Category Archives: mismanagement

Missing man pages on CentOS, or reason № INT_OVERFLOW why I hate CentOS/RHEL sofa king much.

I can’t remember all of find’s arcane incantations. Nobody can.

$ man find
No manual entry for find

wat. find is clearly installed, of course. man pages? nope.

Search search search. Searchity search. Horrible relevancy because what are you gonna get when you think you’re smart, do rpm -ql findutils and note that /usr/share/man/man1/find.1.gz doesn’t exist, and then start searching for how to find packages with missing files using Red Hat’s primitive yum and rpm commands.

It was only when I gave up and searched on “centos missing man pages” that I found the answer.

# yum install man-pages

Yes, seriously.

$ cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS release 6.5 (Final)

Released 1 December 2013. So I guess I can’t ask what fucking year it is.

Thank Craigslist for the fake “sharing economy.”

It occurs to me suddenly that if Craigslist hadn’t totally dominated the very concept of free online classified ads in the US market, all these fake “sharing economy” sites — really just middleman parasites in a thin disguise — may well not exist, or exist in lesser numbers.

Put another way, because Craigslist has dominated the market and mindshare in free classified ads for all categories with its horrible, unsearchable, unfriendly, eye-bleeding site, nobody dares put up a free or volunteer classified ad site for a specific subcategory of goods or services. I mean, why would you? Craigslist will just make it irrelevant, right?

So in order to compete in a specific subcategory, or “vertical” (gack), you actually need a profit motive to beat Craigslist, which means taking a cut of all that “sharing,” which means vastly more infrastructure for billing and invoicing than for a free specific classifieds site, which means a far greater need for capital.

Trust me, Richard Stallman exists, somebody would have made a free version of if Craigslist weren’t around.

I hate Craigslist. I hate it a lot. The site is awful. The company is awful and litigious, stifling innovations by the dozen because they dare scrape its data and try to make it genuinely useful.

But much like Windows, it’s “good enough,” and it was there first. So we’re stuck with it, turd though it may be. Thanks for reading; in my next post perhaps I’ll flame Paypal and Bashar al-Assad.

Organizing institutional knowledge is high-value work. Neglect it at your peril.

I’m quite the wiki enthusiast.  I was an early editor on Wikipedia; I created several articles on really common topics, I got Featured Picture on a few photos I plucked from free sources, and so forth.  I’ve run my own wikis since 2005.  The biggest, at its prime, got a couple hundred thousand hits a month and had periods with 25-30 concurrent users; it was used by students in a classroom environment.

So, at my software development jobs, tending the wiki – or creating it, if it doesn’t yet exist – is a natural fit for me.

And at each job, I’ve heard comments which suggest that maintaining the wiki is low-value work, akin to picking vegetables or something.  Allow me to exercise that analogy a bit: people who pick vegetables feed all of us, and there are racist undertones to presuming that picking vegetables is low value work.

Here are a few paraphrased comments: Continue reading