Computers: September 2004 Archives

Bundle-Slash-2.35 Released

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Bundle-Slash-2.35 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.

Movie Trology of the Beast

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The extended editions of the first two Lord of the Rings movies are 208 minutes. The third will be 250 minutes. Combined, they are 666 minutes.


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When you hear about people like this, realize they are not representative of most homeschooling families. But he says he is not a lunatic.

Credit Card Scams

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I will usually use unique email addresses for every web site I give an email address to. I recently got three credit card scam emails to an email address I have only ever used for

These are the kinds of emails that say "click here to verify your account information for eBay/Amazon/PayPal". You go there, it looks like the right site, you put in your CC#, and bam.

So how did this happen? Either Focus Camera broke its word and sold my email address to someone, or it had my email address stolen, which could mean my credit card information was also stolen.

I don't know because they have twice neglected to respond to my queries about the problem. I am contacting the Better Business Bureau -- whose logo appears on their site -- today if I don't hear from them in the next few hours.

Update: BBB says to wait 10 days to hear back from the vendor, I've waited only 7. I'll catch them middle of next week.

Yousef Islam

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<User1> A plane was diverted so a dangerous passenger could be detained & deported
<User1> the Artist formerly known as Cat Stevens
<pudge> ooh yeah
<pudge> i read
<User1> I want to see Muzak, Inc. being shut down for supporting terrorism
<User1> every time they play "Morning has Broken", it buys a bullet for Al-Queda
<pudge> heh
<pudge> i have several Cat Stevens records
<pudge> er, CDs
<pudge> NP: Morning Has Broken - Cat Stevens (Teaser And The Firecat)
<pudge> if Muslims can like some of what Jesus said while disagreeing with the rest, i can do the same with Cat Stevens :)
<User1> hehe. moral relativism rears its ugly head
<pudge> "yeah, i dig Christ's older stuff, but after his transfiguration, not so much"
<User1> hehe
<User1> I liked him when he was still underground
<User1> but ever since he took off, it's just ot my thing anymore
<pudge> he's such a sellout

Command Lines and Window(s) and BBEdit

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My sentiments about BBEdit's new feature to allow opening files into the same window are similar to John Gruber's. The difference is, I rarely use the Finder for opening files, compared to how often I use a terminal.

I wrote to Bare Bones asking them to add a feature to the bbedit command line program allowing opening of multiple files to a single window, but in the meantime, I ported John's AppleScript to perl (which also allows it to be used, unchanged, with Big Cat).

use warnings;
use strict;
use Mac::Glue ':all';
my $bbedit = new Mac::Glue 'BBEdit';
my $win = $bbedit->make(new => 'window');
$win->prop('show documents drawer')->set(to => 1);
my $docID = $win->prop(id => document => 1)->get;
my $doc = $bbedit->obj(document => obj_form(formUniqueID, typeLongInteger, $docID));
$bbedit->obj(file => \@ARGV)->open(opening_in => $win);

[Implementation note: by default, Mac::Glue would try to guess that the number in $docID is an index (document 1) instead of an ID (document id 1). The obj_form() syntax, while bulky, makes it explicit.]

Search Engines

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We are looking for a new search engine for Slashdot. Right now we use live searching in MySQL, which, well, sucks. I've been told to look into Plucene and Swish-e. Any other suggestions, or comments about those?

Plucene looks like a great, flexible, system, though I am concerned about performance and scalability (those are concerns with any system, but Simon says Plucene is "much slower" than its cousin Lucene, and I can find no info on scalability). I am beginning to look into Swish-e now, and have no comments about it yet.
No, I don't mean to register to vote because there's less than 50 days left until the US elections. I mean, register for The Fool and his Money, the long-awaited sequel to the classic puzzle game, The Fool's Errand. It's shipping Halloween Eve. It was supposed to ship last Halloween Eve. And then last April Fool's Day. So I am hoping it doesn't slip again.

iTunes Bias

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In iTunes Music Store, you can download, for free, speeches from the Republican and Democratic conventions. Not only are there a lot more "tracks" for the Democrats (30 vs. 21), but there's more than twice as much running time (12.5 hours vs. 5.5 hours).

I know Steve Jobs loves Democrats, but this blatant bias is a bit much.


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We have some new people here on the journal ... I'd just like to note we have some rules here. Basically, stay on topic, be rational, don't flame. I don't care what your views are as long as you follow those rules. Persistent violation will result in you being made my foe, which will prohibit you from posting new comments here.

I suppose "be rational" requires a bit of explanation: that essentially means don't use fallacious arguments ("It's Bush's fault the stock market crashed in March 2000, 10 months before he took office!"), and be prepared to provide sources and evidence for your claims.

Color Blind

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I was diagnosed with color blindness as a child. I was told I was red-green color blind. However, this never made much sense to me, because I can tell the difference between red and green ... or can I?

OK, yes, I can. But reds seem duller to me. I have what is sometimes called "red weakness." There are three basic photopigments (colors) we humans see: red, green, and blue. People with normal sight are trichromats, whereas people we normally think of as color blind are monochromats: they see no pigment at all, or only one color (usually blue, the shortest wavelength).

Then there's dichromats, who cannot see one of the three wavelengths. I'm a trichromat like most people, but an anomalous one. Specifically, I am protoanomalous trichromat, which means my red photoreceptors are abnormal.

This explains some of why my wife says I can't tell the difference between various colors, but she thought it was all in my mind, because I can tell the difference between red and green, despite my story about what the doctor told me when I was a kid. I showed her two pictures, showing what a normal person sees, and what someone like me sees. My problem isn't very acute, and I can see the number "2" in the normal picture, but I have to strain for it. I can see some difference between the two pictures, but it is very slight. My wife sees a significant difference between the two.

(BTW, I got these pictures from a web site that created them using a color filter from wickline.)
<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."

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This page is a archive of entries in the Computers category from September 2004.

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