June 30, 2004

Off-line for a while

Well, it's pretty much official now - after two and a half years, I'm changing jobs again. This, and a couple of university examinations coming up, will lead to several days without much Internet access, and hopefully not much working on a computer at all. Come to think of it, I might dial in every once in a while to check how far the comment spammers have gone on this blog ;)

Posted by roam at 07:51 PM

Super Spoof Deluxe

Somebody said that truth is stranger than fiction. This, however, just defies imagination: it seems that Microsoft Internet Explorer allows JavaScript code to modify the contents of existing windows/frames, even when they are in a completely different domain! If you have a MSIE installation, try and view the demos - it's.. enlightening, I guess. Never again trust the URL bar, never again trust the page even when it *looks* genuine - or at least, never trust them if you're viewing the page with MSIE.

I've so far mostly refrained from IE-bashing and such, but this time there's absolutely no choice but to heartily recommend switching away from it - whether to Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Lynx, Safari, or just any other browser... just anything but MSIE! A couple of days ago, Yoz Grahame summarized the reason quite succintly in his discussion of Joel's web app ideas, and this part still has me laughing each time I reread it:

The current Javascript security philosophy can be easily summarised thus: "No." (And the IE/Win version can be summarised thus: "Well, okay, but just a little bit." (pause) "Hey! Come back here!")

Okay, me off soapbox. Just had to let it off. Sorry if I've spoiled a wonderful morning for ya, but... just had to say it.

Posted by roam at 09:30 AM

June 29, 2004

A weekend in Chiprovtzi

Choose countryside. Choose quiet. Choose friendly neighbors who actually now your name. Choose star-filled skies. Choose crickets. Choose fence-painting in the sun. Choose mountain slopes covered with centuries-old woods. Choose wild strawberries in the shade. Choose blue skies straight from a children's book. Choose honey gathered barely an hour ago. Choose air so fresh it's intoxicating. Choose fireflies dancing in the moonlight. Choose wine pressed from grapes you picked yourself. Choose a rooster instead of an alarm clock. Choose frogs serenading at dusk. Choose fresh milk that will never ever know preservatives. Choose walking for hours without coming across human buildings. Choose bee stings if you're not careful. Choose storks nesting on the belfry. Choose getting sunburned on freshly-cut meadows. Choose chasing a hedgehog across the garden. Choose rest. Choose life.

Posted by roam at 02:34 AM

June 25, 2004

Time::Human is fun!

Simon Cozens released his 100th CPAN module today, and hereby made me notice his Time::Human module. Well, there goes a FreeBSD port :)

And in case you're curious...

[roam@straylight ~]> perl -MTime::Human -e 'print humanize(localtime())."\n"'
exactly five past six in the evening
[roam@straylight ~]> date
Fri 25 Jun 2004 18:05:27 EEST

[roam@straylight ~]> perl -MTime::Human -e 'print humanize(localtime())."\n"'
just after five past six in the evening
[roam@straylight ~]> date
Fri 25 Jun 2004 18:06:32 EEST
Posted by roam at 06:07 PM

Birthday presents, anyone? :)

Well, since my birthday is coming up in, like, less than two months, how about somebody get me a nice present? :)

Via Ryan.

Posted by roam at 03:08 PM

Logic in women

Notes on women's logic, in Russian. Totally and absolutely worth reading ;)

Posted by roam at 02:00 AM

June 24, 2004

Computer Mice

This probably belongs in the notes blog, but still...

Computer Mice

So remember children, when removing cards from a PC _always_ replace the blanking plates :)

Reminds me of a friend's story of a cat chewing through the power cable of a working Hilti drill... the cat was unplesantly surprised, but survived the jolt and henceforth only approached big black cables with great care.

Posted by roam at 05:44 PM

Amazing thunderstorm pics

Nope, no storms here in Sofia. However, adam linked to some truly amazing pics taken from a dry storm in Seattle.

Posted by roam at 05:12 PM

R.I.P. Bob Bemer

Robert W. Bemer, the not-so-wide known father of ASCII and the backslash character, inventor of the ESCape sequence, early proponent of the 8-bit byte standard, and a whole lot more, has died of cancer. The Internet, computers... actually, our whole world would not be the same without his work.

Via Jason Scott's TextFiles.

Posted by roam at 11:47 AM

June 23, 2004


The Scriptometer is a nice comparison of various languages, very much focused on their scriptability, not general programming poiposes.

Funny, this is pretty much the exact way I would rank sh, Perl, PHP, Tcl and awk - well, awk might actually come before Tcl. As to the others, I'm either not quite as fluent in them as I'd like, or it's just that I'd never really use them for the things I would use these languages :)

Via rafael.

Posted by roam at 07:15 PM

Web disasters

Some time ago, there was a running joke about the formula "web designer + webmaster = web disaster". This entry, however, is about an entirely different type of web disasters:

A simple Google search.

Is there a need to explain what exactly is being shown there? :)

Posted by roam at 05:12 PM

June 22, 2004

Human Virus Scanner

Human Virus Scanner

The virus that have infected you will be show here along with their cures, if known.

Viruses you suffer from:

Install the latest version of Microsoft Windows. Learn to love it.
Eat some real food. Something which you can identify the source of every ingredient, not the point of manufacture.
Free BSD
The GPL isn't that bad really. Adopt a penguin at the zoo.
Everyone likes folk. No, really. Maybe you should listen to the Incredible String Band.
CTRL-Break, and get a real computer. Repeat: "Mode 7 was not a good thing."
Polygons, all the polygons you can get are not enough.
Anything this old must be obselete. Go and install a nice modern operating system. I hear MSDOS has come a long way lately.
Try MacOS X. It's based on UNIX, it has a smoother UI than Windows and it doesn't suck.
As an extra feature the boxes look nice.
Escape Meta Alt Control Shift.
Stop caring!
Conspiracy Theory
Face it, the elected government is in control. Actually that's quite scary.
Consume more stuff! It's easier to buy new stuff than to recycle.

Viruses you might suffer from:

Goth (90%)
Grow up. Let your roots grow out. Listen to Britney.
British (80%)
No need for cure. Benign virus.
Southampton (70%)
Move to the Isle of Wight.
Discordia (90%)
Buy a suit. Invest your money. Eat hotdog buns on a friday.
Brand Names (95%)
Having a well-known name doesn't make it good.
X11 (60%)
I hear Mac OS 10 Aqua is nice at this time of year.
Macintosh (80%)
Use a mouse with more than one button.

I have absolutely no idea how British and Southampton got there, and of course it's "FreeBSD", not "Free BSD", but the rest is pretty much spot-on. Go check yourself out. Via Ray.

Posted by roam at 12:49 PM

Spammers are also stupid.

A while ago, I wrote that spammers amaze me sometimes. Well, it seems that besides insistent and funny, they're also stupid, as David discovered when he found out that spammers apparently tried to sell some computer products or accessories to his friend's cat.

What's weird about this is that I did not find this at all strange. Some years ago, I posted a message to a FreeBSD mailing list, explaining some esoteric details about changing the mail agent used by send-pr(8). Suffice it to say that this involves specifying a command-line option '-f' followed by an e-mail address, so my e-mail message contained the string '-froam@ringlet.net'. I guess you already see where this is going - that's right, to this day the ringlet.net mailservers are receiving e-mail addressed to -froam@ringlet.net! :)

Imagine this: over three years of sending e-mail to an address that does not exist, an address that has zilch, nada, absolutely no possible reason to exist! In David's case, one can imagine that this particular cat can, and *will*, receive fan-mail eventually... but my negative froam? Oh well, one never knows, I guess they have to explore any and all marketing opportunities before repenting their sins...

Posted by roam at 12:45 AM

June 16, 2004

I am Evil(tm).

**** THE PROOF THAT Peter Pentchev IS EVIL ****

   P   E   T   E   R   P   E   N   T   C   H   E   V
  80  69  84  69  82  80  69  78  84  67  72  69  86     - as ASCII values
   8   6   3   6   1   8   6   6   3   4   9   6   5     - digits added
  \_________/ \_________/ \_________/ \_________/ \_/
   8           6           6           1           5     - digits added

Thus, "Peter Pentchev" is 86615.

Add 1865, the year Lincoln was shot - the result is 88480.

Turn the number backwards, multiply by 3 - the symbol of fulfillment. The number is now 25464.

Subtract 9791 from the number - this is the year Voluntary Euthanasia Society published how-to-do-it suicide guide, written backwards. It gives 15673.

Subtract 8081 from the number - this is the year Turri constructed the first typewriter, giving birth to bad publicity, written backwards. It gives 7592.

Turn the number backwards, subtract 1986 - the year a postman in Okhlahoma gone postal, killing 14. The number is now 971.

This number, read from right to left, is 1790, or the year US patent system was established (eevil).

No further questions. QED.

Want to see for yourself? Apparently Michal Zalewski has other interests besides IT security: check out the EvilFinder :) Via Owen.

Update: OK, the XHTML now validates again. Damn, but I'm lazy sometimes ;)

Posted by roam at 02:26 PM

June 15, 2004

Bulgarians as one

So the Euro 2004 Football Championship Finals are underway in Portugal (and even though some heretics might call the game 'soccer', that's just their problem, right? :).

Yesterday the Bulgarian team played their first match within the 'C' preliminary group, matched up against Sweden. During the whole of the afternoon - and in some places, all day - there were people walking out in the streets, sitting on balconies or just leaning out of windows, riding in cars or buses - and many of them were holding up or wearing the white, green and red of the Bulgarian flag. It was a great experience - even those of us who were not carrying or wearing the colors were still feeling a kind of exhilaration, being part of the Bulgarian people... As Iva said, it is nice to see people displaying their pride, love and respect for the flag - and for everything it stands for - every once in a while.

Okay, so we lost the first game. Still, that does nothing to detract from what I feel - and what I feel is pride with the accomplishments of the Bulgarian football team (they made it to the finals, right?), pride, hope, and joy that will not be brought down by a single mishap.

Posted by roam at 09:53 AM

June 13, 2004

Man, but they've got some nerve!

Spammers. I hate 'em. But sometimes they amuse me, like today, when I received an e-mail with the subject of 'Open immediately for smarter spam control!' :)

Posted by roam at 04:21 PM
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