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
- 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
- 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
- March 11
silliness seems to have ceased. Still mildly annoyed at the lack
of Grand Unified Twitter Placeholder, which is Twitter's
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
- 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
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
- Get a SSL cert for email signing. StartCom SSL provide
these for free.
- 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.
- Open Keychain Access, find your cert, right-click, and
- Choose Personal Information Exchange as the format, and
whatever you're calling the file, save it in your Sites folder
- You'll be prompted for a password when saving. Of course,
you'll use "correct horse
battery staple", right?
- On your iPhone, browse to
- This should trigger a switch to the Settings app, presenting
you with a screen titled "Install Profile"
- Click on "Install", and it will pop up a dialogue
box saying "Unsigned Profile". Click on
- Enter the password you used when you saved the file (now
you're sorry you chose such a long/impossible password.)
- 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.
- Go back to the Settings app and select Mail, Contacts,
- Select the account that matches your certificate.
- Select "Account" (i.e. the first thing on the
- Scroll to the bottom and select "Advanced"
- Scroll to the bottom and change the S/MIME switch to
- 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.
- Back out to the Account details page, and click on
- Now open the Mail app.
- Compose a new mail; underneath "New Message" it
should say, "Encrypted". Send yourself an encrypted
- Be slightly dismayed, as I was, to discover it's only
signed, because it apparently only has your secret key.
- Undaunted, send an encrypted mail from your Mac
- 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.
- The sender detail will include a "View
Certificate" button. Click that.
- Click "Install"
- NOW try sending yourself an email from the iPhone. It should
be encrypted this time. Woohoo!
- 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,
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Hares: mad in March. Cat: mad all the time.