Toxic AF Romper Room

This is an open thread for all the random dick-measuring y’all wanna do. Like arguing about the Holocaust.

An even on which this blog has been crystal clear throughout its history, if you happened to read any of it.

Or branch out and flame away over whether Van Halen is “Metal” or “Hard Rock”. Knock yourselves out.

The conversation — one of the most comical threadjacks this blog has had since “Dog Gone” was fumigated – will not metastasize into any other threads. I need say no more.

342 thoughts on “Toxic AF Romper Room

  1. I don’t think COBOL pays any better than anything else.

    No, but then I didn’t complete my thought. I knew a few guys who were new to the field that learned COBOL before Y2K, for example, and made major bank for a couple years, put away a ton of money, and taught themselves other languages. At least one of ’em has gone into the maintenance biz – not quite “forensic code”, but from a business sense, almost there.

    Re maintenance. I suppose that’s literally right…. The notion of maintenance hasn’t even been in my headspace for say 10-12 years under Agile / CICD processes. But that’s the point, the code is constantly being enhanced / improved.

    My current job is the first time I’ve been with an Agile operation long enough to see if that theory actually stands up over time as re making sure maintenance gets off the backlog.

  2. ^ low six figures is the new normal for software pros. You don’t even have to be mid-career. You can be 30, 35

  3. Mac Wheel,

    A person I know who’s a pretty big cheese on the back-end side of the world says that after 60 years of trying, they have yet to build a better tranaction-processing architecture than an IBM Mainframe running VSAM/CICS/whatever else.

    And my previous gig was trying to replace a CICS blue-screen teller app that first deployed in ’87 with a web based app. The first problem was a UX issue – the previous UXA had tried to make it act like an ATM interaction, which makes sense if you’re a consumer, but for tellers, especially business ones, it’s a war crime.

    I actually came up with a much better idea – and when I left that bank, it was supposedly on its way through the dev process. I don’t have much confidence in that particular UX group not screwing the pooch, though, and fully expect that if I walk into that bank (at which I’ve never been a customer) the teller system will still be running mainframe.

  4. Back in the 80s I worked at a shop that maintained legacy IT equipment, mostly for city & county governments. The rule back then was that if replacing the hardware/software wouldn’t pay for itself in 7 years, you kept the old stuff going. Don’t know how the cost/benefit for big projects is calculated these days, but back then they would “freeze” the proposed update at a certain date. So a new hardware/software plan might be frozen on Jan. 1st, 1980, but not actually commissioned until 1984. So it would be four years out of date when you turned it on for the first time.

  5. When the mask mandates went into effect last year I did some research and found a paper written by the Ausies about cloth mask wearing as a way to prevent the spread of influenza by Muslims going on haj. The purpose of the study was to use real=world data to inform the Australian government on whether is should or should not advise Australian muslims to wear a mask when they went on haj,
    The results showed that cloth face coverings did not slow the spread of flu among wearers when compared to non-cloth face mask wearers.
    The mask mandate fetish in 2020 was driven entirely by herd behavior.

  6. From Joe Doakes link to The Lancet
    As evidence suggests COVID-19 could be transmitted before symptom onset, community transmission might be reduced if everyone, including people who have been infected but are asymptomatic and contagious, wear face masks.

    Suggests . . . might be . . . if . . .
    Why modify the subject “everyone” with “including people who have been infected but are asymptomatic and contagious”?

  7. “Suggests . . . might be . . . if . . .
    Why modify the subject “everyone” with “including people who have been infected but are asymptomatic and contagious”?”

    Exactly. I have found it somewhat useful to tell face diaper cultists that if they can provide 1, just 1 peer reviewed, controlled study that concludes face diapers effectively protect against the transmission of bat flu, I’ll put one on immediately.

    The only thing that happens immediately is the cultists drop their love of Science and go straight to autistic screeching.

  8. People who refuse to wear masks or respect social distance are also refusing vaccines. They’re holding us back from resuming normal life. In fact, they’re counting on the rest of us to get vaccinated so they don’t have to.

  9. Wisconsin is far more “vaccine hesitant” than Minnesota.
    Minnesota is doing worse with covid than Wisconsin by virtually every measure.
    Empirical data is your friend, Emery.
    Especially avoid predictions by people and organizations that have been demonstrably wrong in the past, like Walz and Biden covid adviser Michael Osterholm.

    From Kevin Roche:
    Dr. Osterholm has reached out to me to express concern that he has been misquoted. (Seriously, not a joke.) He said he wasn’t talking about the US and that things are bad. In this era, saying you are misquoted when everything is on video is crazy. Here is the YouTube link to the January 31 interview. (YouTube Link) You decide if he did not in fact say that in the next 6 to 14 weeks we are going to see a surge “like we have not seen before in this country”. And this is the infamous clip with the “sitting on the beach with the category 5 hurricane offshore and coming in” analogy. He was dead wrong period. And he was encouraging that we only give one dose of vaccine to help protect more people. Fortunately that advice was not followed. He made similar statements in several interviews. Here is the link to the clip on January 26 where he said “The very worst of the pandemic is yet before us.” He quoted US numbers in doing that. (YouTube link) If you were wrong, admit it and try to figure out why. Dr. Osterholm has had a distinguished career. In this epidemic, he has been careless and at times uninformed and has assisted in the terror campaign while ignoring the broader public health implications of the effort to suppress the virus. You are not going to get a pass from me for screwing up, nothwithstanding whatever your past success was.

  10. I haven’t been vaccinated & I am not counting on anything.
    I have been tested for covid 3 times since last November, never had a positive result. A lot of people I associate closely with got covid last November, all recovered, one had to go to the ER with pneumonia for an overnight hospital stay.
    In my age group, if I do get covid, the chance that it will kill me is about 1/1000.
    Why should I take an experimental vaccine?

  11. Emery,


    There were 6-7 links in my proximate response to you.

    Do you need them put into Braille, or what?

  12. “In fact, they’re counting on the rest of us to get vaccinated so they don’t have to.”

    Yeah, Tater…in that you dolts are somewhat like the people who went to clean up the destroyed reactor #4 at Chernobyl. They main difference being the Communists kept any information regarding the danger from reaching anyone, while there’s more than enough warnings and data out there for intelligent (read not leftist) people to decide whether the risk/benefit ratio suits them.

    Did you get a shot of the J&J bug juice yet? If some is good, more must be better, right?

  13. I am still hoping this thread can be salvaged by turning it into a discussion of the problems with maintaining legacy software.

  14. “Overlord! Have you ported that software package from Sunos to Redhat yet?”
    “Yeah, well, no, I started by trying compile the last released version on Sunos, and it bombed.”
    “Did you use the ucb linker like I told you?”
    “I tried to, but the envars change half way through linking. There is something really weird about the makefile. It calls on a bunch of other makefiles, and the default path is maybe wrong.”
    “How long until it’s done?”
    “Jeez, I dunno boss. You can say 40 hours if you want.”

  15. I once was given the task of modifying a tcl script when the hardware it talked to changed.
    I noticed a variable called “tiptoe.” I went down the hall and asked the original author what the heck “tiptoe” refered to.
    She told me she stuck it in there because during run time she had to tip toe in and set a value.
    Her contract was not renewed.

  16. MO
    at one point around 1978-1980 Valspar was buying up a lot of small midwestern paint companies. Some recently merged IT fellow mislabeled all the drivepacks with the source code for their custom payroll system and they were put into rotation with the nightly backup drivepacks. A few months later the error was discovered. Management decided that as a stopgap(that eventually lasted 3+ years) they would write new patch code programs to insert into the JCL stream to make things come out right. This was true Black Box programming, meaning lots of hours against absolutely inflexible deadlines. It also meant extremely high turnover in the IT dept. It was a constant never ending deathmarch. In fact by the end of 1980 the 3 people with the most seniority in the Dept were contractors who’d worked there less than 18 months. One of those contractors consequently made a career for herself in the Mpls(as well as international) area as a Agile/Scrum guru.

  17. Okay, the “dealing with legacy software” threadjack was a bomb.
    Howabout “literary discussions of science fiction”?
    Ever notice that scifi stories and books of the 1950s aren’t really bout robots, and space travel, and alien civilizations, but are really about the 1950s? I’ll carve out an exception for Jack Vance.

  18. I hope some one bites. Maintaining legacy software & literary discussions of science fiction stories & novels are pretty much all that interests me. Other than World War One focused memoirs.

  19. Oh, and the perfidy of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Those guys couldn’t engineer themselves out of a wet paper bag.

  20. MO
    HD are sort of like Jaguars of the 80s, you have to by 2 because one is always being torn down for one repair or another. At least that’s my observation – everyone I know with one seems to always be “working” on it or looking for a machinist who can fabricate a part for them. And why are people so enamored with 70s shovelheads?

    as for Sci-fi I’ve been reading some of the short stories from 40s&50s in Sci fi mags that are finding their way onto the Project Gutenberg site. For instance over the weekend A Madman On Board By Robert Silverberg was uploaded. Some are interesting some are merely a testament to the editor’s need to fill pages.

  21. MO
    Speaking of HD they managed to buy and in 16 short years(1993-2009) extinguish Buell Motorcycles. It took Eric Buell until this year to wrest his baby away from HD and start selling to the public again.

  22. “ Okay, the “dealing with legacy software” threadjack was a bomb.”

    Pinky swear, I hoped that it would catch fire. I love the stories.

    I’ve just only been able to participate at the most cursory level. I rely on people who’ve actually been there for the actual stories.

    The closest I’ve ever come is working on some godforsaken credit management application at a major bank. It’s less than 25 years old – it was originally built for the web – but already has all of the problems one associates with ancient legacy software. I worked on it… good lord, 17 years ago. I’m told it might still exist, and still have some thing of a commercial market.

    Of which: I worked at one of its clients, as well, once upon a time. The only time in my life I’ve actually had to use software I worked on In the real world. Downright depressing.

  23. I had a buddy that owned a chopper shop in Kona in the late 90s. He got a Buell sportster in on trade & let me borrow it for a day, so I took it down to Old Airport Park for a spin.
    Old Airport Park in Kona is literally the old airport, a mile or so of oval tarmack right next to the ocean. The harbor ratz wrecked a concrete-hull sailing boat on the rocks there, once upon a time, and the luckless captain walked out from the wreck and hung himself from one of the jade trees. But that’s another story.
    Anyway, I spent an hour or so giving the Buell a workout. I can’t imagine a more uncomfortable bike to ride. It was like sitting on a razorblade. But I could pop a roll-on wheelie in 3rd gear at 50 MPH.

  24. When I was a teen I read every Silverberg novel I could get my hands on. They were, I think, homages to the pulp fiction he read when he was a kid in the ’40s. Can’t remember any of them very well. His editorials in Asimov’s were always worth the time spent reading them.

  25. “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” is actually about the 2020 Presidential Election. Heinlein was just that far in advance.

  26. Yeah the Buell has torque. A friend of mine bought an 1125R in 2010, a step up from his early 70s Sportster, decided to take it out for a ride down 52 to Rochester. Misjudged shifting gears at highway speed, popped a wheelie and woke up in St Mary’s with a headache, a neck brace and a broken arm.

  27. Pig Bodine – We used to call incidents like that “too much motorcycle.”

  28. Gutenberg Australia is good site. The copyright laws are different down there, I think that everything before 1950 or so is in the public domain, so you get Hemingway and Orwell, some Michener.

  29. For me Heinlein never stood up to re-reading, as an adult. What seemed brash and brutally honest when I was a teen seemed insufferable when I was in the 30s. Maybe because I switched from a Libertarian to a Christian outlook in the intervening years.
    Asimov’s stories and novels were too dry to be enjoyable reading (his non-fiction & essays were different), but he always seemed to be a pretty happy guy, good outlook on life (though I guess he was a commie). Heinlein always seemed pissed off. From what I’ve read of his private life, he took offense easily, was a difficult person to like, and he returned the favor.
    I may be one of the few people still alive who remembers Uncle Hugo’s from its 2nd incarnation at Franklin and . . . 4th? Just off the freeway. I think that there was an earlier incarnation just a few doorstops down the street.

  30. I would be interested to know if any of you have insight on Kawasaki triples.

  31. yes Uncle Hugo’s shared the same storefront complex with the Electric Fetus – both stores were plagued by shoplifting hipsters.

  32. The old two strokes, JK? I never had one, knew a few guys who did. Engines seemed short-lived and people basically rode them until they crashed them. They were butt-ugly.

  33. re: K 2-strokes, its hard to get the torque you want out of a 2-stroke without leaning heavily on the RPMs which is why the engines usually didn’t have even 50k miles in them, they would burn out like a chainsaw engine. On the bright side a 2-stroke is far more tolerant of bad/stale gas than a 4 stroke which facilitated their sales in SE Asia. For me it always felt like the center of gravity was too high, I don’t actually think it was but it felt that way.

  34. Pingback: Urban Progressive Privilge: Two Americas | Shot in the Dark

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