Re: Can I just leave this thought with you?
Ctrl-Z and Ctrl-Y next, then Ctrl-F [keyword] in a window displaying a long document?
1323 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007
Ctrl-Z and Ctrl-Y next, then Ctrl-F [keyword] in a window displaying a long document?
"On similar lines, lots of software interface people talk a lot about "intuitive use patterns", which, if you you have no similar past experience to draw on, are anything but intuitive."
Yup - computer training a couple of decades ago as well and I became aware that some of the participants did not have a clear idea of a window on the screen - the rectangle did not strike them as an entity that could be moved and that was a different region to the underlying desktop. A couple of minutes demonstrating sorted it fine.
"Personally, I think that tool sounds great. If they could open source it, would make a lot of desktop and security ppl's jobs quite a bit easier..."
My agreement with your sentiment is cancelled out by my reaction to your use of 'ppl', hence no up-vote.
Coat: personally one hails taxis unless attending a social event in which case 'carriages at Midnight' is the rule.
"Have you been to the slackware website? It's 1991 in there."
But you can run -current with a mainline kernel quite easily. And compile development versions of applications should you wish to.
Coat: Well, this page is actually about Mint so I'm off.
"In 1914 the sea-going equipment was still simple, but the system was practical, reliable, trusted and would soon be battle tested. Most of the equipment was still based around spark transmitters and crystal sets using the Low frequency and Medium frequency bands, but the Royal Navy already had 15 years experience and had developed tactics and operations based around it use."
Spark transmitter = pulse of em energy with a wide frequency spread & so hard to coordinate among a fleet of ships (basically turns taking) or did they have tuned circuits in the antenna to filter out some of the energy? Raining tomorrow so I'll be researching.
"In the UK, there is Entroware who sell Linux, especially, Ubuntu-based, laptops."
Thanks for the signposting.
What does herself think of the keyboard? Does it bend when typing?
I, too, will be thinking about a newer lighter machine in the new year.
Icon: toss up between the pint in thanks and the coat in regard to bare legs in December.
I used to commute on the Mersey ferry(*) some score of years ago.
They would tie one 4 inch thick rope round a bollard and then swing the ferry boat against the motors to align the stern with the Seacombe landing stage. The ropes complained loudly when the tide was running. I tended to stay back a little until the drawbridge went down.
(*) 1200 tonnes, four engines.
"I had an Auditor in Oracle tell me I was a bastard and it was low down tricks I'd pulled after his "sale" fell through and I got the same licenses for half the price from another region."
Ever thought of doing a bit of consultancy/trouble-shooting on the side? Might get a few customers by the sound of it.
Human judges can have their foibles as well apparently.
I take the larger point and I am in favour of a simplification of things if possible. Remove some of the turtle layers.
Coat: Battered copies of Naomi Klein's books and a couple of Ruskoff's in the pocket
The people who collate and promote research on errors in spreadsheets (Panko is yer man)
Popular article on the phenomenon
The old sum(A1:thingy) joke
Joel Spolsky's recollection of a meeting with Billy G
Icon: happy weekend all
Quote from OA
"(One of my well-known City clients took their analysts' spreadsheet creations for tradeable indexes, and turned them into C++ for production speed and manageability.)"
@ Christopher Reeve's Horse and all
Just wondering if some kind of automated ingestion of a spreadsheet and excretion of code is in principle possible. Subject to reasonable rules about circularity of references &c.
Some of my perhaps unorthodox spreadsheet uses....
oldie but goodie.
Core Maths idea.
"Our research shows that a 'basic,' functional office suite, which is streamlined with a 'simple' and uncluttered, uncomplicated UI, serves an incredib[ly] under-represented community."
I use oOo on my stable Slackware 14.2 install. Just works, and I know where the bugs are. I can get stuff done.
I know and appreciate LO on my test machine - some whizzy stuff and some changes to UI and the detailed behaviour of some of the functions (e.g. drawing tools). This is inevitable when you refactor code that is decades old I suppose.
I seriously hope the compatibility of files between the two versions is maintained.
As others have said, pints to all involved.
"I don't know what the solution is to prevent air con wars in offices, but dismissing people who genuinely can't cope with the air temperature being cold is not it."
This might sound daft but it is not meant to be: some form of localised heating?
Other countries may have this sorted a bit... but not for hands...
Coat: I always have a fleece in my bag in case of aggressive aircon
@Anonymous South African Coward
"Even more fun if it encrypts the financial database on-the-fly and hundreds of users lose a day's work*..."
At least no delay then - didn't get into the backups.
"...or a Heisenberg ticket, where you can know your destination, or the price, but not both."
Flann O'Brien touch there, very nice. And bicycles.
"The few multi-mode passes available are too expensive to be worthwhile for most people, and some of them are only available from travelshops (of which there are a grand total of 2 in Manchester)"
Birmingham and West Midlands: network card (all zones) costs £109/month from many newsagents and travel-shops with discount for 12 months direct debit. That gets you on most buses (only the small number of Arriva services coming in from Warwickshire won't accept the network card), local trains and our tiny but growing tramline.
What is your definition of 'too expensive' for multi-mode tickets in Manchester by comparison?
PS: we have partial oyster type thingies in several forms. Buses only at present. Depending on how they decide to add the trains onto the swift cards it might be better for me.
"About that... let me describe some of my experiences with low-level X11 coding..."
Any code out there at all Bombastic Bob? Sounds interesting.
(I could imagine a live iso demo of your work - would need a loud hailer icon. And a *really* loud welcome sound...)
Coat: off out now
"I have a very similar X220, except with Xubuntu, and I swear that it boots in well under 45 seconds"
Probably does. Slackware does an old school boot and for some reason the 'kernel test' takes 10 seconds. But I mostly suspend and reboot once a week or so or when kernel updates arrive.
Coat: mine's the one with the Slackware DVD in the pocket
"Your humble hack's old X220 is one of the last units with the old-style keyboard, which is why it's in service six years later despite being so slow to boot you can make a cup of tea and be back before it's ready to use."
X220 + SSD + no-name battery = boot in 45 sec (cos Slackware) seriously snappy and fully functional.
Time for a reinstall?
Comment on OA: 4:3 ratio and same form factor as X60 but with bright non-reflective screen and 12 hour battery life and I'll buy two.
"The culture at Microsoft was, we used to go to a class about precision questions. The idea was to destroy anyone's [argument] in the first five minutes by asking highly precise questions... but it was being used as an instrument of offence,"
Isn't this discourse in this style called science?
Perhaps without the agression but am I the only one who thinks that some of Microsoft's recent products could have benefitted from a little more precise questionning before release?
Coat: Popper's Logic of Scientific Discovery in one pocket and Lakatos' Proofs and Refutations in the other.
"teaching is a a notoriously sexist profession"
I'd accept that there is an institutional gender bias. Teaching in primary schools offers mandatory hours and a calendar that fits well with having children, so attractive to people who are the main carers in a family, and that I accept is still predominantly women. I accept the point about the scarcity of men in primary sector - but teacher gender ratios closer (but not equal to) parity in secondary, the figures I can find are in the 60% to 65% women range. College sector (where I teach) is in my experience closer to parity.
"This certainly was my experience at school with a number of women teachers being quite openly sexist and making disparaging comments about boys in general."
I used to hear that kind of stuff in 90s/00s but not so much recently at College level. There is an awareness that boys/men are underperforming and there are attempts to counter that.
My team/group whatever is 5 chaps and 4 chapesses
Opinions vary. Most Colleges and adult education settings will welcome volunteers subject to dbs if you have time to spare. Many have found the experience illuminating.
"40% does 60%, and the rest is dead weight between meetings and long bathroom breaks."
I'm a teacher. In teaching, there is, I can assure you, no dead weight. You sink or swim. Your colleagues will know which within a couple of weeks. In the UK, teaching jobs have a one year 'probationary period' - which is HR speak for 'if you are crap we can get rid of you quickly'. My posse is diverse, to the extent of being like a Benneton poster. We can all deliver. Students find familiar faces and body shapes reassuring. Teaching is not a bullshit job.
What I'm sneaking up to here is a 'challenging question' (as we say in teaching)
Are most IT jobs actually bullshit jobs where the performance in the role actually has little impact on the org?
The magic of numbers.
Numerical targets lead to strange phenomena in my experience.
What the computeration business needs to do is just be grown up and accept people on the basis of what they can produce.
And, sure, outreach programs to your local community, code clubs &c to give people a chance to find out what computeration is all about.
"As long as I don't have to worry about putting food on the table, and can take the occasional trip somewhere in the country to enjoy a bit of a change of four walls, watch a film in the cinema, etc. I'm happy."
@msknight: Likewise. My aspirations are not excessive. I'd add a bit of engagement with people - family, volunteering and in my case some part time adult education teaching.
Teaching pension for my age cohort had a 10 year averaging period before retirement. The highest three years contiguous salary was taken as the 'final salary'. This was to stop people getting shoved up grades to boost the pension.
It was financially beneficial to me to take my pension a year early so as to gain the maximum benefit of my highest salary years having been made redundo in the dying days of the Gordon Brown government. You may remember they sort of lost track of how much they were spending on new Further Education colleges, coupled with the prime mortgages meltdown. This lead to a sudden unplanned budget reduction in already agreed funding for FE Colleges, hence my departure along with many colleagues.
I've been working (from choice by the way) fractional posts since then, so huge salary drop, hence taking a 4% actuarial reduction for one year as opposed to a ~20% cut.
I'm a Maths teacher. There is an artificially produced chronic shortage of Maths teachers in FE Colleges. I could have worked a couple of more years easily. Tough Bananas Bub.
Actionable content: get pensions advice early on. Make some kind of plan to preserve basics as well said by msknight.
Political thought: what happened to the social contract? Work hard for 30 to 40 years then we will sort you out with the basics? Not hard is it. Thatcher and her dodgy economists really screwed things up. Younger ones finally waking up to that... interesting times ahead
Coat: Das Capital in left pocket and Der Weg zur Knechtschaft in the right pocket thus covering all bases.
Good luck to the floggers-of-computers in original article.
Whenever I come across an epidiascope in the dusty cupboard in the room where they keep the broken things, I get it out, clean it off and see if it works.
You can display student work (with appropriate warning before hand of course) to the whole group - worth their weight (considerable) in projectors those things. Art departments will often have one squirreled away if you ask nicely.
I did see a quite snazzy fold-up portable one with a quartz bulb in an art shop in Liverpool a couple of years ago but didn't have the readies then.
Coat: I'm a teacher - so I have bluetak, marker pens, index cards, postITs, squared paper and mini-drywipe boards stashed in various pockets.
You have to stand in the right area of the stage to do that in the lecture theatres that I am familiar with (raked floor, capacity around 350).
But I take the wider point that a bit of public speaking training should be in every professional or degree course.
"Don't blame the tool, blame the corporate culture full of tools who think meetings are how work gets done..."
@DropBear and Jake and all
I'm a teacher. I once had to address a 'breakfast meeting' with the local business-education link organisation. I used PowerPoint in design mode as I usually do when there is only a projector and did my usual spoken presentation and then did a q & a with recording of answers/next actions with names &c in the ppt. I then emailed the resulting file to the facilitator.
Apparently, this was regarded as radically novel.
I was never invited back. Quite a relief as the meetings were scheduled at 7:30 am at a location difficult to get to by public transport.
" The first thing they always ask it to start TeamViewer. It usually takes the support tech at least 15 minutes before they accept that they won't get remote access to the device and have to use good old telephone diagnosis."
@big_D: One wonders what the other companies with CNC machines of similar vintage are doing if the default assumption is that the controller PCs are accessible via the Internet.
Pint: for one company at least making a sensible short term compromise by isolating their machines.
Just ordered a (paper) copy.
About time that I upgraded my modest programming skills.
Python seems like a good language to learn (I teach basic Maths and often need to produce graphs, diagrams, charts &c) and the subject matter looks interesting.
We shall see.
"...or the old prank about sending the apprentice to the stores for a 'Long Stand'..."
I still have my Round Tuit somewhere in here.
You forgot the skyhook.
We face the real prospect of it not being the Year Of The Desktop again for any platform/system/kernel/ecosystem. I've spent a few days working with colleagues advising people coming into various educational centres. Tablets/phones/phablets being used by just about everyone now to find info &c.
I agree that just about any DE on top of just about any maintained distro on hardware that is not totally bleeding edge/released last week will work and work well.
Objectively speaking, I like to think I'm fairly progressive.
Still a strong preference for electronics that can be upgraded and that can be tossed into a rucksack &c. Capitalism being the lowest form of socialism we have to grasp our advantages when they are offered.
Each to his own.
"Or you could get a second hand one without operating system on ebay, stick an ssd with linux in it and have a fast system for peanuts as I did."
I have done this for getting on for a decade now starting with a T42. Now an X220.
I am tempted by this new retro Thinkpad. Strictly speaking I have no need for the extra computing power, but a new bright screen with higher resolution is of interest. Battery life above 10 hours would be magic as well.
Mind you, if some enterprising Szechuan company did drop-in replacement screen/inverter/cable packages I'd be first in the queue!
PS: lets hear it for the venerable X60. Just the right form factor.
"As a gentle aside, the UK forces are switching to Windows Phone right now"
I thought that Microsoft were not making any more phones. Do you have details?
"My point about training is that everybody who would access such a database should be aware that if they don't need any authentification to access it, then nobody else does."
I log into a PC that is a network client on my employer's system. I access stuff on Intranet, say a business application. I notice that I can access the application directly, but I'm assuming that is because I have logged into the PC because most of the business applications I use are single sign-on. If I had advanced knowledge, I might notice that the application does not obviously reflect my user name, but, then it may be that the nature of the task does not require my details especially or depend on my 'role'. It would not occur to me normally to access the application from a device outside the organisation because, well, its for work isn't it? I would not therefore realise that the system was wide open.
The system in the OA was found using a search engine query from a random member of the public. It strikes me that the outer portal may have had a username/password challenge but that the files inside/cached pages whatever may have had incorrect file permissions/acls set by the original designer. As others have said, the original designer may have been the employee of a contracting company, possibly as part of a semi-shadow IT project (penumbra-IT?). The lack of a cynical BOFH type poking sticks at the thing just to see what they can see does strike me but perhaps they have been outsourced.
Perhaps certification of some kind for any application (business to business or whatever) that holds confidential information would be the best route? Ensure the ruddy thing doesn't leak round the edges in the first place. What I think I'm saying is that you need a technical remedy for a technical issue of design rather than a social remedy in the form of 'training' and the resultant dumping of accountability onto end users. A technical solution is applied once in the form of robust design. The social solution has to be repeated indefinitely and results in many possible points of failure.
Coat: Mine's the one with completion certificates from 9 (yes 9) mandatory training courses I have had to complete this year - I'm a teacher.
Reddit (!) https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/6vapu5/firefox_planning_to_anonymously_collect_browsing/
Anyone got a cattle prod?
Redux: Firefox has a small 'market' share. Apparently that demographic chooses not to share browsing habits. Just possibly the demographic has chosen Firefox as it is privacy friendly to some extent.
Actionable content: I went as far as compiling midori on Slackware current after I read this. Not bad, still some rough edges.
Icon: In Loco Parentis
"Smith says that such work should go through review processes akin to those for drug trials – which would probably have rejected the handover of 1.6 million patient records. "
Strange how shiny IT makes pretty standard ethics procedures fly out of the window. Special case of Jaron Lanier's 'siren servers' perhaps??
Coat: glad they didn't get fined. Mine's the one with the appointment card in the pocket.
The default desktop was Gnome 2 in Ubuntu for a fair number of releases. I seem to recall that there was a Trash icon on the desktop in those releases and a quick image search confirms my suspicion.
Coat: back to work
"Who knows what goes through the minds of the people that pick the pictures?"
It is a bot. Has to be.
Coat: I just use the registration service provided by my hosting company. No big investments.
"I realised rather quickly when I was asked not to mention this in certain other showrooms when training. I had a few nice lunches out of that feature, my waistline suffered a bit though."
Just wondering how many days early the clocks got and if any customer accounts 'time shifted' into a previous month...
"Fine lets replace it with java."
That would be android
"Ah, I think I understand now. The problem with systemd is its too good at what it does."
@dbannon: excellent reply, but of course it does not have to be 'too good' just 'good enough' and easier/less work than what came before. That is why software generally needs faster processors/more memory/ big libraries in layers &c over time. And it works.
Redhat must ensure that systemd-* is fit for purpose and that bugs are responded to rapidly as they have bet their business on it until around 2028(?) (RHEL 8 support EOL based on past releases). I imagine that people with more of a mindset around responsive bug-fixing and quality will take over the maintenance from those who 'move fast and break things' (to mis-quote)
Coat: usual disclaimer - clueless end user
"Now, there's non-stop freakout about Linux possibly "collapsing into a stable mono-culture""
Can't speak for others, I'm not actually freaking out as such, just trying to understand the dynamics at a whole system level.
FOSS has been pumping out lines of code for - what - 30 odd years without much in the way of an overall plan (bazaar c.f. cathedral &c) except building something that keeps working. Complex systems with strong linkage between elements will tend to exhibit a limited range of behaviours.
A dose of mono-culture might be for the best - we'll have to see.
Coat: Remember I just consume this stuff.
"Any binary with a "systemd-" prefix is part of the project and completely optional."
Agreed. However upstream programmers may well be tempted to support only the systemd-* components as it makes their job easier, and packagers for various distributions may be tempted to include hard dependencies on the systemd-* components because they assume their presence.
So in effect the random walk that is Linux development (lots of projects all producing code that depends on the state of other projects also producing code with many feedback loops) may collapse into a stable mono-culture. Consequences to be witnessed. Possibly detrimental. Bit early to tell.
"...and has a clear future in tomorrow’s technology..."
@GrumpenKraut and all
A cultural studies Masters' thesis topic could well be the use of phrases such as 'modern' and 'tomorrow's technology' by Dr(?) Poettering and his colleagues. The framing is outrageous - it is less than half a lifetime since we were writing programs on punched cards.
I'm sure that RedHat will make it all work because they have a $2.5 x 10^9 business that depends on it all working. It will be interesting to see how things go when the bulk of servers depend on operating systems that use the technology. I predict a far more responsive approach to (properly written) bug reports by people with a practical mind set.
"Is that irony or a clever ploy?"
@Dr Syntax: I'm assuming that you are referring to RHEL 6. I suspect that it is just the releases working their way through the Gantt chart. My hypothesis will be disproved if and when a special 'extended life' subscription (at a premium price) appears for RHEL 6 near 2019. A further disproof would be a Fedora release coming with a choice of init (cold day in hades &c).
Coat: Centos 7 actually works fine for this clueless end user desktop operative, so off out.
Looks most interesting. Getting close to self-building, and they have ported gcc so there will be some applications to run on their GUI when it is a bit more stable. My favourite quote: "I am currently struggling with getting autotools based builds to work on Redox (warning: trying to read and understand a ./configure script may cause mental illness)."
Wondering if the focus is a GUI/desktop or server workloads, obviously shiny motivates the younger contributors but a minimal system that can sit somewhere on a network and run an application or two written in the system language could provide a niche that encourages adoption and a show-case implementation.
The more the merrier, but I think Linux has a significant incumbent advantage over the BSDs, Illumos based OSes and new ones like this.
Coat: 9front for the win!
Agreed, but has any news org managed to find one of the fakes and give it a test/strip down?
Can't have IoS or Apple firmware in it I'm presuming or there would be piracy on the charge sheet as well as fraud.
Suppose you had a proprietary operating system that was decades old and which has accumulated a fair degree of technical debt. You are finding it hard to recruit programmers and onboard them in the arcane knowledge of millions of lines of code and obscure work-arounds for problems that existed in the 90s. Part of the reason for these difficulties is the availability of a robust free/open source operating system (in fact several) that students in Universities often learn in some detail in their systems and hardware courses, *and* that many of your potential recruits have worked on extended projects deep in the grungy legacy bowels of these systems, because they can get access to the code.
Times are hard: the market is saturating, and the free/open source OSes are well entrenched in the server market and on some classes of consumer devices. All you have left is the network effect of organisations that depend on your proprietary *middleware* and very successful end user productivity software. Increasingly, you want to move maintenance and routine systems work to low cost countries in preparation to the ultimate automation of the basics.
Would you not be tempted to eliminate the maintenance cost of the underlying OS by ensuring that the middleware and productivity software could run on a 'good-enough' endpoint/client OS based on the free/open source alternatives?
Would a way of exploring this radical move be to coopt free/open source OSes into your cloud offerings and in your software distribution channels so that users become more familiar with the endpoint/client interfaces, and so that your programmers and systems people become familiar with the new metaphors?
Might be one to watch over the next decade. Canonical is after investment as evidenced by their recent streamlining. Mr Nadella was a UNIX kind of chap was he not?
"The dev has to sit beside the secretary first, before any dev work commences and watch what she does, and ask her why she is doing it that way."
I recollect that one of Englebart's researchers actually did sit with book editors to gather requirements for supporting their work. One result was the I beam cursor *between* letters instead of the block cursor *on* a letter. I suspect that windows and 'full screen editing' was in there as well.
My GoogleFu is rusty and I'm having problems finding references.
Coat: blue pencil in the pocket
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