When I worked in telecommunications as an engineer (late 2000’s) Electronic Switching Systems had been pretty much taken over by software switching systems, but the hardware, closely coupled to that software, was still very much an important component.
While the call switching and routing was no longer achieved by thousands and thousands of hardware relays switching dedicated connections between each “phone line”, the hardware operated the same.
The installation process was pretty much the same as in this video, recorded in 1974. Pretty much everything done in this video was still being done 35+ years later.
The thousands and thousands of interconnecting cables connecting each hardware module were still needed. The teams of men (99% of my colleagues were men) were still needed to “dress” the cables. This jobhad been outsourced to “installation” companies who employed teams of men – usually a foreman (“gaffer”) and his team of often young fellas – would travel to each datacentre, stay for 5-6 days and carry out the installation of the hardware, the cables.
It was then the job of the “commissioning” engineer to manually check all the hardware and cables were correctly connected and seated. This was a laborious and tedious job which took days.
Then came the software commissioning – configuring the software manually building up thousand of commands line-by-line for the logical connections for the “telephone lines”, the call-tree rules for call switching and routing, what telephone connection to use for what type of call.
Once this was done, then loading the system configuration for the particular client network.
Wire wrapping a huge DSX frame with thousands of connections, by hand or with an electrical tool – took knowledge, a certain manual skill – nimble fingers, experience and attention to detail.
At the time I didn’t fully appreciate the craftsmanship involved in the process – attention to detail and pride in their work the installation technicans had – and the sense of achievement you got when you had commissioned fully (either single handedly or more likely as part of a team) a huge piece of equipment.
The level human-computer interaction was pretty much as low as it could go (without going to machine langauge) – the commands executed by engineers was referred to collectively as “MML” – man-machine language.
Being “so close” to the actual hardware being able to see the blinking lights, the increase/decrease in the fan speeds – carrying people’s important telephone calls, SMS messages – gave a certain sense of awe.
Today the hardware is commercial-off-the-shelf computing servers like IBM Bladeservers. They’re essentially no different to a high-capacity webserver, mailserver, or router. The sense of awe is still there but it’s hidden in the software.
Instead of requiring separate teams of people for the installation, commissioning it’s now reduced to 1, maybe 2 people.
This morning I was listening to some Divine Comedy while I was working. I realised I didn’t have the album in full, so I thought I’d buy it online in MP3 format. Purely due to muscle memory I always go to Amazon. I really should get better a buying music from other places.
So I searched for the album. Up it popped, in CD format. That’s OK, I know I can choose MP3 format.
After 2-3 clicks I then realise I’m somewhere completely different and am being offered their streaming instead for £7.99. How did that happen. So I back track… Is this a dark pattern?
In case you can’t see it: I click on the button labeled “MP3 £7.99” and am brought to a page where the “Streaming unimited” button is selected.
User: I use the software. I’m not a developer. I’m not necessairly interested, or able to contribute to making it happen – I can’t write code. But I can tell you what I need, and give feedback when your making it.
Most of the time I’m interested in knowing the big picture – when will my need be addressed.
2. We recommend you recording and editing the video as soon as possible.
3. Don’t overload your slides. Make sure everything is readable when scaled down slightly. The 1280×720 video you send in might or might not be scaled down to fit onto a FOSDEM template!
4. Make sure your video presentation fits into your 20 minute assigned timeslot with room to spare for questions and answers. FOSDEM 2021 works on a strict broadcast schedule. The FOSDEM systems will ruthlessly cut you off at the end of your timeslot!
The Open Source Design group recommends you talk for 15 minutes and leave 5 minutes for questions and answers.
5. You must upload your talk video yourself to the FOSDEM system – we will send this to you in the coming days.
Your recording video format must follow these technical requirements:
frame rate: 25 fps
video codec: h264 video codec, main profile
video bitrate: <= 2Mbit/s
audio codec: aac audio codec
audio sample rate: 48 KHz mono
audio bitrate: 128 Kbit/s
media container: whatever is easiest for you
Helpful tip –
When you upload the video, the FOSDEM upload system will verify that your video file meets the above constraints. If it doesn’t, the video will be transcoded first, but this will take longer.
If you have issues with the video upload we recommend first comparing video details with the above requirements. If you need help, you can ask your Devroom Point of Contact.
(This is a reminder to myself, and maybe a help for someone else who might be in the same situation as me. The purpose was to be able to lint documentation I’m trying to update for the pip project work.)
This applies to installing “the latest” Python on Mac OS X 10.15.6.
I’ve used this helpful How-TO. Everything worked until the very end where brew couldn’t create a necessary directory:
🍺 /usr/local/Cellarfirstname.lastname@example.org/1.1.1h: 8,067 files, 18.5MB
==> Installing email@example.com
==> ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/Cellarfirstname.lastname@example.org/3.9.0_1 --enable-ipv6 --datarootdir=/usr/local/Cellaremail@example.com/3.9.0_1/share --datadir
==> make install PYTHONAPPSDIR=/usr/local/Cellarfirstname.lastname@example.org/3.9.0_1
==> make frameworkinstallextras PYTHONAPPSDIR=/usr/local/Cellaremail@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org
Error: An unexpected error occurred during the `brew link` step
The formula built, but is not symlinked into /usr/local
Permission denied @ dir_s_mkdir - /usr/local/Frameworks
Error: Permission denied @ dir_s_mkdir - /usr/local/Frameworks
I reran install python and got:
bernard@computer-number-6 ~ % brew install python
==> Auto-updated Homebrew!
Updated 1 tap (homebrew/cask).
==> Updated Casks
Warning: email@example.com 3.9.0_1 is already installed, it's just not linked
You can use `brew link firstname.lastname@example.org` to link this version.
The solution was to create the /usr/local/Framworks directory manually: