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January 1, 2013

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Jim Butcher on Men vs. Women

I'm reading Jim Butcher's "Cold Days", his latest installment in the Dresden Files, and I felt the need to share this quote:

So, ladies, if you ever have some conversation with your boyfriend or husband or brother or male friend, and you are telling him something perfectly obvious, and he comes away from it utterly clueless? I know it's tempting to think to yourself, "The man can't possibly be that stupid!"

But yes. Yes, he can.

Our innate strengths just aren't the same. We are the mighty hunters, who are good at focusing on one thing at a time. For crying out loud, we have to turn down the radio in the car if we suspect we're lost and need to figure out how to get where we're going.

Umm, yeah, I've had to turn the radio down...

June 11, 2010

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Humour in manpages

I just discovered surfraw in the results of an apt-cache search (love that command) and I had to laugh at the manpage:

       Surfraw provides a fast unix command line interface to a variety
       of popular WWW search engines and other artifacts
       of power.  It reclaims google, altavista, dejanews, freshmeat,
       research index, slashdot and many others  from  the
       false‐prophet,  pox‐infested  heathen  lands  of html‐forms, placing
       these wonders where they belong, deep in unix
       heartland, as god loving extensions to the shell.

I know, I’m a geek, but to me it’s funny.

November 20, 2009

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Java time capsule

I’ve been involved in some discussions regarding Java recently, and I’ve repeated said that I mostly find it a solution that is still looking for a problem.

Looking back at this post by Paul Graham on “Java’s Cover” I find it interesting how many of his points still ring true, 8 years later.

My favorite quote:

It could be that in Java’s case I’m mistaken. It could be that a language promoted by one big company to undermine another, designed by a committee for a “mainstream” audience, hyped to the skies, and beloved of the DoD, happens nonetheless to be a clean, beautiful, powerful language that I would love programming in. It could be, but it seems very unlikely.

My problem with it is simple, and it’s why I dislike ClearCase, and many other technologies; it makes easy things hard. I’m busy. I’d use it if forced to, and then I’d try desperately to like it. Until then, I have better things to do.

November 18, 2009

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Java sucks

Well yes, we know this already from the way that it makes easy things hard, and hard things nearly impossible, but it’s rarely been captured with the eloquence that I find in these wonderful quotes on the topic.

And yet, as cockroaches are to humans this technology/language/marketing campaign continues unabated until having java on one’s resume is a requirement to find a job through some ignorant HR department that has no idea what is is. Like the job posting I saw a few years ago for a java programmer with 10-years experience when java was only 7 years old. Luck with that.

My favourite quote:

If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete themselves upon execution. — Robert Sewell

My boss asks me occasionally why I don’t use Java, and I tell him that I have many tools in my toolbox, some good and some bad that I bought on impulse due to good marketing or simply because they were new. Java is like my trendy flip-grip pliers from Crappy Tire that try to be both clippers and needle-nose pliers, but suck at both jobs. I don’t hate the tool, but I certainly don’t reach for it often, and I’m thinking of throwing it out.

January 26, 2009

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» It could be worse

Hey, if you think your job is bad… it could be worse. Coming soon to a high-tech company near you.

December 8, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Java dependency hell

So, while I’m not Java’s biggest fan, I went ahead and built the sun-jdk package on my Gentoo system so I could have java applet support in Firefox, and occasionally write a little code in it (rare, but it happens at times).

It built quickly enough, with only 3 dependencies. So, I follow that up with a check of what it will take to build Ant, Sun’s horrible XML-based answer to Make (if you are being encouraged to hand-write XML, you’re using the wrong solution).

And, and emerge -p dev-java/ant turns up this!

Calculating dependencies... done!
[ebuild  N    ] virtual/jdk-1.6.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-python/pyxml-0.8.4-r1  USE="-doc -examples" 718 kB
[ebuild  N    ] virtual/jre-1.6.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/javatoolkit-0.3.0-r2  17 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/antlr-2.7.7  USE="cxx python -debug -doc -examples -java -mono -script -source" 1,774 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-core-1.7.0-r1  USE="-doc -source" 6,683 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/libreadline-java-0.8.0-r2  USE="-doc -source" 76 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/javacup-0.10k-r1  USE="-source" 187 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/jakarta-oro-2.0.8-r2  USE="-doc -examples -source" 338 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-nodeps-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/xml-commons-external-1.3.04  USE="-doc -source" 645 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/xml-commons-resolver-1.2  USE="-doc -source" 257 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/bcel-5.2  USE="-doc -source" 256 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/sun-jaf-1.1.1  USE="-doc -source" 123 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/commons-logging-1.1.1  USE="-avalon-framework -avalon-logkit -doc -log4j -servletapi -source -test" 187 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-swing-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/jzlib-1.0.7-r1  USE="-doc -source" 50 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/junit-3.8.2-r1  USE="-doc -source" 451 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-antlr-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/log4j-1.2.15-r1  USE="-doc -javamail -jms -jmx -source" 2,051 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/jakarta-regexp-1.4-r1  USE="-doc -source" 135 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/xjavac-20041208-r5  2 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/jdepend-2.9-r4  USE="-doc -source" 296 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-junit-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/xalan-serializer-2.7.1  USE="-doc -source" 6,138 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/commons-net-1.4.1-r1  USE="-doc -examples -source" 224 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-apache-resolver-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/jsch-0.1.37-r1  USE="zlib -doc -examples -source" 263 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-apache-bcel-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/sun-javamail-1.4.1  USE="-doc -source" 387 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-apache-oro-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-apache-log4j-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-apache-regexp-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/jython-2.1-r11  USE="readline -doc -source" 1,272 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-commons-logging-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-jdepend-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-commons-net-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-jsch-1.7.0-r1  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-javamail-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/xerces-2.9.1  USE="-doc -examples -source" 1,672 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/xalan-2.7.1  USE="-doc -source" 0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/bsf-2.4.0-r1  USE="python -doc -examples -javascript -source -tcl" 293 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-trax-1.7.0  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-apache-bsf-1.7.0-r1  0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-tasks-1.7.0-r4  USE="X antlr bcel bsf commonslogging commonsnet javamail jdepend jsch log4j oro regexp resolver -jai -jmf" 0 kB
[ebuild  N    ] dev-java/ant-1.7.0  0 kB

45 dependent packages! OMG…I’ll just grab the Ant tarball from upstream and be done with it, thanks. Better yet, I’ll just use Make.

Java - 1
Simplicity - 0

October 28, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» My son

Maria recently asked Jaan where his favorite place was. He surprised and amused with his response.

“I don’t know, I haven’t been everywhere yet.”

September 6, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Dilbert on lawyers

I just love Dilbert’s take on lawyers. This guy must write EULAs for a living.

July 13, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Our Dalek composter

We recently ordered a composter from CostCo, and we assembled it last weekend. Is it just me, or does it look a lot like a Dalek from Dr. Who?

Our Dalek composter

July 3, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Clearcase woes, and some needed rebellion

I’ve been looking for ways of making life in Clearcase easier. This isn’t easy considering just how much clearcase sucks.

I’ve found that the only way to make this environment palatable is to work in other, superior version control systems. I’ve been working with Mercurial and Clearcase for a while now, and now I’m playing with Git for comparison.

It’s very reassuring that I’m not alone, in trying to make this workflow function, or in wanting to break up with Clearcase either.

I’ll post any tips that I pick up in making this work, assuming that I can build on others’ experiences.

June 22, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» ASCII Art Collection

I recently came across this lovely ASCII art collection. It really makes me wax nostalgic for the pre-web days of the Internet, before such atrocities as HTML email, and sites full of advertising.

June 6, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Classic Dilbert by Google

So, I’m trying to configure Google Groups to not use my gmail email account for each group I’m in, since it’s not my primary account. Every time I save I get a database error, with a link to report the problem to Google.

An error occurred while processing your request…
We’re sorry, but we are unable to display this page at this time.
Please try again in a few moments.
If you continue to get this error, please contact Google Support.

The link to Google Support is…

…the Help Group in Google Groups. Umm…yeah. And call 310-BELL if you have a problem with your phone. Hello?

Swing and a miss on that one Google.

April 3, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Putting corn back on the stick

A little while ago at the grocery store, as we passed the frozen corn, Jaan decided to ask a profound question.

Daddy, how do they get the corn on the stick?

He of course was asking how people put corn on the cob, labouring under the false assumption that corn comes in bags and they put it on the cob later. I did correct this assumption later, after I stopped laughing.

February 28, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» Fashion Faux Pas

A friend at work just passed on these lovely fashion faux pas that are so common these days.

Yes, the bluetooth headsets do make you look like a tool.

Guilty of the cellphone on the belt, but where else is convenient to put the damn thing where it can be quickly answered?

February 12, 2008

Michael P. Soulier
But I Digress
» George Carlin Airport Security

After recently going through an airport, I find this youtube video of George Carlin hilarious.