John Bokma
freelance Perl programmer

Comments: Hacking and Hiking in Mexico


My name is John Bokma, and this is my personal web site and blog. I am a freelance Perl programmer, born in the Netherlands, but currently living with my wife Esmeralda and our children Alice and Adam in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

Read the rest of Hacking and Hiking in Mexico.


Hi again, John,

I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed it very much. Well done and I hope you don't mind my comments. I plan to visit Xalapa and was considering an extended stay sometime in the future, assuming I like it there, of course. There isn't as much information on Xalapa as with other areas of Mexico that are more "touristy" or that have larger American expatriate enclaves, so please continue. I'd appreciate some photos and info on the city of Jalapa and its "suburbs" to get a feel of where one could live, economically, etc. and not just the standard historical sites, although I'm sure there is plenty of wonderful colonial architecture. I have previously visited almost all of central and southern Mexico, from Zacatecas to Chiapas(then to Guatemala and S. Salvador), and studied and lived for almost a year in Guadalajara, but never quite made it to Xalapa, though I passed by from Puebla to Veracruz, Villahermosa, etc. I am an elementary school teacher and musician. I'm a bit older than you are but I am not wealthy or able to retire, far from it, so I would have to find a way to earn a living in Jalapa. Any ideas or suggestions? Besides teaching, I am quite an accomplished musician in the jazz/r&b/pop area; used to play and compose jingles professionally here in Canada, so perhaps eventually I could link up with jalapeno musicians. But besides teaching English, what else could one legally do to earn a living there? I don't mean to be rude or too personal, but are you living on savings or are you able to do Perl programming (whatever that is)from anywhere you are in the world? Ha ha Thanks again for your sincerity and thoughtfullness in your blog. I'm perhaps not as much a scientist as you are, John, but I appreciate your naturalist details with your photos and scorpions, etc. Also HOLA! to Esme. She is lovely. Is she from Xalapa? How did you two meet? Oops! Sorry. Take care. Dave

Posted by David in Canada at 15:33 GMT on 17 August 2005

Hoi John,

via de site van je broertje (die ik nog ergens gebookmarkt had) kwam ik op jouw site. Dus je zit nu in Mexico! Hoe is het daar? Alles goed met jullie? Wat een mooie foto's van spinnen heb je op je site staan! Waar is de tijd gebleven, dat je geporbeerd hebt mij Z80 machinetaal te leren! Ik ben nog steeds een enthousiaste computergebruiker. Ik ben 3 jaar geleden gaan videofilmen en had een andere computer nodig. Dit werd een Apple G4 met LCD scherm en DVD brander. Werkt op OS X, wat eigenlijk UNIX is. Zeer tevreden over. Vorige week nieuwe camera gekocht: Panasonic NV-GS250. Zeer tervreden over. Op 11 maart opa geworden, zie mijn website. Groeten uit Hoek van Holland (daar woon ik nu, maar we gaan verhuizen naar Zoetermeer).

Posted by Jan at 09:33 GMT on 29 September 2005

hi john ik zag je tooltje om een positiecheck in google te doen. Mag ik dit gebruiken ?

gr rob

Posted by rob at 14:37 GMT on 28 October 2005

My 7th graders are studying arachnids. I pulled your pictures up today. The kids in my class were thrilled. You pictures are out standing. Thanks.

Posted by at 19:47 GMT on 30 November 2005

Goede morgen ? .............

Mag ik John en jou/je zeggen ? Reden van mijn schrijven is dat ik onvoorstelbaar slecht met computers om kan gaan , echter is het veel te leuk , om het niet te proberen , er zijn zaken die ik niet moet doen ( zoals het het laten werken van de VMware player ) middels jou advies waarmee ik niet wil zeggen dat je slecht advies geeft , maar er iets in het Nederlands te vinden omtrent jou advies voor het installeren van dat programma ? 1 en ander heb ik trouwens gevonden aan de hand van "Gizmo's top picks 46 free etc ) wat voor mij een heel bijzonder site is , ik wil zeggen , mensen die dat soort site's opzetten kunnen bij mij niet kapot .

ps Lukt het met leven in zijn aangeboden mogelijkheden, geworpenheid ?

Mocht je in de buurt zijn ( Lopik ) ben je van harte welkom ons ( mooie dame ) tot slot : In de lenteschemer aan een kaarsvlam een kaarsvlam opnieuw onsteken .

Posted by Jan Panhuis at 10:06 GMT on 20 January 2006

Hi, I´v tryed to make a virituell Windows98 on my XP Pro and get det messagecode "File not found aoto detect" This file is required to power on this virtual machine. Use VMware Workstation to repair this virtual machine.

Any tips?

Thank´s & Regards


Posted by Paul at 20:43 GMT on 7 April 2006

I wanted to say thank you once again for the helpful info you've taken the time to put up here. If it wasn't for people like you the internet would be such a waste.

I have one question for you. I noticed in a lot of the information you referred to using (on windows xp, 2k...) a limited user account with a comment that this was preferred over using an administrator level account regularly. Why is that? I assume it's security but not quite sure on the details...

Once again thank you... Peace, Darrell

Posted by TheSquirrel at 05:25 GMT on 15 May 2006

I like them they are kewel and I also like the site cause of the smileys.i wish you had more though.I was wonderibg how u add them from here 2 mmi msn.e-mail me

Posted by jenna burkiuwskiey at 01:46 GMT on 22 May 2006

Hoi John, ik ben er weer, alive and kicking, alles is wat rustiger geworden en ik heb nu zelfs weer internet. Ben benieuwd hoe het met je gaat, laat je nog wat van je horen??

Posted by kitty arkesteijn at 10:50 GMT on 10 September 2006

Hi John, I absolutely appreciate your page concerning depression and aggression. It makes me understand the one I love much better.

Posted by Last at 23:00 GMT on 7 November 2006

this is so cool i like that butterfly you posted its so cute and colorful ok bye

Posted by Anonymous at 22:34 GMT on 8 March 2007

Hi John, I have problems with Crypt-SSLeay and openssl. OS = WinXp, i have install perl 5.6, openssl 0.98d, en crypt-ssleay0.53. when i try to check a HTTPS site in a commandbox, i get a error "501 Protocol scheme 'https' is not supported". Perl is in the PATH. i copied the original ssleay32.ddl and libeay.dll in different locations: c\win\system32, c:\perl\site\lib\auto\crypt\ssleay but nothing works. i use also the test script do you have a suggestion who i can fix this?

Posted by amdpp at 10:29 GMT on 16 January 2008

I just totally randomly stumbled upon this blog via a search engine. The Perl Reference Card seems very useful.

When I looked at the site design and figured out you were a Perl programmer, it somehow became evident that... this site is powered by Blosxom! Right?? Anyway, it must take a great deal of patience to set up Blosxom to deliver pages as well-designed as this one is.

Posted by induktio at 00:11 GMT on 9 February 2008

Hi induktio,

Thanks for the compliment, and no the site doesn't use Blosxom, but it does use Perl to generate the HTML pages from a bunch of XML files. I wrote the program myself, and some additional modules. But it's quite a mess to be honest, both the Perl code as well as the XML, and I don't want to make it available for download until I've had sufficient time to clean up the code and remove a lot of legacy stuff.

Posted by John Bokma at 21:09 GMT on 14 February 2008

hi sir, i find your site very intersesting, job well done.. i am also a keeper of different types of scorpions and tarantulas i am from the philippines we also have different types of of local scorpions and tarantulas here.. hoping to read more articles about wildlife here... thanks for sharing the people some knowledge regarding your hobbies. once again job well done.. god bless....

Posted by pinoy at 08:08 GMT on 21 November 2008

I am desperate. I live in the U.S.A. I am a prominent local politician. I currently have an Anti-Harrassment Protection Order in place against a maniac. He has harrassed me and stalked me for over a year. He recently purchased domain names that mimicked mine, registered them in my name, and then used the domains to send defamatory and horrible emails.

He has sent nasty emails to over 1,000 public employees, making allegations about the sexual history of me and my family.

Since he began stalking a year ago, he has been fixated on my public position (taking advantage of it with public disclosure requests and "1st admendement rights) as well as my sexual life.

I have zero history with this freak.

Could I hire you to help with some resarch that will prove illegal and defamatory behavior?

Posted by Lucy at 03:50 GMT on 24 December 2010

re: your spamassassin-cookbook.html

I am thinking of making a spamassassin rule that would look for long URLS in the body.

I am receiving a great deal of spam that ends in characters AND numbers, otherwise I would use you recipe for those ending with 4 numbers, but alas, I am getting body URLS that look like this:


I was thinking of making your "very long subject" type recipe into one for long URLs.


Posted by Katie C at 19:15 GMT on 28 March 2011

Just noticed this "My name is John Bokma, and this is my web site. I am a freelance Perl programmer, born in the Netherlands, but currently living with Esme and our daughter Alice in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico."

I believe Adam needs some representation. Just sayin' :)

Posted by nerdgirl at 12:50 GMT on 15 July 2011

Hey, haven't seen you in a while on FB. I came to see if all was OK. Seen you have written something in your blog on the 22nd, so all must be OK.:-)

Posted by Stacey at 06:08 GMT on 25 July 2011

Great articles John! If you are interested in suversion at all, check out the open ALM platform for subversion from They also have an app store for free and paid application lifecycle management products for Apache Subversion.

Posted by Cary at 19:54 GMT on 26 July 2011

Nice website John. Your articles are very understandable and make sense. Thanks/Bedankt!

Posted by Ivo at 15:44 GMT on 4 December 2011

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