Antediluvian Amerika

Off to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill this mawning. Good provendering. Good conversation over the Sowth’s archetypical “daily bread”. And then I came home to find this cartoon [Link]

and my first thought was that this organization is still trying to get by with Winders.

FOSS First! Hammers that don’t bend around the nail. Pipes that flow. And boot times less than the time for light to get to Tellus from Ares.

Or Visa Versa!

Climate Change?????

Rather much has been made about the Zucker gracing the National Council of Thieves with his presence. [Link] I have to admit to having actually watched a minuscule bit of the affair on the electromagnetic receiver and I noted two things:

This affair set a record for a gawky guy’s uncomfortableness in n obviously overpriced and incompetently fitted suit; and

a record for the number of people in a room who enjoy wide public confidence and are as ignorant as slime is of itself.

Nonetheless, I have to agree with the article that two things are in the wind. What I think they miss will be the bulk of my blottage.

First, FaceScroll needs regulation. That may be but what hasn’t been addressed is who will administer the regulatory activity? Consider how poorly the Yankee Guvmint regulates (as an egregious example) the money capitalist organizations. Now part of this is political treason on the part of politicians of both partei flavor but most of the ineptitude is due to the inadequate skills in the guvmint, especially since the politicians got mean about their war on civil servants.

This vector goes very deep if we think about who in guvmint is going to regulate FaceScroll. My guess is that the best pick would be the NSA. The problem is that while NSA understands the surveillance aspects, they are probably as empty of capability as the rest of the guvmint when it comes to the psychological side of Face Scroll. 

So the question is, who does the administration of the regulation? I suspect most agencies will be savvy enough to keep low because anyone who gets the rose will end up smelling of Sty.

Second, FaceScroll is too big. This is a similar problem. How do you partition FaceScroll? Based on the geography of the members: Yankees can’t associate with Confeds? Based on Gender: boys can’t associate with girls? Maybe… Based on age: ORFs can’t associate with Millenials? 

So the second question is, how do you reduce it? Without, pissing off everyone and making this an issue for the next general election?

The fact is that FaceScroll is a manifestation of the electronic revolution that started at the beginning of the last century with radio and such. Society has lagged a bit, but not as much as government. We now have a world wide web that isn’t world wide but wherever it is, everyone with a minimal amount of coin is a member, a citizen, if you will, and they are prepared to ignore what they ain’t interested in or don’t like but will take swift revenge to anyone who degrades their access and citizenship.

The Council of Theives, of course, is very good at denying and ignoring climate change but this is a form that they may suffer from robustly.

Belly Ripping

Yesterday, I attended the March meeting of the Marshall County Linux SIG. One of the ad hoc topics of discussion was how Mozilla is killing itself. Then at gym this morning I listened to a (somewhat dated) episode of the “Destination Linux” podcast where the talkers said much the same thing.

What Mozilla is basically doing is emulating MegaHard – and maybe Canonical. 

It may be recalled that MegaHard adopted a tile GUI in W8 and promptly began to lose users. It is still using albeit at a lower rate indicating how much of the Winders user base really is asentient and aintelligent. What is relevant here is that they did it to themselves. Ostensibly the reason was convergence (which is what got Canonical into the methane bog,) but actually it was stupidity. After you spend umpteen years with a desktop format and then suddenly change it, with it advertised to love it or leave it, you are gonna get lots of leaves. The only stopgap has been drastic changes to the look-and-feel,

Canonical did the same thing when they rolled out Unity, which was also a tile GUI. The only salvation was that there were other GUI choices, supposedly much against the desires of Canonical management.

Now Mozilla has built a FireFox, and is building a Thunderbird, that don’t work with add-ins. So all the folks who treasure the add-ins above FF itself are leaving to either a FF fork or to a Chrome family member. 

Never underestimate the stupidity of management. Even in IT. 

Linux Failure

Don’t get me wrong. Linux is 100 dB better than Winders and probably 10 dB better than Apple’s OS, but because of the large number of distributions some are better than others.

And some are just flat Stercus.

Case in point: I ran across an article [Link]

“Warning: 14.04 LTS to 16.04 LTS upgrades are problematic, and should not be attempted by the average user. Please install a fresh copy of 16.04.4 instead. To prevent messages about upgrading, change Prompt=lts with Prompt=normal or Prompt=never in the /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades file. As always, make a thorough backup of your data before upgrading.”

Basically, this says that a version upgrade of this distribution from 14.04 to 16.04 will trash the OS, so you may as well nuke and pave.

Because that’s what you will have to do if you try to upgrade.

I’m not going to name the distro. But it’s usually #2 in popularity. It used to be #1 but the status corrupted the mentation of the management and the distro rotted.

I used to use this distro. But stercus like this prompted me to abandon it.

Linux may be FREE but that doesn’t mean it has to be excretement.

Hubris Natter

I have had to spend TOO much time lately with Medicalists and Toothists. It’s one of those stochastic condensation things, not – per se – due to physiological failure. But I do have a bit of a grouch to express.

Why is it that all of the dentists are able to send me .ICS files and I can confirm my appointment by handshake and none of the physicians are able to? All of the physicians have humans – at least these do – call. So why? 

I don’t think it is any humanitarian thing.

My conjecture is that dentists are more technology savvy but I can’t elaborate how. 

But it is a bit of a mind hemorrhoid. 

The dentists send me a file that conveys all the information to my calendar client. And the confirmation is either by pinging my calendar or a web pulse.

The physicians demand I remember all the data, they get huffy if I have to write it down and make them slow down, and it’s a pain. Because I have to hand enter the data in the calendar and I have to call back if I’m OOA.

 

Swiss Cheese IT

Intriguing week. Lots of confusion and strife. Had to motor into Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill Wednesday for a gum inspection. Two weeks early. Not bad but draining with the uncertainty going in.

Then on Thursday I had to motor to Guntersville to help a colleague install Linux Mint on an old (relatively) W7 lapbox. Which turned out to be severly whacked by its Windows install and had to be given religionist internment.

Did I mention the box was made by HP? Sad. Used to be a good company when I was in college. Stercus now.

After the debacle we shared our experiences with IT staffers over a mediocre cup of coffee distilate. I won’t mention the location since coffee distillate isn’t part of their mission.

Then today, at gym, I listened to an episode of Linux Links podcast. On this, the part I listened to this morning – the rest tomorrow afternoon (I do hate the religionist discrimination the gym management practices!) – the four talkers held a telecon with some young woman who was a Freshman in college studying Computer Science. This conversation – and the discussion Thursday – reminded me of a couple of things

  1. Computer Science folks can’t do Nerd computing.
  2. If you have to tell me your discipline is a science, then it isn’t.

I have visited the latter several times previously and won’t elaborate much on the matter. Computer Science is considered to be a STEM discipline but too many of the folks who study it are not nerds. They’re geeks. They collect stuff mostly, and do sometimes. But mostly in inordinately well defined environments.

Take the physical universe. The only manuals we have for it are the ones we have written for ourselves. (And, NO, religionist books are not manuals!)

Take the biological universe. The only manuals we have for it are the ones we have written for ourselves.

Take the computer universe (relatively speaking.) All the manuals we have for it are how the universe was made. In effect, Computer Science guys are gods because the create their stuff from the physical and biological and social universes. 

So why do they have such problems? If you ask, they will tell you it’s because of all the people who aren’t IT and the IT folk who are idiots and sociopaths. The latter usually being everyone but the individual and his (very few her – mostly because of good sense) drinking buddies. 

Did I mention that this is a construct of MegaHard and Forbidden Fruit attitudes towards computing? The more serf-like the users, the better. Especially management, who is seen as the great evil because they never make the IT budget large enough. 

But all the wiring diagrams of their universe are there from the get-go.

What does this have to do with nerd computing? Well, nerd computing is different from everybody else’s. Most people do browsing and spreadsheeting and word processing and maybe a bit of databasing. Nerds write computer programs, something that only IT folk are supposed to do. But the Nerds use languages that the IT folk don’t know and, in most cases, can’t learn very well. 

Say FORTRAN to a young IT person and they’ll have to go into psychiatric analysis. And that’s what all the supercomputers are programmed with.

Nerds also want to attach computers to things they have built for themselves, like spectrometers and particle accelerators. IT folks mostly can’t make stuff but they can – sorta – repair what they have. At least if it can be repaired. Only the minority of IT folks can design IT stuff. 

IT folks claim that IT is a profession. No argument, if profession means a body of knowledge that you get paid to know and use. 

So what is NERD computer programming? For example, a simulation of the formation of the universe? Can IT guys do this. Unless they’re the rare ones who are NERDs, they can’t. Generally only NERDs can do NERD programming. And that really bugs IT folks. Because it’s a knowledge hole in their domain.

The good news is that some of them can learn it. If they are taught by NERDs. Unfortunately, if they are, they too become NERDs and can’t be “real” IT folk any more. 

Sleeping with the Enemy.

And I need to reveal a big secret. The NERDs are happy with this. Because they want someone else to do all the scut work on the Internet. NERDs don’t mow grass. Not because they can’t but because after the first time it’s a waste of time. 

And I ain’t even gonna mention Quantum Computers. 

OS Schule

Five Day. End of Week In. Cleaning up a bit around the Crunch Corner. 

One of the articles [Link] waiting for reading was entitled “5 of the Best Linux Distros in 2017” and after reading it I had occasion to contemplate how I grade OS.

First of all, are they available live? That is, can I burn the OS on a DVD or USB stick and boot the computer to try the OS? If not, they grade out F–

Note that this fails both Winders and the Apple OS. They are in the buy-then-try category. And they’re the primary reason Linux exists with this and other crippling defects (like inbred susceptibility to digital cancers.)

My father had a quite narrow foot – 12AA with an AAAA heel. When he was bored on TDY he would go into shoe stores and ask to try on shoes, saying he needed several pairs. Then the clerk would have to own up to having no shoes in the store that would fit him, thus no sale and no commission for the clerk.

That was a long time ago when one could actually buy shoes that fit instead of the gunboats of today.

My similar activity is to go into a computer selling store and ask how much a computer is without Winders. When the clerk gets obnoxious, I ask for the manager’s name and social security number so I can report them for legal violations. 

If the OS boots but can’t work with the WiFi adapter and the video card in the box, then they grade out F. The article I mentioned about included two OS I tried this week: Debian 9 and Solus. Both failed this test. Yes, they could talk to the monitor but neither one could talk to the WiFi stick. 

If the OS gets a passing grade, and I like how it feels, then I install it on my test box. Then I test it for a while. The tests are fairly broad. For example, I try to see how much it degrades over time. This is where Ubuntu fails. Their LTS releases are 24 months apart but the probability of failure at 18 months is O(50%). So Ubuntu (and its clones) only gets put on machines with constipated UEFI that lock up when Secure Boot is disabled. So far the only boxes I have found with this flaw were made by HP. 

Right now I am mulling SNAPs and FLAT PACKS. At the moment I am negative, mostly due to their overhead and the state of ISPism in the hinterland. I have mentioned earlier that in the summer – when the bairns are unleashed from schule – I have to do updates at night because they – the bairns – hawg the bandwidth so much. The problem is that most of Amerika, outside the megametropolises, has stercus for bandwidth. All courtesy of capitalists, of course.

So why do I want a software store that offers me no bandwidth benefit if I have the OS installed? That’s the question no one seems to want to address, much less answer. Most of my updates are a few Mb. Most of the new programs I add, even with additional supporting SW, are a few MB. So why do I want those to climb to Gb? Odor of rattus.