jhi's Journal http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/ jhi'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. 2012-01-25T02:03:08+00:00 pudge pudge@perl.org Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 jhi's Journal http://use.perl.org/images/topics/useperl.gif http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/ I have nothing original to say... http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/32359?from=rss <p>But I just had to share this gem from the oh-so-painfully eighties: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGO2hVA3P58"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGO2hVA3P58</a> </p> jhi 2007-02-09T13:15:54+00:00 journal shock and awe http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/31972?from=rss "The following program can be compiled in ten different programming languages -- and it prints something different in all of them). The languages: C, C++, Perl, TeX, LaTeX, PostScript, sh, bash, zsh and Prolog."<br> <code> <br> %:/*:if 0;"true" +s ||true&lt;&lt;/;#|+q|*/include&lt;stdio.h&gt;/*\_/<br> {\if(%)}newpath/Times-Roman findfont 20 scalefont setfont(<br> %%)pop 72 72 moveto(Just another PostScript hacker,)show((<br> t)}. t:-write('Just another Prolog hacker,'),nl,halt.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-t.<br><nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-initialization(t). end_of_file. %)pop pop showpage(-: */<br> int main(){return 0&amp;printf("Just another C%s hacker,\n",1%<br> sizeof'2'*2+"++");}/*\fi}\csname @gobble\endcsname{\egroup<br> \let\LaTeX\TeX\ifx}\if00\documentclass{article}\begin{doc%<br> ument}\fi Just another \LaTeX\ hacker,\end{document}|if 0;<br><nobr> <wbr></nobr>/(J.*)\$sh(.*)"/,print"$1Perl$2$/"if$_.=q # hack the lang!<br><nobr> <wbr></nobr>/<br> sh=sh;test $BASH_VERSION &amp;&amp;sh=bash;test $POSIXLY_CORRECT&amp;&amp;<br> sh=sh;test&nbsp;&nbsp;$ZSH_VERSION &amp;&amp; sh=zsh;awk 'BEGIN{x="%c[A%c[K"<br> printf(x,27,27)}';echo "Just another $sh hacker," #)pop%*/<br> </code> <br> Originally from <a href="http://www.inf.bme.hu/~pts/index__en.html">pts oldalai</a>, via <a href="http://weblog.raganwald.com/">raganwald</a>. jhi 2006-12-20T01:37:57+00:00 journal grump of an old grump http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/20707?from=rss <p>Maybe it's just me but I find it crass that people use their use.perl journals as a free job ad space. Yeah, yeah, you probably get very "targeted" advertising, the people that might be eligible for the job are likely to peruse the use.perl journals, and you really, really would like to fill that vacancy. But I still do find it somehow tasteless.</p> jhi 2004-09-03T08:08:56+00:00 journal The lyf so short, the craft so longe to lerne http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/17819?from=rss <p>I've read some these <a href="http://eberhard-lutz.bei.t-online.de/classics.html">classics</a>, but nowhere near all of them, and then there's of course <a href="http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/taocp.html">TAOCP</a> that I've yet to start. Sigh.</p> jhi 2004-03-08T22:51:25+00:00 journal Quack http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/14512?from=rss <p>Anyone else been getting this? I've got it now three times.</p><p>From: "a duck" <br>Date: Fri, 05 Sep 2003 08:11:01 -0700<br>Message-Id: <br>To: </p><p>Quack:</p><p>Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack. Quack quack Quack-Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack. Quack "quack quack" quack. Quack quack quack?</p><p>Quack Quack!</p><p>Quack quack quack.</p><p>Quack</p> jhi 2003-09-05T15:33:47+00:00 journal I shall call this... http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/12587?from=rss <a href="http://www.yourdictionary.com/">YourDictionary</a> <a href="http://www.btselem.org/">B'Tselem, The Isreal Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories</a> <a href="http://www.cnet.com/frontdoor/0-1.html">C|Net</a> <a href="http://www.dlink.com/">D-Link</a> <a href="http://www.eonline.com/">E! Online</a> <a href="http://www.f-secure.com/">F-Secure</a> <a href="http://www.komen.org/">The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation</a> <a href="http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/">H-net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online</a> <a href="http://www.ivillage.com/">iVillage</a> <a href="http://www.j-phone.com/scripts/japanese/top.jsp">J-Phone</a> <a href="http://www.kde.org/">KDE Desktop Environment</a> <a href="http://www.lexpress.fr/express/">L'Express</a> <a href="http://www.3m.com/">3M</a> <a href="http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/bluewebn/">Blue Web'n - a library of the Blue Ribbon Learning sites on the Web</a> <a href="http://www.oreilly.com/">O'Reilly and Associates</a> <a href="http://www.sloan.org/">The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation</a> <a href="http://www.q4music.com/nav?page=q4music">Q 4 Music - The World's Greatest Music Magazine Online</a> <a href="http://www.r-project.org/">The R Project for Statistical Computing</a> <a href="http://www.gnu.org/">The GNU Project</a> <a href="http://www.att.com/">AT&amp;T</a> <a href="http://www.whatuseek.com/">whatUseek network</a> <a href="http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/index.jsp">The Bobby Online Free Portal</a> <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/">The White House</a> <a href="http://www.thex-files.com/main_flash.html">The X Files</a> <a href="http://www.y-me.org/">Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization</a> <a href="http://www.healthatoz.com/">Health A to Z</a> <p>a <i>googlebet</i>-- brownie points to the first person who guesses why.</p> jhi 2003-06-03T14:35:25+00:00 journal At least Vlad Tepes... http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/11953?from=rss ...knew <a href="http://erewhon.ticonuno.it/2002/storia/dracula/img/impale.gif">what to do to spammers</a>. jhi 2003-05-01T20:25:03+00:00 journal The slowest CGI I've ever seen http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/11231?from=rss <blockquote><div><p>...<br>You have unsubscribed foo@example.com<br>from the L.L.Bean Email Newsletter.<br>If you wish to re-subscribe, please click here.</p><p>Please allow five business days for your request to be processed.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...</p></div></blockquote> jhi 2003-03-25T19:25:57+00:00 journal with users like these, who needs enemies? http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/9711?from=rss <p>For your enlightenment, I offer <a href="http://www.iki.fi/jhi/darkshad">a recent email thread</a> about a user having problems with Time::HiRes. (The thread is in mbox format.)</p> jhi 2003-01-02T03:24:45+00:00 journal weird connotations http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/8917?from=rss <p>While reading <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0816040885">Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins</a>, I came across a currently fashionable word, a name of a currently 'hip and cool' Linux distribution, and I have to hazard a guess that whoever came up with the name wasn't South African. Or if he was, I really have to wonder... Well, here's the word:</p><blockquote><div><p> <b>Gentoo.</b> <i>Gentoo</i>, for prostitute, is a South African word that may come from a disparaging Hindi term for a Hindu who speaks Teluga rather than Hindi. But it possibly derives from the name of the <i>Gentoo</i>, a ship transporting female servants to Africa that was wrecked on the South African coast. The women were saved but lost all their belongings and were forced to work as prostitutes in gentoo houses to support themselves. <i>Gentoo</i>, first recorded in 1638, also means a heathen.</p></div></blockquote><p>Some further Googling brings up also <a href="http://www.sex-lexis.com/SYNONYMS/PROSTITUTE.htm">more</a> <a href="http://www.campsbayterrace.com/Stories.html">references</a>.</p> jhi 2002-11-13T00:55:43+00:00 journal Grod! http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/4515?from=rss I've got a new cozy <a href="http://www.grod.org/">home</a>. jhi 2002-04-28T22:31:15+00:00 journal Ubar, condensed http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/3381?from=rss <p>Elaine happened upon an <a href="http://www.mercatormag.com/article.php3?i=50">article</a> which is basically a warp-speed version of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0395957869/">The Road To Ubar</a> of which I raved <a href="http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/2061">earlier.</a> The story of the map of Ptolemy still grips me.</p> jhi 2002-03-08T15:29:26+00:00 journal how gibibytes do you have? http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/3364?from=rss <p>Stop wallowing in sin and talking about "gigabytes": <a href="http://www.iec.ch/">IEC</a> has <a href="http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html">solved</a> the problem that has allowed hard disk vendors for years to inflate their capacity claims. </p><p>While you are at it, consider how many <a href="http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/prefixes.html">yotta</a>atoms there are in the universe.</p> jhi 2002-03-07T23:36:05+00:00 journal The Elusive Camel http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/3333?from=rss <p>I'm certain <a href="http://www.elusivecamel.com/">this</a> is a boooringly old joke for the London.pm crowd...<br>but I still find it amusing.</p> jhi 2002-03-06T23:07:40+00:00 journal sushi garnish http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/3005?from=rss <p>Have you ever considered that somewhere in Japan there must a machine that is dedicated to spewing out all that pointy plastic grass imitation inside sushi boxes?</p> jhi 2002-02-21T04:33:37+00:00 journal Goodbye, Sheba, hello, Pylos http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/2670?from=rss <p>I finally finished <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0395952832/002-1096071-2855207">the book</a> I mentioned <a href="http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/2061">earlier</a>, and I wasn't disappointed. Nicholas Clapp saunters around in the deserts of Southern Arabia, mountains of Ethiopia, (the old Coptic churches of <a href="http://www.casema.net/~spaansen/lalibela.htm">Lalibela</a> carved straight from the rocks) not to forget the Temple Mount of Jerusalem, in search of the elusive legend of the Queen of Sheba, Balkis/Bilqis. No conclusive results, but in archaeology one rarely gets those, but one gets an interesting travelogue at least. </p><p> A curious connection to current events is that the land of Saba (that's how its spelt in languages other than English) is in the area of <a href="http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ym.html">Yemen</a>, one of the troubled Islamic areas: bin Laden family is <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_155000/155236.stm">originally</a> from areas of Saudi-Arabia close to the mountainous corner where Yemen is. The Yemeni tribes are still practically feudal: local little wars, killing government officials just because, honor killings, taking people for ransom, are still very much in fashion. But Clapp went in (with his wife and friends!) and did small-scale research on the ruins of <a href="http://www.gpc.org.ye/pic2ind.htm">Marib</a>. <a href="http://www.yemennet.com/tour/marib.htm">Marib</a> had a huge dam (720m long, 60m wide at the base) built starting from about 2000 BC. The Marib dam broke because of series of earthquakes in 600-something-CE, which gave a final deathblow to the kingdom/queendom, that had flourished for 3000 years, mainly based on the irrigation system that fed 30 000 people (back then that was a huge city), and on <a href="http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues98/oct98/yemen.html">frankincense trade</a>.</p><p>The next <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521398304">book</a> in the pile is about deciphering <a href="http://www.ancientscripts.com/linearb.html">Linear B</a>, an ancient syllabary for writing ancient Greek (the most archaic Greek we know), from close to one millennium before the Iliad and Odyssey (Trojan War, for which I recommend <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0520215990/">In Search of the Trojan War</a>) were written down, from times of the Mycenaean/Minoan culture (when the Trojan war, if there ever was such a thing, took place). The decipherment of the Linear B script was done by an English architect Michael Ventris in 1950's, and at least one way it was much more brilliant work than deciphering the Egyptian hieroglyphs by <a href="http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/information/biography/abcde/champollion_jean-francois.html">Champollion</a>, because <i>there was no <a href="http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/prehistory/egypt/hieroglyphics/rosettastone.html">Rosetta stone</a> </i> (that is, the same text in several languages) helping the deciphering-- and in this case, neither did they know <i>in which language</i> the Linear B texts were written, not a single word, none. They had several (but conflicting) candidates: <a href="http://atlantic.evsc.virginia.edu/julia/etruscan/inet.html">Etruscan</a>, <a href="http://www.asor.org/HITTITE/HittiteHP.html">Hittite</a>, some unknown Indo-European,<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... Greek was a very distant (and disapproved by <a href="http://www.dilos.com/region/crete/evans.html">Authorities</a>) possibility. Ventris wasn't scared and attacked the texts armed with linguistics and statistics, and figured out things like "this must be plural of that other thing", progressing to "this could be past tense of a verb"... and finally, after years of diligent work, nothing else than an extremely archaic form of Greek fit the texts.</p><p> I've been to <a href="http://www.culture.gr/2/21/211/21123a/e211wa03.html">Knossos</a> and <a href="http://www.culture.gr/2/21/211/21104a/e211da01.html">Mycenae</a>, and been on a bus by <a href="http://river.blg.uc.edu/prap/PRAP.html">Pylos</a> (another Mycene city in Peloponnesos), which is where the large majority of the Linear B tablets were found, so I'm curious to see what people who lived there thousands of years ago were up to. (Unfortunately, it seems that they were up to <a href="http://www.varchive.org/nldag/pylos.htm">war</a>.)</p> jhi 2002-02-05T23:25:23+00:00 journal Things you can find in Ebay... http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/2475?from=rss <a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&amp;item=1064849794">Bid, quick!</a> jhi 2002-01-28T19:13:18+00:00 journal It was a dark and stormy night... http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/2474?from=rss <p>The <a href="http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/">Bulwer-Lytton</a> results of 2001!</p> jhi 2002-01-28T19:02:14+00:00 journal sense of wonder http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/2408?from=rss <p>It has been long since I've experienced genuine sense of wonder. What I mean by this is some kind of revelation, seeing something in full, in its full splendour, grasping something complex in all its details (well, all that matter to you), somewhat like seeing a mountain in the night but briefly illuminated by a lightning. You see it all for a moment, every detail sharp, then it's gone. Maybe it's because I've been hunched over Perl for too long; maybe it's because I'm growing older (and more cynical, though many people would say that this would be impossible) and less receptive. I've been neglecting my books, old and new (oh, how many new unread ones I have waiting) for far too long. (I guess at this point I'm supposed to fondle something in my pocket.)</p><p>What count as "revelations", then? A really motley crew, of intellectual and emotional flashes of lightning. As a kid: reading about and grokking the hydrological cycle (ocean - rain - rivers), finishing the Lord of the Rings, the Earthsea, a book about LISP; as I started travelling: Stonehenge, El Capitan, the pyramids of Giza, recently, the Uluru-- some books, like the Cavalli-Sforza and Jared Diamond books, the chaos books by Cohen and Stewart, the Assassin series from Robin Hobb, the Legend by David Gemmell.</p><p>Oh well, I better get finished with this 5.8 business, so that I can start whittling down my mountain range of books, and consider travelling again, now that I have someone to travel with.</p> jhi 2002-01-25T05:49:01+00:00 journal CIA World Factbook http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/2164?from=rss <p> Neatness! The <a href="http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html">CIA World Factbook</a> is available as a single downloadable <a href="http://www.odci.gov/cia/download.html">zip archive</a>, inside which is the factbook as it is on the CIA website, with all the content as HTML, and images (maps and flags) as JPG/PDF. If you prefer pressed dead vegetation, you are <a href="http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/docs/purchase.html">lucky</a>, too. </p> jhi 2002-01-16T02:06:25+00:00 journal The Road to My Bookshelf http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/2061?from=rss <p>I'm probably more than anything a history/geography buff-- I find the subjects to be so linked that I don't know what they are thought as separate subjects. Languages come close third-- and I do mean natural languages.</p><p>Currently I'm "reading" (as in: the book is glaring at me accusingly from <i>relatively close to the top of</i> the huge pile beside the bed) <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0395952832/">Sheba: Through the Desert in Search of the Legendary Queen</a> by Nicholas Clapp. It looks promising, I really liked his previous book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0395957869/">Road to Ubar</a> reads like an Indiana Jones story-- except it's true (and no Nazis). First finding references to an old legend of Arabian peninsula (the lost city of Ubar), noticing an error in an ancient Greek geography text that gives a hint to the location of the place, and using Jet Propulsion Laboratory satellite images to survey the area, Clapp heads off to the rugged incense mountains of Yemen, and one of the most forbidding places on Earth, the Rub al Khali desert ("The Empty Quarter")-- and finds the fabled city of Ubar. Well, "finds" with as good certainty as you can without finding written evidence.</p><p>One of the best books I've read recently is Jared Diamond's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393317552/">Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies</a> that is an answer to a very short question, posed to Diamond by a friend of his, a Papua-New Guinea native: <i>Why do you have all this stuff?</i>, or rephrased as <i>Why did it happen so that the Western culture conquered the world?</i> Jared Diamond's answer (which is a fascinating combination of geography, biology, and blind luck) may not be the full or the final answer, but it's a very convincing answer.</p><p>Because of my history twist, I like to unwind by building kingdoms and empires. Never could stand the interface of Civilization, but Age of Empires is cool, currently I'm building away at the expansion pack. (Besides, if you've ever played the boardgame version of Civilization, you know that the computer version sucks raw eggs.) At the university I liked to play conquer (note: conquer, not the PC game of Command and Conquer).</p><p> conquer was a cool multiuser empire-building game, somewhat similar to "empire"-- but most people have probably heard of neither. Sigh.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-) Multiuser (rounds of, say, twice a day, or if you were hardcore, every hour...) exploration, resource finding, building, battle game, with fantasy races. Ahhh, being young again and nothing to do than to avoid physics classes by playing conquer, nethack, moria round the clock... Yes, text-only games, I would exchange most of today's fancy candy dandy graphics to a crisp vt420 any day... Yes, I'm that old. This concludes the memoirs of an old fart for today.</p> jhi 2002-01-11T04:36:15+00:00 journal innocent bits twisted to record banal thoughts http://use.perl.org/~jhi/journal/918?from=rss <p>This journal entry intentionally left blank.</p> jhi 2001-10-09T02:42:47+00:00 journal