Waiting for the 100th Monkey
The story goes like this: back in the 50s a group of researchers in Japan were studying a group of monkeys. Every day the monkeys would spend a significant amount of time cleaning the dirt from their potatoes before eating them. Then one day, a bright young primate discovered that he could save significant time by taking his spud down to the ocean and washing it off in the water. This was a never before observed behavior in monkeys. Never observed anywhere, in any part of the world.
Soon, the other monkeys started washing their spuds in the ocean also. As the number of monkeys in on the act increased, an even more miraculous thing happened: spontaneously, this same behavior was observed in large numbers of monkeys on neighboring islands. This is the so called 100th Monkey Effect, wherein if you get enough monkeys doing something somewhere, their behavior will spontaneously spread throughout the world when a certain point is reached. I must confess that as I remembered the story it was 101 monkeys, but since I'm a programmer, I'm prone to OBOEs.
This phenomenon is also the genesis for global moments of meditation where we try to get everybody in the world to stop at a certain time on a certain day and think about something such as world peace. Hoping, that if we get enough people thinking about it, it'll just happen. So, do I believe in this sort of stuff? Hey, I visited California but I never actually lived there... nuf said.
Back here on planet Earth we do have some related concepts: critical mass or perhaps you prefer tipping point. In general usage they express almost the same idea: when the number of people doing something reaches a certain point then the behavior starts to spread to others at an ever increasing pace because everybody wants to get in on the act. The only real difference from the monkey story is the transmission mechanism, but I still like the monkey story because it gives me an opportunity to use the word spud.
So, the next time you're sitting around wondering when Linux will gain real traction on the desktop. Don't worry, it'll happen soon, we're just waiting for a few more monkeys.
Mitch Frazier is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal.
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