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jmcnamara (659)

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'ere I am, J.M.! The ghost in the machine:

perl -MCPAN -e 'install jmcnamara & _ x ord $ ;' | tail -1

Journal of jmcnamara (659)

Tuesday July 22, 2008
04:01 PM


I make a Muxtape.

I'd like to make others mixes to express different themes but you can't currently do that without setting up another account. So I'll leave it like that for now and redo it some other time.


Wednesday February 20, 2008
04:45 AM

Joel Spolsky on the Microsoft Office file formats Specs

Joel Spolsky has an article up call Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds).

"Last week, Microsoft published the binary file formats for Office. These formats appear to be almost completely insane. The Excel 97-2003 file format is a 349 page PDF file. ...

If you started reading these documents with the hope of spending a weekend writing some spiffy code that imports Word documents into your blog system, or creates Excel-formatted spreadsheets with your personal finance data, the complexity and length of the spec probably cured you of that desire pretty darn quickly".


Also worth reading in his recent journal is TripIt is Awesome. TripIt is in fact awesome. Possibly teh.


Monday May 08, 2006
09:07 PM

Grant McLennan RIP

"On Saturday 6th May 2006, legendary Australian singer-songwriter and member of The Go-Betweens Grant McLennan died in his sleep at his home in Brisbane".

The Go-Betweens were my favourite band and I was very sad to hear that Grant McLennan, one half of the singer-songwriter team, had passed away.

I acknowledged Grant in the dedication of my masters thesis and I quoted him in an early version of Spreadsheet::WriteExcel and in the current version of Spreadsheet::WriteExcelXML.

Over 10 years ago on one of my first webpages I wrote: "If Lou Reed had been two people, had grown up in Australia and had been able to write a better love-song, he would have been the Go-Betweens".

Bye-bye Grant.

Friday October 14, 2005
08:13 PM

Perlmonks' 500,000th node

The 500,000th node was posted on Perlmonks yesterday.

By way of comparison comp.lang.perl.misc has had approximately 550,000 posts since May 1995 based on the data here.

Using the same data I created some charts that show the number of monthly posts on clpm and Perlmonks and the total number of posts.

These results aren't exact. For instance only about 90% of the nodes on Perlmonks are actual questions or answers.The rest are administration or home nodes. Also I don't know if the figures reported by Google Groups for clpm are accurate.

Nevertheless, the data is interesting. It shows that clpm's peak was in July 1999 (about the time that I started hanging out there but I doubt that has anything to do with its decline). It also shows that currently Perlmonks is getting about 8,500 posts a month in comparison to 2,500 on clpm.

09:20 AM

4000 Year Old Noodles

4,000 Year Old Noodles Found in China. They might go well with some thousand year old eggs.

Either way, I guess this proves that Macro Polo didn't bring pasta to China.

Monday August 29, 2005
10:39 AM

Rainy Seasoning

I'm back from my two week trip to Guatemala. I was mostly working but I did get to see Antigua Guatemala. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to travel to Tikal.

It was rainy season there so some of the more spectacular views of nearby volcanoes were obscured. The rainy season lasts from May to October, which while long, is shorter than Ireland's January to December.

The preferred means of security in Guatemala City seemed to be to have someone with a pump action shotgun stand outside your premises.

In transit at Houston I met Larry Wall and his wife. Time for that picture again.

Downtown Houston is eerily quiet on a Sunday morning.

Friday August 12, 2005
05:34 AM

So. Central America

I go to Guatemala. For work. For two weeks.

Thursday July 14, 2005
08:01 PM

Bingo 21

After many years of peregrination we have bought and moved into a house in Ballyneety.

It is new and spacious and ours.

Monday May 23, 2005
08:07 PM

Mini Me

I ordered a Mac Mini which arrived today.

The last Macintosh I bought was about twelve years ago. I don't remember the model but it had a 40Mb hard drive (which will give you an idea of the era). I bought it for my (not then) wife to write her PhD thesis.

I've wanted to get my hands on OSX for a while so that I could respond to bugs from Apple users and also just to play around with.

So, let's see what all the fuss is about.


Friday April 01, 2005
06:31 PM


A trickle of people have started to use Pod::Simple::Wiki.

Sam Tregar sent a patch for TWiki and Tony Sidaway sent one for Wikipedia (example).

One of the strange(r) things about parsing Pod (even with the help of Pod::Simple) is the bizarre little ecosystem that can exist in =over, =back regions. See the relevant section of perlpodspec for the gory details. The plain part of that part of Pod could be plainer.

Maybe Perl6 or Kwid will fix this.