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If Artists Were Programmers [Jul. 5th, 2005|06:31 pm]
A recent Slashdot discussion included an amusing thread about what kind of Artists programmers would be if programming was Fine Art. Hacked, collated and slashed into a tidy list with additions of my own, here is:

Schools of Programming Fine Art

The Picasso programmer: As a whole the system works, but each piece is a warped view of reality.

The Jackson Pollack programmer: Throws code at the system, trying to see what works.

The Georges Seurat programmer: When you step back from the system, you can see the overall pattern, but close up each piece is totally distinct from all of the others. (Actually, this is a pretty good description of OO design).

The Michalangelo programmer: Has a grand, sweeping view of what the system should do, but each piece is done in such meticulous detail that it takes years to finish anything.

The Howard Rourke programmer: Writes Fortran in a myriad of languages.

The Magritte programmer: Reuses parts of old code in new systems (such as the bowler generator).

The Andy Goldsworthy programmer: Builds the system using only extant programs found on the machine.

The Vincent van Gogh programmer: The system sort of is what the customer asked for, but it is such weird code that you are afraid to touch it in case something breaks.

The Baroque programmer: The program works, but is so hidden in unnecessary features that nobody knows what it was supposed to do originally.

The Cloisonnistic programmer: The whole system is built using one function forty different ways.

The Cubist programmer: Every method is overloaded with a dozen different interfaces so that it is impossible to know what they 'really' are.

The Primitive programmer: The software meets all requirements and runs unbelievably smoothly, but the entire system is written in undocumented machine code.

The Surrealist programmer: The code is written in five languages (including two invented by the programmers themselves, apparently while drunk) and the system does nothing remotely resembling the specs, but it does it beautifully. Whatever it is.
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Ugh [Jun. 22nd, 2004|08:28 pm]
[mood |blahblah]

Today was a mixed day. Work went well (modulo the normal emergencies). But on the drive home I (without any warning what-so-ever) found myself coughing and trying not to drive off the road from my reaction to the gastric juices that had just decided to visit my mouth and lungs. Breathing Vomit == Nothing Good. I'm just lucky my mouth was closed or it would have landed all over me and the steering wheel. No particular nausea. Just a mouthful of unpleasant stuff and burning lungs from the breathed in portion.


I was supposed to go to Judo class tonight, but rather than risk a repeat (given that Judo involves lots of rapid body motions usually pointing the head in other directions than UP), I stayed home. I didn't think it would be...wise...to tempt fate tonight.

So now I am sitting at home with a low-grade headache and a unsettled stomach waiting for Sunbunny to come home from Judo.
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Forward momentum [Jun. 7th, 2004|06:29 am]
[mood |geekygeeky]
[music |It's All About the Pentiums by Wierd Al]

Sunbunny's laptop has built-in 802.11b wireless capability which (not having wireless installed at home) has never been of much use.

So, since I wanted to take the 200Mhz Pentium Pro Linux machine I've been using as a firewall, NAT and backups server for the last few years offline and rebuild her as a dedicated backups server anyway, I bought a LinkSys wireless DSL/Cable router/gateway. Which has been sitting on our kitchen counter configured to work with my decidedly not conventional home network, but not connected, for the last two weeks.

When I woke up this morning (about 4 AM) I looked at it and decided to go ahead and re-route the network wiring I have and switch out the Linux machine (helped by the loud rattling sound coming from the CPU fan on the Linux machine - it is only about 7 years old).

It worked: Heh.

Now all I have to do is move it upstairs and configure her laptop to work with it.

And rewrite the Devilbunnies News-Mail Gateway - since it ran on that machine but doesn't like the machine I moved it to.

And install Fedora Core 2 to the old Linux box.

And see if I can do anything about that rattling fan.

And rip the 52x CD-ROM out and move it to the desktop machine where it can do some good.

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Yet another long day [May. 26th, 2004|07:04 pm]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |Star Wars Cantina]

Yesterday AT&T network services left a message on my voice mail saying that they were going to do maintenance on the power at the hosting facility where we host our servers and they suggested that we turn off all equipment that wasn't on a UPS. When I got this voice mail it was only 14 hours before they were going to do it - at 12:30 am to 1:00 am (!!!!). They had left the voice mail at 2:00 am and I got it around 10:00 am when I got into the office (I started working remotely around 5:00 am, but didn't get to the office until then).

This set off a sequence of events where Sunbunny (who was a real trouper through the whole thing) and I ended up stopping at 4 different stores to buy 5 UPSs, driving 90 miles to the hosting facility, individually powering down each of 13 servers, plugging them into the newly installed UPSs and powering them back up.

This took until about 9:00 pm. At which point we drove back 90 miles to home and crashed around 11:00 pm. I checked the servers this morning and all of them had survived the night with no problems: Yay us.

I got into the office this morning and found another voice mail from AT&T network services on my phone. Around 10:45 pm they had discovered they didn't need to mess with our power and had cancelled the whole damn thing.

Now, mind you, we are paying them quite a bit of money every month to NOT have to worry about losing power (you know - battery room, emergency generators, the whole gig). So yesterday I wasted 13 hours doing an emergency installation of around $600 US dollars worth of UPSs that we should not have needed - soley because they jerked us around.

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Two cats and a wife - redux [May. 20th, 2004|08:20 am]
Opened my bedroom door this morning to see two cats and Sunbunny waiting outside again. First time since the last journal entry.

After working until about 9PM last night, we lost power at the office for about 1 1/2 hours starting around midnight - crashing 12 servers when their UPSs finally ran out of power. I discovered this about 30 minutes after finding the cats and wife outside the door. I've now been in the office for an hour and a half, all but one server is back online.

It is only 8:25 AM.
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I should have known [Apr. 15th, 2004|09:07 pm]
[mood |aggravatedaggravated]
[music |Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen]

When I woke up this morning, I opened my bedroom door to find (as expected) two cats, and (unexpectedly) my wife, Sunbunny, all sitting outside the door waiting for me to get up.

This should have warned me that today was going to be strange.

In the course of about 5 hours at work, I had two hard drive failures, a Athlon CPU overheat in my desktop, a RAID disk drive controller card that would not load its BIOS unless it had a hard drive attached so I had to hunt down a drive to attach to it just so it would load its BIOS long enough that it could be flashed with an update, a bad floppy disk for doing the said flashing, a floppy drive that decided today was the day to become borked so it wouldn't boot the replacement good floppy, a second PC which I moved the RAID card and hard drive to that decided that the USB keyboard normally attached wasn't good enough - it had to have a PS/2 keyboard if I wanted to change its BIOS settings so that the RAID disk drive controller would allow the drive to be seen by the card so it would load the BIOS settings so that they could be flashed from good floppy disk.

It is now 9:20 PM, I'm still at work, and it will be another 45 minutes to an hour before the various disks being copied around after everything was put back together are finished.

Oh, it has been just a LOVELY day.
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Matrix Devolutions [Apr. 7th, 2004|08:50 am]

Ok, I have to confess: I liked The Matrix. And The Matrix Reloaded. And The AniMatrix. And the Enter the Matrix game. They all were interesting and fun. And so when Matrix Revolutions came out on DVD I went ahead and bought it in spite of having heard poor reviews of the movie.

My mistake.

Here is my summary of the movie:

1. Rescue Neo (the one interesting sequence in the entire movie).
2. Shoot machines.
3. Shoot machines.
4. Say line of dialog.
5. Shoot machines.
6. Shoot machines.
7. Shoot machines.
8. Say two lines of dialog.
9. Shoot machines.
10. Shoot machines.
79. Shoot machines.
80. Shoot machines.
81. Shoot machines.
82. Spend ten minutes on Trinity's death scene.
83. Have fight between Neo and Smith.
84. Closing sentimental scene with The Oracle.

My theory? They actually had enough material for ONE good Matrix sequel
movie. But to suck the cash cow a little further, they tried to make
two, instead. Not enough story for the third movie to run 90 minutes? Fine. 60 minutes of shooting machines filler will do the trick.

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Driving with Sunbunny [Apr. 2nd, 2004|05:53 am]
[mood |mischievousmischievous]
[music |Putting out Fire, David Bowie]

Sunbunny didn't know about Googlebombing. Googlebombing is where people who have control of enough web sites trick Google into linking a phrase such as miserable failure to something such that Google returns the desired thing when queried. So I'm helping her out. >:)
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Army Reserve/National Guard failed to make goals for 2003 [Mar. 28th, 2004|08:19 am]
[mood |blahblah]
[music |A Fugue in G Minor, The Little]

In spite of the military having instituted various 'stop-loss' orders,
where people who's enlistments would normally be up can't leave the
services, the Army Reserve and National Guard still failed to reach
recruiting/retention goals for 2003. By 6% for the Army Reserve and 13% for the
National Guard.

Conceptually, you can think of these kind of 'stop loss' orders as placing
a dam in a river. For a while, as the dam fills, you will get lower flow
out of the river below the dam. This has been reflected in the military
retention figures until now appearing as the military is succeeding in
retaining needed people.

But this is artificial: About 44 thousand soldiers are currently being
kept beyond their service obligations and planned retirement dates by
stop-loss orders. Compare that with the size of the entire currently
activated National Guard, Air National Guard, Marine Corp Reserves, Navy
Reserves, Air Force Reserves and Army Reserves at 196 thousand. That is
equivalent to saying we have a 25% shortfall in the 'natural' levels of
personnel available for deployment and support from those services. Mostly
in the Army Reserves and National Guard (165 thousand of the total).

Once a dam fills, river flow returns to its natural rate on average. There is
evidence that this is beginning to occur as the repeatedly extended tours
in Iraq are beginning to end and the first major wave of National Guard
and Reservists return to the US in the next few months. As much as 20% of
National Guard returning from Iraq have indicated they intend to leave the

Lastly, the military has had recruitment and retention boosted by a
persistently abysmal job market for the last 3 years. If the jobs market
does substantially improve in the next few month, the US Government
could find itself in the position of losing many people to the improving
private sector at precisely the moment it needs to boost retention and
recruitment. Bush might be forced into the formal moves towards
instituting a draft just as he winds into the home stretch of the
US Presidential election.

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Ticking me off [Oct. 4th, 2003|09:16 am]
[mood |aggravatedaggravated]

artemii reposted a long article claiming to show how Amina Lawal wasn't really at risk of being stoned because it was inevitable that the civil court system in Nigeria would overturn the sentence as against Nigerian federal law.

I remembered having seen articles that showed that followers of Sharia law often ignore civil court ruling overturning death sentences and even rush executions to beat the courts to the punch. I quote:

Pakistan introduced the so-called Hadood Ordinance, which punishes adultery with death by stoning, in 1979. In accordance with this law, Zafran Bibi was sentenced to death by stoning on 17 April 2002. However, she was acquitted by the appellate Federal Shariat Court on 6 June 2002."

This kind of rush to beat the court was a substantial fear by many international human rights groups who feared that if the Sharia appeal had failed, a rush to carry out the execution before the civil court could overturn the sentence would occur.

That was what I wanted to post as a comment to artimii's post. But I couldn't because they've turned off comment posting for everyone but their friends.

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