Process substitution in bash

There’s a very clever syntax in bash (and several other unix shells) that allows the output / input for subcommands to be hooked together. http://tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/process-sub.html This can be used to secure mysql passwords in scripts. e.g. mysql –defaults-file=


Windows 7 Activation

Windows 7 is available for purchase at a discount from the Microsoft student and teacher “Ultimate Steal” website. This sounds great. Now to upgrade from 32-bit Vista to 64-bit Windows 7 you need to do a clean install. So far so good. Unfortunately,…


Escape single quotes in bash

Some helpful instructions on Stuart Colville’s blog explain how to do this. To produce e.g. abc'def, you need to enter $echo 'abc'\''def' The '\'' first closes the single quotes, then puts a literal (escaped) ' and then opens single quotes again.


Netgear WGT624 v4 router

It is possible to gain root access on this router. You need to follow the telnetEnable procedure on the web, using the username/password Gearguy/Geardog as for the previous routers. Then, you telnet to port 23 and will get a “login:” prompt. At that…


Venison Toad-in-the-Hole

Serves 2 Ingredients: 6 Sainsbury’s Taste-the-difference venison sausages 6oz plain flour 2 large eggs pinch of salt & pepper 6 fl oz milk 4 fl oz water Instructions: 1. Place sausages in a pyrex / ceramic dish about 15 x 25cm and 3cm…


Fix flat screen monitor with pencil eraser

I scratched my flat screen (LCD or TFT) monitor some months ago. For a while, I’ve just lived with the damage. This evening, however, I tried a trick I found on the web. I rubbed hard on the scratch with a white pencil…


Convert OFX files to plain text

My bank provides OFX format files for download from their Internet banking website. This short perl script ofx2txt converts these into tab delimited text files suitable to be opened in Excel.


Convert data from DocArc to EndNote

I used the excellent bib2endnote project recently as a starting point to convert a DocArc library of references into EndNote format. This method retains any attachments. Brief notes : Modify “docarc” binary, changing: sub new   {   my $self = LWP::UserAgent::new( @_ );…


Public right of way through the grounds of Blenheim Palace

We went for a lovely walk with my family yesterday in the grounds of Blenheim Palace. There are a few public rights of way through the grounds, which you do not need to pay to use. The one we prefer begins on the…


DPhil thesis submitted

At long last, after months of writing, I submitted my DPhil (i.e. PhD) thesis today. It feels great! I particularly like this photograph that my fiancée took just before I handed it over at Examination Schools, Oxford.