A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- April 29
- Another peculiar movie choice showed up in the Screenclick queue, so we
decided we'd go have a look at Netflix. And this is how we wound
up watching Emma. Which, for someing ostensibly
chick-flicky, turned out to be a whole lot of fun - I can't say
I'd buy it, but I'd certainly watch it again.
- April 28
- Mac Mini not utterly screwed since I can apparently
grant named users permission to use ssh, but not All
Users (which is probably just as well, but is
- April 27
- Comandante is a waste of a really,
really great opportunity. Oliver Stone got to talk to Fidel
Castro, no holds barred (although there's clearly some restraint
on Stone's part with regard to not asking some obvious hard
questions) and no cuts, for 30 hours, and this was distilled down
to a 90-minute movie. Waste #1, mood shots. You've got 30 hours of
footage with a guy who gets no press but bad press in the US, and
you choose to show moody shots of Havana with incidental music for
a few minutes. Great. Waste #2, inane questions. Stone asked one
long, rambling question that could be summed up as "would you like
your life to end as a freedom fighter or as a retiree" (although
I'm not even clear that that was his intent). Castro pretty much
ignores both options and gives forth instead on the ephemeral
nature of fame, thus saving an utterly idiotic question from being
completely useless. That covers most of the content; the other
mishap about this is the form. It's largely done with handheld
cameras, apparently before the time of the steadicam or similar
motion stabilisers, making it at times difficult to figure out
what's going on. Verisimultude, awesome; coherence, crap. Finally,
the choice to make the interpreter's voice audible really hurts
your ability to follow the interview, because it's at an offset
(obviously) from what Stone and Castro are saying, and thus bleeds
over what they're saying, and to add to the confusion the whole
thing is subtitled in real time with translations which don't
quite match what the interpreter is saying. So, in summary, this
could have been incredible, and even in its mishapen state it's
still pretty fascinating, but mostly it stinks of missed
opportunity - and a certain amount of self-aggrandisment by
Stone, which might well explain why it's such a mess.
- April 24
- Attempting to sort out some messed up user accounts on the Mac
Mini, and it would appear that I have screwed something up such
that I can't seem to create a spare local admin account. I can't
quite figure this out, and the log messages are completely
- April 23
- MBNA credit card services (Ireland) are no longer a thing, so
I'm removing support from Finance::Bank::IE, and working in
support for AvantCard instead (MBNA's replacement).
- April 22
- Selene had noticed a problem with her laptop where Word seemed
to be running extremely slowly. I dug into it last night, ripped
out a bunch of things (all Adobe products, old versions of Java)
and then eventually stumbled on the solution: the printer added
via Bonjour Printing. Removing this made all problems magically
disappear. I will see if adding the printer via "kosher"
Windows networking is any better.
- April 21
- Oblivion: aside from the fact that
the plot is basically a bunch of other movies stitched together,
this is pretty entertaining stuff. I can't actually tell you
which movies it's made out of as that'd give away a bunch
of key plot points. There are equally some plot holes that to ask
about would constitute spoilers. Suffice to say that you shouldn't
think too hard about this, just enjoy the visuals, Morgan Freeman,
and the wonderful noises the drones make.
The Magical UPC box has thus far failed to record three episodes
of Doctor Who - four if you count the fact that it missed one
episode twice - and investigating has on two occasions revealed
that a series recording I'd set up had mysteriously vanished. This
is continuing to annoy me, and the only deterrent to switching
providers is that the alternative is Sky which, well, dancing with
the devil and all that. Gah.
- April 19
- I'm not wholly sure how The American Friend
wound up on our Screenclick wishlist, but
it turns out that it's not a terrible movie. It is, as I
understand it, loosely based on the then-unreleased/unpublished
Ripley's Game, that being the same Ripley of The
Talented Mr. Ripley. It's a bit absurd, but it passed the
time well enough.
- April 13
- Two movies of not much note: First, The Purple Rose of
Cairo, a Woody Alen piece from 1985, is best described by
referring to two trivia pieces from the IMDb entry: Allen, asked why he
didn't give it a happy ending, said that what was in it
was the happy ending, and Allen, told that by changing
the ending he'd have a hit on his hands, saying that he made it
because of the ending. Make your own mind up, but I
certainly felt it was a disappointment.
And second, Notorious: not actually a bad movie,
but it's not a classic of the sort that, say, Casablanca is, so
what you're left with is an old black-and-white movie with some
names you might recognise and a vaguely plausible post-WWII
plot. It's a bit ho-hum, basically.
Our UPC box appears to be on strike; it's failed to capture
several things we'd set to record, including a repeat to account
for something it didn't record last week... I can't help but
wonder if it's being affected by similar network problems to the
trashy DNS performance I've been seeing on the broadband. I'm
giving serious thought to switching to another provider, despite
the unpleasantness that might involve (said unpleasantness not
limited to dealing with Sky and an unnamed telco).
- April 11
- Announcing Waider 4.0!
Announcing Waider 40.
- April 7
- Turns out Mrs. Waide hadn't seen Casino Royale, which I happened
to have in the collection, so we watched that. I still think the
"Bond Learns To Trust Someone" bit is totally overdone
and telegraphs how it's all going to pan out, but I also still
enjoyed the movie. As did Mrs. Waide.
- April 6
- A little birthday party was had.
- April 3
- Back from a weekend away spent reading and walking on the
Atlantic coast. While I was away, UPC saw fit to not record
something I'd set to record - wild guess, someone doesn't
know how to handle daylight savings time changes - and also saw
fit to have that recurring problem where DNS stops working. I
vaguely recall someone telling me once that this was down to the
firewall that the UPC cable modem uses, so I've switched most of
the things that I'm pretty damned sure I switched off
before, but it's still flaking out. I gave up on UPC's own DNS
some time ago since I get a better RTT to Google's DNS than UPC's,
but this particular problem seems to affect ALL DNS traffic
regardless of destination. I'm tempted to run up a VPN to my EC2
instance and use that as my Internet egress...
"Feature" noted in recent Mac Emacs builds: window stops
responding to non-alphanumeric keys. Random typing restores normal
activity. No idea what the hell is going on.
Despite promising myself I'd do so I still haven't finished moving
this site and all who sail in her (basically, me) onto the EC2
instance I hastily set up last month. Since I'm paying for it, I
kinda should, really.
Reading: partly due to a friend writing a serialised Bond story,
partly due to seeing Skyfall, I took a whim to start reading
Fleming's original work. I'm actually pretty astounded at the
difference between Book Bond and Movie Bond; most astonishing (to
me) is that Book Bond is fallible and
vulnerable. There's a bunch of other stuff, as well: Q
department doesn't go in for ejector seats and suitcase-sized
aircraft (at least, not so far); Bond's romantic attachments
actually seem to be a bit deeper than the shallow affairs (ha!)
portrayed in the movie; the stupid wisecracks are pretty much
entirely absent; the vodka martini isn't obsessed over; the
Walther PPK doesn't turn up until 6 books in (and then, according
to lore, because a fan wrote to Fleming and told him that Bond's
Beretta was a bit crap); and so on and so forth. So far, I'd
strongly recommend what I've read.
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