Scripting is hard

I would like to quote for you now the opening lines of Microsoft’s Scripting Concepts and Technologies for System Administration.

This is a book about scripting for system administrators. If you are
like many system administrators, you might be wondering why this book
is targeted towards you. After all, scripting is not the sort of thing
system administrators do. Everyone knows about scripting: scripting is
hard; scripting is time-consuming; scripting requires you to learn all
sorts of technical jargon and master a whole host of acronyms – WSH,
WMI, ADSI, CDO, ADO, COM. System administrators have neither the time
nor the requisite background to become script writers.

Ye flippin’ gods. Do Microsoft Administrators really think like that?

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New Bashpodder Package

This version of bashpodder is deprecated. If you want something with this functionality go to

I've cleaned up and re-structured the script to make it easier to read
and maintain. Bashpodder is also now smart enough to detect your
bittorrent version and do the right thing. Also added the much
requested feature of only downloading the latest show in a feed. Rather
than blathering on I shall simply post the helpful README file that
I've included in the new package.

If you are interested read on..

Continue reading New Bashpodder Package

Firefox Extensions

How I have managed to survive the long without availing myself of
firefox extensions is clearly a problem that will tax historians in the
years to come. In this vein I present a quick list of the extensions
that I find most useful.


Simple extension that replaces flash animations with a small icon.
Click on the icon to play the animation. Its primary use is to reduce
the impact of all those annoying jamster ads that are constantly
clamouring for my attention.


I'm assuming that everyone is familiar with
a volunteer-collated database of logins for registration only sites.
The bugmenot extension lets you paste a log-in from the bugmenot
database in a couple of mouseclicks. This sure beats my old way of
pasting urls into bugmenot and then passting the log-in ans password
back out. A massive time-saver.


Lets you open mailto links in a webmail service. Defaults to GMail but supports many others.

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New version of Bashpodder

Ooh, lots of bug-fixes in this release. As the number of feeds I'm
subscribed to has increased so have the number of weird RSS parsing
bugs. Slacker Astronomy
put line-feeds in their enclosures, which is legal but unexpected.
Anyway the major step forward is that I'm now basing decisions on the
filename returned from the HTTP request rather than relying on the url
in the RSS feed. This allows the new version of Bashpodder to handle
all kinds of craziness.

The podcast.log format differs slighlty from the original bashpodder. To be safe you may want to run -nograb to write out a new log first time around.

The new script can be found here.

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[updated 2006]

this version of bashpodder is only kept around for historical reasons.

If you are looking for a command-line podcatcher that supports bittorrent then try Peapod. This is superior in every way to bashpodder and is being actively maintained.

I’ve put a version of up on the site. This one will
fetch podcasts from bittorent as well as http and ftp, and then write
the podcast.m3u once it’s done.

Get it here.

Continue reading Bashpodder