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ct (2477)

ct
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http://cthompson.com/

Journal of ct (2477)

Monday April 14, 2003
09:07 AM

DIE SPAMMERS DIE!

I was just speaking with Matts, it seems that I too have been the victim of the fake From: address spamming.

I have all usernames at cthompson.com pointing to my inbox, with about ten filtered out. Early last week I started getting bounces at about four a day. Between 5pm last night and 9am this morning, I got 37.

Matt, of course, knew exactly what was going on. "Oh," he said, "You've been Joe Jobbed." It bothers me the practice is common enough to have a name.

I was already fairly convinced in the lack of worth in the human race as a whole. Now I just have proof.

Monday October 21, 2002
08:48 AM

the CPAN spam harvest

So, just in case anyone hadn't noticed, CPAN has been spidered for email addresses.

I have *@cthompson.com forwarded to my Inbox, and I use a different string for the username depending on who I'm giving the address to.

The address perl@cthompson.com has been used exactly three places...

use.perl.org

perlmonks.org

CPAN

I can't find a place on the first two I can get my email address, but checking Search.CPAN, there's my email address nicely formatted.

Several weeks ago I started getting german porn spam sent to that address. These were largely easy to filter, as they all contained the string "SEXKONTAKT" somewhere.

Today I got...

From: "Dr. Carter, President"
Reply-To: "Dr. Carter, President"
To: "perl@cthompson.com"
Subject: To: perl as a Good Person

Regular english language spam, though I must admit, it's not one I've seen before. This one appears to be selling some sort of self help book. Reading the copy it almost sounds like books on Scientology.

So, to HFB and crew who run search.cpan.org, I want CPAN to have my email address, but displaying it on search.cpan in plain mailto: format mean that any address I give CPAN is likely to be snarfed up for spam use.

I'd recommend at minimum, removing email addresses from the pages.

Monday August 26, 2002
04:46 PM

Switch

White background, close in on a fat pale midwestern white guy, slightly off center in frame.

"Hi," he says, "My name is Chris, I'm a PC user from way back. I've worked as a PC service tech, as well as a Unix developer and Infrastructure person, and I switched to Mac about six weeks ago."

Frowning, he continues. "I upgraded to 10.2, and almost switched myself out of a job."

See, they don't make commercials like that, but they should. Right now I'm so livid I'm just beside myself.

To burn a CD under OS X (Or Mac OS X, or X.2 or Mac.NeXT.X.10.2.bork.bork.bork, or whatever Pudge wants us to call it.), you stick a blank in, it asks what you want to call that CD Volume and what type of CD you want to make. You drag and drop files onto the CDR icon, and, when done, drag the icon to the trashcan icon, which has helpfully turned into a Burn icon.

That's it. No muss, no fuss. Sort of.

I upgraded to Jaguar on Tuesday. On friday I was contacted by management. They needed a copy of a CD I'd created with a demo of our product. I had created probably 50 of these CD-R's with 10.1.5 without a hitch. They worked everywhere. So I did the same thing under 10.2. And they shipped the CD off, overnight, to Puerto Rico, where a sales rep is doing a demo for a bunch of schools Tuesday morning.

Just an hour ago I was perusing MacMinute and found a reference to a problem. I tested it out and was absolutely horrified.

MAC OS X 10.2 BURNS CDS THAT CANNOT BE READ BY WINDOWS MACHINES

You can only see the top level of the CD, and cannot change into any subdirectories. So, I had to go in to the VP's office just now and tell her that the CD that we shipped to Puerto Rico for a massively important demo Tuesday was completely bogus because I had used my Mac to burn it, and there was no feasible way to get another CD to Puerto Rico on time.

She was visibly upset. And had a right to be. She told me to not use the "Frigging Mac" anymore.

When she calmed down, we did manage to figure out a way to get the files to this sales person, and I wasn't fired, but I definitely created myself some problems which WILL come back to haunt me at my next review.

My name is Chris, and I'm a Financial Aid Product Manager.

Wednesday July 31, 2002
08:36 PM

Or not.

OK, so, with no takers on my iBook, and with the Apple store refusing a return, I'll be using this machine for a while now. If anyone's interested, I do know where there's a TiBook 667 for sale.

I continue to settle in with OSX, and I get more and more amazed at how 'Right' it is. Heck, even Matt, who tried his darnedest to dislike OSX, seems to be coming around.

My own gripes keep getting answered. I bemoaned the lack of an IRC client that worked the way I wanted. One window, each channel full size, switching back and forth with the tabs, only viewing one channel at a time, with the ability to be on two servers at a time. You'd have thought I was asking for the moon.

In the end, I found Snak, which I had looked at before but couldnt get it doing multiple servers. I tried it again with great success. I still prefer xchat, and have it installed, but this way I don't have to run XFree, and I can cut and paste back and forth. I'm sure there's a way to cut and paste back and forth between aqua apps and XFree apps, but I surely haven't found it yet.

Snak being a Carbonized app, i.e. a MacOS9 application with an OSX wrapper, looks largely like an OS9 app and misses out on all the Aqua sexiness, but it's not that bad.

My only remaining gripe, so far, is the Terminal.app. It works just fine in the default Monaco 10pt font. Try any other font or size and you either get absolutely atrocious font smoothing (to the point of being illegible), or you get a font with massively screwed up spacing (Huge gaps between each character).

I have a folder on my dock filled with a bunch of terminal session files. These files, named SOMETHING.term, when clicked, launch Terminal with the settings in that file. I've got one for every machine I have to ssh to, each one with the Execute string set to something like "ssh ct@foo.com". Works like a charm.

I found a shareware terminal called GLTerm that works beautifully. It comes with it's own fonts and uses OpenGL to render them wicked fast. The fonts are incredibly legible all the way up the scale. Unfortunately, it has no concept of a .term file, so I have no way to trigger it with a command, and my SSH folder is useless, leaving me to type ssh by hand. I think I'm going to try and shake some applescript at it.

Tuesday July 30, 2002
10:57 PM

iBook for sale

OK, I know this is going to sound odd, but hear me out.

I love my iBook. Love it. It's a hell of a machine. Of course, I find out now, four days after my ability to return it to the Apple Store, that a friend of mine has a Titanium Powerbook he's selling. The price difference, for me, is small, and I really want the G4 processor. I'm going to be doing some digital recording, and playing with fun tools like Reason, as well as editing movies. Those type tasks are really better on a G4. G3 can do them, but G4 is really optimized.

So, If I can get a decent amount for my iBook, I'm going to snag his. Here's the scoop.

Apple iBook 700MHz, 14.1" screen, Radeon Graphics, 30gig drive.
Bought brand new 7/16/02 at Apple Store Cincinnati
Apple Airport Card
Upgraded to 640megs with the addition of a 512meg SODIMM.

Price for this system on store.apple.com, $2233.

I'm selling mine for $1800, and I take paypal.

This is a hell of a system, and it would serve me well, but I'm a power junkie, and the lure of the TiBook calls me.

Drop me a line to ibook@cthompson.com if you're interested.

Monday July 22, 2002
08:49 PM

Case Insensitive.

In the months leading up to my taking the plunge full force into OSX world, I read alot of stories by people who had "Switched" before Apple made that a marketing ploy. Invariably people would complain about the case-insensitive nature of HFS+. Flame wars would ensue, insults thrown, international incidents nearly caused.

Finally, one guy, a former BeOS guru who had switched, wrote something about "Who cares, how many times do you ACTUALLY need two files in the same directory, one named foo.doc and the other Foo.doc?"

I'll tell you when. In the PATH.

I am currently installing mod_perl on my iBook just to play. The config kept dying, and I couldn't grasp why. And then, it hit me.

The HEAD script that comes with LWP was earlier in my path than the stock /usr/bin/head. The config calls "head -1 somefile", and HFS+ helpfully served up LWP's HEAD, which dies complaining that -1 is an invalid switch.

Go figure.

Sunday July 21, 2002
07:18 PM

A damn useful machine.

So far, I'm loving the iBook, and OSX. I installed all sorts of fun stuff. Office X, JEdit. A friend recommended the amazing Liteswitch and Windowshade, both are running and make OSX just that much better. I'm still looking for a decent IRC client, right now using AthenaIRC, but I'm not thrilled. I've got XFree and xchat installed, but after all these native OSX apps, XChat is just flat ugly, and until my cash reserves heal enough to buy more ram, I'm only at 256megs. Running XFree just to run XChat seems a bit crazy. And to make matters worse, I can't stand ircII.

Two things have really bugged me so far.

First, I downloaded, compiled, and installed perl 5.8.0 into /usr/local, leaving the stock perl in /usr. This works fine, except 5.8.0 complains about locale.

[ct@eve ~]% perl -v
perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
        LC_ALL = (unset),
        LANG = "en_US"
    are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").

I can set LC_ALL to "C", but trying to set it to en_US makes perl complain. Sure enough, there's no "en" directory in /usr/share/locale. Where this is a real problem is that I run Glucose Software's WeatherPop in my menu bar. This has a small perl component which actually retrieves the weather data, and it won't run with the 5.8.0 perl, it pops up the warning above. Since I havent got a clue how to set an env variable for the whole session, I'm stuck. I've got the old perl back in /usr/bin/perl for now, and that makes weatherpop happy. (91F Partly Cloudy.)

The other piece is that Terminal.app is really causing me grief. I'll admit, I've been spoiled by Konsole, which I ran constantly in linux/kde3, my desktop before I "Switched". I run ALOT of terminals on many boxes. At least six boxes I'm on daily. I like having a graphical menu of possible ssh destinations. Under Konsole, I'd saved a bunch of session files, each running a different "ssh hostname".

I tried the same thing under OSX, a folder in my home dir copied to the dock, filled with a bunch of saved Terminal.app session files. It works, sort of. Hold down the mouse button on the folder in the dock, a menu pops up above it listing all the .term files. Select, and boom. Except that if you don't already have a terminal loaded, it will load two. One off localhost, one to execute your command.

I asked a friend what he did, as I knew he had even more machines than I did. He said "If you can get Terminal to not run two terminals from a .term, let me know."

So, I throw those two out to the OSX gurus. How do I set LC_ALL for the whole session, and how do I double click a foo.term in the finder and have it run JUST THAT terminal?

As to all the people who responded to Matts' iBook question "Why not an iBook?", I'd like to counterpoint.

My biggest whine about the macs has always been "One Mouse Button". That is, until I used one. I really have never missed the other button, the GUI just doesn't need it. The rare cases it does, it's a simple option-click, or ctrl-click. Sure, a nice three button wheel mouse would be nice, but it's not been a showstopper yet.

As to the keyboard, I really don't know what people complain about. I've seen alot of comments about "non-standard" key layouts. In three days, I've got ctrl option and command in muscle memory, so I really don't know what specifically it is that pissed people off.

And as to the price, I paid $1799USD, + $99 for the Airport card. I'm about to spend around $110 for a 512meg SODIMM. I don't think those prices are way out of line. Granted, the TiBooks are quite a bit more, up to $3100, but for what you get, and for how well they work, I wouldn't feel any buyer's remorse, if I had that kind of cash, that is.

So far, this is the most useful system I've ever owned, bar none.

Tuesday June 18, 2002
11:42 AM

Ignorant PC User seeks Mac Guru for help and companionship.

OK, so, even though I'd made a decision to not post here anymore, I'm back, hat in hand, because I need some tech information I just can't seem to get elsewhere. With over two months passed since certain incidents which skewed my viewpoint, I'm back, and ready to be a useful member of the use.perl family again. My personal journalling (Which made up a substantial part of my posts here) have been moved to my personal site at cthompson.com, but I'll post technical thoughts here.

I'm a PC guy. Well, not quite true. I'm an Atari ST guy who, faced with the impending doom of Atari, jumped ship to Intel and DOS/Windows. Through the years I've DOS, Windows, and finally Linux. Linux became my primary desktop with the release of Mozilla 0.9.4, and I've rarely looked back.

Except, well, I've fallen in love with OSX. Now, I'm an old school Mac hater. MacOS was, back then, a silly toy to me. After a winter filled with reviews of OSX by hardcore geeks who rave about its ease of use, and beauty, I tried it out briefly at the local Apple Store. This is the way an OS should work, to my mind.

My personal machines are old hand-me-down refugees. My fileserver is a dual Celeron 366, my firewall an old Pentium Pro I built from scrounged parts, my primary workstation an IBM Thinkpad 600 P2/266 I got for free. I'm ready to upgrade to a "Real" machine and had looked at Athlons, but the siren's song of OSX keeps calling me.

The problem is, the hardware is damn expensive, comparatively. And to make matters worse, I don't have a clue what the relative machines are worth speed wise, so I need a Mac Guru (pudge?) to clue me in on the relative worth of the different levels of Mac hardware.

The machine I like the best right now is the iBook, but it's only a G3. Is that bad? Is a G3/500 based iBook too slow to run OSX? I know people do, but that doesnt mean it's preferred. The TiBooks are too expensive, the iLamp is a pretty good price, but it's not exactly upgradeable. The Cube is definitely sexy, but someone told me they have firmware problems that cause incompatibility problems. The eMac is the best price point in a G4, but if I'm going for a desktop, I want something with slots, I think.

So, an open call to Mac Gurus, what works well with OSX and how can a guy on a budget switch?

Tuesday April 02, 2002
01:25 PM

That'll teach me.

Friday night, in a fit of perturbed (disturbed?) ambition, sick with a bad cold, tipsy from cold medicine, having just gotten off an angry phone call with my wife, I deleted every single journal entry I had ever written.

I don't like flames, whether they're full of obscene vitriol or well intentioned though. It's not who I am, not who I want to be.

While I still stand behind most everything I said in that entry about Simon, I don't want that out there as part of my permanent record. It's not representative of who I am.

So, Le Skyhook est mort. There is no conspiracy. I was not censored in any way. Neither pudge, nor simon contacted me. I watched a bit of the conversation on #perl after I posted (And was pasted the rest by sympathetic friends), and both Pudge and Simon did what I wish I'd done in the first place. They politely declined to comment.