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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

November 30
Trying one of the other RVP efforts while I'm at it. Ick. I thought my own autoconf hell was bad, but this is insane.

November 29
People keep mailing me bits about the RVP stuff, so let me state here: I'm aware of other efforts on this front. Right now I'm waiting on *mumble* before I can either contribute to an existing effort or offer what I've got for public consumption. So thanks, and all, but.

November 28
Hacking on Apache2::AuthenNTLM a bit to try and make it more closely match "real" NTLM.

November 27
Mostly faffing about with the RVP server code, which I really should do something useful with. From which you may infer that I wasn't doing anything useful with it.

November 26
Resurrected some old code. Discovered missing Perl modules. Installed missing Perl modules only to discover old code was broken anyway. NNNNGH.

November 25
Funny how "one in the pub after work" can turn into "home after midnight, knackered on account of yesterday's 5:45am wakeup"...

November 24
Um. I went to some trouble to put a working-if-half-arsed version of Digest authentication into the RVP code. Now it looks like the Official Client doesn't actually support it - it doesn't even try to talk to the server. Maybe it's just the set of flags I'm using (no qop sent or expected).

I wish Zach Braff had spent as much time and effort on scripting and polishing Garden State as he did collecting music for it. The music production in general is so far ahead of the movie as a whole that it's intrusive. It's funny to see Natalie Portman looking almost like a complete newcomer, and I spent the entire movie scratching my head over who Zach's dad is (hint: Hobbit) and then kicking myself when I found out. The story strikes me as unoriginal for some reason, in that I feel like I've seen the same story told before, but I can't place my finger on it. It's not a bad movie by any stretch, but Braff is no Kevin Smith.

November 23
Hmm, I can see some problems with my super new asynchronous RVP code. But hey, you can't. You might soon, because various bits of procedure are in the process of being followed. In the meantime, I'm not doing much beyond instrumenting bits of it for debugging runs in an environment where I can't actually debug it.

November 22
Went to a table quiz tonight, wherein the questions were bloody difficult and we were equally useless. We came out with 20 of 48, the winners had 31 of 48. There were a couple we should've gotten right and didn't, too (not mismarked, more that we should've known the right answer...)

November 21
Started working on the RVP service-lookup caching, which, well, I could do it the nice way, or the cheap way, and I'm opting for cheap. Bwahah.

November 20
The worst part of using your inbox as a todo list is the 18-month old email that greets you every time you open it. Finally got rid of the damned thing, along with some other ancient mails. I'm now up to January 2005, woohoo!.

Laptop behaving oddly. It's happy to run on the battery, but the ACPI core insists there isn't one present. Bizarre. Then again, from my previous expeditions into ACPI land I know that it's not the most robustly-coded areas of a computer.

Messing with site layout again, which brought to my notice the fact that my diary tagline has been missing the word "what" for a long, long time. D'oh.

November 19
Mozilla Sunbird: downloaded it, fed it a calendar that I'm using in the current version of the Calendar Plugin (which, incidentally, is also buggy as hell) and watched as it produced a screen full of error boxes, none of which said anything useful. Dear Mozilla Developers: if my calendar file is formatted incorrectly, you could (a) collate the errors into a single dialogue box, not one for every calendar entry or one for every error or whatever you're doing now and (b) do something a little more user-friendly than dumping a stack trace into the error window. Stack traces are for developers, not users.

I think about the only thing wrong with Shanghai Knights is Owen Wilson. He brings nothing to the movie except the same drawn-out unsubtle non-comedy he's done in previous movies, and you could edit him out completely and not actually lose anything from the plot. Other than that, it's pretty stock Jackie Chan fare; excellently choreographed action sequences interspersed with something that resembles a storyline, but mostly is a vehicle for the action.

November 18
Spider-Man 2: characters by Stan and Steve, heavy-handed script by George Eliot. Way too slow-moving, and very much Laden With Symbolism And Metaphor (Prounounced Slowly So You Don't Miss It). Oh well, I'll not have those two hours back.

November 17
Windows 2k's Hibernate mode continues to amuse me. Every so often, I resume from hibernate and it immediately hibernates again. Other times, it pops up a dialogue box every thirty seconds telling me it can't adjust performance (this'd be the SpeedStep applet) and I need to reboot the machine to fix it. Brilliant stuff.

November 16
Woah. Flood of FC4 updates. I thought FC4 was pretty much end-of-life at this point.

November 15
The RVP stuff is stuck at the moment while various handwaving goes on. Just in case you were wondering. It's also marginally hampered by the fact that I can't trivially build something quite as annoying as a real RVP server. Mind, it's not helped by my uncanny ability to spot a bug and fix it by changing a completely unrelated piece of code which then causes a SEGV. D'oh.

November 14
I, Robot was quite a bit better than I expected, although some of the effects were almost like looking at 2001: A Space Oddessey's matte paintings, and all the cars looked like poorly-disguised Audi A4's (hello, product placement!). Still, though, it moved along at a nice clip, the storyline was neat enough, and Will Smith got his act on (yo) well enough without resorting to the cartoonish capers of some of his previous movies. Worth watching, I think, although I can't say how it stacks up against Asimov's original since I've not read it.

November 13
Back to Dublin in about half the time it took me to get to Ballyvaughan, which was nice.

November 12
Ireland gets hammered by New Zealand (rugby). Most of us are too hung over to do much by way of acknowledging this.

November 11
Off to "De Wesht" for a birthday party, by which I mean a weekend of drinking silliness.

November 10
Some more minor tweaks to the NTLM auth stuff. I'm still not entirely happy with how it all hangs together, and I still don't have a proper testbed for it.

November 9
D'oh. Yes, I was indeed missing something. You can't free up a pointer to a block of data and then search that pointer for a Connection: close header...

Happy Birthday, John!

November 8
NTLM Negotiate still not working. I'm missing something here, amn't I?

November 7
Damn but NTLM is just the most annoying thing ever. Not content with layering a connection-oriented protocol on top of a connectionless one, the first thing it does when negotiating to use NTLM auth in the first place is... it disconnects. GAH.

Decrypting an encrypted drive so I can run fsck on it. There's something wrong with that. It actually kinda hurts my head to do, effectively, "read from drive, feed to decryption, destructively overwrite what you've just read". It just goes against my sense of right despite the fact that there's nothing wrong with it.

November 6
Hacked the Auth thing into shape by getting it to skip the Negotiate header. Screw it, it'll suffice for now. Also beat Digest Auth into shape. Currently trying to learn XPath as it should make response parsing a little less painful. I think, anyway. I'll be very peeved if it turns out to be as ugly.

Did some more work on the ACL parsing; I gave up on XPath in favour of actually getting the code done. Might go back to XPath at some point because I think it'll tidy up a lot of the code.

November 5
They Live is a bit clunky, but fun. Very much in the mold of, say, Repo Man; cheap effects, brutal script, awful delivery, but still fun. And it is, after all, an eighties classic. I can remember when it was released, but this is the first time I've actually seen it, so now I can send it back to the nice people at DVD Rentals and never think about it again.

Added a funds transfer feature to my BoI module; currently just for third-party payments in a highly clunky fashion, but I'll clean it up and release a new version later on.

November 4
Aha. My Auth code needs to understand the Negotiate option. D'oh.

November 3
Undaunted, I continue to hack on my own RVP code, of course. I do actually have a better reason than Not Invented Here (after all, I'm essentially just rewriting someone else's code, so I can hardly claim invention thereof).

Wrote most of a chunk of Digest auth. Failed to understand Apache's insistence that headers present in the response were missing. Gave up, went to bed.

Someone was using my DNS server for a DDoS attack today. Naughty. I was alerted by Esat to this. The funny part is that I hadn't even realised I was offering DNS service, since the authoritative servers for my domain live elsewhere. I took the opportunity to finally set up views on the server so that stuff inside my network gets a different set of options to stuff outside my network.

November 2
In case you're waiting for my RVP code to actually appear: someone's got another plug available.

November 1
Tried to compile my code on another box. Discovered libxml2 version troubles. Bah.

Fixed libxml2 version troubles in local copy, will test on other box as and when available. Hating autoconf more than ever.

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Brr. Cold snap.