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Practical and theoretical aspects of software development

Archive for January 2012

Using find and grep.

Back in August of last year, for one of the first posts on my brand-new blog, I put up the slides from a lunch-time presentation that I gave on find, grep, sed, and awk. I put it up so that it would be available as reference to those that attended the talk, even though the slides weren’t designed for stand-alone use, and slides make a poor Internet reference.

Given the surprising popularity of that post, it seemed reasonable to repackage the information in a format that is more fitting for a blog post.

find and grep are incredibly powerful. But many never learn a fraction of what they can do. Did you know that grep can print the surrounding lines? Or that you can search for files based on permissions? Here’s a collection of examples that might expand your notion of what can be done with find and grep.

Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Eric Wilson

January 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Posted in how-to

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Choose your frontier wisely.

Living with cutting edge technologies is life on the frontier. Exciting new opportunities abound, but so do the challenges and dangers. The frontier is exciting because many mundane problems have been left behind, but it isn’t long until you miss the the boring benefits of community, the doctors, the policemen, the grocers, the plumbers, the libraries, and the companionship. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric Wilson

January 18, 2012 at 2:18 am

Posted in commentary

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Google – not an advertising company

You’ve seen this meme, right? It usually goes something like this:

Google, the search advertising giant …

Can we stop spreading this foolishness? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric Wilson

January 3, 2012 at 6:19 am

Posted in commentary

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Book review: The Little Schemer by Daniel Friedman

The Little SchemerThis is an unusual book. The first thing to know is that it does not contain chapters that are made up of paragraphs. It is a list of problems. The only way to gain anything from this book is to do the problems. Sure you may look at the first few and think you get the idea, and feel like you are doing fine just by reading the problems and solutions and thinking about them. But it won’t be long until you realize that you have no idea what is going on, and worse, you won’t know where you lost the trail.

So don’t be lazy, if you are going to read this book, set up an interpreter, and start coding.

The second thing to know about this book is that it does not attempt to teach you the Scheme programming language. Which is good news, because you don’t really want to be a Scheme programmer. What this book does teach, however, is of interest to every programmer. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric Wilson

January 2, 2012 at 7:38 am

Posted in reviews

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