Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

August 14
Fiddling with route planners for the EV: "A Better Route Planner" does the work of figuring out your stops for you, but I'm having some issues with the user interface; "PlugShare" seems a good deal more comprehensive in terms of both available charge points and access to more detailed information without subscribing, but doesn't plan your stops; and the EV's own routing app (on the phone) doesn't appear to allow for additional waypoints. None of the three seem to have the concept of "round trip", as in, "I'm driving to this location and will be driving back to my starting point some time after that", which seems... basic? I dunno. Maybe there's a huge cohort out there who just get in their cars and drive, never to be seen again?

August 13
Managed to cherry-pick the slightly broken debian box into installing a reasonably current version of SpamAssassin, which was about the most critical thing it was missing after last weeks' upset. I'm still debating how much effort to put into recovering this vs. setting up a new box from scratch with the user data preserved.

August 9
Started watching Vikings; as with other stuff we've watched, it's included for "free" on PrimeVideo and there are at least a few seasons - although it looks like only half of the series, alas. We'll see how it goes.

August 6
Sort of understanding what happened to the server:

August 4
Still not clear on what broke but the server is more or less back in working order.

August 3
Wrapped up Blacklist: Redemption. Not terrible, and while there was a bit of a cliffhanger and no more episodes because the show was cancelled, things were well enough wrapped up to not be annoying.

Had a minor oops with a server I manage where what should've been routine maintenance broke the box's connectivity. Fortunately I have scripts lying around to help recover from such incidents, but I'd forgotten I'd made them kinda slick:
$ ~/src/sh/ec2-drive-swap.sh -p awsprofile -s hostname
21:12:00 Collected sick instance ID 'i-deadbeef' for 'hostname'
21:12:02 Sick device '/dev/xvda' is 'vol-deadbeef'
21:12:03 Collected recovery instance ID 'i-feedbead'
21:12:06 Will attach sick volume as '/dev/xvdc'
21:12:06 Stopping i-deadbeef:
 waiting for 'i-deadbeef' to reach status 'stopped': ...done
21:12:33 Detaching sick volume vol-deadbeef:
 waiting for 'vol-deadbeef' to reach status '': .done
21:12:37 Attaching vol-deadbeef to i-feedbead:
 waiting for 'vol-deadbeef' to reach status 'attached': ..done
Sick volume is attached to recovery instance. Log in to i-feedbead and do your stuff, then exit the shell to continue
[drive recovery - exit when done] $ 
On top of that, when I logged in I discovered I'd left scripts on the damaged drive that mount and unmount the relevant partitions to allow it to operate as a chroot environment. Slick, I tells ya. And when I log out of the recovery shell, it reattaches the volume to the correct instance and restarts the instance. SLICK.

(just don't look at the code.)

At this point I've partially recoved the server but I'm still trying to figure out what actually went wrong, so if anyone still uses the DSPsrv and is wondering why they can't connect... that's why.

August 1
Weird failure on one of the decrepit macs: a file created in ~/Desktop didn't show up on the desktop, so I figured maybe logging out might be good (I have experienced failures in the past where the desktop process has become disconnected from its security context, or something like that). Logging out... hung. Since I had a shell connection to the same machine, I rebooted it. That hung, too. So hard power off, and... booting hung. At this point I was envisaging the annoyingly stereotypical "mac claims hardware is in full working order right up to the point it catastrophically fails"; however, I managed to boot to recovery, nothing looked amiss, and then booting verbosely showed an awful lot of errors that seemed symptomatic of problems in the signing infrastructure. But no, eventually it came back to life. I have no idea, and I am not helped by the fact that there's a good deal of alarming-looking log messages that are apparently safe to ignore.

Finished round one of my battle with the Variorum edition of Ulysses: I have read, after a fashion, the original publications from The Little Review. It's tough going in spots, wildly amusing in others. I am now looking at what I think is the original 1922 print of the novel itself, so let's see how that goes. "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan..."

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Your August Presence.