Windows Media Player 9 is a security risk

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Steve Young, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Several people, including an expert investment counselor (supposedly).
    I was stupid. I thought perhaps they knew more than I did about the
    topic, and that the stock market really wasn't a big casino, despite its
    appearances. I was wrong (about the market, and about trusting other
    people).
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 30, 2003
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  2. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    I'm not familiar with OS/9.
    I guess it didn't even occur to him to install an X server on a local
    machine?

    I never type anything on the console of my system, even though it is
    sitting right next to me. I open a SSH window on my Windows desktop and
    give commands to the system from there. It's just text, but text is
    more than enough.

    I've even surfed occasionally with Lynx.
    PC Anywhere works pretty well, over a fast link. But I don't need it
    now.
    It's the quality of the administrators that makes me wonder.
    Flash is also overused in France, and on movie sites.
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 30, 2003
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  3. Steve Young

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Well, that one anyway. It's a big craps game. Sometimes you crap out.
    Ask the people who had all their retirement funds invested in Enron
    stock... Hell, ask ME, I had a couple of thousand invested in my, now
    bankrupt, former employer...
     
    Ron Hunter, Oct 30, 2003
  4. Steve Young

    dadiOH Guest

    It wasn't very big, only about 10 KB. And that included an online help that
    took up at least 5KB. The program itself only used 1280 bytes (5 sectors)
    of user memory...1 sector for the resident interpreter and 4 sectors for
    overlay modules. You can do a lot with few bytes in assembler :)

    When I first got a PC about four years ago I was flabbergasted at the size
    of the programs. Still am.

    Or did you mean that your *Basic* apps weren't that big? In my case, I was
    writing them for my business. Soon found that 64K (48K available) of RAM
    wasn't near enough for a series of programs.
    _________________________
    Never messed with the serial ports but used the FDC a lot. Gave me a big
    problem initially as after you set it up and did a read/write it didn't
    return to where I expected. Finally figured out that you had to set up a
    particular area to get the FDC return codes.
    ___________________________
    You mean *all* the tracks??? I used to set up floppies for my distribution
    discs so they could be read by either single or double density machines but
    (IIRC) that just involved writing the first track in single density, the
    rest double.
    _____________________________
    Good ol' 80 Micro...still have an almost complete set. IIRC, Randy Cook was
    the guy who was hired by Tandy to write the original TRSDOS. Paid him
    something like $2,000. Originally, Newdos was the result of some guys in
    Denver who fixed the original, horrible and buggy Cook product so it was a
    viable DOS. They later formed a company named Apparat and wrote a complete
    DOS - Newdos 80 - which was, IMO the best of the lot for the TRS-80. Better
    than MS-DOS too. To give Cook credit, he later wrote another DOS. I don't
    recall the name and never used it but it was popular and - apparently -
    good.
    ___________________
    I have only a rudimentary understanding of that as it is used now. If I
    understand it correctly, I did nothing. In my program, the user had three
    areas available for subroutines that could be loaded from library files...

    1. The "library" area was a protected, dynamically allocated area of RAM.
    Any quantity of routines could be loaded/deleted from here and they remained
    in memory for use by any Basic program until they were deleted.

    2. The "overlay" was also a user defined area of protected memory but the
    size was determined by the user and was static. I used it as the home for a
    resident Basic program which then loaded and ran other Basic programs as
    needed.

    3. The third area was just an "appendage"...the user could pick out any
    routines needed by a Basic program and tack them on to the end of that
    program while it was in memory. It was handy for routines that weren't
    going to be used soon by other Basic programs in a particular set of
    programs. The same result could have been obtained by just making the
    routines a part of the Basic program but doing it this way one could keep a
    library file of routines and easily improve/modify just a particular
    routine.

    All this worked because Basic programs are inherently relocatable. All I
    did was move stuff around.

    One thing I really liked about Basrum, my program (I still use it, still
    have two TRS-80 machines), was that there was a command that could be
    incorporated in a Basic program to automatically load just the routines
    needed by that particular program from a list of library files...no need to
    load the entire library file. The command simply read through the Basic
    program, built a list of routines needed, then read through the libray
    files, extracted the needed routines and loaded them to the area specified
    by the user.

    --
    dadiOH
    _____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.0...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://www.gbronline.com/xico/
    _________________________________
     
    dadiOH, Oct 30, 2003
  5. Eh, it is (as I understand) a very limited subset of Unix implemented
    on a 6809. I initially purchased it because it was the only thing that
    would access (until I started writing some code of my own) 32k of the
    64k my COCO2 had. Hung a Pocket Computer II off the COCO2's serial
    port, and had command prompts on both devices. Took me a while to get
    used to "ls" as opposed to "dir" for a directory listing, though. But
    being able to make a command run in the background by post pending an
    "&" on the command line fascinated me. I encountered my first Unix
    system a year or so later.
    Well, even though he's a good friend of mine, I believe he was a tad
    in over his head at the time. :)
    Make sense.
    Long time since I've heard that mentioned. :)
    VNC wasn't bad, except for the security issues. Was nice to be able to
    instruct my PC at home to start a batch process by hooking my PDA to
    my cell phone when I was a couple of counties away.
    I understand. So far I'm thinking about 50% of the ones I've met have
    it going on. I'm glad that I don't have such responsibilities, even
    though I have done some sysadmin functions in the past.
    It can be a complete waste of bandwidth, and in my experience it
    usually is. Since some sites mandate that you have flash to surf their
    sites, they are useless to devices that don't support it. So are sites
    that have Java and/or rely on images for navigation. I still believe
    the best web sites are those designed with limited bandwidth, lowest
    common denominator users in mind.
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Oct 30, 2003
  6. About the only reason I'd install Office. :)
    I subscribe heavily to "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I believe a
    lot of programmers and users believe "If it ain't broke, fix it till
    it is." :-D
    But Word? I mean, how much word processor do you need? For most tasks
    I've seen people do with respect to word processing, it's like using a
    hammer to drive a ten-penny nail.
    Interesting; that's about the frequency Microsoft releases patches for
    their OS, isn't it? :-D
    Perhaps because they couldn't figure out how to write such a product
    themselves? ;-D
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Oct 30, 2003
  7. Assistance in unlocking it would be good, or is it simply a matter of
    opening it and closing it in another app? I do not know the Win32 API
    that well as of yet.
    This I do not realize.
    Agreed that the state of the file is unknown. But for a file deletion
    operation, the state really shouldn't matter (IMO). Deleting a file is
    pretty much like saying "I don't care about the updates." Sorta like
    suicide is the sincerest form of self-criticism. :)
    This makes sense. I have enough difficulties figuring out what code
    I've written is doing, much less what anyone else's stuff does. I
    could only imagine what digging through the source code to Unix or
    Windows would be like.
    The level rises and falls with me. But still, out of habit I have the
    device with me, and if someone asks for a chunk of my time at some
    point in the future I can make sure I will be available, and that I
    get alarms on my PDA and desktop(s) is an added bonus.
    A business card is perfect, if they have one. I'll key it into the PDA
    (most likely through the Palm desktop on the PC) at an appropriate
    time.

    However, since switching to a PDA I don't use paper for myself any
    more. The only time I use paper is when I'm writing or printing
    something for someone else. My PDA currently has 692 pieces of paper
    with various types of information, 930 pieces of paper with contact
    information, and 244 pieces of paper with "to do" information on it.
    Actually the reported numbers are lower than the actual numbers, as I
    archive some memos into "stacks", and some information is marked
    private to keep casual viewers from encountering it. Since a fair
    amount of the content I want to put on paper originates on the
    computer, or is targeted for the computer, it makes sense (to me) to
    have it in machine readable format at the earliest possible
    convenience. I also drag around text from various online references,
    manuals, web pages, and what not that I'd like to read, but not while
    I'm sitting in front of my PC.
    Sorry to hear this; I hope the situation improves for you soon.
    Odd, most workaholics I've met become that way after a while of
    marriage. :)
    Yup; Gates and co have grown to big to be inventive.
    I'll buy that; I was the "second" out the door at my previous
    employer. They had a few more waves of layoffs after that.
    I dunno; I kind of think that Bill and I might be somewhat similar,
    although driven in different directions. I don't really believe he's
    done what he has for the money; it just came as a result of his
    operation. That was one of the reasons I once wanted to go to work for
    Microsoft, because I thought a lot of what they did was "play."
    Did he take Allen's place?
    I believe this is my problem; after leaving school my contacts and I
    drifted apart.
    No argument there, although I will state my last job was to move a
    mission-critical application from a minicomputer to the personal
    computer domain.
    And previously my biggest concern was about code running rampant in a
    PLC connected to a robot I programmed. :) Boss man wanted me to "take
    him for a ride" on a robot one night so he could see the top of a
    piece of equipment about 20' off the floor. I told him my job wasn't
    worth the risk. I can't imagine simultaneously screwing up that many
    users. :)
    Yes. this new box has XP Home on it, and it does perform much better
    than the versions of Doz that I used to run on my home PC. Finally I
    have something that stays up almost as long as my old OS/2 box did.
    :-D
    No argument there; glad they finally got the PNP and Explorer shell
    moved over to NT.
    Heck, I've got a variety of small utilities I've developed that do a
    bunch of different things I've never seen anywhere else, or can't
    justify paying for if I have seen it elsewhere. No way I can remember
    which one it is. If I had to harbor a guess, it would most likely be
    my class scheduling program, my M3U utility, Clipboard utility, or a
    audio mixing utility I'm tinkering with. I think it would be one of
    those because of the various data structures and dynamic allocation
    schemes involved.
    Probably so, but I try to keep myself off of Microsoft's knowledge
    base. :-D
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Oct 30, 2003
  8. Online help? You're a forerunner! You might consider a lawsuit against
    MS! :)

    I very much respect the value of assembler, even though I don't use it
    much these days. For a period of time, the only thing I coded in was
    the assembler of the machine I was using.

    Still, 1280 bytes is a respectable amount of memory to pack a
    functioning program into.
    It is mind boggling. Especially when I consider that some of the apps
    I find most useful (custom ones I've developed) are so small. My
    biggest utility, a play list utility, is 97kb. Granted, it's doesn't
    try to do everything, but for 97kb I'm pleased. A reasonable chunk of
    that is UI resources as well.
    To be frank, I really can't recall the nature of the apps I wrote in
    those days, although I did churn out a fair amount of code. I didn't
    write stuff for business, though. Most of the stuff I wrote was
    related to personal or academic interest, although I did do some
    assembly programming for a couple of local businesses. After a period
    of time, I shifted from BASIC to assembler for everything I wrote,
    even writing my own terminal package complete with automated
    upload/download of email. I forgot that I had "let that one loose",
    and a few weeks ago ran into an individual who had a copy I wasn't
    aware of. He told me that he still used it from time to time on his
    Mod4, and that it was better than the commercially available products
    he had seen that did the same thing. I personally don't recall it
    being anywhere near that good, and thought it was unfinished. So long
    ago.......
    I had to deal with the serial ports, because I wasn't about to pay $45
    for a piece of software that was very lacking. I've done some
    subsequent programming of the PC compatible's UARTs, so that info has
    remained "fresh".

    I started messing with the FDC because I wanted to write my own copy
    protection circumvention program for the various games available.
    That's been so long ago I have difficulties recalling the technical
    details involved with it's interfacing.
    Oops. Not all the tracks. Well, all of the tracks could have been
    done, but this wasn't what I was shooting for.

    Though I respected Randy Cook's work, I never cared for his operating
    systems, and went with LDOS instead. Only problem with LDOS (and most
    of the earlier versions of the various DOSes for the Mod1) was that
    the boot disc had to be a single density disc, as the Mod1 wasn't fast
    enough, and the bootstrap code in ROM, was hard coded for single
    density IO timing. As such, to use a double density disc in drive 0,
    you had to boot a single density disc, and after the boot, swap the
    disc to a double density dos disc. Screw that.

    LDOS would allow you to format a double density disc with a bootable
    OS on it, but since the Mod1's timings were hard coded, such a disc
    was useless. Since the DOS bootstrap loader in either density fit
    easily into the quantity of sectors on single track of a single
    density disc, there was a fair amount of space left if that
    information was written to a double density track.

    So, I used LDOS to format a double density disc with a bootable OS. My
    utility then read the boot track into memory, discarding the "unused"
    sectors. I then reformatted track 0 with a different interleave value,
    moving the higher, unused sector numbers to the beginning of the
    track, and wrote the data I read previously into the sectors with
    lower numbers, which were actually located in the last half of the
    track; all of this done in double density. I then put the FDC into
    single density mode, issued a command to reformat track 0, and then
    issued a FDC interrupt after the first couple of sectors had been
    formatted. The utility then wrote my own bootstrap loader into the
    single density sector 0 of track 0. All that bootstrap loader did was
    put the FDC into double density mode, read the double density track
    into memory, and transfer control to the beginning of the track in
    memory, just like the ROM did in single density mode. No more
    switching discs, and track 0 was formatted in dual density on my boot
    floppies.
    I'm missing the first issue or two, and some of the very last ones
    where it started to go downhill. IMO, probably the best computer rag
    I've ever encountered. These people knew what in the heck they were
    doing. Hmm. Ok, I understand why you know so much about MP3's now. :-D
    'Twas. As I understand it, Randy got rather ticked off when they
    replaced "Randy Cook" with "Tandy Corp" on the boot message, and that
    helped to motivate him not to deal with Tandy any more.
    I used TRSDOS for a little while, and then switched to Newdos80 very
    briefly, before encountering LDOS. LDOS's biggest appeal to me was
    that it had so many more functions, and it was the first of the DOS's
    to allow you to choose your own interleave value when you formatted a
    disc. Those DOS's by default used an interleave of 3, although since
    most of the time when I did disk IO it didn't involve seeking or
    processing between records, my machine sped up considerably by using
    an interleave of 1. For the same reason, I used an interleave of 1
    when I formatted those old MFM drives on the PC AT family of machines.
    I've got a couple of Trash-80's about too, although they are in
    storage.

    Did you use some Newdos-80 extensions to Basic for this? I don't
    recall any of the BASIC extensions I had access to as support that
    type of functionality. You could LOAD and CHAIN stuff, but nothing to
    the extreme level of control that you've written about. It sounds like
    you designed and implemented a well thought out system; always a good
    thing. And if it's still in use, even the better. :)
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Oct 30, 2003
  9. Steve Young

    dadiOH Guest

    The really neat thing about assembler - other than tight code and speed of
    execution - is that it gives one a very definite understanding of how
    computers work. Especially if one writes fundamental things like disk
    formatting, video/printer drivers and the like.
    _____________________

    I liked them but I think I keep mine because I spent so damn much money with
    them trying to peddle my program. Not a lot of success either partially
    because it (program) was unique and potential purchasers had difficulty
    understanding the concept and how useful it could be but mainly because IBM
    came out with their PC about that time and micro computers pretty much went
    belly up. At least I learned assembler. Rather have sold a flock though
    :)
    ____________________________
    No. Everything (including on line help) was pure assembler. I did use
    calls to DOS routines though. Why invent the wheel? :)

    However, the program functioned in the same way as any disk Basic
    extensions...as sort of a pre-interpreter to Basic.

    --
    dadiOH
    _____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.0...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://www.gbronline.com/xico/
    _________________________________
     
    dadiOH, Oct 31, 2003
  10. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    I don't know if the Win32 API implements this fully; I was speaking of
    the ideal. When it exists, either it is a special system call, or it is
    a special system call requiring a special privilege as well.

    When I've encountered this feature, unlocking the file required either
    that a program make a special system I/O call (not provided for in most
    high-level languages, but used by a system utility that restored files),
    or that a privileged program make a different call to unlock the file.
    In practice, removing the lock meant restoring the file from a backup,
    or running system utilities to back out all uncommitted changes to the
    file (rollback).
    The entire application environment depends on the state of the file.
    You cannot just restart an application and continue on your merry way
    after another application has aborted while updating a file that it
    uses. You don't know what state that file is in. You don't know which
    transactions were completed and which weren't.

    The principle applies in both batch and transaction processing. For
    example, if an online transaction updates two databases in order to
    process, say, a credit-card purchase, it is vitally important that
    either both databases be updated correctly, or neither of them. If the
    application aborts after updating one database, but before updating the
    other, you have a problem. This is why applications will work in
    commitment units, by calling the OS and declaring the "commitment" of a
    unit of work at the end of each atomic transaction.

    When a problem occurs, update journal or logs are used to undo all
    database updates made during any open commitment units held by the
    application that had the problem. An application that aborts with open
    commitment units locks all databases it references. The only way to
    unlock those databases is to run a utility or application that reads
    updated database images from a journal and reapplies them to the
    databases in order to "back out" any open commitment units.

    There are lots of procedures and methods like this in mainframe systems,
    designed specifically to prevent any data from ever being irretrievably
    lost or corrupted. However, microcomputer software publishers (and many
    server publishers as well, e.g., UNIX) have absolutely no clue in this
    domain--it has never even occurred to them that this could be a problem.

    A good example of this is Microsoft Exchange Server. If something goes
    wrong, about all you can do is restore the database from the most recent
    backup. The designers did not consider the fact that production
    databases may occupy many gigabytes and may take hours to restore.
    There is only the most primitive provision for journaling of updates to
    the database so that it can be rolled forward or backward in the event
    of a problem. And the database format, which is derived from the Access
    database format (eek!), was chosen for performance, flexibilty, and
    compact size ... but not reliability or recoverability. Some people
    felt that Exchange should use a standard SQL database (like that of SQL
    Server) which offers a more robust design at the expense of performance,
    because e-mail databases rapidly become too critical to tolerate any
    level of risk.
    You can unlock the file and then delete it. But it requires a very
    deliberate act, and thus cannot happen "by accident."
    I don't have to imagine it, because I've had to do it. You look at
    source in order to find out exactly how something is being done (because
    most software is so poorly documented), but you don't normally feel any
    desire to try to change anything.

    One problem is that the microcomputer industry still hasn't grown up,
    and its members have never been as professional or ethical as the
    old-school IT professionals working on mainframes. Microcomputer people
    still think that it's okay to use software without paying for it, and
    they also think that if they show source to anyone, they'll instantly be
    pirated out of business.
    What? No handheld scanner with OCR software??
    I never use paper when I'm using my computers. However, I do have a
    notepad and pen when I go outside, since I don't take a computer (I take
    a camera instead). Having a PDA would not improve things.
    You mean like a paperback book?
    So do I. I get so many official notices and registered mail these days
    that I just throw it all on a pile. No money to pay anything, anyway.
    Layoffs are what a company resorts to when it has forgotten how to
    maintain or improve revenue. When a company doesn't know how to do
    these latter things, it resorts to cutting costs instead. But you can
    only cut costs so far before you reach zero, whereas you can increase
    revenue forever, so companies that begin laying people off inevitably
    shrink, sometimes until they disappear.
    I agree, but that still wouldn't stop me from spending the money once I
    had it. Life is short.
    That was true, and it is still true today, although much less so than in
    the past. Most Microsoft employees enjoy what they do; indeed, that has
    often been a hiring criterion for the company.
    I don't think so, but I'm not sure.

    Allen got Hodgkin's disease early in his life. Fortunately, this type
    of cancer is highly curable, and he was fully cured of it, but
    apparently it made him think, and he ended up pulling out and spending
    his money instead of working himself to death like Gates. Of course,
    Allen has money because Gates worked a lot, but still, Paul Allen's
    philosopphy is quite a bit different from that of Gates.

    If I had $46 billion, I'd probably be living like Paul Allen, not like
    Bill Gates. You can't take it with you.
    Mine, too. I have never had any network at all, as I tend to keep to
    myself.
    Minicomputers are much the same as microcomputers, from a mainframe
    standpoint. For example, UNIX is a dismal OLTP system compared to
    dedicated mainframe solutions.
    Actually, those moves destablized the OS, because they required
    compromising the original secure design, and incorporating badly written
    code from the consumer versions of Windows. But Microsoft once again
    privileged the desktop over the server environment. All well and good,
    I guess, as long as the desktop is what Microsoft really wants.
    The knowledge base doesn't name names. I'm in it at lots of points, but
    I'm never named.
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2003
  11. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    You're definitely a microcomputer person. Discovering the same feature
    in my case simply brought back happy memories ("finally, a desktop
    system that can do more than one thing at a time!").
    Lynx has the advantage of being lightning fast (no images to download)
    and very safe (no Javascript, Java, ActiveX, Flash, etc.).
    Well-designed sites (including my own) can easily be navigated by
    text-only browsers like Lynx.
    I've been sysadmin a couple of times. You have to understand what the
    job really entails and the responsbilities that it really implies, then
    you do okay. It's not a job for the hotheaded young male newbies,
    though--they invariably screw up.
    When I encounter a site like that, I just leave.
    Yahoo and Google apparently agree with you, although Microsoft does not.
    Remember, though, that Microsoft is a company filled with programmers,
    and the thought of having servers that support things like ASPs and
    scripting without actually using scripts and active content on every
    single page just never occurs to them. Even when I point it out, people
    like that don't understand. That's why Microsoft's site is almost
    always slow, despite the mountains of hardware they have running it.
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2003
  12. I certainly appreciate my experiences with it. I bought my first
    assembler as a result of a salesman convincing me it was a compiler;
    the difference between the two I did not know at the time. Rather than
    loose my money on the investment, I resolved myself to learning how it
    worked.
    Did you not port your system to the IBM PC?
    Impressive. :) Most coders from that era that I interacted with
    usually used either assembler or BASIC, and not mixed-language
    programming. After I got my teeth into assembler, I almost never
    touched BASIC again.
    I thought the mechanism that either Tandy or Microsoft incorporated
    into ROM basic to support BASIC language extensions was pretty neat.
    It surprised me that there weren't more "extended BASICs" written for
    the non-disk user's. Given the price of the hardware at the time, I
    function for several years utilizing only an audio cassette drive.

    Ah, CLOAD/CSAVE. Brings back some memories. :-/
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Oct 31, 2003
  13. I probably would have never gotten involved in programming had it not
    been for microcomputers and exposure to them. I certainly wasn't
    interested enough in the field to do this where I had to leave the
    home to do it. It's truly a hobby first, and a career second.
    I wished more people would make sites "Lynx-able." Would save an
    *incredible* amount of bandwidth. My last employer wanted me to
    develop our web site and mimic the look and field of a site he had
    seen. Between all of the images slices and their corresponding
    roll-overs, the page transmitted about 350kb of information to make it
    useful. When I complained about the design and concept, saying that a
    "leaner and meaner" design would mean faster load times, he said he
    didn't care how long the page took to load. Okay. So he wanted to
    focus all of this effort on putting the home page together, and yet
    would never compose any textual content for any of the other pages for
    the site.
    I've witnessed something to this effect. Even saw lawyers get
    involved. :) In my case the tasks I performed were relatively
    trivial, and fortunately I was an assistant, and not "the main man".
    Not like I have a choice given one of the browsers I use on occasion.
    Sad, too, as one of the times I surfed was in an effort that would
    have brought some revenue to the site operators.
    MSDN takes *forever* to load a page on. :-(
    Given my stance on the quality of Microsoft's product line, I
    typically stay away from their site(s). Although as of recently, as
    I've begun to dig into the Win32API, I have spent a little time trying
    to surf MSDN. I do have a hotmail account that I check on very, very,
    very rare occasions, but again bandwidth prevents me from doing a lot
    with it.
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Oct 31, 2003
  14. Steve Young

    dadiOH Guest

    No, never even touched a PC until about 4 years ago.
    ________________________
    And easy :)
    _________________________
    Yep. It was worth five hundred 1978 dollars for a single density 5 1/4
    floppy drive whose formatted disc held all of 89 KB just to get rid of my
    cassette recorder. :)


    --
    dadiOH
    _____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.0...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://www.gbronline.com/xico/
    _________________________________
     
    dadiOH, Oct 31, 2003
  15. Ah, ok.
    Makes sense; I'll look into an archival utility to see if I can get
    around this. If that works, I'll back up a null file to restore. I
    *rarely* get into one of those loops, as the types of stuff I tend to
    code open file, do the disk io, and then close it, and GPFs in these
    "inner loops" tend to get resolved very quickly. It's just that when
    they occur, I usually have about three reboots to correctly hammer the
    related bug down.
    [snip the very well thought out and explained justification against
    arbitrary file deletions in transaction processing systems]

    I agree with the reasons why you can't arbitrarily eradicate a file in
    all cases. Just in my case, the systems I develop are no where near
    that complicated.

    For example, the last system (which I am working on now) that produced
    a file for output is an audio mixing system (or will be when and if it
    grows up). I'm mixing content for audio CDs, which means I'm writing
    up to an 800mb .WAV file. The mixing code at one point had an error in
    it which resulted in a GPF, and so I had a huge file I couldn't
    delete. The only app in the system that had accessed the file was the
    one that wrote it. I would not expect an OS to keep track of every
    application that had accessed a file, but I would expect it to keep
    track of how many apps were currently accessing that file. If, when
    the process faulted, the OS looked through it's file handle table and
    closed associated handles, the file should be unlocked, since the use
    count dropped to 0.
    On such large scale systems I'd be afraid that making a change here
    might massively screw something else up over there. :)
    Make sense. I've witnessed a fair amount of piracy in the
    microcomputer field, even participated in it at times. But academia
    has been helpful here, as if I desire to get paid for my efforts, I
    should be willing to pay for the efforts of others. In the end, piracy
    is like stealing from myself.
    I had a handheld scanner at one time, didn't care for it much. I've
    got a couple of flatbeds now, but still don't have that much of a need
    for OCR software. Plus, as I type so fast, it's easier for me just to
    type the contact information from the card anyway; I get *very* few
    business cards. I get more contact information through email or from
    the web than I do from printed information.
    In your circumstances, perhaps not. But a notepad that integrates with
    the desktop is of tremendous benefit to me. Plus, as I synchronize my
    PDA with multiple desktops, there most important information is a
    mouse click away on which ever PC I'm using at the time, and if I'm
    not near a PC, this same information is in my shirt pocket.
    Somewhat, but I'm not interested in printing web or PDF content to
    paper, trying to fit in it my pocket, and then dragging that bulk
    around with me. I don't carry a complete library with me, but I do
    carry a great deal of information with me, information that is very
    dynamic in nature. I am attempting to eradicate as much paper from my
    life as possible, even though if you were to print the content in my
    shirt pocket, it would take a great amount of paper to print it. Plus,
    the reading software I use for documents auto-scrolls, which means I
    can lay the PDA on a table and read hands-free.
    I understand. :-(
    This one disappeared, although the change in the textile industry
    didn't help it any. We did outlive the majority who competed with us
    in our niche market, though. The change in the management's thought
    pattern during the last three or four years of operation didn't help,
    either. IT expenditures soared astronomically as soon as he brought
    the Microsoft-lovin' IT director on board.
    I have a tendency towards some very destructive habits, and believe
    that if a great pile of money were placed in front of me I'd probably
    be found face down in a ditch soon thereafter. That's one of the
    reasons I don't play the lottery, odds being the second.
    I remember when they started I had equal respect for them. I never
    knew why Allen moved on, but this makes sense.
    Someday I'll do the math and figure out, based on average life spans,
    how much Bill would have to spend per second to be able to "break
    even" before his death.
    The mark of a coder, IMO. The contacts I did have were pretty much the
    same as I, and we identified with each other because we each
    recognized that our skills were above our contemporaries. Ran into an
    old professor about a year and a half ago who said that our threesome
    was the best talent the school had ever produced. I seriously regret
    that we didn't collaborate on some type of project, but everyone had
    different ideas about what they wanted out of life.
    I don't think I could make a living doing OLTP; I don't believe I have
    the discipline for it. It sounds way too structured for someone with
    my mindset. And the risk factor is too high (IMO) for the results of a
    potential bug.
    Well, as someone who has come up from the consumer level of Windows,
    I'll admit that I'm not totally displeased with the move. XP seems to
    be almost as stable as the OS/2 I ran years ago.
    I still try to operate with a degree of paranoia, particularly with
    Microsoft. About the only time I let the system "phone home" with
    respect to bug fixes is the many times IE crashes. :-D
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Oct 31, 2003
  16. I stayed away from them for the first 6 years of their life.
    _________
    _________
    Agreed, but with the resources in those days they had to be. :)
    Unfortunately in those days I was too young to have a job, so I had to
    settle with what I could beg, borrow, or steal from the folks. My
    first PC was a 16k mod 1 I got in '81 from a guy who upgrade to a mod
    3. I envied those folks with disc drives. :)
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Oct 31, 2003
  17. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Justifiably so. But even "small" software products have tens of
    thousands of lines of code these days. And when some over-zealous
    junior coder goes whole hog into OOP, you spend 95% of your time looking
    up class definitions, trying to figure exactly what each operator does
    with whatever class of objects it happens to be touching in each line.
    Yes. Unfortunately, even if I could find work coding, it's dangerous
    for me. I'm very good at it, but it's addictive. In no time I'm
    spending all my waking hours coding, with very little sleep, and no
    other activity at all. Great for my employer, perhaps, but bad for me.
    Anyone can make a living doing OLTP; given the many dolts I've seen
    writing OLTP applications, I'm sure that discipline is not required.
    Many OLTP systems take care of the commitments almost automatically (by
    default, one transaction = one commitment unit).
    All the NT-based systems are rock-stable. That's because they are
    completely different operating systems from the junk consumer versions
    of Windows (9x et al.). NT was very well written. It still has many
    features that are not used (yet).
    The automatic stuff doesn't create KB entries, but sometimes support
    calls do (or they result in the creation of a KB entry).
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2003
  18. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Newbie sysadmins tend to combine domineering overcontrol of the system
    with avoidance of responsibility and weak or nonexistent professional
    ethics. It can cause all sorts of problems, some of which bring down
    mission-critical systems or end up in courtrooms.

    A colleague of mine once dealt with a sysadmin client who called to
    complain that his entire production database had become corrupt, for the
    first time in six years. My colleague told him that the first step
    would be to restore the database from the most recent backup. But the
    sysadmin had no backups--the database had never been backed up.
    Apparently the sysadmin was in tears, saying that he'd lose his job if
    the database couldn't be fixed. He was right.
    All Microsoft pages take forever to load. Practically everything on the
    page is an ASP, and practically every page invokes some sort of ActiveX
    component.
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2003
  19. The system I developed at my previous employer was 165,000 lines, each
    of which I wrote and was soley responsible for. OOP reducted the line
    count by a fair amount, but as you have stated the class definitions
    didn't make rhyme or reason to the other programmers when the boss
    mandated they utilize my stuff. They ignored the opportunity to be
    involved in the design phase, but chose to ignore it because they
    didn't think it was prudent. Only the boss saw how fast I could effect
    radical changes across my application base (and mine was larger than
    the combination of the others), as well as how easy maintenance was
    for me, did he mandate their use of my objects. To be sure, the
    framework I developed was bizarre. Applications became objects,
    allowing them to quite easily invoke each other. Assigning a string to
    an application object was just like passing a command line argument,
    and you obtained the integer value of said object to execute it with
    it's command line parameters already parsed. Didn't make sense to the
    other coders at first, but after a few weeks of experience they
    admitted it was the simpliest of designs. At their request, I added
    AssignArgument() and Execute() member functions to the base class. I
    don't think they ever used them, as they had to type more. :) After
    this, they began to design objects for their systems. Fortunately I
    wrote the low-level objects that everyone used, and wasn't required to
    use any of their objects for my projects. :)
    The addictive stage comes and goes with me, but I understand your
    direction. I broke some ground (for me) on the user interface of a
    project I'm tinkering with, so I'm hoping to get back into it full
    tilt sans the occasional email or usenet post.
    If discipline is not required, I might fare well at it. I'm a bit of a
    voodoo coder at times.
    I've never been impressed with consumer grade Windows, having watched
    it 'mature' through the years. And the NT experiences I've witnessed
    at work have been fairly dismal as well, since the apps I wanted to
    run really wouldn't run unless under 9x. 'bout time Microsoft got
    their head out of their rear, I guess. Although evidently Windows
    Remedial Player has a security risk.... :-D
    KB entry?
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 1, 2003
  20. I've only worked at two places with sysadmins, and I dare say the
    first was a shining example of how to do things. The second didn't
    have the benefit of a mentor, sans what I could relay from my
    experiences with the first. The second got into a pissing match with
    the boss, and ended up getting fired. He left without giving us the
    system passwords (something I had been on him to do for months, but it
    fell on deaf ears), claiming it was his IP. An attorney straightened
    that mess out.
    First sysadmin I worked on went into hysteria if the nightly backup
    report even hinted of a failure during the verification phase, and the
    backup plan was very well thought out.

    Second sysadmin never backed anything up, although our data sets were
    huge and so dynamic the equipment to back them up would have been very
    expensive. The boss even told me one time that if we lost a hard drive
    with a customer's job on it, it was far cheaper to restart the job
    than it was to pay the expense of a nightly backup on the small chance
    such a loss would occur.

    I make darned sure that the people who use software for their business
    over the years have an adequate backup/restore procedure in place. I
    don't want to have to make a useless service call.
    And why is that garbage necessary? Is there any benefit?
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 1, 2003
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