My foray into using XML and XSLT, and the Perl glue that holds it all together


A singular attempt at making a theme.


Getting a DSL connection to start at bootup


Running Internet Explorer 5.01 on Linux through WINE

The source code for a CGI/Perl script that can transliterate words into alibata. This script is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.


Some kludgy code for a simple hit counter that can also log referrers, figure out user agents, and a bunch of other stuff. CGI is required.

javascript kludges

Client side includes, passing Javascript variables to CGI

random quote script

Yet another CGI random quote generator

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Assorted bit and bytes, mostly bash and perl scripts. Sorry, I am not 31337. I'm not that much of a hacker and I don't know much about cracking, but hopefully this might be slightly useful.

I have been playing with computers since I was 8 years old, when the library branch across the street from my elementary school got some Apple IIcs and allowed open access, and I started programming stupid scrolling ASCII art in BASIC--basically just a list of PRINT statements. My parents got me a Commodore 64 for my birthday when I was 9. In BASIC, I didn't really advance much from the scrolling ASCII art. The one program I ever wrote from scratch was an ASCII Pac-Man-like clone. I'd also hack on programs from Compute!'s Gazette. Eventually, I started playing with LOGO a lot and even learned how to use some of the LISP-like text manipulation primitives. I also learned assembly language for the 6502 CPU. I even tried learning how to program for GEOS, an actual GUI platform for the C64. I still have an old programmer's reference book. Eventually I broke my C64 (by pulling out a cartridge while it was on) and I didn't really touch a computer for a while except to play games.

I didn't move to the x86 platform until 1991. I had gotten tired of having to use a typewriter for all my papers, what with my C64 being broken and all (Yes, I actually did submit papers in elementary school, written in either Speedscript or Geowriter), and luckily my parents agreed to the expense. My first system was a 386/33 with 4 MB of RAM running MS-DOS 4.0 (the extraordinarily buggy version--my disgust with Microsoft began here) and Windows 3.0, and I started writing batch scripts. I got my hands on a copy of Turbo Pascal and started screwing around with that, eventually spending a summer programming a very rudimentary database system for my dad's solo practice.

Believe it or not, I first loaded Linux onto my system before Windows 95 even came out. I tend to see 1994 as a pivotal year for information technology. I swear it was the last year UNIX completely dominated the Internet (so even in Windows, I'd telnet to a campus server and use pine to check my e-mail). It was also the last year MS-DOS was good for anything. Finally, it was the year Netscape came out, and all of the sudden everyone was on the World Wide Web, and people finally stopped using Gopher, and everything shifted from CLIs to GUIs.

But back to Linux. My roommate my freshman year in college liked to download warez, so he needed an ftp client that could interpret control-characters properly, as that was a popular technique for keeping lamerz out. The only way he could do this at the time was by using a UNIX client. So he loaded up Slackware (it had the 1.2 kernel, I think), spent hours getting pppd working, and went merrily on his way downloading megs at a time.

I was amazed. A PPP connection on the console. At the time I had grudgingly moved to using Windows for Workgroups 3.11 full time because I couldn't get my hands on a DOS based networking solution. I hated it, much preferring the command line. And even though I was in Windows, all I really did was use telnet. While NCSA Mosaic existed, it was painfully slow on a 486/50, and you could pretty much get by with lynx anyway. But the campus servers lagged like crazy and I was on a 14.4 kbps dial-up connection. Still, I liked the relative instantaneity of just logging on locally and accessing the net through PPP. So I booted up Slackware, too, learned how to setup PPP from my roommate (so it only took a couple of hours this time), and got on the net.

But dual booting was a pain, and eventually I succumbed to the GUI madness. I had finally gotten to use a Macintosh, and Windows 95 finally came out. I didn't load up Linux again until after I graduated in 1998, starting with Slackware 3.3, then moving onto RedHat 6.0. Wow, it had matured. The only reason I ever needed to use Windows was for playing games. By May 1999, I switched over completely, and LILO booted Linux by default. I haven't had to use Windows on my machine for nearly two years now. And it really has been getting better.

I used to think that GNU/Linux would save the world from Microsoft, but, after dealing with GNOME snafus and its lack of a fast, robust file manager, I think I have a more realistic outlook. Browsing the web is somewhat painful if you want to visit multimedia rich sites, and while Linux will stay up faithfully for weeks at a time, X likes to hog the processor and crash sometimes, though nowhere near as often as Windows. For better, or for worse, I have returned to using the CLI for almost everything. But at least I get to keep by $79 every time a new version of Windows comes out.

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