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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

August 31
The Guernsey Literary and Potato-Peel Society is a lovely piece of work; it's somewhat predictable, but that's ok. It's beautifully shot (mind, not actually on Guernsey, and there's a shot of a German observation post from Guernsey that looks a bit poorly composited into whichever hillside in The Mainland they were filming on) and while you can pick apart the story yourself fairly quickly, it's still fun to let it play out. It also piqued my interest in the wartime experience on the Channel Islands, the complexities of which are more alluded to in the film than stated outright. Anyway, a solid movie for Friday night.

August 26
Figured out why the web automation stuff from August 15th wasn't working: the Python3 replacement for mechanize only tracks state internally if you use open - so it doesn't do well with e.g. posted forms. Once I figured this out, completing the automation tool sufficiently was fairly straightforward.

Started in on X-Files Season 10. Epsiode 3 is possibly the goofiest X-Files episode I've ever seen.

August 17
BBC World News: all the news that's oh whatever:
2018-08-17 05:05:02Boob pools, climbing walls and raining dollar bills
2018-08-17 13:05:02Nipple baths, climbing walls and raining dollar bills

Bosch Season 4: Complete. Wrapped up nicely in a way that allows this to wind up the show or lead into a new season.

August 15
We're most of the way through Bosch Season 4 at this point, not least because it's damned hard to stop at watching when the credits roll. I could easily binge-watch an entire season of this.

Monday: wrote 75% of a web automation tool (posting a form that's split over multiple pages and is tedious to deal with). Tuesday: did some trivial amount of reworking on it and the 75% that was working... no longer works. Doesn't even work past the first page. I have no idea, and of course I didn't keep a work-in-progress copy (although it's just occurred to me that either Time Machine or Arq will have done that for me, so there's hope)

August 11
I continue to be amazed at the awfulness of the made-over Vodafone site. This morning I discovered that they have a section on the data they hold on me; when I clicked the button to request said data, it said "Error making request" and that's it. Then I went over to their store-finder page, and it's a list of pop-open sections, unsorted, with Dublin listed by postcode and a "search filter" which just limits the number of pop-open sections shown to you (and, incidentally, closes any you had open) with matches anchored at the start of the search word so "Dublin" doesn't match "Co Dublin" (which should be "Co. Dublin", strictly speaking). And it lists at least one store in a shopping centre that's currently closed.

And they're still not doing online upgrades.

We launched into Bosch Season 4 recently and it's pretty compelling. The Mrs. Bosch event was surprisingly swiftly dispatched, but at least it wasn't as nonsensical as the book version.

August 5
Fiddling around with linear gradients to do a progress bar in HTML (something like background: linear-gradient(to right, green x%, red 100-x%), and getting decidedly odd results (Safari on MacOS): identical code with slight variations in the percentage gives me either a crisp progress bar look, or a smooth green/red gradient. Swapping from percentages to px doesn't seem to help, either - it's like some values Just Don't Work.

(I realise I'm totally abusing the intent of the linear gradient here, but hey)

Ok, so some experimentation shows that for values < 50%, I get the gradient rather than the clean cut... leading to a fix: if the left-hand percentage is below 50, swap the gradient around so it fills to the left instead of the right, and swap the colours so the first one is now the value > 50%. Crazy, but it works.

Well, that was disappointing. Having gotten to the end of X-Files "Classic" - the last episode of Season 9 - we figured we'd watch the second movie (X-Files: I Want To Believe) and see if it tied up any loose ends (supersoldiers, alien invasion, etc.) But no, it's basically a feature-length monster of the week episode. Gah.

August 1
We just watched The X-Files Season 9: Jump the Shark which is quite possibly the worst episode ever. I'm not even sure if it was meant to be a joke, but if it was, it failed..

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