Older blog entries for xach (starting at number 104)

It seems pretty obvious that techiejunkie is a google spammer seeking juice.

mulix: That guide is a little misleading, since it suggests that methods "belong" to a class. Joe Marshall's CLOS guide has a better overview. Sonja Keene's tutorial book is also very good and provides detailed examples.

I'm selling some Lisp books on eBay. CLtL2 is $70 from Amazon new, at least $30 used. My copy's starting at $5! A good deal, yeah!

13 Jun 2003 (updated 13 Jun 2003 at 21:06 UTC) »

A while ago, I put the Bowie Timeline back online. It had been well-indexed by Google; it usually showed up in the first three or four links for a search for bowie poag or bowie j poag.

Bowie sent me several emails asking me to explain why I put it back online. I declined to explain it to him. He got less and less tactful and more and more demanding, finally writing Quit being a woman. Stop crying and give me an answer. I've been deleting his messages unread since then.

It looks like the page is temporarily missing from the google index; it doesn't show up even when searching for terms that could only turn up that page. He may still be an asshole, but now it's harder to confirm that with a quick google search. Go google!

Anyway, feel free to mirror http://www.xach.com/bjp/ or http://bowiepoag.is.batshitinsane.com/.

Update From looking at Google's removal page, it seems unlikely that the pages are no longer indexed at Bowie's request. Hmm.

Update 2 Looks like it's just a coincidence.

11 Mar 2003 (updated 11 Mar 2003 at 19:40 UTC) »

Been having fun playing with CDROM ioctls. I'm setting up a little burn-tower with three 8x CDRW drives, and I wrote a little program that polls the drive and automatically burns a disc image when a blank disc has been loaded. I got a bunch of CDRW drives for under $20 from ebay. I hope they don't suck.

I've been messing with a little addressbook program in SBCL. SBCL spits out a lot of style complaints by default. I should look up how to quiet it down.

Just did a big upgrade to our Postgres system while moving it to a faster server. There were some gotchas.

  • No longer silently truncates input to table field length (i.e. stuffing 60 characters into a varchar(50) generates an error now)
  • No longer coerces '' to 0 when an integer is expected
  • No longer treats timestamp(N) as producing a date and time matching what Unix's time(N) would; you have to use abstime(N) now

The cool new features are so worth it, though.

Peter Norvig has a nice footnote about Ed Yourdon.

Some dude posted a short CGI handler to comp.lang.lisp a couple weeks ago, and it struck me as so fundamentally wrongheaded that I thought I'd try to do it The Right Way. I've learned a lot in the process, though I can't say I've gotten to The Right Way yet.

Base64 decoding confuses me. The spec says to ignore all input that isn't in the base64 alphabet, but warns that if the input ends on a 3-byte boundary there is no trailing padding. So how can you know when you're done decoding? EOF? Relying on content-length? Ad hoc? It seems to me that if, for example, there were two separate base64-encoded inputs in a file, you would need some external information to figure out where the first one stops and where the second one begins.

Last night, after buying a new hard drive, I added another computer to my home network. That brings the network device total up to:

  • 1 firewall
  • 4 workstations
  • 1 server
  • 1 laptop (with another occasional user)
  • 1 laserjet
  • 1 airport

There are some other random bits of defunct hardware, too, including a very old DEC UDB box.

With that many systems, it was getting annoying to figure out what IP I had given them. Setting up internal DNS with tinydns and dnscache was really easy; dnscache is quite flexible about redirecting queries.

I'd like to get a serious backup strategy going, but DLT media is insanely expensive. I can only afford a few tapes at a time.

Anyway, since the new system is a "server", it will be nice to move things like lpd, tinydns, dhcpd, and samba off my personal workstation.

It's hard to stifle the new hardware urge. I keep thinking "Man, it would only be a hundred bucks to upgrade this thing to a gigahertz athlon. Oh yeah, it would need a new case. Oh yeah, it would need PC2100 memory. Oh yeah..."

I just bought "Common Lisp: The Language" and "Lisp in Small Pieces" from Chapters at a huge discount. The prices, in CAD$, were lower than the prices in USD$, before figuring the huge exchange rate advantage.

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