Day: January 17, 2003

  • GNU Source-highlight

    Mental Note: GNU Source-highlight 1.6.2 is out and looks like a good tool for highlighting c/c++/Java/perl/Python/php(3 only) for the web/weblogs.

  • Geo::Weather

    Geo::Weather is a cool little perl module that scrapes and produces your local weather in html.  I installed it on my box at home (perl -MCPAN -e shell as root and then install Geo::Weather) and have been playing with it for a few minutes.  Here are a few lines of code adapted from the man page:

    use Geo::Weather;

    my $weather = new Geo::Weather;
    print $weather->report();

    That’s really all it took.  Here’s the output from that (as viewed in Lynx):

    Kensington, MD

    [29.gif] Partly Cloudy
    Temperature: 28° F/-2° C (Feels Like: 18° F/-8° C)
    Wind: From the Northwest at 12 mph
    Dew Point: 14° F/-10° C
    Rel. Humidity: 48 %
    Visibility: Unlimited
    Barometer: 30.03 inches and rising
    UV Index: 0 Minimal

    Pretty darn cool.  Of course you can access specific bits of weather information if you want.  Of course if you want to get down and dirty, you can use Geo::METAR, which was written by our very own Jeremy Zawodny.  It’s a damn small world.

  • Konica/Minolta Merger Latest Update

    I have previously reported on the Minolta-Konica merger.  Here’s the latest from a letter that I recieved at work this afternoon.  (Any typos or misspellings are my fault not theirs): 

    January 14, 2003

    To all Minolta Consumer Products Group Dealers,


    Recently you heard news of a merger between Minolta and Konica.  While you may have learned most of the information already, let me review the basic facts.

    The Boarts of Minolta and Konica have agreed that they will bring the two organizations together into a single entity.  This was announced formally on January 7th.

    The extreme competition that exists in our business world has made this alliance neccessary.  Minolta and Konica each bring strengths to this new association.  Together we will be positioned to grow and prosper.

    You may have questions about specifics, but it is a bit too early to have all the answers.  The merger will not be final until August of this year and the integration of the business units will start in October.

    You will be kept informed by a series of communications that will elaborate on every detail as it unfolds.

    This may seem like a very sudden and dramatic change, however, changes are often neccessary for growth and success.  We pledge that there will be no disruption in our service or supply to you as we proceed with the merger.  With this new organization, we will be able to deliver an even stronger value proposition to you, our valued dealer.

    Best Regards,

    Yoshi Ito
    Executive Vice President, General Manager
    Consumer Products Group

  • How To Survive a Slashdotting

    Ace’s Hardware has a good article up about how to survive a Slashdotting.  It looks like they’re using UltraSparcs, though I thought I had read a piece several months ago about them trying to migrate to Intel.  Oh well.

  • Navel Gazing

    Wow, I’ve had 14,240 page hits to my weblog according to Userland.  Of course I’m still a long way from the top 100 list.

    In further navel-gazing, I’ve moved up and am now the 41st Matt on google, up from 45th.

  • Castor


    January 16, 2003 Version is now available for download.

  • SOAP::Clean

    Here’s something interesting the flew down the freshmeat pipes today– SOAP::Clean:

    SOAP::Clean is a set of modules for quickly and simply deploying SOAP client and servers. On the server-side, it is intended to enable legacy, command-line oriented applications to be made into Web Services with little or no modification. On the client-side, it is intended to make Web Services look like legacy, command-line oriented applications!

    SOAP::Clean was original developed to provide a framework for computational scientists to use one another’s components, without having to download and compile each others codes. The name SOAP::Clean comes from the fact that it is designed for entire XML documents and non-XML files to be embedded within SOAP requests and responses without losing their integrety. These files are passed directly to the legacy application on the server and stored directly to disk on the client.

    SOAP::Clean is not intended for implementing “servlets”. In particular, it makes absolutely no attempt to map XML data types into convenient Perl datatypes. Nor does it allow arbitrary Perl functions on the server to be invoked by SOAP requests. If you need this functionality, I recommend SOAP::Lite.



  • SCons: a Make Replacement using Python

    SCons 0.10 has been released:

    SCons alpha release 0.10 is now available for download. SCons is a software construction tool (build tool, or substitute for Make) implemented in Python, based on the winning design in the Software Carpentry build tool competition (in turn based on the Cons build tool).

  • Slashdot reviews Brin

    Slashdot reviewed David Brin’s Kiln People this morning.  My review: one of the best Brin books that I’ve read (and I’ve read them all).

  • PHP in 2002

    Derick Rethans has an excellent year in review for PHP.

  • Kenneth Hunt on Assembling a Computer

    Classic Kenneth Hunt:

    Agonize over the graphics card, but don’t pick bleeding edge. $400 is always to much. $75 is too little unless you are adding multiple cards for multi-headed use.


    The idea is to relish the assembly, why should Dell get all the fun?

  • Feed Express and Syndirella

    Feed Express looks tasty [via Erik].  Syndirella looks yummie too. [via that Dave fellow]

  • I Miss MultiMate

    OSNews pointed to a ZDNet article about old software.  It made me miss MultiMate [Dan’s 20th Century Abandonware] again.

  • Tearing Apart Snell’s Pen and Paper vs. Java/.NET

    I was going to try to tear apart James Snell‘s one-sided comparison of pen and paper (PaP) and Java/.NET, but I couldn’t come up with anything 🙂