tonieee's blog

Miyazaki’s Beautiful Antiwar Dreams

Posted on May 15th, 2015 by tonieee

This is a really nice article about anti-war themes in Studio Ghibli films:

No film has ever made me cry so much as Grave of the Fireflies. From about 5 minutes into it until about an hour after it I was just bawling my eyes out. Even just reading that article has made my eyes well up again.

I really want to watch all the Ghibli films again now but maybe not Grave of the Fireflies, that would be too much…

Posted in UncategorizedComments Off on Miyazaki’s Beautiful Antiwar Dreams


Posted on April 8th, 2015 by tonieee


I broke it slipping over in the mud while walking the dog. It’s a little inconvenient to say the least.

Mutt imap/smtp woes solved

Posted on November 29th, 2014 by tonieee

I love mutt. It is a very flexible and powerful email client but it can be quite hard getting the initial setup right. When I switched it from using pop3 to imap/smtp I had a few problems getting it to work.

First I was getting the following error whenever I tried to send a message:

SMTP session failed: 550

I had my smtp_url in my muttrc set up as follows:

set smtp_url="smtps://"

It turns out I needed to add my email address (e.g. emailname@email.domain) before the server name:

set smtp_url="smtps://"

The next problem was after I left mutt for a while and came back to it I was getting the following error:

tls_socket_write (Error in the push function.)

This was caused by the connection to the server timing out. By default mutt polls the server once every 10 minutes. You can fix this by changing the timeout property in muttrc. I changed mine to 60 seconds and now all seems fine:

set timeout=60

Another problem is the password. Two passwords are required: imap_pass for retrieving the mails and smtp_pass to send a message. If you leave these blank then mutt will prompt you for them but this means you have to enter the password twice (once when you open mutt and again when you send your first message) and also any changes to your mailbox won’t be synced back to the server unless you’ve already sent a message.

I could store the passwords in the file but don’t like leaving then in plain text in a file on my hard drive. I could encrypt them (as described here but then I would need to type a passphrase in to decrypt the password which kind of defeats the object or I could encrypt them with a key with no passphrase but that is not really much more secure than storing in plain text (though I guess that’s what other mail clients must do).

What I did was write a command in the muttrc to read in the password at startup and store in a variable which is then used by both imap_pass and smtp_pass.

set my_pass=`stty -echo; read -p 'Password: ' tmppwd; echo $tmppwd; tmppwd=; stty echo`
set imap_pass=$my_pass
set smtp_pass=$my_pass

The variable is called “my_pass” because mutt requires user defined variables to be prefixed with “my_“. The “stty -echo” is to stop the user input being displayed while they type the password and “stty echo” is to turn it back on again.

Finally, I was used to using G to refresh the inbox. Though with it now refreshing every 60 seconds it is not really necessary, but I’m impatient and I’d still like to sometimes be able to check for new emails instantly instead of waiting for a whole minute for them to show. I did it by binding the imap-fetch-mail command to G in my muttrc as follows:

bind index G imap-fetch-mail

Posted in ComputersComments Off on Mutt imap/smtp woes solved

Man Crisps!

Posted on November 11th, 2014 by tonieee


I’m glad I selected the correct gender of crisps. It would have been so embarrassing if I’d got back to my desk at work with wrongly gendered crisps.

Oh Peas!

Posted on October 29th, 2014 by tonieee

The other day I accidentally cyber-stalked Marianthi when bandcamp sent me an email saying that she’d just bought some records by Oh Peas! (I’m a really big fan of bandcamp but I’m not keen on it being social-networkized – I just want it to be a place to buy records).

I really liked the name so I bought the Year of the Horse EP and it’s great! I keep listening to the title track. The rest of the EP is probably good too but when I get to the end of the first track I just want to listen to it again. It’s been making me grin all the way to and from work everyday this week. There’s an album too which I haven’t got yet but will do soon.

You can listen/buy/download it from here:

Posted in MusicComments Off on Oh Peas!

Dog magic

Posted on October 26th, 2014 by tonieee

I’ve just discovered that I can totally amaze the dog with really clumsy sleight of hand tricks.

Poor lost little bear sat in the rain

Posted on October 15th, 2014 by tonieee


Posted in PhotosComments Off on Poor lost little bear sat in the rain

Lady’s Bridge

Posted on August 4th, 2014 by tonieee

On my lunch break today I took a photo of some pretty pink flowers in the River Don but they were too far away for the camera on my phone to show them. It turned out to be quite a nice picture of Lady’s Bridge anyway.


Posted in PhotosComments Off on Lady’s Bridge

Outdated Browser!

Posted on July 16th, 2014 by tonieee



Bye bye The Network. If that’s you’re attitude, I can’t even be bothered to find out what you are. You need me more than I need you.

PS this was witnessed in the latest version of Firefox.

PPS I mean, is this 1998 or something?

Hair pledge

Posted on May 24th, 2014 by tonieee

From now on I’m only going to use my hair for evil.