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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

March 31
Jo's season finale - series finale, in fact - was not terrible but it left an awful lot of things unfinished. Disappointing.

March 27
We've been watching Jo since we ran out of Elementary. IMDb has it tagged as a miniseries because they only did one season and didn't get renewed. It's definitely got promise, but the dialogue can be a little lumpy in places.

March 21
I stalled a bit on my React conversion project trying to replace two components that I'd previously used JQuery for: a pop-up dialog box and a combo box. This is proving annoyingly difficult to fix - the pop-up I've reasonably dealt with using react-modal, but the combo box I'm trying to use - Downshift - does not work anywhere near as nicely as the one in JQuery, and I'm not wholly clear on how to fix it because it's CSS wizardry and mostly I don't understand that when it's not immediately obvious where the problem lies. I suppose I could just yank in something like my employer's React component library and use that, but I don't really want a non-work toy to feel like I'm working whenever I use it, y'know?

March 18
The Grand Budapest Hotel was an absolute blast. The funniest thing was that every time a big-name actor showed up, it was unclear whether they were just there for a cameo or would maybe show up again (for the record, it looks like George Clooney was the only actual one-shot cameo, and he's uncredited).

March 17
House of Gucci was about an hour too long, so it's hard to say if it's actually a good movie or not outside of that. Basically I don't think I cared after the first 90 minutes.

March 15
Wow, that was terrible.

The series finale for Elementary could charitably be described as "rushed": it jumps three years from the preceding episode, then has another one-year skip in the middle, the only murder to be solved in the episode is over and done with before you've caught on, and there's just So. Much. larded into a single episode that it feels like they forgot the most important thing: a story. For a series I really enjoyed, this is a major let-down.

I can only hope it was forced on the creators somehow, like their funding got pulled or something. That this might be the best idea they could come up with doesn't bear contemplating.

March 13
Dozen episodes? More like three. I do not like these shortened final seasons. Anyway, two to go.

Attempting to build the CloudWatch client for i386 on a t2.micro kills the t2.micro for all effective purpsoes. Ouch.

March 12
We're closing in on the end of Elementary, and it continues to be a fun romp - particularly the little "closing the case" snippets they've put at the start of some of the episodes. The introduction of a major nemesis who isn't Moriarty but who is named Reichenbach sort of forbodes a deeply silly interpretation of the "classic" end of Holmes, but I guess we'll see in another dozen episodes or so.

We've also started in on Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard; it's fun so far but oh yay more meddling with Time Travel. Also in episode 2 Alison Pill is easily the best at the whole "we're in a different timeline to the one we were just in and I need to cope without letting anyone know I'm disoriented" thing.

Fiddling with SSM (another AWS service); for... complicated reasons I wound up having to build the agent for a Debian i386 install, which was less fun than it sounds. It seems to be running now, though, and the console recognises both of my servers...

The backup saga: it rolls on, in the background. tl;dr my latest attempt ran out of memory. Literally. I'm inching closer to considering exactly how much of this data I actually want to hang on to.

March 7
After yesterday's hacking on the guess counts, I thought it still wasn't working (tests? me? do you think I'm some sort of software developer?) but on further investigation I realised that there are two ways of scoring a given guess: score it in isolation, or score it in combination with previous guesses. So, for example, given guess 1, "gusty" and guess 2, "demur", in both cases "u" is flagged as "correct letter, wrong place". That means I know the word has to have "u" in it (457 possible words) but taking the cases in isolation and excluding all the incorrect letters, I get 142 for "gusty" and 154 for "demur". Now, if I combine the two, I get to exclude words containing "d", "e", "m", "r", and "g", "s", "t", and "y", giving a combined score of 30. Which, I mean let's be honest, still doesn't get me closer to guessing the word (it was "unzip", and it took me the full six guesses) but at least I know my scoring mechanism works.

Also, that's the score against possible answers. The score against permitted guesses is higher, since Wordle allows you to guess words that will never be answers (cruel, that).

March 6
Figured out that my hackabout Wordle clone had a bug in the code that gives you counts of possible guesses and answers based on your current guess and score. Makes no real difference to my playing, to be honest. Also it appears I have a blind spot for double letters, wasting a bunch of guessess on "cur?y" when the missing letter was in fact "r". (if you're playing the real thing, I'm not bothering with the one-word-per-day stuff, I just have it pick a random word from its list of answers.)

March 5
Started on a new team at work this week which has meant, among other things, a new programming language which I've not yet started in on learning.

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"March" seems unfortunately appropriate