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Comment Re:Um, no (Score 1) 211

I have worked in and around many environments where no degree of clear documentation would help due to how completely brainfucked the implementations are. Despite the tombs of very thorough documentation, they're still a goddamn mess. Even the high level overview has caveats and exceptions of how it works, where it works, etc.

Hell, pick an operating system. You typically need at least a high level overview of how it works before you dive in: "This is UNIX. We use pipes and redirects, and everything is a file. Go."

Now, a system which follows best practices? Absolutely, there should be no 'teaching' required, assuming it's of moderate complexity. "x happens when y occurs in certain scenarios" or the like. But I've rarely seen an environment which even approaches 'best practices' because status quo just-get-it-done has been the order of the day for entirely too long, and people are lazy and/or overworked.

This is coming from the systems/network side of things, often in environments which are developer centric (and historically 'managed' by the devs). Custom applications cobbled together for functionality across a dozen hosts with half a dozen scripting languages over a period of a decade... it's a nightmare, and frequent.

As someone who has invariably come into environments with little/no usable documentation, and have since been thanked several times for leaving behind such useful documentation (yes, in wikis), there's a time and a place for documentation. High level things (need, purpose, etc.) as well as 'gotcha' specifics are useful.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 156

Are you using an SSD? Was memory exhausted?

The scenarios I describe were/are disk contentious in scenarios at or near memory exhaustion, when the system dips into swap.

You can experience this as soon as the system starts dumping RAM pages to swap even today, assuming you've not got an SSD.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 156

It used to not be a problem, that's the thing. Before all the modern schedulers came to be (so, back in the 2.4 days) it was entirely possible to stream a video over the network without stuttering - while running a -j3 kernel build, updatedb, and a find on root with memory exhaustion taking place (eg. browser was loaded up). It was a matter of pride that these things could be done on Linux, because Windows would fall over under similar loads. Nowadays, Windows handles these situations better than Linux does due to Windows improvements and regressions in Linux.

Chalk it up to server-oriented performance tuning.

Comment Re:Released kernels are the real testbed (Score 4, Informative) 156

From where I'm sitting, as someone who used to routinely build rc releases and use them, this is how things look.

Five, ten years ago you had people such as myself who would build RC (or AC, etc.) kernel trees to test things and see how they'd work. I know several people who regularly made LKML submissions, many of which turned out to contribute to fixes.

Today, using the rc releases isn't as practical because they're fairly divergent from distribution patchsets. A lot goes into a distribution kernel which isn't present in the vanilla kernels, it seems.

More often than not, pulling everything together to build our own kernels isn't worth the extra effort: possibly due to the shortened cycle and possibly due to general code maturity, there's little benefit. Maybe our definitions of 'benefit' has changed, too - but arguably, the changes in the kernel today are nowhere near as drastic or significant as when (say) XFS was getting merged with additional kernel and disk schedulers.

Comment Re:No (Score 3, Interesting) 156


The current process resulted in us having CFQ + EXT3 as the default for a long time (some distros still have this). This basically means any sort of interactive performance is worse than horrible. The only reason we're beyond it now is because EXT3 is on its way out with EXT4 being preferred.

IIRC, wasn't CFQ one of the first major infrastructural things put into 'stable' after this 'rapid release' approach was adopted?

Also, udev.

I'm sure there are other examples... and maybe I'm projecting a bit.

Comment Re:Impacts all muscles (Score 1) 492

Yeah, but there are a couple things to consider...

When most people exercise, they're exercising "key muscle groups". Your body needs time to heal between exercising those groups and so people work on other groups. But those muscle groups are

In particular, core strength is neglected, as is muscle fitness. Ever see those guys who are about 5'10" and 230lb of bicep muscle at the gym, "pumping iron"? Yeah, tehy're roided out, mostly. It's weak muscle because they're training for muscle size not strength. Strength training is what this drug 'mimicks'. It's not going to result in people looking like that, but it might help those meaty wimps gain some real strength. (I say that as someone who infrequently 'works out' but has worked hard my entire life: no, I'm not exceptionally strong, but I still have had to increase the weight on the machines after coming after those guys - and I look like a toothpick.)

Additionally, when someone is (say) doing bench presses to bulk up their shoulders and arms, ever look at their faces? Chances are there's some intense concentration; their entire bodies are tensed, not just the muscle groups they're focusing on. Those other muscles get used, too.


Comment Re:Model S vs Hummer (Score 1) 627

As someone who's been rear-ended, side swiped, and merged into by people driving newer, safer low-visibility vehicles (eg. frame members are placed perfectly to obscure vision/"protect the driver"), and an owner of a 1986 Blazer, I can't say I agree with you. You've got to be pretty damn reckless to even approach 'rolling' a vehicle like this (and that's worse case scenario), and I've got better visibility than anything on the road. I can only be accountable for myself on the road, so the biggest danger on the road comes from the outside of the vehicle, always.

Comment Re:most memorable and significant fork (Score 1) 121

Um, 'standard Realtek ones'?

The rtl8139 NIC has long been a 'standard' NIC for me - I'd buy 5 at $10 each. it's the same chipset put on motherboards since forever, I believe (and now they often have the rtl8169 or similar). They have always worked well for general Linux purposes. I don't remember having a problem with them back then, though I do remember using a lot of 3com 10/100 cards around that time, too so I may be mistaken.

Comment Re:Careful what you wish for... (Score 1) 114

It could be, if people in India were able to work instead of just play office politics to a science.

You don't outsource IT work to India if you want the product to be of any use to anyone 2-3 years from now. That's twice the case for systems or DBA work. (Just ask an immigrated Indian if it's a good idea... they won't even do it.)

Comment most memorable and significant fork (Score 3, Informative) 121

One of the most memorable forks of Debian was Stormix (not mentioned on WP):

For those who don't remember, or weren't there: it was a very nicely cleaned up Debian installer with additional driver support and simplified configuration. It ran very well on a wide range of systems and was way, way ahead of pretty much everything else with respect to software installation and system configuration.

The Stormix company, when it failed, became Progeny, if I recall correctly. Progeny was a greatly used add-on repository for Debian which eventually had a lot of the functionality added into the core of Debian.

Without Stormix, later efforts like Knoppix and Ubuntu would not have been possible.

Comment Re:No so much (Score 1) 637

Most Americans would be just fine if the Insurance (as well as government) meddling went away.

Everything would be cheaper. All this 'single payer' stuff does is make it so that the gov't (aka taxpayers) will foot the bill for the ever-bloating healthcare system in the US. Premiums go up? No problem, that just means more taxes. And then the hospitals feel justified in raising their prices to get their piece of the pie, or to help pay their doctors who now also have increased liability insurance, or all of the above - and on and on.

Most people would be shocked to find out that most of a hospital's staff is actually busy with bureaucratic bullshit, not actual healthcare. IT in healthcare is a massive cost and a general boondoggle as well.

What Europeans and Canadians don't seem to realize that any good idea they implement and works will, in all likelihood, be a complete clusterfuck here due to how corporations are run in the US. Special interests will be fed first. It will not meet the initial scope of the policy/plan/etc. It will go severely over budget, and costs will mostly be offset to be discovered years later, after everything has been implemented and it'd "cost too much" to reverse or make any changes to the system which might benefit the common man.

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