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Wednesday, October 10, 2007
  Cronic complaint

Further evidence that the users are revolting:
personally, i think, that the height of computing was ‘cron’. you needed a report every morning, put it in cron. you needed to analyze data every week, put it in cron.

computing was supposed to automate. supposed to make everyones lives easier by helping the person. now look at it. walk into any corporate office and you’ll see countless people (myself included) clicking on this and that to satisfy what the computer wants out of you. it feels like you are there to help the computer achieve uptimes, or defragged disks, getting rid of viruses, blocking ports, unblocking ports…

am i there to help the computer do it’s job? or is the computer there to help me do mine?

Snarfed shamelessly from Hooya’s comment on Slashdot.

Comments on “Cronic complaint:
1) Let's not over romanticize cron. I won't say that it sucked, but it wasn't pretty. Anyone who used it more than a handful of times was burned at least one time by the environment differences when something ran under cron. Cron's interface wasn't obvious. If you weren't using it regularly, you needed to man cron whenever you added an entry. And god forbid you leave the crontab open and forget to close it. Nothing gets run.
Agreed with the above, but wanted to add that even with a pretty wrapper for mucking with crontab, it still involves *gasp* scripting to get it to do more than one thing at a time. Most of the repetitive dances I see people doing with their computers are along the lines of click here, click there, copy this here, run this, email this, which is starting to sound perilously close to coding/scripting and therefore out of range of most of the unfortunate people saddled with doing the repetitive tasks in the first place.

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Reg Braithwaite

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