Database design from hell?



  •  A few months ago, I started at working at this company that repairs electronics for elevator systems. A few years ago, they had some kid in college design a Database for them. Now this Database is split across multiple MS Access Databases and a SQL Server and all of it is accessed via various rather buggy MS Access forms.

    When a board comes in for repair, it is put into the database and a "Traveler" is created for it. If multiple boards come in together, they all go onto this one same Traveler. Now, each board that comes in is assigned a 5 digit numeric serial number. Now you'd expect this information to also be stored as a numeric type in the Database right? WRONG! It's stored as a nvarchar! Not only is it stored as a nvarchar, but no validation is done on the input on the MS Access form. It simply will take anything the user puts in. Turns out that the more I looked into this database, the more I found that this person loved nvarchar for numeric data!

    Now each board also has a manufacturer part number that is seperate from the serial number we assign it. We also have a Catalog that contains various manufacturer part numbers and information about that board. So when the board comes in, that board is supposed to be associated with the correct catalog entry based on the manufacturer part number. That way, we later on know how much to charge for the board and access other general information about it that is stored in the Catalog. The only issue is that when you enter the manufacturer part number, it isn't really validated for correctness. If a catalog entry exists for that part #, great. If not....a new one is just simply created. It's not like anyone would ever have a typo or anything....

    Now, while on the subject of this Catalog of part numbers. As mentioned previously, it also contains pricing information. There are 3 different prices depending on what is done with the board. It's either a repair, sale or exchange. Now you'd expect these to be stored as a decimal type or similar right? Well, I hate to dissapoint but apparently nvarchar wins again! Oh and the same goes for the ManufacturerID field which contains the numeric ID into the Manufacturer table with the manufacturers info. It too is nvarchar.

    So now at this point in time, the board has been received and goes for repair. Maybe it was associated with a correct catalog entry, nobody really knows. The Traveler that goes with it (just a document with the customer info and list of boards belonging to the customer) has been printed and for each board a tech sheet has been printed. The techs can now happily go and repair the board. Here comes the next problem though.

    There also is a component database that contains all the component used to repair boards. It's also supposed to contain how much of all the components we have in stock, but that doesn't really work. See, when the techs go to repair a board. They fill in the information on the tech sheet what they fixed and/or replaced. However, they get to write whatever they feel like that day! So many times, they'll have replaced a "Resistor"....but no mention of what kind they actually used! So this information is then also, by hand, at some random point in time entered into the database by someone other than the technician who did the work. However, since for one, the component database is a stand alone MS Access database and not part of the SQL Server and since the techs get to write whatever they feel like that day, there is no way to associate this input with the component database and see what parts were actually used and in what quantity. Therefore it's also not possible to maintain an automatic inventory of what parts are in stock and how much...since nobody really knows. Oh and please don't ask how much it cost to actually repair the board. Since nobody really knows what parts were used to repair it, nobody knows what it actually cost to do so.

    Next up, after all the boards were repaired, they go get sent back out to the customer and this information is also stored in the database. However, it is not stored directly with the original Traveler that was created when the boards came in. Nope. A new entry called an Order is created when the boards are shipped out and the boards are associated with that. The order has it's own list of WTF's, such as storing the shipping method and company in a generic text fields where someone can go write in whatever they like. You'd be amazed in how many ways someone can write UPS or Fedex!! Don't ever try to find all orders sent out via 1 carrier because it's virtually impossible.  Now, to get back to the whole association mess.

    It basically looks like this:

    You have a table for the boards, travelers, orders and repairs. Then there also 3 additional tables. One table associates a BoardId to a Traveler. Another one associates a BoardId to an order and a 3rd table associates a BoardId to a Traveler.

    Here comes the problem: What if a board comes in twice? It keeps the same BoardId as the BoardId is it's serial number. No new number is assigned!

    So now if a board has come in twice, you now have that BoardId listed twice in the last 3 tables that associate boards with Orders, Travelers and Repairs.  Good luck trying to figure out which record goes to which traveler, order or repair. You can try to use the date information also in the tables but did I mention that in some of the tables the dates are stores as nvarchar based on user input (not validated for typos or correctness of course)?

    And this is just scratching the surface...I could go on...



  • Well duh, it's because nvarchar = numeric varchar.  That's how you're supposed to store numbers. 

    <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>



  • One rationalization for using varchar rather than a number is that serials and SKUs arn't always pure numbers, they often contain letters, dashes, underscores, etc. 



  • Using nvarchar isn't really a problem, except for maybe they should have simply used varchar.  Numeric types are not proper for things like serial numbers.

    Think of it this way, are you going to add these numbers, are you going to sum these numbers, are you even going to use these things as numbers or is it a string of characters that just so happens to be numbers for now?  If you are looking for a count of something or an index (which should not even be seen by the user) then by all means use numeric fields, but if it is just a series of characters then varchar is the right decision.  Especially in the realm of serial numbers because you have no control on how one manufacterer will create them and someone eventually will have a alpha character in there eventually.

     

    The rest of the story though, is truly a WTF!



  •  Actually in this case no. The serial numbers are assigned by us. They are ours, we control them and everything about them. They will never not be numeric. Matter of fact, eventually when we go to an automated system for creating the barcode labels (rather than buying them from a 3rd party), the serial number field might as well be an auto increment integer created when the label is printed.



  •  If every component past and present needs its own individual serial number, however, it does make a certain amount of sense to have as broad a range of characters available to generate it from as possible; five numbers probably gives this particular company enough permutations to get by with, but I guess it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.



  • Well, if I had to it wouldn't be the end of the world to switch the necessary columns to a character and pad the front with 0's as necessary or add any other suffixes / prefixes if needed. Matter of fact, I actually wouldn't even need to do that. Since the serial number is currently integer and guaranteed unique, that field also serves as the index into the table. So really, if I did need a string based serial number at one point in time, I could just add it as an additional column and keep the current column for index purposes that it's already being used for.

     



  • The sad thing is the company tried to save some money by having a college kid build their database, with (probably) no idea how to even deliver the specs to him other than a short bullet point list of "what they kinda need it to do."  Sounds like he may have been studying SQL syntax, but hadn't gotten to design just yet.  Now you are stuck with a system that makes your job harder.  Had a private company built the thing, they'd definately be wtfworthy, in this case, I find it hard to blame the kid completely - yes its definately a wtf db  - but also par for the course they decided to take.



  • @BeenThere said:

    Now you are stuck with a system that makes your job harder. 
    @BeenThere said:
    The sad thing is the company tried to save some money by having a college kid build their database
     

    Ha! The joke is on you! 

    You should hear the WTFs that our little buddy Kermos is all about.

    • Can't use Windows.
    • Can't build his own computer properly.
    • On his attempts to build his own computer and use Windows, he failed miserably and at best could achieve 5-6 minute boot times with 'plain XP nothing running'.
    • Preaches Linux with his only experience being 1-2 years of Ubuntu. (not just preach, but BASHES MS based on basically no experience at all in actual Linux)
    • He claims he wrote his own FS, because FAT 'wasn't fast enough'. 
    • He also wrote this FS for an embedded controller than has no OS and only the single app he wrote. (Interesting huh? No OS? Custom FS?)

     

    So, my friend, the joke is on you. I can guarantee Kermos is TRWTF here. Please don't extend him any sympathy.



    • I can use Windows perfectly fine. I just don't like to, but I do when necessary.
    • I don't know how to build systems. Right. That's why my latest system is a quad-core 2.4GHz overclocked to 3.0GHz running on DDR3 memory with the lowest latency timings I could find with an overclocked 8800GTX and is compeltely 100% rock solid and stable. Gotcha.
    • I told you, the partition XP is on is completely fragmented resulting in the ridiculous boot times. I have a screenshot of it if you like. And yes, it is utterly ridiculus that an XP install used solely for the purpose of playing some occasional games gets THAT frigging fragmented.I have better things to do with my time than sit there go defrag XP.
    • I don't preach Linux. I prefer it over Windows. I don't need to continously do all sorts of maintenance work to keep it running efficiently. It saves me time. Everytime I walk into the office and someone's windows machine caught the latest malware, spyware or virus and that person can't do their work just puts a smile on my face as I walk to my machine, turn it on, and get on with my life. On that note, WTF is wrong with using a Linux distro that simply works? Correctly? On the first install? You go play around with vim and config files all you like. I got better things to do with my time.
    • Actually I wrote the FS for other reasons. We needed the convenience of a file system (remember, the SINGLE app still had to deal with a few hundred to over a thousand files on the MMC card) without someone being able to take the MMC card out, stick it in a MMC Card reader, and be able to copy files to / from it in windows-frigging-explorer or linux or anywhere else. So a custom proprietary file system met our needs perfectly. It provided us with all the conveniences of having a file system (organizing data into directory trees, create / delete files on the fly, being more flexible than a static data structure, etc.) while due to it being a custom file system making it very difficult for anyone to actually decipher the data stored on the MMC card. It was very crucial to the application that someone can't easily copy files to / from the MMC media. That solution met the needs perfectly.
    TRWTF is your arrogant elitist attitude that can't deal with someone having a different opinion than yours.



  • @Kermos said:

    I told you, the partition XP is on is completely fragmented resulting in the ridiculous boot times. I have a screenshot of it if you like. And yes, it is utterly ridiculus that an XP install used solely for the purpose of playing some occasional games gets THAT frigging fragmented.I have better things to do with my time than sit there go defrag XP.
     

    Uh no. You are definitely doing everything wrong. It is obvious to anyone but you.

    @Kermos said:

    windows machine caught the latest malware, spyware or virus and that person can't do their work just puts a smile on my face as I walk to my machine, turn it on, and get on with my life.

    How very smug and elitist of you. However, the fact that worry about malware, spyware or viruses shows us all the level of user you are.

    @Kermos said:

    WTF is wrong with using a Linux distro

    Absolutely nothing. But your attiitude of trying to tell the world how much Windows sucks is wrong. We have seen many of your type here. Just because you just discovered linux and you think it is the greatest thing ever and you feel really 1337 about it, doesn't mean Windows is any less useful for anyone else.

    You made the mistake of coming to a place where most of us are good in Linux and Windows, and understand the value of each. But you are going to try and act like you are thats tep above everyone because you installed Ubuntu and can open Firefox.

    @Kermos said:

    I got better things to do with my time.

    Like bash MS on a an IRC channel.

    @Kermos said:

    Actually I wrote the FS for other reasons.

    Really? Not according to you:

    <Kermos> pstorer: FAT16 actually was too slow

     @Kermos said:

    So a custom proprietary file system met our needs perfectly.

    Anytime anyone says this, you know there is a HUGE WTF at work.

     @Kermos said:

    elitist attitude

    The only elitist attitude is from the guy who posts stuff like this:


    <Kermos> ehhh C#, it is a neat little MS toy


    <Kermos> everytime I see a windows machine manage to boot
    <Kermos> I'm impressed

    <Kermos> When MS Released Vista, I turned around and walked away

    <Kermos> Well, after using Ubuntu now for over a year, yep I'm very surprised about many things windows....
    <Kermos> like, how did I use that piece of crap for so many years....

    <Kermos> I'd have to take time out of my day to defragment that hideous monstrosity called NTFS
    <Kermos> and I just can't be frigging bothered
    <Ling> That's why sane people set a schedualled task for it
    <Kermos> Windows doesn't run long enough for me to do that...

    <Kermos> I just don't get why MS can't get a decent file system together that doesn't require constant defragmentation!

    Everyone on IRC could see you were completely full of shit, and everyone here will be able to. 



  • @Kermos said:

    • I told you, the partition XP is on is completely fragmented resulting in the ridiculous boot times. I have a screenshot of it if you like. And yes, it is utterly ridiculus that an XP install used solely for the purpose of playing some occasional games gets THAT frigging fragmented.I have better things to do with my time than sit there go defrag XP.

    click, click, click, sleep, wake, done. 

    @Kermos said:


    • I don't preach Linux. I prefer it over Windows. I don't need to continously do all sorts of maintenance work to keep it running efficiently. It saves me time. Everytime I walk into the office and someone's windows machine caught the latest malware, spyware or virus and that person can't do their work just puts a smile on my face as I walk to my machine, turn it on, and get on with my life. On that note, WTF is wrong with using a Linux distro that simply works? Correctly? On the first install? You go play around with vim and config files all you like. I got better things to do with my time.

    I don't remember the last spyware I got.   Probably 3 or 4 years ago.  ANd I've had just as much efficiency problems on Linux as on Windows, maybe more.  The only efficiency issues I've had on Windows were 3rd party apps slowing things down.  On Linux I had the Beagel Daemon act up and cause serious performance issues.  Here's a hint.  Get rid of Google desktop, active spyware scanning, virus scan, itunes and quicktime crap, and whatever else you have scanning things and all will be well.  I haven't had a virus scan or spyware scan in years and I've never been infected.  Don't download porn.exe and expect Jenna Jameson.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Kermos said:

    I told you, the partition XP is on is completely fragmented resulting in the ridiculous boot times. I have a screenshot of it if you like. And yes, it is utterly ridiculus that an XP install used solely for the purpose of playing some occasional games gets THAT frigging fragmented.I have better things to do with my time than sit there go defrag XP.
     

    Uh no. You are definitely doing everything wrong. It is obvious to anyone but you.

     

    Right, I'm causing it to fragment. Care to explain how?

     @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Kermos said:

    windows machine caught the latest malware, spyware or virus and that person can't do their work just puts a smile on my face as I walk to my machine, turn it on, and get on with my life.

    How very smug and elitist of you. However, the fact that worry about malware, spyware or viruses shows us all the level of user you are.


    Wanna fix that sentence grammatically to where it actually makes sense?

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Absolutely nothing. But your attiitude of trying to tell the world how much Windows sucks is wrong. We have seen many of your type here. Just because you just discovered linux and you think it is the greatest thing ever and you feel really 1337 about it, doesn't mean Windows is any less useful for anyone else.

    You made the mistake of coming to a place where most of us are good in Linux and Windows, and understand the value of each. But you are going to try and act like you are thats tep above everyone because you installed Ubuntu and can open Firefox.

    Allright, maybe I was bashing Windows a bit. I don't care for it, I don't have a problem voicing that opinion. However, you are misjudging me. I too have uses for Windows and use it in those cases (Gaming, 3D CAD/CAM, compiling / testing my software under windows). But not once did I try to act like I'm above anyone or anything. If anything, that's the impression I get from you.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Really? Not according to you:

    <Kermos> pstorer: FAT16 actually was too slow

    Yes we benchmarked FAT16 at one point in time against my system. It would have been too slow. Even if it had not been too slow, it would have still been unusuable for the other reasons. Now, in FAT16's defense, obviously the code wasn't nearly as optimized for the architecture and hardware as my own as it was a 3rd party FAT16 implementation. It simply didn't have the necessary throughput to save the data to the media quick enough to keep up with the incoming data transfer rate. My own file system did because unlike the FAT16 implementation, it had the ability to allocate the full file including all needed sectors in advance allowing the write to be a near low-level sector write with virtual no performance overhead. Essentially, the performence edge came from the fact that I could tell my FS to create a 2 meg file, have it do all the necessary file level system work in advance, and then write 2 megs of data with zero overhead as fast as the MMC media would take it. In addition, it had the benefit that now the data is fragemented all over the media. yes, in that case I wanted fragmentation, the FS couldn't be fragmented enough as it is now very difficult for someone to just read the sectors and try to find a certain binary image as it's not present in one continouous block.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     @Kermos said:

    So a custom proprietary file system met our needs perfectly.

    Anytime anyone says this, you know there is a HUGE WTF at work.

    Why is that a huge WTF? The data stored on the MMC media can be worth anything ranging from a few hundred dollars into the thousands of dollars. The very absolute LAST THING we'd ever want is someone opening up the device, taking out the MMC card, and copying files from it to share online. That would be absolutely detrimental to business. Hence a custom proprietary solution for storing the data that while of course not being impossible to reverse engineer is going to be far beyond the scope of over 99% of the users. And in case you're wondering what the data is, it's automotive tuning data for custom tuned vehicles.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:


    <Kermos> ehhh C#, it is a neat little MS toy



    That's my opinion of it. Yours may differ. That's perfectly fine by me. I've used C# for many many years ever since 1.0 was in beta and even provided help in IRC help channels to users. I know quite a lot about it. However, I need solutions that are more flexible than C# or anything .Net when it comes to cross platform compatibility. I prefer C++ based solutions such as QT over C#. Reason simply being that the .Net framework is only as cross platform compatible as the local .Net framework implementation of the system it runs on. Since anything outside of MS Windows is always going to be liable to be behind the Windows implemementation I'm always risking of using a class or namespace that may not be present on other OSes or architectures. So really, I think C# is absolutely great for someone doing pure windows development. Cross platform? I think there are much better solutions.

     @MasterPlanSoftware said:


    <Kermos> everytime I see a windows machine manage to boot
    <Kermos> I'm impressed

    Ok so maybe that was a bit too much bashing. I'll give you that one.

     @MasterPlanSoftware said:


    <Kermos> When MS Released Vista, I turned around and walked away

    Perfectly true and correct statement. That is what I did. I don't care for Vista and I think I hardly am the only person in this world who thinks that way. Last time I checked, Vista hasn't particularly won any popularity contests anywhere...

     @MasterPlanSoftware said:


    <Kermos> Well, after using Ubuntu now for over a year, yep I'm very surprised about many things windows....
    <Kermos> like, how did I use that piece of crap for so many years....

    Yep, correct. Like I said, I don't particularly care for windows anymore. Doesn't mean I'm telling YOU not to use it...I'm simply stating my opinion. You go do whatever you want and whatever works best for you. Personally, I find Ubuntu to be less maintenance, less hassle and more stable.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:


    <Kermos> I'd have to take time out of my day to defragment that hideous monstrosity called NTFS
    <Kermos> and I just can't be frigging bothered
    <Ling> That's why sane people set a schedualled task for it
    <Kermos> Windows doesn't run long enough for me to do that...

     Again, perfectly correct. I mean seriously, explain to me why a windows install used for nothing but occasional gaming that I maybe boot into once in a while gets so damn fragmented that the windows disk defragmenter shows almost nothing but "red" and free space? It'd buy it if it was a server running 24/7 constantly reading / writing / creating files / deleting files. But a windows install that I maybe boot into every few days for a couple hours? Now that is a WTF and in my opinion on Microsoft's part. But I do have a copy of Diskeeper around here somewhere and I'll bother to install it one of these days and clean it up. But yea, I usually just log into windows if I wanna go play some game and log back out when I'm done...it doesn't run at any other time than that so there's no point when I could "schedule" things. Matter of fact, I don't even WANT to have to schedule things.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    <Kermos> I just don't get why MS can't get a decent file system together that doesn't require constant defragmentation!

     Yea, and I stand by that statement. I don't want to have to schedule defragmentations or frigging even worry about any of it. They charge enough for their OS for crying out loud. Is it too much to expect to simply work without me holding it's hand?

     



  • @Kermos said:

     @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    How very smug and elitist of you. However, the fact that you worry about malware, spyware or viruses shows us all the level of user you are.


    Wanna fix that sentence grammatically to where it actually makes sense?

     

    FTFY. 
    Very hard to figure that one out though, it did take all of 2 seconds.



  •  I was watching one of those tv series yesterday that feature car crashes. Somehow they all reminded me of something. And then it hit me. I was watching a real-life version of a thread.

    Someone starts a thread going and for a few posts it goes on uneventfully. And then it hits that one idiot post in a spectacular crash. After that there's no more progess, just debris of the thread flying around.  



  •  My thoughts exactly, DOA. If you two are really that interested in finding out whose e-penis is larger, go figure it out somewhere those of us who are trying to have a grown-up conversation on this thread don't have to hear you.



  • @Jake Grey said:

    have a grown-up conversation on this thread don't have to hear you.
     

    It is a grown up conversation. 

    Kermos is a real life WTF that has come here to share. I am just harvesting that WTFery.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Jake Grey said:

    have a grown-up conversation on this thread don't have to hear you.
     

    It is a grown up conversation. 

    Kermos is a real life WTF that has come here to share. I am just harvesting that WTFery.

    And that explains why he says his serial numbers are garunteed unique in the system he describes; since there is no checking I can garuntee they won't be.  He's just lucky the have been so far.



  • @KattMan said:

    And that explains why he says his serial numbers are garunteed unique in the system he describes; since there is no checking I can garuntee they won't be.  He's just lucky the have been so far.
     

    Right, that was our first hint, and could have been good enough to feed on for a while... but this anti MS, pro-proprietary FS garbage is just icing on the cake.



  • @Kermos said:

    Right, I'm causing it to fragment.

    @Kermos said:

    In addition, it had the benefit that now the data is fragemented all over the media.

    So, you admit that you're pretty good at fragmenting file systems, yet you complain about your xp install being fragmented?

    Right.



  • The serial numbers are assigned by us. They are ours, we control them and everything about them. They will never not be numeric.

     I bet you $FIVE that someday the requirements will change and that non-numeric characters in the serials will be considered valid.  Hopefully this won't happen until long after you leave.

     



  •  @KattMan said:

    And that explains why he says his serial numbers are garunteed unique in the system he describes; since there is no checking I can garuntee they won't be.  He's just lucky the have been so far.

    Hey I didn't design the current system, I only have to deal with it. That said, the source of the serial numbers is guaranteed unique as it comes from the external printed barcode labels. And even if there was a mistake in those labels, this is one of the things the current system actually does check and validate. If only for the simple reason that if you enter in a serial number which already exists, it uses it to look up the pre-existing information and fills in everything on the form. No duplicates are created in the database. So yes, that is one thing that actually is guaranteed unique.

     



  • @Rootbeer said:

     I bet you $FIVE that someday the requirements will change and that non-numeric characters in the serials will be considered valid.  Hopefully this won't happen until long after you leave.

     

    Relatively unlikely as one of the bonuses of having a numeric serial number means being able to use Code128C to create the barcode labels. Has the advantage that it keeps the labels very nice and short and we can't have them short enough as it's difficult finding a spot to place them at times. So adding additional non-numeric characters would be a major disadvantage as far as the labels are concerned. Would have to switch to either Code128A or B which with any added characters would easily double the length of the barcode and the label and that'd be very undesirable.

     



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    You should hear the WTFs that our little buddy Kermos is all about.
     

     One more example of you labeling people you don't like as trolls when you are, in fact, the biggest troll (okay second biggest) this forum has ever seen. How on earth does this thread merit an ad hominem attack on Kermos? The OP was a perfectly legitimate, downright laughable WTF, and Kermos demonstrated no lack of technical knowledge, made no bad assumptions, and didn't even say anything inflamatory.



  • @Arenzael said:

    ...(okay second biggest)...

    I think you're a little full of yourself.  Sure, you're an idiot, but you are not the biggest troll here, by an stretch of the imagination.

     

    @Arenzael said:

    How on earth does this thread merit an ad hominem attack on Kermos?

    Do you even know what "ad hominem" means?  MPS wasn't trying to win an argument, he was pointing out what a piece of work Kermos is.  You didn't have to sit on IRC for an hour listening to this guy blather on.  Seriously, he sounds like the bastard love-child of Swampy and a Slashdot regular.  MPS was merely drawing him out of his shell so we could all enjoy his stupidity.  Why do you have to destroy that? 



  • @Arenzael said:

     One more example of you labeling people you don't like as trolls when you are, in fact, the biggest troll (okay second biggest) this forum has ever seen. How on earth does this thread merit an ad hominem attack on Kermos? The OP was a perfectly legitimate, downright laughable WTF, and Kermos demonstrated no lack of technical knowledge, made no bad assumptions, and didn't even say anything inflamatory.
     

    Apparently you have not read the conversations with Kermos I posted. 

    You post is the only trolling going on here. I have not accused anyone else of trolling.



  • @Kermos said:

    • I told you, the partition XP is on is completely fragmented resulting in the ridiculous boot times. I have a screenshot of it if you like. And yes, it is utterly ridiculus that an XP install used solely for the purpose of playing some occasional games gets THAT frigging fragmented.I have better things to do with my time than sit there go defrag XP.

    XP, unlike Windows 98, is capable of defragmenting in the background.

    • Actually I wrote the FS for other reasons. We needed the convenience of a file system (remember, the SINGLE app still had to deal with a few hundred to over a thousand files on the MMC card) without someone being able to take the MMC card out, stick it in a MMC Card reader, and be able to copy files to / from it in windows-frigging-explorer or linux or anywhere else.

    Well, M$ did the same thing with FATX, really, so it's hard to blame you, except...

    • So a custom proprietary file system met our needs perfectly. It provided us with all the conveniences of having a file system (organizing data into directory trees, create / delete files on the fly, being more flexible than a static data structure, etc.) while due to it being a custom file system making it very difficult for anyone to actually decipher the data stored on the MMC card. It was very crucial to the application that someone can't easily copy files to / from the MMC media. That solution met the needs perfectly.

    If it's so crucial, you shouldn't just use an obscure filesystem, you should use actual encryption.



  • @Random832 said:

    If it's so crucial, you shouldn't just use an obscure filesystem, you should use actual encryption.

    Kermos' reasons for writing his own FS seem to change daily.  His original justification is that FAT was too slow because he was using a 40mhz ARM processor.  He never mentioned security to me on IRC and I pushed several times asking why he would write a FS for a program that only needed to store data on flash media.  He couldn't come up with a reason why he didn't just store data structures directly to the hardware.

     

    This all came up because he said NTFS was a piece of shit so I called him out on his knowledge of filesystems and he said "oh, I wrote my own that blended the best of ext3 and NTFS since neither of those would work for me".  Now, writing your own FS certainly seems WTFy, but the really amusing thing is he is comparing his hacked together piece of junk with the work of many filesystem experts.  Also, if NTFS is such a piece of shit, why would you look to it for inspiration at all?

     

    Given the skills and knowledge demonstrated thus far, I'd say Kermos
    probably would have just written his own encryption algo instead of
    using a piece of shit like AES.



  • @tster said:

    click, click, click, sleep, wake, done.

    According to Kermos, he didn't want to leave the computer defragging overnight because he didn't want to pay for the electricity.  Now, that's got to cost something like 10 cents which either means Kermos is ridiculously poor or he enjoys 6 minute boot times because it lets him complain about Windows.  I'm going to guess it is the latter.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    So, my friend, the joke is on you. I can guarantee Kermos is TRWTF here. Please don't extend him any sympathy.
     

    (Reply to old post, I know)

    Fair enough, I try to keep comments to the thread itself, regardless of how retarded someone may be elsewhere (though I noticed his other posts) and to a degree, was being sympathetic more to politely convey the argument you can't really blame the college student (who wouldn't jump at the chance to afford more ramen?) who likely has no professional experience.


    Not touching the rest of the thread though, even if it is entertaining. 

     

    I do think the result of this thread does support your original conclusion though.



  • @BeenThere said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    So, my friend, the joke is on you. I can guarantee Kermos is TRWTF here. Please don't extend him any sympathy.
     

    (Reply to old post, I know)

    Fair enough, I try to keep comments to the thread itself, regardless of how retarded someone may be elsewhere (though I noticed his other posts) and to a degree, was being sympathetic more to politely convey the argument you can't really blame the college student (who wouldn't jump at the chance to afford more ramen?) who likely has no professional experience.


    Not touching the rest of the thread though, even if it is entertaining. 

     

    I do think the result of this thread does support your original conclusion though.

     

    Yeah, I normally would try and keep these issues seperated. However, I felt this had to be brough to light.  Also, the OP is full of small WTFery (on his part) too, so I feel it is related.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I think you're a little full of yourself.  Sure, you're an idiot, but you are not the biggest troll here, by an stretch of the imagination
     

    Good one. 

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Do you even know what "ad hominem" means?

     Yes I do, and despite the fact that you probably only heard about it in your high school debate class, it doesn't apply just to arguments.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    You didn't have to sit on IRC for an hour listening to this guy blather on.

    The funny thing is that you didn't either, yet you appear to have nothing better to do. 

     



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Apparently you have not read the conversations with Kermos I posted. 

     

     The conversations you posted. Those conversations which also have nothing to do with the OP. Sounds like pretty clear trolling to me.

     @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    You post is the only trolling going on here. I have not accused anyone else of trolling.

    Funny how at the same time you both prove and deny my point. 



  • @Arenzael said:

    Those conversations which also have nothing to do with the OP

    I would argue they have everything to do with the OP. A little background into someone before wasting your time arguing with them is always helpful.

    @Arenzael said:

     @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    You post is the only trolling going on here. I have not accused anyone else of trolling.

    Funny how at the same time you both prove and deny my point. 

    I think you need to brush up on your definition of trolling.

    Following me from thread to thread accusing me of trolling is not new to me. We have had plenty of Lysis trolls here before. 

     



  • @Arenzael said:

    Yes I do, and despite the fact that you probably only heard about it in your high school debate class, it doesn't apply just to arguments.

    That would be the best debate team ever.

    Moderator: Today we'll be debating the effect of the World Bank on developing countries.

    Opposing Team Member: The World Bank is just a scheme by the richest nations to keep the poorest in their debt.

    MPS: Whatever. You've been following me around to every debate. Grow up.

    Opposing Team Member: Uh, and the terms of the loans are...

    morbiuswilters: PENIS!

    MPS: You guys are just trolling now. I won this debate yesterday, let it die.

    NOTE: Don't criticize my choice of debate topic, it's just the first thing that I remembered from being in Model UN (possibly TRWTF).



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    That would be the best debate team ever.

    Moderator: Today we'll be debating the effect of the World Bank on developing countries.

    Opposing Team Member: The World Bank is just a scheme by the richest nations to keep the poorest in their debt.

    MPS: Whatever. You've been following me around to every debate. Grow up.

    Opposing Team Member: Uh, and the terms of the loans are...

    morbiuswilters: PENIS!

    MPS: You guys are just trolling now. I won this debate yesterday, let it die.

     Ahhh, more last-minute trolling by the Cap'n.  Good show!

     

    @Cap'n Steve said:

    NOTE: Don't criticize my choice of debate topic, it's just the first thing that I remembered from being in Model UN (possibly TRWTF).

    TRWTF is that the UN doesn't use Emacs. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Cap'n Steve said:

    That would be the best debate team ever.

    Moderator: Today we'll be debating the effect of the World Bank on developing countries.

    Opposing Team Member: The World Bank is just a scheme by the richest nations to keep the poorest in their debt.

    MPS: Whatever. You've been following me around to every debate. Grow up.

    Opposing Team Member: Uh, and the terms of the loans are...

    morbiuswilters: PENIS!

    MPS: You guys are just trolling now. I won this debate yesterday, let it die.

     Ahhh, more last-minute trolling by the Cap'n.  Good show!

     

    @Cap'n Steve said:

    NOTE: Don't criticize my choice of debate topic, it's just the first thing that I remembered from being in Model UN (possibly TRWTF).

    TRWTF is that the UN doesn't use Emacs. 

     

    PENIS!



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    That would be the best debate team ever.

    Moderator: Today we'll be debating the effect of the World Bank on developing countries.

    Opposing Team Member: The World Bank is just a scheme by the richest nations to keep the poorest in their debt.

    MPS: Whatever. You've been following me around to every debate. Grow up.

    Opposing Team Member: Uh, and the terms of the loans are...

    morbiuswilters: PENIS!

    MPS: You guys are just trolling now. I won this debate yesterday, let it die.

    NOTE: Don't criticize my choice of debate topic, it's just the first thing that I remembered from being in Model UN (possibly TRWTF).

     

     EPIC! You have captured the essence of the dynamic duo perfectly.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    I would argue they have everything to do with the OP. A little background into someone before wasting your time arguing with them is always helpful.
     

    Who was arguing? Oh, that's right, no one. The thread was going well until you showed up and turned it into a flamewar. 



  • @Arenzael said:

    The thread was going well until you showed up and turned it into a flamewar. 
     

    You are the only one flaming here.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Cap'n Steve said:

    NOTE: Don't criticize my choice of debate topic, it's just the first thing that I remembered from being in Model UN (possibly TRWTF).

    TRWTF is that the UN doesn't use Emacs.

    See, because "model UN" is kind of like "modal UN"...  and vim is a modal editor...  it's clever...

     

    @pstorer said:

    Explaining the joke is ALWAYS the solution.
     



  • @Arenzael said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Do you even know what "ad hominem" means?

     Yes I do, and despite the fact that you probably only heard about it in your high school debate class, it doesn't apply just to arguments.

     

    Can I just point out the irony that, Arenzael, you use an ad hominem in your response about knowing what an ad honimem is? 



  • @BeenThere said:

    Can I just point out the irony that, Arenzael, you use an ad hominem in your response about knowing what an ad honimem is?

    Pointing out irony is an ad hominem!  You lose the debate, BeenThere!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Pointing out irony is an ad hominem!  You lose the debate, BeenThere!
     

    You have me confused with someone here to discuss/debate/contribute to this thread.


    I just showed up to play peanut gallery and drink beer.



  • @BeenThere said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Pointing out irony is an ad hominem!  You lose the debate, BeenThere!
     

    You have me confused with someone here to discuss/debate/contribute to this thread.


    I just showed up to play peanut gallery and drink beer.

     

    Haha, I like this one. The force is strong with him. Could I trouble you for one of those beers? 



  • @Arenzael said:

    Haha, I like this one. The force is strong with him. Could I trouble you for one of those beers? 
     

    A beer?
    Feel free*

    *free as in os software

    Damnit, now I really want a beer.


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