Update: As you can probably tell from the “Updated on ‘Thu Jul 22 16:03:01 2004’” I’ve not touched this page for a while. I assume these no longer work so I’ve removed links to the executables and the executables themselves. Love it or hate it IE is one of those things that’s here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future, so why not make it work a little more to our liking? Read on →

I’m posting this for my own benefit as much as anyone else’s. Ispell has some support for HTML / XML documents, if invoked with ‘-h’ it will not spell-check certain parts of the document as the rules below show: This element name is misspelled: <elemment>element</elemment> This attribute name is incorrect: <tag nme="Dean" /> The value of this attribute is wrong: <tag animal="Elepant" /> Of the three lines above none get kicked out as errors. Read on →

I’ve been a fan of the Pragmatic Programmers ever since I stumbled on to their first book, The Pragmatic Programmer. Since then I’ve happily worked my way through the Pickaxe book (Pragmatic Programmers guide to Ruby) and now I’ve started on their own ‘Starter Kit’ series. CVS has never been something I went too deeply in to, the basics of checkout, change, update and commit were fine for my purposes. These days I mostly write small bits of code, short articles and seldom collaborate with other people on projects outside of work. Read on →

I received an invitation a while ago and I’ve had a play, invited some friends, sent some messages and even created a group to discuss a topic. I spent half an hour looking at the pictures for people I’ve chatted with on lists but never meet in person, that was almost a month ago; then I forgot about the account. I’ve just logged back in and pretty much everything is as I left it, the groups I joined (GLLUG, Lonix, London-PM) have had no posts made and have a subset of the people on the respective mailing lists present. Read on →

I’ve not had a good week as far as computers have gone, my trusty P2-350 with 512MB finally bit the bullet and died, it’s not even reaching the BIOS anymore so I’m looking to dump it. I’m currently using my backup machine, a P3-866 with 128MB running the evaluation version of Windows 2003 (which is quite nice but more to come on that) but its dog slow when I’ve got FireFox, SharpReader, winamp and half a dozen terms open. Read on →

The watch command is one of those little gems that often gets overlooked and has its functionality duplicated by a custom tool; just slower and more complicated. At its most basic watch runs the specified command every two seconds until interrupted, a simple example that shows the current directories content is given below, this will show any changes in either the size or timestamp of the contents. watch ls -ahl Watch excels in showing real-time differences, by supplying either ‘-d’ or the long option ‘–differences’ any changes will be marked on screen using inverse colours. Read on →

Leafing through the live source-code should be a pleasant, calming experience, instead it often becomes a game of cringe and seek. While digging through some custom bandwidth monitoring scripts i came across this gem. cat /proc/net/dev | grep eth0 | sed -e 's/:/ /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g; s/ / /g;' Working left to right we have the useless use of cat. Read on →

While rummaging around the grep man page i stumbled on something I’d never noticed before; GREP_OPTIONS. This environmental variable does pretty much what you’d expect, once set it passes the options you specified to each and every invocation of grep that runs with the variable still in scope. While I’m not aware of any real positive usages for this something slightly less wholesome crossed my mind. If you set ‘GREP_OPTIONS=-v’ then every run would return the lines NOT matching your criteria, -v is an absolute switch rather than a toggle one so its not possible to reverse it with another -v. Read on →

Just don’t copy MySQL data files while the tables are in use and expect the backup to work. The conversation was going to be a painful one, sysadmin, the hero of our story felt it in the stream of vindaloo sauce that passed as his blood. “I noticed that our MySQL backups are just raw copies of the data files. I also saw some errors from the tar command about the files being written to while the backup was being run.” “Yes, we know about that risk but if we ever need one of the backups we can probably repair the tables.” “But isn’t the worst possible time to try and repair tables when we have a broken system and need the actual data?” “We’ve never needed them so far. Read on →

One of the online services/applications that has wiggled its way in to my near daily usage is del.icio.us. The concept, like most good ideas, is pretty simple; you save your bookmarks to a remote server and so does everyone else. What makes del.icio.us special is that everyone else using the service does the same. Each user has their own page of links, each book-marked URL is assigned one or more ‘tags’. Read on →