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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

March 31
Ironclad is another, "wait, when did I add this to my wishlist?" movie, but actually it turns out to be a good deal better than I expected. Kinda funny reading on its Wikipedia page how the producer strove for accuracy, only to read in the next paragraph that the whole thing is conjecture (never mind small details like the fact that the size of the castle's defending force wasn't reliably recorded, the whole ending was completely contradictory to what was recorded). Still, I don't watch a movie like this for a history lesson. Consider it chewing gum for the brain.

March 25
Mostly figured out how to get wxWidgets building without resorting to the command line, although it seems like the finished result is missing wx/setup.h for some reason. Also, I can't figure out if there's a way to tell Xcode Project A to use files generated by Project B in the same workspace.


March 24
Essential Killing: well, that's 90 minutes or so I won't get back. I'm sure it's high art or something, just not what I was looking for.

March 23
Fiddling around with a native MacOS build of PasswordSafe, which mainly seems to involve me figuring out how to use XCode.

March 21
An odd little bit of UI confusion: I keep finding myself staring at iCal wondering where the "Today" button is. This evening, I found myself staring at the top right of the application because I knew it was there somewhere, and I still took a non-trivial number of seconds to locate it. I'm not sure why I'm having difficulty with this!

March 19
Unlike some others I have encountered, I thought the fact that XCode had been moved into the Applications folder (a) wasn't a huge deal and (b) kinda made sense. Now I'm annoyed, because apparently all the SDK stuff is still supposed to be in the Developer folder, and I'd gleefully nuked the lot thinking it had moved along with XCode. Grr.

Of course, after downloading XCode AGAIN I figure out that hey, the documentation is lying. The SDK stuff is in the Applications folder along with XCode. Whine.


March 17
Finished watching Another Year. Mike Leigh does not happy movies create, but this goes beyond that: a happily-married couple who seem to only be acquainted with walking disasters. Not a movie to watch if you're feeling depressed at the state of humanity. Actually, I'd be hard pressed to recommend when you should watch this at all.

March 16
Started watching Another Year. Interrupted by work.

March 12
Politician decries "liberal bias" of mainstream media. No, not in the US, right here in the Jolly Green Isle. Apparently one of his coalition partners is somewhat perplexed by his choice of words.
March 11
Syrinx silliness seems to have ceased. Still mildly annoyed at the lack of Grand Unified Twitter Placeholder, which is Twitter's fault.

I seem to recall back in the days of First Getting A Mac that I had to (for some reason) change my uid from whatever the system gave me to some other number. I think this may have had something to do with the presence of a NFS fileserver on my network that assumed that it knew my uid. When I got the Mac Mini, this process repeated itself (somewhat; I was able to explicitly set up the uid at account creation time, I think). I made a comment some time in the interim about my account having some sort of Mark of Cain that prevented it from showing up in the Server Management users list unless I enabled "Show System Accounts". And more recently still, I noticed messages in the log from the mail server complaining that my uid was that of a system account, arbitrarily chosen as a uid from 0 to 500 (why not 511 or 512? Arbitrary limits should always be a power of 2 or a power of 2 - 1 so you can claim they're caused by some mystical computer-related thing...) So yesterday I created a new account, logged out the old one, logged into the new account, and went through the process of changing the uid to a non-system value. Now that I've done that, I arguably need to do it on the Macbook as well, but it's really the sort of thing that I'd rather leave for a week before trying on a second machine.


March 9
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is probably a lot more fun if you're familiar with the source material and/or the references. I didn't have much of either, so while it was fun, and the visual effects were pretty nifty, I still felt like I was missing half the gags.

March 8
I've been using Syrinx for my minimal interactions with Twitter ever since the previous app I used for the purpose broke rather randomly; now it seems that Syrinx has gone the same way - it's stopped keeping track of how far behind I am in my reading of the very important tweets of others. It's like I'm being forced towards the official Twitter app, one silly bug at a time.

Successfully imported my Startcom SSL email-signing cert to my iPad. Surprisingly fiddly to do (short version: export cert from mac, email to self, import on iPad. Not sure if simply making it available via my web server would have worked - I might try that with the iPhone.)

Oh my. While checking if I had a local webserver running on the laptop, I found the default "you've got web" page. And it says, and I quote, "Open System Preferences and click Sharing, then select Web Sharing. Your done." (my emphasis, obviously). Oh dear oh dear. This looks to be something left over from OS 10.5 or so, because I don't see it on the Mac Mini (which started life on OS 10.6).

And so. How do I get secure email (signing, encryption) on my iPhone?
  1. Get a SSL cert for email signing. StartCom SSL provide these for free.
  2. I wound up with this cert in my Mac's keychain, and I'm not sure precisely what steps I took to make that happen, so let's pretend you've done that.
  3. Open Keychain Access, find your cert, right-click, and select Export.
  4. Choose Personal Information Exchange as the format, and whatever you're calling the file, save it in your Sites folder (i.e. /Users/yourusername/Sites).
  5. You'll be prompted for a password when saving. Of course, you'll use "correct horse battery staple", right?
  6. On your iPhone, browse to http://yourmacname.local/~yourusername/nameofsavedfile.p12
  7. This should trigger a switch to the Settings app, presenting you with a screen titled "Install Profile"
  8. Click on "Install", and it will pop up a dialogue box saying "Unsigned Profile". Click on "Install Now"
  9. Enter the password you used when you saved the file (now you're sorry you chose such a long/impossible password.)
  10. You should now have a screen saying, "Profile Installed", with a little green checkmark and the word, "Trusted". Click "Done" and it will return you to Safari.
  11. Go back to the Settings app and select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  12. Select the account that matches your certificate.
  13. Select "Account" (i.e. the first thing on the page).
  14. Scroll to the bottom and select "Advanced"
  15. Scroll to the bottom and change the S/MIME switch to "On"
  16. Scroll to the bottom again (because there are now two more options), select each of Sign and Encrypt, and switch them to "On" as well.
  17. Back out to the Account details page, and click on "Done"
  18. Now open the Mail app.
  19. Compose a new mail; underneath "New Message" it should say, "Encrypted". Send yourself an encrypted mail.
  20. Be slightly dismayed, as I was, to discover it's only signed, because it apparently only has your secret key.
  21. Undaunted, send an encrypted mail from your Mac instead.
  22. Read the encrypted mail on your iPhone. The sender should show up with a little checkmark (signature is good) and a padlock (encrypted). Click on the sender.
  23. The sender detail will include a "View Certificate" button. Click that.
  24. Click "Install"
  25. NOW try sending yourself an email from the iPhone. It should be encrypted this time. Woohoo!
Obviously the small bit I'm missing here is what constitutes the equivalent of a PGP keyserver lookup for email certificates, in other words if I don't already have your public key, how can I find it? Something to learn over the weekend, I suspect.


March 2
Some minor Perl hackery: the RSS Toy now understands redirects and updates its sources accordingly, and is a bit more graceful about handling feeds that look like Atom but are actually plain ol' RSS (and which the Atom parser can't handle, annoyingly).

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Waider
Hares: mad in March. Cat: mad all the time.