Thursday, June 26, 2014

Johnny Half-Ass Planet

I took this shot from a ticket swipe at my train stop earlier this week.

Update : Vault-Co Reader Found This Link To Information About This Winnarz System of Victory

It is likely running a WinCE minimal OS underneath with a simple graphic display, probably a driver for a VGA LCD with a magnetic reader.

I had thought for a while of using WinCE as a host for VOS until I got some experience actually coding for it and deploying apps to it. It's a toy. It was heavily promoted by M$ but never really ready for prime-time. It is the Hasbro plastic M-16 with forward assist of the embedded world.

It is attractive because much of the hardware and API is so standardised, but I have not found it reliable.

You can't see the code for it clearly here but this is a common exception thrown in these situations and whoever worked on these units for the city neglected to put a simple trap (try-catch block) for it on the outside of the code. Guarantee you if you got a look at the code running on this thing you'd be astonished it was actually deployed in that condition, with no review or oversight. It would be something that had cost millions and was likely hacked together overseas offshore by some guy whose brother landed an outsourcing contract and together the two of them had less than a week's experience writing apps for WinCE. They likely just punched it together with one code fragment at a time until they got something that could pass muster at the tender review but mysteriously somehow skipped the whole ISO-9000 blah-blah-blah that nobody ever actually does they just sign off on it lying that they did do it and then they burn it onto some flash and send it to the factory which is in Thailand also with no oversight or quality control whatsoever and they make ten million of these cheap things.

I'm not picking on this particular unit or this particular instance. I'm saying … everything in our civilisation is totally johnny half-ass. Everything. All people do is talk about how sophisticated and enlightened and advanced we all are and you are and I am … but you know people by their fruits and this looks like a handful of catsh*t thrown at a brick wall by a madwoman.

At the end of the day, most of the remnants of Western civilisation talk about our destiny amongst the stars in our pyjamas talking on our tricorders and beaming here and there in our advanced edjamafacashunal society and you know what … I'm not seeing it.

I'm trying to imagine modern winnarz starting a colony on mars and waking up one morning to see this message on their oxygen generator with a note on the dialog message window reading "CONTACT MANUFACTURER" and it is a company that went out of business ten years ago somewhere in India.

I don't think this current generation is going to explore outer space in their pyjamas and breech belts talking into their tricorders. I'd settle for just keeping the lights on and gasoline below $50 a litre. Hell, I'd be happy if one in ten people could demonstrate the literacy that used to be commonly insisted upon to graduate from the third grade. That looks increasingly unlikely going into the future.

Consider all the programmers and software developers out of work right now in the West and imagine not one of them being sourced to take part in this or to personally see to it that it was done right. Instead just imagine a big long line of government halfwits with a taxpayer funded check book doing this in the way that seemed best to them. The results are what you'd expect. Everything completely half-ass and increasingly unaccountable to the people who paid for it. It seems to decay with no one to speak of it and nobody to see it except for the people who have decided there is no point in mentioning it.

  William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


Grognard said...

It was probably made here but by h1b immigrants who barely speak english and usually fake all their credentials. In essence just some random third world people with no more qualifications than anyone you'd randomly pull off a bus stop. That is how most software gets made in the US today.

KW Jackson said...

Myki is a shambles.
For the gory details.

Russell said...

"I'm saying … everything in our civilisation is totally johnny half-ass."

It's going to get worse.

In America they are firing senior level engineers to replace them with cheap imported engineers.

The sheer amount of stupidity that would have to exist for this to happen stuns me.

Stuff is going to start getting even crappier, and dangerous. The statists are going to use the power of the State to protect favored companies from being sued for the deaths that will happen.

Buckle up, kiddies. Hard times are just getting started.

Grognard said...

That happened a long time ago. Most engineers (I mean real engineers) in US are not native american for some time now. The accident rate at refineries quadrupled overnight when this happened.

For software firms they will bill out 10 Indian or CHinese guys with zero experience with one american guy to talk to and another who does 90% of the actual work.

All the corporate software like microsoft all became crap right around the same time this became common, as well.

Texas Arcane said...

Just walking to and from work each day I can see a landscape that looks more and more like Mike Judge's IDIOCRACY every day.

Most terminals have error messages on them like this one. Corridors are ineptly blocked off with misspelled signs saying KLOSED FOR MAINTENANTS and similar.

You will have 12 guys working on a completely gratuitous road modification during rush hour and a block away a ton of potholes that look like nobody has even noticed them in ten years.

The subway driver misses the end of the platform and has to back up. The taxi drivers back over the curb and run into buildings.

I see all this every day and I wonder just how much mercury is ending up in that corn syrup sweetener.

Texas Arcane said...

The biggest problem for me with foreigners is the language barrier. Trying to have a technical discussion with somebody who nods their head and acts like they understand what you are saying, then in response to a question you have asked, starts talking about something not even remotely related. "Okay, all is good," he says as he waves off to go back to work on the life-critical emergency call processing switchboard software. I never even communicated in any way with this person on the subject at hand.

This happens all day long in the multikult and everyone smiles and pretends its all butter but you know what? It isn't. It looks like the Tower of Babel all over again. Nobody wants to be accused of discrimination so nobody complains. Sure, I understood that guy perfectly … because if I didn't I might be in big trouble. Everything is okay. It is swell.

Grognard said...

Language is the least of it, depending on where they are from. Do you really want someone who went to school in tehrahn operating on your leg and you wake up and it's been amputated? Happened not long ago that exactly this happened. All the native doctors have to become a headshrinker or plastic surgeon to make ends meet because the universities charge 100k a year for med school.

Even people from eastern europe I used to meet as immigrants a few decades ago were so removed from technology and the modern age it absolutely stunned me. They marveled at basics like washing machines and running water. In most of the world it's much, much worse.