Dates and Times – been a struggle since before time began

Scripting News: Saturday, June 9, 2018

One of the things I’m learning is that there is are problems with date-time values. The question is whether or not the date part of the date-time should have hyphens. The Frontier implementation does not. The XML-RPC spec says not. But ISO 8601 seems to say they must be present. The built-in JavaScript function includes the hyphens. I don’t have any other implementations that I can easily check against, so I don’t know what offers the most interop with other XML-RPCs. For now I’m documenting the issue, and leaving the JavaScript implementation as it is, for now. This means in this area it does not interop with Frontier, in that Frontier will not understand the JavaScript date-time values. Going in the other direction there is no problem, because I’ve included a workaround.

 

Unreal. Fourteen years ago a standard was published (ISO 8601:2004) which clearly defined how things should be. Problem is that software developers do not spend their lives re-implementing “standard” software for the rest of their lives.

ISO gave us (back in 2004) this format 20180609T221145Z

What the world wants now is this format 2018-06-09T22:11:45+00:00 (we avoid timezone abbreviations and geo-political nonsense)

I retired from the big data world in 2004, so I never would have had cause to change my preferred world – 20180609T221145Z. To tell the truth, since just before 2000-01-01 I actually preferred the “Astronomical (Julian) day number (at noon UTC): 2458279.5” which for my machines this morning worked out to 2458279.03405093.

From the wikipedia we see

November 17, 1858, 00:00:00 UT is the zero of the Modified Julian Day (MJD) equivalent to Julian day 2400000.5[23] 

and we all basically know that the VMS clock started there 😉 In earlier times (snicker) I discovered the “bad things” that would happen if one entered a proper geocentric clock offset in a TOPS-10 system – I mean, c’mon, I had it right within 200 yards. All hell broke loose in all time-based things. Wonder why it required an OS rebuild to set/change that value.

As a reminder to anyone who uses a database that I have built – 20180609 – is not a date, nor is 2018060915270001 – but it is a very fast integer index 😉 I can’t insert things in my databases faster than 10,000 per second. I learned the hard way that telescope telemetry databases surely can 😉

Ahhh, dates. I would rather slip the bass DI track by 87 samples so it lines up with the bass amp track these days.

Principles of Adult Behavior – John Perry Barlow

 

1. Be patient. No matter what.
2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.
3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
4. Expand your sense of the possible.
5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
7. Tolerate ambiguity.
8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
11. Give up blood sports.
12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
18. Admit your errors freely and soon.
19. Become less suspicious of joy.
20. Understand humility.
21. Remember that love forgives everything.
22. Foster dignity.
23. Live memorably.
24. Love yourself.
25. Endure.

 

R.I.P.

The Update Saga

Follows the story I told my studio friends. They are somewhat Mac savvy, and have been in the IT industry for a long time. I don’t have to explain a lot of the things that may not parse well…here it is

I updated the mac mini from 10.11 to 10.12 not too long ago – version 10.12.3. Did my typical clone of the system disk each night as a backup. One day Carbon Copy Cloner told me that it had problems reading the system disk. That’s when I went on the path of fixing the mini.

Local dealer SImutek gave me the wrong answers when it came to replacing the drive, adding drives, whatever. No firm quote, no firm estimate without actually having the machine. I’m down a server no matter what I do. They had a used (2014) mini 4GB/500GB HDD for $350 so I bought that to get service back to the house. Slow? wow…macOS is a huge dog on HDD these days. Once apps get up it runs fine. A simple reboot back to running server can take 9 minutes.

The “new” mini was cloned from a CCC backup (10.12.3) of the old one. All is well but slow. Now I can deal with the old Mac mini. OWC offers a turnkey update service. $79 which includes shipping both ways and installation of hardware. I like that price for service. I ordered a 480 GB SSD and a 2TB spinning drive to be placed in the mini. They did the task well, timely enough, and even replaced the OWC memory that was in it. Apparently it failed testing so they did the lifetime warranty replacement while it was there.

I am bold. I decide to make the mini a Fusion drive. That works fine. I restore from same clone as the new mini is running and proceed to make a new studio mac.

10.12.4 comes out. OK. Update my MacBook Pro, check. Update MacBook, check. Let’s update the new mini. Update runs, mini reboots, mini stops coming up at about 75% on the progress indicator. Done. Never completes. No amount of waiting works. Try all the standard things, no. Put new version on from Recovery partition (gets it from Apple). No.

Somewhere during all this the Fusion drive configuration is hosed. I re-partition things, re-install the CCC clone, try everything once again. No. Will not boot. Call OWC. They say they can’t help me. I need to call Apple. Apple will say no, there are no Apple disks in the machine. They can’t help. It is now 3 days of this.

I give up. I erase the drive. I install 10.12.4 from latest downloaded installer. It boots.

Oops – the erase and give up is too early in the story. That comes later…

I decide I will try updating the new mac mini with all Apple gear inside. Guess what? It won’t boot. I try all of the things that I did before, nothing works. I call Apple. They ask me for serial number (AppleCare) so they can determine if they should talk to me. I don’t have it written down. The machine won’t boot so I can’t look there. They talk me through all of the things I have already done (I’m not doing them again) and they get to the point that I should restore from a working backup (10.12.3) and let them check things with their tools. I say OK, I will call back after I get things done which could be 2 days.

I give up. I erase the drive. I install 10.12.4 from latest downloaded installer. It boots. I build my system to a basic level, get it all working. Something odd about the behavior. I clone this disk. I now have a working server for the house. Time to go back to the studio and try that mini. I do the erase and install. Works. Clone from disk from new mini. Works. After 1 week of crapping around everything seems just fine and working well.

My conclusion is that something got lost in the transition from 10.11.6 to 10.12.3 that using the combo updater for 10.12.4 (I tried) didn’t solve. There were some crusty old things on that system dating back to 2012. It got built from a 17″ iMac dating back to 2008, so we can imagine the dreadful evil hiding in the nooks and crannys.

I’m kind of tired of all the system management stuff 😉 during all of this we gave Chris’s mom Geri a MacBook Air (2010) to use as a writing tool. Geri is a 30 year PC user who likes to move things around 😉 so we had some transition issues. Marilyn, Chris’s best friend was here. She got her retirement present, a MacBook (2016) to use as a writing tool. See the common thread. Marilyn is a PC user from long ago (work), but adapted reasonably well to the new environment.

We shall not speak of mail providers who insist that outbound mail from machines should be sent out port 143 (IMAP) instead of SMTP like the creators intended.

logwatch on my Mac(s)

I have been running logwatch (installed via MacPorts) on my home Macs for at least a year.

logwatch --mailto root

Very recently my daily reports stopped showing up in my mail. I never like to see (not see) this happen.

Different versions of OS X.

Running things manually seems to work, but nightly job fails to send the mail report.

Chase things on the web, not much help, well, lots of false alarms. I finally saw a hint to turn off Apple’s org.postfix.master. I did that and voila, my logwatch mail started flowing again.

Who Knew?

Software Updates

Something should happen here

Rebuilding the Libraries

The book library is being rebuilt. Just over 1,000 titles, complicated by weird additions that came from who knows where. Chris (my wife) has taken on that challenge.

The music library, sigh. It has been growing since 1974. Figure it out. 40+ years of music I want to have near to hand, whenever. Wherever has never been an issue. Now it starts to be.

I converted my vinyl to other forms. I converted my CDs to other forms. No one wants the plastic or the vinyl anymore, so I can keep it in a box as “backup”, but I know that even that conversion is perilous.

The CDs are falling apart. Not mistreated, just old. I got most of them (well, I lost about 5 out of 1,500, but most of them).

This time. I’ll deal with the scaling limits because *no one* has more than a few thousand songs. Like no one has more than a few thousand pictures.

Delivering the sounds where I want and when I want, well, mostly OK.

For now I pull a platter out of it’s sleeve, blow some moist air over it, lower it on to the plate, let it spin and join some people in the act of creating/listening to music.

It’s not a bad evening’s activity.

Intermodulation

Does Your Organization Need an Analytic Sandbox?

The analytic sandbox should be minimally governed. The idea is to create an environment that lives without all the overhead of the data warehouse environment. It should not be used to support the organization’s mission critical capabilities. It shouldn’t be used to directly control or support any core operational capabilities. Likewise, it is not intended to be utilized for ongoing reporting or analytics required by the business on an ongoing basis, especially any reporting that supports external reporting to meet financial or government regulations.

Source: Design Tip #174 Does Your Organization Need an Analytic Sandbox? – Kimball Group

Built one of these in 1992. It was retired in 2014.