to be statically linked, which made it rather unhappy to work with. Ubuntu has been reinstalled, and he's got a
1: The problem with the USB stick was that SOMEONE, decided that I MUST have a CDROM drive, and surely that CDROM drive would be my second drive, so they added a cdrom entry in fstab for
As a programmer and a unix admin, he gets a little upset.
Especially after seeing the commercial they're running now. "Did you know that there are germs everywhere, including on the bottle of liquid soap?" Why yes, Lysol, I did. I knew there are germs on top of the soap dispenser. But you see, after I put my hand on top of the soap dispenser, soap is dispensed into my other hand and I WASH MY HANDS WITH SOAP. Holy crap, people. Unless you've got an automatic faucet, you probably pick more germs up from turning off your faucet than you would from the pump on the soap dispenser.
That word looks wrong. You know when you say or write something multiple times and it just looks wrong? The number '1' looks and sounds wrong at the end of my shift because I say it so much. Whatever. Back to my rant.
Lysol kills germs. That's fine. Except that telling people there are germs on their liquid soap bottle on the spot they use to dispense soap isn't really a useful observation. And really, there didn't need to be a 'fix' for that for consumers. Life wasn't meant to be lived in a sterile operating theater. it was meant to be lived alongside and in opposition to the rest of the living things that live around us.
So "that day" is coming up on Sunday. You know, February 14th. We normally don't celebrate with what you would call 'normal' gifts. Ben said he'd have gotten me 'flours' but he didn't want to go to Whole Foods. He was going to get some white, wheat and rye, and some yeast, and it would be a bouquet of flours. I'd have loved that.
But no, what he did was awesomer. He bought me a decent point-n-shoot, which I've been wanting for a while now, and a microwave (because our last one was sold with the house -- it was mounted over the stove), and three paperback novels. I've been wanting to read "Stupid reading" for a little while now, too. You know, the kind of thing you read when you just want to read something. Mysteries, mostly. He got me a Jonathan Kellerman and a Dean Koontz Odd Thomas book, and an Iris Schrier, I believe. Those were the sweetest gifts he could've gotten for me. Not anything sentimental, not something that will be dead in a week. Something useful and something I've been wanting, actually wanting.
I'm not recommending that everyone get their SO a microwave and a camera and three paperbacks. Or that you get them Chick-fil-a and leave it in the car clipped to their badge for them to take to work. But they were the perfect thing, and the most romantic thing (for me) that could happen on or around v-day.
I'm obviously easily impressed, though.
This week has kinda sucked for me sleepwise. I was up until 2pm on Sunday and Monday, as we were looking for places to rent and moving into the one we liked. For normal sleepers, this is staying up from 6am one day until 4am the next day. Two days in a row. I got maybe 8 hours sleep between the two days (or I guess three days, if you want to look at it that way).
We got a cute place in Sedalia, CO. It's on a guy's HUUUGE tract of land (he has a polo field on it. and the horses to go with that.) and is a small house, but we've met our neighbors, well.. one of them. She's a spinner and a weaver (which is cool), and she and her husband have 4 rather large dogs. Nulla played a little with them, but she's not allowed off her little cable because, well, she's a shiba. Shibas are notorious for deciding to run and run and run and laugh at you when you call them. She zipped out the door when we were staying with a friend and into the busy road (2 lanes each way with a median) -- Wadsworth around 470 for those of you in/near denver.
We spent Monday digging through boxes looking for the &^#*@ remote to the bed -- It's a sleep number bed, which we've had absolutely zero issues with, which seems to be the exception, as I've seen many many bad reviews online. Our stuff is in storage in the springs, which makes it kind of irritating to get our stuff, but whatever. We won't be taking a whole lot out of storage, as the house is only about 700-ish square feet, but we got Benny's big chair, and the bed, and the dining room table. We picked up a few boxes of kitchen stuff, but this'll be one of those long drawn out things where we pick things up piecemeal. There's not going to be much time to set up housekeeping this week, since I'm working and then we're headed down to the ranch to build skeinwinders on Sunday. It'll be interesting to see if Ben installs the shower before we leave... the landlord bought the shower and is paying Ben to install it, but we'll definitely benefit from that, since what's in the bathroom now is a claw-foot tub with a shower sprayer (and no shower curtain) which makes a HUGE mess. We've been un-synchronized sleepwise because of the moving and the going-to-home-depot-with-the-landlord, and will probably stay un-synched for another week or so while he does things like get firewood from the guy down the road, and working at the ranch. It sucks, but you do what you can.
All I can think tonight is
Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?
but maybe that's because I've seen office space too many times.
Part of why I've been away is Ravelry. If you're not a knitter/crocheter/spinner/weaver/dyer, you've probably never heard of it. It's a pretty nifty site, and one of the things it has is forums. In spades, but that's beyond the point. The forums were designed by someone who didn't really participate in forums previously, so they are more or less flat, no nesting comments (but you can get to replied-to posts appearing via magic by clicking). The cool thing about them is that under each post are "buttons". They're labelled "educational" "interesting" "funny" "agree" "disagree" and "love". The concept is that you click on a button for a post and it increments a counter. Only one click per person. This makes it so you don't get a page or three of "me too"s, and you can generally judge the quality of a post by the agree/disagree ratio. Of course, with the buttons, there is the inevitable button wank, which the coder has tried to get around by allowing you to hide individual buttons, or all of the buttons. My problem with this is that I keep looking for buttons on posts on other forums. And blogs. And everywhere else.
It's like moderating, but everyone has points all the time.
So, work. Work is... well, it's like everywhere else I've worked in that they have too many tools that kinda mostly but not all the time work together. It's a 12 hour shift, which mostly sucks, but I'm getting used to it, oddly enough. Something about it not being full daylight makes it somewhat easier to sleep. I'm keeping myself entertained by tracking ticket stats, as we have to announce in a group chat who's taking care of which ticket. The 'newbies' -- me and my 3 same-day-training-started compatriots are kicking the asses of the contractors who were here before. Usually outclassing them by 2-3x. I'm keeping my resume out, and looking for something else, but the pay's decent.
I must be gettin' old if I can't figure out how to write in my own frickin' journal.
I know it's been... almost 3 years since I showed my text here. Let's see if I can catch y'all up.
About the time I stopped journaling, the company for which I was working cracked down on communications about the company. Feb 08 I left the company's warm embrace as they hired a "15-year windows admin" instead of either me or my co-worker who used to work for SUN to be a Solaris admin. The hubster and I were working on our business as the economy spiraled into the toilet. Short sale of the house, bought 70 acres near Rye, CO. Went to Sock Summit as vendors.
Now I'm working as a contractor at a company in north Denver. I'm going to refuse to mention which contract company or which company I'm contracted to, because I'm somewhat unimpressed by the actual work. I will mention that I hate interviewing, and I'm not cheerful enough for Apple retail. Or something. I don't know. I think I failed when I told them my "wow" moment with my mac was when I opened the terminal and found a fully functioning UNIX underneath.
Anyway, working with tech has re-kindles my sheer loathing of poorly implemented and documented tech and I thought this would be a good place to vent my rage somewhat.
--the one and only kshgoddess.
I don't actually have anything to say. Kathleen is due any day, and I'm looking forward to a few weeks of staying home, getting poor sleep, and changing diapers.
But mostly I'm testing to see if journal saving works properly.
We've made some significant updates to the submission/journal system. Visiting Submissions and Journals yields a new form that allows stuff like tags to the data types. There are a number of annoying bugs, but for the most part the dust is starting to settle. More notes will be coming, but this journal entry is really just me putting the final test on the new Journal form.
We now abbreviate journals in the firehose... so they are more like slashdot stories with a Read More link to the full text.
The big user facing change this week was structural: historically we had 2 different "skeletons" on Slashdot, but with this refresh we unified to a single one. This change simplifies maintenance for us quite a bit (maintaining the idle section and the firehose views of the same data was a royal pain).
You also will see some changes to the firehose.pl layout. We're playing with the tab layout a bit, moving some menus around and better integrating the core functions into the site chrome. It's a bit buggy atm, so feel free to email me if you see something wonky. We're extinguishing a few minor brush fires but there's no forest fires that we're aware of.