Blog Archives

Interview with Sacha Chua

I spoke with with Sacha Chua last week. We talked about entrepreneurship, Emacs, having eclectic interests, delegation, and more. J: I ran into you by searching on Emacs topics. When I look at your blog, I see that you do

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Posted in Business

Python / Emacs setup

When I got a new computer a few days ago, I installed the latest version of Emacs, 24.2, and broke my Python environment. I decided to re-evaluate my environment and start over. I asked a question on the Python Google+

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Posted in Python, Software development

It's not the text editor, it's text

Vivek Haldar had a nice rant about editors a couple days ago. In response to complaints that some editors are ugly, he writes: The primary factor in looking good should be the choice of a good font at a comfortable

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Posted in Computing

Editing by semantic units

The most basic text editor commands operate on lines and characters: move up or down a line, delete the next or previous character, etc. More advanced commands operate on context-specific semantic units. In the context of English prose, this means

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Posted in Computing

How Emacs influenced Ruby

Ruby creator Yukihiro Matsumoto gave a presentation How Emacs changed my Life in which he explains how Emacs influenced him personally and how it influenced the programming language he created. Here is his summary: Emacs taught me freedom for software.

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Posted in Software development

Shuffling Emacs windows

Emacs lets you split your screen into windows, what other applications might call panels. This can be quite handy. However, I often want to move the windows around and I couldn’t find how to do that. I asked Xah Lee,

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Posted in Computing

Clipboard history

The Windows clipboard only remembers the most recent thing you copied [1]. This can be very disappointing. Maybe you cut a large block of text intending to paste it somewhere, but without thinking you cut something else, and then realize

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Posted in Computing

Playing with Eshell

I’ve been trying out Eshell lately. It’s a shell implemented in Emacs Lisp. Here I’ll mention a few features I’ve found interesting. The command M-x shell lets you run a shell inside Emacs. This is quite handy, but it runs

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Posted in Computing

Mixing R, Python, and Perl in 14 lines of code

This is a continuation of my previous post, Running Python and R inside Emacs. That post shows how to execute independent code blocks in Emacs org-mode. This post illustrates calling one code block from another, each written in a different

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Posted in Python

Running Python and R inside Emacs

Emacs org-mode lets you manage blocks of source code inside a text file. You can execute these blocks and have the output display in your text file. Or you could export the file, say to HTML or PDF, and show

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Posted in Python

Advantages of everything-is-text

In a typical Windows program, some output text can be copied as text but some is only an image. For example, the text in the body of a document is text, but the words on the menus are not. The

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Posted in Computing

A thermonuclear word processor

“I use Emacs, which might be thought of as a thermonuclear word processor.” — Neal Stephenson From In the beginning was the command line Related posts: Giving Emacs another try Bumblebee software Personal organization software

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A surprise with Emacs and Office 2007

I had a little surprise when I tried to open an Excel file from Emacs. I was using dired, a sort of file explorer inside Emacs. I expected one of two things to happen. Maybe Emacs would know to launch

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Mental context switches are evil

This week I’ve run across two examples of technical strategies to reduce mental context switches. The first example is Pete Kruckenberg’s story of why his team chose to develop a web application using node.js even though he had extensive experience

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Posted in Software development

Bumblebee software

Some say that aerodynamics can’t explain how a bumblebee flies. Perhaps that was once the case, but as far as I know there are no difficulties now. The bumblebee story persists as an urban legend. And it makes a nice

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Posted in Computing, Software development