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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

msobkow Re:maybe (200 comments)

Don't you know "Canada" means "Ontario" to those who live there?

Hell, they barely acknowledge Quebec's existence, never mind the rest of the country.

5 hours ago
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How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

msobkow If you can install it, who cares? (189 comments)

If you install the newer packages you want, who cares what the "default" package is?

Personally I'd much rather a distro that lets me choose which version of packages to install rather than shoving one down my throat randomly during updates of the system.

Granted, the Debian stable I run isn't full of the latest shiny, shiny, but it isn't causing update problems by rolling out new versions of packages, either. Both Debian stable and RedHat RHEL are focused on stability, not bleeding edge development. No one in their right mind runs production systems on untested versions of packages, and no one (not even banks) can afford to do constant regression testing on the latest releases of software just because it's "new."

I'm constantly surprised at how many people opt for downloading the "production" version of my own project, even though that really was just a peg in the dirt of functionality, not some big fancy schmancy roll-out that went through more testing than other releases. There are bug fixes and new features in the latest and greatest, but a lot of people don't want that -- they want that peg in the dirt, and are content to wait for an SP1 to get access to the new features and bug fixes.

Don't forget it can often take a few months to properly regression test software. It isn't just an issue of booting with the latest version and making sure it starts running -- it's testing how it responds to having network cables yanked, power flipped off hard, sometimes even yanking hardware components while a box is running. Serious servers aren't something you just push out after running them with a dozen users for a week.

7 hours ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

msobkow Re:It's job security (779 comments)

System admins both old and new that are worth anything don't want things changing just for the sake of change.

It boils down to the old adage: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Which further boils down to something admins care very much about: stability and reliability. Changing something that's been in production for 5, 10, or more years just because someone decided to roll out the new "shiny, shiny" is not an effective use of the admin's time.

Last but not least, admins are often responsible for systems from multiple vendors. Having a unique configuration model for each system goes against the whole point of things like POSIX APIs and standardized startup processing.

Sure on a desktop or developer system, the difference is probably irrelevant. But when your main job is configuring and maintaining services on servers instead of just using a box, the arguments and priorities change for damned good reasons.

2 days ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

msobkow Re:They're not gamers. (273 comments)

*sigh*

Look, just because a bunch of magazines decided that their "gamer" demographic was going to be teenagers and specific sub-genres of computing games doesn't mean their definition is anything other than marketing tripe.

But given how many people go around wearing overpriced clothing emblazed with the brand names of sporting goods companies, I'm not surprised that you suckered into the marketing hype.

What I've described is factual history. You can argue against it all you like, but you can't change facts just by being stubborn. If anyone "co-opted" the term "gamer", it's the gaming magazines and the kids who fell into their marketing traps.

2 days ago
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A New Homegrown OS For China Could Arrive By October

msobkow Re:Chinese control from center is fatal flaw (93 comments)

China is no more "controlled from the center" than any other government-run country. They have local governments and bureaucrats, they have fiefdom cities, they have states/provinces. As with any other country, there is a hierarchy of management.

And unlike the communist days, there is little to no "central management" of resources in China any more, other than the government investing in large projects that would be studied to death and never approved here in North America.

People just seem to love bashing on China, but most of their "facts" are as outdated as they would be if they were to bash the Germans for being "Nazis" in modern times.

3 days ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

msobkow Re:They're not gamers. (273 comments)

In other words, the people who just published this "study" have just realized that women who play trivial games on their cell phones are a much larger (and probably more profitable) demographic than their old focus on teenaged boys playing first person shooters.

3 days ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

msobkow Re:They're not gamers. (273 comments)

Dude, you're missing the whole point. I'm not insulting people, I'm making fun of a business that was so foolish as to narrowly define their demographic instead of accepting the standard public-use definition of the term. Anyone who spends an inordinate amount of time playing games of any kind is a "gamer."

The term has been in use since before computer games were mainstream. Your local DnD league that runs 3 day sessions on the long weekends with only 4-5 hours of sleep a night are gamers. Your grandmother who plays bridge for 2-3 hours every day after lunch is a gamer. The people who play the computerized versions of old card, board, and strategy games for hours on end are gamers.

But, hey, I remember being young and using "cool" terminology that my parents disagreed with, too. Don't worry. Someday you'll be older, the kids of your day will try to redefine the use of the language, and you'll be on my side of the fence laughing at their stupidity. It happens to everyone.

And after you've seen a few generations of people trying to redefine the use of words to solely mean whatever is the latest technology rage, you'll shrug your shoulders, laugh, and realize it's all marketing shills through the centuries, trying to make a fast buck on the latest fad. It's a bunch of leeches trying to define a "demographic" so they can sell to it, and nothing more.

3 days ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

msobkow Re:What's the point? (500 comments)

The "point" of Java is portability amongst vendors. It was never designed to be the fastest, most scalable, or most elegant language on the planet. It was designed to be portable.

And it succeeds at that goal, for the most part, so it is and continues to be used widely.

Don't confuse the extensions of the JEE environment or the various JCP packages with the core of Java's mission: running business code across diverse platforms.

Or have you forgotten Java's original tag line? "The Network IS The Computer." And the network includes all kinds of platforms.

3 days ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

msobkow Re:Nope (500 comments)

Those "suits" you refer to included every major hardware vendor on the planet. Java was only sold as a silver bullet for portability, not speed, not efficiency, not scalability, but solely for it's ability to be shifted from one vendor's platform to another's.

When it comes to straight forward business service and batch job processing, it succeeds admirably at that goal, which is rather rare for what you claim was a "silver bullet."

The "problem" is that all kinds of people have visions of Java doing this, that, and the other thing, ranging from the addition of database bindings that don't allow for stored procedures to 3D graphics. Java's "problem" is that it's gradually becoming too much of a "kitchen sink" instead of staying focused on what it was designed for: portable business programming.

3 days ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

msobkow Re:They're not gamers. (273 comments)

You're the one who's confused. There is no "mancave" involved in gaming, except for reclusive pimply-faced acne victims in Momma's basement.

Over the years "gamer" has evolved from meaning someone who played pen and paper rule-based, card, or board games to include video games, and all the sub-genres thereof. The typical portable device nowadays has far more CPU and graphics power than the 386's that ran the Doom series, never mind the original Atari or Nintendo platforms.

It's only *kids* who think "gamer" has anything to do with a particular style of game or a particular demographic. Gamers are of all ages, genders, and races. But, hey, if you're convinced that "gamer" means pimply faced male playing first person shooter wargame on My Favourite Platform, knock yourself out. You're wrong, of course, but I've learned many years ago you can't convince people who "know they're right" of anything.

3 days ago
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

msobkow Re:Or... (273 comments)

Your sounding defensive and looking for hatred where I read only a statement of facts. Facts don't hate. Gamers are people who play games. Period. End of story. The phrase has never meant "teen aged boy."

3 days ago
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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

msobkow Re:Wait a second! (316 comments)

Clearly you've never worked anywhere but the US if you think that.

No matter where you live and work in the world on a visa, you'll be expected to pay the local income and sales taxes on the money you earn while working there.

3 days ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

msobkow Re:Nature of tort reform (457 comments)

Nonsense. I buy my cannabis from mom & pop growers who only sell enough to cover their costs of growing their own. I also grow a little (very little.) There is no "black market" or "organized crime" involved at all.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

msobkow Buy Microsoft (548 comments)

My sole advice to myself when I started out would have been to buy Microsoft stock.

More than buying a house, a car, or anything else, I started out when Microsoft was a penny stock and could have cleaned up big time just by investing a few grand in their stock instead of a car. :P

about a week ago
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

msobkow If you can't plug it in (259 comments)

If you can't plug it in, you're not getting online here.

One Wifi device with encryption enabled slows down my router so badly that it has trouble resolving domain names. Screw that.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

msobkow Re:Actually, it's the PERFECT name (426 comments)

Under Debian with KDE, most of my menu items describe what the application does rather than using it's name. So at least at the foundation of a huge number of distros, there is no excuse for relying on the "cute" names application developers have come up with.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Tests "Satire" Tag To Avoid Confusion On News Feed

msobkow Re:Gotta say it (131 comments)

Details, details, details. :D

about two weeks ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

msobkow I've learned the hard way (303 comments)

I've learned the hard way over the years. Never let Windows Update install a driver of any kind. Ever.

I've had them blow out network cards, video cards, sound cards, and low level on-board devices. I've had them completely bork systems to the point where they were unbootable.

Go to the vendor and get the official updates.

I don't know how they do it, but Windows Update perpetually mis-identifies hardware and installs the wrong drivers, delivers broken drivers, and otherwise screws up when it comes to drivers. Yet the official vendor's drivers (such as Intel) work just fine.

Go figure. One would think Microsoft is just redeploying those same drivers, but years of being burned have taught me that's not the case.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Tests "Satire" Tag To Avoid Confusion On News Feed

msobkow Gotta say it (131 comments)

<SATIRE>Facebook users are so smart!</SATIRE>

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Politicians vs. "Regular People"

msobkow msobkow writes  |  about 10 months ago

msobkow (48369) writes "Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto has admitted smoking crack cocaine while in a "drunken stupor." Yet he refuses to step down as mayor, and insists on serving out the balance of his term.

In private industry both North and South of the border, someone with a drug or alcohol problem is given three choices:
  1. Go to rehab while suspended from your job
  2. Resign
  3. Be fired

What do you think? Should politicians be exempted from the rules that apply to private industry?"

Journals

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24/192 Audio Redux

msobkow msobkow writes  |  about a month and a half ago

A while back I put my laptop into forced 24bit/192kHz output mode in order to be able to play some Grateful Dead tracks that were recorded in that format. I've left it at that setting on the Windows 7 laptop because it plays back lower resolution audio just fine.

In fact, it seems to upsample lower resolution audio rather nicely. So while CDs and MP3s still are far from as clean sounding as the Grateful Dead tracks, the upsampling prevents "digital fatigue" and sounds more "musical" than 44.1 Hz output does on my Linux box. So I find myself spending more and more time listening to my music under headphones plugged into the laptop (a rather nice set of Sony noise cancelling full-cup headphones that cost nearly $300 15 years ago -- a gift from good friends.)

For the life of me, I do not understand people who claim they can't hear the difference between 44.1 audio and higher resolutions. They must be deaf. The difference is obvious as night and day, if you know what to listen for.

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MSS Code Factory 1.11 has been released to production

msobkow msobkow writes  |  about 3 months ago

This day had to come eventually. It was just a matter of patience, persistence, and time.

Today I released MSS Code Factory 1.11 to production.

This is the first time I've ever released a piece of software because I honestly believe it's ready to be released rather than because some marketing/sales rep or management had set an arbitrary delivery date.

This release was 4 years in development. The project itself was started 18 years ago.

But my baby has all grown up, and it's time to send her out the door into the wild, wild world.

If I were to die today, I'd die knowing I accomplished something with my life.

This has been the mountain I had to climb; the ocean I had to sail; the desert I had to cross. It has been my mission ever since I first conceived of the idea of manufacturing code by reversing the logic of a compiler/parser way back in my University days.

For those of you who are programmers, please download and play.

http://msscodefactory.sourceforge.net/

By the way, as a side effect of the testing and validation of MSS Code Factory itself, I produced CFUniverse, a conglomerate business application model project that is nearly 14,000,000 lines of source code. To put that in perspective, the biggest project I ever worked on was about 1.5 million lines, coded by a team of over 150 developers over a 3 year period. Were you to print out CFUniverse at 100 lines per page, double-sided, you'd need 5 cases of paper plus another 20 reams to do it.

I'd love to dump that sucker on someone's desk for a code review!

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MSS Code Factory 1.11 is almost done

msobkow msobkow writes  |  about 3 months ago

Within the next week or few, I should be releasing MSS Code Factory 1.11 to production.

1.11 has been a 4 year effort, kickstarted by some rule sets from previous versions of the tool. Each of the earlier versions encountered problems which sent me back to the drawing board to resolve the issues I encountered, going so far as to migrate the core engine code to C# at one point, and then back to Java again, all in an effort to clean up the last bugs in the core technology (the effort was successful, but it was a good two years of my time to do it.)

As I write this, I realize that it's been roughly 18 years since I created the 1.0 version of MSS Code Factory using Java JDK 1.0. I've believed in the "write once, run anywhere" philosophy since day one, and bought into the "Network Is The Computer" concept as well. Hence my decision to focus the efforts of MSS Code Factory on Java, rather than diverging into other languages such as C# or C++ (although there is absolutely no reason I couldn't produce code for those languages, sharing the same database models and stored procedures that the Java code relies on.)

18 years.

My precious is almost an adult.

Just a few more weeks of database script testing, more to find and correct issues with the Business Application Models than with any expectation of long-term problems with the database installation scripts as manufactured by the tool.

At the point of release as a side-effect of testing, I'll have created CFUniverse 2.0. A mammoth general purpose database/schema/application comprising 366 tables and nearly 14,000,000 lines of source code.

Top that, 'ya slackers!

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16/44.1 vs 24/192 audio

msobkow msobkow writes  |  about 7 months ago

Some people insist the difference between 16/44.1 and 24/192 audio files is "all in your head", because some idiot mathematician says you shouldn't be able to hear the difference. Well, human ears aren't mathematicians, and I can most emphatically hear the difference even with these aging ears when using a $500 set of headphones.

I am absolutely in *glory* listening to The Grateful Dead's "Built to Last" album at 24/192 right now. The cymbals *splash* and the triangles *ring*. The maracas *rustle*. You can hear the *wires* of the snare drum rattling against the drum heads. And most important of all, the overall experience of listening is *soothing* instead of earache-inducing as with dithered audio. You should hear the sax I'm listening to right now -- that's one instrument whose sound I *know*, having played one for nearly 10 years in my youth.

My theory is that people who've been raised on digital audio have never learned to hear the difference between live instruments and digital dithering. They *can't* hear the difference, because they've never been exposed to and learned how to hear the sounds, much as someone who did not grow up amongst the Chinese can't hear the difference between some sounds in their languages.

The psychoacoustic training of one's ears is a very real phenomenon. If you've never learned to hear and listen for something because you've never been exposed to it, you grow to be *incapable* of hearing it without a *lot* of exposure.

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I am a T-Rex

msobkow msobkow writes  |  about 7 months ago

Smart ass punks think they know *nix history.

I cut my wisdom teeth on a VAX 11/780 running BSD in the fall of 1984.

I PRE-DATE the GPL -- Ricky Stallman was just touring campuses (including the University of Saskatchewan) with his "new" GPL idea when I was learning *nix coding and the ORIGINAL K&R 'C' language.

I've run, coded, and delivered systems on just about every dialect of *nix that ever existed. I AM A DINOSAUR! A T-Rex that will eat your OS/X crap for breakfast.

FORTRAN, COBOL, LISP, Algol, APL, PL/C, K&R 'C', ANSI 'C', C++ (from 1.0), Erlang, Java (from 1.0), Z-80 assembly, 6502 assembly, PDP-11 assembly, VAX assembly, -- hell, when I was programming the Z-80, I didn't even *have* an assembler -- I converted my code into hex and POKE'd it into the machine and saved the memory image to cassette tapes!

RSX-11, BSD on VAX, VMS on VAX, AT&T SVR4, VMS on Alpha, DEC Unix on Alpha, HP1000/A, HP9000, the first release of AIX on POWER, Minux, Linux from Red Hat 5 onwards (including RHEL/CentOS/OracleLinux, Ubuntu, Debian, SuSE, Slackware, and a couple other distros whose names escape me at the moment), every flavour of Windows from 3.11 onwards, Mach (which is merged into OS/X), QNX (now Blackberry 10), SunOS, Solaris, Amiga, Commodore 64, Commodore PET, Apple II, and a few more that I can't remember the names of at the moment.

So go ahead and try to "tell me", kid. I'll run rings around you in coding, hardware, and experience. I GREW UP WITH THE HISTORY YOU ONLY HAVE READ ABOUT. I've been programming longer than most of you pups have been alive!

(Can you tell I'm pissed that some 7-digit luser tried to tell me I'm "probably not even a programmer"? :P :P :P)

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A Perspective on Privacy

msobkow msobkow writes  |  1 year,5 days

No doubt people who've read my posts realize I'm concerned about the NSA spying issue, especially in light of the global cooperation in sharing information between spy networks run by other countries including Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the UK. Even here in Canada our CSIS uses information collected on their behalf by the US NSA. It's already being abused, with information being fed to the DEA and from there on to police departments in the US, which has nothing to do with the original goal of "catching terrorists."

As my own ISP, SaskTel, leases servers in Florida, my email is monitored. My Google and Yahoo accounts are also monitored. There is no way for me to communicate any more without being tracked.

I've always expected this day would come, because when the internet protocol was designed, one of the key requirements were headers that identified the sender and receiver of data packets. There was no way around this, and there is still no way to avoid such identification (though it can be obfuscated to some degree by protocols like TOR.)

As computers have gotten more powerful, it was inevitable that humanity would have the capability to monitor all communications and track all users. It was just a question of when would it happen, and I must admit I'm surprised that we've come this far in my lifetime.

Unfortunately, it would seem the corporate-led fascists are the ones who are leading the charge. Governments whose leaders no longer respect the will of the people, nor even listen to the concerns of the people, but instead spin the lies suggested by their corporate masters. The world is all about the money nowadays.

Maybe some day we'll see a resurgance of humanism and a more equitable social order based on socialist ideals ala Star Trek, where people work for perks, not survival, but I don't think we're going to see that in my life time. Perhaps we'll never see it, because the more entrenched the elite owners of the corporate world become in their mastery of individual country's governments, the less likely it is that they can be uprooted and removed from the halls of power.

Still, I haven't given up hope on humanity.

I'm just very worried about where things are going to go in my own lifetime, never mind the lifetimes of my nieces and nephews.

Despite the tracking that is possible, people insist on using pseudonyms and aliases for their web accounts. I think that's fundamentally wrong. If you've got any sense of honour, integrity, and personal responsibility, you should not be afraid of having your comments and articles on the 'net associated with who you really are. In fact, you should be proud of who you are, stand up as an individual, and rant with enthusiasm against the evils of the world.

Sure you'll make mistakes. You'll say embarassing things. You'll shove your foot in your mouth up to the knee from time to time. And those mistakes will not be erased from the 'net.

But so what? Everyone is human. If anyone is in error, it's those who insist on judging people by their past mistakes instead of realizing that people screw up, learn from their mistakes, and grow to be better people because of them. I've certainly never worried about being judged by potential employers or friends on the internet.

After all, if I am anything, it is honest and blunt with my opinions. I am the kind of person I want to be and would want for a friend: trustworthy and blunt. I hate double-talking backstabbers with a passion, and wouldn't want to work for a company that would judge me based on my internet social life instead of my job history and quality of my work.

So rave on, rave on, rave on, I shall.

Peace.

Mark Sobkow

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MSS Code Factory 1.11.6160 Beta 6 (Ok, so I'm not done with betas yet after all)

msobkow msobkow writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Beta 6 implements the table id generators for the RAM implementation and corrects a defect in the implementation of the RAM deletes.

It also corrects the use of table id generators for all of the supported databases (DB/2 LUW 10.1, MySQL 5.5, SQL Server 2012, PostgreSQL 9.1, Oracle 11gR2, and Sybase ASE 15.7.) Previously the client-side code that is generated for objects which incorporate BLOBs (or TEXT for SQL Server) would not have properly used the table id generators, but instead would have relied on obsolete/incorrect code for schema id generators of the same name.

All of the RAM and database implementations have regression tested using the CFDbTest 2.0 test suite.

Beta 6 and the corresponding test suite are available for download from http://sourceforge.net/projects/msscodefactory/files/.

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MSS Code Factory 1.11.6008 - Beta 5 - The last of the betas

msobkow msobkow writes  |  about a year and a half ago

I finally reached Beta 5 with my pet project. It now supports manufacturing of code for DB/2 LUW 10.1, SQL Server 2012, MySQL 5.5, Oracle 11gR2, Sybase ASE 15.7, and PostgreSQL 9.1.

I've finally achieved what I set out to do 15 years ago -- provide a multi/cross database coding tool that automates the mapping from an abstract business model to the specifics of the database while using all of the available performance tuning options of the database. This is far more challenging and complex than something like EJB3, which just generates dynamic SQL, not stored procedures and prepared statements.

Next up will be using the tool to write an application. I'm thinking of doing something simple and straight forward, like the core of an accounting system with general ledger, accounts, subledgering, and so on. During that development I may well add in the security support I've been planning all these years, but maybe not. Time will tell.

Regardless, I'm just peaking to have finally achieved this long outstanding milestone. :)

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MSS Code Factory 1.11.5365 Beta 1

msobkow msobkow writes  |  about a year and a half ago

The PostgreSQL 9.1 implementation has been updated to make use of stored procedures, prepared SQL statements, and every other performance-tuning trick I've learned in 30+ years of database programming. Subsequent betas will be released as additional databases are brought to the same level of integration as this release for PostgreSQL.

The PostgreSQL code should run rings around EJB3 and similar technologies that rely on dynamic SQL.

MySQL 5.5 support is as complete as it will ever be, and basic DB/2 LUW 10.1 support is also provided.

Download MSS Code Factory Beta 1 from SourceForge.

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MSS Code Factory is moving right along

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

As you can see from the MSS Code Factory project site, things are progressing steadily with my pet project. I've just finished spending a couple of weeks reworking the PostgreSQL database IOs to use PreparedStatements wherever possible instead of pure dynamic SQL. At this point, dynamic SQL is only used for cursor-based reads and index queries which reference nullable columns; all other queries and accessors use prepared statements (static SQL.)

I haven't tested the performance of this new layer with PostgreSQL, and don't intend to compare performance of dynamic and static SQL as it would require keeping copies of and debugging both versions of the code. I know from previous experience with DB/2 UDB that using PreparedStatements can result in an 80% overall performance improvement for something like loading a model into a relational database.

Unfortunately most of the performance benefits would be lost when using the code for a web server, because you have to releasePreparedStatements() at the end of each web page served, because there is the possibility that a particular vendor's implementation of PreparedStatements might have data associated with it on the server end of the connection, and the connection has to be released after serving the page.

One of the biggest advantages of switching to static SQL is that parameter binding with PreparedStatements can handle variables up to the maximum size for the type, whereas dynamic SQL is limited by the size of the statement buffer accepted by the database (which used to be a significant limitation with DB/2 UDB 7.2, though I've no doubt that limit has been expanded or eliminated.)

A key point of the use of static SQL is that the only difference between the different databases now is the specific SQL functions used to convert strings to date-time types, so I'm going to be rolling out the support for the commercial databases under GPLv3 after all, rather than trying to leverage them for profit. The differences are just too negligable for me to believe anyone would pay for the privelege of using a commercial database.

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I gave up and filed for disability

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I've been working as a programmer since the spring of 1987. I've travelled all over North America, worked in many cities and with some of the biggest names in technology. I've had an absolute blast working with skilled and intelligent people who were not only good at what they did, but became good friends.

But it's time to face the facts: I can no longer work "office hour" jobs due to chronic migraines. Even with complete flexibility to work from home and at odd hours, I was barely able to get in 24-30 hours per week at the last company that was willing or able to work with me on the scheduling issues caused by the migraines.

I've therefore filed for disability here in Saskatchewan, and am in the process of getting approved for the SAID program (Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability.) I used to pay twice as much in taxes per year in the '90s than I'll be getting under SAID, but at least it'll be subsistance living.

Don't make the same mistake I did of enjoying your income while you have it. Save and invest your money like it's going to be the last dollar you earn, because you never know when you're going to be hit by the proverbial bus and find yourself disabled. It's not fun, it's not a "safety net" as some claim, and it's a very depressing future to face.

But many of you will face that future, whether due to medical issues or accidents.

Good luck.

P.S.

I'm going to try to keep Singularity One Systems, Inc. alive because every once in a while I do find a few hundred bucks worth of offsite programming I can do for someone. With the company, I can "bank" that income, and draw the $200/month I'm allowed to on disability over time, as well as running a few expenses like monitors and part of my internet/phone fees through the company instead of paying it all out of pocket.

Who knows? Maybe some day one of my pet projects will turn into a money maker. I've always said I'd program for a hobby if I weren't programming for pay, and that's where life is headed: hobby programming to keep myself from being bored silly in "retirement."

Peace.

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Joy oh joy

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

My Ubuntu 10.04.1 partition developed a serious case of USB problems after this morning's kernel update. When I rebooted to try to reset the USB devices, the partition table nuked itself.

So I'm reinstalling WinXP. This is NOT how I planned to spend my day!

Needless to say, I am NOT a happy camper...

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Thoughts on the entangled-quantum future

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

In the future, and a not too distant future at that, we will have quantum-entangled computers that work alongside or as add-ons to our existing computers.

Entangled quantum processors are good at the very class of computing problem that traditional CPUs suck at. And the reverse is also true, so we won't all be switching to quantum computers, we'll be merging the two technologies into a single box capable of tackling both classes of computing problem efficiently.

The issue to society is that current encryption technologies rely on the difficulty of calculations of precisely the type that quantum computers are good for. In the quantum era, it will be effectively impossible to encrypt data in a secure fashion. If you vary your keys fast enough, you might be able to maintain some semblance of security for a specific communications link to another node on the internet, but that would be about it.

That means that all the information on all the centralized data servers running behind every major business or website on the internet is readable.

I realized this years ago. It's one of the reasons I post publicly -- because I know the futility of trying to conceal or limit the access to what I post on the internet.

And it will happen in my lifetime, of that I have no doubt.

I contend that the only way to secure personal data in that future is to have personal servers located at your own home, with maintenance scripted so thoroughly that all the user has to do is pop in a backup cartridge each evening to receive the daily incrementals and weekly full backups of their life.

Instead of you entering in your information to a shared server somewhere, you would grant that shared server's processing systems read-only access to the relevant parts of your information, identified by some sort of unique id code/string (maybe even just a UUID) and the specific IPv6 address of the single host that is being granted that read permission.

Just for safety's sake, every time the application server read your personal information, an access entry would be logged.

It would be forbidden for any application server to retain the data. The sole source of your personal information would be your home node itself.

Sure, some might choose to contract the hosting of that node out to something akin to an ISP or a Google or a MicroSoft, or even an IBM node in a data center/cluster some where, but the key point is that the IPv6 address of each and every individuals information be assigned to one particular node.

I can not imagine any other way of protecting your personal data in the quantum future.

And that's the future I'm building towards.

Your node would assign each application server a corresponding signature, the UUID. The unique id number generator. Basic, simple, effective, and in production for a long time. But hardly anything akin to a password.

Maybe you'd want to look into how the data center at the host is physically architected to protect the token.

Just remember that with the quantum capabilities, passwords will be easily cracked and stolen by anyone with access to a backbone link that can have a good old fashioned network sniffer attached. You're rely relying on the request coming from that particular IPv6 address with the assigned UUID as the unique signature of the authorized request.

Implementing such a system means implementing common data structure standards across all platforms and all systems in due time. You'd choose your hardware/node provider based on your faith in the quality of the system they deliver as a whole.

So you could buy an IBM stack, an Oracle stack, a MicroSoft Windows stack, an Apple stack, or any one of the many Linux and BSD stacks.

Or even smartphone and tablet OS stacks.

Similarly, you'd choose your database service provider from the supported RDBMS vendors, your file system, and so on. Some stack vendors don't let you choose some options, but that's part of what you get when you buy into their stack.

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The music industry has made the people half deaf

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

When a snare drum is struck, you should hear the rattle of the wires underneath the bottom drum head, not a tissue paper crackle.

When a triangle is struck, you should hear a bell-like ring soaring above the field of music, not a digitally compressed buzzing sound.

Pat Benatar's high register should soar with authority, not break up into digital noise.

When a cymbal is struck with a stick, it rings with a brassy tone; it does not break up into distortion.

But the past two generations have spent their entire lives listening to 44.1KHz/16bit samples or even more highly compressed MP3s. Their neural pathways have been trained to filter out the digital noise, and now they can't even hear the higher frequencies.

Back when vinyl was king and CDs had just came out, double-blind study after double-blind study proved that analogue was superior, and that the average person could hear the difference.

20-30 years later, the double-blind studies were repeated comparing 192KHz/24bit studio recordings to 44.1KHz/16bit CD quality audio.

Sadly, modern subjects can't hear the difference any more.

They've been robbed of their hearing, and they don't even realize it. Worse, they point to the new study as "proof" that I'm "delusional" and have even come up with some fancy name for the "delusion."

I thought I saw a class-action lawsuit against the *AA and the audio industry in the making for the loss of hearing by the general population, but people are in such denial of the issue that they modded every single one of my posts on the topic down to zero.

How sad. You've all been robbed and you'd rather claim I'm delusional than realize the new study proves you've been robbed.

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Racknine and calls to numbers on the Canadian NDNC list

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

My number is on the do-not-call list for Canada.

I received one of the robocalls trying to send me to a non-existent polling station, presumably a call made by Racknine.

As Racknine has been unable to identify a political party as approving and being responsible for those calls, Racknine did not perform due diligence and therefore the call made was illegal under CRTC telemarketing restrictions. Only someone who is a duly authorized representative of a political party can contract a robocalling company to call someone who is on the National Do Not Call List.

I believe the penalty for violating the Do Not Call List without proper authorization or exemption status is on the order of $20,000 per call if I recall correctly.

Being able to provide a "burner" cell phone number and an obviously fake name as the "authorization" for these calls means Racknine engaged in wide spread illegal calling of OTHER people who are also on the national do not call list -- I will NOT be the only one who was called an on the NDNC.

I STRONGLY encourage any other Canadian who received such a robocall to contact the CRTC and register a complaint against Racknine. THEY are responsible for ensuring that their business operates within the guidelines of Canadian law.

https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/pfac-fcca-eng

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Comparing MSS Code Factory 1.8 and 1.9 runtimes

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I finally have some hard oranges-to-oranges comparison numbers between MSS Code Factory 1.8 and 1.9.

With the addition of the GEL compiler and runtimes and other performance tuning, 1.9 takes 1m25s to create MSSBam110 as of 2012.02.18.

The 1.8 release takes 3m25s to produce idential code for 1.9.

That's a 68% reduction in the execution time. Not bad. Not bad at all.

MSS Code Factory

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Rest in Peace, Whitney Houston

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I guess what really strikes me about Whitney Houston's demise is that she was only a year older than me.

I've faced some of the same problems she did in life, including addictions.

It could easily have been ME that died today instead of her, whatever the cause of her death was, and that hits home.

Hard.

RIP Whitney.

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It took several iterations, but I think I this isTHE singularityone.ca website!

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

The Singularity One Systems, Inc. corporate website is now available. Here you'll find information about the services we offer, our billing rates and policies, and information about the company itself.

http://www.singularityone.ca/

The website has gone through three design iterations at least during the past week while I've posted a proposed design, waited for feedback from friends and interested parties, and tried to address their concerns.

I think this might be the website, finally!

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Singularity One "To Do List" and "Done List" are now on the website

msobkow msobkow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

It's been a busy morning. I've been updating and editing my "To Do" and "Done" lists for my personal website and for the Singularity One Systems, Inc. pages. I had been keeping them as a merged list because I'm the one who has to work on them, but realistically a huge part of my "To Do LIst" is business stuff and shouldn't have been on the personal list in the first place.

Just click on the "To Do List" or "Done List" links on the left to see what's in the pipe right now.

The idea is to let people go to the company website instead of me having to post updates through other sites to let people know what's happening. The way I do it right now is kind of a hassle for everyone, including those who aren't interested in what I'm doing with the business.

Now I don't need to use forums and email lists to do my diligence on informing future customers and shareholders about what the business is doing. I'm sure that will be a relief to everyone who was on the "SingularityOneInterest" email list I keep.

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