A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- February 28
- Urrr. Looks like the coredump bug is in code I thought I'd fixed
ages ago, and I can't see why it's happening - although I
can think of a few scenarios, I'm not clear if any of them are
coming into play. Time to think on it some more, I
- February 27
- Hmmmph. There's a core-dumping bug in the librvp code, possibly
only triggered by my shiny new server, but that doesn't
matter. The problem is finding the damn thing; it only breaks
after a number of hours (probably when the subscription renewal
kicks in) so I'll have to leave it running overnight to catch the
- February 26
- Kung Fu Hustle is lots of fun, and I
really like what Stephen Chow does with CGI - it's sort of the
opposite of the subtlety in the first Matrix movie: it's so
over-the-top that you believe it, rather than being so seamless
you believe it. The parodies are funny, too. Oddly, there's a big
disconnect between the subtitles and the dubbing in a lot of
places, in some cases missing out entire jokes. And once again I
find myself wishing IMDb
actually explained movie connections and parodies, rather than
simply listing the titles of the connected/parodied
After no small amount of swearing and abuse, the half-baked RVP
server I use for testing is now fully database-backed. This has
one immediate benefit: it doesn't get screwed up on locked
sessions like the old code did. It has several minor benefits in
terms of code cleanliness, because it's far easier to do a SQL
select than it is to go parsing random crap out of a deep Perl
data structure like an array of arrays or whatever. And I think
I've also found one of the more annoying bugs in the RVP client,
viz. dragging hapless strangers into multi-user chats as soon as
they try and talk to you. I'll need to test it a little more
before I'm sure it's fixed, however. And I really need to get back
on top of the to-do list, as I'm overdue a release for bugfixes if
- February 25
- Watched Captain Corelli's Mandolin while hacking on the RVP server, which was about as
much attention as it required. It's not bad or anything, just not
terribly engaging. Or fast-moving. Or surprising in any way, shape
or form. The RVP server, meanwhile, has acquired some more ACL
- February 24
- Another pub evening, this time meeting up with some coworkers
who work elsewhere in Dublin.
- February 23
- Table quiz, in which we came second, and won... nothing. Bono
donated a signed poster from the Vertigo tour which was auctioned
for over €500, and an Irish rugby shirt signed by the team
went for €400. Which was nice, as this was a fundraiser for a
- February 22
- Trying to get an alleged multimedia machine to record some
sound. Who came up with this Alsa crap? You need an astrophysics
degree just to understand the volume control...
Eventually got it to work, I think. Saved the stuff
audacity captured and will poke at it again tomorrow. I
need to get this out of the to-do list so I can give back the
turntable I borrowed!
- February 21
- Ok, client does notice I'm online. Just that I'd screwed up the
buddy list in changing hosts. Now trying to decide if it'd be more
correct to store buddies as user@domain or
firstname.lastname@example.org; MSM does the latter, but the
former survives a server migration.
Working on someone else's hardware, I am reduced to trying to find
a working floppy disk in order to load up a network driver so I
can go about doing the rest of the downloading directly. Oh the
humanity. It feels like the 1990's all over again.
- February 20
- Got the RVP server up and running on an internal host (actually
my laptop) using MySQL to handle the session stuff that I'd
previously done with files. This is good, since I ultimately want
to move all the session management from a hash stored in a binary
blob to proper tables; this will allow me to do things like
looking up things by view and by subscription-id, which right now
are horribly hacked. In the process I found bugs both in the
session-mangling code I use to create the initial session blob,
and the RVP client code that's supposed to handle the case where
you don't have a _rvp._tcp SRV record. So, yay,
bugfixes. Next, figure out why the client doesn't notice I'm
online when I've just logged in...
- February 19
- Down south fixing computers, visiting family, and ... writing
Perl. Windows XP's network sharing stuff is pretty impressive; the
master computer provides reasonably sane DHCP, NAT and firewalling
out of the box which is a nice change.
- February 18
- I've disabled my local hacked-up RVP server for two reasons:
firstly, it keeps locking up my web server, which is bad; and
secondly, I really need to rewrite it so that it does things like
ACLs properly so that I have a proper testbed. I'd intended to
chuck out a new version of librvp this
weekend, but various things have intervened to prevent that and
this server-fixing scheme won't help either. I've done a few
things to the codebase, as noted over the previous few days, but
I'd like to strike at least one of the bigger TODO items off the
list before I do another.
Did a bit of a cleanup on the fileserver, which just like
real-world cleanups largely involved moving things around and
hiding everything in ~/tmp...
- February 17
- Out for a few beers to wish Ruadhrí and his wife a happy
departure from Dublin...
There's a bug in RVP multi-user chat which basically prevents you
from getting out of said conversation, and drags in anyone else
you talk to even if you're sending them a private message. I've an
idea what's causing it, but it sure bugged me today when I was
trying to spend the day without using Windows.
- February 16
- fix fix fix... rebuilt a dead PC using a spare motherboard and
chip that I had lying around - which, in fact, I didn't realise
were working components! Also hacked on the RVP idle stuff some
more, only slightly interrupted by the aforementioned hardware
abuse somehow causing the ELCB to trip, resulting in sudden
shutdown of my poor servers... maybe I should invest in a
- February 15
- Made an attempt to unravel the mysteries of the Gaim away
message mechanism; it's a little, um, inefficient in places. I
think I've nailed it down, though, which brings me back to trying
to figure out why idle-detection/setting isn't working; not helped
by the fact that Gaim itself seems unwilling to trigger the idle
stuff, never mind my own code.
Hacked at my already-hacked version of mod_ntlm_winbind, trying to
fix the stuff for Apache 1.3 that I broke so I can pass it all
back to the owner in at least the same state as I got
- February 14
- Hmm, DVDRentals made a small tweak to their site which breaks
some scripty stuff I'd been doing. Fix fix.
Death to Smoochy wasn't quite
what I was expecting, but was pretty funny - there's at least two
excellent slapstick moments, and some hilarious one-liners. Well
- February 13
- I'd pretty much figured out whodunnit in The Gift early on, but that didn't spoil it
for me. Well-made piece of work, with (among other things) Keanu
Reeves in another startlingly good role as a menacing
- February 12
- I missed about 20 minutes of Comic Book Villians due to
a phonecall, but what struck me most about it is how it turns
oddly violent after appearing initially to be a pretty much
straightforward battle between the forces of good and evil or,
er, the man who loves comics and the man (and wife) who loves
money. An odd movie, funny in places, but I'm still not 100% clear
on why I rented it, and I kept expecting Kevin Smith or Stan Lee
to walk through the background (recognisable characters were, in
fact, "that geeky kid from Road Trip", "Phoebe's
cop boyfriend who's on Boston Public now",
"The Dread Pirate Roberts", and "the eldest son
from Malcom in the Middle").
Car healthy, drive back to Dublin frustrating in spots but mostly
a breeze in part on account of the new motorway.
- February 11
- I built a firefox 1.5 RPM for some older Red Hat machines, and
today figured I'd put together one for my FC4 laptop. Firefox
would like something called Cairo (wasn't that a Windows codename
at some point?) to be present, which you can disable through the
config; unfortunately, someone made the Pango code dependant on
Cairo, so you have to switch off Pango as well. Bad developers, no
Modified my TV listings stuff to use a sorted list of channels,
which was harder than it should have been due to the fact that
this code has accreted so much junk over the last few
Found a bug in the RVP plugin idle code, whereby it never
actually sets your state to idle. D'oh. Currently trying to clean
that up and figuring out that maybe there are a few more
plugin-global variables that I don't need.
Off to Ballina in the evening to pick up my car. Well, to hang out
and eventually pick up my car.
- February 10
- Tiiiiired. Didn't get anything done today, not even a movie
- February 9
- In a radical departure from getting useful, visible work done,
I've been tweaking not one but two seekrit projects, one alluded
to on this diary more than once, the other mentioned here outright
but which I've dug up, put under wraps, and proceeded to
completely stall on. Curses.
- February 8
- More bug reports for librvp,
which I am working my way through. Also trying to clean things up
a little, e.g. unifiying the various places that mention the away
- February 7
- I didn't read The Dark Half, but George
Romero's adaptation of it is pretty decent, albeit almost
completely lacking in recognisable names (excluding maybe Michael
Rooker). If you're at all familiar with Stephen King's work, none
of this story will be a surprise to you, but that doesn't really
detract from it.
- February 6
- Picked up a few more loose ends on the RVP code; nothing much
else of note happening.
Caught a few movies over the weekend: the original Back To The Future, which is
still a great flick, Something's Gotta Give
which seemed to lose its way about halfway through, up to which
point it had been pretty good and even Keanu Reeves' performance
was impressive, The Outlaw Josie Wales
which is pretty stock "gruff man of few words takes on all,
triumphs" Clint Eastwood fodder, and most of Scary Movie 3, which had some
laugh-out-loud moments plus a bunch of predictable ZAZ-style
humour. Not bad, but I'm not sure I'd pay to see it.
This evening's viewing, Kiss of the Dragon: not so
good. Looks like a lot of the action was cut for a lower age
rating, which makes it somewhat less interesting. Plus, the fight
sequences aren't a patch on those choreographed by Yuen Wo
Ping. On the whole, I wasn't really that impressed.
- February 5
- Back in Dublin, car still in Ballina. Good trick, eh?
Doing some minor code cleanup with the RVP stuff for the next
release, including trying to cut down on the number of things
flagged with "I should fix this" and similar
comments. One of the people testing this keeps coming up with new
and interesting test scenarios I'd not thought of (thanks, Pete!)
so hopefully this is galloping toward something pretty damned
- February 4
- Away in Ballina for the weekend. The Ireland v. Italy game was a
waste of time, to be honest. Hooray, we won. We didn't deserve
it, and if the referee had made proper use of the television
offical we'd probably have lost.
- February 3
- Well, DAMMIT. Stupid crashing bug in 0.5, which I've now
replaced with 0.5a. The 'a' stands for 'aaaah,
- February 2
- Fixed up most of the things flagged to me yesterday and today in
the RVP code, the net result of which is librvp v0.5
is mostly a bugfix release - I've not added any significant new
features. Enjoy anyway, as it's now 27.41% less likely to crash
and destroy your office building.
- February 1
- I rather enjoyed Y Tu Mamá También; it's an odd mix of road trip,
coming-of-age movie, social commentary, and oddball humour, but it
works really, really well and is shot beautifully. Definitely
worth watching. Oh, and the DVD menu music is a blast.
Got a bunch of bugs/fixes for librvp
stuff, which is neat.
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