Day: July 24, 2014

A first bitcoin purchase, at Decentral’s ATM

July 24, 2014 Bitcoin 1 comment , , , , , , ,


I went to the bitcoin ATM today at decentral, in Toronto, on 64 Spadina Ave just south of King St.  It has the following awesome sign:


I love their self description “Coworking Space For Disruptive Technology Innovation”.  I didn’t think of taking any picture of the ATM, but it worked nicely.  Here’s what was required.

First step to make a purchase was entering my phone number.  The ATM sends a text message with a verification code to the phone, and you have to enter that into the ATM once it’s received.  I am not sure how this would have worked should the battery in my phone have been dead, something happens too easily on my ancient phone these days.

Once the verification code from your phone is entered, you feed in a printout of your wallet’s QR code.  Something like:

photo (1)

I deposited $100 and the transaction appeared to go smoothly.  The ATM sends a receipt text message to your phone with your wallet and the amount that was deposited.  My phone is not a smart phone, something that a bitcoin using generation probably takes for granted, so I wasn’t able to login to and see the new bitcoins in my wallet.  The nice guy (who’s name I have now forgotten) at decentral showed me with an app on my phone that the transaction was on the blockchain.

He was able to do that by scanning my QR code, which was interesting.  I am surprised about the non-anonymous nature of that blockchain peek.  So, it appears that if you advertise your wallet address (which appears to function like a public key) so that you can accept payments, then does that mean somebody could sum the deposits to that address from info available on the blockchain.  The work required to do that could be significant, but if anonymity is what you are looking for, some additional steps must be required.

Note that decentral’s ATM does not (at least currently) have any sort of ATM transaction fees, however you still take a hit on the transaction, since the exchange is at a rate 5% greater than the cavirtex CAD/BTC exchange rate (conversely, bitcoin sales at the ATM are at 5% less than this rate).  For example, my purchase using $100 CAD was at a buy rate of $681.47/BTC.  I see that the cavirtex rate ranged from $636 to $659 today.  This must mean that I bought when the ATM believed the cavirtex rate to be $649.

The best way to obtain bitcoin appears that it would be direct person to person transactions for work done, but I don’t currently have any services that I am trying to sell.  The decentral “nice guy” suggested that I could potentially do contract work for bitcoin.  Since much of my free time has been occupied by studies for the physics courses I have taken, that doesn’t leave much time for moonlighting.  Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much market for the course notes that I have prepared for the courses I have taken.  I’ve made all of those available for free.  Somebody could tip me bitcoin if they find it useful, but chances of that are pretty slim.  The market for this level of physics material is pretty small.  For example, when I did the relativistic electrodynamics course, I think there were about 13 people in the course by the time it was done (offered once per year).

Some Unix command line one liners

July 24, 2014 perl and general scripting hackery No comments , , , , , , , , , ,

Here’s a couple one-liner shell commands collected over the last couple months when it occurred to me to record them.  Each of these I thought were somewhat notable at the time I did so.

Nested “backquotes”

I often have to run commands where it is convenient to have the parameters of the commands in a file.  A simple example is to edit all the files in a list of files, say:

vim `cat c`
# or:
vim $(cat c)

A useful variation of this is to do the same using the output of a command that also takes its input from a file. Here’s one to edit all the “ancestor” files in the version control system, assuming a command vcsancestor that produces such filenames

vim `vcsancestor $(cat c)`
# or
vim $(vcsancestor $(cat c))

Observe how two different methods of embedding shell commands can be combined into one command. In the past I often used for loops for something like this, say:

for i in `cat c` ; do vcsancestor $i ; done > f
vim `cat f`

(because backquotes can’t be nested). It only recently occurred to me that this isn’t a limitation if $() style subshells are used.

Batching commands with xargs

When working in a version control system, it’s often useful to do a batch checkout of all the files that have compilation errors.  Suppose that you made changes that produced the following compilation error output:

$ cat compile.errors
"satauth.C", line 978.30: 1540-0274 (S) The name lookup for "sqlorest" did not find a declaration.
"scrutil.C", line 142.52: 1540-0274 (S) The name lookup for "SQLNLS_SAME_STRING" did not find a declaration.
"testdrv.C", line 1146.16: 1540-0274 (S) The name lookup for "SQLO_OK" did not find a declaration.
"testdrv.C", line 183.15: 1540-0274 (S) The name lookup for "SQLO_OK" did not find a declaration.

Here’s a one liner to checkout all the files in this list of compilation errors (this is AIX xlC error output):

cut -f2 -d'"' x | sort -u | xargs cleartool checkout -nc

The cut command selects just the (first) double-quote delimited text, then dups are removed with sort -u, and finally xargs is used to run a command on each of the files in the resulting output

Looking for a subset of information delimited by markers on separate lines

grep works nicely for matching patterns that are constrained to a single line.  If you are using gnu-grep you can use the -A and -B options to find stuff after and before the pattern of interest.  As an example, in our stacktrace files (a post mortem crash dump format), we have output that includes:


0x00002AAAC74EF263 ossDumpStackTraceInternal(unsigned long, OSSTrapFile&, int, siginfo*, void*, unsigned long, unsigned long) + 0x06e3
0x00002AAAC74EFE89 ossDumpStackTraceV98 + 0x007f
0x00002AAAC74E5C5F OSSTrapFile::dumpEx(unsigned long, int, siginfo*, void*, unsigned long) + 0x04db
0x00002AAABA6EB313 sqlo_trce + 0x0a6f
0x00002AAABA9C52B5 sqloDumpDiagInfoHandler + 0x047b
0x00002AAAAABD5E00 address: 0x00002AAAAABD5E00 ; dladdress: 0x00002AAAAABC8000 ; offset in lib: 0x000000000000DE00 ;
0x00002AAAAABD30A5 pthread_kill + 0x0035
0x00002AAAB5D828DF ossPthreadKill(unsigned long, unsigned int) + 0x0053
0x00002AAABA9C6CA1 sqloDumpEDU + 0x0091
0x00002AAABED7A853 sqlzerdm + 0x149b
0x00002AAAB5D7D745 sqle_remap_errors(int, sqlca*, sqeAgent*) + 0x01c9
0x00002AAAB5DE8717 sqeApplication::AppStopUsing(sqeAgent*, unsigned char, sqlca*) + 0x10b1
0x00002AAAB5D46FF5 address: 0x00002AAAB5D46FF5 ; dladdress: 0x00002AAAAACE1000 ; offset in lib: 0x000000000B065FF5 ;
0x00002AAAB5D4073F address: 0x00002AAAB5D4073F ; dladdress: 0x00002AAAAACE1000 ; offset in lib: 0x000000000B05F73F ;
0x00002AAAB5D44F35 sqleIndCoordProcessRequest(sqeAgent*) + 0x3959
0x00002AAAB5DA8E55 sqeAgent::RunEDU() + 0x061b
0x00002AAABEDAC2C7 sqzEDUObj::EDUDriver() + 0x035d
0x00002AAABEDABBD7 sqlzRunEDU(char*, unsigned int) + 0x0053
0x00002AAABA9BFC62 sqloEDUEntry + 0x1460
0x00002AAAAABCE2A3 address: 0x00002AAAAABCE2A3 ; dladdress: 0x00002AAAAABC8000 ; offset in lib: 0x00000000000062A3 ;
0x00002AAAC7F376DD __clone + 0x006d


Here’s a one-liner to grab just the portions of these files within the delimiters (with some other filtering that isn’t of terrible interest to describe)

for i in *stack* ; do grep -A40 ‘<StackTrace’ $i | grep -v ‘(/’ | grep -B40 ‘/StackTrace’ | c++filt ; done | less

Unix to Windows path separator switching

Suppose we have some unix filenames

$ head -5 f

and want the Windows paths for the same
$ head -5 f | tr / '\\'

The tr command above looks a bit like ascii barf, and will translate forward slashes to backward slashes (perhaps for input that’s a list of files).

I didn’t understand the requirement to both single quote the backslash as well as escaping it, but Darin explained it for me:

Quotes allow the backslashes to go through the shell to tr.  And tr has its own backslash escape mechanism (so you can do things like transform \n into \r or something – where you’d then specify ‘\n’ or just \\n and ‘\r’ or \\r).

Vim: replace search results with contents from a file

Probably related to merging conflicting changes, I wanted to completely replace the implementation of a particular function:

void foo() {

This was an easy way one liner method to do that replacement, deleting the implementation of foo, and replacing it with the one that was found in the file ‘foo’

:,/^}/ !cat foo

file:line: delimited output for a single file

The grep -n command is very handy for producing file:line:content delimited output.  In particular, you can iterate over such output with vim -q.  When you want to do this for a single file, grep -n doesn’t include the filename, defeating a subsequent vim -q (since vim then doesn’t know what file to open).  Here’s an example

$ cat my_file_to_search
blah patternOfInterest hi
foo goo
patternOfInterest bye
blah patternOfInterest hi
blah patternOfInterest hi
foo goo
patternOfInterest bye
foo goo
patternOfInterest bye

$ grep -n patternOfInterest my_file_to_search | tee v
1:blah patternOfInterest hi
3:patternOfInterest bye
4:blah patternOfInterest hi
5:blah patternOfInterest hi
7:patternOfInterest bye
9:patternOfInterest bye

To get vim -q’able output, just include a second non-existent dummy file in the search

grep -n patternOfInterest my_file_to_search a_file_that_doesnt_exist | tee v
vim -q v

I usually use a very-short filename for the “does not exist file”, say, .u (which presumes I also don’t create little hidden files .u in my day-to-day work).