Friday, October 23, 2009

SCO v. world in a nutshell

To borrow from Darl's favorite cattle-rustler metaphor:

Darl had some cows on his ranch. He noticed that some of the cows on other people's ranches had the same brand as his, so he decided to get a posse together to go after those cattle rustlers who'd stolen his cows.

Then it was discovered that the brand wasn't Darl's, it was the brand of a completely different ranch that'd sold cows to just about everybody in the valley. And worse, as it turns out Darl hadn't even bought those cows, some of his own hands had found them wandering on his land and put them in with the rest of the herd. So now not only are the other ranchers mad at Darl for accusing them of stealing cattle when they hadn't, but some of them are accusing Darl of being the cattle thief.

But poor Darl's still positive that somebody somewhere had to have stolen some cows that should've belonged to Darl if he could've afforded to buy them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sidekick data lossage

You know that big T-Mobile Sidekick data loss incident last week? Well, it seems a source is pointing at the potential cause. Long and short: the service did in fact have a backup, and did in fact start to do a backup before the migration. But they only have space on the SAN for 1 backup copy, and the backup process takes 6 days to run. So part-way through the backup the Microsoft manager in charge ordered them to abort the backup and start the migration, since the storage vendor had assured them a backup wouldn't be needed. Naturally Murphy stuck his nose in mid-way through the migration.

With Microsoft's track record for bad management decisions, this sounds plausible. And in a case like this you can't blame the technology. No tech will save you from this sort of deliberate stupidity.

I'd also note that the whole incident should be a warning to everyone: you need your own backups of your data. It doesn't matter what the contract says, failures can still happen and you need to be able to recover from them.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Delay: unclear on the concept

Conversation just finished:

"Your simulator delay variable isn't working."
"I tested it and it delays correctly. What's happening?"
"Every time I set it, I get a CURL 28 timeout error. If I take it out, everything works. You need to fix it."
"... Sounds to me like it's working, the response gets delayed like it's supposed to. You did remember to bump up the timeout setting in AD's config file to something greater than the delay you're setting, right?"
"If you don't, it'll always time out like that because you're making the simulator delay longer than AD's willing to wait."

nVidia exits the motherboard chipset market

nVidia's known for making graphics chipsets and cards, but they also make another indispensible part of a system: the motherboard support chipset. nVidia's offering is the nForce series of chipsets. But nVidia's leaving that market, at least as far as Intel CPUs are concerned. It's planning to cease making motherboard chipsets to concentrate solely on graphics. This'll leave only two major players making motherboard chipsets: Intel (for Intel CPUs) and AMD (for AMD CPUs). This'll also leave nVidia the odd man out in graphics as the only major player who isn't affiliated with a CPU maker (Intel makes their own video chipsets (albiet very low-end ones) and AMD acquired ATI a while back). This may be a bad move for nVidia, it'll leave Intel and AMD/ATI with a major advantage in terms of integrating graphics chipsets with motherboard/CPU components.

Fortunately my planned motherboards were all going to use AMD chipsets, since I was planning on AMD CPUs and neither Intel nor nVidia make motherboard chipsets for them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Signs your workplace may not be as professional as they claim to be

First sign: having to explain in small words what "significant digits" are, and why where the decimal point is doesn't matter when dealing with them. The targets of this explanation all have degrees in either computer science or an engineering discipline.

Meanwhile, over in alt.sysadmin.recovery, people with no degrees at all are having intelligent arguments over the differences between the various alephs and whether particular ones are ordinal or cardinal numbers.