posts to days old
of topics
with text


Paul (31 Dec 1969 16:00): This should only show up if you said to show all
m (31 Dec 1970 16:00): Fucking with things a bit here.
Grant (20 May 2004 22:59): ...Even if I add a new post to the old topic, I wonder?
Paul (21 May 2004 7:07): Here's the current algorithm...please suggest improvements.
index.cgi goes through all posts from old to new, checking them against the ?[oldest]&[newest]&topic criteria (default ?14&0&[nothing]); messages that match put their topic in a hash pointing to the messages. Then we go through the hash printing each topic and its messages. So the order of the topics is currently determined by the order of php hashes. It would be easy for messages to display within topics from newest to oldest, and perhaps not too hard for topics to display in some sensible order, but what order makes sense?...
Grant (21 May 2004 15:11): It makes sense to me for the newest topics to be put at the top. I'm not sure how messages should be listed inside those topics.
What's really needed, though, is for the topic table-thingy to display the number of posts in that topic, and then put the number of the post before the name, or something - Otherwise, you don't know if you're seeing all of the topic or not. I know "View All" is a solution, but there should be something to clue you in if you need to click that.
mike (22 May 2004 8:57): Tricky. Maybe with the option of clicking on some "this topic only" button that only does one topic and breaks it up into pages of n entries (with maybe n=20?)
mike (22 May 2004 9:00): also, definitely sort with newest topics at the top, oldest at the bottom, but do you want to judge oldness based on initial post or most recent post?
mike (22 May 2004 9:01): one step ahead of me there, paul, with that "view all" button
Grant (24 May 2004 15:41): Okay. I suggest (and this code is not tested) - Replace the pertinent line in printtopics with:
echo 'View All '.count($messages).'
', "\\n";

Next, shouldn't you close the td and tr tags?
do { $message = current($messages);
echo "< tr >< td colspan=3>$message\\n < / tr >< / td >";
} while (next($messages));

Next, why not give the page a < title > ? Like, uh, "", "Paul's Blog", "Head-fire Headquarters" or something.

Also, to complement the post counting, I suggest numbering the posts. I don't know if this works at all:
echo "< tr >< td colspan=3>>>" . key(current($messages)) . ": $message\\n < / tr >< / td >";

If it doesn't, I guess you could always just stick in a counter that goes up for every time through the count...
$uglyhack = 1;
do { $message = current($messages);
echo "< tr >< td colspan=3>>>" . $uglyhack . ": $message\\n < / tr >< / td >";
$uglyhack = $uglyhack + 1;
} while (next($messages));
(24 May 2004 15:42): Okay. One more try: I suggest (and this code is not tested) - Replace the pertinent line in printtopics with:
echo '< a href="blog.php?20000&0&', $topic, '" >View All '.count($messages).'< /a >< br >', "\\n";

Next, shouldn't you close the td and tr tags?
do { $message = current($messages);
echo "< tr >< td colspan=3>$message\\n < / tr >< / td >";
} while (next($messages));

Next, why not give the page a < title > ? Like, uh, "", "Paul's Blog", "Head-fire Headquarters" or something.

Also, to complement the post counting, I suggest numbering the posts. I don't know if this works at all:
echo "< tr >< td colspan=3>>>" . key(current($messages)) . ": $message\\n < / tr >< / td >";

If it doesn't, I guess you could always just stick in a counter that goes up for every time through the count...
$uglyhack = 1;
do { $message = current($messages);
echo "< tr >< td colspan=3>>>" . $uglyhack . ": $message\\n < / tr >< / td >";
$uglyhack = $uglyhack + 1;
} while (next($messages));
Paul (26 May 2004 10:03): just set to print newest topics first...will it work?
Grant (26 May 2004 16:25): Looks good...
But the code I posted was designed to give an indicator of thread length. Because, without it, maybe nobody would realize that there was an initial post in the topic that wasn't displayed.
Paul (26 May 2004 17:01): to make sure email addresses are working. Then I'll address Grant's suggestions.
Paul (26 May 2004 17:53): Now ViewAll only shows up if there are messages currently hidden in that topic. Also there's a title. I think </tr> and </td> make tables' code hard to read and seem unneeded on all browsers. I suppose I could number the posts, but I don't understand what for... Especially it would be problematic if the numbers might change depending what message show, wouldn't it?

I think I'm going to change to read the data file from bottom to top. Prepare for things to break...
Grant (27 May 2004 3:49): My idea was that message numbering would be persistant - so if you saw ">>1" before a message, you'd know it was the author of the topic. But having "View All" show up only when necessary is a good solution, too. Cleaner.
I think that </b> is unneeded, and I like it when everything looks terrible. No, seriously, I think that the real reason you'd be concerned about closing your tables is if you're going to use CSS, or something like that.
Paul (27 May 2004 7:30): Better to test the blog now, rather than wait a long time and then have it break.
Seriously, though, I think I need info about php security, as in, could my bugs be used to hack the server?
You can now get 2 days of messages by going to, which didn't work before.
Leaving open tags now...
test1085655133	test	Grant	Meh, I was hoping it would leak out of the table. Eheh. Sorry about trying to break your blog, Paul... But I guess it's good to know that it won't break. 
Paul (27 May 2004 7:31): Some more testing... test
Paul (1 Jun 2004 4:04): I think this message will break the blog. <a
Paul (1 Jun 2004 4:05): One more try...
Paul (1 Jun 2004 5:10): Okay, so I found a serious blog bug. But I had to fix it, so you don't get to see it. Okay, it's fixed now.
Paul (24 Jun 2004 11:17): First post on new location. Of course it's my post, because I haven't taken down the old location yet.
mike (25 Jun 2004 11:19): make new topic is broken. :(
where are you irl these days, paul?
Grant Laughlin (26 Jun 2004 1:26): IRL means Intending to Raise Lobsters.
Well, how about it?
Mike (28 Jun 2004 13:13): actually I had intended the slightly less common "Indentured, Requesting Leave"
Mike (28 Jun 2004 13:15): but only less common because, seriously, who doesn't like being indentured?
Mike (29 Jun 2004 0:09): gaaaa. very drunk. baah.
Mike (29 Jun 2004 17:26): gaaaaa. very sober. need a job. gaaaaaa
Grant (30 Jun 2004 20:48): More like LAST post on new location! AM I RITE?
(1 Jul 2004 14:18):!?!

Yeah, and 'make new topic' is broken. Which Mike said, but he's still right.
Paul (2 Jul 2004 17:48): Well, I've been with less internet access than usual... I'll be fixing these things soon... Currently in Princeton, NJ...
Mike (7 Jul 2004 17:33): hey - where'd the post in which I called grant an asshole go?
D34tH-6r4n7!!!oneoneone (8 Jul 2004 17:11): I haxxored it, looser. OMG! Moxious!
Grant (8 Jul 2004 20:07): Actually, it was probably removed by Paul because the post was considered too juvenile and inflammatory. Hehehe. IRONY!
Alternatively, because he's running from the FCC.
Paul (9 Jul 2004 8:56): Well, yes, I erased that message, because it wasn't clear who was deriding whom. Still using internet access from the library.
mike (11 Jul 2004 3:42): graaaah!
mike (11 Jul 2004 12:16): doh - why are the timestamps EST?
mike (11 Jul 2004 12:17): wait - two hours later? I guess they're central time?
Paul (12 Jul 2004 8:02): ~]$ date
Mon Jul 12 10:02:50 CDT 2004
Mike (15 Jul 2004 14:26): Spider that looks for things that resemble message boards, or real human?
Paul (15 Jul 2004 18:28): definitely a spider -- no real human would bother spamming a three-person blog -- maybe I'll have to add something like word verification if it gets bad :-(
m (23 Jul 2004 14:10): quiet around here...
m (23 Jul 2004 14:11): Paul, you in Italy yet?
m (23 Jul 2004 14:12): testing creation of new topic with same name as existing topic
m (23 Jul 2004 14:13): paul, you do your message board weirdly.
also, you should build some filter/search support.
m (3 Aug 2004 0:26): so alone
m (3 Aug 2004 0:27): ooh! I only just notice the "of this topic" "1 day" and "this week" buttons. nice.
m (3 Aug 2004 0:29): grant, your website is woefully out of date. fix that shit.
also, I'm only talking to myself. I love lamp.
Paul (8 Aug 2004 4:41): I'm currently in Florence, Italy, using a machine where I hoped to have ssh email but it only allows web access... So, greetings to Mancalablog from Italy!
m (8 Aug 2004 20:21): Java ssh client:
m (17 Aug 2004 15:45): teh dumb: talking to myself
Grant (19 Aug 2004 16:57): Test For Lief

You want me to fix my homepage? I'll fix it. That sheeyat's goin' down, dawg. I thought it would be down a month ago, but it's just a matter of time.

I am using teh web at WORK. Bad bad bad.
m (23 Aug 2004 22:12): that was incoherent.
except I liked the "Test For Lief" line.
grant (25 Aug 2004 6:09): incoherent is my middlename.
i am posting this from my new cell phone.
another day in japan, another desperate bid for net access.
i can compose polyphonic ringtones on it. 32 channels?! it's amazing. it floored me.
Grant (28 Aug 2004 5:28): And I now have internet access in my apartment!
m (31 Aug 2004 12:31): Rock on. Paul has disappeared, though. He should make the message board script public-customizable. Maybe. Give us some mechanism to add features of our own. Like being able to see a few previous entries when replying to a topic.
So I'm in seattle for a couple of days and there's basically nobody here to hang out with. Teh awesome.
Still no job. Interviewed for something pretty badass, but they didn't want me. Fuckers.
How you doing, grant? You should post some pictures, or something. Somewhere. Anywhere. Shit - I don't know - whatever you're up to. Maybe you already do that, but talk a lot of shit about me on your deadjournal, and don't want me reading it. That would make sense. You do loathe the undead. And paul.
Grant (2 Sep 2004 19:12): Yeah, man. Paul! What a jerk! hee hee.

Seriously, though, man. Why not hang out with my parents? They're cool.
("Are you being sarcastic?" "I don't even know any more.")

I am currently looking for the best option as to how to post pictures and such. I have been trying to read the documentation that came with YahooBB, but it's in Japanese (no shit!). Yeah. Did they give me web space? I can't tell! If they didn't, what do I do? My UW space will be cut off pretty soon, and Damask is no longer regularly online... My laptop gets carried around all the time, so it's no good, too. Live/Dead Journal is an okay option, I guess, but doesn't actually give any space for images, per se...

I'll have to think about it.
m (1 Nov 2004 12:00): you guys do anything for halloween?
I guess halloween might not be very observed in the nihon. Shit.
Paul (1 Nov 2004 15:47): we ought a unch of candy and had aout a doen trick-or-treaters here

so now we have lots of candy left over
carla (2 Nov 2004 13:22):
O.G.Angsta, aka Mancala Guru
c (2 Nov 2004 13:26): oops
m (4 Nov 2004 20:00): haha. awesome.
I wore a girl friend's pink shirt, tied a shoe to my head and went to a giant party at Mudd as bubble gum on a shoe. I hope to god nobody got a photo of me.

frighteningly enough, there was a girl there dressed up exactly the same way. that was pretty weird.
(9 Nov 2004 4:25): It's destiny. She's your, uh, your... shit, I refuse to lower myself to that level.
It's not assault if it's hilarious.
It's not cheating if it's destiny.
Grant (9 Nov 2004 4:55): As of yesterday, I can TRILL MY R's!
Not well, but I can do it!
These past nine years of labor have finally paid off!
zong (10 Nov 2004 10:15): Except... do you need that in Japanese?
zong (10 Nov 2004 10:18): Now try the uvular trill.
P.S. Don't practice it in a restaurant. ;)
(12 Nov 2004 8:13): I didn't know that there were two kinds of trills. Which am I doing? I must know.
You don't need it at all in Japanese, no.
Paul (12 Nov 2004 19:05): Finally! Phonology reaches mancalablog.
In addition to Grant's newfound alveolar trill /r/, the IPA chart lists a uvular trill /ʀ/ (like gargling) and bilabial trill /ʙ/ (like a tugboat sound effect). But check this rare specimen: pharyngeal trills!
(12 Nov 2004 20:24): Huh. Well, I'm still not very sure about this, but I think what I'm doing may be a uvular trill?
Paul (13 Nov 2004 10:20): This diagram is helpful to see what's alveolar, uvular, etc...
zong (13 Nov 2004 17:31): Nah, uvular trill is for the German "r"...
That's why you shouldn't try it in a restaurant.
zong (13 Nov 2004 17:32): It's trilling with that thingy in your throat (you know, that hanging thingy at the back of your mouth that cartoonists draw)
Grant (15 Nov 2004 3:17): Alright, then - that settles it. I have learned how to do a uvular trill.
At least, I definitely place my tongue behind where it goes when I make the 'K' sound.
m (18 Nov 2004 10:59): gmail now even does free pop access. christ. what don't those guys do?
zong (19 Nov 2004 21:30): they don't do IMAP, I guess
Paul (20 Nov 2004 13:06): I tried to get a gmail account, but couldn't figure out how. Are they not making new accounts?
m (20 Nov 2004 22:57): gmail accounts are done by invite only, like livejournal accounts. I don't really know why. Gmail users are given basically unlimited invitations. If I knew your email address I'd send you one, but my addressbook got deleted with my old yale account.
Also, for people who don't know anyone with a gmail account (or anyone with spare invites), there's the gmail invite spooler.
Grant (2 Dec 2004 17:56): I (still) can't do an alveolar trill to save my life.
I think there's something wrong with my mouth.
The uvular trill is amusing, to be sure, but it doesn't help me with my sound-like-a-yakuza project.
Grant (2 Dec 2004 18:01): Speaking of which:
How to speak like a Yakuza
m (7 Dec 2004 21:23): but I want "How to Dance Like a Yakuza"
Grant (7 Dec 2004 22:38): I'm already all over that one.
I watched Sonatine, and it gave me the confidence I needed to be a model.
If it wasn't for Prince Paul and Beat Takeshi, I would still be yakuza-ing in Albania, or some Balkan country.
m (14 Jan 2005 18:07): paul, we need a button that lists all topics - maybe with links to view-all-topic-posts. I don't want to wade through the view-all-posts-ever thing to figure out what an old topic (that I want to post more to) was.
m (14 Jan 2005 18:09): also, firefox renders the mancala tables real strangely. I don't understand why, but it might be related to your not closing the td and tr tags. I've never seen them left open before.
Paul (15 Jan 2005 8:09): My firefox renders mancalablog tables fine... what does yours do? (mine also seg-faults on 20% of startup attempts, though)

Okay, today I can either
1) clean my room, or
2) update mancalablog (features to add: browse topics, preview post), or
3) read wikipedia and webcomics
Paul (15 Jan 2005 9:23): You know you want to ssh to, right? Actually, where should I look to find out how to get, say, to respond to any request with a fixed string (eg, an HTTP jpg of the words " is up")? Then that could just go on mancalablog.
Paul (15 Jan 2005 9:42): er...ehem...ssh will be once updates
Paul (15 Jan 2005 14:37): Okay, the image is now up, next to the birds. It's served off my computer, but it gets proxied through Leepfrog (otherwise *I* can't see it because of Qwest's poor port-forwarding). I did not figure out how to use "socket.h", but just how to run dhttpd as a daemon on port 7382. Moral of story: if you see the image, ssh!
m (15 Jan 2005 22:50):
testing use of

the pre tag

(I added that last line break)
zong (22 Jan 2005 15:56): Is latex math graphic autogeneration on anybody's radar as a feature for mancalablog?
zong (22 Jan 2005 15:56): I think you can mold latex2html into your php code, maybe?
Paul (22 Jan 2005 18:47): With LatexRender, one could make a site respond pleasantly to
<img src="\\int_0^\\pi{\\sin x\\ dx}">, and then one's site would be popular on mancalablog. I'm not going to make such a site just now, though.
Paul (22 Jan 2005 18:48): Why did my backslashes get doubled? mancalablog must be buggy...
m (26 Jan 2005 8:42):

All it needs now is cranks that the pedals will fit into. Yay bike.
m (26 Jan 2005 22:39): just kidding -- bike mechanic looked at my cranks, told me that they were the right size, and fixed the threads with a tap. woo bike.
zong (27 Jan 2005 19:50): yay! mike bike! should we call it micycle? hehe. sorry. it's a double joke (well, you know).
Grant (2 Feb 2005 2:14): So, instead of getting new pedals to fit your cranks, I suggest that you leave the bike as it is.
Instead (!!) get new shoes with little pegs on the side. That would be -awesome-. It would also probably function as a fairly effective theft-deterrent.
Grant (22 Feb 2005 10:44): Har.
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
I can't be bothered to stitch them together.
Grant (24 Feb 2005 7:02): I just watched Shaolin soccer.
It's kind of terrible.
Let me rephrase that - it's a new kind of terrible!
Grant (27 Feb 2005 18:31): The new Cat and Girl is set in Japan. It's also just a really good comic, if you like everything that I do.
zong (28 Feb 2005 12:17): Why does cat look like Dilbert?
m (28 Feb 2005 20:27): delightful.
Grant (1 Mar 2005 19:45): I know you guys can click the arrow as well as I can, but...
Uh, this one's kinda funny.
And this one. Or this one. I don't know. If you like it, why not read them all!? If you don't like it, but you're unemployed or something, why not read them all!?
Grant (5 Mar 2005 3:16): Beyond the Clouds
I'm haven't watched it all, yet, but I still think it's worth watching.
You've already seen it, right?
m (5 Mar 2005 20:44): christ, man. That torrent only got put up - what - this morning?
I stumbled across it this afternoon while looking for more episodes of Monster. Took his time with the movie, though. I've been waiting on that guy basically since I was in daipers.
Stupid DSL. I've got about 10 hours til I can watch it.
m (5 Mar 2005 20:48): when did it come out in japan?
Grant (6 Mar 2005 16:12): I think the first showings were in November, maybe one on October 31, or something. They had a showing in Osaka, but I didn't go.
I think some parts are appreciate-able without subtitles, but I'm glad that I could see it with them.
Grant (7 Mar 2005 22:15): Death Note is really good!
But where to get it?
Image hosted by
sam (10 Mar 2005 23:09): beyond the clouds is... a-fucking-mazing.

nah, just kidding, i'm still waiting for the torrent. but after three years, it had better at least be a-jerking-mazing. i'd even be happy if it sucked less than hoshi no koe, which for the record was a-rimming-mazing.

also, i'm drunk.
m (11 Mar 2005 0:04): wait - is a-rimming-mazing good or bad?

samurai champloo = good anime, shitty name. shinichiro watanabe = hottie.
Grant (12 Mar 2005 4:56): 'A-rimming-mazing' is a crude play on words. Think of 'a-fucking-mazing,' see? As for whether rimming is good, well, ask Sam. Evidently, he's into that kind of thing.

Samurai Champloo is great, too. I think I already recommended to anybody who wouldn't disown me if I told them to watch anime. I think that director uses soundtracks as a ploy to rake in cash, but it's a damned good ploy, if you ask me.

I sure hope Paul doesn't mind his bulletin board becoming a veritable cesspool of verbal filth and explicit sexual imagery.
sam (12 Mar 2005 15:40): i'll refer you all to the gay slang dictionary.
Grant (13 Mar 2005 17:03): 'test' is the /b of mancala.
Grant (14 Mar 2005 5:40): Check out what you're missing from FIFA STREET.
Pay special attention to the faint, mocking laughter that bubbles forth uncontrollably in the background.
sam (15 Mar 2005 11:05): jesus, grant. that was a late-breaking payoff.
Grant (15 Mar 2005 14:49): Haha. True.
But the rest of it is so crappy that I found it amusing, as well.
Then again, I guess I should be careful. When I think of 'movies that I have seen because of Ernie' the first things that come to mind are 'Conan' and 'Shaolin Soccer.' So, in short, it makes me want to punch him in the face. I'll never have those hours back.
I would kind of hope that I'd be scoring a little bit better on the music front, but a little caution couldn't hurt.
sam (15 Mar 2005 23:47): beyond the clouds was annoying. i enjoyed the animation, music, characters, and many cinematographic moments. i just didn't like the science fiction.

now that we've seen his childish and deeply flawed takes on deep space travel and parallel universes, i assume time travel is next. i could write the next one.

two introverted kids in top command of hormones. boy becomes a time traveller at age 12. girl has short skirt, no particular talent. somehow boy gets stuck in "time infinity" where he is forced to eternally battle mysterious terrorist timebots, not to mention his uncontrollable longing for girl. shots of future tokyo, deserted streets. girl yearns to see boy, mysteriously feels his presence when he appears on tv-vid-future-screen and gives her virtual cupcake. when they finally meet, boy is already a million years old and cannot love girl. tender moment is shared anyway. kitten meows. fade out.
Grant (16 Mar 2005 7:26): Sure, but all of that bullshit is going to happen in an extraordinarily beautiful way. Yes, I thought that some of the sci-fi parts were kind of detrimental. On the other hand, there were so many great moments that didn't need to be there at all - just passing scenery, the reflections on the side of a train, there are countless small details that make Beyond the Clouds seem less like a story, and more like a love letter to the medium. Meh. What the hell do I know, anyway.
Grant (16 Mar 2005 8:23): Orphanworks is a website that deals somewhat with the problem of copyrighted works whose owners are difficult to find.
m (16 Mar 2005 11:10): every little specular highlight traveling down the length of the interior of the train
Grant (17 Mar 2005 16:39): Rejected York Peppermint Pattie Commercial Blurbs. That last sentence isn't really a sentence because it doesn't have a verb. Alternatively, because it 'no verby.'
Grant (17 Mar 2005 16:47): It's a perpetual temptation to just link to every article on McSweeney's.
In other news, I seem to have gotten the hang of the name thing!

Four ways in which my life is similar to that of Pac-Man:
1. Ever-present wail of sirens
2. Relentlessly pursued by ghosts
3. Four special pills daily keep ghosts at bay
4. Occasionally eat some fruit

(By John Chronover, of McSweeney's)
Paul (21 Mar 2005 17:01): Test: does a link without closed quotes break the blog?
Grant (27 Mar 2005 18:54): We need better warning labels.
sam (28 Mar 2005 9:54): hehe. in other news, there is some canadian brand of cigarettes called "players". here's my roommate in montreal:

john: s'il vous plait, je voudrais des players.
guy: oh, you want some players ok.
john: merci.
guy: no problem.
Grant (3 Apr 2005 8:18): Down with Lambda!
m (3 Apr 2005 16:18): Fold must fold!
sam (9 Apr 2005 13:06): i don't quite see what they mean. can somebody who knows show me a before+after example? i want some chunk of code with lambdas in it, and then the "same" chunk of code without lambdas. also, alonzo church is the man.
m (9 Apr 2005 13:49): They're making fun of the Python community, if I'm not mistaken, which is generally unhappy with the inclusion of Filter, Map, Reduce, Lambda and List Comprehensions into the language (Filter, Map and Reduce (I think) are being phased out for Python 3000 -- maybe lambda (which is sort of crippled anyway) as well)
Paul (9 Apr 2005 15:59): After a large amount of JavaScript, I find myself a big believer in object orientation, from constructors to prototype methods to basic syntax. After writing JavaScript like
    a = a.replace('old1','new1').replace('old2','new2');
I find myself alienated from php's (and ColdFusion's) clumsy
    $a = str_replace('old2','new2',str_replace('old1','new1',$a));

What other languages have a strong OO grounding? Do any surpass php as server-side code?
m (10 Apr 2005 12:08): Christ. Promise me you'll never laud javascript again.
Paul (10 Apr 2005 15:01): Huh? Surely any OO language has an edge over php and CF... Call me sheltered, but what should I be using?
Grant (10 Apr 2005 20:30): Well, I think the thing is that from an implementation- and end-user- point-of-view, JavaScript tends to be completely terrible. I mean, I hate it, but it doesn't really have anything to do with whether the language is 'clean' or not. It's because it drags my web browser to a crawl, usually to do things that I would rather it didn't.
sam (12 Apr 2005 23:27): you should be using c++, what the hell else?
David Kanter (15 Apr 2005 20:48): C++ is for weaklings. Real Men use HLASM : )

(17 Apr 2005 15:12): alright, who narc'ed?
Paul (18 Apr 2005 12:52): Just tried python for a simple task. I like easy slicing[:]. I wonder why assignment doesn't return the value, to enable 'while (a = input()):' a la perl...
m (18 Apr 2005 13:54): TOOWTDI. Really, Python wants explicitness whenever possible. In the definition of object methods, for example, self is always the first argument (though it isn't given as an argument when the method is invoked). This is a little strange, yes.
m (18 Apr 2005 14:00): re that "fold must fold" post from Apr 3: the future of Python.
m (18 Apr 2005 14:03): I can't stop posting. Guido: "not having the choice streamlines the thought process."
Paul (19 Apr 2005 12:54): It seems Python prefers "while 1", which I guess is okay, albeit kind of long. Can this be simpler in Python?
while 1:                  vs.      while (<>)
a = raw_input() {do Perl stuff}
if not a: break
{do Python stuff}

At least it doesn't have to be as bad as what I feared:
a = raw_input()
while a:
{do bad Python stuff}
a = raw_input()
m (19 Apr 2005 13:33): for line in iter(raw_input, ""): do stuff
Paul (11 Aug 2005 7:39): Here I am leeching off a neighbor's wireless connection in Xilitla. The Prodigy Infinitum (DSL) setup manual instructs to use 64-bit WEP, and wireless channel 6. So leeching requires (a) getting the closest modem-owner to tell you their WEP key and (b) ensuring no closer modem-owner exists creating interference on channel 6. We may try getting wires soon...
Paul (17 Aug 2005 14:31): Aha, here I am connected from a laptop where I installed Linux last week. And the payoff for days of work to get this wireless card to work is: this post to mancalablog!
m (24 Aug 2005 3:19): Dennis Ritchie calls this (the malloc trick) "unwarranted chumminess with the C implementation." But I think it's just dandy!
Grant (27 Aug 2005 5:00): I never really liked Doom, but whatever.
m (27 Aug 2005 15:48): I like the idea, but none of the artwork.
Paul (11 Sep 2005 18:09): For what it's worth, I'm posting this from a computer that's two wireless hops away from wired internet. (I'm using X11-forwarding from the intermediate computer. Still figuring out the details of "route" etc...)
G (11 Sep 2005 18:12): Route?
"It normally is not needed, as a system routing table management daemon such as routed(8), should tend to this task."
z (12 Sep 2005 21:48): Nice Paul. I see you ended up going with wireless (2 hops... good thinking)
Paul (13 Sep 2005 15:09): I see my post was misleading. No, there isn't a good location to put an extra wireless hop between the neighbor's DSL/wireless and the office. (My two-hops post was a hop beyond the office, using good antenna placement and luck.) So we've now put a wire from the neighbor's modem to the office, and we'll hope there's no lightning.
m (13 Sep 2005 17:21): that's still confusing. what's "The Office"?
Grant (8 Dec 2005 22:54): Here is a comic.
Do you guys remember the 'test' thread? Good times, good times.
Paul (9 Dec 2005 14:57): how come the original "fossils" and "dinosaur" were replaced by "spectra" and "molecule" in the comic? maybe I'm humor-impaired
Grant (9 Dec 2005 20:53): Another comic!
m (13 Jan 2006 10:37): [ok, so this reply is a little delayed, and I have no reason at all to believe that Sam still reads mancala] wait -- what have you got against his deeply flawed take on space travel? Hoshi no koe was decent. And gorgeous. I'll grant you this: Beyond the Clouds (the director's follow-up work to hoshi no koe, paul) is, doubtless, more or less terrible if you pay attention to anything much beyond the gorgeous animation, the delightful interplay of cinematographically realized light and every other imagined substance in the fictitious world, be it specular hilights moving along the metal interior of the train car, or the fuzzy glare added to most outdoor shots (almost none of which are stills, but involve pans this way and that). It's nice to hear, too, so you can't just shut off subs and plug your ears. Actually, that might be the best way to do it -- just shut off subs and try not to understand (or attempt to make sense of, given that even with subtitles understanding is a bit of a stretch) what's going on.
m (17 Jan 2006 7:06): Budapest -- har!
m (23 Jan 2006 14:00): it's 13 below zero Celcius right now. doh.
Paul (25 Jan 2006 5:43): Yes, I hear in Moscow dozens have died in -31C recently. Perhaps you're in the edge of the same cold wave. I've been in -13C in Iowa and it's no fun..."wear ridiculous amounts of clothing" is the only advice I know...
Grant (28 Jan 2006 13:21): Nobody checks the FTP anymore, do they?
Paul (28 Jan 2006 18:11): YMCK is very reminiscent of NES and perhaps of you, Grant, our purveyor of eclectic music and video games. My problem is I'm a noob; I don't know which artists/files to try. I'll try to stay logged in, though, contact me with `write`.
Grant (29 Jan 2006 21:47): My recommendation? Sort by date modified (/created).
For what it's worth, YMCK was actually uploaded by Reed. (!)
Grant (30 Jan 2006 1:43): Also - when you say you'll stay logged in, do you mean to Paul's machine? or the FTP machine?
Either one is fine, I guess, but I kind of think that these days it would be easier to touch base with email or AIM or something. I'm just not around during normal hours.
Grant (14 Feb 2006 19:26): I've been looking at the code for Mancala, recently.
a i t bb i /i blah
G (14 Feb 2006 19:28): <test> <testing>
Grant (25 May 2006 8:18): By the way - Death Note is over, now. I especially liked the first story arc. The second one was pretty good, too, I guess. The ending was disappointing, but less disappointing than have the whole thing become suckier and suckier until I nobody would read it.
Paul (30 Jul 2006 10:58): testing...
Paul (1 Aug 2006 14:56): blah 28282
Grant (2 Aug 2006 1:22): Hey, cool! So it's here, now.
Right now, the short subdomain is acting as a redirect.
Shall I change that, too? Maybe wait a week or a month?
Paul (2 Aug 2006 5:02): Sure, feel free to change that.
Grant (6 Aug 2006 16:43): Changed.
I can't see why it would throw anybody off, but hopefully everybody knows the new address, anyway.
Paul (14 Aug 2006 4:48): doh...I totally didn't notice that bug
(6 Sep 2006 16:40): Test :-/
(6 Sep 2006 16:40): Another test.
Grant (8 Sep 2006 3:44): I just watched what I thought was the greatest opening of any series.
Girl at wedding, blah, blah, boy says, "But you know... are you even here?... Or is this timespace an illusion?" MASK APPEARS: "THE TIMESPACE YOU ARE CONTINUOUSLY PERCEIVING MIGHT BE JUST AN ILLUSION WITHIN YOUR DREAM."
Turns out I watched episode 18 first. :P
Grant (15 Sep 2006 1:37): That's from the show "Noein," by the way.
Not that I'm recommending it. No, sir. Can't do that.
Grant (18 Sep 2006 5:12): But Kamichu actually looks pretty great.
G (19 Sep 2006 7:15): Have you guys ever used a microSD card yet? Those things are seriously tiny. Literally the size of my thumbnail (maybe a little bigger). Tiny!
Grant (19 Sep 2006 18:19): If this were a "king of the blog" contest, I'd totally be winning.
Paul (20 Sep 2006 14:47): Single-handedly populating the blog = nice... as for me, I'm all busy lately...
m (21 Sep 2006 0:23): even regular SD, though -- that guys is like a thumbnail and a half -- pretty fucking nuts.
G (21 Sep 2006 23:40): Naw, dog - for REAL.
G (21 Sep 2006 23:40): Also, they're available in capacities up to 2 GB.
G (31 Oct 2006 20:52): I remember watching Angel Egg with Sam. It was very. Are we the only people who've seen it?
m (1 Nov 2006 7:48): Yeah, man -- it's pretty incredible, but I haven't seen it in forever. Hunting the shadow/fish-thing: pretty fantastic.

You were missing a crucial adjective in that last post (even looked at the html source to see if it somehow got bad-html-tagged away). Which way do you fall on the film?
G (1 Nov 2006 16:00): Yeah, actually I left it out on purpose. Not very clear, I know. And, yeah, I'm still using that email, but I'll post this here 'cause I'm at work and can't use email here.
I like it! But it's hard for me to recommend it to other people. That's an understatement. Have you seen Fantastic Planet? I wouldn't want to draw too many parallels, but... uh. It's also a strange animated movie.
There is a lot of obvious symbolism in Angel Egg. Or, I don't know, is it even symbolism? The guy is Jesus. Future Jesus. Except his name was Noah (right?).
Anyway, I'd watch it again, but probably not by myself.
G (1 Nov 2006 16:17): And, what made me think of it is very off-topic.
Supposedly, there are going to be a new Street Fighter live-action and cartoon thingy made. And what I really wanted to say was "Why make a new SF cartoon? We've already got Angel Egg." And then I realized that this was probably the only place I could talk about that with people who'd know what it was.
G (5 Nov 2006 22:40): Has anybody seen, or is anybody currently watching, good 'shows?' TV, movies, whatever? I'm dreadfully out of touch with all of it. I was going to go look for Grizzly Man when I had a chance. Also, I hear you can now see Snakes on a Plane in Japan ('Snake Flight' in Japanese), so that might require a JET excursion to see.
G (9 Nov 2006 18:41): Japanese people talk about how fat foreigners are, and here's what they're talking about. From the Wikipedia page on obesity, supposedly 30.6% (!) of Americans are obese, and Japan is at 3.6%. Maybe that's one reason they're so up-front (insensitive) about it.
G (9 Nov 2006 20:18): exists, but it's just a squatter site. :(
Same thing for
But "All the way live journal" is still open!!!
G (12 Nov 2006 15:39): Ugh. So, I guess they're making another Evangelion. "Rebuild of Evangelion." It was just a matter of time, I suppose.
G (16 Nov 2006 21:58): Math is addictive
G (16 Nov 2006 22:38): And a political cartoon!
G (20 Nov 2006 22:30): HD is the future.
R (24 Nov 2006 20:35): You link is broken, could you post the saved image to photobucket or some such?
G (25 Nov 2006 23:49): Oops. try this.
G (27 Nov 2006 17:48): I love the mancalablog, but I tend to post more lengthy stuff over here. Just in case you didn't know, yet cared.
m (29 Nov 2006 9:39): genius.
G (29 Nov 2006 18:15): Those really are fabulous.
Also, I just finished Phoenix Wright: Justice for All (Phoenix Wright 2). FABULOUS!
(5 Dec 2006 4:14): Here's one for all the girls and goys! Yuk yuk.
G (5 Dec 2006 21:55): Oh, right -

Google Image Search.
R (8 Dec 2006 8:32): Not R, but courtesy of him.
And if the bell tolls -
Paul (8 Dec 2006 15:18): "In Wii Sports bowling, the proper way to let go of the ball while bowling is to release the “B” button on the Wii Remote — DO NOT LET GO OF THE Wii REMOTE ITSELF."
R (11 Dec 2006 22:55): Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
m (13 Dec 2006 5:46): that terebikun is incredible
G (15 Dec 2006 19:29):
G (16 Dec 2006 3:11): From the 'fireball -

Third MS Word Exploit Posted
Microsoft suggests that users "do not open or save Word files," 
even those that arrive unexpectedly from trusted sources.
Paul (16 Dec 2006 8:46): Coming up next: Microsoft will recommend that users with Windows on their computer "just leave it turned off."
G (24 Dec 2006 20:23): MERRRRRY!!!
m (25 Dec 2006 23:09): A NOCTURNAL UPON ST. LUCY'S DAY,
by John Donne

'TIS the year's midnight, and it is the day's,
Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks ;
The sun is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rays ;
The world's whole sap is sunk ;
The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the bed's-feet, life is shrunk,
Dead and interr'd ; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compared with me, who am their epitaph.

Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring ;
For I am every dead thing,
In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness ;
He ruin'd me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death—things which are not.

All others, from all things, draw all that's good,
Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have ;
I, by Love's limbec, am the grave
Of all, that's nothing. Oft a flood
Have we two wept, and so
Drown'd the whole world, us two ; oft did we grow,
To be two chaoses, when we did show
Care to aught else ; and often absences
Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.

But I am by her death—which word wrongs her—
Of the first nothing the elixir grown ;
Were I a man, that I were one
I needs must know ; I should prefer,
If I were any beast,
Some ends, some means ; yea plants, yea stones detest,
And love ; all, all some properties invest.
If I an ordinary nothing were,
As shadow, a light, and body must be here.

But I am none ; nor will my sun renew.
You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
At this time to the Goat is run
To fetch new lust, and give it you,
Enjoy your summer all,
Since she enjoys her long night's festival.
Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Both the year's and the day's deep midnight is.
m (11 Feb 2007 12:35): I think cuax is down.

Also, how do I set up fonts to look good in X?
Paul (12 Feb 2007 17:40): cuax is back for now. If you ever figure out Debian X11 fonts, tell me, because mine stink and I don't understand how they work at all. The only good part about my fonts, is somehow I installed "unifont", then set up the command 'uxterm -fn "*unifont*"' which produces an xterm that can display many important parts of unicode. (BTW, a handy program to output chunks of unicode is called "unicode".)
m (13 Feb 2007 20:55): fontconfig

download some font packs (important: you need the ghostscript default fonts, which are easy to get once you know this, in order for xpdf to view things right. this is stupid. but now you know. alternatively you can modify your xpdfrc file to tell it to use different fonts. check the global one, somewhere like /usr/local/etc/xpdfrc)

put fonts somewhere like ~/.fonts/ (or /usr/share/fonts/ or /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/ -- these three are where my fonts.conf file tells fontconfig to look

read your fonts.conf file, it has interesting things in it. If you want to make changes to fonts.conf, I think they're supposed to go in local.conf which fonts.conf sources.

run fc-cache -f -v ~/.fonts/ to tell fontconfig to cache the new fonts

this is a lot of what I did, but I wasn't taking notes. things look pretty decent now.
m (13 Feb 2007 20:57): actually, the textboxes in firefox are atrocious -- they get unreadably full of cruft related to the cursor really if I move the cursor at all. It's terrible. Any of you guys know where to start looking to fix this? I think it might be gtk that's the culprit...
Paul (14 Feb 2007 17:43): Unfortunately, I don't have enough memory available to use fonts. :(
Paul (15 Feb 2007 17:50): It is very confusing when people post using my name. Especially because I'm trying to figure out what I've read and what I haven't yet, and I think, "oh, there's a post from me, so I must've read that thread," even though I haven't.
Paul (mike) (15 Feb 2007 20:31): ha ha. the joke is on me.
G (15 Feb 2007 20:56): Er, sorry.
I thought it was pretty funny, though.
R (16 Feb 2007 1:18): I'm also sorry, as I lol'ed. Please let us know if you ever try swapping your RAM around. Depending on what spec it is, someone might even be able to send you a compatible used piece that is currently just collecting dust.
Paul (16 Feb 2007 3:27): It is pretty funny, actually; it's like an out-of-body experience or something.
Paul (19 Feb 2007 5:47): Here's a random question: Since my laptop battery doesn't work, I think I should take it out, making the laptop lighter and less power-hungry. However, this results in a hole. How can/should this hole be filled?
m (19 Feb 2007 11:40): with cats
G (19 Feb 2007 15:44): Yessssss!
Just like the holes in your life, you despicable woman!
G (19 Feb 2007 15:47): Seriously, though, use it to keep your passwords.
That way you can just jump straight to Doctor Wily whenever you want.
R (20 Feb 2007 16:35): If your battery is completely worthless, and does not even provide a moment of power, you could crack it open, gut the actual battery stuff inside, and then glue the outside plastics back together for a handy dummy plug. Apple used to ship emply plastic battery cases just like this for their old Powerbooks that had two battery compartments. They were labeled "weight-saving device," which always seemed a little funny to me.
Paul (20 Feb 2007 16:56): Yes, that sounds feasible. Although, reading online, I hear Li-ion batteries are liable to explode. One website says, "Put a hole in one and it may put a hole in you."
G (7 Mar 2007 0:08): You know, I get a whole lot of spam^H^H^H^Hemail that starts out "Dear Mike."
I should start forwarding it.
m (10 Mar 2007 15:57): the ones I get are so straightforward: "manhood problems solved" and "powerful dick" from today's batch of subject-lines.
m (5 May 2007 2:06): Grant, appealing to your vast anime OST network here: I can't track down either the second or third OST for Tenshi ni Narumon - have you got them archived on a dusty mac hard drive somewhere? if not, any ideas how to get ahold of them?

good series, too.
G (6 May 2007 16:21): Never watched it all, but I can still remember that OP.
Actually, i don't know if I ever watched any.
But I can still remember that OP.
datte datte, datte datte...
G (7 May 2007 2:38): You're not kidding - it's hard to find. Even only has stubs for OST 2 and 3.
I don't know if I'll be able to turn anything up.
m (7 May 2007 16:40): Datte datte -- exactly! But oof, yeah, it's rough going. Someone's track listings for all three, and pictures of the first two are the best leads I've got. But the tracklist page makes it look like it was floating around at some point. I guess the series wasn't too popular.

Dropping that first OST on grza right now. (I had to wade through some horrendous free-downloads site with popups and javascript-needed-to-download-files and all kinds of bullshit to get it)
Grant (7 May 2007 21:28): Yeah - I already have the first one in 320.
And has the track listings for all three - just nothing else. Not even a price or the option to buy it used.
m (8 May 2007 15:56): oy. what a mess. seems like there's little hope of finding them. any ideas left?
R (9 May 2007 22:59): Well... begging in /r or /mu on one of the *chan sites. Pretty much hopeless, but you never know. I'll have my own request for mp3s made of unobtanium for y'all in a bit...
G (30 Jul 2007 13:39): Bargh. What's your phone number?
It's still 286 to the 1994 over here. (206)
m (4 Oct 2007 16:00): Surprising. I always thought "Chthonic" was more Lovecraftian derivate, but no: turns out the other way around, it would seem.
G (23 Nov 2007 21:14): Happy Thanksgiving!
I guess you probably don't get a day off for that in Canada, eh?
m (24 Nov 2007 14:54): nope. Unfortunately.
Thursday I brought in an algebra problem-set whose write-up ran 17 motherfucking pages. Granted, it was two weeks overdue, so Thanksgiving wouldn't have helped me out any.
I'm baking some bread for a little thanksgiving soiree at a friend's later tonight, though. Not all is lost.
G (20 Jan 2008 16:34): Paprika is pretty good, I thought!
m (27 Jan 2008 13:40): coffee is good for healthy, yes
G (27 Jan 2008 23:19): You can get a ticket... for the price of a cup of coffee.
G (6 Feb 2008 16:40): Ash Like Snow.
G (7 Feb 2008 8:23): New Toshiba MP3 player
G (7 Feb 2008 14:55): For the FF7 fans.
G (7 Feb 2008 23:22): 25,000 channel views!
m (29 Feb 2008 9:33): you fellas know of any text-to-speech where you can record your own phonemes?
Paul (1 Mar 2008 5:36): I don't know, but I think you have to record your diphones (~ pairs of phonemes) for it to sound at all realistic.
G (23 Nov 2008 12:09): So I guess Gainax is is still up to its old tricks. :/
m (23 Nov 2008 15:32): hot.
m (23 Nov 2008 15:38): Does pre not wrap? Fuck!
G (23 Nov 2008 20:10): I just think it's funny how, at this point, the original characters are a complete non-factor.
G (23 Nov 2008 20:16): Oh, and this.
Paul (5 Feb 2009 7:06): I'm sitting here at a professional development meeting, learning to use Mac OSX. Here, I can set up Cangjie input method:

i do not understand the function of 「Z」 in cangjie。。。
oh no, i forget how to type anything in chinese。。。
paul (5 Feb 2009 7:18): 我忘記了怎me寫中文。 fortunately google/translate and the input code helper make it possible to do a little bit。。。
G (26 May 2009 21:19): Any good cocktails with chocolate milk?

Looking at webtender, it seems that Kahlua is the most popular choice, but that's so boring. Amaretto, vodka, and grenadine sounds like it might work out. There's also a surprising number of people who seem to think mixing with whiskey would be a good idea... I don't know, man.
R (27 May 2009 12:09): I used to mix up godiva dark chocolate ice cream (when I could find it on sale) with reposado tequila. It seemed pretty good, but I think chocolate milk might get overwhelmed by a strong liquor.
G (27 May 2009 12:12): I dunno, this store-bought chocolate milk is pretty thick. I've been diluting it. :S
G (27 May 2009 12:13): I dunno, this store-bought chocolate milk is pretty thick. I've been diluting it. :S
G (27 May 2009 12:13): With whiskey.
m (28 May 2009 9:46): My roommate's got a bunch of seaweeds that his ladyfriend harvested from the oregon coast. I don't know: kombu, nori, some stuff I've never seen before, etc. (though this nori doesn't look like those friendly paper-thin sheets, but rather like chunky dried seaweed)

You guys know anything we could do with these sacks of seaweed? Like, you know, ways to prepare/eat it?
G (28 May 2009 23:55): The konbu is good for making broth and stuff. Less thick stuff can go well in soups, but I think the key is to not add too much. Or you might end up thinking somebody put a tide pool in your bowl.

Stuff that's good for eating by itself, you can kinda cut into strips, put a little oil-based dressing and some sesame seeds on, and call it a salad.
G (29 May 2009 12:45): Ahem.
Throw some cheese on that bitch!
Paul (1 Jul 2009 13:09): I'm not a fan of the new Python ternary syntax "a = 7 if b else 8". But now that I found it, I think the identical idiom "a = b and 7 or 8" is pretty cool.
Paul (1 Jul 2009 13:49): Now I see Guido already thought this through:
'The motivating use case was the prevalance of error-prone attempts to achieve the same effect using "and" and "or".'
G (2 Jul 2009 0:45): Is it too easy or something?
Paul (2 Sep 2009 20:02): "TD Bank Bike Philly" is a highly terrible name, like, bike bank bike, bank bank bike bank, 123, TDD, bank bike bike ABCD.
G (2 Sep 2009 21:21): What about Philly Association of Bikers for Saving Tomorrow (PABST)?
Paul (7 Sep 2009 7:14): High Energy Meta-Physics
G (11 Apr 2010 20:06): Does posting work?
G (11 Apr 2010 20:07): I couldn't post for a while there, I dunno. I blame Chrome. Time to switch back to Safari.
Paul (12 Apr 2010 20:19): April Fools (or not)
Paul (3 Nov 2014 16:59): From reddit:
A:"...I can see Tokyo & London being the trump cards"
B:"I have no idea what constitutes being a trump card, but as a New Yorker, I will needlessly and stupidly argue for the superiority of my city on the internet for as long as necessary."


Paul (2 Jul 2004 18:55): Newtopic now works again... sorry for the outage
m (19 Aug 2005 1:15): The Cat Returns: awesome. The Baron: dreamy!
m (14 Oct 2007 20:57): Thoreau on quines, sort of:
  My life has been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it.
m (28 Oct 2007 20:36): sometimes I talk to myself and pretend that I'm posting to mancala.
But irl I don't just reuse old topic-headings. I come up with new ones.
G (30 Oct 2007 11:58): You're kidding me, man.
All my dreams are about 'testing.'
G (30 Oct 2007 20:29): Sorry, no, my bad.
My dreams are all about 'test.'
m (30 Oct 2007 21:04): ah, good old 'test'