Book Review: In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters
In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters is a time-travel trip through two decades of technology plagued by stupidity. Both new and old high-tech flops are present, most already forgotten. The dot-com chapter should be read now while it still hurts, but some unknown jewels are here too. Did you know that, for some inexplicable reason, a "sound library" that allowed users to add pissing and similar sounds to any program for only 49.95 USD didn't succeed? The book tells this tale together with those from Apple, Borland, IBM, Motorola, Napster, Netscape and others.
Hardware failures such as Iridium and the IBM Peanut are included, but only the world of commercial proprietary software is covered. If you expect to find such reasons as "not going open source" or "not using free software" listed as the root of a mistake, you'll be deluded. The Linux guys are almost never mentioned. When it happens it is very, very brief, practically off topic. The longest coverage occurs in the glossary:
open source: both a movement and a process of creating software that believes that the underlying source code of products should be freely accessible to users. Many open source programmers believe Bill Gates is Satan. Bill Gates believes many open source programmers are communist.
When Microsoft actually did something stupid, marketing-wise, the author points it out without pity. Overall, however, the company is mentioned as the example to follow, because it so far has been able to make much fewer mistakes than the other companies.
In spite of this, or maybe exactly for this reason, In Search of Stupidity is worth reading. First of all, it is important to understand what the other half of the software world thinks and expects. Secondly, the book is well written and entertaining. Both style and vocabulary are accessible to non-programmers; the writing is clear and simple, but never dumbed down.
Recognizing that many of the described errors happen also in the Free Software community, be they bad project management, coding for needs that don't exist or falling in love with new technologies "just because" may also be useful. Discovering which ones they are obviously is left as exercise for the reader.
In Search of Stupidity is right on target and amusing. If it lack something, it is the acknowledgment that free software changes the rules, making it possible for software profits to shift from purely selling binaries to services. On the other hand, it is written by a veteran of the proprietary software industry for that industry and honestly is presented as such.
Articles about Digital Rights and more at http://stop.zona-m.net CV, talks and bio at http://mfioretti.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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- Managing Linux Using Puppet
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- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
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