I’m behind on actual (non-slashdot covered) news again so it came as quite a shock to find out that Linda Smith, who never failed to amuse, passed away in February. Whether on TV or radio she always raised a smile. Her death is a loss to all fans of good comedy.

Both Dave Cross and Slashdot have recently commented on Googles problems hiring engineers. I’ve been quite surprised at how much effort I’ve seen them expend on it recently. From a stall of overly enthusiastic people at FOSDEM, to speakers at UKUUG and the Vint Cerf recruitment tour they’re more than willing to throw resources at the problem. Just before Christmas I got an email from Google recruitment asking if I’d be interested in going for an interview, and you know what? Read on →

One of my guilty pleasures is reading through IRC quotes. I hate to think how much time I’ve spent reading my way through bash.org and qdb.us. While playing with Template::Extract today I found myself needing a simple, structured site to experiment with. And it resulted in the bash_quotes command line tool. The script is pretty simple, if you call it without an argument it gets the quotes from the “Latest” page. Read on →

This years FOSDEM had some representatives from the LPI conducting exams. LPI also did something similar at last years Linux Expo, and each time people seemed to really like the chance to take the exams cheaply and discuss their preparation with other candidates before the session. And then come out bonded from the pressure :) To me this seems to be a perfect opportunity for some group collaboration at a LUG level. Read on →

With a mere two days notice the London Linux/Unix community managed to pull together an impressive 22 people to see Crispin Cowan, chief architect of AppArmor (and previously CTO and co-founder of Immunix) present AppArmor. The talk went down well, you can now get a video of the material from the FOSDEM AppArmor presentation and see for yourself, and afterwards the speaker came out to the pub and managed to keep a crowd entertained until the witching hour. Read on →

Which ports do your servers have open right now? How did you check? Netstat? Are you really sure that it’s doing the right thing? What the host claims to be exporting isn’t always the same as what other hosts on the network see. When did your DNS server start exposing that TCP port? Has it always been there? I want a tool that keeps track of what ports a machine has open and shows me changes (and tracks when things change). Read on →

After a previous false start I’m pleased to announce the March London Perl Mongers technical meeting will actually be happening! Presenting on the night are the two main speakers - Dave Cross : "What's Wrong With ORM?" Richard Jones : "OCaml for Perl Programmers" And a Cornish handful of quality lightning talks (5 minutes each) - Alistair McGlinchy : "Net::SNMP and Cisco" Leon Brocard : "Make real things with PDF::API2" Nicholas Clark : "The Perl Foundation, their money, and how to get it." Paul Hammond : "Introduction to JSON" Stig Brautaset : "Module::Build::Kwalitee" Tom Hukins : "Tracing code with Aspect.pm" The tech meet will begin at 19:15 at the Fotango offices and should end about 20:30. Read on →

If you want to contact me then please use the gmail address given on the About Me page. While dean.wilson3@virgin.net was my main address for a number of years (about seven) it’s been getting less and less use over the last 18 months, I now send all my mail via a different address, and it’s finally time to put it to sleep. It’s gone as of the end of February.

Update: It’s on! The talk starts at 19:00 on 2006-02-28 and is being held at the Fotango offices. For one night only Crispin Cowan, chief architect of AppArmor (and previously CTO and co-founder of Immunix) will be available to give his excellent talk on AppArmor to a lucky London audience. What’s the catch? It’s tomorrow (Tuesday 28th of Feb) or nothing! Crispin is only in London for a couple of days and has a single slot in his diary, and he’s graciously said he’d give his talk if we’re interested. Read on →