Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Tyranny of Names

Today was a weird work day - about half of it was spent at BIRC at a small gathering of sysadmins/systems programmers sharing ideas/solutions to various problems. Managing storage/backups seems to be the biggest issue facing us all. As wary as having once worked in a group with three other of that sort made me, this was pretty pleasant (probably because we didn't threaten each others turf). I was pleased to find that I'm not the only person still using tar to backup terabytes of data.. For much of the time, I was thinking about managing backups by volumes - as time is as much an inconvenience for backups as space, it would be nice to use subvolumes to segment projects, using a timestamp on the volume to recognise when backups are necessary. This feels a bit like hacking around an aspect of the way Unix filesystems work - that modifying a file doesn't propograte upwards a change in mtime to/through all directory ancestors. Amusement: resemblance of variable scope in C to how files live in directories - symbolic and hard links would be a kind of controlled abstraction violation.. a few of the things a friend of mine from Computing Services is working on with regards to AFS deal with this in interesting ways.

Reflection: Pretending to yield in arguments, seeming to accept mockery, perhaps even playing stupid in limited forms - indeed avoids arguments, but foregoes respect for one's position/person, and possibly worse in the long term, at least for people who would listen to good arguments for positions they're inclined to dislike and possibly grant respect without coming to adopt the position.

I realised today that my laptop has a certain resemblance to the large Ernst and Whinney work briefcase my dad always carried around when I was younger - I wonder if that's part of the reason carrying a huge, heavy computer bag feels natural to me. Amusing that I never spotted this before. I was also amused that the fancy meeting room the sysadmin/systems programmer meeting happened in, which had pretty nice chairs and other decor, felt right to me on some deep level - that despite it being kind of showy and unnecessary, on some level of me separate from that judgement that these things should not exist until/unless available to all, I still was kind of impressed and comfortable. It's funny how that works - a taste for luxury isn't always easy to get rid of, even if one can (and should) ignore it when one has the choice. I sometimes wonder if I could be seduced by leather and marble..

Locally, a budget stalemate had nonessential state services shutdown for a few days. I am irritated that gambling was kept open in the wake of the closure of parks, DMVs, and the like.

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