Hacker's Diary

A rough account of I did with Emacs recently.

November 30
Company Christmas party invites went out today. Another fine abuse of Perl.

November 29
Nothing of note, today. I must be slowing down or something.

November 28
Noticed that JerkCity and Red Meat had both changed their layouts, so updated snorq to cope.

November 27
Played around with the Linux Sensors stuff, but can't seem to get it to work without going hacking, so.

November 26
Today I wrote a shell script using a SQL query. I feel so PROUD.

November 25
Durrr. Head hurt. Durrrr.

Downloaded the Mozilla SRPM since a non-debug download wasn't immediately obvious to me.

November 24
ILUG had their DistroWars mini-Linuxcon today. Well, actually they started with the beerfesting last night, which caused several people to show up for Alan Cox's talk on Free Software round about the time Alan was finishing up... much beer was then consumed at Messrs. Maguire, followed by a stagger ("it's just around the corner, Phillip") to the Dublin Brewing Company where we paid a mere £20 each to drink as much as we could before they closed. Mmmm, beer!

I wandered into Messrs. not knowing any of the people in the group, and promptly infiltrated the nearest group which consisted of some Swansea LUG folk and Dave Jones, who it turns out is a kernel wizard responsible for doing evil things in the chip detection and setup code (arch/i386/kernel/setup.c) and is also working on Intel's SpeedStep™ goop.

Fun moment in the DBC: a Swedish hacker named Michael saying, "you're the BBDB maintainer?" and shaking my hand enthusiastically. Whee!

Alan suggested that the reason I'm getting crappy performance from Mozilla is that I'm running the debug builds, which I sheepishly agreed was probably the case. Alan also told us about the demented guy who's running MIPS-Linux on a HP LaserJet (yes, the printer) with the added humour that the only thing that doesn't work is the actual print mechanism, because it's all proprietary HP technology... He also told us where to find the DMCA-blocked kernel ChangeLog, so that's one for the bookmarks. Oh, and I think that the "Talking Shite" BOF was by far the most popular.

November 23
Hah! I got a mention in NTK!.

I also found out today that while the laptop is under warranty until April 2003, the battery is out of warranty since April 2001. Bah.

November 22
Hrm. I decide to clean up the wiring to the ISDN box, and Esat simultaneously decides to have their local dialup box go haywire, causing me much confusion.

November 21
Slurped down the latest Mozilla release. It's nice to see that after, hmm, two and a half years they've got something that's almost as complete as Navigator... yeah, I know. That's unfair. But hey - look at Internet Explorer's gains in the same period of time, and I don't mean market share, either. And it's not like I'm a fan of Microsoft or anything.

Solved my FTP problem by forceloading ip_conntrack_ftp and ip_nat_ftp. No idea which is necessary; I just did a quick Google and found something that said "load both". And thus bad net.advice is propagated (although it does work...)

November 20
More five-a-side soccer. On the losing team again, although I garnered some praise from a team mate for my (somewhat vicious) defending...

November 19
Spent about an hour swapping between the Autoconf manual and BBDB's autoconf files trying to make it far too clever for its own good. Well, actually, trying to make it behave in a sane fashion. Mission approximately accomplished. Did a big CVS checkin to celebrate.

Oh, and my VMware Windows profile is definitely hosed beyond belief. I can't even tell what's broken.

November 18
Bought a new "entertainment unit" today from the nice people at Argos. The old one may well end up being some sort of rack analogue for my little collection of hardware if I can figure out where to put it...

November 17
In a fit of insert arbitrary and rare event here, I decided to rearrange my room. For a while it looked like I'd simply planted a bomb in the middle of it. Actually, it looks like that a lot of the time. Hmm.

Downloaded GLOBE - Global Land One-kilometre Base Elevation. It's a bit big.

November 16
Working in the Sandyford office today. My VMware Windows configuration seems to be trashed. I'm beginning to think it's time I scoured the Windows partition and reinstalled from scratch.

November 15
Working in Perl has me spoiled. I keep forgetting to compile my DTED hacker before doing a test run. Anyway, after some abuse and swearing, I managed to produce an OpenGL rotating chunk of dots shaped approximately like the British Isles. Hurrah! (SSC: OpenGL is the easiest way I know right now to get something graphical on screen. I miss my ZX Spectrum's PLOT and DRAW commands...)

November 14
Started coding up a DTED file dismantler after determining that none of the stuff I've downloaded seems to be working off the same spec as I'm reading.

November 13
Five-a-side soccer resumes! I was on the team that lost 6-8, but I had a good game.

Playing around with DTED maps again. DEMtools doesn't seem to work for me at all; I think I'll need to write my own parser (gack!) unless I can find something else at http://www.remotesensing.org/ that works. My choices appear to be some sort of KDE thing (gack on a stick!) or some sort of C++ library (gack on a pointy stick!), so I guess I'm doomed. People! Get a grip!

November 12
Some BBDB tweaking. Maybe this weekend I'll get my release out...*oink oink* *flap flap*

November 11
Micromail site update. The magical "which field is which?" parser needed tweaking again. Also, I seem to have run up against some ftp problem again. Looks like my masquerading setup has broken, somehow. This wouldn't be an issue except that the damn web server FTP connection doesn't accept passive mode.

November 10
Rebuilt GnuPG as I'd rather stupidly overwritten my modified version when I upgraded to RedHat 7.2. D'oh. That'll teach me to make RPM files for this sort of thing in future...

November 9
More Oracle abuse. I'm developing quite a refined hatred of the whole iAS "architecture".

November 8
Oracle abuse. Lots of.

November 7
Built a new version of the PPTP stuff to allow me to connect to the office. For some reason it disabled my ethernet link when I shut down the connection, and I couldn't restart, either.

November 6
Bleh. Throat infection, it appears.

November 5
Stuck in the office until just after midnight.

November 4
Discovered that some crazed fool has done a Linux version of the engine at the heart of the Monkey Island games. Whoops. There goes the afternoon.

November 3
Cleaning up the .rpmnew files and so forth. The unpleasant part. For the most part, though, a pretty straightforward upgrade. I do, however, appear to have fallen into Backspace-vs-Delete hell again. GAH. Why is this still an issue in late 2001? After some investigation, it appears that telling local xterms to use ^? (DEL) as backspace will "repair" the problem. ssh connections appear to do this right; it's just popping up a local xterm that messes it up.

November 2
Began a live upgrade of Klortho to Redhat 7.2 once I'd found an ISP supporting dual-channel ISDN for free. Thank you Elive!

November 1
Much pruning of email and so forth which seems to have gotten WAY backed up lately.

I'm plagued by bad customer service, it seems. In addition to the last three months of fun and games with eircom, esat.net are still billing me after ten months for (a) an invoice paid in January and (b) an invoice for a domain I don't own and never have owned. Add to this a late delivery of the wrong item from DCB, a late delivery of an item from TrainIT, and a whole SLEW of difficulties with a supplier of one of our office toys, and I'm beginning to suspect I'm somehow marked.

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Waider What's a vember, anyway,
and why don't we have one?