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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

November 30
Redid and finished something I last looked at in January last year: transferring all of my floppies to slightly more durable storage. To be honest, there's a bunch of stuff I could nuke since it's for DOS, Windows 3.1, or, heck, even the Amiga I never owned, but at least I've got most of it on hard drive now. There's about a dozen disks which proved unreadable in three different drives that I'm going to have to try some forensic recovery on, which from the last time I tried it is actually hugely underprovided-for in Linux.

November 29
Catching up on some more movies and what not... Brazil is typical Terry Gilliam, i.e. it's totally insane; The Big Bus shows signs of being the forerunner of the likes of Airplane, but doesn't quite have the same rate of throwaway one-shot gags; 24 (episodes 1-4) is damned good, although I kept thinking, "doesn't anyone trace cellphones around here?". Biggest problem, of course, is that having watched episodes 1 to 4 I now have to wait for a DVDRentals return-dispatch cycle before I can watch the next 4 episodes...

November 28
Working on a piece of hardware. It does two things. One is documented pretty well. The other, simpler one, has documentation about setup and status and whatnot, but nothing about the actual required operation. Grr.

November 27
Poke prod hey it works! Hardware hacking today.

November 26
The ancient and mystical mp3 renaming script just got a little smarter. Now it tells XMMS if you've moved a file that XMMS was using.

November 25
Erk. Managed to run out of disk space on the big disk in Gonzo. I really should get around to moving the 30GB out of Blimp and into Gonzo, or at least sorting through the crap I've accumulated and throwing some out. I think the blowout is a combination of my new up2date server and the change in backups which is doing something I don't quite understand.

November 24
Spent far too long writing up a presentation on RSS, with slides.

November 23
Finally got around to setting up a local up2date server in lieu of constantly hauling things off the soon-to-expire Red Hat Network (soon to expire for my level of use, anyway).

November 22
Bah. England beat Australia in extra time to carry off the 2003 RWC. I really don't think they deserved it, given the brutally awful style they played with.

Catching up on movies: Mystery Men is pretty excellent and stars Tom Waits;

November 21
I forgot to point out the HUGE hook I got in last week's NTK; if you're in Dublin and feel like having someone to heckle, show up at the Earl of Kildare hotel on Tuesday at 7:30. I'll be talking about RSS, which regular readers of this nonsense will be aware is something I have some strong views on... the Earl of Kildare hotel is just off Nassau Street, with parking underground around the corner just opposite Reynards (ex The Zoo Bar/The Pink Elephant).

Hah. I'm becoming a regular feature in NTK, I am: one more plug for my RSS talk.

November 20
A little more tooling with authenticated SMTP from one sendmail daemon to another. I think I might have it working now. Well, sort of.

I upgraded to Mozilla 1.5. This time, it didn't change my default search setting from Google to Netscape, but it did stop the search setting from working until I'd switched it away from Google and back again, and I hung it irretrievably (in the mail client) within a couple of hours. "Yay"

Waking Ned is fantastic. It's a bit slow in spots, but then so is Irish life. Go rent it now.

November 19
<puts marker in ground> another milestone reached, yay.

Got two books from Amazon this morning - Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver and Stephen King's latest Dark Tower book. BOY are they doorsteps.

November 18
Changed the nightly backup script to do incrementals during the week, instead of a level zero every night. That's improved things HUGELY: it doesn't take several hours to do the nightly backup over the wireless, except at the weekend when it doesn't matter, and I always have at least a good level zero backup lying around even if some of the incrementals get hosed.

November 17
Managed to upgrade the firmware on the 11Mbit card with some abuse. It's refusing to interoperate with the 2Mbit card at the moment, though. I wonder what that's all about?

November 16
Built and installed a 2.6 kernel with some abuse to my system. Now that I know it works (previous attempts ended in panics) I might consider doing some actual work on it.

November 15
Considered options, decided on vegging out at Bob's. Yay!

November 14
Tooled with stuff for far too long, then got in my car and drove to Bob's place.

Running Kismet and XMMS with audio fed into the car stereo on the way. GNEE.

Party at Bob's, obviously.

November 13
Hmm. reformatted hard drive still giving errors. Might need to abandon it, alas.

After much abuse of ISO8859-1 entities (and I still don't have a full set coded up!), the RSS Toy successfully assimilated the assortment of Euro-crud that Bruce Sterling posted to his weblog. Yay!

EdTV absolutely rocks. Way better than the Truman Show, for example.

November 12
Set up dhcrelay on the main wireless machine instead of giving it a stand-alone dhcpd. This means all my DHCP stuff is handled from Gonzo regardless of what else is going on on the network. Also discovered a potential pile of bugs in my hacked ZoomAir driver, oopsy!

November 11
The Royal Tenenbaums was quite enjoyable.

November 10
w00t! Bitlbee patched to connect to MSN once more is fine and dandy, but multi-user messaging in a fake IRC channel, now THAT'S the biz.

November 9
So, ah, Matrix: Revolutions. Very pretty, some dubious bits of dialogue (I think it's probably safe to say that dialogue has been the weak point of all the movies) and I'll have to think about it some more but I'm not sure that all the plot points were resolved, or at least resolved usefully. I think the worst thing I could say about it is that it's pretty much an decent blockbuster action movie - which may be a disappointment if you expected more, but I don't necessarily think that it makes it a bad movie.

Of course, I can now go and read all the stuff I was avoiding in case of spoilers.

Oh, also. Trailer for LotR III. Wow. Can't wait for THAT.

November 8
Doing some little bits and pieces of cleanup, such as reformatting the 6GB disk on the 2.2 box which appears to have become corrupted. I've already had the BIOS do a low-level scan of the drive, and now I'm doing mke2fs -c -c on all the partitions to rebuild them.

Folks turned up around 9 and we wandered off to the Kings for a sort of not-in-the-house housewarming, returning to the house later for Nerf, non-alcohol, chatter, and other assorted fun.

November 7
Yay, I have a phoneline. Eircom are STILL a bunch of suckweasels, since "Your phone will be enabled in about 30 minutes" turned into "if you keep phoning us for a week, you'll eventually be connected to someone who knows what they're doing and is willing to help". Next, I need to investigate a flat-rate offering, followed perhaps by a look at DSL.

Wireless network flaked out on me once I'd installed the modem (we will make no comment about the modem which said "ERROR" in response to a plain old ATD command) which is probably a resource conflict of some sort. I may prod at it some more but for now I'm using the spare laptop as a wireless gateway. Because I can.

November 6
Slowly getting everything sorted out. Change of address. New standing order for rent. List of things I still need to buy for the house. But I am SO loving my new gaff.

November 5
Zoolander made me laugh. I still think Owen Wilson looks like a poor man's Matthew McConaughey, mind you.

Discovered that my laptop battery has cacked itself in some unspecified way. Cracked it and the other cacked battery open for amusement value. 8 Sony cells plus some electronics, and a short wire that can only snap when you prise the casing open so I guess it's supposed to be a simple tamper seal.

Hey, my crap-o-cam still works. Cool. I should really finish hacking on that.

November 4
Wireless network running, yay! Using Gonzo as the wireless "master node", too. Mind you, I should really move it back to Blimp until I've finished making sure it works on Linux 2.2

November 3
Right, you can now walk through the computer room and reach the spare bed. This is progress, of a sort.

November 2
Holy... Where did I get all this STUFF?

28 Days Later... was less scary than I expected it to be, which is just as well because it was after 11 before I got started into it, due to moving, moving, moving. Not a bad movie at all. I was struggling to remember where I recognised Cillian Murphy from, and eventually recalled that I saw him in Disco Pigs, a very strange movie indeed. The "Making Of..." bit for 28 Days was totally crap, focusing more on "what if this happened" than on how they made the movie. I'd love to have seen some "behind the camera" shots for the London filming, for example. I didn't bother with any of the rest of the extras, such as the alternative ending, as I was about fit to collapse from exhaustion!

Happy Birthday Ellen!

November 1
Moving moving moving.

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New month, new house.