This rant was written a mere 3 months before the first iPhone was finally released. I actually did buy one on the first day it was available and was pleasantly surprised to find that Apple really had revolutionized cell phones. The changes that have happened in the cell industry since then have been amazing and delightful to watch, with genuine innovation driving hardware, software, and services to new levels. In hindsight this rant seems shortsighted in light of the changes that were right around the corner, but I like to reread it occasionally to remind myself just how truly bad things were right about then.
I've owned a cell phone for about 7 years now. I'm not a heavy cell user. I only really work
my phone a half-dozen days of the year. And while mobile communication can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat on those days, I've never really felt the dread of disconnectedness when I was without it. But I do demand a certain level of technical functionality from my phones, especially since purchasing a PocketPC-based smartphone in December of 2005.
rocks. It's an elegant alternative for logrotate and it's ilk. It's small app that takes a log file name template as an argument on the command-line and logfile data on STDIN. Cronolog then outputs the log data to a log file with the given name template. The template is a subset of the C
format tokens. But I'm peculiar and even cronolog's meager installation needs are too much hassle for me, so I whipped up a copy in a couple dozen lines of Perl that can be cut and pasted into a new server. It supports an even smaller subset of tokens (those resulting from Perl's
) and a couple features I preferred (like gzipping on closing the log file).
The Trivia-o-matic is a set of tiny perl scripts that can be used to set up an impromptu trivia server for any gathering of geeks sitting around with networked laptops. It was developed during The Sixth Hope (July, 2006)
as an amusement for loungers in the 2nd floor theater. The idea was to
advertise a login/password on a quickly deployed box with an invitation to connect and compete in a trivia challenge. A banner with the current winner(s) and the invitation was displayed on a scrolling LED sign. The code was designed to be simple, with only basic precautions for security, assuming that the system getting hacked might be part of the amusement. It was also designed to be a quick bit of code and only took 6 or so hours to put together, which is reflected in its lack of sophistication.