Jeff Epler's blog

9 March 2009, 23:04 UTC

Ingredients Fail

Thanks to Chris for noticing this one!


23 January 2008, 16:36 UTC

Math is hard (even for google)!

Breaking down 47.000000 degrees into degrees, minutes, and seconds, google comes up with the bizarre "59 minute and 60 seconds of a degree". Floating-point round-off somewhere? Probably. Update, March 24, 2008: The bug is half-fixed. Today, Google displays +47° 0' 0.00", -119° 59' 60.00" as the coordinates of this location.


28 December 2007, 21:24 UTC

Collate this!

Turns out that when you don't LC_COLLATE=C; export LC_COLLATE, you'll eventually get bitten in the ass by the way character ranges in shell globs are treated:
$ (unset LC_COLLATE; bash)
$ touch A a B b Z z; echo [A-Z]; echo [a-z]
A b B z Z
a A b B z
In this case, my friend discovered the interesting behavior after executing 'rm [a-z]*', apparently hoping to keep files which started with uppercase letters. Whoops!


21 December 2007, 21:28 UTC

As seen in hell....

At the office, we have a saying: If your function takes more than 5 arguments, you forgot one. You can see the results of that mindset in this error message:
trade_secret.c: In function 'void f()':
trade_secret.h:187: error: too few arguments to function
    'void trade_secret(int, int, int, double, double, int, int, int,
        int, double, double, double, double, int, double, double,
        double, double, double, double, double, double, double, double,
        double, double, double, double, double, int, double, double*,
        double*, int*, int*, int*, int*, int*, double*, int*, int*,
        double*, double*, double*, int*, double*, double*, double*,
        double*, int*, int*, int*, int*, int*, int)'
trade_secret.c:9: error: at this point in file


19 November 2007, 16:38 UTC

As seen on the internet

void URLDecoder::getAsDec(char* hex) {
    char tmp = tolower(hex[0]);
    if(tmp == 'a') {
    }else if(tmp == 'b') {
    }else if(tmp == 'c') {
    }else if(tmp == 'd') {
    }else if(tmp == 'e') {
    }else if(tmp == 'f') {
    }else if(tmp == 'g') {
I am not making this up.


6 December 2006, 16:00 UTC

Acronym of the day: STEWD

STEWD: Security Through Endless Warning Dialogs. A phrase that will apparently become much more common when everyone is forced to buy a copy of Vista with new PCs, sometime early next year.


26 August 2006, 0:48 UTC

The stupidest thing I saw today....

From, and presented without further comment:


2 May 2006, 23:08 UTC


Having recently tried to write some documentation, I'm a bit struck by how much all the alternatives I'm aware of suck. All I want is to get a nice HTML and PDF output of a document with a few tables. Some signs pointed towards this thing called "openjade", which is a "document style semantics and specification language" (I guess).

Imagine how unimpressed was when I got a look at the documentation they had produced—If anybody is going to have good-looking documentation it should be the people making the "document style" software! At first I thought of blaming myself because I had a wide screen, but it's even bad on a maximized window on a 1024x768 monitor, with its black text over a terrible dithered dark blue background.

I guess I'll go back to writing HTML by hand and using "File > Print" to produce PDF. Or maybe I'll write LaTeX again and berate people who don't seem to know how to use xpdf.


12 January 2006, 17:12 UTC

Odd Macro Flash Photo

21 November 2005, 23:03 UTC

The best assertion ever

7 November 2005, 19:12 UTC

Two optical illusions

8 April 2005, 1:35 UTC

speaking of busts...

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