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Ok, guys, I need your help. Currently the server is running an older release of Mandrake. For the most part it works great. However, it is impossible to upgrade packages (ie from PHP 4.0.x to 4.1.x), and security updates are on the way out. So I really need to upgrade to either a new version of Mandrake or a new distro all together.

I'd think about simply downloading a new Mandrake ISO and doing an update, but I've heard that this often causes problems. Also, in a few years I'll probably be in the same situation I'm in now. Not to mention that unless they've changed things, Mandrake doesn't offer a non-graphical package update utility. MandrakeUpdate had to run in X, which is a pain.

Debian seems like a good choice, due to the fact that there aren't really "releases" - everything is constantly updating. However, I have Debian running here, and it's a major pain in the ass. Often something that should be very simply is anything but.

So what does everyone think? What options do I have? Keep in mind I have several MySQL databases and a bunch of system user/passwords that I need to preserve. Not to mention domains, e-mail setups, etc.

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It was reported a few weeks ago that a new radio station was going to go on the air in Madison, at 93.1 FM. What wasn't reported was what format the station would be - they didn't want to give any of the other stations in town a heads up. I was hoping for a classic rock station (WIBA being more hard than classic, despite what the jingles say - I don't consider AC/DC, Van Halen, Whitesnake, etc "classic rock"), while Amy was hoping for an alternative station (to fill in the gap WMAD left).

For the past few weeks WHIT De Forest/Madison had been broadcasting TV theme songs. TV 93! This morning they finally went on the air "for real", and my prayers were answered (well, I never actually prayed, but...). The station is now "93.1 - The Lake", and plays classic rock. The format seems a bit predictable (heavy on '70s groups like The Eagles, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Zep, etc), but it's still an improvement over WIBA, and hopefully (if we're lucky) they'll make the programming a bit more unique as they go on. They did play "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" by Joe Cocker, which seemed slightly out of the ordinary.

There might be good news in store for Amy, too. I've seen rumors that 106.7 will go on the air as an alternative station. I guess we'll see.

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So, I tried out something new today: pulled pork. I didn't use the ti leaves, though, and I grilled it instead of putting it in the oven (or slow cooker). I'd say it turned out very well.

07-18-03-01t.jpg 07-18-03-02t.jpg
On the grill
Pulling it apart
In the slow cooker

Yes, kids, this is what those 10 lb shoulder roasts at Cub are good for (although half of said roast is still in the freezer).

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Fifteen dollars at the junkyard me a new speaker (to replace the one that was buzzing) and a new center console piece (to replace the one that was busted when my car was broken in to).

Now if $15 would only get me a new car...

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So, with some help, I figured out my programming question. The way I did it:

1) Search the file for any e-mail addresses (using a generic regular expression). The results of this get put into an array.
2) Perform a standard find and replace on this array, replacing "." with "(DOT)" and "@" with "(AT)". The results of this get put into a second array.
3) Perform a standard find and replace on the original file, with "find" being the array from step 1 and "replace" being the array from step 2. This gets printed out.

Thus, e-mail addresses in comments now take the form of "user(AT)domain(DOT)tld".

Programming is fun.

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First off, congratulations to the new couple, Zach and Erin Moneypenny.

Second, props to Jamey Walter for remembering this little story:

Park High School, freshman year, second semester, US History, Mr. Hampton. Mr. Hampton's grading system was very odd. At the end of each quarter, he'd give you all of your assignments back graded, along with a points scale. You'd add up all the points for all of the different assignments, and (theoretically) you'd know what your grade for that quarter was. Simple enough in theory, but despite what Mr. Hampton said, there were always missing assignments, bonus points of various kinds, etc. Assignments would come back marked "X+40". We didn't really know what this meant, and Mr. Hampton probably didn't either. Whatever the case, the stuff didn't add up.

At any rate, while this system was supposed to tell us our grades, Mr. Hampton also used a more traditional direct approach. Well, kind of. Rather than bringing you to the front of the class and speaking softly or pointing at your grade in a gradebook, the system was as follows. On a piece of paper you would write your name, as well as the grade you thought you deserved. All of said pieces of paper would be given to Mr. Hampton, whereupon he would announce to the class how far off you were. For example, due to the strange point system, I figured I'd aim low and say "C". When it came to be my turn, Mr. Hampton said "two higher" (for an A).

Then there was Mike Kristopeit. I guess Mike was feeling lucky that day, and (apparently) wrote down "A" on the little scrap of paper. Well, Mr. Hampton swiftly put him back into his place:

"Oh no no NO Mr. Kristopeit. Two lower!"

It makes me laugh to this day.

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So (crosses fingers), I don't think the interview went as bad as I was expecting. That is, I didn't walk out feeling as stupid as I thought I would. Unfortunately, I won't know anything more for two or three weeks, at which point I'll know if I get a second interview or not.

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Friendships can be strange. Or, should I say, the life cycle of friendships. Obviously, falling outs are to be expected from time to time. What's really strange are those friendships that just kind of drift away for no apparent reason. For example, I was fairly close friends with someone in high school. Freshman year of college, we became even closer, talking or hanging out several times a week. Sophomore year we didn't hang out as much, and then after that, we hardly spoke at all. When we did, there was an obvious change in chemistry. Then senior year, we ran into each other once and talked for a good 20 minutes. It was like we had been friends all along. That was a year and a half ago, and I don't think I've talked to them since (one e-mail was sent, but I never heard back).

I know a few people who I wish I had kept in better touch with, but that one in particular seems to stick out like a sore thumb.

I'm not sure why exactly I'm writing this now. I can't sleep, and for whatever reason, this was on my mind.

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I don't know which is worse: being sick when it's really nice out (since you can't really enjoy being outside) or being sick when it's cold and dreary out (which just seems to make everything worse). Right now I'm going to say sick and dreary is worse.

If anyone out there is good with regular expressions, let me know. I need to write something that will replace "." with " DOT " and "@" with " AT ". That normally wouldn't be hard, but it has to work over an entire file, yet only modify e-mail addresses (ie, it can't replace the period at the end of a sentence with a DOT). Anyone?

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Blargh. I think Brian & Carrie got me sick. Amy convinced me to go to the doctor yesterday. Well, after close to three hours there, I was told by a physician's assistant to get rest, drink fluids, etc. I couldn't have figured that out on my own, you know...

Other than that things are ok, I guess. I need to study up on a few things for my interview on Friday. That better go well.

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So we watched the fireworks from the WISC-TV 3 lawn tonight. All I have to say is Susan Siman is far better looking in person than on TV, while John Karcher is much more scary. Guys like him shouldn't wear tank tops in public.

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Most of today was spent making the area around the ponds pretty:

Not too much else going on. The past few days I was doing some 95 -> XP migration on the west side. Pretty simple, as everything was scripted. Interview in two weeks at CS. Hopefully that goes well.

More cute doggie pictures:

"Boy this ear tastes good."

"What do you think you're looking at?"

"That ear tasted very good."

Freckles under the desk
Wasn't that refreshing?

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

WFS Logo

One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.