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Walter's Log

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Wednesday 24 September 2003
mpurge fix; ad thoughts
2:00pm: Oops. One of my whitelists didn't trigger yesterday. Turns out my trailing-comment stripper wasn't stripping the whitespace between the email address and the octothorp, so the address didn't match. Ah well, it was just a Palm newsletter anyway. Fixed now.
No response yet to my ad. I wonder if I should try something more like "HTML Doctor and scalability maven will make your Web site fast, functional, and error free. I'll fix the mess left by your previous 'designer.'"

Tuesday 23 September 2003
Ad copy
9:00am: Chronicle ad is fixed:
APPLESCRIPT on Mac, Perl on Unix, HTML on anything. Creative, resourceful, and innovative problem solver and long term thinker. Respectful of the user. Macintosh & Unix only. Avail pm's 2-6pm. Call Walter @ 415-929-9778.
Category: Jobs - Persons Seeking Jobs

Monday 22 September 2003
Ad fix; PRE workaround
7:30am: Chronicle ad corrections are in, and will show up tomorrow.
5:30pm: I discovered what triggers the Safari bug, so now I have a workaround (see bottom of test page for details).
I will apply the workaround to this page, but not just yet so as to reduce the possibility of people writing in and saying "Huh? What bug? Looks fine to me." :-)

Sunday 21 September 2003
Chron ad up
10:00am: Eeeek. The down side of placing an ad over the telephone is that you end up with misspelled words. I need to make 3 corrections, and must wait for Monday morning to call them in. I actually hope no one has seen it yet, as it makes me look like an idiot ("MAC", "Pearl", and "MacIntosh" must be replaced with "Mac, "Perl", and "Macintosh"). Sigh. The rep was supposed to send a confirmation by email Friday, but it never came. Maybe she misspelled my domain name...

Saturday 20 September 2003
Calendar box
3:30pm: I've updated the style of the calendar box on this page. Unfortunately Safari 1.0 has a bug which miscalculates the width of the PRE element, which is why you'll see excess whitespace if you're using that browser/version. Opera and Mozilla render it with the correct width; I'm sending a bug report to Apple.
For those interested: The bug appears if you have a container element nested within a PRE element, and you have "too many" characters in the content. In the case of my calendar box, the nested element is a SPAN around the days-of-week line. If I reduce the number of characters (such as by deleting the spaces), the PRE width decreases. This appears to be a math bug, so it should be easy for Apple to fix. (I wonder if it occurs in Konqeror, too?)
Update: I've set up a test page with examples.
Update: I asked about Konqueror on comp.windows.x.kde; looks like only Safari has the bug.

Friday 19 September 2003
Chron ad
1:30pm: I called the Chronicle and got a much better rate for my ad: $93 for 10 days. It starts this Sunday. It's also shorter, yet says basically the same thing.

Saturday 30 August 2003
New Subpage Header; Learning Annex
3:00pm: Note the new "Subpage Header" at the top of this page: it now incorporates a logo linked to the home page, and provides a space for my pseudo-random quote generator. Ever since I wrote the quote script I'd been unable to decide whether to place the quote box above or below the page header, and I finally solved that dilemma by making it an integral part of the header. Neat, huh? I did have to give up the fancy concaved corners of the gold header's earlier incarnation, but it was really too fancy for some pages anyway (like using champagne glasses for Kool-Aid). Now it's more of an "industrial" gold, but perhaps that will evoke a sense of a solid foundation.
10:00pm: I attended a Learning Annex class tonight, "How to Write Hit Songs: And Get Them Published" by music publisher and "song placer" Jason Dauman. Lots of great tips and, uh, reality checks. <g> This was very important -- and timely -- for me, so I feel a bit better about missing the final Dark Shadows Festival in New York.

Friday 22 August 2003
mpurge.pl, cont'd
1:00pm: I was going to place a print ad in the Chronicle but they want over $300 for a 4-line minimum, 2 days. That's insane. They do have "Web Ads" at $75 for 30 days, so I'll go with that instead. And do craig's list, too.
11:00pm: I asked on RIPE's Anti-spam Working Group mailing list how I might make some money with my script. I'm getting some interesting responses.

Thursday 21 August 2003
mpurge.pl, cont'd
2:00am: I still had some editing to do on the mailbox file, but some lines were too long to read in pico, so I had to quickly learn the basics of vi and edit my file before downloading to Eudora.

Wednesday 20 August 2003
mpurge.pl deployed!
11:00pm: At last my spam-purge script is debugged (thanks to Dave for technical assistance) to the point where I have now installed it on my main ISP account to run on my real, live mailbox file!
11:30pm: Wow! Lookee here -- 33.6 megabytes of mail reduced to 4.1 megabytes. With approximately 90% of my incoming mail being spam, and mpurge deleting 87%, that's about what, 95% coverage? Not too shabby. :-)

Monday 18 August 2003
FTP is back
11:45am: At last my static IP addresses (five via SBC) are active. Now I've got my router up, my FTP server up, my download page updated for the new IP address, and the "FTP is down" status message removed. Whew! Now let's see if AppleTalk is properly diverted to Ethernet so I can print... ah, good. Computer systems are all back to normal.
And my spam-purge script has reached the debug stage! :-)
Hey, how's this for a newspaper ad?:
AppleScript on Mac, Perl on Unix, HTML on anything. Creative, resourceful, innovative problem-solver and long-term thinker; respectful of the user. I touch MS Windows only for x-platform testing; real work requires a Macintosh (and Unix for a Web server). Available afternoons 2-6pm. Call Walter, 415-929-9778.
Now to update my résumé. (Ugh.)

Thursday 14 August 2003
More on plan; mpurge.pl
4:00pm: I printed out a new banner for my guitar case:
"Don't quit your day job."
Oh, now they tell me.
Got Perl? Got Mac?
Available M-F 2pm-6pm.
I am also writing a rap-song rendition of a cover letter. :-)
7:00pm: I am now about 98% finished my spam-purge script, which will remove about 90-95% of spam from my mail spool. Already coded are the following portions:
  • Read mailbox file and loop through all messages.
  • For each message, extract headers into an associative array. Some headers get special treatment; Content-Type has any parameters removed for easy matching (although any such header can be accessed in full via raw:headername), and pseudo-headers 'senders', 'recipients', 'bad_date', and several parameters from content-type and content-disposition are added.
  • Header fix for ET Newsletter.
  • Whitelist and blacklist preloading and parsing.
  • English-syntax rules file (like AppleScript or xTalk languages).
  • Rules file preloading and parsing.
  • User Interface for VT100 status display in Unix shell (see screenshot).
  • Status updating using the UI.
  • Comparisons of filter rules to message headers.
Remaining to do:
  1. Finish loop-exit logic in RuleAction routine.
  2. Write log-to-file routine.
  3. Finish ProcessMessage routine.
  4. Dot i's and cross t's.
  5. Future: create real-time version to kill spam before it reaches the inbox (will use the same support files). Also add support for external plug-ins to provide various transformations, such as stripping MIME parts or fixing headers.
See sample rules file.

Wednesday 13 August 2003
New plan
9:00pm: I called my singer/songwriter/guitarist friend-for-24-years Lin Giliberti. She gave me some suggestions, one of which was to perform in the financial district at lunchtime and another which was to supplement my income with a part-time job. So now my new plan is to perform at Fisherman's Wharf from 10am to noon, then go to the financial district to perform until near 2pm, and have a part-time job from 2pm to 6pm.

Tuesday 12 August 2003
Wharf, TCS
10:00pm: "I broke through the hedge" today -- I went to Fisherman's Wharf this afternoon and performed on the street! It wasn't the spot I wanted (too many performers with amplifiers; perhaps due to time of day) and nobody stopped, but I did get smiles from kiddies and learned a few things. I learned I need to windproof my hardware -- guitar case kept shutting, and some of my biz cards blew out to sea!
Later that evening after class I figured out what would hold my papers and dollars without getting tossed by the wind: wire mesh containers. So I went to The Container Store and found some wire mesh containers on sale 40% off! The CD box fit my guitar case perfectly, and the magazine file will stop the guitar case lid from closing (as well as hold résumés). I picked up a plastic biz card holder too, and have clamped it to the front of the magazine file.

Thursday 7 August 2003
PBS, Performer
4:00am: I just finished watching a program on PBS called "Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith," and now I have a greater understanding of why my own personal journey has led me to choose street performer as my day job. Whenever I've pictured myself performing on the street, the scenario has included my imparting of wisdom to people by way of conversation. Now I believe I am also meant to write songs which explain spiritual truths, as well as explicitly celebrate diversity. My existing spiritual songs already are "universal" in that anyone who believes in God can sing them, regardless of their religious affiliation; now I will write songs which go "behind" what makes me tick. :-)
Oh, and happy birthday to Karen DeFrancesco, Ládan Agahi, and someone else I'm forgetting. :)

Sunday 27 July 2003
I've moved
5:30am: I've moved! DSL service won't be active for a couple of weeks, and my FTP server must wait until then. I will be able to have 5 IP addresses, so now I need to find out if my router can even make use of them. If it can, then maybe I could run some other servers.
I'm still unpacking from Thursday's move, and have to return to my old place today to clean it and pick up what the movers wouldn't move (liquids and fridge foods and most bathroom stuff).
Midnight: Well the property manager got there before I did, and threw my stuff out. Fortunately I was able to retrieve it!

Tuesday 15 July 2003
5:30pm: Picked up the keys to my new place!

Monday 14 July 2003
7:28am: Set up moving date -- Meyer's will arrive on Wed 23 at 9am with a 24' truck. Wheee!
Sunday 13 July 2003
First post
12:01pm: I got a call back with the happy news that I was picked for the apartment in Japantown!
4:00pm: Started this Q&D journal to suffice until I set up a real blog.
And now, back to purging & packing.


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