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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

May 31
A recently-acquired electrical device has been successfully reverse-engineered to provide data which can be plugged into home monitoring system. I used MQTT to do the plugging, and now want to use MQTT for everything.

May 29
Nothing like spending an hour slavishly copying headers before realising you made a basic mistake in header content. Pfft. The trials and tribulations of webscraping.

May 28
Back from a proper outing with the car - took it on a trip to the southwest. Stopped at an Ionity rapid charge station on the way to refuel; I'm not sure how close we'd've gotten to our destination without doing so but we likely wouldn't quite have made it. The first half of the drive was pretty much entirely motorway, while the second was much more, uh, entertaining due to what constitutes a national route in that part of the country: to quote an observation, if it's the only route it kinda has to be the national route regardless of the state it's in.

Finished up season one of Bosch: Legacy by yelling at the TV somewhat because they left it on a godawful cliffhanger. Like, incomplete cases cliffhanger. That's just nonsense for a show like this: wrap up the cases in a season or go home. Leave the suspense for the characters, dammit. Oh well, now we get to wait for the next season to show up. I mean, we were going to watch it anyway.

May 22
Hacking on my GoPro again. Can't recall where I'd gotten with this before or why I gave up, but apparently I left cross-compiling tools lying around... however, trying to get an interactive networking shell up and running is proving a little beyond me at present.

Also tinkering with Homekit again. After much faffing and poking I managed to get all the TRVs to show up in the Apple Home app; one proved particularly recalcitrant until I slavishly copied a bunch of unrelated config from a working TRV and ... magically things were ok. I am still faced with an annoying physics problem, though: previously two, and now three of the TRVs are exhibiting problems that look like the valve body is toast. You can turn it on and off, but no settings between seem to exist.

May 16
Toys, toys, toys. So last Thursday we replaced our long-serving (7 years!) petrol-engined car with a fully-electric car. Driving it so far has proven to be fun, at least as much for discovering seven years of upgrades to the state of the art as anything else.

Arrived today in the post: a chip-reading cat feeder. One of our cats has an eating problem - he likes to, and a lot - and the other is a grazer. The eater wound up with a bit of a weight problem, so we've had him on a diet for a while, and part of the diet enforcement protocol is putting the grazer's food where the glutton can't reach it. Alas, the newly svelte and definitely hungry piglet has discovered his inner ninja and is now able to jump to the previously safe perch. So, electronics to the rescue. Insert food into feeder; insert cat into feeder to program the chip-reader; go through tedious acclimatisation programme to get cat to use the feeder. Or, in Bonzo's case, wait a few hours while she figures it out and gets used to it. It wasn't cheap, but it's definitely working quite well and we (so far) haven't had to engage the Thieving Cat Defence or the Shut Lid Quickly feature: LardCat is simply freaked out by the thing and eyes it suspiciously from a safe distance.

May 10
We've had Airprint functioning in the house through judicious application of a Raspberry Pi and some open source software, but it's rarely used because we don't actually print that much. This past weekend, however, we had need of printing something from an iPad. Sent it to the printer and ... nothing. I spent probably an hour tinkering with various things, upgrading things, restarting things, rebooting things and eventually stumbled across the problem: the thing being printed was a password-protected PDF, and the server didn't have the password. I don't know how this is supposed to work, but it sure as hell was hard to debug...

May 8
Hurrah, it turns out my React bug is actually a bug in the library I was using, and rolling back a couple of point releases fixes it. While investigating this I found a few other problems that were my fault, mind you.

May 7
Picard S2 also wrapped up nicely, albeit just a little bit anticlimactically. On the whole I enjoyed this, so I really can't fathom people saying it's the worst Trek ever (have they not seen TOS?) - something you'll find not a little of with a quick Internet search. Maybe what they really wanted was ST:TNG Season 8? I don't know.

Noticed that Harry Bosch had reappeared in Bosch: Legacy; I'm not sure why the name change as it still seems to be almost all the same people, but whatever. I thought the season opener was going to wrap up as a standalone episode at one point (not sure why; maybe just the pacing?) but no, it's good for both ten episodes and a second season, it looks like, so YAY!

May 1
Slow Horses wrapped up nicely in six episodes: didn't feel rushed, didn't feel dragged out. I know there were some changes in the ending, but I wasn't keeping track throughout and feel like it's worth going back through the book now both because it's fun to read and also to see what was actually changed vs. what I remember / was aware of. Cast-wise, I think they pretty much nailed it, although Min was a bit more hapless than I recall, and Judd was way too far from who he's supposed to be a caricature of - they could have at least cast the dishevelled blonde hair correctly!

I'm now debating whether we cancel the Apple TV subscription until the next season comes around, or not, since we haven't watched a single other thing with it.

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