Friday, May 27, 2011

sed: Useful one-line scripts (Unix stream editor), courtesy of Eric Pement

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Connie L. O'Dell 
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------------------------------------------------------------------------- USEFUL ONE-LINE SCRIPTS FOR SED (Unix stream editor)        Dec. 29, 2005 Compiled by Eric Pement - pemente[at]northpark[dot]edu        version 5.5  Latest version of this file (in English) is usually at:  This file will also available in other languages:   Chinese     -   Czech       -   Dutch       -   French      -   German      -   Italian     - (pending)   Portuguese  -   Spanish     - (pending)   FILE SPACING:   # double space a file  sed G   # double space a file which already has blank lines in it. Output file  # should contain no more than one blank line between lines of text.  sed '/^$/d;G'   # triple space a file  sed 'G;G'   # undo double-spacing (assumes even-numbered lines are always blank)  sed 'n;d'   # insert a blank line above every line which matches "regex"  sed '/regex/{x;p;x;}'   # insert a blank line below every line which matches "regex"  sed '/regex/G'   # insert a blank line above and below every line which matches "regex"  sed '/regex/{x;p;x;G;}'  NUMBERING:   # number each line of a file (simple left alignment). Using a tab (see  # note on '\t' at end of file) instead of space will preserve margins.  sed = filename | sed 'N;s/\n/\t/'   # number each line of a file (number on left, right-aligned)  sed = filename | sed 'N; s/^/     /; s/ *\(.\{6,\}\)\n/\1  /'   # number each line of file, but only print numbers if line is not blank  sed '/./=' filename | sed '/./N; s/\n/ /'   # count lines (emulates "wc -l")  sed -n '$='  TEXT CONVERSION AND SUBSTITUTION:   # IN UNIX ENVIRONMENT: convert DOS newlines (CR/LF) to Unix format.  sed 's/.$//'               # assumes that all lines end with CR/LF  sed 's/^M$//'              # in bash/tcsh, press Ctrl-V then Ctrl-M  sed 's/\x0D$//'            # works on ssed, gsed 3.02.80 or higher   # IN UNIX ENVIRONMENT: convert Unix newlines (LF) to DOS format.  sed "s/$/`echo -e \\\r`/"            # command line under ksh  sed 's/$'"/`echo \\\r`/"             # command line under bash  sed "s/$/`echo \\\r`/"               # command line under zsh  sed 's/$/\r/'                        # gsed 3.02.80 or higher   # IN DOS ENVIRONMENT: convert Unix newlines (LF) to DOS format.  sed "s/$//"                          # method 1  sed -n p                             # method 2   # IN DOS ENVIRONMENT: convert DOS newlines (CR/LF) to Unix format.  # Can only be done with UnxUtils sed, version 4.0.7 or higher. The  # UnxUtils version can be identified by the custom "--text" switch  # which appears when you use the "--help" switch. Otherwise, changing  # DOS newlines to Unix newlines cannot be done with sed in a DOS  # environment. Use "tr" instead.  sed "s/\r//" infile >outfile         # UnxUtils sed v4.0.7 or higher  tr -d \r <infile >outfile            # GNU tr version 1.22 or higher   # delete leading whitespace (spaces, tabs) from front of each line  # aligns all text flush left  sed 's/^[ \t]*//'                    # see note on '\t' at end of file   # delete trailing whitespace (spaces, tabs) from end of each line  sed 's/[ \t]*$//'                    # see note on '\t' at end of file   # delete BOTH leading and trailing whitespace from each line  sed 's/^[ \t]*//;s/[ \t]*$//'   # insert 5 blank spaces at beginning of each line (make page offset)  sed 's/^/     /'   # align all text flush right on a 79-column width  sed -e :a -e 's/^.\{1,78\}$/ &/;ta'  # set at 78 plus 1 space   # center all text in the middle of 79-column width. In method 1,  # spaces at the beginning of the line are significant, and trailing  # spaces are appended at the end of the line. In method 2, spaces at  # the beginning of the line are discarded in centering the line, and  # no trailing spaces appear at the end of lines.  sed  -e :a -e 's/^.\{1,77\}$/ & /;ta'                     # method 1  sed  -e :a -e 's/^.\{1,77\}$/ &/;ta' -e 's/\( *\)\1/\1/'  # method 2   # substitute (find and replace) "foo" with "bar" on each line  sed 's/foo/bar/'             # replaces only 1st instance in a line  sed 's/foo/bar/4'            # replaces only 4th instance in a line  sed 's/foo/bar/g'            # replaces ALL instances in a line  sed 's/\(.*\)foo\(.*foo\)/\1bar\2/' # replace the next-to-last case  sed 's/\(.*\)foo/\1bar/'            # replace only the last case   # substitute "foo" with "bar" ONLY for lines which contain "baz"  sed '/baz/s/foo/bar/g'   # substitute "foo" with "bar" EXCEPT for lines which contain "baz"  sed '/baz/!s/foo/bar/g'   # change "scarlet" or "ruby" or "puce" to "red"  sed 's/scarlet/red/g;s/ruby/red/g;s/puce/red/g'   # most seds  gsed 's/scarlet\|ruby\|puce/red/g'                # GNU sed only   # reverse order of lines (emulates "tac")  # bug/feature in HHsed v1.5 causes blank lines to be deleted  sed '1!G;h;$!d'               # method 1  sed -n '1!G;h;$p'             # method 2   # reverse each character on the line (emulates "rev")  sed '/\n/!G;s/\(.\)\(.*\n\)/&\2\1/;//D;s/.//'   # join pairs of lines side-by-side (like "paste")  sed '$!N;s/\n/ /'   # if a line ends with a backslash, append the next line to it  sed -e :a -e '/\\$/N; s/\\\n//; ta'   # if a line begins with an equal sign, append it to the previous line  # and replace the "=" with a single space  sed -e :a -e '$!N;s/\n=/ /;ta' -e 'P;D'   # add commas to numeric strings, changing "1234567" to "1,234,567"  gsed ':a;s/\B[0-9]\{3\}\>/,&/;ta'                     # GNU sed  sed -e :a -e 's/\(.*[0-9]\)\([0-9]\{3\}\)/\1,\2/;ta'  # other seds   # add commas to numbers with decimal points and minus signs (GNU sed)  gsed -r ':a;s/(^|[^0-9.])([0-9]+)([0-9]{3})/\1\2,\3/g;ta'   # add a blank line every 5 lines (after lines 5, 10, 15, 20, etc.)  gsed '0~5G'                  # GNU sed only  sed 'n;n;n;n;G;'             # other seds  SELECTIVE PRINTING OF CERTAIN LINES:   # print first 10 lines of file (emulates behavior of "head")  sed 10q   # print first line of file (emulates "head -1")  sed q   # print the last 10 lines of a file (emulates "tail")  sed -e :a -e '$q;N;11,$D;ba'   # print the last 2 lines of a file (emulates "tail -2")  sed '$!N;$!D'   # print the last line of a file (emulates "tail -1")  sed '$!d'                    # method 1  sed -n '$p'                  # method 2   # print the next-to-the-last line of a file  sed -e '$!{h;d;}' -e x              # for 1-line files, print blank line  sed -e '1{$q;}' -e '$!{h;d;}' -e x  # for 1-line files, print the line  sed -e '1{$d;}' -e '$!{h;d;}' -e x  # for 1-line files, print nothing   # print only lines which match regular expression (emulates "grep")  sed -n '/regexp/p'           # method 1  sed '/regexp/!d'             # method 2   # print only lines which do NOT match regexp (emulates "grep -v")  sed -n '/regexp/!p'          # method 1, corresponds to above  sed '/regexp/d'              # method 2, simpler syntax   # print the line immediately before a regexp, but not the line  # containing the regexp  sed -n '/regexp/{g;1!p;};h'   # print the line immediately after a regexp, but not the line  # containing the regexp  sed -n '/regexp/{n;p;}'   # print 1 line of context before and after regexp, with line number  # indicating where the regexp occurred (similar to "grep -A1 -B1")  sed -n -e '/regexp/{=;x;1!p;g;$!N;p;D;}' -e h   # grep for AAA and BBB and CCC (in any order)  sed '/AAA/!d; /BBB/!d; /CCC/!d'   # grep for AAA and BBB and CCC (in that order)  sed '/AAA.*BBB.*CCC/!d'   # grep for AAA or BBB or CCC (emulates "egrep")  sed -e '/AAA/b' -e '/BBB/b' -e '/CCC/b' -e d    # most seds  gsed '/AAA\|BBB\|CCC/!d'                        # GNU sed only   # print paragraph if it contains AAA (blank lines separate paragraphs)  # HHsed v1.5 must insert a 'G;' after 'x;' in the next 3 scripts below  sed -e '/./{H;$!d;}' -e 'x;/AAA/!d;'   # print paragraph if it contains AAA and BBB and CCC (in any order)  sed -e '/./{H;$!d;}' -e 'x;/AAA/!d;/BBB/!d;/CCC/!d'   # print paragraph if it contains AAA or BBB or CCC  sed -e '/./{H;$!d;}' -e 'x;/AAA/b' -e '/BBB/b' -e '/CCC/b' -e d  gsed '/./{H;$!d;};x;/AAA\|BBB\|CCC/b;d'         # GNU sed only   # print only lines of 65 characters or longer  sed -n '/^.\{65\}/p'   # print only lines of less than 65 characters  sed -n '/^.\{65\}/!p'        # method 1, corresponds to above  sed '/^.\{65\}/d'            # method 2, simpler syntax   # print section of file from regular expression to end of file  sed -n '/regexp/,$p'   # print section of file based on line numbers (lines 8-12, inclusive)  sed -n '8,12p'               # method 1  sed '8,12!d'                 # method 2   # print line number 52  sed -n '52p'                 # method 1  sed '52!d'                   # method 2  sed '52q;d'                  # method 3, efficient on large files   # beginning at line 3, print every 7th line  gsed -n '3~7p'               # GNU sed only  sed -n '3,${p;n;n;n;n;n;n;}' # other seds   # print section of file between two regular expressions (inclusive)  sed -n '/Iowa/,/Montana/p'             # case sensitive  SELECTIVE DELETION OF CERTAIN LINES:   # print all of file EXCEPT section between 2 regular expressions  sed '/Iowa/,/Montana/d'   # delete duplicate, consecutive lines from a file (emulates "uniq").  # First line in a set of duplicate lines is kept, rest are deleted.  sed '$!N; /^\(.*\)\n\1$/!P; D'   # delete duplicate, nonconsecutive lines from a file. Beware not to  # overflow the buffer size of the hold space, or else use GNU sed.  sed -n 'G; s/\n/&&/; /^\([ -~]*\n\).*\n\1/d; s/\n//; h; P'   # delete all lines except duplicate lines (emulates "uniq -d").  sed '$!N; s/^\(.*\)\n\1$/\1/; t; D'   # delete the first 10 lines of a file  sed '1,10d'   # delete the last line of a file  sed '$d'   # delete the last 2 lines of a file  sed 'N;$!P;$!D;$d'   # delete the last 10 lines of a file  sed -e :a -e '$d;N;2,10ba' -e 'P;D'   # method 1  sed -n -e :a -e '1,10!{P;N;D;};N;ba'  # method 2   # delete every 8th line  gsed '0~8d'                           # GNU sed only  sed 'n;n;n;n;n;n;n;d;'                # other seds   # delete lines matching pattern  sed '/pattern/d'   # delete ALL blank lines from a file (same as "grep '.' ")  sed '/^$/d'                           # method 1  sed '/./!d'                           # method 2   # delete all CONSECUTIVE blank lines from file except the first; also  # deletes all blank lines from top and end of file (emulates "cat -s")  sed '/./,/^$/!d'          # method 1, allows 0 blanks at top, 1 at EOF  sed '/^$/N;/\n$/D'        # method 2, allows 1 blank at top, 0 at EOF   # delete all CONSECUTIVE blank lines from file except the first 2:  sed '/^$/N;/\n$/N;//D'   # delete all leading blank lines at top of file  sed '/./,$!d'   # delete all trailing blank lines at end of file  sed -e :a -e '/^\n*$/{$d;N;ba' -e '}'  # works on all seds  sed -e :a -e '/^\n*$/N;/\n$/ba'        # ditto, except for gsed 3.02.*   # delete the last line of each paragraph  sed -n '/^$/{p;h;};/./{x;/./p;}'  SPECIAL APPLICATIONS:   # remove nroff overstrikes (char, backspace) from man pages. The 'echo'  # command may need an -e switch if you use Unix System V or bash shell.  sed "s/.`echo \\\b`//g"    # double quotes required for Unix environment  sed 's/.^H//g'             # in bash/tcsh, press Ctrl-V and then Ctrl-H  sed 's/.\x08//g'           # hex expression for sed 1.5, GNU sed, ssed   # get Usenet/e-mail message header  sed '/^$/q'                # deletes everything after first blank line   # get Usenet/e-mail message body  sed '1,/^$/d'              # deletes everything up to first blank line   # get Subject header, but remove initial "Subject: " portion  sed '/^Subject: */!d; s///;q'   # get return address header  sed '/^Reply-To:/q; /^From:/h; /./d;g;q'   # parse out the address proper. Pulls out the e-mail address by itself  # from the 1-line return address header (see preceding script)  sed 's/ *(.*)//; s/>.*//; s/.*[:<] *//'   # add a leading angle bracket and space to each line (quote a message)  sed 's/^/> /'   # delete leading angle bracket & space from each line (unquote a message)  sed 's/^> //'   # remove most HTML tags (accommodates multiple-line tags)  sed -e :a -e 's/<[^>]*>//g;/</N;//ba'   # extract multi-part uuencoded binaries, removing extraneous header  # info, so that only the uuencoded portion remains. Files passed to  # sed must be passed in the proper order. Version 1 can be entered  # from the command line; version 2 can be made into an executable  # Unix shell script. (Modified from a script by Rahul Dhesi.)  sed '/^end/,/^begin/d' file1 file2 ... fileX | uudecode   # vers. 1  sed '/^end/,/^begin/d' "$@" | uudecode                    # vers. 2   # sort paragraphs of file alphabetically. Paragraphs are separated by blank  # lines. GNU sed uses \v for vertical tab, or any unique char will do.  sed '/./{H;d;};x;s/\n/={NL}=/g' file | sort | sed '1s/={NL}=//;s/={NL}=/\n/g'  gsed '/./{H;d};x;y/\n/\v/' file | sort | sed '1s/\v//;y/\v/\n/'   # zip up each .TXT file individually, deleting the source file and  # setting the name of each .ZIP file to the basename of the .TXT file  # (under DOS: the "dir /b" switch returns bare filenames in all caps).  echo @echo off >zipup.bat  dir /b *.txt | sed "s/^\(.*\)\.TXT/pkzip -mo \1 \1.TXT/" >>zipup.bat  TYPICAL USE: Sed takes one or more editing commands and applies all of them, in sequence, to each line of input. After all the commands have been applied to the first input line, that line is output and a second input line is taken for processing, and the cycle repeats. The preceding examples assume that input comes from the standard input device (i.e, the console, normally this will be piped input). One or more filenames can be appended to the command line if the input does not come from stdin. Output is sent to stdout (the screen). Thus:   cat filename | sed '10q'        # uses piped input  sed '10q' filename              # same effect, avoids a useless "cat"  sed '10q' filename > newfile    # redirects output to disk  For additional syntax instructions, including the way to apply editing commands from a disk file instead of the command line, consult "sed & awk, 2nd Edition," by Dale Dougherty and Arnold Robbins (O'Reilly, 1997;, "UNIX Text Processing," by Dale Dougherty and Tim O'Reilly (Hayden Books, 1987) or the tutorials by Mike Arst distributed in U-SEDIT2.ZIP (many sites). To fully exploit the power of sed, one must understand "regular expressions." For this, see "Mastering Regular Expressions" by Jeffrey Friedl (O'Reilly, 1997). The manual ("man") pages on Unix systems may be helpful (try "man sed", "man regexp", or the subsection on regular expressions in "man ed"), but man pages are notoriously difficult. They are not written to teach sed use or regexps to first-time users, but as a reference text for those already acquainted with these tools.  QUOTING SYNTAX: The preceding examples use single quotes ('...') instead of double quotes ("...") to enclose editing commands, since sed is typically used on a Unix platform. Single quotes prevent the Unix shell from intrepreting the dollar sign ($) and backquotes (`...`), which are expanded by the shell if they are enclosed in double quotes. Users of the "csh" shell and derivatives will also need to quote the exclamation mark (!) with the backslash (i.e., \!) to properly run the examples listed above, even within single quotes. Versions of sed written for DOS invariably require double quotes ("...") instead of single quotes to enclose editing commands.  USE OF '\t' IN SED SCRIPTS: For clarity in documentation, we have used the expression '\t' to indicate a tab character (0x09) in the scripts. However, most versions of sed do not recognize the '\t' abbreviation, so when typing these scripts from the command line, you should press the TAB key instead. '\t' is supported as a regular expression metacharacter in awk, perl, and HHsed, sedmod, and GNU sed v3.02.80.  VERSIONS OF SED: Versions of sed do differ, and some slight syntax variation is to be expected. In particular, most do not support the use of labels (:name) or branch instructions (b,t) within editing commands, except at the end of those commands. We have used the syntax which will be portable to most users of sed, even though the popular GNU versions of sed allow a more succinct syntax. When the reader sees a fairly long command such as this:     sed -e '/AAA/b' -e '/BBB/b' -e '/CCC/b' -e d  it is heartening to know that GNU sed will let you reduce it to:     sed '/AAA/b;/BBB/b;/CCC/b;d'      # or even    sed '/AAA\|BBB\|CCC/b;d'  In addition, remember that while many versions of sed accept a command like "/one/ s/RE1/RE2/", some do NOT allow "/one/! s/RE1/RE2/", which contains space before the 's'. Omit the space when typing the command.  OPTIMIZING FOR SPEED: If execution speed needs to be increased (due to large input files or slow processors or hard disks), substitution will be executed more quickly if the "find" expression is specified before giving the "s/.../.../" instruction. Thus:     sed 's/foo/bar/g' filename         # standard replace command    sed '/foo/ s/foo/bar/g' filename   # executes more quickly    sed '/foo/ s//bar/g' filename      # shorthand sed syntax  On line selection or deletion in which you only need to output lines from the first part of the file, a "quit" command (q) in the script will drastically reduce processing time for large files. Thus:     sed -n '45,50p' filename           # print line nos. 45-50 of a file    sed -n '51q;45,50p' filename       # same, but executes much faster  If you have any additional scripts to contribute or if you find errors in this document, please send e-mail to the compiler. Indicate the version of sed you used, the operating system it was compiled for, and the nature of the problem. To qualify as a one-liner, the command line must be 65 characters or less. Various scripts in this file have been written or contributed by:   Al Aab                   # founder of "seders" list  Edgar Allen              # various  Yiorgos Adamopoulos      # various  Dale Dougherty           # author of "sed & awk"  Carlos Duarte            # author of "do it with sed"  Eric Pement              # author of this document  Ken Pizzini              # author of GNU sed v3.02  S.G. Ravenhall           # great de-html script  Greg Ubben               # many contributions & much help -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Moonlighting: tell your boss? Courtesy of Ask Annie

From: Fortune online <>
Date: Tue, May 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Ask Annie
May 19, 2011. 12:50 PM

Should you tell your boss you're moonlighting?

These days, plenty of people are holding down more than one job. But deciding how much to reveal to a full-time employer about a part-time gig can be tricky.

By Anne Fisher, contributor

FORTUNE -- Dear Annie: Ever since my spouse got laid off about a year ago, I've been supplementing our income by taking on some consulting work in addition to my regular job. I've found that I really enjoy it, and eventually I'd like to segue into it as a full-time occupation. The question is, what do I tell my boss in the meantime?

So far, I've managed to fit my consulting work into my own time on evenings and weekends, and I'm very careful to avoid the use of any company resources for outside projects. (My consulting business is home-based and has a separate email address, phone line, etc.) Still, it seems dishonest not to mention to my boss that I'm doing this, especially since we are friends. Do I have an obligation to tell him? — Double Agent

Dear Double: That depends. Does your employer have a formal policy requiring that you disclose any outside employment (as many universities and some companies do), or do you have an employment contract that calls for disclosure?

If so, the decision is made for you: By keeping mum about your part-time gig, you run the risk of becoming a full-time consultant sooner than you planned.

But even if not, particularly since your boss is also your friend, "there's a trust factor involved," says Kristin Cardinale, author of a book called The 9-to-5 Cure: Work on Your Own Terms and Reinvent Your Life.

Cardinale knows a thing or two about wearing multiple hats. A Milwaukee-based career coach who also teaches college courses, she founded and runs both a tech support company and a national seminar firm.

"As a pre-emptive move, you could tell your boss what you're doing, just to avoid a potentially sticky situation if he hears about it some other way," Cardinale says. "You don't want to seem to be doing this behind his back."

Telling him what you're doing doesn't mean, however, that you have to reveal why. In these situations, as in so many others, how you phrase it makes all the difference. Saying "I've started my own consulting practice, and I'm working on building it into a full-time business" would probably be a mistake, since "putting it that way is likely to make your boss start thinking of you as temporary and on your way out," Cardinale notes.

Instead, mention a current consulting project without bringing up your long-term plan. "There is little to no risk involved in saying you've taken on an outside gig if you emphasize that it's short-term -- say, for the next couple of months -- and if you stress how it's helping you sharpen your professional skills," says Cardinale.

"And you're not saying anything untrue," she adds. "After all, until you are ready to make the leap into full-time consulting, you're still just exploring."

By the way, this situation is less unusual than you may think. In 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 3.5 million Americans, or 4.5% of the workforce, held a full-time job while also pursuing a part-time sideline. For anyone considering doing likewise, Cardinale offers three tips:

1. Be fanatical about using your own resources, not your employer's, for outside work. You're already doing this, but the point bears repeating. Emailing consulting clients on the company's system, or devoting time during work hours to meeting an outside deadline, can get you sacked.

2. Clearly define your availability. "Be upfront with your outside clients about the fact that you're working full-time and may not always be reachable during regular business hours," Cardinale advises. Tempting as it may be to let the boundaries blur, your full-time job has to be your top priority -- at least until you decide to leave it.

3. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Build some breathing room into your schedule so you don't burn out. "Consulting works on referrals. You want to have enough energy to give clients your best work, so they'll recommend you to others," Cardinale says.

Another reason not to take on too much at once is that "while you're still trying this out, it should be a positive experience, not one that leaves you exhausted," she adds. Don't worry about turning away business that, realistically, you can't handle right now: "If you set limits -- so that, when you do take on a project, you can give it your very best -- clients will actually respect you more."

Good luck!

Have you added a part-time gig to your regular full-time job? What advice would you give on how to make it work? Leave a comment below.

Filed under: Ask Annie, Guest Author

Anne Fisher
Anne Fisher
Anne Fisher has been writing "Ask Annie," a column on careers, for Fortune since 1996, helping readers navigate booms, recessions, changing industries, and changing ideas about what's appropriate in the workplace (and beyond). Anne is the author of two books, Wall Street Women (Knopf, 1990) and If My Career's on the Fast Track, Where Do I Get a Road Map? (William Morrow, 2001). She also writes the "Executive Inbox" column on New York City entrepreneurs for Crain's New York Business.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Autonomous Vehicles! Boulder, CO! Sparkfun!

Friday Video: 3rd Annual Autonomous Vehicle competition held in Boulder, CO by Sparkfun | EDA360 Insider: "Friday Video: 3rd Annual Autonomous Vehicle competition held in Boulder, CO by Sparkfun
Posted on May 20, 2011 by sleibson2
A company that has too much fun for a dozen electronics companies, Sparkfun in Boulder just put up a video of its third annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition. Just like the DARPA challenge but with a much smaller course, smaller vehicles, and smaller prizes. But just as much fun.

Have some fun yourself and watch as these autonomous air and land vehicles attempt to run the race."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Autocratic boss? 5 ways to manage him/her, courtesy of Ask Annie

I would never openly admit to having had an autocratic boss at a previous employer,
but somehow I sense that Annie's advice is right on the money. ;-)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Fortune online <>
Ask Annie
May 6, 2011. 11:20 AM

5 ways to manage your autocratic boss

Got a boss who's too bossy? You can turn that to your advantage, says a veteran HR executive. Here's how.

By Anne Fisher, contributor

FORTUNE -- Dear Annie: I am a senior software specialist with decades of experience. Yet the manager I'm working for still doesn't trust me and won't grant me any decision-making flexibility. In fact, he treats me like one of the enlisted men who worked for him in his previous career in the military.

I've consistently kept my skills up to date through multiple technology evolutions, and my knowledge of my field is far superior to his. Nevertheless, he limits my "bandwidth" to what he understands, which is nowhere near my potential. As a team, we've paid the price for his ignoring my technical advice. How can I get him to loosen up and treat me like a senior team member, if not an equal? — Seething in Silence

Dear Seething: Yikes. It sounds like you have two separate problems here -- your manager's top-down, command-and-control management style, and the fact that he seems to know less than you do. Let's start with the first one.

Anybody reporting to a difficult person (which includes most of us, at one time or another), has three basic choices, says Gonzague Dufour: "Limit the pain, target the gain, or leave."

In a new book, Managing Your Manager: How to Get Ahead with Any Type of Boss, he identifies six broad types of "bosses From hell" and offers practical strategies for minimizing the damage they can do to your career, not to mention your blood pressure.

Dufour, a longtime HR chief at Philip Morris (PM), Kraft (KFT), and other large companies, now runs executive recruiting and development at Bacardi. He wrote the book because "I've been asked hundreds of times over the past 30 years, 'How can I deal with this impossible boss?'" he says.

He also reported to a few bad bosses himself, including one who was "smart, empathetic, and incapable of making a decision," and another who was "skilled at getting promoted in large part because he was equally skilled at blaming others when things went wrong." At times, he recalls, while having to work closely with a maddening higher-up, "I felt we were the equivalent of a dysfunctional married couple."

In your particular situation, Dufour suggests trying these five steps:

1. Limit the pain, target the gain. Recognize that working for this person is "a temporary assignment. You can set limits on how long you'll tolerate it, and use the time to make yourself more marketable." Let's say you decide you can take one more year of this (assuming your boss sticks around that long). "If you figure out what you need to get out of the job to help your career, and go after it, you have a positive incentive to serve out that term," Dufour says.

2. Avoid surprises. Autocrats, even more than most people, "hate to be blindsided," Dufour notes. "Therefore, keep them informed of significant, and even relatively insignificant, developments. They crave control and power, so feeding them tidbits of information satisfies this craving."

3. Be the go-between for your team. If you haven't already taken on this role, Dufour recommends that you earn the trust of other members of your group and be the one who communicates their problems and needs to the boss. "This can be intimidating, since it means telling him things he might not want to hear," Dufour says, "but the tradeoff of elevated status is worth it."

4. Refuse to be a "yes man." Although many people try to appease an autocrat by telling him exactly what he wants to hear and following every order to the letter, "this is a huge mistake," Dufour says. Instead, "wait until you're convinced your manager is making a huge mistake" -- one that will jeopardize his own stated goals -- "or until you come up with a better idea that you truly believe in."

Then, make a concise, logical case for your approach: "Emphasize the positive outcome. Focus on what your boss will get out of doing as you suggest." If you've already tried this, keep at it: "Rehearse your argument beforehand and make sure you are stating it clearly and rationally" -- and without a trace of condescension for his (alleged) lack of technical knowledge. Sometimes, of course, it's not what you say that can trip you up, it's how you say it.

5. Do the tasks your boss dislikes. In general, command-and-control bosses "don't enjoy extended debate and discussion, and they aren't adept at dealing with any type of 'people problem'," Dufour observes. So consider making that your specialty (which will do no harm to your own long-term career prospects either, incidentally).

Helping your boss compensate for his lack of soft skills "won't earn you thanks. In fact, he may resent your ability to do something he can't," notes Dufour. However, even autocrats are rarely so oblivious that they don't know, deep down, that ignoring "people problems" will eventually damage their own professional prospects -- and that, says Dufour, "is one thing they can't stomach."

Now, about your second issue, to wit, your perception that your boss's technical knowledge isn't up to snuff: It's up to you to make sure his shortcomings don't hold you back. If you haven't already started doing so, Dufour urges you to develop an area of expertise and then get busy building a network all over the company.

"Create alliances with as many different people as you can, from human resources to other technical areas to support staff," he says. "The point is to become widely known as the 'go-to' person for a particular thing, so that you reputation and your career do not depend solely, or even mainly, on the good will of this one boss."

Even if you worked for the world's most fabulous manager, "you need to be visible, or you'll miss out on opportunities," Dufour points out. Get noticed by just one of the right people and who knows: You could get promoted out from under this guy sooner than you think -- and then he'll be somebody else's problem.

Talkback: Have you ever worked for an autocratic boss? Who was the worst boss you ever had, and how did you cope? Leave a comment below.

More from Fortune:

Filed under: Ask Annie, Guest Author

Anne Fisher
Anne Fisher
Anne Fisher has been writing "Ask Annie," a column on careers, for Fortune since 1996, helping readers navigate booms, recessions, changing industries, and changing ideas about what's appropriate in the workplace (and beyond). Anne is the author of two books, Wall Street Women (Knopf, 1990) and If My Career's on the Fast Track, Where Do I Get a Road Map? (William Morrow, 2001). She also writes the "Executive Inbox" column on New York City entrepreneurs for Crain's New York Business.

Monday, May 16, 2011

140-Character One-Liner | Magazine

"Feed a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Feed a fish a man and he’ll eat for like two and a half months.
Rainn Wilson

Thursday, May 12, 2011

SNPS-CDNS duopoly? (MENT shareholder meeting today) -- or NOT? Courtesy of John Cooley

A great analysis from John Cooley of the progress toward an anticompetitive environment for hardware development.


Subject: Today is the day EDA started to be a SNPS-CDNS duopoly -- or NOT  Today's the big day.    April 7 2010 - Carl Icahn starts secretly buying MENT shares.     May 27 2010 - Icahn tells the world he's buying MENT shares.    June 24 2010 - MENT board limits Icahn ownership to 15% max.      Feb 8 2011 - Icahn calls for the breaking up of MENT, proposes                  selling MENT in parts to SNPS and CDNS.     Feb 11 2011 - Icahn nominates 3 hand-picked candidates to directly                  replace 3 specific MENT board of directors.     Feb 22 2011 - Icahn bids $1.9 B (or $17 a share) to buy MENT.     Feb 24 2011 - MENT posts a profitible FY2010 with a record $915 M in                  revenue, and with FY2011 predicted to be even better.   March 11 2011 - DeepChip survey in ESNUG 489 shows 88% of 307 MENT users                  greatly fear a Synopsys-Cadence duopoly forming.   March 28 2011 - MENT board of directors rejects Icahn's $1.9 B bid                  stating that "serious regulatory risks persist".   April 25 2011 - MENT publically dismisses Icahn's 3 board candidates.      May 2 2011 - ISS recommends 2 out of Carl Icahn's 3 board candidates.                  Glass Lewis rejects all 3 of Icahn's 3 board candidates.      May 3 2011 - Egan-Jones rejects all 3 of Icahn's 3 board candidates.      May 5 3011 - MENT issues statement that the prelim Q1 results look                  good with bookings up 7% over last year's Q1.      May 12 2011 - (today) The day of the MENT Annual Stockholder's Meeting.  This is the day where the results of the MENT board of directors election comes out.  It will go one of three ways:      - None of Icahn's candidates are elected.  MENT continues on with       Wally Rhines at the helm and stays the #2 company in the EDA Big 3.      - Two or three of Icahn's candidates are elected to the 8 person MENT       board of directors.  Internal strife eventually leads MENT to sell       off its parts to SNPS and CDNS.  Icahn dances the happy dance.      - Two or three of Icahn's candidates are elected but they come to       realize that MENT is doing pretty damn well on its current course       under Wally.  Carl Icahn has a public temper tantrum about MENT.  Any result that stops a SNPS-CDNS duopoly from forming is good news for all EDA users.  Otherwise, mediocre package deal tools, indifferent customer support, and quiet price collusion for chip design SW will be the norm in the not-too-distant future....  and today will be the day it all began.      - John Cooley                               Holliston, MA
An archive of prior intercepts Next intercept To reply or send a story to John

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mentor 2 : Carl Icahn 0, courtesy of Daniel Nenni

SemiWiki - Mentor 2 : Carl Ichan 0

Mentor 2 : Carl Icahn 0

The corporate raiders are still throwing rocks at Mentor Graphics. I have followed this reality show VERY closely and find their latest assault seriously counterproductive. Disinformation is common in EDA but I expected more from Carl Icahn and the Raiderettes. They are quite the drama queens. Here is a billion dollar question: Why did Carl Icahn go after Mentor Graphics and not Cadence?

My first Carl Icahn blog: Personal Message to Carl Icahn RE: MENT is here. Followed by: Mentor Graphics Should Be Acquired or Sold: Carl Icahnhere. Thousands of people read these blogs, dozens of people have quizzed me on it, my opinion is the same today: EDA needs Mentor Graphics!

Carl C. Icahn issued the following open letter to shareholders of Mentor Graphics Corporation:

767 Fifth Avenue, 47th Floor
New York, New York10153
April 28, 2011

Dear Fellow Shareholders:

Blah blah blah blah blah………

Sincerely yours,


You can find the complete letter here but I would not waste your time. Lots of numbers, lots of obfuscation, here is what I would care about if I was a MENT shareholder:

Cadence projects the year at $1B in revenue with non-gaap earnings of .40.

Mentor projects the year at $1B in revenue with non-gaap earnings of 1.00.

I was around Mentor before Wally joined. I was there when Cadence and Synopsys were born. Mentor is the #2 EDA company today no matter what anybody says, believe it. Cadence has been rotting from the inside since the Avant! fiasco. I worked for Avant! so that is where my opinion comes from.

They just closed the Blockbuster store near me, I switched to Netflix years ago. In 2005 Carl Icahn attacked Blockbuster and the CEO, it got personal. Carl obviously did not know the video delivery business, Carl does not know EDA, déjà vu all over again. Does an EDA duopoly sound like fun? Are you enjoying your leading edge smart phones and tablets? Do you really want two EDA companies (SNPS / CDNS) that literally hate each other controlling your semiconductor future?

As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Can Mentor Graphics reduce expenses? Of course they can, and I believe they will, that is the easy part. Can Mentor increase shareholder value? Absolutely! EDA is built on acquisitions and the biggest fault I find with Mentor is a “bottom feeding” acquisition strategy. They certainly have made some good ones, LogicVision for example. Mentor paid $13M and have made ten times that much. Actually I think the LogicVision ROI is more than eleven times as much ($140M+) but what have the Mentor M&A guys been doing since? Time for a new M&A team?

My blog: Mentor Acquires Magma? can be found here. It was my most viewed blog last year. As I said before, the company cultures are the farthest thing from a match you will ever see but the product match is excellent. Mentor acquiring Magma would be comparable to the Synopsys acquisition of Avant!, all product and no executives which certainly complicates things. But if you look back, if not for Avant! products where would Synopsys be? Synopsys would be a distant number two if Cadence merged with Avant! instead of lawyering them to death.

Just my opinion of course but I would be happy to debate anyone who disagrees. Rumor has it Wally Rhines gave Carl Icahn the definitive book on EDA: EDA Graffiti. Read the book Carl. Mentor's annual shareholder meeting is May 12th in Wilsonville, maybe I will see you there.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kurshan, TLM/SystemC, hierarchical design!

I had no idea that Bob was dealing with TLM/SystemC and verification now, like I am. 

He is a font of great ideas, so I'd recommend you check his article out if you do not want to be left in the dust...   :-)


Q&A: After 20 Years, Hierarchical Design and Verification Gets Real

Comments(0)Filed under: Industry InsightsESLTLMverificationSimulationformal verificationtop-down designdatapathhierarchical designhigh-level designcontrolhierarchical verificationKurshan

It seems like a simple proposition -- you should be able to design and verify at a high level of abstraction, without re-verifying everything at a low level. But after 20-plus years of discussion in academia and industry, that's still not the case for most design teams. Cadence Fellow Bob Kurshan (right) has researched this topic extensively and has some thoughts about what's needed to make "hierarchical" design and verification real -- and why it's going to happen.

Q: At a recent conference, you gave a presentation on "verification-guided hierarchical design." What's the basic idea behind this methodology?

A: It has a lot of names - I've been calling it hierarchical design or hierarchical 


Connie L. O'Dell 
Sr. Verification Specialist 
CO Consulting - Boulder, CO -

Monday, May 2, 2011

MIT World | Distributed Intelligence

MIT World | Distributed Intelligence

MIT World is a free and open site that provides on demand video of significant public events at MIT. MIT World's video index contains more than 800 videos.

Browse the Videos

  • Reflections on Major Milestones in Cancer Research and Technology Development

    Panel moderated by Nancy Hopkins
    MIT150 Inventional Wisdom
    Conquering Cancer through the Convergence of Science and Engineering
    Publication Date: April 4, 2011
  • Engineering Solutions to the Problems of Cancer

    Panel moderated by Paula Hammond
    MIT150 Inventional Wisdom
    Conquering Cancer through the Convergence of Science and Engineering
    Publication Date: April 7, 2011
  • Data-driven Traffic Modeling, Prediction, and Planning

    Daniela Rus
    Publication Date: April 11, 2011
  • Air Pollution Trends and Impacts: Assessing Transportation in Context of Global Change

    Noelle Selin
    Publication Date: April 16, 2011
  • The Status of Women in Science and Engineering at MIT

    Nancy Hopkins
    MIT150 Inventional Wisdom
    Leaders in Science and Engineering: The Women of MITuering Cancer through the Convergence of Science and Engineering
    Publication Date: April 15, 2011