alvin's blog

An operating system for all

Well Steve, it's taken seven years, but it's finally come true.

Seven years ago I stood on a stage, taking random questions from an audience, when someone asked what I thought of the new operating system from Apple, Mac OS X. I said "It will be the first operating system my mother and I will both be able to use and enjoy."

This week, when my mom (and my sister and nieces) open the Christmas present shown below -- an entry level iMac -- that statement will finally come true.

gvim fonts - How to set the default gvim font

Having just downloaded and installed vim (gvim) on my Mac (Mac OS X 10.5.x to be precise), and then struggling for a while to set the default font, I thought I'd make a brief note here about how to set the default font properly.

Setting a default gvim font in the gvimrc file

To set a default font for the gvim editor (in my case on Mac OS X), edit a file named ~/.gvimrc (i.e., a file named .gvimrc in your home directory), and add this line to get a 12-point Monaco font:

gvim color scheme - How to set the default gvim colorscheme

I just finished downloading and installing vim (gvim) on my Mac (Mac OS X 10.5.x to be precise), and then struggling for a while to set the default colorscheme, I thought I'd make a brief note here about how to set the default colorscheme properly.

Setting a default gvim color scheme (colorscheme)

As a friend of mine once, said "It's easy to do, once you know how to do it." For me, that applies to setting a default colorscheme for gvim on Mac OS X.

To set your vim default colorscheme to a theme named "slate", just follow these simple steps:

Java - Getting the hostname on Windows Server 2003

Funny, this seems about five years late, but using Java, if you want to get the HOSTNAME on Windows Server 2003 (and possibly any version of Windows 2000), you have to do a little extra work. The environment variable you need to access on those versions of Windows is referred to as COMPUTERNAME, so in my case, since my software is going to be running on a lot of different (and currently-unknown) computer systems, I created a little convenience method to handle this problem.

A perl function that runs a Unix command and returns its exit status

A perl function that runs a Unix command and returns its exit status

Here's the source code for a Perl function I created this morning. The purpose of this function/method is to run a specific Unix command, and then return the Unix exit status of that command. As usual with Unix and Linux systems, a zero exit status indicates success, and a non-zero exit status indicates some type of problem.

Without any further ado, here's the source code for my Perl function:

Apple wireless keyboard is smaller

Apple does a lot of things very well, but one area I think they struggle with is mice and keyboards. Historically they've tried a ton of different things with mice, but today's topic is: Why does the Apple wireless keyboard have a layout that's different than a standard keyboard? As Steve Jobs might politely say, WTF?

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