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Shlomi Fish’s Homepage

About this Site

Hi all, and welcome to the personal website of Shlomi Fish. I am an Israeli software developer, and writer of stories, articles, essays and presentations.

You can explore the site using the navigation bar to the left. Alternatively, you can traverse it page-by-page using the arrows at the top. There’s also a news feed for what is new on the site, which is updated periodically.

Here are some of the things you can find here:

Humour

You can read many shorter bits I have written, a collection of original aphorisms and quotes, factoids about people and things (Chuck Norris/etc.), and a large collection of quotes by myself and others.

If you do not lack the patience for reading longer texts, you can read large-scope humorous stories (novellas) and screenplays, which I have written. The first one is The Enemy and How I Helped to Fight It, which is a political satire, inspired by Middle Eastern politics, but with more universal messages. I also wrote The One with the Fountainhead, an episode of the television show Friends which parodies the book The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I consider it my funniest piece yet. You can also read The Human Hacking Field Guide, which is a not-so-realistic realism about teenagers who are open-source enthusiasts, but with many jokes.

Star Trek: “We, the Living Dead” is a screenplay for a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, in which the true essence of the Q Continuum is revealed, and we meet Living Dead, “Vampires” and Qs. The screenplay Selina Mandrake - The Slayer is a Buffy parody, in which Selina Mandrake, a female Anglo-American high school senior in 2011-2012, discovers she is none other than The Slayer, and a lot of fun ensues. It has many ties with “We, the Living Dead”.

The last screenplay that I completed is Summerschool at the NSA, in which two Hollywood actresses conspire to kick the ass of the NSA, using special warfare that is completely non-violent.

I have some other unfinished stories.

Articles and Essays

You can read various essays and articles I wrote about politics, software development and software management, the Internet, psychology, and ideology.

Open Source Software

Links to software I wrote, and some resources with links to other software. Knock yourself out!

Presentations

You can find several technical presentations I have written or maintain here. Especially recommended is the Perl for Newbies series introducing the Perl programming language to absolute beginners.

Puzzles and Riddles

Some pages with Mathematical problems, with Logic puzzles and with other riddles. Some of these pages require a MathML-enabled browser.

Computer Art

You can find my lame attempts for art which I prepared, in the art section which includes graphic designs, photographs, and one piece of music.

There are many links on the site, but I also concentrated many of them in one place. Who doesn’t like links?

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy my web-site. If you do, please link here, recommend it to your friends, and drop me a line that you enjoyed it.

News

11-Nov-2013: 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.

See comments and comment on this.

26-Apr-2013: New Story: The Earth Angel; Soviet reversal jokes; new text in The Pope and in Selina Mandrake; “Put

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

  1. There is a new story titled The Earth Angel which I have started to write:

    Dr. Alan Stein (Attn.) had not seen that side of Samantha before. As they sat there in the Chinese restaurant, two days before Ari, their system administrator, left for a trip to Israel, Samantha was emitting a lot of profanity, and sharing her frustrations of her life and the world. Dr. Stein was beginning to regret the fact that he had agreed to comply with Ari’s wishes, and invite her to lunch with them.

    Samantha Rodriguez was the newest hire at Alan’s law firm - a brilliant attorney in her early thirties, who looked great, was always groomed, and got a lot of work done, despite the fact that she almost never stayed overtime, and also took many days off. One fly in the ointment was the fact that she was single, sexy, and kept asking her co-workers out on dates, or accepting their own invitations. As much as Dr. Stein agreed that she had been a good hire, he was desperately trying to avoid interacting with her.

    “Anyway, I ended up telling my friend, Jasmine, who can be a real bitch sometimes, to fuck off, and deal with her troubled life herself. I simply ran out of patience.” she said.

    “Bravo!” Ari said while clapping his hands. “By the way, Samantha, how did you become a lawyer?”

    “Oh, that's a long story.” she said while playing with her fork.

    “And we’ve got time to hear it, right Mr. Stein?”

    “Yes, I guess we do.” Dr. Stein answered.

    “Well, I studied Linguistics as my B.A.,” Samantha said “and by the time I graduated, my head was filled with vocabulary, and to a lesser extent - grammatical rules, my heart was broken from many heartbreaks, and I didn’t know what to do with the rest of my life. I ended up narrowing it to three options: 1. Find a paying job - as a programmer or whatever else I could land. 2. Stay in the academia, studying for a Masters and/or a Ph.D. and — 3. Go to law school. I figured out fucking Med School was never my thing.”

    “Anyway, after consulting it with my friends, I became even less capable of knowing what to do. So I did the logical thing - I rolled a die.”

    “A die?” Ari said.

    “Yes, a ten-sided die or a 1d10 in role-playing game parlance. That’s usually what I use. It landed on the law school option, so that’s what I decided to pursue.” Samantha said.

    “So, you placed your fate in the hand of chance?” Ari asked

    “Yes, I did. Nothing wrong with doing that, if you ask me.”

    “Well, everyone say you are an excellent attorney.” Ari noted.

    “So they do.” Samantha said, “Maybe they are right.”

  2. The translation of the already written part of my story, The Pope Died on Sunday is now complete:

    Rachel contemplated how to start the conversation.

    “So how did you become an infrastructures engineer?” Rachel asked.

    “Well, ever since I was young, I wanted to be a plumber.” Greg replied.

    “A plumber? Seriously?” Rachel said with astonishment.

    “Yes. Very strange, but what can I do — that is what I wanted to be.” Greg said, “I spent a large part of the summer vacations being an apprentice for plumbers and enjoyed every moment. Anyway, after I graduated from high school, I was planning to go through a plumbing training course and to get my qualification. But my father approached me and told me: ‘Greg, my son, I have, thank God, enough money so you study what you want in university. So why not exploit that? If you want, you can become a plumber who graduated from university.’”

    And he went on: “So I agreed with him, but decided to study the closest thing to plumbing: civil engineering with a specialisation in the engineering of water and sewerage infrastructures. And surprisingly I realised that a large part of it was quite interesting.”

    “So did you become a qualified plumber eventually?” Rachel queried.

    “Yes, I passed the course. But I still got a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and that’s what I prefer to do.”

    “Hmmm…” Rachel said “Finding a good plumber in this day and age, to say nothing of one who is a university graduate, is hard.”

    “Well, I cannot testify that I’m a good plumber. A person cannot testify for his own qualities.” Greg replied.

    “Well, even a bad plumber is good enough for certain needs.” said Rachel and witnessed Greg bursting into laughter.

  3. There are some new or extended scenes in Selina Mandrake - The Slayer:

    [ Selina is sitting next to her computer at home with Firefox browsing the Hebrew Wikipedia. She keeps highlighting words and hovering over them to find translations using a Firefox extension.

    There is a signal, and the Pidgin icon in the status bar starts blinking. Selina clicks it. ]

    Mosheh Ben-Amram: [on IM] Hello, Selina! How are you doing, today?

    Selina: I’m fine. Trying to contribute to the Hebrew Wikipedia. These Affixes are driving me crazy.

    Mosheh Ben-Amram: Heh, עברית קשה שפה, but there are worse.

    Mosheh Ben-Amram: האם את מדברת עברית? [= “Do you speak Hebrew?”]

    Selina: Qtsath, or as new speakers will say Qetsath. Heh.

    Mosheh Ben-Amram: Yes, one of the first words you have to learn to say, and it’s already a Shibboleth.

    Selina: Emeth. [= "True."]

    Selina: BTW, are you actually Mosheh Ben-Amram (= Moses) the Hebrew prophet?

    Mosheh Ben-Amram: I won’t deny that I am.

    Selina: Hah!

  4. I added a page of “In Soviet Russia” factoids:

    • In Soviet Russia, cats own you. No, wait! Cats own you everywhere.

    • In Soviet Russia, superstition believe in you. (Sawyer X)

    • In Soviet Russia, food tastes YOU! (Leuthihi)

  5. “Freecell Solver Enterprises™ Acquires Google Inc.” - a breaking news story published on 1 April 2013:

    1 April, 2013, Tel Aviv, Israel: Due to the spectacular commercial success of Freecell Solver Enterprises™’s Enterprise Edition and its Webscale™ edition, we have amassed quite a bit of cash in the bank, so we decided to make a small but important strategical acquisition. As a result, Freecell Solver Enterprises™ is proud to announce its upcoming acquisition of Google Inc., which will result in an exciting synergic merger.

    Some of the upcoming changes would be replacing Google’s tech support (which is notoriously bad) by Freecell Solver Enterprises™’s world-famous and superb tech support (as detailed in the essay “Seven steps to remarkable customer service” by Joel on Software), as well as integrating Google search into Freecell Solver™ for an enhanced experience in solving Freecell. We are also planning on creating a separate YouTube top-level category for card Solitaire-related videos (including screencasts and presentations).

    Another one is “Announcing New Israeli Usergroups”.

  6. There are some new sections in my essay “Putting all the Cards on the Table (2013)”:

    During the Middle Ages, the apprentices of craftsmen graduated to become masters, and started their own shops, at a much younger age than 18. Today, most people graduate from high school at that age, and are expected to remain disadvantaged until then. There isn’t a good reason why the youth of today should not be able to make useful contributions to arts, sciences, philosophy, and entertainment, despite their young age and inexperience.

    Here are some examples:

    1. Dmitri Gaskin is a core developer of both jQuery and Drupal and gave a talk about jQuery on Google Tech Talks, while being 12 years old.

    2. Maria Aragon was 10 years old when she was recorded performing a cover of Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way”, which has received over 50 million views on YouTube as of April 2013 (and which I like better than the original).

    3. Much previously, Samantha Smith changed the fate of the cold war, when being 10 years old, by the simple act of writing a letter.

    4. In the 18th century, Carl Friedrich Gauss started making important contributions to mathematics from a very early age.

    Our contemporary culture sort of expects kids (what Americans refer to as children, “pre-teens”, and “teenagers”) to remain “innocent”, naïve and inexperienced, and immature, and, as a result, most of them behave accordingly.

  7. The abstract to my yet unwritten novella “The Road to Heaven is Paved With Bad Attentions” is now partly translated to English.

  8. There are new quotes in the collection of Unix-like fortune cookies:

    An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, “Ah, you’re an engineer. You are in the wrong place.”

    So, the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell, and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy.

    One day, God calls Satan up on the telephone and says with a sneer, “So, how’s it going down there in hell?”

    Satan replies, “Hey, things are going great. We’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.”

    God replies, “What? You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake. He should never have gotten down there; send him up here.”

    Satan says, “No way. I like having an engineer on the staff, and I’m keeping him.”

    God says, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue.”

    Satan laughs uproariously and answers, “Yeah, right. And just where are you going to get a lawyer?”

  9. Many meaningful <meta name="description" /> tags were added to the pages to help with the descriptions in search engine results.

  10. I added a set of links to all the pages referring to my online presence elsewhere on the web, such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Reddit.

See comments and comment on this.

09-Apr-2013: New on Shlomi Fish’s Homepage: Summerschool at the NSA the screenplay + New Factoids

Here are the recent updates for Shlomi Fish’s Homepage. This time, the highlight is some interesting new content.

  1. Summerschool at the NSA, subtitled “As the sling shoots, grown-up men will sob”, is a screenplay, which I completed and is in a usable condition. The Hollywood actresses Sarah Michelle Gellar (of Buffy fame) and Summer Glau (of xkcd notability) conspire to kick the ass of the NSA (= the United States government’s National Security Agency), while using special warfare that is completely non-violent:

    [ Black screen, SMG’s (= Sarah Michelle Gellar’s) voice, while emulating her daughter. ]

    SMG: Humpty dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty dumpty had a great fall. And all the King's horses, and all the King's men could not put Humpty together again.

    [ Screen showing SGlau (= Summer Glau) laughing. SMG and she are sitting at a diner together. ]

    SGlau: [Stops laughing.] Oh my God, Sarah, your daughter’s so smart.

    SMG: And… funny!

    SGlau: Yes. Well, what does she like aside from Mother Goose?

    SMG: Oh, she loves My Little Pony. She and I watch it almost every week together.

    SGlau: Wow, you're a pega-sister, too?

    SMG: I'm not addicted to My Little Pony. I swear! I can quit any time. Just let me watch one… more… episode. [giggles]

    SGlau: Hah, hah. For your information, my My Little Pony addicts’ support group meets every second and fourth Saturday of the month, and I am currently at step five of our twelve step program.

    SMG: Sounds like a plan. I'll consider joining.

  2. There are brand new factoids page of Clarissa Darling Facts (from the old Television show Clarissa Explains It All) as well as new Buffy facts and Chuck Norris facts in the factoids collection:

    • Tomorrow never dies, unless Chuck Norris volunteers to take it out of its misery.

    • The Chuck Norris of the Buffyverse, has been secretly training under Buffy’s supervision, and so far - lost every battle with her.

    • Clarissa Darling can start from “I think therefore I am” and prove that the grass is green, that there are about 365 days in a year, and that Isaac Newton formulated the Law of Gravitation back in 1687.

  3. I added a page about my nickname, “Rindolf” and its etymology, as well as about Rindolfism, which is my philosophy.

  4. There are some new quotes in the UNIX-like fortune cookies’ collections:

    I recall discussing Buffy with a Jewish American friend, who used to be secular, and now has become an observant Jew, and married a woman who properly converted to Orthodox Judaism, and they have some children. We discussed the fact that Sarah Michelle Gellar was Jewish, and yet that many men (and some Lesbian women) were more attracted to Alyson Hannigan’s character, Willow Rosenberg, who was a shy and sheepish, redhead, Jewess. Then when I mentioned that Hannigan was only a maternal Jew, he said she is “kosher” (because someone whose mother is Jewish and who did not convert to a different religion, is a bona-fide Jew). I found it amusing that you refer to women by the same word as you do to food, but I think the ancient Hebrew word "kasher" also means "approved", "appropriate", "legal", etc.

    In any case, both Hannigan and Gellar are now married, and so trying to separate between them and their husbands is not kosher. ;-)

  5. Finally, the main navigation menu sports a new and more usable CSS style thanks to the great work of Joe Crawford. Thanks, Joe!

See comments and comment on this.

23-Mar-2013: New on Shlomi Fish’s Homepage: Selina Mandrake, NSA/Buffy/Chuck Norris facts, Yachar's Music

Here are the recent updates for Shlomi Fish’s Homepage. This time, the highlight is a lot of interesting new content.

  1. I have started writing a comprehensive essay titled “Putting all the Cards on the Table (2013)”, which is also syndicated as a blog post on my Unarmed but Still Dangerous blog. Here is the abstract for it:

    What is the problem with the Technion and why is it graver in M.I.T., and why you should watch the film Silver Linings Playbook to realise why it's not a problem? Why was the David who fought Goliath a hacker, and what is the difference between a tragic hero and an action hero? What was the second major battle that Chuck Norris lost? What are the machines that can give us questions (and lots of them)? Why not exerting a mental effort will make matters go from bad to worse? Who was the Jennifer Lawrence of Web 1.0? And what were my two greatest mistakes, which you should not duplicate?

    I got tired of truly intellectual people like me speaking in riddles all the time and kinda lying to themselves and to others in their artworks, and hiding a lot of what they know, so I decided to put all the cards I have now on the table in a big tour-de-force. It's not finished yet, but still usable, and there's more to come. Not a perfect essay, and not for everyone, but imperfect and sweet.

  2. There is an ongoing English translation of my old and incomplete story “The Pope Died on Sunday”.

  3. Much more text has been added to Selina Mandrake - The Slayer (a Buffy parody) and it is now in a usable condition:

    [ There are three young men dressed as Klingons who fight with Bat’leth in the park. Selina is passing by and shakes her head in disapproval. The three notice Selina, and quickly run to her. ]

    Warrior #1: Hail The Slayer, we are but your humble slaves!

    Selina: [Shocked] And who might you be?

    Warrior #1: We are The Three - three vampire brother warriors, who have been fighting since the dawn of time.

    Selina: And you are Klingons…

    Warrior #2: We can assume any form.

    Warrior #1: Yes, we can fight using any weapon, and we are masters of them all.

    Selina: so you can fight with something that’s not a Bat’leth?

    Warrior #1: Of course, for example, we could fight using the Huge Sword!

    Warrior #2 and Warrior #3: Yeah, the Huge Sword!

    The Three: [in unison] Huge Sword!

    [ Warrior #1 snaps his fingers, and some of these ridiculously large swords from World of Warcraft appear on the ground. ]

    Selina: Wow, can you fight using them?

    The Three: [non-dramatically] Eh, eh, we cannot lift them.

    Selina: Guess not. [Puts her palm on her eyes.] Maybe try something smaller and not as heavy.

  4. In addition, there are many enhancements to the section of the page, including a page about who I think should play the characters in the screenplay, and an Ebook available for purchase.

  5. There are two new pages with facts about people and things:

    1. NSA Facts - about the United States’ National Security Agency:

      • The NSA knows what you did last summer. But no one, in the NSA or outside it, knows why they should.

      • The more the NSA think, the less they want to be able to think. So they think less and less.

      • First the NSA ignores “silly” Internet memes, then they laugh at them, then they are unable to fight them, and then they lose.

    2. Facts about Buffy Summers from the Television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

      • Buffy will always find a wooden stake to slay vampires, even if it means she will have travelled 100 years back in time, to plant a tree nearby.

    Extra additions to these or other collections of facts would be welcome.

  6. There's a mirrored bit Freecell Solver™ Goes Webscale.

  7. I have placed Yachar’s old music from Jamendo.com on my homepage, because they appear to have been removed from Jamendo.

  8. There’s a new page with a partial list of some of my favourite online musicians.

  9. The Chuck Norris Facts page contains more facts and translations of some of the facts to Hebrew:

    • Chuck Norris helps the gods that help themselves.

    • Chuck Norris can make East and West meet.

  10. There's a section of reception on the front page of the essay The Eternal Jew with a combined captioned image/meme.

  11. I have placed the sources for the stories and screenplays in self-contained distributed version control repositories (DVCS) - mostly on my GitHub account, and they contain mostly self-contained build systems. You can find links to their repositories on their appropriate pages.

See comments and comment on this.

28-Dec-2012: What’s New on Shlomi Fish’s Homepage

Here are the recent updates for Shlomi Fish’s Homepage. Most of the work this time was done on the look, feel, and infrastructure of the site, such as the navigation menus, but there is still some new (and hopefully interesting) content. So without further ado, here is what is new:

  1. The main navigation menu to the right now comprises of most of the pages that were navigable and previously were present only in the section navigation menus. Since its HTML markup was quite excessive, I decided to load most of the content using an AJAX (= “Asyncrhonous JavaScript And XML” or “XMLHTTPRequest”) fetch of a JSON document, while keeping a smaller subset still usable as plain HTML for browsers with JavaScript disabled and for search engines and other web user agents.

    I made sure that the expansion state of the navigation menu is preserved between the pages. Moreover, the much maligned section navigation menus are now hidden by default, but can be enabled using the button and should remember their state between pages.

  2. There is a new HTML Tutorial in Hebrew under work. Currently, there is only one section, and some aspects of it are lacking.

  3. There is a new list of text processing tools and a list of networking clients in the software resources section.

  4. I added new quotes to the fortune cookies collection:

    • Yaakov: I LOVE YOU ALL WITH A GREAT HUGE LOVE
    • rindolf: Yaakov: HOW MUCH DOES YOUR GREAT HUGE LOVE COST?
    • Yaakov: It's on offer half price today.
    • rindolf: Yaakov: I WILL OFFER YOU 200,000 VIRTUAL DOLLARS FOR YOUR GREAT HUGE LOVE.
    • Yaakov: The regular price is free of charge.
    • rindolf: Yaakov: oh nice.
    • * rindolf buys Yaakov's GREAT HUGE LOVE.
    • rindolf: I LOVE YOU ALL WITH YAAKOV'S GREAT HUGE LOVE.
  5. The third version of my essay “Open source, Free software, and Other Beasts” is now live. It was converted from DocBook 4 to DocBook 5 and greatly enhanced.

  6. Also new is the countdown program which is similar to the UNIX sleep command, only displays the amount of time remaining.

  7. There’s a new and open source solver for the so-called “Binary Puzzles”. It is still incomplete.

  8. There is a new geek song parody (under work) titled “Can I SCO Now?” sang to the music of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s “Can I Go Now?”:

    Can I SCO now?
    Sue who you wanna sue,
    it doesn't matter anyhoo,
    it's time to litigate.
    Can I SCO Now?
    Say what you wanna say,
    we don't care anyway,
    we're going to inflate.

    Can I, can I, SCO now….

  9. I now mirror The Fountainhead’s parody “The Fountainhead Starring Skull Force”, whose original link went offline, but which I was able to find a mirror of. Enjoy.

  10. There are now a page with some links against Java and a page with some links against “SOAP”.

  11. Support for the MathJax JavaScript library was added to the pages in the MathVentures section enabling most modern JavaScript-enabled browsers to pretty view the mathematical formulae there.

  12. There are some new additions to the original Aphorisms and Quotes page:

    The English Wikipedia: now you don’t see it - now you do.

  13. I restored the display of the images in my “There are Too Many Ways to Do it” lightning talk.

See comments and comment on this.

03-Oct-2012: What’s New on Shlomi Fish’s Homepage

Here are the recent updates for Shlomi Fish’s Homepage. The first item of note is that I implemented an automated test suite for the site, with a test for lack of trailing whitespace, and a spell checking test (powered by Text::Hunspell and Hunspell). The many problems pointed by these checkers were fixed, resulting in a very large patch to review this time.

Aside from the spelling corrections, here are the items of interest:

The meta section now has a section navigation menu.

I added the incomplete geek parody song “I’m the Real Tim Toady”:

May I have your attention, please?
May I have your attention, please?
Will the real Tim Toady please match up?
I repeat: will the real Tim Toady please match up?
We’re going to have two problems here.

jnoakes’ page about Graduate Student Jokes, which I have enjoyed, and which has gone offline, has been restored on the site:

You know you’re a grad student when…

  • you can identify universities by their internet domains.
  • you are constantly looking for a thesis in novels.
  • you have difficulty reading anything that doesn't have footnotes.
  • you understand jokes about Foucault.
  • the concept of free time scares you.
  • you consider caffeine to be a major food group.
  • you've ever brought books with you on vacation and actually studied.
  • Saturday nights spent studying no longer seem weird.

A page with a List of Text Processing Tools has been added to the software resources sub-section.

There are new additions to the Aphorisms and quotes collection:

If it isn’t in my E-mail, it doesn’t exist. And if the whole world says one thing and E-mail says another, Email will conquer

(Said to me in a private conversation by an Israeli Linux enthusiast.)

There are also some new quotes in the Chuck Norris Facts page:

Chuck Norris is the reason why the Knights who until Recently Said “Ni”, are no longer saying “Ni”.

Finally, there are some new fortune cookies:

Enjoy!

See comments and comment on this.

14-Jun-2012: New and Updated Material on My Homepage

Here are the recent updates for Shlomi Fish’s Homepage. There are quite a few changes this time.

The humorous document “It’s not a Fooware - it’s an Operating System.”, mostly written by me, was restored from the perl.net.au wiki which is currently down:

Lots of people heard Emacs haters complain that “Emacs is not an editor - it’s an operating system” or something along these lines. So here we're trying to concentrate other such programs that are no longer limited only to their original purpose, but rather expanded to cover lots of other stuff. So you'll know that Emacs is not alone.

I also added a a new aphorism:

We agree. But do we agree to agree?

There are some new Factoids:

If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad will go to the mountain. If the mountain will not come to Chuck Norris, then the mountain will suffer Norris’s wrath for not complying with his whims.

And there are also some new fortune cookies:

  • Su-Shee: SO I TURNED TO YOU FOR HELP IN TIMES OF DESPERATION…
  • Botje: desperation is for wimps
  • anno: prosperation?
  • Altreus: deprecation is an outdated concept and we prefer not to do it
  • Su-Shee: let’s deprecate deprecation.
  • alpha--: agreed.
  • alpha--: oh wait.
  • Su-Shee: that would be a deprecation
  • rindolf: Who will watch the watcher?
  • rindolf: Who will deprecate deprecation?
  • Su-Shee: shouldn’t someone deprecate the deprecator in that case?
  • * rindolf deprecates the deprecator who is deprecating deprecation.
  • Altreus: that's OK, it's not deprecated yet

I found many typos in the fifth part of the Perl for Perl Newbies series before and during giving the talk at the Tel Aviv Perl Mongers and also prepared some notes for it in Hebrew (which can be found in the series’s front page).

The Transcript of the Perlcast interview with Tom Limoncelli, about his book Time Management for System Administrators has been restored from the currently offline perl.net.au wiki:

Josh: Getting back to where we had started on that planning your day at the beginning of the day, before you check your email. You claim there, that whenever you're prioritising your activities, you really only need three categories and not, you know, a top-ten list, or anything like that. Could you explain that a little?

Tom Limoncelli: that comes from the fact that I used to try to really be specific about the priorities of my action items. So I put something in my to-do-list, and I'd say well, you know I'm ranking their importance from 0 is not important, and a 100 is the world is going to explode if I don't do it right now. And I spent so much time calculating "Wow, is this more like a 63 or a 67, is it a 67? Wow!". And I just spent so much time trying to get an exact priority. In some cases, the task would have been done already. You know I've spent too much time prioritising.

I'm not sure where I picked this up, but someone recommended three priorities: A - it's due today; B - it's important; and C - everything else. Generally, if it's a day where I have any A's at all - that's all I'll be working on. And the way projects go, I'm generally working on that for the whole day. So that's sort of the exception. Most of the time I'm working on B's, which are things that are important, and C's are sort of those would-be-nice-kind-of-things.

And the nice thing about breaking it into this a simple A, B, C priority scheme is that first of all, you're spending less time picking your priority. And secondly, when you're planning your day, in that 5-minute planning period, you can look at your tasks and say "You know, I wanna work 8 hours today, I have one hour of meetings, so I'm down to 7 hours", and then you can look at your tasks and say "Is this more than 7 hours worth of work?". Because it's written, I can start actually doing this kind of planning, and say "That's more like 14 hours worth of work, so those C priorities and B priorities - I'm gonna move them to the next day's to-do-list." Or maybe, OK, I have time for my A's and my B's and the C's get moved.

The third version of my essay, “The Case for Drug Legalisation”, is now live, with several major improvements. They are in large part, thanks to someone who commented on my essay, and allowed me to use their text, and who chose to remain anonymous.

I have set up project pages for MikMod, a module files player, which I now maintain, and for Website META Language, a sophisticated HTML preprocessor, which I have also been maintaining and recently released its 2.2.0 version.

Also in the software section is a How to Contribute to my Projects sub-section with a concentrated and ongoing “HACKING” document.

And, naturally, there are also many smaller enhancements, such as new links, fixes for broken links, new <meta name="description" /> tags, and corrections of typos. I’ve also moved the site’s version control repository from a Subversion repository that required a username and password to access to a publicly-accessible Mercurial repository. More details can be found on the Site's Source Code page.

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