K

Karl Murray

Unpublished Author. Writing short blogs so the ideas in my head are somewhere else.

Where the crawdads sing

Where the crawdads sing is a special film about familiar subject matter that was done in just the right way to keep me engaged throughout. The characters felt honest and real and not overly complicated. The film's tone is just right and while it does feel a bit slow at times it really doesn't linger too long. I went and saw this with my wife and we talked longer about this more than any movie that I can recall. It's worth the money, it isn't flashy or a mind bending thriller but with your attention.

Firestarter review

Cody Carpenter's score walks through a movie that in all honesty should have stayed in 1984. Conceptually there is a lot to like in the movie but in 2022 we have seen it all before and seen it done better. Stagger things meets the suicide squad in what felt rushed, and oddly boring remake. I wanted to like this but it just didn't grab me the way it could have. I just can't recommend Firestarter, given more time it could have been great.

What time is it anyway?

A bug in computer and systems engineering parlance is when software doesn't run in a way that you expect. In other words it runs perfectly well in a way that you don't want. As with other things in life allowing the perfect to get in the way of the good will keep most things from the ever existing. I've learned through my travels that when explaining something technical it is better to be simple than to be accurate and on November 3rd 1971 and engineer working on the Unix project noted the following for the time command under the bug note;

"The Chronological-minded user will note that
2**32 sixtieths of a second is is only about 2.5
years."

This is a perfect example of being all three at once.(A literal bug, good but not perfect and simple not accurate)
The Unix epoch was original designed as a standard way to keep time across computer systems. It was useful in logs as you could calculate when something had occurred regardless of timezone or messing around trying to calculate if you were supposed to be using standard time or saving time.

The epoch was calculated at 60Hz which was the speed of the processors at the time so that once a cycle it would tick up by one. This of course presented a problem when dealing with 32bit integers. With 32 bits you can count to just over 4 Billion, count to 60 every second and keep that up for just over two years until time runs out. This was "fixed" sort of....when the epoch was redefined to be measured at 1Hz or once per second and the date was changed from Jan 1 1971 to Jan 1 1970, midnight UTC. This again is not exactly accurate but for the purpose of this story is good enough. Based on this shift the new time to the end of the world is in 2038 when we finally realize that 32 bit numbers are just way too small in a ever growing digital age.

I find it funny that when the Mayans ended their calendar we decided that it was based on ancient knowledge about the end of days and foretold the end of the world but when modern system programmers do it then it is a bug in the software and could you all please learn how to count using larger numbers. The millennium problem (Y2K) was of course the same thing. It was an oversight in programming logic but thanks to the internet and CNN we all thought that every nuclear warhead would explode exactly at midnight and that planes would fall from the sky. How a timestamp in a computer log could cause the stock market to hit zero or for every computer system in the world to crash in a cataclysm i'm not sure but it sold a lot of caned food and gave us Office Space.

I wasn't planning on doing this but the current epoch is 1648300227. That is how many seconds it has been since midnight, on new years day, somewhere in England, in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy, as described by the birth of a man, as designated by a Catholic man to get rid of the calendar put in place by a Caesar man....crap time is sexist.... moving on

DST is dumb and we need a better way of keeping time. Whenever you want to start the epoch just remember to use a 64 bit number so we can ignore the problem until 15:30:08 UTC on Sunday, 4 December 292,277,026,596.

Ode to the walnut on the ledge of my house

Oh walnut perched on my house; the Easter egg of a squirrel's creation. You were hidden in plane sight by a clever squirrel with either no, or incredibly large amounts of imagination. You sat there in the cold and wind and snow. I wondered if you were forgotten or saved for last. Today I will never know, for you are gone. Were you the reward of a clever squirrel, or the prize of a lucky one? Farewell walnut you served your tree well.

Saying goodbye to my first love

In 1993 when I was 10 years old my mom went out and did something unthinkable. She went to the store and spent about $2,500 on a 'Leading Edge' computer. It was a 486 and ran windows 3.1. When I was a young child I thought I wanted to be a TV repair man, it seemed like the right thing to do for some reason. This idea quickly morphed into computer repair once I got my hands on one. At that time computers were still considered a luxury. We didn't even have dial up internet yet. The neighbor came down to give us some games that were all installed from 3.5" floppy disks which took several hours. The idea of having a home computer wasn't quite absurd but it was close. They were expensive and slow and you couldn't really do much with them. They were useful for business and maybe games but that was about it. My mom understood something that I couldn't have at that time. She knew that these THINGS were more important to our future than anyone could understand. She certainly didn't understand, but this was a moment where money be damned, her kids were going to have the same opportunities as families with twice the budget. Peter an I spent hours running commands one by one to see what they did and one of our favorites was DOS Shell (dosshell) that we thought was funny because it was DOSS Hell, which admittedly was funnier at 10 years old. When I thought about the computer and how it worked I would often open the case and look at all the parts. By the time we got a new computer the old one was in pieces and I think I lost more screws than were even holding it together. The thought  of repairing them faded quickly when I  realized that putting parts in a case was actually really difficult and taking things apart was much more my speed. The first computer I ever built from scratch took about 3 hours. I thought it would take maybe 20 minutes and I wasn't 10, I was closer to 30. As time went on I stopped paying attention to CPU speeds and hard drive types and more to programming and system administration. The first class I took in college was QBASIC which was the entry programming class. It wasn't very relevant anymore but the simplicity of it was a good place to start before doing something more difficult like C  or C++. By week 6 of the class I thought it might not be for me. I was proven right when I failed the class another six weeks later. Two avenues down but no problem because I still had networking and system administration. Right around the time of that first computer, I was talking to one of my cousins who was older than me and had ventured into the field. I remember thinking that I was pretty good at computer stuff and then he decided to quiz me. To this day I don't know why he would have asked me about DNS and different things because at 10 or maybe 12 there was no way that I would have known but I had the feeling like I wanted to know. Learning server operating systems was changeling and exciting. Figuring out how it all worked in real life was something that I could really get in to. There was plenty to learn and plenty more to know. I had found it, I found a place where I belonged I found something that I was good at. Some people are made and others are born to do something. I really felt much more like this was something I was born to do. I was had the right mindset at the right time, the old timers in the 80s really had to have the right stuff. The systems back then were hard and complicated to deal with. Before that you basically had to be an electrical engineer to get in to computer science. I am neither of those things, but Server 2003 felt like the right combination of complicated and simple at the same time. This brings me to the present where computer systems are both simpler and more complicated than ever before. The number of things that just work actually confuses me. The term auto-magical is a real thing when something works and no one really seems to understand why or how. In other ways things are more complicated than ever. with more levels of extraction than previously. Physical hardware in the cloud is sold as a service in a sort of time share for your virtual server running your virtual application in a container all running on a virtual network being managed by automation and bots in what is soon to be a metaverse where you will put on real goggles to look at a fake screen in a fake office to manage your big data, AI driven blockchain app. We all seem to understand that when a blackjack dealer is leaving at the end of their shift or to go on break they clap their hands over the table and wave their arms in a manor that only says I'm done, I have nothing to hide, i'm out. Well that is what I am doing today. I'm tapping out, take me out coach I can't do it anymore. I was told once that on average people have 6 careers, not jobs but actual careers in life on average. I feel like this is a bit much and I assume that I just heard wrong but I'm giving career 2 a chance. This blog is a preview and I don't know where I will go from here but For the past 15 years my career has pulled me along and oh the places I thought I'd go. I've had my ups and downs and I'm thankful for the $2,500 investment I was given when I was 10 but it is time for me to put the desktop on the shelf. I can't say for sure that I am out but I'm clapping my hands and going on break.