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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Decline and Fall of BSD

I had to run a FreeBSD binary the other day, so this meant I had to actually install

From what I can tell of the freenode irc channels, nobody uses /usr/ports anymore. "Just use pkg_add, it will work." completely missing the point here that if I wanted a binary distributed OS I could install ubuntu. Nobody bothers to recompile the kernel. "If stuff works as is then why bother to recompile?" (completely missing the point. The point is that BSD is supposed to be super tuned and lightweight to your system so that you can brag that your 128MB Ram P133 running FreeBSD 3.2 can outperform a dual core machine with 1 gig of ram running Windows 7.

But the modern BSD users don't seem to get that.

However one good thing to note, I am finally glad that BSD users have stopped lying to themselves by insisting OSX == FreeBSD.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to Tie a Merovingian Knot

This is the knot that is seen worn by the Merovingian. Which is why it's now called the Merovingian knot, even though it had two perfectly fine names which were the Ediety and the Atlantic knot.

A bit ridiculous is that if you search for "Merovingian Knot" you will get about a billion videos about how to do it. I of course protested actually using these videos, since why use a sledgehammer when a flyswatter will do? Let me translate that for the newer generation. Wasting energy when you can be efficient is not sustainable. There. Make sense for you now? Anyway, point is here is a simple animated picture that will tell you how to tie a Merv/Ediety/Atlantic knot.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Public Witness

"That whole public speaking thing is something i'm getting really good at... ...gave a tech presentation a few weeks ago to a pretty hard-core bunch... managed to keep control of that one too. Stamped down the twits who try to derail you quite elegantly and still kept the floor open for discussion. When some wanker tries to derail it I can switch into his vocabulary and shut that nitwit the hell up. The trick for tech presentations is to open with a familiar case and establish the reference words and then stick with that... there's always some bastard who wants to drag you into his domain. You have to keep the audience on your side and you do that by not treating them like idiots. Establish the reference framework early on; when that bastard (there's always one) tries to pull you out ridicule him. Everybody hates that guy anyway."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why doesn't the BART run 24/7?

As far as I can tell, it's to promote DUIs and drunk driving. The BART closes at 12:30. The bars, close at 2. Therefore people will drive drunk.

Don't give me the lies about "oh we have to clean it." There are perfectly fine 24/7 subways in the world, (eg, the US has one, Copenhagen has one, etc) which clean the express/local tracks by rerouting trains to the local/express track.

Face it, native Friscans, the BART system builders decided to half ass design and engineer their system and you got ripped off, and have been making excuses for it all your life. What's obnoxious is that you go around telling people who move here "Oh it is impossible to have a 24/7 subway. Just impossible." To which I laugh and point out the counterexamples. Inevitably, I have to pull a map out and teach where Copenhagen or anywhere out side of Northern Cali is to these people as well.

Why this solution has escaped the self proclaimed "brilliant Frisco engineers" is amazing. They're probably too busy groupthinking and Sanfransocializing up friendster/orkut/facebook clones to actually come up with original thoughts and solutions for issues in the real world.

Another stupid issue with the BART is that it costs you more to go farther. So you are now also encouraging people with longer commutes to drive. Which is completely counterproductive to the concept of public transportation. BART should be FLAT FEE like the other subways so that when you get on, you will want to travel as long as possible on it, and thus be OFF THE ROAD. The way it is set up now, BART travel makes sense for intra-sf trips and one-two hop trips. Which would be fine if they admitted this, but BART tells everyone that it is a "commuter rail to ferry people from the east bay into SF." Yeah. BS. Your economic model says otherwise, and when in doubt, always follow the money.

The way it is set up now, BART is optimized for the dilettante bourgeoisie flitting from fake cultural cafe to fake cultural art studio, or the hooker that is too fat to walk, not the average commuter.

Face it. The BART, like the GG Bridge, is just a toy model for tourists to look at. Tho, they really should clean the seats on the BART. The homeless people use them as urinals.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Non Pretensious Map of Frisco

You hear it all the time, people trying to engage in renters-bragging about what section of Frisco they live in, using phrases like "The Marina" or "Cow Hollow" or SOMAPOTMISS or Mission Bay, or Dogpatch --as if every block required it's own Nomme-De-Absurdism. They seem to be making these names up every other week (as in the case of SOMAPOTMISS) in order to justify paying some ludicrous rent increase or in order to maintain some semblance of street cred or "sense of neighborhood" (as if anyone in Frisco has such a thing).

Hang it all. I am just going to refer to the stupid areas with the original District Zoning Notation.

So conversations will go:
"Oh you know, I live by Hayes Valley..."
"Oh you mean District Six."

How about:
"I live in Buena Vista but always go to the Mission for drinks, and sometimes the Castro to catch a flick!"
"Oh, so you mean you never leave District Five. Kinda lame, man."
(The entire width of Frisco from bay to breakers is 8 miles wide. This guys world fits in about 6 sq miles.)

And by the way, if you are thinking that SOMAPOTMISS smells like how it sounds, you'd be right.

- District 9 resident.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

More Fake Liberal BS

This crap is what you'd hear from the fake independent radio station coming out of The Mission.

The problem with this crap is twofold.
First off, the simplistic, knee jerk reaction of this piece shows that the songwriter clearly doesn't understand the complexities of foreign policy, and is still trying to merely use some twisted combination of white guilt and pathos in order to sell his message.

Secondly, I am again amazed how people who claim to have issues with "Drill Baby Drill" and other such jingoistic chants, are incapable of seeing that this crap is just like it, only with the Desktop Theme changed. It's the same idiotic uninformed crap that extremist pundits on both sides get very rich on preaching to the idiot zombies.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

State of the Open Source Movement

The open-source scene pretty much took the fun out of programming. It's become an industry of egomaniacs engaged in constant one-upsmanship. There is little-to-no collaboration, constant reinvention of the wheel, and little done of actual technical merit -- most work tends to be the manipulation of known and well-documented APIs, or the debugging of someone else's code. All in all, it has become distasteful.

There is a lot of grief for little, if any, reward. Open source users -- not to mention developers -- are more impatient, demanding, rude, and insulting than their counterparts in the commercial world. Why put up with this when people will pay you for your time and effort, and actually thank you for taking the time to read a bug report?

You know, I was reading the Van Roy paper and took a nap. I had this dream where I encountered this really nasty bug in something I released, so I stayed up late figuring out how to fix it, uploaded a new version, then posted a news item telling users not to use the previous version, and what the (now fixed and closed) bug was. This post got a few comments saying stuff like good catch, validated that the new version does indeed fix the bug, etc.

Now I woke up a bit later and thought all over this and realized that this is completely the opposite of how open source projects work. Commercial software works this way, but not open source stuff. The lesson here is that you don't want IT people as your userbase; they're bastards; even though they should be more understanding than any other people that software takes time, bugs happen, and some problems aren't solvable.

I think it goes back to the social problem of many IT people- every coder thinks they are better than other coders, even when their stuff sucks. Coders look down on sysadmins (who are often their users), and sysadmins in turn think that coders don't know their jobs as well have the deluded belief that writing a large multithreaded highly complex piece of software is as easy as using a scripting language to read text logs.

So yeah, to be happy, write software for closed source.

You know, since that stupid bazaar vs cathedral essay came out, I always got the impression that the cathedral was a nice, serene place of thought and meditation, and that the bazaar was a place one would get stabbed during a shouting match over haggling about some feature/bugfix.