It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times…

I hate arguing with women. When guys fight, they fight hard, and they don’t always fight fair, but when the fight’s over, it’s pretty much over. You settle it. Maybe you seethe for a little bit. But eventually, assuming you both still can walk, you can go to hockey games together almost like it never happened.
I’ve found myself in an argument. It’s not like an argument with a guy. Every time I think it’s over, it flares back up. It’s like fighting the hydra. (I don’t know if this is characteristic of arguments with women in general; I generally don’t seek out that experience.)

I found one solution though: Don’t open my inbox.

That worked for me once. After 8 months, she finally quit e-mailing me.

Found on a mailing list. I’m assuming this guy mistyped this:

“I need hell with my installation.”

Some smart aleck responded before I did. “Usually you get that with installation whether you want it or not. Now someone’s demanding it. Newbies, these days.”

I was going to say that if you ran Windows, you’d get that free of charge. (That’s the only thing Microsoft gives you for free!)

A cool phone call. My phone rings at work. Outside call. Don’t tell me she somehow got my number at work… I pick up. “This is Dave.”

“Dave, it’s Todd.”

Ah, my boss. Good thing I picked up, eh?

“You busy?”

When it’s your boss, there is absolutely no right answer to that question. One of my classmates in college told me something worth remembering, though: The truth’s always a lot easier to remember than a lie.

“We can’t come to the phone right now. Please leave a message at the beep.”

Nope. Too late for that.

“Not really,” I say, hoping I won’t regret it. Either he’s gathering data for my personal review, or he’s about to ask me to install Mac OS X on a Blue Dalmation iMac with 32 megs of RAM (speaking of wanting hell with installation…)

Actually he asks me for something pretty cool. He asks if I was up to learning some firewalling software. (No, I won’t tell you which one. And no, I won’t tell you who I work for. That’s like saying, “Hey, l337 h4xx0r5! You can’t get me!)

But I will tell you the IP address. It’s 127.0.0.1. If you can crack that address, you deserve whatever you can get. (No comments from the Peanut Gallery.)

So I hit the books. Thanks to this duty, I get another Linux box. I’ve got a Power Mac running Debian already, which runs scripts that are impossible on NT. It monitors the LAN and reformats some reports and e-mails them to my boss and co-workers at 6 every morning. But the management software runs under NT 4, Red Hat Linux, or Solaris. None of that’ll run on a PowerPC-based machine. So I lay claim to an old system that I happen to know has an Asus motherboard in it, along with 72 megs of RAM. I’ll have fun tweaking that system out. An Asus mobo, a Pentium-class CPU, and a Tulip network card. That’s not the makings of a rockin’ good weekend, but it’ll make for a reliable light-use workstation.

While the management software runs under Red Hat, some of the infrastructure is BSD-based. So I get to learn some BSD while I’m at it. As long as BSD is sane about /proc and /var/log, I’ll be in good shape. But I heard LSD was invented at Berkeley, so I may have a little learning to do… Maybe listening to some Beatles records while administering those systems would help.

3 thoughts on “It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times…

  • January 23, 2002 at 11:42 pm
    Permalink

    Maybe just a small trip to the eastside, or northside, heck, ya can probalby just vist the loop to help in your quest to grasp BSD.

  • January 24, 2002 at 2:15 am
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    Oh, man; you have no idea…

    I’m with Heinlein: If at any time you accidentally win an argument with your wife, apologize immediately!

  • January 24, 2002 at 10:09 am
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    I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at BSD’s /proc structure. It’s a *lot* better than linux, and some have even said it’s better than your average commercial Unix.

    Logging isn’t much different than on linux, so you shouldn’t have any problems there.

    What BSD are you using? I recommend OpenBSD (used it since 2.8), but YMMV.

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