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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

May 26
I can see why there's so much talk about Coraline being a scary movie for kids, but my niece (9) watched it and thought it was great, so it seems like it's scaring adults more than kids. It's a fantastic piece of work, and all the more so when you consider that it's traditional stop-motion animation rather than computer-generated. Definitely one to see.

May 25
Spent some more time banging my head against iCal and timezones. It looks vaguely like it's treating on-disk and downloaded iCal files differently, which is annoying.

The batcave will shortly be relocating, which means there may be a brief outage on this server while I move things around. I'll try and maintain continuity on the email end of things, but you can always contact the obvious gmail address.

In other Apple app news, Mail vs. flaky wireless generally goes in favour of the flaky wireless. I have had Mail repeatedly wedge on me, and crash outright on one occasion, because it's trying to talk to a dead connection or something along those lines. It's tempting to use netcat or similar to just send a bunch of RST's to the open connections and see what happens. Why the wireless is flaky is an entirely other issue.

May 23
Happy Birthday, Patrick!

May 20
Gave up on figuring out how to coerce the WEP key on the Palm in favour of changing the key on the router instead. Radical idea, eh?

May 17
Ran the Dublin 5-mile classic today. Not one of my better times, but I still came in under 35 minutes without dying (much). Mainly I blame a recent spate of activity which prevented me from training much. (Update: finished 124th of 542 in a time of 34:38 on the clock, about 34:36 on my watch.)

Interesting - and annoying - nerd discovery: the Palm T|X Wi-Fi config won't accept a hex key that's all zeros. It claims there's something non-specifically wrong with the key. For bonus points, it's not clear where it stores the key and it definitely appears to be kept in an opaque format that prevents casual browsing (unlike, say, your GPRS APN password...)

May 14
Happy Birthday, Dad!

Fiddling with iCal, specifically trying to figure out why it completely ignores my timezone specification. While doing a copy and paste from a known-good specification, the target Macintosh froze up (not related to the hacking at hand) which is highly frustrating. And you know it's frozen when the Force-Quit window won't respond.

May 9
Man on Wire is a fascinating documentary about the guy who walked a wire between the two WTC towers. It covers his previous exploits, the preparation for the WTC, and the actual event. The only thing I found lacking was, to be honest, a little geeky: I wanted to see how they actually got the rigging in place. They went into a good deal of detail about getting the wire across, but nothing was said about how it was secured. A minor quibble, to be honest: you have to watch this.

Pineapple Express is distinctly odd. On one hand, it's a fine piece of comedy; on the other hand, it occasionally runs into Violent Thriller territory, frequently without warning. Still, I definitely enjoyed it, despite being unclear on why or when I'd added it to my wishlist.

May 8
While in Boston, I stumbled upon filming of a Costner/Affleck movie rather unimaginatively based on people losing their jobs; the last two mornings, I've wandered past filming in the Grafton Street / Stephens Green area, and this morning in particular noticed Colm Meaney standing around chatting to someone. I don't see anything on IMDB that looks a likely candidate for his involvement, so he may just have been in the area visiting the set or something.

May 7
Also recently (re)watched: Flushed Away which, if you haven't seen it, you need to go out and find; and this week I am mostly watching The Muppet Show. It's kinda weird looking at a show I grew up with and trying to understand how it got made - parts of it are clearly aimed at a particular type of adult (typically the straight-faced variety show act by the show's guest), parts of it are very kid-friendly (basically, anything involving muppets), and parts of it are aimed at the sort of corny jokes people make when they first discover puns. It's an odd mix, and I don't think it'd actually get past a pitch to a studio today.

May 4
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was rather excellent and not at all deserving of the bad reports I'd heard; the only fault I found with it was that it seemed a little rushed towards the end, as if they were trying to squeeze in a few extras before the closing credits.

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Hurray for May!