March 2003 Archives

Java Process Scheduler updated

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Looking at my weblogs, I noticed a lot of 404s on the java_proc_scheduler. This prompted me to check it out from cvs. It's like looking at an essay you wrote in the sixth grade. Lame. But it prompted me to clean it up a bit. So it's new and improved and it's checked into cvs.

The Catcher In The Rye

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I took a lazy read in the snow-reflected morning sunshine to finish "The Catcher In The Rye." It's J.D. Salinger's novel of misdirected youth. The novel is the first person narrative of Holden Caulfield. Who's just been kicked out of another boys school.

Set in the 1940s. The book covers his floundering quest of discovery in the few days after getting kicked out of Pencey before return home to his parents. You see, he's left Pencey where he's only passing english with the $300 his doting wealth grandmother has sent him.

He decides he's going to go into New York and have a good time. He's too young to drink but his height and the gray hairs on his head generally get him served.

The book is about an smart person with no brains. Holden is intelligent and sensitive, but shallow thinking. Many of his statements are contradictory. His tempers turn on a dime. His whims are in the moment and don't generally see through to completion. It's very evocative of angst and adolescence. I felt like a high school counseler reading about somebody who "wasn't applying themselves."

The writing style was wierd. There were long paragraphs (pages) that were Holden's internal dialogue's comprised of terse often-conlicting statements.

I appreciated much of the outlook in the book. One quote pertaining to thespians and histrionics left me rolling on the floor.

I used to think she was quite intelligent in my stupidity. The reason I did was because she knew quite a lot about the theater and plays and literature and all that stuff. If somebody knows quite a lot about those things, then it takes you quite a while to find out whether they're really stupid or not.
I also love the part where he finds a "fuck you" everywhere when he's feeling sensitive.
[...]But while I was sitting down, I saw something that drove me crazy. Somebody'd written "Fuck you" on the wall. It drove me damn near crazy. I thought how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they'd wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them - all cockeyed, naturally-what it meant, and how they'd all think about it and maybe even worry about it for a couple of days.[...]

[...]I went down by a different staircase, and I saw another "Fuck you" on the wall. I tried to rub it off with my hand again, but this one was scratched on, with a knife or something. It wouldn't come off. It's hopeless, anyway. If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn't rub out even half the "Fuck you" sings in the world. It's impossible.

[...]That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak and write "fuck you" right under your nose. Try it sometime. I think, even if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it'll say "Holden Caulfield" on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it'll say "Fuck you." I'm positive, in fact.

The book's titled "The Catcher In The Rye", because Holden dreams himself in a rye field with children frolicking. He stands next to the adjacent cliff and keeps them from falling off. Catcher in the Rye. Get it? I still don't understand the theme. It was honest, funny, stupid, and sad.

Oracle's Mom

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I'm learnin' myself how to ownzor oracle. Esp. for Sun. I'm coming at it from a mysql/gdbm frame or reference. The jargon/naming has probably been the hardest part. It's complicated, but it sure is flexible. My only MAJOR complaint is they don't have a console based installer or a way to do a manual install. I think that's very important for rolling out installs. So, that you can record them. Plus, the installer takes java, which of course takes an X11 framework. So you need ICE, Xm, X11 and a whole bunch of others. Things you don't normally consider necessary on a *dedicated* db server. I've worked around most of that and have a pretty well strippped solaris package with a tight oracle on it. I'll post some info about it here soon. I've even added an oracle topic!

I killed a bird

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There was a bird floundering in the road on my way home just now. It had probably been hit by a car. It was in a lot of pain. I didn't even think twice. I crushed its head with my boot. Seems harsh, but it would have been harsher still to let it suffer while I pondered the dilemna. It was right, but sad. Duality of man.

Roots of War: Penis Spam

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I've just had a major Seinfeldian epiphany. Think about all the frustration and resentment this country is fostering. Why is their such a push for war? It certainly can't be Bush's inspiration. He couldn't lead a mule! I've decided it's all because of male insecurity. Think about how many spam messages you get a day "Women want a bigger package?", "My 8 year old brother has one like that.", "Size DOES matter xy9sby2". Well now we're farking insecure about it. We need to go kick some ass to bolster the old ego. If that's the case then the way to stop all this childish angst is for women to send out "Don't worry it's just right" emails :)

On Specialization

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Doctors can go to school for nine years before practicing. You can't do anything in the arts without a masters degree. You can't get tenure without a PhD. The world is demanding specialization say the social oracles. Yet the computer industry is snatching up hackers with GED's by the thousands. And advanced research institutions are hiring laymen for fresh insight. People of little formal education are turning out award winning art. So who is right, the oracles or the nouveau managers? Neither! The need for specialists and generalists is variable.

The specialists have value in that they can accomplish predefined tasks within their skill set in short amounts of time. At least shorter than a generalist with less specialized training. But their weaknesses are 1) it takes a long time to prepare a specialist and 2) they are vulnerable to change.

The generalist has an ability to learn new tasks and jump between differing tasks. Their strengths are they can be produced in short periods of time (e.g. associates degree) and they are flexible to change. Their weakness is obviously that specialized tasks take them longer.

To say that one is better than the other is naive. As a leader, one should realize that at any given point their may be a demand (or no demand) for either. How useful is a PhD in fluid dynamics in the Sahara? But what good is chevy mechanic on an F16?

So then the astute reader will immediately see that balance is needed. Either balance in the individual that is part specialist, but flexible enough to generalize or balance in a team that is comprised of a carefully selected number of each type. The right or wrongness of the types isn't in selecting one or the other, but about balancing both to meet the demands of the situation.

DNS Madness

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Well for the few (8) people that read this site when slashdot is down, you probably noticed that I was down for a month or two. Don't ask me how, but my nameservers at internic got reset to GCI (my ISP). Of course GCI didn't have any of my host records. So, all my sites and domains were FUBAR'd. I didn't have a password to my registrars website because I got the domain before they had a web mgmt component. Plus, in my naivety I listed my ISP as the tech/admin contact. So anytime I wanted something from netsol I had to get them to contact my ISP. Then I had to get through my ISP's tech supp to the DNS admin. Basically, it was a real nightmare. I finally got access to my registrar's website and have changed all my domains to have me as the contact and my server as the DNS server. So, it's all working now.