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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

May 27
In which we went to see Mr. Neil Gaiman being interviewed, sort of, by a member of the International Literary Festival Dublin. Lovely guy, enteraining evening.

May 23
A little more hacking around with the site layout - now there are next/prev links at the top right of the pages (not in RSS, obviously).

May 20
Reread the entire run of Transmetropolitan over hte last week... just because. It's still a vibrant and relevant piece of work despite the fact that it's 21 years old in places; perhaps it's more relevant, because it was weirdly prescient about things that were trivially written off as an excess of fiction - like a White House Press Officer telling the press that it's a privilege to be permitted in the press room; or a president who wants the title but doesn't actually want to do any, y'know, presiding.

Just leaving this here:
Together For Yes banner

Had to redo some scripts which made assumptions about the format of next/previous links in the diary. Since I've gone to the trouble of coding up something that can parse the files, I should probably blow up all these auxilliary scripts and fold them into the current mess.

May 19
Website beaten into template code, now removing the exceptions so that everything gets cleaned up: no Google Analytics, no Google Ads, no Technorati profile, and everything using the same template.

May 12
Still working on the random cleanup of this site.

The bulk of content, such as it is, is this diary, and it's not generated with any of your fancy-pants "blogging" software: it's written in Emacs, using a fairly minimal templating and assisting system (which knows how to look up things in IMDb, and has a semi-functional means of linking a given piece of text consistently to whatever I'd linked it to in the past). However, the templating is done at time of writing, which means that a change I made to the template in, say, 2013 will not be back-propagated to previous entries. Which means cleaning out the Google advertising (and, it seems, Google analytics in a few spots) is a bit of a pain. So I've hacked together something that will reverse-engineer the pages into template plus content, and in the process I'm discovering all sorts of silly errors; not just minor stuff like misplaced tags, but major stuff like a "Prev" meta tag that, er, refers to the current month rather than the previous one. Various other encoding errors are also being sorted out as I find them.

(Why not use blogging software? Because I don't think I ever came across one I liked when I went looking, and because my requirements are few, and because I like that this site is effectively static once it's shipped to the server - you can't break into its database of articles and plant malware, because there isn't a database and the pages get resynced with my offline copy every time I do an upload.)

May 11
Batman vs. Superman was not the terrible movie I was lead to expect. In fact, I kinda liked it, although I can't really engage with Ben Affleck as The Bat, and snide, whiny Alfred was rather unpalatable. Anyway. Not terrible, not essential cinema.

May 9
Doing some random cleanup on the files that make up this site, not least to remove the Google Ads I randomly stuck in some time ago.

May 4
Friday night is movie night... no, we didn't watch any of the Star Wars franchise, we watched The Departed - which I'd seen before, but Mrs. Waider had not. Definitely better the second time around because you're prepared for it being Three. Hours. Long. (ok, 2.5) But it does still feel like they could've edited it a bit. It's good, it's gritty, it's tense, it's... surprising towards the end (and Scorsese's reported distatste with how it all pans out is intriguing, to say the least). Worth seeing at least once.

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