krellis's Journal krellis'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. 2012-01-25T02:20:09+00:00 pudge Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 krellis's Journal TPF Auction at OSCON Raises Over $4500 The TPF auction at the party at OSCON2003 raised over $4500 for the Perl Foundation. See the <a href=""> Press Release</a> and <a href="">OSCON Kwiki</a> for more information. And there'll be a use.perl story and maybe even Slashdot (if the editors like me today) once someone gets around to it. krellis 2003-07-11T08:52:57+00:00 journal Wireless Goodness <a href="">Casey West</a> and I have set up a makeshift wireless network here at the Cheshire hotel in St. Louis for anyone who wants to use it. It's uplinked through my Earthlink dialup (getting 26.4kbps due to phone line conditions), and wireless via Casey's Linksys WAP11 and high-gain omnidirectional antenna. Anyone's welcome to use it with an ESSID of "cwest". It'll go down in the morning so I can take my laptop to the sessions, but probably go back up tomorrow night. It gets pretty good range - signal is available somewhat down in the first floor lounge, and pretty decently in the wine/beer garden. The antenna is in room 207, so you can guess ranges from there. Enjoy!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:) krellis 2002-06-27T04:57:34+00:00 journal Under 21 Woes We all piled into Casey's car to go down to the bar where everything is "happening"... but of course, I'm not 21. IDs being checked at the door, no go for me.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:( If only I had a damned fake ID to use, or was that 8 months further along. Ahh, to be old and successful instead of young and successful. krellis 2002-06-26T04:52:03+00:00 journal Got to be trendy! Well, since everyone else is linking to it: <a href="">OSCON LAN PARTY!</a><nobr> <wbr></nobr>:) krellis 2002-06-18T22:53:13+00:00 journal Quiz Show! We found out yesterday that the <a href="">Dyn</a> crew got selected to be part of Jon Orwant's Internet Quiz Show, one of the Tuesday evening <a href="">events</a> at <a href="">OSCON 2002</a>. So register for OSCON and come out to see us make total idiots of ourselves!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:) krellis 2002-06-12T23:20:56+00:00 journal Apache 2 Goodness <p>I finally got around to building &amp; testing apache2 as a front-end mod_proxy server for our stuff here at <a href="">dyn</a> today. Initial testing on our testbed machine is very promising, I just have to run through and re-tweak the configuration (once I acquaint myself with the different ways apache2 does some things) for performance, and then it'll be ready to deploy in production.</p><p>Learned that the functionality of the mod_proxy_add_forward module that we'd been using can be accomplished with mod_headers and three RequestHeader rules. Of course, that might be a shade less effecient, since mod_headers is probably bigger than mod_proxy_add_forward, but the latter hasn't been ported to apache2, and the former is in core, and that little bit more memory won't kill us.</p> krellis 2002-06-04T21:51:03+00:00 journal OSCon! Sent in the payment for the <a href="">DynDNS</a> crew to get to OSCon today - I'm happy to have found out about a Perl Mongers' discount code via and used that to shave almost a grand off our total cost. I'm glad to now have almost everything for my summer o' travelling set down in stone and taken care of, makes me feel better anyway. I'm looking forward to having our major technical core crew together for OSCon, it should be an awesome week. krellis 2002-05-29T00:14:29+00:00 journal Database Goodness <p> <a href="">triv</a> and I made a big switch from one database machine to another for <a href="">dyn</a> tonight. It was a bit more of an adventure than it should have been because I couldn't get mysql to compile. After leaving it for dinner I came back and compiled with debugging symbols to discover problems with the thread library. Well, that was helpful. Several head-bangings-on-wall later, I realized I'd been playing with linuxpthreads on this FreeBSD box when I got interrupted by life 6 months ago, and that the configure/compile was getting horribly confused. Un-installed linuxthreads, re-configured and compiled, viola, working MySQL!</p><p>With that hurdle out of the way, everything went very smoothly, about 10 minutes total downtime, with DNS remaining up of course, because our DNS simply doesn't go down<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:) The new box isn't<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/all/ that much faster, it's close to the same hardware, but it's tweaked considerably with some lessons we learned the first time through. And it's running a shiny new FreeBSD 4.6-RC that I installed on it as part of my troubleshooting before I realized the linuxthreads problem.</p> krellis 2002-05-22T04:29:56+00:00 journal YAPC Booked! Got all the arrangements settled and room booked for <a href="">triv</a> and I to get to YAPC today. Got business cards in today. All is coming together for an excellent summer!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:) krellis 2002-05-08T21:30:05+00:00 journal OSCon! So, I finally got around to finding the right flights and booked the <a href="">DynDNS</a> crew to OSCon today. Now I just have to wait for Amex to realize I have buttloads of credit that they should be giving me and get the actual conference bookings done. Then we'll be <i>all</i> set. I'm really looking forward to this, I had a blast at OSCon last year, and having Chris, Tom, and Jeremy along is going to make it all that much better. Woohoo! krellis 2002-05-01T04:44:28+00:00 journal PDA Goodness <p>I was out shopping at Staples last night, and came across what might be the most beautiful thing I've seen in a while - the newest model of the Sharp Zaurus (SL-5500). For those of you who haven't heard of it (like I hadn't - I must have been living in a cave), this Zaurus is freaking awesome. It's a standard Palm-ish-sized 240x320 65,536 color reflective LCD (very well backlit), which runs on a Linux 2.4 (embedix) kernel with a Java-based GUI front-end. It's incredibly slick. I fell in love at first sight, and just had to have one. My wallet's not too happy, but damn if I am!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p><p>I've already got the 802.11b CompactFlash module ordered, too. Built-in driver support with GUI configuration, just plug it in, and boom, it works. Nice.</p> krellis 2002-04-20T17:01:54+00:00 journal Life! <p>So I spent the last week implementing the Game of Life (Milton Bradley, not Conway) in Perl. That was pretty fun. See <a href="">Life@WPI,</a> for the end result of my efforts, and those of the others who worked on it getting the graphics and design together. The rules are a bit different, and you have to actually play for the "computer" players, but it's pretty impressive for being mostly written in about 48 hours of solid coding this weekend!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p><p>The sidebar CGI that does most of the work came out to a shade over 800 lines of code, for 28.5k of filesize. It's horribly non-modular, linear, and hack-ish. But it works, and it hasn't quite brought the web server to it's knees yet!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p> krellis 2002-04-01T15:57:43+00:00 journal Geeky Friends! <p>You know your friends are major geeks when they give you a going-away party, and the cake has it's message screen-printed on, in obfuscated perl, ala the <a href="">ThinkGeek perl shirt</a>. And then they made me parse it before we could eat the cake!</p><p>It was all good fun, of course. They got me a stack of <a href="">Despair</a> demotivator posters to adorn my new office, too. Those'll be much fun. Thanks guys!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p> krellis 2002-03-16T17:44:48+00:00 journal PayPal/Slashdot <p>So I got an e-mail from PayPal's "Director of Geek Marketing" the other day after a <a href=";cid=3091390">post</a> on Slashdot defending PayPal from some ravenous people who seem to hate it, many on principle rather than because they were actually screwed themselves. He said they might be interested in doing a case study on us... do I take the free publicity, or do I tell him that, frankly, we're in the process of getting away from PayPal as soon as I have the time to research the alternatives? I mean, I'm happy to say good things about my experience with PayPal, but that doesn't mean that some of the stories going around, and problems with regulatory agencies, don't have me scared. I suppose the truth is best, and we'll see if they still want to do a case study on our past use!</p> krellis 2002-03-06T20:09:32+00:00 journal Progress <p>Well, for those of you who may have been interesting in the job that's opening up due to my departure from <a href="">WPI</a> (see one of my prior journal entries if you ahve no clue what I'm talking about<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)), the position has been <a href="">posted</a>. So feel free to flood HR with resumes, I'm sure they'll enjoy it!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p><p>And on the "what will I do once I'm gone" front, office space is going to be secured Real Soon Now (tm), as soon as my realtor calls me back and puts a lease in my hands to sign. Then it's time to order the phone lines and T1, and get furniture, and all that fun stuff! Woohoo!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p> krellis 2002-03-06T20:06:46+00:00 journal Office Goodness <p>Well, things are looking up for office space for dyn to live in. I'm heading over to take a look at a space this afternoon, and if it looks good we should be able to move in Real Soon Now (tm). Hopefully I'll have something more firm than that later. Then it's just the 30 days of waiting for Verizon to drop in our T1 and phone lines, thanks to <a href="">G4 Communications</a>. It always helps to have a friend who's the network engineer for a local ISP. I can't wait to get our 3Com NBX 100 VoIP system and start playing with it, too. Woohoo. Dyn will finally have an actual office somewhere!</p> krellis 2002-02-28T16:40:57+00:00 journal Outta Here <p>Well, now it's official - I've resigned my position here at <a href="">WPI</a> with, of all days, the Ides of March as my last day of employment. Things with <a href=""></a> have just been getting to the point where we really need at least one full-time staff member to handle business stuff, and work on more small-biz-focused services, and I guess I'm it.</p><p>My job here was getting to be pretty repetitive anyway, I guess. Time for a change. I wish I didn't have to leave the cool people I work with here, but that's just life I suppose. This will let me get back to some real coding for Dyn, too, which I haven't actually really been involved with for quite some time.</p><p>So, if any of you'ers are looking for a somewhat menial but decently paying and pretty secure web programming job in academia out here in Worcester, watch the WPI job postings over the next few weeks. I'm not sure that they're going to post exactly my job, or something else, but it might be worth looking. And wish me luck in getting everything sorted out for Dyn!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p><p>For those curious about what I do, I'll remind you that I don't know for certain that my job will be posted as it currently stands. I do a mix of stuff, pretty much all writing Perl CGIs, lots of MySQL databases interfaced to the web for various different stuff, other random things that departments in the university need. Not a lot of really technically challenging stuff, on a day-to-day basis, but there are always the fun little hacks that need to be done, which is the part of the job I really enjoyed the most. There's not a lot of HTML/graphics involved in what I did here, we have two other full-timers who deal with that stuff. It involved a little apache conf/administration for me, but that was because I wanted it to - the Computer Center actually handles the physical administration of the web servers.</p><p>If you want more info, I'm sure you can find ways to contact me, so feel free to drop me a line<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p> krellis 2002-02-15T19:17:00+00:00 journal Mmm, MySQL <p>So I cut the run time of this CGI which generates org charts out of a database from 30 seconds to 1 second by changing the database it feeds out of from Oracle to MySQL. Lesson of the day today: MySQL's simple SELECT performance really IS much better than Oracle's. Time to install the cronjob to dump the data out of Oracle into MySQL weekly!</p> krellis 2002-02-12T16:29:22+00:00 journal Yay Perl <p>And now for my Perl success story of the day... found out today that our NetApp/Samba server had been conspiring to cause piles of directories in our web docs tree to be created with 0777 file modes. Ouch! Find tells me that there are, in fact, over 14,000 of these directories. All with twisty little exceptions to the simple thought of "oh, I'll just chmod them". Argh.</p><p>Luckily, File::Find and File::spec came to the rescue! With this combination, I was able to come up with a nice little function that does what I need it to do with the files - and it'll be really handy for some other things I've been putting off, too. One of those times that I really love Perl. No nasty manually chmod'ing 14,000 directories any more!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p><p>And I don't think I'm ever going to use "real" find again, either - File::Find just gives me soooo much more flexibility, and means I don't have to read the stupid find manpage to figure out what I want. Just plug in the right conditions in a function, give File::Find::find() a reference to it, and wham!</p> krellis 2002-02-07T23:05:43+00:00 journal Damn Slashdot and Thoughts on Marketing <p>It's at times like these that I remember why it is I never read Slashdot anymore. I can't believe how horribly the <a href=";mode=thread">story about the Perl Foundation funding Larry</a> is getting slammed by the ol' Slashdot trolls. And the worst thing is, I think some of the slamming is coming from people who really believe what they're saying, and aren't really trolling - they just don't understand.</p><p>I have to say (and no offense, guys), it feels kind of like TPF could have done a bit better job with the way they spun this. It seems typical of the open source community that we don't pay much attention to marketing, and spin, and hype. But this is the kind of thing that really needs it. The right spin can make all the difference. When thinking about <a href=""></a>'s press release regarding our donation to the Perl Foundation, and thinking about what I had anticipated in the announcement of hiring Larry, I had really factored in the importance of "look guys, Larry is currently unemployed, let's pull together to help him." It was learning that during his Q&amp;A that really inspired me to make the contribution that we made, after all. So few people realize that. Yes, I know we shouldn't slam ORA, and I do think it can be said without doing so - Damian did it very well in his comment on the use.perl story about the grant. Why wasn't something like that included in the press release?</p><p>I don't know - I'm not really a marketing expert, either. But I did know enough to have a good friend of mine who happens to have a Masters' in marketing (with a technical focus) and a BS in technical writing give us significant advice (and practically write) our press release about our donation to TPF. And I think it made all the difference to how we came across.</p><p>So, if any of you Perl Foundation guys are reading little of my journal, you might want to think about finding someone to give a word of advice on the spin and marketing. Just a thought. And congratulations on pulling this together.</p> krellis 2002-02-06T04:16:48+00:00 journal Motivation <p>I'm finding it increasingly hard to find motivation here at my <a href="">day job</a>. All it seems I ever do is write the same old database apps over and over. Add records, edit records, delete records, view records. Different data, same thing, every time. It's just so hard to bother to write yet another one. Especially when it's replacing an existing system that works (mostly) as it is.</p><p>I love the neat little hack things, and the cool difficult things where I actually get to think, and I really like the people I work with here... but it's feeling more and more attractive to go work for <a href="">DynDNS</a> every day. I'd feel bad leaving my boss here high and dry, because WPI has a hiring freeze on, and she'd get stuck relying on the computer center people to do my job probably... but I kind of feel like I'm ripping her off as it is, because I'm really not all that productive here these days.</p><p>It's far too early in the week/morning to be thinking, so I think I'm going to go immerse myself in a mindless database until lunch. Woohoo.</p> krellis 2002-02-04T16:34:46+00:00 journal Ahh, the power of switch <p>So, I got tired of my crappy 4 port 10 meg hub for my home network today. I mean, here I am, CEO of one of the world's largest dynamic DNS providers, and I'm using a 4 port 3Com hub!</p><p>Luckily, I just <i>happened</i> to have a Compaq 24 port 10/100 and 2 port gig-e fiber switch laying around my apartment collecting dust. It had been installed at our Ithaca site (when that was our <b>only</b> site) for less than 24 hours before it de-segmented it's VLANs, requiring a late night trip up there to rip it out. No surprise that it's never been in production since, and has just been collecting dust on my apartment floor.</p><p>So, I now have 24 ports of 10/100 full-duplex switched goodness for my little network of firewall, desktop box, wireless access point, random laptops when people are over, and random servers when I'm building them out prior to installation out at Exodus. W00t! Go overkill!</p><p>Now I just have to buy something that'll connect to the fiber port and give me gig-e...</p> krellis 2002-02-03T02:02:10+00:00 journal Losing UDP We're having a problem over at that, when we're doing huge amounts of UDP activity (DNS queries) in one Perl program, it's somehow "losing" it's ability to send || receive the UDP in the middle. It's not always the case, and it only happens when the amount of UDP gets over a certain threshold (that we haven't determined yet), but it's a huge pain. Anyone with suggestions for tracking this down or fixing it would be gladly received! The systems we're seeing it on are running FreeBSD, FWIW, and Perl 5.6.1. krellis 2002-01-30T23:47:25+00:00 journal Stupid $Random_Vendor <p>I guess I've finally learned my lesson about buying from $Random_Vendor that I find on <a href="">iBuyer</a>. I strongly recommend against buying from <a href="">GiftSplash</a> - I've had a Palm m500 on order from them since the 21st, when they claimed it was in stock. Then on the 24th when I called they assured me they'd ship it on the 25th, they'd just be getting a shipment in that night. Then on the 28th they said oh, we take half-days on Fridays, it'll <b>definitely</b> go out today. Well, according to their website it still hasn't shipped today. I'm sitting on hold listening to "the New York news station" now to try and figure out what the heck's going on. *grumble* Figures - they use Cold Fusion. Bastards.</p><p>&lt;/rant&gt;</p> krellis 2002-01-30T15:14:55+00:00 journal I hate American Express! <p>I really wish I understood what motivates a credit card company to basically refuse to take my money. They give me a crappy credit line, then break their authorization system such that, even if you "overpay" (pay off part in the middle of the billing cycle), you still can't go beyond that limit. So what's the point of letting you overpay in the first place?!? They'll TAKE the money, but they won't let me do anything with the credit that giving it to them should have freed up. And then their web site lies to me and says that that credit IS available. It's just available in some deep, dark void somewhere, I guess. Argh!</p><p>At least the person I just talked to was a LITTLE more helpful than all the others - they won't even normally consider you for a credit line increase with a card that's less than 6 months old (just switched from a personal to a real corporate one), but she told me that if I call during their bank's hours, they can get in touch with someone there to try and get special permission because it's not meeting my needs, and because I pay off the bills, and then some, every month. Maybe they'll look at the personal card, too, though she seemed to think that it'd be separated because of the fact that they're not both small biz cards. Grr.</p><p>Oh well - they're still by far the best CC company I've dealt with, which is pretty pathetic. They do tend to have very polite and helpful customer support reps, though, there's just only so much they can do against the evil forces of company policy.</p><p>Enough ranting, now it's off to install a new 1U dual tulatin! Yay, replacing live. This should be an adventure!</p> krellis 2002-01-26T23:29:51+00:00 journal Buying Property <p>So... thinking about buying a $1.2 million property for a combined office/living space. Very cool location, close to things I need to be close to. But at $1.2 million, that's, well, rather a lot. I'm told that's a little on the high side of what it's probably worth, so the owners might take a little less than that, but it's still an awful lot. I can't even imagine how to get that kind of a loan. Yeouch.</p><p>Well, we've got an appointment to go and have a look next Tuesday, so we'll go from there, I guess. Maybe it'll suck for the kind of thing we want to use it for, and it'll all be moot. And I really doubt that Chris is going to approve of a $1.2 million real-estate purchase, anyway. We'll see, though. Bleh!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p><p>Oh, yeah, and Worcester's "online" zoning ordinance guide is just a (badly!) scanned version of the printed manual. So I can find the table that lists what you can do with differently zoned properties, but I can't a) be sure which column is "BO 1.0", or b) figure out if the things in that column are "Y"'s or "N"'s. Gotta love city councils "online"!</p> krellis 2002-01-25T20:55:49+00:00 journal Yay, Cable! <p>Yay, my cable is back up! And maybe at a higher rate, now, too! I guess this modem just needs longer than I gave it to re-initialize, or something weird like that. Regardless, both I and are back up now, for my loyal fans<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p> krellis 2002-01-25T03:57:29+00:00 journal I'm Bizarre! <p>So, I've just been informed that I'm being bizarre tonight. I'd contend that I'm always bizarre, though. Perhaps more so when I'm happy, which I seem to be right now. Things just seem to be going pretty well in my world, if a bit stressful, and with lots of big future decisions looming. But I feel like I'm at one of those points where anything's possible if I just put my mind to it. Now I just have to figure out the right things to put my mind to and make them happen!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)</p> krellis 2002-01-24T23:39:27+00:00 journal Teleportation <p>Random thought of the moment: Wouldn't so many aspects of life just be so much easier if we had the capacity to teleport ourselves?</p><p>Corollary: Erm, I had one in mind. Honest. But now I've forgotten it. Oh well, must have been something about life being annoyingly complex, so much so that I forgot it!</p> krellis 2002-01-24T19:09:59+00:00 journal Damn Cable Modem <p>So, I get up this morning and find that my ssh connection to my gateway box has died, and won't come back. I can still get out to the 'net, though... I ssh in with the internal IP, and ifconfig tells me that the cable company has changed my DHCP lease. But for some strange reason, all of my outbound traffic still sources from the old IP! Inbound only works to the new one, though. Very strange. Then, all of a sudden, after I tried to get to my cable modem's configuration page, it just all dies. So I go through several permutations of reboots of the cable modem and gateway box, all of which amount to nothing - I can't get a real, functional DHCP lease any more. Doh! So is down right now, though I pointed it to a placeholder elsewhere for the time being, hopefully I'll be able to get this sorted out when I get home.</p><p>I should have known that calling the cable company to get my service upgraded would manage to get them nice and confused so they could break it. *grumble*</p> krellis 2002-01-24T16:59:16+00:00 journal