AboutSpax ma fest die Scheiße!
SkillsC, assembly, embedded, electronics
Joined devRant on 5/26/2018
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Wow, I still remember some math after decades. Today, I needed some parameter calculation in an interval with smooth transition at both ends (i.e. continuously differentiable). So I used a 3rd degree polynomial where the values and derivations gave a 4x4 linear equation system. I lazily hacked that into WolframAlpha, and it works nicely.1
Today, I found this gem here in the codebase I've taken over:
#define BYTE unsigned char
FFS, use typedef, it's there for a reason. Solving the puzzle in the first comment.6
Me to QA: I need an urgent signature.
QA: That costs a cake.
Me: If we baked cake at our company, that would have too much sugar, and we would use more salt as workaround.4
From Sarah Connor Chronicles, 2008: "They used to think that 12 nanometer scale was impossible. The circuits are so tiny, you're all but in the quantum realm. It's the most sophisticated processor on earth. If you could take your memories, your consciousness, everything that makes you a person, turn it into pure data, and download it onto a machine, that chip could run it."
I'm watching the DVD on a quadcore Ryzen APU that is built in 12nm, and it was already outdated when I bought it last year. I guess I better download myself to my laptop because that's a 7nm Ryzen.17
The bad thing today: I killed my laptop with coffee.
The good thing today: it was my company laptop, not my private one.21
Telecon about new requirements. I brought up concerns that while the customer's new approach would fix some problems, it would also fuck up something else.
Customer panicked because he didn't have an answer. I calmed him down that this telecon wasn't about finding answers, only for ensuring that we were on the same page with the questions. Customer relieved.
I actually explained the purpose of the telecon to the customer who had scheduled it. WTF.2
Super brilliant idea for Windows: when logging on with a password that is only slightly mistyped, or with the consecutively appended number from the previous month, it should still be accepted. So much more usability - Microsoft just cannot reject that!8
Both GCC and Clang can switch off the braindead type-based aliasing rules through the "-fno-strict-aliasing" compiler option so that everything can alias everything.
On the other hand, C offers the "restrict" qualifier for pointers where you promise that nothing will alias this memory area, not even same type pointers.
What happens if you use "restrict", but compile with "-fno-strict-aliasing"? Will the "restrict" be obeyed or disregarded?
Answer in the comments.8
Same procedure as last year? Same procedure as every year for the last truly static website holdouts: change the year in the template, re-compile, upload.2
C has too much undefined behaviour because the standards comittee was being lazy and slapped that on a lot of issues that ought to have been implementation defined instead.
The most ridiculous example for UB: An unmatched ' or " character is encountered on a logical source line during tokenization.
Like WTF, that should be a compile time error, and it's easy to detect.21
IBM decided to change the EOL of CentOS 8 from 2029 to 2021, then continue CentOS as useless RR testbed. What a nice attempt at forcing users into the paid RedHat version.
That's a risky move because Rocky Linux is already gearing up to replace CentOS, and the whole RedHat ecosystem could bleed out to Ubuntu, Suse, and Debian LTS. Well done, suits.16
A coworker asked me about a specific tool because he "had heard" that I had some experience with it, whether that tool would allow a certain use case, and whether there was some documentation.
Wait, in which project was that? None of mine anyway, hmmm... ah that one, from a few years ago. Who wrote the reports back then? Can you guess?
When I learnt programming, sugar was still made out of salt and hence not used in coffee.
Also, we didn't have source level debuggers, only the "print" method. However, compiling was also slow. It was faster and more convenient to go through the program and execute the statements in one's head. This helped understanding what code is doing just by reading it. It also kept people from trial and error programming, something that some people fall for when they resort to single step debugging in order to understand what their own code is even doing.
Compiling was slow because computers in general were slow, like single digit MHz. That enforced programming efficient code. It's also why we learnt about big Oh notation already at school. Starting with manual resource management helped to get a feeling for what's going on under the hood.20
For decades, the computer industry has been talking about replacing silicon in future chips.
AMD finally did it - all of their more recent chips are made of military grade unobtanium!8
For fucks sake, corporate IT has locked a database application for new entries because it will be phased out by the end of the year. However, the new application is not yet working.
The interim solution? An excel sheet on a shared network drive. In fucking 2020! Unbe-fucking-lievable!13
Continuation of the story with Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon on the old Core2 Duo with 2 GB RAM and HDD. The guy has had that PC under Linux for 1.5 months now, had never had Linux before, has no IT background, and is over 70.
Upon visit, I checked how the machine was doing. OK, he had forgotten to apply the updates, so I highlighted paying attention to the red icon in the tray. Launched the updates, all ran through.
Otherwise, he had managed to install Skype all by himself (network effect because of his family...) and had bought a webcam plus a microphone. Linux had just recognised everything without any fuzz. Even his Skype buddies were impressed, he said.
On top of that, he likes how much faster that PC is compared to his much more current Win 10 laptop and actually uses the old Linux PC more than the laptop.
He also enjoys that Linux doesn't do weird things all by itself all the time. That's not his experience with Win 10.13
Amdy didn't have it easy. He's just a little APU and was already outdated when he was manufactured. But it got even worse! He didn't do anything wrong, but upon assembly, they lasered a different part number on him.
He didn't think much about it, but then they denied him all the goodies his brothers got: a nice printed box, a cooler, a leaflet, and a sticker.
Amdy didn't get any of that and wasn't welcome in the boxed camp. Instead, they stuffed him into a shoddy tray cardboard box with just some ESD foam for the pins.
Amdy was disappointed. That was just not fair! He was capable like his brothers. To add insult to injury, not even the manufacturer wanted to give warranty on the poor ugly duckling. They didn't listen to his complaints and shipped him to an unknown fate.
Then our roads crossed because Amdy was 10 EUR cheaper than the boxed ones at that point. Little Amdy breathed heavily when he finally got out of the mini box and seemed a bit disoriented. Poor little sod, what did they do to you?
Then he spotted the cooler. He had never seen anything like this before, so much better than the coolers his boxed brothers had received! And even top of the line thermal paste!
Amdy decided to be as good and fast a processor as a small Zen+ APU could possibly be. What was that software stuff? Didn't look like Windows. Ooohhh - Amdy rejoiced when he figured out that he was supposed to run Linux!
And that's how a despaired and unhappy APU finally found a life full of goodness.6
I need new mobile hardware because my old netbook from 2010 just doesn't cut it anymore.
I've ordered this fellow here: https://tuxedocomputers.com/en/...
AMD 4700U (TDP 15 W), iGPU only, 2x16 GB 3200 RAM, 2 TB Evo 860. Delivery in November because APU-only laptops are totally hot RN.
Maybe I can install Mint on that if I go for a 5.8 mainline kernel. At least it has Intel wifi, not Broadcom.12
And just when you like Linux a little too much, it bites you in the ass to remind you why the year of the Linux desktop never happened.
Wifi printer is installed, CUPS test page works, even scanning works. But printing anything else results in the printer spitting out raw postscript with a few random lines per page.
Great. Looks like I'll have to print to PDF, then go to a copy shop and print because printing under Linux is still an unsolved issue.
And yes, that would have worked even with Windows 10. Fuck.26
So you're sitting on your crappy Win 10 and whine about that piece of shit, huh? You had five fucking years to come up with a plan, but noooo. Instead, you put your thumb up your asshole and hoped MS would change ways. Only that they didn't, and that's because they bet on people like YOU, and now you have to suck your dirty thumb.30
I love GDB on CLI!
I'm using an OSS tool for multi-threaded testing stuff, and it's nice but segfaulted after 30 minutes.
I was too lazy to set up an IDE project and click through tons of stupid shit, so I just compiled the tool with debug symbols, fired up GDB on CLI, let it run until a crash, got a strack trace and quickly found the problem.
I sent a bug analysis to the author, plus a patch which got accepted, done.6
I wanted to play Pirates under DOS back then, but it didn't have the left-handed mouse button switch like Windows.
So I opened the mouse, scratched the PCB button lines away, soldered wires cross-over, and had a left-handed mouse also under DOS.6
I'm astonished again. Linux isn't designed as GUI OS - where Windows has dynamic thread priorities for freshly woken up threads as to increase GUI snappiness.
Now, my CPU has four physical and eight logical cores for SMT. I'm running eight worker threads of some parallel testing stuff, and I'm glad that I chose the AMD 3400G over the 3200G. The CPU load is 100%. On top of that, MP3 audio, the browser, and I'm dd'ing an external USB3 HDD.
Holy shit, the browser is just as smooth as if the CPU were idle. No perceivable lag. I hadn't expected desktop Linux to be that great.
I'm also surprised that the CPU temperature doesn't exceed 44°C despite full load at 21°C ambient, and the cooling is inaudible. Sure, my cooler is massively over-dimensioned to achieve exactly that, but it's still amazing.
It's what I would have wanted ten years ago and only could approach somewhat, but now the tech is actually there.20
So, today for my SO's father who is already over 70 and wants to try Linux. However, he doesn't want Linux on his main PC for now, rather on the old one so that he can take his time to get familiar, which is a reasonable plan.
But holy crap, what a machine! Intel Core2 Duo 4400, 2 GB DDR2(!) RAM, 250 GB IDE(!) HDD, DVD RW drive. Graphics, sound and LAN integrated on the mobo chipset. It's half a miracle that it doesn't run on steam. The machine had been delivered with Vista and has always been painfully slow.
It doesn't even support booting from USB, but I had prepared a DVD just in case. Surprise: it booted from DVD without issues and with full HW support!
Partitioned and installed, deleted Vista in the process (felt good). I went with the full blown Mint 20 Cinnamon edition because XFCE isn't as beautiful. Also, having XFCE now and then Cinnamon looking different on the other PC would be confusing.
Installation took some time, but worked. Cinnamon's RAM usage is at 750 MB idle, and at 1.1 GB with Firefox started. Once the PC is booted, it runs pretty OK with reduced swappiness and noatime on all file systems, plus unnecessary startup applications disabled. Updates took long, but ran through successfully. Installed LibreOffice and some small games, Firefox got uBlock Origin, Youtube worked OOTB.
That PC somehow had escaped disposal several times - and now has a proper OS for the first time in its miserable existence. It runs so much better than it ever has. Just wow, a "big" Linux desktop from 2020 blows a contemporary Vista out of the water on such an old machine!33