A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.
- July 28
- "Is this the end of the Celebrity?", asks BBC, during a
weekend-imposed break on its daily coverage of a celebrity
trial. Betteridge's Law alive and well.
- July 25
- I am still amazed that in the 21st century, 2020 no less, Apple
still doesn't seem to quite understand how to do virtual desktops.
I mean, I'm sure there's some responsibility on the
part of app creators to use the right API calls and what not, but
I am constantly surprised at things like "clicking Dock icon
doesn't get you the window you're looking for because you're on
the 'wrong' screen" or "we flipped you to a particular desktop to
show you this window, then we hid it behind everything else", or
worst of all, "a modal window is open somewhere but we're not
going to allow you to find it without going through all your
desktops and flipping apps until the modal window is on
top". Maybe I'm misremembering, but I'm pretty sure my FVWM setup
back in *checks calendar* 1998 didn't have these problems, and
that's in an ecosystem where everything is user customisable so
nothing is guaranteed to work.
(Overnight, my Mac restarted due to a kernel error of some
sort. It's an 8-year-old MacBook Pro, so it's probably getting a
little senile. When it relaunched all the applications that had
been running, some wound up where they had been, in terms of
virtual desktops, and some just piled on top of the first desktop,
and one appeared with a window in both places. I understand there
are third-party apps to manage this sort of nonsense. I don't
understand why, though - MacOS introduced virtual desktops in
2006, so they've had 14 years to get this right.)
- July 24
- Pick (tv station, a Sky property apparently) continues with the
insane ST:TNG scheduling: an episode showed up in the guide as 30
minutes long, meaning the "recording" started half-way
In other broken tech news, an office-related training course broke
so hard while running in Safari that I couldn't even close the
browser window. I don't know how you break something that badly,
but please stop.
A little goofiness:
- July 13
- True to form, one cable station decided to muck up the last few
episodes of Season 5 of Star Trek: TNG, showing episodes at
random, the aforementioned bait-and-switch, and a few other
screwups. The other cable station has launched into Season 3,
which we'd previously seen the second half of, and this
station has a better track record for both showing episodes in
order and repeating them within the week, so we've a chance of
actually finishing this season.
Oh, we also started watching House M.D.
to fill the gaps left by the broken Trek schedule. I watched some
episodes of this years ago - probably first-broadcast era - but
Amazon Prime Video conveniently has the whole
I have some code (don't I always?) that tries to parse some TV
listings into a catalogue of upcoming things we might be
interested in, and one of the heuristics it uses is that if
there's a 4-digit number in brackets in the description of the
show, it's probably a movie. Right now that particular heuristic
is picking on a PBS TV series on the American Civil War and
listing it as a series of movies from the 1860s...
- July 10
- Still watching Star Trek, despite Virgin Media's best attempts
to scupper that. Tonight we discovered that a DVR'd episode had
been replaced with ... some sort of UK-based
Cops-a-like. Fortunately, we had a couple of other episodes on
We also zipped through Tales from the Loop.
It's an oddball thing; beautifully done, slow, dark, occasional
sparks of humour, sparse music contributed to by none other than
Philip Glass. It definitely feels like a perfect extrapolation
from the source material - watching the epsiode with the "hover
tractor", I had a weirdly visual recollection of seeing the
painting it was based on but now that I look for it it's not
really like what I recalled. I also can't place my recollection of
it, and what little digging I've done suggests this stuff can't be
older than, say, 2005 or so - possibly the retro setting makes my
memory of it seem older.
Cute that they used a musical cue to tip you to a time shift in
one of the episodes. Damned if I could name the year,
thought... (I looked it up - 2001).
- July 4
- Fixed an inconsequential bug in a script I wrote in 2002. This
means the inconsequential bug might be old enough to drink. I've
known about it for a long time, but it's been sufficiently
inconsequential that I never bothered fixing it.
- July 1
- Despite Virgin's best efforts we have completed Season 2 of Star
Trek: TNG! We're currently ploughing through Season 5 from Pick
while the Horror Channel zips its way through the rest of Season 2
and drops us into whatever part of Season 3 our previous episode
mishap occurred in. And I still haven't done any more than idle
poking at the disk image I took of the old DVR before I sent it
Somewhere in migrations from Mac to Mac, MacOS to macOS, and
iPhoto to Photos, I seem to have mislaid a bunch of
pictures. They're all still on backups, of course, but they're no
longer in the Photos app, which is... a little annoying to say the
Finally shut down my completely useless Amazon Associates account:
I rarely tagged things with it, and never got any significant
quantity of traffic, so I've been meaning to close it for
ages. The last time I looked I couldn't find an easy option for
this, now there's a Close Account link that's so abrupt I thought
it hadn't worked. I then hacked on some of the local scripting
that supports this diary to strip out any mentions of the account
I'd inserted, and web beacons as well. Long
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Lockdown over, took summer with it.