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Hi. I'm a Unix Administrator, mathematics enthusiast, and amateur philosopher. This is where I rant about that which upsets me, laugh about that which amuses me, and jabber about that which holds my interest most: Unix.
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Old

Accidentally essential?

Posted 03-03-2011 at 11:45 AM by rocket357 (Musings on technology, philosophy, and life in the corporate world)
Updated 03-03-2011 at 11:58 AM by rocket357

"Following Aristotle, I divide them into essence, the difficulties inherent in the nature of software, and accidents, those difficulties that today attend its production but are not inherent." -- Fred Brooks, "No Silver Bullet"

This is the second time I've referred to this particular paper on this blog. I've read it numerous times, and even though it was written in 1986, the facts set forth by Brooks still hold true today.

So there are two types...
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Views 497 Comments 0 rocket357 is offline
Old

To upgrade or not to upgrade...that is the question.

Posted 02-04-2011 at 01:17 PM by rocket357 (Musings on technology, philosophy, and life in the corporate world)
Updated 02-04-2011 at 07:51 PM by rocket357 (typo)

I've refused to upgrade my workstation at work for years for fear I'd end up with a system that doesn't run OpenBSD very well. We recently had a departure and new hire, but the timeframe between one and the other was a few weeks. In the interim, I decided to test OpenBSD on the departure's brand new machine (it wasn't exactly a "departure", but we'll leave it at that). I now know the answer to the upgrade question...

The old machine was a P4 D with 2 GB RAM and a 250 GB...
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Views 650 Comments 3 rocket357 is offline
Old

I can hear that train a'comin'

Posted 02-01-2011 at 04:42 PM by rocket357 (Musings on technology, philosophy, and life in the corporate world)

A few months ago the execs where I work gave me a new project. I was to take Version 4.0 of our flagship product and gather all of the performance data collected since 2003 (the beginning of time, as far as Version 4.0 is concerned) so I can run reports on it. Most importantly, I could run reports on *recent* performance data...and give the report to exec.

Ok, I'm cool with that. I have nothing to hide. I work late hours to finish up the report, and it's a smashing success. So...
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Old

PostgreSQL and Indexes: a formula for...disaster?

Posted 01-27-2011 at 01:03 PM by rocket357 (Musings on technology, philosophy, and life in the corporate world)
Updated 01-29-2011 at 04:41 PM by rocket357

I've noticed a ton of complaining about PostgreSQL's apparent lack of sanity when it comes to index usage, so I'd like to throw a few things out that explain the "idiotic" way PostgreSQL handles indexes.

First things first. If the table fits in a single page, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SEE INDEX ACTIVITY. That gets more people than any other issue. If the table has 17 rows, don't expect PostgreSQL to bother with indexes. Using an index on a table that fits in a single page...
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Old

minimalism++?

Posted 01-05-2011 at 12:46 PM by rocket357 (Musings on technology, philosophy, and life in the corporate world)

Years ago I discovered fluxbox and gave it a try. Until that point, I was a pretty devote KDE user. Fluxbox amazed me with how lightweight yet *powerful* and *configurable* it was. I had a FreeBSD/fluxbox screenshot on putfile.com that got more hits than virtually any other desktop environment I'd posted there. It's fast, light, and given the time and effort to tweak it just right, it's damned pretty, too. I entered into this new concept of minimalism...getting the same work done with half...
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