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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

May 30
The usual round of Fink gritching: Module::Build for Perl 5.10.0 appears to be broken. Worse, it's unnecessary since there's one on the system by default. After figuring that out, and punting it, I managed to get some stuff installed that had previously been bugging me by its absence. I'm still not going to go back to MacPorts or try HomeBrew, though. And I'm even a little appalled that some people on a mailing list I'm on were advocating the latter this past week.

May 29
The Soloist was ok; nothing overly exciting, but not actually bad, either. I did find it a little..., I dunno, disappointing or something that they kept bringing in a full orchestra on the soundtrack when Nathaniel was playing on the street - I mean, it's called The Soloist for a reason, right? Anyway, I kinda want to read the book now.

May 26
Jailbroke iPhone with Spirit. Activated SSH. Changed root password as directed.

Forgot root password.

Oh well, I didn't really have a reason for jailbreaking it anyway, I just wanted to see what it did. Guess I'll do a restore to clean up the mess.

May 25
One thing I keep meaning to do here is to revive, at least somewhat, the random crap I was flinging at my LiveJournal account. I've actually got a text file lying around somewhere detailing exactly what I want, but the upshot is that I don't want it hosted on a system that's out of my control, I don't want it to be casually writable from a public server, and while comments are nice and all I definitely don't want to support a free-for-all spam substrate. One of these days I may well give up on thinking about this and just stuff a default WordPress / Bloxom / whatever install on the site, but I doubt it... in the meantime, here's something I've been kicking around for the last couple of weeks: an iPhone review.

Surrogates is fairly straightforward thriller / sci-fi, with no real surprises and nothing particularly good or bad about it.

May 22
Congrats to Sheila and Kieran on their wedding, and also for organising such fabulous weather for the weekend!

May 18
Ok, so I was a little bit wrong about the Fink QT build: it does't actually have conflicting QTDIR and QTLIB settings. It does, however, have the architecture problem, viz. the installed library is 32-bit but left to its own devices it'll try to compile things in 64-bit mode. I suspect that hacking on an appropriate qmake.conf would fix this, but for now I can build a clean checkout of the moto4lin code from SVN like so:
export QTDIR=/sw/lib/qt3; qmake -after "LIBS+=-arch i386" "QMAKE_CXXFLAGS+=-arch i386" && make
I've had no luck finding a QT3 build in the rather empty archive site pointed at by QT's download page, so I may just stick with this for now since I have only limited use for it (basically, scraping the remaining stuff off my old Motorola phone before I retire it completely).

May 16
The CableJive Dock Extender Cable was my solution to the fact that you can't dock an iPhone wearing an Otterbox Defender. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a standard-profile iPod dock connector, so it doesn't fit the cut-out on the underside of the case. A waste of 25 quid, basically. BOO.

Flushed with the success of getting moto4lin to actually build, I thought I might drag it into the world of non-Fink QT apps. Of course, the current state of the art is QT4, and this is a QT3 app, and it took me several minutes to figure out that qmake no longer generates a Makefile on MacOS X, it generates an XCode Project. I haven't used an IDE since college, and frankly I tend to get lost when I can't see exactly what's going on with the build process, so after a few half-hearted attempts to make it dance, I gave up in favour of finishing off something from the reading pile...

May 15
With reference to yesterday's comment regarding the Bill Gibson blog, I've added a fairly rudimentary editor to the RSS Toy to allow me to update feed URLs manually. One of these days I'll switch to Google Reader, I'm sure.

Looking at an advert-ridden page that's dancing in a distracting fashion around the text I'm trying to read, I'm almost inclined to uninstall Flash. I'm sure that's some sort of heresy. Also, is it just me or has 90% of online advertising become that one bad-grammar advert for "one tip of flat belly"?

Successfully built moto4lin (remember that?) from source using a Fink-supplied QT3 toolset. Points to note: Fink does a poor job of packaging QT3 such that you have to specify conflicting QTDIR and QTLIB locations; you need to forcibly tell the compiler to match your Fink settings (in my case, adding -arch i386 to the compile flags and rebuilding repeatedly until I'd figured out the correct place to make that change); and you may need to repeatedly tell the app to check your phone before it notices that you're in P2K mode.

District 9 was excellent. It's not really the sort of thing I'd buy, but it was really, really well done; well scripted, well put together, nothing I could really say against it. Go watch it.

May 14
Having one of my poor customer service days; Garmin basically do not appear to want people to be able to find products or buy gifts, and Buy4Now - the premise of which I understood to be one login for multiple online stores - appears to be redirecting me to a store for which my Buy4Now login isn't valid.

Dear people who run William Gibson's blog: to indicate that the current URL is no longer canonical and that perhaps people should pull the feed from a new location, use HTTP redirect codes (301/302), not a META refresh in the bit of text before the XML version tag. Really now.

Fantastic Mr. Fox was not as good as I'd hoped. It wasn't a kids' movie, and it wasn't really an adult movie, and the animation was a bit weird and cheap-looking, and really it just felt like the trailer oversold it (gosh, that never happens).

May 10
The Cube appears to have swallowed a CD and no amount of persuasion is making it give it up. I fear that (a) the drive has died, somehow and (b) I'll need to dismantle it to retrieve the disc. Annoyingly, it's one I bought at the weekend with the intention of ripping it to iTunes; I've had it several days now and still haven't managed to listen to it.

May 8
Random tweakery on the many perl scripts to try and remove some duplication of effort. Nothing to see, move along, etc.

May 7
The Ugly Truth is highly predictable, a bit coarse, and thoroughly enjoyable. A good way to spend Friday evening.

May 5
Crossing Over is an ensemble piece, like Crash, and rather grim, also like Crash, and I can't imagine it went down too well in America what with the way it portrays the welcoming arms of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement people. Also I'm not saying "botox" or "facelift" but I'm pretty sure neither Ray Liotta nor Ashley Judd had more than a single facial expression for the entire movie. It's not a bad movie, but it's not heartwarming light-hearted escapism, either, so bear that in mind if you're thinking of watching it.

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