A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- May 31
- Hurrah! Laptop repaired! Turns out that the
RTC's battery leaked, taking out the IrDA port and making inroads
into the accompanying netcard/modem combo. And the plastic base as
well, apparently. Must be a plutonium battery or
- May 30
- I hate hate HATE Java's
"char ain't byte" thing, not because
non-8-bit chars are a bad idea, but because Java seems to go out of its way to
prevent you from using the one you need to use when you need to
use it. For example, your average Java Servlet has a Writer
for its equivalent of stdout, so you can't write 8-bit
data out because it'll get munged when you're not looking. This is
causing me no end of irritation.
- May 29
- I'm still tweaking Java.
- May 28
- Spent the weekend in Monaco with Dad and
Donal. Writeup to follow.
- May 24
- Had our official company launch
today. Picture the scene: the speeches are done, and people are
milling about and being given guided tours. And I'm sitting at my
desk, in a shirt and tie, working on a large
file full of data. The show must go on, folks.
- May 23
- Managed to acquire my annual sporting injury
during rescheduled five-a-side soccer. I'll write it up on the
linked page, but suffice to say it involved my ribs
- May 22
- Morbid poultry aeration in
- May 21
- I hate dealing with people over the phone,
but sometimes it has to be done.
- May 20
- Got fed up with lynx's persistent inability
to get with frames and tables, and grepped the web for a
replacement. This turned up a browser called links. It does frames, it
does tables, it may even do SSL. This is an absolute godsend for
poor text-enabled me.
- May 19
- Our rescheduled St. Paddy's Festival is on
this weekend, so I spent most of the day in the pub with some of
the guys and two Lithuanians. My life is far more exciting than I
- May 18
- Spent some time cleaning up crap on Gonzo,
such as orphaned files (i.e. no packages) and duplicate
installations. I've also managed to more-or-less consolidate my Gonzo
home directory with the one from the laptop backup, so I can start
with rdist silliness when the laptop gets back to keep
them in sync. Or something equally insane.
- May 17
- Had my aerobics session, and then the
five-a-side soccer. The aerobics was hilarious, and the
five-a-side rules amounted to "if the ball goes in the net,
you've scored" and not much else. Far more fun than being
sprawled in front of the TV. Really.
- May 16
- Had a much slower day at the office - mostly
tying up loose ends.
- May 15
- Wildly hectic day at the office.
With very little goading, I stupidly agreed to sign up for
five-a-side soccer and aerobics. I shall die, I'm sure of
Had dinner with cousins and... my brother. Cleverly, I
took the car, so I was able to wave off the alcohol and drink Coke
instead. Still knackered at the end of the night,
though. Donal goes home tomorrow, so I can rest.
- May 14
- Back in the office, another day, another
Another night out with my
brother, this time at least in a restaurant. I'm going to die
if I keep this up.
- May 13
- Ugh. I have the makings of a black eye after
unspecified contact during the wrestling match. I wouldn't mind
except that I wasn't even one of the people involved.
Crawled out of bed to lie, beached-whale-like, on the couch and
watch the Austrian F1. Schumacher looked set to win until Montoya
defended his corner a little too bravely as Schuey tried to
overtake, and they both lost a half-dozen places. Schuey managed
to haul back up to third place, and then passed Barrichello on the
last corner (team orders) to take second place. Coulthard won, boo
Another late night; once I got back to Dublin, I went out again to
meet my brother for a
few more drinks. As if I didn't have enough
- May 12
- The family version of last night's antics,
featuring a meal in a very nice restaurant and a wrestling match
on the lawn at 6am. I'm not making this up.
- May 11
- Took a day off work to (a) recover from last
night's beer and (b) attend my Dad's official retirement party.
My brother put in an
appearance, much to Dad's surprise, with a slightly demented toy
cow that jumps up and down and laughs. Several speeches were made
before some guy started playing lounge-ish music with no less than
three electronic keyboards; he shorted out a fuse midway through a
song and we all got back to conversing and drinking, which I think
is what most people wanted anyway.
- May 10
- After a false start or two, I got CVS up and
- May 9
- Investigating CVS, I
discovered I'd forgotten everything I learned the last time I
created a CVS repository
from scratch. So I started building Makefiles for things
instead. I'll go back to figuring out what to do with CVS tomorrow. Really, though,
cvs init should do everything, in a perfect
- May 8
- BBDB mail is building up
and I'm not doing any developing at the moment. This is bad,
also. Just my luck to lose the laptop in the middle of a burst of
traffic on the list.
- May 7
- After I quit trying to run X, I had no
further crashing silliness with Gonzo,
which is good. This means I'm still running in text mode, though,
which isn't so good. Despite having started my computing career
with a 40-column screen, and my Internet career with a genuine DEC
VT100, I've been spoiled by the convenience of X
Windows. I am filled with shame, or something.
- May 6
- So, intent on giving myself some comfort while my laptop is
away, I set about reconfiguring X on Gonzo.
After some fiddling with RPM files, I managed to successfully run
Xconfigurator (I hate writing XF86Config files manually...) and
started X. Suddenly, the screen froze, and I thought, hah, I've
been bitten by some one of those 2.4.x kernel bugs that Alan Cox
and various RedHatted folk
were talking about, and rebooted.
init: inittab not found
Let me tell you exactly how worrying the above message is:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! AAAA! AAAAAAA!
Visions of valuable portions of my 30GB disk, such as the fresh
backup of Klortho, being washed down the drain danced before my
eyes while I scrabbled around for my magic boot disk. Bringing up
the machine, I discovered to my relief that the partition
containing the backup files was intact, and /etc/inittab
seemed to be the only casualty - part of the XFree86 log had overwritten
it. I did a force-install of initscripts, since I'd not
modified any of the original stuff, and presto, booting
So, I've started tackling this potential problem from two angles:
I've unpacked some of the backup files onto the second disk, and
I've built a 2.4.4 kernel.
- May 5
- Went to see the Buena Vista Social Club -
the orchestra, not the movie - in Smithfield. 10,000 people in the
crowd and 5,000 residents hanging off assorted rooftops, and a
wonderful party atmosphere. See what you American folk are missing
by treating Cubans as personae non grata?
Utterly non-geek factoid: BVSC have sold 34,000 copies of their
album in Ireland. That's two platinum discs plus a good start on a
- May 4
- Hurrah! I figured it out! If you set the driver to not
duplex the pages in the feeder, it pops up the dialogue about
there being no pages left. Of course, this means you can't scan
pages one-sided. So in order to get around that, I put in a
stupid, STUPID hack that scans double-sided under all
circumstances, but if you only want single-sided, it discards
every second page. Of course, if I was really clever, I'd get it
to autodetect blank pages, but I'm sure someone would find a
problem with that ("where's the page I deliberately left
blank?") so I'll settle for what I have right now.
It's nice to see that after more than two years of avoiding Java,
it still bugs the hell out of me. Actually, that's a little
unfair; the above problem appears to afflict the native scanning
toys that come with the scanner, so I don't know if it's a failing
in the driver implementation or in the TWAIN specification. It's
- May 3
- Reached the end of my tether with the Java stuff. Problem is like this:
scan an entire bin of pages. The code I was messing with, from Gnome.SK, had all manner of fun to
do this, but none of it seems to work and I'm getting no help from
the doco, running the class files through javap, or
emailing the Gnome.SK
guys. Gah. So, I went googling and turned up The Victor Toolkit,
which includes a pretty direct connection into the TWAIN classes. Yay.
Or not. For some reason, telling it to scan the entire bin seems
to result in it complaining at the end of the scan that there's
nothing in the bin - arbitrarily. Sometimes it just scans
everything and returns quietly, which is what I
- May 2
- Finally got Klortho backed up. I tar'ed and
feathered the windows
partition, then did a level 0 dump of the ext2 partition. Once
that was done, I set Klortho running the Compaq image-restore program,
and presto, one clean Windows box for Compaq to
- May 1
- More Java
hacking at work, plus an approximate assessment of what needs to
be done when. Woah. Deadlines ahoy.
More fun and games getting Klortho backed up. I went through a few
kernel recompiles after my vfat support went missing, and I still
can't NFS-mount, but I'm almost there with the Windows
partition backup to the Linux
partition, and then I'll do a level 0 dump of the Linux
parition over to Gonzo.
I guess I should save the boot block, too, or the partition table
or something. Although it's probably not strictly
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may what, exactly?