Statsguys vs nonstats guys (things have gone downhill)

Puente de Alcontar In the spirit of Lowetide, this is a picture of the Puente de Aleconetar, a bridge in Spain built by the Romans. Unlike LT, I was not around when the bridge was built, so I can’t tell you much more than I found it after a few minutes of browsing around at wikimedia.
I’ve not been posting much actual hockey recently, since my life has been busy and I’ve been out of the “sphere” for the last several weeks. I wondered why David Staples commented on a post that’s over a year old, but now that I’ve done some catching up in my RSS reader, I guess I can see why. There’s a lot of infighting and something I can only describe as penis-waving going on.
I’m also seeing a lot of whining about how the “sphere” ain’t what it used to be in the long ago far away of The Great Exodus From HFBoards. Here’s another older post of mine, similar in theme if not content.
All you guys who are whining about how things aren’t like they used to be, and you want some other place that’s more comfortable? Shut up and make your places the way you want them to be. The tubes change. They change every day. I’ve been around one hell of a lot longer than most of you all who are bitching and moaning and tearing at your hair, and I’m here to tell you, you can spend your time bitching about change, or you can adapt to it. One of those is productive, and the other isn’t. I’m sure I don’t need to hold up a sign to say which is what. In other words, build a bridge and get over yourself.
Would you rather bitch, or produce?
And with that, *I’m* off to be productive.
(Link to original photo, including Creative Commons 3.0 license under which it was distributed.)

When documentation does not match reality: svn

Contrary to what the Red Bean book says, when doing an svn switch –relocate, the repository actually is contacted. I don’t believe it does much more than confirm that the new location is valid, but the documentation is probably incorrect and is certainly misleading.
Why am I just bitching here instead of submitting this as a bug report? Well, the issue in the docs has been around since 1.0, and I’m lazy. Plus I hate freedom, I know and even sometimes speak French.

Chinese society and the white man’s burden

The CBC ran a blurb about the Chinese Paralympic committee’s documentation on dealing with people with disabilities.
While the language used in said docs is indeed fairly shocking to (at least some) Western ears, the reaction of one of the (now-former) athletes was interesting. He said, “Their society has come a fair distance already, but I think it’s clear that there is still a fair distance to come.”
Without speaking to Chinese society at all, having a disabled wife has opened my eyes somewhat to our own mores. She has a disabled pass, and uses a cane to walk more often than not. Her handful of meds both morning and night is just that – a handful. She has crutches which get used semi-regularly, and probably should be in a wheelchair a week every month, but we can’t afford one and live in a third story walkup anyway. Her meds leave her sometimes unable to remember conversations 15 minutes later. She is, by any account, physically disabled. She also suffers from PTSD. Yet a couple of times a month, she meets new doctors who have the amazing ability to diagnose disability at a distance and without an examination. At least, that’s the only conclusion I can draw, since they are somehow able to tell at a glance that she is not worthy of parking in a disabled spot – and tell her so. On a couple of notable occasions, she’s literally been ganged up on; once, one of the gangers-up didn’t even know the original interlocutor.
I think it’s clear that regardless of Chinese progress, our own society has a long way to go itself.

Personally, I think that this is just my opinion

A weasel word you see a lot where opinions are offered (so anywhere online) is “personally”.
Usually it’s used like this: “Personally, I think …” or “Personally, the reason for that is …” The first usage is just redundant, but the second isn’t even in the same ballpark as grammatically correct. I think I know where this comes from, although I lack the vocabulary to describe it pithily. It’s used as a sort of deflector; I know that comments and posts that don’t include this sort of weaselling tend to get attacked more than those that do. It’s like saying “Personally, you’re an asshole” is somehow more acceptable than saying “You’re wrong, and here’s why.” “Well, that’s just, like, your OPINION man” is the last refuge of somebody who’s lost an argument and doesn’t know how to admit it.
While the motivation is understandable, that doesn’t make this word any less loathsome. By now I should admit to being somewhat of a Zinsser disciple, and while words like “personally” have a place, modifying or replacing statements like “In my opinion” isn’t that place. In fact, as Zinsser would say, you don’t even need to say “This is my opinion” – that’s already obvious, and saying so is a waste of time. It’s your opinion, state it and back it, and to hell with those who would divert the argument by pointing out the obvious.
Of course, that’s just personally my opinion.

A Sun rant

Sun, for a company that wants to be open, you’re sure good at hiding Useful Information.

I just discovered that I needed to be upgrading the LSI Logic controllers on my X4100s along with the System Processor firmware and system BIOS.  Fine.  The only downloads available are ISO images, which kind of defeats the purpose of having something like System Manager if I have to reboot servers by hand and point them at an ISO image (or worse, burn a CD).  So I go poking about, and find “Remote Installation of LSI software on Sun Fire[TM] x4100,Sun Fire[TM] x4200” – woo hoo, looks good.

Problem is: it’s restricted-access.  We have a support contract on these things, but I’ve no idea how to properly associate them with my account, and what would it kill Sun to release this information publicly?  It’s not like they suddenly would lose money on the 56 X4100s we purchased, about 20 of which right now are running an unsupported configuration because stupid me made an assumption.  I’m also referred to the documentation that “comes with the download”, except there isn’t any – just an ISO image which can only be booted from, not read.

Thanks a lot for making my life more difficult than it needs to be, Sun.  I suggest before trumpeting your new openness and ease of management, that you ensure *you really are open and easy to manage*.  Now I have a choice: spend another five or ten hours researching this from third-party sources and maybe not have a solution, or boot this fucking ISO 56 times.  Neither option makes me happy, not when I know somebody’s playing the “I have some information but I’m not telling you” game.

Update: some more Google-fu brought me here, which says, basically, “LOL U CANT USE SYSTEM MANAGER TO DELIVER HALF THE FIRMWARE REQUIRED 4 UR PLATFORM”.  Thanks a lot, Sun – remind me again why one uses N1SM?  I assume that what’s behind the paywall is something along the lines of “This is unsupported, but…”