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Balancing Performance and Convention

bolix Hammer and Nails (171 comments)

It sounds to me like the OP is complaining that his hammer won't work with every nail.

No tool is perfect and each has limitations.

Use each tool as appropriate and do not prescribe to purism over functionality.

more than 5 years ago
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Hi, I'm a Mac, and I'm Your Enterprise Computer

bolix Re:Do me a favour... (469 comments)

Absolutely agree with this poster. I work in Academia in an Ivy League which purchases approx $10-15 million of Apple inventory a year. My main gripe is AppleCare. The Dell/HP/Lenovo systems bundle a 3 year warranty, Apple force you to license and purchase 3 year support separately and drive any price differential higher. On the other hand, xservers, xraid and xsan are definitely priced competitively with Dell/HP/Lenovo.

Furthermore, Apple Enterprise Software Licensing and Sales are outright incompetent. I purchased ARD2.5 one month before 3.0 shipped, Sales backflipped on my eligibility for a "free" upgrade and eventually i gave up chasing down their mandarins, almost as bad as IBM. Nutty scenarios like iLife only bundled with new machines and not with OS upgrades which are stuck with inferior iPhoto etc? Arrgh!

Apple should stick to the software business and not attempt to niche hardware costs attempting to compete with the marginally profitable Asian manufacturing. Apple cannot compete on the SMB tier.

more than 7 years ago

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bolix hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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To Fertilise or to Infertilise

bolix bolix writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Its quite common for 21st century women to dedicate their 20's and 30's to their career and undergo intensive fertility treatment in their 40's. Apparently a woman hits her peak fertility rate at 25. Each year after that, a woman's fertility declines, and by age 40 a woman has only a 10-15% chance to conceive by a conventional legover. By "conventional legover" i mean intercourse and not DNC/RNC fence straddling.

Myself and my wife have this problem. I am 31 and my wife is 40. Yes, i am a toyboy/trophy husband/oedipal perv. Thank you. Your mother is a hamster. Hey, its love and you take what you get. Compounding the infertility problem/postponing conception trend(s) is that both of us are Tech workers. We both know couples with Asbergers offspring. We are at risk.

We tried natural methods for 6 months - ovulation kits, temperature monitoring, etc. Its about as romantic as it sounds and a lot more stressful than you think. I sometimes felt i was using my wife as a masturbatory accessory and acting as a stressed "sperm donor". After the 6 month timeframe we sought medical assistance, if only to remove the "blindfold and pinata" nature of ovulation prediction.

We're US based. Here, you are forced by most major HMO's to follow a sequence of medications before starting IVF. As opposed to Italy, where they apparently tell you to just pray. Before USians get on their soapbox, please realize the US process is primarily to bulwark drug companies sales and HMO profits. The most reliable treatment is InVitro Fertilisation (think conception in a Test tube = test tube babies). It has the highest probability of success and is also the most expensive. The customers are sometimes winners in fertility treatment but there are few losers in the fertility drug business. This is a massive industry and the profits increase in relation to the problem especially when drug treatments are mandatory. IVF is bad for business.

We started with an oral medicine, CloMed(tm), and a vaginal suppository, Progesterone. This is essentially forced ovulation and a natural conception methodology. You take the meds and schedule the intercourse. CloMed(tm) has an unpleasant side effect of thinning the lining of the uterus and is not recommended for prolonged use. My wife had a wholy unpleasant time with CloMed(tm).

It was not successful and our doctor discouraged any further use. We moved on...

Next up was an Hysteralopingogram. In essence, dye is injected into the womb and x-rays taken to examine the shape, and by inference, health of the uterus. Its followed by intense cramping and some discharge. For some reason this shock treatment sometimes leads to conception!

I, meanwhile, was sent to my practitioner to get my sperm analyzed. I had to whack off in a public bathroom following the degrading request by a lab technician. They had no special wankers room. No pr0n utopia. No raincoaters wet dream. A public bathroom at 10 o' clock in the morning. Ugh.

A typical male sperm sample contains 35-45 million wigglers. Mine contained 49 million. I am above average. I guess my adolescent practice paid off or maybe i am more fertile in public spaces.

Anyway, we were not successful and moved on...

Next up we used daily injections of a Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) packaged as Follistim(tm). I found the first course of daily injections incredibly stressful. I had flashbacks to my fathers morphine injections during the 3 month period of his terminal cancer. I felt i had to do this. I had to participate in the process. I had to spend an hour psyching myself up prior to each nightly injection. My hesitation drove myself nuts... nevermind my wife. The grand finale was an HCG/Gonadotropin injection to force ovulation. This used a 1 1/2 inch needle and took almost 90 minutes to prep for. We were watching Lemmon/McLaine in "The Apartment" and i will forever associate that movie with high stress (quite aside from the Lemmon proto-breakdown performance).

Following the HCG was an Intra-Uterine-Injection (IUI). This time around, my wifes HMO covered my sperm collection. A private bathroom with some Penthouse mags. Surprisingly Jenna Jameson was in one and quite explicitly pissed into a jug and pretended to drink it. Not my thing but the rest of the mag was indeed a pleasant surprise. I wasn't aware Guccione had moved on to Hard-Core pr0n and i quite happily tugged away to the inevitable conclusion. I stuck a cute stamp on the sample and left it in a special container in the room. The sample was sent for cleaning. This time my sample contained 69 million sperms and following cleaning, 35 million of 'em were deemed acceptible enough to inject into the top of my wifes womb. They had transferred my stamp to the testtube and much giggled was heard in the clinic.

It was not successful and we moved on...

Actually we didn't, at least not with the medicine, this was highly wearying and we needed a rest. We took a vaction home for 2 weeks and diverted ourselves arguing over time spent at each in-laws'. Lots of partying and beer. My wife was able to enjoy herself and not be poked and prodded. Well, excluding my wheedling and whining to get laid without the previous performance anxiety.

The time off was well deserved and we restarted the process well refreshed.

One week ago, this time a somewhat similar course to the last but a little more intensive. Twice daily injections of Lupron and an FSH "Bravelle"(tm). The Lupron retards ovulation and the Bravelle increases the chance of multiple eggs being produced. After a couple of days, i broke my injection phobia and the injection now takes 5 seconds. This greatly eases the strain on both of us!

Its now 10 days later and we're about to complete this round of IUI prep. I just found out that we have to do the HCG injection tonight and follow that with intercourse. I'm not worried about the large needle and injection. I will get to make love to my wonderful "pincushion" without any of the baggage of the previous months. I get to "donate" again Thursday morning. My sample will be cleansed and prospective candidates injected high into my wife's uterus on Thursday afternoon. This may be the last IUI treatment (you are supposed to do it 3 times but they can fudge the numbers) prior to starting IVF. Nothing is definite, this is a probability game and you start each time with a clean sheet (the wet spot cums later).

I'm also looking forward to checking out the new Penthouse. For the articles you understand ;D

We are moving on.

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bolix bolix writes  |  more than 10 years ago

No journal entries in the last 20 months. Has anything changed?

Absolutely. I am not the same person who wrote the previous posts.

I got married. 'Nuff said.

Still in the "new" job at the Uni. (tho' BS factor is decidedly lessened). The economy (here in Ma, US) is possible worse. Former employer announces layoffs on June 15th. HA! I have never regretted quitting!

Bush Jnr on his next bid to win an election - first time was a bit of a disaster! Just say NO (to chads and Diebold). The man and the torturous neocon agenda he stands for is just bad for the country.

I'm taking classes (and credits!). Java is fun but i have to say i'm enjoying the exposure rather than committing to a new career. Next up Communication Protocols and Internet Architectures. I'm hoping it will be enlivened by the resent TCP reset vulnerability.

I bumped into some old BI buddies - one guy i introduced to Linux is now the *nix guru at a major Boston hospital! Speaking of Linux, i'm investigating a FireFoxKiosk for an Employee Benefits station - lots of fun!

Maybe another (marriage related) update soon.

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Hit me baby, one more time

bolix bolix writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I quit. I am Elective Unemployed. We do not figure in the statistics polled from those receiving assistance.

I received a 3% raise and $600 bonus. More than most people. It just was not enough for me. I could no longer stand to help old businessmen make more money in an institutionalised Ponzi scheme: A better dressed sweatshop.

I sleep better, allowing for the ocassional financial worries. My friends and family tell me i look well rested, less drawn and harried. I spend my time dabbling in development, scraping together the dregs of my unused college programming skills while searching for IT positions in supposedly ethically rewarding professions. Fortunately I live in Boston where Hospitals, Universitys and Non-Profits abound.

Unfortunately i find myself priced out of the market, a pleasant side effect of a corporate career. I balance the more stringent financial pressures with a budget. The first since college. I eat at home, healthy food with only the odd restaurant meal with my girlfriend.

I dream of the rousing tirades of the Internet digerati against the old order. I. Want. That.

Move along now, nothing to report here. Yet.

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Hi Ho. Its off to work I go. Again.

bolix bolix writes  |  more than 12 years ago My experience of the 21st century dot-bomb economy was not as catastrophic as some. I kept my job, thanks mostly to my hesitation to jump onboard the gravy train. I will also admit to large components of fear and general cynicism towards the e-snakeoil business. I chose instead to stay with steady employment at one of the Big (soon to be Final ) 4. Big Mistake.

Everyone bought into the "New Economy". Joe Public dumped cash into the stock market and rode debt culture hard. Business poured revenue into oversold concepts and conceits and the canny "Fortune"-scale companies built internal development shops.

Stripping out the bullshit, the name of the game was to refactor traditional business models around a new customer relationship model. The most effective methodolgies used high-falutin' interfaces to simple forum databases and warehouse economies-of-scale.

Investment capital was never hard to find. The college-kid VC-millionaire Urban Myth was everywhere. Brain-Trust development shops and e-consulting sales/conmen rubbed shoulders and professed amazement in the media (new and old) that the financial higher ground had been ceded so easily, the e-diatribe having frightened the mature (naysayer) pundits into the wheatgrass.

From an outsider perspective, the profits and benefits were phenomenal. I watched as the clueless boasted of their latest Big Iron toy and the freshfaced lived lives straight out GQ. Meanwhile, i plodded on and made the best of my situation.

Whatever the reason for the collapse, it came and it hit hard. People who weekly used to offer me the dream jobs and salaries had to come to me for work. As time passed and the shitstorm continued to roll, the crunch affected the previously cushioned internal shops, everyone still employed knuckled down and tried to avoid the pink slip bingo. The previously scorned management wield(ed) large axes and no one was/is safe from their self-serving paranoia.

The large gruntwork operations were moved to Canada and India from the US. I worked on these projects and received the empty "attaboys" and worthless back pats as i shipped the expensive long-envied toys overseas. After working 60+ hours a week since 1995, i found myself working 90+ hours a week in the last 2 years. At only 8 months into the current fiscal year, i have already racked up 1.5 years work (assuming a 40 hour week is a 2000 hr year). Overall, I am being paid for less than half the hours i work. Adjusting the pay scale, i make $12 an hour. The economy will be used (yet again) to justify a below-inflation "raise" and no bonus. The powers-that-be will, of-course, profit nicely from their accomplished steerage of the pink-slip to their powerless underlings. I realize i am not the exception. It just hurts to know that I can quit and do 2.5 lesser paid jobs in the same timeframe and for the same money.

And then came Enron. And Andersen. In the rush to capitalise on 28000 peoples misfortune, the Big 4 cut heads and corners ruthlessly. The dot-bomb woes were forgotten. Employees are fired to make room for the cheaper and (more) desperate Andersen equivalents. It really does make the most sense - assuming you are morally bereft and ethically challenged. This is capitalism at its very best.

I had enough. I snapped at friends/family and was a fucking nightmare to work with. I could/can not profess any loyalty or interest in my employer or position. I applied and received a leave of absence - the maximum i felt comfortable applying for. Paranoia is, after all, a way of life. Welcome to the new economy, thank you Mr Grove.

Even after this one month off, I no longer care. I have decided to punch in what time i am asked to. I will swallow my pride. With no gravy, I am left on the shittrain. For my own fucking sake, I should have jumped.

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Groucho Marx is my Master

bolix bolix writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Good technicians know how to balance technical requirements and babysit the client at the same time.

Good managers know how to balance business requirements and babysit their technicians at the same time.

I know how to babysit my management and clients requirements. I have little time for anything else.

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