After I gave a mod_perl class this week, my Powerbook decided it was not getting enough attention so it trashed the boot drive in some heinous way. HFS gives some scary errors when it cannot find files. I think my Powerbook was giving me warnings for the past week and knew it could crap out once I finished my talk---it knew I needed my custom compiled mod_perl-apache with nifty keen ad blocking modules that I wrote during lunch for the afternoon presentation. The laptop also lasted long enough for me to mail the code to the training coordinator, so I still have them in my sent mail.
Most of anything that I care about is in off-laptop version control, and Randal came to the rescue with a firewire cable and the secret startup key combination to put my computer into firewire drive mode (hold down "t" during start-up, like the old SCSI mode). After benchmarking fsck on a 60 Gb drive at 80% capacity a couple of times, he newfs-ed my disk from his computer and off he went while I got on the phone to order a G4 Powerbook. I like using catastrophic failure to rationalize big purchases. My Apple contact got me a really good deal so I threw in some more toys. It is a viscious cycle.
A lot of unix distributions have improved in the last year. I kept David Wheeler's installation tips page handy, but I ended up not needing it. I could not get perl5.6.1 to do the right thing, even though I have installed it from scratch on Mac OS X several times. I figured a new Powerbook is on the way, so I should upgrade to 5.8.0 on this one. I already have 5.8 on my other development machine and it seems to mostly work.
Now I get a wierd errors from Text::Autoformat 1.04 when I run my journal reader. I fixed most of them by changing the regexen to use ^ instead of \A, although I am not completely sure everything still works as it should. The parts I need still do the right thing.
Malformed UTF-8 character (unexpected continuation byte 0xab, with no preceding start byte) in substitution (s///) at
/usr/local/lib/perl5/Text/Autoformat.pm line 622.
I am not a unicode person so I have no figured this out. Damian is still on holiday last I heard, but this is open source. When it bothers me enough I will fix it.