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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

May 31
Tooling with CSS and Javascript has resulted in the "Full" option on the films.pl script.

May 30
And Schumie came home in first. Some minor excitement, with the two Williams coming together on turn one, both McLarens blowing up their engines, and Takuma Sato doing similar with his Honda after using Barrichello's Ferrari to remove half his front wing. Nick Heidfeld made a late charge in the lead Jordan, but even if he'd passed Massa he'd still have been out of the points-paying zone.

May 29
European F1 this weekend, and all is right with the world - Schumacher's back on pole. Yay!

May 28
Still sickly. Trying to understand the MPL so I can post my modifed 2MB WLAN driver. I think what I may do is post the original unmodified source plus a very, very large patch. Here! Code comes predisassembled!

May 27
Urgh. Sickly. On the plus side, Bob visited. Also, a DVD showed up from DVD Rentals: 8MM. It's a tough movie, plus I felt it was about a half-hour longer than necessary, but it is well made. And hey, there's Peter Stormare again! Boy does he get around...

May 26
The MiniITX box is no longer sitting in the middle of the floor. However, something in the software has changed and I can no longer even get short test-run recordings to work on it. WTF?

May 25
Pub Quiz. No idea where we wound up, but it wasn't a prize-winning position. We actually scored pretty highly, with mostly 5/6 scores and one 6/6. The quiz was somewhat unusual, not just in having six-question rounds, but also in that various spot prizes were auctioned by the MC in between rounds.

May 24
Did a little furniture throwing in the computer room. It's now slightly more accessible when being used as a guestroom, which it's been booked for at least once over the coming months - and once this week. Now I need to get rid of or at least hide the towering piles of crud on the various horizontal surfaces.

Oh, and I crammed the Mini-ITX bits into a cardboard box. We'll call that a case for now.

May 23
Wow. Hell of a race. Crashes, engine blow-outs, sub-second gaps, close-run chases, and a really close-run finish. Trulli eventually took home the biggest trophy, followed by Button and Barrichello. Funniest moment was Alonso, spinning away from a 180MPH crash in the tunnel, giving the finger to Ralph Schumacher who he deemed to have caused the crash. This is before Alonso's car had stopped moving, note.

Happy Birthday, Patrick!

May 22
Monaco F1 weekend, and Ferrari appear to have dropped the ball somewhat, with Schuie lining up in 4th place on the grid.

Tooling around with GPS toys again. Nothing to show for it, mind you.

May 21
Woo, fixed a major bug in my XMMS port to GTK2: detecting how to stick itself to all desktops. Turns out you can't cast a GdkAtom to an X Atom and expect it to work. Next step is to finish the GDK 2 cleanup (I need to get rid of all the GFont stuff, basically, and replace it with Pango), followed by the final GTK 2 cleanup at which point I'll proclaim myself saviour of something or other. Or maybe at that point the XMMS guys will finally have gotten around to doing the port themselves.

May 20
Working late to get a release out. Eep. Of course, as soon as I go to burn a CD the one and only CDRW I have gets cranky, and I've only two CDRs left. And when you're making a release, the first go is ALWAYS duff.

May 19
Today I wrote a printer driver. Go me. Frobbing IEEE 1284 devices is nasty. Poll poll poll FROB poll poll poll FROB FROB poll CRASH SMOKE oops...

Started watching Amadeus after midnight. Discovered it's the three-hour director's cut, so gave up about half-way through in favour of sleeping.

May 18
Rewrote the officebot's memory code, including adding a hook to allow it to relearn everything from its own IRC logfiles.

Met up with Ruadhrí for drinks, chat, and a brief visit to his pad. I was so impressed with it that I dropped some onion on the carpet, doh!

May 17
Slight tweak to the Micromail site to include some data I'd omitted. D'oh.

May 16
Micromail update, whee! Made a small tweak to the script that parses the update emails.

May 15
Since I've now got broadband, I figured I no longer need to keep a local copy of Red Hat 7.3 and Red Hat 9. This frees up, oh, a metric assload of diskspace.

May 14
Damned test equipment ran out of tokens. This makes things awkward, but I'll soldier on.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

May 13
American Wedding (aka "American Pie: The Wedding") was fairly predictable, but not a bad movie. The whole Stifler routine is a bit tired, plus Finch's finale, but there were a couple of good laughs in it too. Oh, it would have been nice if the dance sequence in the gay bar had been done with either better moves or better dancers or both, because it was a great idea poorly implemented.

New toy hardware issues appear to be hardware alright. GRR.

May 12
Hmm. New toy has some hardware issues. Trying to figure out if it's the actual hardware or just the kernel I'm running on it.

May 11
Bob visited. You know the drill.

I posted my hacked-up SyncAB.pm to the Patches page. I've now started revising the work I was doing on it, of course.

May 10
New toy in the office. Yay!

Bad Boys II is fun. Tons of fun. Things explode, cars chase, more things explode, shooty shooty, helicopters, boats, more cars, more explosions, chase, the end. Totally formula, no brain required, but do bring popcorn. Oh, and quite the cast too - never mind Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, there's also Joey Pants, Peter Stormare hamming it up as a Russian mobster, Henry Rollins, and even Oleg Taktarov. As with Van Helsing, don't watch it looking for too much of a plot - it's just a vehicle for MORE STUFF EXPLODING.

May 9
Now that I have an always-on connection, I can route all my machines' mail to my primary mailbox out in the real world. And so I did, this morning.

Vroooooom.... Schumacher bumps into another equalled-but-not-yet-beaten record: consecutive wins at the start of the season. He's now equalled Mansell's five wins in that category. The next race is in Monaco, however, where grid position can decide the race (how else do you explain Coulthard winning last year?) so he may not get the sixth.

Obviously at this point they're having to invent records that he hasn't beaten.

May 8
Noticed that Yahoo have moved their currency convertor, so I recoded my old rateconvert script into a module and got any other bits of rate conversion I use to call it. The module is called ExchangeRate.pm.

Woo, Michael Schumacher again blows everyone else off the track - and as pointed out by Martin Brundle, he made an error in one of the corners that cost him maybe quarter of a second, so he could have been almost a second faster than his nearest competitor (Montoya) instead of almost 3/4 of a second.

Converted the laptop's sound drivers to ALSA, requiring a rebuild of some stuff from freshrpms. It's nice of the guy to provide all those packages, but it'd be nicer still if he kept 'em up-to-date with respect to kernel versions at least. The ALSA conversion fixes a number of problems I was having with OSS, not least the dependence on running a sound daemon and audio/video sync issues when watching movies.

May 7
It's taking far too long cos I keep getting sidetracked, but I now have PilotManager's SyncAB conduit reading back most of the PalmOS-format vCards correctly. I still need to get it to handle the NOTE field and for some reason it's misreading the EMAIL field, but beyond that it's almost good to go. Then I get to test that I've not broken the ability to read SyncAB's old vCards; then I should be able to sync with one vCard style and switch to the other without losing data. And then I'll fling it all back to the PilotManager list. Or maybe put it up on my Perl workshop area or something.

(a little later) ok, now it's just the NOTE field and some bogosity with an unnamed record. Oh, and I need to check why it thinks all the records on disk differ from the records on the Palm, when diff says they're not. Um. And handle QP-decoding where I've skipped it, I guess.

Van Helsing is a blast. Probably the most confused variant of the Vampire Mythos ever, Van Helsing's assistant looks like Thom Yorke, Dracula reminds me of Goran from E.R., and there's a few ropey SFX, but really, who cares? It's FUN. Tons of fun.

May 6
Unplanned release. Go me!

May 5
Tweaking my IRC bot for the office so that it's more configurable. Whee!

May 4
Dark Blue is quite the excellent "Bad Cop" movie. And it's got a hell of a good soundtrack, and quite the cast, too - you got your Kurt Russell, you got your Brendan Gleeson, you got your Ving Rhames (the man's diction is so precise!); you got Rappers Kurupt and Master P; and you got your "Where The Hell Have I Seen 'Em Before?" Dash Mihok (Benvolio in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet) and Scott Speedman (Michael in Underworld). It's a fairly stock piece of work set in L.A. around the time of the Rodney King incident; Russell and Speedman are shoot-to-kill cops working for Gleeson, who's getting some petty thieves to commit crimes and hand him the cash. As you might expect, the movie is about that cosy arrangement coming undone. That it's such a straightforward storyline and still enough to keep me interested long enough to look up all these entries on IMDb is testament to how well made it is. Definitely worth staying up late for.

May 3
More tinkering with vCards and PilotManager. I can now have the latter kick out vCards that look the same as the ones the Palm sends over IR when you choose "Beam Address". Well, almost. There's a miniscule bug in my QP encoding due to RANT RANT RANT FOLLOW THE DAMN SPEC ALREADY.


May 2
The RTÉ News RSS feed now includes datestamps as provided by the page itself, which is a minor improvement. There's still some small amount of weirdness when stuff moves below the fold, but I'm too lazy to sort that out.

Added detection for Perl's Artistic License to makerpm.pl.

May 1
Upgraded a whole bunch of software on various machines. Yes, yes, it's the weekend, and a long one at that, and I'm geeking.

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Hooray for May!