Discovered a nasty bug which looks related to Perl 5.8, SOAPLite, LDAP and UTF8. We have a SOAPLite SOAP RPC that connects to an LDAP server to do authentication. It looks like this combination of tools mangles the utf8 encoding of the parameters passed to the LDAP calls. managed to find a post on the SOAPLite list about this. The quick fix is to utf8::downgrade(yourparams).

Update:Working with on another LDAP related problem and found that you only need Perl + Net::LDAP to see the UTF8 weirdness. The error we were seeing was “IO::Error interrupted system call”. utf8::downgrade(yourparams) sill applies.

Embedded Windows

Noticed a “Embedded Windows” licence sticker on a POS terminal today. Just like the one that comes stuck to your shiny new Dell, that you never plan to run Windows on and can’t buy without an OS.

True Story:Friend of mine was towing a boat on Spring St. Lots of traffic and he was trying to change lanes. Being a defensive driver he used his blinker and attempted to change, no one would let him in. He ends up at the head of the line at the next light. So this guy pulls up beside him rolls his window down to get my friends attention. He rolls his window down and this guy says, “Hey buddy, you know you have your blinker on?”. My friend politely says, “No shite, Sherlock”. The other guy pauses for a sec then says, “Oh; You can get in front of me”.

Gnome and Mono

Maybe it’s a good thing…I’ve been reading a good bit about some cool Gnome projects[1][2].

What makes me uneasy about these projects is that they both plan to or are using C# as the language choice. Following a MS technology like this is bound to bite you/us at some point.


Got a postcard in the mail today from Suncom. It was for a free gift they had given me of 2 months free detailed billing, that would revert to a pay thing after the two months. I would have to call and cancel, this FREE gift. So I call and wait nearly 10 mins. on hold to cancel this crap. I let the guy have “what for” and registered a complaint. He said he would forward it along with the quite a few other complaints he had received.Any other Suncom users get this? Let them have it when you call to complain.Try this again and bye bye Suncom.

Gold Medal

Grabbed lunch at the KFC we unfortunately sometimes go to. They have a new gold medal award on the wall. This award is apparently given to KFC’s that excel in customer server, cleanliness, etc. Now this KFC is probably one of the dirtiest fast food restaurants I go to. They have been known to be out of napkins, condiments, even chicken.

Laptop Duality

Two laptops arrived today in the Lab, a Dell and an Apple. It provided a interesting opportunity for comparisons.

First glance impression:

  • Apple – Sleek, well made, light
  • Dell – Large, clunky, heavy, “plasticy”

First power on:

  • Apple – Slightly long first startup, a few screens to go through, up and running without any additional reboots, found AirPort and was on the net flawlessly
  • Dell – Fast first startup, horrid Windows registration crap.

That’s as much as I got to see today. The Apple is just plain “drooltastic”, while the Dell is “just a laptop”. One caveat, is that the Dell is a lower end model, while the Apple is a midrange.