[TUHS] The most surprising Unix programs

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Mon Mar 16 08:14:53 AEST 2020

On Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 09:01:46AM +1100, Rob Pike wrote:
> Ha! Someone on hacker news, that fount of profundity, posted the C
> code for typo and said that it would be a simple matter to update to
> modern Unix.

I used to hang out on hacker news, it was one of the few technical
places left.  I left after noticing the guys who run it were protecting
a wack job who every single time something negative was posted about
Round Up, he came up with all sorts of nonsense to defend Monsanto.
Clearly a paid schill.

My dad died at 75 from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, he wasn't a drinker,
wasn't a smoker, swam multiple times a week, no history of cancer in
the family.  He was convinced that it was Round Up that did him in,
he was a Physics prof but he sort of spanned disciplines, he taught in
the biology department, ecology, he was all over the place.

I'd post my story, the schill would shit all over me, I'd complain to
the powers that be, people who knew me would push back on him, I'm one
of the few systems people hanging out there.

It got to be too much, I haven't been on hacker news for several years.
Even when I was there, the stuff that passed for hacker info was largely
pathetic.  The one exception I remember was the Netflix write up of how
they filled two 100Gbit/sec ethernet pipes with 200,000 TCP connections.
That was extremely impressive, I've worked on problems like that and I
can assure you that it is trivial to fill those pipes with 2 connections,
it's extremely hard to do so with 200,000.  And they were coming off SSD,
up to user space, encrypt in user space, then send it back down to the
kernel out the pipes.  Super, super impressive but that's the one really
interesting thing I've seen there in 20 years.

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