Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

November 26
Another fascinating discover-by-breaking Appleism: the default mail server config rejects mail ... with an empty subject line.

November 22
The latest incarnation of Apple's Apache Web Server, as provided in their Server product, includes some sort of application proxy. After a frustrating ten minutes where a Django app I run kept losing its login credentials, I realised that the problem was that I had another Django app on the same server - using a different process pool, I should note - which was getting shunted through the same proxy, and somehow invalidating the logged-in app. The part of this that's really annoying is that finding documentation on exactly what Apple is doing with Apache is rarely easy and often the only sure way to proceed is to find the configuration files and read them yourself, or just disable the Apple-provided configuration entirely and build your own stack instead.

November 21
Went to see Spectre this afternoon. It was a nice piece of brain candy, but at the same time I came away from it feeling it was all just a bit flat - like it was going through the motions of a Bond movie without any real enthusiasm.

November 15
I've started re-reading Cryptonomicon, having discovered that Amazon was willing to sell the Kindle version to me cheaply because I'd previously bought the doorstop dead tree version. It's better than I remember, but it's also dated pretty badly in places (floppy disk to hold your private crypto key? not a secure USB key?), and the mathematical exposition (using Turing's damaged bike to illustrate how Enigma rotors work, for example) is overcooked to the point of tedium because if you're not interested, it's not advancing the plot, and if you are interested, it's written at such an elementary level that you just want to skip past it to the good bits. Still, enjoying the retread through half-remembered passages of the book.

November 11
Survived running 5k. First run in about 6 years, no prep (other than that I cycle to and from work daily), and I managed to clock in at about 31 and a half minutes. More to the point, I raised about €375 for the charity, part of over €5,000 raised by the office team. Go us, etc.

November 9
For those of you waiting for the DSPsrv to fall over again, turning off the Completely Fair Scheduler (a thing wot controls how data gets written to the disks) appears to have dramatically cut back on the hardware errors I was seeing. Go figure.

This Wednesday, I'm doing a run - well, probably more of a fast walk - for the first time since December 20089. I will be participating in the Dublin Run in the Dark, and I am fundraising as part of a company team over at JustGiving.com. Feel free to chip in a few quid, if you are so inclined.

November 1
All FatWatch data now uploaded to FitBit. Thanks, FatWatch, you've been great, but I don't need more than one place to keep my weight data (it'd be nice if both FitBit and FatWatch integrated with HealthKit so they could share the weight data, but there you go). I've also put some comments in the upload script explaining how to get it to work. It's still not exactly a user app, though.

DSPsrv is back online again, and thanks to various handwavy things I'm no wiser as to why it actually died. I've made some minor tweaks - such as having it automatically reboot 30 seconds after a kernel panic - which I hope will make it less likely to get into an intervention-requiring state again, but I have some other things I want to do in terms of monitoring its health and maybe getting a better understanding of same. It doesn't help that Dell's official diagnostic / management software has moved on from this particular platform.

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