This is a collection of thoughts and statements about things that annoy me. I am a big, angry man. Hear me roar, or piss off and give me peace.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It taks a lang spoon tae sup wi a Fifer!

As the old adage says, it taks a lang spoon tae sup wi a Fifer...

The BBC reports that last year 7 out of 72 samples taken by weights and measures in Fife pubs were accurate... And that they are giving notice that another survey will be happening pretty soon... Nothing like giving the mean bastards a heads up so they know you're coming and can clean up your acts for a month or two before going back to their old ways then, eh?


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Don't get your sporran in a niggle

The Hootsman reports that the fluffy animal loving people in the EU want to ban the import of sealskin...
Stavros Dimas, the European environment commissioner, yesterday announced plans to bring in a total import ban on products derived from seals that have been killed in a cruel way.

At the risk of being a bastard, surely all killing is cruel... And why should it be limited to seals? In which case, why are we not all tofu-munching insufferable bores? Perhaps the glorious EU will rule that we should all stop eating meat, whilst paying farmers to not grow beef or lamb or pig...

I think you all know where I stand on the issue:

"The wearing of fur generally in Scotland is seen as unacceptable by the majority of the public," he said. "Sporrans are one of the few things where it's still seen as publicly acceptable to wear fur.

Probably since most folk don't really know what a sporran is made from. And I would expect a number of people simply do not care.

Seals are culled for various reasons, and I think it is only right that rather than a slaughter (remember you can't spell slaughter without laughter) where carcasses are burned or buried, we should make use of as many of the carcasses as possible in as many ways as possible.

People seem to get a bee in their bonnets about seals, because they look fluffy and cuddly-wuddly, but forget the seal population has nearly tripled since the 70's!

As for the EU, this is just a typical show of control-freakery on their part. It all starts with one hippy bastard sponging politician going on a boat trip... Can't they just fuck off?

For the record, as if you care, I have just recently bought a sealskin sporran. It looks fabulous. And as is only correct, since the sealskin sporran is for dress wear, I also have a leather sporran for day wear... Quite the man about town, me.


What's a seal's favourite drink?

... Canadian Club. On the rocks.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Monkeys on mailing lists

I am on several mailing lists. One in particular, sunmanagers, is for people who work with Sun hardware and software. People who are on these lists are systems administrators, IT managers and so on...

The IT world is fairly small - I know this from working in Edinburgh, and when I worked in the USofA it was just as small a world over there too.

You would think then, that people would exercise common courtesy when posting to a list that contains people who you might be asking for a job in the future? Apparently not. People regularly ignore the FAQ, jump in with a question which has been asked and answered countless times (RED State Exception) or do not extend the courtesy of not bombarding the entire list with "I am out of the office" messages. I don't care that you're in the south of France banging your secretary. Really.

Another thing is people asking questions that Google will tell you the answer to, or things that if you just tried the command, or the man (that's the manual) page would tell you what you needed to know.

Here are a few examples I have saved for a rainy day...
Subject: FC help

Dear managers,

Please put down some resources which can be used/referred for FC storage administration/Troubleshooting on Solaris.


Please go and fuck yourself. Would you like me to do your homework for you too? How about telling me (roughly) what vintage of hardware you have, at least, before asking us to re-write various online resources regarding Fibre Channel storage...
Subject: Linux has psrinfo command- Any equivalent for Solaris.

1. Folks, Linux has psrinfo command- any equivalent for Solaris.
I am trying to know the # of CPUs, and their utilization at any given point in time.

Errr, maybe psrinfo would work. I don't know, I just typed the fucking command, and, like, there it was. (And yes, for utilisation, you'd want something like top, or prstat).
Subject: please remove me from this list. Thanks!


Another personal favourite of mine - every email from the list comes from mailman, which has mailing list info IN THE EMAIL which tells you how to unsubscribe. How fucking stupid do you have to be? (Freecycle is bad for this too, but it's populated by techno-weenies, not people who are supposedly paid to be technologically literate, and run systems costing tens to hundreds of thousands!)
Subject: Questions

Question 1: I backup several files using tar. How can I restore an specific file from that tar backup?

How about... uhhhh, man tar? Here's an excerpt from the man page:
x Extract or restore. The named files are extracted
from the tarfile and written to the directory
specified in the tarfile, relative to the current
directory. Use the relative path names of files and
directories to be extracted.

And the classic:

I have posted some Sun questions since a couple of years in sun managers and I want to delete those messages , please can you point me to the right steps to do it ?
This is all the links that I have found on sunmaagers portal :

Nope, your dumb questions should stay there for all to see... There are several archives of the mailing list, so your stupidity will haunt you for a long time.
Bill tells me this is a fairly frequent occurrence too - with not just individuals, but companies and government departments requesting dumb questions being taken off the list archives - do these people not know how the internet works?

That all said, I am still subscribed to the list, and it is still a fantastic resource for people in my line of work. I've had a few fairly obscure questions answered on there, and apparently have helped some other poor sysadmins too. As much as I may have ranted a bit, sunmanagers actually has one of the best signal to noise ratios of any list I have ever seen! My thanks go to John DiMarco and Bill Bradford for running it.