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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

February 28
Today I learned that ThinkGeek, beloved store of nerds everywhere, (a) is/was part of everyone's favourite undead stockmarket listing and (b) is no more. I could've sworn I'd visited the site some time last year, but then it may be that I just saw a bunch of their stuff on some other retail website.

February 27
We've been bingeing the new season of American Gods. It seems to have survived its various production-staff rotations, but it also still feels slow. Still, Emily Browning deserves a shelf full of awards for her performance, and the rest of the cast is generally on par, and the look of the thing is excellent. Just, y'know... pick up the pace a little?

February 22
Well, that was annoying: had my usual fight with macOS Server trying to automate the SSL cert swapout process, culminating in me disabling the email server and reenabling it. Now it tells me I've no domains configured even though they're clearly listed in the on-disk config, and seem to be responding to clients.

February 19
More endings: we finished House M.D. I think it ended as well as it could; I did in fact shout "House, you ASSHOLE" at the TV shortly before Wilson said approximately the same thing, so from that you may conclude that the ending was plausibly in character for the rest of the show. Glaring omission of Lisa Edelstein from the finale, where they pretty much brought everyone else back, which sort of suggests there was more to her leaving the show when she did than is available, say, on some movie trivia website. Anyway. Prime Video is offering us one more show, some sort of series retrospective, so I guess we'll watch that and then we're back to Midsommer Murders.

Had an interesting time over the last two days in the office. A Thing Occurred which required some assistance, for which I volunteered, for which I received a thank you from a half-dozen or so people of various degrees of seniority to me (all the way up to "as high as we promote technical people in this company"). Which, to be honest, was pretty cool.

February 11
And so it came to pass that we completed Star Trek: TNG by watching The Naked Now. This is our last episode, but in some sense it's the first episode of the series; there are visible differences from the two-part pilot which preceded it (Data's makeup has improved, for one, and Troi is no longer dressed as a modernised version of Uhura; however, Wesley is still an irritating little shit) and the story works a good deal better albeit the whole "we're all drunk and oversexed" thing is a bit skeevy. This is a more convincing argument to run a seven-year show, all things considered. I understand it's a remake of an episode from the original series, but you know what? I think that's ok.

(OH it is to laugh. The director of this episode said of it, "It's all quite subtle compared to the original, because the original episode was quite heavy-handed like most of the original episodes were." Yes, because having Denise Crosby suddenly wearing a backless outfit that doesn't have much of a front either is subtle.

Now what?

Well, we've been watching Midsommer Murders haphazardly for years, and at least one of the channels recently started a full rerun, so I've set it to capture the first few seasons at least. We'll see how that goes. American Gods season 3 is also waiting for our inspection, and I'm sure there's another Bosch in the pipeline somewhere...

February 6
The tellybox finally coughed up the missing Star Trek: TNG episodes we had missed (or rather, had recorded, but Virgin Media's DVR replacement process does not care for your recordings...) so we sat down to watch "Encounter at Farpoint". And it's, well, not terrible, but oh my how did this get extended into a seven-year series? Obviously the cast hasn't yet gelled, but honestly if this was my first introduction the the Star Trek universe it'd likely also have been my last encounter with same. One of the jarring things in it is Data: his makeup is perhaps intended to convey artificiality and instead conveys, "man who doesn't know how to has applied cosmetics to self", the stilted speech ("Inquiry: <asks question>") is too stilted, and the whole gimmick about him not understanding the word "snoop" is made more ridiculous by Picard himself immediatly noting that Data has access to all the world's knowledge and can't figure out a simple thing like this. Worf's head looks like a lightbulb, and Troi is completely overdone melodrama in a Uhura-ish short skirt. And the whole storyline with Q and the trial in front of a bizarrely anachronistic crowd works ok at the end of the series, but here it feels like a bad gamble. Oh well. Now that we've watched that two-parter, there's only a single episode left unwatched, and we've managed to snag that as well.

February 5
Vertigo was a bit disappointing. In particular, the literally last-minute twist ending felt cheap. IMDb tells me, "Poorly received by U.S. critics upon its release, this movie is now hailed as Sir Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece.". I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say I received this poorly, but I definitely wouldn't rank it over some of Hitchcock's other work that I've seen.

(and no, I don't think Jimmy Stewart's age is the problem, either.)

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