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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

July 31
Upgraded the Mac Mini to OSX Lion (plus Server Add-On). This may not have been a good idea.


July 27
So livejournal is currently being DDOS'd. Shame, there's actually stuff I want to read there right now.

July 25
How To Train Your Dragon is one of those kids' movies with no real major sops to the adults (unlike, say, the nod-and-wink humour of Shrek or Toy Story) and the fun part is it doesn't need them. A well-made piece of work that's hugely fun, and it doesn't matter that the storyline is a complete cliché. Well worth seeing.


July 17
There's been a few movies showing up from Screenclick lately that neither of us recall adding, and in the case of The Switch, that neither of us would add - the synopsis alone isn't the sort of thing either of us would go for, and having watched it I can't imagine you could put together any sort of a trailer that'd make it seem appealing. So, lacking any actual evidence I'm suspecting shenanigans, whether malicious or accidental. Anyway, the movie? It's not worth watching. It's a crap premise to start with (girl's best friend puts himself in as the surrogate father of her child in place of the guy she'd paid to do the job). Add to that the child who shows up as a seven-year-old is plainly intended to be a clone of the actual father to the point where you're wondering why it is that the mother hasn't spotted this - it's plainly obvious from 30 seconds of screen time, never mind seven years of raising the kid. Of course, the kid's traits that are like his father's all seem to be more learned behaviours than genetics, so even that part of it is unbelievable. And of course, there's the inevitable-from-the-start denoument, which, when it comes, is a blessed relief because you know the movie's over now. In summary, avoid, avoid, and avoid; if you even see a trailer you suspect might be for this, skip it.

After some further clicking and googling I've managed to get my Maven-wrapped project as far as building a JAR file having passed tests, etc. along the way. I'm still not sure how I get it from here to running on the server with all dependencies included, so more reading is required.

Two steps forward, fourteen back. Figured out how to get the Maven dependencies in place, and then the publish-to-server functionality stopped working, and none of the advice I can find on the topic is helping. Annoyingly, the files are in place on the filesystem, it's just that the server appears to be ignoring them even though it looks, to my untrained eye, to be perfectly acceptably configured to hand them out.

More debugging, specifically looking at the console, and I finally got things up and running. Also reminded myself that the Mac Mini isn't running a MySQL server right now.

...which I think I've finally figured out. In order to build the DBD::mysql module, I installed a tarball of mysql over the system install per Apple's instructions, which might account for the current mismatch. And indeed redoing that process seems to have fixed things. something to remember when I upgrade again, I guess.


July 11
I keep thinking about setting up "proper" blogging here (and I still despise the word "blog" and all its offspring) but I'd just want to go hack on something instead of, say, installing WordPress or whatever. Plus, this would fill up with more inconsequential crap.

A post on jwz's site about old-school ranty hackers vs. sensitive modern software developers (on which I have commented) made me really disappointed with Thunderbird and less inclined to use it any more. Unfortunately, the Linux distro I'm running Thunderbird on is so old (and, equally unfortunately, not upgradeable, for handwavy reasons) that the practical alternatives are an old version of Evolution or an old version of KMail. I tried out KMail and started making a list of the things that were... off about it, and then realised for that list to be of any use I'd have to upgrade to a modern version. Which, as I understand these things, would require me to upgrade the entire desktop, if not the entire machine. Which is sad. Right now, I think Apple's Mail.app is easily the best mail reader I have access to, and it (in the same environment) crashes at least once a day on what looks like a race condition.


July 9
Excerpt from booking email just received:
The rooms shown are for illustrative purposes and are not guaranteed to be the exact room you will get upon arrival.
(we will send more info later on the shown rooms when Joel finds the website he liked)
Heh. I like that.

July 8
If you're the pedestrian I almost ran into at City Quay / Matt Talbot Bridge this morning, my apologies. It would appear that we both had a green light for some inexplicable reason.

Memoirs of a Geisha was good enough, but I kept feeling like there was a lack of depth. Understandably you learn little to nothing about the various men in the story, but it makes things a little frustrating at times as they seem like wholly superficial characters just put into the story to give the title character something to run in to.

July 4
An interesting thing I just noticed the Kindle app doing: as the phone alerted me to a low battery condition, the app was saving its place. I don't know if this is coincidence, but it would certainly seem like an obvious-in-hindsight clever feature - running low on power? bookmark! bookmark! ok!


July 2
Went back at Maven again trying to understand why I'd not managed to get it to work: the answer appears to be "because the default directory layout doesn't match Eclipse's". It'd be nice if the Eclipse plugin knew this and applied corrective action.

The American was, in the end, a little disappointing. Wikipedia tells me that this is divergent from the source material, which I haven't read, but it sounds like a better finish. Selene's take on it was that if felt like it was slowly building to something throughout, and then the ending just didn't deliver on the promise, and I think that's about right. It's beautifully shot, to be sure, and the absence of a soundtrack or score through a lot of it (or the subdued nature of same) makes it feel a lot slower than it actually is. But really, I think I'd have preferred the (described-by-Wikipedia) book ending to what I got.

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Waider
2011, Second Half