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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

September 30
Trying to figure out a long-standing bug in my malsync setup. Really I should probably just ditch AvantGo since I rarely use it any more.

WWW::Mechanize is my new favourite Perl module.

September 29
Showed John x2vnc, which I've not used since I worked in Arklow. Quite the fun toy, although I don't currently have a plausible use for it.

September 28
A little light HTML editing over lunch resulted in the first four months of the geek diary validating as HTML 4.01 Strict compliant. I'm still inclined to do something completely different with them, such as turn them all into XML and invent a shiny new rotational load-bearing device which I shall call "wheel".

Investigated a Palm program called "MyCar" which is supposed to help you keep track of your car's mileage, etc. Unfortunately it's more like a miniature fleet management program, which is way overkill for what I want (simply tracking mileage).

September 27
From the Stupid Perl Hacks department:
perl -l -e 'eval "require $ARGV[0]; print \$$ARGV[0]::VERSION" or print $ARGV[0] . " not installed?";'
- allows you to instantly check what version of a module you've got installed. Because I get tired of typing this sort of crap in by hand, or looking for version strings in files.

cpan-to-rpm.pl, my nasty hack for automatically building RPMs from CPAN objects, now supports being passed a filename of the form N/NN/NNNNN/Object-version.tar.gz so you can request something other than the latest version of a given module. Of course, if you've not used CPAN in anger you probably have no idea what I'm on about.

September 26
Once Upon A Time In Mexico was enormously fun, especially Johnny Depp's character. I preferred Desperado, though. The extras on the DVD for the former are excellent, mind you, and they include a cooking lesson from Mr. Rodriguez.

As a result of my travelling shenanigans I missed the Chinese GP - both qualifying and the race itself. From the bits of the highlights I saw, it looks like the Gods of GP have now decided that Schumacher has had quite enough luck and it's time to give him his share of the bad luck. A season's worth. In one go.


September 25
Fun day with Bob & Gem, following on from a fun evening with some classmates.

Somewhat surprised to discover that the rescaling code I'd dumped into the mapping toy mostly works. Amazing.

September 24
It took about half-an-hour, but the mapping toy now talks to GPSD. Thus equipped, I'm off to Limerick for the weekend.

September 23
And more with the work.

September 22
Work work work. Sorry, can't tell you about it.

September 21
Net result of browser arguments: Mozilla crashed on a page with Flash. I couldn't trace it to diagnose it. I put in the latest version of Flash, no change. GRR. So then I ran it from a terminal to see if it'd crash and lo, it ran. Turns out that artsdsp with --mmap is no longer the correct thing to use, if it ever was. Now if only Mozilla natively recognised aRTs (as, say, mplayer does) without my having to resort to this stupidity.

September 20
Woo! I'm now part of the WWW FAQ section on RSS!

I tried out the latest version of Firefox. After an amount of browsing, it was taking up 88MB (40ish resident) and then it fell over and died. Yes, it's mostly faster, yes it looks nicer, but Mozilla's been pretty good about not dying on me recently, and it's not very good salesmanship for the browser to fall over on the first day I use it.

So for good measure I upgraded to a newer Mozilla (1.7.2) and we'll see how that pans out. So far it's behaving itself and appears to have a smaller resident footprint.

September 19
I figured out part of why Skype wasn't showing up on the correct FVWM page; they've done an amount of renaming of various things and the tag I'd set up no longer matched the Skype window. Having fixed that I found it was still not locating correctly within the page, so I wrote a FVWM function to fix that. Then I wrote a POE-based wrapper for starting Skype which triggers the fix via FvwmCommand. It's all very horrible, and it works. One side effect is that I can now trap incoming instant messages and fling them elsewhere, once I've figured out where it is I want to fling them. Alas, I apparently can't use XSendEvent to talk back to the client as I'd hoped, so for now it's one-way communication only.


September 18
Discovered that the ACPI-to-APM code I've been using for the last year or two was actually incorrect. Discovered this due to porting it to Emacs lisp. Go figure.

It seems that yum in its current incarnation can't resolve dependancies "backwards" - case in point, I want to install transcode. Transcode wants libfame 0.9.0. The two yum repositories I'm using provide libfame 0.9.0 and 0.9.1. yum cannot resolve the dependency, since it automatically discards the 0.9.0 version as soon as it sees the 0.9.1 version.

SWAT was fun. Colin Farrell can't keep the Irish out of his accent, mind.

September 17
Kill Bill: Vol 1 was, hmm. It's easier to say what it's not; it's not a bad movie. It's not the best or worst martial arts movie ever made. It's not the best or worst action movie ever made. I didn't feel like it was a waste of time or anything. But I wasn't sitting up straight and going, "Woah!" either.

September 16
Wrote a drop-in ACPI driver for battery.el. On battery power, on the flight home. Gnee, dammit.

Other stuff I played with this week: Mono, powersaved, Kismet, and Racer. Fun!

September 15
In Barcelona for Novell Brainshare Europe


September 11
Mostly spent trying to sort stuff out for a trip to Barcelona.

September 10
Not a lot going on chez Waider. Friday night, time for a beer!

September 9
Minor tweak to the Micromail website.

September 8
Minor fix to BBDB docstuff thanks to a helpful list user.

Made some tweaks to my office timesheet client.

September 7
Tomorrow Never Dies is pretty rough, as Bond movies go, but not quite as silly as Die Another Day; I didn't particularly intend to watch the former, but it was on TV while I was doing some other stuff, and as they say, one thing led to another...

September 6
Continued tooling with the RSS Toy; now it can zap chunks of stuff that you've already seen. It's sprawling towards the point where I may have to (shudder) involve a database, or even spend some time actually working out what I'm doing.

Aaaand, Micromail site update.

September 5
Puckoon was everything I hoped it'd be, other than the gratuitious namechange of the main character (why, in the movie of a book by Spike Milligan would you change the main character's name from Milligan to Madigan?) and is definitely well worth owning. Amusingly, the two negative reviews on IMDB appear to be from people who aren't aware of either the book, or the nature of Spike Milligan's humour. You need one of those, at least, preferably the latter.


September 4
Hacked up a chunk of code to download a CPAN module and pack it into an RPM. Seems to be roughly working.

Half-watched The Defender, which was really badly dubbed. And I've a certain dislike for gratuitous slow-motion sequences and jump cuts. Still, pretty fight choreography.

September 3
Someone's switched off a box that was doing periodic ETRN duty against our mail server. Not smart.

Played around with DVD Rentals website a bit, too. With scripts, of course.

September 2
Continuing to tool around with the mp3namer thing. It's the usual collection of heuristic nonsense that I love fiddling with.

September 1
Hey, cool. Someone has finally done what I kept putting off finishing: a Perl interface to id3lib. Go fetch MP3::ID3Lib from your nearest CPAN mirror.

Happy Birthday, Donal!

The doohickey I'm using to correct MP3 titles is getting rather scary, plus made me contribute a patch or two to Rocco for the CDDB module. Gnee!

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Waider
Back to school!