Multithreaded testing with JUnit

This post demonstrates an easy way to test the effect of multiple concurrent threads running your software, using your existing unit tests. Have you ever wondered whether your software is really thread safe? Whether it will stand up to the punishment of thousands of concurrent users when your site (or app) goes ballistic? Multi-threaded programming […]

linux firefox ipv6 snafu: FIXED!

I post this in the hope that it will save someone the headaches I suffered: I found that certain web sites were unusable (super slow – minutes to load) in firefox on linux, although retrieving pages from the command line w/say wget worked just fine –, for example, and the firefox addons site. It […]

a foot of water in the well

Like many of my neighbors, I came home to a basement full of water last night. First thoughts – all the stuff that would be ruined; we quickly abandoned the pile of childcraft books, the old rugs, some boxes of breakfast cereal that hadn’t been put away yet. But my tools, some lumber, the leaf […]

Balisage 2009 trip report

Balisage (once Extreme markup) seems to be the Summer conference of choice for schema architects, developers, visionaries and markup philosophers: in short, those laboring on the underpinnings of XML and related technologies. Conference literature calls us “markup geeks.” Mere users of these technologies might find this conference heavy sledding (it is quite technical), and marketers […]

25 selfish things in 2^10-1 words

1. I live in one of the wealthiest parts of the only inhabited planet I can think of at the moment, but I still sometimes feel jealous of other people who seem to have it better than me. 2. I like to make things, especially things I’ve never made before; here’s a partial list:: a […]

Puzzle Solver

I’ve posted my first working puzzle solver here. It is based on a flexible framework with a high degree of abstraction, with the idea of adding new puzzle types easily; so performance is not the main goal. So far, it can solve Sudoku and Kakuro type puzzles; it will be fairly straightforward to build brute […]

disoriented cryptic

The National Puzzlers League’s (NPL) Enigma published this puzzle in its March 2009 issue; thanks to editors Hot, Trazom and Crax for numerous improvements: disoriented-cryptic


Play the scrapple word game against the computer, or play a solo game and try to achieve the perfect score. You will need to have installed a Java runtime environment (at least version 1.5) to use this applet-based program. Also don’t forget about the sudoku solver and the snowflake creator, all on the toys page. […]


This list of words is pretty big (1.7M); it is all lower-case, includes various word forms and excludes proper names.  I wish I could remember where it came from (I think it was called WORDS, if that helps you identify it??) words