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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

July 31
How embarrassing - my mail server ended up on a blacklist. Apparently someone's gotten highly militant about the whole "invalid HELO" line thing, and even my next-hop smarthost was refusing to take messages from me. Bah.

Continuing the RVP saga, it seems that the Microsoft client canonicalises to user@authhost, as I was doing previously. This really annoys me, because it makes no sense (waider@waider.ie could be waider@rvpsrv1.waider.ie or waider@rvpsrv2.waider.ie, but those two people are the same account) and it's making things rather difficult. I may have to back this code out and go back to beating the crap out of the DNS.

July 30
Back to my RVP code, having moved myself back onto the actual portable laptop. As a side-effect of my SRV-reducing changes I've temporarily broken file transfers, so I'm trying to figure out what the Windows client does here. Ah, yes, a guiding precept to strike fear into the hearts of any Linux developer: "What Would Windows Do?" I'm not saying it's all bad, just that it's not generally considered to be the height of good taste, style, or sense... in the interim I've found a bug in the code elsewhere and I'm trying to figure out if it's new, or was lurking all along. Bah.

I think I rented Innocence because I thought I was, in fact, renting Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence. So instead of a messed-up Japanese movie about robots, I got a messed-up French movie about schoolkids. Meh. Can't say I'd recommend it, particularly since the director says she went out of the way to conceal any meaning that might have been revealed by the short story the movie is based on. Also, French Movie Rules applied reasonably well (~5/8), including the involvement of both water and death (indeed, death by water). I have read a plausible explanation for the Japanese predeliction for damp horror: Japan is an island, and as such has a lot of water-related ghost stories. France has no such excuse, dammit.

July 29
Rewatched Donnie Darko, although this time the director's cut rather than the original. The original I can't really recall how I felt about, but the director's cut seems to be a lot more coherent (in as much as the movie as a whole could be described as coherent). Definitely happy this is in my collection.

And, er, beer. Louise's leaving-old-job-joining-new-job bash. I got to be the abandoned party this time, which I guess is fair enough; at 3am it was probably time I was heading home anyway.

July 28
Today was Sysadmin Day (were you nice to your sysadmin today?) so the boss bought us a few beers. Louise joined us and insists that I tell the full story of my failure to shop on Sunday, so here it is:
Beer, beer, talk talk talk, beer, beer, talk, beer, talk talk food beer, talk talk, walk (bar was threatening closure), beer, beer, talk beer, beer talk, walk (bar did close), walk walk, discovery of further lack of bars, Waider brutally and carelessly abandons Louise at Aston Quay, an act later attributed by Waider to "wow, I guess I had a few beers more than I realised".
So now you know. I am, of course, very sorry, because I'm such a nice guy.

Dave thoughtfully (not carelessly or brutally) gave me an account on a 64-bit Linux box so that if I get around to it over the weekend I may investigate the RVP failure there.

July 27
Apparently librvp and 64-bit Linux don't get on. I have no idea why not, nor do I have any way of finding out easily.

July 26
I am not clear on what happened in Broken Flowers, either, although I liked the premise (not entirely dissimilar to Rob's journey to past girlfriends in High Fidelity) and some of the interaction between Bill Murray and Jeffrey Wright had me mesmerised, but the ending was sort of, well, the film just stopped. Funny thing, though - there's a similar sort of "someone else's road trip" as was in Elizabethtown.

July 25
Making (ab)use of valgrind again. Whee!

Met up with Pat and James for a bit of catching-up. I babbled about how much I enjoy my job enough for Pat to refer to it as evangelising...

July 24
Slow night. Poked at the rebuilding laptop a little more, but mainly was preoccupied with other stuff. Haven't even touched the RVP code since I broke it on Sunday (the last compiler run is still glaring at me from an Emacs buffer)

July 23
In the time between putting Elizabethtown on my rentals wishlist, and actually receiving it in the post, I'd completely forgotten why I'd rent such a movie which at face value looked to be pretty much a chick flick. Turns out it's actually a pretty excellent piece about family and relationships and the nature of success and a whole bunch of other stuff. I absolutely loved the road-trip section near the end, although it felt a little out-of-place. I'd probably watch an entire movie about the road trip, actually. Anyway, I suspect if you like Cameron Crowe's other stuff, you'll like this.

Hacked about on RVP a bit; in particular, trying to cut down on the amount of DNS lookups it does. And in particular of that particular, removing the DNS lookup from rvp_normalize, since aside from anything else it won't normalize properly in a multi-host environment (the normalized form should be user@chatdomain, not user@loginhost).

Then I went shopping and, er, ended up in a pub. A few pubs, actually. Thanks, Louise!

July 22
I quite enjoyed Corpse Bride; it's classic Burton, filled with subtle humour, a spectacular cast, and it has some great musical pieces. If you liked The Nightmare Before Christmas, you should definitely see this.

So yay, I've managed to successfully transfer activity to The Other Laptop. This is the one that's in fact more like a desktop, since the "native" screen is dead (or lacking a backlight, or at least a transformer for same) and I've got it hooked up to a mostly-uncased 15" LCD instead. I'm currently trying to get a feel for what's still broken, and backing up the actual mobile laptop so I can be comfortable about wiping it to do a clean FC5 install.

July 21
Finally decided to just get on with the job of moving from one laptop to the other so I can upgrade the FC4 laptop to FC5 (and then consider upgrading the FC3 webserver to FC5). I've been dinking around with this for far too long now.

July 20
How curious. XChat appears to have frozen. Can't say I've seen that before.

Aha, so it turns out it was arguing with last.fm's player app. D'oh. This would be that whole "it's 2006 and Linux still has trouble dealing with more than one audio-using device at a time" routine.

July 19
One of my coworkers is heading back to SEA tomorrow, and another celebrates his birthday, and it's been a while since we had a "work" beer session, so we figured that was a good enough set of excuses to spend the evening in the local.

July 18
Still fiddling with the RVP Idle/Away code, which is still not quite right due to my, uh, misunderstanding the really clear API. Also I found a bug in the login code, yay!

July 17
I am attempting to find a bug in RVP's idle code which is in part down to the crappy API: Gaim tells my plugin to set itself away, and I then have to tell Gaim that I have set myself away so it won't trigger the auto-away code when I'm idle. I hope this is fixed in the newer versions, because it's quite annoying to code around.

July 16
Finally got around to trying out the latest last.fm player; it's got a nice feature where I can have it simply act as a proxy to my regular media player (XMMS). It's not as nice as it could be, since it doesn't appear to do streaming titles, but still quite neat.

Of course, I see from their updates page that they've got a newer player in the works...

Someone's going to have to explain Revolver to me. I'm not smart enough to understand what the hell happened.

July 15
Having discovered that my phone supports SyncML, I had a brief look around for something to put on my server for it to talk to. Ten minutes with Google and I've turned up nothing, unless I pay or want to use PHP or Java (which I don't). Hmm.

I watched Deliverance mostly so I could scratch it off the list of movies everyone tells me I have to see. I found it to be too long and slow-moving, and the last fifteen minutes felt like it could've been edited out completely. Burt Reynolds looked promising up to the point where he broke his leg after which he was just a spare body lying in a boat going "ugh" occasionally. Oh well. Watch it if you must, but I'm not exactly recommending it.

July 14
Met up with Louise and her friends for drinks. I haven't been in the Long Stone for a while, but it hasn't changed a bit.

July 13
Fiddled with my keyboard shortcuts. Broke them. Was unable to restore them properly. Stupid GNOME...

After thinking about it some more I decided that my DNS frobbing in RVP is simply not right - I should rely on the system resolver to handle negative caching and the like. So, goodbye to that chunk of code.

July 12
In lieu of my regular coding/movie-watching schedule, I ended up finishing off a Christopher Brookmyre novel that I picked up recently. The man is far too good a writer to read piecemeal, damn him.

July 11
Today I discovered that the A record I put in my nameserver for waider.ie (without the www) back in April was incorrect. D'oh. Thanks to The Brother for pointing out that it wasn't working. Fixed now, modulo DNS propagation.

I'm not entirely sure why I rented I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, and having watched it I'm even less sure. It's a long drawn-out movie which never really seems to go anywhere, has a vague ending and a bunch of unrelated scenes that only served to confuse things further. Not one I'd recommend, really.

July 10
RVP has me implementing resolver-level DNS lookups. That's just not right.

Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind is a well-made piece of work that makes me want to at least find out more about the guy who claims this was his life. Even taking aside the fantastical CIA stuff, he was still pretty damned interesting, certainly far more so than he seems to think himself. And yet his shows were direct antecedents of the likes of Pop Idol. Oh, the movie's also got a few interesting casting choices, and the main theme is a stomping piece of blues guitar.

July 9
And back to Dublin again. Got to drive a rather nice car today, but not the nice car, which was a 1971 Opel GT. It was parked next to an 1972 Opel Manta; damned pretty cars, especially the GT.

July 8
Happy Birthday Sheila's Dad! Party avec barbeque and, er, SingStar on Playstation 2 (that's basically karaoke with computer audio analysis to rate your performance). My best score was for, er, Vanilla Ice. Oh the embarrassment.

Managed to watch Serenity during the day. Broenwynn showed me the pilot episode of Firefly while I was in Seattle, and I'm pretty sure the accents were originally a lot less hokey Wild West, but that aside it's mostly a damned good action movie with some excellent one-liners (I suspect a good portion of the script is in the IMDb quotes section). A few things I wasn't too keen on, such as some of the slow bits towards the end (e.g. River and Simon's bit in the tunnel during the Reaver fight) and while I wasn't happy with the harpoon incident, Wheedon's justification of it makes sense from a story-telling point of view, at least.

July 7
And off to Ballina for the weekend. I didn't sit down with the intention of watching Nicholas Nickleby, but this version contained far more humour than I suspect Dickens intended (it stars Nathan Lane and Barry Humphries) and was on the whole pretty good.

July 6
Following up on a bug identifed by Pete at Lucent, I find that my shiny new header parsing code in the RVP library ran into some difficulty with multiple Connection headers, which I've now resolved. Of course, since this isn't released code I don't think it affects anyone else...

July 5
I was supposed to have a movie to watch tonight, but the DVD was scratched beyond usability. DVD Rentals again exhibited superior customer service by immediately dispatching a replacement disk AND the next two off my list. Three DVDs for the weekend, methinks!

July 4
I'm thinking I'll move all my bits and pieces to Fedora Core 5, and in an effort to get that underway I've been rebuilding any toys I'd built for FC3 and FC4. And, of course, throwing out things that are now part of the upstream offering...

July 3
Futzing around with movie stuff again. Nothing to comment on, as it were.

July 2
Domino is an engaging story marred somewhat by the relentlessly hip editing - washed out colours, jumping frames, echoes. I'm not sure I found Knightley entirely convincing, either, but who knows. It's hard to imagine a female bounty hunter with a clipped british accent running around Nevada. Some good music, too.

Hmm. I appear to have successfully set up a KDC for myself. Ultimately I'm trying to secure the various network services I use over the wireless link so I can disable WEP (or at least not rely on it) and the only way to secure NFS natively appears to be with Kerberos, so.

July 1
Knocked out a chunk of code to add group lookups to wbinfo. Of course, what I really want to do is add Perl bindings so I can call this stuff from my cheesy RVP server.

Speaking of, I'm still working on cleaning up the TODO list for the RVP client. Watch this space and all that.

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Irish Summer continues - more rain.