A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- July 31
- Continued stunt installation attempts.
- July 30
- Attempting a stunt FC6 install. Failed due to the network card
(wireless) not cooperating, but that only leads me to attempt
further stunt installation the next time around.
- July 29
- Experimenting with transcoding video for the iPod. For some
reason, mencoder (which reads everything) writes an mp4 file that
I'm not happy with, and more to the point that my podcast hack
isn't happy with (I have no idea how the iPod itself regards it)
so I've been trying to figure out how to coerce it into something
useful. Failing that, H264.
Party at Bob's. Yay Bob!
- July 28
- Half-watched Clear and Present
Danger which is sort of mindless but does have a classic
demonstration of How To Ambush A Convoy.
- July 27
- July 26
- I really need to do some more work on the RSS toy, because right
now it's not working as well as it should. I could always abandon
it in favour of, say, Google Reader, but I like my own tacky
- July 25
- Pan's Labyrinth: not
sure what to make of this. Beautifully shot, quite engaging, but
somewhat off-kilter. Probably worth a look, on
- July 24
- Music and Lyrics is almost
perfect. As described to a friend - "a romantic comedy with
Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore" - it sounds like a recipe for
disaster, but Grant's character is a less shallow version of his
role in About A Boy, and his absurd yet
deadpan dialogue works perfectly. And it's a romantic
comedy, so it's got all the clichés - the initial dislike,
the thrown-together-by-circumstances bit, the disagreement, the
final resolution - and it's all done by the book, but that's what
makes it so good. It's like playing a well-known piece of music:
everyone knows what to expect in content, so it's all down to the
performance. Other than a few tiny bits that didn't quite fit,
this is about as good as rom-coms get. This is going on my
Things I have not been hacking on: RVP
and libnw. If
you're waiting on either of those, sorry, but I'm kinda bored with
them, and I've lost a lot of the external motivation for working
on them for various reasons (of which the principal one is
deprecation in a couple of forms). Of course, I'm always happy to
- July 23
- One of my vodafone site-scraping toys broke because of the
appearance of full dates. In fact, if I were to guess, I'd say
someone's using Perl to do the site now, and using
scalar(localtime()) to spit out dates. Freaky.
Ah, there's the problem: str2time can't deal with
"IST". Have to convert it to "BST". There's
some sort of a political joke here, I'm sure.
Hey, what the hell? dodgeit.com is now dodgit.com (no
"e"). That's vaguely annoying in a "can't really
complain about free services" sort of way.
- July 22
- Lazy day.
- July 21
- Poked at the airodump/aircrack stuff to see if it would break
into my own wireless network. Result: no. This is down to a
failure in my understanding of the tools, I'm sure, but I fail to
understand why there are 57 command-line tools when you wind up
cutting and pasting data from one to the other in order to try and
make it work.
- July 20
- Tweaking home-grown, home-used toys. Including the
aforementioned podcast thingy, since I'm not 100% happy with how
iTunes reacts to it and I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing
I'm running KDE again. I'm also running the IRC/chat client I've
been mostly not running for the last month or so. One or both of
these things accounts for the increased sluggishness of my laptop,
I'm sure. But I really don't want to buy another laptop, dammit;
this one still works.
- July 19
- Over The Hedge was pretty good;
plently laughs and some good parodies. The plot was fairly
unimaginative, but that's not really important. Worth
Investigated the podcast transcoding thing a little. It seems
remarkably difficult, given the wealth of free tools available, to
find something whereby you can say "turn this into ipod
thingie" without having to detail frame rate, aspect ratio,
- July 18
- Hacked up a little podcasting tool to dump the various things I
download (movies from google video, for example) into somewhere
that the iPod will automatically pick them up. Right now it just
deals in file formats that will work unmodified on the pod;
ultimately it should transcode anything that doesn't work. And I'm
sure someone's done this already but I didn't see it in a trivial
search so I'm deeming it Not done.
Legally Blonde was on TV, and
turned out to be rather surprisingly good. Not sure I'd have
gone to the trouble to rent it out but it's probably worth it. It
is, as my dad would say, "light", but it's also pretty
- July 17
- Nacho Libre was a bit flat, and
surprisingly Jack Black wasn't really playing one of his usual
over-the-top performances despite the fact that I think this would
have really benefitted from it. Just about raised a smile, but
little more. Not really worth it, frankly.
- July 16
- Met up with Ruadhrí for a few beers. Just one or two,
- July 15
- Pretty knackered after yesterday's exertions. Not really up to
much as a result.
- July 14
- Went to the Phoenix Park. Ran for about 34 minutes. Got a
Die Hard 4.0 (why oh why
was this renamed for European release from Live Free Or Die
Hard?) was a whole bundle of fun. Despite the bubblegum nature of
the movie, the suspension of belief held up for pretty much the
duration, although ironically I drew the line at the hovering
supersonic jet which I subsequently discovered does actually (sort
of) exist. I loved Kevin Smith's cameo role, and as
someone else noted, Willis seems at times to be chuckling almost
out of character at the sheer silliness of the proceedings. But
it's good summer blockbuster silliness, and well worth the
watch. I'd happily watch this again, in fact.
Running With Scissors: a
strange movie. Mostly quite funny, despite (I think) some attempts
at poignancy. Brian Cox looked curiously like, I dunno, Ian
McKellan or someone, and Joseph Fiennes most definitely looked
like Jason Lee. I quite enjoyed this, but I suspect it's not for
- July 13
- Hurrah for Friday the 13th. Bleh.
Still putting up with Evolution + Exchange Connector, since the
alternatives are either to use Outlook (bleh, redux) or use an
IMAP connection which means that folders such as Calendar,
Contacts, etc. are no longer special, so they don't get special
treatment. In fact, I can't see a way to tell Evolution to treat
an IMAP folder as e.g. a calendar.
To be fair: I did eventually find the signature setting; it's on
the very first page of the account config. I have no idea how I
missed this before because it's pretty damned obvious. On the
other hand, changing this setting causes a resync of the entire
folder tree from the server. As does changing my out-of-office
status, which is rather stupidly put on the account page instead
of elsewhere in the preferences panel where it used
Oh yeah. I was going to whine about the lack of non-modal
next/previous keys (I'm a diehard VM user at home, and I'm
used to sensible behaviour in this respect) when I re-examined the
menus and discovered that while "]" works when you've
got the message list selected, Ctrl-"]" works
regardless of context. Non-ideal, but acceptable, I
- July 12
- Working some on the giant secret movie project (remember
that?). It's still secret, of course. I found one really stupid
bug, though. Typically, it was a regular expression. I think
there's probably an unwritten law of programming languages that
goes something like
- If you're coding in C, the bug is
caused by a buffer overflow;
- If you're coding in Perl, the
bug is caused by a regular expression;
- If you're coding in
Python, the bug is caused by whitespace;
- If you're coding
in Lisp, the bug is caused by parenthesis;
- ...I'm sure I
could go on...
It's been a while since I wrote up a rant. Here's one on web user
interfaces, which frequently make me unhappy. It's not a very
good rant, really, but hey.
I crashed my iPod today. Locked up at the start of a track and had
to be reset. Tomorrow I expect my watch to crash. Even though it's
an analogue watch.
- July 11
- Day off from the office, mainly spent, er, shopping. No,
I crashed my phone today. Not sure if it was using the webbrowser
while it was doing a periodic mail check that did it, or just
browsing to a site it couldn't cope with, but the screen suddenly
went blank, and then the phone reset itself.
- July 10
- My Super
Ex-Girlfriend was about what I expected: kinda funny, but not
one to absolutely go out and search for.
Rebooted the webserver as it had a long-running rmmod
process wedged in place that I'd forgotten about, and also because
it's not running the most recent kernel.
- July 9
- Had a movie to watch, but decided to catch up on a bunch of
stuff instead, including responding to some emails dating back to,
er, last month. D'oh...
More fiddling with maps and data... Google's MarkerManager is a
bit disappointing. I'd expect them to provide something that would
try to intelligently handle grouping of multiple icons; you could
give the MarkerManager a function to generate data with, and it
could then call the function and determine if markers overlap or
whatever at the current mag level. I guess there's still the issue
of too many non-overlapping markers, but I think that's less of an
Interesting AGAIN. It appears that the day after I mention the
bogus traffic data, it's been mostly cleaned up. Unfortunately
they've also dropped out about 100 points, mainly from the suburbs
(where I live). And strangely enough the datestamp in the file
still says April 2005.
Well, that was kinda-sorta annoying: the message manager on my
phone doesn't quite do context menus. I selected
Options->Cleanup->Inbox->Read while Email Messages was
highlighted,and it happily tossed the messages in my SMS
Inbox. Gah. Only a day or so's messages, but still.
- July 8
- Interesting. This morning my credit card provider's website
claims I have no accounts registered with them. That's reassuring,
I guess it means I don't owe them any money...
And equally mysteriously my registered accounts returned.
Did a bunch more messing around with maps. Dublin Traffic has an
interesting set of points for the city (as well as the more
interesting live traffic data between those points) in that some
of the locations are a little carelessly placed. The Johnstown
Road, for instance, appears to go from the N11 to random parts of
the Dun Laoghaire area to the far side of the M50 ring and back
again, despite the fact that in reality it's a fairly short and
direct route from the N11 to the Rochestown Road...
Munich was interesting in as much as
Spielberg's introduction pitches it as a sort of "asking the
hard questions about taking hard action" thing. The whole
informer group in France was also interesting, particularly given
that the film is based on a book which, according to the director,
has never been challenged (only complained about,
vociferously). On the whole I think this may lead to a bunch of
Wikipedia reading for me...
- July 7
- Had a walkthrough of the Proj sourcecode to see if I could
figure out the bare minimum required to convert ITM to Lat/Long,
but really it's too generic for me to grasp without really digging
good description of the UTM-to-Lat/Long process. That took
way too long to find.
After some mucking about with that page I identified two things:
firstly, I can't make it work, and secondly, the Perl module for
UTM seems to have a degrees/radians problem. I think the problem
with the former is to do with needing to work the origin's
longitude into the equations somewhere other than as a simple
addition at the end, although I'm not 100% sure about that. More
reading required, I guess.
Having been once again annoyed by the Windows drivers for talking
to the Motorola phone's more obscure components, I installed moto4lin on
my laptop. Wow, what a difference! Works pretty much
out-of-the-box. I still can't get my own CA cert onto the phone,
however, even following some
pretty good instructions on the topic. Also, it'd be nice if
instead of having a file browser for my phone, I could mount the
entire phone as a filesystem. You know, like how the USB drive on
the phone normally operates...
Wait, I spoke too soon, my phone now has the waider.ie CA cert
installed. Cute! Alas, the mail client still claims the cert is
Aha, more enlightenment. The mail cert was self-signed. After
learning how to be my own CA, I redid the mail cert, and now the
phone connects without error. Excellent! In theory this means I
can now make my phone slightly more like a crackberry by having it
check my mail periodically...
- July 6
- Office drinks followed by party at Lou's. Didn't stay too long
due to work commitments, though.
- July 5
- Fiddling about with various things. Had another look at Stikkit,
but noone appears (as yet) to have written a conduit to
synchronise it with gnome-pilot, knotes, etc. There's a perl
module with sparse documentation which should facilitate some easy
hacking, though. As it stands, Stikkit only makes sense if you use
it for permanently-connected scenarios, and for that to be the
case I'd need a much beefier handheld than a Palm Vx and
no reluctance to spend cash on mobile data.
- July 4
- I can't say anything nice about Evolution, it just goes and
crashes on me. This morning: wait 40 minutes for it to sync with
the server. Watch it crash with no explanation. Restart it, and
watch it crash immediately. It's obviously written with
the expectation that the underlying transport (in this case, a
flaky connection to an Exchange server) is responsive and
reliable, and has absolutely no capability for handling deviations
from that. And this is, I presume, what Novell push as part of
their Windows Integration...
- July 3
- I really liked The Million Dollar
Hotel, and I'm not really sure why. It's an odd movie, with
quite the cast, and a fair bit of U2 (Bono scripted it and has a
cameo and there's a ton of U2 music on the soundtrack),
and I guess it's just really, really well-made.
- July 2
- Mission Impossible III
is probably the best of the M:I movies: it doesn't suffer the
pacing problems of the first, or the sheer silliness of the
second. Definitely worth watching.
- July 1
- Well, it's July. You can't smoke in the UK any more, and you
can't walk around outside in Ireland without both sunblock and
heavy rain gear.
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