February 28, 2003

Blogroll update and... scripting NNW?

I finally got aruond to re-exporting my subscriptions from NNW so that opml2html.pl (slightly modified to handle NNW output) can update my blogroll.

I've dropped a bunch of feeds that I really wasn't reading anyway and added a few new ones that I am reading.

On a related note, does anyone know how to automatically export my subscriptions from NNW and scp (or ftp?) them somewhere? Can AppleScript (about which I know nothing) do this? Can I do it in Perl and not have to learn Yet Another Scripting Language?

I'd just go figure all this stuff out, but I really don't have the time right now. Other things have priority.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:16 PM

February 26, 2003

When one leaves

It's always sad when a coworker and friend leaves the company. Some do so because they've found something better or more exciting to work on. Some are frustrated and just want out. Still others are just fed up with living here and not being able to afford a house. Everyone has a different reason and they're all good.

Why do I bring this up? Today's the last day at work for a friend of mine. He's been going through some some major changes, including a recent divorce and the sale of his house. He's taught me a heck of a lot about technology and life during the past couple of years.

On the bright side, I believe he'll be happier in his new pursuits.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:35 AM

#13 on popdex

I'm not sure how long it'll last, but I'm currently #13 on popdex according to my technorati link cosmos.

BTW, technorati is way cool. I didn't think much of it for the first few weeks, but I've found that it really gives me another view into what people are saying in response to things I say.

It's also interesting to note that I've recently fallen from the technorati top 100. Oh, well.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:27 AM

Follow-up on the 10 Habits

I'm really surprised at how widespread the reaction to my Top 10 Habits of Highly Annoying Bloggers post has been.

It has been turned into a survey, translated to Spanish and Japanese and commented on elsewhere.

Many, many of folks commenting on their own blogs have even changed their blogs a bit in response to my list. Others simply added to my list in the comments or on their own sites.


Blogs rock. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 12:03 AM

February 25, 2003

Full Post RSS 2.0 Feed

Okay, I can take a hint.

I've resisted for a long time, but some of my readers want a full post feed for my blog. Fine. Here you go.

I originally resistsed because I didn't really see the point. Plus I really like using my traffic stats to figure out which of my posts are more popular than others. If most folks use the full feed, I can't do that anymore.

But my ego can take it. It's not a big deal.

Anyway, I simply followed Mark's advice when setting this up. It took all of 40 seconds plus the 20 seconds to subscribe to the feed in NetNewsWire.

So there you have it. Better late than never.


Now, about upgrading my MT 2.21 install to something a bit more recent...

Posted by jzawodn at 11:39 PM

Referer lists are back on my posts

Some of you might have read kasia's post about displaying referer links in blogs and wondered where that came from. It was me. I admit it. The "another blog" she mentions? You're reading it.

Anyway, that cause a bit of a stir. The Register picked it up and then she observed one of blogging's stranger sides: you never know what will be popular and what will not until the the inbound links start showing up.

Anyway, case closed. I've fixed my code. Lesson re-learned (again).

Posted by jzawodn at 11:21 PM

Unplanned food combination

Sometimes you just do things without thinking.

Take, for example, my dinner. I wasn't sure what I wanted tonight, so I munched a bit of trail mix (nuts, raisins, etc) before I decided. I wanted a big bowl of broccoli, a healthy dose baked beans, and a beer.

Now, several hours later, I'm beginning to question the wisdom of my ad-hoc meal planning.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:12 PM

Sterling on FAST/Overture

In his commentary on FAST/Overture and such, Sterling says:

Inktomi will probably be further relegated to Yahoo!, and slowly die. Especially since Overture has already penetrated the other major portals, such as Excite, Go!, NBCi and AskJeeves (and incidentally Yahoo!, I wonder how long that will last). By offering FAST's Internet Search, they are in a position to power a number of the major portals, without being a portal themselves (and fall into the problem that Google had with Yahoo!) This move by Overture will royally screw Inktomi, and probably not do wonders for Yahoo! either.

While I can't say much about this (being on the inside), I don't see it playing out that way for Yahoo. Not at all. Nobody knows for sure, but let's have anohter look in a year or so to see where things stand. I suspect the landscape will be quite different. Right now it's like a big game of Risk. But those games don't last forever. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 07:42 PM

Google News is not Evil

Scott asks if Google News is Evil. No, Scott it's not evil--it's real-time. It's no more evil than real-time stock quotes for investors. Yes, there's a certain edge introduced with access to an ever-changing view of the world. But the information itself is not evil. Yes, the provider may have evil intentions, but I suspect that'd become apparent before long.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:28 PM

Overture bying AllTheWeb from FAST

Wow. Competition in the search world is heating up even more.

Paid Internet search provider Overture Services Inc. (NasdaqNM:OVER - News) on Tuesday took another step to challenge its chief rival, Google (News - Websites), by agreeing to buy the Web search unit of Norway-based Fast Search and Transfer for as much as $100 million -- its second acquisition in a week.

This is going to be an interesting couple of years.

Posted by jzawodn at 05:29 PM

February 24, 2003

And the Germans too!

I guess it wasn't enough to get linked to by a Spanish site earlier today. Now I find that a German weblog mentions me in their coverage of Google + Blogger.

At least I have a chance of reading the German. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 08:44 PM


We just had an hones to god thunderstorm roll thru the Bay Area about 1.5 hours ago. Very cool. I wish we had more thurnderstorms around here. Having grown up in the midwest, I really miss 'em.

Posted by jzawodn at 06:30 PM

Can't sleep

This sucks.

My body hates me.

I had planned to get up early (6am) so I could get to work early (8am) before all the distractions arrive. The prospects are looking dimmer by the minute.


Posted by jzawodn at 01:12 AM

February 23, 2003


I noticed a lot of users referred to my site from barrapunto.com recently. Apparently it's like the Spanish Slashdot.

Whoda thunk?

Anyway, they picked up my 10 habits post and a few folks have commented so far. They even translated my annoyances. But I can't read them. I took German in High School and college. A lot of good that's done me.

[Mental note: take Spanish next time. It's waaaaayyy more useful when living in California.]

Anyway, I pumped the pages thu the fish and it made some sense. Any of the linguistically inclined want to tell me what they're saying? :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 11:33 PM

Perl Hashes and stuff...

A few days ago, I noted that I was being stupid. In that post, I made a comment about using Devel::Size to figure out what Perl was doing when it kept eating up all my memory. I sort of hinted at the fact that I didn't really believe what Devel::Size was telling me.

As it happens, the author of Devel::Size, Perl Hacker Dan Sugalski read my comment and asked what my problem with Devel::Size was. After I got over my surprise, I sent him the script I was using and explained how it was eating memory in a hurry.

More specifically, I wrote a really, really simple script that read in file of queries (the ones that are typed into the search box on www.yahoo.com every day). It wasn't much more complicated than this:

while (<>)

And when it was done, it'd spit the counts and queries out so they could be processed by some other code.

The problem was that it never finished. It always ran out of memory around 10 million queries. But I needed to do roughly 40 million or so. I instrumented the code with some calls to Devel::Size to see if the hash was really as big as it seemed.

Anyway, back to Dan. He tinkered around a bit and was able to reproduce the problem. It was two-fold: (1) Devel::Size itself used up more memory than expected, and (2) Perl's just not all that efficient with hashing.

He explained his findings via e-mail and I thought to myself, "Self: you should blog this stuff." Luckily, I I was lazy. Dan has summarized much of it on his blog so that I don't have to try and parphrase him.

The moral of the story? There are several. First, blogging is good. Second, Perl's hashes are inefficient. You need A LOT of memory if you intend to hash tens of millions of keys. And finally, Dan may have been inspired to make Perl 6's hashes a little lighter.

I re-implemented my code to loop over the file 36 times. Once for each digit and letter of the alphabet (the queries were already lower-cased). It's slow and crude, but it works.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:29 PM