ibneko: (Default)
...notably on the topic of asking questions.

Before I throw you guys the link, here's a snippet that resonated really strongly with me:
The first thing to understand is that hackers actually like hard problems and good, thought-provoking questions about them. If we didn't, we wouldn't be here. If you give us an interesting question to chew on we'll be grateful to you; good questions are a stimulus and a gift. Good questions help us develop our understanding, and often reveal problems we might not have noticed or thought about otherwise. Among hackers, “Good question!” is a strong and sincere compliment.

Despite this, hackers have a reputation for meeting simple questions with what looks like hostility or arrogance. It sometimes looks like we're reflexively rude to newbies and the ignorant. But this isn't really true.

What we are, unapologetically, is hostile to people who seem to be unwilling to think or to do their own homework before asking questions. People like that are time sinks — they take without giving back, and they waste time we could have spent on another question more interesting and another person more worthy of an answer. We call people like this “losers” (and for historical reasons we sometimes spell it “lusers”).

We realize that there are many people who just want to use the software we write, and who have no interest in learning technical details. For most people, a computer is merely a tool, a means to an end; they have more important things to do and lives to live. We acknowledge that, and don't expect everyone to take an interest in the technical matters that fascinate us. Nevertheless, our style of answering questions is tuned for people who do take such an interest and are willing to be active participants in problem-solving. That's not going to change. Nor should it; if it did, we would become less effective at the things we do best.

We're (largely) volunteers. We take time out of busy lives to answer questions, and at times we're overwhelmed with them. So we filter ruthlessly. In particular, we throw away questions from people who appear to be losers in order to spend our question-answering time more efficiently, on winners.

If you find this attitude obnoxious, condescending, or arrogant, check your assumptions. We're not asking you to genuflect to us — in fact, most of us would love nothing more than to deal with you as an equal and welcome you into our culture, if you put in the effort required to make that possible. But it's simply not efficient for us to try to help people who are not willing to help themselves. It's OK to be ignorant; it's not OK to play stupid.


It's true. All of it.

I have noticed that I do am prone to brushing people off who ask stupid questions that they _should_ be capable of looking up themselves. It depends on the person - general, non-engineering friends have asked me questions about finding things or do things, and I find I'm always happy to reply. Perhaps they ask effectively, or I do expect them to know less. But sometimes, when I get asked stupid questions by my engineering friends that I'm taking classes with, I do brush them off. Especially stuff that they should know, or should be able to look up. "I don't have enough time to look it up" is NOT an excuse. If that's the reason why you're asking, and not poking google, then you're just shoving the time-cost onto me, and that's not fair.

I think it might also depend slightly on the number of questions they usually ask me and how busy I am at that time, but... the above covers most of it.

Here's the link: http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

It's a bit long, but I think it may be worth a read or a quick skim, especially if you'll ever approach a technical mailing list.
ibneko: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] despiojarse12 mentioned that not only was his computer locked with a BIOS password, but also a HDD Password. Not really haven't heard of hard drive passwords, I went hunting, and here are the results~

(Although, before that, here's stuff on BIOS Password resetting:
http://www.tech-faq.com/reset-bios-password.shtml
http://www.elfqrin.com/docs/biospw.html)

http://www.forensicfocus.com/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=15&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/12/09/2054235
http://www.rockbox.org/lock.html
https://forum.hackinthebox.org/viewtopic.php?p=83468

Technical background:
The ATA Password is part of the ATA-3 specs, designed, and usually enabled on laptops to prevent drive use once the drive is stolen. There are two passwords, one master, one user. Passwords are _not_ stored in the BIOS, so resetting the BIOS will not help you. May do more harm than help? I don't know. The passwords are stored in the drive firmware and failure to enter the password will result in all reads and writes being denied. There is also usually a certain amount of time you can try the password before the drive will lock up, and refuse further attempts until it is powercycled (eh, turned off, then turned back on.)

Information found:
--> May be possible to stick the ATA drive in an IDE USB enclosure. That _may_ bypass the password requirement? One reported success...
--> May be possible, but less likely, to swap the controllers...would require a similar disk drive though.
--> A clean room recovery by moving the actual disk platters to another drive may work.
--> Recovery is possible with professional services, although costly.
--> There are recovery tools online, for a fee. Usually, they're remote services (You install a program, program calls home, and stuff is repaired from there)
--> There are some programs out there to alter settings. Names I've seen include:
-----ATA Password Tool 1.1 (Included in the Ultimate Boot CD: PC repair boot CD)
-----atapwd
--> Formatting the drive may not do you any good; the passwords are apparently stored in firmware, and not on the actual drive...?
--> There's some tool by some company in the UK that'll do something about the password. Vogon was the company name, I believe.
ibneko: (Default)
Chest Binding: http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1472463

Link via [livejournal.com profile] superboner (who got it from [livejournal.com profile] melayneseahawk).

Noted... just 'cause.

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Profile

ibneko: (Default)
ibneko

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Page generated Apr. 25th, 2017 12:51 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios
November 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 2016