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Monthly Archives: July 2011

I like movie soundtracks.  It tends to expose me to several artists I wouldn’t otherwise have known and the general tone and theme of the music is similar, so if I know I like a few of the songs, it’s a good chance I’ll think positively about the rest.  Growing up I was a big fan of the “Pretty in Pink” soundtrack.  Not only did it express my teenage angst much more coherently than I was able to at the time (and, to be honest, probably better than I could now), it was my first exposure to The Smiths, The Psychedelic Furs, Echo & The Bunnymen and New Order.  Lots of bands who influenced later alternative rock and bands that opened my eyes to a world of music beyond the Classic Rock I’d listened to up until that time. One of the songs I gravitated to in particular was “Wouldn’t it Be Good” by the Danny Hutton Hitters (covering Nik Kershaw).  Growing up, I constantly saw many other people’s lives and thought “Wouldn’t it be good to be in their shoes, even if it was for just a day”?  They have to have it better than I do. Their life seems so easy.  Hearing that song again this weekend, I realised I don’t really have that desire anymore Read More »

I recently had cause to search through some mail log files.  I was trying to do some correlation and had gotten the transaction identifiers (TIDs) used for the individual mails I was interested in.  The difficulty was, these transaction identifiers didn’t give me the initial connection information, just the specific transaction within the connection.  I also wanted the connection information to, so it seems like an easy problem: use the connection identifiers (CIDs) and grep on that.  This too ran into some trouble because each connection could have multiple transactions within it and if I grep on just the CID, I get all the transactions, not just the TID I’m looking for.  This might not be a big deal if I’m dealing with a connection that has a dozen or so transactions associated with it, for example.  But some of the connections had literally thousands of transactions.  Sorting through all of those other transactions was much too much of a pain to deal with.  If only there was a way to tell grep “Grep for the CID in the file as long as it a) has the specific TID I’m looking for or b) doesn’t have any TID at all.”  Sadly, there’s not. . . but there is a way to do that in awk! Read More »