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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Shlomi Fish's Home Site's LiveJournal:

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    Thursday, November 19th, 2009
    10:04 pm
    [shlomif]
    Second Revision of “Create a Great Personal Home Site”

    The second revision of the essay “Create a Great Personal Home Site” has now been finally published and is available for public viewing:

    It’s amazing how much has changed since I’ve published this article a few years ago. The most important trend was probably that personal blogs seem to have become much more prevalent than personal web-sites up to the point that some people referred to www.shlomifish.org as a blog. I have been annoyed at this to some extent, and even wrote an entire essay about the distinction between a home page and a blog and why this homepage is not a blog.

    Nevertheless, as an active blogger, it’s not that I hate blogs or try to underrate them - it’s just that I think that I invest more effort and rigour in writing articles or essays on my home page, than I do on the various random stuff I post to my blogs. (Or to other similar public channels, such as mailing lists, web forums, comments on other people’s blogs, etc.). I also feel that it is easier to find posts on my personal web-site than on most people’s blogs.



    Current Mood: productive
    Friday, November 13th, 2009
    3:19 pm
    [shlomif]
    New Material for the Stories and a Page for the XML-Grammar Project

    The texts of the lists of stories and their descriptions in the Humour page and its Stories section were merged, updated and enhanced.

    There are new Chuck Norris Factoids:

    Chuck Norris is the greatest man in history. He killed all the great men who could ever pose a competition.

    There’s also a new factoid about XSLT:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil redirects to XSLT.

    The text of The Pope Died on Sunday was converted to XML-Grammar-Fiction (see below) and was continued a little. The story is written in Hebrew, and there is still no English translation.

    The original screenplay The Blue Rabbit’s Log has new text and its ideas page has also been updated:

    [ Mordox disappears. The Blue Rabbits arrive. Bryte sees Galku who tries to look innocent, but Bryte rushes to him and lifts him up in the air. ]

    Clover: you, where’s Mordox? Tell us what you know!

    Galku: What are you looking at me? I’m completely innocent!

    Galku: See no incredible selfishness and total in-consideration of everybody else’s welfare and interests. Hear no incredible selfishness and total in-consideration of everybody else’s welfare and interests.

    Bryte: you mean “See no evil - hear no evil”?

    Galku: I knew it was a good definition.

    There’s also some new text in Star Trek: “We, the Living Dead”:

    [ Katie is sitting on a table in DS9. She is busy writing something on a qwerty-like keyboard attached to a small text pad. Jake approaches her. ]

    Jake: Katie, oh there you are. I thought that OTF-1 left DS9 already.

    Katie: yes, it did, I’m still technically working for them.

    Jake: really, how?

    Katie: with the marvels of technology: remote access and Q-ness.

    Jake: Q-ness?

    Katie: yes, check this out.

    [ Katie stands up, makes a gesture with her hand. A portal appears near the ground showing a different part of DS9. She steps into it, and the portal closes. A few moments later, a normal Star-Trek door opens and Katie steps out of it. ]

    Katie: tada!

    Jake: wow! So you are now “Qatie” with a Q?

    Katie: Qatie [with a Qoph sound] heh, I like it.

    The XML sources of the fortunes cookie files are now viewable as HTML from the web, and naturally, there are newer entries.

    There’s a new design for graphics based on an old aphorism of me.

    There’s now a page for the Web-CPAN XML-Grammar meta-project, which aims to create re-usable XML grammars and related tools for various purposes, and there’s a page for the XML-Grammar-Fiction module for writing works of prose.

    The page design and layout were slightly improved with some important links at the bottom (Web 2.0-style), old cruft removed from the left side bar, and other changes.

    Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
    12:58 pm
    [shlomif]
    New Slogans’ Art Page, New “Objectivism and Open Source” and Improvements to the Humour Pages

    There’s a new page in the computer art section with graphic designs for slogans in SVG formats. Unless noted otherwise, they are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (Unported) licence. Next, I’m planning to prepare some more designs, and make some merchandise based on them.

    "Don’t believe in fairies" thumbnail

    The style of the sites’ pages was tweaked, so the main article text will be wider.

    The licensing of Humanity - The Movie was clarified.

    There are new shlomif UNIX fortune cookies and some new ones in subversion:

    bzr is slower than Subversion in combination with Sourceforge.

    Dazjorz (17-September-2009)

    The ideas page of The Blue Rabbit’s Log screenplay was heavily reformatted.

    There’s some new text in the Conclusions and reviews of The Human Hacking Field Guide.

    The Second Revision of my essay “Objectivism and Open Source” is available.

    I added a list of “planets” (= feed aggregators) that syndicate my blogs.

    Many spelling/grammar/etc. errors were corrected in the Perl for Newbies series courtesy of Mike McClain.

    I hope you enjoy these new additions, and have a happy Sukkoth!

    Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
    10:12 pm
    [shlomif]
    New Humour Pages and Additions

    The page with my own Chuck Norris facts has accumulated some newer facts:

    • Deletionists delete Wikipedia articles. Chuck Norris deletes deletionists who delete Wikipedia articles.
    • Chuck Norris reads all messages posted to LKML (= the Linux Kernel Mailing List), understands them all, and he kills all gnomes he sees in sight.

    There’s also a new page with an ongoing collection of facts about Xena, the Warrior Princess, who is, for a change, a female target of exaggerated factoids.

    • Xena can meet King David for breakfast and Julius Caesar for lunch. Without time travel.
    • No one calls Xena the warrior princess “Zeena” to her face and survives. Lucky for you she hasn’t visited modern-day U.S. yet.

    The Blue Rabbit Log is an old screenplay I began writing that is still under construction. It aims to be a crazy comedy about Fantasy Role Playing Games:

    Galku: Yes, it is my speciality to neutralise such characters who prevent raising your ambitious evil projects.

    Mordox: What did you say?

    Galku: I said I get rid of such characters who prevent raising your evil projects.

    Mordox: You said my projects are evil? How dare you! My projects are in no way evil. They are just incredibly selfish and totally inconsiderate of everybody else’s interests and welfare.

    Galku: I couldn’t define evil better myself.

    Mordox: Did I get you here to write a dictionary of the English language?

    Galku: No, but as a matter of fact I am writing one myself, as a hobby. The last word I wrote the definition for was “evidently”, and I think the next word will be...

    Mordox: Cut it out! Now, where were we?

    Galku: I just said it is my speciality to get rid of characters who prevent raising your incredibly selfish and totally inconsiderate of everybody else’s interests and welfare projects.

    I’ve started writing a conclusions and reviews page for my story The Human Hacking Field Guide

    There are new English and Hebrew revisions of my story - The Enemy and How I Helped to Fight it with many corrections. Furthermore, the source files have been converted to XHTML instead of OpenOffice.org.

    There is a new scene in Star Trek: “We, the Living Dead” called “Meet Q Gadol”.

    I added an F.A.Q. question and answer about “What are your computers’ specifications”.



    Current Mood: productive
    Saturday, September 12th, 2009
    3:13 pm
    [shlomif]
    New Aphorisms, Collections of Humorous “Facts” and Hebrew Translation of “Define Zionism”

    There are four new aphorisms in the aphorisms’ collection:

    A kid always wishes they were older until they are 18. Afterwards, they always wish they were younger.

    There’s a new sub-section of my humour section dedicated to collections of “facts” about various things that my friends or I originated. Right now, there are some facts about Chuck Norris, why Knuth (= the famous computer scientist) is not God, some facts about Larry Wall (the software developer known for Perl) and some about how and why XSLT is evil. More additions are welcome:

    • Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.
    • Chuck Norris is the ghost author of the entire Debian GNU/Linux distribution. And he wrote it in 24 hours, while taking snack breaks.
    • Bugs are too much afraid to reproduce on Chuck Norris’ computer. As a result, when he uses Microsoft Windows, it behaves just like a Linux system.

    There’s now an mp3 version of the “Yonathan Haqatan” MOD Techno/Dance version (which my friend and I prepared). Hopefully, it will be good enough to be heard by people who are unable to play module files.

    There’s now a Hebrew translation of “Define ‘Zionism’!” available.

    the Spark page was updated with many corrections, new links, and more content:

    As opposed to Arc, which shipped with no automated tests, Spark will be developed in a Test-driven development fashion. Namely, it will have a comprehensive test suite that will need to fully pass upon any commit to the trunk (or “master” or whatever the main branch is called).

    The code of the tests is not expected to be authoritative for how the final version of the language will behave. Rather, some future design decisions will require changing the code of a lot of the tests accordingly.

    I still don’t have a clear idea of how to design a lot of “big picture” Spark design decisions. While I believe that design is good, I also think that Spark should be designed incrementally, and that we can expect many design decisions to change. Test-driven development, while accepting the fact that often a lot of testing code will need to be modified, will allow us to do that.

    I have added JavaScript-based text ads courtesy of AdEngage to the top of the page. My hope is that they will provide me with some extra income for maintaining the site, as a replacement to the Google AdSense ads that have been suspended. Being textual ads, they hopefully should note be too intrusive, and I hope people can relate to my desire to be rewarded for the hard work I put into the site and the costs of hosting it.

    I have made several spelling, grammar, etc. corrections to some of my stories and screenplays.

    Finally, I should note that I’ve heard several critiques of the new style, which emphasised some problems with it. While it is more attractive than the old one, it results in a narrow content section, especially where the section navigation menu is present. I’m currently working on trying to improve the new design or to replace it with a new one, so stay tuned.

    Monday, August 31st, 2009
    10:58 pm
    [shlomif]
    Wikepedians Lightbulb Joke, Open Source Licences Wars and New Fortune Cookies

    There’s a new humorous bit “How many Wikipedia Editors does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?” and as an experiment I’ve enabled the JavaScript-based Disqus comments on that page.

    There’s a new essay called “FOSS Licences Wars” about Open Source Licences:

    When Joel Spolsky (Joel on Software) wrote his notorious blog post “Language Wars”, many people asked whether he has “jumped the shark” and that his blog will go downhill from there. I too have read the post, and agreed, that while it had a few good points, it was too based on “feeling rather than knowing”. Joel later on posted many good articles and shorter entries on his blog, but many people still recalled it as a very low-point in the blog.

    Like Joel, I have a home-site and several blogs, where I post articles and essays about my thoughts, and this time I’ve decided to risk something similar to what Joel has done on an equally flamatory topic: licences of open-source software. I’m going to introduce the various options, explain a little about their motivation and then give some advice according to my own personal opinion.

    It was already featured on several sites including on Slashdot.

    There are some new fortune cookies in the “shlomif” collection:

    PHP error debug list:

    1) did you use the correct argument order? if you’re a good programmer, use the *reverse* from what you think it is. see if it works. no? you’re not a good programmer, or you learned php’s braindeadness and can go on to step 2).

    2) did you think about your code? if so, don’t. php will do it for you so you can do mindbogglingly stupid stuff, such as not escape the data that goes into your sql queries.

    Dazjorz

    Enjoy!

    Sunday, August 16th, 2009
    10:40 pm
    [shlomif]
    Spark, Perl for Newbies Part 5, and Template Toolkit Presentation

    I added some pages about Spark - a new dialect of Lisp under planning, including its mission statement:

    While other general purpose Lisps such as Common Lisp, Scheme, Arc or Clojure have been influential and have some followers and users, none of them are actively used with the same popularity as Perl, Python, Ruby or PHP are. Spark aims to be a popular lisp dialect which will be actively used for real-world tasks, not just toy or experimentation code.

    Eventually, it is our hope that some people will get paid to maintain Spark code. Some of them against their best preferences, like some people now are maintaining Perl 5, PHP or even Python code while preferring a different language. (Simply because it puts bread on their table, and they cannot get paid to write something else.)

    I added the fifth part of the Perl for Newbies tutorials/presentations. Furthermore, the Larry Wall presentation, “The Taming of the Camel” is now available there (with a working link). Moreover, there’s now an up-to-date summary of the material covered.

    The slides of the lightning talk about the Template Toolkit now has the up-to-date slides in OpenDocument and PDF formats.

    There’s now a recommendation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail on the recommended films page.

    Many of the fortune cookies were enhanced with better markup, hyperlinks and some corrections.

    File-Find-Object was added to the FOSS contributions page.

    Finally, the sources for the various Quad-Pres talks are now kept inside the homepage’s version control, which simplifies their build process. This is an infrastructure change that should help in the site’s maintenance.

    Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
    6:56 pm
    [shlomif]
    New Look, New Humour Items, Updated Software Pages and More

    The biggest news this time is that the site has an opossum new look based on an adapted version of the smoked WordPress Theme by iconstantin. There may be some more quirks lurking in the design, so please report them to me if you find them. I’d also like to thank Zoffix Znet and other IRC people for some insights on how to fix problems I had with adapting the CSS.

    There’s a new joke on the Aphorisms page:

    What does “IDK” stand for? I don’t know.

    It was also added to fortune cookies collection

    New original bit - “Programs Every Programmers Has Written”, new fortune cookies and a a new bit I’ve copied from elsewhere: “How Many [Usenet] Newsgroup Readers does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?”

    The Toggle Squares Game now has better accessibility.

    The per-song volume Amarok script is now available for Amarok 2.x too.

    Added OpendDBX to the portability libraries page

    The page of File-Find-Object was greatly enhanced with new modules and a new blog post.

    Added a page about Docmake - a Perl-based tool to render DocBook/XML.

    There’s now a page with screenshots of CPANHQ, a web-interface for CPAN under development.

    There are new links on the anti-bad-software pages.

    The “Add This” button which sometimes caused a Flash applet to be displayed on the page was replaced by a much superior Share This button. Hope you enjoy it.

    Enjoy!

    Saturday, July 11th, 2009
    3:54 pm
    [shlomif]
    My Google AdSense Account Was Suspended - Now What?

    My “Mastering cat” April Fool’s feature proved to be very popular. It was featured on Slashdot and on other sites, and drove a lot of traffic to my site. However, as it seems it had one unfortunate effect of Google suspending my AdSense account. Or at least I suspect that was the problem.

    On 5-April-2009, I received the following message from Google AdSense:

    Title: Google AdSense Account Disabled

    Hello,

    While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your account.

    Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

    If you have any questions about your account or the actions we’ve taken, please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by visiting https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57153.

    Sincerely,

    The Google AdSense Team

    I went to the page, filed an appeal and got the following response (sent in Hebrew due to Google localisation and quoted here):

    שלום,

    אנו מודים לך על שהעברת אלינו ערעור בנושא השבתת חשבון AdSense. הודעה זו מאשרת שקיבלנו את הערעור ששלחת.

    נשתדל לבדוק את את חשבונך בהקדם, אך בהתחשב בהיקף הבקשות המופנות אלינו, ייתכן שיחלפו 48 שעות או יותר עד שנענה. כמו כן תגובתנו יכולה להתעכב, אם שלחת את בקשתך במהלך סוף השבוע. בנוסף שים לב שערעור על השבתת חשבון AdSense אינו מבטיח שהוא יוחזר.

    כתזכורת, אם יש לך שאלות לגבי חשבונות שהושבתו בשל פעילות מודעות לא חוקית, עיין בסעיף ’שאלות נפוצות לגבי חשבון מושבת בשל פעילות לא חוקית‘.

    תודה על הסבלנות וההבנה.

    בכבוד רב,

    צוות Google AdSense

    Original Message Follows:
    ------------------------
    From: shlomif@iglu.org.il
    Subject: Invalid Activity Appeal
    Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 20:02:58 +0000

    01_Origin: helpcenter
    02_FormType: appeal_form
    03_Language: en
    04_AdSenseLocale: en_US
    05_IP: 62.219.139.216
    06_ctx:
    07_Name: Shlomi Fish

    08_CompanyName:
    09_AdSenseLogin: shlomif@iglu.org.il
    10_PubId: pub-2480595666283917
    11_ExampleUrl: http://www.shlomifish.org/ , http://fc-solve.blogspot.com/
    12_DisablingMonth: Apr
    13_DisablingDay: 5
    14_DisablingYear: 2009
    15_AlreadyAppealed: no
    16_OtherAccount: no
    17_OtherAccountList:
    18_WebAudience: It’s my personal homepage, so people who arrive at its various resources: pages about software, stories and aphorisms, technical presentations and essays.
    19_UserGeography: My site is mostly written in English and appeals to International surfers. I get traffic from many countries.
    20_UserAccessMode: I haven’t checked, but expect mostly from homes, offices, universities and other schools.
    21_ScrapedContent: None, except limited quotations and some pages that became offline and were preserved on my site.
    22_ContentSources: It’s almost entirely my own.
    23_NumAdmins: Only I.
    24_UpdateFrequency: Normally, a few times a week.
    25_BoughtTraffic: no
    26_UsePayTo: no
    27_TrafficSources: From search engines, and links in news sites/blogs. I promote recent features of my sites on my weblogs, in news sites such as http://osnews.com/ and http://reddit.com/ and to a lesser extent as blog comments on other people’s blogs.
    28_AdvertiserValue: My site has a lot of high-quality content, and attracts many visitors.
    29_UserIncentive: Don’t think they would.
    30_ViolatedTerms: No.
    31_InvalidActivity: On April’s Fools’ Day 2009, I published the following feature on my site:

    http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/bits/Mastering-Cat/

    It got featured on Slashdot here:

    http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/01/1211240

    (And possibly other sites).

    I suspect that it may have increased the traffic to my site (at least temporarily) significantly, which as a result got erroneously classified as suspicious activity. 32_SuspiciousData: I don’t think there was, but I’m going to go over the logs from March and April, just to be sure.

    The Hebrew tells me that they’ll try to inspect my account soon, but that due to the many requests, it may take them “48 hours or more” to return to me. I haven’t received a human response to my request (after this automated reply) since this appeal was sent in 5-April, despite the fact that I submitted another appeal, a few weeks ago.

    Next I tried asking the Google AdSense support forum for help. Some people there responded but none of them were Google employees. Someone suggested it was caused by the fact that I didn’t have a contact form, which doesn’t make sense because my unobfuscated email is clearly visible at the bottom of most pages, and because I have a visible “Contact Me” page with many other ways of reaching me. They also suggested it was caused by the fact I lacked a privacy policy, which is admittedly a problem, but I added one since then and if Google were so concerned about it, they could have requested that I add one, and I would have happily complied. And the lack of privacy policy does not cause a “significant risk to advertisers”. There was also something about “not allowed on personal sites”, which makes no sense, because I’ve seen Google AdSense on many personal blogs and sites.

    After the initial announcement (which could have been sent automatically without human intervention for all I know), I have been unable to log into my Google AdSense account. I later tried contacting a friend who works for Google, but he’s working for Google Open Source, and could not help me with AdSense. Someone I talked with told me that Google give awful support to people with AdSense and AdWords, and it seems that I’m not an exception to this.

    According to the Wikipedia Google claimed that they have disabled the AdSense accounts due to click fraud. I can swear that I have never engaged in click fraud, unless you call occasionally clicking on a few ads (probably less than 20) that were published on my site and that I found interesting as “click fraud” (during the entire time I had AdSense). I don’t rule out that someone else has repetitively or in an automated manner clicked on my ads, but they would gain nothing from it, because the revenues from the ads goes to me. Therefore, it seems unlikely.

    I have received at least two payments from Google from my ad revenue and was happy about that, but I lost all the revenue from the last payment, including that generated by the “Mastering cat” feature, which has significantly increased the number of hits on my site on 1 of April.

    I’m publishing this entry here so hopefully someone from Google who is able to help me, would volunteer to do so. If that fails as well, I’ll have to look for a different ad provider. It’s sad that Google handles innocent web-masters like me so badly, and lack so much efficiency (despite the fact that their motto is “don’t be evil.”), especially on the service that brings them the most revenue.

    Monday, May 25th, 2009
    5:40 pm
    [shlomif]
    Toggle Squares Game, A New Privacy Policy, and Other Updates

    The Toggle Squares game whose link was broken, and non-functional, was restored and placed on the main site, as a pure-JavaScript game. A method for solving it is explained in the MathVentures section.

    A privacy policy has been added to the site. I’d like to thank a friend who is also a webmaster for allowing me to borrow and adapt his privacy policy.

    The Anti-Apple Page now contains 99 items with links. Other pages against bad software were also updated.

    The page about the Mastering Cat book, which proved to be very popular has been updated with “Thanks” and “Coverage” sections.

    There are new Fortune Cookies in the collection:

    Well, it’s not a threat - it’s a warning, and he won’t be harmed much by acting against my advice. A threat is something like “Stop posting political posts or I will burn your house, rape your wife and daughters, banish you to the middle of Antarctica, convert all your Perl code to PHP, and then post it on thedailywtf.com.”

    My Resumés have been enhanced and updated.

    There is a new version of the First-Come First-Served Readers/Writers Lock.

    Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
    8:03 am
    [shlomif]
    New Book Coming Soon

    Mastering cat

    It’s official! I’m going to publish a new book soon, and I placed a new interview with me about it. Read it so you’ll understand why Mastering cat would be an essential addition to your collection of technical books.

    Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
    2:40 pm
    [shlomif]
    Friday, March 13th, 2009
    10:42 pm
    [shlomif]
    The Homesite Build Instructions are Operational Again

    The build instructions for the main www.shlomifish.org site are now operational again after a long time when they were out-of-date. Part of the reason why they were not kept out of date was that the public sources of the site have grown out-of-date from those stored in my local copy. This was recently fixed with some kind insights and guidance by Matt S. Trout. Since I promised 50 U.S. Dollars to the first person that will help me fix my source control problems, and Matt provided all the help I ended up needing, I will donate them on his behalf to the Enlightened Perl Organisation. Many thanks!

    And here are the rest of the changes in the site’s content that took place since the last update - for those who are not only interested in building it.

    There are two new bits in the collection of Aphorisms:

    God gave us two eyes and ten fingers so we will type five times as much as we read.

    The File-Find-Object homepage was updated with more text.

    There are new links in the against bad software pages.

    A lot of broken HTML and XHTML in the site was fixed, and all the pages were made to validate.

    New Fortune Cookies were added and existing ones were fixed (and there are some more in the pipe):

    Mel|work Yaakov: icke==troll?
    rindolf Mel|work: no, he’s not a troll.
    Yaakov Mel|work: No, icke is just... enthusiastic about “channel purity”
    Mel|work k....
    * rindolf hates when people abuse the == operator in English for “contained in”
    apeiron rindolf, “icke contained in troll”? That’s not what Mel|work meant.
    tarbo sure he did, if you make troll a set of users
    rindolf apeiron: what he meant by icke == troll is that icke belongs to the set of trolls.
    rindolf apeiron: not that every troll in the world is icke.
    apeiron rindolf, No, he was asking if icke is a troll.
    icke $icke->isa(‘Troll’);
    icke (false)
    rindolf apeiron: is-a means “contained in the set of objects with the property of”
    rindolf apeiron: mathematically speaking.
    apeiron rindolf, Okay, so you’re assigning the mathematical meaning of == to its usage in a *perl* channel?
    apeiron rindolf, Now who’s fiddling with meanings, eh?
    rindolf apeiron: whatever.
    apeiron ‘whatever’ is what those who have lost their argument say.
    rindolf apeiron: whatever.
    apeiron ^ QED
    rindolf apeiron: whatever.
    PerlJam apeiron: I thought that’s what people who don’t care say.
    apeiron PerlJam, If one doesn’t care, they wouldn’t respond.
    PerlJam apeiron: whatever
    PerlJam ;-)
    rindolf LOL.

    A coverage and commentary section was added to the recently published “Optimizing Code for Speed” essay.



    Current Mood: accomplished
    Thursday, February 12th, 2009
    10:26 pm
    [shlomif]
    “Optimizing Code for Speed” and more minor changes

    A new essay about optimising code for speed has been published:

    We’ve all seen the fact that while computers got faster, software has often become slower to run unless the hardware is upgraded. The so-called “Gates’ Law” claims that commercial programs decrease in speed by half every 18 months, due to various reasons. It is well known that the various versions of the DOS operating system ran adequately on a PC XT’s and 286’s and that a Intel 386 was a “lean and mean DOS machine” as a certain journalist claimed back then. On the other hand, Microsoft Windows 3.0 and Microsoft Windows 3.1 already required a fast 486 computer to be ran comfortably, while Windows 95 was barely usable there and needed a Pentium computer. Windows XP already ran slowly on a Pentium machine and required a high end Pentium III or Pentium 4 computer. Windows Vista requires even more hardware resources than Windows XP, up to the point that many computers in use today cannot run it comfortably.

    Now, while software simulations that run directly against the CPU and memory (and possibly hard-disk) are still running much faster than before, the responsiveness of the system itself does not seem to improve much.

    The Mini-Intro “Welcome to Linux” lecture was now integrated into the rest of the site. There are two versions of its slides available: one with a point-by-point display (useful for presenting interactively), and the other with all the text displayed at once (useful for browsing from the web).

    New Fortune Cookies have been added to the fortune cookie collection:

    R is similar to other programming languages, like C, Java and Perl, in that it helps people perform a wide variety of computing tasks by giving them access to various commands.

    Friday, January 23rd, 2009
    12:28 pm
    [shlomif]
    New Programs and Other Updates

    The Greasemonkey Scripts page was updated with a new "Get Rid of 'from=rss' in the URL" script (useful for people who are subscribed to the web feeds of Slashdot.org or similar), and two specialised scripts for helping in the transcription of the "Ozy and Millie comics"

    I added a page about the File-Find-Object CPAN Module (originally by Olivier Thauvin) which has been an ongoing project of mine recently.

    Open Text Summarizer was added to the List of Israeli Open Source Projects.

    New links were added to the anti-Apple page, the anti-MySQL page, the page about Windows Vista, and the "Stop Using Internet Explorer!" page

    The Fortune Cookies Page was updated with new fortune cookies.

    The Essay "Why Closed Books are So 19th-Century" was updated.

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
    4:33 pm
    [shlomif]
    New Software-Related Pages

    New Fortune Cookies Have Been added to the fortune cookie collection

    the list of Firefox plugins on the "Favourite Free Software of Mine" was updated: deprecated plug-ins were removed, while some new useful plugins have been added.

    A New Open Source Software Project - File-Dir-Dumper is now available.

    The List of Israeli Open-Source Projects was updated with new projects.

    A new page - "PHP Sucks" (originally by czth) was added based on a one that went offline.

    New links were added to the Against Apple Inc. page (including many jokes), to the against MySQL page, and to the "Links against Windows Vista" page



    Current Mood: productive
    Monday, October 13th, 2008
    7:41 pm
    [shlomif]
    New Riddle, a new Greasemonkey Script, and Updates

    A new riddle about two gates and two angels was added to the MathVentures section:

    There's a famous riddle that goes like this:

    You are standing in front of two gates (a left one and a right one) - one leads to paradise and the other leads to hell. You don't know which gate leads where. Besides the gates, there are two angels: one of them always tells the truth and the other always lies, but you also don't know which one is which.

    You have one question to ask one of the angels, in order to find out which gate you should follow. What would that question be?

    I'm now mirroring the "Hitchhiker's Guide to Star Trek - The Next Generation", which I highly enjoy.

    A new Greasemonkey script to provide links back to the repository for Subversion repository browsers is now available.

    The page of the gringotts-shlomif patch was updated to reflect the fact that development of Gringotts has now resumed elsewhere, incorporating the original patch.

    VirtualBox, Hex-a-hop, and Gringotts were added to favourite free software page.

    The Fortune Cookie files can now be compiled as an RPM.

    Added a free musical downloads section to my links page.

    New links were added to the pages against bad software.

    Sunday, September 21st, 2008
    3:04 pm
    [shlomif]
    du Output Analyser, fortunes, and links.

    Here is the list of changes to Shlomi Fish's Homepage since the last update.

    The du output analyser has been added to the Bits-and-Bobs programs page.

    a source files list was added to the Unix fortunes collection for easy downloading of the source.

    New quotes/fortune cookies were added to shlomif, paul-graham, shlomif-fav

    New links were added to the following pages:

    Many broken links and emails have been fixed, and there are many corrections to typos.

    Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
    4:26 pm
    [shlomif]
    Presentation Sources, Interviews and updated Resources

    In 2004, lkcl wrote an article on Advogato saying "Love is Golden: All Ideas Have and Always Will be". For a long time, I've been supplying the HTML material for my presentations under permissive, free-content licences, but did not supply the source code and markup used to generate them. Inspired by the article, I set to remedy it, and now there are links from the individual presentations to the source tarballs.

    Note that some presentations were created using other tools, and so are not available with their source yet, but hopefully this will be remedied soon, too.

    The two Interviews with open-source people were now converted to XML-Grammar-Screenplay and their source is available on the page.

    The Software Construction and Management Tools page was heavily updated.

    New links have been added to the pages "Against Bad Software".

    New film recommendations have been added to the movie recommendations. Moreover, two new book reviews have been added: about "The Pragmatic Programmer" and about "Extreme Programming Explained".

    New links have been added to the links page.

    New quotes have been added to the Fortune Cookie Collection. More information is in their web-feeds.

    There were also internal improvements to the site's build system making the building of the DocBook/XML documents and other resources less error-prone and more powerful and customisable.



    Current Mood: energetic
    Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008
    6:58 am
    [shlomif]
    "We, the Living Dead" additions, and "The Perfect IT Workplace"

    New text has been added to the screenplay "Star Trek: We, the Living Dead":

    [ There's a cat lying on a table there content. He's half-white and half-grey. ]

    Katie: oh, look! A cat. [She approaches the cat and starts petting it.]

    [ The cat purrs and then says: ]

    George the Cat: oh, yeah!

    Katie: [Startled] Bleh, you're a talking cat.

    George: yes, but why did you stop?

    Katie: I'm not used to cats talking to me.

    George: ah, well, yes, it takes some pre-vampires time to get used to that here.

    Katie: I suppose you're older than me.

    George: most probably. I'm about 5 milliard years old.

    Katie: bleh!! You're older than my planet!

    Two of my newest aphorisms were added to the Aphorism collection:

    Two female dogs talking about modern-life:

    Jasmine: It's so cool! On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog!

    Daisy: Yeah, but everyone can tell right away that you're a bitch!

    The first revision of a new essay - "The Perfect IT Workplace" was published. It was released pre-maturely due to someone redditing the article, but may still be of interest:

    The Best Tools that Money Can Buy

    This cannot stressed enough. As Joel Spolsky notes (based on Steve McConnell) in item No. 9 of the Joel Test, you need to "use the best tools that money can buy".

    If you buy old, broken and/or barely functioning hardware, you'll spend a lot of time debugging the problems there, which will waste a lot of precious time. And you may lose a lot of reputation and customers due to down-time. Relying on reliable, high-end hardware is a much better idea.

    I've been to two workplaces that gave me an old computer with a 40 GB hard-disk. It wasn't enough at all. At one place, we've reached the limit of this hard-disk due to several large source code checkouts, and as a result needed a bigger hard-disk. And the only hard-disks the lab had were 80 GB ones, which were bought because they were the cheapest (per-disk, not per-capacity). Please, buy large enough hard-disks.

    At the same workplace, I was given a computer with a read-only CD-ROM drive. It was not even a DVD reader. I brought a DVD of audio files from home, and could not read it. In this day and age, read/write DVD drives are the standard, and are ultra-cheap.

    The interview with Adrian Ettlinger was converted into XML-Grammar-Screenplay in a true fashion of "Eating one's own dog food". The proto-HTML source will be placed online soon.

    New links have been added to the Guide to Israeli Open-Source Resources.

    New film recommendations have been added to the movie recommendations.

    New quotes have been added to the Fortune Cookie Collection. Chronological updates can now be found for them in their web-feeds.



    Current Mood: happy
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