When OpenID lets you down

For years I've been happily using LiveJournal as an OpenID endpoint. That facility appears to have gone the way of the dodo, stranding me without access to such things as my StackExchange account.

Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW

I've been using the Lowepro SlingShot 102 AW for a month or two, and here's my review for time-challenged people: it's excellent for photo walks and can accommodate a flash and/or a few tiny accessories. At a pinch, the Slingshot is a great bag for carrying a camera and accessories on trips by plane, train or bus. The downside? Carrying a tripod is annoying, and I feel there are better options for people travelling by plane with luggage. I consider this an ideal bag for the purpose of photo walks focussed on hand-held photography.
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Calm, Collected

Countering Constants in Unit Tests

In Perl, some people will do funky stuff like this:
  package FooBar;
  use constant {
    CONFIG_VALUE_A = 'foo',
    CONFIG_VALUE_B = 'bar',

If I want to override those values (e.g.: while running your application on my system, or building a test suite) I have to use a construct like this:
*{FOOBAR::CONFIG_VALUE_A} = sub { 'my new foo' };

Please don't use constants for things which might vary (such as hostname, database server, database name, user name or password). Constants are for things like Pi, or G or h (and even then, the cosmologists tell us that h is not really constant in space or time).

To handle configuration variables, I recommend tools such as Config::IniFiles.

That is all.
Calm, Collected

It's Monday 13th. Is your data secure?

Some points to consider when reviewing your backup strategy: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/poremba/bulletproofing-your-data/?cs=49333

Note the last point especially: have you tried recovering your data onto a brand new computer?

And remember that tomorrow is St. Valentine's Day. You can buy a 1TB drive for the price of a dozen roses :)

Oh, and another story about losing stuff: http://www.documentsnap.com/carbonite-ceo-and-i-join-the-idiot-club/

Making O'Reilly ePubs usable on the Kobo Touch

Due to my weak and undisciplined nature I have succumbed to "more shinies syndrome" and now I have a Kobo Touch. I have a large collection of O'Reilly books in ePub format, which work just fine on the iPad, but crash the Kobo. So I set out to massage my O'Reilly books to the point that they are usable on the Kobo.

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A huge THANK YOU to O'Reilly for being sensible and releasing their publications with no DRM, which allows me to edit my copy as I see fit. This is why I buy your books (in addition to them being technically excellent).