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Being The Geekly Diary of Waider
(may contain traces of drinking, movies, and sport)
May 16
Toys, toys, toys. So last Thursday we replaced our long-serving (7 years!) petrol-engined car with a fully-electric car. Driving it so far has proven to be fun, at least as much for discovering seven years of upgrades to the state of the art as anything else.

Arrived today in the post: a chip-reading cat feeder. One of our cats has an eating problem - he likes to, and a lot - and the other is a grazer. The eater wound up with a bit of a weight problem, so we've had him on a diet for a while, and part of the diet enforcement protocol is putting the grazer's food where the glutton can't reach it. Alas, the newly svelte and definitely hungry piglet has discovered his inner ninja and is now able to jump to the previously safe perch. So, electronics to the rescue. Insert food into feeder; insert cat into feeder to program the chip-reader; go through tedious acclimatisation programme to get cat to use the feeder. Or, in Bonzo's case, wait a few hours while she figures it out and gets used to it. It wasn't cheap, but it's definitely working quite well and we (so far) haven't had to engage the Thieving Cat Defence or the Shut Lid Quickly feature: LardCat is simply freaked out by the thing and eyes it suspiciously from a safe distance.

May 10
We've had Airprint functioning in the house through judicious application of a Raspberry Pi and some open source software, but it's rarely used because we don't actually print that much. This past weekend, however, we had need of printing something from an iPad. Sent it to the printer and ... nothing. I spent probably an hour tinkering with various things, upgrading things, restarting things, rebooting things and eventually stumbled across the problem: the thing being printed was a password-protected PDF, and the server didn't have the password. I don't know how this is supposed to work, but it sure as hell was hard to debug...

May 08
Hurrah, it turns out my React bug is actually a bug in the library I was using, and rolling back a couple of point releases fixes it. While investigating this I found a few other problems that were my fault, mind you.

May 07
Picard S2 also wrapped up nicely, albeit just a little bit anticlimactically. On the whole I enjoyed this, so I really can't fathom people saying it's the worst Trek ever (have they not seen the TOS?) - something you'll find not a little of with a quick Internet search. Maybe what they really wanted was ST:TNG Season 8? I don't know.

Noticed that Harry Bosch had reappeared in Bosch: Legacy; I'm not sure why the name change as it still seems to be almost all the same people, but whatever. I thought the season opener was going to wrap up as a standalone episode at one point (not sure why; maybe just the pacing?) but no, it's good for both ten episodes and a second season, it looks like, so YAY!

May 01
Slow Horses wrapped up nicely in six episodes: didn't feel rushed, didn't feel dragged out. I know there were some changes in the ending, but I wasn't keeping track throughout and feel like it's worth going back through the book now both because it's fun to read and also to see what was actually changed vs. what I remember / was aware of. Cast-wise, I think they pretty much nailed it, although Min was a bit more hapless than I recall, and Judd was way too far from who he's supposed to be a caricature of - they could have at least cast the dishevelled blonde hair correctly!

I'm now debating whether we cancel the Apple TV subscription until the next season comes around, or not, since we haven't watched a single other thing with it.

April 28
Oof, long time no update. So, let's see.

Last things first: the ongoing question over whether Twitter will become Muskville caused me to spend a bit more time on Mastodon where I've had an account for a few years largely lying dormant. @waider@octodon.social if such is your thing. Given that there are a number of accounts I follow / support on Twitter that are only on Twitter, I won't be deleting my account there any time soon, it'll just be a bit less noisy.

Related, a day or so after I returned to my Mastondon account, the iOS client I was using for it (Amaroq) started crashing on launch. Turns out the author EOL'd it about ten months ago, and it looks like it's just broken. Weird coincidence - maybe the increased traffic to the site I use resulted in them changing something that Amaroq can't deal with. Anyway, there's an official Mastodon client which isn't great but works well enough for my uses.

Picard Season 2 continues to be excellent, as does Slow Horses.

We started into The Blacklist as something to watch during the week (criteria: must hold our interest, episodes must be an hour or thereabouts, and it'd be great if it wasn't a series that got cancelled with unresolved plotlines) and it's ... not bad. It's a bit bumpy in places, and James Spader's mannerisms are all sorts of odd (the way he constantly angles his head left or right for no apparent reason, for example). A recent episode had us pretty much yelling at the TV because everyone in the episode was picking the most stupid available course of action ("I'm on my own at a dangerous location where there's a pile of guns and evidence of very recent occupation by someone I suspect to be a killer... how about I just walk on in by myself and not tell anyone at all where I am") so hopefully that's not a continuing trend; on the plus side, it's apparently still in production but I've slightly spoilered myself for a recent season because I accidentally read the season synopsis. I guess we've a few dozen episodes before that crops up, so it probably doesn't matter.

Started reading "The Science Officer" series. Dropped it after a couple of books because of the protagonist's constant references to a female character's physical characteristics. Pick a different running joke, dude. (of course it's a dude). Ate my way through Stephenson's "Termination Shock": that was honestly one of those books where I'd have been happy for it to continue, and not because of everyone's favourite hobby horse, that Stephenson can't stick the landing; it was just good. Also devoured Caoimh McDonnell's latest. Then I picked up Becky Chambers' "Monk and Robot", which I liked, and was fun, but oh GOD another "book 1 in an ongoing series that hasn't been completed" - when will I learn? And finally: Ulysses. I'm not reading it, but I've found the e-book equivalent of buying it and then leaving it unread on your shelf; I picked up an ebook made from when it was (briefly) out of copyright, and have left it uninstalled on my reader.

Nerdery: the aforementioned React fix isn't quite right, but it's working well enough for now. I will admit to mild annoyance that parity with equivalent JQuery/JQuery-UI functionality isn't high on someone's list of boxes to tick, and of course using React means engaging at least partially with the whole world of hurt that is NPM, even if you're not actually using any of the NPM stuff "for real" (I've used a kludgy combination of create-react-app and some scripting to turn my React code into a Webpack-whatever-it-is bundle that gets served to all and sundry by my somehwat creaky Django-based system).

Phew. That's enough for now.

April 19
I've made no progress on the React porting for the last month due to getting stuck on a problem, halfway solving it, and then being somewhat disheartened with the fact that I couldn't complete it. I dug up an alternative solution this evening and wired it up and, wow, I think I've just completed the thing I was stuck on!

April 16
The Actors: saw this in 2005, thought it was pretty good. Watched it tonight, nearly hurt myself laughing. It really is such a great movie. I mean, Michael Gambon as a toupee'd small-time Dublin criminal (and owner of what I believe to be a made-over PorterHouse? I think I'd previously thought it was a bar in D8 that I no longer recall the name of) who drives a beat-up Toyota Hiace? How can you not immediately want to watch this?

April 15
I spoke a little too soon: restoring to a sparsebundle appeared to work but crapped out at the "verify" stage. No matter, I've at least cloned the data off to an external drive and started stripping the Drobo.

April 12
Plan E looks like it might actually be the one. tl;dr: Apple's Disk Utility can "restore" one volume over another without requiring a memory-hungry scan of the entire source (which the other imaging attempts I made wanted to do) and much to my surprise it accepted a sparsebundle as a destination for the volume copy. I have no idea if this will actually result in a working backup drive, but that's ok: it will at least allow me to put the bits somewhere other than the Drobo, which will in turn allow me to strip the Drobo for disks to load up into the Synology. And it only took me several months to accomplish!



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