Fri. Dec. 28, 2018 – counting down now!

46F and slightly below saturated…we finally got some blue sky late in the day yesterday. We’re forecast to be on the edge of the bad weather today. We’ll see.

I’ve going to do some work for a client this morning, and make a trip to the airport later in the afternoon, so I’ll be hopping all day.

Last work day of the year and I’m working. Huh, who’da thunk it?

n

This entry was posted in Random Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Fri. Dec. 28, 2018 – counting down now!

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    Haven’t we seen this before??

    “Officials launch an emergency search after 24 Ebola patients break out of a treatment centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo amid fears the killer virus will spread”

    “Two dozen potentially contagious people broke out of a medical centre in Beni, in the north-east of the African country, when it was attacked yesterday.

    Seven of the 24 have been tracked down but the search is on for the remaining 17 who, if infected, could spread the virus if back out in public.”

    IIRC Aesop, who seems to have a pretty good handle on the state of ebola puts it showing up outside africa sometime in the middle of January…

    n

  2. dkreck says:

    Year end news. California Pot deregulation not working. Problem – too much regulation and taxes allow the black market to rule.

    https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-marijuana-year-anniversary-review-20181227-story.html

  3. JimL says:

    54º and cloudy on the North Coast. Should be raining. It was on the drive to work and will be on the way home. It’s life.

    Planning on driving to a race tomorrow to participate. It’s what I do. When I get home I get to start the demo on the wall to the attic. I’m not reversing the stairs (I don’t want to do roof work), but I am X-ing the stairways. It just fits. By summer the kids will have their own rooms.

    (Yeah – right. I postpone all the time. But with the walls open, I won’t have much choice. I just don’t want my wife to hire someone to do it.)

    Speaking of construction – the Building & Grounds folks at work are putting in an overhead door, so they’re framing around an existing opening to make it 12′ wide. (It’s about 14′ now). The “header” is a ladder of 2x6s, all on the flats. Further, nothing spans the whole gap. Nailed together. (Not okay). No king studs (okay) and no jack studs (not okay). I’m waiting on the maintenance supervisor to come in to discuss. Dumb things don’t bother me much. I see it all the time. Dumb & dangerous bothers the snot out of me.

  4. Greg Norton says:

    Year end news. California Pot deregulation not working. Problem – too much regulation and taxes allow the black market to rule.

    Selling unlicensed weed is one of my in-laws’ rackets in WA State. The cousin who runs that part of the family “business” interests is apparently still making decent money doing it, despite the decriminalization.

    The cousin’s “day job” (well, okay, night job if you really want to get picky)? Get ready …. put down the beverages … I warned you … US Postal Service!

    Okay, clean your monitors and get back to work.

  5. dkreck says:

    There are three of them for every human on the planet – and we can’t stop eating them.

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-many-chickens-are-there?

  6. MrAtoz says:

    Haven’t we seen this before??

    Right out of 12 Monkeys or any other virus horror movie.

  7. Greg Norton says:

    There are three of them for every human on the planet – and we can’t stop eating them.

    If God hadn’t intended us to eat chickens, he wouldn’t have made them so darned tasty … or stupid.

    Which reminds me — I endured The Domain (CA interpreted by Austin) last night for one child’s birthday dinner trip to a ramen bar. After a couple of hours of listening to various *loud* conversations, I came to the conclusion that most of the regulars down there will be cannibal fodder in the post-apocalyptic future.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    We’re saved! Larry and Kathleen are here!

    What’s that you say about Theranos? How dare you. Larry held a *tiny* amount of stock, pocket change, and Kathleen had no say in Walgreens buying into Theranos tech without proof it worked … she was just in the room at the time … doing a crossword puzzle at the other end of the table.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/28/tesla-names-new-board-members-after-sec-settlement.html

  9. dkreck says:

    One of California’s New Year laws – companies based here must have women on their boards. What groups shall be mandated next?

    Ah Nick, isn’t Monday the last day of the year?

    and about them chickens…..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkdci55adqk

  10. DadCooks says:

    Don’t worry, it’s just a single point failure that has taken much of the Nation’s 911 system.
    https://www.google.com/search?num=50&newwindow=1&ei=yGUmXNDLMPu40PEPiN27iAQ&q=centurylink+outage&oq=centurylink&gs_l=psy-ab.1.3.0i71l8.0.0..314216…0.0..0.0.0…….0……gws-wiz.vAMTahsW0fg

    IMHO, this was not “accidental”.

    Sorry folks, you’re on your own.

  11. JimB says:

    911 outage didn’t affect Chuck Norris. Jus’ sayin’.

  12. Greg Norton says:

    Don’t worry, it’s just a single point failure that has taken much of the Nation’s 911 system.

    CenturyLink/CenturyTel. They were a customer during my time at GTE, and we called them The Old Plantation.

    Someone in Monroe will get whipped for that one. Maybe literally. Still, the upper management is a huge step up from Qwest.

  13. lynn says:

    Crankshaft: That’s not a gift !
    http://comicskingdom.com/crankshaft/2018-12-28

    It is foreshadowing !

  14. lynn says:

    Last work day of the year and I’m working. Huh, who’da thunk it?

    Hey, we will be open Monday, Dec 31. I expect four of my people to show up. But not me. And I am “working” today.

  15. lynn says:

    There are three of them for every human on the planet – and we can’t stop eating them.

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-many-chickens-are-there?

    “Chick-fil-A is the fast-food chain of the year — and things are only getting better”
    https://www.chron.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Chick-fil-A-is-the-fast-food-chain-of-the-year-13495483.php

    I dropped into our Chick-fil-a yesterday for a market salad at 2pm. And had to wait in line for ten minutes to place my order due to the line. I hate it when the kids are out of school !

  16. Greg Norton says:

    I dropped into our Chick-fil-a yesterday for a market salad at 2pm. And had to wait in line for ten minutes to place my order due to the line. I hate it when the kids are out of school !

    HBO’s “Silicon Valley” nuked the boycott during the first season. Thank you Mike Judge.

    Weed legalization in WA and OR also hurt the boycott. Munchies beat all political concerns.

    I’m working today even though I’m charging PTO. We have binaries in production which cannot be traced to any commit in our Git repository, and I’m hunting down the location of the compile in our servers.

  17. lynn says:

    “A.F. Branco Cartoon – Jet Setters”
    https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-jet-setters/

    “Hypocritical Globalist leaders worldwide are burning a lot of fossil fuels these days trying to get us to stop using them in the name of Climate Change. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.”

  18. lynn says:

    I’m working today even though I’m charging PTO. We have binaries in production which cannot be traced to any commit in our Git repository, and I’m hunting down the location of the compile in our servers.

    I hate it when people go out in the field, make a fix to a piece of software, and do not bring the change back to the source code repository. Or, they port the software to a new platform and do not save the ported code. I’ve got a binary data file that I cannot recreate due to that issue. One of these days, I am going to have to reverse compile it.

    I still know the guy that created the binary data file 30 years ago that I do not have the source code for. He lives about 14 miles away from here. Would a jury convict me if I showed up at his house one day with a baseball bat ?

  19. lynn says:

    A story of two immigrants, one legal and one illegal. The illegal immigrant killed the legal immigrant. “California illegal immigrant ‘cop-killer’ taken into custody, officials say”
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/california-illegal-immigrant-cop-killer-taken-into-custody-officials-say

    Hat tip to:
    https://drudgereport.com/

  20. Greg Norton says:

    I hate it when people go out in the field, make a fix to a piece of software, and do not bring the change back to the source code repository. Or, they port the software to a new platform and do not save the ported code. I’ve got a binary data file that I cannot recreate due to that issue. One of these days, I am going to have to reverse compile it.

    For now, we have an SSH port exposed to the open Internet through which Git check ins/outs can happen via certificate authentication. There is no excuse for the lapse, but the developer at fault is out on disability leave for depression so management is walking around on eggshells.

    At some point next year, management will force everyone onto a VPN with token authentication — the open SSH port goes away and the lapses could become more frequent.

    Our data file formats are mostly XML. The leads hate the wasted space, but I’ve never had a problem reverse engineering a structure parser from nothing but the file and HTML Tidy’s indenter option.

  21. lynn says:

    Our data file formats are mostly XML. The leads hate the wasted space, but I’ve never had a problem reverse engineering a structure parser from nothing but the file and HTML Tidy’s indenter option.

    We use both XML and Windows INI for non-binary data files. Both work well. There should never be a binary data file unless you are just horribly space constrained.

  22. nightraker says:

    and about them chickens….

    “And they ate him with….cole slaw.” 🙂

  23. Greg Norton says:

    We use both XML and Windows INI for non-binary data files. Both work well. There should never be a binary data file unless you are just horribly space constrained.

    We’ve been pushing for SQLite for binary data, but introducing any “database” into a project opens the door for management to saddle the development team with an H1B, quota hire, or B-school grad who talks the game of being an expert at 3NF to optimize the efficiency of the application.

    Most of the time, you get them on the job and they can barely manage building a first normal form table. Gotta be careful.

  24. Greg Norton says:

    A story of two immigrants, one legal and one illegal.

    I love to watch “A Christmas Story” marathons on Christmas Day, but it always reminds me that the creative mind behind the movie, Bob Clark, was killed by an illegal drunk driver who got behind the wheel with BAC above 3-0.

    Every time I see Darrin McGavin in something, I think of that line, “My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master.”

    Life is cruel.

  25. MrAtoz says:

    Every time I see Darrin McGavin in something, I think of that line, “My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master.”

    I just borrowed The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler. Can’t wait to watch those. They led to The Night Stalker TV show. Love McGavin.

  26. Greg Norton says:

    I just borrowed The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler. Can’t wait to watch those. They led to The Night Stalker TV show. Love McGavin.

    McGavin appeared in two “X Files” episodes. He even had a seersucker bathrobe in one IIRC.

    MeTV reruns “The Night Stalker” endlessly late on Saturday nights. Usually the network runs through a series twice before giving it a rest, but Kolchack endures.

  27. Ray Thompson says:

    but introducing any “database” into a project opens the door for management to saddle the development team with an H1B, quota hire, or B-school grad who talks the game of being an expert at 3NF to optimize the efficiency of the application.

    I am no database expert having worked with several. I understand the concepts, indexes, data boundaries, data types, relationships, triggers, etc. I can get by OK.

    Where I retired from I designed the entire database, actually about four of them. After I left the organization brought in an intern in college who was supposed to be a database genius. He made some changes to some tables, some data types based on what he had learned in school, the book model.

    Results were fantastic. Queries that used to take fractions of a second were now taking seconds. A web page, the most used, that does about 30 queries to gather the data, used to display in under a second was now taking 3 or 4 seconds. This was confirmed by performance measuring and reporting built into the code.

    The database size went up 25% as his rearrangement stored a binary, a character, a binary, some text, another binary, a double precision that would never hold a value higher than 4 digits, etc. A lot of that was based on something he learned where placing most used data at the front of a row was good design.

    After about a week the changes were backed out. He was highered because his professor said he was the best in the junior class (summer intern). Turns out an uneducated but experienced old man did a better job than the book educated propeller head.

    I am certain some of the stuff I did was not “proper”, could have been done better, but it worked. Fast, reliable, and understandable.

  28. lynn says:

    “SpaceX’s Starship goes sci-fi shiny with stainless steel skin”
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/26/spacexs-starship-goes-sci-fi-shiny-with-stainless-steel-skin/

    “SpaceX’s futuristic Starship interplanetary craft may embody the golden age of sci-fi in more ways than one: in addition to (theoretically) taking passengers from planet to planet, it may sport a shiny stainless steel skin that makes it look like the pulp covers of old.”

    Super cool !

  29. JimB says:

    …if I showed up at his house one day with a baseball bat ?

    Instead, why not try a bottle of his favorite intoxicant. Catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

  30. pcb_duffer says:

    Happy Anniversary to The Gulag Archipelago, first published December 28, 1973. And thanks to my local newspaper’s “Today in History” column for reminding me. There really was an Evil Empire, kiddies, and the Left in the West spent most of the 20th Century making common cause with them.

  31. lynn says:

    Well, this is ironic. I am in the software industry and am getting railroaded by a software supplier. We use a 10 user version of ACT! Premium with a shared database on our LAN for our 28,000 contacts with 2+ GB of data. We are using version 14 (2012) which works fine for our needs.

    The current owner of ACT! has notified me that our version of ACT! is going to die after the first of the year. I bought a “perpetual” license several years ago. Here is the details if interested.
    http://kb.act.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/39193

    The problem is that they want $6,412.50 to upgrade us to version 21 (2019). Lovely, just lovely. We cannot live without our ACT!, it is how we organize ourselves. I am going to pay it but I am screaming. And I am sure that the upgrade will be a screaming nightmare, it usually is.

  32. Nick Flandrey says:

    @lynn, that sucks. I’m convinced again and again that the “lifetime” promises are usually well overstated.

    If it’s that critical to your business though, you’re gonna have to suck it up. I’d be looking at a way to get all the data out, and some other choice for software, just as a reply to their “F you”.

    n

    and off to bed.

  33. brad says:

    introducing any “database” into a project opens the door for management to saddle the development team with an H1B, quota hire, or B-school grad who talks the game of being an expert at 3NF to optimize the efficiency of the application.

    Not sure I follow you? Normalizing a database is, usually, the right thing to do, and usually farther than 3NF. But any competent programmer is capable of doing that, even if they have to haul out a book to remind themselves of the definitions. Anyone who works regularly with databases ought to be able to do it in their sleep. Why would this open the door to H1Bs / diversity hires?

    @Lynn: What are the terms of your perpetual license? If they cannot keep your version running, it seems like they ought to provide a free upgrade. It’s not _your_ problem that they failed to license some 3rd party component properly. It’s even more ironic that the component in question has nothing to do with functionality – only with license checking.

  34. JimL says:

    We’re dealing with the Act! thing as well. We’re going from 17.2 to 19 (two levels, whatever they are). One of the co-presidents (the one that insisted on Act! instead of the CRM included with our ERP) is all over me because we are two versions behind instead of one version. Meh – let others bleed. I always wait until it’s been out a while before installing, and 2 versions don’t bother me. I have 5 major systems to support, so skipping a headache every other year is okay with me.

    So we’ll do it the first week of the new year. It doesn’t affect existing installations, just new installations attempting to verify, so I’m not terrified of the implications. And if they ARE without it for a day or two, I’m not going to panic.

    And for what we have spent on support for Act!, we would have had the ERP add-in and not have to do the monthly data updates that are required now.

  35. Greg Norton says:

    The current owner of ACT! has notified me that our version of ACT! is going to die after the first of the year. I bought a “perpetual” license several years ago. Here is the details if interested.

    Wow. ACT! is still around?!? I think we carried some sort of basic package when I worked for Egghead Ponzi Software. Anything over $500, the small business owners simply took home, copied, and returned, taking advantage of the chain’s generous return policy.

    (One guess who ran the shrink wrap gun in a 90 degree back room in Florida in July.)

    Support? That’s what the $15/hr Egghead full time sales staff was there to do, of course!

    $6500 for how much more time? 4-5 years wouldn’t be unreasonable, and the backend needs to be 64 bit at this point, capable of taking advantage of a decent amount of RAM.

  36. Greg Norton says:

    Not sure I follow you? Normalizing a database is, usually, the right thing to do, and usually farther than 3NF. But any competent programmer is capable of doing that, even if they have to haul out a book to remind themselves of the definitions. Anyone who works regularly with databases ought to be able to do it in their sleep. Why would this open the door to H1Bs / diversity hires?

    H1B, B-school, and quota hires are generally cheaper options to wrangle SQL all day, and, even in the age of #MeToo, it is easier for management to find attractive women to stare at who, on paper at least, are qualified to do database management and will keep their mouths shut about most minor harassment in return for the opportunity.

    Two major telecoms, Jabil Circuit, CGI, and even my current employer. In 25 years, I’ve seen a lot of office antics and questionable hires in the category. Unlike C++, database is a fungible skill, and embedding any SQL opens the door to mischief.

  37. Greg Norton says:

    “SpaceX’s Starship goes sci-fi shiny with stainless steel skin”

    At this point, it looks like Elon is rebuilding DC-X.

  38. lynn says:

    @lynn, that sucks. I’m convinced again and again that the “lifetime” promises are usually well overstated.

    If it’s that critical to your business though, you’re gonna have to suck it up. I’d be looking at a way to get all the data out, and some other choice for software, just as a reply to their “F you”.

    We moved over 100 MB of data into Act! when we finally abandoned our old Ecco contact manager back in 1999 ??? or so. It required over a man-year of time from various people, mostly my office manager. At $20/hour, that is a grim number. We now have over 2 GB of data. And I cannot generally tell what is needful data and what can be thrown away.

  39. lynn says:

    $6500 for how much more time? 4-5 years wouldn’t be unreasonable, and the backend needs to be 64 bit at this point, capable of taking advantage of a decent amount of RAM.

    Ten perpetual licenses and one year of support and upgrades. The database on our current version is Win64. The front end is not.

  40. lynn says:

    @Lynn: What are the terms of your perpetual license? If they cannot keep your version running, it seems like they ought to provide a free upgrade. It’s not _your_ problem that they failed to license some 3rd party component properly. It’s even more ironic that the component in question has nothing to do with functionality – only with license checking.

    Yeah, I am wondering if there will be a Class Action lawsuit.

    This is why I wrote our own license manager. It is ok, nothing great. But we own it and nobody can steal it away from us.

  41. lynn says:

    “SpaceX’s Starship goes sci-fi shiny with stainless steel skin”

    At this point, it looks like Elon is rebuilding DC-X.

    I think half of his staff worked on the DC-X (my SWAG). I know that one of Jerry Pournelle’s sons works for SpaceX.

Comments are closed.