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Comment: applied mathmatics (Score 1) 372

by rbunker (#27382319) Attached to: Best Grad Program For a Computer Science Major?
Seriously, if you love programming, after you have your undergraduate degree in computer science, go for a masters in applied mathematics. This will position you to do the really interesting stuff in programming -- breaking new ground working with smart folks. A masters in computer science should only be held by PhD candidates who failed their comprehensives. And the MBA/business track stuff is great, if you want to manage people and money, not program. But, if you want to keep your hands on the keyboard, and your head in the interesting computing challenges, get better at math. QED.

P.S. And if you turn out to be good at managing people, you can do that, too, down the road.

Comment: Re:Is there a gas leak in here? (Score 1) 1147

by rbunker (#27284469) Attached to: Ballmer Scorns Apple As a $500 Logo

I wouldn't take Vista for free but I happily paid a $500 'logo tax'

Why can't people just prefer apple, and not be fanatical about it? Oh, right, because then that wouldn't justify the increased expense.

Personally I like the hardware and design of the MacBook Pro, the software is nice too, but for me it's not worth the extra coin.

I use a mac because logic pro is the software I want to use, and that is where it runs. And my mac pro really was competitively priced, relative to similar desktops from others. And I do prefer OS X, but that might just be what I am used to. Oh, and it is nice to find unix underneath when I have to do something hard, since I know unix. *Shrug* I guess that makes me a fanatic in some peoples' eyes.

Comment: Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (Score 2, Informative) 472

by rbunker (#27256319) Attached to: The 100 Degree Data Center

The zero of Fahrenheit -- the freezing point of saturated brine -- is no less sensible than the Celcius zero of the freezing point of water. Fahrenheit is also more precise with fewer digits in the ranges most people deal with day to day.

Yeah, because I'm always having to deal with saturated brine. I can't tell you how many times I've gone out driving in sub-zero temperatures and nearly skidded on all that saturated brine ice.

It was developed in a port city where knowing if the harbor was frozen over (or not) was in fact of great importance.

Comment: Brilliant is good, quirky is fine, obnoxious not (Score 1) 1134

by rbunker (#27214329) Attached to: Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?
It is certainly true that there are super-programmers out there. They are worth not just two or three of the rest of us, but more productive than 100 or so normal humans. A company is really lucky to have some of them.

The thing is, there is zero correlation between being this good, and being an asshat.

Now, sometimes there will be a bad programmer who acts like this, and they just get fired fast. Nobody worries about them.

But when the stars mis-align and you get someone actually talented, who is also a jerk, some inexperienced managers will feel stress about the obvious decision.

But the easy, obvious decision is to fire the asshat. You can go out there and find someone just as talented who is not obnoxious. I promise, you can. Do it.

The rest of the team will have a party when the obnoxious one leaves. Overall morale will increase, people will be only too glad to jump in and fill the gap (until you replace him/her and the replacement comes up to speed). Everyone will respect management more, and they will see that treating coworkers with respect is really important, not just lip service.

By the way, the same holds true for the great salesperson, etc.

Comment: Electronic warfare in the Army was ok (Score 1) 426

by rbunker (#27184005) Attached to: How Do Militaries Treat Their Nerds?
When I was in the Army, doing electronic warfare stuff (which is the clear antecedent of cyber warefare), we were treated like sort of semi-soldiers, but well enough for all of that.

I think that the complaint in the article is that officers were feeling like they couldn't advance their careers without doing something actually militaryish. I have limited insight into this, as I was enlisted, but I do know that the Army just created a new career path for EW officers, and they created and EW command a few years ago.

But it might well be hard for officers to grow into positions of general responsibility for military activities, if they only have experience of one narrow specialty, which is indeed pretty different from the mainstream. I am not at all sure that this is a bad thing.

Maybe the roles that were being filled by these junior officers, should have been staffed by warrant officers, who exist exactly to provide technical leadership is specialized roles.

Comment: Re:budget? (Score 1) 298

by rbunker (#27042197) Attached to: Best Solution For HA and Network Load Balancing?
I totally endorse this approach.

The $100 per month is nothing compared to the personnel expense of trying to keep the beast running with local machines and people.

And as for infrastructure for availability, think uninterruptible power, n+1 cooling, connectivity redundancy, physical security and network security, before you ever even think about redundant servers, storage and load-balancing, failover software.

Rackspace is indeed a good choice (and no I don't work for them), and they can offer you HA solutions if you need them and can afford them (a non-profit serving 1000 users a day almost certainly does not need, and can't afford, HA).

I am betting you can live with their very, very good SLAs for just a cheap, standard solution. Add in a RAID array, managed backup and a hardware firewall and you will be golden.

More importantly, do NOT use ftp as you said you plan to in your post. It is totally insecure, and you will very quickly be turned into a distribution center for pornography, stolen software, and instructions to botnets. You can move the files around using HTTP, or SFTP if you must. Don't run FTP.

Rick.

Comment: Privacy is already a lost cause (Score 1) 474

by rbunker (#26953335) Attached to: Linked In Or Out?
Given the massive thefts of data from credit card processors, credit reporting agencies, government agencies etc., any thought that you have any privacy is as silly as belief in the tooth fairy.

Unless you are an off-the-grid cash-economy false-ID type a la Claire Wolf outsider (which you are not given your job), then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from being on linkedin.

This is not to say you can't shoot yourself in the foot with inappropriate postings on myspace of facebook, but a drooling cretin can tell what should and should not go up there. But linkedin is a resume, letters of recommendation and a way to contact folks with warm introductions. No harm, no foul.

IBM

+ - Virtualize on a Mainframe, or on Blade Servers?->

Submitted by
rbunker
rbunker writes "It is time for our shop to being virtualizing and consolidating servers. The consensus among the more youthful of our profession seems to be that loading up blade servers with VMWare (or its peers) is the way to go. I am old enough to look at the blade server and see a poor simulacrum of a real mainframe. Why shouldn't we grab a system z and virtualize on it, rather than messing with a blade server which, as far as I can tell, is simply worse than the mainframe in every way?

Initial cost of acquisition will be higher for a mainframe I am sure, but experience also tells me that cost of acquisition is frankly insignificant compared to the real costs of owning and operating computers for several years. And I don't imagine that a mainframe is disposable after three years like today's servers.

Well, what are your thoughts?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: What makes you enjoy each day? (Score 1) 315

by rbunker (#26661953) Attached to: When To Consider Taking Shares In an IT Company?
Many of the other comments can be summarized as:

* "I am afraid of executives, I don't understand what they do so I assume they are out to screw me." I'll just ignore this one.

* "Get legal advice when dealing with legal documents." This is terribly good advice, you should do so.

* "10% of something big is a lot, 10% of something tiny is not. And stock that can't be sold isn't much use." All true. But it (accepting partial compensation in restricted stock) is certainly a risk that many of us accept, and one which has worked out well (sometimes very well) for many, many people.

The real question to ask yourself, in my opinion, is "do I like coming to work here each day?" If the answer is "no" then leave. If you are worth 10% of your current company, you are worth a comparable amount to someone else -- either in consulting fees or a position elsewhere with equity.

Life is too short to do things that suck. And money is not all that important, as long as you have enough to cover the basics.

Comment: Re:That's it? (Score 1) 594

by rbunker (#26634043) Attached to: Progress On Electric Cars
The single back wheel does two things, each important:

1. Reduces weight by quite a lot,

2. Allows the vehicle to count as a motorcycle, and thereby ignore all of the safety standards to which cars must comply. So just don't look at crash test results, if any are every published....you won't like them.

Comment: Re:MPG is an obsolete measurement (Score 1) 380

by rbunker (#25500685) Attached to: 1000-mph Car Planned

As JFK once put it very succinctly...

"We choose to go to the moon, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard"

If all we ever do is the easy stuff, nothing ever changes.

And for all the people saying this is easy, why don't you give it a try then? It isn't just the money, this stuff takes serious engineering and real talent on the part of the driver/pilot.

What amazing stuff have you done in your life?

Hmmm. I thought the Apollo program was a way to get funding for development of ICBM technology. Perhaps I am just cynical.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.

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