Computers: August 2003 Archives

ODE Infected With Stupidity

| | Comments (0)
From a recent Oxford Dictionary of English press release (and the "Don't worries. I gots an idea. I mean, an ideas." dept.):

The hyphen is being dropped from standard compounds such as TURNING-POINT but is now appearing in verb phrases (e.g. 'this website was SET-UP by Vicky'). Our research shows that such uses are twice as common as they were ten years ago and yet overall the hyphen is now used only half as much as it was in 1993. For example, E-MAILS have become EMAILS and we are twice as likely to COOPERATE than CO-OPERATE . We are now ONLINE not ON-LINE . The apostrophe is disappearing from where you would expect to see it (e.g. LETS GO ) and is appearing elsewhere (as in the plural PEAR'S ).

This is wrong. Very wrong. SET-UP is an adjective or noun, not a verb; PEAR'S is possessive, not plural; LETS GO is nothing at all.

The ODE says these things are "appearing". Where? In "blogs" written by illiterate Philistines? I read a lot of things, and never do I see such incorrect punctuation, except unintentionally, either as simple mistakes by people who know better, or as glaring errors by the mass illiterati who don't.

I eagerly anticipate the deaths of Williams F. Buckley and Safire, that they might be able to turn in their respective graves!

Perhaps the time for apostrophic jihad truly has arrived.

NOTE This is not the esteemed OED, but the ODE, a nasty impostor. Text above has been corrected.

Now Playing: The Waiting Song - Ani DiFranco (Imperfectly)

Mac::Carbon Docs

| | Comments (0)
Should I suppress the non-Carbon routines from (e.g.) the Mac::Memory POD on Mac OS X, or print the routines in the POD, but with a note that it is non-Carbon? Such a quandary this is; I am truly vexed!

Create a URL clipping file

| | Comments (0)
There are three resources in the clipping I got from Safari: TEXT, url, and drag. TEXT and url are the same, and TEXT doesn't seem to do anything. Neither does drag, so I just put in the url resource, which seems to work just fine. If more is needed, it can be added. (Note: you can use DeRez to see what is in a resource file, in /Developer/Tools/ or somesuch).

So anyway, this little bit of code works for me, share and enjoy. Mac::Carbon required.

use strict;
use warnings;
use File::Spec::Functions;
use Mac::Errors '$MacError';
use Mac::Files;
use Mac::Memory;
use Mac::Resources;
my $url  = new Handle "";
my $file = catfile(FindFolder(kUserDomain, kDesktopFolderType), "projects.webloc");
FSpCreateResFile($file, 'MACS', 'ilht', 0) or die $MacError;
my $RF = FSpOpenResFile($file, 0) or die $MacError;
AddResource($url, 'url ', 256, '');

Now Playing: Desire - U2


| | Comments (0)
Mac::Carbon seems to be pretty stable, and I have very few open bugs (really only relating to UFS problems and tests), and so now it's time to move on to the next phase of my quest for world dominance.

The plan is to polish up the documentation, write an article for The Perl Journal, and do a presentation for the Seattle Perl Users Group. Oh, and probably do some little mini press releases for the various Apple developer thingys.

Most of the doc changes will be noting what does and doesn't work on Mac OS X. I am not entirely sure what the focus of the article/talk will be (suggestions welcome). Right now I am thinking of talking about Carbon as a "framework" for creating other apps, and then showing various examples. In the past when I've talked about these things, I think I went over it too quickly, and assumed too much of the audience, and lost them quickly. I should have focused and short examples right from the beginning, perhaps.

Mac-Glue-1.12 Released

| | Comments (0)
Mac-Glue-1.12 has been released. Download it from the CPAN or

(Note: it may take time for the release to propagate to the various download mirrors.)

* v1.12, August 27, 2003
   Added Memoize to speed up some methods and functions.
   initialize $MACGLUEDIR, but in some cases, %ENV gets wiped, so we don't
   want to rely on it.  (Lloyd Butler)
   Even if you get a reply back in Mac::AETE::App, that doesn't mean the
   data is good, so do a check on it and give a better error message.
   (Ian Cabell)
   Cleaned up ex/address_book.
   Added ex/itunes.

Posted using release by brian d foy.


| | Comments (0)
I use BBEdit as my editor, and in the command line, like to use the "bbedit" command-line tool, which opens a file with BBEdit. So I set my EDITOR var in the environment to "bbedit".

But this doesn't work when the program calling EDITOR needs to wait for the file to be done (such as in cvs commit). So there is a "-w" option that means "wait," so the command-line tool does not return until the window is closed. Coolio, so I set EDITOR to "bbedit -w".

Except that some programs (like with crontab -e) like to be smart and check to see if EDITOR is executable, and there is no executable named "bbedit -w". So I wrote a really complex program to set as my EDITOR, called "bbeditw":

system "bbedit", "-w", @ARGV;

An Open Letter to Eric S. Raymond

| | Comments (0)
Mr. Raymond:

Please go over to Microsoft's side.


The Free Software/Open Source community


| | Comments (0)
A group is calling for a boycott of any moving company that carts the Ten Commandments off from the Alabama court house. Not even Pontius Pilate was treated so poorly.

It's not like the movers are carting off human fetuses to be cloned and eaten. It's one thing to disagree with what is going on, to think the court decision is unwise or even unconstitutional, but I can't see how it is immoral.

However, I ain't gonna argue. The Alabama "Ten Commandments judge", Roy Moore, "moved to Texas where he trained as a full-contact karate fighter. He later spent several months in the Australian outback, wrangling wild cattle."

Not just cattle, wild cattle. I'll stay out of this one.


| | Comments (0)
You are not important. You are not interesting. What you think does not benefit other people.

"Blogging," on the whole, is not important or interesting. "Blogging" is a bunch of people thinking they are important or interesting, and telling each other -- because they are all "bloggers" -- that they are important or interesting. And that is neither important nor interesting.

It's a neverending, self-perpetuating cycle. I say you're great, you say I'm great, and our need for validation is fulfilled, so we can go validate other people. I guess it's harmless enough, but it's really lame and annoying.

Calvin and Hobbes predicted this years ago. Calvin says, "I feel I have an obligation to keep a journal of my thoughts. Being a genius, my ideas are naturally more important and interesting than other people's. So I figure the world would benefit from a record of my mental activities." Hobbes: "How philanthropic of you."

But you aren't a genius. Your ideas are not important or interesting. We, the world, do not benefit from your mental activities. You're just someone who thinks they know a lot more than they do, and likes to be told how great they are. Come back to reality. You're clueless.

And don't think I am any different. I fully expect people to say how great I am for writing this, and it makes me feel dirty.

Oh, and for the record, "blogging" is not "journalism" either. If you have to ask, the answer is No. Trust me -- I've seen your work -- you do not have the discernment to be a journalist. Journalism requires separating the wheat from the chaff, and you're all chaff, baby.

Now Playing: Missing Love - Ty Tabor (Safety)

CPAN Ratings

| | Comments (0)
Have you rated a CPAN distribution today?

I rated most of the distributions we use for Slash. I figure, I use the modules for something important to me, so I should give them a rating.

iChat AV

| | Comments (0)
I like the idea of iChat AV, and I love how easy it is to use. But I hate talking to people who are not physically near me, and I hate being in front of a camera. So I turn off the microphone and don't use a camera. Though, I like having access to it just in case.

Report a Vulnerability?

| | Comments (0)
Read this story about a hacker who reported a security vulnerability and went to jail for it. Forget for a moment that he might have been violating an NDA, or that he might have had less-than-pure motives. Focus on the fact that he was convicted and jailed for causing an "impairment to the integrity or availability of data, a program, a system, or information without authorization" by disseminating the information.

I note that I have committed this "crime" more than once, reporting security vulnerabilities about Slash. Many of you reading this likely have as well, with other projects.

Now think about whether or not you will release security notices again any time soon.

Now Playing: Without You (Bonus Track) - Lenny Kravitz (5)

Mac-Carbon-0.54 Released

| | Comments (0)
Mac-Carbon-0.54 has been released. Download it from the CPAN or

(Note: it may take time for the release to propagate to the various download mirrors.)

* v0.54, 13 August 2003
   Skip some tests that fail on UFS (Randal Schwartz)
   undef DEBUG for the sake of gcc 3.3 (perl's DEBUG conflicts with Mac's)
   Add notes about Mac OS X 10.3

Posted using release by brian d foy.

Now Playing: Pearls - Sade (The Best of Sade)

A Few Recall Thoughts

| | Comments (0)
One thing a lot of people are saying is that it is not right somehow that Gray Davis could get 49 percent of the vote in the recall election and then be replaced by someone who gets only, say, 15 percent of the vote. They say that this could happen is wrong.

But this can happen in most any election in the U.S. where there is a primary; you could lose the election with 49 percent and, if there are a sufficient number of candidates, the eventual victor could have a relatively small percent. This has been possible for many years; the possibility of it cannot make it unfair, unless the whole system is unfair.

Bill Maher said something absolutely ludicrous the other night: that a recall is not how the "founding fathers" of this country intended the system to work. What he apparently doesn't realize is that the "founding fathers" had no collective intentions for the details of the selection of the leadership of the individual states, but left that as a matter for the individual states to decide for themselves.

And, in fact, the people of the state of California, a hundred years ago, decided that this is the way things should work in California. It is a democratic process if for no other reason but that the people of California have stated this is how it should work. And if they don't like it, they can change the process so this can't happen again.

Every complaint about the recall itself, every court challenge to it, seems to me to boil down to "it's the law, it's been the law for a long time, there is nothing remotely illegitimate about this procedure, and if you don't like it, then change the law."

That's not to say you shouldn't be opposed to the recall procedure as used here; personally, I think people who wish to use it just because they lost last time are abusing the process. But abuse of the process does not make it illegitimate. And it should also be noted that for every person I've talked to who wants Davis gone just because they dislike him, there are several who want him gone because he lied about the depth of the budget problem during the last election, or because he has continued to mismanage the state's economy.

Bill Maher did get one thing absolutely right, though: he said that if you want to get someone in the governor's mansion to really change things, to shake them up, then Arianna Huffington is the candidate for you. I don't think I would vote for her if I still lived in California, but I would consider it ... how can any libertarian not feel some affinity for an intelligent, capable person who wrote a book called "How To Overthrow The Government"?

Right now, the most interesting candidates to me are Huffington and Peter Ueberroth. If the main problem is fixing the budget, you should get people who can fix that problem: Ueberroth is someone who is just plain capable, having successfully run Major League Baseball, the 1984 Summer Olympics, and numerous large and small businesses. The guy's got sk1llz. He does not have, however, popular backing or name recognition. But if you talk to southern California businesspeople who are thinking about leaving the state, if they could hand-pick a governor to turn things around, he'd be the guy, and that's something to consider.

Bundle-Slash-2.32 Released

| | Comments (0)
Bundle-Slash-2.32 has been released. Download it from the CPAN or

(Note: it may take time for the release to propagate to the various download mirrors.)
Posted using release by brian d foy.

Now Playing: From Four Until Late - Robert Johnson (King Of The Delta Blues)


| | Comments (0)
I play yet another game of inline hockey tonight, in an old naval hangar in Seattle. There I play with an Anonymous Coward Slashdot troll. He's on my team. He won't tell me his IP address, and says he doesn't use a nick, and he trolls Slashdot every night. Any ideas on how to track him?

Moving on from RSS

| | Comments (0)
We all know that Dave Winer has ruined RSS. So now it is time to move on.

The Project aims to replace RSS with something that is technically superior, easier to use, and not controlled by Winer. All are, in my opinion, necessary.

Slash will happily support this when it is done and the tools are available. Well, Slash won't happily do anything, let alone support this, but I will happily add support for this to Slash. It's still sorta early in the process, and I am too busy to participate, but I trust the people involved, and I am very optimistic about it. Fight the bad, support the good, and save the world!

DTS Audio CD

| | Comments (0)
I love multichannel sound, and recently had speaker wire installed in the walls for left and right main, and left and right surround, speakers. I finally got it all hooked up, and popped in Brian Wilson's Imagination album, in DTS Audio CD format. Mmmmm, 5.1 surround sound coming up! But my new Sony receiver gave me a "DECODE ERROR." This is ungood.

It's just DTS audio, and I verified the receiver can handle DTS just fine (including DTS-ES for 6.1 channels, and DTS Neo:6 for 6.1 audio from stereo sources, kinda like Pro Logic). so why won't it work?

The answer lies in the DTS Audio CD format. It is just a plain old audio CD, red book and all. But instead of each track being regular PCM audio, it is DTS data encoded as PCM audio. So if you pop it in a regular CD player, you'll get a lot of hissing. But I was getting nothing, just a "DECODE ERROR."

I finally figured out there is an option for "DECODE PRIORITY," which is set by default to PCM for the DVD's digital input. Normally, no PCM data would be sent for a DTS signal, and it would just figure out it is DTS and start playing. But because of the special format of DTS Audio CDs, it had trouble here. Setting the priority to "AUTO" fixed the problem.

Why have it set to PCM by default? Because for regular audio CDs, it can take a fraction of a second to determine what format the data is in, so you can miss some audio. It'd be nice if it would automatically fall over to "AUTO" if it detected a "DECODE ERROR," though.

Now Playing: Hope That I Get Old Before I D - They Might Be Giants (Then - The Earlier Years (1))
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Computers category from August 2003.

Computers: July 2003 is the previous archive.

Computers: September 2003 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.