Month: February 2013

Sparing. Sweeping.

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Yesterday was a funny day. Well, a little funny. I’ve mentioned before that, although I’m not athletically gifted, I play (play at?) two sports. (At least mostly.) Hockey and curling. These have a few things in common (ice, for example) but the list of differences is rather longer. One difference is, for lack of a better term, attendance. A curling game is, most of the time, played between two teams of four. All four people […]


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This is the third installment in a trilogy of IT (un*x, really) related rants; the end, as they say, is near. But a trilogy — trilogies are created by writers, not talentless hacks. I’ll keep telling myself that. The last two chapters (‘Patching‘ and ‘Enveloping‘) were about one specific, but unnamed un*x vendor. This story is about a different one, thus proving that ano-cranial inversion can be found practically anywhere. One day I was sitting […]


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The process that will choose the Canadian curling teams that will attend the 2014 winter Olympics is a litle complicated. In particular, the trials are in Winnipeg in the fall of 2013, but there is a ‘pre-trials’ in Kitchener where teams will compete for a spot in the trials. Today we (Ms. Rose and I) attended a playoff game for the 2013 Tournament of Hearts. A couple of gentlemen sitting behind us were discussing events […]


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After ranting at inordinate length about things only nerds (and a specific kind of nerd at that) would care about, the temptation was strong to do it again. Today I’m going to talk about envelopes. When you have a lot of computers (or even just a few) that are important for whatever it is that you do, it’s important to have a plan for when they fail — because they will. For software this usually […]


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Computer software, like every other human creation, is seldom perfect. There are many, many reasons for this. Some problems may stem from a design flaw. (Trivial example: once I was asked to write a small piece of code to send customized email to two or three dozen people in a class. It worked fine — until the person I wrote it for gave it to someone else who used it to send email to two […]