Solarum’s Open Source Project – nix32

I thought I would post some information about a project that I started a few months ago called nix32.  It’s hosted on SourceForge for the most part, with a handy website that I host myself mainly because it’s just easier to manage that way.  The basic goal of this project is to create native command line tools for Windows that operate much like the commands that we know and love from Linux and UNIX.  Things like ls, mv, cp, df and so on.  I have become so used to, comfortable with and productive with the UNIX/Linux command line environment, that when I have to leave it behind on Windows, it’s pretty tough.  Not just changing from what I am used to, but also because I think the command line of a UNIX/Linux server is much more powerful and flexible than the Windows command line, even including the power shell.

I have been working on the more popular commands, and I have a few basics out now with basic functionality.  I hope to have more and better (improved) tools in the future.  I am writing everything in PERL and then compiling each one on Windows as a standalone exe using tools from ActiveState, and so far, they run very nicely.  It’s all completely open source, you can download the PERL scripts as well as the executable files if you want to take a look or help improve them.

Now, I know you can get similar results with other projects and products out there, CYGWIN comes to mind first.  However, that’s a whole separate shell and almost a little mini-Linux setup in and of itself, especially looking at the directory structure after it’s installed.  Here with the nix32 project I wanted to have native Windows executables that you can stick in your path somewhere and call right from the Windows Command Prompt, without ever leaving the Windows environment and without having to install anything.  So far that is exactly what we have, just copy the files somewhere, make sure it’s within or added to your PATH variable, and you are good to go!

So check it out, see what you think, spread the word and maybe even help out a bit and crunch a little code too.  Do whatever you feel and keep both feet on the wheel … or, keyboard maybe.  🙂

PERL Tip For Data In Arrays

Recently I was working on a script for log reporting.  You know, one of those handy little guys that send you some info every day helping to make sure you keep up with whatever it is that you don’t want to forget about.  Well, some of the data was in a plain old text file, and there is nothing wrong with that.  It’s easy to simply cat the file and pipe it through mailx or mutt, no fuss, no muss.

Continue reading

PERL Trim Functions

PERL is a wonderful scripting language, it is extremely powerful, flexible and portable. It also lacks a couple basic functions that other languages have built in. Fear not my friend, just like the PERL round function, I have functions for other things as well!

One thing I miss is a trim function. They have chop and chomp, but that doesn’t always fit what I want. Below I have included a few suns that will get the job done nicely, check it out. Continue reading

Great stuff at PortableApps

In this post, I’d like to do two things.  First off, I want to plug a really cool site called that has some really cool software in the form of … well, portable apps.  What these are, are common widely used applications that have been transformed in such a way that they can run right off of your thumb drive, no install necessary, hence the term portable.  They have lots of cool stuff that you can download, absolutely free, and use right off your thumb drive, or hard drive, or anywhere really.  It’s nice being able to have firefox and open office (and much more) with you, no matter where you go, even with all of your own settings and customizations.  That’s hard to beat!  Go check it out, you won’t be disappointed I am sure. Continue reading

PERL Round Function

Hey all your PERL junkies like me, I have a present for you. Anyone that has done any coding at all other PERL will know (and miss) the round function that most other languages have built in. For those that may not know, the round function lets you do just that, round a number to the specified digit. So, instead of having to use 3.14159265 as an answer for a particular equation, you could round it to 3.14. Nice, huh?

Well, here is a neato little round function that you can drop into your PERL scripts and call to actually round numbers instead of cutting them off with ceil or cut. Check it out:

sub round {
  my($number) = shift;
  return int($number + .5 * ($number <=> 0));

There you go!

Thanks to Thierry H. for adding a little mod to the round function allowing you to specify the number of decimals to print. Here is the modified function:

sub round {
  my $number = shift || 0;
  my $dec = 10 ** (shift || 0);
  return int( $dec * $number + .5 * ($number <=> 0)) / $dec;

You would call it by giving not only the number to round, but how many numbers to show on the right side of the decimal. It will look like so:

$result = round(123.4567,3);

This should return 123.457 (the 6 in the third slot gets rounded to 7). There ya go, thanks for the mod Thierry! You can check out Thierry’s site here.