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Adding some color to ls in Mac OS

If you have ever used ls in the Mac OS terminal you have probably noticed that you get a boring monochrome list. If you have never used Linux before you might not find this a problem at all. Why would you anyone expect or need it to have color? Well, sometimes color is very important, for instance if you are in an unfamiliar directory and you don’t know what is a file and what is a sub-directory.If you are completely new to the Terminal/Unix-like operating systems a short explanation of what ls is is in order.ls is a program which lists all of the files and directories in a directory. Try opening the terminal and typing ls to see what I mean (type man ls for more information on how to use ls). On a mac, and all other BSDs to my knowledge, the output text will all be in one color (probably black in your case),but on Linux the output will be color coded (files and directories have different color text)So you want Mac OS to have colored output just like Linux? well, that is easy. ls has the argument -G which will output colored text (on Mac OS. Linux uses -C (–color) but you shouldn’t need that, and I don’t know what other BSDs do.) So, you could type ls -G every time you want to list the contents of a directory, but that would get every annoying after a while. There is an easy way you can make it output colors every time you run ls so you won’t have to add the -G every time! Go the command line and type:

cd ~/ (if you are not already there)

echo alias ls=’/bin/ls -G’ >> .bash_profile

Now every time you type ls you will see colored output (if you ever want to remove this just edit ~/.bash_profile with your favorite text editor and remove the line we just added) Enjoy!

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Posted by on December 21, 2008 in apple, bash, concatenation

 

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Leopard sucks

Leopard Sucks! “Why not just switch to Linux then; you are always talking about it” you say. Well I tried. When Fedora tries to start anaconda (the installation program your those not in the know) the screen just flashes red, green, blue, black, white, and gray. At first I thought well maybe it is testing the video card or something but after 20 minuets I decided that probably wasn’t the case. Sure I could use other distros but I like Fedora

So why does leopard suck?

  1. The Dock looks retarded so you have to hack it into a simi-non-retarded state. At least they kind of almost fixed stacks.
  2. Only about half of your settings are stored in your user folder, so you have to reset everything when you reinstall. Of course, Apple never really intends you to reinstall.
  3. Its slow and often unresponsive. Much like windows Leopard gets slower over time
  4. Spaces not only still sucks but there is now (or maybe I’m just now noticing it) a bug that will cause the Finder to stay in focus if you move to a space with nothing running in it and then move to another space where something is running. So, incase that doesn’t make sense I will give an example of what I mean. You have Firefox running in space 1 and you are looking at websites or something, in space 2 you have Thunderbird running, and in space 3 you have nothing runnig (just the Finder). If you move from space 1 to space 2 Thunderbird will come into focus, but if you move from space 1 to 3 and then to 2 the Finder will be in focus. Spaces uses already used keyboard comands… What?! Why would you do that?!
  5. They somehow made previewing things suck. If you want to preview audio or video the only controls you have are play and stop. Not to mention that sometimes their preview in Finder thing sometimes randomly opens random files when you didn’t tell it to.

I have one more general complaint about Apple which doesn’t really belong in the list above. Apples main purpos for creating new versions of there software is to make money by forcing people to upgrade by creating backward incompatibly (ie. new APIs which are only available with the new version of mac os). If you don’t update within a year or two most applications won’t run on older versions.
Apple even knows that Leopard sucks being that (much like Microsoft) they are already planning to release a new version soon (the only difference between the two being that Microsoft is completely incompetent and will much longer than anyone can guess to get their new version out). I would say I hope that this new version (snow leopard) is better but I don’t really care because the rumor is that it will be X86 only and I’m not going to buy a new mac just to use it.

P.S. Let me know if you have gotten Fedora to work with an IBook G4 and if so what version and what model Ibook

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2008 in apple

 

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Emacsen for your Mac

UPDATE I have leopard now so I thought I would let you know about emacs on leopard. It doesn’t work; Emacs 22.1 will not build. I did a quick google search and found a blog post that talks a bit about it. According to this site Aquamacs will work on leopard and there is an unofficial patch witch will get emacs building. I’m working on building it right now (cross your fingers).

Lets face it Mac OS doesn’t have a good gui text editor; sure there is Textedit but it saves rtfs which are completely useless for any real work. What you need is Emacs. There are a few really good Emacsen out there for mac os. (they’re all really just Gnu Emacs in different packages.)

Aquamacs

Aquamacs is an aqua version of GNU Emacs. It has all the power of emacs but with a Mac OS like interface. Aquaemacs is a really good solution for someone who doesn’t already know how to use emacs and doesn’t necessarily want to learn how to learn the traditional way to use it. but wants the power of emacs.

Carbon Emacs

Carbon Emacs is just a binary distribution of GNU Emacs. If you know how to use Emacs and you are looking for a binary distribution, this might just be the Emacsen for you. I haven’t look at this one for a long time so it might have some specializations for Mac OS and I just forgot.

GNU Emacs

Emacs 22.1 has Carbon support so if you want Emacs and you don’t have a problem with building in from source I would definitely suggest going this route. Its really pretty easy. After you download and decompress emacs move to the directory in the terminal and type:

./configure –enable-carbon-app (should be dashdash, stupid wordpress)
make
sudo make install

As far as I know every option I’ve presented so far is carbon. Right now all this means is that you can’t get a 64-bit version and they won’t be able to use the new libraries apple introduced in leopard (aquamacs would likely be the only one that would want to). However, future versions of Mac OS might drop carbon all together, meaning Emacs will have to be ported to cocoa. I don’t think there will be a problem using any of these with leopard but I can’t guarantee that as I don’t have leopard myself.

I have to admit that I don’t often use Emacs on my mac. I have it installed and now that I’m getting more used to using it (I use it on Linux) I might start using it more on my mac. What I do use is smultron. It doesn’t have all of the power of Emacs but it is nice and I know it will work with leopard.

Don’t know much about emacs? check out the last post I on emacs for more information.

If I have forgotten your favorite Emacsen or just said something stupid let me know in the comments.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2008 in apple, emacs

 

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Why Do I Need 4GBs of Ram?

I have noticed that most new computers come standard with 2-4GBs or ram; every time I look at a computer with 4GBs of ram I have to ask myself why does the average users need 4GB of ram? They don’t. Vista(32-bit), which comes with many of these computers,Can’t even use 4GBs of ram, but it will try to make you think it can. 32-bit Linux also has this problem, as it is actually a hardware problem, but Linux has a hack that will actually allow you to use that ram. Of course, if you really need 4GBs of ram why are you using a 32-bit processor?

now on to my point. I own 3 computers all of which have less than 1GB of ram. My ibook(Mac os 10.4) and my main pc (Fedora 8 ) both have 768MB of ram. Sure I would like to have 1GB or 1.5GBs of ram sometimes but most of the time 768 is enough.I also have an old dell that I got for $25 that only has 256MBs, so I almost never use it (and I’m too cheap to buy more ram for it so its going to stay that way). Why am I mostly happy with 768MBs of ram when the average person seems to have to have 2GBs at a minimum? There may be many answers to this. The main one being that I use Linux and Mac OS and they use Windows; another top contender is that the average person doesn’t know all that much about computers and have just been told that they need 2-4GBs of ram. The need for several GBs of ram(and a high end graphics card) for an OS to simply run smoothly and as designed shows some serious (possibly intentional) design flaws.

I think I’ll save my money and keep using my outdated, malfunctioning(it has broken hardware) pc and Linux.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2008 in Microsoft, opinion

 

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