48: Three Pounds of Skull Pudding

My next book will be Dear Abyss: The FreeBSD Journal Letters Column, Years 1-6. Seeing as each column was written in a one hour burst of bile, I’m going through them and polishing off the missed opportunities for rage.

The annoying thing about asymptomatic system failures is that they’re asymptomatic—but no less real than the kind with noticeable symptoms. Some user makes a call, an actual voice call where they’re spewing random words in some language from their food-hole and you’re expected to parse that babble with your ears, when even Hollywood knows that sysadmins are artisanally optimized to receive information via their eyes and extrude alloyed sarcasm and results from their keyboard-callused fingertips. Any one of these users can at any time disrupt the meticulously assembled hallucination of whatever problem you’re working on and demand that you turn your three pounds of skull-pudding to the fact that their web browser jittered, actually jittered, when they played a cat video off the fileserver or they got a “File not found” error when they know darn well that they saved their proposal under that name just last night on their son’s computer.

Kickstarter has the prelaunch page up. I’m afraid that the ridiculous success of the mail book there has trained me to launch absolutely everything through Kickstarter. Even the stupid things. I expect this to do much less well but hey, those nickels spend.

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