In former pure-market-driven days, circa 1800 C.E., a product specification and honest delivery date was announced. I know, I was there. “Stan,” said George Stephenson, “you don't have to be a Rocket scientist to appreciate my latest steam engine.” Rivals would rush to improve the spec and/or beat the “to-market” deadline. Time passes, things change. You know, you've been there. In these PC (pronounced Pursey by Shakespeare) days, software announcements are now announced as soon as someone devises a catchy acronym. The current ploy, successfully borrowed by Microsoft from IBM, tries to discourage the competition.
Part of the problem is that software predictions can be woven into a bland, grandiose, uncontroversial jargon. Who could dispute the value of a globally web-aware, multi-paradigmatic, pattern-sensitive, cross-development architectural environment? (Have I missed your favorite desideratum?)
Nevertheless, deadlines are significant when debating the pros and cons of proprietary and open-software development. The former is often driven and accelerated by corporate job pressures. The latter, alas, relying on “casual” evolution, lacks the “next-week-or-else” imperatives. Replacing the trad Vaporware, we now meet the corporate term Vampireware (related to the Death March syndrome). For once, we can pin down the originator, Trygve Lode, CEO, Lode Data Corporation. Vampireware: A project capable of sucking the lifeblood out of anyone unfortunate enough to be assigned to it. The project never actually sees the light of day, but nonetheless refuses to die.
Yet many open and closed projects eventually emerge from the agonizing shadows to our clear screens. Dum codo spero?
Dan Jurca writes from California State University, Hayward:
I just read your article in the October 2000 issue of Linux Journal. Because of your interest in (2^6,972,593--1) I thought you might enjoy visiting: reality.sgi.com/chongo/tech/math/prime/merdigit/m6972593/prime-d.html
By the way, this Landon (Kurt) Noll is the person who, with one Laura Nickel, discovered in October 1978 that (2^21,701--1) is prime; and soon after that, and after Miss Nickel lost interest, he discovered that (2^23,209--1) is also prime. They used the library and computer resources at California State University, Hayward to do their research and perform the long boring computations.
Also, because you appear to be interested in “long numbers” you might enjoy the following tidbit. Consider the equations:1. A^(A^A)=10^(10^(10^10)) and2. B^(B^(B^B))=10^(10^(10^(10^10)))
Reader challenge (huge prizes): Determine
a. Which of A and B is the greater, andb. the numerical difference between A and B.
I'll report Dan's solution anon. Meanwhile, I see you rushing to the sublime Mathematica. We older farts still swear by Napier's Bones.
Stan Kelly-Bootle (email@example.com) has been computing on and off since his EDSAC I (Cambridge University, UK) days in the 1950s. He has commented on the unchanging DP scene in many columns (“More than the effin' Parthenon” Meilir Page-Jones) and books, including The Computer Contradictionary (MIT Press) and UNIX Complete (Sybex). Stan writes monthly at http://www.sarcheck.com/ and http://www.unixreview.com/.
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!
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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