Through the Looking Glass

This was the fortune output on my machine just a few moments ago. Why do I relate to this so much?

“No program is perfect,”
They said with a shrug.
“The customer’s happy–
What’s one little bug?”

But he was determined,            Then change two, then three more,
The others went home.              As year followed year.
He dug out the flow chart         And strangers would comment,
Deserted, alone.                          “Is that guy still here?”

Night passed into morning.      He died at the console
The room was cluttered            Of hunger and thirst
With core dumps, source listings.    Next day he was buried
“I’m close,” he muttered.            Face down, nine edge first.

Chain smoking, cold coffee,    And his wife through her tears
Logic, deduction.                        Accepted his fate.
“I’ve got it!” he cried,                 Said “He’s not really gone,
“Just change one instruction.”  He’s just working late.”
        — The Perfect Programmer

How many of you folks have spent countless nights wide awake either programming, testing or debugging? And cursing like a champion the whole time. I actually have lost count. It always starts like this – One bug, and once you catch it, you review the code again and then, you somehow feel that a certain function is called in the shittiest way possible. One thing leads to another and by the time you are finished, you realize an hour had passed by since you had begun, but it’s the next day! But the feeling you get once the issue is solved is something that is much more satisfying than an explosive orgasm! Not to forget the obligatory cursing, celebrating the conquest and partying with a hot coffee and a cigarette. 😀 Reminds me of the following picture relating the number of curses with code quality.

Absolute Truth!

It’s another perk of being single after getting your ass dumped by your ex in Starbucks after three years without any explanation (Had to rub it in, sorry. Feb 9th would be the first anniversary of the Starbucks core dump). You don’t give a damn about when you go home and can spend a major part of every Saturday in a comic book shop arguing for DC against Marvel fanboys and party when you feel like it! Awesome, I say!

By the way, have you guys slacked off while programming? I have. My excuse has always been the classic, “Code is compiling” and I am waiting for it to be finished. Although, most of time, it was true. Just wanted to remember that again.

I have to stay out of the way

Alright, I have slacked off too long. Back to some pf testing on OpenBSD-Current with another slacker.

3 comments on “Through the Looking Glass

  1. Good post mate. Great reading and also sympathizing with your views. I’m more of script guy. Never put the shoulder to learning any ‘programming’ language. A bit of bash, awk and perl helps me out every time. Light sysadmin tasks are daily routine but networking is my area of expertise.

    Cheers mate!

    BTW, nice zsh post. I should have waited a few more days and my questions would have been automatically answered 🙂

    • Thanks man. Although my background is different, I have been coding all my life and somehow that is when I have the most fun. It gives me the greatest satisfaction. Languages intrigued me right from the time I was young. Sysadmin related work is awesome. That and software development are the areas where I want to be professionally. It’s great that you are a networking expert. What is your daily routine like? And thanks for appreciating the zsh post. I should have put it out earlier. Thanks for your consistent support Andrei.

      • I had this question in the back of my head a long time now. I always wanted to ask you about your background but it seem a bit intrusive at that time. I see that you like and you are very familiar to coding and *BSD’s. Same here, well, scripting in my case.

        My background is IT in general, all kinds of stuff related to Unix/Linux ranging from installing Linux/BSD boxes to writing scripts for managing/reporting. I also have a passion for photography and digital graphic design and editing. This is the fun part, like yours with coding and programming languages. I always wanted to make a career in a graphical area, maybe professional photography or post-production, maybe 3D design, you name it. Everything about graphics interests me. I found something I liked in your screenshots: from a graphic point of view I liked the minimalist approach and also the fact that it’s a unix box. The combination is perfect.

        My professional and daily thing is networking and administering unix boxes. A usual day starts with coffee and news of course, like for many others I guess. After I come to my senses from the short sleep, I go for a quick sweep of logs and tickets. If something’s worth looking into, I do that. If not, I go over to my VPN configurations, documentation and design. One of the things I’m responsible for in the company are VPN’s. They are simple to manage and configure but there are always demands from management which interfere with the normal way of things. Some want filtering at VPN group level, others (from the same company!) want filtering at user level. Others want time-range filters, other want policy-based details and so on. The most ugly part of the job is being in contact with non-technical people. I hate it. You have to be extra-patient and explain everything slowly and even more then one time. Damn people! So, if everything is OK on this side too, I take my servers one by one and look for problems with ports, outdated software, issues with services, security incidents, etc. I don’t have a fixed routine, more of a multiple-choice of tasks 🙂 I have the luxury of being able to do almost whatever I want as long as nothing breaks and I’m not overdue with any projects.

        I deal most of the time with Cisco equipment, routers, switches (big, ugly Catalyst 6x/7x series), firewalls (ASA’s, PIX’s and FWSM’s), AP’s, you name it. Yes, it’s a big company 🙂

        OK, enough with the info! Your turn!

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