I like to virtualize my workstation using VMWare Workstation. Lately, my Ubuntu (kubuntu) 12.04 guest would exhibit really annoying behavior whereby it would insert lots of extra letters as I typed, seemingly at random.
How can I contemplate moving everything to the cloud, especially Google’s cloud, if services are going to flicker in and out of existence at the whim of Google’s management? That’s a non-starter. Google has scrapped services in the past, and though I’ve been sympathetic with the people who complained about the cancellation, they’ve been services that haven’t reached critical mass. You can’t say that about Google Reader. And if they’re willing to scrap Google Reader, why not Google Docs?
An excellent point.
I recall the first time I adopted a “cloud” service for my technology. It was Flickr. I had managed my photos with my own scripts for years. Others had installed Gallery, which always struck me as limited and ugly. Flickr was new at the time, and I really liked the aesthetic. But, upload all my photos there? They had just been bought by Yahoo. How long is Yahoo going to support the service? I still keep local archives of my photos, but I have thousands of photos shared on Flickr, and how do I know that all those captions, comments, geotags, annotations, sets and collections, that all that data might not one day go down with the slowly sinking-ship that is Yahoo?
What reassured me was the Flickr API. Worst case, I should be able to write a script to pull all that data to a local place somewhere and later reconstruct my online photo archive. If Flickr were going down, someone else would probably write that script better than I could. It is a grim thought, but at least when Flickr dies, there is an exit strategy.
It would be nice, though, if, when software was retired, especially cloud software, that it could be open sourced and available for the die-hard users to keep it running on their own servers somewhere. Admittedly, cloud services especially are vulnerable to further external dependencies . . .
You would think, though, that it shouldn’t take much effort on Google’s part to announce that a service has been retired, but they’ll keep it running indefinitely, at least until some point where the vast majority of the users had wandered on to more compelling alternatives. They still keep the Usenet archive around.
And, yes, I rely on Docs. This killing Reader fiasco sounds like an advertising ploy for Microsoft. I rely on Docs, but maybe Excel is a more trustworthy option for the long term . . . ?
If you are naming files on a computer, please use this format. The beauty is that if you list files in “alphabetical order” then these dates get listed in chronological order, because as far as a computer is concerned, the “0″ comes before “1″ and so forth. (And a year is more significant than a month is more significant than a day of the month . . .)
It is important to have that leading zero! Why? Because we have more than 10 months! Allow me to demonstrate:
If you are interacting with strftime() then what you want to remember is %F!
0-11:38 djh@noneedto ~$ date +%Y-%m-%d
0-11:38 djh@noneedto ~$ date +%F
0-11:38 djh@noneedto ~$ date +%Y%m%d%H%M # I sometimes use this for file timestamps but dont tell Randall Monroe
For my photographs, I have a directory hierarchy of %Y/%m-%B:
I have been excited to see what might come of Yahoo! with Marissa Meyers at the helm. I am really glad to see that, after years of stagnation, Flickr has been improving. Free food and smartphones for employees? Sounds swell. But the buzz now is that there shall be no more remote work. The only way to be productive is to come to the office and feel the buzz and bounce ideas off coworkers.
I am happy to point out that, while we don’t get free smartphones or free food, my employer does issue remote employees with a hardware VPN device that provides corporate wifi, and a videophone. And we are hiring.
In my experience as a non-management technical professional, there is some virtue both to working from home, and to working at the office. The office presents great opportunities for collaboration: working through ideas and solving problems. Working from home, for some people, provides an excellent space to focus on getting some work done without interruption. You can get more hours of productive work when your commute is shortened to a walk across the dining room, and when there’s no pressure to quit at a certain time to appease the demands of the train schedule or traffic.
For some people, there’s no place like the office . . . some people can do better work from home, some people do not. Managers and executives, the bulk of whose work is meeting with others to make collaborative decisions . . . it seems that they may take several meetings from home and when they get to the office they feel uncomfortable that the busy hum of productive creative energy isn’t located there. I believe that managers who can structure the working and communication practices of their teams to effectively collaborate and track work progress without requiring a physical presence have an advantage over those who can not.
I live near the office and frequently collaborate with my manager, so most days I make the trip in. Sometimes when I need to focus on a project, or work with a remote time zone, I’ll commute to the home office. I have been with Cisco for over five years, now. I spent one of those years in New York, and my tenure here would have been much shorter without the flexibility to telecommute.
This question came to mind the other day. “DSL modem” sounds dumb, because as any geek over the age of 30 knows, a “modem” is a device with MODulates and DEmodulates a digital signal over an analog network. Thus a “Digital Subscriber Line” has no need for modulating and demodulating.
“The term DSL modem is technically used to describe a modem which connects to a single computer, through a USB port or is installed in a computer PCI slot. The more common DSL router which combines the function of a DSL modem and a home router, is a standalone device which can be connected to multiple computers …”
The usage “DSL Modem” is not erroneous. A DSL modem does indeed perform modulation and demodulation. It uses either Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) or Phase Shift Keying (PSK) modulation. Multiple modulated subcarriers are then combined into an OFDM stream. The distinction between this type of modem and a traditional one is that the traditional one modulates audio frequency signals whereas the DSL modem is upconverted to an RF band. But they both perform modulation and demodulation. The digital signals are not sent as baseband digital signals.
I do not know what all those words mean, but I read that as “a DSL modem is still a modem. It modulates and demodulates a digital signal into the RF band of a telephone line.”
I made my own contribution to Wikipedia’s Talk page:
The distinction between whether your “DSL modem” connects via USB, ethernet, wireless, or provides NAT, sounds like a spurious distinction to me. I interpret and interchange “DSL modem” and “DSL router” as “the network device that bridges your local computing resources to your network service provider.”
But if I have learned anything about nomenclature disputes on Wikipedia, it is that they are not worth the effort.
The current Google Car can operate on city streets autonomously, but it needs someone doing the backend work of getting all the streets mapped out perfectly, figuring out exactly where the lanes are. Then in order to do a truly autonomous taxi service, you’ll want a two-way video linkup for the dispatcher to pilot the car if it gets stuck in some situation like the fire department blocking the street, or to monitor security.
For that reason, the current livery model works really well: a small, local company will service its fleet and its IT needs. The biggest expense, the driver, will be eliminated. This will serve an evolutionary role of a taxi service within a limited service area. This will be mostly shopping trips for car-less people, and “last mile” services to transit connection points, like Taxis serve now. The evolution comes with lower cost: short-haul, off-peak commuter needs, more “last mile” transit service where an autotaxi will be faster and more convenient than the local bus service, but also cheap.
What happens next? “Roaming” agreements among carriers sharing a common technology platform. The service areas of the autotaxi companies grow larger: your local autotaxi can drop you off on a shopping trip to a regional big-box store two towns over and the local autotaxi there can bring you back cheap. Expanded mobility, less reliance on transit.
This doesn’t mean the end of transit. Individual automobiles still require more energy and infrastructure to operate. The autotaxi will dominate short trips, but especially at peak demand, we will need to rely on higher-capacity transit backbones.
The biggest driver of the need for peak-period transit handoff is the capacity limitations of the autotaxi carriers. You simply can not carry everyone, but you want to be a part of the picture. So, yeah, the service gets you from your house to the transit hub, maybe work out relationships with local transit agencies so thaty “last mile” can be served by auto-taxi as a part of the transit fare itself.
The other limitation is for longer-range travel, even a fully autonomous rubber-on-pavement highway system will not be able to match the speed of rail-based or air travel. The autotaxi might drive you fifty miles to the high-speed train station, but then you’ll board the bullet train for LA which will be faster and charge a lower fare.
Anyway, the roaming evolution will mean that we go from local taxi service to regional airport shuttle service, and this will be great for those who live some distance from a long-haul transportation hub who want to make it to/from the airport, &c.
I think autonomous cars are a very reasonable evolution on human-piloted cars, which were a very reasonable evolution on horse-drawn carriages. In the twentieth century we evolved from horses to humans, and in the twenty-first we will evolve even more seamlessly from human to computer.
Our streets didn’t change much from the carriage to the automobile era. They’re wider and too dangerous for people to walk in. I doubt the streets will change much in the autonomous era, except they’ll narrow again and it will be safe to walk, bike, and play in them again.
My other prediction is that the autotaxi will make getting around so convenient, that car ownership will continue to decline. You will see a winners-and-losers scenario in the auto industry: the losers will realize too late just how badly they are in trouble. They will try to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt as to the safety and wisdom of reliance on autonomous vehicles, just as they try to sell some. The winners will have identified the coming trend and geared their business to serving the needs of autonomous fleet operators, and to those niche consumers for whom autonomous vehicles are not appropriate, or who just love driving their own car. Other winners will include pedestrians, cyclists, the young, the elderly, people with disabilities, suburbanites, night life, and very likely the environment.
The Cascading Select Custom Field type in JIRA is a bear. The first trick is learning to set the “null” value and then the “1″ child value. The next trick is building out a ModifiedValue object to hold your change. Then you get to jump down the rabbit hole of finding the correct Option values for the custom field, and setting them with the tricks just mentioned.
So, in the interests of saving me sanity next time I need to set a Cascading Select, here’s a Jython function that works in Jira 4.2:
importloggingfrom com.atlassian.jiraimport ComponentManager
from com.atlassian.jira.issue.customfields.managerimport OptionsManager
from com.atlassian.jira.issue.customfields.viewimport CustomFieldParamsImpl
from com.atlassian.jira.issueimport ModifiedValue
from com.atlassian.jira.issue.utilimport DefaultIssueChangeHolder
from java.utilimport HashSet
# cf = custom field# issue = issue to modify# parent = top value to set (string value)# child = child value to set (string value)def set_cascading_select(cf, issue, parent, child):
# Get the managers
cfm = ComponentManager.getInstance().getCustomFieldManager()
om = ComponentManager.getComponentInstanceOfType(OptionsManager)
fli = ComponentManager.getInstance().getFieldLayoutManager().getFieldLayout(issue).getFieldLayoutItem(cf)
parent_options = om.getOptions(cf.getRelevantConfig(issue))
parent_option = parent_options.getOptionForValue(parent,None)except:
child_option = parent_options.getOptionForValue(child, parent_option.getOptionId())except:
passif parent_option and child_option:
old_application = issue.getCustomFieldValue(cf)
new_application = CustomFieldParamsImpl(cf)
a_none = HashSet()
a_1 = HashSet()
mf = ModifiedValue(old_application, new_application)
cf.updateValue(fli, issue, mf, DefaultIssueChangeHolder())logging.debug("set issue " + issue.getKey() + " cf " + cf.getName() + " setting " + parent + "/" + child)returnTrueelse:
logging.error("invalid parent/child option: " + parent + "/" + child)returnNone
Example function calls from within a validation hook:
cfm = ComponentManager.getInstance().getCustomFieldManager()
application_cf = cfm.getCustomFieldObjectByName("Beverages")# good
set_cascading_select(application_cf, issue,"Hard Drinks","Whiskey")# bad child
set_cascading_select(application_cf, issue,"Hard Drinks","Coke")# bad parent
set_cascading_select(application_cf, issue,"Soft Drinks","Whiskey")# total crap
set_cascading_select(application_cf, issue,"Illicit Drugs","Bath Salts")
The logging stuff is useful for debugging, if you have that set up, else just remove those bits.
This drives me insane. Part of the challenge is that most software dictionaries are unaware of the word “colocation” and are happy to offer “collocation” as an alternative, but that is wrong wrong wrong wrong and it makes me a little nuts every time.
So, here is some explanation I just sent to the NOC and copied to the Sales team of a “Colocation Provider” who keeps sending me messages from something called “Collocation Status Report”:
A collocation is a statistic used by linguists to determine the
frequency with which words and phrases are found together.
On your contact information page, there is an option to contact Sales
Assuming that you are indeed in the business of Colocation, and not
actually updating us on the status of word frequencies, please fix the
name in your outgoing envelope from “Collocation Status Reports” to
“Colocation Status Reports”
Modern retailers have a challenge we have come to call “showrooming” where a consumer visits the local store to try out a product, then they go and order the product off Amazon.com or another retailer for less money. Some retailers will do online price matching, which is reasonable because even though that lowers their margin, they still get the sale, and can upsell you a few accessories. I saved a few dollars this way while buying a TV from Fry’s.
However, I was just browsing Amazon.com for a resin adirondack chair, where I saw:
Twenty six bucks!? Sounds good . . . not eligible for Prime, so let’s check the shipping . . .
Whiskey . . . Tango . . . Foxtrot . . . $192 shipping you say?!! Something is fishy here . . .
So, I surf on over to True Value’s web site, where the chairs are $20, and they’ll ship to the local store.
Which makes me wonder if this is a case of “reverse showrooming” . . . I go to Amazon.com because I can probably find what I am looking for, then I am led to a local retailer to save money. Very clever . . .
It took a few hours to figure this hook out, so I’m including my hard-won lines of code here.
# -*- coding: UTF-8 -*-# Check if PARENT is resolved.# Monitoring creates Events in the Event queue, these Events# automatically create Incident children.# We don't want to resolve any Incident children until the parent Event# resolves.# # (Normally you want to block on your children instead of your parent.)from com.atlassian.jiraimport ComponentManager
from com.atlassian.jira.issue.linkimport IssueLinkManager
ilm = ComponentManager.getInstance().getIssueLinkManager()# Assume we are okay ...
result =Truefor link in ilm.getInwardLinks(issue.getId()):
if link.getIssueLinkType().getName()=="Parent"and link.getSourceObject().getResolution()==None:
For a project at work I was asked if I could lay out a long table-of-contents in our CMS as multiple columns. Logically enough, the table-of-contents renders as a flat, unordered list (UL) of list items (LI) … arranging that as multiple columns is a preposterous idea! Of course, preposterous questions can be very interesting.
Somewhat elaborate: enforce that time worked has been logged, except under certain circumstances. See original post.
import com.atlassian.jira.issue.worklog.Worklogfrom com.atlassian.jiraimport ComponentManager
# Time Already Logged
timespent = issue.getTimeSpent()# Time Logged via current screentry:
timelogged =False# Duplicate Issue? It is as good as logged!
resolution = issue.getResolution()if resolution['name']=="Duplicate":
timelogged =Trueif resolution['name']=="Self Corrected":
timelogged =True# Nagios likes to close tickets, but doesn't get paiduser= ComponentManager.getInstance().getJiraAuthenticationContext().getUser()ifuser.getName()=="nagios":
timelogged =Trueif timespent <=0and timelogged ==False:
description ="Please log the time you spent on this ticket."
We have a particular custom field which can be set UNKNOWN by the Reporter, but which should be cleaned up by the Assignee.
from com.atlassian.jiraimport ComponentManager
cfm = ComponentManager.getInstance().getCustomFieldManager()
product = issue.getCustomFieldValue(cfm.getCustomFieldObject('customfield_12345'))if product =='UNKNOWN':
description ="Please set CUSTOM_FIELD value appropriately."
So, I really like Ubuntu. Its Linux and it just mostly works. Except when they try to force everyone into some experimental new desktop environment. That is pretty awful, but I’m happy again now that I switched to kubuntu-desktop. (apt-get install kubuntu-desktop)
Kubuntu is Ubuntu with a nicely set-up KDE environment. They try to get you to use their own home-grown web browser, and the file manager takes some getting used to, but you can pretty quickly get under the hood, set up all your little window manager preferences, and get back to jamming. (Focus Follows Mouse in my house!)
The only thing that was missing is the fonts were rendering . . . not as pretty as regular Ubuntu. Kubuntu is set up to use the Ubuntu font, but in KDE things render kind of pixelly looking, like I was still in the 90s. A bit of searching and they seem to look nicer:
System Settings > Application Appearance > Fonts
Use anti-aliasing: Enabled
Use sub-pixel rendering: RGB
Hinting style: Slight