LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by rapska » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 04:33:45



One of the things that I hated about using proprietary closed source
software was often hitting the binary brick wall and being able to do
naught but scratch my head.

How many times has someone come up to you and asked, "Why does that
happen?", and the only thing you can really say (if you're honest) is
"Well, I don't rightly know."

This is just another reason why I love LGX and OSS so much.  I never have
to say this.  Everything is there for me to be able to find out as much or
as little as I want, even down to examining source code if I were so
inclined.

This means if I am having an issue or a problem, I have the resources
available to me to be able to find out and even *resolve* it if I have the
wherewithal and knowledge to do so.

There are no limitations placed upon you with LGX.  If you want to just
use it and not worry about the inner machinations, you can.  But if you
want to get your hands *y and dig right into the heart of the platform
to find out what makes it tick, you can do that to.  That's just simply
too cool!

You never really know freedom until you are truly free.

--
rapskat -  21:26:43 up 2 days, 20:23,  3 users,  load average: 0.52, 0.49, 0.41
Gentoo Base System version 1.4.2.8 kernel 2.5.65 on a Pentium III (Coppermine)
"Strange game...the only winning move is not to play."

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Edgar Alle » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 07:50:29



Quote:> One of the things that I hated about using proprietary closed source
> software was often hitting the binary brick wall and being able to do
> naught but scratch my head.

    Just today I was asked to help figure out why some software which
    was working after being installed by a fellow who had just left on
    vacation but another install, following his directions, did not.

    Turned out the new girl had tried to enable a feature in the
    software and I could see where she answered 'Y' to turn that feature
    on as his instructions said but it was doing nothing.  No output
    file, no log, no error message.

    I looked at the source, I am not a good programmer but I was willing
    to try, and quickly found where a flag was being tested by comparing
    to 'Y'.

    That meant that the flag was not 'Y' even though the screen choice
    was.

    On a hunch I looked for a line setting the flag to 'N'.  Found it
    under a dual compare to 'Y'.  Unless both config questions contain
    'Y' then the triggering flag was set to 'N'.

    I asked her if she had answered the other question 'Y' also ?  She
    said the instructions never mentioned a second setting.

    We turned on the additional flag, added a note to the instructions
    and got back to work.

    Without access to source we would have spent lots of long distance
    time trying to learn what the holdup was.

--
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
|  Linux -- The Unix defragmentation tool.  |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Michael Alge » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 08:03:01






>>One of the things that I hated about using proprietary closed source
>>software was often hitting the binary brick wall and being able to do
>>naught but scratch my head.
> Please give examples.
>>How many times has someone come up to you and asked, "Why does that
>>happen?", and the only thing you can really say (if you're honest) is
>>"Well, I don't rightly know."
> This happens to both CSS and OSS

Sure, but with OSS you have the opportunity to find out for yourself why
it behaves as it does.  Frequently just looking through log files does the
trick (OSS apps tend to provide a lot more diagnostic information than CSS
apps, for some reason), but if you need to delve deeper, you can.

Quote:>>This is just another reason why I love LGX and OSS so much.  I never have
>>to say this.  Everything is there for me to be able to find out as much or
>>as little as I want, even down to examining source code if I were so
>>inclined.
> and if you were able.......which you are not....not even close.

Just because you're not capable of doing something doesn't mean nobody
else is.  Programming isn't difficult, and the hardest part tends to be
writing the code to begin with.  Making small changes to already-written
code isn't difficult, and is often much easier than you'd expect.  The
first version of the much-maligned (well, vaguely-maligned) GtkSpell patch
for Pan was a total of 5 or 6 lines IIRC[*], for example.

[*] - the autoconf macro was likely considerably more.

Quote:>>This means if I am having an issue or a problem, I have the resources
>>available to me to be able to find out and even *resolve* it if I have the
>>wherewithal and knowledge to do so.
> Which you don't.....not even close.

You sound bitter about not being particularly bright.  Don't worry, there
are plenty of other people capable of taking advantage of the
opportunities presented to them by Free software.

Quote:>>You never really know freedom until you are truly free.
> What you are proposing is like what I used to think when I was a young
> *ager.

So why exactly did you give up thinking?

Quote:> I wanted to be a car mechanic so I could work on and build my own
> muscle cars, big V8s, big tyres and fat exhausts etc.
> Now, of course, I think that is a mugs game. I pay some grease monkey
> to mantain my high tech sporty and stay clean in an office playing
> with computers.

And the "grease monkey" you pay to maintain your car probably thinks
working with computers is a mugs game, as he loves working with cars. And
he gets to work on, tweak, and test drive your wonderful high-tech sporty
car on YOUR dime.  Who's the mug now, eh?

Quote:> I do not want to maintain my car, I will pay someone to do it.

I thought we were talking about computers...

Oh, you were using an analogy?  But you just implied you work with
computers ("stay clean in an office playing with computers."), yet you
have no interest in actually knowing how they work, how to look "under the
hood" so to speak and identify (and perhaps fix) problems?

So basically you're no good with cars, and no good with computers.
There's plenty more things out there to try, at least.  Hope you find
something that clicks with you.
--
Mike.

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Simon Cook » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 12:15:44



> Just because you're not capable of doing something doesn't mean nobody
> else is.  Programming isn't difficult, and the hardest part tends to be
> writing the code to begin with.

I don't think you'd be saying that if you'd been trying to debug the
problems I've been having with my code for the past week.

*digs out more docs on PC104 ADC cards*.

*sigh*

Simon

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by mlw » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 14:36:52



> One of the things that I hated about using proprietary closed source
> software was often hitting the binary brick wall and being able to do
> naught but scratch my head.

> How many times has someone come up to you and asked, "Why does that
> happen?", and the only thing you can really say (if you're honest) is
> "Well, I don't rightly know."

> This is just another reason why I love LGX and OSS so much.  I never have
> to say this.  Everything is there for me to be able to find out as much or
> as little as I want, even down to examining source code if I were so
> inclined.

Rapskat, I do agree Open Source is less opaque than proprietary
software, but don't think that simply by looking at the code that you
can find a bug. Sure, it can happen, but only for the obvious bugs that
occure because someone was working late and not paying attention.

Depending on the code and your skill level, even configuration
information can be so obscured that you'll never find it.

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Peter Haye » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 19:54:05



> Programming isn't difficult, and the hardest part tends to be
> writing the code to begin with.  Making small changes to already-written
> code isn't difficult, and is often much easier than you'd expect.

Modifying someone else's code is far more difficult than writing yor own. This
is true of almost every creative activity.

You have to be privvy to the other person's thinking and have the same mindset
if you've to stand a chance of sorting out all but the simplest stuff.

--

Peter

Remove NOSPAM. to e-mail

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Michael Alge » Wed, 26 Mar 2003 21:52:41


On Tue, 25 Mar 2003 17:54:05 +0000, Peter Hayes


>> Programming isn't difficult, and the hardest part tends to be
>> writing the code to begin with.  Making small changes to already-written
>> code isn't difficult, and is often much easier than you'd expect.
> Modifying someone else's code is far more difficult than writing yor own.
> This is true of almost every creative activity.
> You have to be privvy to the other person's thinking and have the same
> mindset if you've to stand a chance of sorting out all but the simplest
> stuff.

It can sometimes be very difficult to work out what's going on, but in
the things I've looked at, this hasn't been the case. You also seem to
be overlooking the difficulty and time taken to go from nothing but an
idea to an actually functioning program.

For example, it'd be much easier to correct a bug you find in a device
driver than to write an operating system from scratch and then write a
driver for the same device without that bug.   It would also be easier
to fix an existing driver than to re-implement it from scratch.

A real-life example is a modified version of eMule (an open source Win
client for the eDonkey protocol) that is used in my region.   There is
no way at all the guy who maintains the modified version could've been
able to write it from scratch, and he freely admits that, and yet he's
quite capable of making changes to eMule's source to filter sources to
download from to ensure they're local (before eMule itself had support
for any IP filtering), amongst other changes.

Particularly complicated and/or badly-written code may present its own
challenges, of course, so while I made a sweeping generalisation which
I now hastily retract in order to add a few caveats to, saying that it
is always harder to modify somebody else's code is just as wrong - and
possibly even more wrong than my claim was.

The very existence of open source projects such as Linux,  OpenOffice,
Mozilla, and even smaller projects like Pan,  prove that it often is a
lot easier to modify someone else's code than it is to do it yourself.
--
Mike.

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Pope » Thu, 27 Mar 2003 02:09:50




>> Programming isn't difficult, and the hardest part tends to be
>> writing the code to begin with.  Making small changes to already-written
>> code isn't difficult, and is often much easier than you'd expect.

> Modifying someone else's code is far more difficult than writing yor own.
> This is true of almost every creative activity.

God damn ditto's to that notion.

Quote:

> You have to be privvy to the other person's thinking and have the same
> mindset if you've to stand a chance of sorting out all but the simplest
> stuff.

And if that other person lives in India, you might want to be smoking hash
before you start your thinking.
 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by rapska » Thu, 27 Mar 2003 03:14:58


Error log for Tue, 25 Mar 2003 16:37:16 +1100: segfault in module Sam
Richards - dump details are as follows...

Quote:>>This is just another reason why I love LGX and OSS so much.  I never
>>have to say this.  Everything is there for me to be able to find out as
>>much or as little as I want, even down to examining source code if I
>>were so inclined.

> and if you were able.......which you are not....not even close.

When you have a LGX system up and running, then you can talk. Until then,
you are just another anomoly of hot air blowing fetid foul winds in the
fields of usenet.

--
rapskat -  20:12:33 up 3 days, 19:09,  4 users,  load average: 0.26, 0.17, 0.21
Gentoo Base System version 1.4.2.8 kernel 2.5.65 on a Pentium III (Coppermine)
"Strange game...the only winning move is not to play."

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Lin?nu » Thu, 27 Mar 2003 06:02:15


While watching the eternal hourglass, rapskat assayed this pronouncement:

Quote:> Error log for Tue, 25 Mar 2003 16:37:16 +1100: segfault in module Sam
> Richards - dump details are as follows...

> When you have a LGX system up and running, then you can talk. Until then,
> you are just another anomoly of hot air blowing fetid foul winds in the
> fields of usenet.

Sam Richards is an idiot.

Right now, so is flatfish.  Totally in denial.  Sad, really.
And he's not even a winoscrew, really.  Just a screw.

--
Linux:  Less filling, works great!

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Pope » Thu, 27 Mar 2003 07:32:43





>>> One of the things that I hated about using proprietary closed source
>>> software was often hitting the binary brick wall and being able to do
>>> naught but scratch my head.

>>> How many times has someone come up to you and asked, "Why does that
>>> happen?", and the only thing you can really say (if you're honest) is
>>> "Well, I don't rightly know."

>>> This is just another reason why I love LGX and OSS so much.  I never
>>> have
>>> to say this.  Everything is there for me to be able to find out as much
>>> or as little as I want, even down to examining source code if I were so
>>> inclined.

>>Rapskat, I do agree Open Source is less opaque than proprietary
>>software, but don't think that simply by looking at the code that you
>>can find a bug. Sure, it can happen, but only for the obvious bugs that
>>occure because someone was working late and not paying attention.

>>Depending on the code and your skill level, even configuration
>>information can be so obscured that you'll never find it.

> Even if you are an expert C programmer, If you are not familiar with
> the particular Operating System the investment in time you would have
> to make to fix even the most simple fault  would be huge.

> No-one has that time unless you wish to make it your hobby.

> Sam

This grows even worse if you don't have the source code for the program your
trying to modify.
 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by D. C. Session » Fri, 28 Mar 2003 05:09:28




>> Just because you're not capable of doing something doesn't mean nobody
>> else is.  Programming isn't difficult, and the hardest part tends to be
>> writing the code to begin with.

> I don't think you'd be saying that if you'd been trying to debug the
> problems I've been having with my code for the past week.

All right, "writing the code *correctly* to begin with."

--
begin  signature.vbs
|      In the course of every project there comes a time        |
|         when the best de* is a can of gasoline.          |

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Greg Co » Fri, 28 Mar 2003 07:05:14



says...



> >> Just because you're not capable of doing something doesn't mean nobody
> >> else is.  Programming isn't difficult, and the hardest part tends to be
> >> writing the code to begin with.

> > I don't think you'd be saying that if you'd been trying to debug the
> > problems I've been having with my code for the past week.

> All right, "writing the code *correctly* to begin with."

Hey dummy, this is COLA.  Two spaces are required after every instance
of the word "begin"  !  If you're going to post you MUST follow the
rules.  ;^)
--

 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by GreyClou » Fri, 28 Mar 2003 07:32:31




> says...


> > >> Just because you're not capable of doing something doesn't mean nobody
> > >> else is.  Programming isn't difficult, and the hardest part tends to be
> > >> writing the code to begin with.

> > > I don't think you'd be saying that if you'd been trying to debug the
> > > problems I've been having with my code for the past week.

> > All right, "writing the code *correctly* to begin with."

> Hey dummy, this is COLA.  Two spaces are required after every instance
> of the word "begin"  !  If you're going to post you MUST follow the
> rules.  ;^)

Yep!  One has to learn how to troll correctly these days.
The P.C. troll.
 
 
 

LGX means never having to say, "I don't know"

Post by Simon Cook » Fri, 28 Mar 2003 07:47:58





>>> Just because you're not capable of doing something doesn't mean nobody
>>> else is.  Programming isn't difficult, and the hardest part tends to be
>>> writing the code to begin with.

>> I don't think you'd be saying that if you'd been trying to debug the
>> problems I've been having with my code for the past week.

> All right, "writing the code *correctly* to begin with."

BTW, if anyone cares (you probably don't), I did finally manage to debug
the problems... today, in fact. :)

First one: getting random noise.

I switched from 16 bit data to 32bit (24bit integer, 8 bit fraction) so
that I could maintain as much info as possible when performing
calculations on the server side of our data acquisition system.

Unfortunately, the scaling function I was using accepted 16 bit words instead
of 32bit dwords. (Well, everything else in the system is on a 12bit or
16bit dac...). One quick change in two places from 'short' to 'long', and
everything works again.

Gah!

The other one I had was much more esoteric. I'd take 5 readings, and
another 5 as a baseline, subtract one set from the other, and divide by 5
to average. Any negative values went off the scale. Really weird.

Well, I now know that if you have this scenario (radically simplified):

size_t setcount = 5;
int* pOutput;
int* pInput;

*pOutput = *pInput / setcount;

... it doesn't work.

Specifically, if you do this: (signed integer) = (signed integer) /
(unsigned integer), then what you actually calculate is this:

(signed integer) = (unsigned integer) / (unsigned integer).

The upshot?

When you divide -1000 by 5, you should get -200. With this, you get:
858993259.

Oh well, at least I figured it out.

Simon

 
 
 

1. I say "Hello" Linux says "Goodbye" ... aaarghhh

Hello all,
after much blood, sweat, tears and swearing I got Linux running on a
Compaq 386/20. It has 10MB RAM, about 1GB disk space and a CD-ROM.
It recently gone on the internet as an ftp resource.

Everything worked fine at first but now Telnet & ftp have become unreliable.
When they work, they work fine. However when they don't:

- FTP session
  Open <symbolic address> says:

  "Connected to <Symbolic address>"
  "Escape character is '^]'."
  "Connection closed by foreign host."

- Telnet session

  "Connected to <Symbolic address>"
  "421 Service not available, remote server has closed connection"

  and drops me back to the Linux prompt.

It does this regardless of the client (DOS, Windows, Mac or Un*x).
Ping finds the box and since it sometimes works I'm a bit stuck on
what to try next. I've tried "kill -HUP <inetd PID>". The damn
thing is visible and connect-to-able...

Our campus uses nameservers and I've included four in resolv.conf.
Name resolution uses "named" nameservers first. (Order bind, host
in host.conf).

I've just tried *again* and ... then damn thing is now working!!!
I have a few ideas but don't know how to test them, they are:

- Could it be something is timing out (our network is very busy
  and slow quite often) ? How do I confirm this ?

- Could it be some connection limit (shouldn't be, it's very rare
  that more than one person are connected at once).
  Where is this info held ?

- Could it be a name resolution funny (would "host" help here ?).
  Can I test this ?

- Could it be the first Telnet request(s) fail until some
  sort of dynamic table somewhere is updated ?

- Is inetd not loading telnetd for some reason ?

I've checked that the symbolic name and IP number are correct.
The system does a reboot (via a cron script) but this is
identical to another (486) Linux box which works fine ...

I've read books, scanned FAQs etc. but don't really know
where I can sensibly look next. I don't expect answers,
just suggestions of what/where to looknext.
I apologise if this is a trivial or stupid question, I'm
an acting sysadmin with my "L" plates still on ...

Also, another query:
Where is lpd loaded at boot-time ?
Can it safely be *not* loaded to save CPU and RAM ?
(the machine doesn't have a printer attached).

Thanks in advance for any information/suggestions,
   Andy.

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