A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- November 30
- Table quiz, where I won some chocolate and a bottle of
- November 29
- Met up with Stella for the usual Wednesday night beer and
Finished squishing memory leaks in the NW code. All that's left
is the crazy stuff that glib does when you set up an empty hash
table: it allocates ~6k of RAM for, uh, whatever and you don't get
it back. I'll just toss that into the suppressions file with the
rest of the unfixable leaks.
Hmm, using the code to fill a drive to capacity reveals that my
cheesy emulation of fwrite is lacking somewhat. Specifically,
it'll return -1 for an error, when it's supposed to return "a
short item count" (or zero, notes the manual page, but what's
zero if not a short item count?)
- November 28
- I'm abandoning FF2. It's just chewing up my machine
repeatedly. FF1.5 crashes from time to time, but is nowhere near
as abusive. Nice "upgrade", that.
Back in, I dunno, July or so Lou recommended Serendipity to me. It's a John
Cusack movie, so worst case I get to watch him looking slightly
goofy in that way that he does for an hour and a half. About ten
minutes in and I'm all set to hate the movie because it's doing
that whole "someone for everyone" shtick, but no, it
turns into a damned fine movie with some excellent laugh-out-loud
comedy, some nice playing around with the theme, and some truly
fantastic music. Thanks, Lou!
Some creative rearranging of code resulted in me identifying what
the hell was going on with the memory errors in the NW code, at
least partially, anyway. Good start. The problem is that I'm
playing fast and loose with pointers, and the code I
"ported" from the original library isn't fitting in so
well with that. There's still some weirdness, and none of these
debugging tools are helping at all, but hey.
Ok, that's just plain annoying. I finally find the bug, and it
turns out it's been in the library forever, and valgrind
should most certainly have picked it up as I was attempting to fit
13 bytes into a 12-byte array, but whatever. Problem solved. Now I
can get back to stomping on memory leaks.
- November 27
- So if you're building your highly secure Fedora Core system, and
you set up your kickstart file to activate a strict, enforcing
SELinux policy from scratch, your machine won't boot. This is
because your filesystem needs to be relabeled, and this doesn't
happen until after strict, enforcing SELinux is up and running,
and in the meantime your kernel has panicked because it can't
(this is the ironic bit) read the SELinux policy library. Better
still, if you put fixfiles -f relabel into your kickstart
file, you'll break the install because that wipes out files in
/tmp that the installer is using. So, either you need to initially
boot with strict, permissive, or you need to do some sillywalking
with fixfiles and/or its components in order to render your
freshly-built machine bootable.
I spent far too long finding all that out.
The Libertine has Johnny Depp in
its favour, but I'm not sure I'd have watched the whole thing
without him. It's not a particularly bad movie, just that it
didn't really engage me. And I definitely didn't like the
cinematography: lots of dim lighting and handheld (read: shaky)
camerawork, presumably to lend a period air to the thing. I did
like the relationship between Charles II (John Malkovich) and the
Earl of Rochester (Johnny Depp); Rochester was almost in the role
of a court jester, the one man who can make fun of the king and
live because that's his job. And Rochester's final speech to
parliament, clichéd and all as it was, was excellent both
in content and delivery. So, I guess don't rush out and get this,
but if you see it coming around on TV it might be worth a
Firefox 2 attempted to take down my machine this evening in the
time-honoured traditional way: soaking up all available
memory. For some reason this invariably forces XChat to drop all
its connections before the kernel OOM-killer steps in and drops
Firefox on its head. Maybe I should run Firefox inside a
resource-limited shell, but then I suspect it'd crash far more
- November 26
- For reasons to do with the aforementioned leopard, the phrase,
"we're in bat country" came up last night which led to a
brief conversation about Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Which in turn led to me watching it this morning,
since I have it on video. It's just such a wonderful screw-up of a
movie and hey, Johnny Depp.
Ireland 61, Pacific Islands 17. We really could've done a bit
better on defense, but the hell with it. A great send-off for
So Casino Royale. The real one, as
opposed to the spoof. The carpet beater scene is there, albeit
with a knotted rope as opposed to one of those traditional curly
metal things. There's a running gag about the martini. Daniel
Craig looks suitably Bond-like: good-looking enough to make it
believable when he charms the pants off someone from 50 feet,
cold-looking enough that you really do believe he doesn't give a
crap. Free running absolutely rocks. About the only thing
that I didn't like in this movie was the huge slowdown in pace to
set up the ending; it became painfully obvious what was going on,
and I really can't say any more without spoiling the plot, but
really, if you're paying attention at all you'll be just sitting
there like I was waiting for the on-screen penny to drop. Oh, and
one other minor quibble: too much of a sequel set-up at the end. I
mean, seriously. It's a franchise. You don't need to set up for
sequels in the closing lines. Mostly, though, an evening well
- November 25
- DNS is the first thing I've come across where you can't just
say, "add this file to augment the basic config" - you
have to overwrite one of the existing config files (named.conf)
which is something I really hate having to do. Still, sendmail is
going to be the same, so.
A little more minor fiddling with the network walkman stuff. I'm
thinking I need to redo the API such that the add/remove track
functions just backend onto the filesystem API, rather than being
separate functions. It'd make things so much easier, not least
tracking down where things are leaking memory.
Ugh, well, that completely failed to work: I'm getting a SEGV in
the middle of a fopen call for some reason, and debugging isn't
getting me anywhere.
I'd planned on going to see one of my coworkers singing with The Mornington
Singers with Lou this evening; what actually transpired was
more complicated, involving as it did a trip to Charlies II
(Chinese fast food joint); the Westin Hotel bar; the
aforementioned gig, which was at Trinity Chapel; the Bleu Note
(downstairs, for jazz, then upstairs to seek more seating and
also to escape from Leopardskin Print Drunk Woman, which led to
listening to some seriously ripping blues); Dakota (failed
excursion, too crowded, although the other Ronan stayed here); and
finally Bá Mizu where Elaine and I were among the last few
stragglers to leave. So, live music, much chat, and the usual
Saturday night drinking.
- November 24
- And lo, Firefox 2 did fall over. I was watching the fusion
reactor lecture on Google video (I can tell it's dumbed down
somewhat for presentation, but it's still awesome - even
intimidating - the way the guy is going on with the sort of
"of course E in this equation is equal to long string of
incomprehensible math as everyone knows" attitude),
paused it, resumed, paused, resumed, paused, clicked to resume,
and BLAM. I'm sure it's the fault of the Flash plugin or
Excellent, the RSS Toy now runs on the soon-to-be-new
webserver. That's sufficient for it to be a drop-in for the current
webserver, but the current webserver also has a bunch of other
stuff running that I need to replicate, so I won't be flipping
over just yet.
Day off work, spent largely, er, shopping. Yes indeed.
Much to my (pleasant) surprise, moving the database stuff to the
new box can be accomplished by simply rsync'ing the /var/lib/mysql
directory. That saves a bunch of trouble. Next, DNS.
- November 23
- Had another one of those "six degrees of separation is
about three too many" moments today. Freaky.
Met up with Ruadhrí for a few drinks and the usual
Despite suggestions to the contrary, firefox 2 hasn't fallen over
yet. Of course, I've not actually done much with it since I've
been otherwise occupied since I installed it.
- November 22
- Met up with Stella for a beer and a chat, as per tradition (last
week having been the traditional break with tradition).
It's been quite a while since I watched Chinatown,
so I most likely missed much of the continuity between that and
The Two Jakes, which I saw this
evening. It's an uneven movie; the story is pretty solid, but
some of the acting is a bit wooden and there are whole
sequences that seem completely nonsensical (such as Mrs. Bodine in
Jake's office). Nicholson is good, but looks distinctly, I dunno,
chubby at times, and certainly I've seen him do far better. And a
lot of the narration sounded like he was reading it off a page
while his mind was elsewhere; it had the same sort of faux
dramatic ring to it as Leslie Nielsen doing a Naked Gun
voiceover. Still, mostly a good movie, worth watching if you've
got nothing else planned.
Fun for the day: bare metal to running server in under five
minutes. Yes, yes, my definition of fun is somewhat coloured by my
- November 21
- Interesting. There will be no official Firefox 2 package for FC6,
as they're waiting on Firefox 3. So I guess I'll just
build my own from the SRPMs they've left lying
After some kicking I managed to get a couple of my CGI scripts
running under SELinux. Even after reading the manual it's still
not entirely clear to me where I was going wrong previously, but
it seems to be working for now.
- November 20
- I think, in places, I had the same problem with Matchstick Men as I did with Confidence: in a movie about conmen,
you never know whether to trust what you're seeing at any point or
not. That's not to take away from it, as it was a pretty excellent
piece of work, and the music throughout was just
awesome. Some beautiful shooting, too, but you'd expect
no less from Ridley Scott. Put it on your wishlist.
ACPI weirdness on the laptop has increased. Usually, if it tells
you there's no battery when it boots up, you won't see any sign of
the battery until the next time you reboot. The last few days,
however, the battery has apparently come and gone (according to
the ACPI stack) without any intervention on my
- November 19
- Some work research neatly coincides with some stuff I'm doing
anyway, which is neat.
Fedora Core 6 comes with a troubleshooting system for SELinux;
unfortunately it assumes you're running a desktop locally on the
box, which I'm not. D'oh. So I'm trying to get to grips with the
semanage command-line tool right now. It's tricky, but I
think I'm getting the hang of it (slowly).
- November 18
- Still BLEH, but less so. By which I mean I no longer appear to
have rabid badgers gnawing at the back of my throat, although
they're still pumping my head full of porridge.
Bank of Ireland have tweaked their site again and for
some reason the code I'd put in to skip past the phishing page in
the Finance::Bank::IE::BankOfIreland module won't work. And of
course when I step through the site to see what's going on I can't
see the problem either, plus it makes the phishing page stop
coming up for another month (I'm guessing). So if you're using
this code, and it's getting odd errors, try manually clicking past
the phishing page.
The Punisher is one of those
movies that just doesn't gel. There's not a specific thing you can
point out as a flaw, it's the overall result that simply fails to
Added a silly hack to my LJ client to attempt to identify my
location from my externally visible IP address. I'm sure I'll
regret this, but it amuses me for now.
Fedora Core's notion of a minimal install is rather, uh,
interesting. Over 300 packages, including such essential tools as
talk and rsh.
Saw most of the original Casino Royale today. Doesn't
really have much to recommend; it's got a few interesting tips of
the hat to the novel (such as the presence of the carpet-beater
attached to the chair that "Bond" sits in when he's
captured by Le Chiffre) but mostly it's just a fairly lame
- November 17
- Continued BLEH. I've been trying to do some work, but having
trouble concentrating on anything; I even fell asleep for an hour
or so on the sofa yesterday, which is quite unlike
- November 16
- Hurrah, I have paracetamol and pseudophedrine. Boo, I'm in a
state where I have to use them.
- November 15
- Woke up with the familiar scratchy throat that heralds an
incoming bout of illness. Ugh. Went to the office anyway, but by
the evening I was still feeling a bit rough. Met up with Lou for a
bit after work; by the time I got home I was quite obviously
running a temperature. Bleh.
- November 14
- Met up with Cathal as I was walking toward the DART on my way
home, so we adjourned to Lotts for the proverbial
- November 13
- Chasing memory leaks and stray pointers around the new MPLE
code. This is really badly broken, and I've no idea how I didn't
notice before. Found the worst of the bugs, then got bored and
left it alone.
- November 12
- And back to Dublin.
Max is an interesting conceit, well-made,
and has some excellent dialogue. Mostly, though, I was watching it
because it's a John Cusack movie. I was surprised to discover that
there was some outcry over it on account of (depending what you
read) "humanising Hitler" or "insulting Holocaust
survivors". I guess the former could be deemed a form of the
latter. Personally, I thought it portrayed Hitler as a completely
Lacking motivation to do anything else and short of decent TV
viewing, I put on Office Space. It's such a great
movie; the only bit that never really works for me is the whole
money laundering sequence, which is a one-hit joke that's carried
for 15 minutes. The rest, though, is sheer genius.
- November 11
- Continued stag activity.
- November 10
- Turns out I never caught the MPLE file delete bug because I
broke the test harness right where it tests the delete function,
and never noticed. D'oh. Mind you, deletion still seems to be
And then I drove to Ballyvaughan for John's stag weekend.
- November 9
- It was declared to be "Thirsty Thursday", meaning a
work-sponsored visit to our unofficial extra office, the one with
all the beer taps.
- November 8
- Met up with Stella for the usual Wednesday evening beer and
chat. I think it's officially a tradition at this point.
Queen of the Damned isn't
exactly bad or anything, but I wouldn't recommend you rush out and
buy it, either. It's been a long, long time since I read the book,
but I'm pretty sure they threw the bulk of it away and bent some
pretty important bits of what was left out of shape, but hey,
that's Hollywood. Stewart Townsend reminded me a lot of Brandon
Lee as The Crow, as it happens.
GRR. FC6 still has the same annoying trait of appending the
DHCP-supplied domain name to the requested hostname even if
there's a domain already present, i.e. you end up with a hostname
of foo.example.com.example.com. Which basically screws everything
Spent some time abusing the Apache config on the new webserver
until I finally got it working the way I wanted without modifying
any default files. Yay. I much prefer applications that provide a
means of overriding the defaults to those that require you to
edit the defaults. Next thing to do is to flip the
internal DNS to point at the new server and see how much stuff is
- November 7
- An entirely unplanned and wholly pleasant evening spent with
Catherine and Ivan, during the course of which we discovered an
excellent restaurant (Tribes) and talked a whole lot (of rubbish,
I'm sure) in Eagles House in Sandycove.
- November 6
- Dammit, that's annoying. I figured out what was wrong with the
missing signal handlers after googling for a bit, and once I had a
lead on the answer and refined my Google search, I turned up my
own Makefile for the MPLE code, which has the required fix already
in place. Once again rewriting code bites me. But I now have a
filemanager that actually starts up as I'd intended it to, which
is more than I had last night.
Of course, it's still not safe to use.
Also started building a new webserver, so I can finally take the
current one out of commission and upgrade it. And clean it up,
too. Too many nasty hacks sitting on it right now for my
After some digging around I found two problems with the new file
manager code: some direct calls to the layer below the API, which
was on account of my lazy search-and-replace method of porting the
code, and a previously uncaught logic error in file deletion code
whereby a file was removed from the in-memory list just before a
function went looking for it there. No idea how I didn't notice
this before. Still, track delete now works, so I can go back to
figuring out what else is broken.
- November 5
- Odd. For some reason the ported mp3filemanager code is claiming
that most of the signal handlers don't exist. I thought it might
be a function signature problem, so I redid them all, but it's
failing to find any of them, except the shutdown function. I'd
prefer if they were all broken, instead of one of them working for
no apparent reason.
So much for a refreshing blast of cynicism. The Last Kiss seemed like some of
the more interesting bits were edited out instead of being tied up
at the end, and the stuff that did get tied up seemed like a
Hollywood schmaltz cop-out. I feel cheated. I'm not sure it was
even a particularly good movie for all that. My theory at this
point is that the two positive reviews I read were written by
people who had recently been dumped and were totally empathising
with Izzy, who really didn't feature a whole lot and did so neatly
(loses girlfriend, loses plot, goes on a road trip). Much as I
imagine an entirely other group of people would empathise with
Kenny (picks up girl, feels pressured when she introduces her
parents, goes on a road trip). Oh well, at least I can scratch
that off the list of movies I've been meaning to
- November 4
- Spent the afternoon in town with Elaine, doing the
Loser surprised me by how good it
was. Sure, it's exactly the sort of clichéd storyline that
makes guys believe that if they hang around that one girl and be
nice enough they'll eventually win her over, but Jason Biggs
carries off the nice-guy role as well as anything John Cusack has
ever done, and I'm a huge Cusack fan - in particular the whole
gaping-jaw thing during the Broadway play had me giggling, and
that particular look is a Cusack classic. Oh, I did find that the
movie sort of stopped abruptly rather than winding down to a
finish, but still, definitely one to watch. I think I may now have
to go out and refresh my cynicism somewhat by dealing with real
people. Or possibly watch The Last Kiss, which in at least
one review I've read is described pretty much as an antidote to
this sort of rose-tinted movie.
- November 3
- And so we went for a beer after work. Took a while to find it,
Oh look. RVP file transfer is broken when dealing with a REAL
server. I swear this used work before. Dammit.
- November 2
- Kalifornia is sort of like a linear,
traditionally-cut version of Natural Born Killers. I found it way
too slow, possibly on account of two of the main characters having
southern drawls and one of 'em being a bit less than smart and
just rambling on and on and on about nothing. Good character
portrayal of someone who I'd not like to meet, basically, and
sitting watching her on screen for 90 minutes was no picnic
either. The story was ok, but on the whole I'd rather have spent
the time doing something else.
Merged the Gaim 2.0.0beta4 RVP stuff back into CVS, so now I have
a consolidated mess. In retrospect it's maybe a bit silly that
I've not forked the code in some way, at least even to pull the
differing API stuff out into a separate file, but right now it
seems like too much work to fix up. Either way, it seems to work
as well as it used to, i.e. I've not actually made it
Had an initial shot at porting my cheap MP3 File Manager clone to
the newer Network Walkman library I've been working on for the
last few, er, months. I've got a mostly clean compile, but I
suspect if I try firing it up it'll explode. So, I'm leaving it
for tonight. Something exciting for the weekend to keep me out of
Happy birthday, Ellen!
- November 1
- Met up with Ruadhrí for a few drinks and a whole lot of
chat. Yes, I realise it's high time I changed "Geekly"
to "Drinkly" or something similar. Shut up and keep
reading in case I say something funny.
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Irish Summer continues - more rain.