Monthly Archives: March 2009

A sed Quirk

The sed utility is a useful, if slightly obscure, tool. (Fortunately, there are excellent guides available to its use.) Today, however, I ran across an annoying incompatibility in one of its features, which I want to briefly discuss.

Posted in UNIX | Comments Off

Single Signs

Remember this fascinating article? (It’s about those signs that were nearly ubiquitous 6-9 months ago.) If you don’t remember, or haven’t seen it, it’s worth a read. I have only an anecdotal note to add.

Posted in Jack Handy | Comments Off

WordPress Backups (con’t)

This is a quick addenda to yesterday’s notes on backing up self-hosted WordPress blogs. I noticed that I neglected to make the scripts I described available as downloads, and that I didn’t illustrate the final piece of the puzzle: a … Continue reading

Posted in Projects, Python, UNIX, Web stuff | Comments Off

WordPress Backups

If you run a self-hosted WordPress Blog, it’s probably a good idea to back it up now and again. Here I present some code that I use to back up my blog to Amazon’s S3 service, which might help you … Continue reading

Posted in Projects, Python, UNIX, Web stuff | Comments Off


Today, a brief contest between two theories explaining why you’ve been hearing so much about Twitter recently. Our contestants are Mickey Kaus, who has reasonable instincts for when he’s being had, and Seth Godin, who knows a lot about how … Continue reading

Posted in Jack Handy | Comments Off

KenKen Puzzles

I’ve spent a lot of time discussing the construction of a solver for KenKen puzzles. Most people, of course, prefer to play these puzzles. To that end, I present a collection of roughly 1000 KenKen-style puzzles, available here.

Posted in Projects | Comments Off

KenKen Solver – Multiple Solutions

A reader asks if the KenKen solver we recently developed can handle puzzles with multiple solutions. It turns out to be pretty simple to modify the search-and-propagation algorithm to return all the solutions to a puzzle, instead of just one.

Posted in Projects, Python | Comments Off

Joe Calzaghe

Joe Calzaghe retired from boxing last month. Calzaghe was generally regarded as the top fighter active in the 168 and 175 pound divisions. Debate about his career tends to center on whether he was merely a good fighter in a … Continue reading

Posted in Boxing | Comments Off


According to this article in Slate, Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a little-studied condition. I bet this news makes those diagnosed with NPD very, very unhappy.

Posted in Jack Handy | Comments Off

Overspecialized Constructors

I want to discuss a simple mistake which recently caused me a disproportionate amount of trouble. I believe I violated a simple rule which might be formulated as “do not create overly specialized constructors in languages which lack constructor overloading“.

Posted in Python, The Hard Way | Comments Off