Car Talk finally available as a podcast!

Car TalkAt long last Car Talk, the popular NPR show is available as a podcast.

This radio call-in show, hosted by “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers” takes calls from folks all around the country and even world. People call in with their car questions and the brothers, um, well, they give an answer. Sometimes several answers are given, and it seems like they usually get around to a useful answer, but I’m not yet convinced that it’s not accidental.

Either of the brothers alone would be hilarious, but together they’re ridiculous. The show features plenty of good-hearted ribbing, a weekly (typically off-topic) puzzler and probably half a dozen call-ins.

So if you’re looking for a way to waste a perfectly good hour (and some otherwise good bandwidth) and perhaps learn something about cars and mechanics, check out Car Talk. The show has been around for quite a while, but the podcast is the perfect way to enjoy it! I hope their sponsor, Allstate is paying them extra per-download because as a podcast the show could get very popular.

Viewing strings of text in binary files on Linux and UNIX

If a user encounters a binary file and does not know what it is used for or where it came from, they may gain some insight into its origins and use by searching for character strings within the file. If the cat command is used to view a binary file, the user will get a screen full of garbage that will more often than not change the display characteristics. Instead, the strings command should be used, as demonstrated in the following examples:

Find All Strings in the Binary File

$ strings echo
Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO
%s (%s) %s
Written by %s.
%s %s
memory exhausted

Again the above output has been abbreviated to save space, but you can see that there is some useful information here. Just knowing that “This is free software” and that it is copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation can give you some great insight on where this came from and why it might be there.

Finding Occurrences of a String in a Binary File

Here we show how the output of the strings command can be piped into the grep command to look for specific words within a binary file.

$ strings echo|grep GLIBC

This shows how grep can be used to limit the output of a command to only lines that contain certain text.

Easy Linux CommandsFor more tips like this check out my book Easy Linux Commands, only $19.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!

unix, linux, text, search, find

Oracle database 9i desupported as of June 2007

In case you haven’t heard, Oracle database version 9i will be desupported as of June of 2007. That’s right, next month!

If this is the first you’ve heard of this, don’t panic. A Don Burleson points out you should be concerned if your shop is required to be on a fully supported Oracle release, but if that’s not a concern for you then you have a little leeway.

As described in this message from Oracle and metalink note 161818.1 extended support will be available through July of 2010 with the first year of extended support being at no additional cost.

If you don’t have a plan to get onto 10g (preferably 10gR2) it’s time to start getting one together.

oracle, database, database administration, dba

Armor made from CDs!

Here’s a unique use for all those AOL CDs: armor!

CD Armor

Tom over at Pixelated Images took this pic at Anime Central 2007. I love the fish-scale look of the CDs, especially on the swords and shields.

Unfortunately he didn’t get any additional info on it (creators, number/source of CDs etc.) but he did get pictures of several other equally extreme costumes.

anime, cd, art, fun, armor, fighting, swords