Real-Time Blacklists, QuickTime Bug, Code Mode

Just after hitting Post in Kung-Log on that last entry, remembered that Movable Type is all perl. But wait – I’m building the latest perl in CPAN in the background right now. Amazing — it worked fine — you can apparently use the perl interpreter even while building it. Or you can if you’re lucky. It would probably be as easy to jack yourself up bad if not careful.

Didn’t set out to upgrade perl – just installing SpamAssassin, it found a bunch of dependencies it needed, and before I knew it perl 5.8 was on its way in. Not sure I need SpamAssasin anyway – set up CommuniGate to work with some real-time blacklists earlier today and am impressed – spam dropped by around 75% immediately.

On the downside, RBL systems reject suspected spam outright – you never get to have a look to check for false positives. On the other hand, SpamAssassin and other filters just add a spam tag to the msg header, so you can do whatever client filtering you want. That’s great, but I’ve already got solid client-side tagging via Entourage. It may be useful for future birdhouse customers.

Getting archived QuickTime video ready for async webcasting yesterday and edited dead air from the start of a bunch of files with hint tracks (extra data tracks necessary to work with a streaming server). When accessed via rtsp://, Safari blew up – total crash. Oh, wait, so did IE/Mac. Oh, wait, so did IE/Win. Oh, wait, so did QT Player when accessing the rtsp:// stream directly. I had discovered a super-fatal bug — and the only fix was to delete hint tracks and regenerate them from scratch. For a week’s worth of video. Lovely way to spend a day. Lesson: If you edit QT files with hint tracks, don’t put them on a streaming server until you replace the hint track. Reported to Apple.

This semester I’m splitting the PHP/MySQL class with another team. I taught three weeks of PHP in code mode, they’re doing three weeks working with same in Dreamweaver. Today was the start of the Dreamweaver segment and afterwards I asked the class whether they preferred working in code mode or in Dreamweaver. Pleasantly shocked to hear them say they preferred working in code (remember these are journalism and SIMs students).

Music: King Crimson :: Easy Money

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