Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, December 17, 2005


The Times is reporting that Time Warner just sold a 5 percent stake in AOL to Google.

Friday, December 16, 2005


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A week of subway photos in honor of the impending transit worker strike.


TechWorld: Microsoft to move graphics outside kernel

Cool. I've always been puzzled by the amount of stuff Windows sticks in its kernel.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


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Best weather widget graphic:

I think I'll go for a walk.


We shouldn't be concerned that Wikipedia might be inaccurate. We should be concerned that jackasses read a Wikipedia article and declare themselves experts.

"The problem with Mach is that microkernels are inefficient because of all the communication taking place between different parts of the operating system. A monolithic kernel is more efficient because processes don't have to move in and out of the kernel"

While this was true on my smokin' 386, my 1.5GHhz G4 spends a whole lot of time very quickly doing nothing. Since the 1990s, we have plenty of cycles to spare for context switching.

And while Dan is concerned with the inefficiency of context switching in microkernels, he doesn't seem all that troubled by the profoundly inefficient design of the monolithic kernel, one that entirely locks kernel code and structures while in kernel mode. You tend to spend a lot of time in kernel mode, for example, when reading or writing files, or when doing network communication.

Profoundly inefficient being entirely relative, of course. We've worked around the difficulty of exclusive access in kernel mode, as we have worked around the inefficiency of microkernels.

And had Dan bothered to take a look at any MacOS X documentation, he would have noticed that its kernel is a hybrid; a pragmatic mix of micro and monolithic kernel designs. I don't think anyone does a pure microkernel anymore, except as some kind of academic exercise. Just like no one writes a pure monolithic kernel. GNU HURD developers notwithstanding. And look how far that project has come.

There are serious inefficiencies in the OS, sure. And GCC generates relatively crappy PPC code. But swapping in the Linux kernel won't help this.


A new study on the major players in the Unix server market has declared IBM the clear customer favorite and brought to light some serious issues with Sun Microsystems' product line. Most alarmingly for Sun, the company appears to have lost its cachet as the dominant Unix player and done so while alienating customers. Sun finished last in almost every one of the Gabriel Consulting Group (GCG) survey's categories, spanning technology performance, customer satisfaction and software tools.

The survey polled 197 corporate Unix customers with particular attention paid to the opinions of administrators as opposed to the CIOs in their ivory towers. "We have found that people on the data center floor have a much better idea of what works well (and not so well) in their infrastructure and are generally not shy about expressing their views – both positive and negative,"

I wonder if the "Gabriel Consulting Group" also determined whether or not the "administrators" completely suck at thier jobs. I wonder if they even tried to determine whether or not the survey respondents were actually admins.

I'm just saying. If you survey a bunch of junkies about thier favorite health food, you can publish a report trumpeting the health benefits of methadone.

I'm just sayin.

Received in my e-mail. I think it is spam.

This page is not for the faint of heart.
Here all morals are thrown to the wind and man bravely goes where most valiant not go.
The catchword here is Wet and Unruly.
 What happens goes is not your normal fuck, instead mallet hard screw games vacant of all holy.
This is something for only the most bold screw masters and longing junkies.
Lustful, firm and exclusive; and all in the best image and tone quality available.
nowhere else will watch action like this; just here.

I think.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


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Tuesday, December 13, 2005


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Having just started a new project at work, I'm remembering which parts of software development I enjoy.

The software we are planning to write is tightly intertwined with a number of other systems; sandwiched between important home-grown software and something purchased from a vendor. Because of the amount of integration required and the sheer number of people who will use the system we are writing, gathering requirements and doing the design will require a lot of interviews. Lots of working with current and future users of the software, lots of checking with the developers of the former system, etc...

This is the part I enjoy.

I like taking the big problem and breaking it down into smaller problems. I enjoy systematically understanding the system and its context. I enjoy applying a process to the design. I like to do (dare I use this overblown word) the architecture.

I also like the nose-down, stringing-classes-together coding.

All the other stuff? Crap.

I have no interest in all the negotiation, hand holding, training, status reporting, mentoring, and form filling-out that goes along with a project. It isn't that I don't do these things; to get the project done, one has to. But I'm not very good at them and I don't enjoy doing them.

Monday, December 12, 2005




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Guest star on Arrested Development: James Lipton.



That was fun -- creating an iTunes Signature.

Here is mine.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


"Although I played a key role in bringing AOL and Time Warner together six years ago, it's now my view that it would be best to "undo" the merger by splitting Time Warner into several independent companies and allowing AOL to set off on its own path." [Steve Case, in The Washington Post

The last time Executives at Time Warner listened to Steve Case, they bought AOL. So Mr. Case should shut the fuck up. He has already lost enough of my money.

I can't believe that London has retired the last of its double-decker, Routemaster busses.


Holy crap.