5 Oct 2004 shlomif   » (Master)


I recently had to figure out how to do something with wget: get everything below a directory on the web-server, without following links to outside it. So I logged in to FreeNode's #debian channel, where there are many knowledgable people to ask it. The first answer I got was "RTFM". So, I read the wget man page, but could not find it there. Eventually, after telling people that it would be faster to give an answer, I got a reply ( add the -np -r flags). But this has been the last straw.

I composed my own acronym. Just like RTFM is "Read the Fabulous Manual" and STFW is "Search the Fabulous Web", then JATFM is "Just Answer the Fabulous Man". It means that it's usually faster to answer someone's question than to ask him to RTFM, which is just going to annoy him. I think the RTFM mantra has done a lot of damage in the UNIX/Linux world, and I hope JATFMing would prove to be a more healthy ideology.

Linux T-Shirt Giveaway

One day when I was just returning from my walk, a guy approached me and asked me about my Linux T-shirt, in English. It turned out he was using Linux and FreeBSD, and was interested in such T-Shirts. He was working as a Journalist in an Israeli newspaper, and was using Windows in his workplace.

I invited him to come to my house, and when he did gave him one of my shirts. At first, I thought he was a Medium, but it turned out the Large T-shirt was OK for him. He took off his shirt, and wore the Linux one instead. He gave me his old shirt for me to throw away.

We then went to the computer and exchanged contact information. He called me some hours later, but I was busy, but I think I'll call him back on my own.

Jewish Holidays

Now is the Jewish Holiday Season. First of all - Shana Tova (= Happy New Year) to all Jews and non-Jews. Yom Kippur also came along, so "Gmar Hatima Tova" ("A Good Signing") to all. And finally, Happy Sukoth.

In Israel, many secular Jewish families hold a family dinner on Rosh Hashana. In the States, it seems Jews just go to the synagogue.

Open Letter to the California Governor

I wrote an open-letter to the California Governor regarding the recent report about cutting the California State spending.. It is a bit redundant and the comments there are even more so. Still, I hope the appropriate forces in the California Government will take it to heart. An anecdote about it is that I originally wrote it on paper.

Links of Interest

Read this entry in Omer Zak's Journal (to which I have responded) for something that Omer said about being unwilling to help people who aren't using Debian, and why I proved it was a bad attitude. (it all leads to the ancient and mind-destroying "I'm not getting paid to do open-source work, so my users need to play by my rules" mantra).

There's a very interesting interview with Real Networks' CEO on Slashdot. A highly recommended read. Trying the Real Player 10 for Linux I was very disappointed, though: it's not a drag and drop target, had a very crappy file opening dialog and it could not play mp3's.

There's also a very interesting interview with the U.S. Libertarian Party Candidate. I sure do hope Libertarians take the next elections, and will also add a button to my homepage about it.

Freenode's beth is engaged!

Beth Skwarecki (a.k.a. "beth" on Freenode) has become engaged to her long-time boyfriend now. Congratulations!

It's funny that many people I know my age are already married. Plus, my cousin who's my age already has a baby now. Roy Glasberg, too. And Ben Schmaus already managed to become separated from his wife. And I did not have a girlfriend, yet. Oh well.

Yom Kippur Activity

In Yom Kippur the Jews believe that God measures a person's balance of good and bad deeds and thus determines if he is worthy of living for another year. I am pretty sure, that the values I produced in the recent year (i.e: my good deeds), exceed the values I consumed (i.e: my bad deeds). Nevertheless, I have decided to go over the blog entries I wrote in the past year and see what I did well, what I did wrong, and what I can improve.

First of all, I'd like to say that I was dazzled by all the productive things I did. I certainly can congratulate myself on that. A trend in the past year was for me to also contribute to large-scale, non-individualistic projects like Subversion or GIMP, and I hope to continue in it. My biggest mistake in the past year was the post to the Joel on Software forum about my Technion Grades. I'll know better than that next time.

Article Writing

I wrote a new version of an old article, and sent it to a few selected reviewers. As a result, I received three (!) messages saying they are no longer interested in receiving such articles. I was a bit distressed, but then I understood that I should send the articles to people who volunteered to do so, at first. That's what I did. I posted a notice about it in Whatsup and received several E-mails from people who were interested. (some of the comments simply attacked me, but that is besides the point).

So now I'm sending them messages. So far, I did not receive any reply, but at least I'm not walking on people's toes.


There was a Telux meeting where I gave a lecture about Freecell Solver. There were only two people who attended it besides me, but it was still a lot of fun, and people said it was very interesting.

There was also a TAU-Sec meeting. This time they also bought drinks and refreshments. The first presentation about Intrusion Detection tools was very interesting. In the second one, the speaker was heavily non-fluent, probably because of excitement, so I left early. But there was heavy attendance.

Work on the Home-Site

I've done a lot of work on my home-site lately. Reading from the news I posted about it:

  1. I added the "Stop Software Patents!" nag image to all my pages and a top frame to the front page.
  2. There's a new code for the navigation menu. The old code was an unholy mess, and the new code is a pure Perl one, which makes the nav-menu much easier to maintain.
  3. Thanks to the new navigation menu code, there are now Mozilla/Firefox navigation links, that allow traversing the site page by page. For those who are unfortunate enough not to use these browsers, some rudimentary arrows were added above the navigation menu.
  4. I now have an Uber-kitchy leading path of the page sections and sub-sections at the top.
  5. I'm now giving private lessons in high-school subjects and computer-related topics.

Later on, I added more pages. Things I still need to do are:

  1. Add Alt+P, Alt+N, Alt+U key-bindings to traverse the site.
  2. Add a nice news items summary news box at the top with the site news. Also create an RSS feed for them.
  3. Create a site-map page.


Upgrade to Mandrake 10.1 Community Edition

I downloaded the Mandrake 10.1 CE CDs, and placed all the RPMs in one directory. That's because I did not know where I can find a network repository. Then, I created a urpmi media for them. Afterwards I ran the command urpmi --auto-select --auto overnight. This eventually caused the computer to become unresponsive. (I still blame the Britney Spears wallpaper I placed on IceWM, when I did the installation for that.)

After a reboot, I initiated the command again, this time with a different girl on the desktop. This time it's worked. I rebooted again to use the new kernel, and everything was OK. 10.1 CE is more polished than 10.0 and has fewer bugs. (albeit there are a few new minor ones). I'm very happy with it.

For the occasion of the upgrade, I changed all the wallpapers of the virtual workspaces. Desktop 1 now has a picture of Jaime Pressly. Desktop 2 now has a photograph of a squirrel that ladypine took in her last OLS trip. Desktop 3 has a picture of Beth (see above). Desktop 4 has a 3-D model of a tree with a reflection in the lake, out of the Book of Beginnings. Desktop 5 still carries the picture of Melissa Joan Hart with the background of automn leaves. Desktop 6 has a picture of a Chinese girl from a computer game (found in the Unforgotten Realms Wallpapers). Desktop 7 has a photo of Kate Beckinsale. And Desktop 8 has a picture of Charisma Carpenter covered in the American Flag.

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