screen grab logging

This is more of a short-term workaround than a solution, but it’s kind of fun. I’m doing some performance testing of one of our java servers, and I want my test to run in the night while I’m asleep. The test has previously been run using jconsole to get graphs of memory and thread usage. […]

ack – best thing since sliced bread

Someone at work recently pointed out ack. It’s a powerful replacement for find and grep. My favorite features: it ignores CVS/.svn directories; can easily specify file types with a flag (and of course define your own types); and it has colour highlighting on the output. On Ubuntu it is called ‘ack-grep’ instead of just ‘ack’: […]

cut with multiple spaces

Today’s little command line lesson. Unix cut command takes a parameter which tells it the delimiter character to use. Often this is a space. However it only ever matches a single character, so when you have a line with extra spacing to make some columns line up, this doesn’t work right. Instead of just using […]


I run Workrave on my work and home PCs. It reminds me to take a break every now and then. I find if I ignore it I end the day with strained eyes and aches in my shoulders or neck, so I try not to ignore it. When I’m in the office and my computer […]

log file processing

I seem to have been doing lots of this kind of thing recently. grep "FOUND query" bak0*b_hac-server.log | awk ‘{print $8}’ | awk ‘BEGIN { FS = "|" }; { print $6 }’ | sort | uniq -c Remember, usually you want to sort before uniq.


I scribbled some design notes on my whiteboard… now I need a camera so I can record them!

tab shortcuts

I found I can use Alt+ to switch tabs in Gnome-Terminal. I then tried it in some other applications with tabs – it also works in Firefox and Pidgin, but not in Eclipse.

testing socket timeouts

A while ago I wrote about a test server I had written to help test our systems against their external dependencies. And it has proved very useful. This week I was once again working on improvements to our external transaction handling, and while my test server was useful, we also wanted to test against the […]