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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

February 28
Went to see the Killers tonight, supported by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. BMRC were a bit monotonous, sort of Placebo/Jesus and Mary Chain/The Mission without the excitement and variety. The Killers were excellent, aside from one song where they had a drum loop turned up WAY too loud (and not in the "if it's too loud you're too old" sense; the kid standing in front of me had his fingers in his ears). Brandon Flowers is quite the talented individual, singing, nipping back from the front of the stage to play keyboard, and even throwing in some bass on one of their final songs. And the guitarist has VEGAS written all over him: silver puffy shirt, black leather trousers, and hair that Brian May would've been jealous of, coupled with a penchant for making rock'n'roll faces at the crowd.

February 27
The vodafone picture album maybe isn't working again. Or maybe there's a limit of one cat picture per week or something.

Playing with libnw some more. I can't quite figure out what's going on here just yet, so I'm waiting for some sample files to turn up. Not having the hardware is a real pain, but I'm not expecting a v2 device to magically appear on my doorstep, really.

February 26
Got home kinda late from the office and wasn't really in the mood for doing anything of note. I appear to have another interested party who owns a v2 Sony device, mind you.

February 25
Started watching Ellie Parker and abandoned it about half an hour in as it became obvious it wasn't getting any better. I'll watch the rest of it, but really it just seems like a waste of time and effort... I have no idea why I rented this. I suspect it was on the strength of an interview with Naomi Watts, as I can't see any way in which you could cut a trailer from this that would entice me to rent it.

We resorted instead to watching Inside Man, which was a far better movie (although the whole war crimes link seemed a little clunky) and well made. One to watch.

After all that it was time to drive back to Dublin, where I'm catching up on spam, etc. for the weekend. It appears my vodafone-to-flickr hack started working again, so I can once more send out-of-focus pictures of beer, cats, etc. direct from wherever I find them. Whee!


February 24
RUGBY DAY! Ok, so I missed the first match in which Italy got their first ever away win, Scotland being the victims; the big match of the day, though, was Ireland v. England at Croke Park. Ireland won. Resoundingly so, in fact. England's much-feared kicker was basically never given a chance to shine, while Ronan O'Gara scored from every single kick. And there was one astounding try which showed that not only have the Irish finally learned to play across the width of the field, they've learned to do so quickly and with style.

After that, it was a bit disappointing to see France dismantle Wales, but we cheered the Welsh efforts anyway.

Wound up the evening by going to see The Good Shepherd at the cinema, which I think probably deserves the tag, "The Godfather of CIA movies", although I did have some trouble in places following who was who - probably not least because of my earlier rugby-related celebrations!

Back at the house, we caught the tail end of Jack which was full of heavy dialogue, sort of like a Kevin Smith movie without the toilet humour; after that we watched Higher Love, which on paper I wouldn't have looked twice at but turns out to be funny and touching and generally really enjoyable.

February 23
Made a few more half-hearted attempts to persuade the laptop battery that it's not dead. It doesn't respond to anything, unfortunately, so I suspect it's destined for the nearest battery recycling wossname. Bah.

Off to Ballina for the weekend, partly to instruct Sheila in the fine art of Doing Nothing. Of course, what better movie to watch for such a plan than Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back? It's not the first Kevin Smith flick to be shown on Irish TV, but it's certainly not the type of thing you'd have expected from RTÉ maybe fifteen years ago... BUNG!

After that we watched Autumn In New York, which I thought was well-done if schmalzty, while Sheila scoffed at it simply because it had Richard Gere. I wouldn't call it a must-watch, but I've seen a whole lot worse. On the other hand, there was a bottle or two of wine in the room so perhaps my judgement wasn't the best...

Ten Little Indians mostly amused me on account of the presence of Fabian, who I'd only previously seen referenced in Mad Magazine. I started falling asleep around about the second murder, so I didn't see the rest of the movie.

February 22
Another pub evening... The Porterhouse really needs to get rid of that show-off with the guitar. At least he didn't turn up until quite late.

February 21
Office drinks superceded anything else that was liable to happen, such as productive geekiness, etc.

February 20
More small steps on libnw. It helps if you read the data from the correct filehandle... I have notes here on how some of the indexing works, but I'm not sure I actually understand them. D'oh.

February 19
Stopped in at Lou's place, as she's a bit sickly at present.

More fiddling about with the libnw stuff, including relocating some extra info on the file formats someone mailed me last year. I'm still kinda flying blind on how the folders are stored, however.

February 18
What's Eating Gilbert Grape? has been on my one-to-watch list for a long time, but ScreenClick only recently acquired a copy. It's an odd movie; the pacing is a bit weird, and as Johnny Depp's character says at the start, nothing much ever happens. And still there's a story there somehow. It's worth watching if only to see DiCaprio's performance.

Messed around with the libnw code a bit. Someone expressed an interest in helping out with test files and such a few weeks back, but appears to have vanished in the interim.


February 17
As I guessed, the battery in the laptop appears to be dead. Unfortunately I found this out by accidentally yanking out the power connector while doing something else, rather than through careful examination. Bah.

I think Syriana is best summed up by some of Clooney's dialogue near the start: "it's complicated". I'm not sure I followed the entire thing, to be honest. Harsh, but watchable.

Saw a ripping blues band tonight; the harmonica player must've been made entirely of lungs. Titanium lungs. Astounding stuff.

February 16
Met up with Cathal for brewskis and chat.

February 15
Took a day off work and wandered around music shops looking at guitars. My current electric is over 15 years old and frankly was what I could afford 15 years ago as opposed to a finely-crafted piece of hardware. I'm due a little cash windfall shortly thanks to our Government's long-term savings incentive, so I'm thinking this is as good a time as any to shop.

February 14
Met up with Stella for a beer, much to my surprise; turns out she'd done the Valentine's Day stuff yesterday.

Fiddling around with exiftool to try and marshall some photos into order, now that I've got two sources of pictures which reliably datestamp images internally - well, as long as their clocks are set.

February 13
Pointless and all as it might seem to parody Pop Idol and its ilk, American Dreamz is actually quite a clever movie, especially with the not-so-subtle digs at the Bush/Cheney dynamic. Although I don't for an instant believe that bit about reading the newspapers could possibly happen...

February 12
Note to self: when you decide at the last minute to change which case you're using to bring stuff to the office, don't forget to move all the bits from container A to container B. Grr.

February 11
Well, the historic rugby match at Croke Park turned out to be a defeat for the Irish team; no Grand Slam for us this year. Just the Triple Crown and the Championship (in which we're currently placed third) up for grabs, now.

Dad recommended The World's Fastest Indian to me, as he'd seen it on a trip down under. The story is a bit "local country bumpkin visits city slickers, does good", but for all that it's a hard movie to watch without smiling at some point - or several points. Well made, and worth seeing.

Also on today's viewing: watched most of Stargate (not bad, saw it in the cinema when it was released, and back then the actual gate sequence was pretty kick-ass) and the end of Die Hard 3 (nice mindless fun, although not for all the family!)


February 10
Fixed up most of the aforementioned screenscraping doohickey. Nothing to see here, move along.

Paramount Comedy was showing Top Secret!, one of the first Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker movies I ever saw. It's still plenty funny, 23 years later...

February 9
At some point during the week I fixed (I think) the stupid MTU problem caused by my insane 3com router, which means it should now be possible to access my website from tunnelled things like VPN connections and what not. Of course, there's no guarantee that this actually works, just that it seems to be okay with my sample set of One Machine On A Tunnel.

Had a quiet night at home, on account of being on-call for the weekend. Well, that and having been out for most of this week already...

February 8
Ruadhrí's turn on the WAIDER CARNIVALE. He recently said, "I've heard that Brazil is planning on coming to you for Carnivale this year." Cheeky!

February 7
One of those "how about I stop by your office after work"-becomes-"how about we hit up a pub for one of the best pints in Dublin" evenings with Lou. And that was after my irregular-but-regular Wednesday evening beer with Stella.

February 6
One of the many sites I've written scrapers for has changed its layout, and done so non-trivially, which breaks some scripts I'd thrown together to "add value" as they say in all the best marketing brochures... guess I'll need to redo those.

When Brendan Met Trudy is a fabulous piece of work. You might be a bit lost in the various accents (the female lead has a brutal Cork accent, for example) if you're not Irish, but hey. There're subtitles which are mostly accurate. The riffing off other movies is excellently done (particularly Au Bout De Souffle), and there are a couple of laugh-out-loud background gags, too (check the cinema signs on The Savoy when they're leaving the theatre, for example). One to BUY.

February 5
Back in d'auld sod. Laptop is fine, albeit I think I've roached another battery - right now it's claiming it's charged up but I'm pretty sure it's not, and I'm not going to test it by yanking the power just yet...

February 4
Ireland mostly trounced Wales, with a few scary moments and Ronan O'Gara having one of the worst kicking games I've seen in quite a while.


February 3
Six Nations Rugby 2007: England do a stompy-dance on Scotland, much to our disappointment. The funny part was that we were in an English bar, and we and several others cheered Scotland's try (first of the game) loudly, but when England scored a try some time later there wasn't a peep.

And France stomped on Italy, much to noone's surprise.

February 2
JC and Anita get married. Waider's laptop, on the other hand, refuses to switch on. I'm assuming these events are unrelated.

February 1
Doing my usual crash-style development on the NW lib, trying to get it to a point where there are visible results even if the code is awful (and it is). For some reason my sloppily-coded yet simple fread() wrapper is corrupting more data than I expected... of course, I'm coding on a plane. The altitude is probably upsetting my hacking genes or something.

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Waider
Wait, where did January go?