I discovered that my work computer (known cryptically as penrah) had been broken in to by a cracker coming from a Romanian ISP.
The situation was partly my fault. I had sometime ago created an account to allow my brother to ftp some large files to me, and left it with an insecure password. The intruder was in the process of scanning for further vulnerable accounts, and setting up an IRC bot of some kind. I think they would have been thwarted by the university firewall, and I discovered the intrusion pretty quick.
The moral of the story is never ever choose easy passwords.
Had a little bit of fun optimising gnuplot for reading large
matrices of numbers. To cut a long story short, the existing code
sscanf() which turns out to be up to ten times
strtod(). The whole situation is made IMHO
overly complex due to the need to support a wide range of legacy
platforms, and the unusual (by ANSI C standards) number formats of
think I saw an article on slashdot not so long ago, that seemed to
think that sort of thing will be the death of free software.
In the process of doing all this, I discovered kcachegrind which is a graphical utility for examining the call profile of an application. This made it incredibly easy to narrow the hotspot down to a single line of code in gnuplot.