Older blog entries for shlomif (starting at number 709)

The GNU Project Will Integrate GNU Guile into GNU coreutils

Tel Aviv, Israel: the GNU (= “Guile N' UNIX”) project announced today that following the popular decision to integrate GNU Guile (= an implementation of the Scheme programming language) into GNU Make, it is going to integrate GNU Guile into the various tools inside GNU coreutils. So for example, GNU cat will have a "-g" flag that will allow embedding Scheme expressions, GNU echo will gain a similar flag, and GNU true and GNU false will allow evaluating Scheme expressions for truth or falsehood. It is not yet clear what functionality GNU head and GNU tail will gain by the integration.

O’Reilly Media announced that it will publish a new edition of its series of books, which includes Mastering cat and Mastering echo to cover the additional functionality provided by GNU Guile, and we will give an overview of the additional functionality in the usergroups of the cat mongers, the echo-chamberists, and the (GNU) true believers.

“If it’s not bloat, it’s not us.”, said Richard Stallman, the colourful head of the GNU project, and started to sing the Free Software song. Linus Torvalds was not available for comments about the proposal to integrate GNU Guile into the Linux kernel.

Syndicated 2013-11-13 12:41:50 from shlomif

E-mail Netiquette Resources, New Software, and BertycoX’s Music

Here are the recent updates for Shlomi Fish’s Homepage.

  1. There are some new factoids in the factoids pages, and many of them now have a Hebrew translation:

    • Chuck Norris does not keep any numbers on his mobile phone’s address book. Instead, he memorised the entire phone directory.

    • For all you know, you may not exist, and Chuck Norris convinced you that you do.

  2. There’s a new section with some articles about E-mail netiquette.

  3. The Hebrew version of “The Case for Drug Legalisation” is now at its third version, and was converted to DocBook 5/XML.

  4. There are new software pages for sky - a convient uploading interface, and Maniac Downloader, which is a download accelerator.

  5. There are new pages with Links against Adobe Flash and Links against TIOBE - The Test Index of Programming Languages’ Popularity.

  6. I have placed the music of BertycoX (originally from Jamendo) online.

  7. There’s a new page about “In the Event of My Death”.

  8. I’ve placed a very old snapshot of my home site (from 1998) online in a kind of Nostalgia.

Syndicated 2013-11-11 09:59:20 from shlomif

Tech Tip: How to Copy a Remote File on rsync.net

rsync.net is a good service (and a not too pricey one) for remote storage of data (for backups/etc.) based on open protocols and open source applications. One thing that bugged me there however, was that I couldn't find a way to copy a remote file to a different name, because the SFTP client does not support a copy operation, and because I could not get to a login shell by sshing my rsync.net account. Apparently, it's doable and not very hard.

What you need to do is type ssh my_account@somewhere.rsync.net cp [source filename] [destination filename] and it will run the remote UNIX "cp" command to copy the file. You can access some other remote UNIX commands like that such as "ls".

Hope it helps.

Syndicated 2013-10-26 12:14:54 from shlomif

Freecell Solver 3.22.0 was Released: Bug Fixes

Freecell Solver version 3.22.0, has been released. Freecell Solver 3.22.0 is available in the form of a source archive, from the download page. Freecell Solver is an open source framework (library and some command line applications), for automatically solving several variants of card Solitaire / Patience games, including Freecell.

The highlights of this version are some bug fixes: the Win32 NSIS (= Nullsoft Installer) package should now build, run and process the presets (e.g: -l as properly). Furthermore, there's a bug fix to the command line flags processing, where flags whose prefixes are known flags were erroneously recognised as such (e.g: --resetjunk vs. --reset).

On the new features side, the JavaScript-based solver now accepts arbitrary fc-solve command line options, so it can be used to solve any of the supported variants of Solitaire, as well as support most other fc-solve features.


Syndicated 2013-10-07 17:29:00 from shlomif

Yom Kippur 2013 Summary

This Yom Kippur, I again went over my blogs from the last year, and tried to draw some conclusions. (It's already Sukkoth and Talk Like a Pirate Day, so I decided to blog about this already.). I again noticed that I didn't blog a lot most of the time, but I guess no real disaster occured due to that.

This year I had a lengthy hypomania, which was followed by a period of working a lot on code, and then a period of tiredness and feeling of lethargy (though I was almost always constantly doing something), and now I've started working as a software developer, which keeps me busy. The Hypomania made me realise several things that I have done or thought wrong, so it was not too bad.

This year I finished some books, watched some films, added a lot of content to my home site, and made some new friends online and offline, so I can be proud of myself.

There were a few times, when I got into some trouble or made people angry, especially during the hypomania, but I hope I have drawn the right conclusions.

Shanah Tovah, Gmar Hatimah Tovah, Happy Sukkoth, and Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day to everybody.

Syndicated 2013-09-19 11:45:42 from shlomif

Tech Tip: Tmux: Disabling the Time Display in the Status

tmux is a usable and open source terminal multiplexer (that allows one to run several programs in the same terminal, detach them, split them into windows and viewports, etc.) which I've been happily using after switching to it from GNU screen. Some weeks ago, I noticed that if I keep tmux open in a konsole tab, then eventually that tab got highlighted as modified, even if there was no activity in the tab. I realised the problem had to do with the fact that tmux displays the current time by default.

In order to fix it, you can use a line like the following in your ~/.tmux.conf file:

set -g status-right '#H'

-g applies the assignment globally, and '#H' displays the hostname (and not the time or whatever else is there by default).

While searching for an answer, I ran into the powerline project which provides much more functionality, seems like an overkill for me, but may work for you.

Shanah Tovah to everyone!

Syndicated 2013-09-04 11:06:54 from shlomif

Tech Tip: Disabling Audio or Video in mplayer and VLC

In order to completely disable video in VLC, from the command line, use the --novideo command line flag - this way only the Audio will be heard. To do the same in mplayer, use the -novideo flag. You can do the same for audio using --noaudio and -noaudio respectively.

A different propsoed solution is using -vo none in mplayer or --vo none in VLC, but this causes the video to still be decoded (just not presented) - at least in VLC.

Cheers! You can reuse this entry under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence (see how to comply with it).

Syndicated 2013-07-30 09:00:57 from shlomif

Freecell Solver 3.20.0 was Released: Major Simple Simon Optimisations

Freecell Solver version 3.20.0, has been released. Freecell Solver 3.20.0 is available in the form of a source archive, from the download page. Freecell Solver is an open source framework (library and some command line applications), for automatically solving several variants of card Solitaire / Patience games, including Freecell.

The highlights of this version are some major optimisations to the solving code of Simple Simon, as well as many code cleanups, refactorings and smaller optimisations. Furthermore, the “qualified-seed-improved” preset was added, which yields shorter solutions.


Syndicated 2013-06-26 18:12:00 from shlomif

Freecell Solver 3.18.0 was Released: JavaScript port

Freecell Solver version 3.18.0, has been released. Freecell Solver 3.18.0 is available in the form of a source archive, from the download page. Freecell Solver is an open source framework (library and some command line applications), for automatically solving several variants of card Solitaire / Patience games, including Freecell.

The highlights of this version are the new port to JavaScript, courtesy of the wonderful emscripten compiler from LLVM to JavaScript, that allows Freecell Solver to run inside modern browsers, as well as the fact that the test suite and the relevant now work on 32-bit systems (previously they only worked on 64-bit ones).


Syndicated 2013-05-30 17:39:00 from shlomif

Blog Entry for my 36th Birthday

Being born on 5 May 1977, I turn 36 (= thirty six) on 5 May 2013. 36 is a special number for me in part because it is the square of 6, but more importantly because it is two times of 18. The age of 18 is considered the start of maturity in Israel when Israeli boys and girls gain the right to vote, and are supposed to enroll into the Israeli military, and normally hit sexual maturity at that point. The time I was 18, 19, 20 in 1995-1997, was very influential for me, and now I feel that I have achieved a second maturity.

I feel I have finally reached peace of mind, am enjoying all the little things in life, and can honestly see reality as it is, and see through many lies. Part of my problem was that for a long time I was playing the “Invisible”, which is something I decided to avoid from now on and work on better publicity. A different issue was me thinking of myself as The Eternal Jew, i.e: a profile, or a “god” in the stock exchange of the gods, which was an unhealthy tendency that I finally put to rest in a scene of my screenplay, Selina Mandrake - The Slayer (thanks to the wonderful protagonist there). Finally, yet another problem was that I have not accepted who I am, which is also something that I decided to avoid from now.

If I were ever going to visit Fantastica, the land of imagination, I would need to be very careful from the wrath of the characters of my stories and screenplays, whom I have put to much suffering (but at least all of them, with an exception in The Enemy and How I Helped to Fight it, ended up alive at the end of the stories and happier than ever. However, all this suffering was secondary to my own which involved hypomanias, and even some Manias, which caused some deteriorated health, and unhappiness to my surrounding.

I have decided that from now on, I would like to socialise more. I was told and understood that the lack of socialisation was part of what is causing hypomanias, and the underlying reason behind Bipolar disorder. I have already attended one Science Fiction and Fantasy Conference in Tel Aviv, and it was a wonderful and colourful experience, and also proved a catalyst for coming up with the idea of a screenplay I have written. I want to do stuff like that more often which will hopefully mitigate my hypomanias problem.

On this occasion, I would like to thank the people who helped me and guided me throughout my journey to maturity: my psychotherapist (whom I won't mention by name, but who provided a lot of solid advice), and Dr. David Burns for his excellent book Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy; my friends from the Technion, the Haifa Linux Club, and the Tel Aviv Open Source Club; my friends from the Internet, and my family members for being there when I needed them.

I would also like to thank my characters, who provided a window into my soul and my innermost desires:

  • The ex-Member of the Organisation from my first real novella The Enemy, who was full of mathematical logic and was practically inhuman.

  • The Friends in “The One with the Fountainhead” who were happy to play the characters from Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead while parodying and modernising it along the way. They signified what I was unhappy about the Fountainhead and also my growing interest in romantic relationships.

  • The Human Hacking Field Guide brings us Erisa→Eve, the sexy, mysterious, insurgent, and typical “bad girl” antagonist, who after becoming less of a rebel without a cause, and at the age of 18 felt like she can write her own replacement for In Search of Lost Time, and publish it, and it would be better than the original. Eve, I wish I knew I was reflecting on myself in this respect!

  • From Star Trek: “We, the Living Dead”, we find such characters as Q, my own Q2, Jadzia Dax, and my own Katie Jacobson, who face a mishmash of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Judaism, Julian Jaynes’ Bicameral Mind theory and other Near East history, open source hackerdom, and various Elders of Zion and Illuminati conspiracy theory, and survive to tell the tale, reflecting upon some of the farfetched stuff I thought to be true, during my “Great Mania”.

  • Finally, Selina from Selina Mandrake - The Slayer, handled the various vampires and demons she ran into in a graceful and natural way, and finally put my whole obsession with “The Eternal Jew”/“The Invisible”/“The Slayer”/ “The Dispeller”/“The Free”/etc. to rest. Selina, you are great - I love you!

During this period, I have also started writing Humanity - The Movie, which aims to be a parody of Humanity and modern life in particular, and which I originally imagined as being written and filmed by a Bajoran extraterrestrial who arrived at Earth, also during my “Great Mania”. I also began writing The Pope Died on Sunday, which tells the story of an atheist female graphic designer (and a software developer by training) in Milwaukee, during the summer of the year 2000, reflecting on an old mentality, and finally The Blue Rabbit Log, which is a Crazy Comedy parodying Role-Playing Games, and is based on an old idea of mine.

Anyway, right now, I feel like I have reached some greater and greater enlightenment and am more capable of handling life’s problems as I run into them. I have been realised more that the gods help them that help themselves, that I should be happy of what I am and proud of it, and that the people around me can often be dicks. I also realise now that my relentless policy for honesty and sincerity got me in a lot of trouble, because people don't want to face the Elephants in the room, but that I should still try to be more tactful in the future I also realised many people can often be jerks, and try to hurt you on purpose.

Cheers, and have a great 5 May day.

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Syndicated 2013-05-05 11:18:39 from shlomif

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