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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)


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Being The Geekly Diary of Waider
(may contain traces of drinking, movies, and sport)
December 12
Managed to complete a few backups eventually. So now I need to figure out what I'm doing next; put the RAID unit back on the older server, or move everything to the newer server? Maybe this'll be a Christmas Holiday project!

The circus in the UK... they can't even properly organise a revolt. It's all too stupid to make up. Oh, and BBC weren't helping matters by trying to run "live" coverage of the outside windows of the 1922 Committee's offices while the count was happening, having the guy on camera saying inane things like, "maybe their hands are cold and that's why it's taking so long". Anyway, all over, now we're back to petulantance vs. obstinancy while the slightly bemused, slightly confused rest of the EU looks on wondering how the hell these people managed to conquer a quarter of the planet only a few centuries ago.

I have been noodling around with Advent of Code 2018, a fun little site that gives you two programming puzzles each day and builds up a picture as you solve the puzzles. I got stuck a little a couple of days ago with one of the puzzles because I'd solved it using brute force and then the followup puzzle was "now do the same thing scaled up 100 times". After a couple of days it became obvious that it wasn't going to complete any time soon, and worse I'd not put any progress indicators in the code so I'd no idea if it was at 9% or 90%. So I did a little hacking about this evening (in the process discovering that Python allows you to do array[index:] = new_array_values) and my canary run went from 45 seconds to under 10, so I'm now rerunning it along with some progress indicators and it's already 20% of the way through. Shuold be done tomorrow, I guess. There's nothing stopping me from moving on to the next puzzle in the mean time, but I figured I'd do them in order.

December 08
Just doing a quick fsck...
/dev/rdisk2s2: fsck_hfs started at Sun Dec  2 10:54:05 2018
/dev/rdisk2s2: fsck_hfs completed at Sat Dec  8 07:12:15 2018
Now to see if it'll run a backup.

December 07
Company Christmas Party, where there was an actual old-fashioned carousel. Indoors.

December 02
In an attempt to remedy the backup situation, I'm switching the backup drive to a slightly beefier machine (for handwaving reasons it needs to be a network share, not directly connected). That means it's basically spent the last 11 hours verifying the drive, and there's no progress bar to hint at when it might be done. Tum-ti-tum.

December 01
I have established a pattern of backup failure that goes like this:
  • TimeMachine launches a backup
  • Optionally, it spends many hours verifying the existing backup. This might happen if the previous backup crapped out badly.
  • TimeMachine takes a snapshot of the drive to be backed up, and estimates how much space it'll need on the backup drive.
  • TimeMachine discovers there's not enough free space, so it starts pruning things from the backup drive, like the previous failed backup.
  • Time passes...
  • TimeMachine starts copying files across, and things of that nature (I will allow that TimeMachine does clever stuff here).
  • Oh no! A spurious network event has interrupted the connection to the backup drive! (good luck finding out what, if anything, actually happened.)
  • TimeMachine abandons the backup, leaving a .inProgress backup occupying all that space it had cleared.
  • Go back to the top.
So, the thing about this is that each time around the loop, the probability of failure increases because there's more data to back up (unless the machine you're backing up is entirely unused, and even then it's still generating some level of churn on the disk from time to time). I appear to have hit a tipping point on this where I can't rely on the backup drive to be reliably available for long enough to complete the backup.

I am so glad I have Arq as an offsite backup while I'm trying to figure this mess out.

November 30
Hoo boy. I wasn't expecting much from Transformers: Dark of the Moon but frankly it was still worse than I expected. Main character is basically a whiner at this point. Gratuitous eyecandy is lingered over at every possible opportunity and given about as much agency as a hatstand. Annoying comedy characters are just annoying. There are homophobic "jokes". The soundtrack is jarringly noticeable to the point that I thought I'd flipped into some sort of advert at one point. Product placement is so blatant that they may as well have run a chyron at the bottom of the screen repeating CISCO and LENOVO and CHEVROLET over and over. How did Stephen Spielberg think it was a good idea to have his name associated with this?

November 23
Captain America: The Winter Soldier I think I previously watched on a plane, which means it was probably cut. In any case, I'd kinda forgotten the details, so watching it again didn't hurt. It's good, but there's a small flaw in the whole thing: the "bad" guys are bad because they want to be a police force without oversight, which is, er, what Natasha basically says the Avengers want to be - or, de facto, are, at hearings at the end of the movie. Oooooo-kay.

November 22
A labourious round of poking at settings has sorted out some of the Outlook pain, but there are still annoyances like: I check a box somewhere that says, essentially, remove blank lines from messages when reading. And what does this do? It saves visual real-estate. Good. But then every time it does it, it puts a notice in the message to tell me it saved space by removing blank lines, thus... consuming space. <facepalm>

(also, if anyone knows how to make a "Delete" icon appear in the preview reading pane along with the reply/reply-all/forward buttons, I will give you my firstborn cat or something.)

(that's not a great offer, btw; firstborn cat is a bit of a terror.)

November 21
Stuck with a Microsoft Windows desktop today for handwavy reasons (my normal setup consists of a Mac and a RDP-connected Linux box). I realise there's a certain lack of familiarity at work, but how the hell do people actually use Outlook? There's 300 million things going on in the window where I'm trying to read my email, and trying to reduce the visual clutter is painful to say the least. Options? Preferences? View? Ribbons? Menus? Whoever it was said that every checkbox on an options page is a place where a designer gave up was a bit extreme, but Outlook is at the opposite end of the customisation scale from that.

That aside, there's smaller irritations as well, like the fact that the message I'm reading right now has a corresponding line in the mailbox pane, but I can't see it properly because the window cuts the text off horizontally. Deleting a bunch of emails by conversation / group / whatever you want to call it, I periodically get a message saying "there's more mail on the server" or "this mail is part of a split conversation" and I've no idea what the rest of those emails say because I don't care and I'm trying not to interrupt the flow of dealing with my email. And despite all the visual clutter, there's ACRES of whitespace.

Seriously. I read this same mailbox every day using the native email client on MacOS - which has its own barrel of quirks, to be sure, like "I will now randomly advance you to whichever message in the mailbox I think is "next" and good luck figuring out how that works" - and there's none of this visual clutter or clunkiness. Even Thunderbird on Linux was better than this.

November 14
A couple of years back, in the course of pursuing family history, I took to investigating one of the local landowners who had a named "Big House" next door to the house I grew up in (albeit one that was demolished a number of years before I was born). Having found out a few things and then run into the inevitable brick wall, I put together a page about Arsallagh House, including my hope that someone who knew more might stumble on the page and contact me. And this did indeed happen: a descendant of staff who spent part of his youth on the farm attached to the house reached out and over the course of the last two years he's sent me recollections and pictures which I've duly arranged into a document for posterity. And for good measure I'm meeting him for lunch today. Hurrah for the interweb!


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