I’ve been on a sci-fi novel kick again recently and despite its short page count Blood Music by Greg Bear was the one I found slowest to finish from my first batch. A rogue biotechnologist starts his own experiments in to biological computers based on his own lymphocytes while on the company clock. He gets caught, ignores all precautions and injects himself with them. They then become intelligent and start spreading. Read on →

Here is another one for the sysadmins in the audience: How … … many of your servers have multiple network ports in the back? … many of them have bonding (teaming for the Windows people) enabled? … do you know when one interface goes down if the machine stays connected? … long does it take for you to be notified? … do you know if they start flapping? … many have their bonded interfaces plugged in to different switches? Read on →

While we’re a Xen shop I’ve always been a VMWare fan and I had the chance to take a look at the free (as in beer) VMWare Converter Starter today. We’ve got a couple of old Windows machines with no installation documents or run books so when working towards making them reproducible grabbing a whole system image is a great first step. The first machine I tried it on has a very unhappy hard drive (yes, it’s my work laptop) and the converter refused to play past 5% of the disk; me thinks it’s time to verify my backups. Read on →

You’d think it would be easy - have a program type a previously written program at a human speed (minus the typos). Vim has record and reply functionality but it’s done with typical vim efficiency: yes, instantly. At EuroOSCON a couple of years ago Damian Conway handed out a presentation tidbit, he uses the hand_print function from IO::Prompt to make himself look like a master typist. Well, he could just have been saying that to make us feel better, maybe he can type that fast… Anyway, I tried a simple example using the module: #!/usr/bin/perl use strict; use warnings; use IO::Prompt qw/hand_print/; hand_print("I am not really typing this..."); It works but the typing speed is so uniform it makes it obvious over past a handful of lines. Read on →

I’ve been in bed for most of the last week and a half (apart from two very short staffed days in the office) with the cold / flu bug that seems to stalk through our office on permanent rotation. Apart from the general feeling ill and lots of sleeping I missed a GLLUG and the first London Puppet Muppets meeting. But I did decide to go to the 2007 Nordic Perl Workshop, an event I’ve managed to miss for the last three years. Read on →

I’ve never read the comic, I didn’t recognise any of the cast and quite enjoyed 300 as a not very challenging film. Lots of very cool fight scenes, an acceptable amount of plot and a great ‘arrows blotting out the sun’ scene. Oh, and a war rhino. What else is there to say? The fight scenes are bloody but not especially gory, the Spartans are portrayed with the right amount of bad-ass nature and it had a number of Sin Cityesque deformed villains in it. Read on →

Digg People: Please note that “Top $FOO of all time lists” should not be completely comprised of $FOO’s from the last two years. You should also dock points for all uppercase words, txtsp3k, leet speak and every use of ‘AMAZING!!111’ and its ilk.

This came up in conversation with a developer at the Google OpenSource Jam so I thought I’d mention it while it is fresh in my mind (update: at which point I forgot to move it to the published directory. Doh). Breaking up config files isn’t done just to annoy people, it’s done to make automated and mass management easier. A solid practical example is the Debian Apache configs. Historically most distros (and too many current ones) used a single config file for Apache. Read on →

I recently went to the second Google London OpenSource Jam over at Belgrave House. I’ve been aware of some of the London Google evenings but I’ve never made the effort to go, how ever there were a couple of people I’ve not seen for ages on the attendee list for this one so I decided to sign up. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting but what I got was more than a little weird, part pre-2000 dotcom and part group hug; it wasn’t really my kind of event. Read on →

For reasons that are too dull to post about (yes, even on THIS blog!) I spent some time today looking at Log::Dispatch. Bob (the afore mentioned bigger boy) then made^Wsuggested I integrate it with the shining example of wasted time that is Twitter. So I (not very) proudly present: Log::Dispatch::Twitter! Now, where’s the build system source code…