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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

October 31
It's Hallowe'en, by which I mean the locality looks and sounds like a minor warzone, with flashes and explosions all over. In an attempt to avoid the hordes of trick-or-treaters I'm hiding in the pub.

October 30
Durrr. The reason RTÉ have been showing filler in the Scrubs slot on Mondays is that, er, the season's over. The cliffhanger ending I was expecting wasn't really that much of a cliffhanger, which I guess is why I didn't realise it was the season finale. Still, d'oh.

Last night's activites haven't really left me in a fit state to hack on anything, so I've just been tinkering with the website instead. I have far too many pages (i.e. more than one) which suggest I might some day update them with current information.

October 29
Saw most of The Last Debate, which I initially thought was an episode of The West Wing or something similar until someone swore... not a bad movie at all, all about a bunch of journalists using a presidential debate to character-assassinate one of the candidates, which another journalist then investigates to find out why they did it. Nicely contemporary.

Halloween Party at Dominic Street, wherein I went as a zombie. Braaaaains! (do note that a stake through the heart does not kill a zombie, it just annoys them and gives them something to prop a beer on)


October 28
Tackled the Gaim 2.0 version of the plugin again, and managed to wrestle it back into a clean build after an hour. File transfers are, in fact, working, but a bit weirdly (the progress bar never updates, and sending a 35MB file to a Windows machine failed somewhere around half-way through, while sending the same file the other way worked fine). Windows helpfully pre-declines files with a .EXE suffix, I notice.

October 27
Took a day off work today to make myself a longer weekend. Rather than do something about the beta4 build, I watched a bunch of Scrubs episodes, got a haircut, drank too many hot chocolates and coffees, met up with Lou, met up with Cathal, and spent the evening with the latter in my new favourite bar. Pity that my new favourite bar is so damned far away from where I live, although on the plus side I got a way cheap taxi ride home.

October 26
Gaim 2.0 beta 4 is out. There are API changes. Things will break. BAH.

October 25
Little Nicky was actually a lot better than I expected, and if it wasn't for the voice Sandler puts on for the title character I might even have enjoyed it. As it was, there were a few good gags amid a mostly predictable storyline, and that voice just kept irritating me.

Turns out last night's code was along the right track, but mostly non-functional. I put together a slightly more functional version tonight, so now when your single-user chat becomes a multi-user chat, it discards the original single-user window. I'd much prefer to reuse it, like MSIM does, but that looks to be non-trivial to say the least. What I should at least look at is stuffing the window history so you don't lose track of what you were gabbing about.

October 24
So I think Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life is another one of those movies I added to my wishlist just so I could say I'd seen it. It's not awful, just bad. Right from the start. There's nothing good about it, really; not even the soundtrack can save it. Don't bother, even as a joke.

Had another look at the RVP bug. It's occurring with "raw" Gaim 1.0.1, but not with 1.5.0-16.fc5, and Gaim 2.0 doesn't use the same dialogue box when you launch it with --login so the problem has no way of showing up. So I'm no closer to finding what's wrong, but I could always claim it's down to unsupported versions of the client...

Half-heartedly attempted to implement one of the things on the RVP to-do list, mainly because I've spent most of today tinkering with C code and I'm not really in any fit shape to get my head around another chunk of stuff. Plus, I need at least one more computer running to test the code. I figured, hey, it compiles, I'll check it in.

October 23
Dammit, what the hell are RTÉ doing with their Scrubs schedule?

Christopher Brookmyre is a truly awesome writer. I am in fits of giggles on his account right now.

October 22
Spent several hours looking for the aforementioned coredump bug. It's rare enough that you probably won't ever encounter it, but it annoys me that it's present and I can't find the cause of the damn thing, despite single-stepping (and crashing gdb), removing various chunks of code, comparing with non-crashing plugins, and checking for memory trashing (which is what's happening) with valgrind.


October 21
Kids was so-so. It reminds me a lot of a music documentary I saw years ago on the New York New Wave scene, particularly the fact that the dialogue is very loose and slangy. Not a must-watch, but not terrible.

I didn't drop that tray, it was caught in a sudden gust of gravity (attribution, dammit, meredith's quotes file). Aside from that, a fun evening of live jazz at the Blue Note with Ray, Lou and Elaine.

Also, happy birthday, Natalia!

October 20
Office Drinkies, whee!

October 19
Much as I had suspected, Killing Zoe was in part a Bender/Tarantino production, although the latter didn't turn up in a cameo role for once. It started out promising, went downhill with an over-long pillow-talk scene in the first fifteen minutes, followed by an over-long drink/drugs scene, and frankly by the time it got to the heist (which I thought was the point of the movie) I was already bored. Really, not worth wasting time on unless you absolutely have to, although buying the soundtrack wouldn't be a bad idea.

Moved some of my older MPLE code over to the new library I've been slowly putting together. I've a few more test files to play with so I can see how the v2 stuff is working, maybe, but not tonight.

Had another go at dealing with the RVP logout process. It's very simple: you get to choose between a race condition (or possibly more than one) and an improper logout. I really, REALLY wish Gaim's logout process allowed you to have a "logout complete" flag or callback of some sort.

Also, I've still not figured out the core dump I found last week whereby if you fire it up with --login and no password saved, then hit cancel, then quit, and blammo.

October 18
Finished updating the captions on the Iceland Photos. Not much else happening; met up with Stella for a beer, and stopped by the local to try the new Guinness brew, but that's about it.

October 17
Met up with my parents - who are on their way to another holiday, this time in Vienna - for dinner, and then caught up with Zed and Jennifer for a few drinks before they head back across the pond.

October 16
Debian are apparently winding up for a release that includes the as-yet-unreleased Gaim 2.0. To this end, I'm kicking out a 0.9.5 release of librvp, which is the version that includes the work I've done to support Gaim 2. Note that there are still some untested bits on this, in particular the file transfers; my main focus is on finishing off the rough edges and the Gaim 2 port was sort of a sidetrack from that. Having said that, I run the development codebase myself on a daily basis, so it's still definitely very much functional for Gaim 1.x. Download away!

South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut made me chuckle. Once. I think I lost interest in South Park somewhere in the middle of season two. Oh well, another one scratched off the list of things people tell me I should see.

Captioned about half of the Iceland photos, so now you know what you're looking at.

October 15
More fun and games with banking modules: BoI have taken to stuffing an interstitial page about phishing into their site, which requires you to click a button to get past, and failing to do so prevents you from accessing the rest of the site. Stupid, and not really something I like to have to code around, but whatever. Version 0.08 pushed to CPAN.

In another occurrence of "eleven years ago, there was a party, and the results are still coming in", I met up with Zed and his wife Jennifer today and proceeded to show them some of the nicer parts of Dalkey (Mugs coffee shop, Killiney Hill, the Vico Road) with attendant chatter. They're in town for a few more days, so no doubt there will probably be a pub trip between now and their departure.

Happy Birthday, Elaine! Well, I don't know if today's the day, but today's certainly when we went and had a few beers, so.


October 14
Ok, it's done. I'll need to proof and probably edit, but all the salient (and sordid) details are in. Iceland Trip Report, final draft.

Oh, and I still haven't captioned any of the pictures, but the text might help you figure out some of the less obvious ones.

October 13
The Devil Wears Prada turns out to be a very well-made movie that does an excellent job of Not Messing Up despite the huge potential for same in the plot. I was rather surprised at how much I enjoyed it; I was expecting amusement, but not the laugh-out-loud moments I encountered. The plot itself isn't anything new or exciting, but that doesn't detract in the least from the film. Worth seeing.

October 12
Wouldn't you know it, I get network logging and network console set up for the laptop, and it fails to hang. Bah.

Met up with Lou after work for a drink. Or two. Or, wait, what time is it?

October 11
For the last two mornings my laptop has been in an unhealthy state when I've checked on it; it's as if the hard drive is gone to sleep and won't wake up. Since it wasn't doing this in Iceland I can only assume it's got something to do with the nightly backup job. And of course netdump isn't working on the laptop so I can't get any sort of useful error message...

Stella's back doing her jewelry course near where I work, so I met up with her this evening for a drink. While I was gadding about Iceland she and her boyfriend were doing a 1,000-mile tour through, as she put it, all the countries in the British Isles. Yow.

Knocked out a bit more of the Iceland Trip Report, plus in lieu of actually doing anything useful with the photos I've thumbnailed them all and put up the Iceland Photos page. You can guess what various things are while you wait for me to add captions and assemble panormas and what not.

My main problem with Knockaround Guys is that only one of the main cast (Barry Pepper) had a suitably convincing accent. John Malkovich, bless him, is a great actor and all, but he can't do Goombah, especially not with that hint of a lisp. Barry Pepper, on the other hand, could pass for Christopher Walken's son both in looks and voice. The movie itself is a bit slow to get going, but worth watching for the dénouement.

October 10
I think the plot explanation in Identity is revealed a bit too soon, and the twist wasn't wholly necessary but wasn't terrible, but the movie as a whole is pretty well put together. In particular, it's interesting to see John C. McGinley, scourge of newbie interns on the set of Scrubs, playing a really passive character with something verging on OCD. You'd almost describe him as wimpy except for the fact that he's built like the proverbial brick outhouse. The cast list is pretty impressive, too. One to see, definitely.

More typing has resulted in the conclusion of day one and the "a funny thing happened in the bar" story from day two, but still no pictures. Plus, the notes get progressively flakier from here on as I spend more time partying and less time doing anything interesting (that I'm willing to talk to strangers about) so you may wait for the complete saga, or you can have a look at the still work-in-progress Iceland Trip Report.

October 9
I have a ton of photos, and lots of notes on where I went and what I did, but the latter are neither all in one place (I found some more on my PDA this evening) nor quite in a form I'm happy with, so editing is required. However, it's Monday night, meaning Scrubs is on, so that comes first. Plus another coffee meet-up with Lou, and a bit of running, and, well, yeah. I'll get around to this eventually, I promise.

In geek news, traffic on the BBDB list burst into life a day or two after I'd left. This list is usually almost completely dormant.

Okay, so it's now almost midnight and I've only barely written up the first day of the trip. Here's the Iceland Trip Report so far.

October 8
Met up with Lou for a coffee, and later Sheila called around to chat and borrow the spare room. As a result I haven't touched much, if anything of such things as "how I spent the last two weeks" or "what I took photos of", so you'll just have to wait.


October 7
I am returned from a 2-week trip to Reykjavik. However, normal service is not yet available.

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Waider
Irish Summer continues - more rain.