I was baffled to discover that it's actually not at all easy to reverse the rows of a spreadsheet in Excel. Extensive Googling lead me to some advanced commands where you really had to Know What You're Doing. Since I don't usually Know What I'm Doing in Excel, I wrote a Powershell script to do the same thing. Actually, this script takes any file, reverses it, and writes it to a different file.
Recently I gave a lightning talk, Introduction to Powershell, at All Girl Hack Night, an Austin gathering of women developers. Here are my slides for it. It introduces some nifty features of Powershell by examining a simple use case.
Passing arguments to a Powershell script caused me to pull my hair out... umm, scratch my head, lately. As with most technical problems, it appeared chaotic and intractable at first, and drew me into a black hole of spiraling confusion, where bugs mask other bugs; however, once I found a solution and tried to explain it to myself step-by-step, everything appeared orderly, even trivial. So now I don't even know why I'm writing this down. Actually, I do. It's so as not to go into the same black hole when I have to figure it again months or years from now.
Powershell is powerful. But if you forget that it's a scripting language, and approach it as a programming language, you (like me) may be thrown off, time and time again, by its certain... literalness.
I have a script that reads Powershell variable / value pairs from a file we shall call foo.conf . In other words, foo.conf looks like this:
$var1 = "bla1"
$var2 = "bla2"
$var3 = "bla3"
After reading the contents of this file, it needs to execute those variable assignments. It does it all in this line:
There were presentations on everything Drupal-related, from module development to theming, to security, usability, or building large, yet scalable enterprise websites with Drupal. Each of the two days opened with a keynote speech that drew an audience over 300 people into the room. Organizer Todd Nienkirk greeted us with the news that the number of attendees made Drupal Camp Austin the second largest Drupal Camp ever; an hour later, a few last-minute registrations pushed us up to #1.
At Linucon 2004 Eric Raymond gave a speech on the basic principles of the Unix philosophy. They are the same principles as described in the "Basics of the Unix Philosophy" chapter of Raymond's book "The Art of Unix Programming". Since the book is available online, I put a link to each rule so you could compare what's said in the book with what was said in the speech. He dwelled a little longer on each rule and gave more examples than he does in this chapter of the book. At the end of the speech he answered questions, some more, some less related to Unix philosophy. He also ranted on XML (after admitting not having an opinion about it) and expressed his opinion on Hurd.
Pictures from Linucon 2004 are in my photo gallery.