Nat Torkington

Nat Torkington

Nat has chaired the O'Reilly Open Source Convention and other O'Reilly conferences for over a decade. He ran the first web server in New Zealand, co-wrote the best-selling Perl Cookbook, and was one of the founding Radar bloggers. He lives in New Zealand and consults in the Asia-Pacific region.

Perl Cookbook Perl Cookbook
by Tom Christiansen, Nat Torkington
Second Edition August 2003
Print: $49.95
Ebook: $39.99

Perl Cookbook Perl Cookbook
by Tom Christiansen, Nat Torkington
August 1998

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Four short links: 8 May 2012

May 08 2012

Gmail Vault -- app to backup and restore the contents of your gmail account. (via Hacker News) Leaving Apps for HTML5 (Technology Review) -- We sold 353 subscriptions through the iPad. We never discovered how to avoid the necessity of designing both landscape and portrait versions of the magazine for… read more

Four short links: 25 April 2012

April 25 2012

World History Since 1300 (Coursera) -- Coursera expands offerings to include humanities. This content is in books and already in online lectures in many formats. What do you get from these? Online quizzes and the online forum with similar people considering similar things. So it's a book club for a… read more

Four short links: 24 April 2012

April 24 2012

3D-Printing Pharmaceuticals (BoingBoing) -- Prof Cronin added: "3D printers are becoming increasingly common and affordable. It's entirely possible that, in the future, we could see chemical engineering technology which is prohibitively expensive today filter down to laboratories and small commercial enterprises. "Even more importantly, we could use 3D printers to… read more

Four short links: 20 April 2012

April 20 2012

Tupac Coachella Behind the Technology (CBS) -- interesting to me is Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were considering taking Shakur with them on tour. Just as Hobbit, Tintin, etc. are CG-ing characters to look normal, is the future of "live" spectacle to be this kind of CG show? Will new… read more

Four short links: 19 April 2012

April 19 2012

Superfastmatch -- open source text comparison tool, used to locate plagiarism/churnalism in online news sites. You can pull out the text engine and use it for your own "find where this text is used elsewhere" applications (e.g., what's being forwarded out in email, how much of this RFP is copy… read more

Four short links: 11 April 2012

April 11 2012

Inside Apple (Amazon) -- If Apple is Silicon Valley's answer to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, then author Adam Lashinsky provides readers with a golden ticket to step inside. In this primer on leadership and innovation, the author will introduce readers to concepts like the "DRI" (Apple's practice of assigning a… read more

Four short links: 10 April 2012

April 10 2012

The Instagram Architecture (High Scalability) -- great summary of the Instagram team's post about the technology that runs Instagram. Lots of Python goodness in here. Mosh -- ssh that lets you roam and stay connected. UTF-8 native. Android Economics -- working back from Google's declared valuation of Android royalties to… read more

Four short links: 6 April 2012

April 06 2012

FBI Uses Agile (Information Week) -- The FBI awarded the original contract for the case management system to Lockheed Martin in 2006, but an impatient Fulgham, who was hired in 2008 to get the project on track, decided to bring it in house in September 2010. Since then, the agency… read more

Four short links: 5 April 2012

April 05 2012

Who Else Uses Masonry Style? (Quora) -- list of sites using the multi-columns effect as provided by the jQuery plugin. Will Hatchette Be First Big 6 Publisher To Drop DRM? (Paid Content) -- DRM “doesn’t stop anyone from pirating,” Hachette SVP digital Thomas said in a publishing panel at Copyright… read more

Four short links: 4 April 2012

April 04 2012

Typing Club -- lessons to improve your touch-typing, building you up letter by letter to speed and mastery. Like how I learned, only without the typewriters and the bibs and the roomful of girls. It wasn't easy being the only boy in typing class, but somehow I managed. (via EdTech… read more

Four short links: 3 April 2012

April 03 2012

Why Our Kids Should Be Taught To Code (Guardian) -- if we don't act now we will be short-changing our children. [...] their world will be also shaped and configured by networked computing and if they don't have a deeper understanding of this stuff then they will effectively be intellectually… read more

Four short links: 30 March 2012

March 30 2012

TypeConnection -- a game that teaches you how to match fonts and why successful matches work. (via Sacha Judd) Lessons Learned Building Open Source Software (Mitchel Hashimoto) -- the creator of Vagrant talks about the lesson he's learned building a great open source project. Kickstarter Post-Mortem (Ze Frank) -- excellent… read more

Four short links: 28 March 2012

March 28 2012

MS Office Exploit In The Wild, Targeting Mac OS X -- This is one of the few times that we have seen a malicious Office file used to deliver Malware on Mac OS X. (via Hacker News) Please Do Not Take Down The Sality BotNet -- best responsible disclosure ever.… read more

Four short links: 25 November 2011

November 25 2011

Continuous Three-Dimensional Control of a Virtual Helicopter Using a Motor Imagery Based Brain-Computer Interface (PLOSone) -- direct brain control is becoming a reality, tiny step by tiny step. Also: HELICOPTERS! Forward Secrecy for HTTPS -- Google contributed a better HTTPS cipher suite to OpenSSL, one that doesn't share keys between… read more

Four short links: 22 November 2011

November 22 2011

Facebook is Gaslighting the Web (Anil Dash) -- interesting to see the way in which Facebook is attempting to embrace and extend the web, as opposed to AOL's doomed attempt to set itself up in competition and opposition to the web. As Molly's piece eloquently explains, what Facebook is calling… read more

Four short links: 16 November 2011

November 16 2011

Q&A with Rob O'Callahan (ComputerWorld) -- an excellent insight into how Mozilla sees the world. In particular how proprietary mobile ecosystems are the new proprietary desktop ecosystems, and how the risks for the web are the same (writing for one device, not for all). Bikes That Charge USB Devices --… read more

Four short links: 15 November 2011

November 15 2011

Cost-Effectiveness of Internet-Based Self-Management Compared with Usual Care in Asthma (PLoSone) -- Internet-based self-management of asthma can be as effective as current asthma care and costs are similar. Apache Lucy -- full-text search engine library written in C and targeted at dynamic languages. It is a "loose C" port of… read more

Four short links: 3 November 2011

November 03 2011

Feedback Without Frustration (YouTube) -- Scott Berkun at the HIVE conference talks about how feedback fails, and how to get it successfully. He is so good. Americhrome -- history of the official palette of the United States of America. Discovering Talented Musicians with Musical Analysis (Google Research blgo) -- very… read more

Four short links: 31 October 2011

October 31 2011

Solitude and Leadership -- an amazing essay on the value of managing one's information diet. Far more than yet another Carr/Morozov "the Internet is making us dumb!!" hate on short-form content, this is an eloquent exposition of the need for long-form thoughts. I find for myself that my first thought… read more

Four short links: 24 October 2011

October 24 2011

Tangle -- open source Javascript library for creating slider-type widgets in web pages, with built-in updating of other web elements. This is fantastic for exploring "what-if" scenarios. Check out the demos. Location-Based Security -- The researchers have created a customized version of Android controlled by a “policy engine” on a… read more

Four short links: 21 October 2011

October 21 2011

What Mozilla is Up To (Luke Wroblewski) -- notes from a talk that Brendan Eich gave at Web 2.0 Summit. The new browser war is between the Web and new walled gardens of native networked apps. Interesting to see the effort Mozilla's putting into native-alike Web apps. YouTube Insult Generator… read more

Four short links: 17 October 2011

October 17 2011

Story Written in Reddit -- historical scifi based on the question "Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion or MEU?" Movie rights were just acquired by Warners. (via BoingBoing) Auditing Google --… read more

Four short links: 14 October 2011

October 14 2011

Theory of Relativity in Words of Four Letters or Less -- this does just what it says, and well too. I like it, as you may too. At the end, you may even know more than you do now. Effective Set Reconciliation Without Prior Context (PDF) -- paper on using… read more

Four short links: 12 October 2011

October 12 2011

Steve Yegge's Google Platforms Rant -- epic. Read it. (updated with new link) Guidelines for Securing Open Source Software (EFF) -- advice from the team that audited some commonly-used open source libraries. Avoid giving the user options that could compromise security, in the form of modes, dialogs, preferences, or tweaks… read more

Four short links: 28 September 2011

September 28 2011

Russell Davies: Four Thought (audio) -- some very nice thinking on the future of technology. The Fight Over the Future of Digital Books (The Atlantic) -- Authors Guild v. HathiTrust is a strange legal twist. For an association of professional writers, the Guild seems to have forgotten some of the… read more

Four short links: 26 September 2011

September 26 2011

BERG London Week 328 -- we're a design company, with a design culture built over 6 years, yet we're having to cultivate a new engineering culture that sits within it and alongside it, and the two have different crystal grains. It's good that they do—engineering through a design process can… read more

Four short links: 14 September 2011

September 14 2011

StackParts -- catalogue of different parts of the open source web stack, from Joshua Schachter. He's looking for helpers. DIY Microsocopes -- Keeling’s lowfi contraption, featured in MAKE magazine and virally spreading across science classrooms the country over, is bringing microscopes not just to eye level, but street level. Blowtorch… read more

Four short links: 12 September 2011

September 12 2011

HP Emulates Next (BoingBoing) -- In mid-1993, a few months after CEO Steve Jobs had shuttered the NeXT factory, and was in the process of switching to an all-software company—a path that led to its later acquisition by Apple—the lights were turned back on in its Fremont, Calif., factory. NeXTWorld's… read more

Four short links: 30 August 2011

August 30 2011

Data Monday: From PC to Tablet (Luke Wroblewski) -- some great stats here. Sales of Apple's iPad pulled in 30% more than all of Dell's consumer PC business in just the first half of the year. Munki -- munki is a set of tools that, used together with a webserver-based… read more

Four short links: 24 August 2011

August 24 2011

STM in PyPy -- a proposal to add software transactional memory to the all-Python Python interpreter as a way of simplifying concurrent programming. I first learned about STM from Haskell's Simon Peyton-Jones at OSCON. (via Nelson Minar) Werner Vogels' Static Web Site on S3 -- nice writeup of the toolchain… read more

Four short links: 16 August 2011

August 16 2011

Cory Doctorow's SIGGRAPH Keynote (BoingBoing) -- the latest from Cory on reforming copyright. Bagcheck Technology -- great list of services and systems used by the Bagcheck folks. Berkelium -- library to render webpages via Google's Chromium web browser. (via Joshua Schachter) Sci Foo Reading List -- Edd Dumbill shared his… read more

Four short links: 11 August 2011

August 11 2011

Why Restaurant Web Sites Are So Bad -- The rest of the Web long ago did away with auto-playing music, Flash buttons and menus, and elaborate intro pages, but restaurant sites seem stuck in 1999. North Korean Government Partly Funded by Gold Farming (Gamasutra) -- alleges a special group of… read more

Four short links: 10 August 2011

August 10 2011

Gamification is Bullshit (Ian Bogost) -- [G]amification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business, where bullshit already reigns anyway. Bullshitters are many things, but they… read more

Four short links: 5 August 2011

August 05 2011

NanoLumens -- flexible display technology, 2.6lbs/sq ft (that's 17 kilofrancs/kelvin in metric, I think). (via Fiona Romeo) The Noun Project -- a vast collection of free-to-use icons. (via Russell Beattie) VirtualBox -- Sun Oracle's open source virtualization product, trivial to run multiple VMs on your local box. VirtualBoxes has pre-built… read more

Four short links: 26 July 2011

July 26 2011

Google Keyword Advertising -- interesting infographic about the most lucrative advertising categories for Google. #20 is an eye-opener! Javascript Koans (GitHub) -- an interactive learning environment that uses failing tests to introduce students to aspects of JavaScript in a logical sequence. (via Javascript Weekly) Etsy AB (GitHub) -- Etsy's framework… read more

Four short links: 25 July 2011

July 25 2011

Anonymity in Bitcoin -- TL;DR: Bitcoin is not inherently anonymous. It may be possible to conduct transactions is such a way so as to obscure your identity, but, in many cases, users and their transactions can be identified. We have performed an analysis of anonymity in the Bitcoin system and… read more

Four short links: 21 July 2011

July 21 2011

Sugar -- a Javascript library that fixes inconsistencies in built-in classes (Strings, Arrays, etc.) and extends them with much-needed time-saving functionality (e.g., automatic iterators over regular expressions; Date creation from strings; binding scopes to functions). Tilt -- clever Firefox plugin that lets you view the DOM on your page in… read more

Four short links: 20 July 2011

July 20 2011

Random Khan Exercises -- elegant hack to ensure repeatability for a user but difference across users. Note that they need these features of exercises so that they can perform meaningful statistical analyses on the results. Float, the Netflix of Reading (Wired) -- an interesting Instapaper variant with a stab at… read more

Four short links: 15 July 2011

July 15 2011

The Gender Question -- a clever solution to the vexed question of asking users for their gender. (via Luke Wroblewski) Katamari Damacy Creator Joins Glitch -- an amazing coup for Stewart Butterfield's new game. How Online Companies Get You to Spend More and Share More (Wired) -- Dan Ariely ("Predictably… read more

Four short links: 13 July 2011

July 13 2011

Freebase in Node.js (github) -- handy library for interacting with Freebase from node code. (via Rob McKinnon) Formalize -- CSS library to provide a standard style for form elements. (via Emma Jane Hogbin) Suggesting More Friends Using the Implicit Social Graph (PDF) -- Google paper on the algorithm behind Friend… read more

Four short links: 7 July 2011 - C64 Presales, Coding Lessons Learned, Feedback Loops, and Continuous Integration

July 07 2011

Commodore 64 PC -- gorgeous retro look with fairly zippy modern internals. (via Rob Passarella) Designing Github for Mac -- a retrospective from the author of the excellent Mac client for github. He talks about what he learned and its origins, design, and development. Remember web development in 2004? When… read more

Four short links: 27 June 2011

June 27 2011

Poor Economics -- this is possibly the best thing I will read all year, an insightful (and research-backed) book digging into the economics of poverty. Read the lecture slides online, they'll give you a very clear taste of what the book's about. Love that the website is so very complementary… read more

Four short links: 22 June 2011

June 22 2011

DOM Snitch -- an experimental Chrome extension that enables developers and testers to identify insecure practices commonly found in client-side code. See also the introductory post. (via Hacker News) Spark -- Hadoop-alike in Scala. Spark was initially developed for two applications where keeping data in memory helps: iterative algorithms, which… read more

Four short links: 16 June 2011

June 16 2011

Solar Powered Wireless Sensor Network -- Chris is building wireless sensor networks using open source software and hardware that could be used in a variety of applications like air quality or home energy monitoring. It looks like he was inspired by Tweetawatt and is using xBee and ASUS wifi for… read more

Four short links: 10 June 2011

June 10 2011

Advanced Computer Science Courses -- collection of online course notes/lectures for classes in advanced CS topics. (via Hacker News) UK SoundMap -- very cool crowdsourced audio landscape of the UK. (via British Library) CSS Panic -- game with no HTML, no Javascript, it's all CSS. Only works in Safari and… read more

Four short links: 6 June 2011

June 06 2011

Turning Receipts into Paper Apps (BERG London) -- I love the idea of the modern web app sensibility bleeding back into the world, the same way classic offline design has informed online. Telehack -- an amazing interactive reconstruction of the early net, part nostalgia part game part simulation. Check out… read more

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"In short, this book allowed me to learn the ins and outs of Perl at my own pace, making this a wonderful cookbook for any Perl chef."
--Jacob Allen, Computer Science House