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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

September 30
Woop. Late Micromail update (should have happened yesterday).

Also, James and Fionnuala get married today. Whee!

September 29
Hack Hack C C Hack Hack C C definitely need to frob devhelp.el when I get a chance.

A Knight's Tale totally rocked. Unexpectedly so, given that I'd heard various negative comments about it. Sure, the story was pure formula, but I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud, and damn did they wire up all the emotional stuff properly. Potentially one for the BUY heap.

Oh, and The Fanimatrix is AWESOME.

September 28
Clearing up a bunch of outstanding crap. Our local JAWmail setup is working once more, for example. Also I finally rebuilt xscreensaver as a single RPM containing both GL and non-GL stuff so that up2date doesn't try to constantly overwrite it with an older package - I did file a bug about what I feel is dubious behaviour based off the Obsoletes list, though.

Built a Triptych RPM, too.

Excellent American Grand Prix, in which Schuey basically had the entire thing fall into his lap while Montoya managed to get just about everything wrong.

Palm went all weird on me with some sort of generic error that the web wasn't offering solutions for; a warm reset seemed to cure it, although it decided that I'd nuked the INET Library prc file, so I had to reinstall that. During the course of faffing around with it I rediscovered the set of pppd options to make it network easily over the hardline: pppd -detach silent passive noauth ms-dns proxyarp persist /dev/ttyUSB0 local 57600 ktune - obviously, tweak addresses to your local settings and so forth. I don't think it knows by default to ask for a DHCP address, but you could probably do something silly with pppd to request one.

September 27

Also spent a while tooling around with various things on the laptop, but nothing much.

September 26
Cough wheeze. Throat infection that's been at me all week finally got the better of me. Blurgh. On one hand it's nice to spend a day in bed, on the other hand it just feels like a waste of time...

September 25
Woo, hacking C for work again. I think I may have to revive devhelp.el.

September 24
Underworld didn't totally suck either.

September 23
Despite the fact that Tom Hanks maintains an almost uniform expression not unlike Joey Tribbiani's "hard mental calculation" look, Road to Perdition is quite a good movie.

September 22
So here's my Technorati Profile. w00t, etc.

Note, I've tried to "claim" my diary twice now to no avail. I'm sure I'm missing something.

Maybe it's cos I don't call it a blog...

September 21
More vehicular noodling, this time south to Glendalough.

September 20
Spent the day noodling around in the car, including a trip to Newgrange.

September 19
Ye best be talkin' like a pirate today, me matey! (Me, I've got a Jolly Roger on my desk). Also, the office IRC bot is now connected to the piratespeak translator.

September 18
Despite the presence of some "skip it" scenes (am I the only one who thinks the Party Boy routine was funny about once?), Jackass: The Movie had plenty laugh-out-loud moments. The opening sequence was particularly fun, too.

September 17
I think ultimately I hoped Meet The Parents would somehow redeem itself, but no.

Still tooling about with wireless drivers, trying to merge in some patches from someone else that collide with the 2.4 port.

September 16
Chocolat is a great movie, not least because it's got Johnny Depp.

LRNJ is a pretty cool way to learn Japanese characters.

Weird. I could've sworn my Emacs LiveJournal client worked fine with my proxy settings before. I've just hacked support for the http_proxy env var into it.

September 15
Whee! I've just clocked 5000 SETI units!

September 14
Wooo! Ferrari! Schuey wins! Happy faces at Ferrari tonight, I suspect. He had it in the bag from the get-go, aside from a brave but ultimately unsuccessful attempt by Montoya to grab the lead.

September 13
Yay Ferrari! Schuey got an excellent pole position for tomorrow's Monza Grand Prix, even if it was only by 0.051 seconds. And both Firman and Schuey Jr. are out of the race due to not recovering from their recent crashes.

September 12
Kate's visiting, so geekery-- while I instead play Mister Host.

September 11
Tweaked films.pl to cope with not getting a listing to work with in the first place.

Tuned procmailrc a little, too.

September 10
Wahey. Finally fixed the date sorting in the RSS Toy; the feeder for it was running foul of a misunderstanding on my part. Now I'm only subject to perils of feeds with bizarre update policies (hello Blogger fans...)

September 9
Had a look at a desktop RSS aggregator called Syndigator. Interesting. Loses points for having a config file made out of a Perl Store, and overly intrusive GUI (lots of popup modal dialogs). I might rip a few ideas from it and glom them onto the RSS Toy. Note, I am hugely irritated in my RSS hacking by the fact that Mozilla.org is continuing to not implement a scriptable means of opening a new tab on the grounds that web developers shouldn't be able to dictate how your browser operates. Please. Get REAL, people. That said, I think there might be an undocumented option to force new windows to open in tabs...

September 8
Wow. Highlander: Endgame really is worse than the other three movies. That's some achievement.

September 7
Finally found the cause of a problematic Mozilla hang I've been experiencing over and over. It's getting wedged trying to communicate with ESD. Which would be amusing were it not so irritating; I'm not actually running ESD. I run artsd instead. However, it appears that Mozilla occasionally goes out of its way to make sure it can use ESD. I wonder if I can compile around that? As I said before, "ESD" is right...

September 6
Fixed some more stupidity in the way the RSS toy collates stuff, but it's still doing some nonlinear things that I'm unhappy with. Might need to take a hatchet to it.

I kept feeling like Bowling for Columbine was almost making a point, but never quite got there. Some interesting statistics and what not, but mostly I just felt vaguely dissatisfied with the whole thing.

September 5
Did some poking at the RSS fetch script and found a few silly logic bugs in it which would explain some of the more useless behaviour I've seen it do. It'll take a few days for the stupidity to filter out, by which point I'll no doubt have coded up some other Damned Thing...

Woop. Yahoo changed their format for the stock exchange quotes, so I've had to update the stock ticker stuff.

September 4
Still digging around with Samba. Found more bugs. Wrote more scripts. Meep.

Played around with Maporama some. Discovered in the process that their maps aren't exactly linear, i.e. moving left/right on a map affects latitude and longitude. This is to be expected, I guess. Makes it harder to leech their maps in a useful way, though.

September 3
Man, this is making my head hurt. I have a file with a weird character in it on a Windows NT box. I have two choices: connect using Unicode, or connect not using Unicode. One assumes that in the latter case, magical things happen that make it all work.

Apparently not.

Having told NT that I don't want any Unicode, NT dutifully renders the oddball character into a nearby ASCII equivalent when I do a directory lookup. However, if I then use that name in a direct filename request, NT tells me that it doesn't exist. AAAAAH!

Upgrading Qaz's BIOS appears to have cured the USB problems I was having. Yay! Upgrading to the latest BIOS causes all hell to break loose when X tries to start up (either no mouse, or instant hard shutdown). WAAH! Ok, well, I can cope with being a BIOS revision or two out if my USB ports work okay.

September 2
Ok. Daredevil didn't totally suck, but had enough crap parts to make it at least annoying. Also, I lost count of bits stolen from other movies. The whole thing felt like the Spider-Man plot, with The Crow for seasoning (funnily enough, it uses the same guy to do the score), and bits of the Matrix thrown in any time a fight sequence was required. The CGI was so blatantly obvious that it was almost amateurish in places. Plus, of course, the set-up-for-sequel ending. Maybe if they'd concentrated on not making it the first of a franchise it'd have been a better movie.

Tweaked wvdial on my dialup box to notice if PPP data is being spewed down the line, so that should improve my connectivity once more. Yay me! If you need to patch this yourself, just add "~" to the items wvdialler.cc recognises, and put the case statement to catch it as a fall-through option for the CONNECT case statement. And TSK TSK wvdial developers for not using constants for those, too.

Finished checking my modified ZoomAir source into local CVS, so I don't lose the changes, and also so I can see about (a) merging bits I've pulled from elsewhere and (b) beating the stuff back into shape for 2.2 again (not that this really matters, but it would be nice!)

September 1
Further tracking of the smbfs problem reveals that even if I persuade it I'm using the right version, it's still screwing up the mapping. So I have to figure out WHERE, I guess.

Aha. During the Session Negotiation, it says it's doing Unicode, but when it asks for, say, a list of files in a directory it says it's not doing Unicode. Windows apparently interprets this as a request to translate the filenames on its side, as best I can tell, even if you can't subsequently use the filenames it provides... or maybe you can, as long as you specify that you're still disregarding the Unicode mappings.

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"The gutters are full of leaves and students."
- Alan Cox