Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

November 14
Hardware disasters continue: this evening on the way home from work, my bike chain snapped. Frickin' AWESOME.

Hmm, so what have I been up to?

There was a trip to London and a trip to Seattle, both work-related. The latter involved a ten-hour stretch on a plane, so on the way over I watched a bunch of Mr. Robot, Halt and Catch Fire, and Preacher. Preacher is wickedly funny - Starr's "audition had me giggling constantly throughout" - but I'm kinda feeling like it's not going anywhere. Mr. Robot is constantly messing with your head so you've no idea what's actually going on at any given time. And Halt and Catch Fire... it's a bit overegged in places, but it's basically catnip for me. Premise: Silicon Gulch, or whatever you want to call Silicon Valley In Texas, right about the time the PC clone market was starting up. It's got enough realism to be credible, they've made the chief software geek a woman which is a pretty bold (and commendable) move - and to add to that they've got another woman doing some of the heavy lifting on the hardware side. The two male leads are basically Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, except their Woz is wound somewhat tighter than I think the real one ever was (woz?). Season one fades out with them having created their clone PC, the band's broken up, and the geek women are starting to get into high-speed telecoms, so now I want to watch the rest of this (total 4 seasons).

It did occur to me at one point that the showmakers looked at their works, declared it to have passed the Bechdel test because hey two strong female leads talking about something other than a man, and decided they didn't need any more women "feature characters". Also they come up with rather a long list of excuses to show Cameron in the act of putting on or removing items of clothing. But this is sniping, a little; both Cameron and Donna are given real roles within the series.

Moviewise, the only thing I can recall right now is the other night we watched Birdman, which is absolute genius and totally should have gotten an Oscar for the editing job. There's a visual gimmick that I'm not going to mention because if you watch this without knowing about it, like I did, it's something you gradually become aware of and then you can't stop noticing it and wondering at how awesome it is. Obviously I really enjoyed this!

Oh yeah. We watched 25th Hour as well which, well, it was a rewatch (last watched June 29th, 2013), and it's an okay piece that kinda falls flat at the end - which is more than I thought of it last time round. Also Brian Cox should be prohibited by international law from attempting an Irish accent ever again.

There was also the failed hard disk saga.

Books: mostly reading Philip K. Dick, John Le Carré. I've fallen a bit behind my Goodreads Reading Challenge, but given that I stupidly challenged myself to read two books a week that's hardly surprising.

November 13
Having spent two weeks getting my Mac back to a bootable disk... it looks like the logic board has died, so I've gone from SSD (zippy!!!) to HDD (not so zippy!) to HDD connected via USB (positively snail-like). About the only upside is that there's no heat being generated inside the computer by the HDD, since it's hanging off a cable on the outside.

November 12
Virgil Brigman back on the air...

Since I last updated here, I have: had a SSD fail, hence the downtime; been to London and Seattle; watched a movie or two, the entire first season of Halt and Catch Fire, the last of Preacher Season 2, and whatever's currently available of Mr. Robot Season 3; read many books; and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to recover from the failed SSD despite having not one, not two, but THREE backups to work with. Sagas may be forthcoming, along with consumed media reviews. For now, though, there's a bunch of random stuff to catch up with.

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