Monthly Archives: July 2008

Craigslist Commandline Search Tool

THIS TOOL HAS BEEN MOVED HERE:
http://www.zentastic.com/blog/zenclsh/

One of the tasks that I do in maintaining the kit car blog is searching Craigslist for interesting finds. Problem is, there’s no good way to search for multiple terms, let alone multiple cities — so in a single day, I’d have about 1,200 searches to do. So I wrote this quick little bot to do it for me.

harvestcl.zip (30k)

This contains a few files:

  • harvestcl.exe – This is the actual executable. You should run it from the command line, although you can just click on it as well, as long as the support files are in the directory you’re running it from.
  • clcities.txt – This is a list of all the cities to search. Blank lines are ignored, as are lines beginning with “#” (so you can comment out cities by putting a “#” in front of them rather than deleting the line). The file is currently seeded with all cities in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • clsearch.txt – This tells the program what searches you’d like to do. There should be one search per line, in the format “section,term”, where section is the short form name of the section as defined by Craigslist (ie. “sss” for all, “car” for cars and trucks, “clt” for collectibles, and so on), and the term is the search term. If the search term has a space in it, make sure you surround it by quotes. As with the cities file, you can comment out lines with the “#” character. The file currently contains the search that I do for the kit car site.
  • harvestcl.bas – For those that want it, this is the PB/CC 4 source code. Feel free to modify it or use parts of it for other projects — it includes some simple parsing code and http get code with support for 302 redirects (used here to redirect requests to country-specific Craigslist sites). This can be deleted.

When the program runs, it will search all the sites and create (and try and display) a file called harvestcl.html. Search matches will be listed by description (with a link) and split by the date they were posted. Every time you run it, new entries will be added to the same file, with the new ones being tagged with “NEW” so you don’t miss them. It maxes out at 15,000 matches, although you can change this in the code.

Hope this is useful for someone… If you’re looking for specialty items, it’s an effective tool that can be run daily to make sure you don’t miss something, no matter where in the world/country it is posted. Feel free to email me about this program at snowrail@gmail.com or post here if you have questions.

Zap!

The last time I lived in an apartment building, I just had a view of the lake. On one hand that was really nice, but on the other hand, I’m really liking the view of the other buildings, especially at night. I like that there are hundreds of little living pods all around me, all suspended in the air, with different bits of life happening inside and on the balconies.

Right now there’s a big thunderstorm going on around us. I should figure out how to adjust my camera to take good lighting shots…

Flaming Manta Mirage

I posted some pictures on Facebook* today of my old cars, and Caitlin reminded me of the story of when I took her for a drive in my old Manta Mirage right before I sold it (back in 2000 I think). The doors were opened by solenoids (so you pushed a button to pop the latch, and then pushed them up), but the one on the passenger side had a blown fuse and didn’t work. It had to be manually opened by reaching inside the door and pulling the cable that attached to the latch.

Anyway, we were just driving around the block. The car was running a little rich, and with straight headers coming off the engine and no real exhaust system, it blew flames out the back when you gunned it. At the stop sign just before my house, the entire rear section of the car became temporarily engulfed in fire — this was more than a little scary because there was a fuel tank sitting next to each occupant (right below the doors). I hopped out, but Caitlin was trapped inside the burning car, so I had to run around to her side, tear the interior panel off the inside of her door, and pop it open so she could escape. I didn’t have a fire extinguisher in the car, so I had to dash to the house and grab one, but luckily by the time I got back the fire was out and no damage had occurred… Definitely a story that could have turned out very differently!!!

* Since the new owner of BME chose to delete my “glider” account from the IAM community and redirect all old links to me to themselves and ban me from taking part in the conversations in ModBlog and so on, I ended up finally adding myself to Facebook to get my community-site fix, after having resisted it for ages. I have quite a few friend requests from names I don’t instantly recognize, so if you add me, could you please include a note about how we know each other (or even your old IAM name if I’ll recognize it better).

Junior Mentalist

This morning I told Nefarious that when I got home from dropping her off at school, I was going to write down an object, and when she got home, she could choose one of three objects, and it would turn out to be the one I had written down, showing that I could predict what she would choose. She was amazed for a moment, and, a few minutes later, declared that she could do the magic trick as well.

She took out an envelope, and spent a moment writing in secret, and then put it down on the table, holding her hand over part of it. She asked me to choose an object — a piggy bank, a BB gun, or a stuffed bunny toy. I chose the gun, and she took her hand off of the part of the envelope she’d been covering, and said, “see, I knew you were going to pick the gun first!”

Then took the gun off the table, and said, “ok, what’s your second choice?”

I picked the bunny toy, and she said, “I knew you’d pick that next,” and opened the envelope, showing me her drawing of the bunny toy.

Taking the bunny toy off the table, she flipped over the envelope, revealing her final drawing and stating that “only the piggy bank is left.”

The trick is probably more effective with the second two reveals left out entirely — best to just get the first one right and then destroy the evidence of how it’s done — but I was impressed how she instantly picked up on the concept of being able to present any of the options she needed as the answer to match my choice. She hasn’t figured out the mechanics behind card tricks yet though (mostly due to having tiny hands), so practicing those will fill some of my time…

Other than that, she’s now swimming the full length of the pool without problem and is quite happy diving into the deep end, as well as swimming to the bottom to retrieve objects.

Project started…

I delivered my Sterling to John at The Fiberglass Workshop today, so hopefully work will start very soon. In the photos below are my Sterling, John’s Diablo VT replica (on a stretched Fiero chassis with a Caddy V8), a tube-chassis Countach replica, and a Ferrari 355 replica (also on a Fiero).