Whammo's Journal http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/ Whammo'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. 2012-01-25T02:16:38+00:00 pudge pudge@perl.org Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 Whammo's Journal http://use.perl.org/images/topics/useperl.gif http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/ Coeptus http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/25420?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "And everyone here<br> Knows everyone here is thinking about somebody else<br> Well, it's best if we all keep this under our heads<br> I couldn't tell if anyone here was feeling the way I do<br> But I'm lonely now, and I don't know how<br> To get it back to good"<br> </i> -- Matchbox 20</p></div> </blockquote><p>Four and a half months since my last entry. Not a record for me by any stretch of the imagination, but needless none the less. And, to be honest, the only reason I'm probably blogging tonight is because I've already slept, but it's 00:53 EDT and it'll be a while before I can either go back to sleep or go into work.</p><p>There've been some changes over the past four months. The biggest one, by far, is that I quit my job. ("Quit my job." It sounds so... sudden, like I was engaged in a classic shouting match with a mindless managerial troglodyte, and just up and quit. The truth is, it was a 14 month process.)</p><p>I liked <a href="http://www.raba.com/">RABA</a>. It was an incredible company to work for (when it wasn't Capita). The pay was better than I deserved, the benefits package was nothing to complain about, and there's no better desire for a geek than to work at a company where 90%+ of the people are smarter than you.</p><p>So why did I leave? My boss asked me that question - hell, everyone's been asking me that question, and few people understand the answer. It wasn't for the money; I took a significant pay cut. It wasn't for better benefits; I took a hit there, too. It wasn't for a specific job; I didn't know exactly what I'd be doing next. Instead, it was for - oh, I don't know - peace of mind.</p><p>RABA is a consulting company. Consultants, while they get their paychecks from one place, actually work for everyone else. In theory. Obviously, you're still expected to watch the bottom line, chase down future business, and be a good employee of the company. While at the same time trying to do the same for the people you are consulting. It's serving two masters. (Well, three, really, because I've always considered that I work for myself first, even though I'm not an independent consultant.) And while the conflicts were few and far between, they were there. And because of what I did and where I worked, it mattered. Really mattered. (I apologize if that's rather nebulous. Either you know, and you get it, or you don't, and you won't.)</p><p>Since I had no family, known financial obligations, and too many angst-filled nights, I did what I felt was the only logical choice. In a time when everyone is leaving for companies like RABA, I traded it all in for a chance to work directly for my long-time customers.</p><p>It took a while to negotiate past all the red tape. But I did it, and even though the hour-by-hour work experience is currently much worse than where I was as a contractor, I am much happier.</p><p>Of course, now I have no vacation, so it looks like I'm going to miss yet another <a href="http://conferences.oreillynet.com/os2005/">Perl Conference</a>. (Not to be confused with <a href="http://www.yapc.org/">Yet Another Perl Conference</a>, which I'm also going to miss.) And I sincerely doubt that this change is going to free up enough time to resume any work on Parrot or Perl 6. (And, believe me, I've no delusions that the impact one way or the other would be anything but negligible to the Perl community at large.)</p><p>I'm still playing volleyball. I got picked up on a great (reverse) coed 4s team this summer. Not great, as in our level of play - we're currently 5 of 6 in A league - but great in the sense that they are the first team in a while where I like (and like playing with) everyone on the team. Too bad S. has a boyfriend.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)</p><p>But then again.... During the lengthy interviewing process this spring, I met L. during one of the evaluation periods. We only talked briefly, but she made enough of an impression that I filed her away for future reference. As it turns out, she started the same day I did. Neither of us knew anyone else in our orientation class, so we kind of gravitated to each other. (Well, to be honest, since I'm shy and she's outgoing, I probably gravitated more to her than the other way around. But she at least remembered who I was.)</p><p>It was refreshing to see everything through a fresh set of eyes, all full of wonder and excitement. I had long grown too cynical to realize just how incredible the job could be - (another reason to question why I wanted to work there directly!) - and, like watching kids at Christmas, watching her made me excited all over again. We've been casually emailing each other since. It's been enjoyable.</p><p>I dug out an old, horribly-produced tape I made back before I left for Saudi. Half the songs I can't remember how to play, and I obliterated the first half of the first song. Luckily, my music is incredibly repetitious, so it's not like anything was truly lost. But I figured out how to hook everything up to my computer and record it, so I now at least have a digitized version. (And, somehow, even with an analog recording of a bad tape, the recording sounds better than the tape did - less hiss and noise.)</p><p>It was quite the adventure trying to change all my mailing lists and contact info off of gtemail.net and raba.com. I was going to build a server to hang off a friend's T1, but I couldn't get the hardware to work right, and I discovered that it was cheaper to just use a hosting service. So I'm now at coept.us - coeptus: a beginning, an undertaking. There's a blog there that I'm also not posting to.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)</p><p>Went out and spent the sixty dollars necessary to build my own <a href="http://www.altonbrown.com/">Alton Brown</a> ceramic smoker, and I smoked my first pork butt, as done on the <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_ea">Good Eats</a> episode "<a href="http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/GEFP/index.htm">Q</a>". Best pulled pork I've ever had. And it makes an even better BBQ pork.</p> Whammo 2005-06-29T06:00:59+00:00 journal Intikhabi http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/23129?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "I pull my shirt off and pray<br> Saving myself to suffer the heatwave<br> Pull my shirt off and pray<br> We're coming up on re-election day"<br> </i> -- Arcadia</p></div> </blockquote><p>Umm..., how many of you knew that the Saudis were <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/02/10/saudi.vote.ap/index.html">holding elections</a> today?</p> Whammo 2005-02-11T02:49:24+00:00 journal Desultoriness http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/23045?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Boy, you're gonna carry that weight<br> Carry that weight a long time"<br> </i> -- The Beatles</p></div> </blockquote><p>Update on my <a href="http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/22690">diet</a>. 29 pounds lost as of this morning. 21 to go.</p><p> <a href="http://www.dr.dk/Videnskab/Harddisken/forside.htm"> <i>Harddisken</i> </a> wants to interview me about "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warnock's_Dilemma">Warnock's Dilemma</a>". Surreal.</p> Whammo 2005-02-06T15:48:23+00:00 journal Corpulence http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/22690?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "My zippers bust, my buckles break<br> I'm too much man for you to take"<br> </i> -- "Weird Al" Yankovic</p></div> </blockquote><p>Somewhere in the second half of last year, I finally hit 50 pounds of surplus weight (as compared to when I was in the best shape of my life, courtesy of the United States Marine Corps).</p><p>I had been creeping on it for a while. Since I play volleyball a lot, my knees were really hurting from jumping around with an extra bag of dog food strapped on. All sorts of problems.</p><p>Most of it is the unfortunate result of pure laziness. I cook at home five or six times a year. I cook at some friends' house far more often, but still no more than once or twice a week. I don't eat breakfast, eat lunch from about 10:30 to 4:00, and then have a huge dinner (invariably fast-food) in front of the TV. And let's not forget the four, five, seven, ten!!! cans of soda I drink a day.</p><p>So for New Year's, I watched <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390521/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj0wfHE9c3VwZXIgc2l6ZSBtZXxodG1sPTF8bm09b24_;fc=1;ft=1">"Super Size Me"</a>. While I don't think it was a real eye-opener - I've known what junk I've been putting in my body for years - it was a catalyst for me to actually make some lifestyle changes. They say that you can't change a behavior until you are really ready to, and I guess 50 pounds finally made me ready.</p><p>Losing weight wasn't a New Years Resolution. I didn't realize until later that I had even watched the movie on New Years. But I've lost twelve pounds and three inches so far this year, so I'll take it.</p><p>My dietary strategy is fundamentally "quit eating so damn much". (I'll spare you the legends of my eating habits.) I'm not counting fats, carbs, or calories, but I am making smarter choices about the food I eat. I'm eating breakfast, I'm snacking on fruit, and I've added these strange things called "vegetables" to my diet. I'm eating at home much more often. I've also been soda free the entire time.</p><p>The longest I've ever been able to go without soda since boot camp (where I didn't have a choice, and, quite frankly, had greater miseries in my life to worry about) was four days. After four days, the cravings and the headaches became too unbearable. Thirteen days, no headaches, no cravings.</p><p>I used to eat mostly because I was bored. Now that I'm eating better, I find that I'm not bored nearly as much (probably because I have much more energy for actually doing things). And my knees don't hurt nearly as much when I play volleyball.</p> Whammo 2005-01-13T09:57:19+00:00 journal Lineaments http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/22159?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Fifteen feet into the night<br> Just seconds from the edge of light<br> Echoes darkly footsteps retreating<br> Or is just my heart that's beating?<br> <br> "A whisper of windfall in the air<br> Descends on me without a care<br> As I contemplate the frigid moon<br> Moaning out its lonesome tune<br> <br> "A vision dances across the floor<br> Silhouetted at the door<br> I close my eyes, wishing away<br> The torturous tricks my eyes will play<br> <br> "And so the window beckons me<br> And I strain my eyes so I may see<br> Fifteen feet into the night<br> Just seconds from the edge of light"<br> </i> -- Glass Curtains</p></div> </blockquote> Whammo 2004-12-06T02:21:58+00:00 journal Insensate http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/20021?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "These dreams<br> Go on when I close my eyes<br> Every second of the night<br> I live another life"<br> </i> -- Heart</p></div> </blockquote><p>I'm just showing a cow-orker blogs. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.</p><p>I've been having weird, vivid dreams for about a month now. It's driving me crazy.</p> Whammo 2004-07-23T16:15:15+00:00 journal Licentious http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/19142?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "You ask so many questions<br> What answer should I choose?<br> Is this schizoid paranoia<br> Or just existential blues?"<br> </i> -- Tom "T-Bone" Stankus</p></div> </blockquote><p>The <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:zhool8dxBV4J:www.google.com/+google&amp;hl=en">Google cache</a> for Google claims, "<i>Google is not affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its content</i>".</p> Whammo 2004-06-08T13:22:06+00:00 journal Reaganomical http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/19123?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Like the pine trees lining the winding road<br> I got a name, I got a name<br> Like the singing bird and the croaking toad<br> I got a name, I got a name<br> And I carry it with me like my daddy did<br> But I'm living the dream that he kept hid"<br> </i> -- Jim Croce</p></div> </blockquote><p>Since the U.S. news scene is being saturated with Reagan, here's what I remember most about our 40th president: on the day he was shot, I was furious because the news coverage pre-empted Scooby Doo. (The second most memorable is visiting an aunt in Dixon, Illinois, who lived a couple blocks from where the Reagans lived.)</p><p>Trivia Question: What was John Hinckley's middle name?</p> Whammo 2004-06-07T01:09:57+00:00 journal Jurisprudential http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/19122?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "And now I'm standing on the corner, all the world's gone home<br> Nobody's changed, nobody's been saved<br> And I'm feeling cold and alone<br> I guess I'm lucky, I smile a lot<br> But sometimes I wish for more than I've got"<br> </i> -- Moving Pictures</p></div> </blockquote><p>So I celebrate the installation of <a href="http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/19115/">the new microwave</a> by, of course, going out to eat. Not that that was what was intended. I actually went to Savage Fest. (That's <a href="http://news.mywebpal.com/partners/957/public/news546214.html">Savage</a> Fest, not a festival of savages, nor a festival for Fred Savage.)</p><p>Not that Savage Fest is what I intended, either. I actually went to ask a friend of mine about the <a href="http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/19115/">previously ranted</a> electric stove situation. I had simply forgotten the Fest was this weekend. (Actually, I went over Saturday, and was reminded it was this weekend, although it was rained out that day. Between yesterday and today, I forgot again.) He wasn't home yesterday; he went to see Troy. (His critique: "I'm surprised that critics aren't commenting on how blatantly anti-war it is.") So anyway, I went over again today, and went down to Savage Fest.</p><p>So after some funnel cake, but no sausages, it was off on an errand, and then to the Burger King for a quick bite to eat. As I'm sitting in BK, I find myself pondering their various slogans, including "flame-broiled".</p><p>In their commercials, they show patties of mangled moo-meat on a conveyor belt over flames; flames that touch the meat, I might add. That's not broiling, that's grilling. Broiling is a dry cooking method where the majority of the heat comes via radiant energy from above. There's no convection, and about the same amount of conduction, which is to say very little. But that's not the point of this ramble. The point is, if almost all of the cooking is via radiant heat, then who cares whether it's flame-broiled or electric-broiled or nuclear-broiled?</p><p>But I digress. This entry wasn't supposed to be about broiling. It was supposed to be about those stupid warnings that you find in product instructions. Here's my favorite for the new microwave:</p><blockquote><div><p> <i>Do not use your microwave/convection oven to dry newspapers.</i></p></div> </blockquote><p>The most baffling warning, given that it <i>must</i> be mounted to a cabinet above it:</p><blockquote><div><p> <i>Do not store anything directly on top of the microwave over surface when the microwave oven is in operation.</i></p></div> </blockquote> Whammo 2004-06-07T00:54:03+00:00 journal Reformation http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/19115?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Here comes that rainy day feeling again<br> And soon my tears, they will be falling like rain<br> It always seems to be a Monday<br> Leftover memories of Sunday"<br> </i> -- The Fortunes</p></div> </blockquote><p>So I'm in the midst of replacing most of my kitchen appliances. The kitchen was remodeled in 1988, when the house had an extension put on. Most of the appliances do fine (considering how little I actually cook here), but they all have some little quirk to them, and 16 years isn't an unrespectable lifetime.</p><p>My microwave - a combination microwave/range hood model - seems to lose track of time on occasion, and microwaves have come a long way since the late 80s, so it was the first to go. </p><p>It took several weeks to figure out how to deinstall the previous model. Its age made finding documentation almost impossible, and it clearly didn't match any current installation procedure. Luckily, a friend of mine had previously deinstalled a similar model, and he helped me out. (That's a story unto itself.)</p><p>So anyway, picked up the new one yesterday, and got it installed today, after spending last night trying to figure out exactly how I was going to do it. (That's also another story unto itself.)</p><p>My refrigerator, besides being somewhat inefficient, had the water pump (for the ice maker and the water dispenser) go out. It's also a bit on the small side, so I decided to replace it, too. So off I went to the store with measurements in hand. Now I understand why my fridge was on the small side.</p><p>My available space was 36 1/2 inches in width, with 68 inches in heighth. (There's a small cabinet above the fridge hanging from a soffit.) </p><p>As it turns out, fridges that are around 36" wide are taller than 68", and fridges shorter than 68" are around 32" wide. Ugh. So I returned home to make <i>sure</i> I measured correctly - an act that got me a $65 discount from a sympathetic salesman. I had.</p><p>To the left of the fridge is a 24" deep cabinet extending floor to ceiling. To the right is a counter, with 12" deep cabinets above it. Now, the cabinet above the fridge is a 12" deep cabinet, but it was set flush with the cabinet to the left, meaning it isn't mounted on the back wall, only to the soffit, and not very well at that. So I took it down. I'll mount it in the garage or something. Anyway, more than enough room now. The new one comes next Sunday.</p><p>The last appliance I want to replace is my stove-with-a-burner-that-doesn't, and I came very close to doing that as well. The reason I didn't is because it's electric, and I am still thinking about converting it to gas, which is what the water heater, furnace, and fireplace happen to be. (The previous owners didn't convert because they had never cooked on gas before.)</p><p>Anyway, I had to pull out the stove in order to install the microwave today, and was quite surprised at what I found. Or, more accurately, what I didn't find. </p><p>There's no outlet. None. The power cable from the stove disappears into a three foot gash in the drywall that separates the kitchen from the garage. Even more baffling, this power cable goes up, to at least 6', because I could see it running up past the exhaust for the microwave/range hood. What the...?!</p><p>The stove is located along the wall where the door (to the garage) used to be, before the remodeling. My house is a rancher, so they've could have rerouted it either through the basement, which is unfinished under the kitchen but nonexistant under the garage, or through the attic, which is also unfinished over the kitchen and garage (although divided), but would make almost no sense. Cursory searches of everywhere but the attic have revealed no clues as to where the outlet would be.</p><p>So now I'm at a loss. If the stove end of the cable has the same power connectors as a new stove would have, I could simply reuse it with a new electric stove. If I can't, then not only do I not know where to plug the stove into, but I can't convert to gas because I can't disconnect the current stove. (Well, without leaving a hot wire laying around. Yes, I could flip the breaker, but I wouldn't trust that for a second.)</p><p>Why do I think I'm going to be tearing down some drywall?</p> Whammo 2004-06-06T19:30:03+00:00 journal Ululation http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18939?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "In the desert<br> You can remember your name<br> 'Cause there ain't no one<br> For to give you no pain"<br> </i> -- America</p></div> </blockquote><p>I didn't know that <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120617/">Bravo Two Zero</a> had hit the silver screen. Just finished watching it, thanks to <a href="http://www.netflix.com/">NetFlix</a>. Makes me wish I had done a little more training with the Brits; I had to keep guessing about some of their tactics. And lingo.</p> Whammo 2004-05-26T02:30:29+00:00 journal Pelletal http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18935?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Tonight, tonight, tonight - oh<br> I'm gonna make it right<br> Tonight, tonight, tonight - oh"</i> <br> -- Genesis</p></div> </blockquote><p>Oops. I <a href="/~Whammo/journal/18805/">lied</a>. I just found out it's supposed to be on tonight (at 7:00 EDT), which means several times tomorrow, as well.</p><p>The web page doesn't say anything about it. I hope this isn't more BOGINT.</p> Whammo 2004-05-25T21:28:29+00:00 journal Vacillation http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18907?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "You gotta grow, you gotta learn by your mistakes<br> You gotta die a little everyday just to try to stay awake<br> When you believe there&#8217;s no mountain you can climb<br> And if you get it wrong you&#8217;ll get it right next time"</i> <br> -- Gerry Rafferty</p></div> </blockquote><p>I just discovered that <a href="http://www.comcast.com/">Comcast</a> is now carrying <a href="http://www.buzztime.com/">Buzztime</a>. Now I don't have to <a href="http://www.ntn.com/">go out</a> just to be asocial!</p> Whammo 2004-05-24T01:17:24+00:00 journal Cognominal http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18897?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "What's your name, little girl?<br> What's your name?<br> Shootin' you straight, little girl<br> Won't you do the same?"<br> </i> -- Lynyrd Skynyrd</p></div> </blockquote><p>Does anyone have any recommendations for DNS management software? I'm looking for something that can backend both BIND and Active Directory, and support 100,000+ RRs in 1,000+ zones across two dozen views.</p> Whammo 2004-05-23T13:39:01+00:00 journal Herpetological http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18891?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "If the fifties<br> Were so great<br> Why did the sixties<br> Have to set the world straight?"</i> <br> -- Pinkard and Bowden</p></div> </blockquote><p>Look out! It's the Attack Of The Really Bad Giant Animal Monster Movies!</p><p>Is it the <a href="http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue199/screen.html">50's</a> <a href="http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue277/screen3.html">again</a> <a href="http://www.scifi.com/boavspython/">already</a>?</p> Whammo 2004-05-23T02:11:07+00:00 journal Antiphon http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18890?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Sometimes bad is bad<br> I say, cool is a rule<br> But sometimes bad is bad"<br> </i> -- Huey Lewis And The News</p></div> </blockquote><p>From the <a href="http://www.lge.com/">LG</a> website:</p><blockquote><div><p>Internal Server error<br> We apologize to you for interruption of service.<br> Please let us know by clicking here. (If you do, the error information will be noticed to our system operator)<br> We promise to recover soon from the error and restart normal service.</p></div> </blockquote><p>You're kidding, right?</p> Whammo 2004-05-23T00:30:34+00:00 journal Suidaeic http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18842?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Pork sausage<br> It's a real treat<br> Just what a man<br> Likes to eat"<br> </i> -- Dash Ampersand</p></div> </blockquote><p>Why is it every time I see the word <b>portlet</b>, I picture Homer Simpson with candied ham on a stick drooling, "<i>Mmmmm..... portlet.......</i>"?</p> Whammo 2004-05-20T02:24:59+00:00 journal Collimation http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18805?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Can't get no rest<br> Don't know how I work all today<br> When will I learn?<br> Memories get in the way"<br> </i> -- The Spinners</p></div> </blockquote><p> <a href="http://www.techtv.com/techtv/index.html/">TechTV</a> will be airing a story about <a href="http://www.nsa.gov/techtrans/techt00011.cfm">NetTop</a> on 27 May.</p><p>It should be on during <a href="http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/index.html/">The Screen Savers</a>. <a href="http://cgi.techtv.com/tvschedule?day=0&amp;glance=1&amp;show_id=9&amp;timeZone=3">Check your local listings</a>.</p> Whammo 2004-05-18T15:45:40+00:00 journal Amalgamate http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18782?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "You don't need to emerge from nothing<br> You don't need to tear away"<br> </i> --Fisherspooner</p></div> </blockquote><p>So after a long hiatus - one where my number of machines was actually decreasing through attrition - I laid down a surprisingly small chunk of change for a dual Opteron system to play around with. I've got the base AMD64 <a href="http://www.gentoo.org/">Gentoo</a> distro installed, but other diversions have kept me from going any further than kernel tweaking.</p><p>One of those diversions I'm ignoring right at this moment, and that's school. Again. For the seventh time. Computer architecture. The first section on constructing digital circuits was interesting, but we're now back into all the stuff I know already. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just do it already, you undisciplined fuck.</p><p>And I have to. Well, not really. But I want to. I've just got to realize that.</p><p> <a href="http://www.easports.com/games/mvp2004/">EA Sports MVP Baseball 2004</a>. I was pretty hooked for a while until I started playing in Dynasty Mode. Midway through the season, the in-game email system starts <i>spamming</i> me. And I don't mean the fake spams that they threw in as a joke.</p><p>Went to my friends' daughter's elementary school band concert last Thursday. Ahhh, the memories. These were 4th and 5th graders in their first and second years of band, and the bands actually had an oboe, a bassoon, and a bass clarinet. Ohio takes their <a href="http://www.omea-ohio.org/">music education</a> way too seriously, and I can't recall <i>their</i> elementary programs teaching double reeds. They also had a jazz band, which did quite an incredible job (relatively speaking) on <a href="http://www.santana.com/">Santana</a>'s <i>Evil Ways</i>.</p><p>The cicadas erupted Saturday. Sounded like a UFO landing. Not that I know what a UFO sounds like, or could differentiate the sound of one landing from say, hovering or taking off.</p><p> <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069947/"> <i>Day Of The Jackal</i> </a> was on <a href="http://www.turnerclassicmovies.com/">TCM</a>. I more stared at it than watched it. The most cogent thought I had inspired from the movie? The French tanks looked like octopusses on treads.</p><p> <a href="http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/">Cartoon Network</a> also had the 1977 animated <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077687/"> <i>The Hobbit</i> </a>. Death was represented by kaleidoscope spinning images. I think we should go back to that.</p><p>Let's see, is there anything else to ramble on about? I guess not. Maybe I should cut my hair.</p> Whammo 2004-05-17T01:14:03+00:00 journal Perorate http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18727?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Whatever happened to all this season's<br> Losers of the year?<br> Every time I got to thinking<br> Where'd they disappear?"<br> </i> -- Cheap Trick</p></div> </blockquote><p>Congratulations, <a href="http://use.perl.org/~delegatrix/journal/18428">delegatrix</a>, on your <a href="http://www.cbs.com/specials/peoples_choice_awards/nominees.shtml">People's Choice Award</a>.</p><p>Huh? What? <i>{whisper whisper}</i> </p><p>Sorry, your <a href="http://www.webbyawards.com/main/webby_awards/nominees.html">People's Voice Award</a>.</p> Whammo 2004-05-13T02:23:48+00:00 journal Pollard http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18723?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Spider - he is our hero<br> Spider - get rid of...<br> Spider - step on spider!<br> Spider - we love you, spider"<br> </i> -- They Might Be Giants</p></div> </blockquote><p>I finally got a chance to hack some Perl today. Good times were had by all.</p><p>We've got a sibling organization that feels they really, really, really need DNS resolution of some of our internal addresses (which they're already routing to {<i>grumble grumble</i>}). We've long had an internally rooted DNS structure that we're not going to be able to fix wholesale, and not going to be able to patch in any reasonable amount of time.</p><p>So I took <code>Net::DNSServer::Proxy</code>, hacked in some domain rewrite logic, and now have made available our entire structure in a much saner fashion.</p><p>Sane<i>r</i>, not sane.</p> Whammo 2004-05-12T23:31:47+00:00 journal Abjectness http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/18233?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "This is the end<br> You made your choice<br> And now my chance is over<br> I thought I was in<br> You put me down and say I'm goin nowhere"</i> <br> -- Frank Stallone</p></div> </blockquote><p> <a href="http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/12610">Sure enough</a>, despite the fairly wide <a href="http://www.apache.org/">Apache</a> base installed where I work, the latest modernization effort for web services was more or less rejected because Apache isn't <a href="http://niap.nist.gov/">NIAP</a> certified.</p><p>Of course, neither is <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/iis">IIS</a>, which they approved, but the security accreditors think <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/">Microsoft</a> is more likely to pay for certification than an Apache developer. I'm not exactly sure what they would certify IIS against, as the Protection Profile is still in <a href="http://niap.nist.gov/cc-scheme/in-dev-pps.html">development</a>.</p><p>I did point out that both <a href="http://www.bea.com/products/weblogic/server/index.shtml">WebLogic </a> and <a href="http://www.ibm.com/software/info1/websphere/index.jsp">WebSphere</a> are being tested. The last I checked, WebSphere shipped with Apache. I wonder if the evaluation configuration requires it?</p> Whammo 2004-04-07T22:51:27+00:00 journal Calcification http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/16361?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "There were no defects to be found<br> Snapshot image froze without a sound"<br> </i> -- J. Geils Band</p></div> </blockquote><p>I applied the recommended patch set on my Solaris 9 Ultra 10 this weekend. Typed reboot, the disks synced, and then... nothing.</p><p>So I wait, ever so patiently.</p><p>Still nothing.</p><p>So I hit the power button.</p><p>Still nothing.</p><p>So I switch off the power supply. Ahh, that did it. Power it back on, and...</p><p>Hmmm. No video. Uh-oh. Two hours to get a display back to the monitor. Okay, let's try again.</p><p>Why is it booting from the net? <code>L1 A</code>. Why is it hanging on <code>probe-ide</code>? Another hour testing disks in another system before concentrating on the machine's IDE bus. An hour or two later, the bus magically resets, and everything is golden. Time to boot.</p><p>I'm not exactly sure how I fixed either problem. But then again, I'm not sure how I broke them in the first place, so I'll call it even.</p><p>Kernel panic. Dump to disk! Oops, no dump device. Better reset before the user gets a chance to read what's on my screen.</p><p>Final tally. Lost the mirror. Corrupt boot partition. Ended up doing a complete reinstall. On the plus side, I confirmed I could read Sun SPARC UFS partitions under Linux x86. And I didn't lose any real data.</p><p>That was my Monday morning. And afternoon. And part of my evening. You'd think I would have had enough.</p><p>I picked up two monster disks to expand into. Problem is, I don't have any systems that will support them.</p><p>Well, I have one. My Windows machine, which I have pretty much have just for gaming. It'll support the drive size. Once the BIOS is updated, of course.</p><p>Follow the instructions to the letter. Double and triple check everything. Except whether it would save the old BIOS to floppy for restoration in case of an interrupted update.</p><p>System powers on. I see the banner indicating the new BIOS rev.</p><p>I still see the banner indicating the new BIOS rev.</p><p>I <i>still</i> see the banner indicating the new BIOS rev.</p><p> <i>Sigh.</i> </p> Whammo 2003-12-16T08:04:20+00:00 journal Prosaic http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/13026?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Will you recognize me<br> Call my name<br> Or walk on by<br> Rain keeps falling<br> Rain keeps falling<br> Down, down, down"<br> </i> -- Simple Minds</p></div> </blockquote><p>I had the pleasure of having dinner tonight with <a href="/~ziggy/">Ziggy</a>, <a href="/~delegatrix/">Delegatrix</a>, and <a href="/~pdcawley/">Piers</a> and his wife.</p><p>I never ceased to be amazed at the quality of people that Perl seems to draw. Some days I feel that I'm the most uninteresting person in Perl-land. (Then I realize that would make me interesting, so I drop myself back to second-most.)</p> Whammo 2003-06-24T03:27:09+00:00 journal Wistfulness http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/13000?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "And if by chance I should hold her<br> Let me hold her for a time<br> But if allowed just one possession<br> I would pick her from the garden, to be mine"<br> </i> -- Skylark</p></div> </blockquote><p>There are songs, and then there is music. There is life, and then there is love.</p> Whammo 2003-06-23T01:31:51+00:00 journal Dubitation http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/12610?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "I have stood here before inside the pouring rain<br> With the world turning circles running 'round my brain<br> I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign<br> But it's my destiny to be the king of pain"<br> </i> -- The Police</p></div> </blockquote><p>The DoD may well have <a href="http://slashdot.org/articles/03/06/03/0237230.shtml?tid=103&amp;tid=99">leveled the playing field</a>, but that parity has now significantly raised the barrier to entry for open source projects. (Even though Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has been used pervasively for years, its "verboten" status prevented it from coming under the same governance processes as Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software. Now that it's out from under the table, it can be officially scrutinized by all the various policies and regulations that dictate how software acquisition and development is done.)</p><p>Under NSTISSP 11's new rules, for example, any software that provides or includes Information Assurance (IA) features - such as user accounts and passwords - is <i>required</i> to be <a href="http://niap.nist.gov/">NIAP</a> certified. </p><p>NIAP certification was never intended to be an absolute doctrine. The assessment program, particularly at the lower assurances level, rates the likelihood an IA solution is secure, without providing assurances that it is. Although there is active security testing - do access controls work, for instance - there are no code reviews. Certification is largely design and methodology reviews, and heavy documentation requirements.</p><p>Oh, and a lot of money.</p><p>Very few open source projects have the design documentation or the methodologies necessary to obtain NIAP certification. Fewer still have the bucks to walk their code through accredidation.</p><p>But that's okay, because more and more FOSS is being bundled with operating systems, and operating systems, being IA-enabled, are required to be NIAP certified. So FOSS gets the certification for free, right?</p><p>Nope.</p><p>Certification is against the software load as tested. Modifications to the IA-enabled components invalidates the certification.</p><p>That's right. A patch provided by, say, Sun, to fix a known exploit in its authentication code <i>cannot be installed</i> until the patched system has gone through certification, a process that takes months, and can cost upwards of six figures. (Luckily, this conflicts with <a href="http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/DCID_6-3_20Policy.htm">DCID 6/3</a>, which trumps it.)</p><p>Obviously, no vendor does that. Most don't even recertify the major revisions of their code. The last Solaris NIAP certified before Solaris 8 02/02 (which was approved in April of this year) was Solaris 8 FCS, with two patches, and AdminSuite (and its requirements, such as CDE, installed).</p><p>Now think how often FOSS is patched.</p><p>Separation of the components away from the composite system may also invalidate the certification. So while Apache may be NIAP certified under the web server protection profile as part of Solaris, your build of the same version of Apache may not be.</p><p>So let's ask Pudge. The government is now permitted to use <code>slash</code> on its information processing systems. All you have to do is shell out a hundred thou' or so to have it (and MySQL, and maybe Perl) evaluated. Do you think that levels the playing field?</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>&nbsp; &nbsp; perl -e 'print scalar reverse "NIAP"'</tt></p></div> </blockquote> Whammo 2003-06-04T05:31:16+00:00 journal Omnivorous http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/12600?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "You can get anything you want<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;at Alice's restaurant<br> You can get anything you want<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;at Alice's restaurant<br> Walk right in, it's around the back<br> Just a half a mile from the railroad track<br> And you can get anything you want<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;at Alice's restaurant"<br> </i> -- Arlo Guthrie</p></div> </blockquote><p>Over the past two years or so, I've become a huge <a href="http://www.altonbrown.com/">Alton Brown</a> fan, to the point that <i>Good Eats</i> is probably my favorite show currently on the air. <i>Channel Guide</i> has an interesting interview with him <a href="http://www.channelguidemag.com/brown/index.html"> on their website</a>.</p> Whammo 2003-06-04T00:23:54+00:00 journal Vilipend http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/12569?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "If this world makes you crazy<br> And you've taken all you can bear<br> You call me up<br> Because you know I'll be there"<br> </i> -- Cyndi Lauper</p></div> </blockquote><p>When we <a href="/~Whammo/journal/12538">last left our hero</a>, he was debating on whether to call back, or let things be. Delegatrix had an absolutely mahhhhhvelous <a href="http://use.perl.org/comments.pl?sid=13292&amp;cid=20692">idea</a>, but poor Whammo chickened out.</p><p>So I return this evening from grabbing some Chinese, and guess who's left me another message? She still sounds so sad.</p><p>All right, I'll call back, telemarketer or no. (If I hadn't had the free minutes, I definitely <i>would</i> have called collect.)</p><p>She really was looking for the person she mentioned. She really was sorry for disturbing me, and was very thankful that I called back to let her know it was the wrong person. No, she didn't try to sell me anything. No, she didn't tell me what it was about.</p><p> <i>Sigh</i>.</p><p>Why do I feel like such a jerk?</p> Whammo 2003-06-03T00:17:28+00:00 journal Paranoiac http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/12538?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Paranoia, the destroyer"<br> </i> -- The Kinks</p></div> </blockquote><p>Crap. Crap. Crap.</p><p>I get home from a day out to find an urgent message on my machine - a request to speak with a name that sort of sounds like mine but clearly isn't, her first name, a non-toll-free phone number, and an emphasis on the importance of a call back.</p><p>Now, 95% of the time my phone rings, it's a telemarketer. I stopped answering my phone years ago. My message used to give explicit instructions for removal from phone lists, no telemarketing, and such; and telemarketing companies <i>used</i> to not leave messages. Of course, a lot of that has changed, so I'm used to coming home to all sorts of pitches and gimmicks to get me to call someone.</p><p>This woman definitely sounded upset, if not a little panicked. But why not a last name? Why not a hint as to <i>what</i> is so important?</p><p>This certainly smells like a scam. But her voice... and a non-toll-free number? And every telemarketer from here to Paraguay knows my name. A web search is in order.</p><p>Reverse lookup, of course. And, of course, it can't be found. Well, no surprise there. I've <b>never</b> been able to find something through reverse lookup. But I can at least find out where the area code maps to.</p><p>San Angelo, Texas.</p><p>Oh, shit. There are people in San Angelo who would have a legitimate need to contact me. But one of San Angelos's largest employers does telemarketing.</p><p>Now what do I do?</p><p>Well, I keep plugging the phone number into every reverse lookup service I can find. I plug in the number mod 10, 100, and 1000, to see if perhaps this was a private number hanging off a corporate block. No joy.</p><p>On the one hand, that's good. If it were a hospital or something, I would have expected a hit. Of course, I would have expected that on the message as well.</p><p>Now I'm getting pissed. Pissed at society, when I can't even discern whether or not a personal emergency is occuring because of today's telemarketing tactics. Pissed at this person, if she is a telemarketer, for stooping to such tactics.</p><p>I'm scared and furious. The easiest thing would be to call the number (I've got free minutes to use), collect as much information on who's at the other end, and file a neverending stream of complaints against them. But I've been sufficiently scared by enough reports of people doing that and <i>still</i> being tricked into thousands of dollars worth of scams. Perhaps they're collecting phone numbers of everyone who calls back. I don't know. Paranoia will destroy ya.</p><p>Besides, if it's <i>that</i> important, she'll call back, right?</p><p>Googling for the phone number outright produced nothing. The phone call was made ten hours ago, so if it is marketing, she's probably off shift. I'll call. Chances are, I'll get some sort of indication of who I'm talking to long before a person actually picks up, anyway.</p><p>Voice mail. Personal voice mail, most likely for a business, as she gives her full name. No other information given. I hang up.</p><p>Back to Google. Who <i>is</i> this person? What, if anything, has happened? Still no results. Oh, well. That rarely works, either.</p><p>Crap. Crap. Crap.</p><p> <i>[Edited to fix lyrics.]</i> </p> Whammo 2003-06-01T03:02:42+00:00 journal Denouement http://use.perl.org/~Whammo/journal/12491?from=rss <blockquote><div><p> <i> "Sweet dreams are made of these<br> Who am I to disagree?<br> I travel the world and the seven seas<br> Everybody's looking for something"<br> </i> -- The Eurythmics</p></div> </blockquote><p>Woke up from a round of intense nightmares to find a whole slew of mail I sent out last night was deferred because of mail server rejection. All of the mail were sent to folks at comcast.net. (I'm on comcast.net.)</p><p>After waking up sufficiently to realize that meant my mail hadn't gone through, I assumed that Comcast had finally gotten on the ball about spam prevention, and was rejecting me based on my envelope sender. (It happens on occasion, as I use... er, used an unresolvable host.)</p><p>So I figured I'd have to bite the bullet and finally configure my envelope correctly, which I should have done long ago as a good netizen. Even though I can't actually receive any mail anyway. Flush the queue, and...</p><p>Mail rejected.</p><p>So now I'm thinking... oh ho!* This is Comcast. Their server is just probably down. (I'm still mostly asleep, and am having a hard time remembering the various deferment messages given for each scenario.)</p><p>So then I telnet to 25 on the mail exchanger that's crapping out on me.</p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>telnet mx00.comcast.net 25<br>Trying 24.153.64.1...<br>Connected to mx00.comcast.net (24.153.64.1).<br>Escape character is '^]'.<br>571 Comcast.net subscribers are no longer permitted to directly connect to this mail server. To send email to other Comcast.net subscribers, you may forward messages through smtp.comcast.net.<br>Connection closed by foreign host.</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p>Mmmm.... makes you wonder what MX records are for.</p><p>Okay, okay, okay. At least they gave helpful instructions. So I read through the incredibly verbose comments in the various postfix configuration files, set up my transport to send all comcast mail directly to smtp.comcast.net, and flush the queue.</p><p>So why isn't it working?</p><p>All those instructions, and not a single mention of how to get <code>main.cf</code> to read a separate <code>transport</code> map. Thanks, Google. Mail's away.</p><p>*That's how I think when I'm tired.</p><p>[<b>Edited 3 June 2003:</b> The original title - spelled with an acute e - was causing fits to various pages. It was later blanked out. I'm restoring the title minus the accent.]</p> Whammo 2003-05-29T09:42:13+00:00 journal