Boiled Shrimp

When I was a young man, I discovered shrimp… specifically, fried shrimp. Whenever we went to a restaurant, if fried shrimp was on the menu, I ordered it.

After I had left home and was on my own, fried shrimp was always one of my favorite options. But then one day, sitting at the bar in Al’s Bar in a town in Nebraska, I noticed a sign above the bar: “Plate of 12 boiled shrimp, $1”. Well, I was hungry and I did like fried shrimp, so I figure shrimp is shrimp and ordered a plate.

As I am sitting there, watching TV, sipping my beer, and eating my boiled shrimp, I notice a stranger to my left sort of watching me. I say nothing and continue watching TV, sipping beer, and eating boiled shrimp.

Finally the stranger to my left speaks: “Excuse me. Do you ALWAYS eat your shrimp with the shells on?”
I reply: “Yes. Yes I do. Why?”
Stranger: “Well, it’s just that I never saw anybody do that before. They always shell them first.”
Me: “I like the crunch!”

I guess I decided that day, after finishing the plate of shrimp I had in front of me, that I just maybe might try shelling them in the future. Since that time, whenever I have eaten boiled shrimp, I have shelled them first… provided there is no sign of that same stranger nearby.

Hey! At least I have ALWAYS shelled my hard boiled eggs before eating them!

Sphider has a new home

Sphider – a PHP spider and search engine

While this blog will continue to provide news and information about Sphider, and links to downloads will continue to be provided from the blog, the principal home for Sphider is now: or Either url will bring you to the same page. The Spider Forum has not moved and is accessible from the new domain.

Besides the main page, there is a downloads page, an About page, a document page from which the Sphider User’s Guide may be downloaded, and a changelog page. Other pages will be added as the need arises.

Blog spammers revealed

Blog spam….

Askimet is a blessing as MOST spam I never even see. And practically all the rest ends up being flagged as probable spam, which it inevitably is. I’ve only had ONE legitimate comment I’ve had to rescue from there. While I simply delete the contents of the spam queue, I still like to track the WORST offenders. I thought I might share my (growing) list with whoever is interested. Most of the time, it is individual IP’s, but once in awhile I find an entire block of addresses that are infested with blog spammers.

The miracle of a modern education

I made a visit to the local Burger King the other day. My order totaled $10.63. I handed over a twenty dollar bill, a quarter, and four dimes. I knew that was a big mistake the moment I saw the cashier holding the coins in the palm of one hand, slowly pushing them back and forth with a finger from his other hand, a befuddled look on his face. He moved the coins about for about a minute, stared at the cash register knowing he had to enter the amount tendered, then finally he entered a number. I see the change due comes up as $9.57.  Sensing this just MIGHT be wrong, he asked the cashier next to him for help. Now two lines are being held up as this two try to figure out what to do next. Another minute passes by as the lines grow longer. Finally one of them asks a manager for help. She hands back the twenty and asks if the coins were my change. I explained they were my coins, but not the change. I hadn’t paid yet, that was just a part of the $10.63 I owed. She was confused and cancelled the order. I had to reorder. The lines are growing. Total is $10.63, change due is $9.37. I explain that no, it isn’t. You haven’t taken the five coins I handed over into account. Some more figuring. She hands back a ten.  Now we are making progress, but where is my other two cents? So I say I am still due two cents.  I don’t think she believed me, but tossed over another two cents just to get the lines moving again.

Normally, I wouldn’t care about two cents, one way or the other. But after spending about five minutes just trying to place a simple order, I wanted the two cents.

I know sometimes people can get nervous and forget how to make change, but this was ludicrous. The cash register is fully automatic. You enter an order, it pops up with the total due, in this case $10.63. No math involved. You enter the amount tendered, in this case, $20.65. The magic is done and it tells the cashier how much to give back, in this case $10.02. All that had to be done is to add $20 plus 25 cents plus 10 cents, plus ten cents, plus 10 cents, plus ten cents. $20, easy. It’s a twenty dollar bill. Now for the cents. Count 25, 35, 45, 55, 65. Was that really so hard?

If the three people involved were second graders, I would understand. They were all, presumably, high school graduates. What are they teaching now days?

Minor bug fix to all Sphider flavors

All the current releases of Sphider had a minor bug when doing an image search by url. The corrected code is available on the downloads page. The main Sphider 2.0 is designated by an “a” suffix. All of the PDO versions have a “c” suffix.


The ONLY file changed is search.php. And in search.php, there is only one line altered. A passed parameter “type” was having uppercase characters stripped. A column in the database image table “images” is “imgUrl”. The uppercase “U” was stripped and the query failed when it couldn’t find the column “imgrl”!

If you don’t use the “Image Search” your version will work fine. If you DO use the “Image Search”, the ONLY file you need to replace is search.php. There is no need to do a reinstall.

The embarrassing part of it all is that this problem WAS caught and corrected during testing prior to the 2.0 release. HOWEVER, that corrected piece of code wasn’t placed into the zip files, which shipped with the uncorrected version of search.php. 😳

New Sphider downloads available for PDO versions

A minor problem was found affecting the PDO versions (PDO, SQLite PDO, and PostgreSQL PDO) of Sphider.

During indexing, if the “Use site map” switch was set, but the site map was not found or not usable, the code to update the database to turn the switch off was failing to execute.

The code has been corrected to enable the database to update. The updated downloads are reflected as a “b” version.

The non-PDO version was unaffected. This was strictly a PDO issue.

Thanks go out to Webbo for the catch.

Minor corrections to PDO Sphider versions

It has come to our attention there are typos in the code for all PDO versions. For the normal PDO (MySQL/MariaDB), spider.php and spiderfuncs.php have been slightly modified. Spider.php had a single typo. Sphiderfuncs.php was missing 5 lines of code. While the version number is unchanged, the new download is designated as 2.0.0a.

For the PostgreSQL and SQLite versions, only sphider.php contained a single typo each. No other files are affected. As with the regular PDO, the version is unchanged by the download designations are shown as 2.0.0a.

Our apologies for the inconvenience. During testing of all these versions. these anomalies were uncaught and thus it seems that, for the most part, crawling functionality was not adversely impacted, although it COULD be under certain circumstances.

Our deepest thanks go out to Ed Parrish for having caught these issues.