*nix Tip of the Day: vim modelines

Posted Sun 29 March 2009 18:23 under category tips

vim logo As you may know, in the editor wars, I come down firmly on the side of vim. Vim is a lean and effective modal editor, contrasted with emacs. One of the features of Vim that I enjoy using (but did not know about until recently!) is modelines. A modeline is a small piece of text that you can put at the end of a file to give your editor an instruction. It is generally placed in a comment. For example, if I'm editing Python, I never, ever want to use soft tabs (well, I generally don't like soft ...

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OS X Tip of the Day: Twitterific and QuickSilver

Posted Mon 12 January 2009 20:54 under category tips

There are a few tips online as to how to use Twitter and QuickSilver together, but they're lame. Particularly because they send your Twitter password over a nice non-https connection. And because I don't like to have to choose between getting prompted to grant access to my Twitter password every time I post from QuickSilver and granting all AppleScripts free access to my Twitter password. So I decided to leverage Twitterific's AppleScript support and write the following quick AppleScript:

using terms from application "Quicksilver"
    on process text t
        tell application "Twitterrific" to post update t
    end process ...
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*nix Tip of the $TIME_PERIOD: mutt

Posted Fri 15 August 2008 11:21 under category tips

Hello readers; it's been a while, hasn't it? It's summer, and, like many people, I'm a slacker. Anyway, I thought that today, I'd talk to you a little about the program that I've been using for a lot of my mail recently: mutt. mutt is a console mail-client. I know, I know, I should get myself out of the 80's. Well, I've found it to be much faster and more powerful than any GUI client I've ever used. I'm not going to go into much detail about the basics; there ...

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Firefox 3

Posted Sun 18 May 2008 14:00 under category tips

So, I got bored this weekend and installed Firefox 3 (beta 5, if it matters to you). It works pretty well -- it's certainly faster than Firefox 2. However, there are a couple of annoying bugs that I'd like to post the solutions to for posterity:

If you use a dark theme (like I do), then many textarea and input form elements will be unusable because they will have a dark foreground color and a light background color. The solution to this is to add a userContent.css to ~/.mozilla/firefox/ /chrome. There are lots of guides on the ...

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*nix Tip of the Day: sudo

Posted Sat 17 May 2008 10:57 under category tips

I've mentioned sudo in these tips before. It's a neat little utility for executing commands as somebody else. Well, today I bring you a handy guide I found on using sudo. I already knew most of the stuff, but some of it was new, and it looks pretty good as a starter for new users. So enjoy this article on sudo basics by A.P. Lawrence.

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Debian OpenSSL

Posted Fri 16 May 2008 20:20 under category tips

Sorry readers, no *nix Tip of the Day today. Just a brief word about the recent Debian OpenSSL vulnerability.

I'm sure you've heard about Debian's OpenSSL "Disaster". The short of it is that while fixing a questionable line in the OpenSSL/OpenSSH key generator, the Debian maintainer accidentally removed most of its entropy generation ability. Debian users with OpenSSL and/or OpenSSH keys should go regenerate them now. I'll wait.

Anyhow, the other interesting thing I wanted to post about was this. It's some interesting math showing why you shouldn't be using DSA keys ...

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