[clug] Pointless time-wasting bash questions

Hal Ashburner hal at ashburner.info
Fri Jun 26 03:00:45 MDT 2015

On 26 June 2015 at 18:12, Eyal Lebedinsky <eyal at eyal.emu.id.au> wrote:

> Oh boy! My experience is that in the business world a person learns *one*
> tool and uses
> it for everything. When you have a hammer and all that.
> I knew people doing doco, meetings, discussions, presos and whatnot in
> excel.
> Most emails were an embedded excel that held the actual content. Really.
> Just saying.

/me looks a bit sheepish and mutters something about having written a
bodgy webserserver in excel that was used in production at a pretty
large company for pretty core stats gathering - presenting a data
entry webform to various department heads. This is only one example of
sick, awful, twisted crap I did because I was not allowed to use perl,
python, bash, java, C or anything else on a locked down windows
system. "Get those guys to quote an internal charge of $1m and 5
months or go to the weird nerdy guy with the spreadsheets who makes
them do all sorts of things?" I was being paid to extensive financial
analysis of potential takeover targets at the time but a lot of the
core software just didn't work. Play "guess the consulting firm who
took $50m to produce rubbish" at this point if you like, I won't

When you're stuck in one of these places and you're not employed to
hack but refuse to follow the official process of, no s***t, "print it
out, then open this other program, and type in the contents on the
paper" excel is one of the few things that is almost always present
and is usually not locked down. Or that's how it was last time I had
to deal with windows on my desktop - about 10 years ago. VBA is what
it is, sure, but it's literally so much better than nothing. Spare a
thought for "users" it's pretty horrific out there in the pod farm.

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