How many processes are running on your desktop box?
ps h -e (or ps hax) will exclude the header line so you get a more accurate count.
Doctorow Suggests Simple EULA Solution
If gamers violate the EULA, companies sue them...."Don't violate copyright law" would work as well as EULAs and the law, if all companies want is copyright protection.
They don't, of course.
Doctorow's EULA can't go out the door as it is for one simple reason: It doesn't have a statement about liability. The cleanest EULA I can think of would say:
- This is copyrighted material,
- It is subject to copyright laws,
- The copyright went into effect on ______,
- We hold the copyright.
- Use it (or don't) at your own risk, because nothing that happens (or fails to happen) is our fault in any way.
Much better, though personally I think it should include a statement like
All copyrights on this work will expire no later than _____. Copyright status can be checked at http://_______.___/
US District Ct. Says Defendant Must Provide Decrypted Data
I wonder, which part of "nor shall be compelled" did the honorable judge not understand?
Probably the part where the defendant had already shown the kiddie porn to the border patrol. He had already testified against himself. Remember that bit in the Miranda warning about "anything you say can be held against you?"
Border patrol: Do you have any kiddie porn?
Defendant: Yep. Here it is on this scrambled partition I will now provide you access to.
Border patrol: You're under arrest for the kiddie porn.
Laptop: It is now safe to turn off your computer.
Laptop: What porn?
Defendant: Yeah, what porn?
Border patrol: The porn you willingly showed us yesterday.
Defendant: I won't show you what's on that scrambled partition.
Judge: By showing it to us before you demonstrated that you were willing to let us see it. Saying yes once means yes forever. Kinda like rape.
It was a very narrow ruling.
Favorite text editor?
Well, it thought about it for a little while, then it said to itself, "You know what? I'm a text editor. Let Firefox do its job and I'll do mine."
And the both lived happily ever after.
I'd rather measure my days by means of ...
There's an amazing book called The Soul of a New Machine, which follows the team developing of the Eclipse MV/8000 computer at Data General in the late 1970s. One of the designers quit after spending weeks on end chasing down a hardware problem where signals were falling out of sync by mere nanoseconds. His resignation letter was a note he left on his monitor: "I'm going to a commune in Vermont and will deal with no unit of time shorter than a season."
I'm a software guy and the book gave me a bit of perspective on what hardware people do.
SCO Proposes Sale of Assets To Continue Litigation
to say there is no UNIX IP shows your lack of imagination.
IP is not imaginary.
IP is the epitome of imaginary.
Abused IT Workers Ready To Quit
There is nothing more professionally satisfying than having a company tell you they're replacing you with a (generally Indian) Outsourcing firm (having been advised to do so by HR)
Somewhat more personally satisfying is when your old boss calls you and asks in a shaky voice "We just found out nobody's been changing tapes like you used to do every morning and, um, there was this crash...Uh, how do we get all our clients' data back?" and you get to tell them that:
- Ignoring two weeks of "insert tape 2" e-mails was a bad thing,
- You'd documented all backup and recovery procedures in a binder in the IT bookcase, and
- They're unambiguously screwed.
And I don't know what the schadenfreude equivalent of an orgasm would be like but surely you will, a few months later, when you see their corporate obituary in the San Jose Mercury News...
Abused IT Workers Ready To Quit
If the network or all the computers are down then people can not get their work doen and big $$$ are lost very quickly.
In a modern society there are plenty of professions that can make this claim. Truck drivers, farmers, plumbers, power company linesmen, and so forth.
In IT, we're plumbers. Some of us also design plumbing systems, but the only time we're called on or even noticed is when the shit gets backed up. But we're not the reason the company exists. We're there to help the business side of the house achieve its goals. So we get called when the people who make money for the company are unable to make the money because their IT ain't working.
That said there's plenty of folks who see IT as nothing more than a cost center, something that subtracts from, rather than adds to, the bottom line. When they do that, there's resentment, there's the urge to see us as a cost that can or should be cut rather than something that contributes to the company's success.
I wish I knew the source of this quote:
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity
and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity
will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy... neither its pipes
nor its theories will hold water.
I think a company's non-IT staff can get that way, scorning their on-staff plumbers because what we do "isn't important." But we plumbers do the same thing, looking as the company as a host organism that exists to give us something to do. Makes us sound kinda...parasitic, don't it?
Configuring a Windows PC For a Senior Citizen?
Are you building a computer that'll be used by many people, or a computer for just one person? An individual's computer has to to persist user data and configuration for months or years, which means you have to configure the OS rather robustly and defensively, because while some of the age 70+ newbies I've dealt with are super-sharp, the rest have been too trusting of the computer and the Internet it connects them to. They go online and click on every ad, every popup, every possible anything. Next thing you know they've volunteered their system into every botnet under the sun and can't figure out why their Yahoo! bridge game is crashing and there's all these naked ladies popping up out of nowhere.
For computers owned by individuals, my recommendation is to sandbox things as well as possible. Get a firewalling router, a software firewall, and aggressive virus scanning and trojan detection. Give them Firefox, install or subscribe to a phishing/scam detection system. Get them a Gmail account. If they've never been exposed to Windows, consider Ubuntu or a Mac. But please respect their ability to learn while allowing for the possibility for mistakes. Same as any newbie-friendly environment.
For computers in the rec room, you can protect them from viruses and trojan damage very simply: Every night at 2:00 AM the computer reboots and reinstalls a clean OS image from a master copy somewhere. I don't know how good Windows is at this, but under Linux it's trivial: Set up a VM (even a Windows VM!), and cron a job that kills the VM, overwrites the image file, then starts the VM (maybe in full-screen mode?). You still want a firewall etc, but the scope of most newbie-inflicted damage will be the rest of the day, not the rest of the system's operational lifetime.
If Programming Languages Were Religions
Jesus Christ, dude, why did you post that link? Couldn't you have made an analogy involving the Spice Girls or something?
The last fucking thing I needed this morning was a graphic description of infant abuse.
My top-level book organization is based on ...
Between my wife and me we have some 2,000 books in a strange little room that used to be part of the front porch. We broke them down into broad categories and then down from there as appropriate The largest sections are:
- Science fiction, by author and title, series by order of publication
- Fantasy, by author and title, series in order of publication (except Discworld, which is grouped into Granny, Rincewind, city watch, etc.)
- Mainstream fiction
- Biography and memoir (by subject)
- History (U.S. chronologically, rest of the world by region then chronology)
- Religion, philosophy, psychology, management, other soft-subject bullshit
- Computers (further broken into subjects such as languages, OSen, network, database, etc.)
- Outdoorsy stuff (subcategorized into hiking and camping, sailing, motorcycling, travel, etc.)
- Cooking (including brewing and winesnobbery)
- Hard non-fiction (math, chemistry, repair manuals, how-to books)
- Reference (dictionaries, thesauri, foreign-language dictionaries, atlases)
- Foreign language
It's all very Dewey Decimal, only without the decimals. Some of these "sections" have only five or six books in them, but on the whole it's very easy to find what I want, especially when I'm just browsing. We also have fun arguing over where to put new books and whether there's enough books on a subject to fork off a new section: Gardening has become her new passion, for example, and we jokingly move Winnie the Pooh between the religion and the reference sections but never into the kid's books section.
Should You Get Paid While Your Computer Boots?
This one is a slam dunk for any competent law firm. It used to be the case the coal miners were not paid for the time spent donning and removing protective gear.
Hell, you can go even further back, to the Colorado Coalfield Wars of 1913--1914. One of the basic demands of the strike had to do with what mine operators considered payable work:
Miners were payed on tonnage: You pull a ton of coal out of the ground, you get X cents. What you don't get paid for is things like laying rails or putting in vent shafts or the reinforcing timbers that hold the roof up. Why should the company pay for that? Rails aren't coal. Timbers aren't coal. So coal miners skimped on the so-called deadwork of making mines usable---and safe to work in and as a result Colorado miners died at a rate 2.5 times the national average.
Your analogy holds: The company wants me to turn the computer on and off, they can pay me to turn it on and off. Otherwise I'm going to leave it on and screw the planet and the power bill if they're going to short me $50/week over this.
On the other hand, there are plenty of other things you have to do in order to work that the company can't be asked to pay for: They don't pay for my commute expenses (though some executives get a car allowance) or my work clothes (though some executives get a clothing allowance) or my $4 sandwich at lunch (though some executives get to expense every single meal).
But I think on the whole, if the company wants me to turn their computer on and off, they can pay me to turn it on and off. I'm going to make good use of that time, like checking my voicemail or mixing my morning Jack and Coke. It's not like I'm going to sit there staring at the damned thing while it's booting (unless I've missed my coffee).
(Useful) Stupid Unix Tricks?
for loops with backticks can very quickly hit resource limits on long lists, so often you're better off piping to a looped read instead:
list_old_connections | while read a; do drop_conn $a; done
Excellent! I'd been doing the pathetic and less-generalizable alternative of for a in $(list_old_connections |head -n 500) a few times and now I'm kinda of embarrassed by that. Then again, by the time I'm in danger of hitting resource limits because of my for-list I'm usually screwed anyway...
(Useful) Stupid Unix Tricks?
Every time I read a post where I know half the tricks, there's something in the other half that's going to drop my workload by a third. date -d "yesterday" "+%F" is going to make about half my monitoring/reporting scripts about twice as legible. Between that, the screen -x option and the su -s option, I'm actually looking forward to work tomorrow.
As for backticks, I prefer $(foo) to `foo`. It's much easier to read and Bash lets you nest to some extent.
My contribution to the discussion is combining $(foo) with for...do loops. For example, if I wanted to find and delete old database connections I would:
for a in $(list_old_connections) ; do drop_conn $a ; done
(And now I can modify my get_old_connections to take a date as the parameter and use date -d "yesterday" all over the place. Thanks!)