A coworker received an email the other day, and sent it to me thinking that it was some variation of a unicode failure that plagues me regularly. While it was an encoding failure of sorts, this one was more interesting than your garden-vareity utf-8/ISO8859-1 problem.
Hi! My name is Joël Perras, and I'm a Partner at Fictive Kin.
I write using free range, inorganic electrons. — about me.
I ran into a situation today that was particularly frustrating, but for an interesting reason.
PostgreSQL tables are hard-limited to a maximum of
1600 columns. The limit, as I found out after a bit of digging, is specified in the PostgreSQL source, but it what it does not indicate is which columns are counted.
My name is, in fact, Joël. You’d never guess that, however, from the consistent and diverse ways in which my non-ASCII given name is butchered by web applications, email servers, databases, and overzealous baristas that seem to believe I am the father of Superman.
Amazon Web Services has the ability to serve objects contained within an S3 bucket as a static website. If you want to have
nerderati.com backed by content in S3, you need to have a bucket named
nerderati.com in your AWS account. This is because S3 uses the
Host: header to determine the bucket name, and is unaware of any CNAME/A records that may exist in DNS. What can you do, though, if someone else has already taken the bucket name that you need?
Nearly all of my work requires an internet connection at some point or another, which means that most of the cafés I frequent have some sort of WiFi that I take advantage of. While I’m not generally one to complain about the quality of free WiFi in the small, locally run establishments in my neighbourhood, it does frustrate me that they are often misconfigured to the point where the staff must reset the router every few hours.
I don't know exactly why, but installing science/math/statistics oriented Python packages on OS X has historically been a complete pain in the ass. It seems as though things have improved over the past few years with the development of custom disk images, meta-package installers and other fanciful things, but most of these solutions sacrifice the ability to upgrade the given packages or link against custom builds of supporting libraries due to overly aggressive sandboxing to ensure that things Just Work™.
My favourite days are the ones where I get to solve a seemingly difficult everyday problem with mathematics. A few weeks ago, my friend Andrei came to me via IRC with a question about how to effectively generate groups of beers from his cellar to trade with others.
If you’re anything like me, you probably log in and out of a half dozen remote servers (or these days, local virtual machines) on a daily basis. And if you’re even more like me, you have trouble remembering all of the various usernames, remote addresses and command line options for things like specifying a non-standard connection port or forwarding local ports to the remote machine.
Four years ago when I started using a micro-blogging service, I revelled in the sheer simplicity and low barrier to communicating my thoughts. Blogging, in that era, seemed like a historical vestige on the verge of being consumed and overtaken by the rapid fire, real-time tweets of my peers. I jumped on that bandwagon, and never looked back. Until now.
Ever since I had the pleasure of keynoting at Make Web Not War: For The Web in 2010, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the 2011 edition, which was announced just a few days ago.
Last time, we looked at how one could maintain a persistent session in IRC through the use of a terminal multiplexer (such as screen or tmux) and SSH. While this has the advantage of being very easy to setup, there are a few very obvious disadvantages and trade-offs:
One of the major advantages that IRC has over your ‘traditional’ instant messenger clients is that, with a minimum amount of effort and hardware, you can create a setup that will remain perpetually connected, even when you’re not online.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of git, and of distributed version control in general; they offer a compelling toolset and degree of flexibility that you would be hard pressed to find in a “traditional” centralized version control system.
Sadly, the default installation of Vim on Snow Leopard does not have support for the ruby interpreter compiled in, which is a pre-requisite for using the plugin. Luckily, that’s easy enough to remedy, and in the process we’ll learn a thing or two about compiling your own custom Vim binary.
I’m quite happy to announce that I will be giving the keynote address at this year’s WebNotWar/For The Web conference, taking place on May 27th, 2010.
Some books that I think every nerd should read.
If you were to apply a bijective function to each letter in each word of a language (e.g. English), how many pre-existing words would you obtain in the resulting image?
An explanation of the shebang, and what it means when included in a script. Sometimes, you learn things about tools you use every day.
I’ve been experimenting with a Python+Redis combination (with redis-py) for data analysis on a few side projects lately, and a simple script like this can come in handy when you want to make sure you’re not doing something completely stupid with Redis that gobbles up all of the allocated memory. And yes, I’ve been guilty of doing that on a few occasions.
While a bit late, I’m extremely happy to announce that I have been selected as a speaker for the ConFoo.ca Conference to be held in Montréal at the beginning of March, 2010.