Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Assume the Position


This guy is out of his tree if he thinks users will rise up as one and reject Vista on the basis of this insanely restrictive EULA.

Mark my words (I always wanted to say that), you are about to see millions of users bend over as one and intone the time-honored Litany to Microsoft - "Do it to me, Billy, one more time! Pleeeeease..."

You know you want it.

IRC Funny


It's funny because it's funny. Or is that too technical for you?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Weekly Debian News #2

And once more the glory of the Weekly Debian Nudes bursts onto your screens, like a particularly colorful pimp, resplendent in its purple sports coat and orange suede shoes.

Firstly, from the mailing lists, comes the news that I still steadfastly refuse to read the mailing lists. Please insert rant about how newsgroups are soooo much better right about here. I would do it myself, but fear such a feat might require the ability to form some kind of rational argument. Pity really.

The tremendously exciting news this week, of course, is that Gnome 2.16 packages have begun to appear in unstable. As a KDE user I am uncertain why this is exciting, but it sure sounds better than "the tremendously boring news..."

Speaking of upgrades, kde, or most of it, has been upgraded in Etch, from 3.5.4 to 3.5.5. This is a bugfix release, and the changelog is in that place which contains the changelog. What, I should find it for you? You don't know how to spell google?

This week's Linux hissy-fit award goes to Debian, as usual. Sigh. Just once I'd like to see somebody else win it. I mean, apart from Theo. Theo doesn't count, because he is BSD.

I manage to write a second issue. Of course this is the really big, and no doubt entirely unexpected, news. Although it would have been a whole lot more unexpected were there any actual content... but moving right along folks, we come to the final exhibit:

Ubuntu 6.10, Edgy Eft, has been released, or will have been by the time you read this. Ok, it's not exactly Debian, but I think I may have mentioned that I am not hung up on accuracy. Or proper grammar. or punctuation. or speeelling.

Anyway, I have it on good authority that every tenth customer will receive an actual Eft. I don't know how they manage to fit them in a CD sleeve, but leaving that aside for now because I seem to have forgotten the punch line, we shall instead move onto some very important advice as to the proper way to care for your Eft. Firstly, they only eat freshly killed orangutans. Secondly, you should never feed your Eft after midnight, just like in that movie. Whatever it was called.

And that's all for this week, so it's good night from me, and remember; just because you "apt get install bum", doesn't mean you're gay.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Raw Surfing - To Porn Or Not To Porn

Surfraw. You know you want to.

No, this is not about naked websurfing, although I suspect such an article might be a whole lot more popular. An idea for the future perhaps...

But for now, let us consider Surfraw, a handy command-line program for finding stuff online. No, no, not porn. Well maybe a bit, but not nearly as much as the title of this post suggests. Sorry about that.

In Debian (Etch or Sid) you can install Surfraw using apt. If you would rather use Synaptic for installing software, then you are not really in the target demographic for this program. Please go back to your Firefox, and your Opera, and all those other wimpy graphical thingies.

The Surfraw guys describe sr(Surfraw) thusly:
Surfraw - Shell Users' Revolutionary Front Rage Against the World Wide Web

Surfraw provides a fast unix command line interface to a variety of
popular WWW search engines and other artifacts of power. It reclaims
google, altavista, dejanews, freshmeat, research index, slashdot
and many others from the false-prophet, pox-infested heathen lands of
html-forms, placing these wonders where they belong, deep in unix
heartland, as god loving extensions to the shell.

Surfraw abstracts the browser away from input. Doing so lets it get
on with what it's good at. Browsing. Interpretation of linguistic
forms is handed back to the shell, which is what it, and human
beings are good at. Combined with incremental text browsers, such
as links, w3m (or even lynx), and screen(1), or netscape-remote
a Surfraw liberateur is capable of research speeds that leave
GUI tainted idolaters agape with fear and wonder.

Kinda makes you wonder where those Windows users get the weird idea that we're all a bunch of arrogant pricks, doesn't it.

So, here's how it works:

sr google arrogant pricks
This commands tells Surfraw to search google for the term "arrogant pricks", which will no doubt return a photo of the sr authors. Sr then starts a browser to display the results. If run from a konsole session within KDE, konqueror is used(Actually, to be slightly more accurate than usual, it uses x-www-browser in Debian, which on my system links to konqueror). If run without the X window system Surfraw starts a text mode browser, such as Links, or Lynx. All this stuff is fully configurable, but I won't go into that here, because I am terribly lazy.

sr -elvi
Google is just one of the many search engines Surfraw knows about. "sr -elvi" returns a list of the available engines. Here's the output on my system:

alioth -- Search Alioth (alioth.debian.org)
altavista -- Search the web using Altavista (www.altavista.com)
amazon -- Search the amazon.com bookstore
ask -- Question the web using Ask Jeeves (www.ask.com)
austlii -- Search Australian Law docs (www.austlii.edu.au)
bbcnews -- Search BBC News (news.bbc.co.uk)
cddb -- Search for cd track listings in CDDB (www.gracenote.com)
cia -- Search CIA documents at www.cia.gov
cite -- Search computer science papers (www.researchindex.com)
cnn -- Search on CNN (cnn.com)
ctan -- Search the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (ctan.org)
currency -- Convert currencies with the Universal Currency Converter (www.xe.net/ucc)
cve -- Search for CAN assignments in CVE
debbugs -- Search the debian BTS (bugs.debian.org)
debcontents -- Search contents of debian/ubuntu packages (packages.debian.org/packages.ubuntu.com)
deblists -- Search debian mailing lists (lists.debian.org/search.html)
deblogs -- Show changelogs for a package in Debian main (changelogs.debian.net)
debpackages -- Search debian/ubuntu packages (packages.debian.org/packages.ubuntu.com)
debpts -- Search the Debian Package Tracking System (packages.qa.debian.org)
debsec -- Search the Debian Security Tracker for CVE ids or package names
deja -- Search usenet using Google Groups (groups.google.com)
discogs -- Search the Discogs database of music information (www.discogs.com)
dmoz -- Search the Open Directory Project web directory (dmoz.org)
ebay -- Search the Ebay auction site
etym -- Look up word origins at www.etymonline.com
excite -- Search on Excite (www.excite.com)
fast -- Search the web using FAST Search (www.alltheweb.com)
filesearching -- Search files on filesearching (www.filesearching.com)
foldoc -- The Free On-Line Dictionary Of Computing (foldoc.org)
freebsd -- Search FreeBSD related information (www.freebsd.org)
freedb -- Search for cd track listings in FreeDB (www.freedb.org)
freshmeat -- Search Freshmeat (www.freshmeat.net)
fsfdir -- Search the FSF/UNESCO Free Software Directory (directory.fsf.org)
genpkg -- Search Gentoo packages (packages.gentoo.org)
google -- Search the web using Google (www.google.com)
gutenberg -- Search for books on Project Gutenberg (gutenberg.org)
happypenguin -- Search the Linux Game Tome (www.happypenguin.org)
imdb -- Search the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)
ixquick -- Search the web using ixquick (www.ixquick.com)
jake -- Search journal/databases in jake (jake.med.yale.edu)
leodict -- Search Leo's German <-> English dictionary (dict.leo.org)
netbsd -- Search NetBSD related information (www.netbsd.org)
openbsd -- Search OpenBSD related information (www.openbsd.org)
pgpkeys -- Search the PGP key database
pubmed -- Search medical/molbio databases (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
rae -- Busca en el diccionario de la Real Academia de la Lengua EspaƱola (Spanish Dictionary)
rfc -- Search RFCs (internet standards documents)
rhyme -- Search for rhymes et al using Lycos Rhyme (rhyme.lycos.com)
scaleplus -- Search Australian Law using ScalePlus (scaleplus.law.gov.au)
scholar -- Search Google Scholar (scholar.google.com)
scpan -- Search the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (search.cpan.org)
slashdot -- Search stories on Slashdot (www.slashdot.org)
slinuxdoc -- Search entries in LDP (www.linuxdoc.org)
sourceforge -- Search SourceForge (www.sourceforge.net)
stockquote -- Get a single stock quote (multiple providers)
sundocs -- Search docs on Sun.com (docs.sun.com)
sunsolve -- Search public docs on Sunsolve (sunsolve.sun.com)
thesaurus -- Look up word in Merriam-Webster's Thesaurus (www.m-w.com)
translate -- Translate human languages (various providers)
W -- Activate Surfraw defined web-browser
w3css -- Validate a CSS URL with the w3c CSS validator (jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator)
w3html -- Validate a web page URL with the w3c validator (validator.w3.org)
w3link -- Check web page links with the w3c linkchecker (validator.w3.org/checklink)
w3rdf -- Validate a RDF URL with the w3c RDF validator (validator.w3.org)
wayback -- Search The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine for a URL (archive.org)
webster -- Look up word in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary (www.m-w.com)
wetandwild -- Real time weather information (many sources)
wikipedia -- Search the free encyclopedia wikipedia
woffle -- Search the web using Woffle (localhost:8080)
xxx -- Superior XXX, hot and ready to press (arXiv.org)
yahoo -- Search Yahoo categories (www.yahoo.com)
yubnub -- Use the social command-line for the web (yubnub.org)

A pretty impressive list. Sadly xxx does not, in fact, refer to a special porn search engine. Again, appologies for the misleading title of this post.

Finally, surfraw-update-path can be used to add /usr/lib/surfraw to your path, which makes it possible to omit the "sr" from search queries. Thus the query above can be reduced to "google arrogant pricks".

Sunday, October 22, 2006

PHP Programming Tips #1 - Regular Expressions

preg_match: ( int preg_match ( string pattern, string subject [, array &matches [, int flags [, int offset]]] ) )

The test returned positive. You are indeed the father. Change your name and move to a different state immediately.

preg_match_all: (int preg_match_all ( string pattern, string subject, array &matches [, int flags [, int offset]] ) )

You have run out of states, and will be lynched by a mob of furious, pregnant women.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

StoneMonkey and CrackVulture

By now we're all pretty bored with the whole Debian renaming Firefox thing. Surely. I have resisted the urge to add my own worthless opinion. Until now.

Personally I have no problem at all with what the Debian guys are doing. Except for one bit. There is one bit that bugs the hell out of me, and it is this. Here is the part where I divulge the thing that is bothering me:

"Iceweasel"? What the hell? This has got to be straight out of Season One, Episode One of "Why Developers Should Never Be Allowed To Name Anything" (Coming soon on Fox). For chrissake. ***Throws hands in air in exasperation***

Don't get me started on stupid project/software names. Why the hell do you think nobody calls it GNU/Linux? And here I pause, but nobody volunteers any suggestions, possibly because they do not want to draw attention to themselves, what with the insane gleam in my eyes, and all. Well, I'll tell you. It is because you can't say "GNU". It rolls off the tongue like an enormous tongue-clamp - ie not at all.

Listen, if you can't think of a suck-free name, then just call it "Web Browser" or "Debian Browser" or any bloody thing, but not "Iceweasel", or any stupid construction like that.

Actually, I'm rather partial to "StoneMonkey". Or "HammerToad". That's pretty neat too.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Weekly Debian News #1

Debian-News.net - Debian News

As a regular reader of the "Debian Weekly News" I must say that I am very sad to see it go.

I laughed at the MLM (Mailing List Morons) and their zany antics, wept at the plight of all of those poor poor orphans, and rejoiced at the news of new packages arriving in the night (presumably delivered by the stork).

So, it is with great pleasure that I hereby step up to the plate, eat a delicious helping of spagetti, step back from the plate, and offer my assistance in this most dire hour of need.

Yes, please be welcome to the first issue of the "Weekly Debian News" (title subject to change - possibly "Weekly Debian Nudes", because that would be really neat).

So, on with the news...

Amarok is broken! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!
Yes, you heard it here first, folks - recently (It wasn't this week, but I am not hung up on accuracy), in unstable, the most delicious of all spagetti music players has become a pathetic shadow of its former self, a cripple, a hideous mutant with peeling flesh and horns and a foul smell, like some kind of creature from the dark pits of hell... But I digress. It's what I do.

Apparently the current libxine1 package cannot play mp3s, and unfortunately it appears xine is now the only backend available for Amarok. It be a sad sad day. Add this to the brokenness of the musicbrainz integration, and Amarok becomes a virtual paperweight.

Shut up - brokenness is so a word. Look it up on Google. While you're at it, please find me some good porn.

[UPDATE 20061022]: The cure to the mp3 playback problem was rm -rf ~/.xine Thanks to Reinhard Tartler for this. Musicbrainz is still broken, however. And no, my inability to work this out myself does not prove that I am a complete idiot, for a couple of reasons:
  1. A claim that is uncontested does not need to be proven
  2. I am hardly complete.

In other news, a prominent Debian developer was seen rescuing a kitten from a tree. In this exclusive footage.... Actually there is no footage, but I always wanted to say that... The story about the kitten is also a fabrication, as is the name I use on this blog, my address, description, photo, and breasts. All else is one hundred percent authentic. Mostly.

Some guys said some stuff on some mailing lists, which I have not read, because I HATE HATE HATE mailing lists - ever since university, where each day I had to wade through hundreds and hundreds of horrible pathetic mindless emails by people who knew nothing about anything and should never have been allowed anywhere near a computer, or a university, or a falopian tube. Everybody who went to my university, except me, was a complete moron - no offence intended to any CQU graduates who might be paying somebody to read this to them, though where any of those sub-humans would get money from is beyond me.

Phew. I seem to have gone on a bit.

In next week's episode: adventure, intrigue, nudity, suspense, tragedy, horror, possibly even some Debian news, but I wouldn't count on that last bit. Or the nudity. Sorry.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Research Results

about:predius » Blog Archive » Fucks per programing language and license.

Clearly there is some very important research going on in the field of software development.

I think C# results would be a lot higher, if C# programmers knew how to use a keyboard.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Funny Stuff

» Microsoft gives adware pusher an MVP award | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report | ZDNet.com

Now That's what I call innovation. If this guy gets an MVP just for distributing adware, what's in store for the next guy who creates a mass-mailing worm that delete's all your word docs? CEO? Maybe an MBE?

Onya Microsoft.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Linux Today Blog

Linux Today Blog

"...I am pleased to announce that we are offering more: a collection of blogs from a wide variety of community members that will offer insight and knowledge..."

"...For the past few months, I have been extending the invitation to join our blog to associates and friends in the community that I felt would have the best messages to share..."

So, how come they didn't invite me? I am hurt. Because, you know, I am totally integral to the whole FOSS community, and really really important. And stuff.

Anyway, LT then goes on to introduce the new weblog writer persons. For example:

"Tom Adelstein. Tom is a system administrator and a technical writer by trade, and is the author of several technology articles for various media outlets, as well as blog entries for Linux Journal."

Just in case my invitation has been lost in the mail, I have been preparing a byline.

Ben Hay. Ben is a bit of a moron. He has been a professional ribbon-changer for some years now, and someday hopes to graduate to laser cartridges. He knows the back of his hand like the back of his hand, and has a penchant for playing "Dawn of War" instead of doing any real work. Ben thought he saw a Linux once, but it was only a mouse.