Name: Peter A. H. Peterson
Member since: 2000-03-30 18:17:14
Last Login: 2012-03-01 04:39:16



I'm a grad student at UCLA getting an PhD in Computer Science.

I am also the CEO and President of TASTYTRONIC INDUSTRIES, an intensely powerful multinational corporation that supports many different kinds of projects, including: robotfindskitten, redvinegar, Skates Sharpened and Repaired, The Last Transmission from Starbase XY003, and The Tastytronic Diner BBS, which uses mod_virgule. I am working on several software projects at the moment; the only one with a public site is the ASCIIweb page generation system, which you can see at the ASCIIweb site.

I founded UFO Chicago, the Users of Free Operating Systems of Chicago, a LUG-like discussion group that meets on the north side of Chicago. I was also one of the Chicago-area organizers of the Chicago area Dmitry Protests (back in the day).

Recent blog entries by pedro

access to random information is important!

Ever thought about what happens when an SSL implementation can't get access to random data? Or how fork() complicates the behavior of a pseudo-random number generator (PRNG)? You should. Now there's a proposal for a getrandom() system call in Linux.

Syndicated 2014-07-18 15:34:47 from off by one

Gnumeric File Reference "unknown workbook" Error

If you have file references in Gnumeric (you refer to different workbooks using a reference like:


... the references will not resolve unless the other workbooks are opened *in the same gnumeric instance*. This means, for example, that if you open Nautilus, select all the workbooks, and open them in Gnumeric, that your references will not work. Instead, they will all be quoted; that is, they will look like this:


Don't be alarmed -- your sheets have not been changed. Trying to manually remove the "'" will just throw up an error about a referral to an "unknown workbook."

The issue is that, as I said up top, all the sheets must be opened in the same instance of Gnumeric. It's not obvious in any way that open windows of Gnumeric may not be the same "instance" so this can be confusing. The solution is to open one of the documents, or a "new" Gnumeric instance, and then open the linked documents from within a single application instance.

I never used linked sheets in Excel, so I'm not sure if this is typical spreadsheet behavior or not. I'm frankly surprised that the sheets need to be open to be viewed... I think Gnumeric should be able to open linked sheets as long as the paths are right, but that's just me... anyway, HTH, HS (happy spreadsheeting)!

Syndicated 2014-02-10 20:04:27 from off by one

PFNA -- Proposal For New Acronym

We already have TLA, for Three Letter Acronym, but I've been thinking for a while that the TLA namespace is almost exhausted, which could result in the catastrophic failure of efficient communication. Either that, or everyone is going to have to start using NAT to allow multiple expressions to hide behind one TLA (... but that's a topic for a separate post.) Anyway, having just encountered the acronym SPOF -- Single Point Of Failure -- I propose the acronym AOFL: Acronym Of Four Letters. You can either speak it as "A-O-F-L" or, as I prefer, as "awful."

Acronym creators should transition to the new AOFL protocol as soon as possible.

Update: I'm reminded by Nick Moffitt about ETLA -- Extended Three Letter Acronym. There's also a list there of other four letter acronym acronyms, and even my favorite, which describes the class of acronyms including things like LASER and SCUBA: VLFLA -- Very Long Five Letter Acronym. So I guess that AOFL will just be a forgotten standard -- the Betamax to ETLA's VHS.

Syndicated 2013-03-28 13:13:58 from off by one

102 older entries...


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