A rough account of I did with Emacs recently.
- April 30
- Sigh. Ready to roll out some Samba stuff and I find problems
in the ACL handling. Not showstoppers per se, but they do make
access control all but useless, and there are some files that are
best kept locked up.
I found a tool to make Windows icon
files from Gimp. So I created a file, saved it, then decided I
wanted to edit it again, and Gimp can't open it
- April 29
- Left the dead drive in the freezer overnight, then fired it up
this morning. Nothing. Tried booting with Knoppix, tried a Red Hat rescue disk, then just
as I was giving up on it the drive lit up long enough for me to
copy my home directory off it. Unfortunately in whatever state it
was in I couldn't get at the Windows
partition, and on rebooting again the drive was once more
unresponsive, but at least I've saved the email and
such. Incidentally, I also couldn't get an NFS mount going,
otherwise I'd just have dumped the disk partitions onto Gonzo
for forensic recovery.
Got a few more boots out of it, but not enough to get more data
off. So I've tossed it back in the freezer. Most of what I wanted
from the Linux
side is already recovered and just needs to be merged into the
backup; the Windows side,
well, I don't want to write it off, but if I have to, I have
An inadvertent part of the recovery process is that I'm now
running Red Hat 8, which I
hadn't really intended putting on a real system. I guess I could
roll it forward to 9 and watch things explode...
- April 28
- Argh. Qaz decided to eat its own hard drive today. Fortunately,
I had a backup from April 22nd, and I'd flushed
a bunch of stuff up to the website only last night, but I've still
managed to lose about a week's worth of email and assorted bits
unless I can get the drive to stay working for long enough to grab
any surviving blocks off it. I've also lost anything that was
knocking around on the Win2K partition, which includes all my
Midtown Madness high scores, among other things. Wah!
Ironically, this happened while there was a discussion on laptop
longevity going on on geeksrv. Talk about tempting
fate... Needless to say, I've reinstated the nightly backup job
that used run when I used Klortho as my main machine.
- April 27
- Hmm. Hits on my website were only marginally higher after Danny O'Brien linked to my linkfarm toy. Just as
well I'm not trying to sell advertising or something...
YAY. Fixed what looks like the last bug in non-schannel RPC
traffic, at least against NT4; now to
see if it works for schannel.
Fixed up some more bugs in films.pl, including one
particularly silly one related to disagreement in how to format
- April 26
- Didn't do a whole lot of anything today, other than
watching crap TV. I'm running RPC tests on Samba to try and isolate the
problems there, because I really want to roll it out this
weekend. Basically, my code is better than what's in CVS, but
there's still a point of failure that I don't quite
Made a minor tweak to Gronk to cope with some files
I have that don't have matching CDDB data. I used use fake CDDB entries for 'em, but I'd
rather have Gronk simply
not explode if it can't find the bits.
- April 25
- Another tweak to cddb-mode.el; it can
now turn a Grip
multi-artist file into a CDDB
file. Also put together some validation stuff and made it smarter
about setting the coding-system for the file. I hadn't realised
that CDDB allows either Unix
or DOS line endings.
Hmm. I wonder what constitutes "native" line endings on
a MacOS X box?
- April 24
- Spent most of the day doing my slides & notes for my
presentation on Clustered Linux Systems.
Alas, for all my efforts there was a pretty miserable
turnout. Bah. However, I did discover MagicPoint, probably the best
presentation tool for Linux
I've seen to date. I mean, it works on text files!
- April 23
- Today I did this:
(let ((map (make-sparse-keymap "Projects"))
(let ((initial (upcase (substring proj 0 1))))
(setq currmap (if (assoc initial maps)
(cdr (assoc initial maps))
(let ((newmap (make-sparse-keymap initial)))
(setq maps (append maps (list (cons
(define-key currmap (vector (intern proj))
`(menu-item ,(purecopy proj) ,proj))))
(reverse (sort project-list 'string=)))
(define-key map (vector (intern (car kmap)))
(cons (car kmap) (cdr kmap))))
(nth 1 (x-popup-menu t map)))
It makes a nice pop-up menu with items sorted under submenus by
initial letter. Took me a couple of hours to make it work,
- April 22
- Started testing my Samba
fixes with Tim Potter's RPC echo client/server gadget; definitely
looks like my patches are the right thing, but I really need to
try getting a W2K box to run the client against a NT4 server and
see what it does with the Raw Pipe write stuff I've been digging
at. I'm pretty sure that NT4 requires this for large RPC traffic,
but it's not like I can pop open a source file and read it to find
Did a Micromail tweak, too,
for good measure.
Got a new toy for office stuff today: a B&B Electronics serial port
to ethernet convertor. Alas, it doesn't quite work the way we'd
like, so I'm waiting to hear back from B&B to see if they'd be
willing to give us some modified firmware or at least some
assistance in making it do what we want. Of course, we could also
try persuading the server-side people to help out, which I'll be
doing on Friday morning.
Temporarily disabled file deletes on the FTP push toy until I
implement some sort of exclusion list for it, so that I don't go
deleting important files like the web counter or people's shopping
trolleys when I'm updating the site. Because that would be
- April 21
- Mostly picking at Samba
stuff again. I've managed to clone the server I'm trying to clone,
except that there's a bug in the printer code that causes the
client side spooler service to keel over and die. I
wonder if it's exploitable?
- April 20
- Wahey! Ferraris 1st and 3rd, and only a stuck wheel preventing
poor beleaguered Rubiño from being 2nd. Both Jordans blew
up, alas. It wouldn't surprise me if 10 points is all they get for
the entire season.
Went poking through my source code junk heap and discovered a
perl script I'd written to
clean up my Mozilla
bookmarks file. Ye gods. I'd forgotten about that.
- April 19
- Caught the tail-end of the F1 qualifying session; looks like the
Ferraris might be on form for the weekend. Top marks to Mark
Weber, though, for getting his Jag into the top six.
- April 18
- I've put my Snafooz toy
for XScreenSaver up
in the workshop area for
now, despite not having touched it in about a month due to having
my head stuck in Samba
instead. You'll need the XScreenSaver
source to build it; put the file in the hacks/glx
directory, make what seem like appropriate mods to the
Makefile, and away you go.
Put the Red Hat 9 kernel and XFree86 bits on my Red Hat 7.3 laptop (with some
abuse, obviously). And yay, I now have accelerated X without
risking the thing blowing up randomly.
- April 17
- Micromail update. Also
lots of rebuilding-from-source, ick. There's a kernel compile going on as I
Made a few more tweaks to my Perl "push mirror",
which I use to upload stuff to Micromail's website. It
occurred to me that for Micromail, at least, the smart
thing to do would be to turn it into a module and bolt it into the
rest of the update system, since there are a couple of files that
need to be updated in two places.
- April 16
- Submitted some of the more sane patches to the Samba guys for
Working on some timesheet-related stuff for the office, I
discovered that for some time now I've had a stupid bug in the
code. Related to the fact that I can never remember which way
around the parameters for ">" go in elisp.
- April 15
- Amazingly, I appear to have survived the last four days of
Wahey! Finally I got the Samba
stuff working, in the process digging up bugs in several different
areas. It's still not 100%, but at least I know I'm on the right
Had a very brief look at Kismet, a network
sniffer for wireless networks. Was most surprised to discover it's
a text-mode application, as opposed to having a shiny
- April 14
- Final day of birthday celebrations. I only get to be 30 once, I
may as well enjoy it.
- April 13
- Aaaaand another day of birthday celebrations.
- April 12
- Birthday day 2. No, really. I did poke randomly at Samba during the afternoon, but
not with much energy.
- April 11
- Happy Birthday to ... ME!
Brief trip to an office to relaunch a busted VPN box only to
discover it was already up and running. Keen!
- April 10
- I'm right on the edge of sorting out what I charmingly describe
as the Large RPC Bug in Samba. At least, I think I am,
and I think it's a bug. It's a pain in the ass having to go
through packet traces to try and figure out what's up,
- April 9
- More customer, more Samba. Machine what vanished off
network turns out to have had a duff cable, and is once more on
the network again. Oh, and my car got a free dose of
fire-retardent chemicals due to fire warden training at the
office. Yay, not.
- April 8
- La la la. Still running around Samba. Met a potential customer
today; one of my selling points was that, well, I've dug inside Samba, so I'm probably one of the
better people to talk to about it locally!
- April 7
- Awful hack to fix a Samba
problem. Doing it right would have taken too long, and someone
else is working on the proper fix, so.
Trying to figure out a sane way of making sure I've moved all the
data from an NT server
to a Samba server; it's not
helping that you can use ACLs to lock your "root user"
out of access to a file. I was trying to use the backup privilege
to get around that, but I'm beginning to suspect that's local to
the machine, i.e. you can't remotely access files that you don't
have ACLs to even if you're in the backup group.
Found bugs in the films.pl script. Fixed
them, and broke something else. Sigh.
- April 6
- Built a Red Hat 9 box to
see what it looks like. Damn slow install, for starters, although
the fortune cookies are amusing... ironic, since fortune-mod has
been removed from the list of distributed packages.
Aha, slowness appears to be caused by my choice of an upgrade
rather than a clean install, fair enough. Did a clean install
after determining I'd done enough damage to the Red Hat 8 setup on the guinea
pig box to prevent RH9 from working. Doesn't look much different,
but there are some improvements under the hood apparently. No DRI
support for my crappy Mach 64 card, mind.
- April 5
- Saturday morning coffee turned into a dawdling visit to
Waterstones, Saturday afternoon coffee, and Saturday evening F1
qualifying and pizza. Rubens on pole for his home race,
- April 4
- More food, drink and conversation with Mark.
- April 3
- In which Mark Jason Dominus shows up, gives a talk, and then
joins the company for dinner, drinks, and
Mark's Unix Internals talk was well-received, which was
cool. Hopefully we the company will get a decent crowd for next
week's Doolin Tech
- April 2
- Spent more time than intended running my car through the NCT,
largely due to the fact that the service department at Windsor
Deansgrange are a bunch of lying suckweasels - which I will have
to Take Steps over, but enough of that. The car passed with a
minor hiccup, so that's okay.
Dropped in on the ICT Expo as well. It felt a little grubby, to be
honest; there seemed to be a sort of desperation about the whole
thing, a sort of "please buy our stuff" vibe. The one
site I did look up later, a sort of Irish variant on NetFlix, had
a site that was so poorly built that I couldn't use it. Great
going, guys. <span onclick="foo.html"> is
not how you do a hyperlink. AjD had some more choice
things to say about it, concerning validity and that sort of
thing, but it amounts to the same sentiments. The linux.ie stand was a little
off-putting; I stood at the edge of it for a minute and a half
talking with a friend of mine who was browsing the show with me,
and not one person on the stand even looked our way, much less
approached us. Ain't gonna persuade people to use Linux
that way, folks...
- April 1
- Red Hat's servers are a
little overloaded at the moment, due to their early-access
provisions for Red Hat
9. Makes it kinda hard to recognise you're a privileged customer
when you can't get access to the downloads...
The nice thing about picking up a project like BBDB is that you don't have
to come up with this huge list of features that you'll never
bother implementing because hey, someone's already doing it
better. Of course, stagnant code isn't a good idea either. I
really need to make some time for BBDB at some
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