quote of the day

found in david mamet's bambi vs godzilla: on the nature, purpose and practice of the movie business
A duck decoy does not need to look like a duck.
It needs to look like a duck to a duck.
Wisdom, therefore, lies not in the phenomological question "What does a duck look like?" but, rather, in the practical "What is a duck looking for?"

[i sometimes wish mamet wrote about computing too...]

doctorow's "pwned" lectures on podcast

doctorow's first six lectures from his undergrad class at the University of Southern California, "pwned: is everyone on campus a copyright criminal?" are now available.
podcast subscribe link
internet archive repo


images from the phone...

sometimes, all i have with me is the 2mp camera built into my sony/ericsson w810i...

square crop, minimal color correction and sharpening in photoshop.


funny quote of the week

What is sticking in your foot is a Mitzy "Pretty Lucretia" four-inch heel, the most dangerous footwear in the world. Considered as pounds per square inch, it's like being trodden on by a very pointy elephant. Now, I know what you're thinking; you're thinking, "Could she press it all the way through the floor?" And, you know, I am not sure about that myself. The sole of your boot might give me a bit of trouble, but nothing else will. But that's not the worrying part. The worrying part is that I was forced practically at knifepoint to take ballet lessons as a child, which means i can kick like a mule; you are sitting in front of me; and I have another shoe. Good, I can see you have worked that out. I'm going to withdraw the heel now. -- miss dearheart (terry pratchett, going postal)


i like pca.

using a new tool to analyze some of my legacy sol8 systems for their patch levels. of all the patch tools i have used in the past [that of course includes sun's own tools that come and go with some regularity] martin paul's pca script is one of the nicest and easiest to use.

Patch Check Advanced (pca) generates lists of installed and missing patches for Sun Solaris systems and optionally downloads patches. It resolves dependencies between patches and installs them in correct order. It can be the only tool you ever need for patch management on a single machine or a complete network. Just one perl script, it doesn't need compilation nor installation, and it doesn't need root permissions to run. It works on all versions of Solaris, both SPARC and x86.

# pca
Using /var/tmp/patchdiag.xref from Feb/08/07
Host: xyzzy (SunOS 5.8/Generic_108528-13/sparc/sun4u)

Patch IR CR RSB Age Synopsis
------ -- - -- --- --- -------------------------------------------------------
108434 05 < 22 R-- 999 SunOS 5.8: 32-Bit Shared library patch for C++
108435 05 < 22 R-- 999 SunOS 5.8: 64-Bit Shared library patch for C++
112396 01 < 03 R-- 301 SunOS 5.8: /usr/bin/fgrep patch
108987 08 < 18 RS- 296 SunOS 5.8: Patch for patchadd and patchrm
111111 02 < 07 R-- 4 SunOS 5.8: /usr/bin/nawk patch
108528 13 < 29 RS- 999 SunOS 5.8: kernel update and Apache patch
108569 05 < 08 --- 999 X11 6.4.1: platform support for new hardware
108576 14 < 52 R-- 490 SunOS 5.8: Expert3D IFB Graphics Patch
108604 16 < 35 --- 999 SunOS 5.8: Elite3D AFB Graphics Patch
108605 15 < 37 --- 519 SunOS 5.8: Creator 8 FFB Graphics Patch
108606 10 < 39 --- 519 SunOS 5.8: M64 Graphics Patch
108693 07 < 28 --- 199 Solstice DiskSuite 4.2.1: Product patch
108714 05 < 08 --- 999 CDE 1.4: libDtWidget patch
108723 01 < 02 --- 284 SunOS 5.8: lofs patch
108725 09 < 25 R-- 143 SunOS 5.8: st driver patch
109147 14 < 43 RS- 24 SunOS 5.8: linker patch
119067 -- < 05 RS- 73 X11 6.4.1: Xsun patch
108773 13 < 27 RS- 37 SunOS 5.8: IIIM and X Input & Output Method patch
108806 04 < 21 R-- 301 SunOS 5.8: Sun Quad FastEthernet qfe driver
108808 30 < 44 --- 984 SunOS 5.8: Manual Page updates for Solaris 8
[wow, there is even a nawk patch. be still my heart...]


fat construction workers and opera

what kills me is those software commentators whose limited observations and twisted metaphors border on postmodern literary drivel. take joel, for example, who writes amusingly and even convincingly about fat construction workers whose interest in structural matters include external and internal human elements in the service of entertainment, either in swimming or singing form. [one obviously involves a wish to participate, the other, to procreate, but joel does not clarify which is which]
What kills me is the teams who get into the bad habit of holding meetings every time they need to figure out how something is going to work. Did you ever try to write poetry in a committee meeting? It’s like a bunch of fat construction guys trying to write an opera while sitting on the couch watching Baywatch. The more fat construction guys you add to the couch, the less likely you are to get opera out of it.

very funny stuff. it seriously confused my cat.