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Nearing 20 years UNIX experience

February 24th, 2015

In 1995 I first installed GNU/Linux on my sole computer (a 486/66). A year later it ran FreeBSD 2.1-RELEASE, another year later in 1997 I got my first sysadmin job (starting pay $10/hour, soon after $36K a year). All in all I'm nearing 20 years experience as a UNIX user and 18 years experience as a UNIX sysadmin. It should really be UNIX-like although we did use Solaris in 1997 and BSD is not a clone. A lot has changed in those 20 years. For one I don't have the body I had back then. Back then I was slender and carried a Basketball. Now I carry the basketball in my stomach, lol :-). But I'm also wiser, I admit. And I'm getting smarter, I recently worked out how much raise I should be getting after inflation from what my salary was in 2000. If I had any advise to young people is: "don't underestimate how much you're worth, make them pay" and "stay physically fit despite those long hours they want you to put in". Whether I'll be doing this another 20 years? Time will tell.


Ordered three books

February 23rd, 2015

I have ordered three books that generally interest me.

  • It's about Time: Understanding Einstein's Relativity - Mermin, N. David
  • Quantum Computer Science: An Introduction - Mermin, N. David
  • Quantum Computing verstehen: Grundlagen - Anwendungen - Perspektiven (Computational Intelligence) - Homeister, Matthias
Other than being about Quantum computers they don't really deal with computers much.


Scarcity vs. Abundance

February 21st, 2015

Scarcity, what is it? It means that something (resources) are limited to an extend that they are scarce or little. What is Abundance? Abundance is the exact opposite. I remember the first time I heard the word abundance it was in a Bob Marley song and it went "In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty". I heard the word scarcity after hearing use of abundance really. On earth we live a life of scarcity when it comes to "things". We may have a toaster and a tv, but we do not own a rocket or space shuttle to take us into orbit. Only a few people that are selected can go, "on behalf" of humanity.

I'd like to contrast scarcity with abundance in computer systems. My first computer I had (a ZX-81) had 4KB of RAM, it was really scarce. Compare that with my newest computer that has 32 GB of RAM, that's a factor of 8 million times what I had back then. I just hope that we don't get too disappointed that we don't see such factors of abundance in material things such as space shuttles.

I lived in North America for 15 years and in the early years I noticed a contrast that a lot more people had an air conditioning system with their house or apartment. In Germany there isn't as many systems but it has to do with scarcity of electric energy. It makes no sense to run a coal powerplant to run an air conditioner, my dad always said. The burned coal produces carbon dioxide which in turn causes the greenhouse effect aka global warming. If using green technologies such as wind turbines we're tapping into an abundance of energy on earth. Yet wind turbines aren't cheap and there is a scarcity of them.

In fact we're in energy transitioning times where we're going from unsustainable and falsely seemingly abundance of energy in form of nuclear to sustainable wind and solar. What nuclear energy has left us with is an abundance of poison in form of nuclear waste. 1 mg of it could kill thousands of people. So I'm gonna stop here on that topic.

As you can see we're living in mostly scarce times, except the computers... those buggers seem to double capacity every 18 months. But I can tell you we're hitting a limit even with computers. Right now we're having a heyday going smaller and smaller with chip circuitry, but we're nearing an end. I think they say 8 nanometers is the end of it. We're at 22 now I believe. We'll have to look for new ways of computing in order to keep up this seemingly abundance of capacity.

Oh well, that's all I wanted to say, although I'll continue when more comes to mind.


Purchased more Reggae

February 17th, 2015

I don't just buy men artists, although the majority of Reggae I have is men. This album I just bought is from a woman. Etana - "I Rise". Looking forward to hearing the entire album.


Moved the blog

February 16th, 2015

I have moved the blog away from my old vps's. This means it's a single point of failure too as only one server (in amsterdam) is hosting the blog. This opens new avenues for me to eventually give up the Panama vps. The destinations americas.centroid.eu and emea.centroid.eu still go to the old vps's but I'm going to location tag them over soon.

The host it's now run on is powered by OpenBSD and is running openbsd's httpd, as you can see it's fairly successful at it. Please update your RSS if you were using it, as it may not work as before (you need to determine this).


Upper Lower Class

February 14th, 2015

This impressed me very much. At wikipedia under the American upper class article there is this chart of classes. Now while I live in Germany and I always felt like I was in the middle class, I work in North America and get paid in dollars. I also have a North American education of "some college". Many of our customers are US based, and I'm thinking where my place would be. Yes I'm in the Upper Lower Class. Lately this realisation has enthralled me. And it's made me a bit angry too. Dear world, I'm not OK with where you're going.


I'm sick

February 13th, 2015

These are the sickly days of winter. I came down with acute bronchitis since last weekend. I'm now on anti-biotics and medicine that will hopefully help me develop the mucus and phlegm required to cough out this virus. Sorry for the graphic picture. I haven't been sick in a long time like this.


Next Week marks Two Years in My Apartment

February 6th, 2015

Almost 2 years ago I moved in this place. Haven't regretted it yet, it's a wonderful place.


Thinking of voting Die Linke in 2017

February 5th, 2015

I've never voted that far left in my life. But the facts are the facts:

  • Rich are richer, poor are poorer, distribution is out of wack
  • Socialist parties like the SPD who are supposed to be center-left, aren't
  • Leftist parties like the Greens did not do enough when they were in power to stop the global inequity
  • Greece voted left so why can't I?
  • Perhaps there will be more money for me when I vote Die Linke so that I can pay into a pension fund
  • Right now I face no future, with no or little pension, I'll be poor when I retire
This is the grim reality. I've considered other parties and my past voting was Greens, Pirate Party and now Die Linke. Everything is not normal today, people are suffering and we need real change. For fairness.


The last frontier, under the ice

February 5th, 2015

An old but new idea caught me last night. You probably heard of NEEMO which is NASA's underwater research station. Well consider NEEMO with a twist. It would be installed under the ice at the north pole of the planet earth. To do this I envisage a purely civilian project that uses old submarines converted with AIP fuel-cell propulsion. If you follow that AIP link it shows that this type of submarine can do 3000 nautical miles at 4 knots. Which is enough range to have a submarine go from Svalbard, Norway under the ice to the north pole and come back. The range between those two points is somewhere between 600 and 800 nautical miles (I haven't really done the math). The idea is to have a research outpost under the ice at the north pole and use nuclear fusion or just plain fuel-cells to produce electricity. Oxygen to breathe would be imported with supply submarines. Communications can be done with long wave radio as is common with submarines but the antenna is gonna be huge. There already is a research station over the ice at the south pole, this would complement its science but under the ice.


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