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acme (189)

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Leon Brocard (aka acme) is an orange-loving Perl eurohacker with many varied contributions to the Perl community, including the GraphViz module on the CPAN. YAPC::Europe was all his fault. He is still looking for a Perl Monger group he can start which begins with the letter 'D'.

Journal of acme (189)

Tuesday October 19, 2004
05:06 AM

Crisis of faith

[ #21407 ]
Recently I've been getting a bit more annoyed with computers. Some of this may have been my fault. I have a wonderful little external firewire 250G HD. It was working fine, until I knocked it over. Now it's making evil scraping and whining noises and is effectively dead. Example two: a server's disk died at Fotango and we didn't have a development environment for a day.

I don't understand why computers die. I don't understand why computers are so complicated. I don't understand why computers aren't redundant. From now on, everything I buy will be redundant. Everything. It's utterly stupid not to.

Also, I've been having a bit of a crisis of faith in the software industry (all too complicated, too many wheels reinvented, not enough actual Getting Stuff Done). So from next week I will be a person with copious free time. Plan is to do some cookery courses, a little pottery, travel a little, and maybe become a scuba instructor.

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  • The problem with technology is all the moving parts. What fails on a computer? The hard drive. The fans. The CD/DVD ROM drive. Bearings wear out. Heads crash. Things get bent. Dust gets in places dust should not be.

    Someday, hopefully soon, things like FlashROM will get fast enough and cheap enough that hard drives and dvds will go away and cheap read-write storage will finally be solid state.

    Someday, hopefully soon, CPU manufacturers will take a short haitus from the endless pursuit of making proc
  • Yeah, I lost my big old HD with all my MP3s etc. on it. I recently reripped all my MP3s and now I have two 250GB drives and am backing everything up, essentially, including my 130GB music collection (mostly in Apple Lossless). I plan to get two more 250GB and software RAID them to make redundancy simpler (in a few months).
  • This happened to me at right about this time last year. I applied to a job in California (, working with Ben Tilly), and realized (after what I thought was a pretty good interview) that I didn't want the job. And I didn't know why. The team was good (working with Tilly sounded really great), the product was okay if a bit unglamorous, they were profitable (always a plus for corporate culture), and it would've been in Santa Monica, where I'd wanted to work and live for some time.

    So why wasn't I

  • Lately I've been having such crises more and more regularly. Partially that's because I was in boring jobs with incompetent management, partially because I've been programming too long and realized that there's more to life than sitting in front of a computer. The current job is good, and bearable at 30 hours a week. Still, if and when I leave this job, I'd like to do something different than programming. Trouble is, I'm quite good at it, and it pays relatively well (compared to other jobs, it does).

    A lot