Posts Below
4/15/2014 - Simple Price Per Item Calculator v1, in JavaScript (Site Update - Software Release)
4/1/2014 - Perl Scripts: Make "Welcome to Disk!" Text File and Make Contents Note Text File (Site Update)
4/1/2014 - MOG streaming music service's April 15th shutdown is delayed! And other good news (Music - News)
3/13/2014 - Roku Remote Controller Script version 4, written in Bash (Site Update)
2/25/2014 - Link: - "Warning: Why You Should Avoid Using Your Laptop as Recommended" (Health)
2/20/2014 - Repaired Perl Script: Apollia's Website Statistics Saver v1.1 (Site Update)
2/9/2014 - Perl Script: Apollia's Drag and Drop Pondizer v1.0 (Site Update)
2/9/2014 - Perl Script: Make Dated and Timed Folder (Site Update)
2/6/2014 - Link: A article about Pluto New Horizons mission (Astronomy - Link)
2/5/2014 - Link: Water vapor detected on dwarf planet Ceres (Astronomy - Link)

Welcome to Astroblahhh.Com. This site, consisting of both blog and non-blog pages, features a gradually growing assortment of miscellaneous things on a variety of topics. I, the author of most of the stuff on this site, usually go by the name Apollia on the internet.

This blog was generated by the WordsPlatz blog software, which I wrote from scratch.


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Simple Price Per Item Calculator v1, in JavaScript
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
21:16:58 GMT

Site Update
Software Release

Finished today:

Simple Price Per Item Calculator v1, in JavaScript

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Perl Scripts: Make "Welcome to Disk!" Text File and Make Contents Note Text File
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
23:44:44 GMT

Site Update

A couple small new Perl scripts. They definitely work in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8.

Make "Welcome to Disk!" Text File

Make Contents Note Text File

These two are almost exactly the same script. First, they ask you to type in some text, then they create a text file which contains (and whose file name contains) the text you typed.

I like to put the created files at the root level of my various disks and TrueCrypt* volumes, just to make it easier to tell at a glance where I am and what is in there.

The "Welcome" script creates a text file with a name like "Welcome to Fluffyland!" (or whatever other disk name you typed), and the "Contents" script creates a text file with a name like "~Contents - My entire MIDI collection up to 2014".

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MOG streaming music service's April 15th shutdown is delayed! And other good news
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
04:16:34 GMT


Here's some news related to MOG*, my current favorite streaming music service. The MOG Q&A section of Beats Music's support site was recently updated with some great news!

This page says:

"The initial April 15 date we set for shutting down the MOG service has been extended for the time being to give us time to add and complete the features we think will ensure the smoothest, easiest transition from MOG to Beats Music as possible."

And also says:

"We will still offer all MOG subscribers a one-month free trial of Beats Music once we establish an end-date for MOG."

So, happily, MOG users will at least get to keep MOG for longer than we thought.

The next best Beats Music*-related news I heard of lately is - Beats Music released an API for developers.

An article about that from

Beats Music opens up, making its API public

Here's a link to the Beats Music developer site:

I've felt a little tempted to subscribe to Beats Music early - even while Beats Music is still half-baked and scarcely able to compete with MOG or various other services - just so as to be able to play around with the Beats Music API, and perhaps build my own Roku app to replace the MOG Roku app no one will be able to use anymore whenever MOG is finally shut down.

But, I'm probably going to wait instead, and perhaps play with Rdio's API or Spotify's API for a while, if I can without subscribing.

Actually, I'm probably not even going to play with any music service API - I'm too preoccupied with other things. But if I do, of course I'd like to design my music software in such a way that I could easily use it with whatever service I prefer.

And, like all of my other software (except all I haven't released yet), I would make it libre and open source.

Those two pieces of news - MOG's shutdown being postponed; and the Beats API - both greatly increase my optimism that Beats Music might someday become the best streaming music service available - even though they definitely have a lot of work to do to get there.

But, I think releasing an API and postponing MOG's shutdown were some really smart moves, so that gives me hope. :-)

One last thing. A couple weeks ago, I finally found out that MOG has a a Playlists section, which features not only MOG users' public playlists, but also a lot of playlists built by famous musicians.

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Roku Remote Controller Script version 4, written in Bash
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
08:30:16 GMT

Site Update

A few days ago, I ran across a useful Roku* remote controller script written in Bash by someone named "JM", also known as "Fubaya".

Posted July 7, 2011 to the A More Common Hades blog:

Final Roku bash shell script

Thank you very much to "JM"/"Fubaya" for creating such useful scripts and such a useful blog!

I didn't originally intend to put so much effort into it, but, over the past few days, I ended up making a very modified version of that script, plus a few little companion scripts.

It's really neat having so much instantaneous control of my Roku XS via my computer keyboard. Or just by double-clicking scripts on my computer.

Lots more info is in the source code.

Edit, 3/15/2014, 5:39 AM. OK, I finally finished the version 4 update I was unable to finish before due to being too tired, too headachy, and/or too focused on other things.

I added a new F4 hotkey which sends "Enter" to the Roku, to quickly submit text input forms or search forms without you having to do any additional navigation or typing.

And, related to that, a new typeable command, "ss" or "submitstring" or "submitsearch", which not only inserts whatever string of text you want, but also immediately submits the input, so you won't even have to use the F4 hotkey.

Roku Remote Controller Script version 4, written in Bash, with companion scripts (zipped, 13 KB)

Web-viewable copies of all the scripts:

Launch Netflix Channel: Perl Version - Bash Version

Launch Roku Remote Control Script Live Mode in an RXVT Terminal Window - Perl Version - Bash Version

Old version 3:

Roku Remote Controller Script version 3, written in Bash, with companion scripts (zipped, 13 KB)

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Link: - "Warning: Why You Should Avoid Using Your Laptop as Recommended"
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
06:12:27 GMT


I don't know how credible this article is, but, it makes me glad I mostly haven't been using a laptop or cell phone for all these years.

From, published March 5, 2012: - Warning: Why You Should Avoid Using Your Laptop as Recommended

If that article is true, then, I suspect consumer demand might go up a lot in the future for laptops which are perfectly safe to keep on your lap. Hopefully such laptops exist, or can be invented.

According to the article, iPads* are OK. Quote:

If you don't believe me on this one I would strongly encourage you to get a gauss meter and measure your own notebook computer and see for yourself. Fortunately my favorite gadget, the iPad, measures within acceptable ranges so I continue to use that without an external keyboard.

However, for other reasons, I still think it's a bad idea to use an iPad - or any Apple* product, or closed source hardware or software made by anyone.

For many reasons why, see Richard Stallman's* page on Why you should not buy Apple products.

For even more reasons why, see my page where I answer the question What is free, libre, open source software? And my favorite part of that: Another Partly Humorous Digression

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Repaired Perl Script: Apollia's Website Statistics Saver v1.1
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
04:43:27 GMT

Site Update

The original version of this script wasn't working properly because it mistakenly put read-only permissions on a file that needed to be overwritten from time to time - the file containing the date/time the statistics were last zipped.

Here's the repaired new version:

Apollia's Website Statistics Saver v1.1 (zipped, about 7 KB)

My web host is DreamHost, so it might work best if you're also using DreamHost. But, this script might work with other web hosts, perhaps with some modifications.

Instructions are in the source code.

Web-viewable copies of the two source code files:



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Perl Script: Apollia's Drag and Drop Pondizer v1.0
Sunday, February 9th, 2014
17:03:40 GMT

Site Update

This script is related to the old zip backup scripts I made. It's basically a drag-and-drop zip archive-making script, with some other features.

Definitely works in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8, and probably other Puppy Linuxes, but would probably have to be modified to work in other operating systems. I'm guessing it would be toughest to get it working in Windows, since it relies on Linux shell commands.

Apollia's Drag and Drop Pondizer v1.0 (zip file, 19 KB)

Web-viewable versions:

The version with a separate config file

The separate config file

The version without a separate config file

What does "pondize" mean? Well, on my computer, I like to give many of my folders picturesque, aesthetically pleasing names which aren't always obviously connected to those folders' actual purposes.

The "Pond" folder is where I like to keep many of my newly-minted backups. So, anything that goes in the Pond, I say it's been "pondized".

This script can either make zip files out of things that are dragged and dropped onto it, or put copies of those things into a dated/timed folder.

And, similar to the original zip backup script, you can put a list in the source code of all the items you want zipped or copied to a dated/timed folder. That list is used when you run the script without dragging/dropping items onto it.

One problem with this script is, I haven't figured out how to make it handle files/folders whose names contain double quotes ("). Fortunately, I have hardly any files/folders like that. However, If you really need to handle such items, you can put them in a folder without double quotes in the name, and then drag/drop that folder onto the script.

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Perl Script: Make Dated and Timed Folder
Sunday, February 9th, 2014
14:05:15 GMT

Site Update

Another simple Perl script which works in at least Lucid Puppy 5.2.8, and probably other Puppy Linuxes:

Make Dated and Timed Folder

This script simply makes a folder with a name like "2014_2_8 13,14,37 pm". Optionally, the script can add a prefix and/or suffix to the folder name. You can provide a prefix and/or suffix in the source code, or have the script ask you for them when it runs.

This script would probably work in other operating systems if you take out the stuff dealing with the RXVT console program and the Rox-Filer file manager.

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Link: A article about Pluto New Horizons mission
Thursday, February 6th, 2014
03:34:23 GMT


An article from Feb. 5, 2014, from

Pluto New Horizons mission: The dwarf planet explains the history of our solar system

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Link: Water vapor detected on dwarf planet Ceres
Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
05:37:21 GMT


An article from Jan. 21, 2014, from

Herschel Telescope Detects Water on Dwarf Planet

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