Thursday, 22 October 2015

By on October 22nd, 2015 in personal, prepping

08:37 – Thanks to everyone who sent me copies of One Year After. I started reading it last night after Barbara went back to bed, and got through the first third or so before I decided to call it a night. In the front matter, Forstchen seems to be taking credit with faint disclaimers for the rise of the prepping phenomenon. In reality, his 2009 book One Second After was very late to the party. For that matter, the LDS Church was late to the party, and that was a hundred years before Forstchen was born. Even the Tudor Monastery Farm series we watched a few days ago was about people who were late to the prepping party, and that was 500 years ago. The reality is that people have been prepping ever since there have been people, more than a thousand millennia ago. Forstchen noticed only a decade or so ago.

We made up another batch of no-knead bread dough after lunch yesterday. It rose overnight to about twice its initial size and will go into the oven shortly. The recipe couldn’t be much simpler: six cups of white flour (actually, 840 grams because I use mass instead of volume measure), two teaspoons of salt, two teaspoons of yeast, and 3 cups of water. That’s sufficient to make two standard loaves of about one pound each. We’ll eat some tonight with dinner and freeze the rest.

We changed the baking method. In the past, we covered the metal pans with aluminum foil, baked at 450F (232C) for 30 minutes, removed the foil, and continued baking for 15 minutes to brown the top crust. This time, we’re baking the loaves uncovered in silicone pans for an hour at only 350F (177C). If it turns out badly, it’s no great loss. Experimenting with recipes is a good thing.

I’d like to be able to bake two of these loaves every day for a year, so I’ll need about 700 pounds of flour, plus the yeast and salt. At about four calories per gram of flour, two loaves per day is roughly 3,400 calories/day, which should suffice for two people if they’re depending on that bread for roughly 70% of their overall nutrition, four people if the bread is to provide roughly a third of their overall nutrition, and six or eight people if bread (and pancakes) is to make up only a small part of their overall nutrition, supplemented by pasta, rice, potatoes, and so on. That 700 pounds is fourteen 50-pound bags–roughly $225 worth–which can be repackaged in PET bottles or foil-laminate Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, which should keep it good for 10 years or more. As I mentioned before, I’ll store mostly white bread flour, which is high in gluten (protein) and can be used to make just about anything you’d want to make with flour.

64 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 22 October 2015"

  1. OFD says:

    You might try baking the bread with a small pan of water underneath the loaf pans in the oven. Also, add chopped veggies or fruit to it, maybe bacon, cheese, etc.

    How many bottles or bags for a 50-pound bag of flour?

  2. JimL says:

    I love fresh bread, and have been making my own off & on for many years.

    What does the pan of water do? Never heard of it.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    We’re trying to dry the loaf during baking. At 1.5 cups of water per load, the dough is extremely wet. That’s the price you pay for no-knead, as the wet dough allows the gluten to arrange itself in the dough without kneading. What we hope to accomplish by baking the loaves uncovered is drying out the final loaves a bit. We just took them out of the oven, and they look pretty good. They’re sitting on a rack right now to cool down, and perhaps dry out a bit more.

    As to number of containers per 50-pound bag, it varies by (of course) the size of the container, the type of flour, how well you can get it settled in the container, and so on. We use one-gallon Mylar bags and/or one-gallon PET bottles that Costco sells water in. You should be able to fit roughly 6.5 pounds in a one-gallon container, so call it 7 or 8 containers per 50-pound bag.

    Incidentally, those water bottle are tough to get completely dry just by letting them air out. It’s much faster to dry a couple pounds of rice in the oven on low heat, pour it into a bottle, shake it around, and pour it out. You can use the same rice to dry quite a few bottles before you need to re-dry it in the oven. Then you can either dry it again and store it for later use or just have it for dinner.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The water produces steam, which gives you a crustier crust.

  5. OFD says:

    The wotta creates a bit of steam and helps to build a nice crust on the bread, sort of a work-around when one does not have a regular pro baker’s oven to make, say, a French baguette at 500+ degrees. Also good for pizza crusts; we’ve used a pizza stone for years to make that and loaves of bread.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, you can also add a couple tablespoons of vinegar to the dough. That acts as both a dough enhancer and a preservative. Loaves still won’t last nearly as long as commercial bread, but the vinegar allows them to keep for an extra day or so without getting too stale.

  7. OFD says:

    “You should be able to fit roughly 6.5 pounds in a one-gallon container, so call it 7 or 8 containers per 50-pound bag.”

    So 700 pounds of flour would be in roughly 120 bottles or Mylar bags. Just trying to figure our limited space in the cellar…and we have the capability to bake bread here without electricity or gas. I’d certainly consider varying those two loaves of bread per day, though, with other types of loaves, and adding various ingredients, say, fruit for a breakfast or dessert loaf, and veggies/meat for other meals.

    Wow, back to strong winds again today here, blowing all them orange, red and yellow leaves all over the place. Mulching and compost operations to commence shortly.

    And off to another vet group meeting down at the VA site in Burlap; never a dull moment.

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Oh, yeah, that 700 pounds of flour is just bulk raw material. We’d use it for bread and other baked goods, pancakes, and so on. If you’re shooting for a one-year LTS food supply, 700 pounds total of grains is enough for two people. In that total, you can include not just flour, but pasta, rice, potatoes, oats, etc. also count towards the total. That’s roughly 1,700 calories/day for two people, which is half to two-thirds of the total nutrition necessary. More for us older people. Add in some beans, oil, and salt, and you have a very good foundation.

  9. Chuck W. says:

    I will be interested to hear how storing 700 pounds of grain and not using it right away, goes with worms and weevils. There was a bakery in the family a couple decades back, and bugs in the grain inventory was a problem even when the supply was used up in a matter of weeks.

  10. brad says:

    Funny, I understand the water-trick a bit differently. As I understand (understood?) it, it *prevents* a crust from forming, allowing the bread to rise more initially. Afterwards, you may get a better crust, but that’s only because the bread is less dense, and heat no longer conducts as well from the outside inwards. In fact, if this is correct, there would be an argument for removing the water and venting the steam about halfway through baking.

    But I may be confused. Wouldn’t be the first (or millionth) time…

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Re: worms and weevils

    That’s what the oxygen absorbers are for. They can’t hatch, grow, or live in the absence of oxygen.

  12. Lynn says:

    “Huge ‘Spooky’ Asteroid Set to Fly Uncomfortably Close to Earth”,2817,2493592,00.asp

    “Okay, don’t freak out, but a stadium-sized asteroid will fly in nearly as close as the moon this Halloween. The fairly massive Asteroid 2015 TB145 (nicknamed “Spooky”), which orbits the sun every three years, was—terrifyingly—only discovered on October 10, but NASA assures us that the Earth is totally in the clear.”

    “As a point of cosmic comparison, the incoming hunk of rock (estimated to be between 950 to 2,130 feet across) is far smaller than the estimated 6-mile long rock that evaporated the dinos. However, it is potentially far larger than the space pebble that caused the 1908 “Tunguska event,” which is estimated to have been 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.”

    We are all going to die.

  13. Ray Thompson says:

    We are all going to die.

    Indeed. In the overall scheme of things, regardless of the length of your timeline, the result is always 100% fatal.

  14. nick says:

    Ah, good to be home.

    Big monitors, full size keyboard.

    Took a short family vacation to the land of the mouse in Fla.

    Some observations.

    Regarding prepping/CHL/being in the wrong place when it happens:

    Last trip to central Fla, I had a local contact (EMgmt pro) with well stocked family, fully tooled up, in the area. This time, I would be on my own, with my dependents, and other family, including elderly. So I was planning to carry on this trip, at least to take it with me. I went as far as purchasing a smaller security container (MicroVault.) Reciprocity would cover me, and the mouse says “no” but doesn’t take any real measures to prevent carry. More on that later. Unfortunately, spouse had made luggage arrangements that would have my bags out of my control and handled and stored by locals for a significant amount of time. At the last minute, after much soul searching, I took the hardware out of my bag. I am familiar with mouse security efforts, esp. those that take place behind the scenes, so I have a higher comfort level with outsourcing my personal safety to them. They have a LOT to lose if they get it wrong. Since we were not visiting other parks, I decided that I could live without, as long as nothing happened that would result in a long overland trek home, which is not really an option given the others on this trip anyway.

    BOB/GHB/etc– I’ve posted before that when traveling by air and with family, your carry bag should be focused on the most likely threats, so that’s what I did. No hatchet or fire starter sticks, but extra food bars, meds, change of clothes, upgraded med kit (blowout kit from range bag, plus ‘boo boo’ kit.) I did add some PMs (Au) in 1/10th and 1/4s to my normal ‘snivel kit.’ Of course, I had a couple hundred bucks in cash too. Checked bag got the multitool, extra knives, IFAK, compass, heavy duty meds, etc. I did switch to a backpack, and added a lightweight rain jacket, instead of my normal messenger bag so I’d have better mobility. (side note, lots of 5.11 and maxpedition .mil style backpacks in the airport, lots of molle. given the fitness levels of the folks carrying them, only a few were possibly active duty, everyone else was just flying a flag, or saying ‘shoot me first’.) Wife was carrying the normal ‘kid support’ bag with added food, wipes, clothes, etc. Side note, TSA now allows scissors with less than 2 inch blades, so my trauma shears stayed in my blowout kit. No problems at checkpoints.

    TSA– if you can get on the pre-Check list, it makes things almost like pre-911. Leave shoes on, bags packed, belts and light jackets on, etc. Carrying a small child (not an option for all) will keep you out of the naked scanner without having to “opt out” and submit to a groping. Our liquids and meds went thru without declaring, or so much as a peep out of TSA. Orlando airport security is a nightmare wait if you aren’t pre-Check, or don’t have elite status. Plan for it.

    Mouse security– like every public venue, they have a bag check on entry. This is mostly for show, but also limits any sort of boston b omber style attack. LIMITS, doesn’t prevent. There is no search of your person, not even a “lift your shirt and turn around.” This works well for CHL holders, as you simply walk in. I did get called out for a bulge under my shirt as I went thru the “no bags” line at one park. I had a camera case on my belt. They wanted to see it, and inside it. The “Sneaky Pete” holster is not gonna pass. Lesson learned, carry a bag for them to look into (ignoring you), or tuck shirt behind camera bag so they can see and discount it. In other words, give them something to look at, and they won’t look further. DON’T carry a knife clipped to your pocket. They have an internal 3″ allowable length. Much easier to just clip inside waistband, or just carry in your pocket. Again, their search policy is laughable from a true security perspective, as you can carry your big ass knife, if it isn’t visible. This led to a nice teachable moment on security and safety with my BIL. Unless you are willing to do at least airport level security, you won’t and can’t control what comes in. Which is why I wanted to carry. What their system DOES do is prevent someone from just carrying in a backpack b omb and leaving it somewhere. That has to be one of their top fears. It wouldn’t stop a vest, but those folks are fewer and farther between. The one on one attacks with hand weapons are getting more frequent world wide, but their impact is MUCH less than any bomb attack, no matter how small. And all the searches are beside the point as their real security lies elsewhere. There were at least two layers backing up the searches that I noticed. There are a LOT of watchers. There are a LOT of backups inside too. ANYTHING unusual gets a look, and if you want to play ‘spot the Fed’ mouse style, look around when voices get raised. They will usually already be in place to intervene if needed. There is a lot of backstage security too that you won’t see without looking, and then you will see embassy or base level physical security. Anyway, I feel much safer there than anywhere else, so I didn’t carry (other than knives.) After carrying all the time, I was constantly noticing what I DIDN’T have with me, and I noticed that I would really like an even smaller carry choice for those super non-permissive environments. I will reevaluate my carry decision next trip, and I’m glad to have the practice run under my belt.

    Home– garden is doing well. Seeds have sprouted in the back bed, transplants are all still alive in the other 2 beds. Plants in the ‘window boxes’ are growing. Hopefully, the additional compost will make the difference this fall. (I’m getting pretty high germination rates on the seeds. I didn’t plant anything this fall that was more than a year or 2 old, and I’m getting almost full germination as far as I can tell. No special effort at storage either. For laughs science, I think I’ll put some 10 yr plus seeds in pots to see if any will sprout. I have some I got at a sale for free…

    Gotta get at least 2 more, if not 4 more ‘window boxes’ up with radishes, turnips, and maybe some more beets. Got a big list of honey do, and my list of stuff still to do too. Busy weekend ahead!

    good to be back,


  15. nick says:

    So the Ebola nurse in the UK is improving, and we get this detail:

    ‘This is the original Ebola virus that she had many months ago,which has been lying inside the brain, replicating at a very low level probably, and has now re-emerged to cause this clinical illness of meningitis. And this is obviously a serious thing.’

    Read more:

    So NOT just eyes, sex organs, but brains too. This thing is REALLY good at hiding and waiting if it doesn’t get you on the first go round.


  16. Chuck W. says:

    It was a chain reaction of cancellations this week, and I am off again today. It has worked out fine, however, as it gave me extra sleep time, so I feel just about fully recovered from the cold symptoms that started early in the week. Should be fine for back-to-work tomorrow. That gives me time to write up my Linux experience to catch up from where I left off earlier in the year.

    The 9 year-old dual-core Asus laptop (Bianca—all our family computers are named after Edward DeVere characters from an idea my son had while in middle school) which computer was my only one for most of my time in Germany, died last week. I have had a newer Asus Zenbook (Tamora—laptops are girls, desktops are boys) for almost 2 years, but only got Linux working on it acceptably in May 2014, so it has been just over a year that I have been fully on Linux. I am 100% satisfied with Linux capabilities. Libre Office solved my next-to-last problem by opening Microsoft Publisher files (Microsoft does not even distribute Publisher anymore, so this is a bonus of being in Linux). The only thing I need Windows for, is at tax time, and maybe I will try to using a VM in Linux for Windows and the tax software. The transition took time, but is complete—-just in time for Bianca to fail.

    There might be painless Linux distro’s out there, but Red Hat derivatives, Ubuntu, and Mint ain’t among the painless. I might try Debian 8 next. If you do anything more than email and web browsing—especially anything with audio or video,—you are going to be learning stuff you never needed to know in Windows. The worst of it, is that documentation for Linux is so sparse that—unless you can examine the code for yourself,—you will not be learning much about how it all interfaces. Pulse and ALSA are a good example. Lots of the uninitiated suggest killing off Pulse altogether. But the fact is that ALSA now has hooks in it that depend on Pulse being there. They are intertwined, and unless you are solely using a soundcard that is separate from the motherboard sound, and using the computer for one and only one sound application alone, you will never get audio from everything without Pulse running. Trust me. Some applications running audio cannot even be made to feed ALSA—only Pulse, which then feeds it to ALSA. But how Pulse and ALSA are hooked together is a mystery only the developers and good code readers really understand. And they do not share the how—only that they are inextricably married.

    The Zenbook came with Win8, which was intolerable at the time. I guess I could have upgraded, but I am happy with Linux and need it anyway for the radio automation software. Mint, however, is probably going to have to go. Unfortunately, development on Mint has slowed to a crawl. I am on Mint 17 (no .x), having upgraded from Mint 15, which was not an LTS release, thus the reason for my wait on the late-to-the-scene Mint 17 release before switching fully from Windows to Linux. Unfortunately, it turns out that 17 was a ‘reinvent the wheel’ release, and nothing works as well as it did in 15. Nothing!—especially the file manager, Nemo, and networking. The ability to rearrange the order of items in the taskbar has also gone wonky recently. Plus, there is no upgrade path for Mint except a bare metal reinstall. And I will never remember everything I did to get 17 to work. It included some obscure things that allowed me to have European ISO week numbers, the Monday through Sunday Christian calendar, instead of the Jewish-American Sunday through Saturday week, and some fixes to how Americans calculate weeks and days in a year (which is mathematically incorrect in the American Mint distro), that I never documented.

    Evolution for Mint is now many generations behind, and there is an outcry from users because Google has changed the authentication for the Contact list, and Evo for Mint will no longer sign on to the Google Contact list. One has to download the contact list using the web browser interface to Google, and then import it into Evo, which subsequently makes that list static, not seeing any new contacts you add. Red Hat derivatives are far ahead of Mint and have access to the differently-authenticated Google Contact list protocol in the most recent versions of Evo. Google is about to change authentication for Google calendar, and when that happens, Mint is outta here on my machine. I gotta have that Google calendar; the whole family uses it interactively.

    BTW, I am using Google Keep for task lists at present, including the grocery list, which I can enter on the PC and see on the Android in the store. Keep supports labels, and since—even in the paper calendar days—I kept separate TBD lists for each project I worked on, Keep can be made to work the same way, with a different label for each project. Never could get Evo’s task list to mate with Google’s, which it is supposed to, but I suspect at the core, Mint is at fault. But Keep is superior to using the Google task list with Evo. My choice of Mint was solely due to the Cinnamon desktop, which is a wonderful and natural evolution of the XP desktop, that did not need any of the reinventing M$ tried and failed at. With Keep, I have now ditched the binder I have used since high school for my calendar and project lists, and everything is now on the computer or phone. Which is better, because I was sometimes without the calendar, but I am never without the phone.

    Speaking of reinventing the wheel, Google has done that with Android, as my Galaxy S6 Edge operates radically different from the S3. There is TONS of crapware on it, which cannot be removed—only “disabled”, which does not give back memory, and—in the S6,—memory cannot be increased as with former Galaxy models, and is actually less memory than the basic amount in all previous Galaxies since the S3. No SD card and no replaceable battery in the S6, either. There is nothing I interface with in life that is getting better. But I’ll be sparing you the stories for lack of time to tell them.

    As things have worked out, the death of Bianca (video channel failure—ATI Radeon) leaves me with no spare computer in Tiny House. It will now be a priority to deal with that. I was using Bianca solely as a server for older files, and as a spare second computer to look up stuff when I was struggling to get Linux to work; she was fully backed up, but now I have the chore of actually transferring all that data from Bianca’s hard drive to Tamora’s. Thank goodness for rsync. Only problem is that—in the mess of renovation here—I cannot locate the SATA plug of the USB adapter for 2.5 drives. How it got separated from that universal plug block at the other end from the USB plug, I may never know. I hate having to buy something again that I KNOW I already have—somewhere.

    So bottom line is that Mint’s days in my house are numbered. Too bad—-it started out as a better alternative, but too many distro’s wear out the developers and progress grinds to a halt. I will also be playing with CentOS, as the Linux radio automation requires using CentOS (on which it is developed) to qualify for paid support. The developers will not support problems on any other OS, even though a French outfit provides repositories configured for Debian and Ubuntu derivatives.

    Unfortunately, I have a list of things not working on the Subaru Outback. Key issue is that the remote start does not work. It steps through the whole process of beeping, horn-honking, lights flashing with each press of the button sequence, but the last step does not start the engine as it is supposed to. Top of the line trim on this car—the only option it does not have is the radar speedup/slowdown/auto emergency accident-avoidance braking, and the self-parking trick. Even the cheapest Chevy’s I have rented recently had working remote start. The cheap Chevy also had auto-sensing windshield wipers, which this Subaru lacks, and the auto radio volume control that increases/decreases with speed, as that is also non-existent on the Subaru. The auto-dimming inside rear view mirror does absolutely nothing. The automatic seat memory adjustment also refuses to readjust. It worked when I first got the car, but not now—that I am approaching 6,000 miles and the first maintenance service.

    BTW, this car has the black box that sends back info continuously to somebody on my GPS position and tracks me. It also continuously records my speed, G-forces in accelerating, braking, and turning, whether I used the brake immediately before an accident, and I suppose other stuff, and they state in the manual and on the purchase contract I signed, that in the event of an accident, Subaru will share that information with law enforcement and courts.

    Moreover, it is terrible to pay such money and have a GPS system that I am sure cost hundreds, but my $45 portable reconditioned Garmin is more flexible and gives better warnings and instructions. The Garmin also alerts me to detours and slowdowns, which the Harman-Kardon is supposed to do, but doesn’t. The Harman-Kardon constantly warns me of ‘traffic jam ahead’ but never has there been one. Ever. And, the Garmin will speak German, whereas the Harman-Kardon is English/Spanish only—not even French.

    Don’t get me wrong—there are lots of things to like about the car, but you know, how does a manufacturer produce cars for over 40 years in America and have so many things not work? I could have bought a BMW SUV for about the same price and if it were built in Germany, I guarantee you everything would work,—but alas, no all-wheel drive on the BMW SUV abailable here. Subaru was making all-wheel drive when I was in college, as my roommate had one in 1968. I figured with that many years experience, they ought to have it down pat by now. Guess I will find out when the snow finally flies. With streets and roads in Tiny Town never cleared before I have to use them (sometimes uncleared for days), I need that AWD. More than once I have been scared excrementally that I could not get down my street and out onto the Interstate to get to work on time (rock the car several times in the 3 block long street Tiny House lives on). Could I have trusted a BMW? One thing I know from first-hand experience: they do not get the snow over there in Deutschland that we do here in the heart of the Bible-banging belt, so I am reluctant to find out. Guy across the street with Subaru AWD says it will walk over anything. So my pants should be safe and dry this winter.

  17. OFD says:

    Hmmmm….I have Mint on one of the desktops here…may have to change that now, thanks to your new info; that machine is destined for attic workshop/radio shack stuff. But for firearms biz data, contacts, sites, email, etc., mostly. Gotta be reliable, with backups, natch. Second desktop is running RHEL 7 at present, which I like a lot, as I’ve been using it for online course work toward certs, but if I don’t get a decent interview and offer by year’s end, I’m giving up finally on finding any good IT work at my age. And I’ll probably put something else on there, like one of the Fedora spins. And the third desktop is this Winblows 8.1 machine, which has been running OK, not moving “up” to Windoze 10. It’ll probably stay as such, for the foreseeable few-chuh.

    One laptop running Fedora; an IdeaPad netbook running Santoku Linux, which wife has with her this week in Louisiana (because she can’t find her Windows 7 Ideapad netbook, again). And a big 17″ HP Workstation laptop running OpenBSD, for security stuff. All but the Windows box and the Kindle are going up to the attic pretty soon.

    As for vehicles in our northern winter? The Saab convertible is useless, of course, and stays in the driveway. The Toyota RAV4 has yet to get a good winta workout, as we didn’t get a whole lotta snow the last two winters here; plenty of bitter subzero cold, however, exacerbated by the Siberian winds off the two feet of lake ice a hundred feet away from our living room. I wanna get us an older model 4X pickup truck at some point, without all the pooter gizmos and gimcracks in it. That will be the main prepper vehicle and war wagon. Grimy looking farm truck, but with many surprises for the unwary.

    The Subaru AWD is the “unofficial state car” of Vermont, and the same reports have been rendered here for many years now on its winter and Mud Season capabilities. But I woulda got a much older model, again, without all the gimmickry that don’t work right or at all.

    “…Edward DeVere characters…”

    Wise guy, eh? The Stratfordians will have your head. They’re a bitter bunch, clinging to their Avon bard and scanty evidence….

  18. Rick H says:

    @Chuck_W (and any others here): How about an guest article for ? Even if it is about Linux (heh)…I’m open for anything that is written along the lines of “I did this so you don’t have to” .

    Anyone can contact me via the Contact form on .

  19. OFD says:

    “Obama picked the wrong side…”

    Interesting stuff from Dyson, thanks for the link!

    “…guest article for ? Even if it is about Linux (heh)…I’m open for anything that is written along the lines of “I did this so you don’t have to” .”

    Good idea, while keeping in mind that Mr. Chuck’s requirements are, if not entirely unique, somewhat out of the mainstream. Still, he ought to be able to expect stuff to “just work.” And he’s gone the extra mile trying to be a good Linux do-bee. RBT is another example; he runs his biz mostly on Linux and has for a long time, but he’s got more than enough on his plate. Actually Mr. Chuck has a lot on his plate, too.

    Mr. nick would also be a good source for this kinda material…

  20. SteveF says:

    “I did this so you don’t have to”

    Would that include, oh, just grabbing a few poor decisions out of the air, things like hilariously bad marriage choices?

  21. Marcelo says:

    I am surprised you seem to not have given OpenSUSE a go. You might even find some documentation in German there.

    I am a Windows guy but I long ago played with a few Linux distributions. I started with Debian but found it was just too inflexible – to the extent I never got it working- so I then tried a few Mandrake versions and that worked better until they ceased to exist. My final dabbling with Linux was with SUSE before OpenSUSE came about. I still have the 5 CDS for version 10.1. It was the easiest and most polished distribution I played with.

    It seems that they are adopting a nice policy on their distribution strategies now. See the following if you are hunting for alternatives.

  22. pcb_duffer says:

    I’ve been running OpenSuSE for some time on two machines in my house; one laptop & one desktop. They seem well behaved (I don’t think they’ve tried to conquer the world yet), but I’ll freely admit to not being an A/V wonk.

  23. OFD says:

    “…a few poor decisions out of the air, things like hilariously bad marriage choices?”

    Or signing up for military service or the cops. But I’m guessing they’d want more tech-oriented geek stuff for the stories.

    What Marcelo says; take a look at the current OpenSuse in its various flavors; made by GERMANS! I might look at it again myself for replacing the Mint box…hmmmm….

    And as Mr. pcb_duffer says, it may take some doing to get a Linux distro to do a bunch of A/V and radio stuff, but isn’t that also true for Windows? If CentOS can do a bunch of it, why not that or Scientific Linux?

  24. Chuck W. says:

    No, not true for Windows. Very, very few problems with video or audio in Windows. I just wish Linux had the talent M$ has had over the years in making things work. Just wait until you install something like Cinelerra for video editing on a Linux system, and you do not get sound out of it (or maybe into it). If one is not already familiar with all the config files, it will take hours of digging to find out where the error is. And where Debian puts files is massively different than where Red Hat distros and SuSE put them. It is a mess when there are the diversity of distros—unlike Windows, which has only one code base to deal with.

    The story behind SuSE is that the Rivendell open-source radio automation was built on it, until the Germans sold SuSE. Because of the sale to an owner who previously was very unfriendly to open-source and free as in beer, there was a MASSIVE exodus of developers from SuSE to CentOS—including the Rivendell project. Even if the worst fears have yet to materialize, it is too little, too late.

    As far as Linux in general goes, I tried it periodically for years, but it has only been since Ubuntu 11.10 around 2011 that a Linux distribution worked more-or-less flawlessly out of the box for me, and it was not until Ubuntu 14.04 LTS that I finally got Rivendell working fully. Ubuntu was an intolerably inflexible GUI at that time, and I ended up installing Mint 15 and got Rivendell working from Debian repositories, but waiting on Mint 17 LTS to really start working with it. In May 2014, I switched to Mint 17 as my main working machine, essentially abandoning Windows, and by the end of 2014 I had figured out how to interface the JACK audio routing software with Rivendell (no small challenge) and got it fully operational in March this year, and interfaced with Hans Zutphen’s Stereo Tool broadcast processor. My most recent settings for Stereo Tool v7.60 (he has made massive changes since then and I have not had the time to test it) are at

    Whatever comes after Mint will likely be my next journey, but I will not have anything useful on that for a while. It will not be SuSE as that is like an ex I will not be returning to. SuSE did not play well with my Dell hardware at the time I was trying it. If it will not work out of the box with Dell, then I have no business messing with it. Besides, Rivendell has moved to CentOS and we must be installed on CentOS to be qualified to get support from the developers.

    In what little spare moments there are, I am importing a second ~20,000 song tracks into the Rivendell software for the radio project. (With the help of my Linux-guru son, I imported a 30,000 track library of most of the Billboard top 30 from 1955 to 2009 back in February. Without his familiarity with the command line, I would never have been able to do that in the 6 days it took.) These new ones are the tracks that the station already has ripped in its library. However, there are hundreds and hundreds of untagged tracks—many with only the song title and no artist as the filename, or simply “track 04”. I am using Shazam to identify those, but there are a couple dozen already that even Shazam cannot identify. Tracks are in more-or-less alphabetical order by artist first name (it was a massive job using Puddletag to sort and move the tagged tracks to letter-named folders), so any later troubleshooting will hopefully be a bit easier. There are thousands of duplicates in that 20,000, and it is a manual process to sort the imported tracks, display by title, and delete the dupes, display by artist, and find there are even more dupes that I missed when sorted by title. I am lucky to get an hour a day to work on this, so my projection is that it will be year’s end before all the tracks are entered. I have to completely identify the untagged, and delete duplicates for each letter of the alphabet before moving to the next letter, because Rivendell assigns a new import to the first vacant cart number (the paradigm for all radio automation is the endless loop audio ‘cart’ that it used in the analog days from the early 1960’s until computers entered in the late 1990’s). Only by doing all the deleting as I go along, can I hope to keep the imported carts in some semblance of alphabetical progression as they are imported to sequential cart numbers.

    All the tagging errors originate because iTunes was chosen as the organizational and ripping tool at the outset. I’m sorry, but iTunes is pure, unconditional crap, as the work I have cut out correcting all the errors is massive. Apparently, iTunes is easy for the computer-addled and handicapped to use, however.

    After the imports, then comes the switch from Winamp to Rivendell, which will be a massive change for those currently operating the station. We’re going to have to have a Linux and networking IT person involved, because I am still not qualified to understand all the IP-designated innards that a networked Linux Rivendell installation requires. The bottom line is that Windows is for dummies, and Linux is for experts. But it pays in the long run. One guy on the Rivendell forum recently replaced a Rivendell playout computer that had been running 24/7 continuously for 8 years, and the reason the computer was changed, was that the studio was relocated, not that the system had troubles in any way.

    Meanwhile, Tamora has had Rivendell creating new logs daily on desktop 3, and playing those out 24/7 since 3 March without a hitch. Well, one hitch. In this business there is one rule: do not ever, EVER upgrade ANYTHING on a 24/7 ‘production’ machine. That accidentally happened a few weeks after I started the 24/7 playout because I had not ‘pinned’ the Rivendell repository to the installed version, and the fix was a nightmare, requiring reinstalling much of Mint because I accidentally wiped parts of it while trying to recover from the Rivendell upgrade error. I do have to say that I was able to restore Mint fully to operational without a reinstall, using only the command line (Cinnamon was dead), and it took less than a day for Linux illiterate me to do that. There is no way that would have been possible in Windows without a complete bare metal reinstall. Linux is work, but it is a fine, fine piece of work.

    Linux does suffer from something similar to Windows rot. Some of the updates are not well done, and old conflicting code is not wiped from the machine, and things occasionally get screwed up. Developer error, I am sure, but finally one has to deal with it. Usually, somebody else who is capable, has found the problem and posted the fix. I do continue to update Mint, but not Rivendell or any dependent piece of Rivendell, like Apache2 or MySQL.

  25. Chuck W. says:

    As far as jobs in IT, the people I know working in it to support educational institutions seem the happiest in their work. Good vacations, no weekends (on campuses, students do that), no unrealistic timetables forced on them, great bennies for IT who are considered crucial to their operations—more crucial than the teaching staff, actually.

    Ray probably has something to say about that, but I have gotten to know quite a few IT people in both government and education, and in both places, they are happy campers. (Well, the government is Fed, not local.)

  26. nick says:

    This popped up as a recommended “on sale” item on another prepper site:

    “You get our popular Super Survival Pack which features 18 heirloom vegetable varieties which will not cross pollinate in your garden. Also included in the Super Survival Pack are a pint each of Winter Rye and Hulless Oats.Our 4 Grain Collection is part of the Colossal Pack as well. In this you receive 4 types of grain in 3/4 pint to 1 pint pouches. Also included is Our Heirloom Herb Collection. This features 5 generous packets of basil, thyme, lemon Balm, sage and parsley. All seeds in Our Colossal Pack are fresh, open-pollinated,non GMO and are packed for long term storage in vapor proof pouches with desiccants.There are approximately 84,305 seeds in Our Colossal Pack. The shipping weight is 7 pounds 9 ounces. Full planting instructions and our 4 page Seed Saving Guide are included.”

    I can’t really compare, but a few things set my spidey senses tingling…

    A pint of seed for a field grain? Seems very tiny…

    Why lemon balm and parsley in herbs, wouldn’t dill make sense? Who eats parsley? No mint? No oregano? No chives? [digging deeper, dill is included in one of the ‘collections’.]

    Only 26 seeds for a squash. Plant 6 in a mound, and cull a couple, have a critter eat your other 3 mounds. No more squash for YOU!

    Approximately, I don’t think that word means what you think it means. “There are approximately 84,305 seeds…”

    No onions. No garlic. No potato.

    Some overlap between the included ‘collections’ seems to mean fewer varieties than one would expect.

    Or I could be overthinking this?


  27. Dave says:


    No onions. No garlic. No potato.

    Garlic is grown by taking a head of garlic and planting individual cloves. Potato is grown from a chunk of potato with an eye. Onions can be grown from seeds or from small bulbs.

  28. Ray Thompson says:

    As far as jobs in IT,

    Ray probably has something to say about that

    Actually I work for an engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi. We are located on the University of TN campus in one of the engineering buildings.

    Prior to this gig I was the IT manager at a large credit union. I did not know it at the time but the job was killing me. Pay was excellent, but the work load was the problem. Dealing with staff issues, vendor issues, user issues, budget matters etc. was a constant hassle, many times conflicting. I was getting called on weekends, at nights, even on vacation. My time was not my own. Frustration was high as can be evidenced by the cell phone and two pagers in the bottom of Watts Bar Lake.

    Our current (at the time) software vendor was working on a web interface. A “real time” interface they called it. What would happen is that our system would send some files to the vendors main system at intervals during the day. My argument with the vendor was that was not “real time” but “near time” as I could not make a deposit and immediately go on the web and see the updated balance. I told them that sucked. They took exception to my assessment.

    There were many other problems with vendor when the system was installed. System was too small, installed crushed power cables, printing was too slow (statements would have taken 14 days to print), performance issues to the branches, many pages of problems.

    All this was presented to the CEO and the board. Instead the company representative would shake her tits at the CEO and what she said became gospel and what I said was just bad karma.

    At some point something snapped and the CEO called me into his office and terminated me. Best thing he ever did. And for the record, six months later the board terminated the CEO because of the system problems.

    Anyway I took some contract jobs in Oak Ridge. One of the contract was the development of some web applications for Tau Beta Pi. Their IT person was living in the past and was stuck in the batch processing world with green bar output. This was in 2001 when technology was well beyond that.

    She decided to retire and I applied for her position. Seemed to be a good fit as I did a lot of the development of their system while working for the contractor. With my hire they eliminated the contractor and I took over development. I moved many external processes in house. One particular task would take the former IT person three days to complete. A little code, some changes in the DB and that process was reduced to three minutes. That was indicative of many of the processes in the office that were reworked over time. Some external vendors were eliminated saving a lot of money.

    Anyway, it has been a good job. No status, no advancement, a dead end position. And that is actually OK. I had my weekends back, my nights back, my vacation back. I did not go home angry as my stress level had dropped. I basically work my own projects with few critical deadlines. A server goes down on a Friday night and resolution can wait until Monday. Nothing is drop dead critical.

    So my take away on this was that the pursuit of money and status was a total waste. I should have pursued a job that was fun, paid enough to get by, and allowed me to enjoy life. When it is all over if you have not had fun, enjoyed what you did, and made an impact on others, the you have just shit into the wind. Money and status will not repair a life pissed away being a slave to a job that takes away from your family and home life.

    As I approach retirement on June 30, 2016, I am scared, as scared as I was when I was laid off in 1993 and jobless for six months. It is a major paradigm shift. I will find something to do, volunteer at the school, part time job with another company taking school photographs, travel more, work more in the yard.

    I am hoping my replacement is someone that can take the organization to the next level. I am becoming a dinosaur in the IT world. Training is available but is a waste of money for the organization. I am hoping my last month here is complete and total boredom. My replacement is supposed to be hired by the end of February allowing a four month overlap. There is a lot of knowledge in my head about the system because I basically designed and coded the entire system. Getting someone up to speed will take a couple of months.

  29. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yes. You *can* grow potato from seed, but it doesn’t breed true. You’ll need two full growing seasons to get usable potatoes by culling the rejects and saving the good potatoes for eyes to use the following year. When you grow it from eyes, you’re actually growing clones of the original potato.

    A pint of a field grain is actually a decent amount. You’re planting a large garden, not a farm. Parsley is actually a good choice. I’m not including any of the mints either, mainly because they’re difficult to grow, have low germination rates, and tend not to reproduce reliable seed.

    No mention of drying, germination testing, etc. Eyeballing their selection, it appears that they’re simply repackaging commercial open-pollinated seed, choosing amounts based on seed cost and high number of seeds. The vast majority of that “approximately 84,305 seeds” and the total weight is accounted for by the grains, which are cheap and have high seed counts per unit weight.

    The seeds that are high cost and/or low number of seeds per unit weight are included in small numbers, like the squash at 25 seeds each (our kit includes about 400 summer squash seeds and 380 winter squash seeds) and the bean varieties at 150 seeds each (we include 500+ Lima bean seeds, 1,200+ green bean seeds, and 800+ Soldier bean seeds).

  30. nick says:

    Huh, I knew that you usually grow potatoes from eyes, but didn’t know the steps in doing it from seed.

    Somewhere in the garage I have onion seeds.

    I know garlic grows wild in many places, but none here in my yard.

    I’ve always gotten mint as transplants, but never thought of it as “hard to grow.” I’ve always thought of it as an invasive, impossible to control weed.

    Good to know that if you want those foods, you better get them in the ground BEFORE you need them. Shouldn’t be too hard to plant a few off property too……

    FWIW, if I see a serious storm coming I buy a bag of onions and a bag of potatoes. They last a long time in the cool dark, and they make many meals at a very cheap cost. That and other fresh foods are about all I buy outside normal buying when a hurricane is coming.


    Still don’t get the parsley, it might be easy to grow and high in vitamins, but no one actually eats it and it doesn’t provide flavor to food when cooking. Maybe I’m missing out on some culinary delight?

    For preppers, adding some of the onions, potatoes, mint and garlic now, and planting some fruit trees (appropriate to local conditions) is important. You won’t get them from a seed packet, so put them in the ground NOW.


  31. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Parsley is one of the classic herbs of the English-speaking world. (Simon & Garfunkel’s Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme has an historical basis.)

    Mint isn’t hard to grow if you don’t care what you end up with, but as you mention you tend to end up with a bunch of invasive weeds. It’s hard to grow if your goal is a usable herb. Of course, the same is true of many other herbs/weeds, which is why it’s a good idea to grow them in pots.

    Onions are easy to grow from seed. We keep a lot of Costco/Sam’s-size bottles of garlic and other herbs and spices. Once we relocate, we’ll also always have some dried garlic heads on hand so that we can grow our own. Same deal on seed potatoes, which aren’t practical to include in this kit, but “open-pollinated” isn’t an issue, since what you’re actually growing are clones of the original potato.

  32. DadCooks says:

    I have an elephant garlic patch that I planted 35 years ago and have never replanted. The main bulbs produce small side bulbs that fall off when you harvest the garlic, I just leave them in place over the winter. I recall that they were pretty expensive at the time. However, considering that those 12 original bulbs have grown to over a hundred that I allow to mature each year and they have produced for so many years, that was the best “investment” I ever made.

  33. SteveF says:

    and what I said was just bad karma

    Shooting the bearer of bad tidings is traditional. And, yes, I’ve received a lot of hate because I’ll say things that bosses don’t want to hear (even if they need to hear it) and others are afraid to say.

    I also earn most of my money as a code monkey. As a freelance contract programmer I’m not going to get “promoted” into any kind of management. That’s exactly what I want. I’ve done the management thing and didn’t like it. Technical lead of a group of programmers is fine, and is nominally what I’m doing now, though at the moment my “team” consists of just myself on my day “job”. My wife occasionally bitches at me about not getting a regular job where I can get promotions and bonuses and higher pay, but she seems to forget how much I wasn’t home when I had regular salaried jobs (and how much she bitched about that). And I don’t want a managerial job, which of course doesn’t matter at all to her. Also, I make pretty good money, more than any other individual in my family, and if we’re short of money, which we constantly are, it probably indicates a problem with her spending habits more than with my earning ability. As might be expected, pointing that out makes her furious. She hasn’t had an aneurysm yet, though, so I guess I need to find a way to turn that dial to 11.

  34. OFD says:

    Some spouses will bitch and nag no matter what, damned if you and damned if you don’t. And criticism of them certainly will jack up their BP and haht rate. And yeah, they often seem to forget who was the main breadwinner for years or decades or at least contributed a lot to the household income and paid all the bills. And did most of the heavy scut and grunge work. Etc.

    As fah as speaking truth to power and saying “bad” things to bosses, been there and done that and paid for it in spades. Told one guy his server room was insecure and liable to get hacked and furthermore it was running outta space and he needed to look into blade servers and virtualization. Blew me off contemptuously, and thereafter referred to me as his new “operator” rather than the sys admin I was for VAX/VMS, OpenVMS, HP-UX, and RHEL. While also backing up the poor Winblows slobs. He got fired later due to his infrastructure being hacked and pwned. Then wanted me to be his pal on Linked-In, and he now works nights coordinating senior citizen alarms and house calls.

    State job, same deal, told them their shit was a gaping security hole and also that they needed to move their database stuff out of Windoze Access and into a bigger product like Microslop SQL Server or Oracle. They moved me out of my office to the prolecube farm, dumped me off the committees I’d been on, started timing my bathroom breaks and any sick or vay-cay days with a vengeance, and put me to work moving data from Access tables to Excel tables, ’cause that’s all they knew and cared to know. Later the state’s main servers got hacked, including the one in the governor’s office.

    And we won’t even get into the stuff I told the kids as they were growing up, which was also blown off and ignored.

  35. Ray Thompson says:

    move their database stuff out of Windoze Access and into a bigger product like Microslop SQL Server

    Indeed. When I arrived the database was MSAccess. Performance was not good and maintainability was a real problem. Required a shutdown of the database.

    So I suggested SQL Server (had only been there six months) and was told OK. SQL Server Express was free, allowed DB’s up to 10 gig in size. Only thing it lacked over full SQL Server was some enterprise stuff such as replication. Conversion was easy as the MSAccess tables imported with no problems using DTS.

    Why anyone would run MSAccess for a server database is beyond me. MSAccess is for desktops, not servers. Especially with the zero cost of SQL Server Express.

  36. SteveF says:

    Why anyone would …

    “They’re stupid” is my go-to explanation.

  37. OFD says:

    There it is. I had the same situation as Mr. Ray and the morons wouldn’t go for it. So, after they’d screwed me and dumped me into the prolecube farm, they hired two new IT guys, pets of the business manager, one of them a social friend of her husband. They sent the younger one down to NC for Oracle training, all expenses paid, and then moved their shit onto that. While I entered data cell by cell into an Excel spreadsheet every day, until I finally quit before I murdered somebody.

  38. nick says:

    “Parsley is one of the classic herbs of the English-speaking world. ”

    Well, ok, but ever actually cook with it? About the only time I see it is as a garnish on the plate.

    I’ve even got some in the herb portion of the garden, put there along with lavender by the wife. Never used a single leaf….


    On the other hand, we use a lot of the basil, some of the oregano, occasionally thyme, and often the rosemary. Rosemary garlic and mint on lamb, or red potatoes roasted, basil on a bunch of stuff but especially sauteed zucchini with cheese, oregano dried on pizza, mint in whiskey back in the day…

    I just harvested and dried a bunch of basil this week.

    Oh, cilantro too, when it will grow. It doesn’t like the heat much.

  39. OFD says:

    Parsley on new roasted or boiled red potatoes with buttah. On various seafood and poultry dishes, too.

    Cilantro to me tastes like licorice; I do not like it, which I’ve read is common among some of us; I also cannot stomach the taste or smell of curry. Disgusting.

  40. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    And on garlic bread.

  41. SteveF says:

    Nick, Nick, Nick… I weep for the obvious limitations on your life so far.

    You can get some parsley recipes at .

    I go through a goodly amount of dried parsley and buy it by the four-ounce container. (Which doesn’t sound like much, but is a lot for a normal-sized family. By the way, do you know how much mess a spilled 4oz parsley container makes? I do. I was letting my then-three-year-old daughter be a “big help” by bringing me the container, and she fell and somehow popped the top off and the leaves went everywhere. And the windows were all open and we had a good breeze going. We were still finding the odd flake in odd places months later.)

  42. dkreck says:

    Cilantro is evil. Currently way over used by ‘hipster’ cooks. Curry OTH is heaven.

  43. OFD says:

    “…do you know how much mess a spilled 4oz parsley container makes…”

    Pshaw! Try cleaning up spilled vegetable oil, maple syrup and molasses….some peeps around here are NOTORIOUS for not screwing caps back on bottles tightly enough, if at all.

  44. nick says:

    Oh that bottle cap thing makes me mad! Pick up the katsup, shake to get the liquid at the cap end, and OH NOES all over the kitchen ceiling.

    Little ones are great helpers, if you wanted help making a mess! But that is the way they truly become helpers.

    As long as we’re sharing recipes, I needed to use some aging peanut oil, so when the kids asked for donuts, I made some.

    Hillbilly Donuts.

    Set up a pot or pan for frying. I have a deep cast iron ‘chicken fryer’ and peanut oil. 1 inch will do, but 1 1/2 or 2 is better. Less chance of sticking to the bottom that way.

    Heat oil to 300 something deg F

    Open tube of dinner biscuits. The cheapest, plainest ones you can find.

    On floured surface, with floured shot glass (or other correctly sized object- Airbourne tube works too) cut the middle out of each biscuit, leaving a donut, and a donut hole.

    Drop in oil, fry to golden brown, turning once. Holes will turn themselves if they aren’t touching anything. Don’t put many in at a time. Stagger your donuts!

    Remove to cooling rack, put paper towels under to catch oil.

    When donuts are cool enough to touch by hand, but still warm, put in bag of coating, and shake. Rest for a couple seconds, shake again. Using tongs, remove from bag and serve. Too cool and the coating won’t stick, too hot and the coating will melt.

    Repeat until tube of biscuits is gone. One tube isn’t enough for me and 2 kids, two tubes is a little too much for me, wife, and two kids. Wait between fryings, they are best enjoyed warm.

    Coatings! in some paper lunch sacks, put some granulated sugar, about 2 tbsp.

    Add – powdered sugar- for sugar donuts

    in another sack,

    Add – powdered chocolate, like the kind used for hot cocoa. You might want to add powdered sugar to this as well, makes a better, sweeter coating.

    in another sack,

    Add- powdered cinnamon, a little goes a long way.

    Drop in warm donuts, fold over top of sack trapping air, shake until donuts are coated.



  45. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    My father used to drive my mother nuts. He had this habit of replacing the cap on something and turning it only just far enough to very slightly engage the threads. When someone else picked up the bottle or jar, the cap would come off and the bottle would turn over and spill its contents. I remember him doing that the whole time from when I was old enough to remember until they moved down here in the late 70’s. I suspect she never cured him of doing that.

  46. OFD says:

    WHY do peeps DO that???

    Another favorite trick here is to open a bag, bottle, or box of something and then put it in the cupboard or fridge UPSIDE-DOWN. When you, the unsuspecting rube, reach in to grab it and pull it out, guess what?

  47. DadCooks says:

    Boredom. Beware around any Submarine Vets, we know more practical jokes than can fit in a book.

    Not a practical joke, but one way we passed the time on the Boat: When we would get underway and closed the hatches to prepare to dive we had a contest to see who could catch the most flies and turn them into “walks” (pull off their wings). In the Maneuvering Room the Throttleman, Reactor Operator, and Electric Plant Control Panel Operator would take their respective “walk” or “walks” and color code them with a dab of paint (the Engineering Office of the Watch could not participate because he was an Officer and a Gentleman, above such frivolity). Part of every watch turnover was showing the oncoming where the “walk(s)” were, you had to keep an eye on your “walk”. This actually went on at all the watch stations on the Boat. We had a pool and the person who was watching the last “walk” to be alive won the pool.

  48. OFD says:

    The peeps here don’t do it for practical jokes, unless I’m really, really dense. It’s just carelessness, negligence and being inconsiderate.

    I could not have done the sub duty; too tall and claustrophobic. Ditto tanks and suchlike. I’ll take my chances out on God’s green earth; if He meant for us to live and work underwater he woulda given us gills and flippers.

  49. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Speaking of flies, my brother used to pick them out of the air. I’ve never seen anyone else who could do that. I sure can’t. A fly would buzz by, and he’d reach out and catch it, not in a cupped hand but between his thumb and forefinger. I remember reading much later that that was an ability common in first-rate snipers.

  50. MrAtoz says:

    Sounds racist to me, Sir. Don’t make get the noodle out.

    Viva La Raza!

  51. lynn says:

    I’ll take my chances out on God’s green earth; if He meant for us to live and work underwater he woulda given us gills and flippers.

    Like manatees?

  52. SteveF says:

    “Get the noodle out” is an obvious penis reference, you sexist!

  53. SteveF says:

    Now that I think more about it — sickening though it is — it sounds even more like the conclusion of PIV sexual activity, and PIV is always rape, you rapist!

  54. Miles_Teg says:

    OFD wrote:

    “…told them their shit was a gaping security hole…”

    he he he…

    In the early Eighties my employer had several Cyber mainframes (may peace and blessings be upon them) running NOS/BE (ditto) but also bought time on an external organisation’s Cybers. The lead systems programmer at the external organisation was lax with security, which my boss warned him about. He was ignored.

    So the boss hacked the other organisation’s system, to which he had access only as an unpriveleged user, changing the system Dayfile header to


    The lazy sysprog got his knickers in a knott but couldn’t pin the hack on my boss. The system was upgraded… 🙂

  55. OFD says:

    If I’d done the same thing at either of the places I mentioned, I would have been fired immediately and then probably charged in court with it. Kill the messenger.

  56. Miles_Teg says:

    In the Eighties I did stuff for which I’d be sacked instantly now, like crashing production mainframes, writing stuff directly to central memory, and disks, posting nude posters of females at my desk, etc. But I learned in the Nineties not to do that… 🙂

  57. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    You mean one isn’t allowed to do those things anymore?

  58. Miles_Teg says:

    At home? Sure. At work? Pack your gear.

  59. SteveF says:

    couldn’t pin the hack on my boss

    That’s the key part. You can get away with anything, so long as you’re not caught or at least they can’t prove it.

  60. OFD says:

    “You can get away with anything, so long as you’re not caught or at least they can’t prove it.”

    A principal maxim from the SteveF Playbook. Learn it. Love it. Live it.

    Within “reason,” of course.

    How many peeps here wanna bet on the outcomes of these two probably fictional scenarios:

    1.) Mohammed Alhambra puts up an ISIS flag and pics of Christians being beheaded in his prolecube or at his university office.

    2.) Joe Blow, straight married white Christian puts up a Murkan flag and pics of womens’ beach volleyball stars.

  61. Miles_Teg says:

    “ of womens’ beach volleyball stars.”

    If I’d done that in 1980 most of the guys in the office would have come around to have a look, for study purposes only of course.

    If I’d done that in 2010 I probably wouldn’t have been sacked.


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