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Comment Re:Yo Linus! (Score 3, Informative) 376

Oh lord don't get me started on that. That was the single most crippling flaw in the operating system! And they COULD have fixed it! Someone posted a problem related to that on my queue one time, and I went out of my way to locate a quad processor machine running a multi-processor version of OS/2. The multi-processor version still had the problem mind you, but it had an input queue per processor. I was able to demonstrate that the system would continue working even with one (or up to three) input queues not being processed. All they really had to do was instantiate multiple input queues and one misbehaving app couldn't bring the entire system down! *sigh* Fuckers...

This made OS/2 ironically better at multitasking windows and DOS applications than it was at OS/2 applications. Windows apps couldn't lock the input queue and could be run in separate instances of Windows so that if one crashed, you wouldn't bring the others down. If you opened a command prompt you could do multi-taskey things like format a disk and print something at the same time. The trick was you had to use the command line format and not the pretty GUI one.

Ah IBM. Always reaching for awesome and always falling just a little bit short. The problem with them was they viewed the PC line as toys. You didn't use a PC to multitask. You used it as a dumb terminal to a mainframe. If you wanted to multitask, you dropped 5 digits on an AIX machine. Shitty CDE gui and all. I discovered Linux shortly before they announced they were killing OS/2, and Linux was really what I wanted anyway -- UNIX on my PC without having to pay SCO several thousand dollars for the OS (Which was something like $1200) TCP/IP (Which IIRC they wanted another grand for) and a goddamn C compiler.

Ahh the good ol days...

Comment I Worked With A Great Team Once (Score 5, Interesting) 1501

And there was never any verbal abuse. We were all good and we all trusted one another to know our parts of the code. Pretty much the only time I ever saw a voice raised was when one of our guys got pretty well fucked over by a developer who was assigned part-time to the team. He'd worked a few months on a piece of code and claimed it was finished, and we'd just discovered that it wasn't really even actually started.

I've worked projects since then where I'd wished I could verbally abuse co-workers. There's a general theme there. All those people who I wanted to abuse sucked. I think the moral of this story is, if you don't want to be verbally abused, try sucking less. :-P

Comment Re:Yo Linus! (Score 1) 376

No kidding. I was working the OS/2 support line at the time. Rumors at the time had it that Microsoft introduced that version entirely to force IBM to play catch-up with their Windows support. I seem to recall they started their biweekly releases of DirectX drivers shortly after that, as well.

Comment Probably Not (Score 4, Informative) 372

But most shops don't need something as powerful as Oracle. By the time they get done slapping a front end with non-optimized spring and hibernate queries on top of oracle, they may as well just be storing their entire database in one big XML flat file. A while back I ran across a developer who was trying to join two tables manually using hibernate. Around 40000 records his application would run out of memory and crash half an hour later. The SQL join I wrote to test it handled at least 1.5 million records and ran in under 10 seconds (And this was on a Postgres database.)

So just because your shop is running Oracle, doesn't mean you can hire chimpanzees to write your font end code. Optimize your database design and queries and you can go a long way before you need the power of a commercial database system. Don't, and even the most advanced commercial database on the planet won't make your app suck any less.

Comment Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (Score 1) 239

I'm not advocating being an asshole for no cause. I have sympathy for the poor bastard on the phone -- I've been on that side of the line. But because I've been on that side of the line, I know when he's trying to blow me off, which is ALWAYS. That guy is there to make you go away. The only way to get anything done is to escalate past him as fast as you can. And the quickest way to do that is to be angry at him. His script says if you're clearly pissed off and demand to talk to a manager, he sends you to a manager.

Sure you're taking a big crap in the middle of a day of a guy whose life involves 6-10 people an hour taking a big crap on him, but his stats demand that he answer 6-10 calls an hour. If you really need something fixed you could argue with him for 20 minutes or you could get pissed off with him in the first three and let him get on to the next guy in line to take a crap on him. Sure you're being an asshole, but it really is best for everyone involved. You get to someone with the power to fix your thing, he gets to keep his shitty ass job for another day. Hooray!

Comment Re:helpdesk india or helpdesk must use script fail (Score 1, Interesting) 239

Pretty much being an asshole to helpdesk people is the only way to get results. Most of those guys are just trying to get you to go away in 10 minutes or less so they can make their call stats for the week. Back in the day you might occasionally get someone who knew what they were doing, but that was back before the outsourcing craze pretty much guaranteed you were talking to a guy in a call center that also serves as helpdesk support for Hoover vacuum cleaners. He probably doesn't know that much about vacuum cleaners, either.

So this defines your relationship with that poor bastard. You have some broke-ass shit that needs fixing, and he is there to make you try to give up and fix your shit yourself. Now you could attempt to do that, and most of the time you're some wanker who just needs his hand held while he RTFMs. But sometimes you legitimately have some shit that needs fixing. If you KNOW you're a person who needs actual help and you KNOW about your relationship with aforementioned poor bastard, your only choice, really, is to beat that guy like he owes you money. I suppose alternately you could attempt to explain all this to him, but that would take a good bit longer and he really does have call stats he needs to make.

It would be nice if the process could work in such a way that you didn't HAVE to be an asshole to someone, but I guess that's just the way the world works.

Comment Dunno, Who Compiled It? (Score 1) 407

While everyone likes to cite the C compiler that injects a backdoor into the executable whenever it detects that it's compiling a C compiler, it's far easier just to subvert the process by releasing an executable with a back door or exploitable code in it. The former depends on you releasing the binaries, which is pretty easy if you maintain a distribution. But why even bother with that when so many people are already releasing exploitable code for you? It seems like not a day goes by where we don't see a headline here about an exploit in some popular software package. Even commercial providers like Apple can't keep ahead of all the possible exploits in the software they release -- otherwise no one would ever be able to root an iPhone.

It doesn't even have to be a specific executable we're talking about. All you really need is a library everything depends on where some guy did a unbounded copy without checking parameters. There have been several of those over the years -- compression and image libraries where some guy did an unbounded copy without checking parameters.

Of course, if someone's really interested in YOU (versus just trawling around for generic information) they could always just break into your house and plant bugs. If you browse the internet at all, it's ridiculously easy to get information on what you're up to. Sure you could use https everywhere and erase cookies, but I'm not sure how much I'd trust https. Keep in mind that a LOT of those certificates are issued by a central authority, and central authorities are easy to subvert.

With all that being said, if we were really that concerned about it we'd be making it MUCH easier to use pgp and personal private encryption for everything. We'd be making it much easier to use opportunistic encryption with self-generated keys for point-to-point communications. We'd be making it much easier to encrypt voice and video communications. Everyone would be using tor to access the internet. And we're not really doing any of those things. Hell, we volunteer so much information about our daily lives through social networking that there really isn't any need to listen in on most people anyway. I'd guess someone completely avoiding social networking sites would raise a red flag that would warrant more scrutiny.

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