Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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XDMCP

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... or so is the first thing I see after my office computer finished booting. It's a little window asking me to choose the computer I want to work on. And while I – and most people I guess – don't care at all which computer I'm working on and would hence be quite happy with an algorithm figuring out the best one for me (the one with the lowest load, say), I still have to choose a computer.

Doing so is particularly painful as you have to double click the computer you 'want' quickly. If you don't the selection you may have made will be un-done the next time the list is updated. Piss poor programming, I'd say. Hence, although the window has a select button (labeled 'accept') it's virtually useless – as are the 'cancel' and 'ping' buttons which blank the screen and bring up that very same window again or do nothing respectively. Aaaargh. And that particularly shitty piece of software has been around and in use for as long as I've been allowed to touch Unixy machines, which may be a decade by now.

And while I'm at it. Do people really think that posting the full names, including the domain name, of the machines and that 'load average' thing really helps many people? Apparently they do. Sometimes our BOFHs even try to add really useful information like the machine's clock speed or 'only use fromthe main building' in that list. At least the last one left me wondering why they displayed the machines in question in that list in the first place then.

October 18, 2003, 1:53

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