A Partner's Survival Guide
I have just celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary to a hacker. Happily, there aren't many things I would change. I feel the past five years have given me some experiences that are only fair to pass on to those contemplating marriage to a Linux hacker—a few little tips on how life will be. I have used the pronoun “he” for the hacker because my hacker is male, but I have been assured by others that the following description is a fairly standard one regardless of gender.
When you shout three times for your spouse and require an answer, don't expect the answer to return immediately. He will reply, but only when his brain has finished with the problem it is currently working through. If this problem is conveyed to the brain via a computer screen, it becomes a “Very Important Problem” and requires up to an hour of grokking before answering questions such as:
What do you want for tea?
It's your mother on the phone—do you want a word?
Are you coming to your parents' silver wedding anniversary party? If so, the train is leaving in five minutes.
Your spouse may have problems with rational time-management—or, more accurately, with the less-than-rational world. As far as a hacker is concerned, if it is Friday night, it is not the time to consider the quantity of clean work clothes which must be available for Monday morning. In fact, if it is Friday night, it is time for an extended hacking session because getting up for work the next day is not necessary. Saturday mornings, consequently, are a great time for getting things done which do not require help from your spouse.
The concentration powers of a hacker are a problem in everyday life. If Dr. Who is on the television, your hacker is not going to notice that it is raining and the clothes on the outside line are getting wet. After all, Dr. Who requires maximum concentration.
If you take your hacker to any films which involve computers in any way whatsoever, do not expect any appreciation of the plot, the music or the direction. I took my husband, a hacker-friend and my non-hacker sister to see Beauty and the Beast. I was glad my sister was with us to share my discussion of the film's qualities, as when the film had finished, the other two began discussing ray-projection and its application to just about every scene in the film. Similarly, we left The Net early, because it was boring (to me) and non-logical (to him). And as for that wretched Terminator...
Food provided by your hacker-partner will either be sloppy and messy (he was thinking hard at the time) or incredibly precise and technically excellent. Washing up, however, is a one-banana job to be left to the operator (spouse).
In a romantic interlude at a restaurant, be very sure that you actually want to know the answer when you gaze into his distant eyes and ask “What are you thinking about?” For the answer will most likely not be “You.”
When asked “do you want to do this or do that,” your hacker partner will consider it perfectly acceptable to answer “Yes” rather than selecting one of the options. Do not panic! This can be extremely useful at times. Consider the following example: you ask, “Do you wish to pay for the paper or the new bookshelves?” He says, “Yes.” Later, when you present him with the bookshelf bill and he wonders why, you say, “I asked which you wanted to pay. You said yes and didn't pay the papers, so I assumed you wished to pay for the new bookshelf.”
Some other partners may be able to explain gardening with a hacker better than me, but I know there are three vital things to note in this area. The first is to ensure your partner understands that Nature has root privileges—Nature doesn't have to make sense. The second is to let him know that planting seeds in a straight line is boring. The third thing he should understand is that three miniscule crumbs of soil dropped on a kitchen surface do not constitute a public health emergency. If your partner is foolish enough to mutter “that surface ought to be sterilised before using it again,” point him in the direction of the cupboard under the sink and invite him to acquaint himself with the process, since you've been doing it unnoticed every week.
As to house maintenance, does it involve problem-solving? If so, your hacker can safely be left to deal with the planning (for the amusement value, if nothing else). However, intervention may be required. Your hacker may wish to adapt a household item to another use for which it was not intended, as he does with chunks of code. Sadly, however, /home/tools, once edited, cannot be returned to its original state and purpose.
Finally, here's one tip for all you hackers. Remember: while root can do most everything, there are certain privileges that only a partner can grant.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide