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Oh, man, I just realized I haven't ranted one of my best stories on here!
So, here goes!
A few years back the company I work for was contacted by an older client regarding a new project.
The guy was now pitching to build the website for the Parliament of another country (not gonna name it, NDAs and stuff), and was planning on outsourcing the development, as he had no team and he was only aiming on taking care of the client service/project management side of the project.
Out of principle (and also to preserve our mental integrity), we have purposely avoided working with government bodies of any kind, in any country, but he was a friend of our CEO and pleaded until we singed on board.
Now, the project itself was way bigger than we expected, as the wanted more of an internal CRM, centralized document archive, event management, internal planning, multiple interfaced, role based access restricted monster of an administration interface, complete with regular user website, also packed with all kind of features, dashboards and so on.
Long story short, a lot bigger than what we were expecting based on the initial brief.
The development period was hell. New features were coming in on a weekly basis. Already implemented functionality was constantly being changed or redefined. No requests we ever made about clarifications and/or materials or information were ever answered on time.
They also somehow bullied the guy that brought us the project into also including the data migration from the old website into the new one we were building and we somehow ended up having to extract meaningful, formatted, sanitized content parsing static HTML files and connecting them to download-able files (almost every page in the old website had files available to download) we needed to also include in a sane way.
Now, don't think the files were simple URL paths we can trace to a folder/file path, oh no!!! The links were some form of hash combination that had to be exploded and tested against some king of database relationship tables that only had hashed indexes relating to other tables, that also only had hashed indexes relating to some other tables that kept a database of the website pages HTML file naming. So what we had to do is identify the files based on a combination of hashed indexes and re-hashed HTML file names that in the end would give us a filename for a real file that we had to then search for inside a list of over 20 folders not related to one another.
So we did this. Created a script that processed the hell out of over 10000 HTML files, database entries and files and re-indexed and re-named all this shit into a meaningful database of sane data and well organized files.
So, with this we were nearing the finish line for the project, which by now exceeded the estimated time by over to times.
We test everything, retest it all again for good measure, pack everything up for deployment, simulate on a staging environment, give the final client access to the staging version, get them to accept that all requirements are met, finish writing the documentation for the codebase, write detailed deployment procedure, include some automation and testing tools also for good measure, recommend production setup, hardware specs, software versions, server side optimization like caching, load balancing and all that we could think would ever be useful, all with more documentation and instructions.
As the project was built on PHP/MySQL (as requested), we recommended a Linux environment for production. Oh, I forgot to tell you that over the development period they kept asking us to also include steps for Windows procedures along with our regular documentation. Was a bit strange, but we added it in there just so we can finish and close the damn project.
So, we send them all the above and go get drunk as fuck in celebration of getting rid of them once and for all...
Next day: hung over, I get to the office, open my laptop and see on new email. I only had the one new mail, so I open it to see what it's about.
Lo and behold! The fuckers over in the other country that called themselves "IT guys", and were the ones making all the changes and additions to our requirements, were not capable enough to follow step by step instructions in order to deploy the project on their servers!!!
[Continues in the comments]26
Someone asked for an RSS feed for the security/privacy blog, I thought?
Well, hereby! There are three feeds:
https://much-security.nl/main.xml - a feed which is updated with both blog posts and external links relating to privacy/security I find interesting/useful.
https://much-security.nl/own.xml - a feed only containing the blogs posts themselves. For people who are only interested in that part.
https://much-security.nl/external.x... - a feed only containing external links. For people who'd like to stay updated on recent cyber security/privacy thingies.
Tracking: every time a feed is visited, a redis value for that feed get's incremented. No time, ip addresses, user agent or whatsoever is saved. Just one variable getting increased once.
New domain name will also be revealed soon (probs tomorrow, going to bed soon as I've just been sick) :D.
Oh and just a warning, the main/external feed are the only ones populated with exactly one item right now :P30
Working with a client...the resident """sysadmin""" hasn't actually been a sysadmin since the early 90s, the last OS he _actually_ managed was SunOS 5 or something. I can't remember what he said. He hasn't kept up AT ALL with modern technologies/terminologies. He's convinced SELinux is a security hardened kernel. We've explained to him several times that it's not but he sees Linux and thinks Linux 1.0 from the 90s. It's downright embarrassing.
Now this would all be well if I didn't have to interface with him often, but the client WILL NOT give me access to their systems. So I have to go through him to get anything done. Which is over webex. So I get to watch this guy type (and mess up) basic commands over and over (he isn't aware of tab completion of any of the bash features that are super useful). So I'm telling him what to type and the delay is always just enough for him to get too far in the command to back out, so its like SSH-over-incompetence with a 500ms ping. It's truly infuriating.
Every once in a while he'll get frustrated enough to hand me control of his webex session, which isn't as painful but once again the delay is bad enough it's still a pain.
Best part is that he looks EXACTLY like Milton from Office Space. So thats one plus to this whole situation!3
Long story short, I'm unofficially the hacker at our office... Story time!
So I was hired three months ago to work for my current company, and after the three weeks of training I got assigned a project with an architect (who only works on the project very occasionally). I was tasked with revamping and implementing new features for an existing API, some of the code dated back to 2013. (important, keep this in mind)
So at one point I was testing the existing endpoints, because part of the project was automating tests using postman, and I saw something sketchy. So very sketchy. The method I was looking at took a POJO as an argument, extracted the ID of the user from it, looked the user up, and then updated the info of the looked up user with the POJO. So I tried sending a JSON with the info of my user, but the ID of another user. And voila, I overwrote his data.
Once I reported this (which took a while to be taken seriously because I was so new) I found out that this might be useful for sysadmins to have, so it wasn't completely horrible. However, the endpoint required no Auth to use. An anonymous curl request could overwrite any users data.
As this mess unfolded and we notified the higher ups, another architect jumped in to fix the mess and we found that you could also fetch the data of any user by knowing his ID, and overwrite his credit/debit cards. And well, the ID of the users were alphanumerical strings, which I thought would make it harder to abuse, but then realized all the IDs were sequentially generated... Again, these endpoints required no authentication.
So anyways. Panic ensued, systems people at HQ had to work that weekend, two hot fixes had to be delivered, and now they think I'm a hacker... I did go on to discover some other vulnerabilities, but nothing major.
It still amsues me they think I'm a hacker 😂😂 when I know about as much about hacking as the next guy at the office, but anyways, makes for a good story and I laugh every time I hear them call me a hacker. The whole thing was pretty amusing, they supposedly have security audits and QA, but for five years, these massive security holes went undetected... And our client is a massive company in my country... So, let's hope no one found it before I did.6
TLDR: In defense of Powershell - the rant:
I don’t get the Powershell hate.
You don’t hate a screwdriver for not being able to turn a nut, you just *don’t use a screwdriver to turn a nut*
Once you recognize what the tool is good for and you don’t try to use it like Bash, it’s wildly powerful, and satisfying to use in a way Cmd.exe never was.
Cygwin or a Linux Subsystem can only go so far on a Windows computer. You’re dealing with two fundamentally different OS architectures. It makes sense you’d need different tools.
And like it or not, Microsoft owns the non-tech-user desktop , corners the non-tech server business market, and Active Directory is THE tool for managing Windows desktops on a large scale - So Wanblows is not going away anytime soon.
Automation without some weird ass sysVol batch login script is finally possible. Anyone who knows .Net classes can leverage their methods from directly within Powershell. Remote management of headless Windows servers is now a reality. If you have an Office 365 Exchange server you can literally Powershell remote to it for management, just like your favorite cloud hosted Linux distribution.
No one said Windows is a better OS, but an object based shell on an object based OS *makes sense*. It’s useful for its environment. Let it be.11
Last Friday company-wide call consisted of the sales CEO bossman, the remote contractor dev, and myself. The only topic of discussion was CTO-bashing (bossman's favorite). Neither person had much of anything to say about their week, and they didn't want to hear my rather-lengthy summary either (I did a lot). All they wanted to do was bash the CTO (API Guy).
The CEO asked how many hours I had worked, and seemed annoyed when I said less than 40. Well screw you. Monday was Christmas, and Sunday was Encroaching Estranged Asshole Day. (Earlier rant)
I've been spending most of my time trying to learn the steaming mountain of rancid hippo shit that API Guy squeezed out, since he's leaving forever in 10 days. Sure, CEO bossman says he'll still be around to answer questions, but even with him right next to me in the office he's less than useful. After he's gone and finally feeling free of this farce? It'll be worth fuck-all.
So bossman is mad at me for both not working enough over Christmas, and not pumping out features at a frantic pace despite multiple explanations of why this is a bad idea. And he didn't care about what work I actually did do.
My every interaction with him makes me angry. Whenever I -- or anyone else -- does something he doesn't approve of, seemingly no matter the reasoning, he makes it out to be a failure on their part, and like he can't trust them as much now.
Well I'm sorry we're trying to make sure our websocket works perfectly before putting it in the hands of our customers who rely on it for cash processing.
I'm sorry I'm trying to recall printers that aren't configured properly, which also prevent customers from using our goddamn service they're paying for.
I'm sorry I'm trying to learn how everything works while I still have someone to talk to and ask questions of.
I'm sorry I'm preparing for the day I have to take over and have you breathing down my neck. Once API Guy's gone I'll be responsible for everything, and you'll be yelling at me and having a @Root bashing session instead if I don't know how to fix everything right away.
But no. All you care about is that I talk to you about what's going in so you can micromanage development despite having zero fucking understanding of goddamn anything. All you ever fucking want is the next shiny feature you can push to make more sales / keep your current contacts happy. Doesn't fking matter if it makes development awful later; that's tomorrow's problem. And yet you have the gall to bash API Guy over and over and over again for the codebase being a mess? Sure he's a terrible programmer, but been putting up with this exact same shit for five years. No wonder it's a mountain of rancid hippo shit. That's as much your fault as his, asshole.
I'm so sorry you "have serious concerns" about me. I don't want to put up with your shit either.
Fuck off and die.22
Team quarterly capacity planning:
- Confluence document created with a big table (+100 rows) by product / business. Each row is something that needs to be worked on for the coming quarter.
- Row 1 could be an Epic with 15 tickets attached. Row 2 could be adding a single log to our analytics. No consistency.
- For each row, we create a separate confluence document with the "technical details". 75% of the time these remain blank. 1% of the time there is something useful, the rest its a slightly longer version of the description from the bigger document.
- Each row gets a high level estimate by the leads. 50% of the time without sufficient background info to actually do get it accurate.
- These are then copied into the teams excel spreadsheet, where it will calculate if we are over/under capacity.
- We will go backwards and forwards between confluence and excel until we are "close enough" to under capacity without being too much.
- Once done, we then need to copy them into the org/division's excel spreadsheet. This document is huge, has every team on it and massive 50pt text saying "Do not put a filter on this document".
- Jira tickets + Epics will now be created for each one, with all the data be copied over by hand, bit by bit, by product. Often missing something.
- Last week, at the end of this process for Q2 (2 weeks late), 6 of the leads were asked to attend a 30 minute meeting to discuss how to group the line items together because we had too many for the bigger excel spreadsheet.
- This morning I was told business weren't happy with one of our decisions to delay one line item. Although they were all top priority (P0), one of them was actually higher than that again (P-1?) and we need to work it back in.
... so back to step 1
- Mid way through Q2, a new document will be created for Q3. Work items that didn't make the cut will be manually copied from one to the other. 50/50 whether anything that didn't get done on time in Q2 will make its way to the Q3 doc.
- "Tech excellence" / "Tech debt" items (unit/UI tests, documentation, logging, performance, stability etc) will never be copied over. Because product doesn't understand them and assumes therefore that they are unimportant.
PS: I'd like to say this was a rare event for Q2, but no. Q4 and Q1 were so bad, we were made assurances from the director of engineering that he would fix this process for Q2. This is the new and improved process (I shit you not) that has resulted in nothing tangible.7
I created a random website a month ago (a project which took me about 2-3 weeks)... made for developers.
But unfortunately I didn't find anyone interested, just a few users that used it once (ok, I spent nothing for marketing and posted it only on my Twitter and on Product Hunt).
Anyway this is it: https://reviewti.me/
I spent about $4 for the domain, maybe someone will find it useful and it wasn't a waste of time and "money". 😅
Please don't see this as spam, I earn nothing (free website, 0 ads), I created it just for fun and maybe to be a little useful for app developers.
If it isn't for you, just tell me what do you think about it (if you want).
That's actually something that happened fairly recently.. just that I didn't have the energy left at the time to write it down. That, or I got my ass too drunk to properly write anything.. not sure actually.
So on paper I'm unemployed, but I do spend some time still on pretty much voluntary work for HackingVision, along with a handful of other people.
At the time, we were just doing the usual chit-chat in the admin channel, me still sick in my bed (actually that means that I wasn't drunk but really tired for once.. amazing!) and catching up to what happened, but unable to do any useful work in this sick state. So, tablet, typing on glass, right. I didn't have any keyboard attached at the time.
One of the staff members (a wanketeer from India) apparently had an assignment in a few hours for which he needed to write a server application in Java. Now, performance issues aside, I figured.. well I've got quite a bit of experience with servers, as well as some with client-server protocols. So I got thinking.. mail servers, way too overengineered. Web servers.. well that could work, I've done some basic netcat webservers that just sent an HTTP 200 OK and the file, those worked fine.. although super basic of course. And then there's IRC, which I've actually talked to an InspIRCd server through telnet before (which by the way is pretty much the only thing that telnet is still useful for, something that was never its purpose, lol) and realized that that protocol is actually quite easy to develop around. That's why I like it so much over modern chat protocols like XMPP, MQTT and whatnot. So I recommended that he'd write a little IRC server in Java. Or even just a chatbot like I attempted to at the time, considering that that's - with a stretch of course - a sort-of server too.
His fucking response however, so goddamn fucking infuriating. "If the protocol is so easy, then please write me down how to implement it in Java."
Essentially do his fucking work for him. I don't know Java, but as a fucking HackingVision admin, YOU SHOULD FUCKING KNOW THAT HACKERS CAN'T STAND LAZY CUNTS THAT CAN'T EVEN BE ASSED TO GOOGLE SHIT!!! If I wanted to deal with cunts like that, I'd have opened the page inbox with all its Fb h4xx0ring questions, not the fucking admin chat!
And type it on a goddamn fucking piece of glass, while fucking sick?! Get your ass fucked by a bobs and vegana horny fuck from the untouchable caste, because that's where you fucking belong for expecting THAT from me, you fucking bhenchod.
But at least I didn't get my ass enraged like that to say that to him in the admin chat. Although that probably wouldn't have been a bad thing, to get his feet right back on the ground again.1
Okay guys, this is it!
Today was my final day at my current employer. I am on vacation next week, and will return to my previous employer on January the 2nd.
So I am going back to full time C/C++ coding on Linux. My machines will, once again, all have Gentoo Linux on them, while the servers run Debian. (Or Devuan if I can help it.)
So what have I learned in my 15 months stint as a C++ Qt5 developer on Windows 10 using Visual Studio 2017?
1. VS2017 is the best ever.
Although I am a Linux guy, I have owned all Visual C++/Studio versions since Visual C++ 6 (1999) - if only to use for cross-platform projects in a Windows VM.
2. I love Qt5, even on Windows!
And QtDesigner is a far better tool than I thought. On Linux I rarely had to design GUIs, so I was happily surprised.
3. GUI apps are always inferior to CLI.
Whenever a collegue of mine and me had worked on the same parts in the same libraries, and hit the inevitable merge conflict resolving session, we played a game: Who would push first? Him, with TortoiseGit and BeyondCompare? Or me, with MinTTY and kdiff3?
Surprise! I always won! 😁
4. Only shortly into Application Development for Windows with Visual Studio, I started to miss the fun it is to code on Linux for Linux.
No matter how much I like VS2017, I really miss Code::Blocks!
5. Big software suites (2,792 files) are interesting, but I prefer libraries and frameworks to work on.
For future reference, I'll answer a possible question I may have in the future about Windows 10: What did I use to mod/pimp it?
1. 7+ Taskbar Tweaker
3. Classic Start (Now: Open-Shell-Menu)
Enhanced text editor I like a lot more than notepad++. Aaaand it has a "vim-mode". 👍
Three way diff viewer, that can resolve most merge conflicts on its own. Its keyboard shortcuts (ctrl-1|2|3 ; ctrl-PgDn) let you fly through your files.
8. Link Shell Extensions
Support hard links, symbolic links, junctions and much more right from the explorer via right-click-menu.
Neither as beautiful as Conky, nor as easy to configure or flexible. But it does its job.
Of course this wasn't everything. I also pimped Visual Studio quite heavily. Sam question from my future self: What did I do?
1 AStyle Extension
2 Better Comments
Simple patche to make different comment styles look different. Like obsolete ones being showed striked through, or important ones in bold red and such stuff.
4 Atomineer Pro Documentation
Alright, it is commercial. But there is not another tool that can keep doxygen style comments updated. Without this, you have to do it by hand.
5 Highlight all occurrences of selected word++
Select a word, and all similar get highlighted. VS could do this on its own, but is restricted to keywords.
6 Hot Commands for Visual Studio
This ingenious invention colorizes brackets (aka "Rainbow brackets") and makes their inner space visible on demand. Very useful if you have to deal with complex flows.
Come on! 2018 and Visual Studio still outputs monochromatically?
That's it, folks.
No matter how much fun it will be to do full time Linux C/C++ coding, and reverse engineering of WORM file systems and proprietary containers and databases, the thing I am most looking forward to is quite mundane: I can do what the fuck I want!
Being stuck in a project? No problem, any of my own projects is just a 'git clone' away. (Or fetch/pull more likely... 😜)
Here I am leaving a place where gitlab.com, github.com and sourceforge.net are blocked.
But I will also miss my collegues here. I know it.
Well, part of the game I guess?7
Well... I had in over 15 years of programming a lot of PHP / HTML projects where I asked myself: What psychopath could have written this?
(PHP haters: Just go trolling somewhere else...)
In my current project I've "inherited" a project which was running around ~ 15 years. Code Base looked solid to me... (Article system for ERP, huge company / branches system, lot of other modules for internal use... All in all: Not small.)
The original goal was to port to PHP 7 and to give it a fresh layout. Seemed doable...
The first days passed by - porting to an asset system, cleaning up the base system (login / logout / session & cookies... you know the drill).
And that was where it all went haywire.
I really have no clue how someone could have been so ignorant to not even think twice before setting cookies or doing other "header related" stuff without at least checking the result codes...
Basically the authentication / permission system was fully fucked up. It relied on redirecting the user via header modification to the login page with an error set in a GET variable...
Uh boy. That ain't funny.
Ported to session flash messages, checked if headers were sent, hard exit otherwise - redirect.
But then I got to the first layers of the whole "OOP class" related shit...
It's basically "whack a mole".
Whoever wrote this, was as dumb and as ignorant to build up a daisy chain of commands for fixing corner cases of corner cases of the regular command... If you don't understand what I mean, take the following example:
Permissions are based on group (accumulation of single permissions) and single permissions - to get all permissions from a user, you need to fetch both and build a unique array.
Well... The "names" for permissions are not unique. I'd never expected to be someone to be so stupid. Yes. You could have two permissions name "article_search" - while relying on uniqueness.
All in all all permissions are fetched once for lifetime of script and stored to a cache...
To fix this corner case… There is another function that fetches the results from the cache and returns simply "one" of the rights (getting permission array).
In case you need to get the ID of the other (yes... two identifiers used in the project for permissions - name and ID (auto increment key))...
Let's write another function on top of the function on top of the function.
My brain is seriously in deep fried mode.
Untangling this mess is basically like getting pumped up with pain killers and trying to solve logic riddles - it just doesn't work....
So... From redesigning and porting from PHP 7 I'm basically rewriting the whole base system to MVC, porting and touching every script, untangling this dumb shit of "functions" / "OOP" [or whatever you call this garbage] and then hoping everything works...
A huge thanks to AURA. http://auraphp.com/
It's incredibily useful in this case, as it has no dependencies and makes it very easy to get a solid ground without writing a whole framework by myself.
A couple of months ago, the father of a friend of mine, asked me if I wanted to help him out with a project.
His late father, whom he inherited a one-person upholstering company from, once created a system in filemaker to do, among others, his financial administration. This system, however, grew organically as time went by, but he passed away before he explained to his son how it worked.
Now this man was running the company, using the parts of the system that he knows, but things were starting to break down. He asked me if I could help him understand what is going on and fix a couple of things.
However, the more I look at it, the more I realize what a monstrosity this has become, because the system has never been cleaned up. For example:
- There is a suppliers table, with the columns "E-MAIL" and "EMAIL". The latter one containing the supplier's website address.
- In order to be able to generate year reports, at the start of a year he copies the previous year's file, removes all records from it and starts using that as the new year's file. (This year, he accidentally created a shortcut instead of copying...)
- Some tables have a misterious column called "#1". It always contains a 1.
- The system consists of about 20 files, each of them containing a single table, although only 10 of them are really used. The other ones are just legacy.
- File, table, column, and layout names are capitalized randomly (all caps, no cap, starting uppercase) and are usually abbreviations, like "st2", "oms3", "off\rek", "b", "VERDBEST6" and "antst".
- One table has 92 columns.
- Of those 92 columns, only about 20, maybe 30, are in use.
Now, my task is finding out what parts are useful and in use, extracting those and create a baby monster out of the giant monster this system has become.
Sidenote: I actually enjoy having to learn a bit about accounting in order to understand this. Planning to use the knowledge I gain to keep track of my own finances.7
So, a few words about this setup :
- I am not Portuguese, my girlfriend got this poster while on a trip
- The second monitor is very old and uses fluorescent tubes. It's shitty and not stylish, but useful at times
- Yes, I use a standalone scanner. Every multifunction printer I've had ended up suiciding itself, and suicided the built in scanner with it. A standalone scanner should be indestructible.
- The case is open because I haven't paid much attention to fans and stuff, so it gets pretty hot when gaming
- Talk about gaming : I dual boot W10/Ubuntu but use the original Gnome DE with Adwaita Dark (I love it). However, W10 is only useful for Lightroom and games. When Steam released proton, I decided to start using Darktable for photo editing in order to ditch Windows once and for all. That will probably happen in the coming months.
- I have not wired my home yet, so I use a router as Wi-Fi receiver.
- The top of the desk is not the original one. It used to be a glass one, but I didn't like the feel and it was too small. So I made a wooden one and painted it with paint my father had left over. However, it ended up looking hideous and sticks to the skin when resting on it for a long time. It has to be changed/fixed.
- The headphones hanger is just a big ass screw, and the headphones jack has been fixed at least a dozen times. I even changed the cable two times.
- The mic is shitty but cost only 8€ on eBay.2
Development world is always changing and evolving... It changes before you know it...
So, having the ability to quickly adapt and learn is a must for any Developer... And, this is the one thing that I am sure that everyone knows about or heard about..
But, my advice is quite simple:
"Don't rush into participating in a race, just because everyone else is doing so.
The trick is not to move quickly.. But, to move one step at a time, at the pace in which you are at your most comfortable...
It might seem counterintuitive and a contradiction to what I have said earlier.. But, I hope that by the end of this rant, you will be able to understand my perspective..
This advice is especially useful for people still finding and searching for their place in our world..
Charles Darwin, very wisely understood the philosophy behind 'Survival of the Fittest'..
By 'fittest', he didn't refer to the ones considered to be the strongest or having the most intelligence, but the ones that had mastered the ability to adapt to changing circumstances..
Adaptability is important, but not at the cost of understanding and learning about the fundamental pillars on which this world stands..
Don't rush because when you run, your visions starts to become more narrow.. In your pursuit to reach your goal, you lose the ability to look at the macro details surrounding your goal..
Learning new technology is important, but that doesn't mean that you don't learn about various approaches or how to design a more logical or efficient solution...
Refactoring the code, developing good Testing procedures, learning to interact with your fellow developers are as crucial as learning about the changing trends...
Even, in this ever-changing world, understand that some things will always remain the same, like the adrenaline that course through your veins when you finally solve a long-standing problem...
Curiosity, Discovery and Exploration are the key pillars and hence, when we rush in, we might stop exploring and lose curiosity to discover new and exciting ways to reach our goal..
Or, we might also end up losing the drive that grips us and motivates to continue moving forward inspite of the challenges standing between us and our destination..
And, believe me, once you lose this quality, you might still succeed but the contentment and the satisfaction that you feel will be lost..
And, then, you will remain a developer only through your designation... And, that in my personal opinion, the worst punishment.1
First off, I couldn't copy and paste "wk150" because it was an image, not text !
Coolest thing I've ever built was a building.
Foundations was brick pyramids buried in the ground to spread the loads of the post construction method. (eg. posts at corners, the rest of the building hangs on those.)
Built out of recycled church hardwood, designed to withstand 350 mph winds, no windows !
8ft by 10ft doors.
Had to move 200+ tons of soil by bucket and spade.
I also fell off the roof once..
But luckily landed in a pile of earth, I had piled up in case I fell off !
Built using prefab panels I put together on a jig. (So all sides the same.)
Then the winds came..
Mine was one of only two untouched.
I got the idea from both:
And visiting a hurricane hit area with just one building left standing built out of concrete and bricks, whilst everyone else's was just wood.
Not that wood isn't a good choice, after all, look at Japanese buildings:
Sadly it isn't still there, the local government knocked it down after I moved away !
I'd even got planning permission for it, so no idea why they would get rid of such a useful building !
Perhaps the next one I should make out of concrete and be harder to knock down..
Solo build, apart from the time when I got my Amazon like girlfriend to give me a hand to move the panels into place, as they was so heavy, I couldn't lift them by myself, and had no crane..
No pictures sadly, though I did video it, but the tape got left behind in one of my many moves. :-(
Did the architectural drawings myself too.
Lesson there, believe in yourself, you can do it !
Just takes persistence..
Friends said I was crazy at the beginning !6
SO MAD. Hands are shaking after dealing with this awful API for too long. I just sent this to a contact at JP Morgan Chase.
1. I'm having absolutely no luck logging in to this account to check the Order Abstraction service settings. I was able to log in once earlier this morning, but ever since I've received this frustratingly vague "We are currently unable to complete your request" error message (attached). I even switched IP's via a VPN, and was able to get as far as entering the below Identification Code until I got the same message. Has this account been blocked? Password incorrect? What's the issue?
2. I've been researching the Order Abstraction API for hours as well, attempting to defuddle this gem of an API call response:
NOWHERE in the documentation (last updated 14 months ago) is there any reference to this^^ error or any sort of standardized error-handling description whatsoever - unless you count the detailed error codes outlined for the Hosted Payment responses, which this Order Abstraction service completely ignores. Finally, the HTTP response status code from the Abstraction API is "200 OK", signaling that everything is fine and dandy, which is incorrect. The error message indicates there should be a 400-level status code response, such as 401 Unauthorized, 403 Forbidden or at least 400 Bad Request.
Frankly, I am extremely frustrated and tired of working with poorly documented, poorly designed and poorly maintained developer services which fail to follow basic methodology standardized decades ago. Error messages should be clear and descriptive, including HTTP status codes and a parseable response - preferably JSON or XML.
This whole piece of garbage is junk. If you're big enough to own a bank, you're big enough to provide useful error messages to the developers kind enough to attempt to work with you.2
I just found something insanely fascinating for the nuts-and-bolts computer history nerds. It's an article by Eric S. Raymond titled "Things Every Hacker Once Knew." It outlines old general-knowledge shit about the computers of the 60s-90s: ASCII, terminal protocols, bit architectures, etc. which can still be useful for anyone roped into repairing or maintaining arcane or legacy systems.
I started fully exploring different aspects of tech in a middle school technology class where the teacher gave me a good grade as long as I did something that could be useful or interesting. I learned how to design webpages by playing with inspect element, and then decided to make my own with Notepad. One of my friends showed me how to use Sublime Text, and I found that I loved programming. Other things I did in there included using two desktops with NIC's wired directly to each other with an old version of Synergy and a VNC server, and at one point, I built a server node out of old dell Optiplex desktops the school had piled in a storage room.
Last year in high school, I took a class on VB.net and made some money afterwards by freelance refreshing legacy spaghetti, and got burned pretty badly by a person offering $25,000 for a major POS to backend CMS integration rewrite. The person told me that I had finished second, and that another dev had gotten the reward, but that he liked my code. A few days later, I was notified through a *cough*very convoluted*cough* system of mine by a trigger that ran once during startup in a production environment and reported the version number as well as a few other bits, and I was able to see that *cough*someone*cough* had been using my code. I stopped programming for at least six months straight because I didn't want to go back.
This year in high school, I'm taking the engineering class I didn't get into last year, and I realized that Autodesk Inventor supports VBA. I got back into programming with a lot of copy-paste and click-once "installers" to get my modelling assignments done faster than my classmates. Last week, one of my friends asked me to help him fix his VB program, which I did, and now I'm hooked again.
I've always been an engineer at heart, but now I'm conflicted with going into I.T., mechanical or robotical engineering, or being a software developer.
A little long, but that's how I got to where I am now. (I still detest those who take advantage of defenseless programmers. There's a special place for them.)7
I'm finishing up the most depressing client engagement ever. Ultimately it all traces back to their worthless Expert Beginner EA who thinks he's a genius but can't write code. I don't mean that he's not great at it. It's some of the worst I've ever seen by a person in his position.
In the time I have left here I could do so much to help them clean this stuff up so that future developers could ramp up more easily and there wouldn't be tons of duplicate code.
But I've just given up. You can't help someone who thinks their code is perfect. I don't even bother suggesting stuff any more (like don't have two methods in a class - a "real" one and one for unit testing) because he gets mad or just says that's his "pattern."
If I have a useful improvement, first he'll want me to put all new code in some new library, which is fine as an end result but you don't start with putting single-use code in a library separate from where you're using it. You work with it for a while to see what's useful, what's not, and make changes. But, you see, he just loves making more libraries and calling them "frameworks."
He tells me what he wants me to name classes, and they have nothing to do with what the classes do. When you haven't done any development yet you don't even know what classes you're going to create. You start with something but you refactor and rename. It takes a special breed of stupid to think that you start with a name.
I've even caught the dude taking classes I've committed and copying and pasting them into their own library - a library with one class.
The last time we had to figure out how to do something new I told everyone up front: Don't waste time trying to figure out how you want to solve the problem. Just ask the EA what he wants you to do. Because whatever you come up with, he's going to reject it and come up with something stupid that revolves around adding stuff to his genius framework. And whatever he says you're going to do. So just skip to that.
So that's the environment. We don't write software to meet requirements. We write it to add to the framework so that the EA can turn around and say how useful the framework is.
Except it's not. The overhead for new developers to learn how to navigate his copy-pasted code, tons of inheritance, dead methods, meaningless names, and useless wrappers around existing libraries is massive. Whatever you need to do you could do in a few hours without his framework. Or you can spend literally a month modifying his framework to do the same thing. And half the time his code collapses so that dozens of applications built on his framework go down at once.
I get frameworks. They can be useful, but only if they serve your needs, not the other way around.
I've spent months disciplining myself not to solve problems and not to use my skills.
Good luck to those of you who actually work there. I am deeply sad for the visa worker I'm handing this off to. He's a nice guy and smart. If he was stupid then he wouldn't mind dragging this anchor behind him like an ox pulling a plow. Knowing the difference just makes it harder.
The anti-brigade are at it again !
Experts want more than 85% of the solar system to be marked as off-limits for those looking to cash in on the galactic gold rush.
I'm sure every country in the world is going to sign up to that treaty..
MOST of the solar system must be protected from damaging space mining and industrial exploitation, top scientists have warned.
No chance this is 97% of scientists is it..
Come on guys, this is ridiculous now to the extreme.
We don't need to protect a bunch of dumb rocks !
What we need is more useful stuff, like car batteries, made from asteroids.
“Once you’ve exploited the solar system, there’s nowhere left to go.”
Except maybe, "another solar system"..
They have estimated an eighth of the solar system’s mineable resources would be used up in just 400 years.
You mean, turned into trash, that we could recycle..
And what about the rings of Saturn? They are beautiful, almost pure water ice. Is it OK to mine those so that in 100 years they are gone?
Oh yes, those are so beautiful aren't they, as I often go out on dark night and watch them from afar...
I just come up with new business👔\projects💻 ideas, once in a while, without stop✋.
Nowadays I'm implementing ☝️ of them and I don't know about the future but for sure it will be busy with useful software for nontechnical 🚶 people around the world 🌍🌎🌏,
possibly 👄 source.2
Is there something you find genuinely cool and would recommend ? Some webpage, program, OS, library or anything ?
I mean hey. There are SO MANY reaaaally cool things I didn't know until last few months.. Things I'd be so grateful for if I knew them earlier. I'll list some of them and I just know you have few of yours too. Feel free to educate the rest!
Processing - Program so fun to code in + CodingTrain(YTB channel)
Microcorruption.com - so freaking awesome if you wanna learn hacking / assembly (not x86 necessarily)
LiveOverflow - cool hacking channel
Radare - cool cmd Linux disassembler
vim-adventures.com - LEARN VIM (not just how to quit it) LITERALLY by playing a game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
slashdot - stay updated , like really
"BEST-WEBSITES-A-PROGRAMMER-SHOULD-VISIT" - GUYS THIS! Sorry for caps but search this on GitHub and you will fucking die of happiness of how freaking useful links there are and no bullshit to dig through , just pure awesomeness. REALLY
HandBrake - Top media converter without bullshit and bloat stuff in it
Calibre - Best eBook management software capable of literally everything ebooks related. Kindle is a bloated joke compared to this
QubesOS - You know you can have every OS running at once - you have a Linux but are playing win games. Yup. It's there. Free
Computerphile - You all know it, it's just for completeness
Khan Academy - Same
VulnHub - download vulnerable VMs and hack them, or learn by reading writeup on how to do it!
Valgrind - MUST HAVE for C/C++ programmers
Computer Science crash course videos
That's all I can think of from top of my head but hey, there's more to it so definitely add your 2 cents!
Last thing, if nothing, just check the websites on GitHub, that's lifechanger
Looking forward to see some cool links & recommendations!2
I feel like writing or telling people about the time I jumped from Windows 7 Ultimate and jumping to Windows 10. (I'm not against 10, but I'm never updating after what had happened to me)
It all starts when none of my games will play due to a possible issue with my graphics card. I look up "3D source game bug" and not many results pop up. I go on Microsoft's Qna areas and ask this question but to my surprise nothing they say would make sense. "Clean the pins of your graphics card, make sure you verify the games on Steam". I verified the games and they checked out as perfectly fine. I don't have access to my graphics card because this is a laptop, sadly not a tower.
Two months pass and my computer is already showing signs of stress, like it didn't want to live in a sense. It was three times slower than when I was on Windows 7 and it was unallocating areas of my main hard drive where I could make virtual hard drives.
Instantly I start looking up Linux distros and find Linux Mint. 17.3 was the current version at the time. I downloaded it and burned it onto a DVD-rom and rebooted my computer. I loaded into the disc and to my surprise it seemed almost like Windows 7 apart from the Linux part. I grab my external hard drive and partition it to hold the Linux distro and leave it plugged in incase Windows 10 does actually fail.
On December 19, a few months after Windows 10 had released. I start my laptop to try and continue my studies in video game development. But to my surprise, Windows 10 had finally crashed permanently. The screen flickered blue and black, and an error box saying Loginui.exe failed to start. I look at it for a solid minute as my computer had just committed suicide in a sense.
I reboot thinking it would fix the error but it didn't. I couldn't log in anymore.
I force shutdown the laptop and turn it back on putting it into safe mode.
To my surprise loginui.exe works and I sign in. I look at my desktop, the space wallpaper I always admired, the sound files, screen shots I had saved.
I go into file explorer and grab everything out of my default hard drive Windows was installed on. Nothing but 400gb got left behind and that was mainly garbage prototypes I had made and Windows itself. I formatted my external hard drive and placed everything on it. Escaping Windows 10 with around 100GB of useful data I looked at the final shutdown button I would look at.
I click it and try to boot into normal Windows 10. But it doesn't work. It flickers and the error pops up once more.
I force it to shutdown and insert the previous Linux Mint disc I made and format the default hard drive through Linux. I was done. 10 gave me a lot of shit. Java wouldn't work, my games has a functional UI but no screen popped up except a black abyss and it wouldn't even let me try to update my graphics card, apparently my AMD Radeon 5450 was up to date at the AMD Radeon 5000's.
I installed Linux Mint and thinking the games would actually play I open steam and Launch Half-Life 2 to check if Linux would be nicer to me than Windows 10 had been.
To my surprise the game ran. The scene from Highway 17 popped on screen and the UI was fully functional. But it was playing at 10-15fps rather than the usual 60-70fps. Keep look at my drivers and see my graphics card isn't in use. I do some research and it turns out I have a Hybrid Laptop.
Intel HD Graphics and an AMD Radeon 5450 and it was using the Intel and not the AMD. Months of testing and attempts of getting the games to work at high frame rates pass and the Damn thing still functions at a low terrible fps. Finally I give up. I ask my mom for a Windows 7 disc and she says we can't afford it. A few months pass and I finally get a Windows 7 installation disc through money I've saved up. Proudly I put it into my optical disc drive and install it to my main hard drive deleting Linux completely. I announced to all my friends my computer was back in working order and I install everything I needed, Steam, Skype, Blender, and Unity as well as all my games. I test Half-Life 2 and it's running exceptionally smoothly, I test Minecraft at max settings and it's working beautifully. The computer was functioning properly once again and my life as a developer started as I modeled things and blender, learned beginners C# and learned a lot of Batch. Today the computer still runs at a great speed and I warn others of what happened to me after I installed Windows 10 to my machine if they are thinking of switching from 7 or 8 on an older machine.
Truly the damage to my data cannot be undone. But the memory of the maintenance, work, tests, all are a memory of how Windows 10 ruined me and every night before the one year anniversary of Windows 10's release, I took out the battery of my laptop and unplugged it from the a.c. power, just so Windows 10 doesn't show it's DLLs, batch scripts, vbs scripts, anything on my computer. But now, after this has happened and I have recovered, I now only have a story to tell5
WARNING - a lot of text.
I am open for questions and discussions :)
I am not an education program specialist and I can't decide what's best for everyone. It is hard process of managing the prigram which is going through a lot of instances.
Speaking about schools: regular schools does not prepare computer scientists. I have a lot of thoughts abouth whether we need or do NOT need such amount of knowledge in some subjects, but that's completely different story. Back to cs.
The main problem is that IT sphere evolves exceedingly fast (compared to others) and education system adaptation is honestly too slow.
SC studies in schools needs to be reformed almost every year to accept updates and corrections, but education system in most countries does not support that, thats the main problem. In basic course, which is for everyone I'd suggest to tell about brief computer usage, like office, OS basics, etc. But not only MS stuff... Linux is no more that nerdy stuff from 90', it's evolved and ready to use OS for everyone. So basic OS tour, like wtf is MAC, Linux (you can show Ubuntu/Mint, etc - the easy stuff) would be great... Also, show students cloud technologies. Like, you have an option to do *that* in your browser! And, yeah, classy stuff like what's USB and what's MB/GB and other basic stuff.. not digging into it for 6 months, but just brief overview wuth some useful info... Everyone had seen a PC by the time they are studying cs anyway.. and somewhere at the end we can introduce programming, what you can do with it and maybe hello world in whatever language, but no more.. 'cause it's still class for everyone, no need to explain stars there.
For last years, where shit's getting serious, like where you can choose: study cs or not - there we can teach programming. In my country it's 2 years. It's possible to cover OOP principles of +/- modern language (Java or C++ is not bad too, maybe even GO, whatever, that's not me who will decide it. Point that it's not from 70') + VCS + sime real world app like simplified, but still functional bookstore managing app.
That's about schools.
Speaking about universities - logic isbthe same. It needs to be modern and accept corrections and updates every year. And now it depends on what you're studying there. Are you going to have software engineering diploma or business system analyst...
Generally speaking, for developers - we need more real world scenarios and I guess, some technologies and frameworks. Ofc, theory too, but not that stuff from 1980. Come-on, nowadays nobody specifies 1 functional requirement in several pages and, generally, nobody is writing that specification for 2 years. Product becomes obsolete and it's haven't even started yet.
Everything changes, whether it is how we write specification documents, or literally anything else in IT.
Once more, morale: update CS program yearly, goddammit
How to do it - it's the whole another topic.
Thank you for reading.2
"Hey guys I need help I struggle with asynchronous stuff and I need to pass props loaded via Ajax, I can't manage to apply this solution (link to another SO question with complete and structured answer), can you guys help ?"
*30 seconds later, question is marked as duplicate, the answer has been given here (link to same question I was refering)*
Build my own phone and support the Zerophone project by writing code.
Seriously what the fuck is going on with the development of major companies smartphones. Every year all there is are larger displays, better and more cameras, faster processors and some more 'AI' thrown into the mix.
What the heck am I supposed to do with a phone costing multiple hundreds of euros but locked down with an OS spying on you. The processing power available is hardly ever used because most people just use apps like Instagram, WhatsApp or other messaging services.
I get why larger screens are useful but at some point it gets ridiculous.
Better cameras are useful to some degree as well but there's a limit to it.
If you really want to get into photographing then please buy an actual camera.
Another aspect I'd of course like to talk about is privacy. It's hardly existent on IOS or Android smartphones with Google services. Of course one can install different ROMs like Lineage OS but if I already pay multiple hundreds for a device then I'd prefer it working for and not against me.
And dare you break a single part of your phone. You can't really repair it yourself anymore and one can't even change its battery. Most people either have it repaired or just buy a new one and throw it away. There is so much electronic waste, very difficult and expensive to dispose of, just buried in the ground somewhere.
Summing up: I don't really know where the development of smartphones is heading. A phone is a device you carry around with you almost everyday so I'd like it to be tailored to me and not spy on me.
I hope the Librem phone will be a success and other open source phone projects will gain more attention. I want a phone I can repair myself and tailor the software running on it to my needs. I'd like to write messages, listen to music, make calls, run a WiFi hot-spot on the phone and maybe play some tiny games on it once in a while.6
"You shouldn't mark things as done if they aren't. It's only done when I can see it on the server and demo it."
Well, I just demoed it to you, you prick. The fact that it's not running on a server is because that AWS endpoint we have there is no where near being able to be called "staging" even, mainly because the other dev on the team hasn't committed their work in 8 days, let alone push it to said server. Data models have changed, APIs have changed, hell, the god forsaken Sahara desert is now green and blooming as far as I'm concerned.
So instead of trying to look smart to your boss, why don't you ask first you obnoxious waste of organic matter. Stop breathing our oxygen for once. There are more useful things to do with it.
Got this software engineering job set up once I graduate, honestly I think I was lucky, but on to the rant. I'm realizing that I didn't study core CS knowledge 1/2 as much as I should have (c++based). I need this core knowledge for my job, so how can I best prepare with the remaining months? Friends said to just code something, but I have no idea what I would make.
I don't want to be the new guy that just had a nice resume and good extracurriculars, I want to get interested in code! I want to love this field, but have no clue where to start or get the motivation. I want to swap my video game hours with useful ones. Thanks fellow devs.2