* Posts by jake

16445 posts • joined 7 Jun 2007

Well bork me sideways: A railway ticket machine lies down for a little Windoze

jake Silver badge

"How can architecture be fascist?"

The same way a church can be Gothic, or a loft can be Industrial, or a chain pub can be Charming.

jake Silver badge
Pint

Re: Train Station?

It occurs to me that ElReg needs a couple of units of length that are slightly longer than a London bus or a brontosaurus.

May I suggest a pair of units, the Bars[0] (at 3.4km, 155ish Brontosauruses) and the Hadrian (at 117.5km, or 839285.7143 Linguini (obviously)).

For a unit of negative measurement, perhaps the Trump (93 miles (150 km, or 2338 Devon fatbergs) of unnecessary replacement, no actual new wall to date) would be appropriate.

[0] Not bar, Bars. See: York. And have a homebrew while you think about it, not that that has anything to do with it ... but it can't hurt.

jake Silver badge

Re: Train Station?

Worse, regulations slow trains down to a crawl. A little quick research shows it is about 2430 train-miles (3910km, or 177925 brontosauruses) from San Diego to New York. It's real passenger service, in that there are 9 trains leaving SD for NY per day. The fastest makes the trip in just over 72 hours on a good day (or three). That's an average of about 33.7 MPH (54 KPH, or 0.0005% of the maximum velocity of a sheep in a vacuum) ... I can drive cross country faster than taking the train. And for two or more people, it's cheaper to drive. Sad, that.

jake Silver badge

I did in the early 1990s, with the advent of MSDN and WinNT ... For some reason, I pushed my native cynicism aside and developed the rather mistaken impression that Microsoft actually gave a shit about how their code was working (or not) out in the RealWorld.

jake Silver badge

Re: Victorian computing

That's called out of band signalling. A hybrid circuit is something else entirely.

Don't beat yourself up for overeating in lockdown. This black hole scoffs equivalent of our Sun every day

jake Silver badge

For short?

That's pronounced SMSS J2157–3602, Sir! ...

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux

jake Silver badge

Re: I can't imagine why!

Don't believe the bullshit spouted by the curtain-twitchers and hand-wringers. The environment isn't toxic at all. If it was, I wouldn't have been contributing for over a quarter century.

Unless your skin is so thin it tears when you get out of bed in the morning, that is.

jake Silver badge
Pint

Re: ... ...

I'll agree with you if you mean slackware-stable :-)

jake Silver badge

Re: Another problem of a monolithic monster kernel

To be fair, there are only 6 kernels in long term support (3.16.X was finally EOLed in June, and 5.6.X was initially released at the end of March of this year)). Maintenance on them isn't really all that great a burden, at least not from what I've seen.

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

You must be positively predisposed to predominantly postindustrial psychoanalyses ... or perhaps you are a practitioner of postmillennial perturbations predetermined by probabilistic precautionary philosophic perfectionism?

jake Silver badge

Re: Why Not? Just follow what is seen and ask establishment authorities for more of the evidence.

"What about a best plan being some sort of very complex quantum computer that has already tried all possible bit patterns simultaneously, has processed all metadata"

Such a hypothetical machine would, by definition, know everything that there was to know. Gut feeling is that it would probably immediately suicide out of extreme boredom, just to find out what (if anything) was on the other side.

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

What did anyone with a clue expect?

A Corporation is almost always an oligarchy mixed with a plutocracy, usually with at least a hint of gerontocracy.

The Linux kernel developers are as pure a meritocracy as we have on this dampish rock.

People like Linus are wasted in the traditional management role. I've been saying for decades that in this day and age, where Technology is so important, corporations should have separate Management and Technical tracks for advancement to more senior positions. Management takes care of management, and techs take care of the increasingly more complex technical side. Occasionally, but very, very rarely you can find someone who is both capable and has the capacity (and competency!) to wear both hats.

I don't expect traditional management to grok this in my lifetime, because quite frankly they aren't equipped to understand the concept.

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

More under the big blue wing than on the big blue side ...

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

I seriously doubt the folks who will take over after Linus gets hit by a bus will be in any hurry to include anything anything to do with the systemd cancer in the kernel. Nothing that it does belongs in there. There are many reasons why init is separate from the kernel, and nothing they can add to the systemd cancer will ever change that.

With that said, I strongly suggest that anybody already using Linux and GNU FOSS solutions also look into the BSDs. All it will cost you is a little time ... and options are always good.

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

As a BSD fan from before 1BSD, I heartily approve ... IF your systems can easily be shifted over, and your staff has a good handle on the differences between Linux and BSD.

If you are heavily invested in Linux, check into Slackware.

jake Silver badge

Re: "COBOL programmers of the 2030s?

COBOL IS DEAD! Long Live COBOL!

There are more functional lines of COBOL (and Fortran) working in big business today than the average kid who never used a dial telephone could possibly imagine. I do not know of a single COBOL (or Fortran) programmer who is currently out of work. I can't say the same for Java(script), VisBas, C++, C#, and what-have-you.

When my students ask me what other language(s) to learn, I've been suggesting COBOL (and Fortran (and C)) for about thirty years now. Not a month goes by that I don't get a "THANK YOU!" email from a former student, now making a real salary coding in one of them after dicking around with fad languages for a few years.

With more than a couple billion lines of code in current use (by some estimates), COBOL's not going anywhere soon. Same for Fortran and C. They might not be sexy, but they do real work, in the real world ... and that's where the big bucks are.

Remember, kiddies, the Web and associated languages are ephemeral. COBOL (and Fortran (and good old C)) is here to stay. Learn one (or all three), and you'll be employed for life ... or, as in my case, until you decide you want to retire.

jake Silver badge

Re: "COBOL programmers of the 2030s?

Over the years I've often had students ask me "what other programming language should I learn?" Invariably, I reply "COBOL!" ... I have had a lot of email thanking me for that advice. Good COBOL coders are worth their weight in core memory ... Always have been, always will be[1].

Somewhere, Grace is smiling an evil smile in the way that only she could :-)

Pardon me while I polish the case containing my nanosecond.

[1] Yes, I know, that's been depreciated over the years, but what hasn't?

jake Silver badge

Re: "COBOL programmers of the 2030s?

I'm no fan of Redmond, but I'm fairly certain that Excel will still use \tmp instead of \temp if it exists. Same for most other Microsoft thingies that can loosely be called "programming environments".

In a nutshell, user stuff uses $TEMP, techie stuff uses $TMP ... and you can set TMP=x:\tmp and TEMP=y:\temp ... Some programs use both, depending on what the user is doing.This started back in the days of DOS when it was thought to be handy to keep the two separate, making recovery easier (sometimes) after the inevitable crash when doing development work.

All of my Microsoft boxen back in the day had $TMP and $TEMP set in autoexec.bat ... and frequently were set to point somewhere else in whatever batch file I used to fire up any given software, and then re-set to the default when that program was closed.

jake Silver badge
Pint

Re: I wonder why?

Sorry, I fat fingered it. If the off-by-one error caused any of you to ABEND and need a cold start, I apologize profusely. Full refunds will be available at the usual location by close of business today.

During the meanwhile, this round's on me.

jake Silver badge

Re: Another problem of a monolithic monster kernel

Oh, c'mon, really?

This was done to death in the so-called Tanenbaum–Torvalds debate on Usenet back in the early 90s. All kinds of fanbois, sycophants, hangers-on, trolls, and various other interested parties weighed in on the subject, at very great (and boring) length.

The final resolution? Both monolithic and micro kernels exist. Both have pros and cons. Use the one that suits your needs at the moment, and vive la différence!

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

Nah. I was just sharing a laugh. I find the concept of thumbs, as implemented here on ElReg, to be bloody useless ... except sometimes they can add a little amusement when they tip you off that somebody who takes commentardary entirely too seriously has been furiously hitting refresh, just waiting for your next comment to downvote.

Want another laugh? Seems some brilliant person has written a macro that'll downvote your old posts serially. I just watched my downvote total go up by about 50 in the space of about a minute. There is absolutely no way that someone can do that manually with the ElReg interface.

Even funnier, they are downvoting my old, original posts from over ten years ago ... posts that were made before ElReg had even implemented the concept of thumbs. I'm laughing ... how on Earth does this person expect to benefit from this utterly pointless exercise? Shirley it's not going to out itself as the serial downvoter, expecting great applause from the peanut gallery ...

So I've pissed off somebody, about something, somewhere, and yet they can't be arsed to tell me why ... but they will expend time and energy to write code to downvote old posts of mine? That's just plain sad, that is. Poor thing.

Edit: Chalk up another 50ish downvotes in my old posts in about a minute. One wonders how hard the poor dear was pounding on its keybr0ad as it launched its cute little macro.

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

Under a minute for the downvote! Awesome! :-)

(Don't wear out your F5 key. You might need it for something important someday.)

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

Care to try again without the hyperbole, Mr/s Lout? It's unbecoming.

I'm not going to expand this to other aspects of my life for the simple reason that it doesn't apply elsewhere. It only applies to the meritocracy known as the Linux kernel developers.

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

"Though quite how systemd got its claws in remains.a mystery to me."

Let's be perfectly clear here ... we are talking about the kernel. The systemd cancer is not now, and never will be, a part of the kernel. There is absolutely no need to run the systemd cancer on a Linux system, not now and not into the future.

"Unless RedHat have gone to the dark side......"

Well, yes. They have ... just how long was your last nap, anyway?

jake Silver badge

Re: The next generation will attempt to port the kernel to Javascript...

Sometimes your "stupid things with pointers" is the hack that makes magic happen. I don't need, nor do I want, my compiler telling me what I can and can't do in this type of coding. Kernels aren't the same thing as common or garden applications.

jake Silver badge

Re: The next generation will attempt to port the kernel to Javascript...

No, what he said was "It might not be rust" ... Translated, that means "It will not be rust". He's just being diplomatic.

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

"So, he uses public shaming as a method of last resort."

FTFY..

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

Nah. You need a good fundamental grasp of C and how the compiler works, and a willingness to learn something new. Most Linux (BSD, Minix, etc.) kernel hackers aren't actually designing an OS, they are just massaging code that already exists.

jake Silver badge

Re: re: where to begin

This has been addressed. Look up "what happens if Linus gets hit by a bus".

jake Silver badge
Pint

Re: I wonder why?

"I've written code for over 20 years in various different languages but wouldn't know where to begin with kernel hacking."

If one of those languages is C, join the LKML and read along for a while (like usenet, I recommend following along for at least a month, maybe two, before joining in). When you see a place where you can contribute (and you will), just do it. "Doing it wrong" is rarely fatal ... besides, if you were perfect and had nothing left to learn, life would be excruciatingly boring.

Relax, have a homebrew, and start reading ...

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

Says the AC from the safety of his armchair, where he'll never contribute to much of anything because it's hard and he might get frowned at.

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

As a guy who has been contributing to the kernel on and off for over a quarter century[0], I think I'm allowed to comment. Essentially, the vast majority of the folks bitching about Linus getting sweary HAVE NOT been subject to the swearing. In other words, they are upset on behalf of other folks[0].

We only see (saw?) the swearing after a developer ignored input from Linus, and (usually) several other people, over some boneheaded personal mission from gawd/ess that has absolutely no place in kernel code. Usually there is behind-the-scenes email before the gripe goes public. It is always the developer in question who takes it public in the LKML And most of the time, after getting yelled at, said developer has actually (finally) admitted their error, (finally) fixed it, and the rest of us mutter "about time, bone head!" and life continues. The public swearing is (was?) always a last resort. I do not recall anyone bitching about private, out of band swearing.

And no, it has never made me feel intimidated about contributing to the kernel. Why not? Simple. Because when it is pointed out that I make a mistake, I fix it without bitching about it, that's why. It's really not a big deal. Unless the developer in question chooses to make it a big deal, that is. In other words, said prima donna / drama queen doesn't play well with others, and insists on doing it his/her way. Frankly I'm surprised that Linus has been as tolerant as he has been all these years ... If it was my name attached to the project, I'd have really lit into a few of the idiots ...

And you commentards who haven't actually spent any time contributing to the kernel, your opinions on the subject are completely worthless. Come back after you've walked a few miles in our moccasins and I might find your commentardary on the subject worth listening to.

[0] My, doesn't time fly when you're having fun!

[1] Which is a cardinal sin as far as I'm concerned ... As an adult, I don't need or want anybody else being upset on my behalf, thank you very much.

jake Silver badge

Re: I wonder why?

"but if someone spoke to a member of my team in the manner described"

What sport do you and your team play? Or are they a team as in horses?

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up

jake Silver badge

Re: Surveillance via small print. Human rights to privacy are gone.

"how much storage space and speed capaility do you think text based data would require?"

Speaking as a guy who has speced, built and run several Usenet news farms, the answer to that is "probably more than you think".

jake Silver badge

Re: But private ciphers also exist...even if end-to-end encryption is broken.......

The cock crows at midnight. Don't tell Madeline.

jake Silver badge

Re: So...

No legaly mandated backdoors, no. Just the ones EncrChat made available to their own employees. All the cops had to do was get someone employed by EncroChat, and Bob's their Auntie.

I wouldn't call it good police work, I'd call it bad security practices at EncroChat.

How's that Zoom and/or Skype (etc. etc.) workin' for all y'all? Are your corporate lawyers happy with Microsoft storing all the stuff your employees use Office363 for?

jake Silver badge

Re: Matters arising

It's actually simpler than that.

The cops infiltrated EncroChat (the company itself) and snooped on supposedly encrypted data directly off the EncroChat servers. This is a very good example of why using code that has to go through a central server not under the control of the users should never be considered secure.

If you want security, peer to peer is the way to go. And sometimes not even then, at least in the hands of typical members of the GreatUnwashed.

We now return you to the usual unfounded bickering and speculation.

"When three sit down to talk revolution, two are fools and the third is a police spy."

Microsoft sees the world has moved on, cranks OneDrive file size upload limit from 15GB to more useful 100GB

jake Silver badge

Re: We offer you more space...

Yep. You can store as many 100G files as you like in that FREE!!! 5G ... Did we mention that it was FREE!!! Wow!

How much are Tb hard drives these days?

jake Silver badge

Re: But have they upped the file count limit...

"I have hundreds of thousands of files on OneDrive"

Shirley you mean that Microsoft has hundreds of thousands of what used to be your files, right?

Purism's quest against Intel's Management Engine black box CPU now comes in 14 inches

jake Silver badge

Does it come without the systemd cancer and Gnome yet?

Just askin' ...

More seriously, I'll probably buy one, just out of principle.

And then promptly convert it over to Slackware, also out of principle.

Microsoft has a cure for data nuked by fat fingers if you're not afraid of the command line

jake Silver badge

Re: Looks blurry as hell.

What stack? Beer is interrupt driven.

jake Silver badge

Re: Might be helpful but not for regular users

Back in the day, one of the first things I did with any new DOS box was check for RECOVER, and if it still existed, nuke it. I have no idea who ever thought that it would be a useful tool to release to the general public, but they should be taken out behind the barn and flogged.

jake Silver badge

Re: no chance that the $#@&$ Registry will be replaced

Mine was obviously a joke. Cutler would never hire a UNIX person, much less persons.

jake Silver badge

Re: no chance that the $#@&$ Registry will be replaced

Shirley Sopwith Camel (not to be confused with Jefferson Aeroplane, of course!) got their name from the WWI single-seat biplane?

jake Silver badge

Re: Ah, good old WinForms

Internal reflection and refraction in the eye varies between humans ... as does the way the brain parses the noise so induced. Wearing corrective lenses can mitigate this somewhat for some people.

jake Silver badge

Re: no chance that the $#@&$ Registry will be replaced

I thought it was because a couple of the guys Cutler brought over from DEC's UNIX side took one look at it and said "That 'orrible thing gives me hives ... please tell me you're joking!" ...

jake Silver badge

Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

Windows doesn't actually move the "deleted" file to the bin, rather it links to the deleted data from the bin. The bin isn't a single physical location, it's a virtual space that stores links. With that said, there used to be a utility that allows you to do what you suggest. I can't remember its name, and I have no idea if Win10 would even allow such a thing ... Keep in mind that physically moving the data from disk to disk on deletion will increase filesystem overhead tremendously.

But you are onto something. Proper use of disk spindles and partitions. When I setup my one remaining Windows box back in 2000 (yes, twenty years ago), I did it like this:

OS on controller1, spindle1, partition1 (with a bootable backup on partition2) ... Registry on controller1, spindle2, partition1 (with a rolling, usable backup on partition2) ... Swapfile and tempfiles on controller2, spindle1, partitions 1 and 2 (WinSwap can also be used as a Linux swapfile, but that's another story) ... and last but not least, user data on controller 2, spindle 2, partition1 (odd day backups to partitions on the other three spindles, external backups on even days, off-site backup on Sunday).

The OS isn't slowed down by the second drive (spindle) being accessed or written to for registry contents, and the swapfile and temp files are rarely called for by the OS at the same time. User data being on its own spindle just makes sense. The whole kludge separates the cluster-fuck that Windows insists on for its filesystem into four completely separate drives.

It's ugly, but it works. My old installation of Win2K has never once crashed, lost data, or otherwise given me any file-system headaches in 20 years of near daily operation. (I've physically lost drives, but that's a hardware issue not a file system logic error ... and I've always been able to recover quickly with the above setup.)

The old girl is airgapped, so fuhgeddaboudit.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

jake Silver badge

Re: Alternatives are good.

A guy I know had the city-slicker habit of tucking his jeans into his cowboy boots. He managed to spill about three quarters of a cup (~240ml) of liquid nitrogen right into the top of his left boot. He neglected to tell us of his mistake for over half an hour. The eventual skin grafts ran from the inside of his shin, wrapping around the top of his foot and down to the middle third of his sole. The doctor commented that it was the first time he had dealt with second and third degree frostbite of the foot that didn't involve the toes ...

jake Silver badge

Re: Alternatives are good.

More Words Of Wisdom from my Grandfather: Cast iron cookware is ALWAYS hot!

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