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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

June 28
Coming to the end of a week off work - a bit more abruptly than I expected, since it turns out I'm on-call this weekend. I did want to note the following:

· Need plumbing work done? John Harding at Plumb-Fix.ie isn't great to answer email contact, but does provide an efficient and quick service if you use the phone. He also recommended someone to me for a boiler service...

· M. K. Plumbing & Heating; Michael turned up early, put down cloths to protect the floor while he was working, did a more thorough job than anyone I've seen (including the rude Bord Gais-sourced guy we had last year) and to top all that was cheaper than anyone I've had do this job before. Strongly recommended!

· Scully Autocare have done the last two services for us on our aging Micra, and this time around we needed to have a spoiler re-attached (they really shouldn't be brought into mechanical car washes...) and an intermittent fault in the courtesy light cured. All done, reasonably priced, very nice to deal with.

June 27
Went to see Agatha Christie's Black Coffee in the Grand Canal Bord Gais Energy (meh) Theatre last night. Great show, but it looks like maybe it wasn't such a huge success in Dublin as the Circle was closed and the stalls weren't quite full.

June 26
Playing a bit with Mac dictation today. It's so-so, probably not helped by the fact that I'm feeding it genealogical texts which are both old themselves, and quote older texts, so the language is archaic, and on top of that it's full of family names and place names which dication isn't typically going to be set up for. It did manage to correctly handle "Dun Laoghaire", but the source text I was working from actually has that spelled "Dun Leary"... I do find myself wishing it was a bit more powerful as far as editing commands go; it'd be nice to be able to just yell, "undo" or "no, you idiot" to back up over a particuarly poor interpretation. I guess for that I'd need a real dictation system rather than just a freebie.

June 25
This whole "can't quit program because don't have enough memory" is getting tiresome. It reminds me of a long-ago post to talk.bizarre by CARASSO, which paraphrased said he'd encountered an error (on an Amiga, I think) saying it couldn't eject a floppy disk due to insufficient memory. So he took a pliers and ripped it out. Alas, I can't find a gripping point on iPhoto that will allow me to pull it out of memory...

June 24
Finally gave up on the "new" Guardian RSS feed that I've been complaining about for some time now: they seem to have decided to swap quality for quantity. A shame, because every so often there's a good read to be had there.

June 23
Stricken Mac:
Jun 23 08:19:24 zippy.local secd[72427]: handle_xpc_event >>>>> handle_connection_event via event_handler <<<<<, WTF?

WTF indeed.

Prompted to upgrade Adobe Flash. Spent 30 seconds looking at the "upgrdae" page trying to figure out how I get the damn upgrade; I know y'all want to upsell on everything, but would it hurt to tone it down a bit? I've actually removed Flash from most systems I use, since it's an unnecessary piece of crap that periodically requires me to restart my browser.

Something working nicely for a change: I'm catching up on emptying out the "No Artwork" playlist on iTunes. iTunes runs on The Server Downstairs, and I'm working on The Laptop Upstairs. Much to my surprise, I'm able to drag an image out of Safari to the edge of the screen, have it flip to the Space containing my Screen Sharing session, then drop the image into the Track Info dialog on iTunes on the remote machine and have it actually work. This, I think, is what the ICCCM clipboard aspires to, but which I've never actually seen work.

(Oddly, while the drag-and-drop method works, copying and pasting the image doesn't. Go figure.)

June 22
Trying to manipulate an exceedlingly large TIFF file, and I find that my Mac becomes wholly unpredictable - at one point the entire login session vanished, but when it came back everything still seemed to be running.

June 21
Longest day of the year, and after a week of scorching weather we're back to the more usual overcast Irish Summer.

Still slowly pushing my Perl RSS toy in the direction of Python - as much for my own education as anything else. My previous attempts to do this with Java foundered on something of an overengineering approach involving frameworks.

June 8
More of the "useful to know": Apple's Server Manager includes the httpd_wsgi.conf file in each VirtualHost definition, so you can only put things into this file that can safely run more than once. If you want to, e.g. create WSGIDaemonProcess entries, you need to put them in some other config file.

June 2
Useful to know: I built MySQL-python but it wasn't working as the _mysql.so file was unable to find the mysql client libraries on account of them being in /usr/local/mysql/lib. So:
waider $ sudo install_name_tool -change 'libmysqlclient.18.dylib' '/usr/local/mysql/lib/libmysqlclient.18.dylib' /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/_mysql.so
...and now it's good.

Yesterday's loyalty exercise wound up with an automail informing me that there was an unspecified problem with the request, and that I'd have to phone someone to sort it out. It's actually a pretty scammy-looking message, to be honest; no branding, directs me to call a number which looks to be International, no mention of what the actual problem is, order reference that doesn't match the one I got on the site... think I'll let this one sit.

June 1
Aimlessly fiddling about with Python toys.

The joy of using Tesco loyalty vouchers:
  1. Enter full contact details (all mandatory)
  2. Enter how much of your voucher stash you want to use, in Euro
  3. Enter each individual code twice, and also the face value of the voucher
  4. Enter the email address you entered in step 1, again.
  5. Receive a validation email.
  6. Click on the link in the validation email.
  7. Confirm the entire thing again.

Seems like maybe it'd be easier to ask me for the voucher details first, then ask me how I want to use them, and if - and only if - that merits full contact information (which, let's face it, Tesco already has), do I get prompted for anything more than an email address.

Oh, and there's a typo in the middle of one of the pages, too. In the middle of the word Clubcard, in fact. You know, the thing that the page is about.

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