The Magritte Factor
René Magritte (1898-1967), the Belgian pop-surrealist, will outlive the undertalented, over-hyped Andy Warhol (1927-1987) in my book. My sister Doreen always called him Andy Arsehole, and thought she was more worthy of the 15 minutes of fame for this remark than Warhol was for his pretentious 3-hour movie of a sleeping man. “Call me a Palestine [note 1],” she said, “but I dozed off after 10 seconds.”
Warhol's cans of soup are merely “cans of soup” (limited shelf life?), whereas Magritte's equally realistic rendition of a briar pipe is teasingly titled “This is not a pipe”. I've made a copy of this painting called “This is not a copy of `This is not a pipe”'--sure to win next year's Turner Prize. Space precludes a full, emetic account of the family visit to the London Tate Gallery in December, 1999. Suffice to say we all stood gazing at Exhibit A, the infamous “unmade bed”, thinking, “Sh..., we used to dream of sleeping so bourgeois comfy.”
The Magritte joke digs deeply into the serious anti-self-referential paradoxes that have threatened the very foundations of logic, mathematics, computer science, and all we hold dear [note 2]. The rash Cretan swore that “all Cretans are liars”. Russell denied entry in the only club that would have had him as a member [note 3]. Gödel proved that “this proposition is unprovable”. Turing asked, “Wanna wait 'til this program halts?” And the ever-elegant Chaitin says, “There's no elegant algorithm for establishing its elegance.”
Briefly, in Chaitin's algorithmic information theory, a program is “elegant” if no smaller program written in the same programming language has the same output for a given input. Rush back to your methodologies, patterns, use-cases, UML flow charts, include files, class frameworks and source code (if any), you inelegant swine! Unless, of course, you are paid by LOC (lines of code).
Most busy humanist mathematicians, such as Lakatos, Hersh and myself, have other rent-paying grapes to fry.
For example, back in the real (sez who?) world, provably elegant Linux gathers momentum. For those who still ask how to pronounce “Linux”, I checked with several IPO billionaires and was told “two short, equally stressed syllables as in Red Hat”.
The latest Corel incarnation has just arrived in the largest-ever shrink-wrapped box! As a JOLT judge, my lips are sealed and incorruptible, but there's a growing number of Linux candidates in each year's list of nominations, and I have an intuitive urge to support Corel and its Linux-aware WordPerfect. As with the Academy Awards, the number of JOLT Award categories also increases, and we are close to having “Best Linux Spreadsheet by an Albanian Unijamb”.
BUT a warning from www.acm.org/technews/articles/2000-2/0128f.html#item2:
“IBM Exec Touts Linux as Key to Net Evolution:
IBM has big plans for Linux, says IBM's Irving Wladawsky-Berger, the visionary who shaped IBM's e-business initiative and now leads the firm's Linux push. In an interview with CNet's Kim Girard, Wladawsky-Berger, who heads IBM's new Next Generation...”
Beware the well-intentioned Big Blue “Kiss of Death!” Especially when it comes from a “next-generation visionary”. Remember OS/2, Taligent, OpenDoc and the emerging Java standards impasse.
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.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
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- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- SourceClear Open
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