Saturday, December 8, 2012

Some issues at the SEC

The Federal Circuit is not happy with them, and various laws limit their ability to function sanely as a deliberative body, as Prof. B notes in his observations on the paper he links to.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Looking for a .NET RabbitMQ interface?

EasyNetQ seems to be quite handy, though I've only played with it a little.

A building where I used to work

Rumor has it, 33 Whitehall still doesn't have full power. Poor Datagram.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Poor HW pricing on AIX and OS/400 machines

Not really news, but IT Jungle breaks down the screwjob you get when buying identical hardware from IBM depening on what software you want to run on it. I guess some of those bits must be really taxing.
As you can see, this price differential is a big deal for customers who put a lot of memory and disk into their machines. Processing capacity is a bit more expensive on the plain vanilla Power 730, disks are somewhere between 1.3 and 2.6 times as expensive (I am rounding), and main memory is from 4.6 to 6 times as expensive.
I'm glad I don't have to pay six times as much for memory if I want to run OS/2.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tapes are still around

Researchers at Fuji Film in Japan and IBM in Zurich, Switzerland, have already built prototypes that can store 35 terabytes of data - or about 35 million books' worth of information - on a cartridge that measures just 10 centimetres by 10 cm by 2 cm. This is achieved using magnetic tape coated in particles of barium ferrite.

I for one am ready to upgrade from my LTO drive.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tighter spreads, but less liquidity

FINRA really seems to like this stuff.
While many-including the SEC-applaud the leg-up the rule changes give to limit order traders, others fret that displayed liquidity will shrink. Coulson, for instance, predicts over half of the 10,000 securities quoted on his platform will see a reduction in posted size.
Thanks to TM for the writeup.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Market discipline

In relation to the recent problems on the NYSE and whatnot:
"Given the issues with Knight arising from coding to the NYSE's new RLP program and the BATS withdrawn IPO in its first attempted company listing, the SEC is going to be particularly focused on coding associated with the introduction of new functionality," Gawronski said. "That could mean not only attempting to establish best practices around testing and better ways to respond and coordinate among market participants when market disruptions inevitably still happen, but even an attempt for the SEC to hold brokers and exchanges accountable through officer or other forms of certification."
Perhaps the market could hold brokers and exchanges accountable by having them go out of business when they screw up badly. That might give the officers some incentive to make sure that bad software isn't released. Of course, that might require a large change in market structure and market speed, but perhaps both of those would be good. I think not too many erroneous trades went through when the specialists and their clerks were pushing buttons on the floor of the NYSE, eh?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sparrow and closed source

Some grumbling on the tubes about the decision to discontinue development, and counter-grumbling about free software, and counter-counter-grumbling about how free software is useless (with which I disagree).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

JOIN in PowerShell

A nice tutorial. I've often wondered how to do this but was too lazy to look it up.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Usenet is what?

Dare I say, up yours Lifehacker? They say:
Usenet is a wonderful service for finding and downloading digital media, giving you speed and reliability you won't find with other file-sharing options—like, say, BitTorrent.
That's funny. I was under the impression that Usenet, or Newnews, is
a worldwide distributed Internet discussion system.
That has some rogue groups dedicated to rather illicit activities. But what do I know.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Password reset on a Windows system?

Give the Offline Windows Password and Registry Editor a try. There are probably a bunch of handy Linux live cds that do the same thing, but Google lead me to this one last night and it got the job done rather quickly and without too much fuss.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The importance of implementation details

Today, after years of odd threading bugs, I learned that creating a DataView and various other reads on a DataTable are actually write operations. E.g. from the first link
However, creating a DataView on a DataTable is a write operation on a DataTable. Most people don't know this, and its not very intuitive so I don't blame them for not knowing this. What happens when you create a DataView on a DataTable is the DataView will create an index on the DataTable and this index is stored in the DataTable. The reason for this is performance, for example if you create a DataView saying "F1=1" as the criteria, this creates an internal index on the DataTable to locate this information. Later on if you create another DataView with the same criteria, the index is reused, so this improves performance. However the fact that these indexes are stored inside the DataTable means that these are write operations to the DataTable and thus they are not thread safe.
Just goes to show you, when an object doesn't say it's threadsafe, don't assume that it's threadsafe, even if it's "just a read".

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I just learned about the wonderful and useful w32tm command, useful for investigating time synchronization issues in Windows domains. Oh Windows domains, so much fun.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A grep for the ages

If you like running old software, The Heirloom Project may be for you. They feature
. . . traditional implementations of standard Unix utilities. In many cases, they have been derived from original Unix material released as Open Source by Caldera and Sun.
Nothing I like more than a SysV utility updated with UTF8 support.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

DNS problems?

Running RAS on your domain controller? Check out this KB article. It took me quite a while to figure out what was going on, though I just moved RAS to another box instead of taking the steps in the article.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Terrifying things seen on the Internet

Never a good sign when someone slips this in at the end of their post:
We are moving away from as our Project Management suite as it just wasn't development oriented as we needed and we currently have no Version Control system.
You may have more problems than can be solved by posting on a StackExchange.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What does bulk-logged mean anyway?

It doesn't always mean what you think it means, and it's not always faster. But it can save you a lot of log space when rebuilding an index.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Test your email client

See how much valuable personal data you are leaking. The Email Privacy Tester is revamped and rereleased, and reGPLd. Well, GPLd at least.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Testing title links

Use Pegasus Mail?

I highly suspect that I'm not the last person on this planet to do so. At any rate, here's a handy site I found that contains a bit of info about its internals and links to useful tools.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What is market making?

Before Reg NMS went into effect, the government had this big crackdown on the New York Stock Exchange specialists. They were sued civilly. They were indicted. I defended some of them. It was probably the greatest embarrassment in the history of the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York. They lost case after case.

A timely issue, with the fracturing of liquidity and the reduced role of the designated market maker.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

IPad as IE6

One nugget of information among many:

It is very important to note that every single Webkit browser works differently and that older versions of the iOS have many bugs and missing features (the new ones as well).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Plumbing in the data center

I watched an IBM mainframe service tech remove the jacket of his three piece suit, roll up his shirt sleeves, strike up a propane torch and re-sweat the solder joints on the copper pipe for the water cooling system of an ES/9000.


Monday, February 6, 2012

IBM systems and development trends

Unification is the word of the day. It did always seem odd to me that they went through all that trouble to get everyone on System/360, and then introduced a dozen other lines.

IBM had the right idea back in April 1964 when it announced the System/360 mainframe, and it even had a name that reflected its understanding of what customers wanted. The idea was that a single line of machines, using different processor and storage technologies, would be united by levels of abstraction that would allow them to all run the same applications, but just on a different scale and with different price points.

It is a lesson that IBM quickly forgot when it bifurcated its market in 1969 with the advent of the System/3 minicomputer, and I still believe that IBM did this for legal reasons in case the U.S. Justice Department tried to bust Big Blue up over antitrust issues.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Learn all the tricks of OS/2 programming!

Hobbes is great.

The history of man

UNIX manual pages, that is. Not like, persons, or men.

Oh, and I saw this on The Unix Historical Society mailing list. Great list, right there.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Six Stages of Field Service Support

A love affair with XML

As if that wasn't enough, the application itself was causing network issues. While its communications had originally been based on small HTTP messages, that had been changed because of what Fried called “the organization's love affair with XML.” The messages had grown in size up to 3000 bytes—twice the maximum size of an Ethernet packet—so there was a “hockey-stick spike” in traffic and dropped packets.

I was there, and it is true.