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Comment: Precalculate your dependencies and parallelism. (Score 1) 119 119

Init systems seem to model themselves on Makefiles, reading everything at startup and detecting dependencies on the fly then deriving ordering and parallelism. This should all be invariant stuff, instead model things on ninja, where you calculate a giant wad of info and mechanically grind through it at startup.

Comment: Re:Systemd and Gnome3 == no thanks (Score -1) 300 300

>As far as I can tell, there is no root account I could log into directly


$ sudo passwd
$ sudo passwd -u root

There, now you can log into root directly and have all the security issues you want. Thanks for playing the "I don't know how to use linux" game

So what you're basically saying is that by default, there is no root account to log into directly? Thanks for spending your (surely very valuable) time verifying this trivial aspect of that post, even though it was irrelevant to the poster's overall point.

Comment: This should be the common case, though. (Score 5, Insightful) 140 140

Big deal. If you are running a program which costs money or time, you should be considering whether it is worth running periodically regardless of whether it's a program to collect phone data or bringing donuts to the office. If you aren't revisiting that decision, you're doing your job badly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they're doing a good job. Just that "Oh, yeah, we considered cancelling that program" is a stupid comment which doesn't excuse anything. Most likely they kept the program more because you don't give up power and money once you have it, and they really didn't care about efficacy.

Comment: Re:Heisenberg compensator ... (Score 1) 83 83

You think you have problems? I'm still trying to get my head around "It's both a particle... AND a wave!". How the f--- does that work? It doesn't even make any sense! It's insane! Wave things are not particles, and particle things are not waves!

Don't misunderstand our ability to comprehend something for the reality of the thing. We have tools for particles, we have tools for waves, so we see a thing and think "It's a particle! No, wait, it's a wave! That's weird, it's both!" In reality, it is what it is, regardless of our ability to comprehend it. In some sense there is no human-scale reality to these things, they are mathematical constructs of a certain sort, with interpretations that happen to simplify things in certain cases.

[When I say "human-scale reality" I mean that an electron is not like a tiny tiny baseball, with well-defined boundaries and position and speed.]

Comment: man rm (Score 4, Interesting) 329 329

From the rm(1) man page on most Linux distros:
              --no-preserve-root do not treat '/' specially (the default)

                    fail to operate recursively on '/'

Why --preserve-root isn't the default is beyond me, since it would be generally faster to re-create the filesystem if that's what you _really_ wanted.

Comment: Re:To be fair (Score 1) 200 200

It's simply not realistically possible to always perfectly plan multiple complex multi-year projects, when every your budget gets cut a little further, and you never know -- it's a roll of the dice -- if or how much it's going to get cut by -- then there is the secondary knock-on effect that of the small budget that remains*, the managers need to very carefully decide where to constantly try shift things around to try keep remaining projects going. The rocket program canceled in 2010 was probably canceled due to budget cuts. NASA's budget has consistently been cut, what, every year for the past 15 years? You can't entirely blame NASA - nobody can plan properly under those circumstances. Nobody, not you, or me, could end up not wasting any of it as a result of the constant shunting around.

If NASA had that same attitude in the 60's, the U.S. would still be trying to put its first man in space.

I think the point is that it isn't NASA's attitude which makes these things happen, it's the attitude of Congress.

Comment: Re:No, school should not be year-round. (Score 4, Insightful) 421 421

Kids should have at least a couple of months out of the year when they can just not worry about their studies and have fun and BE KIDS.

The root problem is that school is a stultifying experience in the first place, arguing about whether you're going to somehow improve kids lives by varying the length of vacations isn't really going to change that at all.

One of the reasons we moved our kids to a year-round Montessori school was because of the incredible amount of emphasis public schools have on attendance, at all costs, even at the elementary level. You want to take your kids to Washington, DC to visit the Smithsonian? Fuck that, it's more important for their butts to be in seats at school than to actually engage their minds on something new and challenging. Since we now pay out-of-pocket directly, the main rule on attendance is basically not to be disruptive. Got a chance to take them to the state capitol for a visit on Friday? That's great, go for it!

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 5, Insightful) 608 608

No, he has a point. Back in the day, we had few tools and we learned how to use them.

now, we have a tool for every hour of the week, and as soon as you've mastered one, someone comes along and says "your skills are sooo obsolete, you must learn now or fall behind", so you get to grips with it and start top master it, and then realise its a pile of poop and hunt around for a new, cooler tech to use instead.

Apologies, but we still have all those old tools. We just don't use them any longer. Because you can't use Turbo Pascal to make web pages, but you can use jQuery. If you were working on the same problems today as you were working on 20 years ago, you probably would be using many of the same tools. The only reason you're using the new tools is because you'd rather spend 20 hours throwing something together versus 20 weeks writing it from scratch.

Honestly, if you think this is different than it was in the 90s and 80s, then you weren't paying attention in the 90s and 80s. The technical periodicals were FULL of the new stuff that was going to change everything. The only real difference is that it's easier to find stuff and get distracted these days, simply because the industry is much larger. I assume it was similar as you go back further, I just am not old enough to remember it first hand.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 3, Insightful) 798 798

Here's the thing: Everyone has been bullied at some point in their life. Not all children are prone to it, but there is always a bigger kid prone to intimidation tactics when growing up.

Getting bullied that once, for a few minutes, is kind of different from being frightened of school itself because you keep getting slammed into lockers, etc. In one case, a thing happened to you and you move on. In the other case it becomes a formative epoch in your life which you spend decades dealing with, if you ever manage it.

Comment: Re:The client wanted it that way (Score 1) 716 716

What if the boss told him that he had to use these cheap thin bricks. He told his boss the bricks wouldn't work but the boss insisted that he use the inferior bricks. What then?

Then the boss would have to fix things on his own time. Duh.

Comment: Re: Obligatory Trainspotting (Score 1) 692 692

I do agree on the point that blowing interviews is a bit pretentious. But there are a lot of times an interviewer has clearly asked questions "over the line" or that identify this company as a terrible fit.

Maybe, but I wouldn't judge by any of those low standard questions. Either the interviewer is from HR, then his competence does not necessarily say anything about the engineers technical competences and team atmosphere. Or the guy might still be a quite good engineer and just sucks at interview planning, or was scheduled on short notice to do the interview for another team. I'd probably tell the interviewer that I consider the questions a bit generic, took the time to learn the usually expected answers, but would prefer to go into more job-specific topics. Depending on the reaction, I can still blow the interview, or if they consider the interview blown because of this, I could probably live with it.

My experience from the other side of the table is that candidates who express attitude about the kinds of questions you're asking also tend to be candidates who don't really answer any of the questions very well. In fact, IMHO interviewing candidates helps when you're interviewing for a position. You want to waste our time discussing what order a bunch of C++ constructor anti-patterns execute in? Bully, lets get this done and move on to something more interesting. Even if you just failed part of _my_ interview of _you_, I'm here already and it's free practice.

Also: If you think these are stupid questions, then obviously you've never had to meet with customers to analyze their needs.

Comment: Re:Here's how I handle it... (Score 3, Insightful) 388 388

I was getting some emails about an event of this type from a gal who thought I was her son. I gave a sarcastic response like this, saying that while I'm sure would be enjoyable, my wife and kids weren't really interested in traveling to Arkansas for my wedding, etc. She politely explained things again, so I suspect that the real son involved probably must also respond sarcastically, and I think she was kind of offended that I was making light of this important event. I switched into the mode I'd use to explain such an issue to my actual mom, it worked a lot better. I hope things worked out for them. *sniff*.

In the end, crafting the witty response was a fine idea the first half-dozen times, but after awhile I just got tired of it. It's not like there's any payback, generally these people aren't early-adopters who get a laugh out of it, they're already confused by all this technology, so my comebacks are basically just mean. It's not my job to fix things for these various people who don't know their own email addresses, so mostly I just filter the emails away and move on.


Computer Science is the only discipline in which we view adding a new wing to a building as being maintenance -- Jim Horning