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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Tuesday January 01, 2002
09:53 PM

Happy New Year

[ #1859 ]

What other title could I use for a journal entry today? I really do mean it, though.

May your coding this year go well. May you create good things with Perl (or other languages if you have to; I will be, a little). May you learn really neat things this year.

If you're in Europe, congratulations on the new currency. I hope this doesn't mean severe recoding for anything. Actually, in this economy, I'm sure some people could use some extensive recoding projects, so maybe I hope it does mean a lot of changes.

If you're Dan Sugalski or Damian Conway, I hope you enjoy the complete year of Perl. We appreciate you.

Lots of projects for me this year. is currently Perl powered, and soon to be Perl + PostgreSQL powered, I hope. Yes, I am religious. Mainly mentioned here b/c of the Perl connection, though. Lots of other Perl projects at work, but I can't exactly post them out here. I will be getting into extensively. If you're still using the TCL Expect because the Perl alternatives didn't seem robust enough before, come back and try it again. (IO::React is a nice, more lightweight alternative. There's also Net::Telnet and maybe another one I can't remember.)

In the non-Perl scene, I'm hoping to add some features I want to LilyPond. LilyPond is in C++, with embedded Guile (scheme). Fortunately I've done both of those before, although not extensively. (Would you believe in a four-year degree I never had a C++ class?) It also uses Python, which I've never gotten into. (I tried, though.) It also uses TeX which is all Greek to me. So, if I had all the time in the world, I'd add shaped-note music notation to this program, port it to Classic Mac and Windows, and add a GUI. Actually I'll be pretty happy if I can just get it to print the shapes.

I may get to travel to Ukraine this year to teach singing. So, Sunday I bought a Russian grammar. I have no knowledge of Russian. There's 33 letters in the alphabet! Unfortunately the grammar, while very thorough, isn't really a learning book. There's no exercises and no vocabulary.

Oh, I discovered last night after I got home from the New Year's party I went to that Stella, the Atari 2600 emulator, has been relicensed and is now truly free! Before it was freeware, and the source was available, but you weren't allowed to make changes. Now it's apparently GPL. I'm an Atari 2600 fanatic (just got the thing out and working again since I finally got a place of my own), so I'm ecstatic.

A friend at work's been getting Linux going on an ancient box he has at home. (It has a serial mouse.) He started asking me questions about how to compile Perl on it last Friday, and showed up Monday with stories to tell. (Yes we had to work New Year's Eve. We had to work Christmas Eve, as well. We only got seven holidays a year up through last year, and this year we only get six but they give us more vacation days.) I'm assisting him through the wonders of and helping to answer questions. I actually compiled a document last week of "best practices for installing Perl" based on my experiences at work; after he's gotten up to speed on some of the ins and out I'm going to ask him to run through the document and give me his feedback. It's all about where to put Perl (I always do /usr/local/perl561 (or /usr/local/perl\d\d\d) with symlinks in /usr/local/bin, and I leave the system Perl alone if there is one), how to configure, what modules to install for needs we have on the majority of our machines, and so on.

So, I hope this year finds you working on really neat projects and doing really neat things and learning really neat stuff.

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