Matt S Trout: homepage v0.007 alpha

Why are you here? I've no idea. So, let's try in a general sense to give you a reason to be here a little longer. If you get bored, go here, here or here and come back in a bit. The people on there probably have more to say than I do, anyway :-)

If you want to e-mail me, try matt at the domain you're looking at now. If you're a crawler, try

Work-wise, I seem to have accidentally ended up as the Tech Director of an Open-Source driven consultancy - see the Shadowcat Systems site for details.

So get on with it

Yeah, yeah. Who am I, then? Perl coder, *n?x herder (esp. NetBSD) and goth. I inhabit, in a loose sense, a house in Morecambe, UK, along with a superb helldesker called Nick (so if you're short one ...)

If you're in Lancaster and in search of a beer, I'd suggest the Penny Bank, the Yorkshire House or the Bobbin. If you're in search of a night out and have a suitable taste in music, try the Dark Place or Hydra, although the latter will force you to go to Morecambe (don't worry, I survived :-)

I wasn't going to put a photo up until I had one that doesn't make me look even worse than I do in real life, but eventually I gave up.
So, onwards. Bands next. Try Metallica before they disappeared up their own arseholes, and Kyuss before they split up. Definitely try Kyuss - if you've heard of Queens of the Stone Age, this is what Josh Homme did before that and it's fantastic. I'd list more bands but I'd almost definitely miss some and I'd probably bore you stupid. What? Oh, never mind.

Computer stuff. Perl is a wonderful language once you get over the fact that a slightly quirky set of syntax and embedded regular expressions have a tendency to make it look like line noise in the wrong light. Once you're used to it, it's a hell of an expressive dynamically typed language with a *huge* set of libraries and classes available for it. I'll add a rambling set of recommendations at the end of a link when I get round to it.

If you want to talk Operating Systems, let's start with a disclaimer: I really, monumentally despise Windows in all its forms (although I can survive 2k if necessary). I don't like the design, I hate the user interface and I abhor the fact that it always tries to do what it thinks I want rather than what I just sodding told it to do </rant>. In fact, I have a selection that I rather like

- NetBSD is probably my favourite OS, although it has its limitations. However, having a consistent BSD-style userland across a vast number of platforms and a kernel that *just* *works* more often than anything else I've used (including $linux_distro and $windows_version, thankyou very much) makes me very happy with it for my laptop and my main workstation.
- Solaris is pretty much the only viable OS (IMNSHO) to use on Sun hardware. Bar the fact that my PATH ends of several pages long, I rather like it. It's solid, generally System V-ish, and relentlessly stable for most of the stuff I do with it. I have a philosophical disagreement with the way it handles copy-on-write in the VM, and a smouldering hatred for its behaviour when you ask it to allocate too much swap at once, but it does the job and does it well.
- Debian is probably my favourite Linux distro, simply for the fine joy that is apt-get, and the ease of updating to get security patches onto a multitude of boxen *fast* (up2date is great until you hit an rpm dependency). I did once kill it utterly by trying to install a package from unstable onto a system derived from stable but that was my own stupid fault.
- Mandrake is very nice if you want a full graphical environment from a straight install, or if you want an easy Linux distro that does rpms (shudder). The management tools are extremely good and getting better all the time, and the Gaming Edition is just a cool idea :-)
- XPde isn't an OS at all, it's a desktop environment. But it's here anyway because I can't think of anywhere else to put it and if you've read past the rest, you could probably do with a good advocacy tool. It's fvwm95 for the new generation - a Windows-XP like DE and WM for X. Keep a close eye on it folks - it may be your best chance for getting your mother onto a decent OS so you don't get a panicked phone call every time her ME box BSODs

Funny stuff

Sympathy for the Daemon
Days of Krishnah
Draven owes me sex

Stuff I did

Google bombs (well, they were ...):

Disestablishmentarian + Censored

Truly real-time blackholing, courtesy of DJB's magnificent libraries and a small amount of C and sh by yours truly

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A quick C app that allows you to change the exit code of a program via a simple rule specification. Useful for generating specific exit codes for different conditions e.g. in a qmail-qfilter script. Currently just a single C source file
not really an evil grin, honest