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Make a Decision, Even an Arbitrary one

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Engineers and architects love detail and data to help make a decision — usually there are so many contrasting options that any is suitable for a given number of environments that the details are the devil, the thing you must address.

What about when there are no supporting details to make a choice? What happens when you have too many options affecting other decisions?

Make a choice. An arbitrary choice, and move on.

There are so many slowdowns during design phases that there are cases we simply need to define one parameter to allow the others to be defined — like a sticky Sudoku game. You need to make a decision.

I’ve been known to say things like “arbitrary: blue pill” — later documenting that options existed, no clear path was available, and a choice was made. My teammates of the Smallfoot project, and in the Motorola DB Team and Architecture teams heard me say often “Arbitrary: second option. Let’s move on”

This does not mean that the choice can not be revisited in the future if new details are discovered, it simply means that “I have no emotion attached to this, I’m just making a decision”. Later changes may need to change design in the first iteration, or may need to be addressed post-beta (where possible: please, let’s just deliver something functional first? If it doesn’t cause the sky to fall, let’s refactor on the second deliverable or in parallel)

Don’t be afraid to make a decision.

Tag it as such.

If you’re working in a different country, culture, or a second language, be sure to define what the word “arbitrary” means 🙂

Starting and Stopping VMWare on MacOSX

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The core details:

/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/boot.sh --start|stop

I think I missed somewhere how to populate and bring online a VMWare image without pointy-clicky actions. No worries.

I do notice that when my MacOSX-10.6.2 — a fairly modern OS — changes networking setup (VPN connects, disconnect Wifi, renew DHCP, etc) there is a huge shuffle of activity and some log messages about the Mac doing “the right thing”: backups, sync, etc. Most of that seems lightweight, but if I don’t really need it, I like to deactivate it.

The VMWare stuff is not so necessary today, so I decided to offline it.

I found its config as a launchd system-wide Daemon: /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.vmware.launchd.vmware.plist — so taking that apart, I found it’s a one-shot fire-and-forget like the cheesy rcX.d that I don’t like about linux (as discussed, based on a hotly-contested decision to make daemon start/stop possible in packages added/removed from the system — USL did this, whereas ODT collects a /etc/inittab.d/ directory, which allows auto-restart)

So I took that apart.

cauldron:~ allanc$ sudo /Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/boot.sh --start
VMware Fusion 196839: Starting VMware Fusion:
chown: /Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/isoimages/antivirus.iso: No such file or directory
Internet Software Consortium DHCP Server 2.0
Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 The Internet Software Consortium.
All rights reserved.

Please contribute if you find this software useful.
For info, please visit http://www.isc.org/dhcp-contrib.html

Configured subnet: 172.16.232.0
Setting vmnet-dhcp IP address: 172.16.232.254
Opened:
Recving on VNet/vmnet8/172.16.232.0
Sending on VNet/vmnet8/172.16.232.0
Internet Software Consortium DHCP Server 2.0
Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 The Internet Software Consortium.
All rights reserved.

Please contribute if you find this software useful.
For info, please visit http://www.isc.org/dhcp-contrib.html

Configured subnet: 172.16.83.0
Setting vmnet-dhcp IP address: 172.16.83.254
Opened:
Recving on VNet/vmnet1/172.16.83.0
Sending on VNet/vmnet1/172.16.83.0
Verifying and re-installing files from /Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/thnuclnt

This has a few gems to consider: what’s that yummy antivirus.iso, and how can I use that to auto-define a VM? Hmmm…

Anyhow, for when I forget this next time, this how to start/stop the VMs.

checked in a change to #orfutils for documentation; noted that E-P1 is now…

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checked in a change to orfutils for documentation; noted that E-P1 is now supported by Apple, but not sure about E-P2 and E-PL1

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