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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

April 25
Spider-Man: Homecoming: maybe I'm not the audience for the endless Spider-Man reboots, but basically I don't think anything has topped the Sam Raimi / Toby Maguire versions, and I'm afraid this latest attempt to start over (not counting the same Spider's appearance in Captain America: Civil War) doesn't change that. I get that this guy's behaviour is probably closer to Typical Nerdy Fifteen-Year-Old; I'm not a sufficient comics geek to know how well it fits into the comics mythos; and you can't just retread the original ground - but we do have Spider-Man having a big fight with a guy he's got a social connection to in a mechanical wingsuit. Rewriting Aunt May as Marisa Tomei was frankly jarring, too. I think mainly this version of Spider-Man spends a little too much time being an annoying goof; the Raimi / Maguire movie dealt with that as a small part of the origin story, whereas this isn't an origin story - Spidey's supposed to be somewhat well-established and comfortable in his role, so it's a little off that he comes across as not being entirely settled into it. I guess the offer of bigger things from Tony Stark, etc. etc. Oh, and yes, this is Tony Stark's world, but that removes a lot of Spider-Man's agency - including making his own gadgets - or at least changes its focus from "fighting crime" to "impressing Tony". And I guess that's kind of the point of the story, but it's not a great one. To paraphrase Stark, if the story's nothing without Tony, then it shouldn't have Tony? I dunno. Look, it wasn't a terrible movie; the action sequences were action-y, and there's the goofy John Hughes homage including a clip of Ferris Bueller playing on a big screen in a back yard, and I didn't fall asleep or wander off to clean a sink or something. It's just not as good - to my eyes - as what Raimi / Maguire did back in 2002.

April 24
Watched the last of the last of the X-Files (assuming nothing further comes along; they've sort of left things in a state where there's still room to move but equally could leave it as it is). Somewhat surprisingly there was still quite a mix of quality in the episodes; in particular the "Mulder & Scully vs. the AI" episode was fairly rubbish, and the "Mandela Syndrome" episode wasn't exactly top-notch either. I mean, they may have been aiming for B-movie quality, or so-bad-it's-good or whatever, but I didn't feel like it really worked. Anyway. It is what it is, or maybe it was what it was.

April 16
Laptop has spent most of the week deleting a few things from All The Backups - mainly cache files from Arq; I figure I don't need to be backing up the cache files of the offsite backup.

I like this idea: a quick button-press to start & end your day. But this diary is written in Emacs, run through some stuff on my laptop, and uploaded to the website, so I don't have a "posting interface" as such that a toy like Warren's would hook into. Well, not yet, anyway.

April 15
Started a new Couch To 5K. Last one got me from not running to ~22-minute 5Ks before I managed to crock some non-muscular soft tissue in my foot; this time maybe I'll go for continuity and endurance rather than speed.

April 13
Ad Astra: ennnnh. Seriously, what was the point of this? Did Brad Pitt look at people starring in SciFi movies and want a piece of the action? Maybe the last cheque he wrote bounced? Somewhere in the middle of it I thought, "this is like someone wanted to mash up 2001 and Apocalypse Now", and lo and behold I find this quote from the writer/director: "Sorta like, if you got Apocalypse Now and 2001: A Space Odyssey in a giant mash-up and you put a little Joseph Conrad in there.". Uh, ok, but you do know Apocalypse Now was based on a Joseph Conrad story, right? Writer/Director also said, "it will feature "the most realistic depiction of space travel that's been put in a movie." which is why you had Brad Pitt running through the engine bay of a rocket as it was lighting up without being harmed in any way, why people in the same rocket didn't show any effects of acceleration until it was convenient to the plot for them to do so, and why you saw a spacecraft riding the wave of a shockwave that wouldn't actually exist in space. Yes, very realistic indeed.

Look, it's not terrible. It's probably better than After Earth which is admittedly a pretty low bar. I think I prefer it to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I'm one of the three people on the planet who didn't actually like that movie, and it does lift the awfully long, boring, quiet shots from that movie, which is why I was making the comparison. Even the credits are weird: Liv Tyler features - subjectively, at least - more than Ruth Negga, but Negga gets a top-three billing and Tyler's somewhere down in "Also Starring". (I'd like to think that this was because Tyler asked for her credit to be buried). Anyway. Waste of time, don't watch it if there's anything else on. Except maybe After Earth.

April 11
Happy Birthday to me (washes hands vigourosly) etc.

April 10
Knives Out was an absolute barrel of fun. I mean, okay, it's hard to take Daniel Craig seriously as a Southern Gentleman, because the whole Bond thing has made him Quintessential Englishman, and that's distracting, but a whodunnit that has the reveal in the middle (no spoilers in saying that) makes for an interesting movie and the whole thing is played for fun anyway. Including the silly car chase. As with our last movie pick, strongly recommended.

April 4
Le Mans '66 absolutely kicked ass. The chemistry between the two leads was infectious, the slimy management was slimy, the cars were spectacular, the story was reasonably attached to the truth. Strongly recommended.

(Apparently FoMoCo distanced themselves from the movie because of the portrayal of Henry Ford II and Leo Beebe. No idea if the movie took excessive liberties or not, but hey. Gotta have a bad guy, right?)

April 2
F/X: heavenly choir
2020-04-02 08:26:55.551595+0000 localhost backupd[61025]: (TimeMachine) [com.apple.TimeMachine:General] Completed backup: 2020-04-02-092647

Haha. Funny guys.
2020-04-02 13:28:18.574676+0000 localhost backupd[61025]: (TimeMachine) [com.apple.TimeMachine:General] Error: Error Domain=NSOSStatusErrorDomain Code=-36 "ioErr: I/O error (bummers)" deleting backup

Ah, no, seriously, people.
Copied 661.9 MB of 403.9 MB, 15341 of 1917 items

April 1
Poking at $website and trying to figure out their API. Oh, look, they're using the $platform codebase, and it has a version API call. Oh WOW, that's kinda old. Anyway, I wonder what the API implements? Oh look, the source is on GitHub so I can find the exact version they're using. Hey, cool, here's a useful API call that wasn't mentioned in the docs!

$ curl -s 'http://$website/api/$thingy'

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 134217728 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 180 bytes) in /var/www/thingy/wossname/etc/etc/etc

Er, sorry! Maybe you guys should turn that off? (I've tried to contact this site directly before, through their built-in "contact-us" form. No response. Shame, because I suspect they'd like to know that they're basically open to a denial-of-service attack.)

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