• RandomDreamer (unregistered)

    He should've taken the blue pill and stayed in the Matrix.

  • MW (unregistered)

    Purchased the second workstation with your own money? I wish I could employ such a sucker.

  • Andy Goth (cs) in reply to MW
    MW:
    Purchased the second workstation with your own money? I wish I could employ such a sucker.
    Sucker? It sounds like he made the right choice. He has a good job except for this one problem. Rather than put his job at risk by continuing to moan about not having a second computer, he simply fixed the problem himself and further boosted his image in the process. Sometimes it's better not to fight! And you know, in many places it takes an even bigger fight to get a personal computer integrated in the company network, so he's quite lucky in this instance.

    I should add that it may be possible for him to get reimbursed at a later date, once he is secure that the request won't get him in trouble. Just save the receipt for the computer.

  • Man 987876980 (unregistered)

    I might bring in a laptop if I had one, but no way would I buy a PC specially for this. I'd make more effort to get my 2nd PC.

  • Old fart (unregistered)

    I earned the first CS degree offered by my university way back in '77 during the days of "big iron" (IBM mainframes with water-cooled core). I remember one of my professors telling about a special program he wrote to run just when the tour groups were paraded through the data center.

    The program did absolutely nothing except cause tape reels to spin and lights to blink. But it was much more impressive than the programs that did "real work" only in memory.

  • Keith (unregistered)

    He will probably get fired for "playing" on his own machine during work hours.

  • Rory Fitzpatrick (unregistered)

    If I remember correctly, the Matrix screen saver had a tendency to peg the CPU at 100% as well. Maybe the real WTF is that the program took so long because it was competing with a greedy screen saver...

  • Erik (unregistered)

    I hope he kept his receipt and relevant credit card statement (or bank statement and canceled check if he paid by check) so that he can prove it's actually his machine when they try to stop him from taking it home after he leaves the job.

    The biggest problem with using a lot of your own stuff at work is keeping track of it so that you can get it back out when you decide to move on.

  • FredSaw (cs)

    Two words: "virtual machine".

    Two more: "Get rid of the screensaver, dummy."

  • bla (unregistered) in reply to FredSaw
    FredSaw:
    Two words: "virtual machine".

    Two more: "Get rid of the screensaver, dummy."

    A virtual machine helps exactly how if your CPU is packed for hours?

  • Switch (unregistered)

    He might even have tried to configure 1 to maybe 3 machines from the "cluster of very expensive computers" as a sub-cluster for testing and debugging.

  • Bob (unregistered) in reply to FredSaw

    "Get rid of the screensaver, dummy."

    is six words

  • Mark (unregistered) in reply to bla
    bla:
    FredSaw:
    Two words: "virtual machine".

    Two more: "Get rid of the screensaver, dummy."

    A virtual machine helps exactly how if your CPU is packed for hours?

    It uses a virtual CPU, duh. So it's only running at virtually 100% utilization.

  • Jon (unregistered)

    Why not just use ulimit to restrict the amount of CPU time the simulations are allowed to use, leaving enough to read his e-mails?

  • NaN (cs) in reply to bla
    bla:
    FredSaw:
    Two words: "virtual machine".

    Two more: "Get rid of the screensaver, dummy."

    A virtual machine helps exactly how if your CPU is packed for hours?

    I think we can safely ignore someone who things "get rid of the screensaver, dummy" is two more words.

  • FredSaw (cs) in reply to bla
    bla:
    FredSaw:
    Two words: "virtual machine".

    Two more: "Get rid of the screensaver, dummy."

    A virtual machine helps exactly how if your CPU is packed for hours?

    The guest OS will use 100% of the resources allotted to it by the host OS.

  • FredSaw (cs) in reply to NaN
    Bob:
    "Get rid of the screensaver, dummy."

    is six words

    NaN:
    I think we can safely ignore someone who things "get rid of the screensaver, dummy" is two more words.
    Actually, it's "thinks" with a k, NaN.

    I sure appreciate you two pointing out that glaring error on my part. Wow... and here all this time I've been thinking I could count... silly me.

  • xzzy (unregistered) in reply to FredSaw
    FredSaw:
    bla:
    FredSaw:
    Two words: "virtual machine".

    Two more: "Get rid of the screensaver, dummy."

    A virtual machine helps exactly how if your CPU is packed for hours?

    The guest OS will use 100% of the resources allotted to it by the host OS.

    It would still be pretty silly to do, when tools already exist to control an application without requiring to maintain a virtual machine.

    One of renice, ulimit, or that ctl+alt+del dialog thingy that Windows has should get you going on pretty much any modern OS.

    Getting rid of screen savers on "working desktops" is a big deal. Lot of workstations where I'm at run batch system software, and a few years ago we were getting a lot of complaints about jobs running slower during off hours. Turned out a recent OS update had put a bunch of fancy new screen savers in place and started using them.. so when everyone went home for the evening, jobs had to fight for CPU time.

    So now the only screen saver people have installed is "blank screen". ;)

  • Max (unregistered) in reply to Mark

    But won't that take longer?

  • Jamie (unregistered) in reply to FredSaw

    "I sure appreciate you two pointing out that glaring error on my part"

    I hope that was an intentional pun

  • alloyD (unregistered)

    This must be some ultra secret lab. Not just anyone gets contracts to produce Tretonin for our Jaffa allies.

  • EpilepticFridgeBoy (cs) in reply to Jamie
    Jamie:
    "I sure appreciate you two pointing out that glaring error on my part"

    I hope that was an intentional pun

    I tried making ten puns in a row, hoping that one of them would amuse. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

  • illum (unregistered) in reply to EpilepticFridgeBoy
    EpilepticFridgeBoy:
    I tried making ten puns in a row, hoping that one of them would amuse. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.
    I thought two of them were quite funny...
  • GCU Arbitrary (cs) in reply to EpilepticFridgeBoy
    EpilepticFridgeBoy:
    I tried making ten puns in a row, hoping that one of them would amuse. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.
    You, sir, are a very bad man.
  • MoeDrippins (cs) in reply to Rory Fitzpatrick
    Rory Fitzpatrick:
    If I remember correctly, the Matrix screen saver had a tendency to peg the CPU at 100% as well. Maybe the real WTF is that the program took so long because it was competing with a greedy screen saver...

    That was my thought exactly. I haven't seen a (visually attractive) screensaver yet (modulo "blank", "starfield", or "marquee" types) that didn't have a non-trivial amount of horsepower usage.

  • Rune (unregistered) in reply to Mark

    Once got a similar comment (about the matrix) when I was compiling a pre 2.6 linux kernel (one of them without the fancy compile lines, but rather with blurting out all statements issued) and checking if there weren't any strange warnings. So after the I decided to change the default grey text in my console to green.

    The funny thing is that people are actually assuming that you're reading everything that scrolls by, but the fact is that you're doing nothing but basic pattern matching; if you see the term 'warning' passing by you leave your standby position.

  • AlpineR (cs) in reply to MoeDrippins
    MoeDrippins:
    I haven't seen a (visually attractive) screensaver yet that didn't have a non-trivial amount of horsepower usage.

    Haven't seen a ... didn't have a ... non-trivial amount ....

    Have seen a ... didn't have a ... trivial amount ....

    Haven't seen a ... did have a ... trivial amount ....

    Have seen a ... did have a ... non-trivial amount ....

    No, I don't think I don't not disagree with you.

  • Chris M. (unregistered) in reply to bla

    It helps because you can cap the VM's CPU usage. Thus, the test run is maxing the VM's virtual CPU, but the real machine still has cycles for you to do other stuff.

  • real_aardvark (cs) in reply to xzzy
    xzzy:
    Getting rid of screen savers on "working desktops" is a big deal. Lot of workstations where I'm at run batch system software, and a few years ago we were getting a lot of complaints about jobs running slower during off hours. Turned out a recent OS update had put a bunch of fancy new screen savers in place and started using them.. so when everyone went home for the evening, jobs had to fight for CPU time.

    So now the only screen saver people have installed is "blank screen". ;)

    Not always true. A large financial company of my acquaintance bought a four-cpu machine on which to run NT 3.51 (if memory serves aright). Don't know why; they only ran three applications on it ...

    ... which turned out to be a problem. NT, in its lovable way, thrashed around paging each of the three applications to disk and "redistributing" the load to the empty fourth cpu.

    My friend's elegant solution was to add a very complicated and cpu-intensive screensaver.

    Voila! Instant load balancing!

  • me (unregistered) in reply to Jon
    Why not just use ulimit to restrict the amount of CPU time the simulations are allowed to use, leaving enough to read his e-mails?

    Because he -- clearly! -- needs it to finish as soon as possible, because he's debugging it? Try rebooting your brain.

  • keigezellig (cs)

    It reminds me of the old Wargames movie (with Mathew Broderick in his early days :) ) with this large super duper computer. It had cute blinking lights all over the place

  • ldnunes (unregistered)

    I'm not sure, but wouldn't be easier just to reduce the simulation processes/threads priorities? Checking email is a lot more IO bound than it is CPU bound, so the impact on the simulation would be negligible...

  • kris (unregistered) in reply to me
    me:
    Why not just use ulimit to restrict the amount of CPU time the simulations are allowed to use, leaving enough to read his e-mails?

    Because he -- clearly! -- needs it to finish as soon as possible, because he's debugging it? Try rebooting your brain.

    Yes, cause reading email is cpu intensive... Although he could just buy a black berry

  • Mizchief (unregistered)

    Yea speaking of virtual PC's and needing development machines; My boss was talking about getting one of those fancy Xen VM hosts for hosting production websites.

    So I tell him that not only would that be a great way to replace our army of 10 converted-desktop dev servers that do nothing but suck power most of the day (Build box, various boxes for testing diffrent OS's, etc.), but if we had one in our dev shop we could actually stress test how many clients we could fit on one of those guys.

    Then next thing I know, he put one of those up at our production site and started moving ALL of our 20 asp.net applications to have it's own VM running Win2k3 server AND it's own MS SQL server.

    Now I have a list of "performance enhancements" i'm susposed to apply to my code because "If the Xen can't handle it your code is too slow"

  • bd (unregistered) in reply to Jon
    Jon:
    Why not just use ulimit to restrict the amount of CPU time the simulations are allowed to use, leaving enough to read his e-mails?
    Because reading email (and doing other seemingly non-intensive tasks) uses resources other than CPU time. Every now and then, mail reader needs to allocate a more pages in RAM, move a few on or off the swap or store new emails and update indexes on the hard disk. ulimit and process priorities in general can't affect priorites for those resources (except indirectly, for instance where CPU starvation will lead to less frequent disk usage).

    From personal experience, even dominantly disk-intensive workload such as a very customized Maven build with tons of code generation can hose up a computer so badly that any paging activity by another program looks like the whole computer hang. I can imagine a simulation being much more CPU and memory intensive while being about on par regarding disk access.

    The fabled mainframes from the ages long forgotten were supposed to be much better in this department. Unfortunately, detailed CPU and I/O usage accounting and billing went out of fashion together with mainframe leasing. So the current crop of their maintainers more or less forgot the tricks necessary to restrict I/O usage.

  • Some Guru (unregistered) in reply to Jon
    Jon:
    Why not just use ulimit to restrict the amount of CPU time the simulations are allowed to use, leaving enough to read his e-mails?

    Or let the operating system take care of the scheduling needs.

    Compute-bound jobs are given low priority precisely for the reason that they'll be running for hours, a quick switch out to do something else will have minimal impact on the program.

    IO-bound jobs are given high priority for precisely the opposite reason: They need somebody to respond to them now, but only for the few brief cycles it takes to unload/reload a buffer.

    Be kind to your scheduler, and it will be kind to you.

  • Asiago Chow (unregistered)

    Maybe it's just how he (and I) was raised, but...

    To me the difference between a worker and a professional is that the professional invests in their ability to do a good job. They invest in their education. They invest in their tools. They take part of their income and put it, of their own free will, into becoming better at whatever they do.

    Think of the difference in education. When a factory hires a worker the factory expects to train that worker from basically zero. The worker brings nothing but a warm body to the situation. When a company hires a professional they expect that professional has already been educated. New people typically go into debt to get themselves educated. They then take part of their income to pay off that debt. Once the debt has been paid off they continue to apply part of their income to additional education... specialized training in specific skills, general training like going from a BS degree to an MS degree.

    For some, tools are no different. You are paid to get the job done. If you think you need more tools, different tools, you buy them. Maybe you try to get them as a bonus (in other words, have the customer/employer buy them for your use) but if the customer/employer won't accept that renegotiation of your rates you cut into your margins and buy the gear yourself because the bottom line is getting the job done.

    From my perspective: if you want to know whether you are an IT worker or an IT professional, think about how much of your training, how many of your tools, were provided by your employers. If you came to your job untrained, if you didn't even own a computer when you started (and I know IT people who still don't have home computers)... and you don't invest any of your income in yourself... you are a worker. If you bought and education and a tool set with you (including anything from preferred software to your own server farm) and you continue to invest in new knowledge and tools, you are a professional.

  • FredSaw (cs) in reply to Jamie
    Jamie:
    "I sure appreciate you two pointing out that glaring error on my part"

    I hope that was an intentional pun

    No... I was speaking to Bob and NaN, both of whom I quoted. Sorry to disappoint. Maybe I should have said, "I sure appreciate you six pointing out that glaring error on my part."

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to ldnunes
    ldnunes:
    I'm not sure, but wouldn't be easier just to reduce the simulation processes/threads priorities? Checking email is a lot more IO bound than it is CPU bound, so the impact on the simulation would be negligible...

    What makes you so sure the simulation was CPU bound? In my experience most large scientific simulations also involve enormous amounts of data that has to be shifted to and from the hard drive.

  • bramster (unregistered) in reply to AlpineR
    AlpineR:
    MoeDrippins:
    I haven't seen a (visually attractive) screensaver yet that didn't have a non-trivial amount of horsepower usage.

    Haven't seen a ... didn't have a ... non-trivial amount ....

    Have seen a ... didn't have a ... trivial amount ....

    Haven't seen a ... did have a ... trivial amount ....

    Have seen a ... did have a ... non-trivial amount ....

    No, I don't think I don't not disagree with you.

    parse imonious, aren't we?

  • Guy Smiley (unregistered)

    Great. I wanted to see what Coral and Cloudlife looked like, so I searched for them. First result? This page, with Google claiming that it found it less than an hour ago. I'm honestly wondering if Google somehow indexed it before it was posted, and just knew it was coming.

    Maybe I'll go try Live Search, they probably won't index this for a while.

  • test@test.com (unregistered)
    how to stabilize the latest batch of tretonin

    Allen works at SGC?

  • akatherder (cs) in reply to Asiago Chow
    Asiago Chow:
    From my perspective: if you want to know whether you are an IT worker or an IT professional, think about how much of your training, how many of your tools, were provided by your employers. If you came to your job untrained, if you didn't even own a computer when you started (and I know IT people who still don't have home computers)... and you don't invest any of your income in yourself... you are a worker. If you bought and education and a tool set with you (including anything from preferred software to your own server farm) and you continue to invest in new knowledge and tools, you are a professional.

    So would you work at a company that didn't provide you with a chair or a desk and just bring your own? What if they didn't have toilet paper, or bathrooms for that matter? Would you bring in your own toilet paper? If they didn't provide you with any hardware or software, would you just bring your own?

    I'm just asking because I have this idea for a startup and I'm wondering how many other semi-retarded pushovers are out there that I can abuse.

  • Adriano (unregistered) in reply to EpilepticFridgeBoy
    EpilepticFridgeBoy:
    I tried making ten puns in a row, hoping that one of them would amuse. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.
    Your pun is binary funny.
  • James (unregistered)

    This would be the point at which, rather than requesting a second workstation, I requested a more powerful replacement for my primary workstation. Sounds like he should get an 8-core (2x4) Xenon platform or something. IBM (or HP?) had 'em at the beginning of the year for under a grand, including 4GB DDR3, I think. He'd probably save that in increased productivity in a week or two.

  • real_aardvark (cs) in reply to FredSaw
    FredSaw:
    Jamie:
    "I sure appreciate you two pointing out that glaring error on my part"

    I hope that was an intentional pun

    No... I was speaking to Bob and NaN, both of whom I quoted. Sorry to disappoint. Maybe I should have said, "I sure appreciate you six pointing out that glaring error on my part."
    Ate two, Brute?

  • Miyako (unregistered) in reply to MoeDrippins
    I haven't seen a (visually attractive) screensaver yet (modulo "blank", "starfield", or "marquee" types) that didn't have a non-trivial amount of horsepower usage.

    Many of the modern X screensavers (including GLMatrx) use OpenGL, so most of the work is offloaded to the GPU.

  • FredSaw (cs) in reply to Asiago Chow
    Asiago Chow:
    To me the difference between a worker and a professional is that the professional invests in their ability to do a good job. They invest in their education. They invest in their tools. They take part of their income and put it, of their own free will, into becoming better at whatever they do.
    I agree, but with reservations.
    Asiago Chow:
    Think of the difference in education. When a factory hires a worker the factory expects to train that worker from basically zero. The worker brings nothing but a warm body to the situation...

    For some, tools are no different. You are paid to get the job done. If you think you need more tools, different tools, you buy them. Maybe you try to get them as a bonus (in other words, have the customer/employer buy them for your use) but if the customer/employer won't accept that renegotiation of your rates you cut into your margins and buy the gear yourself because the bottom line is getting the job done.

    Not necessarily. I worked at a steel fabrication plant where skilled welders were in big demand. Many of them owned their own rigs and tools, but they didn't bring those to work at the plant. While they did contract welding on the side, at the plant they were hourly employees, not contractors, and as such did not supply the equipment.
    Asiago Chow:
    ...think about how much of your training, how many of your tools, were provided by your employers.
    In 12 years of IT work, I have been sent to three training classes by my employer. The rest has been on my own. Yes, I buy books, subscriptions, memberships; I have a vast collection of obsolete IT books at home, which I could probably sell on Amazon.com for 5 cents each. I keep buying and studying because it's important to me to keep up.

    But you will never see me supplying my own hardware to the company. They will get what they pay for.

  • Azd (unregistered) in reply to xzzy
    xzzy:
    Getting rid of screen savers on "working desktops" is a big deal. Lot of workstations where I'm at run batch system software, and a few years ago we were getting a lot of complaints about jobs running slower during off hours. Turned out a recent OS update had put a bunch of fancy new screen savers in place and started using them.. so when everyone went home for the evening, jobs had to fight for CPU time.

    So now the only screen saver people have installed is "blank screen". ;)

    I've got a friend who is a physicist, and is always running all kinds of complex simulations (usually) in Matlab. He complained to me once that the simulation always seemed to take longer if he was away from his computer. I asked him if he was using a screen saver, and he was running some fancy 3D graphics thing.

    So, I told him that his computer was busy drawing things to the screen and that was why his process was running so slowly.

    His solution: Turn the monitor off when he left. He was so smug about that idea I didn't have the heart to tell him.

  • FredSaw (cs) in reply to real_aardvark
    real_aardvark:
    Ate two, Brute?
    Two late!

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