blarg?

Nerditudinousness

mhoye@werewindle:/usr/src/linux$ nohup /usr/lib/xscreensaver/phosphor -root -scale 2 -program make &

Spectacular. Christ, I’m such a geek.

Earlier today, as I was idly watching a room full of computers reboot, I wondered if Microsoft ever does usability testing for administrators, perhaps for people who have experience with other operating systems and don’t want to spend their entire lives waiting for things to load up again so that the change actually takes.

It’s a funny story – we’ve got an app here called GUICat, whose crack-addled creators relied once upon a time on the fact that everyone on a Win9x box is an administrator, and sets the system-wide config-file ownership to whoever ran the program first. The practical upshot of this is just awesome: on WinXP, if an administrator tests the program before sending it out to the user, it will work fine for the admin and never, ever work for the user, crashing every time.

If the administrator doesn’t test it, it’ll work fine. But only for that one user.

Isn’t that beautiful? It’s kind of a Zen thing. If a tree falls in a forest, kills a GUICat programmer, and there’s nobody around to hear it, did they still get what they deserved?

Fixing it isn’t a huge pain in the ass, more of a persistent rectal itch really. And making it run properly for more than one user is just beautiful; you’ve got to set permissions to let world+dog read and write to everything under the install directory and recreate the config file. Hello, world, there’s your fix. It would be nice if you didn’t have to log in and out twenty times to work all that out, but hey, That’s Windows. Maybe someday in the distant future there will be an operating system that lets you log in as administrator without having to log out the other user. Maybe when hardware gets fast enough it won’t take five minutes to log in or out, too. Big dreams, big dreams.

Well, I guess you learn just as much from the bad programs as the good ones.

We should eat Chinese fare this fine Thursday evening, at the usual time, and the usual place. Geofford promises good news, presumably pertaining to things of his being flung into orbit. Look out, Julie!

3 Comments | Skip to comment form

  1. Coop

    > Fixing it isn’t a huge pain in the ass, more of a persistent rectal itch really.

    Awesome, and also, ew.

  2. Guillaume

    I hate to break it to you, but I’mm 99.9% sure that you can log on more than 1 user at once. All you have to do is lock one user by pressing Windows Key + L and then log on as another user. From then on you can switch between those 2 users simply by either locking again, or using log off in the start menu then going to switch user. I realize that it’s probably useless now, but well, now you know.

    Oh yeah,

    If a tree falls in a forest, kills a GUICat programmer, and there’s nobody around to hear it, did they still get what they deserved?

    yes

  3. Mike Hoye

    The Win-L trick only works if you’re using XP Home, not XP Pro, and if “fast user switching” is left enabled. Which basically means “if you’re not connected to a domain”. So, no: it’ll work fine on the default install of XP Home, where it really doesn’t matter at all because every home setup I’ve ever seen has all the users as admins for convenience’s sake, and not at all on professionally-run boxen where it’s needed the most. On a properly-configured XPPro box that key sequence just locks the screen; an admin can then boot that user off, but you still can’t have concurrent sessions with different privileges.

    If it does work at work, for you, I’d seriously consider the summary dismissal of your systems administrators followed by a very serious audit of your systems.