Warning on installing Apple Updates

Unsanity.org: Shock and Awe: How Installing Apple’s Updates can Render Your Mac Unbootable and How You Can Prevent it

When you see the “Optimizing System Performance” phase of a software update, Mac OS X is really updating prebinding. Updating prebinding has a very, very nasty bug in it (look at _dyld_update_prebinding). If multiple processes are updating prebinding at the same time, then it is possible for a system file to be completely zero’d out. Basically, all data in the file is deleted and it is replaced with nothing. This bug is usually triggered when updating Mac OS X and every update to Mac OS X has the potential to render your system unbootable depending on if the “right” file is deleted or not. It’s triggered during the “Optimizing System Performance” phase of installing an update. This phase is actually just running update_prebinding. If you launch an application that links to libraries that are not yet prebound, there is a chance one of those files will be zero’d out as dyld automatically redoes the prebinding on that file.


Life is too short for crummy food, N likes to say. It sometimes makes it difficult to try a new restaurant. Luckily, someone else made the reservations, because we might not have tried it otherwise. Located in a bit of a grim place it manages to convey a bit of high-end feel, although the furniture is a bit too space-age-bachelor-pad. The food and service were excellent with the prices in-line with the quality.

Absolutely recommended.


Crush in Seattle

White House eating its young

White House Said to Prompt Firing of Prosecutors – New York Times

The administration is blaming the blatantly political firings of federal prosecutors on Harriet Myers, who resigned in February. I mean this is just so dumb. First, you recommend her for Supreme Court justice and spend countless pages of print talking about how close she and the president are. Then, you stab her in the back and claim she’d gone upriver and was doing evil things without the president’s knowledge. Yet again, the hubris of the White House is shown in stark relief. They seem to be under the impression that the American people have the attention span and memory of a gnat.

Rands In Repose: A Glimpse and a Hook

Rands In Repose: A Glimpse and a Hook

I just read this post, you should read it too. It’s a great follow up to my earlier post about college CS resumes. I agree with “rands” (not his real name) on a lot of what he said, so rather than rehash, I’ll offer how I do things differently…

Your Name. It’s simple. Do I know you? Whether I do or not, I’m going to immediately Google you to see if I should. Oh, you a have a weblog. Excellent.

I may google you eventually, but I usually won’t bother until I’m setting up a screening call. Then, I only care if you’ve posted about something relative to software development, or if your name is familiar.

Company Names. Do I recognize any companies that you worked at? If I do, I don’t look at what you actually do, I assume that if I recognize the company, I’m in the ballpark. If I don’t know the company, I scan for keywords in the description to get a rough idea. Hmmmmm… networking words. Ok, you’re a networking guy.

yeah, this is pretty spot-on. I will add that if I know someone at a company you used to work at, I might ping that person to see if they knew you.

Other Interests and Extracurriculars. Yeah, this is part of the first pass. I’m eagerly looking to find something that makes you different from the last fifty resumes I looked at. More on this in a moment.

I totally disagree here. If I see “Other Interests and Extracurriculars”, I see “Resume Filler”

Skills. I skip the skills section not only because this is information I’ll derive from job history, but also because this section is full of misinformation. I’m not going to say that people lie in the skills section, but I know that if a candidate has heard the word Linux in the workplace, there’s a good chance they’re going to put Familiarity with Linux as a skill on their resume.

I totally disagree with this as well. If you have the skills, but not the job experience, I’ll assume that you don’t have the skills. If you have both, expect to get a lot of questions about the listed skills in the screening call. As I said previously, “Don’t list it if you can’t back it up.”

School. Yeah, this is the first time I’ll notice whether you went to college or not. I purposely do this because I’ve found over years of hiring that a name brand university biases my opinion too early. There’s a lot to be said for a candidate who gets accepted to and graduates from Stanford or MIT, but I’ve made just as many bad hires from these colleges as great ones.Seeing a non-Computer Science degree is not a warning flag. In fact, I’m a huge fan of hiring physics majors as engineers. For whatever reason, the curriculum for physics has a good intersection with computer science. Any technical major for me is perfectly acceptable, and even non-technical majors with a technical job history make for a resume worth thinking about.

I agree that once you’ve been in the industry for a while, your education isn’t nearly so relevant. The fewer years you have been out of school the more relevant a data-point it is. Same with your major. Some of the best programmers I know were music majors. If you’ve been in the industry for a while, your major isn’t really important. If you are coming straight out of college, it is pretty critical.

Never include a cover letter. I don’t read them. Recruiters don’t pass them on. Make sure the key points of your cover letter are living in your career objective and your job history.

Damn skippy.

Include seemingly irrelevant experience. This applies mostly to college types who lack experience in high technology. You’re going to stress that your job history doesn’t include any engineering and you’re thinking your summer working at Borders bookstore is irrelevant. It’s not. Any job teaches you something. Even though you weren’t coding in C++, I want to know what you learned by being a bookseller. Was it your first job? What did you learn about managers? How did you grow from the beginning to the end of the summer? Explain to me how hard work is hard no matter what the job is.

Sorry, but I don’t care what other jobs you’ve had unless they are relevant to the job I’m interviewing you for. If you’ve been in another industry and you switched over to engineering, that would be relevant, maybe.

The comments to that post were really interesting. Some more good tips and a lot of people calling “rands” a jerk. I can understand if you’ve been passed up for a lot of jobs how you might dislike this kind of advice, but man ‘o man, I wish that someone had told me some of this when I was younger. That is why I post about it too. This is stuff that can help you, if you agree with it or not. Something interesting here is how he and I diverge. It shows you that all hiring managers look at different things. Does that help? Probably not. It probably confuses, but at least you have some more insight. I’m sure that there are a zillion more posts like this on-line. Read them all and distill the best advice for yourself.

One more point: unlike “Rands”, I read every line of every resume. Some, I may skim more than others (especially if I have a pile to get through), but I know what it is like to be on the other side. I would hope that most other hiring managers would have the same courtesy.

The next generation of macintoshes

will run on light and daydreams. They will be omnipotent and will catapult Apple into the stratosphere as most profitable company… EVER. Steve Jobs will be canonized by the Catholic Church and all wars and famine will end so that all people can bask in the radiant glow of their Apple devices.

I mean, I’m a mac fanboy, but I think that the folks at UBS are smoking the crack. Will we see a touch screen mac? Yeah probably. Maybe an iPod first, then laptop screens and then maybe monitors as the price to produce the stuff comes down, but the Mega-Platform? C’mon.

Apple’s multi-touch technology seen spawning “mega-platform” [Apple Insider]

Halliburton… evil like a fox

Anger over Halliburton’s move to Dubai | The Daily Telegraph

Halliburton, headed by Dick Cheney from 1995 to 2000 before he became US Vice President, has announced it is relocating to the United Arab Emirates to capitalise on the Gulf region’s booming energy market.

Wow, do they live in the “we’re-too-evil-to-give-a-fuck-what-anybody-thinks” world.

I mean, c’mon, this is essentially stabbing the administration in the back. They take a zillion dollars of taxpayer money and then basically move into the heart of we-hate-america-central. It’d be like MacDonald Douglas moving to Moscow at the height of the cold war.

Of course, they can. They don’t sell stuff in stores. It is pretty hard to boycott Haliburton. It makes the company look horrible, but then again, with all the graft, they couldn’t look much worse.

The acid test will be to see how many no-bid govenment contracts they get and mismanage from now on.

Google’s best perk

Google’s Buses Help Its Workers Beat the Rush – New York Times

This is the kind of thing that makes me love/hate google. About 15 years ago, I used to commute from San Francisco to Mountain View (at SGI, whose ex-campus now houses google). I’d sold my car, so I didn’t commute on the 101, I took the CalTrain (metro commuter rail). It would take between 75 and 90 minutes each way (including Muni bus to the station).

I would have killed for this kind of perk! If I ever move back, I’d demand this perk from whatever company I worked for.

pardon the churn

On a kick of moving the posts from the old PFRK blog to here. Filling in the history a bit. Unfortunately, it is a manual process, ’cause I was using one of the world’s most obscure pieces of blogging software. So, there is still a long way to go. Some of the categories are fully populated: Culture, Good and Bad Eating, Music, but now I’m switching to dates, and I’m still filling in November of 2004 and I’m getting bored.