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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

catmistake Re:As a Change Manager... (282 comments)

There is no way we would allow a sysadmin to patch anything at any time without some level of oversight

Change management is not your enemy

First let me say I really like it when people like what they do, and it sounds like you like what you do, take it seriously, and probably do it well.

However, this being a techy site, the commenters, yourself included, seem to inflate the importance of the one thing that is irrellivant and incidental. And by that I mean, of course, the system, the OS, and whatever state it may be in. Let me repeat, the OS is irrellivant and incidental. Thus, any time, effort, meetings, plans, etc., focusing on them at the expense of the state of what is important are an incredible waste of time and resources. I don't mean to belittle your job, btw, but merely to point out what every commenter I have looked at on this story seems to miss. The damn systems don't matter! (I am a systems admininstrator, myself, btw).

What matters? The data.

Change management is, in its own way, important for the reasons it is important and not for what those who have positively described it here. It is important because it tells us: "What the Hell have we done? How did we get here? What the Hell are we doing? Now what?" It is history, and it is intent. But it should only be as important as the systems themselves. And, again, the systems themselves don't matter one whit, especially if you have emergency procedures for when something breaks (i.e. fix it, or if fixing it is going to take too much time or effort, just reinstall it). So if you have a change-management-heavy operation, you're wasting a lot of time and effort for no great benefit or reason at all.

Tell me, at your company, is there a group whose sole responsibility is to manage the Data, and provide oversight concerning its reliability or how it is used or managed by the systems or users? Well, then its crazy that any resources would be sacrificed for the sake of the systems.

Systems administrators and the IT department are like the teams of airline mechanics. They're very specialized and very good at what they do because, in a relative way of course, lives depend on it. But what is important is not the damn planes but the cargo... i.e. in getting someone or something from point A to point B successfully. Does it matter if the plane is 40 years old? Not really, if that 40 year old plane does an identical job to a brand new plane. And we can replace the planes with high-speed trains, or (hopefully someday) teleportation. The planes themselves, and the use of them, are incidental, and irrelevant; they don't really matter.

In conclusion, I wouldn't say to the OP "get a new job!" as others have. That's not very helpful. I'd say, if you have control over these systems, and now you have to champion each new patch and get every patch approved, then switch everything to a system that will require less patches. Running Windows servers? Migrate to linux or a *nix variant. You'll still get security patches and bug fixes coming down, but far far less than with a Microsoft based operation, and if you miss a few months of patches, nothing really bad will happen (like on a Windows system). The world will still turn and the work will continue.


A 2560x1440 VR Headset That's Mobile

catmistake Re:Resolution is not the hard-to-solve problem.. (135 comments)

They're obviously related, but one of these we can measure directly, the other we cannot. Ergo, we get our proxy suitably low until we find a point where the trade-offs are acceptable.

You're again making their same mistake. They and you seem to be focused on the product, what your prejudices already tell you what it is and what it should be. I can't make you see the wrong-headedness of your beliefs. And it absolutely is false that we do not have the ability to measure perceptive capacities. Let me put it this way: everyone believes they are trying to design a head-mounted display... but the reality is they are producing a mind-mounted display and ignoring this! That is why they will continue to come up short, forever, until they realize what they are really trying to do.

about two weeks ago

A 2560x1440 VR Headset That's Mobile

catmistake Re:Resolution is not the hard-to-solve problem.. (135 comments)

Carmack is closer to the truth, but still misses. Really, it's not that the problem is latency of the device, but of our brain or conscious/unconscious minds' ability to notice the latency. You may think that is saying the same thing, but it is not. Manufacturers are putting their focus on the wrong thing. The device works exactly as it's spec called, exactly as it was designed. It is insufficient because they did not measure this stuff at where it matters, and apparently they are going to continue with this style of trial and error or hit and miss development, and releasing these devices that are insufficient for sensory immersion. What the manufactures are effectively doing is making a shoe for a foot they never see or even try to look at, and never seem to get any feedback from until the shoe is completely fabricated with all the bells and whistles, and then they try to shoehorn it onto a foot... then they start to see what's wrong but in the wrong way, and they go back to making another shoe with the little they learned from the shoe being too tight or too big for the foot.... instead of learning and understanding everything they need to about the foot first to make a shoe that fits and is comfortable and does what they intended it to do.

about two weeks ago

A 2560x1440 VR Headset That's Mobile

catmistake Re:Transparent OLED (135 comments)

These things really aren't going to hit their stride until they start using Transparent OLED displays so instead of cloaking you in VR it's overlays info on the real world.

Nope... that's not going to help them "hit their stride," or become the next radio, TV, iPod, etc. No manufacturer of HMD has yet figured out what they have. They are getting hints from their R&D, but they, and everyone, are so excited about how cool VR is that they are ignoring the mechanism that allows immersive VR to occur, and it has nothing to do with the resolution of the display components. It has to do with the human brain, our capacity for the suspension of belief, not of our conscious mind only, but of the semi-conscious awareness of what ALL our senses (not just the regular suspects) are reporting. In the research and science of brain and mind is where the breakthroughs will occur. Also, as in all technology weighted heavily towards vision, gaming will not drive this forward to manufacturers hopes of a regular, ordinary consumer device that everyone will soon have just like a TV. Only the pornography industry will do that, as only it always has and and only it always will.

about two weeks ago

Vint Cerf: CS Programs Must Change To Adapt To Internet of Things

catmistake He doesn't know what Computer Science is. (163 comments)

Computer Science has absolutely NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY INTERNET, of "things" or otherwise.

Computer Science needs to change its name so everyone that thinks they know what a computer is can stuff it up their ass. Because CS has nothing to do with computers, and nothing at all to do with software or programming. The "Computer" in "Computer Science" is not, I repeat, is not synonymous with the thing you call "computer" that's on your desk or lap. It means simply "calculator," i.e. one who calculates, or, precisely, that which computes, or to make it really simple for them, that which reckons. They should call it Reckoner Science. Then no one would be confused, no one would fantacize about studying it (because they just love their computer!!) when they go off to college in a year or so, and HR morons would stop requiring CS degreed Windows Administrators or help desk monkeys because that is ridiculous. Mechanics don't need Mechanical Engineering degrees, Nurses don't need an M.D., and corporate america does not need specialized mathematicians furiously installing java browser plugin security updates on all the machines on their network. Think of Computer Sciece as math... then you'll understand how stupid everyone sounds when they say anything about Computer Science. Be a programmer if you want. Programmers do not need a Computer Science degree, or any degree for that matter.

I'm just going put this here:

Computer Science (abbreviated CS or CompSci) is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications. It is the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodicalprocesses (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, andaccess to information, whether such information is encoded as bits in a computer memory or transcribed engines and protein structures in a human cell. A computer scientist specializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems

about two weeks ago

Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

catmistake Re:Creating simulations and checkpointing them (745 comments)

Then, humans started coming with very silly ideas about the model actually being the reality it models.

Humans aren't real. They are merely a hodge-podge of organs acting in concert which obey the standard medical model. Organs are simply groups of cells that act in concert, which obey the standard biological model. Cells are made of molecules which obey the standard organic chemical model. Molecules are merely structured atoms obeying the standard chemical model. Atoms are composed of bosons, fermions and hadrons, and hadrons are small clumps of quarks I think, and all these subatomics obey the standard nuclear model (aka the "Standard Model"). Bear in mind, all matter by volume is 99.999%+ empty space, and that none of the models I mentioned are empirically real; they are abstract. We just use them to help explain our observations, and they help the math come out neat. Thus, as humans are comprised of aggregates that are also comprised of more fundamental aggregates, etc., they're mostly just a convenience of language.

about 2 months ago

Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

catmistake Re:Creating simulations and checkpointing them (745 comments)

Still, does God have a God?

Do Metagods command Metametatrons? I like to think so. And that each, from their individual perspectives, due to scaling self-similarity and relativistic effects, always appear to be and perceive that they are all one.

about 2 months ago

Tesla Model S Caught Fire While Parked and Unplugged

catmistake Re:Tesla not involved [Re:Not from the car?] (329 comments)

the number one weight in a car is the wiring for all the electric stuff.

You mean the wiring weighs more than the engine? I doubt that.

It depends on where you park.

about 2 months ago

Majority of Young American Adults Think Astrology Is a Science

catmistake Re:More likely (625 comments)

may just have led to most young people not having a clue and assuming astrology = astronomy

It is likely both studies were born at the same time. Maybe 10K years before the invention of agriculture and the domestication of maize in southern Mexico, 18K-20K years ago the first scientists looked up at the stars and drew what they saw on a cave wall in Lascaux, France... and at the same time the first astrologer connected the stars like dots, and drew animals, which tell a story to them, which are no doubt related to far older oral traditions about which we'll likely never know anything.

I find it perplexing why, these days, some are so hostile towards studies such as astrology or religion. While science is slicing up brains looking for the mind (and never finding it), other disciplines can tell us more about ourselves without all the ick. Even if astrology is mumbo jumbo, it reveals just enough about humans to be interesting.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Working With Others, As a Schizophrenic Developer?

catmistake Re:Don't stop your meds! (218 comments)

there isn't a clear, universally applicable line which distinguishes all schizophrenics from all non-schizophrenics

Depending on the depth of psychosis, actually the opposite is true of accurate schizophrenia diagnoses compared to other common mental disorders. There's a simple and clear test that can determine whether you're schizophrenic: the hollow mask illusion. If you aren't fooled into seeing the concave side of the mask sticks outward, the odds you're schizophrenic increase tangentally. The more psychotic you are, the less you can see the illusion.

about 4 months ago

Atlanta Man Shatters Coast-to-Coast Driving Record, Averaging 98MPH

catmistake Re:When will he be arrested? (666 comments)

Thanks for posting. I find it quite annoying that those that insist on doing as they like, rationality be damned, will make up things to support their claim. It makes perfect sense that lower speed limits save lives. However, I'm almost certain that the reason for the 55/65 MPH speed limits is due to fuel efficiency. At around that speed, the drag of air friction means that there will be diminishing fuel efficency as speed increases.

about 6 months ago

US Nuclear Weapons Lab Discovers How To Suppress the Casimir Force

catmistake Re:The Casimir effect is not an exotic force (112 comments)

I could be wrong, but I thought the Casimir force was due to quantum effects of particles appearing and disappearing?

That's odd... I was certain it had somthing to do with the misfortune that occurs should one bend over in front of a goat.

about 6 months ago

Fusion "Breakthrough" At National Ignition Facility? Not So Fast

catmistake Re:Blowing out of proportion (118 comments)

So the fusion energy amounts to a few percent of the energy in the laser pulse (and much less if you account for the inefficiency of the laser).

The estimates become even more dubious when you account for all the energy expended training, feeding and housing the sharks.

about 6 months ago

No Love From Ars For Samsung's New Smart Watch

catmistake Re: What if Apple.. (236 comments)

Except Apple aren't king of the hill any more, they have less than 20% of the smartphone market.

Hmm... your strawman is compelling, but it is difficult to ignore that Apple is the king of the stock market by value, the most valuable brand in the world, and with more than $150B in cash and about that much in projected annual revenue, if they're not yet richer than New Zealand (GDP ~$170B), they will be soon. So even if it is perhaps arguable that they lost some specific market battle, if, the point is overshadowed by the fact that Apple decisively won the war.

about 6 months ago

Arrest Made In Webcam Highjacking Extortion Case

catmistake Re:Autistic huh? (311 comments)

Ok... something happened. But I simply can't believe some of the things of which he's accused, nor even if he somehow is a super 1337 hacker right out of the Oracle's apartment in The Matrix, how they expect to prove in a court of law everything they've accused him of in the media. Granted, all 19yr old heterosexual men, without exception, are perverts. So he's guilty of that, at least... but this smacks of a "snow" job to protect the secret life of young women, who I will also have trouble believing are the innocent and pure white angelic virgin saints they are promoted in the media as being. Call me skeptical, but this Smells like Teen Spirit to me.

about 7 months ago

Utility Sets IT Department On Path To Self-destruction

catmistake Re:Let me be 1 of the 1st here (478 comments)

Don't be so quick to dismiss outsourcing as an option. IMO, its a great idea... but they're doing it all wrong. Domestic, in-house IT has been commoditized, and a reasonable, rational ceiling has been established for all positions. The money spent there is not waste, and not outrageous. Looking in that space to cut jobs to save money won't work. Its the same as saying "those cafeteria workers are sucking up all our profits... let's outsource!" I can't believe anybody actually believes the bull that flows from the top. But if they'd outsource every single executive and upper-management position, including boards of directors, they'd not only save so much money that their stock would skyrocket, pleasing investors, they'd have better educated, more ethical individuals working for far more reasonable salaries doing a much better job driving the company to bigger success in the short and long term. The shareholders need to stand up and demand that they outsource the suits and PHBs, if they have any sense.

about 7 months ago

USAF Almost Nuked North Carolina In 1961 – Declassified Document

catmistake Re:old, really old, news (586 comments)

Even if the bomb detonated over an empty field it would still have made an impression.

Yes, but not the intended impression. I believe there was some conversation (if not a formal debate) prior to Nagasaki and Hiroshima: Why not bomb Mount Fuji, and spare the lives of millions, and still have the effect of displaying military superiority?

Apparently, merely detonating a bomb is not enough. You need to show beyond any doubt that it is what the enemy thinks it is, and that you have the will to use such a thing. Why two bombs? So there can me no mistaking what it was.

President Truman took up to 250,000 human lives within a very short span, and alone carried that responsibility. No other human that has yet lived has ever caused as much death and destruction. The only thing to compare this to is a massive earthquake and resulting tsunami, a natural disaster.

Regardless how one may feel conserning personal politics and a sitting president, being President is no cake walk. Even if one despises a President, one should always have reverence for the Office, and more respect for the man in it. President Truman was a human tsunami, and all Presidents since have the power to do even more damage than he if necessary.

about 7 months ago

Is HTML5 the Future of Book Authorship?

catmistake Re:Yes, HTML5 is the future of publishing (116 comments)

I disagree, strongly. There is nothing wrong with HTML5. The issue is that it is a non-issue . In physical publishing, the industry has long adopted PDF. It is ideal for printing. PDF is here for the forseeable future. If your book is being pressed, it doesn't matter if it was previously Word, LaTeX, HTML5, chiseled in granite, or you used your finger on a sandy beach and made molds with plaster; it's going to be normalized as PDF before it hits the press.

For digital distribution there is room for all formats, and new formats no one has thought up... there is no purpose in even talking about this. Compose how you feel most comfortable; if physically publishing, send your content to the printers in any form you wish, they will normalize to PDF; make any format available that the digital consumer desires -- the cost of multiple formats is negligible... I imagine a perl or python or ruby script conversion for each format desired is all that is necessary, perhaps with some proofing to iron out wrinkles.

Enjoy your preferred method of composition. But as I pleaded above, please stop evangelizing the need for a solution where no problem exists. HTML5 is not the One True Format, and all others despair in their inferiority. Give consumers the choice of all or any that they wish to use.

about 7 months ago




catmistake catmistake writes  |  more than 8 years ago

The Sun compiling gcc,
Compiling terabyte:
He did his very best to make.
The errors few; It's right!
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The monitor flashed sulkily,
Because she thought the Sun
Had got no buses to be there
After the user done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To bug and spool perlfunc!"

Shell C was net as net could be,
Silicon tty.
You could not trace a route, because
No route was in vi:
No cron was running overhead--
No daily cron to try.

The Admin and the Engineer
Were coding fast a hack;
They script like anything in C
With quotaoff the stack:
"This is a mirrored RAID array,
Bring on the DoS attack!"

"If seven aids with seven flops
greped it a MIPSyear for,
Do you suppose," the Admin said,
"That they could grep it, sure?"
"I doubt it," said the Engineer,
And ssh-ed as toor.

"O Users, come and twalk with us!"
The Admin sent in batch.
"A pleasant twalk, an appletalk,
perhaps in tiny ash:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give OS a patch."

The eldest user fingered him,
Not a keystroke he'd waste:
The eldest user's cursor blinked,
left not a single trace--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the user space.

But four new users hurried up,
All eager, flagged edges:
Their notes were rushed, logins secure,
Their codes clean, just pledges --
And this was odd, because, you know,
They had no privileges.

Four other users followed them,
And yet another, well;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, to tell--
All pinging through the matrixes,
And scrambling in the shell.

The Admin and the Engineer
twalked on a while, its true,
And then they halted on a fsck
Convenient du:
And all the online users stopped
And waited in the queue.

'The time has come,' the Admin said,
'To talk of many things:
Of su's - and chips - and classic Macs -
Of NuBus cards - and strings -
And why the source, compiling not -
And whether sigs have meanings.'

"But sticky bit," the users cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some are out of memory,
And all binaries fat!"
"No proxies!" said the Engineer.
symlinked his files for that.

"upload the thread," the Admin said,
"Its what we chiefly need:
sushi and RAIDed disk besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, users peer,
We can begin the feed."

"But not to us!" the users cried,
"the screen of death is blue!
Desktop support! That would be
A trolling thing to do!"
"The site is fine," the Admin said.
"Do you admin here too?"

"It was so kind of you to code
drivers for the device!"
The Engineer said nothing but
"RAID us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so df--
I had port-scanned you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Admin said,
"To launch them a postkick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them groff so quick!"
The Engineer said nothing but
"The sputter's thread hdik!"

"Threads sleep for you," the Admin said:
"thoroughly optimized."
With jobs su-ed he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket admin guide
Before streaming UIs.

"O users," said the Engineer,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we now cd home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd deleted every one.

adapted from Lewis Carroll

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