A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- May 31
- There's a Murphy's Law corollary here somewhere, I'm sure; I
found a bug in the Sony
NW-S23 access stuff whereby it was trashing the directory of
files. Turns out that one of the few places I wasn't checking for
a successful write... wasn't writing successfully. All fwrites are
now checked, as is the small cluster of fputc's.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was entertaining, but not
brilliantly so. The sepia look was pretty nice, but I think more
live-action scenes, especially the period street scenes, would
have served the movie better than the distractingly obvious CGI
shots, and the constant soft focus had me fiddling with the
projector lens until I figured out it was intentional. The aerial
combat stuff was excellent, Jude Law carried off the lead role
admirably, and Giovanni Ribisi made for a great comic
relief/hero's sidekick. Worth watching, but there are better
movies. In particular, I'm curious to see how Sin City, which uses similar filming
- May 30
- I hate writing resumés. Hate hate hate.
- May 29
- Revenge Of The Sith is definitely worth seeing, but doesn't completely
excuse Lucas for the first two. In particular, I came out of the
movie thinking that if he'd moved elements of III back into I and
II, he'd have had a shorter III but a far more satisfying
trilogy. Your mileage may vary. Lots of action, tons of lightsaber
fights (yay!) and only a modicum of Lucas' major weak spot,
The other happening this weekend was the European Grand Prix,
which plainly illustrated the silliness of the "one set of
tires per race" rule. Raikkonnen flat-spotted a tire
mid-race, badly enough that in his final lap the suspension
snapped, dumping him into the gravel. More to the point, he barely
missed taking another car with him. How is it that reducing the
safety of these cars is supposed to improve the sport,
- May 28
- A little Greasemonkey work to
fix a website that seems to be set up for... IE5?
Bizarre. Anyway, if you use DVD Rentals (aka
Screenclick), here's a greasemonkey
script to make the wishlist editing work in
Spy Kids 2
was on TV so I kinda half watched it while doing other stuff. Not
bad, although I think that, like the first movie, Daryl Sabara's
acting is a bit weak. Ok, so he's a kid, but Jake Lloyd was more
convincing in The Phantom Menace, and younger.
- May 27
- Hello Bob! Hello Pub!
- May 26
- Not a good day, although I did some useful hacking on Lotus. Not
that it's worth anything.
- May 25
- One more piece of the Lotus puzzle: if you're missing the Lotus
COM objects, you probably need to (re)register
Well, that was utterly surprising: put 54Mbit wireless card in
laptop, install NDIS
Wrapper and some Windows drivers,
and bring up the interface. Exactly that, no glitches.
On the whole, Confidence is a good movie. It's a
bit rough in spots, and you never quite believe anything (after
all, it's all about grifting) but the plot carries it
through. Worth watching.
- May 24
- Big code merge. Oook. I've never done two-way joins with CVS before. I'm reasonably
impressed with it, although I'd have been utterly lost without Emacs'
- May 23
- Dinking with the RSS toy again. Found a rather silly timestamp
bug in some new code I've been trying out.
- May 22
- Well, for what it's worth, the race was mostly a procession,
with a mild bit of excitement mid-race when there was a, er,
traffic jam. No, really. Raikkonen carried off first place, but I
really couldn't care less at this point.
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is, true to form, different
from every other version of the Guide. Mostly it works, although I
disliked the needless change of the shape of the Heart of Gold
(it's supposed to look like a running shoe, dammit, not a
giant golf ball!). The Trillian/Arthur love story thread was a bit
clunky, but maybe only because it's not part of the original
plot. Ultimately, it's a moderate success, and nowhere near the
doomy disaster that various propellor-heads were proclaiming when
- May 21
- Woo, Monaco Grand Prix weekend. Except I've totally lost
interest in F1 this year, possibly on account of the fact that the
more the FIA changes the rules, the less interesting the sport
gets. Oh well.
- May 20
- Down t'pub with James and John. I fell over James' bike on the
way home, resulting in a huge fit of laughter and some mild
- May 19
- Collateral has a good premise, but
the execution (hah!) could've been a lot better. In particular,
the only part of it that felt like an edge-of-the-seat thriller
was about 1:36 into a 2-hour movie, which is a bit slack. Even
aside from the languid pacing, there were a few meaningless pauses
(the sort that felt like driving behind someone who brakes when
they're already 20 below the speed limit) which were, I think, on
account of the director trying to inject, you know,
meaning into it. Waste of time. I said it before, I'll
say it again, it's all about the BRANE CANDY. If I want something
meaningful, I'll go to an arthouse theatre.
- May 18
- After much abuse, websearching, further abuse, some shouting,
and a few code runs, I eventually managed to cow Lotus'
db.Search() method into doing what I wanted. From Perl. There is still a world of
clunkiness here, but less so.
Another addition to 1001 10-line scripts for nonsensical purposes:
parsing a log of my electricity meter since I'm currently trying
to get a handle on daily usage.
- May 17
- Tooling around with the magical XMLHttpRequest object that has
the web all a-flutter. I'm a little disappointed that fetching a
HTML page with it doesn't seem to give you a usable DOM unless the
returned value is proper XML - it'd be nice to figure out some
repurpose it as a generic bit of code for in-page use.
- May 16
- It's all about the movies this week... Galaxy Quest is absolutely
inspired. Great idea, fantastic execution. I spent most of it
laughing, and then I watched the deleted scenes and laughed some
more. Tony Shaloub is an absolute show-stealer.
MiniITX box crashed this evening. GRaaargh.
- May 15
- Between seeing various bits and pieces over the years and
reading at least part of the book, I already knew most of the
storyline of The Deer Hunter, but it was
good to finally see the whole thing from start to finish. Much
like another De Niro classic, Taxi Driver, it was probably a
shocking movie when it was released, but given that I've seen
Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Born on the Fourth of July, I feel I've already covered the ground that this would
have been otherwise revealing to me. I was somewhat bemused by
the notion of a bunch of Russian-speaking guys going off to fight
the Red Menace, and Meryl Streep was extraordinarily
pretty in this movie. Much like Fourth of July, the
Vietnam War itself is almost incidental in the movie despite its
huge bearing on the storyline - very little coverage is given of
it, the movie being more about the group of friends before and
after the war. Worth watching, even if only to say you've seen one
of the classic Vietnam movies.
Disabling DMA access to the hard drive seems to have worked
wonders for the crashy MiniITX box. I guess now I need to try
stressing it with something else that uses DMA, just to see if
it's the drive DMA or DMA in general.
- May 14
- Attack of the Clones was on RTE Two, so I watched that. Mostly spent
time clicking on a confirm button related to SEEKRIT MOVIE
Happy birthday, Dad!
- May 13
- Apollo 13 isn't a bad movie, but I
can't take Tom Hanks seriously no matter how hard I try. I am,
however, interested in reading more about the ill-fated mission,
which, incidentally, took off exactly three years before I was
- May 12
- Through inertia more than anything else, I ended up tooling with
the SEEKRIT MOVIE PROJECT which I've not really touched in a
while, and ended up with a HTML interface to stuff that I'm
actually pretty happy with. This is sort of a big deal, because
I'm generally against the widespread use of HTML interfaces. But
if it works, it works.
- May 11
- Well, the slow network hack didn't fix it. Bah. Now what?
Having gotten fed up of waiting for oocalc to fire up for a minor
accounting task, I've hacked up a perl script to do the job. Major
advantage being I can code in some heuristics to have it guess
what the input means, as well as the speed of the whole
Pitch Black had a really promising
opening, but the stilted dialogue, cardboard characters, and crap
scripting ultimately made this a poor Alien clone.
- May 10
- Mostly fruitlessly poking at the supposed-to-be-a-PVR to figure
out what's causing the intermittent but annoyingly frequent
freeze/crash. I've found one suggestion, unconfirmed, that this
particular board has DMA conflict issues, which would gel with
what I've been seeing - combined heavy network and disk use seem
to trigger the problem. One suggestion was to turn the ethernet
down to 10Mbit and see what happens, so I'll try that.
I also had an entertaining time trying to fit a floppy drive to it
in order to do a BIOS reflash. First there was the issue of
figuring out which of my floppy drives are still working, followed
by the search for a working cable, followed by the permuting of
cable positions until I found the one position that worked. Easily
90 minutes of stupidity.
- May 9
- Hah. I just noticed that Vodafone's rather ridiculous
online photo album has a typo in the
- May 8
- More hanging out. Also, watched most of Three Amigos, which was
kinda funny (especially the search for the Invisible Swordsman),
and then, back home, Hellboy, which I rather enjoyed. Good
story, good music (the first time we meet the adult Hellboy, Tom
Waits' Heartattack and Vine is belting out), and
sufficiently convincing SFX that they were part of the story
rather than the main feature of the movie. Given that I had no
previous knowledge of Hellboy, I have no comparisons to make with
the comic series, and from the posters and trailers I'd seen I
didn't realise the two stubs on his head were filed-down horns -
I'd thought they were some sort of Biggles-like goggles... I did
find myself going "Huh?" a little at a few points,
maybe because I'm not familiar with the original, or
possibly because I was suffering from sleep
- May 7
- Drove to Tramore, hung out with Dalton, drank beer. The Phantom Menace was on TV, so we caught the last half of
- May 6
- Since I'm driving down the country this weekend I was tooling
with my mapping stuff a little. I'd assumed, having done some
reading, that I would have to convert my GPS coords to UTM or ITM
in order for them to show up correctly on the map, but this
doesn't appear to be the case; I've got a coastal outline of
Ireland in GPS coords, and it fits more-or-less exactly to the
map images I've grabbed. Maybe it doesn't matter at really low
zoom levels? Also, whether by accident or to combat leeches like
me (!), some of the maps don't seem to align properly.
- May 5
- Halfarsed MySQL conversion is far enough along to run with, so
I'll try flying that for now. It still does far too much work, but
- May 4
- Having written a sum total of two GreaseMonkey scripts, I
will say that it is bloody impossible to debug, although this
should improve when 0.3 is released as it allows logging to the
Converted half the RSS
Toy (the feed-grabbing part) to stash its data in a database
instead of on disk. This is part of a cunning plan to not kill my
webserver by thrashing its disk to death.
- May 3
- Buffalo Soldiers was a bit
uneven, but on the whole was a pretty good flick. Parts of it felt
very much like a more serious Police Academy or Sergeant Bilko.
Finally uploaded my Finance::Banking::IE stuff to CPAN, gnee gnee.
- May 2
- Hmm. First time ever using Emacs' Version Control Conflict
Resolution. Simple, tidy, and it worked. Yay!
- May 1
- Ok, so now I need to go look up that old FAQ chestnut, "How
do I determine available/free space on a filesystem?"
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