A rough account of I did with Emacs
- July 31
- Or three. Actually, this evening we visited
- July 30
- Bob is in town, so we went for a beer. Or
- July 29
- Tried out new Linksys switch. Whoops, forgot
it'd have a US power supply. Dug out a suitable power
supply. Hooked things up. DHCP doesn't work. I can think of a
reason for this that doesn't make sense to me, but for now I'm
back to 10Mbps, dammit. I'll try bouncing it off the
geeksrv and see what they come up with.
- July 28
- An interesting enough F1, although it got a
little boring towards the end. Michael didn't really have anything
to worry about from the get-go; the promising Jordans didn't fare
quite so well, with Fisichella getting hosered by his first
pitstop after a non-spectacular start, and Sato driving a steady
but mostly uneventful race to finish 8th. Fisichella wound up
somewhere before the end with a busted car, alas. Oh, Sato did put
on a decent show at one point, overtaking Villeneuve. Stick it to
the BAR team! Woohoo!
- July 27
brother Donal and his fiancée stopped by; they're doing
pretty much a circuit of the country over the course of a
week. He brought me the dinkiest little 10/100 hub I've ever seen
(actually, it's a switch, which is better still) and a
thinkgeek shirt, woohoo! Another one for the tshirts page...
Of course, by "stopped by" I mean we spent a few hours
in a pub, a restaurant, and another pub. Whee!
F1 in Germany this weekend; Schumacher (M) on pole, Schumacher (R)
on P2. Giancarlo Fisichella on P6! And Sato again was holding onto
P10 until he got pipped in the last few minutes to end up at
P12. Jordans are looking good!
Oh, and I got my hair cut,
- July 26
- Had a look at BitTorrent; the idea's nice,
but I need to read up more on the technology to find out how it's
abusing my connection. Plus, strictly speaking, it's a server
benefit - after all, I still have to fit whatever it is I'm
downloading through the 128k pipe on the back of Gonzo.
Oh, plus a side-effect of its modus operandi appears to be that
partial downloads are worthless - you have to wait for the whole
thing to download before you can make use of it. Which sucks, a
- July 25
- Waider at idle, so to speak.
- July 24
- Tweaked some pages with my HTML 4.01 strict
compliance toy. Which I amusingly named
"comply.pl". Ironically, none of the diary pages have
been run through this particular wringer yet.
Small bug in the Micromail
site today, a result of the consolidation work I'd done. Not huge,
but annoying that I missed it.
- July 23
- Kate cleaned up the rest of the pix (the
ones I'd forgotten to scan), plus I've updated the identities
based on input from a few Nerdsholm folk. I'm still astounded at
the number of people I managed to capture on film. Also slightly
disturbed at the everpresent plord and s9.
- July 22
- Kate processed my HOTT.BOB
pix for me, which led to my discovering that I'd failed to scan in
four of them.
I'm captioning and getting input on missing identities at the
moment. I should also take the opportunity to finish my report on
the events of the weekend. It's only been SEVEN YEARS, after
- July 21
- Compressed backups working nicely,
Well. That was an interesting race. The upshot is that barring
Grumpy Old Ron getting some sort of satisfaction from the stewards
(the man is such a sore loser), Michael Schumacher is the
2002 World Champion.
Got my replacement Apocalypse Now: Redux DVD
today. Woohoo, it works. The only other copy in the shop was
scratched as badly as the one I wanted replaced, so they had to
send me to another branch to get a working copy. Tsk
Micromail update. I've
pretty much finished consolidating the CGI scripts, and made
modifications to support the transition to the new site which I'll
subsequently have to rip out once it's transferred, but for now
it'll all work.
- July 20
- Unwhee! Hangover! AIE! MEDIC!
The Formula 1 scene got replaced by the evil universe version
overnight. Fisichella won't be racing due to smacking into a tire
wall in excess of 100MPH and sustaining mild concussion and memory
loss (not major; just no recollection of the accident beyond
losing his front wing); Arrows won't be racing due to ongoing
boardroom discussions, although they did roll the cars around the
track once to clock a non-qualifying time and thus not actually
miss the racing, as far as the regulations are concerned; Button
is being punted from Renault next year, to be replaced by Alonso;
Button says he has a drive confirmed for next year, so
someone else is going to lose a seat; Eddie Irvine
managed to get his Jaguar briefly up to 6th in qualifying; Button
managed fourth for a period of time; Raikkonen not only
outqualified the Big Chin (again), he outqualified Ralf
Schumacher; Sato held onto 10th place for most of the session,
being pushed down to 14th as the last ditch efforts came home at
the end; Schumacher Senior had two lap times disqualified for
missing corners - one due to a pretty major loss grip at the the
back of the car, ironically just after Martin Brundle had spent
some time enthusing about the Ferrari's stability and its solid
back end; and finally, as I was getting to grips with all of this,
I find that the FIA has agreed that Frentzen can drive in place
of Fisichella tomorrow, on condition that (a) there are no
contractual difficulties and (b) Eddie Jordan can persuade the
other teams to allow it (cue Mills Lane: "I'll allow
it!"); remember that Frentzen left Jordan rather
acrimoniously, with lawsuits and talk of a faxed firing notice and
other unpleasantness. Bizarre. As Murray Walker frequently put it,
anything can happen in Formula 1, and usually does.
Fiddled around with my scanner; I had to download a new driver to
make it work on the Win2K laptop, and then I started scanning
stuff in. The first thing I scanned was a paper cutout Badtz-Maru
that bc sent me (AnotherBug sent me the original one, which got
lost in one of Klortho's repair trips) and then made it my
desktop. Of course, having scanned it at 300dpi and not rescaled
it for the screen, I have a huge OBEY-like pair of eyes and a beak
on my desktop now. Unintentional, and hilarious.
Next, I scanned a few pix of one of the DSPs dressed as The Crow (for a
New Year party some time in the 1990-1994 timeframe, probably 1993
or 1994). Will post on site soon, once I've cleaned 'em up a
And now I'm scanning my HOTT.BOB
- July 19
- Whee! Beer!
- July 18
- More Micromail, including setting
up a mirror of the new site, which is tricky enough as it uses a
toy I'd not seen before to handle sandboxing CGI scripts. Also
found a bug in one of the scripts where I'd "improved"
the code; apparently /^$_$/ can't be handled as I wanted
it to be.
Switched Klortho over to using compressed backups. That should
stave off the occasional disk exhaustion (hasn't happened in a
while, though) until such time as I get a proper backup mechanism
set up. Sometime before the year Thud, I
Had a brief fiddle with ripping CDs on Gonzo.
The notion I have is to further hack my hacked copy of Gronk such that if I insert a
disc, it checks if it's already been ripped, and if not it starts
ripping it. Thing is, the drive on Gonzo
that will rip is dead slow at same and spends a lot of time on
error correction. I should probably throw away the drive that
doesn't rip and replace it with one that does, since CD
drives are, like, dirt cheap at this point. Further hackery here
would involve using a tool like, say, discid to snag the
disc's CDDB id, then querying FreeDB for track info, and
preparing a clearance page on Gonzo's
web server where I could check that the data is sane before
committing it, at which point the rips would be mp3'd, tagged, and
integrated into the jukebox. I'm sure I'll achieve all this after
I've got the backup device mentioned above. Thud.
- July 17
- More UserMode Linux tooling. Also more
- July 16
- Curses. I bought a copy of Apocalypse
Now: Redux at the weekend, and the damn disc is flaking
out. Won't play at all on the new laptop; stops midway on
my actual honest-to-goodness DVD player, and, well, I'll try it on
the old laptop, but if it's failing 2 out of 3 bits of hardware
then I'm bringing it back and asking for either another copy or a
refund. In fact, I think I may well bring my laptop into the shop
with me. Consumer power, yeah!
- July 15
- Had a look at UserMode Linux. I'm currently
trying to figure out how to modify the RedHat installer to work with
it, as although there's at least one generic installer on SourceForge,
the damn thing got confused over i386 v. i686 versions of the same
package. Well, duh.
Bought and read Zodiac yesterday/this morning. My third
time reading it, second time buying it (my original copy is,
funnily enough, in Boston, where the novel is set). I really,
really like this book.
- July 14
- I like this prefilling idea. Today will be
dedicated to (a) getting out of the house for a bit and (b) doing
necessary things with the Micromail code. The former
may or may not involve a movie.
Now to see if I can actually stick to the plan.
Well, not bad. I saw Minority Report which didn't suck to
quite the extent some people told me it would; oddly enough, it
had, for me, a similar mismatched pacing problem to Mission:
Impossible - at the end of M:I, I was ready for another 20
minutes or half an hour of movie; with MR, I was ready to walk
out, film concluded, at about 15 minutes before the
Micromail, on the other
hand, well, I got some of the code changes done (including use
strict in the main script, woohoo!). I then ran into a
problem testing. I'm trying to migrate the code to a new site,
but, well, the site I'm migrating to is supposed to be the secure
site, and the damn thing won't let me connect with HTTPS unless I
give it a valid certificate saying You're Allowed. And
heck, I used up all my HappyNet tokens years ago.
Note, I can connect using HTTP just fine, but this is pointless,
since the ISP wants me - well, Micromail - to have two
entirely separate accounts so that Micromail can have a
non-secure site that feeds into a secure one. Which is laudable -
secure data on separate server and all that - but doesn't help me
Oh, I was also briefly scuppered by wuftpd insisting that the UID
range 1-99 included 502. Indeedy.
- July 13
- I am prefilling this diary entry to
persuade myself to accomplish something today: I am going to try
and get my damn driver porting effort completed. For at least
some value of the word
Oh well. It was a nice idea. Alas, I'm stuck on a firmware reset
problem at the moment, having gotten past a subtle bug caused by
an omitted line. D'oh.
- July 12
- I fired up the A3010, hooked to a generic
14" monitor, and lo, it worked. The screen's a bit wobbly,
and it makes a noise like a carcrash when it starts, which I guess
means that something is wrong, but heck, it's
- July 11
- Played around with the emu10k1 driver - both
kernel and non-kernel versions - trying to get the auxillary
inputs working, to no avail. I really think this project is a dead
loss; I plug this card into a Windows machine
and all propietary code aside, I get a half-dozen sliders on a
mixer that do what I expect. The Linux
driver, on the other hand, requires me to try and figure out how
to route the sound from input to output, and how to control that
sound with a slider on the mixer, and in the end it's simply not
worth the effort.
- July 10
- Spent most of the day hacking on
modifications to spamass-milter
to get it to consign tagged spam straight to the spam bucket. This
required dealing with both C++ and STL. Ick.
Had a look at bodging Klez filtering into the copy of SpamAssassin
installed on my server, but it wasn't trivially easy to accomplish
so I left it alone for now.
- July 9
- I went to the trouble of finding out how to
build RedHat distributions so
I could do a proper yet from-local-disk upgrade of Gonzo;
alas, the from-local-disk upgrade wanted me to have local ISOs
rather than the unfolded distribution, so I just frobbed the
up2date version instead and set it off.
Did some more work on the Micromail site; I have several
different versions of the ordering system including mirrors of the
live versions, and I'm trying to consolidate them all and at the
same time make changes to suit the new site layout. Which is fun,
to say the least.
- July 8
- Discovery: Kernel Hacking - specifically
driver hacking - is not hard, and is fun.
It's doing it well that's hard.
- July 7
- Wow. What a fantastic race. Schumacher won,
easily; Barrichello stalled on the formation start, started in
21st, and fought his way back to a second place finish. Fisichella
and Sato both did quite well, although Sato's engine blew up 8
laps from the finish, and Fisi was just outside the
points. Alas. Still, a good result from a relatively poor
A little work on the Micromail site as they're
moving to a new web setup shortly. Also caught up on some
far-too-old email, leaving the embarrassingly-old mail to
accumulate further time.
- July 6
- Yay Formula 1! A fantastic qualifying
session (albeit a slow start), resulting eventually in a
Montoya/Barrichello front row, with poor Schumi in third. Awww.
Healthwise, feeling a lot better, although unfortunately I don't
think it would be a smart idea to mix it up with the crowd at
Whelans where Tenacious D are playing. Bah. I was looking forward
to that gig.
- July 5
- Last night's predictions of ill health were
indeed correct. So I'm networking wirelessly from a comfy chair
with hot drinks and so forth, and a head that feels like it's
stuffed with cotton wool.
- July 4
- Retrieved the code from the office, got the
driver working again. Apparently I'd hacked it some and done some
silliness with the patches. Just as well I'd not gotten around to
reformatting the machine in question... now happily
wirelessed. Oh, and I actually RTFM'd and got the driver working
2000 as well. Yay!
Not feeling too well, mind you. Blerk. Whatever I've been staving
off for the last few days is evidently catching up on
- July 3
- Hmm. Hacking at the ZoomAir driver again,
and I can't seem to make it work. Of course, the code I
had working is on a machine in the office and I rather
stupidly don't appear to have a local copy.
- July 2
- A bunch of us from the office went out to
Worldport's abandoned premises; they're auctioning off whatever's
left to the best offers. No wonder Worldport went bust; even the
loading bay had an Aeron chair in it. To say nothing of the
52" gas plasma screen in the office next to the
- July 1
- Spent much of the evening working on a
script to clean up my HTML and kick it into roughly compliant
shape. I've done the most important bits so far, and am looking at
hooking it up to the validator so I can get an automatic check on
The government sent me a present today: Potassium
tablets. Nice that they care.
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We didn't win the World Cup, but we'll be back!