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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

April 30
Bit of grammar trouble over at RTÉ News:
2018-04-29 19:39:36 French museum discovers half of its collection are fake
2018-04-29 21:19:40 French museum discovers half of its collection is fake
2018-04-30 07:01:17 French museum discovers half of collection are fakes

They just gave up on this one outright, though:
2018-04-29 17:33:56 Labour Party launches it's campaign for a yes vote

Backups: mine seem to have recovered, but now Mrs. Waider's are lagging. Deary me.

IMDb/HTTP in Emacs: I made a quick bodge to fix it. Basically I'd written a thing to allow you to do Emacs' find-file with URLs using cURL ages ago, so I just tweaked that slightly and did an interference fit1 against the IMDb code. It means it no longer supports proxies or cookies (yes! I'd written all that in Emacs lisp!), but I don't need either for this to work.

1. implies use of force

April 27
Somehow we missed - and didn't know we'd missed - X-Men: Days of Future Past. It's basically "Bryan Singer uses time travel to reboot the X-Men stuff he disagrees with" and frankly after X-Men: The Last Stand it's about the only place this franchise could go. IMDb tells me they also disregarded a few plot points from that movie but frankly it's been so long since I've seen it that I can't actually recall much beyond the rather silly floating of the Golden Gate Bridge around the place. But that's not this movie. The throwback to the 70s was done well enough, but the plot was a bit preposterous and I couldn't take Peter Dinklage's moustache seriously. Like, this is your bad guy? He looks like he should be in Boogie Nights, not this movie... ultimately this feels like another by-the-numbers superhero movie where they're required to hit certain notes, certain sacrifices must be made, certain characters have uncharacteristic changes of heart, etc. and as such it just sort of toodles along harmlessly. The only really bad bit is the denoument, where for some reason they felt the need to go to epic lengths to draw out the obvious conclusion and you're kinda sitting there drumming your fingers going, "c'mon, we know how this is gonna pan out, just get to it already". And then we have the happily ever after setup for the next movie (also haven't seen it). Summary: not dire, but not a patch on the MCU stuff.

April 20
...and the backup finished, and then some time later started a new backup of ~33GB. I'm sure this all makes sense somehow.

Thor: Ragnarok is sort of like of someone took a previous Avengers movie and had the scriptwriters from Deadpool work it over. It has a lot of self-deprecating humour going on; however, they never quite get around to any fourth-wall-breaking activities. It's a lot of fun, and I'm sure my enjoyment of it was in no way associated with consumption of a margarita and a beer during the watching.

Wow. I just discovered (while wondering why my Emacs-based IMDb lookup no longer works) that I wrote a rudimentary HTTP client - with cookie support - in elisp. That's hideous. What was I thinking?

(I'm thinking I have to update it to support SSL, because that's why it's stopped working...)

April 19
Somewhere back there we watched Loving Vincent which is sort of a crime story about Van Gogh's death told through the medium of his paintings... sort of. The gimmick is that the whole thing is hand-painted, and some of the paintings are, shall we say, fairly recognisable. It's a light enough piece, impressive more for what's gone into producing it and for the cast than for the story or the acting (which is a bit hard to judge given that everyone's nuanced expression got rotoscoped). Still, a nice way to spend a bit of time.

Backup has definitely finished copying files, but is currently "Cleaning up..." which it's been doing for several days now. Maybe removing all the failed backup attempts or something.

April 17
Freeing up ~300GB to back up ~10GB seems to have fixed my TimeMachine problems. Go figure.

April 15
About a month ago, TimeMachine backups from my MacBook stopped completing. I've been poking them with a stick periodically to try and figure out what's going on, to no avail. On the plus side, I've got Arq installed to give me offsite backups, and that seems to be working reliably, but it's annoying. It's particularly annoying that it's not actually telling me what's wrong; it used be, on previous MacOS versions, that you could dig in system.log and find messages from the backup process. Not so much now.

(d'y'know, it might actually be that I've filled up the drive the backups live on. Do you think some part of the system might tell me that?)

Fixing some minor broken things from my website updates: removed the Google ads from the front page, because it was never a good idea (I'll be getting rid of the rest of them eventually); removed the call to Flickr's old badge API, because they didn't quite disable it, they replaced it with a tracker; and fixed the image fetching in the IMDb lookup.

April 11
Happy Birthday to me.

Rambo: First Blood Part II was on television, and you know what? I've never seen it. I played the video game on a ZX Spectrum and beat it, and I knew about Rambo's somewhat laughable dialogue, but I'd somehow managed to never see the movie. So, tonight I did, mostly. I skipped about 5-10 minutes because I'd some other stuff to do but eh, I wasn't missing anything I couldn't guess at. So how is it? It's a movie of its time: cheesy, now, and silly, and the VFX are awful: cut to: gun! cut to: effects of gun! cut to: gun again! And of course the music is terrible 80s synth-crap (and I say this as someone who liked 80s synth music in general). I guess it's worth seeing just to say you did, but no more than that.

April 6
Trying to wrap some sort of ORM around OpenHAB's persistence model. It's truly hideous.

April 3
I recently had reason to encounter the Scons build system. Oh my. Why do people have such a tough time reinventing the Makefile wheel?

April 2
Since we'd finished Season 5 of The X-Files we then obviously had to proceed to The X-Files: Fight the Future aka "the feature-length episode where Mulder and Scully almost kiss". Actually, I saw this back when it came out, and the only two bits I could recall were the non-kiss and the flying saucer at the end. Everything else: news to me. As these things go, it's actually pretty good, since their express goal was to make a movie that wouldn't require you to know the mythos of the show. Mulder is, I think, a little toned down from the series, which makes sense because if you're not a follower then you'd not have enough exposure to his crazy to tolerate him. Likewise, Scully is less the outright skeptic. And the plot does follow the arc of the series, which is a pretty cool trick, and sets up Season 6: Season 5 ends with the X Files being closed, and the movie ends with them being reopened. Although given the end of Season 5, they're gonna bit a bit crispy.

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The second half of the first half.