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Limbic Region (3985)

Limbic Region
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I love to code perl. If you want to hire me, see details on my homepage.
Tuesday November 24, 2009
06:11 PM


I am abandoning for

Thanks very much for the site - it was great while it lasted

Tuesday June 16, 2009
03:26 PM

Improving (Advanced Search)

Here are some random features I think would make an "advanced search" for nice

  • Being able to search for XS/PP/Either
  • Being able to sort results by things like
    • Kwalitee
    • Create Date (how old it is)
    • Number of downloads
    • Last Update Date
    • Rating (for CPAN rated modules)
    • CPAN tester results
    • Liklihood it will install
    • Number of dependencies
    • relevance (how closely does module match your search terms)
    • Stability (alpha, beta, production ready)
    • etc
  • Stealing from WAIT
  • Being able to specify a compatability requirement
    • Minimum version of perl
    • OS
    • Platform
    • License
    • etc
  • Providing a code search (like Google's Code Search)
  • Recommendations ("User's who looked at this module also looked at...") like "Related Modules" only better
  • Ability to support more human related questions ("How do I parse IP addresses" or even "parse IP addresses")
  • Of course, a number of the things in the sort by could also be used as search criteria such as "minimum kwalitee" or "must have POD/Tests/etc"
  • Number of bugs in RT queue

These were some ideas that came to mind and not a lot of thought went into them. Feel free to add your own - I know someone who may actually be motivated to implement some of them as an alternate to is reading :-)

Thursday June 11, 2009
09:37 AM

Not Going To YAPC::NA 2009 Afterall

It is with great disappointment that I have decided not to go to YAPC::NA this year. I was looking forward to it but personal events lately have made it clear that to go would not be in the best interest of my family and myself.

Maybe next year

Monday June 01, 2009
08:30 AM

Perl Saves The Day & Plea For Help

Perl Saves The Day
I am a lazy bastard. This is one of three known virtues for a programmer. Oddly enough, I am not a programmer - at least not professionally. Anyway, this post is about perl so I have posted it here but it is also about my other blog.

Yes, this is my perl blog but I have a personal blog over at

Actually, it is our family website and since my two girls are under the age of 4, I end up updating the content for 3 different people. Even with a CMS, this can be a PITA. I wrote some code using WWW::Selenium and Image::ExifTool to automate updating the photos. I am using winblows - so in Explore, I just right-click on a photo and add some meta data to the summary (Author, Title and Caption). Once I am done, I simply run the program which goes through every photo looking for the meta data, logs on to the website for the appropriate person (author), posts the picture using the title and caption and sets the date and time to when the picture was actually taken.

This has reduced the time to update the website enormously. Perl saved the day since I had nearly 6 months worth of photos that needed to be updated for each of my daughters.

Plea For Help
Ok, everyone is abandoning ship and leaving use.perl I understand their reasons and agree with most of them. I too have considered using my personal blog for perl blogging as well (not that I do too much of that) and just tagging posts appropriately.

The problem is there are still a number of folks here and elsewhere that I still want to follow. So here is my plea for help.

Does anyone have a list of perl and/or programming related blogs that are not one of
- planet perl
- planet parrot
- use.perl
- perlbuzz

Did I mention I am a lazy bastard? I have never bothered to setup an RSS feed. I don't really know where people have wandered off to. Can you please reply with who you feel is worth listening to and where to go listen?


Thursday April 02, 2009
02:28 PM

My Ideal Work Week

In case you weren't aware, the US and Europe have extremely different perspectives on giving employees time off. I am very fortunate that I get 42.5 paid days off a year (19.5 vacation, 13 sick and 10 federal holidays). It would be great if I could re-arrange that time off.

How many hours of work do I actually work to get my salary?

52 weeks a year x 40 hours a week = 2080 hours
42.5 days paid off x 8 hours = 340 hours
2080 - 340 = 1740 actual work hours

Ok, now let's say I only wanted to work 3 days a week. That sounds sweet. I would have to work 12 hour days to get close to the 40 but still - I wouldn't mind working 12 hour days if it meant having 4 days off for 3 days worked. How many weeks a year would I have to work in order to account for the 1740?

1740 / 36 = 48 weeks and 1 day

Wow - let's knock that 1 day off as unpaid leave cause really - who wants to get paid for 1 day if the alternative is 11 days off in a row?

So if I could convince my employer to agree, I could work 3 days a week - still have 4 weeks of vacation and make effectively the same salary. Now that is my idea of an ideal work week.

Yes, some might point out that if a holiday happens to fall on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (those are the days I would work) then I would either have to take unpaid leave or work. Really - who cares with a deal like that.

Monday September 29, 2008
01:29 PM

My Experience Freelancing

Some time in the last year, I decided to advertise on my website that I do freelance work.

This brought in a small, but steady trickle of folks that were interested in my services. A couple of months ago, I decided I wanted to increase the paying work I was doing. It was becoming a sore spot in my house when my wife called down to find out when I was going to bed and I would respond - "someone just posted a really interesting problem on PerlMonks". If she knew I was getting paid she didn't seem to have any problem how late I stayed up.

This was a lot more difficult than I expected. I didn't use because I was looking for small short term projects not to exceed 15 hours a week. I bit the bullet and started using some of the freelance websites, in particular:

These sites all have the same basic structure:
1. Project posted by client
2. Bidders bid
3. Client selects bidder
4. Contact information is exchanged
5. Project is worked
6. Client pays buyer

The all seem to have the same "rules"
1. No contact information exchanged before project is awarded
2. Programmer pays commission immediately upon accepting project
3. Escrow through the site is optional but is the only way arbitration can work

There are pros and cons to each of these sites. Some charge lower commissions, others have better search interfaces for finding projects, etc.

These sites are super saturated with off-shore bidders that make getting selected for a project very difficult. It took me a while to figure out a technique to even have my bids looked at.

If you have any experience or suggestions, I would appreciate it if you would share.

Friday August 08, 2008
06:01 PM

No C for me thank you

Recently, I ported some C code to Perl. The reason this was done was purely bureaucratic. I am a mediocre C programmer at best so perhaps my lack of expertise made this process more painful than it would have been otherwise. In any event, I am happy to continue blissfully ignoring C (sorry Parrot).

I found that the LOC was reduced by about 10:1. Some of the issues I ran into were obvious - working with sockets at a low level was challenging because I am used to using abstraction modules like IO::Socket::INET and IO::Select. Some of the other issues might not have been so obvious.

You don't translate C line by line. You read a block of code, figure out what it is trying to accomplish (ignoring how it is accomplishing it) and then write the line or 2 of equivalent Perl. My problem is that I don't have enough experience to ignore the "how". I mentally keep track of each thing happening in turn until I reach the "a ha" line that makes it clear why all the previous steps were necessary.

That sucks.

Thursday July 31, 2008
10:40 AM

How Perl has saved me hours of work recently

I live in Maryland. My family is in Maine and my wife's family is in the Philippines. We have two young daughters which makes watching them grow up difficult. To help, I have a family website

Recently, updating the website was a major challenge for a number of reasons (it had been two months since I did it, we had a family vacation to Maine with more photos than usual, and I had 4 cameras to deal with). On top of that, I wanted to add streaming video to the site.

Perl to the rescue

One of the first tasks was fixing the EXIF meta data in hundreds of JPEGs. My sister's camera had the wrong date.

The next task I had was organizing the photos. I store my photos in the following structure:

<daughter's name>
   <year photo was taken>
       <month photo was taken>
           <day photo was taken>

I have written a little utility that once I bin the photos by daughter's name, it will then further file them into the appropriate directory - creating them as necessary.

Finally, after two years of taking short video clips with the digital camera, I decided to figure out how to do streaming video. The good news is I figured it out, the bad news is I had 2 year's worth of videos to convert to streaming format 1 at a time.

I have no idea how many hours perl saved me. I know there are other tools and sites that make this sort of thing easier but this is my site, and I want to do it my way - and perl let's me be me.

Wednesday July 23, 2008
12:56 PM

In case you needed more proof....

that having children leaves you with less free time, consider this:

Before the birth of my first child, over 908 days at PerlMonks I averaged 1000XP every 56.75 days

After the birth of my first daughter, over 836 days at PerlMonks I averaged 1000XP every 83.6 days.

In case you aren't aware what PerlMonks is, XP is a silly number that can't be used to measure anything and really only gives an indication of participation at the site. This is perfect for my purposes since it reflects that my participation dropped dramatically.

There you have it folks - undisputable statistics.

Thursday June 19, 2008
09:16 PM

My First YAPC

Normally, I would have written all about this here and not in my personal blog. I have chosen not to this time because later I will be posting pictures as well which will make the linking nicer. Right now, it is just text but you can read all about it.

I will post another note when the pictures are up.