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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

September 28
Continuing to trundle through our series: Endeavour season 7 was a bit of a let-down at the end. There's a balance to be struck in your procedural crime drama between escapism and verisimiltude; ideally, you want to tie up all the loose ends, but you want to do so in a convincing fashion. This season left a murder unaccounted for ("probably a copycat"), perpetrated by someone whose last act seemed ... unconvincing as a murderer; the actual murderer seemed to not fit, somehow; the whole psychic undertone was either contradictory or true-and-stupid (this would not be the first solidly realism-based detective drama I've watched that felt the need to veer into the supernatural); Morse's discovery that the locus of various murders spelled the killer's name was frankly ludicrous. Really, this felt like it needed a fourth episode, but they had one cut half-way through filming so had to cram everything into the third to try and finish it up, and even that charitable view doesn't account for all the disappointment.

ST:TNG: season 5 has just started on the "catch-up" channel, meaning we'll be able to fill in the gaps in a week or two; we're about halfway through season 7, in the meantime.

House: I think the whole "House gets challenged by a cop who's as stubborn as he is" arc could have done with a smoother finish, and House's subterfuge as revealed in the last minutes of episode S3E11 was... unnecessary. Like, I was rooting for the cop to get some sort of comeuppance - whether a crushing blow from the legal system for harassment, or something medical that required House to intervene - but equally I was rooting for House to come away with some sort of lesson, since ~50 episodes in I think we've clearly established that his character is a jerk and maybe now it's time for some character growth, and not in the sense of "into a bigger jerk".

Ho hum. I did read some good books, though. Linda Nagata's centuries-spanning sci-fi is pretty damned compelling. Starts out as life-extension technology (now; she wrote some prequels, I think, to make this happen), winds up with people flitting around the galaxy using technology that they don't understand to travel at relativistic speeds.

September 19
15 years ago today. I get to swap my red badge for a purple one. The (somewhat) irony being that I've not had to wear my badge since some time in March, plus some of our internal systems have been showing a virtual purple badge for about a week (one of my colleagues surmised that the Code Which Decides is doing a blunt "divide by 365" and not bothering to adjust for leap years). Anyway. It has been, and continues to be, a wild ride.

How I got in:

September 11
More fun with our TV provider:

me: "search for Endeavour"
tv: "ok! I found Endeavour"
me: "show me"
tv: "S1E1 is on next Saturday, and S7E1 is available on replay-tv."
me: "what about S7E2?"
tv: "nope!"
me: "ok, lemme check the TV guide."
guide: "S7E2 is on this Sunday"
me: "..."
tv: "no idea what it's talking about"

Note, the search function and the TV Guide are part of the same piece of software. I've set it to season recording, but who knows what that'll do.

I also discovered that the "remote recording" feature, whereby you can use the provider's website to set recordings on your settop box, doesn't notice if you subsequently delete the recording from the settop box, and doesn't list anything you're recording that wasn't booked through the settop box. Cunning.

September 9
Star Trek: TNG: Season 4 complete.

September 8
Since several office tools support Markdown, I'm finally sufficiently familiar with the basics that I've started using it for scratch-building HTML pages. I'm using Python-Markdown which has some nice extensions (like arbitrary attributes, and tables), but I've not actually looked at the HTML it outputs yet to see how clean it is.

September 1
So we chugged through most of ST:TNG Season 6 without losing an episode, and rolled over to season 7, and just because I stopped paying attention our beloved service provider decided to do whatever they do that makes Season Recording stop recognising that you've enabled it for, you know, a season, so we lost a few of Season 7. On the plus side, the "sweeper" channel is just picking up the hole in season 4 from when we had to replace the digibox.

We pay for this wonderful service, you know.

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