August 2003 Archives distributed


We are planning to load balance a bit. I'd like to find a http mirror or four for this.

If you might want to volunteer to setup your well connected httpd to answer requests for, then send a mail to ask at

A well connected mirror in Europe would in particular be interesting.

Baghdad Burning Weblog


A young woman in Baghdad is writing a weblog Baghdad Burning. Very interesting; go and read already. This internet thing is amazing.

The other way to wake up, is to be jolted into reality with the sound of a gun-shot, explosion or yelling. You sit up, horrified and panicked, any dream or nightmare shattered to oblivion. What can it be? A burglar? A gang of looters? An attack? A bomb? Or maybe it's just an American midnight raid?


I'm a computer science graduate. Before the war, I was working in an Iraqi database/software company located in Baghdad as a programmer/network administrator (yes, yes... a geek). Every day, I would climb three flights of stairs, enter the little office I shared with one female colleague and two males, start up my PC and spend hours staring at little numbers and letters rolling across the screen. It was tedious, it was back-breaking, it was geeky and it was... wonderful.

(via boingboing via William Gibson)

You know it's geeky when a review of a jacket includes things like "Indeed, the jacket is distinguished not just by the number of pockets, but by the ability to run wires between them.". (thanks Robert).

BBC is planning to open up their archive with a creative license of some sort. That is amazingly awesome news. Read the BBC announcement yourself and drool. Or read Danny O'Brien's Freeing the BBC. It's supposed to only be for people in the U.K., but it sounds like that's just going to be their distribution and the license will be open enough for others to redistribute.

O'Brien also made a posting trying to make us not too excited. I'm very excited, even if I won't get my Hitchhikers Guide fix right away.

Between BBC news, various NPR programs and Let's get lost I'm all set for my radio needs. Only trouble with the latter program is that it makes me not go to sleep until 3am thursday nights. Which is now. Good night.

Stop Bouncing Email Viruses

As Jim said: having a mail server that sends bounce messages in response to viruses that are known to forge the message sender is a very, very bad thing..

Over at we generally don't give anyone shell access for any reason, but instead make people upload files and update sites with Subversion or WebDAV. It might be a bit more hassle for the contributors, but as the not so recent "incident" at the FSF shows, it's a mighty good idea. They got hacked by a local user in march (!) and just found out a few weeks ago.

We might still expose a vulnerability somehow some day (knock on wood), but with fewer people having local access, it's much less likely.

It's also a reminder why signing releases would be a good idea.

I announced the CPAN Ratings site on use.perl. Lots of comments and suggestions there. More importantly, lots of good reviews. I'm grateful to everyone who contributed already. There are a couple of really, eh, "odd" reviews as well. Hopefully adding the "was this review helpful?" feature will help filter those out. Oh, and I added the links to the installation instructions right over the TODO list. Hint hint.

A Huge and Terrible Mess - Al Gore in a great speech to "Something basic has gone wrong in our country".

Ben & MenaSix Apart put TypePad into "preview release". I've been playing with it since the beta test (alpha? I forget) and I must say it's very very cool. And so pretty. They gave beta testers 20 "lifetime 20% discount codes". If I didn't already have plenty of servers and a nicely working slightly hacked MovableType installation I'd so be there.

Experimenting in groups, the quiet voices. How do you get the quiet people to participate more on your mailing list? How do you "make more room"? I'm not sure his ideas will apply as well to technical lists as they might to social lists, but the thoughts are very refreshing. (via Ben Hyde)

Ben also linked to an old article about an insanely stupid law in Florida. Really #$%#'ing disgusting. And Sad.

Alex Shaffer writes about a few similar stories. Comic Disbelief and Smut Patrol. Stories like that were more amusing when I was in Europe and could just laugh at the crazy Americans at a distance. Instead adding depressive links about the patriot act I'll send you to Alex's free fashion advice for ladies.

A link to the Guide to the Logical Fallacies is always nice. Slightly related and even more useful: Getting Past No (how to get your opponent to work with you) which is the followup to Getting to Yes ("Focus on Interets, not positions"). Both books are short and sweet. Very worthwhile.

Speaking of short and sweet. Almost two years ago I bought Shopgirl and I still remember it as very fun and enjoyable. Steve Martin is making it into a movie now, with Claire Danes staring as Mirabelle.

Ben also links to the tricolor salvage site. Bloody amazing. Some big container ship sank last year. It was on shallow water and ships were sailing into it, so now they sliced it up(!) to salvage it. (and photos).

Confessions of a Baggage Screener (elbows deep in underwear). See also Confessions of a Car Salesman. says that MSIE has a 95% market share. I'm happy to report that it's less than 60% at

people around me on friendster - I wanted to make something like this; it looks very neat.

Camera phones are getting a bad rep because people worry that they can be smuggled into places where photography isn't allowed. Some weeks ago a 15 year old used his cell phone camera against a guy who tried to abduct him and got the abductor arrested

As you might have seen Mark Frauenfelder and family moved to the South Pacific for a year. Now they found a house.

BBC proves that there is No Loch Ness Monster. At least we still have Sandy Claws!

mod_perl vs java


Mod_perl installations: 4.6 million hostnames, 460k unique ips.

Java Servlet engine installations: 295k hostnames, 37k unique ips

Different data point, the security space module report (for java look for "mod_jk", "Resin" and "ApacheJServ").

Yes, I realize there are all sorts of reasonable and unreasonable explanations for these numbers, but it's still fun.

Web Server Survey from Netcraft and Security Space. Apache is well over 60% now.

CPAN Ratings


Please test my latest weekend project CPAN Ratings, but don't announce it widely just yet.

I put it on the production Combust server in the morning, but no one has added any reviews yet! :-)

unicodeunmagic.png (Yes, I'm aware that the server is making the ø in my name on the test review into unicode. No, I don't know why. It happens somewhere in Template Toolkit I think - and of course I can't make it happen on my development server and I don't have time to look closer this week).

KCRW Pledge Drive

kcrw I hate the #$%#$ pledge drive. Come on. I gave money already. Give me my radio now. Gimme gimme gimme!

Some day when I'm filthy rich I'll call them and pay them whatever they need to put my radio back on. Of course here in the morning they just play bad music anyway, so I might as well just make iTunes play random, uh, tunes. Ahhh, much better. No more agony until the afternoon when they start ruining the good programming with begging asking for money.

All that being said; if you are in L.A. I can highly recommend giving them $50 so you can go to the monthly "Matt's movies" screenings. It's always good movies and lots of fun.

I set my MT installation up to use SSL. While I was at it I also made it run under mod_perl again. Since I moved to an Apache 2.x based installation I've used it as a CGI (yuck).

I was running mod_perl 2.0 on the MovableType server anyway as I use it for authentication for the DAV server (so I can use my MT login to access the files). Now I made mt.cgi run under ModPerl::Registry on mod_perl 2.0. This is a test post to see if that still works. :-)

Update: Yup, works fine. Awesome.

Dirty Pretty Things


dirty pretty thingsWe went to see Dirty Pretty Things (trailer) today. A thriller, but with no sudden shocks. Set in London, but with no white Englishmen. With plenty of action, but no guns - or fights. The bad guy is in the business of making everyone happy, but everyone is miserable. A clever and intelligent script, but not too clever. With moral points, but not with waving fingers everywhere. If you want one of the usual hollywood happy endings you might be disappointed, but as a reader here I am sure you are not one of those people but smart and sexy. You'll like it. You'll be captivated. Highly recommended.

Audrey Tautou

They have started to run the Kill Bill trailer again (the same, or almost the same, as the old teaser trailer).

OmnigraffleUsually I use a slightly hacked version of txt2slides to make presentations. Today I've been making something that's not going to be webified anyway, so I figured I should play with the fancy technicolor tools.

Keynote is super neat, but there are a bit too many "hmn, how can I make it ...." moments that ends up unresolved. Still very cool though. I used PowerPoint once and this is just so much more fun. When I make it save the presentation as a bundle the files gets saved in a way that's more compatible with revision control systems than such files usually are.

The new version of Omnigraffle is bloody awesome. I've been using it for a couple of hours and there's no end to the "ooh, clever" discoveries. The earlier versions were useful; 3.0 is amazing. When you resize an element it'll show you which other elements have the same size as your current size. Likewise for distances when you are moving things. So clever; and I thought I'd need to use the grid for that sort of thing. thanks our sponsors thanks our sponsors

For the Perl Foundation booth at OSCON we made this poster thanking our sponsors. They have helped us to now be able to run the infrastructure relatively independent from any one particular sponsor (that's a nice way to say that we are no longer leeching on just one helpful company but instead on several). It's great.

The posters were about 4 feet tall and very nice; I meant to bring one of them home but I forgot all about it. We also meant to get a photo of notable perl people in front of it, but we forgot about that too. OSCON is busy and exhausting.

The sponsors of CPAN could fill up another poster, but that'll have to be another time.

Sore throat


camomileLike John Engler I've managed to get a summer cold. I've been mostly inoperative since some time in the weekend. It sucks. Luckily I'm not getting tired of drinking camomile yet. Viridiana thinks I should get some real medicine, but I like to save that for some day I really need it.

In the meantime I found out that Tropicana is a PepsiCo company; so now I only like orange juice from Florida's Natural, in particular since Horizon Organic got bought by Dean Foods. Yes yes, I realize it doesn't make any sense. Please leave me alone.

Brian started a weblog some months ago, and stopped again it seems like. I keep forgetting to add a link to Ben Hyde's weblog. Oh, and Kåre started a weblog (in Danish) about his and Line's impending trip to San Diego.

oooh, water is boiling. Time for some more tea. Mailinglists

| 1 Comment

I have just been catching up on a bunch of mailing lists. I'm only subscribed to a couple of the public lists; everything else I read with gnus via the nntp interface. It's awesome. I can't thank Jim enough for colobus, our nntp server. (I even liked it so much that I based the first versions of qpsmtpd on the colobus code).

In related news: We are now running 127 public and about a dozen private lists at The total subscription count is 44220 (with 31106 unique subscribers). The list server is sending out 3-400,000 mails a day. Of course neither of those numbers count people who are using the nntp interface.

Related news^2: I have been running the technicalities behind the lists (and a couple of other things for 4 years just about now. Notice the clever server name (tmtowtdi) we used for the first server ValueClick kindly let us have. The second one is called "Onion". (And after that I ran out of cleverness, so the next ones are called "x1", "x2", etc. I should know better)

As time flies when you are having fun... At first Jacob helped running the system and the last couple of years Robert has been helping me. (For which I am thankful; otherwise I would have gone completely insane by now). I know you are not going to believe me, but I swear he volunteered. That's how I remember it anyway.

Jarkko says: Have you ever juggled seven balls, an oiled sumo wrestler, a turned-on chainsaw, and an electric eel?

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