A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- May 30
- Got an invite for the new Google Maps. Clicked on it. Got a
banner saying my browser (Firefox) was unsupported, which went on
to tell me which browsers are supported, which list
included... Firefox. No version specified, either.
- May 28
- I can't help but feel that Bastille were in the studio listening
to Pompeii on playback and saying, "HELL
YES". Very catchy piece of music.
- May 27
- It took me a while (mainly watching in half-hour sections while
working out), but I finally watched all of Metropolis. The version I saw seems
to be somewhere between the heavily-cut version and the near-full
restoration, but still ran to about two hours. Interesting piece
of work. The scale is rather fantastic, and some of the effects
are, in their own way, better than some of what subsequently
passed for cinemacraft. Hard to enjoy this, admittedly, since the
film quality is a bit rubbish - high contrast, frequently
difficult to make out what's going on in both the foreground and
background - and the acting, in the style of the day, is seriously
hamming it up.
- May 26
- More movies: Brave is exactly what you'd expect from
Pixar - a well-done story with beautiful visuals, and a healthy
dose of humour wrapped around a serious core. Well worth seeing.
The Amazing Spider-Man:
I preferred Sam Raimi's origin story, to be honest, even if this
one is apparently more true to the comic book origin story. Maybe
it's just that, in the end, this felt like a movie crammed with
things and yet felt strangely flat and empty. I did like
the humour and exhiliration of Parker learning his new powers, but
I felt (again) that Raimi's take on this was better, and
Parker-post-spiderbite was really a bit of a dick, compared to
(yet again) Raimi's, who was a dick until he understood the whole
"actions have consequences" shtick. So, sure,
blockbuster movie and things explode and what not, but I wouldn't
rave about it.
I've a vague idea I'm missing out another movie I saw recently,
but it could just be a made-for-TV feature-length Sherlock
- May 24
- It says pretty clearly on my Linked-In profile that I'm not
seeking job offers and will mark any I receive as spam. This
apparently is invisible to roughly one person a month, the most
recent of whom ended with an instruction that I not
reply, rather than I phone or email some other person. Spammy AND
- May 20
- Two health-related things I've encountered recently: firstly, Allie
Brosh writes about depression. This is actually the second of
two, with something like an eighteen-month interval between the
two, and I'm torn between recommending you read them in order and
recommending that you skip the first one outright because the
important stuff is in the second (i.e. the one I linked to). So,
decide for yourself. This is an astonishingly frank, in places
hysterically funny description of being on the receiving end of a
bout of clinical depression. I can't make claims about how
applicable this is to all depression - the comments on the piece
itself have a few positive remarks in that direction - but the
really, really key thing in here that was an eye-opener
for me is her description of people trying to cheer her up. The
short version is, if you're listening to someone telling you how
they feel (or in this instance, how they don't feel at
all), make sure you've actually heard them before offering
advice. (Or telling them what to do with their dead fish. Read
the piece to make sense of that.) This is incredibly powerful,
clever, and stupidly obvious advice that I've certainly missed and
that I imagine many other non-depressed people have, too. In
summary, why aren't you reading this already? Waider.IE will still
be here when you're done, and it's much less informative.
The second thing is a TED talk, a website, and an app: it's all
called SuperBetter and
it's all about literally gaming your health. Probably the best
explanation is the TED talk, where Jane
McGonigal talks for 20 minutes and promises you you'll have gained
7 minutes on your lifespan if you follow along. (Caution,
embedded video starts playing as soon as the page has loaded; you
may wish to stop it and pick one of the downloads to stash it away
for later viewing). I've signed up on this with my gmail account,
if you decide to sign up yourself and want to invite me as an
Ally - I'm declining the opportunity to spam a bunch of people
with links to an app they have no interest in!
- May 17
- Surprisingly, the Total Recall remake turned out to
be not a bag of crap, although there was definitely an amount of
"don't think too hard about this" going on, and Colin
Farrell can't seem to hold an American accent straight for more
than 30 seconds at a time before the Irish starts bleeding
through. Still, entertaining stuff, worth a look.
Finally got a complete Gramps build, but it crashes
on startup. Seems to be a bug involving glib (that's g-lib, rather
than "smooth-talking") vs. Xcode4.
- May 14
- Almost had a working Gramps build, then
discovered I was pulling from the wrong source repo. GAH. After
I'd filed bugs, too. DOUBLE GAH.
- May 12
- Watched the oddball Korean movie, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring which was sort of
predictable and dull but set in very beautiful
surroundings. Actually rather relaxing to watch, to be
honest. Wouldn't pick it out again, though.
- May 8
- So it turns out that (a) the gtk-osx stuff that Gramps uses is in flux and
(b) that flux has broken the damned thing twice in the last
week. I've filed two bugs, one with a patch and one without (as I
can't quite figure out how to fix the problem yet).
Phone activated. Even with staff (presumably) on the premises I
still had to choose non-obvious IVR options to talk to someone.
Turns out the gtk-osx guy is pretty reponsive. Three bugs filed
today, all closed within the day with fixes. Small bugs, to be
sure, but that's still a decent turnaround.
- May 7
- AvantCard (MBNA's buyers) are doing a great job with their new
site. Right now, it won't let me add a second card to my account
(last time I tried it didn't recognise the card, now it simply
doesn't offer me the option) and when I tried to visit their FAQ
section, I got a Sharepoint error. Classy. There's also
this gem: "Selecting your statement is straight
forward. Simply select the statement month you want to view and
click Select. This will open the statement details to view.",
which is in a "Tips" box right next to the main text
which reads, "Coming soon...".
Got me a shiny new JebusPhone, but I am having no end of
difficulty registering the SIM for it. It would appear that after
5:30 the entire Vodafone support staff goes offline and you're
left with an IVR system that leads you around in circles, refers
you to the website, and just generally refuses to help. Some
competitors of this excuse for a telco and indeed some variants of
this telco in other countries allow you to simply enter your SIM
number into an online form (online! what a concept!) and away you
go. Le sigh.
- May 5
- Trying out the Gramps
build-from-source option again, this time using a user account
expressly created for the purpose.
Of note: The build-from-source version definitely disagrees with
whatever version of xz I had installed (I can't even recall what I
installed it for - I turned up a compressed file at some point
that required it, I think, but even that's a hazy
- May 4
- The twice-mentioned Screenclick oddnesss
dropped a Korean-language movie on us. Faced with that, we chose
to eschew cultural world cinema and instead wartched Quantum of Solace, which was
a good deal more fun (at least, I imagine it was. The Korean movie
- May 3
- After noting the oddball stuff Screenclick had queued up I
went and rescrubbed the wishlist, and so we had Men in Black III to watch, which
is awesome. Ignoring the fact that it's third in a franchise, this
movie would stand on its own barring the fact that if you'd not
seen the first two you wouldn't know the MiB backstory, which
doesn't get any expository backfill here. Taking on board that
it's a sequel, though, makes it so much more impressive that it's
as good as it is. It's laugh-out-loud funny in places, it's got a
good line in adrenaline-loaded scenes, it's got a bit of
poignance, a bit of romance, an Apollo 11 launch... what's not to
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Is time moving faster, or am I just getting slower?