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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

April 29
The Men Who Stare At Goats is rather funny, and acted by the Usual Suspects for such an off-beat endeavour (including one of the actual Usual Suspects, Mr. Spacey). It's not quite as funny as I'd expected, but it's a good lark and worth a look. Guess I should read the book at some point.

April 25
One minor adjustment to the RSS Toy made it work a good deal better on the iPhone: a meta tag that locks the width of the displayed text to the width of the screen. I've been looking at various online references to Apple's stealth(ish) webpages-that-look-like-apps PastryKit library, but noone seems to have actually written an example of how to use it, which is rather a key thing, since it's almost completely opaque otherwise.


April 21
A store near my favourite bike shop is advertising itself as first to bring the iPad to Ireland - they even have a box on display. It's smaller than I expected, going by the size of the box.

I was just there to get an A/V cable, though. I asked if they had "audio/visual cables for iPods", and the person behind the counter looked a little puzzled, so I did the kinda handwavy "...to connect the video as well as sound from my iPod..." bit, and the person said, "we've got A/V cables" in a tone that suggested they were something alternative to what I'd asked for. Can't get the staff these days, etc.


April 17
Up: a gem. No further comment necessary.

April 16
I think I added Gran Torino to my list after Dad recommended it; it's an excellent movie, even if the story arc is a little predictable - right down to the "surprise" ending. It's not about where it goes, though, it's about how it's made, and it's made pretty much perfectly. Good job, Mr. Eastwood.

April 11
Happy Birthday to me!

State of Play is a decent political thriller, which owes more than a nod and a wink to All The President's Men - after all, the Watergate Building features at one point. It's well made: no slack, a nice twist (although there was a nicer one within reach, I think), very good at keeping you guessing what was going to happen next. Worth watching.


April 5
I discovered over the weekend that I was unable to access certain sites over Vodafone's cellular network, so this morning before harassing some customer abuseservice people I figured I'd see if it was some setting I'd missed. In the process, I discoveredThat last one is the key; I had three options offered when I first looked at this, being Universal, Teen, and Restricted, and even after reading the explanation of what each was I still picked the wrong one. Perhaps something more useful like "Filtered", "Teen Content" and "Unfiltered" might be more appropriate, or maybe I'm just dumb and can't understand these word-things.

April 4
Looks like I'll have to tweak my RSS toy to make it more iPhone-friendly; it works, not least because Safari is my target browser, but it's a bit too big and clunky. Rearranging the on-screen data to drop the timestamp and put the headline in front of the feedname would be a good start.

Finally got around to watching Slumdog Millionaire. Funny moment: Selene laughing out loud at the "Make me a sandwich" line, on account of the xkcd "sudo" comic. On the whole, I enjoyed it, and found myself scratching my head a bit at the people who complained that it showed a brighter side of slum life. Really now. Go watch this, the story arc is fairly predictable but that doesn't detract from a well-made drama.


April 3
Not quite as impressive as The Brother's aquarium visit, and I'd need to go digging to get the exact dates, but after about 5000 days in Dublin I finally took the Viking Splash tour. And it was well worth it. Nothing like a guide who sets the tone by saying, "This building was constructed in 18...zzzzz who cares?" early on, and proceeds to slag off the competition, the tourists, the English, St. Patrick, Christchurch, early morning drinkers, the Spire, Harland and Wolff, property developers, and the Grand Canal area in general. Well worth the €20 per head.

April 2
I really need to take the backfill code out of my Emacs hacks for this page.

April 1
One of the things that kept me from buying my own iPhone until now was the wear and tear my phones tend to get. I don't mean scratches and scuffs; I mean dousing with liquid, deep scars, and a smashed camera lens. So when Warren Ellis mentioned buying an Otterbox for his (caution, rude words, etc.), I went to their site and checked it out. So now my iPhone spends most of its time encased in a Defender, which frankly looks like it'll withstand a direct hit with a hammer. The only downside I've found thus far is that you can't put it in any of the cradle-style docks, but since my iPhone complains that my 5G-era dock isn't sufficiently shiny this isn't much of an issue for me. You can buy an Otterbox Defender from Amazon UK.

Also interested to note that the iPhone backup of the SMS database appears to be a SQLlite file. Makes things a little easier for my packrat hoarding of communications!

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Waider
April Fish!