Tuesday, October 6

i no longer post here

nor does this blog really represent who I am.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 21

no robot could write this

Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 13:47:14 +0100
Reply-To: ncvohelpdesk@yahoo.com.hk
X-Mailer: Sun Java(tm) System Messenger Express 6.3-6.03 (built Mar 14
2008; 32bit)

(NCVO) in collaboration with Michael Jackson Trust Fund and donation.
Regent's Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London
N1 9RL, United Kingdom

Attn: Ref: PTD/747/09


You have just won 1,000,000.00 (One Million Great British Pounds) in the ongoing give away prize by The king of pop music, Michael J.Jackson who left in our custody seven million Great British Pounds, part of a portion of its profits of auctioning off lots of memorabilia of the Jackson family to his fans to keep alive an annonymous charity organisation.

We have been officially mandated to give out One Million Great British Pounds each to fans from the seven different continent( Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia) of the world for charity purpose (NOT FOR PERSONAL USE ALONE).

Before his demise, he asked us to keep this donation confidential from his family members because they are content with what they have and also want this to be one of the last good deeds for his amiable fans the world over.

For more information and procedure of claims, Contact the CEO
of NCVO Mr. Stuart Etherington with your winning verification number (MJJ-46819-890PA) randomly selected by our integrated data computer.

E-mail Enquiry:ncvohelpdesk@yahoo.com.hk

24hrs Online Service :+44-702-404-7929
Yours sincerely,
Mrs Kimberly Cutler.
Public Relations officer.

IMPORTANT: 18 years and below cannot file for claims
Management ©2009 Ncvo Annual Web Promo in collaboration with Michael Jackson Trust Fund and Donation.®

[cutler.39.vcf text/x-vcard (114 bytes)]


Monday, September 29

strange constraints; gui malfunction; the need for a sane build environment

problem: webhost is stonewalling me on SSH access
current solution: use Dolphin's FTP browser to access files remotely; open them in gVim and live-edit production files.

problem: Dolphin failed to FTP gVim's saves before KDE's cache got wiped.

So, here's a testament to the inherent danger of GUIs - anybody could've written the abstraction interface between your machine and whatever GUI(s) you're using, and there's absolutely no guarantee that that person wrote that one assertion() call that would've saved your data from getting over written. A simple check on KDE (well, Dolphin's) part that ensured network files were transferred before caches were cleaned would've prevented the loss of about 1.5hrs of work.

new solution: a sane, low level build environment
resources: 'net accessible personal development server, personal laptop, science building work machines, remote webhost

download a snapshot of the current web directory on the webhost to development server.

commit snapshot to SVN.
create production directory
svn up in production directory when have new working copy in SVN

write ftp_update.py, which will:
erase current remote web directory
FTP production directory's copy of web directory

only problem is postgres access; for now I will:
migrate current remote postgres functionality to development server's postgres instance

and either:
a) think of similar scheme for 'copying' db updates to remote postgres
b) migrate back when my job is over

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, July 29

megalomaniac robot parade

largely for archiving but also up for review:

idea for part of a larger story:

corporate workers convinced that the massive cluster super computer they work on is the biggest in the world; the over-computer; the omega...

through a series of whatevers one of the workers departs from the company...wanders...discovers equally powerful computers...

discovers that there is a level of super computer siblings which their computer is a member of; turns out that each sibling is actually a virtual entity comprising one massive computer...

this thus lends itself to (seemingly) infinite and eternal recurrence up to....what? a false history written by a megalomaniac supercomputer with millions of hierarchically organized corporate children, each of which parades itself as Omega to its worker-followers?

every company thinks it's competing with the others; but each one is just representing another sibling in this huge cluster grid.

what implication does this have for the individual living/working in this system? for the eventual (?) 'real' Omega computer?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henotheism ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuromancer ?


Friday, July 25

living inside the body of a thinking machine

let's make an entity that just sits on the internet and slowly propagates itself in a non-threatening way and responds when people talk to it


write a daemon process. put it on a 24/7 server (socrates). teach it to find/join social networking sites. have it be honest ("i am not a person"). have it join IRC channels. have it merely wander around and introduce itself and, maybe, record things said to it (posted to its pages, directed towards it on irc).


something to discover for the interested...humanize a computational process...and make the internet a more mysterious place. also to gauge peoples' reactions to talking programs.

let's stop writing READMEs and make the internet more wiley...you will encounter strange things...bots programmed to do nothing but troll on irc and quote edgar allen poe...strange bots advertising sockets...when you telnet to them you get marquis de sade books in XML...leave accounts on a server open to SSH access and people log in dump them in a sandbox dir where they can make notes and leave files or messages...create an undernet of connected "strange places" and bots that only uses the internet as a means of transport...black market thinking.

let's program bots to make art and post it in strange places....people will stumble on it (the bot randomly posted its art on craigslist or IMed it to a random screen name using a text-based aim client) and maybe seek out its other works....

program bots to play online games. bots join WoW and run marathons for cancer while reciting ts eliot...or they join an fps match and just wander around talking to people while getting shot and killed over and over...or join online chess games and win...or join a starcraft game and just build a million SCVs...

remind the meat-based entities that they're living inside of thinking machines.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, June 21

Neato .bashrc functions

Saw these three functions in this thread on the Arch Linux forum and thought they were neat. Since I'm on the parents' computer I thought I'd stick them here for the next time I'm on my eee (which is happily running Arch) or for when someone is googling about for .bashrc stuff :).

# from user semperfiguy's .bashrc
extract () {
if [ -f $1 ] ; then
case $1 in
*.tar.bz2) tar xjf $1 ;;
*.tar.gz) tar xzf $1 ;;
*.bz2) bunzip2 $1 ;;
*.rar) rar x $1 ;;
*.gz) gunzip $1 ;;
*.tar) tar xf $1 ;;
*.tbz2) tar xjf $1 ;;
*.tgz) tar xzf $1 ;;
*.zip) unzip $1 ;;
*.Z) uncompress $1 ;;
*.7z) 7z x $1 ;;
*) echo "'$1' cannot be extracted via extract()" ;;
echo "'$1' is not a valid file"

# from user kaKTuZ's .bashrc
function remindme()
sleep $1 && zenity --info --text "$2" &

# from uer Daenyth's .bashrc
function weather ()
links -dump "http://google.com/search?q=weather+${1:-02135}"
| grep -A 5 -m 1 '^ *Weather for' | grep -v 'Add to'

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, June 19

it's the little things

I always roughly equate Perl and Python in my head. I recognize that they are good for different things but I forget that there's such a peculiarly "Perl" way of doing stuff (or, at least, 'my' Perl way - I don't profess to have tapped into some kind of universal Perl zeitgeist).

Here's some ultra simple code I wrote because I didn't feel like messing with getopt stuff, in both Python and Perl.

commands = ['init','rebuild','destroy']
if len(sys.argv) != 2 or sys.argv[1] not in commands:
print "Error: Specify one of (%s)" % ' '.join(commands)

my @commands = ('init', 'rebuild', 'destroy');
die "Error: specify one of (", join(', ',@commands), ")\n"
unless $#ARGV == 0 and index( join(' ', @commands), $ARGV[0] ) >= 0;

It's just...........different.

Labels: , , ,