"and the company faces competition"
That explains things. Won't be allowed to last long.
7021 posts • joined 31 May 2010
"and the company faces competition"
That explains things. Won't be allowed to last long.
No. The lander was in fact awake before this, and it did some science. Unfortunately, Rosetta wasn't in place to receive it's data (and/or the comet's rotation means that Philae couldn't relay to Earth directly) so the data sat in the buffer, waiting to transmit.
This time around, the lander came online long enough to negotiate communications, but did not have time to empty it's buffer. We are hoping that future communications windows will occur, and will allow the lander to transmit it's data. After that, if there is power to spare, it will be assigned to do more science, again, in the hopes that we will have future communications windows for the data to be transmitted.
220 mail.example.org ESMTP service ready
250-myserver.fuckoffNSA.com knows encryption won't actually stop the NSA
220 Go ahead
"For people whose major asset is their Facebook account, it might not matter, but it does to the rest of us."
It matters to everyone, or it matters to noone. You do not get privacy for the privileged but not for the proles. That's how revolutions start.
You're right, I had gotten things mixed round in my brain. I was thinking of the Alliance Key Manager for Azure that everyone had been touting as the ultimate solution to Azure security problems (hah!) before Thales came around. What garbage.
Microsoft did have pre-thales stuff too. The previous generation's broken, expensive and Microsoft-vulnerable Windows RMS-based setup, for example. That's pre-Azure RMS that didn't use the hardware modules.
Oh, and the Cloudlink "we'll encrypt your VMs" offering that uses Bitlocker, which everyone is well aware was designed weak from the start and pwned by the NSA bloody ages ago. That was a laugh riot.
With Thales HSMs enterprises with Azure subscriptions and which have Thales hardware on their premises can secure (quoted from https://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/library/dn440580.aspx)
application that integrates with Azure RMS. This includes cloud services such as SharePoint Online, on-premises servers that run Exchange and SharePoint that work with Azure RMS by using the RMS connector, and client applications such as Office 2013
You cannot secure Exchange online, general VMs, general storage or, well...most of the stuff on Azure with Thales HSM. The things you can secure with Thales HSM you are trusting Microsoft that the key can't be extracted, intercepted or used because, well, it's pretty much Microsoft's own applications that use it at this point. (Though, to be fair, non-Microsoft applications that integrate with Azure RMS could in theory benefit.)
So you're still back to trusting Microsoft (and Thales, who are slightly more trustworthy), though you can't use Thales for a lot of things. It's a start. And maybe once it can be used for every element of the public cloud computing experience and we can guarantee every nanosecond of the chain of custody for the keys from you to the hardware device on Microsoft's premises can't be spied upon Azure will be ready for mildly sensitive workloads.
Amazon probably never will be.
Better still to just run the workloads on a regional service provider that lives in your own legal jurisdiction and not take the risk. You'll be less likely to sued into oblivion, probably get better service and you won't be putting your testicles in the vice of a convicted monopolist! Win/win/win.
You mean Azure's laughable key management system that holds your keys by running inside a VM running on Azure? The one that is rather expensive? Pray, tell, how does Thales keep the NSA from getting my keys?
(Not saying Amazon's does, but that Azure crapfest doesn't stop the NSA from extracting my keys from the VM running on Azure that holds them!)
Well, it's about time!
"And the major alternatives like OS-X and Linux have vastly more security holes in than current versions of Windows."
Except they don't. Because - again, like a goddamned broken record - you are counting every security issue in every package of a distro against the core Windows OS, without regard to vulnerability type or severity.
Linux distributions include hundreds if not thousands of applications whereas the Windows operating system only includes dozens to low hundreds. Windows does not, for example, include a full productivity suite nor a full suite of vulnerability assessment tools, multiple web servers and databases, multiple development environments and IDEs and so forth.
Windows' issues tend to be far more severe, and they take far longer to get fixed. Open source's issues are mostly that issues can (and do) go unnoticed (sometimes for years) because there simply aren't enough penetration testers willing to test open source. (Bounties are paid by proprietary companies!) Of course, Microsoft will gleefully discover a bug then sit on the damned thing for years, so that is somewhat moot.
You are correct in that it is harder to not run Windows in the specific circumstance where you are already deeply wedded to the Windows ecosystem and have critical Windows only applications. It's been a long time since that was a universal experience for all businesses, and more and more are getting out...and staying out of Microsoft's clutches.
Microsoft and Windows absolutely have their advantages. But you, sir, purposefully and knowingly distort statistics and facts to turn complex - but quantifiable - truths into blatant lies.
Sounds about right, yeah. Singularity I think the OS, and Midori the kernel? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midori_(operating_system)
I seem to recall Microsoft started a project on that a few years back. Complete rewrite of the kernel, new design...but it takes rather a lot of time, and may never see the light of day.
Give me three good sysadmins and budget enough for Puppet licenses and I'll show you how to run Twitter without needing a large IT staff.
Twitter, I figured out why you can't make money.
"Visio I *personally* have not found a *decent* replacement for - but that may again be a learning curve and *I* may be being stubborn."
No, there's no good substitute. There are a few SaaS apps that are browser delivered that are getting close, however, they are likely still a year or two away from "good enough".
"linux sucks as a desktop"
Quite right. But then, so does Windows 8, and Windows 10 isn't really all that great either. The real issue is "are the apps i need available?" Right now, the answer for most SMBs exploring Linux is - surprisingly - "yes". Enterprises will not get the same answer to that question.
Fast forward a few years. X11 will have been replaced by Weyland/Weston in production and available as a first class display system in enterprise Linux environments. This will have FreeRDP server baked right in to the display layer, offering full remote access as good as anything Microsoft delivers.
The Gnome team have - after years of acrimony - found their own asses, KDE shows faint hopes of maybe one day being able to find theirs, XFCE has seen a surge of development and both Mate and Cinnamon have exploded in uptake and development.
Red Hat is pouring muchos money into making sure that if your application runs on Windows it will run on Red Hat. You'll be able to make your Linux behave however you want. Application developers are increasingly embracing OSX and/or Android, both of which make the jump to Linux trivial.
Perhaps most critically, Microsoft doesn't really seem all that interested in making a desktop environments that's actually good anymore, they're only interested in making one that is passable enough that enterprises might consider migrating.
So just as Windows 7 is about to turn into a pumpkin Linux looks set to have it's shit together. Will Microsoft?
Today, Microsoft is the dominant player, but they have nowhere to go but down. Linux's adoption is so low any upward gain at all is a victory.
So, as you say, "right tool for the job at hand". And if you've two tools to hand, both capable, pick the one that costs less and you can trust more. It's up to you, the customer, to decide which that is for any given workload.
"Why are pretty much zero of them migrating then? Microsoft still have a ~90% desktop market share.
This will only be of interest to organisations wanting to remove legacy Linux systems from the office and stick them in a data centre..."
Because they're deploying their applications to non desktops. Browsers/aaS, smartphones and tablets are seeing exceptional growth, for example. There's more Android (which is Linux, BTW) out there than Windows. Apple's OSX market share isn't huge, but their iOS market share is impressive.
Also, there's no huge rush to move yet. Windows 7 was a great operating system. Windows 8 as ass, and Windows 10 is mostly ass, but we have 5 years before we all have to pick a path.
Android is moving onto the desktop. ChromeOS is more and more capable and seeing some pretty significant consumer uptake. OSX is growing significantly in the US and Linux is slowly, but surely, getting it's act together regarding desktops. (Now that X11 is finally on the way out.)
Over the next 5 years the options will change pretty dramatically. The availability of options through things like Horizon's support for Linux merely broadens the possible post Windows-7 migration paths.
Microsoft won't be maintaining it's 90% desktop market share past 2020. It won't be growing it's non-desktop market share by much either. Microsoft knows this. That's why they are developing applications for multiple platforms now.
The only person who can't accept the inevitability of change is you...and I'm not sure why you care so much that other people have access to - and choose to take advantage of - better options for endpoints. If you care anything for systems administration you should be happy that there is increased choice, not fighting it tooth and nail.
Which begs the question: who are you, and why are you rabidly opposed to anything except Microsoft's absolute dominance of all things? What's your stake in it? Most importantly, why can't you see the inevitable when it's heading for you like a freight train?
"We already know from Munich that the cost of migration and building the desktop environment ("Limux in this case) vastly exceeds any short and medium term savings. And the end result sucked so much that they are looking to reverse course after over a decade of desperately trying to make it work..."
Except none of that is true. Munich has saved quite a lot of money by going to Linux. Moreover, the 10 year review of their infrastructure is part of a regularly scheduled and per-planed process that has nothing at all to do with any dissatisfaction that may or may not exist regarding their Linux rollout.
If you can't be honest and objective about publicly available and easily debunked facts, why should anyone believe anything you have to say about Linux or Microsoft?
"Like I said, claiming "massive benefits" and other hand-waving is only convincing to the small minority that are already convinced."
Except that's not true. The majority of endpoints int he world are, in fact, running a Linux kernel in the form of Android. The majority of embedded systems are a Unix derivative. VXworks, Linux, WindRiver, or so forth. It is only the traditional desktop market that has been slow to change, but the change is occurring, no matter how adamantly you stamp your feet.
More and more businesses are convinced that the benefits of alternative desktop OSes are many. What's really interesting though is that I don't need Linux, or OSX, or anything else to be "the majority" operating system in a given niche in order to see value from it. I'm capable of doing objective and independent assessment of customer needs on a case by case basis and picking the best tool for the job.
Unlike you, I don't have an obsession with systems administration via what's most fashionable.
"No-one likes paying a fee for something, but the license fee is a pretty small component of the overall ownership/opportunity cost."
Few people mind paying a fee. The problem is that we're not talking about one-off fees anymore. Microsoft wants into you for subscriptions. Now that's fine in the USA where the economy is more or less stable and it makes perfect sense to bet your business on the fact that you'll always be able to pay your subscription fees to, well...fucking everything.
But the rest of the world isn't the USA. A significant chunk of the world is "boom and bust" economies with very few large enterprises. In these economies, dominated by SMBs, ownership of assets matters. Including digital ones. Front loading costs during a boom ensures you can survive the bust. It's a lesson hard learned, but one that billions of individuals in over a billion of the world's SMBs understand quite well. Microsoft is actively hostile to this model.
What's worse: you don't save money with Microsoft's "subscribe to everything, forever" model. Especially if you exist in an economic climate where there willinevitably be points where you need to sweat assets to survive.
What you don't ever seem able to grasp is that embracing Linux, OSX, BSD, Unix et. al is about more than trying to dodge some small fee. It's about having the flexibility to grow your business on your own terms...and to make it through rough patches without firing people. (Or by firing fewer people.)
You also make rediuclous false assertions that somehow switching to Linux - in whole or in part - will cost you more than simply submitting to Microsoft's demands. This isn't true. It hasn't been true for some time.
Larger organizations with more legacy cruft - Excel macros and plug-ins and so forth - may well have a high hurdle to jump. And I can only imagine that the process of moving a Fortune 500 or a government to Linux would be painful and expensive.
But IT isn't homogenous. Just because it's going to be an expensive, painful process in one area doesn't mean it will be in another. And, niche by niche, SMB by SMB, Linux absolutely will make inroads.
Horizon - and many of the open source alternatives that I know are emerging over the next 18 months - making Linux DaaS viable over WAN is a much bigger step towards this than you want to admit. It means that Linux desktops can be delivered by industry-specific MSPs, CSPs and VARs to their SMB customers. It offers a whole new model for application delivery and even the ability to provision entire desktops at prices that are far - far - more affordable than a Microsoft-based solution.
So we're not going to see a massive turnover tomorrow. But piece by piece we will see uptake. And the best part is that uptake will probably be innovative. Free of licensing restrictions, we may well see new models and new approaches emerge that simply aren't realistically feasible under a Microsoft regime, and they may exist alongside traditional Windows desktops.
And hell, why not? Windows on the physical endpoint because that's what available at PC-world, but push out the individual applications via browser SaaS, Linux DaaS or RDS as required. Reduce the RDS as much as humanly possible in order to cut costs and simplify delivery and eventually you're free of Microsoft.
Sure, maybe you have Windows endpoints, but if your application delivery is all over the wire they don't have to be Windows. They can be whatever the end user wants...they don't actually have any apps on the damned thing anyways.
Get run over by malware? Restore the endpoint back to it's clean slate and run your 5 days and 500 reboots worth of updates and you're good.
Just because things have always been one way does not mean they will continue to be. I fully agree that the biggest corporations and governments will be slow to change, simply because they are traditionally conservative organisations that take forever to embrace new technologies.
But SMBs won't be so reluctant. The midmarket absolutely will jump on this. More to the point, I have already started to see a lot of excited chatter about it and meetings are scheduled to plan POCs.
You can rail against the dying of the light all you want, but Microsoft does not own the future. Gods Christ man, even Microsoft themselves know that. That's why they're cranking out their applications for non-Microsoft operating systems now!
We get it. You love Microsoft. You will always love Microsoft. We've always been at war with Eastasia and you absolutely will have them do it to Julia. Do you want a golf clap or something?
The rest of the world is moving on. We will make use of new technologies and IT will diversify. The hegemony is broken. Cope.
"Its not just about the apps Trevor - there is no compelling reason for the vast majority of users or businesses to move to Linux. Its change for the sake of change (or ideology in your case). Its that simple. Delivering it as a VM doesnt substantially change that equation, and wont bring Linux crashing through the lofty heights of the 2% ceiling it currently aspires to (across all distros)."
It absolutely is all about the apps. The apps are what matters. They are why we have OSes in the first place. It's that simple.
Change to Linux just for the sake of change would absolutely be stupid. Change to Linux however, brings massive benefits. Not the least of which being cost. Especially now that we can properly do Linux in a Desktop as a Service model.
Microsoft's licensing is comically atrocious. Especially as regards Desktop as a Service. But Linux - aha - no such problems here. I can pay for a handful of licenses for my development instances, then use the same scripts and configs to cascade to free version of the same distro and I'm good. Especially in a "golden master" scenario.
What this means is that I can build really low overhead instances to deliver individual apps, and do so cheaply. And it doesn't matter what OS is on the client. And yes, this will see an increase in use of Linux by end users...even if they don't know that they are using Linux to have their app delivered.
Oddly enough, it probably will mean OSX gains traction on the actual endpoint, not Linux.
It also means that lock-in isn't a concern. Microsoft's lock-in is fierce, and they have no problem whatsoever with squeezing those vice grips they have around our collective testicles. But lo! Now there is a real alternative. Proper remote desktop support was all that was really missing to get Linux off the ground in many cases.
Competent Linux administrators aren't nearly so difficult to find as they were 15 years ago. And with Horizon's delivery mechanism it's really hard for end users to bork anything.
Also, for the record, you're not an idiot for "not agreeing with me". You're an idiot because you can't get your head out of your own brand tribalist ass long enough to assess things objectively.
It has nothing to do with loyalty, or corporate brand, or stupid little IT religious bullshit. It has everything to do with "good enough", cost control and the business risk of suppliers that simply can't be trusted.
There are absolutely going to be lots of use cases where Windows will be required and nothing else will do. There will also be a whole bunch of cases were inertia and brand tribalism prevent people from even considering anything different or now.
But by the same token the tools available for use on Linux absolutely are "good enough" for an ever increasing number of individuals and companies. More to the point, perhaps, projects like enabling Horizon to work with Linux make consuming Linux based apps and/or entire desktops as risk free as possible. It allows for smoother transitions and it can dramatically assist with cost control, even if that cost control is simply "another stick with which to beat Microsoft at the negotiating table".
More options is a good thing.
You don't seem to every be able to get that. More fool you.
"So how that going running all those Excel BI addins for your company's business applications going under Linux?"
Perfectly well, thanks. Probably because I'm not a complete idiot and I didn't allow my company to be locked in with such obvious idiocy, so I don't have any Excel add-ons, and have completely and utterly forbidden office add-ons with teh exception of ubitmenu.
Mind you, I don't use Oracle for my database either. Also because I'm not an idiot. It's my company. Why the hell would I voluntarily hand control of it over to someone else?
Good point. I was mostly thinking about it in the context of "trying to drag a usable desktop across the internet from my testlab and down my ADSL to my house". RDP is still the wild master at this, though SPICE is getting there...
Thank you, Microsoft!
I don't disagree. That said, you can run OSX in a VM. Just sayin'...
"All you have to do is look at Glassdoor and see that developers make more money than system administrators on average."
Depends. Glassdoor breaks up "systems administrators" into the various subspecialities pretty granularly. Network admins, storage admins, etc make rather a lot, and it really depends on where you live. Devs in Canada, for example, don't make a lot...but they do in the valley. (Where glassdoor is most popular.)
"Most of the interesting work, and the glory, is in designing and engineering something new, i.e., being a developer."
And? You're talking about what motivates you, personally. Not what is delivering value to a company and to the end customer.
"but I guess you would be the elevator repairman because in your comically warped world view, that guy is somehow more important and better paid and everybody else is a bunch of idiots."
Actually, because it's a maintenance specialty, "elevator repairpeople" are usually quite well paid. But they are narrowly focused specialists, so I wouldn't think that they are knowledgeable about how to manage and maintain an entire building. managing and maintaining a building would be the job of utilities/facilities staffs.
And oh, yes, I don't for a fraction of a second think that most architects know how to maintain buildings. That's why architects are supported by teams of engineers who are in turn supported by teams of drafters and other ancillary staffs.
Architects and proper Iron Ring engineers are a great example of regulated professions in which there are massive legal incentives to think of every little thing. Fuck up and you lose your license to practice. You may even go to jail.
This doesn't exist for developers. If developers fuck up, the sysadmin gets yelled at when things fail. Developers aren't held to the sorts of standards that proper engineers, architects and so forth must meet. There is nothing mandating professional ethics or regulating responsibility within the industry.
The architect takes feedback from a massive team of people and runs simulation after simulation and discusses every aspect of everything with specialists. Including - low and behold - facilities specialists who can inform the architect about maintenance challenges they haven't thought of.
A modern architect working under legal regulation isn't a good analogue for a developer. They're an analogue for a certified project managed leading a unified SecDevOps team.
Developers tend to exist in a vaccum. In some cases - like developing your own piece of scientific software where only your own fingers will ever be in the soup - that is passably acceptable. In most cases, however, it's not.
"In the large companies I've worked at, everybody out of college with a computer science/engineering degree tries to interview for a developer position."
That's because computer science is about teaching you how to program. It isn't about teaching systems administration.
"The ones who fail both interviews but still seem fairly knowledgable about computers get put into system administration. It's always their last choice, it pays the least, and it means they already failed two interviews for things they'd rather be doing. You can decide what to take away from this information."
Well, yes, it would be their last choice because they're accepting a job they didn't train for. Probably at the lowest possible rank and the most substandard pay. I sure as hell wouldn't pay a computer science graduate even half of what I'd pay a properly trained systems administrator produced by my local polytechnic.
I can take a trained sysadmin cranked out of an actual systems administration program at a polytechnic and let them lose on the network after only a week or two of orientation. It would take me months just to deprogram a computer science graduate, let alone train them in what they need to know!
Now, that said, if I can deprogram a computer science graduate and train them up as a proper sysadmin - that takes about two to two and a half years - then what I've got is a DevOps specialist. They're trained as a developer and they've learned to think in risk assessment and operational terms. That is valuable.
Take that same person and teach them security and 5 years after they've landed in the department they'll be SecDevOps and probably the highest paid non-executive in the whole company. They'll also easily be the most valuable member of the IT team.
But you see, there's the key. The ability to think holistically. To run a team, and solicit input about all the moving parts before architecting one's datacenter. It's knowing enough to know what you don't know, then finding specialists to provide feedback to fill the gaps. It's thinking in terms of "what can go wrong" instead of simply "how can I solve this".
If any of this sounds familiar you might worked on mainframes. That specific subclass of developer who works on mainframes tends to have to work like this. They can't simply reboot every time something goes squirrely. They have to play nice with everything else. And any outage not only is going to cost millions, it may well cost lives.
There aren't a hell of a lot of those folks left. In today's world, it's the SecDevOps guys who are taking up the mantle. In a lot of ways, they have it harder, because they have networking and security issues to consider that a lot of the mainframe devs never had to worry about.
The best designed building in the world is worth nothing if it can't be inhabited. And no building can be inhabited unless it was designed from the start to be maintainable and is actually properly maintained. Over time, even the best designed building in the world will need to evolve. Telephone jacks will give way to RJ-45, which will give way to fibre. Power will be upgraded. Asbestos will be found to be a bad building material and need to be removed.
Architects don't solve those problems. Facilities staffs do.
What an architect - a good architect - does is make sure that the building can be evolved over time. That it's service life is longer than the technologies of which it is composed. A good architect listens to input from dozens of specialties and the result is a building that can have a useful service life that lasts centuries.
There is mainframe code out there has has persisted for decades. It will persist for decades to come.
Embedded devices exist all over this planet. Billions of them, growing at a rate of tens of billions of devices a year. Will they last decades? Will this "internet of things" be secure, hardened, capable of withstanding the evolution of IT over the life of the devices involved? Or will cars and microwaves and toasters move from decades of service life to years, not because of mechanical failure, but because of bad code?
Will the rock star snowflake developers of today, who believe in their own importance and that they know best architect applications that serve as monuments and withstand the test of time, or will they need to be managed, maintained, defended and ultimately discarded?
How long will your code last?
"Exactly, because Apple are the only company who specifically refuse to allow you to run OSX within a VM legally."
You can run OSX in a VM. That VM must, however, reside on Apple hardware.
"name me any other company of similar size to MS in technology that doesn't have all the same motivations and problems? Apple? Google? Lenovo? HP?"
Lenovo, for the most part, is actually one I would classify as "there for the customer". They make mistakes - everyone does - but if they piss off their customers, they're dead. They simply aren't big enough to survive screwing their customers. They have lock-in. No monopoly.
Apple, Google, HP and many others have the ability to get you locked right in, and they have no issues with then squeezing you until you've been drained dry. There are very few companies that manage to get vices on our testicles that don't then squeeze for all they're worth...but Microsoft has more vices than most, and their entire business is abotu funneling you from one lock-in to the next through "integration".
Microsoft are not merely "not focused on customer interests", they are so arrogant and secure in their various monopolies (and duopolies) that they are outright hostile to their users, partners, etc.
"You're holding it wrong" isn't even a fraction of the condescending hostility, Microsoft has. For all their faults, Apple are just less shit to their customers, and they've gotten better since Steve passed. They aren't saints, but my trust in them is a less negative number.
As for "MS will eventually learn", that's a matter of hope, not fact. They haven't learned. I have no reason to believe they ever will. If and when they do, I'll revisit my opinion of them.
"Ultimately though your comments show that you've sadly become blinded by rage with MS and it clouds some otherwise perfectly valid arguments."
There's no rage, except at the licensing department. But I view them as separate from the others, because Microsoft is a collection of fifedoms, not a unified entity. I analyze Microsoft. They are points of data that are fed into a risk assessment matrix. I look at everything from past behaviour to personality traits of various leaders, to taking the time to investigate the political situation within the company and determine which individuals hold what level of sway and in what areas.
Other than Ninite, I am loyal to no company. I loathe brand tribalism and I refuse to let emotion cloud my judgements when I examine organizations. I also refuse to consider individual products in isolation. A product is part of an ecosystem and that ecosystem is governed by the actions of the corporations that make it up.
If I am hostile towards Microsoft it is because they are hostile towards my interests. And why shouldn't I be? Why should any organization or individual get the benefit of the doubt, or a break, or a presumption that future behavior will not align with past behavior? Where is the ROI in blind trust?
Trust, like respect, is earned. Microsoft have done a great deal to lose both my trust and my respect, and next to nothing to regain it.
I'm also highly intolerant of intolerance. Humans are lovely bundles of contradiction, eh?
"Trevor, I thought it was the pilot that made the plane fly, but I stand corrected."
Used to be. Pilot also used to be one of the mechanics. Now, for the most part, pilot's there to look after the dog, and the dog's there to bite the pilot if'n he tries to touch anything.
"Scientists are generally technical focussed types; they learn and apply the knowledge they have acquired carefully...Perhaps it's that although they all have the potential to do well with computers they choose not to."
When i get home, the very last thing I want to do is work out the parts of my brain dedicated to logic and technical thinking, etc. I don't want to fix my own computer. I don't want to measure every single grain of rice for supper, or make the perfect loaf of bread in the breadmaker.
Decision fatigue is well known, but I think "logic fatigue" is also a thing. Brains get overworked. With the exception of a certain class of aspie, most people can't think in pure logic all day, every day.
One example: I have studied molecular gastronomy. I understand more about the chemistry of food preparation than a normal person should. But most of the time, when I cook, it's *schlorp* from a can into a pot and mindless consumption of pesudo-food. Why? Because I spend all day nerding about really difficult problems that are highly technical and complex.
Just like a chemist doesn't want to learn every last thing there is to learn about every operating system and application, and then apply that knowledge every time they use the computer, I don't really want to cook every meal with a molecular gastronomy approach.
That I can cook meals that will melt your mind is cool. I bust it out when absolutely required, or to impress someone. Similarly, many a chemist can troubleshoot Windows or Linux, but choose not to do systems administration as a part of their day job because they simply have other things they'd rather be doing.
Like the things that get them paid.
"The only important people are the end users, the customers. All the rest of us are just support staff whose jobs and purpose depend upon those."
"For those who believe their Windows or, generally, Linux platforms are much more stable or flexible or useable: I question your experience and open mindedness."
A tool is a tool. If all you know how to use is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But once you figure out screwdrivers, a whole other world opens up. Then you learn about rivets and another universe can be explored.
Brand tribalism and fear of the unknown are the biggest issues to be overcome in any group of individuals: nerd or user alike.
"Trevor, you are not a cynic, you are an arrogant SOB. Period. If you were able to just get over yourself a little bit, you'd find the rest of the world a much nicer place."
Like all people, I have my predjudices. I also - like all people - have many flaws. Unlike most, I spend a reasonable amount of time in introspection, and am aware of my predjudices and my flaws in great detail. Awareness isn't the ability to change, however - if it were diet failure, alcoholism and many other human psychological ailments wouldn't be an issue - but awareness is the first step.
Part of knowing thyself is knowing not only your faults and limits, but your capabilities and areas of knowledge/expertise/etc. I know what I know, and - far more critically - I know what I don't know. This has a few side effects.
The first is that I am functionally immune to chastisement from individuals who don't know me particularly well. With very few exceptions they aren't able to articulate grievances or counter arguments beyond an emotive blithering that is tied to a loathing of their own inability to affect my opinion.
The second is that I care almost nothing for the emotional contrivances, brand tribalist attachments or self-aggrandizing self-importance of others. I recognize that many people need to think of themselves as special, or superior or somesuch. I don't particularly care. Nor do I care if speaking the truth as I see it hurts their feels. Evidence of superiority or GTFO.
The reason this flows from my own self-awareness is simply that I've had to come face to face with my own utter irrelevance. In the grand scheme of things - hell, in most day-to-day circumstances involving even the most important people in my life - I am meaningless. Utterly disposable and replaceable. A "cog", as it was so rightly put.
Being a replaceable, disposable cog is my job. It is inculcated into systems administrators from day one. Our whole existence is based on the concept of risk management. Hundreds of times a day we have to make decisions where "how can this be maintained if I get hit by a bus" is a fundamental consideration.
Systems administrators spend their entire careers engineering themselves to be disposable and replaceable and automating themselves out of a job. It's ground into us at every turn. We spend our careers working out ways to replace everyone else, too. We see the world and all it's people as little more than the tasks they complete and the manner in which they are completed.
"Rock stars" that stand out are bad. They are hard - if not impossible - to replace, and that makes them a stability threat, if not a security threat.
Now, if you want to sit there and believe that someone trained almost since birth to think of themselves as utterly disposable is "full of themselves" you go right ahead. You are, in fact, merely reinforcing my entire point about developers.
My disdain for developers is something that has been earned over decades. Maybe if you spent a little less time trying to prove how you're such a special snowflake and more time coding unit tests you'd be able to start reversing that opinion.
Unless what you code is so perfect, so well designed, co complete so flawless and filled with exception-checking and error handling that it can stand on it's own - and there are damned few developers who can do that - then being a unique special snowflake is a hindrance, not an asset.
If you don't like that I point that out, too bad. If you don't like that I don't respect developers, too bad. Respect is earned. it is not a default setting.
In 20 years of doing this I have learned the hard way that the overwhelming majority of developers are threats to security, to stability, to unit cohesion and to the success of ongoing operations. They need to be carefully risk managed.
If you want to call that being full of myself, go right ahead. I call it learning how business for beginners. Now, if you want to get into the care and feeding of sysadmins, I'd be glad to discuss all the risks they pose too, and the special considerations required to handle them.
In my experience, most normal users don't ahve issues with any given application nearly so much as they have issues with Windows Explorer. To the end user, Windows Explorer is Windows. And they are frustrated as all hell by it.
Don't confuse reluctantly using Windows with "not hating Windows". In my experience, most people who use Windows loathe it, but feel they have no other choice. That's sort of why "Windows" was a really bad way to sell phones. The brand name is a net negative.
Though, oddly, the UK has a much higher % of Windows phone users than elsewhere. Blackberry users too. Quite odd.
You can't support unless you can code. But there's more money in solving other people's mistakes than in making your own.
There are plenty of Mac users who aren't scientists or zealots. Zealots are a small (but disproportionately noisy, arrogant and irritating) segment of any user population.
There was a period, however, where "zealots" were all Apple had left. It lasted over a decade. And their increasingly inane (and insane) drivel altered the public perception of the mac user for generations to come.
You seem to think (wrongly) that I have something against Macs. I don't. But I do have rather a big chip on my shoulder against zealots, of any religious or brand tribalist persuasion.
I should point out that I don't consider most scientists "developers". They are scientists. Code for them is a tool, the resulting program is a tool. It's not the purpose of their efforts. Scientists don't need to build applications that handle every bizarre possible condition or scenario. They are generally very purpose built. More to the point, they have incentive to make sure their tools work right...because if they don't, they'll get ripped to shreds.
Developers don't have any of that. The application they write is they point of their existence. There is no special prize for getting it right, and the disincentives for getting it wrong are indistinguishable from random "synergies" or "outsourcing events" that periodically decimate their ranks anyways. There is precious little incentive for a developer to crank out more than the most basically functional anything, and few (if any) have a system of peer review anywhere near as strict as scientists.
"It's the team wot wins dummy"
No it's not. The person who wins is the person who walks away with the most money. That's usually the shareholders.
"I hate to break it to you, you are not the most important, bestest and most knowledgeable cog in the wheel, you are just a cog."
I absolutely am the most knowledgeable cog, but that doesn't make me the best or the most important. It does make me infinitely more useful than developers, however. Mind you, so was the cow I had for supper.
"Like everyone else."
There are certainly logs of professions that are great analogues to systems administrators. And calling systems administrators "cogs" is entirely accurate. But don't for a second think that everyone is "the same" or "equally valuable" or any of the rest of that bunk. Those who get the most value out of a project - shareholders, VCs, etc - are not remotely the most valuable. Capital has it's value, but the provisioning of capital is remunerated disproportionately in our current economy.
Similarly, developers are egotistical prima donnas that only occasionally provide more value (in the form of their code) than they drain (in the form of the ongoing costs of operations, maintenance, security breaches, legal and regulatory compliance, etc.) While many problems can be solved with code and a computer, that doesn't mean that the pseudo-primate in front of the keyboard is actually capable of delivering on that vision.
Meanwhile, I could turn to a kindred spirit, the building utilities guy, and point to him as the fellow who actually keeps it all glued together. The servers don't run if the A/C don't blow, or the power don't flow. The machines don't make widgets if they don't get maintained, and they don't move out the door if the courier can't get his truck up to the dock.
Meanwhile, I could replace half the sales force with a shell script and marketing are stuck using a playbook from the 1970s and are completely and utterly inept.
If you want to give everyone a ribbon, you're preaching to the wrong cynic. I evaluate professional value based on tangible criteria, and in my experience the overwhelming majority of developers are - at best - a wash. That's why the ones that are actually worth a damn get paid so much. They're so rare that there's no choice but to pay way over the odds.
What do you make again?
":And without all those dimwitted asinine developers to make stuff for you to support, what line of work do you think you'd be in?"
Well, I switched to writing. But had I not been burned out like a weak candle by the thundering stupidity of the world's developers over the past 20 years? Robotics. Possibly geology. Maybe even neuropharmacology or practical epigenetics.
Really, if we had developers that could code shit worth a damn, the possibilities are pretty much endless. As a society, we'd have so much technological abundance i could do what i love instead of what makes me money.
If we simply didn't have computers because there were no programmers at all, I'd definitely be in geology. Probably inventing electromechanical robots to do geology more safely.
Remember, sirrah, I had a life of fixing computers foisted upon me. I've no love for fixing yet another goddamned printer error or solving some insane security problem brought about by some developer's crazed idea of ACLs. I'm owe developers a living. I owe them a therapy bill.
Am I going crazy, or wasn't there a third party USB driver for NT? I thought I remembered USB devices on an NT workstation once...but it was so long ago it's all hazy.
The problem with Surface Pros is that they are sold by Microsoft, and Microsoft can't be trusted with anything, ever. They not only don't have our best interests in mind, they aren't even trying very hard to hide it any more.
Cloud first, mobile first. Staff, partners, developers and customers last.
"don't get confused about who's adding the real value to the project"
I'm not. It's the systems administrators that add real support. Systems administrators build layer after layer of defenses and kludges, patches and scripting to handle the shitty, code cranked out by dimwitted, asinine "programmers" who can't look beyond their own blinkered arrogance long enough to perform even the most basic unit testing. Developers are a goddamned menace.
In a world where this shit parade that is modern applications run critical systems upon which lives depend it is systems administrators that keep us all actually alive. If it were up to the developers, we'd all have died a dozen times over as soon as some unexpected exception occurred and blew up the whole goddamned contraption.
It's not the engineers who design the plane that make it fly. It's the maintenance crew that make sure the damned thing works - and who solve problems the engineers never anticipated - that keep her in the air.
Never, ever trust developers. especially when lives matter. They'll just assume that the entire goddamned world is exactly like their lab, and then people die.
"and would also stop the FCC from using any funds to implement its "protecting and promoting the open internet" order"
Question: if the American people kickstarterd a few tens of millions of dollars for the FCC to implement it's "protecting and promoting the open internet" order, would the Congressional fuckwittery still stop it? Can the people fund an agency that protects their ascii in the meantime and betweentime until this is all sorted/
Wikipedia has an article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Klinefelter_XXY. Off the top of my head, I know of no other sources, as the whole list was pulled from memory, and sexuality isn't my specialty when it comes to genetics.
"As best I can tell, we do have two (maybe three) sexes: one with testes, one with ovaries and perhaps one with ovatestes."
You choose to see it that way. Why you feel a need to simplify reality down to something more basic is beyond me, but it seems to be important to you. That need on your part, however, isn't reality.
A functioning SRY gene, for example, doesn't make you a male. It may cause - and does in all but a handful of edge cases - the development of male genitals, but it doesn't mean that the full suite of male hormones are extant and at levels that are normative.
Similarly, females can be androgenic which makes for a massively different life than non-androgenic females. It's a completely different sex, and it strongly contributes to gender identity, but isn't the whole of the basis for it.
Sex is about more than the phenotypic presentation of gonads. It involves everything from endocrine presentation (hormone levels) to neuroconstruction (which varies between the sexes, including neurotransmitter baselines.)
"Some people, for whatever reason, end up feeling they are the wrong phenotype. Those people would do anything to be be a "normal" man or woman."
Not all. Typically this presents in highly conservative cultures where prejudice is dominant. Elsewhere, where begin different is okay, the need to "be normal" isn't as important.
"Multiplying the number of sexes doesn't help."
Help what? Simplify things down to your binary view of sex? Reality doesn't tend to care how we choose to view the world.
"You're saying "hey these people might be in another category entirely"; it's more or less like a cis woman who says to a non-cis woman, "you don't have my experience, you have your own experience". "
The cis woman in your example would be correct.
"The argument can't be won by pointing at a gene or brain scan; the phenotype people feel is a subjective thing and that has to be accepted, before we even get to the performance of "gender"."
Wrong. Genetics and hormone levels can tell us biological gender. And there are a hell of a lot more than just two genders. Each biological gender will have it's own reality. The drive, experience, motivations, and biological impetus towards a gender identity will be different for each. For that matter, sexual preference is predominantly biological too, though some people do make a choice that is counter to their biological inputs. (There are, for example, plenty of documented cases where homosexual individuals chose heterosexual lifestyles in order to be normative.)
"Gender" is the result of all of this. Biological, environmental (epigenetic) and environmental (cultural) forcing all coming together to create the identity of the individual.
"Children are yours. You don't get anything out of shitty IT jobs other than a smaller than it should paycheck."
Uh...no. Children are human beings that are born with a full suite of inalienable rights. They are not property. They belong to themselves and noone else.
Your paycheque should be paying your mortgage, car and other material goods. You get to keep those. Those material goods are yours.
"I surely can't be the only person in IT who loves his or her job. "
Oddly enough, if you'd actually read my comment you would have noticed that I had already predicted that response and discussed it. From my previous comment:
"Every now and again some wag feels they need to post about how great their specific job is, but they are the exception that proves the rule. The fact that having a job that only demands you work the number of hours specified in your local labour legislation is something nerds use to measure the size of their penis is itself proof that IT jobs, in general, are ass."
Stop being predictable!
"But if you do not have them at some point while you're still young, you are missing on a very important part of life."
No, I'm not. I have two cats, a bearded dragon, several hundred fish, a long tailed grass lizard and a Mediterranean house gecko. I am full up on other organisms that believe they are the emperor of the universe and that I am their subject, thanks.
I understand that it's a universal thing amongst parents that they need to delude themselves into believing that child rearing is somehow "special" and 'rewarding" and other such things. I don't buy it for a second.
I get all the "special" and "rewarding" I need when I have a kitty jump up on the couch beside me, flop over and purr like a goddamned lawnmower for an hour while I rub his belly. Or when the beardie climbs up bed and park herself directly on my chest and promptly passes out.
As hard as it is for breeders to understand, there is no part of me that desires children. There is no part of my life that is void without them, there is no space in my desires or happiness that they need to fill.
The next generation should be grateful that I am not passing on my genes. They are not good genes. Humanity gets a little bit less awful, and I live a contented life. I think this "not spawning" thing has it's merits.
Which is exactly why I've never spawned any larva.
Most IT jobs are pretty shit. IT is thankless, the pay is bad, the stress is intense, the demands to work 24/7 are incessant...the list goes on.
Every now and again some wag feels they need to post about how great their specific job is, but they are the exception that proves the rule. The fact that having a job that only demands you work the number of hours specified in your local labour legislation is something nerds use to measure the size of their penis is itself proof that IT jobs, in general, are ass.
Every time someone whines about how there are no women in IT, I want to slap them with a salmon and yell "that's because they're smarter than us, you blithering idiot!"
If you want women in IT, make IT jobs less shit.
"I make a point of never replying to Mr. Pott as the result is usually a tirade, but it does occur to me that given the known proclivities of our intelligence agencies, who may even read the comments on El Reg, he may be writing with a view to being prevented from entering the US in future."
I'm 100% positive the Americans knows that I am no fan of the TSA by now. I obey them. That doesn't mean I have to think they're anything other than powermad drones drained of their humanity.
If the US of NSA wants to prevent me from entering because I believe all people - regardless of nationality - deserve civil rights and are entitled to the preservation of dignity, well, there's not much I can do about that, is there. I'm not going to change what I believe in that regard, ever.
"And, for what it's worth, when I have a good experience with the TSA, I do thank them. Nothing wrong with returning courtesy for courtesy, regardless of what I think of the institution."
Also, for what it's worth, I've never had an issue with CATSA, and they've been absolutely understanding and wonderful border guards who are worthy of - and receive - my own thanks and gratitude each time. That said, I don't view CATSA as "airport security". They're customs agents. The security folk seem to be entirely separate, because CATSA don't feel the need to threaten or bully. The TSA, on the other hand...
"In fact, it's more of a chance for world leaders in politics, business, and technology to exchange ideas frankly without having to hold back for fear of being quoted. "
Why should they be allowed this luxury? We're not.
If we must give up our civil liberties then our leaders should be under the microscope of absolute and unremitting transparency 24 hours a day 7 days a week. No secrets for us should absolutely mean no secrets for them.
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