Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

November 15
Another one that's been on the list for ages: They Shall Not Grow Old. Filmed, as the closing credit says, on location on the Western Front, 1914-1918. The switch from black-and-white Pathé newsreel style to colourised, stablised, speed-corrected widescreen is almost physical in its impact, but the rest of it: I think if you've read "All Quiet On The Western Front" or otherwise encountered any WWI "deglamourised" history, none of it will really come as a surprise. The footage is fairly grim in places, so be warned of that if you plan on watching this - and it's a different sort of grim to, say, Saving Private Ryan where something, maybe, at the back of your head is reminding you that it's a recreation. This isn't a recreation.

November 14
Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary is something I've been meaning to watch for ages, and it was worth watching - certainly a good deal more palatable than the recent trend for doing such things as "Oral Histories". Lots of good bits and laughs, including the Tim Allen / Steven Spielberg / Alan Rickman story that the director was persuaded to tell. I think the most interesting thing about it is that no-one seemed to have a coherent story about Rickman - he hated Tim Allen, but there's a still of him literally doubling up laughing with Allen; he was aloof, except he wasn't; he told one of the producers with a pained expression that "it was fun intermittently". Whatever the truth of the matter is, it's hard to see anyone else selling the role as well as he did.

November 13
Work laptop has been running the Ventura point release for a couple of days without crashing but, well, I'm not using it so it could just be teasing.

November 10
And now we're done with Vikings Season 5 Part 1, and it looks like Season 6 - the final season - has been added to our available viewing, so that's nice.

Social Media Bird Site continues to be an ever-growing trash fire. I may be inclined to put my account to sleep.

November 7
Crashing Ventura macOS somewhat improved by reseting the PRAM, but this annoys me on two counts: firstly, it's an opaque fix - there are any number of things stored in PRAM, and who knows which of them was at fault? - and secondly, it smells of failure to invalidate cached data from the previous OS install.

If you're part of the exodus to Mastodon, @waider@octodon.social.

November 4
Got our Smart Meter installed. Cramped location and a lack of advance surveying meant the installer got a "surprise, you're hosed" experience which meant that 45 minutes without electricity became about 2 hours without electricity. Now we just have to wait for ESB Networks to roll out their provider-independent gateway (apparently this month!) so we can access the data without having to actually get on a (potentially) more expensive tariff to do so.

Work laptop has had a full OS reinstall, to no avail. USB definitely seems to be the source of the problem but nailing it down any more clearly than that appears difficult to impossible. This weekend I'll be applying the magic "reset NVRAM, reset SMC" fixes, and then contemplating how best to roll back to the previous OS.

Rebooting the house means one of my "smart plugs" which had stopped publishing data is back publishing data again and, er, jeez. Power drain city. (it's the one all the computer toys are plugged into.)

November 1
I upgraded the work laptop to Ventura and, well, it's been constant rebootsville since. It looks like maybe something in USBland is unhappy but so far no diagnosis. Of particular concern/interest is that once the OS starts booting properly, my USB hub appears to go through rapid, recurring power-cycles.

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No, Vember!