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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

January 31
mailman.pl is my most popular script ever, it seems. I got TWO bits of mail about it today, and apparently it's finding plenty use with the IETF. Maybe I should put it up on Freshmeat...

Spent the afternoon adding bits to my DVDRentals "make site less painful" script: I can now grab my entire rental history, plus a list of all the movies that are on offer. More to come.

WindTalkers is another Pacific Theatre WWII movie, but it's far gritter than The Thin Red Line. Curiously it seemed to largely ignore the supposed subject matter - the Navajo Indians and their code - in favour of, well, a Buddy Movie. Still, quite enjoyable.

January 30
LDAP is actually tricky enough to set up. Especially using old and weak servers.

Forgot about this:
Customer Service Summary for week ending 30/1/2004
EircomNo paperwork.
Much to my amusement, the limbo-like state of my account apparently means I can't pay my bill.
Aer LingusNo response to website complaint. Will try customer service desk next.


January 29
Watched some of the extras from the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD. Johnny Depp truly is an awesome actor.

January 28
Slightly bemused by the standard image preload script I've seen in countless Dreamweaver-generated pages; slightly bemused becasuse I seem to recall them going to a lot of trouble to keep track of all the images using an array. I'm in the luxurious position of having control over the client for the stuff I'm working on, so I just need to make sure the images get loaded into the cache, which cuts my image preload down to a one-line function.

Lethal Weapon 4 was on TV while I was doing other stuff. Better than I remembered, but probably because I wasn't paying attention to the whole thing.

January 27
This took me an inordinately long time to find: Siemens ADR (Address Book) file format. I'd halfway reverse-engineered the 5F02 file as it was.

Casino is very much a Goodfellas clone, and staring Pesci and De Niro to boot. Goodfellas in Vegas, maybe. I pretty much enjoyed it, but I've never really liked Pesci's characters, except his role in My Cousin Vinny which is the only movie I can remember where the entire audience spent the entire first half-hour laughing helplessly.

January 26
Released software. Yay me!

January 25
Fairly uneventful flight home, mildly delayed, but that's about it. Watched The Thin Red Line when I got home; it's beautifully shot, but seems to lack focus somehow.


January 24
Hanging about in Morecambe, and steadfastly refusing to even look at a computer.

January 23
Off to Northern England (Morecambe, to be precise) to visit Lockhart.

January 22
Applied a patch to BBDB only to discover that the SourceForge CVS servers were down for maintenance. D'oh.

January 21
Met an old friend for a few beers, which turned into more beers than we'd intended due to fascinating conversation.

January 20
Found a silly bug in snorq whereby it wouldn't correctly handle chopping up jpegs with more than 256 colours. I'm amazed that I've not seen this before, since snorq has been around for several years now.

Trying to make more use of my IrDA port has led to the discovery that when you do a "Send All" on the Palm Addressbok, it packs everything up in one giant VCF, while the same operation on a Siemens S45 sends individual VCFs. This would explain why they're unhappy talking directly to each other, I guess. It also requires some hacking on my part to make the OBEX server toy work with the S45.

January 19
Another big disk cleanup. For the first time in a long time my laptop has more than 15% free.

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Scooby Doo was, enh. Light. Vaguely amusing. I couldn't get with the casting, aside from Shaggy's voice and Velma's character.

January 18
Office Space is inspired. Anyone who's ever worked a cube job is OBLIGED to see it. And Dark City isn't quite the crapfest I'd heard it was, aside from the Let's Tell You The Plot Before We Start voiceover at the beginning.


January 17
Went on a rampage through the tmp directory cleaning out stuff I've had for ages and haven't done anything with, such as freenet source code and assorted Windows bits.

January 16
Customer Service Summary for this week:
Eircom Three previous copies of account paperwork "must be lost in post", fourth sent out.
Aer Lingus Website booking fails for the third time in six months, with the exact same error as previous occasions.


January 15
More gettext fun. My application is now approximately translatable.

January 14
Phoned Eircom. Stop me if you've heard this one before... apparently, all three of the copies of the agreement that have been sent to me "must have been lost in the post". The infuriating part of this is that I can't really go to ComReg until I have exhausted customer abuse option at Eircom, at least according to the ComReg guidelines anyway. I may send 'em an email on spec to see if they'd be willing to look at it as ongoing and needless customer abuse.

And today I learned about language translations using gettext. Whee!

Added a hook to cddb-mode.el to load the newest file in the CDDB directory, rather than trying to figure out which file I'd just created with Grip... laziness can be a wonderful driver sometimes.

January 13
The DSPsrv box has been upgraded to a 2.6 kernel cos we're all cutting-edge and stuff. Mind you, it seems to have upset some of my scheduled scripts for reasons that are still unclear to me.

Having to shut down Mozilla yet again due to memory leakage, I fired up Konqueror instead to see if I'd be able to use it as my main browser as opposed to an occasional last resort for problematic sites. Alas, the first thing I missed was the Personal Toolbar Folder, and the second was the LINK menubar which picks up on navigational metalinks. I'd not realised I use them quite so much until I tried a browser that doesn't have them... guess I'll put up with the Lizard for a bit longer.

Added some tweaks to my network setup so that it gets a proper hostname. It's pretty convoluted inside the Red Hat startup scripts. Also scripted some automatic changes to xchat depending on what domain I'm in.

January 12
Well, my first Eircom bill arrived. So now I know my account number. And I have extra grounds for complaint: they signed me up for additional services that I didn't request.

January 11
Spent much of the day cleaning things up, including trying to figure out what was failing rpm --verify on the dialup box and why.


January 10
Red Planet isn't the terrible movie I was lead to believe it was. I won't be buying it or anything, but it was good enough.

January 9
Customer Service Summary thus far in 2004:
EircomSent final bill
No sign of account paperwork
NTLSent credit for mistaken bill.
No indication that account was cancelled, though.
I'll leave off phoning Eircom's Customer Abuse department until Monday, on the off chance that the paperwork has been caught in the post-Christmas rush or some such nonsense.

January 8
New kernel installed, per previous comments.

January 7
Burned a few things off to CD that I'd been meaning to do for a while, including the freebie versions of Solaris x86 that Sun have been giving out. It's highly unlikely I'll ever use it, but just in case...

January 6
Sorted out most of the mess from the last two days, thankfully.

Upgraded kernel on both laptops. Rebuilt ltmodem bits. Fired up modem, fetched latest updates from local mirror... another new kernel! BAH!

Bulletproof Monk. Hmm. Well, it's good in a lot of places. But the editing is awful. Discontinuities and near-unwatchable angle-changes in excess do NOT help your martial arts routine any. Mind you, the girl (Jaime King) was DAMNED cute. And the use of the stick-figure martial arts guys over the DVD menus was funny, even if they didn't give any credit to the original artist...

January 5
Yesterday's heinousness encountered today's platform difference. GRR.

January 4
Committed heinous deeds with CSS and HTML and Javascript.


January 3
Back to Dublin again.

January 2
Drove to parents, installed webcam.

January 1
Went to see Return Of The King in Ster Century Screen 1, aka "The Big Fella". And it was good.

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Waider
Hey, where did 2003 go?