Saturday, November 28, 2009

los angeles perl mongers : next meeting Wed, Dec 2 site updated with the date and topic of the next perl mongers meeting, which is this coming Wednesday. How is it December already?

We'll be doing a group discussion of perl+vim, (wonder twins activated). Bring your favorite tricks and config files. This can be anything from using vim tricks to make programming perl smoother or using the perl interpreter inside of vim, to programs used to prep data for vim (tags and etc) to screen and shell tricks.

I've got a github repository started for configuration files. Send me some git changes to my files or copies of your own before the meeting. Afterward I hope to have repo updated with all the contributed configuration files as well as a meta file of the ones people liked.

I made a previous post on perl + vim notes. There are few things there listed under "stuff I'd like other people to show me," if you use/know them please consider coming prepared to talk about them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Acer 1810T unboxing

My new netbook, Acer 1810T, just arrived from Amazon. I unboxed it this morning.

This machine is lovely. It's everything I had hoped for from when I bought an Acer Aspire One (750) three months ago. The Aspire One had such a nice form factor and it was so quiet. But the Poulsbo video chip was unusably slow under linux. The single hinged button on the track pad drove me batty. I was able to take it back and wait for the new models, and now they're here!

The 1810T has two real buttons on the track pad. Video is updating quickly (I haven't tried video yet) and it just feels snappy. I didn't realize how much heavier this 6 cell battery would be than the 3 cell in my 750.

I am slowly getting it to fully working state. I've done the win7 30 minute post-install install step. Then removed various pieces of factory installed trialware.

I then popped in my Ubuntu Network Remix (UNR) usb-key. Only to find that my usb-key is dead. After a couple of hours of downloading I had a new 1G image ready for my other usb-key. After booting into UNR I repartitioned and installed. I'm now giving it a whirl. Video under USB seems nice.

My first attempt at suspend worked and got me back to the login prompt during restore, but the box kind of freezes while "Checking..." for long periods of time. I'll look at this again after doing an 'aptitude update&&aptitude upgrade' to see if there are have been any updates from the ISO. I was hoping to also test hibernate before upgrading. With my previous AspireOne, I was able to get hibernation working but not suspend (although I had suspend working before upgrading the video drivers).

Update: Much improved under linux after two changes. inspired by this thread. I added 'libata.noncq=force' to my grub configuration (under the default linux options) and removed the acer-wmi kernel module by adding it to the autoload blacklist. I aslo decided to reinstall to Ubuntu from Ubuntu Netbook Remix. I'll be running Ion anyways, so no need to have the UNR interface (especially not with all these glorious pixels!!).

Update 2: This How to: Karmic Koala on Acer 1410 / 1810T/ 1810TZ also looks interesting. It just popped up.

For 600 bucks, it isn't exactly in the impulse-buy category, but it sure is lovely. If you can find one!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hilbert Space notes

DDJ journal article on space filling curves
example code aa799.txt from the zip file.
Google's Uzaygezen project
Geo::Hash perl module, which has a nice clean implementation
GeoHash uses Z encoding.
The DDJ article does a nice job comparing the Z-curve and Hilbert curve. They're both nice ways to convert 2-space to 1-space, which is easier to search via b-tree.

A downside of the standard Hilbert curve is that the x and y space must be the same size. The standard procedure is to inflate the smaller dimension and then produce a curve for the full space. This is wasteful of space and processing time. Compact Hilbert Indices are an idea to make a modified form that doesn't require equal dimensions. That paper was published in 2007, and other than Uzaygezen doesn't seem to have been cited/used yet. So let's get started!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Recent Tech Event Reviews

Last Tuesday was the monthly Hadoop meetup[1], nearby at Mahalo.
This event was a beginner friendly event, walking through getting started with hadoop on EC2. There were 20+ people and the speaker did a great job of sharing his knowledge. He or the facilitator could have done a better job cutting off rambling or unrelated questions. Jonathan and I both attended.
Nov 14-15, barcampla[2]
Postponed. BarcampLa is going back to a once-a-year from twice-a-year.
Wed 11/11, Thousand Oaks Perl Mongers[3], at ValueClick up in Westlake.
Discussion format on perl for systems administration. A wide ranging topic that was more on the basic comparisons of compiled vs interpreted languages, why ruby and python are gaining in visibility in the SysAd world and related items.
Wed 11/04, Los Angeles Perl Mongers[4], here at the Rubicon Project.
Delayed by a week due to illness. Tommy Stanton did a great presentation on Test Driven Development, using Test::Class, Test::More and Test::Most. After his presentation we had a round table discussion and some eXtreme Pair Programming as 10 of us "helped" him write code on the big screen.
Mon 10/27 was SpeedGeeks LA[5], hosted just down Olympic at ShopZilla.
I attended the keynote before work and caught the speed round during lunch. Mike D arrived after his flight and caught from 11am through the speed round. Steve Souders (of O'Reilly's Velocity conference) co-hosted and did a great job setting the keynote. The premise was that more and more with modern sites the optimization needs to come through the UI layer as the back end is already been squeezed pretty tight. His blog should eventually have slides, here's his recap [6].
Thu 10/15 Mindshare Masquerade. [7]
Did not attend, release issues.
Tue 10/13 Hadoop meetup. [1]
Hadoop Desktop overview from henry@Cloudera. A nice talk that got more technical than was probably appropriate (but in a fun way). It rained that night, delaying the presenters flight by 4 hours and the presentation by 70 minutes, so there was a thin crowd. Jonathan and I both attended, I don't know that we got much out of this one. But it sets the stage for when we come back to ask questions.



Upcoming Tech events

This week:

  • This weekend, Fri-Sun, is Startup Weekend [1]. At Blankspaces, 5405 Wilshire.
  • Tonight is an intro event, What to expect from Startup Weekend [2]. (ticket sales just ended.) 7-9pm. Update: Turned into a webinar, from 7-8pm.
  • Wednesday is[3], which is not strictly a tech event, but has a strong crossover.

Next week:

  • Thanksgiving. I'm out of town, so I don't know what's going on locally.

Week After:

December already!
  • Wed, Dec 2, Perl Mongers[4] here at the Rubicon Project. Our website isn't up-to-date, but this meeting will feature VIM+Perl tips and tricks, as a presentation and open discussion and config swap.
  • Tue, Dec 8, Hadoop Meetup[5]: topic not yet announced.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

perl + vim (notes)

On the email list, we had a topic this morning on ideas for tonight's meeting, so I told them about what we'll be doing for the Dec 2 topic -- an interactive night of Vim + perl tips : improving the editor experience, improving the coding experience.

My reply got pretty long, so I'm going to pull the notes out here.

The idea: an interactive night of VIM+perl tips. Bring your vimrc's and links to your favorite modules and plugins. Perl stuff that makes VIM better, VIM stuff than makes editing perl better. A lot of my stuff is circa VI, but it is still sweet.

Tips I'll bring:

  • setting up vim to use quicklist / make functions on your perl. :make
  • integrating perltidy
  • my perltidyrc
  • ctags integration
  • keyword completion
  • a couple of vim plugins
  • examples of vimdiff and svn+vimdiff integration
  • splitting windows
  • related: zsh (the one true shell(tm)) integration.

Stuff I'd love to hear about:

  • using embedded perl in vim. perldo and friends.
  • omnicompletion
  • Your Favorite file browser
  • Your Favorite vim plugins
  • Info about the Vim:: modules on CPAN.
  • updated VIM perl syntax highlighting description, now maintained by petdance/andy lester. announce git issue-tracker group
  • using ACK and using it from inside vim(Tommy, examples please)
  • perlciritc integration via perlchecker.vim
  • iskeyword settings ( set iskeyword+=: , etc)
  • perl-support.vim -- seriously, does anyone use this? I'm not sure I see how it would be helpful. If you do, I'd love a visit from the clue-train.

I only got as far as searching VIM:: on cpan. Next up, mining the perlmonks (and updating, of course) -- the vim info there is old, and some of it is wrong (meaning of a couple flags were flipped between vim6 and vim7).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

XBOX! Welcome to 2002!

I've finished an item from my list of projects. Last night I converted my xbox via softmod and added XBMC. Welcome to 2002!

I mostly followed this guide using a USB key and an xbox to usb adapter that I bought from Suntek looked sketchy and their search interface is terrible, but the product totally arrived when expected, worked great and was a great deal -- $4.82 with free shipping from Hong Kong. Scott had included both Mech Assualt and the Tom Clancy game, two of the three exploitable games for softmodding. One thing left out in that guide -- hook the USB key up to the xbox first for formatting.

I already have my readyNAS NV in the closet serving up my mp3s -- it's taken a long time to rip all the CDs we own, but they're pretty much all on there. Now I'll need to rip my DVDs too -- way easier than walking over and putting a disc in the player.

Thanks for the great birthday present Scottie! It is as awesome as I thought it would be. Glad I already had the NAS setup, makes this part a breeze.

What dreams may come ... must give us PAUSE

People's CPAN ids came up again at the Mongers on Wednesday. We had several in the crowd: gray, Pip, and Beppu. This was Pip's first visit to since we've started back up.

I'd like to get a PAUSE ID, so I too can post to CPAN. But the first question is always "what modules are you going to post?" and if I knew that... I'd have them done by now. Maybe the module I'll write for the January mongers will need a public home.

And with that, I should really be getting off to sleep, perchance to dream.

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
-- Hamlet by Billy Shakespeare.

Update: it says "what are you going to contribute", that's a whole other kettle of fish. This looks like a test I could pass.