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The Hacker Lifecycle

Fallingcow Re:Hmm... for me it's a bit different (77 comments)


Fucked me in school.

"Write a paper on X". Cool. Read about X, learn about X, sit down to write paper that will be read once and thrown in the trash and that a billion other people have already written... motivation goes out the window. I can already write well (I've written 1,000 of these goddamn things) and I already know the material that's going in the paper. No one truly cares about what I'm about to write—no one needs it, and no one really even wants it. Suddenly a blank wall is more interesting.

Give me a real need to learn something or just let my curiosity take me where it will, and I'm the world's most dangerous carnivore. I'll run a problem down and eat its damn heart, then take out the rest of the herd for funsies. Otherwise? I'm probably boned.

The elimination of the uselessness of the end product that comes with doing actual work rather than "homework" has helped a lot, but it's still something I have to fight, years later. The multi-year process of adjusting my image of the way thought I ought to be to accommodate the fact that I simply was not compatible with a formal educational setting really sucked. Those were some sad years full of serious self-loathing. My self-loathing is far more lighthearted now :-)

I still hate maintaining systems and chasing bugs that don't require much sleuthing. Any time I'm required to make some "quick hacks" to fix something in an ugly way for lack of time is a bad day, and I'll go home in a bad mood and show up the next day in a bad mood. I'm probably the happiest at work either designing systems or fixing things that have broken in strange ways, when I'm fully engaged in a problem for hours on end. Exercising the clever-muscle in my brain is great and makes the hours fly like nothing else, and playing grown-up legos when designing is fun. Practically everything else about being a programmer sucks, but WTF else am I going to do? At least it's fun some of the time, which beats most jobs.

As with any personal trait or behavior I'd guess I'm far from being alone.

1 year,2 days

Internet's Energy Needs Growing Faster Than Efficiency Gains

Fallingcow Re:What? (158 comments)

I knew those Higgs Boson experiments would lead to no good, but I didn't expect this!

1 year,19 days

Private Collector Builds Apple Pop-Up Museum

Fallingcow Re:popup? (73 comments)

I really did think it was a museum of UI pop-up notifications and dialogs when I saw the headline.

Which was way more interesting than what it turned out to be.

1 year,19 days

Sony Reveals More PS4 and Dual Shock 4 Details

Fallingcow Re:Analog face buttons? (242 comments)

WTF controllers did you buy?

DualShock 2 & 3 had them. They let games tell whether you smashed the button & released it quickly, or gently pressed it and gently eased up.

Only games I can recall using them on either system were entries in the Metal Gear Solid series. Control scheme for MGS2, for instance, will have to be modified if it's re-released on the PS4.

1 year,20 days

Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

Fallingcow Re:The Stupidity, It Hurts! (1006 comments)

Yeah, a US government worth overthrowing by violence won't obey rules of engagement. No number of private small arms would do any good. It's a bit tougher to run around plinking enemy soldiers when their response isn't just to try to find you and kill you, but also to find out who you are and start hurting people you care about, or to just bomb the shit out of every nearby town. Kind of kills morale. Leads to widespread informing by people who don't want to be bombed because rebels bought some food in their town.

It's a bit different in other states, because powerful outside forces (the US, Europe) can support uprisings and sometimes even enforce no-fly zones with impunity. We can say "don't play too rough or we'll crash your little party", while sending guns and supplies over the border. No-one can do that to the US in the foreseeable future, and likely no-one would try.

Only hope would be widespread defection among the military. The second amendment hasn't been useful as the "ammo box" option of democracy for decades, at least.

1 year,23 days

Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

Fallingcow Re:The Stupidity, It Hurts! (1006 comments)

I'd love mandatory breathalyzers, because it'd create a huge number of strong supporters of good, reliable, widely-available public transportation almost over night.

Seeing some city bars and damn near all outside of city centers shut down in the first couple of months would be a major wake-up call for cities with shitty public transit.

1 year,23 days

IRS Spent $60,000 Producing Star Trek Parody

Fallingcow Re:Who gives a shit? (280 comments)

Besides, people who are greatly outraged by this are probably the same sorts who think the government should be run like a business.

Since large (and even mid-sized) corporations drop $60,000+ on videos like this all the time (that's really not excessively expensive for this sort of thing) you'd think they'd be OK with this.

1 year,25 days

Could Twitter Have Stopped the Media's Rush To War In Iraq Ten Years Ago?

Fallingcow Re:Revisionist (456 comments)

Bingo. Twitter would have been full of war cheerleaders shouting down the handful of dissenters, just like every other popular online forum at the time.

1 year,28 days

Brian Krebs Gets SWATted

Fallingcow Re:On the subject of gun control... (240 comments)

Woe unto any fool who doesn't act with extreme caution when dealing with law enforcement.

Goes for when you're driving, too. In my experience, a cop car is far more likely to suddenly do something dangerous and stupid on the road than the average vehicle. They're worse than makeup-applying cellphone-talking soccer moms. Plus, I assume they'll ticket and/or arrest your ass if you're in a wreck with them even if it was their fault, either because they're just dicks or to cover their ass, or both.

about a year ago

Brian Krebs Gets SWATted

Fallingcow Re:Danger. (240 comments)

Norway police admit slow response to Breivik massacre

Doesn't say anything about their rules regarding gun use slowing them down, which isn't surprising since that doesn't seem terribly plausible. They fucked up plenty, but not for that reason.

Better look for another example if you intend to hold the same position in the future. Or keep on with this one and hope no-one bothers to Google it again. That works for... well, most people, I suppose.

about a year ago

Samsung Unveils the Galaxy S4

Fallingcow Re:Eh, that's it? (619 comments)

and real time 3D maps

Whoa, am I the only one who has this 100% of the time, whether I'm using my phone or not?

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?

Fallingcow Re:I have two young kids (635 comments)

1) Place kids on shoulders.
2) Do squats

about a year ago

Google Removing Ad-Blockers From Play

Fallingcow Re:Good (337 comments)

That's a reason why an ICS application wouldn't have a gingerbread counterpart, but not a reason why you couldn't have Chrome on gingerbread.

It's not a reason you couldn't. It's likely a reason you don't.

Gingerbread applications work fine on ICS

Hell, sometimes an app that was fine on 4.x will exhibit bugs on 4.y.

about a year ago

Google Removing Ad-Blockers From Play

Fallingcow Re:Can you use Android without the Goog? (337 comments)

samsung galaxy s

Haha, the Galaxy S, worst thing to ever happen to Android. My S 4G is, likewise, a piece of shit that I hate using, and has guaranteed that I'll be buying an iPhone soon. I can't name a single thing I like about this thing, and if not for barely-usable GPS and web-browsing features I'd have switched back to my "feature phone" with its slide-out texting keyboard and no apps worth mentioning, because that was a better phone than this.

I might, might consider a 4.x Nexus device—Android is quite a bit better in the 4 series—if they'd get rid of the stupid always-on-screen menu buttons. Part of what I hate about my Galaxy are the touch-sensitive menu buttons under the glass which I'm constantly hitting by accident, and now they made that part of the OS itself? There's no way that "feature" was prototyped and tried out on actual users before being greenlit.

about a year ago

Google Removing Ad-Blockers From Play

Fallingcow Re:Good (337 comments)

Is there seriously anything required for Chrome that isn't in gingerbread?

Man-hours ($$$) to maintain a fork for 2.3 Android.

2.3 APIs and OS behavior are pretty damn different from 4.x.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Mac To Linux Return Flow?

Fallingcow Re:Windows 7 (965 comments)

I ran Win95a (the Upgrade version, even) until eventually moving to 98se. I think I must have had a very unusual experience, but 95a ran better for me than 98se ever did. Way fewer crashes, felt cleaner. Maybe it was the hardware. Good ol' 100Mhz Pentium. All my 98se boxes over the years were faster machines, but maybe the mix of hardware in them just didn't have a certain magic.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Mac To Linux Return Flow?

Fallingcow Re:Windows 7 (965 comments)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's either not true, or it was true but only briefly before they abandoned the effort. The only people I knew who ran 2K on their home desktop were geeks, and even those were fairly rare because it had spotty driver support and was sometimes tough to get working on any given Win98-era franken-box—besides, games had a tendency not to play nicely with it even if all the drivers were present.

I worked on a lot of home users' machines around that time and I don't recall seeing a single one with 2K on it. Quite a few with ME when it came out, unfortunately. "Here's Windows 98, but inexplicably slower and more crash prone, and with some config options moved to different locations for no reason. Have fun!" Fuck that OS.

about a year ago


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