Are you “OMG Addicted To The Internets?”

Did you ever get that feeling of finally quitting a mammoth IRC session only to discover that it’s 2 in the morning, you haven’t eaten, and you can’t because there’s no food left because you were surfing the net instead of shopping and now all the shops are closed? And you left your washing out to dry, but it started to pour with rain and you never even noticed, and now it’s a huge sodden mess? And you have to be at work (in front of another computer) at 9 in the morning?

At least your girl/boyfriend hasn’t dumped you for being such a sad nerd… because he/she NEVER EXISTED IN THE FIRST PLACE! Ahahaaa! Well, I’ve been there- in fact I may actually still be there- and I propose a 12-step program.

1. If in doubt, turn off your instant messaging. How can you possibly get any work done when… Ping! “hi d00d ^___^”

2. Check your e-mail less often. This is important if you’re using Gmail. If you’re not running the Gmail client, you won’t be tempted to use Google Talk either 😛

3. How many f***ing so-called “social networking tools” and forums do you need to be signed up to?

4. Don’t leave your computer running all the time at home. (OK, I’m guilty, linosaur runs all the time, but he’s headless.)

5. Did I mention about turning your IRC off?

6. Do you spend more time tinkering with streaming media applications than actually listening to the media they’re meant to deliver?

7. TV rots your brain. But YouTube rots the parts that even TV can’t reach. Looking at YouTube comments will turn any remaining unrotted parts of brain to cheese. And then there’s Myspace video.

8. Stop hacking at least an hour before bed time. Srsly.

9. No blogging at work. Whoops :-X

10. Do you really need more than one or two computers at home?

11. Try to do something totally unrelated to computers… like this… but without the Livejournal thing of course.

12. Acknowledge that your addiction is greater than you and you have no control over it. And whatever you do, don’t use IRC 😉

Nix command of the week: tail

If you’ve messed around with Linux, you might well have used the “tail” command. All it does is print the last few lines of a file. For example,

tail -n 10 /var/log/apache2/access.log

will show you the last 10 pages that the webserver served. (Assuming you’re running the 2.x version of Apache.)

But for extra geeky thrills, the -f option will make tail watch the file and print out any new lines as they appear. So:

tail -f /var/log/apache2/access.log

will print out whatever Apache is putting into the log file as it is putting it in. Handy for keeping an eye on log files when you’re debugging stuff.

You can crank the geeky thrills up another level by pipelining it into something else, like our old friend from Unix school, grep. For instance,

tail -f /var/log/apache2/access.log |grep sheep

will alert you whenever anyone tries to access a page with “sheep” in the filename. How useful!

PS: press Ctrl-C to exit.