Dot Emacs

Emacs is almost infinately customisable; a fact I didn't really get to grips with this fact untill I found myself on a Fedora Core box a while back with a net connection but without my favourite set of keyboard short cuts. This really brought home how just a few simple customisations can come to be relied upon.

Determined never to be caught short in such a manner again I decided to make my .emacs permanently available, providing I have a net connection that is.

Fire Extinguished By Adium

After running with Fire as my primary IM app for the best part of a year, its finally been usurped by Adium. After running the two in parallel I found I liked the cleaner interface of Adium over that of Fire. I'd tried Adium in the past and found I couldn't take an app with a cute little duck as a mascot seriously, but Adium just seems more polished than Fire and seems to be vastly more customisable.

Fiore Bello

We've had a cactus plant sitting on our kitchen window-sill for the last three or so years; it hasn't done much apart from growing a bit occasionally. But after so much inactivity our unassuming cactus has decided to produce not one but three spectacular flowers. Based on past inactivity we probably won't see anymore for a few more years so a photo seemed to be in order. Sunday was a slow day.

Cactus Flower

OS X 10.4.6 Gives Momentary Heart Failure

I've just downloaded and installed the latest update for OS X via the Software Update utility. The update requires a system restart which isn't unexpected. What was unexpected was the second restart in the middle of the reboot sequence.

After my heart resumed something approaching its' normal rate I did what I should have done in the first place and read the update documentation. If I'd done this I should have spotted the key phrase:

With the Mac OS X 10.4.6 system software update, PowerPC-based Macs will restart twice, instead of once, after the initial installation.

No explanation as to why this was neccessary though.

This was also spotted, with similar cardiac effects, by todays edition of The Register.

Clearing Your Outlook Forms Cache

You're working in Outlook, minding your own business and someone sends you a meeting request; you check your schedule, you're free at the given date and time so you click on Accept only to see this:

The form required to view this message cannot be displayed. Contact your administrator.

Restarting Outlook doesn't help, nor does rebooting your machine; you've fallen victim to a corrupted forms cache. But don't fret, there's a straightforward, if not entirely intuitive, way of clearing the cache.

Standard disclaimer: YYMV, this worked for me, using Outlook 2003 on XP Professional Service Pack 2, it might work for you, it might not.

SSH Bits & Pieces

RTFM. Really.

Although this is free advertising, before you use SSH for anything other than a drop in replacement for telnet buy a copy of O'Reilly's SSH: The Definitive Guide, and then read it. It's a rare O'Reilly book which doesn't make you realise just how little you actually know about a subject and this one is no exception. To be honest, it was only after reading this book that I realised just why I shouldn't use SSH as a drop in replacement for telnet, which in turn proved how little I knew about SSH. Which kind of proves my point I guess.