mako132's Journal mako132'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. 2012-01-25T02:18:21+00:00 pudge Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 mako132's Journal OSCON day -1 <p>So I'm out on the west coast, but not in Portland yet until Tuesday. I think I was on the same flight as dha...</p><p>Spent some time on the flight going through the Pugs svn repository, catching up on the docs and reading some P6 code.</p> mako132 2006-07-23T20:15:59+00:00 journal Nokia 770 now has Perl <p>I was surprised to discover that the 2006 OS version of the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet now has perl:</p><p>Nokia770-26:~# perl -v</p><p>This is perl, v5.8.3 built for arm-linux-gnueabi-thread-multi</p><p>Copyright 1987-2003, Larry Wall</p><p>Perl may be copied only under the terms of either the Artistic License or the<br>GNU General Public License, which may be found in the Perl 5 source kit.</p><p>Complete documentation for Perl, including FAQ lists, should be found on<br>this system using `man perl' or `perldoc perl'. If you have access to the<br>Internet, point your browser at, the Perl Home Page.</p> mako132 2006-07-21T19:24:56+00:00 journal OSCON day -3 <p>Scrambling to finish up things at work, or at least to forestall any fires for a week.</p><p>Arriving in Portland on Saturday with family in tow, and as usual, driving to Kennewick WA to visit in-laws before driving back to OSCON on Tuesday.</p><p> &nbsp;</p> mako132 2006-07-21T16:43:41+00:00 journal OSCON day minus whatever <p>Flew into Portland yesterday with the girls (two daughters plus spouse) and jumped into a rental car to visit my father-in-law in Kennewick, WA for a few days.</p><p>We'll drive back sometime on Tuesday. I always aim to make Larry's speech, but year after year I miss it.</p><p>I somehow managed to rent a Mercury Grand Marquis without knowing it. Certainly a plush ride for the 4 hour drive east, but I feel like an old geezer.</p> mako132 2005-07-31T20:06:48+00:00 journal My Ideal Office Has A Personal Bathroom <p>My ideal office would have my own personal bathroom. I seem to get a lot done sitting on the toilet - new ideas, debugging breakthroughs, personal revelations, etc.</p><p>Our office suite only has two bathrooms and so I can't just stay in there until I'm good and ready to come out, new ideas in hand.</p><p>At home I have magazines and books in each bathroom. Big thick reference manuals make for good bathroom reading because you can learn something each visit. Consider the GNU Emacs manual for example.</p><p>I dream of a large personal office bathroom with a laptop or maybe a desktop on a cart, a stack of O'Reilly books, and perhaps a pad of paper and a few pencils. Good strong light would be needed for all the reading and some sort of book case or cabinet.</p><p>I'd instruct the nightly cleaning crew to leave the books, papers and computers as is.</p><p>Now that I think of it, a shower would be good too. That way I could bike to work without having to be so careful about getting all sweaty.</p> mako132 2004-12-02T20:41:46+00:00 journal The Eyes Don't Have It <p>My eyes are officially shot. I used to just wear my glasses occasionally or when sitting in front of the computer for a good while.</p><p>Now I pretty much need them all the time. My eyesight isn't bad, it's just that I'm noticing all the time how much they've declined.</p><p>Trouble is now that I never got my glasses really fitted for me. I've got a melon-sized head and these glasses just don't sit well. The optometrist I use is through my wife's union benefits and is clear across town.</p><p>Old age: what's going to go next? My back? My achilles? RSI?</p> mako132 2004-08-30T20:22:03+00:00 journal Almost At OSCON <p>I too flew out to Portland yesterday, but I'm not at OSCON yet. I'm visiting my father-in-law in Kennewick WA till Tuesday.</p><p>I spent the afternoon at a park by the river, baking in the 100+ heat. I hear it's cooler in Portland.</p><p>I'll be back in Portland in around the time of Larry Wall's talk. I'll be the one with two girls in tow.</p> mako132 2004-07-26T04:41:39+00:00 journal Kwiki 0.30 is out - spread the word Brian Ingerson has released Kwiki 0.30, the long awaited update to CGI::Kwiki 0.18. Grab it at <a href=""> </a> <p> You'll need Spoon 0.15 (also on CPAN) this time around. </p><p> No upgrade script as yet to upgrade an already existing Kwiki.</p> mako132 2004-06-22T03:00:54+00:00 journal Frustration <p>Just not my day:</p><p>Dropped my pager into the toilet, "under the worst of all possible circumstances" - let's just leave it at that<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-( I have it disassembled and laying over the hot air vent.</p><p>Spent 3 hours learning and configuring Procmail as a hack around a global mailing config problem in RT. Just as I stood up, triumphant that I got it work, what enters my mind? Oh yeah, wait a sec . . . didn't I get an email message last week saying this wasn't needed?</p> mako132 2004-03-18T17:41:14+00:00 journal Too Much Sudafed <p>You know you've had too much Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) when both the muscle between your forefinger and thumb and the muscle above your right eyebrow start twitching.</p><p>At least my sinuses stopped pounding.</p> mako132 2004-03-10T21:49:17+00:00 journal Sony Clie TH55 <p>I haven't had any new technology in a<br>while, and my Palm m505 was feeling kinda stale. Excellent<br>form-factor, but dim, fuzzy color screen.</p><p>I'm a long-time Palm user (going way back to the US Robotics days) and<br>a Mac user, to going Sony was a bit of a stretch. But I liked the big<br>screen and the third-party 'The Missing Sync' software plays well with<br>Chronos' Personal Organizer.</p><p>It's got 802.11b, voice recording (don't need that), less than 1<br>mega-pixel camera (sort of useful), mp3 player (fun), and supports the<br>larger Memory Stick (I got the 256 MB).</p><p>Sony Electronics is a pure Windows-only device maker, so I've got this<br>useless install CD, but I'm making do. I went into this with open<br>eyes, especially after struggling with the Windows-only NetMD minidisc<br>player.</p><p>There is some satisfaction making Sony bend to my will - forcing it<br>co-exist in a Mac OS X environment.</p><p>I thought about the Zaurus . . . but didn't like the form-factor and<br>the mechanical pop-out keyboard. Too impatient to wait for Palm to<br>come out with something new.</p> mako132 2004-03-08T22:06:34+00:00 journal Variety is the Spice of Life <p>1) Another video encoder is transfering files slowly on both its 100Mb and 1Gb interface</p><p>2) Someone's ssh connection freezes after a while</p><p>3) A Win2K install is failing to copy a DLL</p><p>4) Where's my new Clie? Fedex tracking shows that it left Rialto CA 4 days ago...</p><p>5) CGI::Kwiki's kwiki-install --upgrade and now KwikiBackup won't work</p><p>6) We're getting joe-job spam from central administration. Of course the warnings about it (which have the message copied inside) and discussions on how to handle it are ending up inside my junk mail box.</p><p>7) Video encoder runs out of disk. Finger pointing between the sys administration and the application programmers - who's responsible for checking?</p><p>8) Finally the virus updating is working on the servers, but desktop users need to initiate an upgrade</p><p>9) Do we buy Red Hat Academic support or move to Fedora?</p><p>10) Create<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/etc/init.d script for a Perl daemon</p><p>11) Kernel param change for said daemon</p><p>12) Negotiating an 11th hour accounts and permission change request for an Oracle course</p><p>13) Examining past year's RT tickets to see where we can add more tests</p> mako132 2004-03-03T22:17:04+00:00 journal My Crib's Full of Switches Our 100Mb private network has been falling apart lately . . . clients falling into half-duplex, switch ports falling as well. Packets are passing, but like glue. Looks like we've gotten a handle on it. 3Com-- <p> Just moved my RSS readin' from <a href="">Amphetadesk</a> to <a href="">Bloglines</a> because the organization is better. </p><p> Won my first iTunes song, via a Pepsi paper cup, after a half-dozen tries. I'm too embarrased to try the peeking up the Pepsi bottle approach.</p> mako132 2004-03-02T21:55:27+00:00 journal Sucking In Those Journal Entries Again <p>I generally read the use.perl journal entries via the RSS aggregator Amphetadesk or via Plucker on my Palm.</p><p>I upgraded Plucker (I was using an old old alpha version) and it choked on parsing the Recent Entries page. Probably some HTML strangeness...</p><p>So instead I'm using brian d foy's SOAP-based article grabber, wrote the results locally and tweaked the template just enough to look good in Plucker viewer.</p> mako132 2004-01-08T21:35:18+00:00 journal Can't See The Forest For The Trees <p>Agghhh. I'm so %$!@#$@ old.</p><p>In April, I got glasses because after programming all day, especially when under pressure, my right eye would start to ache. Turns out I've got some astigmatism there, but otherwise I see fine. So I put them on when I'm in hardcore coding mode (once or twice a week).</p><p>But lately it seems to be getting worse. I think I'm going to have to wear them all the time.</p><p>Add that to my chronic shoulder basketball injury, my plantar injury (basketball, Mexican folkdancing), weak lower back (basketball and wicked spin serve in tennis), it's a wonder I can still sit on the toilet and take a dump<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:(</p><p>But hey, I made it to 38 before the implosion.</p> mako132 2003-08-13T21:15:28+00:00 journal Chomping at the bit I have all these ideas for testing, but I can't access the machines from home - they're all behind the firewall, and we can't get VPN working for us Mac OS X folks. I'll probably end up ssh-tunnelling for my Unix systems, but I need to figure out a way of getting Windows Terminal Services work through an ssh tunnel. mako132 2003-08-09T22:47:49+00:00 journal Blood-Splattered Server Room <p>One of our sys admins just dropped a server while trying to put it into a rack. Gashed his hand on a corner and sprayed blood all over the 1U, rails, docs and window.</p><p>He's hustling over to the urgent-care ward. We're mopping up and trying not to laugh.</p> mako132 2003-07-16T20:42:33+00:00 journal OSCON - Enough with the T shirts <p>I now have to keep a separate box next to my dresser at home for all the T shirts I own.</p><p>Like everyone, I used to love snagging a T shirt at a conference. But I really wish they gave out something else.</p><p>I play basketball three times a week, so I actually can go through them at a fast clip.</p><p>Maybe I can make pillows with them: stuff a T shirt with other T shirts, tie the bottom and the sleeves and you've got an instant pillow.</p><p>I suppose people think that T shirts make for good advertising, but given the fact that no one comments on what T shirt I'm wearing, no matter how controversial, I think people consider T shirt messages background noise.<br> &nbsp;</p> mako132 2003-07-09T23:35:38+00:00 journal OSCON: Breezin' Into Town <p>Drove back into Portland from Kennewick.</p><p>Gorgeous views of the Columbia Gorge.</p><p>Basalt, basalt.</p><p>Read up on the geology of the region at my father-in-law's house.</p><p>Kids screeching to the 'Mamma Mia!' CD all the way.</p><p>Hotel's American Grill closed.</p><p>Champion's won't serve my kids.</p><p>End up on the Waterfront.</p><p>Crabcakes good, chowda salty.</p><p>Hefted my sound-asleep 4 year-old back to the hotel.</p> mako132 2003-07-09T06:52:23+00:00 journal OSCON ME-TOO <p>Everyone else has announced that they're going. So's here's my journal entry, just to see my self in the recent journal entries column.</p><p>I'll be flying out to Portland Saturday, driving out to Richland WA to visit my father-in-law, and then driving back Tuesday for the conference.</p><p>I might have an Apple iSight the folks back home can see my overly-airconditioned-weak-hotel-coffee-too-many-pastries face.</p> mako132 2003-07-03T14:05:37+00:00 journal My Kind of Kwiki <p>I've recently moved my personal Wiki from UseMod Wiki to CGI::Kwiki. Both are easy to install, but CGI::Kwiki makes it easy to install multiple Wikis. For example I have a test Wiki where I can monkey around with things. It was as easy as,</p><p>cd cgi-bin<br>mkdir test<br>cd test<br>kwiki-install</p><p>The biggest selling point for me was extensibility of the software and that the data is just text files -- no database, no gdbm, no funky semi-text, no XML. Just fine for personal stuff, debatable if you're considering using it for the enterprise.</p><p>So now I run two copies -- one on my office Linux system, reachable over the internet, and a local copy on my Mac OS X laptop. I keep the two in sync by rsync-ing every 15 minutes between 9 AM - 6 PM via a cron job on the laptop. When I have net access, I'm hitting my Linux system, when I don't, I'm plugging away on my local apache on the laptop.</p> mako132 2003-06-18T13:43:48+00:00 journal Automating PowerPoint to HTML <p>A step in our Distance Education production process is the converting of PowerPoint slides to HTML. We've been doing this manually.</p><p>We're looking to save time by automating this -- having instructors email or upload the presentation, automatically convert it and transfer it to the right server.</p><p>Over a year ago, I discovered and purchased PPT2HTML (, a VB program which implements a 'watched' dropbox and configuration templates and does the automatic conversion. Naturally, I'd rather do this with Perl, so I have complete control.</p><p>I attempted it a year ago, but stuck when it turns out that Office97's PowerPoint doesn't have an OLE interface to saving as HTML.</p><p>But this week, perhaps due to luck, I discovered that later Offices (at least OfficeXP) has the interface now and I stumbled upon a Javascript/ActiveX snippet that did a simple conversion. I ran with that and Win32::OLE and now I'm rocking and rolling.</p><p>Before I was rockin' and rollin', I lurchin' and reelin' trying to use Win32::API to import ppt2html.dll (Office97's Internet Assistant). I made baby steps, but never got any output.</p><p>Why bother with Office97? Because the converted HTML is so much cleaner way back then. Now Microsoft's HTML conversion produces monster files bloated with every [XD]HTML feature and Microsoft extension in an attempt to duplicate the exact look of a PowerPoint Presentation in Internet Explorer.</p><p>So I intend to snag the images and text from the OfficeXP conversion and roll them into HTML::Template's built from a representative Office97 conversion. I know people have also written filters to clean up the Microsoftisms from an HTML conversion, so I'll try those too.</p> mako132 2003-03-13T21:04:31+00:00 journal Master of Multitasking <p>Process 1: doing the budget (about 20 line items)</p><p>Process 2: building a new Oracle installation</p><p>Process 3: running test suite on our authentication system</p><p>Process 4: helping new consultant set up his system</p><p>Process 5: banging on the RT tickets</p><p>Results? Oracle machine down, can't remotely access it after rebooting, consultant frustrated, RT tickets blowing in the wind, budget deadline missed, lunch missed, forced to drink Diet Vanilla Coke.</p> mako132 2003-02-10T21:45:55+00:00 journal Spam Sounds Recommended listening: The videos of presentations from the first Spam Conference over at MIT (a couple of weeks ago) at <a href=""></a>. <p> There's 4 webcasts of people giving short talks (10 minutes), so if one bores you, fast forward to the next.</p> mako132 2003-02-07T17:42:30+00:00 journal system() bites us Talk about having to read between the lines. <p> Our sys admin was trying to get this to work: </p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>@args = ("/usr/local/bin/ldapmodify","-a -n -x -w", $pass,"-H $url", "-f $file");<br> <br>print "@args";<br>system(@args);</tt></p></div> </blockquote><p> The system call would fail (<i>illegal option -</i>), but when he copied and pasted the output of the print statement to a shell, it worked. </p><p> We kept thinking "there's more than one argument to <tt>system()</tt>, so it's not going through<nobr> <wbr></nobr><tt>/bin/sh</tt> before being exectuted...". </p><p> After reading the perldoc for <tt>system()</tt> and then the man page for <tt>execvp()</tt>, we realized what was happening was that ldapmodify was being told that it's first argument was "<tt>-a -n -x -w</tt>", and of course it wasn't subsequently breaking it apart into pieces...because it expected that the shell already did that. </p><p> So, even thought the perldoc for system says to place each argument into @args, it doesn't stress strongly enough that every single argument must be an element of the array: </p><blockquote><div><p> <tt>@args = ("/usr/local/bin/ldapmodify","-a", "-n", "-x", "-w", $pass,"-H", $url", "-f", $file);</tt></p></div> </blockquote> mako132 2003-02-07T17:36:40+00:00 journal Walking Up the Mason Learning Curve <p>Now converting my personal homepage into Mason. The idea is to write an autohandler that wraps some navigation around my pile of disorganized pages, without having to edit any my already existing pages. I'm sure I'm not the first to do this...I've got the Mason book at the office and refer to the online version at home.</p><p>I tried to start folding in log4perl into our authentication module, but got bogged down making slight tweaks and solidfying the test scripts, all the while installing Oracle on another server.</p><p>Starting to flesh out some of the possible components in our upcoming rewrite of our video production system.</p> mako132 2003-02-07T04:19:46+00:00 journal Perl Through Java Eyes <p>A Java programmer working in Perl was having a hard time debugging a for loop</p><p>for ($i=0,$t_inner=$t_pos;$i&lt;$t_inner;$i++,$t_inner++){<br> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; $sub_date[$t_innner] = $date[$i + $t_sub];</p><p> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; $sub_list[$t_inner] = $date[$t_sub];<br>}</p><p>What struck me (besides his lack of use strict and the t_innner != t_inner typo) was how hard it is to read such code from someone who is used to manipulating arrays the hard way.</p> mako132 2003-01-28T16:31:45+00:00 journal I've Got Mine! <p>My 1GHz Powerbook arrived yesterday. Yeehaw!</p><p>But I've been a life-long Mac user, with MacOS X as my office desktop machine for quite a while so there's no news there.</p><p>I've just got something new and shiny, that's all.</p> mako132 2002-12-11T21:16:47+00:00 journal Jump In, The Water's Warm! <p>With HTML::Mason book in hand, I take the plunge back into Mason. I tried it a few years ago, but got confused by dhandlers and autohandlers, and ended up using PHP instead.</p><p>PHP is nice and lightweight but its limited, semi perl-like syntax annoys me. But I'm not knocking PHP - I've got several important apps using it.</p><p>My initial goal - to take control of my personal site, which is becoming a black hole of lost pages.</p> mako132 2002-12-04T15:53:18+00:00 journal Agghh! RedHat Bites Me! <p>Spent two and a half hours trying to simply get CGIs working on a RedHat 8 system. I've done this a zillion times on various Unix platforms.</p><p>Turns out suEXEC is on by default. Since I never use it, it probably wasn't configured as I needed it or my CGIs weren't using it right. Turned it off and everything works.</p><p>Not what I needed, returning from vacation with a pile of work to do.</p> mako132 2002-12-03T19:52:04+00:00 journal