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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

August 28
Hmm. Mountain Lion comes with pgrep but drops whichever command-line spelling thing makes Emacs' inline spell-check work, which is annoying. Also whichever emacs version this is is not quite behaving itself with respect to how it sets up my buffer, which appears to be due to the disappearance of filladapt.el from the included libraries. Boo hiss etc.

August 26
Having installed some of my more usual tools, I can now update this a little more easily. One of the main drivers for the new machine was Mountain Lion, but also the fact that my old Macbook increasingly spends its time spinning its fans at high RPM for reasons that are rarely clear to me. The new machine is (so far) blissfully silent by comparison - helped, no doubt, by having twice as much memory to sling things around in.

In an attempt at something approaching housekeeping, I've avoided wholesale copying my home directory from the old machine. Instead, I'm copying files as I need them, or connecting things like Music Match, so that I can at least clean up my environment a little bit.

One thing I'd hoped to do was transition from separate accounts on the Mac mini and the laptop to using a single Open Directory account with kerberos-based single-signon and all that, but there are two sizeable impediments: "promoting" a local account to a OD account doesn't appear to be trivially documented anywhere, suggesting it's difficult or impossible, and renaming an existing account is equally opaque. There's also the minor inconvenience that I can no longer figure out how I'm supposed to create OD accounts at all given that the Server tool appears to create local accounts only, and the Server Admin tools for Lion don't work with Mountain Lion.

Anyway, to backfill some of what's going on for the last week and change: the new Mac showed up on Wednesday 15th, and then lay mostly untouched as last weekend was the anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. Waide (two such, in fact - happy anniversary, Patrick & Angela!) Some movies were also watched:

Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol: so this was a reboot, eh? I thought that was where you pretended that none of the previous movies had happened, threw out most of the cast, and went off in a completely other direction. This wasn't that. More Tom Cruise, more stunts with a loose plot tying them together, and I firmly agree with the guy who said that the lack of an ever-present villain made for a lesser movie all round because it made the threat seem more remote. Add to that Simon Pegg's constant joking and really this was a mediocre attempt at best.

Avengers Assemble: I think the only thing I didn't like about this was the title. Everything else was a big pile of fun, loaded with decent dialogue and a proper story and character development and basically everything you'd expect from Joss Wheedon. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this. Oh, and Captain America's "orders" to Hulk during the endgame completely cracked me up.

We inadvertently had a Keira Knightly weekend chez Waide, with The Duchess and Silk (very popular movie title, the latter). Neither is what I'd exactly call gripping, and Selene and I disagreed on which of the two had an actual story to tell. I can't say I'd recommend either of them, to be honest.


August 23
Something of a placeholder entry to note that I got a new Macbook and have not yet set up all the stuff that I normally use to keep this site ticking over.

New Mac is shiny.


August 12
I switched on two-factor auth for GMail last week, and today had an "entertaining" round of whack-a-mole between iCal and Mail to try and figure out which password was saved where. The nice thing about MacOS is that all accounts are managed centrally through "Mail, Contacts and Calendars", except where they aren't, or an app has cached the wrong password, or something; I wound up deleting all references to Google, resetting the app-specific password on the Google website, and recreating them again. Smooth. I know Apple's no longer best buddies with Google, but this is kinda ridiculous.

Speaking of Google's account stuff, apparently I've granted access to both "Google+" and "com.google.GooglePlus". Again, smooth (perhaps a descriptive text field might be of assistance?)


August 11
The Ghost had a bunch of excusable mediocrity throughout, but the ending was pretty terrible, especially the off-camera bit. For the most part you're left wondering what sort of idiot the main character is, trusting his life and the secrets he's uncovered to anonymous strangers on an unknown phone number. If the ending hadn't been so slack, the rest of it would have been passable fare, but I think the ending just drags the whole thing down. And this won awards!

August 7
Watched the first ten minutes of We need to talk about Kevin. Gave up. Opted for The Rum Diary instead, which was sort of like a less crazy versin of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (as you might expect). A bit flat, to be honest, but not terrible.


August 4
Saw The Dark Knight Rises in an actual cinema, specifically the new (well, six months old) Odeon at the Point Village. The theatre was a little small, but the seats were lovely and comfortable. The movie was pretty good, although there was definitely at least one part where I was making mental "wind it up" gestures, possibly one of the "Albert reveals depth of love for Bruce" sequences. I had more or less accidentally avoided seeing any trailers or pre-movie hype in general, so the surprises came as surprises, including the cameos and the twists. Of the latter, I think most of them I figured out a few minutes before they actually showed up, although the main one I figured out incorrectly midway through the movie. I did find some of the gravelly voices (both Bane and Batman) a bit hard to follow at times. And I need to convince myself that Blake's yelling at the cops on the bridge isn't a lift/homage to Charlton Heston yelling at the Statue of Liberty. On the whole, I enjoyed this; it's a bit of a shame that there were no references to The Joker, albeit understandable. Oh, and I was a little surprised at the open ending. Nolan's pretty publicly said he's doing no more Batman, so now I guess the door is open for someone to come in and turn it into a farce like the '90s-era movies.

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Waider
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