Visor

Thanks to lifehacker for linking to the Visor app today.  This is an excellent app, Linux users might already be familiar with yakuake for KDE, which serves the same purpse.  Basically it’s a terminal emulator that can drop down/windowshade just like the terminal functions in popular FPS games like quake.

This is an extremely handy tool for people like me that always just want a terminal handy for a large number of tasks done during the day.  I normally keep a virtual desktop tasked to this, with the handy iTerm with tabs open, I like having a quick tool available when I’m in another desktop, just for the tasks not worth switching for.  A quick hot key and a real terminal.app session slides down for easy use.

Visor accomplishes this via the SIMBL tool, which allows you to plugin extension code into cocoa based applications.

Aliens in the Rockies VIII

Aliens VIII is coming up at the end of this month folks.  And what is it? Why Aliens in the Rockies is the longest running, and largest scenario paintball game in Utah.  Scenario Paintball is the big game with several hundred players competing in a large story based adventure.  If you are interested in big games, learning, this is the one for you.
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Aliens in the Rockies has a storyline based off fusing the popular Aliens, Predator, and Terminator movies.  There are goals for the whole team, as well as individuals and squads.  Every person can be an important piece of the puzzle, and enjoy various styles of play.

This year, Team DesertEdge is going to be the generals for the “Mercenaries” team, so you can sign up to play with a semi-pro team (and others), instead of having to be afraid of fighting against us.  This is the type of game where you can shine even if it’s your first time playing, and you have a great chance to learn with some of the best players in Utah, and surrounding states. Also, by signing up early, you can discuss with us overall plans before arriving at the field.

Hit me up with questions, but plan on coming, this is a major game, and a great chance to play alongside a lot of friends.  Come alone, or bring friends, and the teams will work with you in the largest game you can experience in Utah.

Pictures from Aliens VII
Aliens FAQ

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Perl Hacks

Ok, I’ll admit, I haven’t actually finished this book yet, but am well on my way.  You see, the time right after OSCON is very tough, not only do I have a weeks worth of missed work to catch up on, but there are so many new things learned at OSCON that I have to try and digest, or follow up with.

This book is one of those things.  I finally bought my copy of Perl Hacks during the Perl Foundation Auction, and had to debate if I would read this, or the new Mastering Perl book first.  Other books could wait in line. I started this one first, figuring I could read one of the first hacks, just to get a taste.  Since this is one of the Hacks series by O’Reilly, I knew I could read it in small bursts pretty easily, and that the first ones would be the easiest to start with.

Well, the first ones are easy, but in the first section I already learned several small features of Perl that I didn’t know, and several helpful tips.  I’ll admit, I didn’t know the powerful perldoc tool had a built in webserver mode for local HTML browsing of your perldocs.

In the last few days I’ve cruised though the Productivity, and User Interaction sections, then jumped forward, skimming interesting bits from Debugging and Developer Tricks.  Yes, this is a very useful book.  There are many tips I’ve already read that I wish I had when I was first learning Perl, and will always reference now to people just learning.  There are some I read last night that I will be rereading because of the depth of what they introduced.  This book covers the full range, and will give you tools that can add immediate productivity, and also enhance your overall coding day to day.

Stars: 5 so far, even if I haven’t finished
Please go get it if you even touch perl, besides, as a Hack book it’s one of the cheaper ones.
And no, you can’t have mine!