The world according to Sven-S. Porst
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Time to let off a couple of rants or links to rants once more.
Our highly competent sys-admins in the student network upgraded their systems. Not that I should have to care much about it. After all I only use their system for ssh port forwarding and, occasionally, pine. I'll politely ignore the downtime and the additional day or so without a home directory (which renders most apps pretty useless it seems), but in their infinite wisdom they decided that they coud 'clean up' the user directories as well – moving 'unneeded' dotfiles in the process. WTF?! So I thought
-rw------- s275288 (where s275288 is the clever login name they cooked up for me – which conveniently differs from both my university and my library card number) in a file listing meant that those files are mine, mine and mine alone and nobody should look at them – let alone manipulate them – unless I specifically ask them to do so. As a consequence my carefully evolved .pinerc file was missing and pine was basically broken. And as I of course don't display dotfiles by default and they made
ll in the shell execute
ls -l rather than
ls -la as every computer I bothered to use in the past ten years would, I of course didn't see the folder they hid my files in.
I think I'll go waste a bit of their bandwidth now. Any films I should download.
Five instances of comment spam / insults today. Doesn't cheer me up. Is there any way yet to make MT turn off comments a few weeks after a post has been made? Might help fence the problem, should it become worse. And although I won't bother to state it explicitly on every page – rest assured that I'll delete any post that I consider inappropriate either in its text or its links at my discretion.
Ars Technica, as usual, excel at covering the recent Stevenote and the Macworld Expo per se.
The Joy of Tech give what was missing at Macworld Expo.
Does anybody else have the impression that the young ones aren't as tall as they used to be? When seeing The Strokes recently it first occurred to me because I could easily see without all the people in front of me blocking my view. So I decided to pay more attention to this – and keep observing it more and more. Particularly for girls. I blame bad nutrition.
The Guardian comments on the red tape that's supposed to keep customers from being able or willing to exercise their rights. Everyone who has phoned a call centre for other reasons than being bored or who dealt with a bank employee or any other drone who's seen fit to stand at a counter will know what this is about. They also talk about the genius of UPS, amusingly. One of the foremost rules seems to be 'no refunds, no discounts'.
That's a very popular rule with Deutsche Bahn as well. You have a railcard the information about which is stored in a computer and which they'll use to collect information about you if you give them the opportunity. Yet, if you forget it at home, they conveniently can't look up your details 'because it's technically with another company' or so and they'll make you pay the full price. Even when you paid for the railcard and they didn't manage to send it to you on time as my flatmate recently experienced. Morons.
I guess this basically means that you shouldn't give any money to anybody before you absolutely have to. That's sad, as I quite like sorting everything out immediately as to not experience bad surprises later on.
While everybody has seen it by now, a few of the Bush in 30 seconds ads are quite good.
Read the What is MacOS X guide by Amit Singh. Or give it to your *nixoid friends. It's full of good stuff they'll appreciate to feel more comfortable when approaching a Mac: more about booting than you ever wanted to know, the reminder that Steve returned to Apple 1997 already – ages ago –, modesty in saying things like
Quartz implements a layered compositing engine, in which every pixel on a screen can be shared between different windows in real time. where I'd tend to say look: drop shadows and transparent terminal windows, realism à la:
HFS+, although not a cutting-edge filesystem, supports some unique features and has worked well for Apple and the conclusion
the only operating system currently in production that, within reason, lets you have your cake and eat it too.
January 9, 2004, 1:33
I’m starting to realize why you have such a low opinion of sysadmins — yours are idiots. Not all sysadmins are pernicious and foolish — some of us are actually pretty good. ;)
January 9, 2004, 19:21
I guess I’ve been annoyed too many times by IT and network people incoveniencing me for their own convenience.
I don’t like calling them idiots. Probably because I feel a true idiot can’t really be held responsible for his actions… More frequently than not, the bad things happening seem to be due to lazyness or lack of awareness how far reaching the consequences of their work are.
Probably a good admin has to be cutting edge (as to know about, enable or provide new technologies) and conservative (as to maintain the services previously provided and not break the users’ habits) at the same time.
P.S. The strange thing is that I like the idea of a proper BOFH - they’ll delete your files out of spite rather than because they’re clueless.
January 10, 2004, 15:54