[Chugalug] Old code never dies..

James Nylen jnylen at gmail.com
Fri Mar 14 18:23:47 UTC 2014

Tom, where are you on the programmer pain chart[1] today?

[1]: http://nylen.tv/programmer-pain-chart.pdf

On Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 1:12 PM, Tom Wilson <twilson at gtwilson.net> wrote:

> Speaking of "Old Code Never Dies"....
> I have come to the realization that God hates me.
> It came to me while I was scouring a 13 year old codebase for an obscure
> bug with a Palm OS emulator hosted by a Windows 2000 VM hosted by Mac OS X.
> I'm waiting for Christopher Nolan to send me a cease and desist.
> On Mar 10, 2014, at 10:07 AM, Mike Harrison <cluon at geeklabs.com> wrote:
> >
> > Rambling while watching a long slow database load:
> >
> > I got a strange call last night. Seems a pager company, that bought a
> pager company.. that bought a pager company... that bought a local pager
> company that was the dregs from another local pager company that somewhere
> in the late 1990's I wrote an SMTP mail server in Perl that gatewayed to
> alphanumeric pagers via the TAP protocol.. had a server issue. It's the
> only production C code I ever wrote, and it was munged from someone else's
> example code. Once upon a time it made a lot of money as e-pageme.com
> > (I used to charge $1 a month for the service, per pager..)
> >
> > I SSH'd in.. rebooted it.. and its magically working again.
> >
> > Seems pagers have become the medical worlds secret communications layer..
> > it's the one way to always contact a doctor, no matter what, because
> pagers are still allowed where cell phones are not.
> >
> > That project taught me several things, including that most "magic" is
> best performed as a service for a small fee. It also reminds me that some
> things never ever die, even when you want them to, and that I should do a
> better job of making sure what I do is the right thing to do, and done
> well. I'm a big hypocrite on that point, most of what I do for a living
> barely qualifies as duct tape and zip-ties, although time has proven most
> of my kludges to be enduring.
> >
> > It also reminded me, talking to the technical guys at the latest owners
> of this abortion... that few people understand the lowest levels of
> anything.. the "magic" that is a protocal like TAP
> > (Telecommunicator/Telelocator Alphanumeric Protocol).
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telelocator_Alphanumeric_Protocol is a
> bare stub.  Much of what we do online is hidden far below layers and laters
> of abstraction, modules, libraries and MVC frameworks.. and that "magic"
> layer is lost on the masses (as it should be). But we need magicians to
> keep the world running. Not spikey haired facesplat wannabe's with MLM-ish
> get rich schemes reinventing social networking again... but a combination
> of "janitors" capable of keeping the world running and visionaries
> addressing the core / root issues of that merger of technology and society
> we have become. That realm of relative "magic" to the rest of the world
> needs more magicians, not charlatans.
> >
> > rant over..
> >
> >
> >
> >
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