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User Journal

Journal Journal: An excellent Analogy, Part II 2

Maybe it's time to change my sig line again.

I just noticed this morning that the idea of God supporting Agile CI is rather Islamic. To be Catholic, God would have to support Waterfall Development.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Bug or Feature? 1

Playing today, Disqus, the ubiquitous blog discussion system. After many years in existence they finally give users the one feature they all have been clamoring for: blocking of trolls in their system, a feature that even Facebook has had for several years now.

Except it's not. Oh, you no longer see replies from that person- but they are still able to reply to you, you just can't see it. Which is fine if you have friends to defend you, kind of sucks otherwise.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I like my new job, but it's boring 3

And so I'm watching AfterMash on Youtube on my phone. Soon Lee Klinger just had a great line in the second episode: "You are my husband to love and obey, but only when you are right!"

User Journal

Journal Journal: Financial Confirmation Bias 66

We don't believe tobacco companies that pay for studies that claim that smoking isn't harmful. We don't believe oil companies that do studies that claim fracking isn't harmful. Why do we believe the researchers of the sexual revolution, who were paid to cook the data to claim that fornication, birth control, abortion, and homosexuality are not harmful? Why do we believe those researchers paid by the pharmaceutical industry, including the black market pharmaceutical industry, who claim that LSD isn't harmful?

User Journal

Journal Journal: WALDO- a way to merge software methodologies 27

I've been thinking a lot about the software methodology religious wars lately. It seems to me that all methodologies have their strength and weaknesses. 15 years in, Agile has given us faster coding, but worse quality. Waterfall was flawed due to its overemphasis on architecture and underemphesis on business. Lean cuts out inefficiency- at the cost of elegance and maintainability. Devops sacrifices quality and cheapness for speed of continuous Outcomes. And while it's true that the "User Interface is everything" because that's the only thing the user sees, Outcomes sacrifices the future for one-off unmaintainable code.

So here's my solution- WALDO. The ultimate 3-6 person team- no more than 6, no less than three if a couple of guys wear multiple hats.

W- Waterfall

A- Agile

L- Lean

D- Devops

O- Outcomes

But these aren't just methodologies- they imply roles on the team. The ideal six person team consists of:

W- The customer's view of the project should always be waterfall with iterations. They tell us what they think they want, we build it- they're involved in every iteration. Of course, they don't really know what they want- it takes several iterations before we discover what they want- but the W role is the customer herself.

WA- The Waterfall Architect, or perhaps the Waterfall Analyst. This is the guy who is the face of the team to the customer- the single point of contact. On smaller teams, may also be the scrum master- but ideally should be a master of the models. This person should also be the principle advocate in scrum meetings for the customer.

AL- the real scrum master should be a master of both Agile and Lean. This guy lives in the world of Gantt charts and excel spreadsheets- keeping both schedule and budget, keeping the team on schedule, communicating that schedule to the team and to the WA and W. Daily scrums should keep people on task.

LD- the Lean Developer is a Model First Full Stack Programmer, but is the king of Object Orientation, maintainability, and reuse. It is this role that you want somebody who excels in data- but can work in the higher tiers of programming right up to the User Interface Tier.

DO- the ultimate Devops guy should be as much artist as programmer- a whiz of the User Interface. This is what the customer will see, so the DO and the WA are a natural Quality Assurance feedback loop for each other. Since the DO consumes data and objects coded by the LD, there's a natural QA feedback loop there as well.

O- the Outcomes guy. QA and Build Engineer rolled into one- this is your build manager, working with WA and W to make sure every release happens quickly and accurately, and that beta testing actually occurs to provide data back to WA.

This is my ideal team- one that insures you get the best of all methodologies, not the short sightedness of focusing on one or two.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Thoughts on 007 - Spectre 2

No spoilers, just some quick comments.

It isn't bad, but it isn't great, either. Good enough is where I'd put it. Of the Daniel Craig Bond moves, I'd rank this one as #4 (of 4).

A couple of things that stick out at me were the early car chase scene. WTF people? Who wrote this? It wasn't so much a car chase as "lets watch expensive cars tool around Rome". No shooting, nothing exciting. Just what looked like an orange Lamborghini chasing whatever custom car Bond was driving. (Okay, it was a custom Jaguar C-X75 chasing a custom Aston-Martin DB10.)

See, Bond was driving a bullet-proof, armored car. WTF was he fleeing from? The bad guy couldn't get to him. He could've come to a complete stop, let the guy roll up, wave, and ask him to do his window and it wouldn't have mattered.

The second scene that bothered me was the train fight scene. Holy fuck! Are there no other people on the train? The bash their way through like 4 or 5 cars on a 7 car train and there aren't people scrambling to get out of the way. No staff, no passengers, nothing. It was like a ghost train. Then they get off at the next stop looking freshly showered and pressed, not like both protagonists just got their asses kicked and should be covered in bruises and welts and walking with severe limps.

The final scene that irked me was where Bond was chasing the cars in Austria with the plane. The plane loses its wings and a strut, then slides down the mountain only to bash through a barn and smash into one of the bad guys cars. And NO ONE IS OUTSIDE TO SEE IT! It is like they found the only Austrian ski resort village that IS TOTALLY DEVOID OF PEOPLE.

I guess they smashed up so many cars they had to save money somewhere, and skimped on the extras (except for the opening scene in Mexico City).

A little long, and a little disjoint. It really helped that I was at an Alamo Draft House and ordered a couple of beers while watching it.

All in all it really reminded me of a Roger Moore Bond as opposed to a Daniel Craig Bond. Not Moonraker bad, but still...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ubuntu 15.10 Miscellaneous

A couple of other notes on Ubuntu 15.10 on my hacked-up HP ProBoox 6475b.

1. The fingerprint sensor is a Validity VFS491, 138a:003d. Validity Sensors was bought by Synaptec back in 2013, but regardless those sensors have never been well supported under Linux. I did get this one working by digging out the old driver patch that HP supplied for SuSE Linux 11 back in 2012. I applied that to libfprint-0.0.6 and compiled everything from source. Ugly, but it works. I forwarded the patch over to the fingerprint-gui guys to see if they are interested in adding it in. Every little bit helps.

2. Playing with my Yubikey Neo I found that the pam-u2f package in the PPA (v1.0.2) segfaults on the pamu2fcfg command. I filed a bug report, provided debug and core data, and the developers patched the git HEAD source in a few hours. I rebuilt the utility and supporting libraries from scratch to test and all is working! Score one for open source software! Expect it to be released on the PPA next week.

That was really the last little nit. Everything went much smoother than I expected, and I'm quite happy with the setup. Every last feature on the machine works without a hiccup -- except the WiFI scanner, but that isn't part of the machine.

I'm actually fairly impressed with the open source AMD video drivers (Radeon 7660G, which comes with the A-10 processor), but don't play games on the machine other than WarZone 2100 so I don't really stress it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ubuntu 15.10 and Epson / Seiko Scanner Driver

I've tried everything, but can't connect to the scanner over WiFi. I can connect over USB, but the scanner is on the other side of the room and that defeats the purpose of the WiFi.

I have installed Epson's iscan, iscan-data and iscan-network-nt packages -- the latter being the one supposed to allow Epkowa devices connect over the network. Yes, I modified the epkowa.conf file in /etc/sane.d/ using both IP address and DNS name, but to no avail.

The printer works, the scanning port (1865) is active, but no joy on using simplescan, xsane, or iscan. Drat!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ubuntu 15.10 and Epson / Seiko Printer Driver

Ubuntu 15.10 automatically found my Epson XP-610 wireless printer / scanner and tried to install the proper printer driver, but failed miserably.

By "miserably" I mean it got stuck halfway through installing the package file and gummed up their software installation utility. I had to "kill -9" the appropriate, defunct dpkg instance. A reboot will do it as well.

The problem seems to be the proprietary Epson driver relies on LSB (Linux Standard Base), which is no longer installed by default in Ubuntu. The fix is to download the appropriate .deb package from the Epson site. Install the driver with sudo dpkg -i epson-inkjet-printer-201308w_1.0.0-1lsb3.2_amd64.deb, which will install but not configure because of missing LSB as a dependency. Finally, do a sudo apt-get install -f to handle the missing dependencies and you can go into the Printers app and add the printer, as the drivers will now be available.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Brother P-Touch QL-500 on Linux 1

Just a quick entry because I couldn't find a fix for this issue anywhere online.

Under Linux, using Ubuntu 15.04 and 15.10, my USB-connected Brother QL-500 label printer is detected automatically and available out-of-the-box, no driver install necessary. Very nice.

I tried printing under Glabels and all I got was a flashing LED on the printer. The Brother website has a similar error under Windows, claiming this is caused by a mismatch between the label actually loaded in the printer and the setting in the driver. This was not the issue. I have DK-1201 address labels loaded, and the driver is set to 29 x 90 mm, which is also the template I'm using in Glabels.

In the driver (Printers app, Properties, Printer Options), there is a button labeled "Label Preamble". This is on by default and is the culprit. Un-check that box and the printer should now print properly.

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