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Journal Surazal's Journal: Aurthur C. Clarke...

I think it was A.C. Clarke who said that, for a primitive culture, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistiguishable from magic. For advanced societies these days, suffiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.

Well that is what you would think when people confront the mystical magical beast known as the computer. Even technically-oriented people fall into the trap of thinking that it should all work like magic, and those people would be more than happy to cast the pox on anyone who would tell them otherwise.

Take I/O. Seems like a simple concept to Unix folks, right. I/O is the heart of Unix, and without it, Unix could not even exist (well, no operating system would be able to exist without I/O, but I think Unix makes a point of making that fact explicitly known to any administrator who happens to be using Unix to get their job done).

When I/O breaks, all hell breaks loose. It doesn't matter what operating system you run. It could be a software bug. It could be a flaky storage device. It could be the earth's magnetic field (no shit!).

But.. it's all supposed to work like magic. And when the magic don't happen, the tech guy gets called in, and the first thing he says is "This disk drive is over 10 years old! Buy a new one for the love of god!" But *no one* wants to hear that. We want a REAL guru, obviously you're lying to us. We want magic to happen!

I've heard it all before, and I'll keep hearing it. For some reason I've got this masochistic streak in me that allows me to say "I love my job" fairly consistently. But sometimes ya gotta wonder...

"Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue." -- Peter Neumann, about usenet