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Preview: John Bokma - freelance Perl Programmer

John Bokma - freelance Perl Programmer

John Bokma, a freelance Perl programmer living in Mexico


An earth snake on the road


In the afternoon, when Esme came back from picking up the children she had a small surprise for me: a snake. On the way back from school she and the children had spotted a snake on the road. She had managed to lift the snake using a pencil and put it in a paper bag she was carrying. Most likely she had [...]

In-memory compression and decompression of JSON data


Today, for a project I am working on I wanted to compress and decompress JSON data in-memory. Yesterday, in the evening, I had already read the documentation of IO::Compress::Gzip, a Perl module I had used before in the past, as a refresher. Based on the examples given in the documentation was quite [...]

Running Ubuntu 17.04 on VirtualBox with Shared Folders


Today I decided to create a new Ubuntu 17.04 virtual machine. I had already made one a few weeks ago, but not really happy with the disk size I had selected; too much. Nor was I happy with mounting shared folders via rc.local, see Mounting VirtualBox Shared Folders. This time I wanted to mount those [...]

How anxiety got me rejected twice today


Today, just after noon I emailed about 60 people if they were interested in hiring me as a Perl programmer. I had attached the PDF version of my up-to-date resume instead of a link for download to save the recipient time. Soon after, sooner than expected, I got my first reply. It was, however, the third [...]

VirtualBox shared folder makes cmake_symlink_library fail


In the morning I decided to do some work on my Markdown-to-site project, a project that will eventually generate this website. At this early stage the project required me to install the Perl module [...]

Disappearing claws in the dark


In the afternoon, Esme and I left to for the nearyby town of Chavarrillo. We had planned to do another evening hike in the nearby canyon; our fourth one this year. The reason I wanted to go back once more is that on our first hike this year I had found a specimen of Centruroides rileyi. A species I had [...]

Using a plastic ice bucket as an orchid pot


Today, on her way back from teaching English, Esme went to Casa Ahued, a shop located near the center of Xalapa. I had asked her to look for a large transparent plastic pot to repot one of my orchids into. Casa Ahued sells a large variety of cheap plastic wares and hence Esme and I often refer to it [...]

Logitech M215 wireless mouse works with Raspberry Pi 2 Model B


Today, I decided to check if the Logitech M215 wireless mouse I had in storage would work with a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. The latter I had ordered with Amazon nearly 2 years ago and was part of the CanaKit Raspberry Pi 2 Ultimate Starter Kit with WiFi . Until recently it was used for running OpenElec, [...]

Flashing a Linksys E1500 with DD-WRT firmware


Today I flashed a Linksys E1500 router with DD-WRT firmware. The router got originally decommissioned because it had a backdoor in the original firmware and to me it was easier to buy a new but different router and flash it with OpenWrt. So the E1500 ended up in a box until I decided to turn it into [...]

Adding Color to a LaTeX Resume


Today, after I had rewritten parts of my resume, I decided to give changing the color of the section headings a shot. I generate the PDF version of my resume via a Pandoc LaTex template. Adding support for color to the template had been on my todo list for a while and it turned out easier than I [...]

Installing the latest version of Pandoc on Ubuntu 17.04


This tutorial describes how I installed the latest version of Pandoc on Ubuntu 17.04 and installed additional packages in order to convert my resume written in Markdown to a PDF [...]

A juvenile opossum in the kitchen


In the evening, while Esme and I were watching a movie, we suddenly both saw something moving from the corner of our eyes. Because it was still quite hot in the house we had left the front door open. And something large had just walked in and was bee lining for the kitchen. Just like Milo in the Alex [...]

Redirecting a POST as GET in Perl


Today, while testing a Perl implementation of a module to use a web based API, I bumped into the fact that LWP redirects a POST request as another POST request, when enabled. The web based API, though, insisted on a GET [...]

Perl Base64 encoded HMAC SHA256 signatures and padding


Today, while porting a Python implementation of a web based API to Perl I ran into a minor issue: the Perl module I used to generate a Base64 encoded HMAC SHA256 signature does not pad the Base64 result in such a way that the length of the result is always a multiple of [...]

Tunneling an API callback to development


A project I am currently working on uses a web based API for keyword research. Because results are not available right away there are two options: polling for results or providing a callback URL. Of course, the latter is more efficient. So today I looked into setting up a reverse tunnel over SSH from [...]

Viewing DjVu Documents On OS X


Today I downloaded a DjVu document to my Mac Mini running OS X El Capitan. I was expecting to be able to view such a document on OS X without having to install any 3rd party software. Alas, the document format was not [...]

Mounting VirtualBox Shared Folders


Yesterday I experimented a bit with VirtualBox shared folders. I was able to share several directories in my home directory on OS X under my home directory on a Ubuntu 16.04.1 installation running in a virtual machine. Today I wanted to repeat the steps and write everything [...]

Docker for Mac Named Volume Speed Penalty


Based on some test I did today; importing a 10MB gzip compressed MySQL database dump, it seems that using a named volume is over twelve times slower than using bind mount on Docker for Mac version 1.12.1. When a named volume is used the data is stored into a virtual harddisk Docker.qcow2. Besides the [...]

Padding Numbers with Zero in Perl


Today I saw a piece of Perl code to format a date and time that uses what I consider a clusmy way to do zero padding. I have seen this method or a variation thereof before; it checks if a number is smaller than 10 and if this is the case it converts the number to a string, adding a zero in front of it. [...]

Getting Started with Docker for Mac


Today I finally was able to make some time to install Docker for Mac. Yesterday, in the evening I had already been rereading the first two chapters of The Docker Book by James Turnbull. This ebook is updated often and hence at 9.99 USD I consider this money well [...]

Updating an iPad Air 2 to iOS 10


Despite reported issues with upgrading to iOS 10 I decided to take the plunge today, and make an attempt to upgrade my iPad Air 2 to iOS [...]

Making iOS Notes available via iCloud


The iOS Notes app is one of the programs I use a lot on my iPad Air 2. Currently, I have 60 notes. Most of these notes are used to store web links, each note a specific topic. I really like how Notes renders links, and how easy it is to add new links from various apps to my [...]

Migrating Firefox from Linux to OS X


Today I migrated some of my Firefox settings from Linux to OS X. I decided to move only the settings I required instead of my entire profile, and install the extensions fresh even though just migrating the profile caused no issue when I migrated [...]

Migrating a Parallels Virtual Machine to VirtualBox


The 31st of August I removed Parallels Tools from a virtual machine running Ubuntu 15.10 because the grace period of 7 days, so "generously" given by Parallels after I didn't renew my subscription, had ended. Somehow this company considers it a smart move to make their software useless if one no longer [...]

Blocking unwelcome site traffic using iptables


After having generated an HTML report with GoAccess of this web site's current access log I noticed two IPs that had made a lot of requests to my site; and The top search in Google for the first IP address led to IP Reports for The origin of the IP address is the [...]

Fixing broken links in my RSS feed


Today, when reviewing the HTML site stats report made using GoAccess of this web site's current access log I noticed blog related URLs to the /blog/ part in the URL. [...]

Generating an HTML report with GoAccces


This month I started blogging again after a hiatus of over 4 years. Curious if my site was already getting more traffic, and to which pages, I wanted to make a report of my sites' access [...]

Migrating Thunderbird from Linux to OS X


Because Parallels Desktop has become practically ransomware; pay or you can't access your virtual machines anymore after a grace period of 6 days, I have some migration to do. To be honest, I have been thinking about this for quite some time, leaving Parallels behind. I bought a Mac mini and working [...]

When software subscriptions really suck


Today I was greeted by Parallels Desktop with a warning telling me that if I was not going to renew my subscription Parallels would stop [...]

Getting Started with Mac Ports


Some time ago, after having read about the advantages and disadvantages between Mac Ports and Homebrew I decided in favor of the former. I can't actually recall why exactly. It probably had also a little to do with my plans of running FreeBSD 11 on a fanless computer I bought ages [...]

Installing Git on OS X


Today I checked which version of Git was more recent, the Mac version on the official git site (2.9.2) or the version available via Mac Ports (2.9.3). Since the latter won, and also because I want to use Mac Ports for other software anyway, I decided to install Mac Ports [...]

Verifying the Weight of a Tyrannosaurus rex Skull


Today I read a post by the Tri-City Herald on Facebook regarding the arrival of a rare Tyrannosaurus rex skull at the Seattle museum. Besides the usual comments of creationists, mostly very confused about basic science, there was one person who considered the weight given a "big fish [...]

Emacsclient on Ubuntu


Over the past few days I have been using emacsclient to open files in an already running emacs in daemon (server) mode. Despite having been using Emacs for years I never got around to trying this out for a few days. And I really like it. So today I decided to switch my workflow to using emacsclient the [...]

The Docker Book Updated


Today I got an email from James Turnbull regarding an update of "The Docker [...]

Pandoc Resume LaTeX Template


Last week, from Wednesday until Friday; and even a little in the weekend, I have been working on an up-to-date version of my resume. The last version available for download hadn't been updated since 2004. Moreover, I was never really happy with it; too many [...]

Tar files located in another directory


Today I wanted to send some PDF files on blogging to a friend. I have those files in a "Blogging" directory which I can access using WebDAV with SSL on my iPad. I use this set up to sync PDF books to the GoodReader iOS app, which I can't recommend enough if you want to read PDFs on an [...]

Adding an extra column and a foreign key to a MySQL database table


A database table, part of a project I am currently working on, required an additional column with a foreign key. Because the database has already valuable data I couldn't just drop everything and start fresh, but had to alter the existing [...]

My non-fiction reading list for the rest of 2016


Back in April I ordered several books on Amazon, including three non-fiction books for myself. And back in June I ordered several more books on Amazon, including three more non-fiction books for [...]