* Posts by Jay 2

863 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jun 2009


Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop

Jay 2

Re: @StrangerHereMyself - They'll try

I seem to recall they came in Linux and XP flavours. The Linux ones were most likely returned because people thought as it had PC in the name it would run Windows apps, which it obviously wouldn't. They XP ones may have been returned as they were horrendously underspec'd to run Windows no matter what Microsoft said.

That second point led to the netbook, in the original concept, effectively failing. As pretty much all consumers wanted something that ran Windows OK and had a suitable screen size. And so netbooks got bigger, bulkier and more expensive until they were pretty much normal laptops.

I had a Linux one and rebuilt with either Ubuntu/Mint as the default distro it came with was a right mess. It was a useful bit of kit once you could sort it.

Official science: People do less, make more mistakes on Friday afternoons

Jay 2

My US colleagues tend to follow a pattern of having whichever poor soul is on-call being the one to do CMs/patching/etc after work (~5pm their time) on Friday evening.

Given that they know our culture (hic!) and possibly more so that we can't mess with some servers during their working day, we tend to do our round of the same thing on Saturday mornings. People have commented on if it's wise doing such things with a hangover, but on the main occasion I recall making a boo-boo I hadn't been out the night before.

Soft-reboot in systemd 254 sounds a lot like Windows' Fast Startup

Jay 2

Re: And Pottering continues to screw up Linux for its primary purpose....

Yes it's become increasingly obvious that a lot of changes are being made so he can happily have his Linux laptop work exactly like a Windows laptop when he's using the free WiFi of a coffee shop for hours on end.

The annoying thing is that the vast majority of Linux installations are servers/appliances/etc which don't need a lot of that crap, but now have it thrust upon them if a systemd-based distro.

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris

Jay 2

I used to have something similar (alongside standard UK keyboard PC). That's helped when I've logged onto a US box and the keyboard mapping gets a bit squiffy.

As someone else mentioned, the onscreen keyboard can be very useful!

Though all of that still doesn't stop some of my US colleagues using certain non-alphanumeric characters in passwords which can be interesting to try and type...

Microsoft cries foul over UK gaming deal blocker but it's hard to feel sorry for them

Jay 2

Yeah as a PS5/Mac gamer the entire MS/Bethesda thing hasn't done me any favours. I'm really looking forward to Starfield, but have to hope it runs OK on a Steamdeck as I'm not going to build a dedicated gaming PC and neither am I going to jump ship to Xbox. Similarly I forget who owns Obsidian now, but Outer Worlds 2 is also an MS exclusive.

To give MS some credit I think Game Pass is a good idea (Sony's variations are somewhat lacking in comparison I feel)... but it's only a matter of time until they start ramping up the prices etc. Though like all these things it seems to be a never-ending round of (increasingly expensive) subscriptions. Oh you want to go online; subscription. Oh you want to play/rent these games; another subscription.

The end of Microsoft-brand peripherals is only Surface deep

Jay 2

Shame, I've always found MS mice to be OK. When I got a new Mac last year I deliberately sought out a fairly basic wired 5 button mouse, mainly as I don't really get on with the Magic Mouse (and I have a thing against such wireless devices on a desktop).

Also got an old MS keyboard around here somewhere. Not an ergonomic one, never could get used to them.

Techie fired for inventing an acronym – and accidentally applying it to the boss

Jay 2

On chat the other day on of my colleagues referred to a Jira "thicket". I don't know if it was a typo, but given the contents and reporter I found it quite apt. I have since decided we should use this new word appropriately in the future.

WFH? Google Cloud's offices like a 'ghost town' before new policy

Jay 2

Re: right

During Covid my employers decided to take advantage of moving to a smaller office as to not pay as much rent/facilities/etc. They were also quite happy with how things were going with all the WFH. Then when it was time to come back everyone in IT got thrown under the bus saying it was hot desk only (which funnily enough isn't very appealing to many people). Also some other departments insisted that their staff had permanent desks... to which they hardly ever used. And so the result was an office that could be pretty empty to which the head of the company was usually heard complaining, along the lines of "we're paying for all this, so why aren't people using it". Things are a bit busier now Tue/Wed/Thur but Mon and especially Fri can be pretty barren.

Microsoft makes Windows-on-Arm in VMs on Macs official – with Parallels for starters

Jay 2

Pretty good considering. Most GFX options set to high at 2560x1440. I'm fairly happy with it as my only other option on the Mac is to run via Nvidia GeForce NOW streaming (which is OK, but can get a bit laggy and pixelated). I've not yet had to rely on the ultimate fallback which is a Steamdeck using a USB C hub to connect to kbd/mouse and TV! Though that too works OK.

Mind you I've tired to play Xcom 2 (Win11/Parallels) and that just continually crashes out after the first tutorial mission.

Jay 2

I find some of the contents of this article to be slightly surprising. Mainly as I've been running a licenced (well, nothing complained) Win 11 VM on Parallels on an M1 Max Mac for just under a year now. Mostly runs Win stuff OK (I only really use it to play World Of Warships) and it gets fairly frequent updates.

Still, I suppose, nice that it's now somewhat "official".

Calculate Linux: It's like Gentoo, but for businesses

Jay 2

At work we have a "slowly being phased out" internal distro which once upon a time started as Gentoo. Way back when as a slight aside from that I did install Gentoo on a VM at home to have a play and it was somewhat enlightening how bare bones a Linux can be.

But time has moved on and at work it's morphed from a small, fast, lightweight distro which did one thing well, to a porky and time consuming pain in the bum which requires excessive hand-holding to do anything and is not exactly dependency friendly when it comes to some software we'd like to use. Intersting while it lasted, but replacing it with RHEL will make our lives much easier.

PyTorch dependency poisoned with malicious code

Jay 2


So you're a "security researcher" and you think it's a good idea, even in a PoC, to grab the contents of .ssh amongst other things? That doesn't sound right. And if they did snaffle some data, can we really believe they actually deleted it? Yeah I may be paranoid, but there's just too much data leakage/theft about as it is.

Though if nothing else it does shine a light on such repo dependancies and how such things can be subverted. I'll have a bear that in mind a bit more. It's fairly obvious when you think about it, but sometimes you may not be paying too much attention when an install says I'm going to install X (which you do expect) from Y (which is not where you'd usually expect it to come from).

Video game players sue to frag Microsoft-Activision merger

Jay 2

As a PS5/Mac gamer (yeah I know, strange combo) I see this as potentially not being very good. MS-owned Bethesda have already said Starfield will be PC/Xbox only, so what's to say they don't start doing that with other games (more so those with new IPs). I know that Sony is getting a bit jittery about not being able to get its mitts on CoD if this goes through. Though I don't know if MS would be prepared to deal that crushing blow, or would like to continue to rake in the cash from such a profitable multi-platform franchise.

In praise of MIDI, tech's hidden gift to humanity

Jay 2

Whilst at school back in ~1991 a friend of mine had a Spectrum +2 hooked up to a (music) keyboard via MIDI. A bit novel to run a program on the Speccy and have music come out the keyboard, but it worked fine!

Corporate execs: Get back, get back, to the office where you once belonged

Jay 2

Re: Meetings cut

OMFG so much this ^

At the same time the pandemic hit a lot of the infrastructure teams (including my lot of sys admins) were being told to start being "global". eg I no longer could I just concentrate on my little EMEA empire, but I now had to concern myself with how things get done the same way over AMRS/EMEA/APAC. The result being I now get dragged into more Zoom calls than I know what to do with. Most afternoons are taken up with calls once the US get in. In some cases I've been triple booked.

So more often than not, I'm not concentrating on the meeting at hand but am tapping away at several SSH sessions or poking around at web-based front ends. I have no idea how people think I get things done (or when). Must be those magic computer pixies that do it all...

Meanwhile my place has been sort-of OK at letting people get on with what they want to do (though they are trying to get a few more people to come at least once a week). I usually do 3 days in the office a week, which is enough to obtain a permanent desk. As during the pandemic management decided to move to a smaller office and with no consultation decided all of IT would be WFH ot hot desk. Of course all the business people were sorted out with offices and permanent desks and pretty much every question regarding how hot desking would work and various facilities was met with the answer "don't know". In short they didn't give a flying fuck about IT and we had to deal with the consequences. This in turn has led to problems as people who prefer to WFH do as much as possible not to come into the office.

No-one really likes hot desking and it's become a faff to try and get several desks together when teams come in. In some cases micromanaging/presenteism managers insist that their team have permanent desks (which then lessens the amount of desks availble for the hot desk pool), but their staff mostly decide to WFH. Meanwhile there are veiled threats from management around why there are so many empty desks, which then gets interpreted lower down as we must have at least one person from the team in the office each day. Though this may be a bit of front-running to head off some stupid ruling from people who either have their own offices or permanent desks

It's as if they can't make up their minds at what they want...

What did Unix fans learn from the end of Unix workstations?

Jay 2

My first proper job involved looking after loads of HP 9000 712 workstations running HP-UX 9.x and then 10.x with the HP VUE front end (which was some re-skinned bit of CDE or something). I learned quite a bit working on all that.

Then in my second job I ended up looking after loads of Sun kit from a fair few Ultra 10 workstations up to the stupidly obscene Ultra Enterprise 10000 monstrosities. At one point I also had an Ultra 10 and also briefly a Netra V100 at home, but never really used either of them for anything and must have given them away to someone who did have a proper use for them.

But with the demise of Sun and rise of Linux nowadays I can pretty much do everything from an SSH session and a web browser from a multitude of different devices.

BOFH: Come back to the office. Your hotdesk is nice and warm

Jay 2

Your hotdesk is nice and warm

And there was me thinking that this is would because their desk had somehow caught fire...

Bias toward office staff will cost you: Your WFH crew could walk, say execs

Jay 2

I wish they'd make their minds up.

First it was all WFH due to pandemic. Stuff got done and they seemed fairly happy. Then they saw cost saving and downsized offices. After that it we're happy for you to WFH/hybrid. Again stuff gone done and they seemed fairly happy. Then it was, why are we paying for these empty seats (as people prefer WFH/hybrid), followed by right more people back in the office for presenteism if nothing else. Despite things being done and employees being happier to WFH/hybrid.

Personally I do hybrid and it works OK for me. The one main drawback, no matter where you are at my place, is the almost constant requirement for Zoom meetings. It's now commonplace for people to have to ask questions twice as the first time the subject of said question will be busy concentrating on doing some actual work...

I'm a sys admin so I have things to do and a somewhat limited amount of time to do them in. It's pretty obvious if I've not been getting said things done or not. Admittedly that's not the case for some job roles.

You've heard of the cost-of-living crisis, now get ready for the cost-of-working crisis

Jay 2

Re: Email remains the most used communication method for work

Had something similar the other day. Some random saying they were "calling from Dell". Unfortunately for them I'd been speaking to some of our Dell account team (who I know all of fairly well) earlier on, so i knew for a concrete fact they were not telling the truth.

Nowadays I just tell such peeps that I can't discuss whatever they want to talk about for security reasons!

Fedora 37 beta: Hints of what's to come in Red Hat's free flagship

Jay 2

Even for a beta that sounds pretty rough!

NASA's Artemis rocket makers explain that it's a marathon and a sprint

Jay 2

Re: Not all new

I guess it's the new bits that are causing problems as the old stuff seemed to be OK on the Shuttle :)

The crime against humanity that is the modern OS desktop, and how to kill it

Jay 2

Yeah I agree on a lot of this. Only got Win 11 on a VM so I can play a few games. The first few boots etc were painful as I had to figure out where all the settings etc were. A hangover from Win 10 when as well as the old skool Control Panel we now also had Settings. And to add to the confusion they looked different, so not even MS could keep things standard.

The other day I was messing with an Ubuntu VM (other distros are available) and with its default GNOME setup I just couldn't easily figure out how to get the icon of a folder than contained pictures to give me a preview of said pictures. Win and MacOS can do it (albeit with some tweaking sometimes). After much messing about I just flipped the VM to use KDE instead and my problems were solved.

It seems many people who design/approve GUIs etc nowadays are too busy wanting to do new new/disruptive things just because they can or they feel the need to justify themselves. What it really does it just throw out all the good stuff that is there for a reason (it works) and then piss everyone off. I mean the Win 8 and Unity crap where more than one person decided that we should have touch-based designs for a desktop. I mean seriously, WTF were they thinking?

Microsoft, Activision Blizzard have days to show merger won't harm competition

Jay 2

...unless it's the big studios that have the ethical/HR problems. EA and Ubisoft being recent prime examples.

Jay 2

Re: "The gaming industry today is robust and dynamic"

Me neither. The larger studios/publishers/groups are not entirely what I'd call robust and dynamic.

For one point the big boys have a nasty habit of buying up smaller studios, squishing their ideas, getting them to work on stuff that really isn't their forte and finally just closing them down.

The same big boys also churn out the same stuff year after year (or close to it), usual suspects being FIFA, CoD, Assassin's Creed, etc.

And whilst they're doing all that they're busy copying each other in an effort to squeeze every last penny out of gamers via dubious means. $70/£70 games (because they can), microtransactions, loot boxes, making games "live services", NFTs, releasing unfinished/half-baked/buggy games.

Jay 2

As a Mac/PlayStation gamer I'm still a bit miffed that Bethesda are only releasing Starfield and The Outer Worlds 2 for Microsoft platforms. Though I believe they've said that the next lot of Fallout/Elder Scrolls will still be multi-platform.

If this goes through then I don't think they'd mess with existing games/IPs, but newer ones are fair game for MS exclusivity I suspect.

Kubuntu and Lubuntu get desktop upgrades, as optional extras

Jay 2

Funnily enough I slapped KDE on one of my Ubuntu VMs last weekend as I was having a few problems trying to get GNOME to work how I wanted. Thankfully KDE did exactly what I wanted by default. I'd completely forgotten about Kubuntu/Lubuntu/etc but its slightly academic for me as I don't think they offer ARM-based versions yet.

Janet Jackson music video declared a cybersecurity exploit

Jay 2

Many years ago I had a Discman which would also play MP3s (as in the files on a filesystem) burned onto a CD. Great as you could get a lot of music into ~650MB back then. The slight down side is that it would refuse to play any CDs that had some of the DRM stuff on it. Any such CD was sent back for a refund.

Microsoft brings more Arm64 support and an updated expiry date to Dev Channel Windows

Jay 2

Fingers crossed then. The main driver for me running Win11 on Parallels on my M1 Mac is play World Of Warships. Runs pretty well. The only other option would be to use Nvidia GeoForce now streaming which is OK, but can suffer from a little bit of lag or graphical downgrading.

When will the UK take another giant leap into space?

Jay 2

Does this mean El Reg can dust off LOHAN?

I recall the (US) FAA put a a bit of a kybosh on LOHAN back in the day, maybe this is a good time to take advantage of new rules being made up etc to pull a bit of a fast one? Yeah, I know it's unlikely, but we can but dream!

Just noticed there's no Paris icon any more, I'll have to use an alien...

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint

Jay 2

Re: It's still going on

As I have to work on both US/UK systems you can never quite be sure what sort of keyboard mapping you're going to get. So I stay well clear of using stuff like £ # @ ' ` | " \ in any passwords.

Watch a RAID rebuild or go to a Christmas party? Tough choice

Jay 2

Re: At least you got a warning!

I'd be interested to know what make/model that controller was. A definite case of " you had one job" for the controller.

Broadcom's VMware buy got you worried? Give these 5 FOSS hypervisors a spin

Jay 2

Re: Lackluster article

Ovirt was a pig to install for me, I had to end up hacking some of the ansible install scripts to get it to actually install OK. The documentation is also very sparse (and close to useless). But once up and running it's OK.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (effectively the same thing with a RH badge of for those that don't know) installed fine. Again seems to be OK when running. But I hear RH are changing their offering around virtualisation to be more with OpenShift.

Old-school editor Vim hits version 9 with faster scripting language

Jay 2

There can be only one. Probably.

Once upon a time (back when I was being taught sys admin on NCR UNIX) it was drilled into me that vi would be available when you'd installed a new server, but not necessarily other editors. This was back in the day when you had to work out what you wanted to install and size partitions accordingly etc. So since then I've just used vi(m). I'm sure at one point I did briefly use Emacs, but it obviously never stuck.

Meanwhile, can't say I knew vim had a scripting language!

Engineer sues Amazon for not covering work-from-home internet, electricity bills

Jay 2

On reading this I was pondering how much extra 'leccy/gas/etc I was burning though during the entire WFH thing. And possibly thought he had a point. But your reply reminded me that I wasn't paying for a season ticket and also that generally lunch at home is much cheaper than lunch in the City. So I guess that might even out a bit.

Though like you I now go into the office 2/3 times a week and any sort of season ticket is only really worth if if you're doing ~5 days. Oh and then there's lunch...

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

Jay 2

A nice list of distro to try/avoid/etc. Horses for courses I suppose!

My day job is a RHEL/etc sys admin and I run a Mac at home. I jumped from Windows a long time ago, and as I have no desire to mess with it the Mac "just works". Nowadays I could just about run some sort of Linux as a main desktop if I wanted, but it would remind me too much of work and there would always be the temptation to fix/tweak something.

I do run a few VMs though. I usually ran CentOS (command line only) due to familiarity with the day job. But latest Mac is ARM so for the first time in ages I've been messing with Ubuntu for a bit. Seems to be OK, a lot more user-friendly than Fedora which I installed at the same time. Also a lot more documentation/help for Ubuntu, like when I was figuring out how to build Docker containers for different arch. Back in the day my fave VM play distro was Mint, but it doesn't look like they do an ARM-friendly version right now.

Microsoft tests ‘Suggested Actions’ in Windows 11. Insiders: Can we turn it off?

Jay 2


Picked up a new Mac Studio recently and have been getting used to having to hunt for ARM64 stuff when using Parallels (yes I know I can use UTM to run x86_64, but it's a bit sluggish...).

To scratch the itch/affliction that is World Of Warships (plus the very rare occasion when you do need Win for something) I've got a VM running Win 11 ARM64. Seems to run OK. Plus whilst I haven't got around to grabbing RHEL/CentOS/Rocky/Alma 9 beta yet I've been re-acquainting myself with Ubuntu. So got all the main OS covered for a multitude of sins.

Apple CEO: Silicon shortages and C-19 lockdowns to hurt sales by up to $8 billion

Jay 2

Interesting. I ordered a Mac Studio on 9th April and was told ETA would be 24th May. Fair enough as it's a new product plus there are all the component shortages. A while later I checked the tracking and it then said 4th May. So I thought I still had loads of time to pick up new keyboard/mouse and 4k screens. Then last Friday on the 22nd I get a text/email to say that it had arrived and I could pick it up. Cue lots of frantic online purchasing so I could play with my new toy last weekend.

Microsoft points at Linux and shouts: Look, look! Privilege-escalation flaws here, too!

Jay 2

Admittedly the fact that a lot of the (desktop) Linux distros will enable sudo by default for a local user is not ideal. But at least it gets people into the habit of separating what they can do and what root can do. The catch with su is that suddenly you're in that root shell and the world is your oyster, so don't make any mistakes/typos!.

Though the real power of sudo is that you can configure it to give as much or as little root access as is required. Possibly overkill on a single user desktop system, not on a multi-user server. If needs be you can narrow it down to a single command and specific command line options. And every time that's used, it's logged.

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call

Jay 2

Re: I saw the reveal presentation, and, while I'm no fanboy, I was amazed

I think you've hit the nail on the head with your last paragraph.

I currently have a 2013 21" iMac which won't be getting another OS update and with all the WFH I need to rejig my setup a bit. Not that I particularly like iMacs, but the 27" is no longer available and I'm not really interested in the 24". Similarly I'm not much of a laptop person.

So over the weekend I was looking at options and for me my choices are:

Mac Mini M1 with 2 x 24" 1080p = ~£1800 with 16GB RAM, 1TB storage and various new cables/stands/etc

Mac Studio M1 Max with 2 x 28" 4k = ~£3000 with 1TB storage various new cables/stands/etc (4k as I can and it will give a bit more screen real estate).

I'll probably go with the Studio even though it's slight overkill, but it'll be future-proofed enough and I do usually run my Macs for ~8 years or so. Plus currently got a stuff like a 2009 Samsung monitor and and even older MS mouse in play, so I'm due a refresh!

A tale of two dishwashers: Buy one, buy it again, and again

Jay 2

I'm starting to get Talkie Toaster vibes...

Expect sales reps' calls if IT wants to ditch Oracle

Jay 2

Currently looking to renew some Oracle Linux subscriptions. Only using that to stop them complaining if we need support for the Oracle DB on top. We've decided no need for Premium any more so have asked for how much Premium Limited and Basic are.

Strangely enough this didn't go down very well and they almost flat out refuse to give us a quote (via VAR) whilst they keep sending the same pic of the differences between Premium and Basic. Though we don't use the Premium features, which is one reason to switch.

Also they deliberately ask loads of leading questions about virtualisation and cloud intending to catch us out and screw us over. Unfortunately for them I know what they're up to and also we're running on 2 CPU socket bare metal so we're not going to get caught out on that one.

Automakers continue to see chip-supply carnage as vendors talk of sales pain

Jay 2

A friend of mine very recently sold his Range Rover as it was getting very close to the end of the original warranty plus his car requirements had changed a bit. After shopping around to see who would cough up the most it turned out to be a JLR dealer. It was in pretty good condition, not silly mileage and had a full dealer service history. So I'm sure with a quick clean etc then they'll be able to shift it whist waiting for some new vehicles to trickle out of the factory.

Breath of fresh air: v7.3 of LibreOffice boasts improved file importing and rendering

Jay 2

Re: More on Version Numbers

I am reminded when Windows 7 came out Sun decided that Solaris 2.6 would be followed by Solaris 7.

Citrix acquired by private equity, will be paired with Tibco in $16.5bn deal

Jay 2

Re: Tibco

For reasons I'm not entirely sure of we've moving away from VDI on VMware via VMware Horizon and onto VDI on rack-mounted PCs via Citrix. Somewhat annoying as I found VMware Horizon to be a much better product (and having suffered from using Citrix before).

There's still a bit of Tibco RV around too, but hopefully that will be going soon.

Meanwhile I agree with other commentators, as soon as software ends up in the hands of vulture capitalists, there's only one way it's going to go: prices go up, product goes to shit.

Former Oracle execs warn that Big Red's auditing process is also a 'sales enablement tool'

Jay 2

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!

Seriously though, not surprised at all. Many years in the IT game have forced me not to trust Oracle as far as I can throw them. I've seen what happens when they decide that you appear (to them) to be outside the license terms (like in CPU count) and the result one way or another is very expensive.

I've got a handful of Oracle Linux subscriptions up in March and I've already got the sales droids contacting me. My boss has already indicated that he thinks the renewal of the current level is too much (I don't disagree!) and we should drop down some. They won't be happy.

When it came to replacing CentOS 8, we did take a proper look at Oracle Linux (both free and paid) as it did tick some boxes. But there were certain things that the sales droids seemed to agree to verbally, but pretty much refused to put into writing. Obviously we knew what would happen if we went forward, so that got kyboshed.

And as I'm here, don't get me started on why in this day and age Oracle DB (or at least our DBAs) still insist on using X being available for the installer. Really should be some web-based front end nowadays like pretty much everything else.

Microsoft seems intent on buying the gaming industry with $68.7bn purchase of troubled Activision Blizzard

Jay 2

As a long-term Playstation owner with a Mac all these MS purchases are starting to worry me some. Right now I now I'm not going to be able to play Starfield or Outer Worlds 2 on my current kit as they're MS exclusives. I can only hope they don't tie down the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises (maybe a timed exclusive?). It's got to the point where I've dabbled with NVIDIA GeoForce Now and am considering a Steamdeck.

Though I think MS has played a blinder with Game Pass. A great idea fairly well done. Makes me jealous, Sony really haven't got much of a clue on that front. I believe they've got something similar in the works, but I'm not too up on the details like what games and how much. And more importantly, will it be on top of PS Plus?

Software guy smashes through the Somebody Else's Problem field to save the day

Jay 2

Not to the same standard as some of the other comments, but as a humble sys admin (who is part dinosaur/part furniture as I've been around a while) it seems I frequently have to point out to our devs how their applications work when they screw something up in the config. Usually it's copying something from one env to another without actually knowing what all the config does. Sometimes it's complaining that something suddenly doesn't work and it must be a system problem, even though it was working fine then they changed some config/jar or whatever and now it doesn't work. Or asking me why something doesn't work without doing something useful like looking in the application logs where there are obvious errors.

All SEP as in most cases I'm just responsible that there is a system, that Java is available and that there are JVMs for them to put stuff onto. As to what the JVMs actually do, well that's not my sphere of influence...

JavaScript dev deliberately screws up own popular npm packages to make a point of some sort

Jay 2

Re: Quantity of Downloads vs Requires

Indeed. I too am somewhat amazed that many just blindly go out to the Internet to pull stuff at build time.

A few years back we had some interns writing some little web-based thing for some monitoring. They complained to me (the ever helpful sys admin!) that they couldn't do something which was blocking their work. That something was pull some sort of library from the Internet. I had to explain that for one we don't have direct access we use proxies. Also I posed the question that the library they were downloading may not be there one day, what would happen then? This was not long after the left-pad debacle.

Things have moved on a bit now and we have a Sonatype Nexus proxy thing which can retrive/store/scan such libraries/repositories so that you should always have your own known good local copy to use.

Obligatory XKCD

On Christmas night, a computer logs a call to say his user has stopped working…

Jay 2

Re: Christmas Day for triple pay, yes please...

Actually it was the other mother Bell one that briefly offered UK services in the mid/late 90s before they signed some agreement with BT (which then fell apart with ~2 years or so).

Jay 2

Christmas Day for triple pay, yes please...

Many years ago when I first started as a sys admin for a telco whose logo is like a Death Star I volunteered to work Christmas Day and Boxing day for triple time. I had a student loan and and credit card to pay off amongst other things so I was looking forward to a nice quiet 2 days of sitting around doing virtually nothing and getting paid pretty well for doing so.

But the best laid plans get ripped up and flushed around the u-bend and at some silly time on Christmas morning one of the telephone switches went down and all hell broke lose on the way to getting it fixed. Whilst I didn't look after the telco kit I did end up on the phone most of the day organising various things and giving updates to people. Fortunately Boxing Day was somewhat quieter, but not as much as I expected (I was working nights every few weeks too, so I was counting on a time less problematic than the average overnight shift).