You have the following list:


You want to turn it into something that looks like this:


All you have is a stick of bubble gum, a broken lightbulb, and a bash shell with the usual tools installed. How would you do it?

Here are a few suggestions.

perl -pi.bak -e 'unless(eof){s/\n/,/g}' textfile

This will produce a backup called textfile.bak and modify the original file.

A rather involved sed one liner could do it:

sed -n 's/.*/&,/;H;$x;$s/,\n/,/g;$s/\n\(.*\)/\1/;$s/\(.*\),/\1/;$p'

Using tr:

cat textfile | tr '\n' ','

There are numerous other possibilities. Free to make suggestions. Also, how would you reverse the process?

Microsoft to stop selling Windows XP on Monday from
(AP) — Microsoft Corp. is scheduled to stop selling its Windows XP operating system to retailers and major computer makers Monday, despite protests from a slice of PC users who don’t want to be forced into using XP’s successor, Vista.

Synchronize directories with Komparator and KDiff3

f you work some of the time on your laptop and some of the time on your desktop box, making sure that your work is updated on both machines is a must. Many tools can help you accomplish this, from command-line tools such as scp and rsync to generic graphical applications like Konqueror or Krusader, to more specific tools like Unison. Komparator and KDiff3, a couple of KDE applications with interesting features, may offer better ways of syncing your work.Komparator can search and synchronize any two directories. It uses KIO slaves, which lets you compare not only standard directories, but also protocol-based pseudofolders such as smb:// (Samba folders), ssh:// and ftp:// (remote directories via SSH and FTP), and fonts:// (local fonts). Its latest version is 0.8, dated from October 2007, and it’s available under the GPLv2. ..KDiff3 provides more functions than Komparator, but not all are relevant to synchronization. Working with directories, KDiff3 goes further than Komparator — it can compare as many as three directories at the same time (instead of two), simulate the merge operations, do the synchronization in a more “hands-off” way, and even produce backups. More importantly, it can also help you compare specific files (think source files, if you’re a programmer) by highlighting their differences, then merging them. In KDiff3, a merge need not be simply one file overwriting another. If you’ve ever modified a file on one machine and then carelessly made another change to a copy of the file on a different machine, common merging procedures would opt for one of the files, making you lose the changes on the other one. With KDiff3, you could get to keep both changes.

I’m not vouching for either of these as I have not tried them for this purpose, but it looks worthy of consideration.See Also:Keyboard Shortcuts in

I find myself using a basic text editor more and more often. Even the relatively well behaved openoffice.or Writer had a tendency to do stuff I don’t necessarily want to do with a simple text file, and certainly, something like Word is the work of Satan.For instance, have you ever noticed strange goofy characters that are not supposed to be there in the title of the posts on this blog or elsewhere? That comes from using a text editor. What looks like “Hello World” in both a text editor and a word processor may not really be the same thing, when copied and pasted. Character encodings and all.Anyway, text editors are important, and they are not just for coders. In fact, bloggers need an excellent text editor, as do many normal people.Here is an overview of Linux text editors. I’ll make just a few comments.As the review says, vi (or Vim or Elvis … variants of vi) is installed on virtually every *nix computer. Therefore, if you are a system administrator, you will find …. wait, wait, if you are a system administrator you do not need to learn anything from me about text editors. Move along. northing to see here.OK, the review also discusses Gedit and Kate. I’ve written recently about Gedit, HERE, in what I think is my most under appreciated post … lots of work, good stuff, funny jokes, nobody read it. Go read that to find out more about Gedit. And spornography. And other stuff. Continue reading

For your iPod Touch:The Phoenix Mars Mission thingie. Gives you two RSS feeds (one for news one for blog) and the weather report on mars. A widget displays the elapsed mission time on mars. I’d like to see this application give us more. Like real time images and possibly the ability to control the Phoenix craft (during time they are otherwise not using it, of course). Here.NASA Photograph of the Day. This is potentially cool. When I went to look at it the first time, it was the lamest photograph I’ve ever seen from NASA. (The street somewhere around the Smithsonian with people waking around and stuff.) But this could be fun. Here.

A new thing called “sporn” hits the intertubesi-b4d74b5686c2d3e402c453f559c7c5ef-ERV_spore.jpgErv writes a post: SPORE: Obvious happens, EA shocked which points out a flaw in the plan by EA games to take over the world … they may be causing the “The Internet is ruining society” scenario du jour.You see, spores (entities that users, players of the game, create on by what is all accounts amazing entity-creating software) created in this new universe are automatically converted to readily available animations, automatically uploaded to You Tube. But they can be very racy, even pornographic.

EA has been taking down sporn YouTubes and Sporepedia entries, and putting sporn makers accounts in ‘time-out’. Evidently it is someones job to sift through every single uploaded creature to make sure they arent ‘naughty’

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It was actually yesterday, June 21st, but sixty years ago, when the first “modern computer” which in this case is defined as a computer that could store it’s own memory, as born i Manchester, England. It’s name was Baby.

The Small Scale Experimental Machine, or “Baby”, was the first to contain memory which could store a program.The room-sized computer’s ability to carry out different tasks – without having to be rebuilt – has led some to describe it as the “first modern PC”.Using just 128 bytes of memory, it successfully ran its first set of instructions – to determine the highest factor of a number – on 21 June 1948.”We were extremely excited,” Geoff Tootill, one of the builders of Baby told BBC News.”We congratulated each other and then went and had lunch in the canteen.”Mr Tootill, and three other surviving members of the Baby team, will be honoured by the University and the British Computer Society at a ceremony in

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Check it out:

Emma McGrattan, the senior vice-president of engineering for computer-database company Ingres-and one of Silicon Valley’s highest-ranking female programmers-insists that men and women write code differently. Women are more touchy-feely and considerate of those who will use the code later, she says. They’ll intersperse their code-those strings of instructions that result in nifty applications and programs-with helpful comments and directions, explaining why they wrote the lines the way they did and exactly how they did it.The code becomes a type of “roadmap” for others who might want to alter it or add to it later, says McGrattan, a native of Ireland who has been with Ingres since 1992.Men, on the other hand, have no such pretenses.

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This file is clobbered…
Linux and related operating systems are different from, say Windows, in many ways. One is this: When you “delete” a file in, say Windows, you are asked to confirm the operation, then the file is moved to the trash folder, not deleted. In Linux, when you “delete” (remove) a file, it is clobbered. Gone. It is a defunct entity. Continue reading

… at Firefox Central.Firefox had been organizing “Download Day” on their web site … getting as many people as possible to show up TODAY (June 17th) todownload the newly released Firefox 3 … so many people as to set a record for number of downloads.But it isn’t there! Ha! You can download Version 2, but not Version 3. Maybe they mean some other time zone… Maybe they were only kidding… Maybe they messed up….i-f06302d7ea0e62f71f9e3b9bcd6a0bea-firefox_download_oops.jpgWell, the Firefox Browser is so good we’ll forgive them. Maybe they will get he software on line in a few minutes or an hour or so and still break the record.

Brian Unger can be very funny. I just got an electronic device similar to (but not) an iPhone. More on that later. But in the mean time, I heard this today while I was on my way over to Har Mar and I thought it was so funny that I’d pass it on to you. (More on Har Mar later, too .. )Go here, and click on “Listen Now. It’s Brian Unger’s letter to Steve Jobs. Written on his iPhone.(Spell check that, Mr. Sparty-pants.)The iPhone Blues


Joomla! is a Content Management System that is so widely used and cool that you can buy Joomla logo gear, like this shirt. Could that mean that it is a good CMS?
And why would you want one?Before I started, I went through all of the content management sites that I had available to me in order to consider possibilities for running my blog. I ended up using WordPress, which is a kind of CMS that specialized in blogs, for a number of reasons. But I did use a couple of different content management systems for private or small scale projects. At the moment, I’m looking again at CMS as a solution for something we need to fix at The U.But how do you pick one? Continue reading

Participate in’s 2008 Community Choice Awards. Sourceforge, along with Freshmeat, is a central repository for OpenSource community driven software projects. When installing software on your Linux box, you are better off using the built in software for installation and not downloading stuff from Sourceforge or Freshmeat, until you know what you are doing. But these are great sites to browse and/or search for software you need. Or want.Here’s a few other software related tidbits: Continue reading

In the world of underwater robots, this is a team of pioneers. While most ocean robots require periodic communication with scientist or satellite intermediaries to share information, these can work cooperatively communicating only with each other.Over the past five years Kristi Morgansen, a UW assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, has built three Robofish that communicate with one another underwater. Recently at the International Federation of Automatic Control’s Workshop on Navigation, Guidance and Control of Underwater Vehicles, she presented results showing that the robots had successfully completed their first major test. The robots were programmed to either all swim in one direction or all swim in different directions, basic tasks that can provide the building blocks for coordinated group movement. This success in indoor test tanks will eventually provide the basis for ocean-going systems to better explore remote ocean environments.”Underwater robots don’t need oxygen. The only reason they come up to the surface right now is for communication,” Morgansen said.Her robots would not need to come to the surface until their task was complete. They could cooperatively track moving targets underwater, such as groups of whales or spreading plumes of pollution, or explore caves, go underneath ice-covered waters, or into) dangerous environments where surfacing might not be possible. Schools of robots would be able to work together to do things that one could not do alone, such as tracking large herds of animals or mapping expanses of pollution that can grow and change shape.

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Being more keyboardy is good. The mouse is good, too. But if you can do more things with the keyboard, those things will usually happen faster and with less mucking around. Also, it is very, very cool to sit there and go “tap tap tap” and have stuff happen on the screen without the mouse. Like in that Star Trek where Scott was forced to use a Mac Classic to design Invisible Aluminum. First he tried to use the mouse as a microphone to communicate with the computer. When that didn’t work, he just went after the keyboard and tap-tap-tap had a design for Invisible Aluminum ready to go. To put whales in.Since most of your time is spent using a web browser, and the main web browser you use is Firefox, I thought I’d pass on a few keyboardy shortcuts. Keep in mind, however, that many keyboard commands are used in common system wide for many different programs, like the first three I’ll mention … they work, in one way or another, in all programs that also use a mouse. Most of the time. Continue reading

What? Consider this Abstract from the patent:

A software design process includes three elements–an object/component driven element, a situation/scenario driven element, and an arbitrator/communicator element that is logically interposed and serves as an intermediary between the object/component driven and the situation/scenario driven elements. Through an iterative communication process overseen by the arbitrator/communicator, software design can take place and be measured against a metric. The communication process overseen and implemented by the arbitrator/communicator can allow ideas and developments provided by one element to be translated into a format that the other element understands. Once the metric has been achieved, the design process can be terminated.

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According to Really Linux writer Andrea W. Cordingly, “Chicks Love Linux” …

There I was standing around the LUG booth at the annual Linux expo when I realised that unlike years past, there were considerable numbers of female attendants. No, I am not referring exclusively to those female models hired to promote an OS (I won’t mention which one) wearing skimpy demon costumes.I was truly encouraged to find that women from all backgrounds and ages were making up an increasingly larger portion of those attending such Linux conferences.

Microsoft blames YOUA recent study shows that Microsoft Vista is more vulnerable to malicious code attack than previous versions of Microsoft. Others argue that this is a misreading of the data. But those closest to Microsoft have a different opinion: The increased rate of malicious code attacks on Windows is the fault of the users (victims).Microsoft. They don’t like you. Why would you like Microsoft?Zoom Zoom

Thanks to a new joint effort between Intel and Wind River, you may soon be running Linux in your car.The effort will run under the auspices of the Intel led effort and will deal specifically with the in-vehicle infotainment marketplace. The idea is to create a Linux based Open Infotainment Platform that will run on Intel’s Atom processor. According to a release issued by Wind River, BMW, Bosch and Delphi are among the companies that are already supporting the effort.The actual open source code specification is not yet on the Moblin site though Wind River expects to make it available by August of 2008….

Microsoft has a deal with the government of Hungary which costs the government billions and traps university students in the Microsoft Gap. This is the usual monopolistic evil corporate policy that makes thinking people dislike Microsoft (everyone else is a mindless clone. Sorry, but, well, I’m just sayin’).Anyway, Microsoft Strong Man Steve Ballmer had the audacity to visit a Hungarian University. And what he got, he had coming. Continue reading