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[#] Mon Jan 18 2021 10:49:06 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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32-bit support isn't being removed from the kernel. Someone in distribution land performed a cost/benefit analysis and determined that the effort required to maintain a 32-bit distribution is hitting the point where it exceeds the benefits provided by it. I'm disappointed to see it go too, but someone has to justify the time and effort.

Have some faith in the Linux community. We're a resourceful and creative lot. Someone is going to come out with a distribution that not only supports 32-bit x86, but is *optimized* for it.

[#] Mon Jan 18 2021 11:52:49 EST from ParanoidDelusions

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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The thing is, even with FOSS - there is a real cost with any production and distribution of any thing. 

So, at some point, there is someone who is at the tail end who wants production to continue - but the costs to continue to produce *just* for them don't make sense. It is an economy of scale thing. 

We see this in retro computing with people upset that modern platforms like FPGA do not support physical attachment to old things like floppy drives or cartridge slots. The problem is, SURE they could - but it is a corner case use model where you're adding cost for everyone else to provide for a very small minority. 

Typically - there is some method for the corner case - but it will be very expensive - so the people who might do that aren't worried about the cost. They have enough money to make what they want to happen, happen. 

Money unfortunately does make the world go round. 

 

Mon Jan 18 2021 06:28:54 EST from darknetuser Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

Still you can get other distributions for x86 32 bit for now.

When Tails dropped 32 bit, it screwed me hard because at the time I only had access to old computers, as do some people I know.

I think dropping things that are in use in the wild because "nobody uses them" is such a first worlder thing to do. I remember when people was claiming to stop serving Linux distributions in CDs because it was time to migrate to DVD or USB images, disregarding the fact the difference in cost still matters for a whole lot of people.

Not everybody is a greedy Californian bastard with access to piles of DVDs and optic fibre.

 



[#] Mon Jan 18 2021 16:29:28 EST from Nurb432

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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Some, for now. Once the upstream people like Debian start to drop things, its not long for the rest follow.

At this point, will it totally hose my life? No. just an annoyance. Its not like in the late 90s when Microsoft dropped msdos support and licenses for most people.  We still had old machine controllers running dos based apps. It was not trivial to replace them. some would have to be totally reengineered.  

Mon Jan 18 2021 06:28:54 EST from darknetuser Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

Still you can get other distributions for x86 32 bit for now.


 



[#] Mon Jan 18 2021 18:42:56 EST from ParanoidDelusions

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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There is a double edged sword to this perpetual backward support concept. When I worked at the healthcare office in Ohio, one of the practices we hosted and provided IT support for had an old PS/2 machine running some ancient Windows version that was far beyond EOL. It did one thing - but they had no replacement plan for it. I think it might have faxed RX prescriptions - but whatever it was, they insisted it was essential, mission critical, but they were in this state of inertia where there wasn't anything that could replace it. It was going to die on them some day, and they were going to be pissed, and up the creek, when it happened. I dreaded that machine dying. My career there did not outlive that machine.

And for that small miracle, I am thankful. Let some other IT manager deal with that headache.

 

Mon Jan 18 2021 16:29:28 EST from Nurb432 Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

Some, for now. Once the upstream people like Debian start to drop things, its not long for the rest follow.

At this point, will it totally hose my life? No. just an annoyance. Its not like in the late 90s when Microsoft dropped msdos support and licenses for most people.  We still had old machine controllers running dos based apps. It was not trivial to replace them. some would have to be totally reengineered.  

Mon Jan 18 2021 06:28:54 EST from darknetuser Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

Still you can get other distributions for x86 32 bit for now.


 



 



[#] Mon Jan 18 2021 18:49:25 EST from ParanoidDelusions

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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There are some places, especially in actual mission critical IT - where you can refuse to upgrade until you're locked out of an upgrade path... whereas if you had migrated in increments as the technology evolved, it would have been painless. I see this happen all the time, especially in SMBs. They try to save a penny and end up painting them into a corner with something that is EOLed - the company is gone, or they've been acquired, or they simple don't support that product that is 10 years old or have anyone who knows anything about it anymore...


When I run into a company in this situation I usually take a "start from scratch," approach with them, no matter how angry they are at me for telling them the hard truth.

"You waited too long, now you have to start all over. Sorry."

Medical practices are REAL terrible about this... but other small businesses fall into this trap frequently too.

Best case scenario is you can have someone export whatever data is in the system that is a dead end, port it into some newer database that is still on the market, and create new apps to plug into that data - and that is going to cost you a BUNDLE. You're not going to have some kid who is your sister's daughter's boyfriend set up some database in MS-Works, anymore. Sorry. Many small businesses decide it isn't as mission critical as they were bitching it was - others open up their checkbook and pay the piper. I don't care which choice they make - I didn't put them in their situation, they did.

 

 



[#] Tue Jan 19 2021 13:14:04 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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Yes, that.  Exactly that.  Back in the 1980's I built a system for a small company that did medical billing and collections for medium size practices.  It ran on SCO Unix and was a reliable workhorse for many years, but it was showing its age and I kept advising them that it needed to be replaced.

Thankfully, the person who took over the support business after I left was being kind of a jerk and I wasn't taking his calls when the machine finally went titsup and basically stopped the whole business.



[#] Tue Jan 19 2021 18:32:24 EST from Nurb432

Subject: arrgh

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Not exactly related to old tech and being stubborn, but looks like we may end up dumping our vendor of 10+ years for what we use for our core operations and start over.. 

They are 1.5 year late on a upgrade we paid extra for..  We are over them.

But, i cant imagine what we are going to be going thru.. Everything we do is tied to it, 100s of in-house apps that tie to it, 1000s of business processes, 40k users..  Only consolation is i was here before the current platform, so at least i know why we did what we did.  ( actually 3 platforms before ... we had one failed upgrade of the system they had after the 'forced merger' around 15 year ago when i took over as i was part of the first 'merge' and we left our stuff behind.. The vendor lied. New product sucked. No way back, no way forward. so we sued and found something else. )

One developer also came over with me, so he has been part of it all too. 

Going to be a long year, or 2. Damn i wish i could retire now.



[#] Tue Jan 19 2021 21:45:55 EST from ParanoidDelusions

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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Everyone involved in IT for a long enough time, encounters this client, customer or employer, eventually. I think for some of us, our careers don't survive the encounter, unfortunately. 

 

Tue Jan 19 2021 13:14:04 EST from IGnatius T Foobar Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

Yes, that.  Exactly that.  B

 



[#] Fri Jan 22 2021 04:30:11 EST from DutchessMike

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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Mon Jan 18 2021 18:49:25 EST from ParanoidDelusions Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

There are some places, especially in actual mission critical IT - where you can refuse to upgrade until you're locked out of an upgrade path... whereas if you had migrated in increments as the technology evolved, it would have been painless. I see this happen all the time, especially in SMBs. They try to save a penny and end up painting them into a corner with something that is EOLed - the company is gone, or they've been acquired, or they simple don't support that product that is 10 years old or have anyone who knows anything about it anymore...

Yes.  This.  I have a call this afternoon with a new client who is in this *exact* situation.  I was on a conference call with their old software vendor who was adamant that they stopped support for the product 12 years ago and were not in a position to support them anymore.  When they called me for help, I quickly discovered that the server driving the application ran on NETWARE and the workstations still ran XP SP2.   Needless to say, it's a start-from-scratch for them as well.

 

 



[#] Fri Jan 22 2021 10:14:13 EST from ParanoidDelusions

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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"This is what I hate about IT. How can you people make something that still works that you won't support anymore?" 

*BANG*

 

Fri Jan 22 2021 04:30:11 EST from DutchessMike Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

 

Mon Jan 18 2021 18:49:25 EST from ParanoidDelusions Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

There are some places, especially in actual mission critical IT - where you can refuse to upgrade until you're locked out of an upgrade path... whereas if you had migrated in increments as the technology evolved, it would have been painless. I see this happen all the time, especially in SMBs. They try to save a penny and end up painting them into a corner with something that is EOLed - the company is gone, or they've been acquired, or they simple don't support that product that is 10 years old or have anyone who knows anything about it anymore...

Yes.  This.  I have a call this afternoon with a new client who is in this *exact* situation.  I was on a conference call with their old software vendor who was adamant that they stopped support for the product 12 years ago and were not in a position to support them anymore.  When they called me for help, I quickly discovered that the server driving the application ran on NETWARE and the workstations still ran XP SP2.   Needless to say, it's a start-from-scratch for them as well.

 

 



 



[#] Fri Jan 22 2021 16:39:09 EST from DutchessMike

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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Most products have an end-of-life.  In my instance, the app is a DOS app that runs on a Netware server and uses a serial connection.  All three of those technologies are horribly obsolete.   Most companies that discontinue major releases of their product will let you receive extended support, for a fee.  Microsoft does it all the time, and the folks who see the value (like large businesses and the government with products like Windows NT, Windows XP, and Windows CE) will pay.  Free support for discontinued products in perpetuity is a graceful descent to insolvency.

Fri Jan 22 2021 10:14:13 EST from ParanoidDelusions Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

"This is what I hate about IT. How can you people make something that still works that you won't support anymore?" 

*BANG*

 

 



[#] Sat Jan 23 2021 11:44:34 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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It's called "technical debt" and well-run IT orgs keep track of it and work hard to phase it out.  I'm sort of immersed in it right now, hunting down and trying to replace a lot of legacy systems and networks that are holding us back from deploying new products and services the way we would like to.  The reality is that if you don't work to eliminate technical debt, it will come out and bite you at a bad time.



[#] Sat Jan 23 2021 11:47:44 EST from DutchessMike

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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It always does.  I've been there a lot in my career.

Sat Jan 23 2021 11:44:34 EST from IGnatius T Foobar Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

It's called "technical debt" and well-run IT orgs keep track of it and work hard to phase it out.  I'm sort of immersed in it right now, hunting down and trying to replace a lot of legacy systems and networks that are holding us back from deploying new products and services the way we would like to.  The reality is that if you don't work to eliminate technical debt, it will come out and bite you at a bad time.



 



[#] Sat Jan 23 2021 12:00:23 EST from ParanoidDelusions

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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Most IT shops are not well run. I've had the fortune of working for Fortune 500 IT companies that are debt adverse most of my career. 

But it is hard to get SMBs to recognize the long term costs of not following best practices, throughout IT - not just in hardware depreciation and replacement. 

 

Sat Jan 23 2021 11:44:34 EST from IGnatius T Foobar Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

It's called "technical debt" and well-run IT orgs keep track of it and work hard to phase it out.  I'm sort of immersed in it right now, hunting down and trying to replace a lot of legacy systems and networks that are holding us back from deploying new products and services the way we would like to.  The reality is that if you don't work to eliminate technical debt, it will come out and bite you at a bad time.



 



[#] Sat Jan 23 2021 19:58:06 EST from Nurb432

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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One place i worked at, new CFO ( one that would "cut costs" by gutting the company leave just before it implodes ). "Why do we need you, everything is working well, we dont have any issues".   This was both for me ( IT ) and things like our parts crib. "The machines are running fine, we dont need these spare parts"  or even during shutdown when he arrived "we dont need these people. just fire them all".

Company didnt last a year after he got there before it folded. A 20 year old company went from making several million a year in profit and be an technology leader in its market, to being bought by some investment firm on the salvage market.

 

I heard a week after i was gone, with no one to keep the band-aids applied pretty much everything fell part computer wise, and phone system went belly up too.  He swore i came back in and sabotaged it all.

 

I was on medical leave when he arrived, so i missed his hiring. First day back he called me in the office, asked me 'how do i make this letter here bigger in this spreadsheet"  Um, a CFO didnt know how to change the font in excel.  While in his office our receptionist came by handing out checks.  He asked where his was, "you only get paid once a month", he went off on the poor girl. I told him to shut his face and take it up with HR, and sent her on her way.   Our relationship went south from there :)  

 

Fun times.  Shame really, i really liked that place before he came. We were a small tight family.   Planned on sticking it out until i retired as i finally found a place that i wanted to stick around at.

 



[#] Sun Jan 24 2021 11:42:18 EST from ParanoidDelusions

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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My wife and I were just talking about the place I worked. When I came, it was constant fire-fighting, always emergencies, systems collapsing all around us. Even the desktop support was a mess. We couldn't keep our own ship floating and we were providing consulting and hosting services for practices all over NE Ohio... field tech work, the whole thing. They were all a mess too. 

After a few months there, and hiring a couple of people... lots of times it seemed like we were just sitting around surfing Facebook. The COO got in my face about it.

"Our medical billing coders work 8 hours, from the minute they get in, until the minute they leave. They handle thousands of calls every day. They work their asses off. They aren't allowed to be on their phones at all except breaks and lunches. Your IT guys are constantly screwing around with your phones, we see their posts on Facebook. We see YOUR posts on Facebook! The other managers are pissed!" 

Yeah? Well, they should have gotten into IT. First - when we're here from midnight to 4 AM on Sunday and then have to show up at 8 AM on Monday - none of them are ever here. When they all leave at 5 and we have to stay, none of them are ever here. When we have to leave our kid's birthday or cut our vacation short because of a production downtime, none of them are ever there. But, when I *arrived* here, these guys were working their asses off every minute of their day. Were you HAPPIER with IT then? We're like Maytag Washer Repair men. As long as the projects you want are getting delivered, and things are running like you want - we're going to look like we're doing nothing. Go ahead and lay off the people you think are redundant. I'll fire them for you - and in 6 months, we'll be back to where we were when I started. You tell the rest of your staff if they are upset about the way IT runs its business because they think it is unfair - I'll consider them first for the next position that comes open. I believe in promoting from within. 

No one ever took me up on that offer. 

 

Sat Jan 23 2021 19:58:06 EST from Nurb432 Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

One place i worked at, new CFO ( one that would "cut costs" by gutting the company leave just before it implodes ). "Why do we need you, everything is working well, we dont have any issues".   This was both for me ( IT ) and things like our parts crib. "The machines are running fine, we dont need these spare parts"  or even during shutdown when he arrived "we dont need these people. just fire them all".

 



[#] Tue Jan 26 2021 17:02:16 EST from Nurb432

Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

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Same sort of thing happened to me there too. ( well, no FB, this was late 90s )

Place was a mess when i got there, nothing worked 1/2 way right, everything was unstable. Guy before me was a total idiot. 

Over that summer i got everything reworked to my standards, and was stable. Took a good 2 months to do it without impacting people a lot. The CFO ( the one that hired me ) stopped in one afternoon, "you know, ever since you got here things just 'work'". " i dont know what you did to make this happen, but keep it up. thank you".  Still didnt have a lot of budget, but i managed with what i had.

Sun Jan 24 2021 11:42:18 EST from ParanoidDelusions Subject: Re: Debian to drop 32bit x86

My wife and I were just talking about the place I worked. When I came, it was constant fire-fighting, always emergencies, systems collapsing all around us. Even the desktop support was a mess. We couldn't keep our own ship floating and we were providing consulting and hosting services for practices all over NE Ohio... field tech work, the whole thing. They were all a mess too. 

After a few months there, and hiring a couple of people... lots of times it seemed like we were just sitting around surfing Facebook. The COO got in my face about it.

 

 



[#] Fri Feb 05 2021 17:43:40 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Playing around with the WireGuard VPN this week. Very happy with it so far.

Really easy to configure, far more lightweight than anything else out there, and stateless. Me likes.

[#] Mon Feb 08 2021 08:36:06 EST from Nurb432

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Trying to explain to a guy at the office why Linux is becoming bad and this popped up in my regular feed. ( well actually a link to it, from a story that was written today that linked to this not-so-old-story.. It was not one of those 'we see you are talking about something we lets suggest it...' moments )

says it much better than i could.

https://www.unixsheikh.com/articles/why-you-should-migrate-everything-from-linux-to-bsd.html

 

For me its "migrate back"... 



[#] Mon Feb 08 2021 15:38:48 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Steve? Steve Ballmer? Is that you?

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