Arsewipes

Aug. 8th, 2008 04:26 pm
perlmonger: (job)
As I type, 2300 new botnet addresses have gone onto our servers' firewall rulesets since midnight, nearly all from attempted attacks on the same website ([livejournal.com profile] ramtops' personal site, FWIW; yesterday it was mostly Newswireless).

I suppose they don't actually do that much harm as such, and it's a handy way to harvest compromised IP addresses, but it's still a PITA. Can't help wondering how many sites there still are out there vulnerable to that SQL injection attack.
perlmonger: (pete)

Pertwee is Orange
Originally uploaded by perlmonger.
My Stokke Wing is over 20 years old now, and its second incarnation (reupholstered by a friend some years back) wore through a fair while ago.

As you can see, it's been running on emergency repairs: there are trouser-wrecking spikes sticking out of that ply, hence the strapped on cloth.

We finally got round to ordering new pads from Back in Action a few weeks ago when we went in to have a peer at MBT shoes, and they arrived today. A quick whizz to College Green on my bike and a bit of hot Allen key action, and I can haz bouncy orange intelligent sit! And restored use of a couple of belts too.

bugs

May. 15th, 2008 05:53 pm
perlmonger: (pete)
good: notice an unlikely edge-case and program for it, when writing some code 3½ years ago.

bad: find out, 3½ years later when that unlikely edge-case comes up for a customer, that you made a silly error in the code (and evidently never tested it properly at the time).

meh: on examining the code, find it uses a nasty-but-devious workaround for ColdFusion struct keys being case-independent (and whose brilliant idea was that then, Ted?); replacing that wodge with a Hashtable (now we have Java under the hood) not only simplifies the code, it factors out the bug too.
perlmonger: (plugh)
It just occurred to me how deeply sad it is that I’ve spent most of this afternoon refactoring and testing library Javascript, because it’s something I can’t justify the time for on werk days. OK, that’s not all I’ve done today - [livejournal.com profile] ramtops and I went shopping this morning, and I’ve changed our bed - but still…

Oh well.

The code needed (and still needs) cleaning up, honest: some of this stuff goes back twelve years, but at least I’ve got the namespace pollution pretty much under control now. I blame myself for writing a specialised codebase grep in Perl that lets me easily find all the places in our entire collection of Perl and ColdFusion libraries and client web code any given function or method is used; couldn’t do this else.

bits

Mar. 20th, 2008 06:15 pm
perlmonger: (pete)
Yesterday morning, I placed my bi-monthly-ish tea order¹ with Gillards. Dreadful website; excellent service.

Yesterday evening the bit of Teh Intarweb that houses our servers and provides our DSL (but not our cable) suffered a small but perfectly formed death (still no confirmation, but it seems that a major router or switch decided to wave its legs in the air). The bits got swept up and stuffed back into the series of pipes in the early hours of this morning, and all seems well now.

This morning, my tea arrived. Huzzah! But one packet short and with a handwritten addendum to the delivery slip: “Sorry no Darjeeling First Flush until new season’s arrives”. Arse! I’ve about half a (125g) pack left from last time; it’ll have to stretch.

¹ 125g Jasmine Chung Hao, 375g Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe Assam, 250g Ceylon Orange Pekoe, 250g China Lapsang Souchong, 250g Russian Caravan, 125g Darjeeling First Flush. Oolong and green tea I get elsewhere.

still alive

Mar. 4th, 2008 07:06 pm
perlmonger: (fai)
Working 10ish hours a day doesn’t lend itself to contribution to blogular society, but FWIW I’m still here. Not a lot being happening apart from too much werk; some personal crapulence that I can’t yet bring myself to write about (you may have read about it elsewhere), and [livejournal.com profile] ramtops and I actually Went Out on Friday night. Still my beating heart, it was to the North Somerset LibDems annual dinner, which was actually quite enjoyable in a formal dinner sort of way with speeches from our PPC Brian Mathew, and from David Laws, the LD Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families: I’m a sad enough wonk to find this interesting.

This Friday night we’re off to see Phil Beer at Nailsea Folk Club, which will be another kettle of ungulants altogether, and Something to Look Forward To.

As you were, now.
perlmonger: (hitmouse)
<rhetorical>Why can’t I invoice Microsoft for what cumulatively must be hundreds of hours of time working around (or, occasionally, ultimately failing to work around) the failings of the heap of unutterable shite that is their browser?</rhetorical>

I’m off now, to waste several hours writing an onload event handler to restructure the DOM tree of any arbitrary page using the code I’m writing, because that z-index context base bug in IE - like so many other DOM bugs - is still there in IE7.
perlmonger: (pete)
[Poll #1119627]

[ ETA that this is an abstract question, not an invitation for a language war, though go ahead and have one if you must ]

an absence

Nov. 25th, 2007 06:44 pm
perlmonger: (anarchism)
I haven’t posted anything for weeks. This is largely because we’ve been going through hardware hell for most of that period, but that (please?) is pretty much over and dealt with now. I can’t be arsed to detail the many and varied things that have broken in quick succession (or, in some cases, simultaneously), but the computer-related aspects are in control even if the Thaab is still sitting outside with its alternator in the front passenger footwell and shared off bolts in the block, and we’re expecting the loss adjuster on Wednesday to look at the broken TV and totally wrecked amp and speakers.

Enough.

swanThis morning, we dragged ourselves away from trying to make up time on work that, you know, can actually be billed for to go to Slimbridge. This was a Good Idea: perfect late autumn weather, and - blessed be! - time away. We started with a cup of tea and slice of carrot cake, wandered with cameras for an hour or two, found [livejournal.com profile] ramtops an excellent hat in their shop, and headed home. Home via Makro, for cat fud (for one end) and large refill bottles of surface cleaner (for the consequences of t’other), but even that wasn’t too vile an experience.


I’ll leave you with a quotation from China Miéville, taken from An End to Hunger - I was reminded of it by a post in [livejournal.com profile] bas_lag.
Dear Kind Generous Person, Thank you so much for your Generous gift of half a cup of wet rice. Our Children will treasure every grain. And do please thank your Kind Organisers at An End To Hunger for organising their rich friends to throw rice at us - that is the advantage of employing Sweatshop labour and trade union busting. That way they can afford rice for us poor people. Whatever you do, do keep sitting back and not asking any questions of them, keep them happy, don’t agitate for any corporate taxes or grassroots control or anything like that which would threaten the large profits that allow them to buy us Cups of Rice. With humble love and thanks, The Hungry.

ETA dead tree version available in Looking for Jake and Other Stories, along with much other fine writing.

An Antidote

Nov. 5th, 2007 06:21 pm
perlmonger: (kumu)
As [livejournal.com profile] ramtops said, a thoroughly horrid day. That it could have been orders of magnitude worse is only a small consolation.

So.

After much poking at a long list, here are today’s list of my eight desert island albums, as inspired by [livejournal.com profile] oldbloke via [livejournal.com profile] blue_condition. The list will change in large part tomorrow, but that’s inevitable.

  • Captain Beefheart Trout Mask Replica As [livejournal.com profile] blue_condition said, it has to be in there doesn’t it?

  • Henry Cow In Praise of Learning It was a toss up between this and Unrest, but the splendid Living in the Heart of the Beast clenched it; that’s the piece of music that most often manifests spontaneously in the canyons of my mind these days.

  • Easy Star All-Stars Dub Side of the Moon It’s not often that reworkings of classic albums are in just about every way finer than the original, but that’s the case here. Lovely stuff.

  • The Planet Wilson Not Drowning But Waving The best band never to really come out of Hull, they were killed by Richard Branson (signed, first album with all the stuffing produced out of it did nothing). This is the indie label second album that captures at least some of the live energy from Hallam and Lou out of the Red Guitars, and Grant Ardis, one of the finest drummers I’ve heard to this day.

  • Philip Glass Songs From Liquid Days What’s not to like? Great music and lyrics performed and sung by great musicians and singers. Essential.

  • Frank Zappa Thing-Fish Picking a Zappa album ends up being pretty arbitrary, but this insanity is probably my favourite at the moment.

  • Gravity Fred Frith Proof, it were needed, that avant-garde guitar stylings can be fun and only as much hard work as the listener feels like devoting to them. Makes me smile.

  • Michelle Shocked Captain Swing This makes me smile too; a truly joyous collection of songs from one of the best things to have ever come out of East Texas. I need cheering up, damnit.

Standards

Sep. 18th, 2007 02:32 pm
perlmonger: (bleurgh)
It’s just occurred to me that, since I’ve had reason to start occasionally using java.util.regex in ColdFusion code, I’m now programming with five incompatible regexp engines, which is nice. That’s Perl 5.8, CFMX 7, java 1.4.2, MySQL 5 and the LCD of current browser javascript regexp implementations. Then there’s the Emacs Lisp variant in XEmacs, and grep itself, neither of which is the same as any of the preceding.

Mostly it’s not too horrific, but remembering what supports +ve/-ve lookahead/lookbehind assertions, and which combination of character class syntax definitions both work and work in the same way is… irritating. Is ‘\w’ [a-zA-Z0-9_] or [\p{L}\p{N}_]? Why doesn’t java do POSIX named entities? Why doesn’t CFMX 7, which AFAIAA actually uses the java engine under its hood, support UNICODE \p{} escapes? Why on Earth does MySQL 5 reverse the meanings of ‘\’ and ‘\\’?

I’ll shut up now.

oh, and…

Aug. 17th, 2007 09:36 pm
perlmonger: (pete)
May the memory of whoever invented the magnetic screwdriver be forever blessed.
perlmonger: (bleurgh)
Not much I can add to what [livejournal.com profile] ramtops has already written, but our day of hardware hell seems to be almost over - if that’s not tempting fate.

I’ve been without computer all day, too, as I keep /home on the server that died. Nice to see this box spring back into life without a qualm though, as soon as the rebodied detritus appeared. Can’t say the same about Windows; our PDC is complaining that it’s lost its “trust relationship” with the box. Different MAC address, maybe, but I haven’t the brainpower right now to do anything about it.

Never mind about setting up the new SATA disks as a RAID1 pair, migrating the linux install onto them and swapping out the old drive so I can connect the (PATA) internal removable backup drive. And whatever else needs doing that I haven’t thought of yet.

Hardware. Hate. HATE. Hatety Hate McHate.
perlmonger: (plugh)
Turns out that if you create an input control on the fly in IE6 and stuff it into the DOM tree, it gets inserted into its form’s elements array, but not into the associated hashtable. It’s there and not there all at the same time...
      if (!iewin || theForm.elements[theField])
	theField=theForm.elements[theField];
      else // it beggars belief, really
	for (var i=0; i<theForm.elements.length; i++)
	  if (theForm.elements[i].name==theField) {
	    theField=theForm.elements[i];
	    break;
	  }

MS have been kind enough to retain backward compatibility on this “feature” in IE7.

farewell

May. 2nd, 2007 04:09 pm
perlmonger: (badger)
Today I’m mostly doing a variety of “dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/hdaX” after a sequence of less drastic deletions, service shutdowns and other housekeeping. Our second ever server[¹] on teh intarweb, fhez, is finally being retired in the face of a large increase in hosting charges - it’s not done anything but be a database mirror and recipient of backups for years now anyhow and, at its 512MB mobo memory limit, it’s not likely to do much else again.

So, farewell then fhez; you served web pages reliably and well for us and our clients for many years, but it’s time to bow out gracefully now before the last working fan or two in your 1u case gives out and you self-immolate.

[¹] our first ever server was a borrowed Cobalt Qube, but IIRC we only ever hosted personal sites on there.
perlmonger: (bleurgh)
...here’s a poll

ETA that I'm not talking necessarily about the sense you'd, in practical terms, least wish to lose; that might be different to the one that most resonates with you while you have them all, or all that you currently have.

[Poll #957061]
What’s been happening? Last weekend we trundled to Norwich to help [livejournal.com profile] kalunina with the last part of moving into her new house, which actually, travelling and all, feels relaxing in retrospect. Which, in turn, illustrates how much work-related stress I’m feeling under right now. Worst is that I’m not really achieving as much as I should, because I’m feeling too stressed out. Not sensible.

Still, it’ll all be worth it in the end, eh?
perlmonger: (job)
So. We're back, after a flying visit to potential clients in Forn Parts.

we're off to sunny Spain )

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