A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- August 31
- More vague tooling with the ZoomAir driver. Sometimes I think
it'd be better to just rip it apart and rebuild it around one of
the more solid drivers, like the Orinoco one.
Also tried to find a bug-or-feature in smbfs whereby it's mapping
filenames incorrectly despite the fact that it's supposed to map
them correctly, if you follow that. This led me to discover that
the header file for smbfs appears to have this bogus notion of
whether you're using version 6 or version 7 of some arbitrary
interface, which, grr, is wrong wrong wrong. Trying to fix
- August 30
- Visitors departed, so I lounged for the day. Lounge
lounge. Somewhat confused by having taken yesterday off work, thus
being convinced today was Sunday rather than Saturday. Poked at
the ZoomAir driver
Bob reappeared later and we went off to Dalkey for beer, chinese
food, and general socialising. Whee!
- August 29
- Hmm. Indeed, the problem with
hanging-on-boot-with-demand-dial-ppp still exists. Not
good. Also, wvdial is far, far worse at detecting connections than
it should be, even in stupid mode. It doesn't help that some part
of my TA/USB/tty chain drops the "CONNECT 128800" more
often than it sends it, meaning wvdial is convinced that the dial
failed. I made a half-hearted attempt to get it to detect that PPP
traffic is being spewed down the line, but it didn't work. More
Bob and Clarkey both turned up in the afternoon and we went off to
Dun Laoghaire to watch Pirates of the Caribbean (again, for me; first time for
- August 28
- Still on Samba. Oh, and
while trying to clear out crap on the Win2K partition,
I told it to remove an Unknown Device which appears to have
deleted most of the hardware entries in the Device Manager. Go Windows!
Found a stupid bug in the RSSinator to do with invalid
filenames which might explain the fact that timestamping was going
Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai kinda struck me like Unbreakable - a good
idea, but I'm not wholly convinced by the execution. C++
programmers can map that comment to Class/Instance, and
philosophers can do some analogy with Plato's Horse, I'm sure.
Went to see Jack L at
Spirit with Clarkey and others. What a fantastic gig!
- August 27
- Busy busy busy. Chasing Samba stuff again.
- August 26
- Hmm. My new RSS
aggregator doesn't seem to be working as well as I'd
hoped. Drat. More research required, or perhaps I should just give
up and use Amphetadesk.
Further on the dialup thing: it appears I don't need diald; the default Red Hat stuff should "just
work". The only recollection I have of it not working is that
when you're in demand-dial mode, the invocation of the dialup
fails until the first dialup occurs, because of that irritating
ppp-watch process. Which in turn means that if you reboot
the machine, it stalls until such time as a connection occurs on
the dialup interface. I wonder if that's been fixed
now? Also, despite apparent workarounds in the various scripts,
you really, really need wvdial installed for the Red Hat toys to be
Red Hat 9 vs. XScreensaver:
(fortune was removed from the distribution due to uncertainty over
I've had this console program knocking around for a while whose
eventual intended purpose is to provide a screenful of information
useful to me and also to monitor my dialup connection to see if it
should be killed off or not. I'm sure there's umpty million
programs out there to do this, but hey. So I did a little work on
it tonight to display the time since the last-seen packet on the
interface it's monitoring.
- August 25
- Bah. Microsoft SUCK. You
can't restore a Windows 98 backup to Windows
2000. I am going to have to build a Windows 98
machine just so I can get those files.
After some abuse, I reconfigured my PPP dialup on Gonzo
to conform to Red Hat's
expected setup. Next, I'm going to try and set up diald again.
Donnie Darko is a
strange but excellent movie.
- August 24
- Hmm. RSS gadgetry still needs work. It looks like the BBC feed
modifies all the stories each time it changes, which means I keep
getting clusters of BBC stories.
Weirdness with my own RSS
feed also. str2time was returning dates one in
advance of the correct publication date.
F1: No luck for Ferrari, but boy did Renault have a good day! Two
spectacular accidents: Ralph Firman hitting the barriers during
practice at about 150MPH having lost his rear wing, and
Barrichello hitting a barrier slightly more slowly having lost his
left rear wheel. The wheel itself went bouncing off down the
- August 23
- Wahey! I have figured out the hardware lock on my
system restore disk.
Added an option to mailman.pl to allow
it to use its own user prefs file, so you can configure
SpamAssassin specifically for handling mailing lists without
affecting your regular SA setup.
Effects of letting the magic smoke out of a capacitor:
That's a Hayes ISDN TA, btw. I managed to repair it by scavenging
a replacement capacitor out of an old phone. No,
- August 22
- Started working on a toy to aggregate the RSS feeds the way I
want 'em - interleaved in date order. I'm trying to come up with a
reasonably sane way to handle the feeds that don't datestamp
individual entries; probably keep a cache of retrieved items, so
the first time you hit such a feed it'll flood the aggregate page,
but thereafter the crap will filter out.
Had to fix that dealy with the unescaped entities in two
places. Jeez. You'd think noone ever tested this
code. Actually, screw that, I'm going to fix this damned
module. Mind you, I finally read the RSS spec and,
well. Urgh. Horrible.
Wow. Got an email to tell me that my mailman.pl script is
doing the rounds at the IETF, apparently. Someone's contributed
support for Mailman
Fiddled around some more with the RSS toy. Hopefully it should
now begin to build a proper aggregated page for me. Next step is
some two-way integration: move the stuff from snorq into the RSS toy, and allow the RSS toy to generate a Pilot-friendly version of
- August 21
- Whee. Another XML::RSS bug. When it's escaping stuff to put in
the description section, it doesn't correctly handle stuff that's
already escaped. Wahey, not.
Muahaha. Figured out - I think - how my recovery disks are
hardware locked. A little experimentation with a CD burner should
prove me right... what would be nicer, of course, is to figure out
how to stop the frickin' things from reformating my hard
drive. As is I'm doing a full backup of both OS partitions on
Klortho before doing anything.
- August 20
- After some more tweaking, the RSS toy now makes use of the
Last-Modified header as a "last updated" watermark for
sites that don't publish this information in their RSS feeds. Of course,
it innocently believes the lastBuildDate header if there's present
in the feed, meaning that BoingBoing appears to be permanently out
of date. Way to go, guys.
Not Another Teen Movie isn't bad, but overdoes the self-aware meta-commentary a
bit. Having a character saying, "I'm the token black
guy" is funny in the trailer, but doesn't cut it in the
movie, especially if it's used repeatedly. Some of the send-ups
were excellent, though.
- August 19
- Meh. The XML::RSS module will not save items that don't have a
<title> attribute set. Which, er, is Warren Ellis' entire
RSS feed, for
example. Fixed with ad-hackery.
Added next/prev links to the film listings script to further cater
for my inherent laziness.
- August 18
- Off to Roscommon again. Applet working, but still
- August 17
- Tooling around with Borland's command line C compiler for Windows trying
to make a systray applet. Oog.
American Pie 2
wasn't quite as good as the first, but still fun.
- August 16
- Found out what was stopping Mozilla from being placed
correctly by Fvwm - as of
Mozilla 1.4 it seems that
you need to add the NoPPosition style to whatever else you'd been
doing with Mozilla.
- August 15
- Drove to Kingsland Observatory to play with a Windows/Linux
- August 14
- Silly hack, from a suggestion on #dnalounge: Random Pokey plugin
for xscreensaver. Requires Perl, LWP::UserAgent, and
Fixed some RSS bugs:
firstly, putting datestamps on the individual entries in my own RSS feed, and secondly,
fixing the ETag stuff which I'd inadvertently screwed up in the
aggregator. Having done that, I tweaked the output some more to
make it nicer. Next thing is to split it up so that the updates
are separate from the HTML that appears in my
- August 13
- Hmm. It appears that NFS problems I've been seeing of late are
correctable by using hard mounts instead of soft mounts. In My
Day[TM], hard mounts were a recipe for network-wide
lockups. Apparently that's no longer quite the case. Mutter
mutter, young people these days, mutter mutter.
In the interests of being nice to servers, etc. I set Mozilla to fetch pages only
when they've changed - presumably this makes use of ETag and/or
Last-Modified headers. Alas, LiveJournal's friends page
doesn't appear to play ball with this. You'd imagine a site that
consists almost solely of dynamic content would be interested in
reducing their workload, wouldn't you?
With some effort, managed to persuade the Linux
MALsync client to load
up a server-provided configuration file. It should be possible to
make a fully equivalent-to-the-Windows-version
conduit at this point. The code still needs a little tweaking,
like duplicate detection, but it's mostly there.
Catch Me If You Can wasn't a bad movie, either. It appears I'm renting a
succession of "Not Bad". It'd be nice to get a
"WOAH GOOD" once in a while.
- August 12
- Discovery for the day: jwz
lied! Windows-1252 isn't ISO-8859-1, it's ISO-8859-1 with horrible
Microsofty extensions that
cause all manner of problems like broken XML. BAH. More details at
the excellent Codepage &
Co.. Using this new-found knowledge, I've been able to work
around parsing Blogger's broken RSS feeds.
- August 11
- Woohoo! GO ME!
2003-08-08 18:08 jra
* source/: include/rpc_dce.h, libsmb/clireadwrite.c,
rpc_server/srv_spoolss_nt.c: RPC fix from Ronan Waide
<email@example.com>. Tested with rpcecho. Jeremy.
Took me ages to find and fix that, it did.
Weirdness. If I have a /lib/modules/[version]/pcmcia
directory, my PCMCIA stuff doesn't work. Inspection of the kernel
spec file suggests it's a NPTL thing.
Tweaked the APM
Monitor to handle ACPI as well. It's a bit clumsy at the
moment; it parses the first live battery it finds and converts
that data to an APM-like string so I don't have to recode the rest
of the toy. Also made APM respect the fact that the BIOS might
have a better idea about battery power remaining, since ACPI does,
in fact, have a better idea about that. In the process, it appears
that some of the COMPAQ CAN'T WRITE ACPI weirdness in my laptop
BIOS prevents the battery from recharging when you put the power
back on. Tidy, that.
- August 10
- Having finally gotten Coda running on the laptop, it promptly
blew up on me. Bah.
Went to see Pirates of the Caribbean in the cinema - first movie I've been to in
ages. It's a wonderful romp, with plenty swashbuckling
and some good laughs.
- August 9
- Eep. Bad hangover. Spent most of the day planted on the couch
trying to get Coda up and running.
- August 8
- Santa in the office, or, our memory order from Komplett turned up. One of the
guys claimed the speed increase on his box was such that he could
see through time now. He also complained that he might actually
have to do some real work.
The office Current server
was one of the beneficiaries of the memory order. It's now happily
running and serving out Red
Hat 6.2, 7.2, 7.3 and 9, which about covers the machinery in
the office. Plus I have it rsyncing off the local mirror on a
nightly basis to pick up errata. Yay!
Helped my local barman with his birthday celebrations.
- August 7
- Shallow Hal
wasn't a totally useless movie, but the idea could probably have
done with better production staff. The end credits featured clips
of the people being credited - grips, gaffers, caterers, artists,
the lot. Pretty funny. The movie itself had few belly laughs,
though, and Joe Viterelli's Oirish Accent was bloody
- August 6
- More fun and games with Current - in attempting to
mirror a Red Hat 7.3 directory,
I blew away the 7.2 directory that the machine built last
And I had yet another fun trip to the House of Suckweasels that is
Compustore: I wished to purchase 4 sticks of 128MB PC133
SDRAM. They didn't have any SDRAM in stock. At
all. None. On top of which, when I asked the guy behind the
counter about memory, he told me I had to press the buzzer at the
other end of the counter and wait for someone to come out to
me. This counts as "service", apparently.
- August 5
- JamesC joined Doolin today. Whee!
definitely the business. What I particularly like is that I could,
say, run it on the DSPsrv box
and hook into it from all over.
More fun and games with Current - the default Red Hat 9 configuration for the
web server makes the web server's log directory accessible only to
root. Current tries to
access a logfile there as the web server user (typically
apache) after the web server has dropped root privileges,
and, get this, it fails horribly and non-intuitively if
it can't open the logfile. Careless, that.
- August 4
- Finally got enough of the Linux Wireless Extensions bolted onto
the ZoomAir driver to allow it
to work just like a real wireless card - plug it in and it
goes. It's still a bit hacked up, but it obviates the need for me
to manually attach it to my WLAN, at least.
- August 3
- Ok. I've tried Cheesegrater and
and I still haven't got what I want from RSS. The main thing I
want is that the feeds get merged according to their timestamps,
not sorted by feed. I may just have to beef up my own rss.pl until it does
Juan Montoya pretty much ran away with the German Grand Prix, and
Schumacher senior would've been second except for the small matter
of a puncture. The worst of it was that this allowed David
Coulthard to take second, and more to the point allowed Ron Dennis
to be all smug about it. GAH.
- August 2
- Wow. Montoya on pole after a ripping qualifying lap.
Fozzie and Blimp have spent all day trying to compile a SVGAlib version of XMAME, due to complex source code
and crappy machinery on which to compile it.
Finally got around to watching the copy of The Trouble With Harry that Annette loaned me. Enh. Not wildly
Tweaked Mozilla's startup
script to hook it into aRTs (or however you're supposed to
capitalise that) so that I can enjoy the sound from flash
animations, etc. without having to do any sillywalking. It's nice
that there are fifteen different ways to talk to /dev/dsp
from multiple programs, but, enh. Windows had this
sorted years ago.
Tweaked makerpm.pl to
respect your local RPM macro
- August 1
- Set up Current on
another machine in the office, this one with a bit more diskspace
than my last attempt.
GNEE. Using lufs to mount the Red
Hat files off a mirror, rather than downloading them all to
the local drive. That way Current can still serve 'em
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This month, I will mostly be using emacs.