Archive for October, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

mod_perl on Gentoo

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

mod_perl doesn’t play so nice with Gentoo. Perl and, specifically, g-cpan still seem to have problems.

I’ve been scratching my head (read: driving my head into my desk) over the following error:

Can't locate lib.pm in @INC (@INC contains: blah blah blah) at /etc/apache2/modules.d/apache2-mod_perl-startup.pl line 1.\nBEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /etc/apache2/modules.d/apache2-mod_perl-startup.pl line 1.\nCompilation failed in require at (eval 2) line 1.\n

Thanks to an obscure post at the bottom of a thread from a couple of years back I was able to fix it with

# perl-cleaner reallyall
# emerge libperl

perl-cleaner appears to be like revdep-rebuild, but Larry Wall style.

Now I can run Apache::ASP.

Thank you crazy Larry Wall people.

The Filter

Monday, October 29th, 2007

This was surprisingly hard to find, but exactly what I was looking for. The Filter is a music recommendation engine that generates playlists from a Bayesian network of one’s listening habits. Select a song, hit “create playlist”, and it assembles some damn good, personalized playlists. For example, selected Chibo Matto’s Lint of Love churns out songs from:

Freaking sweet.

The Mystery of Shift Caps Lock

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Sheesh. For the last, say, eight years I’ve wondered why Japanese keyboards required one to punch both Shift and Caps Lock to turn caps lock on. And now that I’m on mostly English OS’s these days, I think I know: Caps Lock is (was?) an alternative to the henkan key. Probably before there were Japanese keyboards, there was Caps Lock Henkan. And I guess Alt-` emerged for people who had become accustomed to the having a real henkan key.

Anyway, for anyone else out there suffering through Japanese emails on English windows, here are some useful key combinations:

Alt-Shift: Toggle Input Language
Caps Lock: Henkan (while in Japanese input mode)

And beware of installing both English and Japanese keyboards under the installed default keyboard settings. The keyboard layout will change randomly and drive you bonkers.

Freaking A-maize-ing

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Ever since I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with hedge mazes. And no one ever wants to get lost in them with me. So this weekend, under the guise of some good old New England leaf peeping, the Japanese girls and I drove up to The Great Vermont Corn Maze at Patterson Farm in North Danville, Vermont.

Now, I’ve been through a garden maze or two, and figured that this would be more of the same. Ten, maybe fifteen minutes of meandering through a vegetable labyrinth. Boy was I wrong.

The Great Vermont Corn Maze is multiple acres of maize-made maze. The corn is ten feet high and uniform; one part of the maze is impossible to discern from any other part. The only distinguishing land marks are three wooden bridges and the occasional “cheater pole”.

Suffice it to say, we got seriously lost. Fifteen minutes quickly became seventy-five before we were finally were able to stumble out of the maize and ring the giant Bell of Success. And we apparently made record time. Other groups had been lost for well over two hours before finding their way out.

Fortunately for me, the girls enjoyed it. And we got to peak at the Vermont foliage from crests and bends in the maze. Altogether there are a dozen or so corn mazes in New England. I think we’re going to have to visit a few more before all the color is gone.

Here’s a shot of the same maze from a few years back to give you a sense of the scope of our predicament.

PS. Sorry for the corny title.

WebApp Weirdness

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

For some odd reason webapp-config didn’t want to upgrade my applications (namely this blog); it kept complaining that I hadn’t installed Apache and didn’t seem to know what Apache2 was.

* Fatal error: Your configuration file sets the server type "Apache"
* Fatal error: but the corresponding package does not seem to be installed!
* Fatal error: Please "emerge >=net-www/apache-1.3" or correct your settings.
* Fatal error(s) - aborting

I finally discovered that manually remerging webapp-config fixes the problem. Not sure why as the list of servers remains the same..

# webapp-config --list-servers
apache
aolserver
lighttpd
cherokee

Which leads me to the question, who in Sam Hill is running aolserver on Gentoo?!

Stephen Wright at the Orpheum

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Saw Stephen Wright at the Orpheum tonight. Great show. I laughed so hard.. I started cryin’.

On the way out I was surprised to see how varied the audience was in age. Stephen is not just funny, he’s funny for everyone.

Mantis State Plugin

Monday, October 8th, 2007

For the longest time now I’ve wanted a view in Mantis that could show me, at a glance, what’s receiving attention and what’s falling through the cracks.

Vincent Debout has recently released an excellent plugin manager for Mantis; so I’ve attempted to whip something up. The Mantis State plugin contains a matrix view listing out issues in left-to-right, top-to-bottom in order of last update. Font size indicates priority. Blinking issues are severe.

Right now this probably works well for smaller projects, but could get difficult to view with a large number of issues. Would be nice if Mantis’ current filtering system could plug into this.

mantis-state-sample.pngYou can see from this sample view that one of our projects has a number of items reported sometime back that are not getting looked at. Oops.

If you’d like to test it out, feel free to download an early alpha version here: Mantis State

Includes some simple Japanese localization.

Update: Recieved a request last week to update the broken uninstaller.  Link above updated as of September 2008.