Thanks to everyone who sent me leads and links to relevant job adverts but since I posted that I was out of work I’ve started a two month contract that began this week and runs until the end of Feb. It’s my first contract role (and it’s not a typical one by any stretch) and it’s taking a little time to get used to considering I’ve spent most of my working life as a permie. Read on →

This is a weird one (and a bit of a long shot) but someone kindly sent me a letter this week, well I assume they did, as I only got an envelope. If it was you then please drop me an email. I’m not ignoring, you I just don’t know who you are or what you wanted. Not knowing is going to bug me now.

I spent a couple of hours running the YSlow FireFox extension against the main website for one of my little side projects and I couldn’t stop fiddling with the sites config until I got the score up. Improving a category until you get an ‘A’ gives you that same moment of satisfaction as all your tests passing or a file restore working perfectly. Due to not being amazingly wealthy I cheated with the content delivery network stage and just overrode it with the sites own name. Read on →

Linux Journal is getting some coverage again, last time was an advert, this time it’s a headline about Perl that Andy Lester didn’t like and caused him to post that “The Linux Journal owes the open source community, especially the Perl community, a big apology.” You can read the full complaint yourself over at use.perl 2.0 - sorry - Perl Buzz ;) I like his post, despite the fact he’s got a valid point the delivery irks me more than the underlying issue. Read on →

Since the release of Perl 5.10 (back on 2007/12/18) there have been a fair few articles discussing all the shiny new features - including smart matching, a built-in switch and state variables but my favourite three haven’t really received much coverage. So I’ll add to the pile of blog posts. First up is a tiny (from the outside anyway) change that may have the biggest impact of all the new features on my day to day perl - the display of the actual name of uninitialized variables. Read on →

As of 6PM yesterday (or midnight - depending on how you interpret my employment contract) my current role is redundant and I’m no longer a member of the working world. It was a mostly good 28 months and I was lucky enough to work with some damn smart people. This wasn’t unexpected. Between the Register articles and a generously lengthened consultation period most of us were pretty sure we’d be on the market again soon. Read on →

I’ve been quiet recently for “medical reasons”. I’ve been suffering from a pain in the side that seems to strike strongly when I’m sitting, laying or standing up - yes, that doesn’t leave a lot :) It’s present most of the time but tolerable unless I sit in certain positions or chairs. It’s not been too bad at work as the office has very nice seats but I drastically reduced my time spent online (my home desk setup seems to annoy it) while I waited to find out what’s wrong. Read on →

While dabbling with Puppet I’ve spent a fair amount of time investigating facter, one of the tools (although puppet uses it as a library) it’s built on. While I quite like the format it uses to define a fact I’m hampered by my lack of ruby experience; simple things take me longer than they should. So when I noticed Pfacter while looking for a module on CPAN recently I thought I’d have a look at how it could be done in perl. Read on →

The current trend with config files is to fill them with comments (let’s ignore the fact this isn’t a substitute for documentation) and while this is helpful watching people arrow through them line by line looking for active options drives me nuts. If you’re using vim (as all good people do ;)) you can jump from uncommented directive to uncommented directive with /^[^#] as a search. Pressing n will then move you to the next uncommented option. Read on →

It’s been a long week that began with half the systems team coming down with colds and ended with no water at home and dealing with plumbers. A number of little road blocks cropped up and late Friday night I decided to do the adult thing - and ran away. I’ve not really had a non-tech break since January so about 10 Friday night I grabbed my “conference kit” (I’ve learned to pack for short trips both quickly and lightly - and with only cheap items) I went and bought a ticket to the coast, used the wireless in the train station to find a small “hotel” (that’s a glamourous term for where I ended up staying) and buggered off to enjoy the beach for two days. Read on →