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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

February 28
Bus nerdery continues.

Had another shot at booting the Pi4 off the Pi3's SD card. No dice. So now I'm remote-installing a basic OS on the Pi4 and will, I guess, migrate all the OpenHAB bits over to it manually.

February 26
Discoveries about the state of the bus telemetry I can access:


February 24
Enemy has approximately two types of review on IMDb: "I will try to explain this to you" and "This sucked". The most amusing feature of the former is that almost all of them are aligned on the two male leads being the same person, Fight Club style, but they equally all align on "Spiders. WTF." It's a beautifully shot movie, just like last night's outing by the same director, and that may help with the confusion because you don't get much by way of visual cues to something being real or not. At the end, I was kinda in the same camp as all the "Spiders. WTF." people.

Been doing a little API reverse-engineering and I'm noting for the record that for a bus route I'm interested in, our national transport people provide GPS tracking in one direction but not in the other. For my purposes, this is mildly annoying.

February 23
Dune 2 is in the cinema next week so we figured it'd be a good time to watch Dune. It's well-made, and also clearly directed by "that guy that did Blade Runner 2049", but I can't take this story particularly seriously because everyone's being completely straight-faced about the whole mystic side of the story, and you can't do Dune without that. It doesn't feel like a must-see but it wasn't a waste of time, either.

February 21
Despite my misgivings about its security posture, we ran the catcam while we were away and were not taken over by a botnet. I'm still not thrilled with the way the thing works but I'm at least marginally reassured that my abject poking at it have produced suggestions that it's not running the CVE-laden protocol that its predecessors had; in other words they've at least upgraded the protocol, if not fixed the bugs. I have intentions around poking it with a stick at some point when I run out of Too Many Other Things To Do but for now it's only active when we need it, and when it's active it lives in a DMZ away from the rest of the network.

February 19
Spent the last few days in London: visited Greenwich, the Royal Acadamy, a bunch of restaurants, and a few shops. Much Fun Was Had.

February 18
I had completely forgotten that District 9 initially sets up as a documentary before moving (mostly) into feature-film mode; it's an excellent piece of movie-making in as much as it really sells the reality of what it's portraying. Enjoyed (again).


February 17
Tonight's entertainment: the third Kingsman movie, The King's Man. This was a good deal darker than the first two and kinda dragged a bit, but on the whole was not bad.

February 16
I was a little reluctant to watch Renfield (for reasons) but I couldn't remember what the thing I wanted to watch instead was so we put that on. And it was glorious. It's schlocky in the way The Boys or Preacher is, but played so much for laughs (as, to a large extent, both those shows were) that it doesn't come across as horror. Also, About A Boy boy has sure come a long way.


February 10
Discussing Gaslight's cinematography of course came around to talking about Citizen Kane, so we watched that. There's some beautifully constructed shots in this, and some things that are now considered cliché but were new at the time. Also some pretty sharp dialogue.

February 9
Gaslight is surprisingly well made from a cinematography perspective given its age. There was one particularly involved camera motion that caught my eye, a sort of pan/raise/tilt/focus combination over the course of a few seconds that must've been merry hell to do with the camera kit of the era. But that aside it's also an excellent movie - and, as the IMDb Trivia tells you at least three times, it's the origin of the term "gaslighting". Also funny to see Angela "Murder She Wrote" Lansbury as a cheeky young thing with a rough accent.

February 8
Morning commute was a bit of a deluge, which made it quite the opportune time for my cycling jacket to jam its zip while I was trying to extract my swipe to get into the office car park...

February 6
So, I got the beefier Raspberry Pi for OpenHAB. Now I need to set it up. Soon.

February 5
Having run out of Blacklists, we're now back to Cold Case which is fine if not brilliant.

February 4
The season finale of Blacklist season 7 was ... interesting. Basically they couldn't finish filming due to COVID, so they patched it together with something that looks a bit like a rotoscoping job with some low-frame-rate animation. A little distracting but I guess they got to tell the story which was, er, not great.

Die Hard was on. How could I not watch it? I think part of what works so well in this is that Bruce Willis really sells the role of man-out-of-depth in it. Yes, there's the wisecracks that everyone remembers and quotes, but what about when he's pulling out the firehose reel to jump off the top of the building and practically whimpering to himself? Such a great performance.


February 3
I'm enjoying watching episodes of Billy Connolly Does... as and when I come across them. It's funny seeing someone so comfortable in their own skin speaking so plainly about the weird and wonderful life that's happened to them.

February 2
Murder By Death was apparently "[i]ncluded amongst the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the five hundred movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies." which says a lot about what's considered funny in America, I guess. It was at best mildy amusing, at worst often tedious. Plus, it's "of its time" by which I mean it has various punching-down stereotypes played for laughs. And they made a sequel. Good grief.

February 1
Closing in on the end of Blacklist S7 and to be honest it's getting a bit silly at this point: no sooner do they resolve a long-arc plot point than they open up another previously-resolved one again. The showrunners apparrently didn't get the fact that the whole catch-a-blacklister-each-episode line is sufficient by itself to bring back the audience without an actual narrative arc behind it.

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