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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

March 29
Wow, lookit that Brexit go.

Assorted detours into narrative over fact aside, Bohemian Rhapsody was quite the enjoyable piece of work, not least because the only other thing I've seen Rami Malek in is Mr. Robot where he's sort of the complete opposite to Freddie Mercury. The historical inaccuracies are a little weird, given the slavish devotion to producing (for example) a replica of the Live Aid set complete with era-appropriate Pepsi logos, but I suppose if you want a nice heroic arc to frame your story then at least some historical details may have to take a back seat. I guess I'd say, enjoy the movie but don't treat it like an actual biopic.

March 22
Grabbed Captain America: Civil War off some station or other recently. I watched this back in 2016 on a flight home from America which meant I didn't get, shall we say, the full experience; watching it in a (probably) uncut format without assorted background distractions on a reasonably-sized screen was definitely a better experience. Also having since seen Ant-Man and whichever movie they blew up an entire city in, I've now got the backstory I was missing for a few pieces of the movie. It's pretty good, even if a portion of it is just half the Avengers punching the crap out of the other half, repeated at a smaller scale later on.

So now we've only three of the franchise unwatched, including Infinity War. Getting there.

March 16
Apparently Charles Bronson thought The Dirty Dozen was too violent, to the point where he walked out (temporarily) mid-filming. That would be guy who made five "Death Wish" movies. It's a dated film in a lot of respects, mainly in terms of the effects; the storyline is fairly straightforward - grimmer than I expected at the end, but straightforward nonetheless and wouldn't really need altering if the whole thing was remade. Apparently at the time of release the idea of American soldiers being anything other than knights in shining armour was a bit of an upset, which is something that's hard to recapture now. To be honest I mainly watched this because it's been on one channel or another repatedly for the last month so I figured I'd give it a go. Can't say I'd be inclined to watch it a second time.

Oh, and somewhere in the third act, Virgin Media decided I couldn't continue to watch the show "for copyright reasons"; I flipped over to Freesat to continue watching, and when I flipped back to the Virgin box later it was running again. No idea what that was about.

March 8
X-Men: Apocalypse started out well enough, but then seemed to get sort of fuzzy and lose its way before eventually Magneto inevitably changes sides and works with Xavier instead of against him. And there was the whole "bad guy is the Mummy" bit. And the "have my mental pain" routine that was used in The Crow back in 1992. And further tweaks to the Wolverine origin story. Ok movie, but not something to lose sleep over if you missed it.

March 3
Today's fun MacOS discovery: the thing in High Sierra that allows you to add drivers from third-party developers to your system can't be operated when you're controlling the Mac using screen sharing. I had to line up the mouse pointer on the appropriate button, then go to the Mac, plug in a mouse without moving it, and click the button. Alternative approaches I found required booting to recovery mode. The single most annoying part of this is that there's no easy way to discover it: the UI shows you a button, you click on it, and nothing happens. If you dig around, you'll eventually find a system log entry that says the click is being discarded because one PID doesn't match another (although what those PIDs are for doesn't get a mention). Sufficient web-searching at that point turns up the solution: use directly-connected hardware instead of remote control. Apparently the same issue affects some third-party hardware, so even with directly-connected hardware you might still encounter difficulties.

Giant eye-roll, is all I'm sayin'.

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Time goes marching on.