Generic Grep Tool

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

I am seeking tools (especially GUI tools) that will perform regular expression, grep like search and replaces. Ideally the tool would be open source, multiplatform and would provide the functionality of BBEdit:

BBEdit search window

Requirements include:

  • Transparent handling of line endings
  • Able to recursively descend through various directories
  • File filters to determine what to search
  • Autodetection of character encodings

I could write this myself in Java, but not by my deadline. Any suggestions?


Friday, January 12th, 2007

Game over. Sony has forfeited and Blu-Ray has lost.

Windows Vista: Intercontinental Ballistic Software

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Woody Leonhard notes that:

with Windows Vista and potentially Office 2007 that changes – the activation system will occasionally check if the product key is still ‘legal’. If Microsoft decides that the product key for your software has been stolen and misused then your copy of Vista or possibly Office 2007 can be disabled remotely (after a warning period).

He’s worried about piracy. I.e. what happens if somebody else “borrows” your key, so Microsoft cuts you off through no fault of your own. I’m wondering what happens when the U.S. Government leans on Microsoft to cut off the keys to the latest alleged seeker of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Root Directories in Recent Windows

Monday, November 20th, 2006

While reviewing an upcoming article of mine, a friend mentioned that some of his students are having trouble creating root directories in Windows; for example a directory such as C:\project. This certainly isn’t the case on any Windows system I own, but they’re all running Windows 2000.

Has anyone heard of anything like this? Do recent versions of XP or Vista require that all user created files be placed in C:\Documents and Settings\Username or some such? Can anyone confirm or deny this? Maybe it depends on whether or not you’re running as Administrator?

Getting to Empty

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Today I reached a milestone I haven’t seen in years: an empty inbox. Well actually, not quite, but close enough. There are now exactly 423 messages in my inbox and each one of them has one of four labels:

Something needs to be done about this message
A tidbit I’ll eventually post one of my web sites
Something I’ll need in the near future, but not until I get a response from someone else
Read and Review
Something interesting to look over when I have a minute, but not urgent. Mostly weekly updates from sites like IBM developerWorks and JavaWorld.

Along with Thunderbird’s built-in “Unread” label and sorting by date, these allow me to quickly and easily see what I need to deal with at any given time. Only the relatively small number of “Action” messages actually require me to do something. News, Waiting, and Read and Review can all be managed as time or interest permits. This also means I shouldn’t lose track of messages I need to reply to or act on for months, as I sometimes have in the past.

Several thousand other messages have been archived into various folders. This is all part of my ongoing efforts to implement David Allen’s Getting Things Done program.

Wireless Monitor: Not Yet, Maybe Soon

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

If only we could remove the cable connecting our monitor to a computer, then we’d really be in a wireless world. The necessary bandwidth and speed hasn’t been there to support this yet, but some people are trying. TeqGear has released the Wid 101. It’s a big chunky box, it costs $995, and its maximum resolution is 1366 by 768 pixels, below what I’ve been using on my monitors for half a decade or more. However, it’s the first product of its type I’ve seen. Wait a couple of years and maybe we’ll finally be ready to break the wired chains that bind us.