Percy doing her no-paws Kilroy impression

Here is my PGP public key.

Here's a list of the non-technial books I've read since 1990.

Here is the obligatory picture of myself (and a variation on that theme). Feel free to poke around my photo archive, or Maryanne's photo archive.

Nowadays my primary hobby is playing board and similar games (after RSI forced me to give up computer and video games for the most part). I attend a weekly game night at the University of Virginia (all are welcome, write me if you want details) and I host occasional game days at home.

I keep track of the games I've played and my game collection at Here are some games I've played recently:

Nethack is my favorite computer game. I've been playing versions of it off and on since 1985. Hearse is a protocol which allows Nethack users to exchanges bones files with each other. I've written a Unix Hearse client, and a number of Nethack patches.

I spent a good number of years playing Quake, running some Quake servers, and working on a Quake mod called Artifact-RJS. I don't do that any more, but both the servers and the mod are alive and well, now called Rune Quake.

A number of the scripts below use my RS::Handy module (modified 2011-05-10, installation instructions). This module provides useful but not otherwise classified functions I use in my Perl programs (see the RS::Handy documentation). I should really have more discipline about categorizing all these things and creating separate modules for them so that they can be uploaded to CPAN. That's a lot of work, though, and if I forced myself to do that I'd likely end up re-writing these when I needed them, and that'd be worse than having this grab-bag module. What I like to do is to split useful components out of RS::Handy into modules which can be uploaded to CPAN. So far it has yielded Proc::SyncExec, IPC::Signal, Proc::WaitStat, String::ShellQuote, and some which made it into the core. If you find any of these compellingly useful let me know so I can prioritize splitting them out, too.


mime-construct-1.11.tar.gz (modified 2010-06-23, sig)
mime-construct constructs and (by default) mails MIME messages. It is entirely driven from the command line, it is designed to be used by other programs, or people who act like programs.
dedup (modified 2010-01-27)
This program scans the files given as arguments and removes duplicates. See the dedup documentation for more info. This requires RS::Handy.
rss-download (modified 2007-12-27)
rss-download automatically downloads files listed in an RSS feed. It isn't documented or feature-complete yet, but I'm already using it so I thought I'd put it here early.
mbox-purge (modified 2007-05-01)
mbox-purge performs batch deletion of email messages from mbox format files with appropriate locking, based on rules you specify. You can select messages received before or after some point in time, or whose headers or bodies match some Perl regular expression, or which are selected based on an arbitrary Perl expression. See the mbox-purge documentation for more info and examples. I use it to let my users automatically delete messages older than a certain date, and sometimes to purge email-based viruses and the like. This requires RS::Handy (from here) and Proc::WaitStat (from CPAN or here), and Date::Parse (from CPAN) if you want to do date parsing.
books-gen (modified 2006-12-21)
This Perl program generates the web pages of books I've read from the text file in which I actually store the information.
mail-output (modified 2006-12-05)
mail-output runs a command you specify and mails you any output it generates. Normally if there isn't any output no mail is sent, but you can override this. If the command exits with a non-zero status mail is always generated. Here's the mail-output man page. This script requires RS::Handy.
ftp-upload-1.5.tar.gz (modified 2006-03-16, sig)
ftp-upload transfers local files to another machine using FTP. It's meant to be used by scripts and such rather than interactively. There's no user interface, the program is controlled strictly via the command line. It is disciplined with its exit status.
randline (modified 2005-04-08)
randline picks random lines from its input, either a fixed number of lines, or a certain percentage of lines. In all cases it does this using a single pass over the input, without saving it all in memory. Here's the randline man page. This script requires RS::Handy.
gzip-links (modified 2005-03-25)
gzip-links is like gzip but it allows you to compress multiply-linked files. It does this by removing all but one of the links, compressing the data under the remaining name, then linking to the removed names (plus .gz). See the gzip-links documentation for more info. This requires RS::Handy.
mail2news (modified 2002-06-18)
This is my mail to news convertor and injector. It gets reasonable threading by creating References from In-Reply-To if necessary and possible. It is a Perl 4 script (though it says perl5 in the shebang line).
dunk (modified 2002-05-06)
dunk stands for "du, no kids". It's like du but a directory's size doesn't include the data in its subdirectories. These days I'd likely just have used GNU du's --separate-dirs switch, but dunk also outputs the size in a fixed-width field. This requires RS::Handy.
stderr-die (modified 2002-04-26)
stderr-die is a Perl script which runs the command given as its args and mostly stays out of the way. The exit status is normally the exit status of the command. If the command outputs anything on stderr but exits with a 0 status, though, the exit status will be 1 instead.
aixtoolbox-updates (modified 2002-04-01)
aixtoolbox-updates checks the Aix Toolbox FTP site for updates to the RPMs which are installed on the local machine, and downloads those which have been updated. It's neither polished nor bulletproof, but I'm releasing it as-is as I'm unlikely to improve either thing any time soon. Here's the aixtoolbox-updates man page. This script requires RS::Handy.
tracked-packages (modified 2001-03-09)
This is a Perl script I use on Debian systems. It lets me know what newer versions of the packages I'm tracking from unstable are available. It's useful on a Debian system which is mostly tracking stable but has a few packages installed from unstable.

Roderick Schertler <>