I don't trust computers



  • Our build processes were a hodge-podge of scripts and manual steps. I had offererd to automate it last year, but there were bigger fish my boss needed me to fry. I just automated enough of it to make it tolerable. My boss finally had our new guy go through and automate all of our build processes. The idea was, check out the entire tree, enter one command to build, one to run all tests, and one to snapshot all the code/jars/configs to a deployable directory in svn. This way, to deply to prod, you just needed to check out that one subtree and you were done.

    Today was the day it was all to be tested and demonstrated. Four of five guys go through their projects end to end with no problems. The fifth guy runs the automated script for his project. When it stops, he starts typing commands by hand. My boss asks him why he's not using the automated script for his project.

    I open the automated script for his project, and all it does is a couple of javac commands. No jar. No copying files from canned directories into a deployment folder. All of that had to be done by hand.

    When pressed, he said: Because sometimes things don't work and I don't trust computers!



  • Or, rather, he doesn't trust computers running code he wrote. Gee, I wonder why.



  • @snoofle said:

    Our build processes were a hodge-podge of scripts and manual steps. I had offererd to automate it last year, but there were bigger fish my boss needed me to fry. I just automated enough of it to make it tolerable. My boss finally had our new guy go through and automate all of our build processes. The idea was, check out the entire tree, enter one command to build, one to run all tests, and one to snapshot all the code/jars/configs to a deployable directory in svn. This way, to deply to prod, you just needed to check out that one subtree and you were done.

    Today was the day it was all to be tested and demonstrated. Four of five guys go through their projects end to end with no problems. The fifth guy runs the automated script for his project. When it stops, he starts typing commands by hand. My boss asks him why he's not using the automated script for his project.

    I open the automated script for his project, and all it does is a couple of javac commands. No jar. No copying files from canned directories into a deployment folder. All of that had to be done by hand.

    When pressed, he said: Because sometimes things don't work and I don't trust computers!


    A developer who doesn't trust computers. Interesting. Kinda like an Amish mechanic.



  • @Master Chief said:

    A developer who doesn't trust computers. Interesting. Kinda like an Amish mechanic.
     



  • @Master Chief said:

    A developer who doesn't trust computers. Interesting. Kinda like an Amish mechanic.

    I distrust computers, but I still use them. Or more precisely, I don't trust that that they understand what I want them to do from what I tell them to do. But I still tell them to do it, I just doublecheck the work afterwards. And make backups before. Distrust is a healthy part of the worker/tool relationship and no reason to not use the right tool for the job. If a hammer has the head come off in mid-swing do you abandon all hammers and use rocks instead? No, you put the head back on and add another splint. You don't need to go out and buy a new hammer, the old one just needs a bit of fixing. That's what I don't get about people, they replace things before they even think about what could be wrong and if it's easily fixable. Not that many things today are, what with everything being plastic and electronic, and microcircuitry, and just plain impossible for the shade tree mechanic. I mean, this Amish guy who lived down the road from me, he could make and install all replacement parts for any car made before 1970. But give him a car made in the last 15 years? He wouldn't know where to start.  Wait, what am I ranting about again? Oh, I guess my tangent was relevent, nevermind.

     



  • @mrsparkyman said:

    That's what I don't get about people, they replace things before they even think about what could be wrong and if it's easily fixable.

    Mostly, that's an economical strategy. Historically speaking, stuff is cheap.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @mrsparkyman said:
    That's what I don't get about people, they replace things before they even think about what could be wrong and if it's easily fixable.

    Mostly, that's an economical strategy. Historically speaking, stuff is cheap.

    Exactly. Fixing is usually a waste of time, energy and materials. I also hate when people bitch about how old things were so much better-made. No, they weren't. It's just that the all the really shitty old stuff fell apart decades ago. I'm sure there are some PS3s out there that will still be working in a century. But old stuff tended to be crudely made because that's the best they could do. In some cases this makes things more resilient--they had to build such extreme engineering tolerances into things that they ended up being very sturdy.

    I know that's not what Mrs. Parky Man was saying. In fact, I like old cars that you can work on yourself. But I recognize it's a luxury item--a better use of my time and money would be a modern car. Also, all of those fancy electronics in your car reduce its pollution, conserve fuel, increase power and make it safer.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    a better use of my time and money would be a modern car. Also, all of those fancy electronics in your car reduce its pollution, conserve fuel, increase power and make it safer.

    A recent study in the UK showed the car market struggling because build quality had improved over recent years and better reliability meant people were keeping hold of their existing models for longer. Kinda shot themselves in the foot over that one, but the economics of a newer vehicle are definitely healthier now than in days of yore.

    (some of this is down to having car allowances for personal vehicles more attractive than running a company car, breaking the expected 3-year lifespan for company vehicles and reducing fleet purchases)



  • @Cassidy said:

    A recent study in the UK showed the car market struggling because build quality had improved over recent years and better reliability meant people were keeping hold of their existing models for longer. Kinda shot themselves in the foot over that one, but the economics of a newer vehicle are definitely healthier now than in days of yore.

    Yeah, I've seen more than a few gasoline cars made in the last 20 years with 300k+ miles on them. They never had serious repairs done and other than being worn-looking they ran reliably.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Cassidy said:
    A recent study in the UK showed the car market struggling because build quality had improved over recent years and better reliability meant people were keeping hold of their existing models for longer. Kinda shot themselves in the foot over that one, but the economics of a newer vehicle are definitely healthier now than in days of yore.

    Yeah, I've seen more than a few gasoline cars made in the last 20 years with 300k+ miles on them. They never had serious repairs done and other than being worn-looking they ran reliably.

    Our next stop takes us to Havana, where a Chevy that's been in continuous service since 1957 counts as a "new car".



  • @da Doctah said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Cassidy said:
    A recent study in the UK showed the car market struggling because build quality had improved over recent years and better reliability meant people were keeping hold of their existing models for longer. Kinda shot themselves in the foot over that one, but the economics of a newer vehicle are definitely healthier now than in days of yore.

    Yeah, I've seen more than a few gasoline cars made in the last 20 years with 300k+ miles on them. They never had serious repairs done and other than being worn-looking they ran reliably.

    Our next stop takes us to Havana, where a Chevy that's been in continuous service since 1957 counts as a "new car".

    True, but at this point it's probably been mostly rebuilt by hand. The Filipinos do the same thing with Jeeps. After WW2 they inherited a bunch of Army Jeeps and loved 'em so much they've been modding them and rebuilding them and manufacturing their own knock-offs ever since. They even have their own knock-off factories to manufacture replacement parts.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Cassidy said:
    A recent study in the UK showed the car market struggling because build quality had improved over recent years and better reliability meant people were keeping hold of their existing models for longer. Kinda shot themselves in the foot over that one, but the economics of a newer vehicle are definitely healthier now than in days of yore.

    Yeah, I've seen more than a few gasoline cars made in the last 20 years with 300k+ miles on them. They never had serious repairs done and other than being worn-looking they ran reliably.

    I was in Krakow, Poland once. Took a couple of taxis. One of them had well over 900k kilometers on it (which is about 560k miles, according to Google). It seemed fine, and perfectly safe to me. I assume it was well-maintained. As long as you can get the parts, I also assume that a taxi like that is cheaper to maintain than a new car.



  • @toon said:

    As long as you can get the parts, I also assume that a taxi like that is cheaper to maintain than a new car.

    Eh, if your time isn't worth much, which is how this came up in the first place.



  • The more I use and learn about computers, the less I trust them. They do tend to fail in all sorts of interesting ways. Ultimately, they're designed, built and programmed by humans; humans make mistakes, mistakes are easy to make in those processes, and a tiny mistake can cause a significant problem.



    I'm not about to abandon all technology and start a farm, or start typing all commands out manually in case there happens to be some obscure bug in the scripting system, but I know better than to just expect them to work perfectly all the time.



    Also something about cars and planned obsolescence and etc.



  • @toon said:

    As long as you can get the parts, I also assume that a taxi like that is cheaper to maintain than a new car.

    I'd assume that the long-term economics of saving up and purchasing a new car outweigh the short-term "extend-longevity" patch-and-fix approach to the existing model, but diverting income wholly into the "new vehicle" fund leaves little to cover maintenance expenditures, running the risk of losing that source of income in the first place.

    There reaches a point at which the equipment becomes too expensive to maintain for too little returns. Taking good care of the equipment with regular servicing early on in life pushes this point further into the future than if the kit had been neglected, but the day when you're forced to cut your losses will eventually arrive.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Mostly, that's an economical strategy. Historically speaking, stuff is cheap.

    Exactly. Fixing is usually a waste of time, energy and materials.

    Some organisations have a swapping-out approach to fixing: I know it featured with many Japanese car manufacturers before it found its way over to the UK, where a mechanic would replace a failed engine component and the failed part could be benched, stripped down and reconditioned later.

    A mechanic I know that started working for Honda claimed those servicing cars aren't mechanical engineers anymore, they're computer technicians who plug in a diagnostic to ascertain what "car says wrong" then replace that part. This approach means the customer isn't being kept waiting whilst the failed part is being benched and analysed, those spending more time diagnosing the issue aren't under time pressure, and replacing the whole component definitely eliminates the failure contained within the module.

    It's no different to what we do with modern computer equipment: we don't really fix the problem, we swap out a modular component for one that works and usually throw away the item containing the fault, rather than attempt a fix. To date, I've only attempted one manual fix I can think of - a cracked motherboard where I scraped clean the cracked copper trails and soldered across the gap to bridge the split.



  • In Gibraltar I rode in a taxi with 1400000 miles on the clock. A Mercedes Benz. It had some obvious wear or tear but ran well and was smoother than my bus at least.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @toon said:
    As long as you can get the parts, I also assume that a taxi like that is cheaper to maintain than a new car.

    Eh, if your time isn't worth much, which is how this came up in the first place.

    Yeah, and ask your parents or grandparents about taking car trips to places that were and hour or two away fifty or sixty years ago. These were often treated more like we'd treat a cross country trip. Check the oil, tires, etc. Better bring your toolbox, too. The overall reliability of modern cars is pretty amazing.



  • @nexekho said:

    In Gibraltar I rode in a taxi with 1400000 miles on the clock. A Mercedes Benz. It had some obvious wear or tear but ran well and was smoother than my bus at least.
    In Adelaide, their oldest running buses (Mercedes Benz O305's) have all done at least 1.75 million kilometres, some have done in excess of two million. And for the most part, they're still the best buses in the fleet (provided you don't like air conditioning and are partial to a degrading conertina on the articulated ones). TransPerth will no doubt buy them when they've been finished with in Adelaide, they seem to like old Adelaide buses for some reason.

    These Mercedes, by the way, are all about thirty years old.

    On the other hand, the new craptastic Scanias are made of plastic for the most part, and, apart from the air conditioning (the one thing they've gotten right on the new [url=http://customcoaches.com.au/showroom/custom-mass-transit/]Spacebuses[/url]), are generally horrible to ride on. I was on one the other day, and when it was going down the main roads and down the O-Bahn to the city I could barely type properly on my phone because the bus was shaking so badly.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Yeah, and ask your parents or grandparents about taking car trips to places that were and hour or two away fifty or sixty years ago.

    My parents and grandparents lived an hour or two away from anything, so it was treated more like a trip to Church or to the shops. They'd think nothing of driving for hours, where cityfolk baulk at driving an extra 15 minutes.

    @boomzilla said:

    Check the oil, tires, etc. Better bring your toolbox, too.

    Yeah they'd do that regularly anyway.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @da Doctah said:

    Our next stop takes us to Havana, where a Chevy that's been in continuous service since 1957 counts as a "new car".

    True, but at this point it's probably been mostly rebuilt by hand. The Filipinos do the same thing with Jeeps. After WW2 they inherited a bunch of Army Jeeps and loved 'em so much they've been modding them and rebuilding them and manufacturing their own knock-offs ever since. They even have their own knock-off factories to manufacture replacement parts.

    Of course they swap some parts but they can be divided on two groups

    • The ones that still keeps all pieces from the same car model (newer or repaired
    • The ones that have all kinds of parts, they are Frankencars)

    Ohh btw there are modern cars in Havana, but foreigners tends to pay more attention to the old ones (more pictoresque?), there is also some sort of association of old cars that have sponsored events like races and such.



  • @serguey123 said:

    Ohh btw there are modern cars in Havana, but foreigners tends to pay more attention to the old ones (more pictoresque?), there is also some sort of association of old cars that have sponsored events like races and such.

    No. No, not "banana republic-y" enough. I'm going to stick with North Korea.

    Or, much more likely, Duluth.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    No. No, not "banana republic-y" enough. I'm going to stick with North Korea.

    Or, much more likely, Duluth.

    If I ever visit the US, I'm avoiding those places you mention like the plague, they must be boring as hell



  • Zoidberg_thats_the_joke.png



  • @Zemm said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Check the oil, tires, etc. Better bring your toolbox, too.

    Yeah they'd do that regularly anyway.

    Wait, you have to put oil in your car??



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    @Zemm said:
    @boomzilla said:
    Check the oil, tires, etc. Better bring your toolbox, too.

    Yeah they'd do that regularly anyway.

    Wait, you have to put oil in your car??

    Technically it's a synthetic lubricant good for 20k miles but people still call it oil. It must be made from bald eagle tears, though, because it's as expensive as fuck. I'm just glad I don't have a shitty electric car to worry about.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @pkmnfrk said:
    @Zemm said:
    @boomzilla said:
    Check the oil, tires, etc. Better bring your toolbox, too.

    Yeah they'd do that regularly anyway.

    Wait, you have to put oil in your car??

    Technically it's a synthetic lubricant good for 20k miles but people still call it oil. It must be made from bald eagle tears, though, because it's as expensive as fuck. I'm just glad I don't have a shitty electric car to worry about.

     

    Not sure what you mean, but not having an electric car won't make you exempt from needing oil (or engine lubricant if you prefer) in your car. If you're driving around and not using any, I'd hate to see the state of your engine, it would be a wonder the whole thing hasn't seized up.

     



  • @ASheridan said:

    Not sure what you mean, but not having an electric car won't make you exempt from needing oil (or engine lubricant if you prefer) in your car. If you're driving around and not using any, I'd hate to see the state of your engine, it would be a wonder the whole thing hasn't seized up.

    Obviously. I was just stating my hatred for electric cars.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @ASheridan said:
    Not sure what you mean, but not having an electric car won't make you exempt from needing oil (or engine lubricant if you prefer) in your car. If you're driving around and not using any, I'd hate to see the state of your engine, it would be a wonder the whole thing hasn't seized up.

    Obviously. I was just stating my hatred for electric cars.

     

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you weren't aware of your idiocy.



  • @ASheridan said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @ASheridan said:
    Not sure what you mean, but not having an electric car won't make you exempt from needing oil (or engine lubricant if you prefer) in your car. If you're driving around and not using any, I'd hate to see the state of your engine, it would be a wonder the whole thing hasn't seized up.

    Obviously. I was just stating my hatred for electric cars.

     

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you weren't aware of your idiocy.

    Wha? My comment about electric cars had nothing to do with their lubricant needs. As I stated, I'm aware that engines with moving parts need lubricant.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @ASheridan said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @ASheridan said:
    Not sure what you mean, but not having an electric car won't make you exempt from needing oil (or engine lubricant if you prefer) in your car. If you're driving around and not using any, I'd hate to see the state of your engine, it would be a wonder the whole thing hasn't seized up.

    Obviously. I was just stating my hatred for electric cars.

     

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you weren't aware of your idiocy.

    Wha? My comment about electric cars had nothing to do with their lubricant needs. As I stated, I'm aware that engines with moving parts need lubricant.

     

    That's not the only thing with moving parts that needs lubricant.  



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @ASheridan said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @ASheridan said:
    Not sure what you mean, but not having an electric car won't make you exempt from needing oil (or engine lubricant if you prefer) in your car. If you're driving around and not using any, I'd hate to see the state of your engine, it would be a wonder the whole thing hasn't seized up.

    Obviously. I was just stating my hatred for electric cars.

     

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you weren't aware of your idiocy.

    Wha? My comment about electric cars had nothing to do with their lubricant needs. As I stated, I'm aware that engines with moving parts need lubricant.

     

    It was in the same paragraph, which is a language construct usually used to group topics one is talking about. It had nothing whatsoever to do with anything else you were mumbling about, so it appeared that you wrote it as some sort of run-on or connected statement. I can only assume that you've taken up surrealism as a new hobby. If so, fish banana.

     



  • @mrsparkyman said:

    I distrust computers, but I still use them.
     

    Like drug dealers or attack dogs, they serve a purpose... just make sure you don't turn your back on them.

     

     



  • @ASheridan said:

    It was in the same paragraph, which is a language construct usually used to group topics one is talking about. It had nothing whatsoever to do with anything else you were mumbling about, so it appeared that you wrote it as some sort of run-on or connected statement.

    Jesus Christ you are retarded. The guy I was replying to was talking about electric cars. How is that not fucking obvious?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Technically it's a synthetic lubricant good for 20k miles but people still call it oil.

    In this section, he's talking about oil in a car.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    It must be made from bald eagle tears, though, because it's as expensive as fuck.

    Here, he bemoans the expense of purchasing this oil.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I'm just glad I don't have a shitty electric car to worry about.

    However, he concedes that if he had an electric car, his life would be measurably worse, and he'd still need to purchase bald-eagle tears for his engine.

    Easy, up until here. But, it gets confusing thereafter:

    @ASheridan said:

    Not sure what you mean, but not having an electric car won't make you exempt from needing oil (...) in your car.

    This is a very difficult sentence to parse, due to the use of multiple negations. But I believe it could be rewritten like this:

    @ASheridan said:

    Not sure what you mean, but having a combustion-engine car won't make you exempt from needing oil (...) in your car.

    So, the implication is that morbiuswilters was saying that gasoline-burning cars don't need oil? That's.... an interesting conclusion to come to.



  • Computers are like dogs and bees, they can smell fear.

     I also subscribe to the 'evil genie' theory of computer; in that they do exactly what they are told to do, which may not be what you actually wanted.



  • @bgodot said:

    I also subscribe to the 'evil genie' theory of computer; in that they do exactly what they are told to do, which may not be what you actually wanted.

    "Computer, I command you to give me a 14-inch cock!"

    smaller-than-average chicken appears

    "Oh, the irony! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bgodot said:
    I also subscribe to the 'evil genie' theory of computer; in that they do exactly what they are told to do, which may not be what you actually wanted.

    "Computer, I command you to give me a 14-inch cock!"

    smaller-than-average chicken appears

    "Oh, the irony! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

    Or... 14 inches in diameter, but only 1 inch long.



  • @bgodot said:

     I also subscribe to the 'evil genie' theory of computer; in that they do exactly what they are told to do, which may not be what you actually wanted.

    I prefer the theory that circuit boards are actually runes to trap evil imps



  • @bgodot said:

    Computers are like dogs and bees, they can smell fear.

    The funny thing is that some problems seem to disapear when the IT guy is near the computer so they can feel fear too



  • @serguey123 said:

    @bgodot said:
    Computers are like dogs and bees, they can smell fear.
    The funny thing is that some problems seem to disapear when the IT guy is near the computer so they can feel fear too
    I love when this happens, computer is misbehaving for person, I walk into the room, and said person calls me over to ask me why it is doing some weird thing, and of course it does not repeat (at least until I leave).



  • @Anketam said:

    I love when this happens, computer is misbehaving for person, I walk into the room, and said person calls me over to ask me why it is doing some weird thing, and of course it does not repeat (at least until I leave).
    I had this happen a couple of months after I started in network engineering.  I was configuring up a new switch when all of a sudden I heard a huge BANG and the damn thing rebooted.  Shaken, I unplugged it, let it sit for a moment or two, then plugged it back in.  It booted up, I continued working, and it went BANG again.  I unplugged it, called one of my co-workers who was also on campus, and she came over to look at it.  Of course, it didn't happen for her.  She unplugged it, left, I plugged it back in and continued working, and BANG!

    Best guess I could ever make is that there was an issue with the end I was plugging into the switch.  We opened the switch and there didn't appear to be anything wrong with the power supply (no blown caps).  We had multiple power cords on the bench; I figure she choose a different cord than mine.  We finally pitched that cord in the trash.  For a while I earned the nickname "sparky" because no one else had ever heard of that happening.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @boomzilla said:
    @mrsparkyman said:
    That's what I don't get about people, they replace things before they even think about what could be wrong and if it's easily fixable.

    Mostly, that's an economical strategy. Historically speaking, stuff is cheap.

    Exactly. Fixing is usually a waste of time, energy and materials. I also hate when people bitch about how old things were so much better-made. No, they weren't. It's just that the all the really shitty old stuff fell apart decades ago. I'm sure there are some PS3s out there that will still be working in a century. But old stuff tended to be crudely made because that's the best they could do. In some cases this makes things more resilient--they had to build such extreme engineering tolerances into things that they ended up being very sturdy.

    I know that's not what Mrs. Parky Man was saying. In fact, I like old cars that you can work on yourself. But I recognize it's a luxury item--a better use of my time and money would be a modern car. Also, all of those fancy electronics in your car reduce its pollution, conserve fuel, increase power and make it safer.

    I have to disagree, my 1968 DEC PDP-8 is still working like a charm. Yes it requires some TLC from time to time, but in general is much more solid and reliable than any modern 'puter/



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    I have to disagree, my 1968 DEC PDP-8 is still working like a charm. Yes it requires some TLC from time to time, but in general is much more solid and reliable than any modern 'puter/

    If you're willing to put in some TLC almost any modern computer will last a long time, too (ignoring the problem of solder whiskers). Stuff was sturdier back then, but it had to be because they couldn't reliably manufacture smaller things. I'm sure you know all of this, though.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    I have to disagree, my 1968 DEC PDP-8 is still working like a charm. Yes it requires some TLC from time to time, but in general is much more solid and reliable than any modern 'puter/
    The lab I used to work in back in the 1990s had a computer controlling an x-ray spectrometer attached to a transmission electron microscope that was entirely wire-wrapped. Huge, but reliable and repairable.  It wasn't a relic, the whole system was purchased new in the 90s, and it's still running (now it's a relic).


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