I've decided to retire this blog — I don't really see myself updating it any time soon, and haven't for over two years anyway. I intend to leave the content on-line for the forseeable future, but have converted it to a static site. As a result, dynamic things like search and comments aren't really going to work.

You can find me on Twitter or on Google+ if you like. Alternatively, I'm usually on IRC as LawnGnome on Freenode.

Thanks for reading!

Archive for October, 2007


Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

I’ve donated in the past to Wikimedia and probably will in the future, but seriously, who decided that donation box should be added to the English Wikipedia? Two minutes of its <marquee> style antics this morning and I already have a headache.

Still, it was a great incentive to log in and kill it via a custom style sheet, which I’d never before played with on Wikipedia. If you’re logged in and using the default Monobook skin, it’s as simple as this:

  1. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Mypage/monobook.css.
  2. Edit the page and add the following line:
    .fundraiser-box { display: none; }
  3. Force a reload using whatever method is appropriate for your browser.

Actually, it’s probably a good incentive to log in generally. No more anonymous edits for me when I’m lazy, and it was all down to one poorly conceived fundraising banner. Good job, Wikimedia Foundation!

(Yet More) Recycled Air

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

My bank balance has worn one — actually, several — for the team, but I’ve finished a very productive day arranging the various bits of travel that I have planned for this summer. In order, I shall be inflicting myself on gracing the following cities with my presence:

  • Brisbane (and any parts of Queensland I can get to during the five days I’m hitting the road that aren’t infested with schoolies): November 20 to 30, ostensibly to attend OSDC. Also the Muse concert on the 21st. I’m still not sure which one I consider more important.
  • Shanghai: December 5 to 20, for a university study trip. I also have about 24 hours in Singapore (which I’ve never been to — well, outside the airport, anyway) on the way back, so if the lazyweb has any suggestions for things to do there which could be fitted into, say, a morning, I’d love to hear them.
  • Mel8ourne: January 27 to February 3. I note that an open day has been scheduled for my birthday. How good of the LCA organisers to give me such a nice present.

Simplistic maths suggests that I’m going to be out of Perth for ~45% of the time between November 20 and February 3. Sounds like a summer of fun to me!

Once in a Lifetime

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

This is probably old news, as I rarely use Windows, but I was given this prompt this week after getting the notification that a new version of Java was available.

Special Offer

Of course, that’s as opposed to OpenOffice’s normal high price.


Saturday, October 13th, 2007

I’ve seen three people ask a variation of how can I get a list of installed PEAR packages from within my PHP script in the last few weeks on IRC, and two just in the last day. Because I’m a helpful sort, here’s a little morsel of code that will do just that:

include 'PEAR/Registry.php';

$reg = new PEAR_Registry;
foreach ($reg->listPackages() as $package) {
    print "$package\n";

This should work with pretty much any version of PEAR.

(Update: Ken has a nifty bit of code in the comments to check for a specific installed version of a package.)