I’d originally planned to get to all of these, and even though I’m no longer sure which ones I’ll be able to attend I thought I should at least mention them: LUG Radio Live 2006 - Sat 22nd and Sun 23rd July 2006. Jono Bacon and one of the most talked about events from last year (which I’m gutted I missed). This is going to be excellent. YAPC::Europe 2006 - Brummie Edition - 30th August to 1st September 2006. Read on →

This one’s as much for my own memory as for everyone else, I’ve already used it at two companies and had to rediscover it at each… If you have a number of load balanced apache servers serving the same site and you use ETags to help reduce the number of page requests make sure that the generated ETag doesn’t consult the file inode; these will hardly ever be the same across servers - unless you build from a gold image - and will cause the client to download the page again each time it hits a different server. Read on →

How much of your work is done based on a request? Does the task you’re working on have a an RT ticket, a Bugilla id or story ID associated with it? If it doesn’t should you be doing the work at all? Even some of the more routine tasks can fit in this model, rather than remembering to check for the expiry dates of SSL certs or domain names have scripts that check and put any actions in to RT for you. Read on →

Making a backup copy of a file is a pretty common thing to do (although you should be using RCS for a lot of these…). If you’re using a machine with a GUI then copy and pasting the file name twice, with an extension on the end, is pretty simple. If you’re either a keyboard jockey or without a mouse you can make your life easier with these two short cuts: # make a copy of file. Read on →

If you’ve tried to use any of my Greasemonkey scripts over at Dean Wilsons Userscripts.org Profile then you’ve been out of luck until recently. During a linky session I managed to hit the “delete script link” on each and every script I’d uploaded. The delete link (which I didn’t notice) didn’t require any confirmation so it managed to get everything. I spent a little time last night re-adding the scripts (I have copies on my own site) so they’re now available again. Read on →

When I was a teen I read a fair amount of X-Men comics (and I’ve started again now Joss Whedon is writing Astonishing X-Men) so they are close to my heart, while the first film felt like a prologue, the second film did them justice and the third gives them a decent send off. I’m not going to spoil any of the plot but Storm gets a decent showing this time, Halle Berry - who has six toes on her left foot, made some (deserved) noise about Storm being down played in previous films. Read on →

I’ve added a couple of new scripts to my Greasemonkey Script collection. Remove Background Image does exactly what you’d expect. Add an @include like for your site of choice and refresh the page to make it go away. The second one’s based on a Streetmap trick Wookie Bob showed me. StreetMap 5x5 grid changes the map you’re looking at to a 5x5 grid view you can only usually get by hacking the URL. Read on →

The File::Find::Rule::VCS module excludes certain directories, artifacts from version control systems, from your File::Find::Rule queries. While it’s aware of the big two (subversion and CVS) today I needed a version that was aware - and can ignore - RCS directories. So I hacked the module and tada, we now have a File::Find::Rule::VCS RCS support patch. I’ve sent a copy to the module author but I’m putting it here as well in case it gets rejected.

The work is done, the script is written and from this Sunday night my RSS aggregator will kill any post that’s from before noon on Saturday. This is all part of my (proably pointless) attempt to prevent backlogs and pile ups of unread things. I’m not going to release any of the (very hacky) scripts as they all assume lots about their running environment but I thought I’d mention it in case I can inspire anyone (Lee) to clear out their queues every now and again. Read on →

Amazon sent me one of the more amusing recommendations I’ve ever had: Greetings from Amazon.co.uk, We've noticed that customers who have purchased books by Rael Dornfest have also ordered "Adolf Hitler: A Portrait" by Michael Fitzgerald. I know O’Reilly are not the most popular of companies since the web 2.0 incident but I didn’t think they’d fallen that far… :)