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Surly boredom in a world of diamonds
January 20, 2000


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I'm moderately uncomfortable and bored, having stared for too long at a computer screen. It's a bloody active season for me, in that I have a lot of work to do and a lot of other stuff on the side too. This isn't a bad thing. In fact, despite my depression of the last few days (which is getting quite a bit better, just in time for an appointment with someone who may be able to help it -- go fig, right?) things have been going very well.

Today was ultra busy. I had meetings from nine in the morning until one, then from two to three, then three-fifteen to four. Right at four I went to Personnel to discuss what I'd like to do in the coming year, only to magically discover that the deadline for getting proposals in for new Personnel was... today at four thirty.

I managed to write a complete problem statement and resolution, with supporting evidence and various benefits above and beyond the key problem, in twenty two minutes. I felt like doing a victory lap.

Of course, we won't get the additional hire, more than likely. Personnel isn't swimming in money. But when we can't be everything to everybody, I can now claim I had submitted the solution all the way back into January of this year. And sometimes, that's important.

Besides, maybe I'm wrong. I'd like to be wrong. It would be a goodness.

In other news, we've decided to demo and pilot some Linuxy good stuff, so Van, Eileen and I got to put in orders for dirt cheap Linux Workstations. We got a truly excellent deal on some pretty nice cheap Intel stuff (ah, Celeron....) I plan to make mine into a dual boot. Oh, I still hate Windows with a passion, but... but... Star Fleet Battles on computer. Oh yes, Star Fleet Command will be mine.

Oh, and Linux too. I'm looking forward to building up a true Linux server, and seeing if in fact LinuxPPC does suck the wind it seems to but normal, garden variety Red Hat doesn't suck, or if in fact we've all been snowed by this Linuxy types. If it does work out, this very Journal and (in fact) all of annotations.com will migrate onto Linux soon enough, as there's stuff that MacOS X Server just doesn't do well. At all. Like serve large amounts of web. And don't get me started on the mailer or lack thereof.

The other side of it is -- Apple clearly doesn't care about MacOS X Server. This was a legacy project that cost a ton of money and development when Steve "Smarmy" Jobs walked back in a few years back. So he killed it, then immediately began integrating his own company's (NeXT, that is) into the project as it stood. Now, the "client" version of MacOS X has gotten a smooth, pretty interface and a lot of work, but the "Server" is essentially NeXTstep, only retarded. Development has gone instead towards NetBoot and Macintosh Manager for MacOS X Server.

90% of the users I know who might want MacOS X Server have no interest in either Macintosh Manager or NetBoot. They want a simple server to serve web, files, run basic (standards compliant) e-mail and maybe work as a Firewall. Go fig, huh?

Why they took BSD Unix -- a perfectly sweet thing -- and bastardized it beyond belief is beyond me. Stupid things -- taking the httpd everyone knows on every platform and renaming it "apache" so people wouldn't get confused. What confuses them is when Apache for Dummies sends you to httpd and it's not there. Stupid things like only putting the open source C compiler GCC on the system (but only if you install the WebObjects disk, which is also stunning), but instead of calling it GCC like everyone else does you call it "CC," which is the name of an older, less popular and more kludgy C compiler.

Why do they do this? And why don't they have X Windows support for it, since it is BSD in its raped core? Because this is MacOS X Server, and therefore they have to be A) different and B) proprietary, and if you let people use X instead... they might. Apple is scared of that.

I am tired, and cranky, and surly. I could blame wrestling. My show -- WCW -- kicked out their new Head Writer, Vince Russo, last weekend just before a Pay Per View. They put in an old booker named Kevin Sullivan, who most of the wrestlers hate. Sounds like a normal wrestling show so far, doesn't it? Well, this is real life -- so the core of the young talent, including Chris Benoit, who they made champion despite this, in a foolish move -- demanded that Sullivan be released from the Book or they'd want their releases. Five wrestlers, more or less, including most of the good ones.

WCW has also been stringing along and offending their greatest son, Ric Flair, who is now talking about politics. And they've been found to have been harassing and embarrassing their biggest known names -- Lex Lugar, Sting, Bret Hart and others -- to try and get them to ask for their releases so they can save money.

It should be a wrestling plot. It's not. It's the death of a federation. God help me -- as much as I hate the WWF, I will watch it if Chris Benoit and the others are hired by them. And I didn't even like Vince Russo. But you don't make all your employees unhappy and you don't shaft the company. Not like this. And when you discover this is a gut-wrenchingly stupid idea, you don't keep doing it. You pull back and you apologize.

But it makes for a good surl, and who'd be offended by it? Who would care, really? It's wrestling.

Man that's pretty snow outside. And about bloody time. A world of diamonds, twinkling down into the streetlights. I love that.

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