< | >

Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

June 22
Good Bye Lenin! was a teensy bit cringeworthy in places, but for the most part worked exceedingly well. Quirky, funny, definitely worth watching.

June 20
Hancock was a good deal more serious than I expected; I was basically expecting a summer blockbuster with Will Smith as a bum who happens to be a superhero, but then it kinda turns in the middle somewhere and gets a bit more serious. It never really loses the laughs, though. The one thing I didn't like was that the surprise in the middle of the movie isn't particularly surprising, it's pretty much telegraphed from the earliest possible opportunity and then slapped in your face as often as possible after that. A little overcooked, methinks. Still, an enjoyable piece of work and worth watching.

June 18
Plans for the location of this website are currently failing to proceed, in part due to the amount of reading required before I know what I want to do; in the mean time, please also note that my email is a little flaky due to slightly more aggressive spam filtering than I'd previously used and a slight oops with a script which caused me to lose a mailbox full of mostly spam, but with a handful of legitimate emails in it. This sort of thing is why I'd set up my old server to make a spare copy of every mail received, and I really need to set that up again...

NTL's broadband is proving to be not entirely smooth, although it could just be teething troubles. One thing that is definitely not cool is that they apparently reset a few things on the cable modem on a weekly basis; I'd altered the wireless settings to cater for some slightly weak hardware (can't do TKIP+AES, can't do WPA, etc.) and on two occasions - plus the couple of times I've reset the router - I've found that they've gone back to the "factory" settings. My own settings are still present, just not active.

June 13
I didn't expect much from Death Race and yet I was still disappointed at how bad it turned out to be. Not the worst movie I've ever seen, but certainly ranking down there despite the presence of Jason Statham (my main reason for picking this up). The Machine-Gun Joe character, in particular, was a walking stereotype, spouting the sort of clichéd dialogue that you'd expect from a comedic spoof of South Central L.A. One to avoid, definitely.

June 11
Entertaining moments in geekery: I have a stack of drives to inspect and destroy, and I have only Macintoshes to hand. So, fire up VirtualBox running Fedora Core, then figure out how to get it to attach raw disk volumes (a little touch and go, since the first drive I tried has an NTFS partition on it that MacOS really wants to own), then figure out the exact sequence of commands required to rename the LVM volume group without yanking the metaphorical rug from beneath my feet, then figure out how to get the system to recognise the new name, and then finally mount the ext3 partition I was looking for in the first place.

It will, of course, turn out to be something I have a full backup of, but hey.

June 10
How To Lose Friends And Alienate People: surprisingly good, given that I'd heard it was both not very good and didn't even have the potential to be good, being a self-authored story about a disagreeable guy who was successful despite himself. Once again, I fail to understand Hollywood: based on the book by Toby Young about the life of Toby Young, the main character is named... Sidney Young. Crazy people. Anyway, this is a fairly light romantic/slapstick comedy, fortunately steering mostly clear of cringe-inducing embarrassment in lieu of actual humour; good for a lazy weekday.

June 7
Dear Apple: what's with displaying dialogue boxes on my screen with buttons off-screen? That's like something the Linux people would do... (the expanded box for an invalid SSL cert, as displayed on a MacBook, for the curious).

June 6
Watched Over The Hedge - again, and the bit where Hammy gets the energy drink is still the best part - and Analyze That, which turns out to be a genuinely good De Niro comedy, unlike some of the other alleged comedy he's been involved in.

June 4
The Irish Government's Revenue website has always been rather impressive in the ranks of Government sites, but the latest incarnation - most of which you can't see unless you're a taxpayer here - is astounding in its usability and sheer customer focus. I think some other websites could learn a thing or two from this. Even small details, like offering to use data you've already entered, contextual help that doesn't navigate away from the current page, a form navigator... it's fantastic. Almost takes the pain out of dealing with the taxman.

I just found a piece of paper with a note on it to the effect that Mosaic is case-sensitive about the "http" prefix on URLs... the same piece of paper had a note about gopher, which should give you an idea of its age.

June 3
Eagle Eye is bits of 2001, bits of Die Hard 4, and bits of stuff that other movies wisely cut out. They could've made a real winner if they'd abandoned the full-on thriller tone in favour of giving Billy Bob Thornton more funny lines and going for the comedy/thriller angle instead; as it was, the movie wasn't awful, just mediocre. I think in the end it's really just too clever for its own good. Not really worth watching.

June 2
As they used say on all the best (?) websites: under construction. I've moved house, and the website is temporarily located on what was, at one time, its original hosting server while I try and sort out what's what. Email should be working but don't expect an immediate reply as it's currently a bit kludgey.

In other news: thank you PayPal - who have offices in Ireland - for junkmailing me a prize-draw survey which is only open to residents of the non-RoI parts of the British Isles. Plonkers.

previous month | current month | next month

New month, new house.