Posted in history, Personal

Retirement — lingering thoughts.

I’m setting here debugging a SQL query from one of the people here, and thinking about my last full day at work before retirement, or what will pass for my retirement. I will be reducing my Career working hours to part time, so not a full retirement. This is not that I couldn’t give it up completely, it’s just that this is a lifeline in the off chance that I might go mad. But in my past, I have been in a quiescence where the boredom has sparked enlightened productivity. My two submissions to the DECUS program Libraries were the result of slow (bored) periods at work. And I have many thought projects, that when I feel the need to perform, will lift me.

But my real thoughts are about how fast I got here. Long ago, I knew that this day would arrive. Part of me believed that I wouldn’t make it this far. But in a flash it’s here. I have done many things, some that will never be done again by others, which makes them hard to share. Other lives I’ve lived are perhaps too personal to share. And due to my upbringing I have done most of these alone. I have never been a full time group member in anyone’s circle, and probably won’t ever be.

So if you are the least bit interested, ask, perhaps I’ll share a story or two (while making new ones in the future)

UPDATE: Well it’s been a year, and I’m done, Retired.

Posted in history, Mars, Science Fiction, Survival

Mars and the nature of Terminal Stupidity

One of my favorite Science Fiction writers Larry Niven put this into his notes in the back of a book a long time ago. And I paraphrase:

The two rules for survival are these:
1) Do not argue with a man holding a machine gun.
2) Do not stand next to a man arguing with a man holding a machine gun.

I have often applied these as “Don’t be terminally Stupid, and don’t be near anyone who is acting in a Terminally Stupid manner!

If anything could place Mars exploration in perspective it would be, Mars is mankind’s stepping away from someone who is acting in a Terminally stupid manner.

If mankind is in the midst of destroying the Earth, or making it uninhabitable, of if you have managed to observe an asteroid headed for Earth, don’t you think it might be time to stand in two places?

Time exercise plan 2; Step away from the guy arguing with the machine Gun, or climate change or asteroids?

We can do Mars!

Posted in history, IT Issues, Personal, Software

I.T. as street vendors

Yesterday while talking with a colleague, I was trying to get a cross the idea the most ‘programmers’ don’t understand what goes on inside a computer. And his response was, “Does it matter any more?” and while it took me back, I had to respond, “No!”  After sleeping on it, I came to a revelation of sorts.

Current IT is equivalent to being a Hot-dog vendor on the street.

And while we IT/CS folk might try and elevate our profession to that status of demigod status we are merely vendors of what the computer can DO!‘  We don’t create the computer, we splash condiments on the hot-dog, and sell it as computing.  We don’t even make the condiments anymore, call them libraries, functions written by gnomes in dark caves.  And don’t even mention the buns, the dressing ,the cover, beyond us.

In the early days of computing, the common question was, what do I use my computer for. And the first answer often was, you could put your cooking recipes in it.  Creating the first cookbook you needed to plugin. The computer is still the same, just that the cookbook has gotten more sophisticated.

I have harped for years that the ‘hardware’ of computing has crippled real advances in computing, more and more systems are opting for generic in their selection of Hot-dog instead, choosing to dress it up with more and intriguing spices and toppings, things like AI and Neural Networks.  While these latter are more sophisticated and sexy, they are more or less toppings on the same Hot-dog.

Posted in Cloud, history, Internet, Networks

The Expenditure of TCPv4

While working on an TCP/IP problem today, I was finally struck by the fact that we have for all intents and purposes expended the entire TCPv4 addressing space. I knew it was coming, years ago, but now while testing IP addresses, it dawned on me.

You can now pick any arbitrary set of numbers nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn and expect a response. Ping them, probe them, something will be there, or it’s being held. All gone, this is the equivalent of spitting in the middle of an ocean while swimming,  you are going to hit ocean.

4,294,967,296 (232) addresses gone, 4 Billion addresses in use…..

Posted in history, Software

MicroSoft Weasel Words

The boys at the office have been experimenting with Redis at the office however the server they were using was a Windows Server, and therefore the Redis database was running on Windows. So I took a look at the ‘release notes’ from Microsoft and their ‘Lawyer Speak’ was all over it.


MSOpenTech™ Redis on Windows

We strive to have a stable, functionally equivalent and comparably performing version of Redis on Windows. We have achieved performance nearly identical to the POSIX version running head-to-head on identical hardware across the network. Aside from feature differences that help Redis take advantage of the Windows infrastructure, our version of Redis should work in most situations with the identical setup and configuration that one would use on a POSIX operating system.

Having seen this type of language from Microsoft before, in ‘Open’ products like LDAP and ODBC where Microsoft would alter the implementation specification standards to suit themselves, I am wholly obliged to translate their opening paragraph into English for those who don’t ‘get it’. The paragraph should read as follows:

Microsoft’s Proprietary version of Redis for Windows
We have not managed to achieve a stable, functional equivalent or comparably performing version of Redis on Windows yet. We have managed to produce performance almost as good as a POSIX version running head-to-head on identically throttled networks connections. Aside from the changes we had to make to enable it to work within a Windows infrastructure, our version of Redis (using a Microsoft infrastructure) could almost perform using a setup and configuration that looks like a Posix operating system.

Reads a bit differently doesn’t it.

I have warned the developers here not to implement a production system based upon Microsoft’s version of Redis. I do not have anything against Redis, just the dark hole MS expects developers to jump into again.