May 23rd, 2009


Too damn early

Since I started being in work every day at a reasonable time (well, by 10:00) I've developed this awful, awful habit of not being able to fall back asleep once if I wake up after 8am.

This is terribly annoying at the weekends, particularly if (for instance) I've been up until 1am chatting to Julie over the webcam.


Also in this situation:

although that's not what happened last night.
Fight Calvin

New tech toy

This morning was spent playing* with Yahoo Pipes, an incredibly simple tool for taking a web page, RSS feed, etc. and producing something new out of it.

It's a web-based gui, and very simple to get going.

All I wanted was to take the Hacker News RSS feed and change it so that the main link was to the Hacker News comments rather than to the site that the news entry was about.  I assumed I'd have to finally get around to learning javascript, Python or similar to do this.

Turns out I just had to drag a couple of boxes around.

Step 1: Swap over the "link" and "description" elements in the feed.  But this leaves the link from the "description" with an unnecessary HREF around it, and the link from the "link" withough a needed one.
Step 2: Use a regex to encapsulate the url new "description" element in an HREF.
Step 3: Use a regex to extract the url from the new "link" element.
Step 4: There is no step 4.

Looks like it has a lot of potential.

You can see the finished version at here at

One of the nicest things is that you can take that one, clone it, and do your own thing with it - which is how I got started...

*It wasn't just spent doing that.  There was also an hour and a half involving a webcam and Julie.  You don't get a screenshot of _that_ though.

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