I just read “Overtime Considered Harmful” by Basil Vandegriend. Sometimes, overtime can result in increased productivity and success. However, “Working regular overtime (more than a week or two) has a significant negative impact on a person. Factors such as increased stress, strains on family and personal relationships, less sleep, and less exercise all add up over time to affect an individual’s mental, emotional and physical health. Over time, this can result in increased physical illnesses, lack of motivation, and eventually complete burnout.”
I believe that everyone is different in their capacity to handle overtime. I’ve seen some people that can handle working 60 hours a week for months at a time, with little apparent loss in productivity. Other people can’t handle overtime for more than a few days. Those who work 70 or 80 hours a week to meet a deadline almost always burn out and switch jobs when the death-march ends.
A colleage of mine (I’ll call him Brian) refused to work mandatory overtime in order to meet a deadline. Brian’s coworkers became stressed and tired, and made more mistakes. In contrast, Brian came to work each day refreshed, with a sharp mind. He tackled and solved tough problems, fixed other’s bugs, and smoothed out rough edges. His efforts made it possible for the team to meet their deadline. Without his courage and self discipline, the team would have failed.
We owe it to ourselves, our families, our peers, and our employer to work at a sustainable rate; a rate that will maximize productivity and foster teamwork in the long run; a rate that will allow us to lead happy, balanced lives.
“The effect of our words and acts is tremendous in this world. Every moment of life you are changing to a degree the lives of the whole world…. No good deed, no kind word can be spoken without its effect being felt for good upon all.” — David O. McKay
I received my ameture radio license a couple of weeks ago. My callsign is KE7GQG, and I just purchased a Yaesu FT-60R radio. I’m still learning how to use it, and it makes me appreciate the technology packed into tiny cell phones. I tend to under appreciate the amazing technology we enjoy.
I’ve decided to give WordPress a spin. I’m using the Clasikue theme, which is more minimalistic than the default. I prefer layout that isn’t a fixed width on the web browser — I like it when webpages resize when i resize the browser window.
For my last birthday, my wife bought me an iAudio 5 digital mp3 player. It also plays ogg vorbis and WMA files. It has an FM radio, and will record from a built-in microphone. I’ve placed a few albums from my personal collection on it, but I don’t listen to them much. I’ve found that I use it to record audio journals, since I’m too busy to write much of one at home anymore. I learned Dutch when I served an LDS mission in the Netherlands 12 years ago. I like to keep my language skills somewhat fresh, so I subscribe to the Liahona in Dutch, a magazine from the LDS church. Reading Dutch and listening to audible Dutch aren’t the same thing.
Twice a year, the LDS church broadcasts “General Conference” to its members througout the world. The broadcast is translated into several languages, including Dutch. I went to the website where the audio recordings are kept, and downloaded them (using SDP from http://get.to/sdp), and placed the resulting WMA files on my iAudio 5, and listen to native Dutch speakers translation of the conference.
Sidenote: It’s not easy to download the WMA audio recordings from the lds.org website because they’re made available using Microsoft Media Server (MMS) protocol. This means that people usually have to be in front of their computer to listen to the music as it is streamed from the server. Fortunately, some programmers have figured out how the MMS protocol works, and they’ve written clients to download the stream into a WMA file, place it on a portable player, and enjoy the program. SDP is a free client that can download the MMS streams. It’s available from http://get.to/sdp.
Update: Read The Grumpy Editor’s guide to audio stream grabbers. The article covers streamripper, mplayer, wget, ogg123 and arecord.
It’s nice to have proper line-endings on various operating systems when files are retrieved from a Subversion repository. It doesn’t happen automatically unless users configure their client-side settings. You can download a sample config file that shows how I do it. When properties need to be set on files already submitted, it’s nice to have an automated way to do it. I wrote a script, svn-propset.sh, to set the properties. Maybe someone else has done this too.
Did you know that almost all programs are incomplete until you start them? When programmers compile a program, it is only partially complete. When you start a program, the operating system looks at the program and runs another program to make it complete — called a run time linker. In the case of modern Linux, it’s usually /lib/ld-linux.so.2. Read the manpage on ‘ld.so‘ for more information.
- You can find out what libraries your program uses with ldd /path/to/program. You can also run it as follows (assuming you’re using bash/ksh/zsh): LD_DEBUG=files program
- Find out what symbols a program uses and from which shared libraries: LD_DEBUG=bindings program
- Have you ever wanted to find out what shared library contains the code or definition for a function or symbol? David Wheeler shows how you can find it: nm -o /lib/* /usr/lib/*/* | grep symbol_name Then look for the capital “T”. Read the Program Library HOWTO by David Wheeler.
Here are some reasons why I like Linux better than Solaris:
- Easier to use. Linux is pre-configured with user-friendly defaults compared to Solaris 10.
- Better desktop support. In Fedora Core, or in SUSE, I can insert a USB flash drive, and it automatically appears on my desktop. Not so with Solaris 10.
- Default shell is bash. Much better than vanilla ‘sh’.
- Good aliases including ‘ll’
- Good default command-line prompt.
- Fantastic GNU command line and console programs
- tar -zxvf whatever.tar.gz
- find … -print 0 | xargs -0 …
- Root’s shell is bash, and the home directory is /root instead of /
- Linux configuration utilities are more plentiful and easier to use.
- Gnome is far better on Linux. The Sun “Java Desktop” (Gnome renamed), is an improvement over CDE, but is not even close to mainstream Linux distributions in terms of ease of use and features.
- More knowledge “in the wild” for Linux than for Solaris. Easier to find support for Linux using Google.
Solaris is my favorite commercial UNIX. I prefer it over AIX, HP-UX, etc.