A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- October 30
- Dangerous Parking is another
in the long line of movies that I have no idea why I rented, but
this is a good one. Ostensibly the story of an alcoholic movie
director, it's spiced up with voice-over sarcasm and assorted
messing around with chronology and reality. The end result is
sad, occasionally gross, rude, and overall, funny throughout -
even the sad bits. Definitely well worth a look
- October 29
- While reading the collection of references in ISC's DHCP server,
I came across RFC 4388,
being a description of the DHCP leasequery process. The short
version of this, if I'm reading it right, is this: I have a dhcp
lease. I am participating in a network conversation of some
description. My lease renews, my IP changes, and the router which
was sending traffic to me asks the DHCP server where I've
gone. This seems rather a nifty feature to have, but I'd
never heard of it up until now despite tinkering with this stuff
for several years. The power of reading docs, eh?
- October 28
- Nambu continues to be
flaky. Two basic problems: it seems to create a shadow on screen
larger than itself (and possibly cause such shadows to appear for
other apps), and every so often it claims to be unable to write to
its own database, which causes it to go into a CPU-chewing,
fan-spinning sulk. I am suspecting a 64-bit-related bug (e.g. my
file pointer just got inconceivably large and suddenly became a
negative number) and since they're currently in private beta for
the next version I've started looking around for a
- October 26
- The TED people appear to have
updated their podcast such that it no longer works on my
- October 25
- As I look forward to another week of my body clock trying to
figure out what time it is, and various teams in the office cope
with the fact that time has shifted here but not in the US, I find
post on the Unix Timezone Database in Jon Udell's blog the
From Paul Eggert
Daylight Saving Time was first suggested as a
joke by Benjamin Franklin in his whimsical essay "An
Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light"
published in the Journal de Paris (1784-04-26). Not everyone is
happy with the results.
Apparently part of my Perl-vs-Fink woe is caused by Fink
unilaterally declaring affinity for 32-bit systems over 64-bit,
which breaks the linkfarm tool thusly: the system default is for
64-bit, but Fink modifies the shell environment via
/etc/profile.d. All good so far. The problem is that when
I invoke the linkfarm tool from Emacs, it bypasses the shell
environment stuff and goes straight to a 64-bit shell attempting
to read a Storable file that was created by the 32-bit Perl, and
kaboom. Fixable, but irritating. Gratifyingly, John
Gruber (a man far more Mac than me) encountered the same problem
recently, so I don't need to feel so bad.
- October 24
this morning. I assure you that there are perfectly good reasons
for me to keep hacking on this when I could just use Google
Reader, there just isn't enough room in the margin to fit them
- October 23
- I seem to recall a review of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer which said, "it does exactly
what it says on the tin: there's a Mummy, a Tomb, a Dragon and an
Emperor." And that's all true. It's nowhere near as good as
the previous Mummy movies; it's a bit flat, they've dropped some
of the cast, they've tried to do the
passing-of-the-torch-to-the-next-generation routine, there's a
cheap hook for another movie, there's an even cheaper attempt to
explain why Rick's wife is no longer Rachel Weisz (or that's what
it seemed like, anyway); in summary, even regarded as a bubblegum
movie this is a bit disappointing. It's not terrible, just not
something I'd be inclined to recommend.
- October 22
- For the record, the Fink stuff is mostly back in order, as long
as I remember to run my perl scripts using
/sw/bin/perl5.8.8 instead of as-is. And as long as I
remember not to put /sw/lib/perl5 into
- October 21
- It's kinda stupid of me, but I didn't realise that the Palm's
Favourites application actually updates based on, er,
which applications are your favourites - i.e. the most-used
applications gradually bubble to the top of the list.
Speaking of the Palm, I noticed that it wasn't doing the
sync-with-iLife thing any more, and investigated; apparently Apple
have gotten tired of Palm's failure to update the Palm Desktop for
Mac from a PPC application (two major versions behind the Windows
binary, at that) and dropped support. So, despite jwz's frequent complaints
about what a piece of crap it is, I've installed Missing Sync,
because the alternative is to hack something together out of the
old pilot-link bits, and frankly I left that behind years
(Obviously the real alternative is to get an iPhone, but
let's be realistic here, eh?)
I restored Nambu to working order by ditching the entire set of
prefs and support files from my home directory and restarting
it. For some reason when the login page appeared, it was out
of focus. Bizarre.
- October 18
- The X-Files: I Want to Believe is little more than an extended TV episode, with
pretty much no references to the previous movie other than a
prevalence of snow. As episodes go, it was a bit ho-hum, and had
the feeling of a low-budget made-for-TV effort rather than an
actual, y'know, movie.
- October 13
- Ran into some sort of 32-bit vs. 64-bit hassle with one of the
Perl modules in Fink, which also appears to be what's causing the
linkfarm toy to bail out. So, I'm attempting to work around the
absence of all my favourite packages from the 64-bit release by
rebuilding them all locally. This is, of course, made more
interesting by the fact that a lot of the packages are also not
built for Perl 5.10 (MacOS 10.6 standard), but for Perl 5.8.8
(MacOS 10.5 standard).
This isn't helped by some of the 64-bit packages also
being horked, dammit.
And then a bright and shining light was shone:
twong:~ waider$ archwhich led me
article which says Snow Leopard will boot to 32-bit mode by
default. Ok, back to the coalmine.
# what the...?
twong:~ waider$ system_profiler SPSoftwareDataType | grep 64
64-bit Kernel and Extensions: No
- October 12
- Speed Racer is another movie that I
saw some of on a plane; about the last ten or fifteen
minutes. It's actually a whole lot of fun, although the amped-up
shades of red in some of the scenes were making my eyeballs
vibrate, I think. The comic relief of kid and monkey was a little
overdone, and there was some missed potential to use them as
heroes of the moment, rendering the scene where they run wild in
the factory little more than a distraction. Oh well. At least the
Wachowskis didn't try to write any romantic dialogue. The movie's
worth watching, but it's an odd combination of kids' movie and
action movie. It certainly looks like it'd make a great video
- October 11
- I've had the Snow Leopard (i.e. OS 10.6) DVD for more than a
week, and finally got around to installing it last night before
heading out for the evening. Inspecting the results today, I
Fixes as I figure them out: fink basically needs to be
reinstalled, since I was running a CVS release and the in-place
update apparently only works from a point release. On top of that,
the 64-bit version is more or less wholly populated with packages
I don't want, and the ones I do want aren't available yet, so back
to 32-bit land with that.
- Nambu (a twitter client) appears to be utterly
- Fink is slightly horked.
- SMB connections,
which I was using for my Time Machine fileshare, are totally
- Somewhere along the line my Time Machine backups
got eaten whole; the disk image won't even repair, much less
- Emacs appears to be having some trouble with the
- GrowlMail: horked even after I installed
the latest version.
GrowlMail gets fixed by installing, running the GrowlMail
uninstaller, then installing again.
Linkfarm problem turns out partly to be the fact that I stored the
data using Storable, which is sensitive to platform architecture,
Perl version, and probably moon phase. Even after fixing that it's
still broken, however; I suspect something like implicit character
encoding when reading from a command or some such.
No idea what the Time Machine issue was; I've switched it from AFS
to SMB to NFS so often I can't remember which route it was taking
any more, but it's taking the NFS route now and appears to be
constrained only by the fact that it's ultimately landing on a
drive connected via a USB 1.1 interface with a 12Mbit/sec top
speed, and the upgrade is looking for me to do a 20GB backup. So
that's gonna be running overnight, I guess.
Further Fink cleanups provided by realising I'd forgotten to
re-enable the unstable tree when I reinstalled it from scratch;
this appears to have fixed a whole lot of what I was
missing, although there are still a bunch of unsatisfactory things
like modules that haven't been rebuilt for Perl 5.10.
- October 3
- I abandoned the airplane cut of The Wrestler, as it was very
obviously butchered to make it "safe", so it was
interesting to see the full-length version. Not sure how keen I am
on Aronofsky's love of the follow-the-actor point of view, but the
movie was quite engaging.
- October 2
- After much fun and games, I got Time Machine working on my
non-Apple-Approved network storage (a USB drive hanging off the
back of a Cube, of all things); the thing they don't tell you in
all those guides to making it work is that backing up 40GB of data
to a relatively slow medium is going to kill your laptop for a
couple of days, particularly network access.
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And 2009 went where?