2007-11-13 11:12

RIP Norman Mailer

He was famous, he wrote 30 books, he got to sleep with Marilyn Monroe, and he still had time to provide some of the best anecdotes ever.

Check them out at 10 Zen Monkeys

2007-11-05 17:34

Coming soon...

I have managed to create the most bizarre way to write a spreadsheet engine in Python.

I still need to polish some things, but here are the highlights:

  • Your formulas compile to C
  • C is inlined using Instant

Yes, that means you edit a cell in the GUI and you need to wait until gcc compiles the thing.

Is it going to be useful? Probably not. Is it cool? I say yeah.

I will polish it somewhat, create a sttandalone engine, and show it here.

2007-11-05 12:23

Dropping BIND, at least a little

One of my customers has about 15000 email accounts.

I use extensively RBLs to keep the unwanted connections to a minimum, and many other spam detection techniques, many of which involve DNS lookups. Plus all the lookups caused by the email of 15000 users.

It turns out that according to our ISP, we were one of the top ten DNS users in their network, and we were killing their servers.

That got fixed, but it seems lately we were killing our own DNS servers, too.

BIND would stop answering to lookups every once in a while and had to be restarted. Since that was annoying, and the software was up to date, and there seemed to be nothing wrong with the configuration, I did what I could think of, and started looking for an alternative.

PowerDNS's recursor works well, is lighter, it's easier, and works like a charm (but you really should use their multi-forward patch).

So, thumbs up for PowerDNS, and I am still keeping BIND for our authoritative zones, at least for a while, since that part seems to still be working correctly.

2007-11-04 11:58

GUI mail clients and suckitude

Maybe I was spoiled by Pine.

Here's how you read your mail using it:

  • Press I to go to the inbox message list.
  • You will see the first unread message.
  • Press R to reply, F to forward, D to delete, I to go back to the inbox.
  • Repeat until you have no more mail.

Yes, this is simplistic, and it's nicer to be able to see the mailbox at the same time as the messages, but you can go through a lot of mail this way.

It's old fashioned and crappy in many ways, but it seems done by people who actually read mail using it.

I am liking kmail well enough for the last year or so, but I decided to check alternatives, just in case I was missing something.

I had heard good things about Claws, a fork of Sylpheed, and it does the same crappy thing most other GUI mail clients do:

  • Open the INBOX.
  • Click on the mail you want to read.
  • You can forward or reply.
  • But if you want to delete... the message list shows that you shifted to the next message, but it won't display. You need to press enter, then wait until it shows (no disconnected IMAP?).

Dude, let me go through my mail fast, please? It's perhaps my most important task of the day, I need to do it every 30 minutes, I need it to be as fast as possible. I want a queue. I want triage.

I see a message, I must either:

  • Delete it because it's useless
  • Reply
  • Forward
  • Tag as important/for later/todo/whatever.
  • Save to another folder

That's it. It's not a difficult workflow!

And I need to do this without waiting for the messages to download one at a time! If I wanted to work that way I would use a freaking webmail.

Kmail lets me do these things. So far, it's the only GUI IMAP client that does.

Anyone has a suggestion for a lightweight IMAP client that works that way?

And no, I am not going to install evolution just to see it I can do the same thing using a larger program that drags half of gnome along :-(

2007-10-25 14:39

Asus sucks at math.

This is just lazy, guys! Anyone who can guess change when buying a pack of mints can guess this better than what you wrote!


Sales figures since the release have been astounding, with 200 pieces snapped up in 20 minutes on Taiwan's shopping channel, ETTV Shopping - averaging an Eee PC sold every two seconds.

Let's see, that would be 200 pieces in 20 minutes, 10 a minute, I guess that's one every 2 seconds plus/minus 4 seconds. Or rather, just plus 4 seconds.

Read the whole Asus press release here.

2007-10-23 19:52

Would you work with this telco?

The largest telco in Latin America. Over 16.5M lines. And they can't configure their freaking DNS correctly.

[[email protected] ~]$ host -t any telmex.com.ar
telmex.com.ar has SOA record ns2.telmex.com.ar. root.telmex.com.ar. 3 36000 3600 3600000 36000
telmex.com.ar name server ns2.telmex.com.ar.
telmex.com.ar name server ns3.telmex.com.ar.
[[email protected] ~]$ host ns2.telmex.com.ar.
Host ns2.telmex.com.ar not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
[[email protected] ~]$ host ns3.telmex.com.ar.
Host ns3.telmex.com.ar not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)

Before you ask, yes, their domain is really telmex.com, but they did register telmex.com.ar and have a lame web redirector at www.telmex.com.ar.

IN fact, according to www.nic.ar, that should be ns2.telmex.net and ns3.telmex.net so it's plain and lame misconfiguration (BTW: what happened to ns1?).

People of Telmex, you can hire me to fix it for you. I won't overcharge you. I will however, snicker a little.

2007-10-18 17:37


No, do not use the alternatives. Use the Yahoo User Interface Rich Text Editor.


  • It's maintained
  • It at least tries to work with all browsers
  • You can use it hosted at yahoo
  • It's nice and easy to use
  • It has an image upload extension already.

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