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VSarkiss (704)

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I haven't really taken the time to set this up, but you can look at my home node [] on Perl Monks.

Journal of VSarkiss (704)

Tuesday September 20, 2005
08:56 AM

New summaries and

Hm, hasn't had a new article posted since September 8, almost two weeks ago. Being September, I suppose everyone's busy with @real_life.

It's nice to have the "This week in Perl5-porters" summaries here. Sometimes I tend to forget the ongoing P5 development.

Wednesday August 31, 2005
02:06 PM

Creepy crawlies

Boy, this story about a giant centipede just gives me the willies.

And if that doesn't do it for you, take a look at some pictures of the centipede species in question.

Wednesday August 17, 2005
09:38 AM

New puppy

Yesterday we brought home our new adopted puppy from the local animal shelter. The vet's guessing he's about six months old, and he looks to be mostly Australian Shepherd. He has a very sweet disposition, and seems to learn quickly.

We don't have a name for him yet -- we're waiting to see more of his personality before we decide. I'm trying to come up with something based on his tricolor fur, or his Aussie background. Suggestions are welcome.

Friday August 12, 2005
09:14 AM

P6 duck typing and can syntax

As I was following links from the latest Perl 6 summary, I found some notes from Autrijus that mention the "duck typing" principle, and a proposed syntax for the "can" declaration, like this:

    my subtype Duck
        has $.half_life
        can doom:()
        can quake:(() returns Wolfenstein);

Then I realized the connection is that :(() looks like a duck bill.

Monday August 08, 2005
09:41 AM

FC4 upgrade, semi-involuntarily

I mentioned last week that I was thinking of upgrading to Fedora Core 4. The good news is that the upgrade went well. The bad news is how I ended up doing it.

I knew I was in for trouble when I booted my machine and fsck said "The system appears not to have shut down cleanly" or words to that effect -- in fact, it had shut down clean as a whistle. To make a long story short, it cleared so many inodes in /usr and / that I could only boot to single-user and only a few programs would run.

I booted from an Ubuntu live CD and downloaded ISO's for FC4. Then I had to boot FC3 again to use cdrecord to burn the CDs -- fortunately that still worked. I did an upgrade, and after a few runs of fsck and badblock, I had a working system again. Surprisingly, yum found about 250 packages to update.

I'm still not sure how the disk got fratzed. We've had a couple of power outages in our area lately, so I'm assuming there was a power spike or some such.

Wednesday July 27, 2005
11:32 AM

Time for FC4?

It looks like it may be time to upgrade by box to Fedora Core 4. I'm taking my cue from the fact that the Fedora FAQ site is now defaulting to FC4.

Has anybody around here upgraded from FC3 to FC4? Any caveats or hints to pass along?

Monday July 11, 2005
06:06 PM


Serendipity is downloading and burning an Ubuntu Linux live CD "just to see what it's like", and then getting a bad block on your root partition, requiring you to boot from it. It was pure luck to have burned a live CD just the day before I would really need it. My hard disk is fine now.

Ubuntu does look nice, but I prefer KDE, so I may download and try Kubuntu next.

Wednesday June 22, 2005
09:04 AM

2001 in 2005

Last night I caught the beginning part of 2001: A Space Odyssey on television -- I've lost count of the number of times I've seen the movie. I recently saw Star Wars Episode 3 in the theaters, and I was struck by how well 2001 has stood the test of time. The special effects may seem crude by today's standards, but the movie is visually beautiful. And certainly more intriguing.

As I was watching, I thought again about the soundtrack, and what a key role it played in the movie. For example, in the scene where the moon probe is landing at Clavius, you hear nothing but the Blue Danube waltz. The same scene in a movie today would have the pilots speaking technobabble, and something going "eep-oop-eep-oop" in the background on top of some overwrought Hollywood music. But the steady waltz paces the scene, making you feel connected and yet distant. A perfect example of the "less is more" principle.

I remember when the movie first came out, it didn't seem that far-fetched to think we would have a Moon base in 30-40 years. How time has flown....

Monday June 06, 2005
07:52 PM

Better than web

So I have GreaseMonkey installed on Firefox, and I use Platypus in a minimal way to make some web pages look the way I want. Of course, the thing I wanted most was to get rid of ads, which Firefox's popup blocker and AdBlock take care of adequately.

(BTW, if you didn't know about the adblock list maintained at, you do now. Get it and it'll make your adblocking simpler and more complete. (Wow, do I sound like the Emperor. "And your journey to the dark side will be complete." (Evil grin)))

But no, I want one more thing. I want to have control over redirects. When I log out of hotmail (I have a spam magnet account there), I don't want to be re-directed to And when I finish using my webmail account for $WORK, I don't want the next refresh to go to the ISP's advertising page.

Greasemonkey gives me control over the page via Javascript. Can anyone think of a way (call it "Greasegorilla") to give me more control over HTTP?

I'm not bitching, I'm planting ideas.

BTW, in case you're wondering about the subject, it's a variation on a book title from one of my all-time favorite TV shows. (I got my season I & II DVDs this weekend. Yay!)

Thursday June 02, 2005
10:11 AM

New books

I got my copies of HOP and a Haskell book yesterday. I haven't had a chance to dive into them yet. I was hoping to get them during or before the long weekend so I would have some entertainment, but it was not to be.

The Haskell book was pretty expensive, but I haven't found any of the online materials very satisfactory. I learned functional programming way back when, so I don't need all the introductory stuff, which is what the online tutorials concentrate on. I picked this book from scanning online -- I thought it looked the most useful for my purposes. I'll see if I was right.

As for HOP, I didn't expect it to be so thick! From a brief scan, I can only tell it's nicely typeset. I hope to have a chance to do some in-depth reading today.

In the meantime, work beckons....