friday, fish, and free demos

Today was Jay’s last day here. He finished his Math::Calculator implementation on Thursday, so I gave him something simpler. I asked him to reimplement one of my first-ever Perl programs, an Esperanto dictionary. It just took some text file I’d found (or maybe generated) of Esperanto and English words. Every line is one Esperanto word and an English meaning for it, tab-delimited. I wrote a little interactive lookup tool with regexps and a decent interface in about 55 lines. Jay didn’t do too much worse, which was nice to see. He had a few fewer features, but it was fine.

I’m going to keep providing him with little exercies (and not pre-built answers) for a few weeks and see how that goes. Maybe I’ll raid Google looking for good existing homework assignments.

Gloria was feeling the need for something greasy, so we headed to the diner, and it was good. Katie and Jerome came by and met the pigs, then we headed to Golden Gate. I had clam chowder and catfish and carrot cake, which provided a delicious and alliterative meal.

The pigs were good while we had company, and even ventured out of their pipes a little bit. They’re definitely getting a bit more extroverted. This is good. What’s not so good is this: Gloria took the pigs to the vet today and found that Wookie has an ear infection! She got some cleaning solution and medicine for her, and we’ll take her back in two weeks to see how it’s gone.

In the meantime, Wookie gets medicine in her ear twice a day. We did it for the first time, tonight, and it wasn’t as traumatic as I feared it would be. She clearly didn’t enjoy it too much, but once it was done she calmed right down and walked around a little. We let Wookie and Snoozer roam around the library. At first they were very reticent to leave their pillow, but after a while they were happily running around, sniffing the carpet and climbing on the bookshelves. Snoozer seems to like following right on her mom’s heels.

I recently saw some people pointing at Sciral Consistency, an application that’s good for task-based event tracking. You tell it what you want to do, and how often, and then you tell it when you do that. It tells you when you should do something, when you’ve done it early, and when you’ve done it late.

The “free demo” is unlimited in duration. The web site said there were some limitations, but never defined them. I just found it: you can only have five tasks in a document unless you pay $25. I know people need to make money, but this strikes me as a total crock.

NetNewsWire 2 is going to sell for something like $20, and is far, far more powerful, useful, and feature-rich than Consistency. I’d pay five or ten bucks, but twenty-five is a bit much. I’m pondering using “write a Consistency clone” as an excuse to learn more Cocoa, or maybe to get better with XMLXTTPRequest.

Written on March 12, 2005