Thursday, October 17, 2019

Chrome browser update linked to major failure on some Apple Mac OS video editing work stations with file system corruption

There has been a spectacular software update failure that seems to be attributed to Google Chrome.
In a specialize environment especially with video editing and the use of Avid Media Composer, many workstations belonging to film editors, especially at some film production companies, on Mac OS Pro failed and would not reboot.

Google Chrome, in some unusual circumstances, could corrupt the APFS file system.  This might have to do with the possibility that the systems may or may not be in case-sensitive mode, as is normal with Unix and Linux-like systems.
The problems occurred mainly on Monday, Oct. 14,  Variety has a detailed story by Janko Roettgers. 
 A major part of the problem may have been disabling Apple’s own System Integrity Protection.
Malcolm Owen of Apple Insider had a somewhat different story and gave some coaching on terminal mode commands involved in the fix, here. 

Apple’s own instructions are here. It appears that you need a recovery disk and system backup (like from Carbonite).
Here is Avid’s own account.  I found this on Twitter when I routinely checked their Support account before buying a Mac today myself. 

There’s a moral.  I’ve never had to restore an entire computer myself.  But in 2016, I had Geek Squad replace a conventional hard drive with an SSD (Windows 8.1 then) after repeated errors, but was able to get a clean backup of the hard drive (as far as I know) and had Carbonite.

After my forced “retirement” at the end of 2001, I actually looked a IT jobs at Warner Brothers online, which at the time were mainframe and involved DB2.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Does OS Catalina and Sidebar give an efficient way to have a (iPad 2nd) touch screen with your MacBook?

I’m getting ready to upgrade my Mac environment for music composition, and a big issue is being able to use touchpad surface.

It seems like you’re supposed to use Apple Sidebar with Macbook and iPad’s that are new enough and have new operating systems. Apple's document is here

They should not to be sharing connections elsewhere (cellular for iPad, Internet for Macbook).
It appears that you are supposed to have Mac OS Catalina on your Macbook but I am still checking with Best Buy, Apple, and Avid.  It takes a while for the retail outlets to learn everything.

Update:  Oct. 10 

OS Catalina was released Oct. 7 according to Wikipedia.  Gizmodo explains the iPad as second screen here  (point 2).  Music is no longer part of iTunes but its own app.

Many popular applications, including AVID Sibelius, say they cannot yet guarantee compatibility with Mac OS 10.15.  There is discussion in various sources, such as here. NotateMe (with Sibelius Ultimate) would appear to benefit from the new features and right now (with 10.14.x) it requires an external scanner to view handwritten scores and change them (apparently).  Most of this issues have to do with complicated new security requirements.  Further discussion of these issues will continue on a new posting to be done on Wordpress soon.

Avid's own statement on "floating compatibility" is here.

Their direct reference on requirements for Sibelius Ultimate is here.

Monday, October 07, 2019

It's not that easy to "become" a "programmer"

Andy Serkowitz now explains “5 Reasons Why You’re Not Becoming a Programmer”.

The basic problem is that you need to start practicing and doing real projects immediately.

A second problem is “perfectionism”.

The third problem is “fear”.

A fourth is “bouncing around” without mastery not enough “fun” (Clive Barker would understand that).

The last is a poor job search strategy.
I would add to this discussion something about the difficulties many older professionals had in moving from mainframe to Internet and client server after Y2K.  The problem is that you have to do a project more or less from scratch to learn the style of OOP to be able to support the work of other people.  And Y2K, with the conversion of old mainframe apps, got in the way.  Then a few years later the IT world really wasn’t ready to do a good job with Obamacare, and you see where it is now. The welfare of the country is at issue with how well the job market and skill levels work.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Andy lists "5 programming anti-patterns" (bad habits) for beginners

“5 Programming Anti-Patterns for Beginners”, by Andy Serkowitz, talks about faddish OOP coding practices that make it harder for others to maintain the code.

Here are some bad practices:
(1)    Obscure or overly shortened variable names
(2)    Magic strings and numbers (like 21 as a drinking age).
(3)    Lava flows (includes dead code)
(4)    Cut and paste
(5)    Poltergeist  

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Remembrance of my last good job

It’s interesting to walk past a building you worked in for four years 20 years ago, and where your career had its cardiac arrest one morning, Dec. 13, 2001.

The building is rather plain, compared to the original building across the street, Washington Ave, in Minneapolis, where now Voya (was ING, was ReliaStar) is still flashy.

I was thinking today, however, that no one really has a handle on what happened to the IT job market, as in the mainframe world it disintegrated into a gig economy.  It seemed that the field now belongs to the prodigies, who learned new ways of thinking early enough in life.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

CBD might make you fail an employer's required drug test

Recently there have been news reports of people fired, especially from law-enforcement jobs, for positive THC drug tests when they took CBD over the counter for back pain.
Quest Diagnostic, for example, has a writeup on the problem.   

Cannabidiol is not illegal by itself and does not have significant mind-altering properties.  But sometimes CBD’s may contain trace amounts of THC that cause positive drug tests.
I can recall having to take a urine drug test before starting my job at USLICO in January 1990, which eventually became Reliastar / ING / Voya .  The company soon dropped the requirement.
Supposedly you don’t get a positive test from being in a room or bar where other people are smoking pot, although it is a precautionary measure I used to be concerned about.

Update:  Sept. 25:

NBC Washington reports on Federal employees and especially employees with security clearances failing random drug tests over CBD and getting fired. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"You Can't Be Anything You Want To Be", according to Bernard

I think I’ve used this creator on my Movies blog, but I wanted to share a video by Bernard, Chubbyemu, about career. He says “You Can’t Be Whatever You Want to Be”.

The speaker says he is 26 and has two degrees, and has a relatively good life (as an apparent “Asian American” in tech).  He grew up near Chicago (as did Tim Pool).  He says he was bad in English, getting an F on a paper on a criticism of feminism in a Victorian novel. He says he was good in math in science.

The video goes on to give another anecdote about a law school graduate failing bar exams, and then settles in on the idea of not being spread to thin.

That’s good advice, generally, as “we” need to be schooling people in the jobs that need to be done, the trades – except that they could go away with automation.

I have a personal issue with this.  In my background, I was moderately good at a lot of academic things and wound up with 32 years of stability employed in mostly mainframe IT when that was the dominant computing culture.   I really did not make the transition well, and I can see the mistakes I made in retrospect.  I might have become a classical pianist or composer – say had I been born a few decades later and had the tech advantage.

Other speakers tell it differently.  Martin Goldberg (“Economic Invincibility”) is big on versatility but talks about learning employable skills rather than college for most people.  Tim Pool talks about learning in the streets.  John Fish talks about reading and study habits (and sells audiobooks and other items good for students) but is spending his gap year working in tech and, so far, teaching coding classes online. John’s other passion is running track.  (I had a grad student friend at KU who was big on track;  another was big on baseball.)  Jack Andraka has built a research career over his undergraduate years at Stanford and now finishing it with a Master’s, research which some biotech companies are paying for.  Unlike some others, he doesn’t really need a YouTube channel.  His other passion was competitive kayaking.

Magnus Carlsen’s one big passion (besides working as a male model at one time) is chess.
Taylor Wilson will save our power grids.
But Bernard’s channel has some interesting advice, too.  Don’t live on junk food, another video explains what happened to a teen who did, and still gives a personal take on fat-shaming, much constructively than Milo.    

I seem to remember that Tony Orlando and Dawn used to preach, "you can be more than you are."