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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MobileOrg with Dropbox support

Looks like there is preliminary support for Dropbox in orgmode for Android phones.  This mail is the announcement and caveats.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Setting Up Org-mode for Windows screencast

For those of you who are yet to take org-mode for a spin, here's a nice video on how it's done, courtesy Russell Adams.  Go on, try it out.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Emacs Abbreviation or Autocorrection mode

Long before other editors had auto-correction,  Emacs had a simple mechanism to achieve the same.  It was called abbrevs which may be a reason why it may not be well known by new comers to Emacs.

From the comp.emacs newsgroup, here's a nice little tutorial on Emacs Abbrevs from Xah Lee.  Apart from spell corrections, you could use it as an expansion for your code snippets for any local OR global modes.  You'll soon find yourself using  C-x a i l and C-x a i g a lot to save yourself a lot of typing.  See the manual section for more info on this.

And as a bonus, you could save yourself some more time by adding the following contents to  your .abbrev file.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blogging org entries using google command line

For those of you who've tried out google command line, the following thread might be useful if you want to blog from within Emacs and org-mode.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Using Emacs for Twitter

Those using the Twitter service might be interested in the following thread and links mentioned within to twit from Emacs.  Not something that I've tried or want to do but it might be useful for you.

There's an Emacswiki page too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pretty cool Org-mode/Beamer demo

From the org-mode mailing list, here's a link to Beamer demo using org-mode.  Just goes to show what org-mode is capable of.  Of course, you need to know a bit of Org-mode AND Beamer AND Emacs to make sense of it.  Otherwise it's a bit of magic to you. ;)

Writing PPT with org-mode and beamer in Emacs

Since there's no voice over, you definitely need to know all the above stuff to figure it out.  And oh, LaTeX too.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Org Version 7.01 released

Carsten has just released a major upgrade of org-mode.    You can see the user-visible changes here and the files can be downloaded here or here

Or if you use the developmental versions, using git, you just need to do a 'git pull'.  follow it up with a 'make;make doc' and you're all set.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Beamer Package Released

After a long time, the beamer LaTeX package has been updated.  It may take some time for the mirrors to reflect it or  auto updating systems to pick it up.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Initial Builds of Emacs 24 trunk available

Initial builds of Emacs trunk of what will be the 24.x series can be found here. Note that these are not pretest releases but have fixes and new patches for additional functionality.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Org-mode commit history video

A strangely fascinating video of the org-mode commit history.  Made by Eric Schulte.

Take a look and see Carsten's output there.  He's all over the place.

A little bit of Usenet and its history is gone

From the Register, apparently, Duke University is shutting down its  Usenet server.

Where Usenet first started. 

More here and here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gnus: Making your emails a bit more difficult for spammers to harvest

Well, I don't know all the methods that spammers use to harvest email addresses but I got mildly chewed out for putting in email addresses in the reply-to citations of my emails.  I was told to PCYMTNQREAIYR to fix my replies. 

Which I did by configuring Gnus to omit the raw email address in the replies.

;;; setting the reply to omit email address to avoid spam harvesting
;;; see the documentation for line format and the line-function has to
;;; be set explicitly, as per the Changelog.
(setq message-citation-line-format "On %a, %b %d %Y,%F %L wrote:\n")
(setq message-citation-line-function 'message-insert-formatted-citation-line)

Thanks to Daniel Pittman for pointing it out. Though I'm not sure whether it breaks any standards or prevents citation folding, at least for the Gnus mail client at the receiving end.

And there are other acronyms  on the cygwin page that are made up that might be of use too, so be sure to read it


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Google goes undirect with Nexus One

I wrote about this sometime back.  And saw a NYT article today on the direct model being done in.

The article itself is clear on who brought the knives out and helped in cashiering the idea of selling direct.  The user comments are even more interesting in that it outlines all the standard issues that people with phones face and how weird their experience is when they got the phone from Google and the carriers hadn't a clue about supporting it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

New features in Emacs 23.2

From the changelog or by C-h n, here's a quick abbreviated list of my personal, noteworthy changes in this release, as I see it.  Of course, you'd need to read the NEWS file to see the entire list of changes.

** The maximum size of buffers (and the largest fixnum) is doubled.
On typical 32bit systems, buffers can now be up to 512MB.

** The pointer now becomes invisible when typing.
Customize `make-pointer-invisible' to disable this feature.

** New command `async-shell-command', bound globally to `M-&'.
This executes the command asynchronously, similar to calling `M-!' and manually adding an ampersand to the end of the command.  With `M-&', you don't need the ampersand. The output appears in the buffer `*Async Shell Command*'.

*** A new command `zrgrep' searches recursively in gzipped files.

** CEDET (the Collection of Emacs Development Tools) is now in Emacs.
This is a collection of packages to aid with using Emacs as an IDE (integrated development environment):

*** The Semantic package allows the use of parsers to intelligently edit and navigate source code.  Parsers for C/C++, Java, Javascript, and several other languages are included by default, and Semantic can also interface with external tools such as GNU Global and GNU Idutils.

To enable Semantic, use the global minor mode `semantic-mode'. See the Semantic manual for details.

*** EDE (Emacs Development Environment) is a package for managing code projects, including features such as automatic Makefile generation.

To enable EDE, use the minor mode `global-ede-mode'. See the EDE manual for details.

** htmlfontify.el turns a fontified Emacs buffer into an HTML page.

The last one, you'll love it when you want to share code with a non Emacs, non IDE user.   I believe it might be the same thing as htmlize.el.

Emacs 23.2 is released

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Microsoft kills off newsgroups

From the Register, this story is pretty sadNewsgroup support for Microsoft products is being removed and users are asked to use forums.

I wonder why they do this, that anything old and that works perfectly well needs to be atrophied and become an internet relic.  Like Gopher.  Being a gnus user, I of course have an axe to grind, though I have no subscription to any Microsoft newsgroups.

I'm afraid, other companies  too would also head for the exits and remove their news servers and everyone ends up on flashy, kitschy website that produces a horrid amount of hits for simple web searches. 

My primary objections to forums are that you need  a browser, logins and lots of clicking hither and thither to get things done and I'm yet to see a good forum software whose search feature works well.  Besides, there is something soothing about text only postings viewed in my news reader.

I wish they'd not do this.

Eighth Emacs Pretest Available

The eighth Emacs pretest is available at the usual locations here and here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The All New Compact Org Mode guide

Well, at a short 34 pages (PDF), it's definitely smaller than the 200 page manual. And it just goes to show, how much development has gone into org-mode keeping the same simplicity(well, you could argue this doc refutes that notion) but extending it do lots of other things like LaTeX publishing.

I got started on LaTeX with the The Not So Short Introduction to LATEX2ε (PDF) which convinced me to use LaTeX to prepare my reports, presentations and letters. And that's definitely longer than the 34 pages of this tutorial.

So, give it a try, it just might help you get started on org-mode.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The LaTeX Beamer project has a new maintainer!

From the Beamer mailing list, Dr. Till Tantau has just announced that the Beamer package will be maintained by Vedran Miletić.

Vedran Miletić plans for Beamer are here.

The Beamer package is one of the best presentation classes for LaTeX. I'd urge you to give it a try, if you haven't.  It's worth the effort to learn it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Google buying ITA software?

So is this also going to be another Lisp success story? Apparently, Google is in talks to buy ITA software for about $1bn. ITA software has been one of the companies which use Lisp a lot and so this is a big deal for the Lisp supporters.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Remembering the last edited location in a file

From the emacs newsgroup, one way to get to back to the last editing location in the file is described here in this thread. Pretty useful, if you jump between a lot of files and need to scroll down to the end every time or some such repeatable action.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Using org-mode to send HTML mail

From the org-mode mailing list, here's a way to post HTML mail messages using org-mode. The link that works is this one. Apparently, one can still see the text part even if you set the Gnus reader to discourage HTML. And in it's present form, it works only with Gnus and not any other Emacs MUAs.

Presumably, one would use this feature only when required, as HTML is not something that is recommended as mail text as there is no guarantee that mail clients would be able to render it or render it the way you'd initially formatted the HTML.

Stick to plain text; Besides, if you're going all flashy in getting your point across, you've got a bigger problem than using HTML to say it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Google phone sales

This isn't surprising is it?

If you don't provide support and let the customers run around, it comes back to bite you. 
While the competition, *cough*, that fruit company is pumping out better versions of its products and shipping a few million phones in a few days or weeks.

Having a great product is one thing, letting customers down is only going to make it difficult to get acceptance.  For the sea of developers who got the phone free to develop applications to rival the App store, this is going to be a bit frustrating.
A dream phone, nice development platform, having it all knackered by the lack of customer service!

Though,  I do wonder how much of it is cultural or customer behaviour issues.  I'd rather feel, touch and play with the phone before I order online.  And if I have to hunt for specific outlets to just see it and hold it in my hands, well, my enthusiasm soon flags.

It's not like I'm a nerd or something.  :)

More importantly, this might be the only leverage carriers can exert influence on Google, I think.  From advertising to store placement and sales training that's a long time line that Google can't afford but must do.  Every ask and feature by the carriers will only delay the roll outs.  With different vendors for different parts of the mobile phone business (manufacturer, carriers etc), it's not going to be easy.

This is not going to be like Amazon shipping something off.  Every detail that the carriers and networks need, they'd have to adhere to or get around to putting it in.  They'd have to do that, till the phone products have critical mass so that it is evident to the customer that the phone has a support infrastructure in its place from calling plans, software and hardware.

Lots of plodding to do.  Lots. 

And if they do that, other mobile companies will beat them at it; they have been at this far longer.  The first mover advantage is gone; unless they come out with a better business model, they're stuck with the current one and they'd get clobbered.

Even with a great product.





Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

AUCTeX 11.86 released

From the AUCTeX mailing list, a new version of AUCTeX, one of the best LaTeX editing modes for Emacs is now available.  The release mail is here.

Lots more packages are now supported, PSTricks support and a newer framework for viewers seems to be the new features apart from bug fixes.

AUCTeX can be downloaded here.




Sunday, February 14, 2010

On Google Buzz

As someone who's sort of hitting the 60 mail threshold of official mails to respond daily and that's NOT counting the unrelated friends,sales,ad pitches emails(yeah I counted for a week and then gave up), Google Buzz is exactly the kind of thing that makes me want to give up electronic communications altogether.

Trying to control my inbox, I've switched to working the phones as much as I can though I still have to send followup email 'As discussed....' just in case, the conversation 'supposedly' never took place. :-)  That in itself is tiring, from the talking and the inability to reach some quick conclusions and closing the call.  Imagine, trying to follow up on SMS like posts on a meeting that you have a hard time recollecting?  I'd be back on the mailbox trying to explain/clarify/correct things leading to another chain mail thread.

Right, this is not something which will get used in a corporate setting, you say?  Where I work, email and internal chat tool are the standard communication tools.  In all likelihood, they might try a pilot with a bunch of new recruits.

Really enthusiastic bunch, those guys. :-)

If it ever gets adopted, lots of people are done for.  Especially managers who handle new recruits.  At least in my place. The amount of texting these chaps do are unbelievable.   If they even do a fraction of that on a similar corporate solution, it's going to be a fantastic explosion of real time thinking which I think no one wants to know.

With my friends list (we KNOW Emacs users have millions of friends, right,right?),  I don't have a problem now.  And to be on the safe side, I've switched it all off.  So email it is, folks, to reach me.

It's going to get interesting if it becomes popular.


Monday, February 1, 2010

I think I should go out more

Saw this xkcd strip via reddit.  And actually felt sad over the last panel of the strip. 
I think I'm getting a bit nerdy for my own good.
Feel a bit like Melvin(Jack Nicholson) crying over the dog in As Good as It Gets.

This is not good, not good at all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Debugging your init file for Newbies

If you're starting to learn Emacs, you'd probably would have grabbed bits and pieces of elisp code from different places on the web and plugged into your .emacs.  Mostly, it would have worked without any issues.  But as you keep using Emacs, you tend to forget all that you initially copied and keep adding new ones.

Soon, you have a lot of cruft in your .emacs and one day when you upgrade,make some change or add more elisp code, Emacs errors out on the .emacs code.

How do you fix it?

Well, it's unlikely that you'd have learnt to program in elisp by now but here's a good suggestion by Tim on the gnu.emacs.help newsgroup on how to debug it.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Firefox and Geolocation services

I think it is a bad idea to have this turned on by default.  There is too little privacy already and anything that triangulates you is a weapon sooner or later.  I have been reading Mozilla's Geolocation page and wondering why the permissions have been designed the way it is.  The default is to share your location and to undo it, you have to do it site by site.

That is weird as you'd probably have to do it laboriously for each site.

Why not have a privacy tab panel to gather the sites that you have already given permission and nuke it selectively or all of them at one go?

Well, I have simply turned off the entire feature by changing the default in the about:config settings as mentioned in the above page.