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Comment Re:Finally, I can switch to Gnome! (Score 1) 118

I used CDE (and thus Motif) for many years. It may look outdated now, but it was years ahead of its time. While it may not be as usable as, say, GNOME 2 or KDE 3 were, it's actually still managed to be better to use than GNOME 3 or KDE 4+ have been.

I have seen CDE a few times (e.g. on Solaris), and found it very unusable, so much so that installing KDE or GNOME was much easier than trying to just use CDE.

While KDE 4.0 was very rough, and 4.1 only addressed the roughest edges, from 4.4 KDE has had almost complete feature-parity with KDE 3. At least they aren't applying non-optional Mac-like interfaces (where the menus are 100s of pixels away from the Window they apply to like GNOME 3). It's quite frustrating using GNOME 3 apps (about the only one I use is simple-scan, as I'm not aware of a KDE scanning app that scans to PDF).

Plasma 5 and KF5 are now also very good and quite polished.

Comment How do bitcoiners define money? (Score 1) 270

The wikipedia definition of money[1] ("Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context") is basically identical to the defintion of legal tender[2] ("Legal tender is variously defined in different jurisdictions. Formally, it is anything which when offered in payment extinguishes the debt.").

The guidance document for virtual currencies by the South African treasury only refers to 'virtual currencies', never referring to them as 'money'. Virtual currencies effectively have the same (or less) standing in South Africa as (or than) external currencies (including e.g. the Zimbabwean Dollar).

So, what do bitcoin proponents claiming 'Bitcoin is classify as money' define 'money' as? Obviously something different than the rest of the population.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment Old Problem (Score 4, Insightful) 158

Socrates on books:

If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks.

There are plenty of problems left in this world to apply unused brain tissue to. . . Freeing up brain matter to be applied to new problems is how we progress as a species.

Comment Re: Bitcoin is not money (Score 1) 270

The document from the South African treasury about virtual currencies you linked to states:

"Due to their unregulated status, virtual currencies cannot be classified as legal tender as any merchant may refuse them as a payment instrument without being in breach of the law. In addition, virtual currencies cannot be regarded as a means of payment as they are not issued on receipt of funds. The use of virtual currencies therefore depends on the other participantâ(TM)s willingness to accept them."

So, I don't think that qualifies as being "money".

Yes, about two online shops in South Africa accept payment in Bitcoin, but I don't know how they comply with FICA regulations in this case ...

Comment Re: isn't that a German thing? (Score 0) 429

"We all emigrated, by your ridiculous hypothesis, to everywhere in the world once we left Africa."

And then some of us returned to our homeland, and 300+ years later their descendants are still called "colonialists" by those who didn't emigrate, and they blame us for all of their problems (such as lack of education).

Comment Re: Google Wallet? (Score 1) 38


Banks in my country have very streamlined transactions. For example I can pay about 10 monthly bills (where I don't want debit orders) to pre-configured beneficiaries in under 2 minutes (including logging in with 2FA). Some banks even have dedicated once-off payment support (where one additional authorisation step is required over paying existing beneficiaries, but more streamlined than first adding a beneficiary and then doing a 2nd step to pay).

Other mobey transfer methods (e.g. Paypal) aren't very popular, because using internet or "cellphone" (USSD-based) or smart phone banking features from our 4 or 5 major banks is so easy and safe.

Some retail-focused payment apps (Snapscan) are popular though (replacong cash or card-present transactions).

For transfers to people who don't have bank accounts but have cellphones (probably about 50% of the adult population), most banks here have 'cash send' featured where ftom the internet banking site or USSD or smart phone app you can effectively send cash to a cellphone number. The recipient can go to any bank ATM and withdraw the cash using SMS-or USSD validation.

Sounds like US banking is still in the pre-Web2 era ...

Comment Re: But the question... (Score 1) 88

"But to make the sound work, AFAIR you had to "manually" install of dozen of old/unsupported x86 libs;"

But this is really a Java problem, and not a Webex problem per se, and problems/work-arounds would heavily depend on which Java run-time your browser launches for WebStart apps and whether you have matching sound plugins installed or not.

Of course, recent Firefox is probably going to break WebStart and all the enterprise-y apps they don't care about but we need. Guess some people will have to dump Firefox to get NPAPI support back.

Comment Re: Good bye to Solaris (Score 1) 171

You give a specific instance where systemd helps you. Just one.

No, I was responding to one of the examples provided as to why 'systemd sucks' in that it seemed (in the past) to hang at boot if there was a bad entry in /etc/fstab. There is good justification for what systemd is doing (and sysvinit doesn't assist the admin at all in this regard, so the sysvinit user is left to modify all sorts of scripts like rc.sysinit - that will be overwritten by a software update - to resolve these problems).

As someone who has also been involved in packaging software for linux distros (and for internal use), I have no problem writing an init script, but I have also seen the many traps that inexperienced users will fall into when writing/modifying an init script. Systemd has done a lot to standardise the way services must behave and provide configuration-based customisation for the most common types of customisation required, such as setting limits, limited configuration required of the service, running a script before starting the daemon etc.

IIRC, you should be able to achieve the same effect in the other scripts by merely checking and waiting on pieces to come up (admittedly, this has been more than a few years, my memory may be hazy as to its simplicity)

I (and you) might be able to, but at present I doubt any of my colleagues would be able to do it correctly without leaving a booby trap for the next sysadmin.

You also specify several workarounds outside of systemd to deal with things others don't like.

So, not using an optional service that systemd provides but doesn't require is a workaround outside of systemd?

The thing you don't address is why systemd, purportedly a startup management system, appears to have taken over as almost a full OS.

So in the past we have run DJBs service tools to supervise processes that are prone to die regularly, but then you can end up with conflicts with what sysvinit wants to do vs what sv_stat, sv etc. want to do, and you have no dependency tracking between the services supervised by the DJBware and the init system (so qmail starts accepting mail before the NFS mailstores are mounted, and bounces the emails until someone notices the alert and mounts the mailstores). Then you have services run by xinetd (started by sysvinit), again with little coordination between them and other services. To me it does make sense to have one daemon that takes care of launching and killing all services. Then again, there is the argument about one cgroup controller (which was apparently the primary reason for systemd in the first place), and as far as I know there isn't a competing init system that has comprehensive built-in native support for cgroups.

It is unfortunate that a lot of other tooling that pre-dates systemd has so much bit-rot that the systemd developers seem to think writing a replacement (e.g. systemd-login) is better than asking the developers (of e.g. ConsoleKit, which itself was a replacement for something, pam_console?) to fix the bugs, but I don't think the intention is to make systemd an OS. And it is quite modular, many of their newer tools are optional (where possible).

Comment Re: Good bye to Solaris (Score 1) 171

Some of our Linux servers that are not exposed to any hostile networks and inconvenient to reboot (e.g. monitoring display server that is displayed, along with other stuff, on a 30mx6m video wall) have uptimes of 5 years or more.... I also can't think why systemd would have any impact on uptime ...

5 years? Seriously? You're running on an 5 year old kernel with multiple known issues (TLS, OpenSSL, etc)?

I didn't say they don't get any updates at all. They just don't have kernel updates applied. There are multiple firewalls protecting these specific servers from hostile users/networks, and 90% of the people who have any access at all (e.g. HTTPS access) have sudo rights to run various things as root on them anyway. The only systems that have any firewall access to them are the other monitoring servers, and all the monitoring software is kept up-to-date.

As for systemd, you must not be very well versed in it. SSH Fails,

Yes, some versions of systemd introducing new features may have bugs. Only immature distros would push such versions out to users of stable releases.


Using timesyncd isn't mandatory. The distro I use on my laptop doesn't use it, RHEL7.3 doesn't ship it.

magically fixed a service startup issue, no one knows why,

Doesn't seem like anyone could reproduce that on other versions (shipped in stable distros, or current).

and just a general list of why systemd sucks.

Of the 5 major complaints, 3 are about the journal. There are some advantages to it, and some disadvantages, and I think systemd should support not using journald at all, but you can avoid relying on the journal itself by forwarding to syslog and disabling storage.

Regarding giving block devices for filesystems listed as required in /etc/fstab, this is a conscious design decision that is required in environments with complex storage (many storage arrays in a complex storage area network). The alternative (with e.g. sysvinit) is to have your production database servers fail to come up at boot time because the init system didn't give enough time for all 100 LUNs to appear so that it could mount the filesystems required to let the database start. It is really fun to have to be woken up to get such systems back up after a rack has tripped because then engineer on standby can't figure out what to do, I'd rather have systemd do the right thing. As far as I know, the default timeouts have been reduced (systemd wasn't hanging though ... it was waiting for devices it was told were required to appear) and provide more information on why it is waiting.

The 4th issue is cosmetic, and applies to most kernel drivers ... only dracut namespaces its parameters (rd.xxx).

And that took all of 2 min to search, read, and compile, because I wanted to give you some solid backing for stating it sucks.

Yes, it is trivial to find old bugs that are fixed, and FUD complaints from systemd haters about behaviour that has been improved.

You're in RH land with supported versions, so it's likely that these problems, when they crop up, are offloaded as RH issues and you just monitor a trouble ticket. Lucky you. I guess I wouldn't care in that scenario either, as it's SEP.

Our production servers run Red Hat. We haven't needed to log a ticket for anything systemd-related.

My workstation, my laptop, and the desktop my wife uses at home run a different distro not associated with Red Hat at all that switched to systemd long ago, and I have seen no issues there either.

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