Solving Anagrams in Ruby

:: programming, puzzle, ruby

Someone posted a question on comp.lang.ruby recently asking for help with solving anagrams. The poster originally asked about ways of generating permutations and several people pointed him to the facets library which has some permutation utility functions. As it turns out, I benchmarked the following naive permutation generator as 3 times faster than the facets library code:

Logo, Ruby & JavaScript

:: programming, haskell, javascript, lisp, logo, python, ruby, scheme

I’ve been teaching my eldest daughter to program in Logo over the summer. Brian Harvey has posted PDF files for a set of excellent books on learning to program in Logo on his web site. The Berkeley version of Logo he’s produced is really excellent. It’s not just your typical turtle graphics language; it has arrays, macros, file processing, graphics, etc.

Surf Securely Using SSH

:: internet, network, security, utility, browser

This is so easy, you’re gonna love it! Thanks Tyler Pedersen.


I’ve been using my laptop more frequently at wifi hotspots. Many web sites I visit encrypt traffic with SSL for authentication, but after that they send traffic in the clear which means the cookies that are used for authentication purposes are sent in the clear, so anyone with a sniffer within range of my laptop could easily intercept the traffic, steal my cookies and impersonate me on the web site. Not good! So, I went looking for a simple solution, and found a great article about using ssh for this purpose. Ya gotta love open source software.

Kwajalein Atoll

:: amazing, geography

When I worked at CompuServe around 1993, I saw a picture of Kwajalein Island on Alisa DeSisto’s cubicle wall. As it turns out, she was stationed there for a year or two. I was fascinated by the concept of people actually living on such a tiny island (about twice as long as the airport runway!) in the Pacific Ocean many hundreds of miles from any decent size chunk of land. Is this place cool, or what?

Kwajalein on Google Maps

Half star ratings on Netflix

:: javascript, programming, utility

I noticed a friend of mine (Jordan L.) who had half-star ratings (2.5, 3.5, etc.) on Netflix. When I asked him about it, he said to just “hover over the left side of the star” to get a half-star rating. This didn’t work for me, so I thought it might be a Linux vs. Windows thing and asked another friend (Mike F.) to try it out. Same result – didn’t work in IE or Firefox on Windows. Then Mike found a JavaScript file that could be installed with greasemonkey and that worked fine for him.