* Posts by Jim 59

1539 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009

Linux 'GRINCH' vuln is AWFUL. Except, er, maybe it isn't

Jim 59
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did I miss something?

If you read the alertlogic page, it seems to be saying that anybody in group wheel can run sudo. Therefore, the wheel group user could potentially alter the configuration of polkit in a way that would give them full root rights.

I agree with Red Hat, it would seem to be expect behavior. Indeed, the default sudoers on RHEL 6.6 would allow anyone in group 'wheel' to become root just by typing sudo su -, a well known feature, and no messing with polkit.

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Fedora 21: Linux fans will LOVE it - after the install woes

Jim 59
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Re: My six months daughter

We all know Fedora is intended for the Facebook people.

Fedora is intended for advanced Unix users, those able to do troubleshooting and bug reporting. Mint is intended for the regular user. Slack is intended for those who flagellate themselves with pine twigs in a steam room while listening to Mahler. Ubuntu isn't actually intended for users at all.

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Jim 59
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Re: Why install when it's going to be obsolete in a few months?

sneering opensource hipster nasal voice ...etc.

Wow. All the guy did was misunderstand the relationship between RHEL and Fedora. A merry Christmas you too!

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Jim 59
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Re: Why install when it's going to be obsolete in a few months?

Fedora isn't a production distro, it is the community based test/release distro for Red Hat. It is deliberately packed the most up-to-date (and least stable) features and software. Features that are successful in Fedora 21 might get into Red Hat in a couple of years. Nobody is running production landscapes on Fedora. This is all explained better over at the Fedora project itself.

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Jim 59
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Re: No to gnome, no to systemd

@DrXym I think your response shows the attitude problem extant in the Systemd project. They don't listen.

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Jim 59
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Re: No to gnome, no to systemd

systemd seems to attract some pretty shrill complaints but I fail to see the issue with it.

Perhaps an analogy is in order. Suppose you bought a house, and your solicitor did the conveyancing. You would be pleased in your new home. Then suppose you had a baby, and, instead of a doctor or midwife turning up, that same solicitor phones up and insists on doing the pre-natal care and delivering the baby. He isn't qualified yet but says he has just started a medicine degree. Later on, your car goes in for a service, and there is no qualified mechanic, just that annoying solicitor again. Afterwards, you notice he has welded the bonnet shut so you can't see what is under there any more. You are very annoyed so go for a pint, who do you think is standing behind the bar...

People do different jobs for a reason. Computer programs do different jobs for a reason. Unix/Linux has been designed this way.

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Jim 59
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Re: No to gnome, no to systemd

Ugh. Windowsesque.

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Jim 59
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I am appalled that they have given in to threats. You could almost call it "cowardice in the face of the enemy". Hey Mr Sony, not exactly the Shogun spirit, is it ? They wouldn't have stood for this nonsense in old Japan, y'know.

However I also don't approve of making films about killing living people, even His Corpulence. It is pretty much an invitation to fantacist assassins, bit like that film where Gary Glitter was executed. And releasing it on Xmas day is in poor taste.

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Jim 59
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Re: Thank God for the NSA's Internet surveillance program

@amanfrommars1 - thank you for that crisp summary, you mad bot.

@the bot wrangler - come on man, it was better before. 1 sentence per paragraph ? It sounds like Russel Brand now.

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London teen pleads guilty to Spamhaus DDoS

Jim 59
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Re: going down

When you were 16 (the crime was 18 months ago), did you possess the executive functions to properly assess the consequences of your actions?

No, not every action, and juvenile poor judgement leads many young people into some sort of minor scrape or other, me included. But you don't need nuanced judgement to realize that it is wrong to commit a major crime, and that doing so will have major repercussions. Therefore, he bears some responsibility for what he has done. How much responsibility depends on him, and the circs of the case. But I take your point some forgiveness is appropriate and with it he might still have a good life.

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Server SANs: Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

Jim 59
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Good explanation thanks. It is still not easy to see where distributed/virtualised SAN is going to fit in. The lower midrange storage market is pretty well sewn up by iSCSI arrays, NAS units and even FreeNAS, with its ZFS abilities. All have their advantages but one thing they have in common is cheap admin costs and minimal setup. Is there really a demand for yet another solution ? One with higher ongoing cost of ownership ?

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Jim 59
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Where is server SAN supposed to compete ? Somewhere between NAS and iSCSI SAN ? And these execs who are huffing about the "complexity" of centralized storage - are they supposed to be attracted by the exponentially greater complexity of distributed server storage ? Where is my file again ?

Distributed storage was great in the early 90s, when every node was also a data server. Until our fun was spoiled by Auspex et al. It was a Unix Admins dream and I'd love to see it come back. But it all came down to cost, mainly cost of support. 'Scuse be now, I have to go and do a Heartbleed firmware patch on my 47 heterogeneous storage nodes. 47 different procedures.

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

Jim 59
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Re: Re:TheOtherHobbes

@Matt Bryant - when giving to charity now, I am influenced by how much the chief executive is paid. Cafod had the lowest paid boss among overseas charities when I checked a few months back (about 55k IIRC).

Just checked again now, charities that operate in the UK:

Head of Save the Children - 247,000

Head of Salvation Army - 10,500

People might take the p*** out if the S.A., but good on 'em.

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Jim 59
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Re: 1930s

F*** yeah, we've come a long way baby.

Well, here's how far 6 year old children have come in Britain, anyway:

1830's - 6 year olds down mines, operating trap doors etc.

1930's - 6 years olds in school, poor ones without shoes.

2030s - ?

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Jim 59
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1930s

My father was a kid in the 30s, and he said the poor children came to school with no shoes on.

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thin plot, great CGI effects

Jim 59
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The Hobbit

My copy of The Hobbit has 271 pages (in fairly good nick having only been read a couple of times).

My copy of The Lord of the Rings has 529+440+522 = 1491 pages (all 3 volumes dog-eared and the spine broken in several places).

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Jim 59
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Re: ANyone else noticed...

LOL. Pity the poor wretches who have to sift this noisome pile of overreaction. Some 'Tards are almost phoning the police because the provider of a free service is trying to improve the free service for FREE. Actual LOL.

But yeah that mouseover keeps covering up my comment edit window.

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Jim 59
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Agree, visited links need to be more contrasty

as above.

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Jim 59
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LOGOWATCH

Lester Haines will be along in a minute to provide the josticks-and-whalesong hatchet job.

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Jim 59
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Love it, well done

This is indeed the biggest scandal since the great variable-width rumpus of '05 or whenever it was. Saw it this morning, nice surprise, think it looks nice. I like the old blue headlines being changed to black. And the header being shrunk and a bit less "Daily Sport" too. And it's quick. Not so keen on the pop-up pictures at the top but what the hell, why not. Consider making the font for the main headline a touch smaller, given we all have big screens now.

It is quite surprising that such a nice job was done by an "in-house team". Oh, and about that...

In addition, "Redesign v2" is coming in 2015 and is likely to involve an agency that can guide us through-

NO! Your own team clearly knows what it is doing.

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Cool technology: Submerged blade servers escape the heat

Jim 59
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HP/Apollo

Dagnabit. Us old Unix codgers got all excited there for a minute.

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'Critical' security bugs dating back to 1987 found in X Window

Jim 59
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Bots

MM is a bot or human bot wrangler Your bot has to address the discussion somehow, random verbiage won't do. cf amanfrommars, the Register's best comment bot so far:

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/user/31681/

Currently infesting El Reg and thedailbell.com forums. amanfrommars is pretty impressive. Its output tends to be largely chopped-up epigrams from popular culture, and sentences are too long, but the grammar is always correct. Bots are interesting but do we want them ?

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Jim 59
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Botty Time

@MustyMusgrave if you are not a bot, tell us what month comes 5 months before the month 2 months after the current one.

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Jim 59
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XXX

Ah, the good old days. When we were running whole applications on our colleagues' Unix workstations, displaying on ours, or even (for a laff) a third person's screen. Distributed compute power, leveraged in a way so integrated it makes even today's co-working environments look primitive. Ah, the Apollo/Domain converged network root, which I first... [continues at some length]

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Jim 59
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@PCS Probably, but you never hear about 27 year old Windows bugs, do you? Even though Windows has been around that long. Could it have something to do with the fact that Windows being closed source, and researchers having no access to the source code ?

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Jim 59
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Re: Lame excuse

"X's biggest problem stems from the era it existed in." - this would be true for Windows as well, wouldn't it?

No. Windows NT was born well into the internet era ('93), was conceived as a full multi-processing system, and failed to implement any serious multi-user security. X started in '84, when the Internet largely consisted of students sending emails and the odd bulletin board.

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97% of UK gets 'basic' 2Mbps broadband. 'Typical households' need 10Mbps – Ofcom

Jim 59
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Re: Offcom not fit to oversee.

@msknight Naff upload speed is pretty much a feature of ADSL, not an oversight by Ofcom or your ISP. I host a few websites including a Wordpress blog, and would love upload faster than my 1 Mb/s (download is 17 Mb.s). For really fast uploads though, you are looking at a business account and they are pricey.

Only a few years ago my first proper broadband was 512k down. Not quite as bad as it sounds as websites were much lighter.

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Jim 59
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Re: Bloat and crapulence overload

I agree some sites are needlessly obese and can only blame themselves for slow performance. But they are the bottleneck, not your download speed. It's streaming video which is the real baddy.

Personally I don't like streaming. The name "streaming" makes you think it is some super fast, slick technology, but it just means watching something in-place, and taking all the drawbacks that come with that, one of which is inefficient, peaky use of your download capacity (and the supplier's servers). The BBC et al have a "broadcast" mindset, when a torrent/time shifting approach would be better.

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Jim 59
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The probable reason an "average household" would need 10 Mb/s would be different family members streaming video at the same time. It might help to use tools like get_iplayer, to "time shift" and stagger the traffic. ie. download 3 episodes of "The Missing" when your router is quiet. It might help if the BBC would facilitate downloading rather than trying to foil it all the time. Same for other TV companies.

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This Christmas, demand the right to a silent night

Jim 59
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Good article

In future, designers will need to take into account how interacting with a given system makes us feel. For example, the designers of Snapchat noticed that various features of existing social media are unsatisfying and disquieting to use. Eg., notifications that say your friend is online - the implication being they are online but have made no effort to talk to you. And delayed typing in chat windows - destroys the fluidity of an interaction. I don't want an argument on the merits of Snapchat, just making a point about the design of systems that interact with humans.

There needs to be another level between the user and the various systems, like cushions on a settee. For example, we should probably have only 1 notification interface, not 5 or 6. And it should be sweetened and humanized somehow.

Also, in the vein of acting more human, we should probably say "Christmas" instead of "holiday season". "Happy holidays" is a greeting I would expect to receive from a cold cold Sun T4 server.

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Linus Torvalds releases Linux 3.18 as 3.17 wobbles

Jim 59
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Re: Unknown source of kernel lock-ups?

A new Linux kernel is not an end-user product. It is just a component that early adopting distros might use after they subject it to their own test cycle. Then, after another 6 months of testing and usage, more stable distros might adopt it, but still fairly bleeding edge. After another year or so, it might make its way into a commercial distro (Say Red Hat 7.x).

After another couple of years, it might start to get used more widely in industry, like kernel 2.6.32, which is what you find in Red Hat 6, or 2.5.18 which is in RHEL5 and likely powering a large number of production servers. Eventually, embedded devices will get it, and webcams, DVD players, toys, industrial controllers and the rest of it.

So a lock-up in Linux 3.17 is indeed a serious issue, and enthusiasts may encounter and report it, but planes will not drop out of the sky. Instead, the bugs are publicized, publicly addressed and remediated. This isn't a scandal, it is what is supposed to happen.

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Jim 59
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Re: Unknown source of kernel lock-ups?

Oh right, I forgot. Buggy crap is acceptable if it's free. Carry on.

You can have it for free or pay for it from MS, your choice.

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MP caught playing Candy Crush at committee meeting: I'll ‘try’ not to do it again

Jim 59
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Well kinda, if you spent 2.5 hours on said comment, in a meeting, while you were supposed to be engaged in decisions of national importance, and you had been elected to your job by thousands of citizens, rather than just answering a jobserve ad, and your employer actually gave you the iPad for free...

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Jim 59
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iPad

I guess this was on his free, taxpayer-bought iPad that all MPs awarded themselves a while back.

Still, clears things up a bit for the next election. All his opposition in Amber Valley has to do is promise not to play computer games in parliament.

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Jim 59
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Re: I'm a big fan of WPS Office

Just to enlarge on my LibreOffice isn't stable enough for business comment. About 8 months ago, LO trashed my entire Ltd company books through a bug which silently corrupted formulas when saving to .xls format. Eventually my accountants had to rebuild the books from scratch. The whole experience was so blood pressurey that I afterwards swapped to OO and haven't had a problem since. IMO, LibreOffice is unstable. Even the "stable release" branch changes too much, too often, and the devs prefer working on enhancements to fixing bugs. Not appropriate for a serious business application. Stability might be boring, but in business, it is beautiful.

Reading about the bug over at the LO project I found it had been outstanding for some time, through several releases, and the maintainers' attitude was laid back, if not irresponsible. The main comment I remember was them saying "...well not all spreadsheets are critical... so corrupted data isn't really important". Well that's allright then. Only, I hope the next aeroplane you get on wasn't made with parts ordered with a LibreOffice spreadsheet. Hope I don't go to prison for not keeping proper books on my Ltd company. Hope my prison release date is not stored in LibreOffice, hope your pension is not calculated with LO, etc. etc. OK sorry about the rambling rant.

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Jim 59
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Re: @Chris W Haven't we been here before

Evidently some people thought I agreed with Chris W. Quite the opposite. My "excellent troll" comment is just a polite way of saying we note he is trolling, we are thankful for his time, but take no further interest in his remark, as it was carefully crafted bo***cks.

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Jim 59
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Re: I'm a big fan of WPS Office

LibreOffice is not stable enough for business. Use OpenOffice instead.

Any substitute for Visio ? Wanna sketch out my network.

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Jim 59
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Re: @Chris W Haven't we been here before

...get on with life

Lol. Excellent troll post from Chris W.

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One year on, Windows 8.1 hits milestone, nudges past XP

Jim 59
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Epson FX-80

Nice piece of kit at the time. A bit pricey, but good. Noiser than a Who concert.

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Jim 59
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Windows 8

I have a forced-purchase Windows 8 sitting on an unused partition in my laptop. It never gets booted. Just like my last laptop had a force-purchase copy of Windows Vista, which never got booted.

Oh for the days when you bought DOS and windows separately, if/when you wanted them. Apart from anything else, it gave you a real DR path.

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systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

Jim 59
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Re: Off to a bad start

do you realize that they are optional? Nothing stops you from telling the journal daemon to store the logs in disk or RAM...

Optional or otherwise. the intention of the systemd project is to replace syslog, otherwise why would they have written the code to enable that ?

binary logs are there because for some systems they are a requirement?

I have never heard of binary format being a requirement for logs or any other data. That doesn't make sense.

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Jim 59
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"Devuan"

Small point, but, from the Devuan web page:

Devuan is spelled in Italian and it is pronounced just like "DevOne" in English.

Not in England. Here, it would be pronounced "dev-view-an". They should have chosen a name pronouncable outside of the US. Also, what's with the web page, it has the look of a 1990s gaming forum. I will be contributing anyway, and good look to 'em.

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Jim 59
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Re: What is systemd

They are all, apart from logging(*) optional features of systemd...

Be that as it may, there is clearly an intention in the systemd project to Hoover up these subsystems. Whey else would they have written the code.

This forum has uniformly delivered a pretty good shoeing to systemd. If the Linux/Unix world in general reflects that attitude, it would seem that support for systemd is largely restricted to the developers and their blood relatives. It is still possible for systemd to be a welcome part of Linux, if the project can listen to the users, respond and change accordingly. Are they capable of that ?

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Jim 59
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systemd almost appears to be malevolent. It sees other parts of the system not as things to be cleanly interfaced with, or even managed, but as elements to be ignored, replaced, dominated. It even seems to regard systems administrators with contempt. Who is behind systemd ?

In recent years, the Gnome devs' main achievements have been to take the leading Linux desktop and turn it into an irrelevant basket case, and to take the no.1 distro and make it a distant no. 2, and to antagonise the devs in other projects, including Linus, and to acquire a reputation for bad design and bad programming.. Are these the kind of people you want running around in your core OS ?

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Jim 59
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Boot speed

At home I use Linux Mint, which contains systemd. I am happy to have systemd slice 10 seconds off the boot time. But it is a trivial matter, even if you reboot every day, and certainly not worth dragging in > half a million lines of code.

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Jim 59
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Re: What is systemd

@thames Depending on who you talk to, Systemd is either the spawn of Satan, or it's the salvation of software packagers. More specifically, it's a type of "init system".

Systemd is no longer a type of "init" system. As you say, it has forced its tentacles into every part of the OS, and is therefore a putative OS stack. Yes, it was introduced as an "init" system, but calling it that today is not an adequate description, and has misled many.

I agree with the greybeards that systemd breaks many unix design laws. It has grown from a single tool to take over the OS, in the same way that Windows grew from a windowing library to take over the OS. The code quality is also acknowledged to be poor, the size of the project has spiraled to over half a million lines and the functionality is opaque. What could possible go wrong ?

It is the manner of the systemd project which is bad, not systemd itself.

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Jim 59
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Re: Off to a bad start

The “Veteran Unix Admin collective” know what they are talking about IMO. They know bad design when they see it, and have spent decades keeping it well away from Unix. If you want to know what happens when bad design permeates an OS, see Windows. If bad design gets into the core of the OS, forget it.

Systemd is determined to penetrate every part of the OS, for no good reason. If it then wobbles, or the code starts to smell, or it gets too big, or bloats into millions of lines (all of which may already have happened), then any unix containing it will undergo sudden organ failure from which recovery may be impossible. It is therefore reassuring that at least one big distro will not carry that risk.

Unix does not do things for no reason. Why do Gnome developers want it to? They have poured their lives into rotating icons and bringing mobile-phone ephemera to the desktop, and they haven't listened to anybody for years and years. I respect their coding talent, but I don't want that mind set at the heart of Linux.

Leave the OS to the guys who are good at writing operating systems, and leave Gnome development to the Gnome guys.

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VISUALISED: The Golden Vulture Dropping of Excellence

Jim 59
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Tard mangling ?

or tard wrangling ?

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The Glorious Resolution: Feast your eyes on 5 HiDPI laptops

Jim 59
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Off topic, but I have been lusting after screen real estate ever since my 256x192 Dragon 32. I want mega resolutions and many external monitors. Not retina/dpi, but the ability to display many things at once. Like 5 spreadsheets full size without any overlap. I have a 1920x1080 laptop powering 2 external monitors at similar resolution, but it still isn't enough. Displayport is our only hope.

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