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Comment Re:predictability (Score 1) 763

I don't get all this VMS love. We were running it on some VAX clusters back in the late '80s, and I hated it. The multiple filesystem namespaces were a pain to deal with, and the syntax for the commands always felt awkward. The shell was woefully inadequate compared to csh (for interactive use) and sh/ksh (for scripting). The much vaunted help system was a disaster. Sure, documentation for everything was there. But you could never find it unless you knew exactly where in the help hierarchy to look. The versioned filesystem was a nice touch, but even that fell short of proper version control.

Comment Re:Diaspora (Score 1) 23

I think you misunderstand me. Facebook sucks in many, many ways. I detest it. I was hoping Diaspora might be the answer. They've proved it's not. Security needs to be designed in from the very beginning. Yes, you can tack it on afterwards, but you'll always end up with a half-baked solution. After all the noise they made, I (along with nearly everyone else) was expecting the former. Instead we got the latter. At that point, no amount of development driven by user desires is going to restore faith in a system that is fundamentally flawed from the start.

Comment Diaspora (Score 1) 23

You're kidding, right? After the astoundingly low quality of the inital source release, and the fact that they obviously hadn't designed it at all, they'd just sat down and started coding, why on earth would anyone want to use it? If they haven't designed security in from the beginning (and they haven't), it fails on its single advantage over facebook. So what's the point?

Comment Hi (Score 1) 1

Uhhhh. Wow. Welcome back. That's been quite an absence! Next you'll be telling me Fiver-rah's about to reappear. Nearly everyone else has left in the meantime, but there are still a few of us left. Still in the Unix business?

Comment Yogi (Score 1) 16

Yeah, I saw the trailer while watching Harry Potter the other day. I too was waiting for it to be a spoof. But no, it's the real thing.

Comment Re:moof (Score 1) 29

Uhhh.. WTF? The whole point of the Focus was that it was supposed to be a common platform globally, to try and drive down the costs of having separate vehicles for the European and North American markets. They made a big fuss about it at launch time. I see that it initially started out that way, but has since diverged, and that you have a separate North American version. Sigh. I have to shake my head in wonder at corporate stupidity sometimes. That said, Wikipedia claims the North American version will be discontinued in 2011, to be replaced by the same version that the rest of the world uses.

Comment Re:moof (Score 1) 29

The Focus (also on the list of stuff I'm looking at) started out pretty good, then got boring and bland for a while

I guess that depends on how you decide boring and bland. To me, the shape was always both of those, but the special editions are actually very interesting cars. The Focus ST was pretty impressive, and the Focus RS is honestly out of this world. I'm personally unconvinced about putting that much power in a front wheel drive car, but they've spent an awful lot of time and money on developing it to make it work. A friend of mine has one, and they really have got it right. And it's still not a gas guzzler by US standards.

Comment Windows 7 (Score 1) 20

One of our traders was having a problem with my software last week. They're using Windows 7. Now I freely admit to knowing very little about Windows. But I know enough to diagnose and fix simple problems. So my software is a web app that was working fine from the Linux machines, but not from the Windows boxen. OK. First step, let's check that basic networking is doing what I expect. Start->Run->cmd. Errr... what? It's not there any more. Windows 7 has done away with it. Floundering around, I called for help. Enter a fellow geek, who confidently strolls over, with a "let me show you" demeanour. Only to be similarly stumped. Furthermore, there seems to be no way to get to a command prompt from the menu. The only way we found was to search for "cmd". But there doesn't seem to be a direct link to it anywhere. How unintuitive is that? But eventually, I had a command prompt open. Great. telnet mysever 80. Ahhh. No telnet. Arse.

Comment Obvious comment... (Score 1) 13

I'm surprised that no one's mentioned it until now, but part of the reason is simply down to geography. American companies have a ready made market of 300m people right on their doorstep, so there's less need to export. German companies have to either export, or they're limited to a market of 80 million people. Furthermore, American companies have only two neighbours, so they can either export to Canada or Mexico (which isn't economically viable for many goods), or they need to ship goods long distances. German companies can export to 9 immediate neighbours, most of which are economically well off, or to many more European countries directly by road, and without crippling duty for many of them. I'm not saying the geography is the only reason for Germany's high level of exports, but it's certainly a contributing factor.

Comment Re:Desktop (Score 1) 21

A proper keyboard. My laptop keyboard is the same size, and has a number keypad. Lots of room on a 17"

That's a joke, right? No laptop keyboard comes close to a proper desktop keyboard in feel, even if some of the larger laptops are getting closer in size. Lots of room on a 17" keyboard? Or were you talking about screen size? If it's the latter, you're seriously deluded. I have nearly 7 million pixels of screen real estate here. Trust me, that doesn't come close to fitting on a 17" screen.

Social Networks

Journal Journal: Twitter

Err... what? It seems that twitter requires you to have Javascript enabled in order to view 140 characters of someone's worthless drivel. Otherwise you get a blank page. The mind boggles.
Hardware Hacking

Journal Journal: ...and then there was silence

Once you've been around computers for a while, you get to recognise certain sounds. Such as the pop followed by the spinning down of fans, and the ominous silence that emanates from the box that's supposed to be your fileserver. Arse. I was off work yesterday due to a nasty cold, and the last thing I wanted to be doing was rebuilding the server. Fortunately, it turned out to be just the power supply. I'd been worried that it was going to have taken out the motherboard too. It did take a hard dri

Comment Linux + sendmail (Score 1) 11

BSD used to be more stable than Linux, but that hasn't been true for along time now, and it lacks some features that I consider essential for a public facing server. The big one for me is SELinux. True, it has bad reputation (which was well deserved in the early days), but it's invaluable now.

Similarly, sendmail Just Works(TM). Other mail systems have a reputation for being easier to use, but sendmail's problems are long gone. You haven't needed to touch for over a decade, for example, and I can't recall when there was last a sendmail security vulnerability.

So my recommendation would be RHEL/CentOS and sendmail.

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