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jjohn (22)

jjohn
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http://taskboy.com/
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Perl hack/Linux buff/OSS junkie.

Journal of jjohn (22)

Monday September 08, 2003
02:30 AM

[MarkovBlogger] Your butler or housemaid In the original Klingon...

[ #14570 ]
This morning I installed Perl 5.8.0 and CPAN modules onbarista (the albook). That took forever. I also did an impression of Damian's accent because, well, he can't be the only one that couldn't get the submission form for the OSCon CFP to work? I tried several times Friday and on the week-end, and all I get back is some Netbeans page, which definitely was not the case before. Netbeans appears to be some sort of blockage. To get the VCD out I had to reproduce the bug, and I had to port it, because we were using the interface wrong. Ok, but then the Bioinformatics stuff popped into my head and I talked about that for a few hours in front of the selection of lubricants, all water based of course. There scented lubs, fruity lubs, course lubs and smooth lubs. Fine. Unfortunately just as I was ready to move on, one of the UK Linux mags two months ago

Write an article on next-generation garage door openers. Call Ec o for a quote. Something zippy, but not too 'up'"

ignatz: "The garage door opener pulls aside the covering of our humble abodes to reveal an Ali Baba's den of disused machinery and forgotten woodworking projects. Like a genie, it transports us to our unknown past."

ignatz: "Thanks ummy!" The End of The World and Matt Wright

Been a while since I posted a journal. I was going to post something early last week about the hectic socialising with london.pm over the previous weekend, but I forgot on Monday and I invite everyone in the UK are used to people disparaging their beliefs. It's the theists who are usually seen as as slightly strange. A British christian wouldn't see anything shocking in my journal entry as they see and hear similar opinions all the time.

It seems to me that I could spend a week or even just a few days later
Mash, and add water
Heat the liquid for a while now, #1 is a necessary evil, and #3 is because I want to work.

One particularly good find recently was a collection from The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. This music is just plain fun . There's something about a big, bold, bouncing tuba line in their performances that never fails to brighten my mood. Django Reinhardt has a similar appeal, but with clarinets instead of big brass. As I'm scouring comp.unix.solaris for tips, tricks and code snippets, I'm realizing a few things. It seems that the values reported for memory and cpu usage are not (necessarily) accurate or simply use a calculation you wouldn't expect. You can look at "top -n 1" vs "swap -s" to see one example of what the HOWTO's talk about at camelbones.sf.net, it uses actions, outlets, and menu items. My iBook has cramped space, I wanted something even smaller than minimized iTunes, so there it is. I'll share the source in a bit, I'm having routing issues that make uploading a PITA. I love the power of a good IDE/GUI builder combined with the CPAN. And it's pronounced minItunes. :-) Cornel West Overdrive Dear Log,

«And so every puff piece about the film [Matrix Reloaded] has emphasized that its creators, the siblings Andy and Larry Wachowski, do not give interviews -- as if behaving like Thomas Pynchon would give their movie the gravitas of "Gravity's Rainbow." To second the motion, along came Cornel West, the Princeton professor who has a cameo in "The Matrix Reloaded" and is not at all shy about meeting the press. He told Time (for its cover story) that "the brothers are very into epic poetry and philosophy, into Schopenhauer and William James" and that "Larry Wachowski knows more about Hermann Hesse than most German scholars." This does not explain why the movie's multicultural orgy scene looks like a Club Med luau run amok, but maybe the inspiration for that was Kahlil Gibran.»

--"There's No Exit from the Matrix"

domain shortcuts

I finally remembered to put my sysadmin hat on and make these changes:

  • cpan.japh.org goes to my CPAN wiki*
  • piers.japh.org uses some redirect magic to go to Piers Cawley's blog because I can't rememember the awful url

* I am quite excited by the news from ask about module reviews and ratings, hopefully I'll be able to snag this via RSS and we can have a meta-review wiki.

Movie Report - Die Another Day For the helluvit I went and saw Die Another Day. It's pretty good - probably the best of the Bond films actually. Cool intro, lots of action, classic Bond plot. "Hit and Run" Berry and the woman who played Ms. Frost are both hot, of course, but I think ol' Mr. Brosnan should probably hang up his Bond hat before the on-screen love scenes start to get gross.

In other news, Mandrake 9 seems to hit kernel panic about 50% of the time when I boot. I think it's the firewire port on my video card it can't handle, but like I said it only does this sometimes. Text::Autoformat

I just discovered Text::Autoformat for the first time. (I think; I've looked at and forgotten far too many things.) This is apparently an advanced form of artificial intelligence!

  I just wonder if it will handle
my usual typing style. When I type plain text, I start all
paragraphs with two spaces. Most formatters in editors take
that to mean the next line should be indented two spaces.
Haven't read that far in the docs yet, though.

Score One For The Good Guys [Farscape] Check it out -- Possible Farscape. Jingoism for Sale

WARNING: VITRIOLIC, LEFTIST DIATRIBE AHEAD. THOSE UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO HEAR DISSENTING OPINIONS MAY EXPERIENCE NAUSEA, HEART PALPITATIONS, SWEATING AND/OR INTERNAL BLEEDING. CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN, IF UNSURE.

There are lots of things I don't like about America's new war on terrorism. You can start that catalog of distasteful things with the actual 9/11 attack. That sucked. Then the media coverage. What was more painful: watching the planes crash into the WTC towers or listening to weeping talking heads? As bad as those were, there is one thing that really sticks in my craw: the narrowing of public debate on this issue.

There are several reasons why bombing the holy hell of Kabul might prevent future attacks. There are several reasons why the violent US response will promote more terrorism. Where is the debate on this? Why is the media rallying around George W.? It's not like he was suddenly elected by majority of Americans. He's still a few eggs short of a dozen and his speech writers still getting their material from Julia Roberts films (or asprin commercials, I can't tell the difference).

Part of this narrowing of public discourse manifests in looking the other way while petty merchants sell American flag junk. We've all seen this crap by now: pens sporting flags with "United We Stand", Asian restaurant flyer's with a prominent Old Glory, news casters with blue (and optionally red and white) ribbons, and gas-chugging SUV's flying tatter flags. The list goes on. Does this sudden display of patriotism (which now seems to be fadding) seem superficial and devoid of meaning? Of course it does. But, I don't really have a lot of spleen for these media-controlled sheep that can't see through this diversion. Instead, I direct my wrath towards that lowest layer of social scum that markets chinsy flag crap toward those confused and battered sheep.

Before I get too many of those heart-felt, but misplaced "Buddy, my daddy died for the flag" emails, remember that American freedom is the right to have opinions that wrankle the majority. Let's not confuse freedom with a flag. One is an ideal and the other is often made of a generic polymer. The former is far more important than the later.

Whatever freedoms we enjoy in this country should be excersized with a modicum of taste. If you jumped into the flag business, or as I call it the petty jingoist trade, after September 11, you're a craven scumbag. You are not helping America heal; you are just another money-sucking leech feeding at the fatted calf of the American wallet.

Symbolism is not action. We most certainly need real action now and a long-term plan for the future.

Oh, a flag-etiquette tip for those new flag owners: take your flags down at sunset or during foul weather. Check out this site for more information. Opinions wanted - Publishing other people's work? Short Version:

Some who wrote a pretty good module is too scared to publish. Should I publish for him?

Long Version:

A few entries ago, I mentioned that I was working on a C extension for Ruby for the 'df' command. I posted an initial bit of code out in comp.lang.ruby, and a guy named Mike Hall jumped in and eventually came up with a working solution fairly quickly (and it was a different approach than what I had taken, so it was a different design as well).

We exchanged a few emails, I was a guinea pig for Solaris testing, and he did the Linux testing. Soon, he had version .30, a version I definitely considered ready for release (it needs work to support BSD and Windows, but that can be added later). However, here's where the dilemma began.

I asked him to publish it to the Ruby Application Archive, to which he responded something like, "ooh...scary". I took that to mean he was too nervous about publishing his work. It's still not out on the archive.

I can understand a bit of apprehension about putting your work out there for all to see. I mean, most of us probably felt that in the moments before we uploaded our first module to CPAN. You want the module to be *perfect*, and you dread that some idiot is gonna email you with a line like, "What is this piece of junk you dared to post to the Archive? Who do you think you are? Come back when you've reached Guru status". Of course, that doesn't happen, and people are generally very polite about pointing out bugs or asking for enhancements.

However, I have already sent Mike reasons for uploading his module to the archive - it's useful, others (besides myself) have requested it in the newsgroup and it works just fine. It's a handy sys-admin toy. Not everyone is going to come out and ask for it in the newsgroup, but if they see it's available, there's a good chance they'll download it. The alternative is to troll around comp.lang.ruby and send an email every time someone *does* ask for it. And what happens if, God forbid, something should happen to you Mike? That work, and any work he may be doing on it now, will be lost.

So, here is my dilemma. If I can't convince him to upload it to the archive, should I upload it to the archive myself? Obviously, he would be listed as the author, so it's not a question of taking credit (though I'd like to think I was a contributor at least). I'm inclined to say no and keep trying to convince him for a while, but I thought I'd see what others thought.

Any ideas on how I can calm his fears and get him to publish? I haven't heard back from him after I sent an email encouraging him to publish. What happens if I never convince him?

Opinions welcome.

UPDATE 2-May-2002 - Looks like he posted it today. Hooray! Friday Trivia #9 Yep - early again. I'm gone tomorrow and Friday for the 4th and I won't have access to a computer until Monday. This one is probably too easy, since I forgot to think one up until today. Anyway, on to the question...

For 50 Trivia points, from what television show does the following quote come?:

He's mad! He's madder than Mad Jack McMad, the winner of last year's Mr. Madman competition.

For 25 bonus points, name the episode as well.

No Google. Answer posted Monday.

UPDATE Wednesday, 3:49pm CST - We have a winner! pdcawley wins 50 Trivia Points. Bonus question still open.

UPDATE Sunday, 3:17pm CST - Vek wins the bonus points! Mac vs. Windows I just gotta say that Matthias Neeracher is way cool. GUSI is cool. MacPerl supports a lot of POSIX calls very well without much or any additional code, which is just great. Win32 seems to have worse POSIX support underneath, despite being a more POSIX-ish OS. GUSI is the difference: it is a very good POSIX library for Mac OS. MacPerl, and the perl test suite, are a great GUSI test suite. We've found a lot of little GUSI bugs as MacPerl has moved forward. Each project makes the other better. :-) Perl 6 by Damian, again I'm really starting to like Perl 6. And I know that it's being done right because the audience consitantly asked questions that were covered in one of the next two slides. That's amazingly wonderful. Damian might not have thought so, though, as he seemed to be nothing more than the slide changer in the presentation. ;-) It's Cyrillicious! Dear Log,

An d Russian! An d Ukrainian! subscribe perl5-porters I just subscribed to the Perl5 Porters list. I might actually have some source code to contribute to the next release of Perl!

The whole issue came up when I realized, much to my dismay, that Ruby did not support kill on Win32. Because I need it for a project I'm working on, I decided to write my own. For that I started by scouring the various Win32 programming newsgroups and looking at the Perl source.

I quickly realized that all Perl does is call TerminateProcess(), which is analogous to a "kill -9" in Unix. It'll work, but it's not nice. I downloaded bleadperl and noticed that someone did add this bit of code:

if (PostThreadMessage(IsWin95() ? pid :
-pid,WM_USER,sig,0)) {    /* It might be us ... */
PERL_ASYNC_CHECK();  return 0; }

The problem with this code is that it uses the PID as a thread ID. AFAICT this code will never work, not only based on what I've read (I don't think a process' PID has anything to do with a thread ID), but some pure-C experimentation. At least, it never works for me. I tried a few variations to make sure.

So, at some point this week I'm going to submit my own approach to using kill on Win32 systems. And by "my own", I mean one I shamelessly plagiarized off the web, but which seems to work pretty well based on both experimentation and what I've read off of msdn.com. Apache::MP3 Dear Log,

Whee! I mailed off to Lincoln Stein the newly internationalized Apache::MP3, with a few major dozen languages localized for it. I was satisfied that I'd made all the necessary changes to the core modules to handle all languages; the right-to-left languages certainly took some doing, but it's pretty much working fine now.

The larger Apache::MP3 multilingual localization project isn't "done" tho -- I'm still chasing a more languages; I just don't think that the core modules will have to be modified to accomodate whatever new ones I get done in the future.

Now to see what subclasses break... Predictions

  • Before March 31st, 2002, the East Coast of the US will be innundated with 2+ feet of snow, following 7-10 days of subfreezing temperatures. It will melt within 5 days, once the temperature rises to overnight lows of 40F (+5C).
  • The index of leading economic indicators will show that a slight upward tick on christmas spending towards the end of the month, linked to reduced cost for home heating on the east coast.
  • Another upward tick on the index of leading economic indicators will be attributed to the increased amount of time spent on construction projects that can continue to lay concrete and employ full staffs, since the temperatures unseasonably mild.
  • No correlation will be found between tech book sales and the index of leading economic indicators.
  • Before the end of the year, Tom Ridge will put the country on Double Secret Super Ultra High Alert, allegedly due to nonspecific, but credible threats.
  • 20/20, Dateline, 60 Minutes or Good Morning America will shortly be broadcasting a segment touring one of the caves in Afganistan the President so affectionately calls a "hidey-hole".
  • Slashdot will confirm the first loss of life attributed to the really lousy writing on Star Trek: Enterprise.

Interesting Degree Combination

Imagine all the things you could do if you had a double major in Music and Electrical Engineering.

Posted from caseywest.com, comment he re.

From Korea, with Love No wonder I'm getting so much damned spam in Korean!: "In the period of three years, this country has transformed itself into the world's most wired nation, where more than half of the population surf in a wideband wonderland."

Simple solution: set up a filter to reject all email where any header line contains any of the

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  • Something seems to have gone awry . . . or is this the intended behavior?
    Perhaps a new and more subtle joke.
  • The blog was too long, although there are some wonderful bits of nonsense in it. Also the disclaimer footer dropped off. I do keep certain chunks of text together like hyperlinks and blockquotes. Time for a little debugging.
  • Yes, there was a bug in the "indexing" part of markov.pl. As I mentioned, I try to keep thingies like hyperlinks and whatnot together. To do this, I have two sets of regexs: one that discribes the beginning, one that describes the end. These regexs are compiled and kept in an array. When I was walking thru the code, I noticed that I never looked for the ending pattern (array index problem). D'oh.