aqcom Christmas Imported From Epistula


Bleh. Ill. Hate being ill.

Last night I finally got around to moving my blinks system over to (Well, I actually started using it a month ago, but now the front page uses the del links instead). People who are subscribed to the RSS feed should just get redirected to the new feed. Other people shouldn’t notice any difference, apart from the fact there are fifteen new links in.

This is an announcement to people who are annoyed because I keep buying things that they want to get me for christmas, or don’t know what to get me. (Everyone else can ignore this announcement completely):

This is a list

Here endath the announcement.

Christmas Imported From Epistula Personal Those who evolve

Day Off and IRC Evil

One of the channels on which I am an op is having a bad week. Nice little Script Kiddies with massively parallel spam-bots are attacking the small network it lives on, and the ops are spending their time playing whack-a-mole, as are the server ops.

Anyway, if you find the channel is restricted, /msg an op or /join #afp-invite and someone will let you in. Sorry, it’s just until we can attack flamethrowers to the defences.

In the time I’ve been writing this, someone has come into #afp-invite and left again because I didn’t respond in five seconds. This is not an automatic service

In other news, I’ve done the first bit of Christmas Shopping. I’ve bought the gift for the office Secret Santa thing. I hate these things. Fortunately, it’s anonymous. Unfortunately, I’ve resisted the urge to attempt to be funny. Ah well, maybe next year…

Oh, yeah. Office Party season. Thursday is our office Christmas party. This would appear to be exactly as Entertaining and Enlightening as it suggests, though since we’re at Jongleurs for it, the whole “eating cheese on cocktail sticks by the photocopier” aspect will be reduced.

OTOH, we have been mandated to wear “Outrageous Hats” which is kinda the ‘enforced joviality’ that I desperately try to avoid the rest of the year.

So today I also looked at silly hats. Sadly none were sufficiently outrageous.

I was crushed.

I did return today with not only the office gift, but a set of panniers and other misc. bicycle things, various and sundry items, and nothing I hadn’t planned to buy, which was very good of me.

Then I walked into the second hand bookshop, and had to get a taxi home.

Ah well.

2003 Christmas Imported From Epistula love

Lonecat's Christmas present has arrived

The Saga Of The Christmas Gifts will be told at the weekend, when it ends.

Lonecat's Present

2003 Christmas Imported From Epistula music

The stockings were hung on the mantle with care

So here it is, Merry Christmas. I’ve returned to the Fictional Town of Paddock Wood to do the Christmas Thing, so arguing with parents, brothers and pets about where all the glasses are, who drank the last of the pineapple juice (Nobody, yet. I saw it and hid it before they had a chance) and such stuff. Presents have been bought and wrapped and placed in their traditional place under the tree.

And the stockings are on the bedroom doors.

I’m trying to work out how long I’ve had my Christmas stocking. At least as long as we’ve been in this house, I think, which means since I was about six. It’s unfashionably small – as I noted as I walked around the shops this year, newer christmas stockings are about four times mine – it has Snoopy on it, it’s red (My older-younger brother’s was blue, but it’s been lost. Actually, since only me and Ben have them and Matt – my younger-younger brother – doesn’t , that probably puts them since before he was born, which means I’ve had it at least 18 of my 22 years), and it’s probably the thing that tells me most of all that it’s actually Christmas.

Mostly because of the age, and because of the place. If, when we move to Letchworth at the end of January, we stop moving house every nine months – as I have done for the past four years – I would be 40 before I’d lived there as long as I’ve lived here, which is frankly pretty scary.

I’d take a photo of the stocking, BTW, but I lost my camera a couple of weeks ago at an AFP Green Man meet. Ah well.

I’ve no intention of being near a computer for very long tomorrow, so I’m putting the last Christmas MP3 up now:

  • I’ve lost track of who this is sung by, but it’s really good. Acapella – Carol of the Bells

    And finally, non-christmassy, but I’ve been pimping it at people for years and this way I get a great swathe of people at once. This is the Michigan Amazin’ Blue acapella group doing a wonderful version of Englishman in New York. Imagine it as the theme tune to Aquarionics, if you like.

    Merry Christmas one and all, That’s me out until the new year, which – incidentally – will be Aquarionics’ fourth birthday. Be here then for tea and cakes.

aqcom Christmas Imported From Epistula Perl

Geek at Christmas

So, as is traditional I spend my christmas holidays playing with epistula. Now I have referer tracking turned working again.

The problem with referer tracking is extracting the data from log files. When the server had mod_log_sql it was easy (I have an entire log stats suite built for mod_log_sql), but since log_sql doesn’t support Apache 2 yet (A patch to make it do so was released yesterday. It remains untested) I had to brush off my extremely limited perl skillz to create this, a perl program to send apache logs to mysql:

use DBD::mysql;

#Database options:
$dbUser = "username";
$dbPass = "password";
$dbName = "database";

$database = DBI->connect(
$dbUser, $dbPass

while (<>) {

my ($client, $identuser, $authuser, $date, $method,
$url, $protocol, $status, $bytes, $referer,$agent) =
/^(S+) (S+) (S+) [(.*?)] "(S+) (.*?) (S+)" (S+) (S+) "(.*?)" "(.*?)"$/;

$q = "insert into apachelogs
(remote_host, remote_user, request_time, request_method,
request_uri, request_protocol, status, bytes_sent, referer, agent)
(".$database->quote($client).", ".$database->quote($authuser).", '"
.$date."', ".$database->quote($method).", ".$database->quote($url)
.", ".$database->quote($protocol).", ".$database->quote($status)
.", ".$database->quote($bytes).", ".$database->quote($referer)
.", ".$database->quote($agent).")";

my $sth = $database->prepare($q);


2003 Christmas Imported From Epistula MotW music


Louis Armstrong reads ‘The Night Before Christmas’

2003 Christmas Imported From Epistula MotW music

Sounds Delightful

Upon the new bronze statue of Mick Jagger there is a plaque that reads: ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’.

And, in more seasonal entertainment this Christmas Eve’s Eve:

Christmas Imported From Epistula MotW music

More Christmas Music

To make up for yesterday’s lack:

Christmas Humour Imported From Epistula


A man was walking though a town in mid-december when he saw a sign on a pub door, which read:

Not taking Christmas bookings. This pub is a Christmas Free Zone”

He walked in, and said to the barman:
“Don’t you think you should get into the Christmas Spirit?”
“I leave that to my customers. Mostly they go for the scotch, though”
“I mean, shouldn’t you be celebrating the Season?”
“Not really. See this bar?” the barman knocked on the surface in front of him. “Touch it”
The man did.
“It’s all sticky” he said, unsuprised. This was a pub, after all.
“Lick it” said the barman
“I’d rather not”
“Don’t worry, it’s safe”
The man did.
“Mmmmm.” he said. “Minty. What is it?”
The barman leant on the black and white striped surface in front of him.

“Bar Humbug” he said.

Christmas Imported From Epistula MotW

Music to max your visa to

And second in our countdown of Christmas Music you may not yet have heard:

Bob Rivers: Wreck The Malls