Toxic Elephant

Don't bury it in your back yard!

Misc MSGConvert Stuff

Posted by matijs 01/04/2006 at 14h09

MSGConvert Updated

A user alerted me to the fact that a .MSG file containing another .MSG file
as an attachment isn’t converted properly by
my converter. It turns out, Outlook stores
attachments like that in a different way.

MSGConvert now also converts such files properly. As a bonus, it
also works with perl versions before 5.6 now.


Another reader pointed out some time ago that a program I pointed to in my
FAQ, Outlook2Mac, didn’t work very well for him. It
is meant to be used for converting large amounts of email from Outlook to
mbox, but it seems to have trouble with certain dates and encrypted
messages. Also, some messages went missing.

I haven’t tried this program
myself, but others have. John Tolva writes:

I had to extract several year’s worth of e-mail with attachments using
a variety of filters and applications (Outlook2vCal and Outlook2Mac) to
create mbox files. This was the least painful part of the transition and it
took me days.

And the Applepie blog says:

I turned to a little program called Outlook2Mac. It costs $10 but does
a decent, albeit primitive, job of transcoding my PST into Apple Mail Mail
Boxes. […] Transcoding was fast, but it was often interrupted by a
message box asking me if I wanted Outlook2Mac to fix the send date of
certain message, or if I wanted Outlook2Mac to save a digitally signed
message to an insecure file format.

In a more enthousiast tone, Eric Evers writes:

Ten bucks yields switcher bliss!

I have not found any complaints of missing messages.

Still, I have removed the link from my FAQ, also because it is not Free
Software, and it requires Outlook to be installed, which sort of defeats
the purpose: If you have Outlook installed, there are
easier techniques available.

Tags no trackbacks

RSS Sucks, Atom Rules

Posted by matijs 26/03/2006 at 14h37

Why we need Atom now
by Tim Bray (via
once again brought the horrors of RSS to the front of my
working memory. I will not elaborate here, but the main problem seems to be
that there are nine versions of RSS, and even
more implementations. The result is that you can never get things right.
Atom to the rescue.

Not wanting to be the
Bitch and Moan But Never Does type,
I removed all links to RSS feeds from my web site. The remaining links are
all Atom feeds, but the word Atom will not be in the link text, to
facilitate the fading of technical details into the background.
It’ll just say feed.
I will probably add the new standard feed icon.

The RSS feeds are still there, of course, since
I want my URIs to be permanent.

Tags , no comments no trackbacks

Addicted to Caffeine

Posted by matijs 25/02/2006 at 15h35

Today, I was suffering from a very bad headache. I was curled up on the couch, cursing the loss of a saturday, when I could have been processing lots of overdue paperwork. Then suddenly, I replayed in my head the moment I last put coffee from the bag I buy it in into the storage container. I realized the bag had a blue print on it, meaning it was decaf coffee. Oh no! The two cups I had this morning to satisfy my addiction were in fact decaf! Clearly, the bad headache was a caffeine withdrawal symptom. I immediately made a third cup, this time with the full goodness of caffeine. Now I just have to wait for it to take effect.

Tags no comments no trackbacks

New Year

Posted by matijs 12/01/2006 at 21h42

My resolutions:

  • Answer all relevant e-mail within a reasonable time.

  • Find out what I really want to be doing, and do that.

And of course:

  • Post to my blog more regularly. I’m going to try mondays, but don’t hold your breath.

I realise these are resolutions of widely varying importance.

Tags no comments no trackbacks

Wind-up Grandmother

Posted by matijs 07/12/2005 at 09h44

Uncountably many years ago, there was a toy product called My Little Pony.
I don’t know if it still exists, at least I haven’t seen it in a long time.
These toys were little plastic horsies in bright unnatural colours with
long flowing manes that, significantly, could really be combed. Apparently,
girls like that sort of thing.

At the time, me and my friends, being the sort of people who like that sort
of humour, thought of variations on this product, and came up with what we
then called ‘My Little Bejaarde’. For those readers not fluent in the dutch
language, ‘bejaarde’ means ‘senior citizen.’

We thought of little advertisements, that would mention the accessories
that could be added (like, a wheelchair), and the fact that they had hair
that you could really comb. As a spinoff, a board game was developed (I
have it at home), and then, a computer version of that board game. That
computer game ran on MS-DOS, and crashed (on) Windows. It’s that long ago.

As of this year, thanks to the business genious of Chinese toy makers, this
fantasy is now a reality. My newspaper reports that Chinese wind-up toy
makers mainly work to provide toys to western toy collectors, not children.
In a flash of business insight, they created the wind-up grandmother. She
shuffles about shaking her little had, helped up by that wonderful enabler
of the truly ancient, the rollator.

The toy elderly are finally a reality. But sadly, my chances of becoming
the owner of this marvel are dim: This toy is such a hit, that the shop in
my city that had them is now sold out!

2 comments no trackbacks

Scientific American Has a Blog

Posted by matijs 02/11/2005 at 23h37

I just got my Scientific American e-mail newsletter, where they formally launch the new editors’ blog. Cool!

Finding the RSS feed was a bit difficult, since the link for it leads to a non-existing Page.cfm (cfm? ColdFusion? Who uses that these days?), totally lost on a PHP website. A quick view source later, and I have their RSS feed, so I can read their posts in the comfort and superior font choice of my feed reader.

You can also read the blog in your browser of course.

no comments no trackbacks

Upgraded to typo 2.5.6

Posted by matijs 19/10/2005 at 20h20

Success! Since mirroring just the trunk didn’t work for me,
I now have a full mirror of typo’s subversion repository (including my complete local history in the /typo/local branch, yay!). I had hoped svk’s smerge would then make hopping from one release to another using tags a breeze. That didn’t work either.

Luckily, svk info shows me exactly which trunk revisions these releases are a copy of. Using that, I was finally able to merge the changes into my local copy cleanly.

So, my blog has been upgraded. This means less customization of the typo code, since a lot can now be adjusted in the theme.

svk’s merge really needs to be changed to support tagging better.

[Update: svk log shows the log messages that mention the revisions of the previous merge]

no comments no trackbacks

SVK smerge mystery

Posted by matijs 16/10/2005 at 17h18

I’m still trying to track typo’s releases while keeping my local changes. So, I have mirrored the full typo repository, and at some point I did:

svk smerge /typo/mirror/tags/release\_2\_5\_5

Now, I want to update to 2.5.6. Unfortunately, doing:

svk smerge -C /typo/mirror/tags/release\_2\_5\_6

gives me lots of conflicts even for files I did not touch myself. And look at the first line I get:

Auto-merging (0, 651) /mirror/tags/release\_2\_5\_6 to /local/trunk (base /mirror/trunk:433)

This is strange, since:

\> svk info /typo2/mirror/tags/release\_2\_5\_5
Copied From: /mirror/trunk, Rev. 530
Merged From: /mirror/trunk, Rev. 530


\> svk info /typo2/mirror/tags/release\_2\_5\_6
Copied From: /mirror/trunk, Rev. 648
Merged From: /mirror/trunk, Rev. 648

So, I would expect it to start the merge at 530, not at 0:
It’s trying to merge a lot more than the difference between releases 2.5.5 and 2.5.6.

Why doesn’t this do right thing? SVK hasn’t forgotton that I merged 2.5.5, since re-merging that results in an empty merge. A mystery.

[I have put this question on the svk wiki at]

no comments no trackbacks

Customizing Typo

Posted by matijs 27/08/2005 at 18h13

For many reasons, I like to customize the typo program code a little. Much, but not all is customizable by using themes.

I keep my version in a local repository, and I’ve just updated to typo 2.5.5. Here is the way to do these updates, partly so I can remember it myself.

Tags no comments no trackbacks

Debian Update Withdrawal Syndrome

Posted by matijs 27/07/2005 at 22h53

Debian’s ftp-master is down, which is the most likely cause (as far as I can tell, i.e., not very far) for a complete lack of updated packages for the past four days.

What worries me most is that how obsessively I keep checking if anything is happening already, and how uncomfortable this lack of updates makes me feel.

no comments no trackbacks