Welcome to Daniel Allen's Home Page

Available across the land at http://www.xform.net/daniel/ (no longer at http://coder.com).

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Latest News

Monday, 25 September, 2017 -

Hm, this page is five years out of date, though all of the links out still work. I've wrapped up my consulting company, sold the domain name, and continue being gainfully employed at the University of Waterloo. I haven't done as much blogging lately as I was five years ago. I blame Facebook.

Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 -

I've started a blog about being Quaker. It's named after work by one of my favourite Quaker poets, and also after one of my favourite Quaker Science Fiction novels.

Monday, 30 July, 2007 -

I'm a dual citizen as of June 22nd this year. This November will mark my 3rd anniversary working at the Universary of Waterloo.

Tuesday, 24 February, 2004 -

Canadian Immigration finally came through with my paperwork; I'm officially approved to be a Canadian Resident. Yay! (I'll spare you the story of why it took this long; it wasn't pretty.) Now, I just need to find local work...

Monday, 29 July, 2002 -

We've adopted the cutest puppy in the world. Her name is Rover. She'll be seven weeks old on August 5th. I'm told that her cousin Sonia the Samoyed wants to know if she's a squeak-toy or a snack. She's much less work than we feared; and cute and sweet enough to make all the trials worth it.

Recently flickr'd Photos

The Name Game

I have an interest in coincidences. When the fabric of one's life develops a few slip-stitches. The kind of thing you generally don't notice until suddenly, as if in The Twilight Zone, your life has a pattern you can just barely see and can't possibly understand. Then the moment passes and you're back in the humdrum world.

Of course your average day has millions of chances for "a strange thing" to happen, most with little actual effect on the world. But if you look for strange things, like magic you'll see more of them. Occasionally, they're useful; like getting a day's worth of good elevator karma; or getting a phone call from the person you most want to talk to. But mostly their intrinsic value is simply getting a chance to grin and feel like part of the universe sort of makes sense somehow.

Once upon a time, I thought I had an uncommon first name. Then I left for school, and lo, Daniels were popping out of the woodwork. In fact it turns out that Daniel Allen is not an uncommon name.

It started in my first week at school when I started getting snail mail for the other Daniel Allen, then a Senior. My second week I learned my unique Cornell user ID was shared between myself (Daniel Robert Allen) and Daniel Robert Adinolphi. We were both dra1 for a week, despite protests by Cornell Information Technologies that it was strictly impossible. Douglas Adams was right on target with the Someone Else's Problem Field. People simply won't believe reality if it's inconvenient.

When I was a teenager I went to a gathering of 200 Quaker teens (YouthQuake in Glorietta New Mexico, in case you're curious), and met a total of five other Quaker Daniels and Dans. That was fun, especially since I got to introduce some of them to each other.

Last year (2003) at Summer Gathering of Friends General Conference, I played Fluxx with a Daniel, Daniel, dan, and Gary. And those were just the people staying in our dorm-hall.

There have been three Daniels on the payroll of my consulting company, formerly Prescient Code Solutions, including my business-partner, Jason Daniel Hartline. In 2000-2001 I consulted for Millennium Pharmaceuticals. My office-mate Daniel Noël had just moved from Canada to Boston; I moved from Boston to Canada eight months later.

There's also the Daniel Allen House in Walpole, MA, and Dan Allen Drive at NC State. I guess it's gratifying- and possibly weird- that Google thinks I'm the (first? third?) most authorative Daniel Allen.

When I first got onto facebook, I found a group named "Yes, my name is Daniel Allen too." I became member number 53. Then the group vanished. No idea what happened...

Last but most definitely not least, my sweetie is a dan, with whom I have been lucky to share eleven years of my life.

So, that's the long version of the story when people learn that we're "Dan and Daniel" and I say, "We didn't plan it that way."

Intellectual Stimulation vs. Hernias

I have many books. So does dan. Perhaps we have moved them for the last time. This is a relief, as they are rather heavy. We've moved together from Ithaca to Boston to Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario. We bought a house with lots of room for book-shelves; both of us come from families with lots of books, and whenever I'm in New York City I always come home with bags from the Strand Bookstore, the most overwhelming used bookstore in the world.

I read a fair amount of science fiction. I really enjoy Greg Bear, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson. I enjoy some of the science fiction of Spider Robinson though I must say, since we've started reading the Globe and Mail, Spider Robinson's monthly opinion column is usually pretty hard to take. I recently read The Dazzle of Day by Molly Glass, a Quaker sci-fi story set light-years from earth. Also, I just read Bears Discover Fire by Terry Bisson. If you like offbeat sci-fi I recommend checking out They're Made of Meat, a quick short story.

My favorite regular fiction author is Paul Auster; I particularly enjoy re-reading "Mr. Vertigo" and "City of Glass." I also get a big kick out of Toni Morrison.

I have a complete collection of Dykes to Watch Out For and I read the new ones bi-weekly. Oh, not only because their publisher, Firebrand Books, was located across the street from us on the Commons of Ithaca, NY. I like Edward Gorey books too.

In the realm of non-fiction, I read a bit of science, history (tending toward history of cities and gay and lesbian history), and lots of technical books for work. A while ago I read and enjoyed Dancing Naked in the Mind Field by Kary Mullis, Nobel Lauriate in Chemistry, 1993, and recreational-drug-using surfboarder.

Pointless Aside

Speaking of which, approximately 1 in 12 people who visit this page, found it by doing a web search that includes the word "naked":

tide136.microsoft.com - - [04/Aug/2002:08:13:45 -0400] "GET /daniel HTTP/1.0" 301 232 "http://search.msn.com/results.asp?ba=(0.60)0(.)0.......& co=(0.15)4(0.1) FORM=MSNH& RS=CHECKED& q=naked+gathering+photos& rd=0& v=1& pn=4" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)" - - [28/Jul/2002:07:19:24 -0400] "GET /daniel/ HTTP/1.0" 200 7659 "http://search.msn.com/results.asp?ba=(0.45)0(.)0.......& co=(0.15)4(0.1) FORM=SMCRT& RS=CHECKED& cfg=SMCINITIAL& nosp=0& origq=naked+beach+gathering+photos& q=naked+gathering+photos& rd=0& spoff=on& thr& v=1& pn=3" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)"

cpe014480029497.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com - - [28/Jul/2002:11:43:22 -0400] "GET /daniel/ HTTP/1.1" 200 7659 "http://www.google.com/custom?q=Kitchener+ON+naked+photos& hl=en& lr=& ie=UTF-8& cof=L:http://www.broadband.rogers.com/bband/content/shared/images/branding_nonlinking_header.gif; LH:65; LW:770; BGC:FFFFCC; T:333333; LC:990000; VLC:FF0033; ALC:FF0000; GALT:000000; GFNT:333333; GIMP:333333; AH:center; S:http://www.broadband.rogers.com; & start=30& sa=N" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; Rogers Hi-Speed Internet)"

*sigh* Give 'em what they want, I suppose. Nipple! Nipple nipple nipple!

15 Minutes...

A few things you might be amused by:

In October, 1999, I caught the Ithaca Trash Crew throwing out a lot of recyclables (hundreds of recycling bins' worth). It made a big headline on the front page of the Ithaca Journal. Page 1 / Page 2 / Specious Followup Article / My rebuttal letter-to-the-editor / Email apology from the Mayor. Afterward, I got a few positive comments from people who thought it was an inspiring story.

I wrote a review of the networking software, "Understudy". It is published in the July 2000 issue of Linux Journal. If you run lots of [web|mail|news] servers on-the-cheap, it might be worth a look, though probably out-of-date in favor of high-availability linux.

Linux Journal also foolishly published my article on Eleven SSH Tricks in August 2003 and an article on The Perl Debugger in March 2005.


Here's one neat family photo (143k) my mom took a few years ago. Here's Rover and here's our house. Here are some photos from dan's and my trip to Budapest in September 2003.


I have a somewhat neglected journal on use.perl.org, as well as a homenode and a few posts on perlmonks.org. I have a single, vaguely useful module published on CPAN called GD::Text::Arc.

If such things are what you seek, I have two samples of programs I've written with OO Perl.

I have a working list of fun open-source coding projects as long as my arm; among which are foremost:

I was a freelance coder (my out-of-date resumé is here) and I also have the luxury of considering my work to be fun; I get a lot of milage out of turning intractable tasks into nice little python, perl, or PHP scripts. I think my greatest success along those lines was in 2000-2001 at the on-site contracting gig at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where I gradually automated my job out of existance over the course of a year. It was fun. In 2003 I wrote up a batch of up for grabs ideas and I am pleased that many have been fully implemented in various software forms.


Occasionally, I give technical talks. A selection of these:

What am I up to?

I might be working, volunteering, customizing Debian for recycled computers, reading, spending quality-time with my sweetie dan brown, playing with the puppy, hanging out on perlmonks.org, updating the web site for the Kitchener Quakers or Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns, biking, swimming, or playing games with friends (our standing favorite is Fluxx. Check out our custom Fluxx cards). Or I might be playing with my business's Debian Linux servers (which is both fun and work).

Contact Info

You can contact me at my web-site (xform.net). My email address is my first name. Spammers can take a hike. :-)

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