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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

May 31
Amsterdam was also a bit of a lark. As with last night's 1956 fare, this 2022 movie has been called "too complicated" which, well, it's not; it's actually pretty straightforward. But also lots of fun. Granted, it gets a little preachy in spots (needs less "tell" and more "show") but that's a minor quibble.

May 30
The Killing was a fun piece of work. I see the studio at the time thought the non-linear timeline was confusing and insisted on a voiceover, which to me just suggests that the studio thought the audience was an unsophisticated bunch of rubes. I dunno, it didn't seem that difficult to follow, but who am I to question the wisdom of the greats etc. etc. Anyway, this one's definitely worth a look to see early Kubrick doing his thing.

May 29
Bob Marley: One Love Marley was an enjoyable piece and seems mostly to have stuck to the truth as far as I can tell, as opposed to "based on" and embellishments to make "a better story". Sort of inclined to add a copy of Exodus to my music collection, or maybe Legend.

May 26
Having an entertaining fight with Emacs over package installation on a more-or-less fresh install. The GPG key I had locally had expired which was causing init-file loading to fail. The normal GPG approaches were proving fruitless, so I used Customize to disable package signing checks which (a) didn't work (maybe it's only checked the first time you invoke the package infrastructure and needs a clean start before trying again?) and (b) when I saved the customization with that setting, it saved the entire current state of customization, i.e. nothing except the thing I'd just done. Oops. Fortunately I was working on a copy from another machine so I just recopied. The approximate correct sequence of actions seems to be:
Good grief but apt install npm is slightly terrifying. The cascade of dependencies is ... large.

Whither the DVD archiving project? Well, I got a little slowed down by (among other things) trying to determine useful ways to automatically validate what the ripping scripts were up to. I started with some trivial command-line stuff, graduated to three different scripts, and I'm currently working on melding all of that into a single script that does the lot. I still have a small stack of discs which errored out during the backup process that I need to deal with, and the script doesn't yet deal with things that aren't the primary disc for a movie - so TV shows in particular are still pending some attention. I also haven't solved the subtitle problem; I came across a possible path forward which relies on a defunct package that everyone agreed was no longer being maintained but for which I can't find an immediately obvious equivalent, so I'm trying to figure out if I've a reasonably straightforward way of building that package without too much effort. How defunct was it? I had to get the source from the Wayback Machine...

Oh, and there was one disc from a two-disc set which I couldn't seem to pull a valid title off which bugged me for ages (and likely led to more robust validation); it turns out I'd swapped the discs around when backing them up, and I was trying to extract the movie from the wrong disc.

May 25
Not sure how I feel about the new season of Doctor Who. It's definitely a series that's known for its somewhat over-the-top hamming (I always joke about them choosing people for the title role who can act with their teeth, which I think maybe started being a thing with David Tennant and has mostly held true since) but the current round seems to overdo that a bit. It worked really well for the Maestro character in episode 2 - it was almost a requirement of the role - but the level of ham in the Doctor's performance seems a little too much even for this show. Of course, the thing I need to keep in mind is that I'm maybe not exactly the target audience, either.

May 24
Bullet Train was fun, but not quite as much fun as the book. Everything in the movie is Chekov's Gun; some are actual guns, others apparently innocuous objects until the point at which their significance becomes apparent. After a few rounds of this you start looking out for things that may turn up later. The ending is a little bit too silly; I guess they wanted their big set-piece destruction of iconic object.

May 23
Funny: finding a crowd's-eye-view recording of U2's Save the Yuppie concert in San Francisco and discovering their zero-practice cover of All Along The Watchtower isn't quite as good as you'd be led to believe by the Rattle and Hum recording.

May 17
The Mule was a bit slow but kinda fun and then... I dunno. It felt like they didn't know how to end it, so the ending was just this sort of flat fade-out kinda thing. Disappointing.

May 16
Oof. Doing some fiddling about and accidentally did this: rm -rf /Volumes/video/Movies\ from\ DVDs/. Caught it after it had only deleted about 60 movies, and fortunately that's the output directory from the processing I'm doing.

Also fortunately the current fiddling about is essentially an idempotent "did I rip this?" sort of thing so it should be able to fill in the missing bits.

May 14
Work project launched today. It was supposed to be yesterday but (handwaving gestures). To celebrate (actually entirely coincidentally) we had a company night out at Kylemore Karting wherein I made it into the last slot in the A final (five best qualifiers), shouldered my way into fourth place through a bit of luck and a bit of rough driving, and then skidded on a corner and wound up at an angle I couldn't drive out of. By the time the marshal got to me to set me back on the right line, I'd lost a lap so I wound up finishing as I'd started: fifth.

May 12
I was puzzled about why my TV-guide-scraping toy hadn't picked up that there's a new season of Doctor Who. Turns out that what was previously posted as Season 14 is in fact Season 1 of a new sequence? (rolls eyes, goes poking at code)

May 11
Looper was ok. Seems like it stole a bunch of ideas from various movies and sort of glommed them together and hoped the cast would carry the movie. I don't understand how this has such a high rating on Rotten Tomatoes (93% as of now).

May 10
Things are a little hectic at the moment for work-related reasons, but we did take the time to watch The Crow from the ripped DVD collection. Two observations: the DLNA player built into the 2010 Panasonic Viera is an absolute pile of shit which I suspect was the bare minimum required to get DLNA certification; and I seem to have the "cut for the squeamish" version of this movie. I do have a boxed edition so I'll check if there are other less-cut titles on it. Oh, I can do that easily now because the discs have been ripped to a filesystem, so I don't need to find out where the physical copies are. Woohoo!

May 6
DVD ripping lesson for the day: when dvdbackup says "Title Set 4", go look at what titles are in title set 4, don't try to rip title 4. Obvious and yet ... not.

Oh, and "Region Coding Enhancement".

May 5
Gorky Park holds up pretty well for its age. Basically a decent murder mystery.

May 4
Hmm, it may not be so much that the rips were unsuccessful as that dvdbackup's ability to figure out which is the main title is limited.

May 3
How is it May already?

Seems like some of the DVDs I thought had ripped successfully may not have; now that I'm doing the transcoding, a few of the backups seem off, so I'll need to see what's going on there. Just as well I hadn't actually gotten around to stashing these in the attic.

I think we watched something like, or contemporary with, or, I dunno, a different take on Lincoln, and I say that because neither of us can quite remember watching this particular movie. Of course now that I check this venerable record of such things, there it is in July 2015. Anyway. 'twas a good 'un.

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