Abigail's Journal http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/ Abigail's use Perl Journal en-us use Perl; is Copyright 1998-2006, Chris Nandor. Stories, comments, journals, and other submissions posted on use Perl; are Copyright their respective owners. 2012-01-25T02:03:24+00:00 pudge pudge@perl.org Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 Abigail's Journal http://use.perl.org/images/topics/useperl.gif http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/ Why People Are Passionate About Perl http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/36405?from=rss Answering to <tt>brain d foy</tt>'s call: <ul> <li> <b>The person who introduced me to Perl showed me that...</b> Well, the person "introducing" me to Perl didn't show me much. All he did was leaving the first edition of "Learning Perl" on my desk. I flipped through it, played a little with some toy programs, then forgot about Perl for over almost two years.</li> <li> <b>I first starting using Perl to...</b> I had created a web site of a branch of major multinational; it was a static website mostly containing pictures and product specifications. Created from a messed up ASCII database dump and a CD of images using a shell/awk script. During the project, I realized there had to be something better than sh/awk, and I remembered that pink "Learning Perl" book. No longer having access to the book, I read all manual pages top to bottom. The rest is history.</li> <li> <b>I kept using Perl because...</b> its form and ideas fit my warped brain. I can make it do things the way I want, unlike most other languages.</li> <li> <b>I can't stop thinking about Perl...</b>, well, I can actually, but it requires an effort. But the language is huge, and it has a bunch of good people making up the community.</li> <li> <b>I'm still using Perl because...</b> I'm too old and don't have the intiative to learn another programming language. I rather read a new book, and try out a new recipe in the kitchen than learn a new language.</li> <li> <b>I get other people to use Perl by...</b> Not any more. I used to give Perl classes, and used to work in places where Perl wasn't used as the main language. But I don't do the classes anymore, and I'm working at a place that only uses Perl.</li> <li> <b>I also program in<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... and<nobr> <wbr></nobr>..., but I like Perl better since...</b> SQL, C, and sh. SQL is too domain specific, with C I have to work too hard, and in sh it's too hard to do lower level stuff.</li> </ul> Abigail 2008-05-13T14:04:57+00:00 journal 2006 in books. http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/32057?from=rss Last year, I spend a lot of time in trains, trams, busses (and on stations waiting for them). That gave me the time to read 48 books: <ol> <li> <em>The World according to Clarkson</em> by Jeremy Clarkson.</li> <li> <em>Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction</em> by Sue Townsend.</li> <li> <em>Van Santander naar Santander</em> by Peter Winnen.</li> <li> <em>The Double Eagle</em> by James Twining.</li> <li> <em>De blokjeslegger van Turijn</em>.</li> <li> <em>Elminster's Daughter</em> by Ed Greenwood.</li> <li> <em>My Life</em> (vol. 1) by Bill Clinton.</li> <li> <em>Quarterdeck</em> by Julian Stockwin.</li> <li> <em>Daar zit iets in</em> by Maarten Toonder.</li> <li> <em>Onder Professoren</em> by Willem F. Hermans.</li> <li> <em>Cryptonomia</em> by Neal Stephenson.</li> <li> <em>Geel</em> by Mart Smeets.</li> <li> <em>Eats, Shoots &amp; Leaves</em> by Lynne Truss.</li> <li> <em>Goodnight Nobody</em> by Jennifer Weiner.</li> <li> <em>Green Mars</em> by Kim Stanley Robinson.</li> <li> <em>Practical Demon Keeping</em> by Christopher Moore.</li> <li> <em>The Man-Kzin Wars</em> by Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, Dean Ing.</li> <li> <em>The Mask</em> by Dean Koontz.</li> <li> <em>The Devil Wears Prada</em> by Lauren Weisberger.</li> <li> <em>Shoot the Moon</em> by Billie Letts.</li> <li> <em>Life on the Mississippi</em> by Mark Twain.</li> <li> <em>Air Babylon</em> by Imogen Edwards-Jones &amp; Anonymous.</li> <li> <em>People of the Mist</em> by Kathleens O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear.</li> <li> <em>I Know You Got Soul</em> by Clarkson.</li> <li> <em>Death and the Penguin</em> by Andrey Kurkov.</li> <li> <em>The World's Stupidest Signs</em> by Michael O'Mara.</li> <li> <em>Penguin Lost</em> by Andrey Kurkov.</li> <li> <em>Who Moved My Blackberrie[TM]</em> by Martin Lukes with Lucy Kellaway.</li> <li> <em>Adrian Mole The Cappuccino Years</em> by Sue Townsend.</li> <li> <em>The Gunslinger</em> by Stephen King.</li> <li> <em>Motorworld</em> by Jeremy Clarkson.</li> <li> <em>Hotel Babylon</em> by Imogen Edwards-Jones &amp; Anonymous.</li> <li> <em>Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince</em> by J. K. Rowling.</li> <li> <em>On Cars</em> by Jeremy Clarkson.</li> <li> <em>The Selfish Gene</em> by Richard Dawkins.</li> <li> <em>Ik ben een New Yorker</em> by Twan Huys.</li> <li> <em>Down Under</em> by Bill Bryson.</li> <li> <em>Soest in Grootvaders Tijd</em> by Engelbert Heupers.</li> <li> <em>Time Management for System Administrator</em> by Thomas A. Limoncelli.</li> <li> <em>The Great War: American Front</em> by Harry Turtledove.</li> <li> <em>Perl Hacks</em> by chromatic with Damian Conway and Curtis "Ovid" Poe.</li> <li> <em>Amerikaanse Zaken</em> by Charles Groenhuijsen.</li> <li> <em>See Delphi and Die</em> by Lindsey Davis.</li> <li> <em>De Tor &amp; De Koeskoes</em> by Midas Dekkers.</li> <li> <em>The Big over Easy</em> by Jasper Fforde.</li> <li> <em>Notes from a Big Country</em> by Bill Bryson.</li> <li> <em>The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4</em> by Sue Townsend.</li> <li> <em>The Last Templar</em> by Raymound Khoury.</li> </ol> Abigail 2007-01-03T13:20:39+00:00 journal Books from London http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/31975?from=rss When I was attending LPW, I remarked I'd do some book shopping the next day. Nicholas remarked that he would see the list of acquired books on use.perl. So, here they are. <ul> <li>"The Jupiter Myth" by Lindsey Davis.</li> <li>"The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde.</li> <li>"Master &amp; Commander" by Patrick O'Brian.</li> <li>"Quicksilver" by Neal Stephenson.</li> <li>"Accelerando" by Charles Stross.</li> <li>"The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4" by Sue Townsend.</li> <li>"Artemis" by Julian Stockwin.</li> <li>"How Few Remain" by Harry Turtledove.</li> </ul> Abigail 2006-12-20T09:22:43+00:00 journal New employer http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/31328?from=rss I'll be switching employers. Starting Dec 1, I'll be employed by booking.com, as a developer. I'll be allowed to work three days a week from home, which will save me about 10 hours of travelling each week. Abigail 2006-10-16T08:00:05+00:00 journal Spot the mistake (solution) http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/31244?from=rss <p>The bug in the program below (beside the spotted $fh = open (...) instead of open ($fh,<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...)) lies in in the true-ness of $ebits. </p><p> If there are no errors, Perl will set all bits in $ebits to 0. However, a string where all bits are set to 0 is still <em>true</em>. So, hell will be raised even if there are no errors. And if file descriptors 4 and 5 would be in error, it would <em>not</em> raise the alarm.</p> Abigail 2006-10-06T20:30:24+00:00 journal Spot the mistake. http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/31238?from=rss I wrote a program that was monitoring three handles (pipes in this case). I want to do something when there's something to read on any of the pipes, and also when there's an error. Hence:<blockquote><div><p> <tt>my $p1 = open (...) or die;<br>my $p2 = open (...) or die;<br>my $p3 = open (...) or die;<br>my $BITS = "";<br>vec ($BITS, fileno ($_), 1) = 1 for $p1, $p2, $p3;<br>while (1) {<br>&nbsp; &nbsp; my $rbits = $BITS;<br>&nbsp; &nbsp; my $ebits = $BITS;<br>&nbsp; &nbsp; select ($rbits, undef, $ebits, TIMEOUT);<br>&nbsp; &nbsp; if ($ebits) {raise_hell ()}<br>&nbsp; &nbsp; if (vec ($rbits, fileno ($p1), 1) == 1) {something ()}<br>&nbsp; &nbsp; if (vec ($rbits, fileno ($p2), 1) == 1) {something_else ()}<br>&nbsp; &nbsp; if (vec ($rbits, fileno ($p3), 1) == 1) {another_thing ()}<br>}</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>But this didn't behave I wanted it to. Can you spot the mistake?</p> Abigail 2006-10-06T11:00:21+00:00 journal No goat. No SCSI. http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/31216?from=rss Yesterday, one of my cow-orkers was getting ready to install a SCSI card into a box. I asked him were the goat was he needed to sacrifice. Being a youngster, he had no idea what I was talking about. My other cow-orker and I explained to him that without a goat, a silver dagger and black candles, his chances of getting it to work properly were zero. He laughed, and went into the server room. <p> Half an hour later, he emerged. Still laughing, and claiming it all had worked. Perfectly. But then he logged into the box, the volume groups weren't there. They still aren't there, and he doesn't know what's wrong. </p><p> I told him that unless he sacrifices a goat, he'll never see his volume groups.</p> Abigail 2006-10-04T14:52:47+00:00 journal More than 6500 pages. http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/30944?from=rss Books that I have picked up during my last trip to the UK: <ul> <li>"I Know You Got Soul" by Clarkson</li> <li>"The Penguin Novels" by Andrey Kurkov</li> <li>"Adrian Mole The Cappucino Years" by Sue Townsend</li> <li>"The Great War: American Front" by Harry Turtledove</li> <li>"Attila" by William Napier</li> <li>"See Delphi and Die" by Lindsey Davis</li> <li>"Who moved my Blackberry" by Martin Lukes with Lucy Kellaway</li> <li>"The Last Templar" by Raymound Khoury</li> <li>"The Big over Easy" by Jasper Fforde</li> <li>"The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins</li> <li>"Perl Hacks" by chromatic with Damian Conway and Curtis "Ovid" Poe</li> <li>"Intermediate Perl" by Randal L. Schwartz, brian d foy &amp; Tom Phoenix</li> <li>"RT Essentials" by Jesse Vincent, Robert Spier, Dave Rolsky, Darren Chamberlain &amp; Richard Foley</li> <li>"Regular Expression Recipes" by Nathan A. Good</li> <li>"Motorworld" by Jeremy Clarkson</li> <li>"On Cars" by Jeremy Clarkson</li> <li>"Birdson" by Sebastian Faulks</li> <li>"Down Under" by Bill Bryson</li> <li>"Hotel Babylon" by Imogen Edwards-Jones &amp; Anonymous</li> </ul> Abigail 2006-09-09T22:16:46+00:00 journal Change of email address http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/30449?from=rss Starting immediately, my email address has changed. It's now <tt>abigail@abigail.<b>be</b> </tt>. Abigail 2006-07-27T22:30:58+00:00 journal Which train would you board http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/30182?from=rss <p>It's 18.35 and you are on a platform on station A. Your connecting train leaves station B at 19.08. On your left, a train going to B (and beyond) sceduled to leave at 18.14, with an expected departure delay of 10 minutes. On your right, a train going to B (and beyond) sceduled to leave at 18.29, with an expected departure delay of 5 minutes. The train on your left will make 3 stops between A and B, the train on your right just 1. The sceduled time it takes for the train on your left is 33 minutes, for the train on your right 31 minutes. There will be no space for the trains to pass between A and B. Queried officials claim not to know which train will leave first. </p><p> Which train would you board?</p> Abigail 2006-07-05T14:50:38+00:00 journal Buggy locking code. http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/30169?from=rss I was using the following code to prevent two instances of a program to run at the same time:<blockquote><div><p> <tt>&nbsp; use Fcntl qw [:flock<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:DEFAULT];<br>&nbsp; my $lock_file = "...";<br> <br>&nbsp; sysopen my $fh =&gt; $lock_file, O_RDWR | O_CREAT<br>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; or die "sysopen: $!";<br>&nbsp; exit unless flock $fh =&gt; LOCK_EX | LOCK_NB;<br> <br>&nbsp;<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... Code<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...<br> <br>&nbsp; END {! -f $lock_file || unlink $lock_file || warn "unlink: $!"}</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>It turned out to be incorrect. Can you spot the mistake?</p> Abigail 2006-07-04T19:18:14+00:00 journal Final hour http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28397?from=rss <p> It's my last hour at my current employment. My desk is almost empty - and what's on it has to stay here, unfortunally. Checked in the latest versions of the sources I've been working on - the last feature added was less than half an hour ago. Finished the documentation. Instructed the person taking over my project, making sure he can build the distribution as well. Saved the few files worth keeping on my laptop (well, the companies laptop, I'll have to return it later...). Cleared out all my accounts on the various machines. Removed most of the non-system files on my desktop - what needs to be done is scratching the disk. </p><p> One cup of tea to go. Then a few goodbyes, and off I go. Two weeks of vacation, and on Feb 1, I'll start a new gig.</p> Abigail 2006-01-18T15:00:34+00:00 journal Conferences in 2006. http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28302?from=rss I've started drawing plans which conferences/workshops to visit in 2006. Not all dates are known to me (probably many of the conferences themselves are (still) unknown to me). And my definitive schedule will depend on how flexible my new employer will be. My top three: <ul> <li>Nordic Perl Workshop, Oslo, 15-16 June.</li> <li>YAPC North America, Chicago, 26-28 June.</li> <li>YAPC Europe. Birmingham, August/September.</li> </ul><p> Perhaps one or two smaller European workshops, specially if their dates are on a weekend. I very much liked the London Perl Workshop, and if there's one this year, I'll try to make it there. </p><p> Is there a web site that lists all planned conferences/workshops? That would be extremely convenient.</p> Abigail 2006-01-10T15:18:41+00:00 journal Book review: "The world according to Clarkson" http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28293?from=rss I bought this book when I was returning from the London Perl Workshop. Clarkson is a journalist/presentor, probably most known from the television program "Top Gear". But he also writes articles in the "Sunday Times", and this book contains a collection of them, approximately from the 2001-2003 era. Each article is about four pages long, and has Clarkson telling or ranting about a subject in his unique style. Other than you might expect, the articles aren't about cars - but almost everything passes the revue. Not a shocking book, but if you like Clarkson's style, it's an amusing way to pass time. Abigail 2006-01-09T14:35:44+00:00 journal 1kb to spare. http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28265?from=rss One of the things I've done in my current (almost finished) gig is creating a linux distro for a small device. Require: the entire distro needs to be installed from a floppy disk. <p> So I had about 42kb of free space on my 1680kb floppy disk when I got this feature request yesterday. Whether I could fit in a 'real' ps, instead of busybox's ps. Right. A real ps, with just 42 kb to spare. </p><p> In order to save space, all binaries (except for the kernel) on the distro have been compiled using uClibc, which is very nice gcc front end to produce really small, statically linked, binaries. As part of the make process of the distribution, any tool that isn't found on our (quite bare) RedHat servers is compiled as well. Including uClibc. </p><p> So, I set off to compile ps with uClibc. No go. It needs a compiler configured for wide chars. I configure uClibc so it can deal with wide chars. ps compiles, and seems to work! Now, will it all fit on the floppy disk? I no longer need ps in busybox, so I kick out the module and attempt to create a floppy disk. It's too big! Not a lot - I can fit the compressed initrd on the floppy disk, but not two additional, small files. </p><p> I notice that the other binaries are slightly larger than they used to be. Must be because they now have wide char support compiled in. Aha! What if I create two compilers - one with wide char support to compile 'ps', and the other without wide char support for the rest? A bit of Makefile hacking, and I end with a floppy disk with 1 or 2 kb to spare (the amount of kb to spare fluctuates from build to build - there's a compressed file system on the floppy and filesystems contain timestamps. And if they are just right, they compress better...). </p><p> That's going to be last feature added.</p> Abigail 2006-01-06T15:27:39+00:00 journal Radio http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28252?from=rss Right now, my favourite radio program has a special show, the first program was exactly 30 years ago. It's a daily program, 365 broadcasts a year, on the last hour of the day. I can't remember the first broadcast, but I do remember listening to the 1,000th broadcast. Soon they'll reach the 11,000th broadcast. <p> Time flies. I'm getting old.</p> Abigail 2006-01-05T22:37:40+00:00 journal Hiking in 2005 http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28204?from=rss On the last day of the year, we made our last hike of the year. This year, I kept a record - I've made 40 hikes, for a total distance of 543km. The shortest one was 5km, the longest 33km. A few times, I hiked alone, but Jet, Stanley, Adriana, Jurgen and Allison hiked with me as well. <p> In 2006, I'd like to do 600km at least.</p> Abigail 2006-01-02T23:41:59+00:00 journal Fjords http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28202?from=rss Last night, we tried a new game we purchased last month. It's a two player game called <a href="http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/15511">Fjords</a>. It's one part tile laying (as in Carcassonne), and one part area claiming (as in Go). The theme is that you're discovering a land consisting for water, mountains and fields, and you have to build farms and claim more land for your clan than your opponent. It makes for a quick game (one round takes about 15 to 20 minutes, rules suggest to play three rounds, but each round is independent and all you carry over is the score). The rules are pretty simple, but the game is challenging enough to be interesting, without requiring a lot of strategy. As in most <a href="http://www.boardgamegeek.com/search.php3?publisherid=267">999</a> games, the quality of the material is sturdy, and the artwork is well done. Abigail 2006-01-02T14:33:02+00:00 journal Three book reviews http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28180?from=rss It's Christmas vacation, so I spend some time reading books. I finished three of them the past couple of days. <p> First I finished <em>100 mannen</em> (100 men) by Mart Smeets. Mart Smeets is a sports journalist, and he has covered the Tour de France for about 30 years now. In this book, he describes 100 cyclists who have participated in the Tour de France - a short article for each rider. It's full with stories, amusing ones, heroic ones, many with a personal touch. It brings up a lot of memories - since the 1970s, I've spend countless hours in front of the TV every July. </p><p> Second, <em>Amerikanen zijn niet gek</em> (Americans aren't crazy) by Charles Groenhuijsen. Groenhuijsen is a journalist working for the Dutch television, who has spend the last 16 years in the USA. In the book, he describes how Americans are, and how they differ from Europeans. Unlike many others, he doesn't do it to poke fun at Americans, or to reiterate myths. Instead, he describes how the American society came to be, and why it's unlikely to change. His conclusion: America is a hard society with good manners, Europe is a social society with bad manners. I'd say, a must read for every European who easily ciritizes or generalizes Americans. </p><p> The book I finished today (well, technically, yesterday) is <em>Watching the English</em> by Kate Fox. I picked up the book during my 10 minute shopping spree on Gatwick when returning home from the London Perl Workshop. Kate Fox is an anthropologist who tries to describe what "Englishness" is. She has spend countless hours observing people queueing, ordering drinks in pubs, commuting to work, etc. She looks how people behave in work situations, at home, how they spend their free time, how they handle sex, etc, and describes everything in reoccuring rules. Quite an interesting read, and maybe next time I visit England, I can understand people better. (Yeah, London.pm, with my new knowledge, I just have to look at your clothes, or the car you drive in to determine your class). </p><p> Currently reading: <em>The World According to Clarkson</em>, by Jeremy Clarkson.</p> Abigail 2005-12-31T01:09:09+00:00 journal White Christmas http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28132?from=rss It's 10 minutes before Christmas ends (here, in the civilized world, we have two days of Christmas), and it just started snowing. <p> A white Christmas after all.</p> Abigail 2005-12-26T22:53:39+00:00 journal Hike http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28120?from=rss Yesterday, we did a 22.5km hike. More than half of it was over old, mediaeval quays. Since we have had a lot of rain the past weeks, the quays were very muddy, which made that the hike was a lot harder than it usually would be. But it was all worth it. We say thousands of birds, swans, ducks, several species of geese, common coots, great tits, birds of prey and more. Surprisingly many considering the season. Beside birds, there were rabbits, hares, sheep, and hunters. And we came across some <a href="http://static.flickr.com/36/76883465_076023447b_o.jpg">lamas</a>. <p> The weather wasn't too bad for hiking. About 7 C, light wind (mostly from behind). No sun though. We didn't encounter any other hikers. </p><p> We will do this route again; probably during spring or summer, to see the differences.</p> Abigail 2005-12-24T16:07:21+00:00 journal Christmas dinner http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28091?from=rss With my SO out tonight, I set down with my cookbooks and drew up the menu for Christmas. Here's a preview. <ul> <li>We'll start with a green salad with dried sausage, raw red onion and an apple syrup dressing.</li> <li>Followed by banana-chili soup.</li> <li>Next course are feta (Greek cheese) pastries with caramalized red onions.</li> <li>As an 'amuse', quail eggs with three different types of salt.</li> <li>For the main course: <ul> <li>Quail with chocolate sauce.</li> <li>Ham.</li> <li>Potato shells with chestnuts and mashed potatoes</li> <li>A fennel and apple salad.</li> <li>Cranberries.</li> </ul></li> <li>Walnut pastries with icecream.</li> <li>Coffee.</li> </ul> Abigail 2005-12-22T01:42:39+00:00 journal Christmas break http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28075?from=rss My Christmas break has started! I have vacation for the rest of the year. Things to do the next 11 days: <ul> <li>Sign the contract of my new employer and mail it back. Take care of some more paperwork.</li> <li>Clean up my desk.</li> <li>Finish the Christmas dinner menu. Shop for the dinner. Prepare dinner.</li> <li>Survive Christmas.</li> <li>Visit the sauna.</li> <li>Hike.</li> <li>Read books.</li> <li>Shop for a new phone, new camera, hometrainer.</li> <li>Plan New Years Eve dinner. Shop for it. Prepare it.</li> <li>Beat my friends mercilessly while playing games at New Years Eve.</li> <li>Sleep. Lots of sleep.</li> <li>Go to the cinema.</li> </ul> Abigail 2005-12-20T22:54:52+00:00 journal Geese http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28069?from=rss I figured that I since I never had goose before, it would make an excellent Christmas dinner. So I informed at the local shop. "Very hard to come by this year. We <em>may</em> have two by Friday. And it'll be 24.95/kg". I guess the goose has to wait till another year. Quail it will be this year. Found an interesting looking recipe - quail with a chocolate sauce. Abigail 2005-12-20T11:21:21+00:00 journal New employer http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28061?from=rss Starting Feb 1, I'll have a new employer. I had two job offers to choice from. One job involved Perl programming, the other system administration (Linux/Solaris/AIX) and database administration (Sybase/Sybase Replication Server). Guess which job I took? Right, the system admin job. Right in the middle of the centre of Amsterdam - a city I absolutely loathe. There are some book stores with a decent selection (well, 'decent' for a Dutch book shop, their selection is dwarved by even the smallest Barnes and Noble) nearby though. Abigail 2005-12-19T16:27:07+00:00 journal Book review: "Op dun ijs" http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28054?from=rss This weekend, I finished the book <em>Op dun ijs, het verhaal van Peter Mueller</em> (On thin ice, the Peter Mueller story). Peter Mueller is an American speed skater and coach. The book tells the story of his (ice) life, first as a speed skater (he won the Olympic gold medal on the 1,000 meters in 1976), then as a coach. As a coach, he started with small countries like Austria and France, then moved to the Netherlands, first as a coach for the national team, later as trainer/coach for one of the commercial teams. Nowadays, he's trainer/coach of the Norwegian national team. <p> The book lets Peter kick against anything and anyone that crossed his way. For Peter, there are only two kinds of people in this world: people that are loyal to him, and bitter enemies that backstab him. There doesn't seem to be a middleground, and unfortunally the book focusses more on negative things than on positive things. The book is interesting in the sense that it lets Peter do all the talking - but that's also the greatest weakness of the book. A lot of accusations are made, but there's no room for anyone else to tell their side of the story. </p><p> Recommended for anyone interested in speed skating. The book is in Dutch, and I doubt there will be an English translation. But outside of the Netherlands, and possibly Norway, who's really interested in this sport?</p> Abigail 2005-12-19T11:07:47+00:00 journal New books http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28025?from=rss I bought two new books yesterday. <p> <em>100 mannen</em> (100 men) by Mart Smeets. Mart Smeets is a Dutch sports commentator, with cycling as one of his specialists. This books contains 100 short articles, about 100 different cyclists, who all have in common that they participated in the Tour de France. From Djamolidin Abdoujaparov (did you know he has a <a href="http://www.abdou.co.uk/">band</a> named after him?) to <a href="http://www.alex-zuelle.com/">Alex Z&#252;lle</a>. (EUR 1.99 at some discount book store) </p><p>The other book I bought is the <em>Dungeon Master Guide II</em>, for the Advanced Dungeon and Dragons game. (EUR 39.95 at the American Book Center)</p> Abigail 2005-12-16T14:24:29+00:00 journal So, here's that job description.... http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/28012?from=rss Some recruiters are weird. I'm looking for a new job, so I have to deal with them right now. Most of them are pretty OK, but some.... Today I was contacted by a lady, and she send me a couple of job descriptions. All in different formats. Plain text (good, all that's needed is hitting the return key before column 80), word (yikes), and, JPEG! One job description spread out over three different JPEG images. Abigail 2005-12-15T23:38:04+00:00 journal "In Her Shoes" http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/27991?from=rss We saw the movie <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388125/combined">In Her Shoes</a> tonight. It certainly wasn't a bad movie - if you want to see a movie without action but with character development (and some romance), I can recommend this. <p> Just make sure you're not sitting in the neighbourhood of a flock of teenage chicks who can't eat candy without making a lot of noise.</p> Abigail 2005-12-14T23:50:00+00:00 journal Black numbers. http://use.perl.org/~Abigail/journal/27969?from=rss Today I got the results of my latest blood test. All figures were in black (which is good, red is bad). Most important value (for me), <a href="http://www.medicinenet.com/hemoglobin_a1c_test/article.htm">HbA1c</a> or GlycoHb, clocked in at 5.9%, which is quite good. Abigail 2005-12-14T00:31:48+00:00 journal