New Location

My website has moved to Please visit there for the latest and only remain here for legacy content.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jumping Ship...

So basically, I'm pretty much tired of - although ennui is a better term for it as I do not have anything against, I'm just bored of it. Besides, I want a more general purpose website that just happens to have my blog as opposed to shoehorning a general purpose website in to .

As a result, I have my own server now hosting . I will use that website as my primary content platform, but will leave all content here so as not to break any links to it (what little few there are).


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Periodically VIM - running commands at process start

[Periodically VIM is my regular VIM tips and discoveries section, inspired by what was Daily VIM]

The Tip: vim -c allows you to run commands you would normally type after vim had started with :cmd at the time vim starts but doesn't rely on having the commands persisted in your .vimrc file.

Usage: When you start vim from the command line, use vim -c 'cmd'. For instance (and this is based on a post from vim file1 -c 'split file2' opens file1 and file2 in a horizontal split. You can even chain them together as shown in the link to

What Is It Good For?: For when you want to start vim with commands run that aren't used enough by default to warrant inclusion in to .vimrc. You could also use a shell alias like alias vimsplit='vim -c "split"' to open vim with split windows instead the usual default of one.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Periodically VIM - window resizing

[Periodically VIM is my regular VIM tips and discoveries section, inspired by what was Daily VIM]

The Tip: :res[ize] and :vertical res[ize] for resizing windows.

Usage: Split some windows using both :split and :vsplit. With your cursor in a particular window you can resize it using the following:
  • :res N - Changes the height of a window to be N rows.
  • :res +N - Adds N rows to the height of a window
  • :res -N - Removes N rows from the height of a window
  • :vertical res N - Changes the width of a window to be N characters
  • :vertical res +N - Adds N characters to the width of a window
  • :vertical res -N - Removes N characters from the width of a window
  • ctrl-w = - Makes all windows visible in VIM approximately the same height.

What Is It Good For?: Very rarely am I in VIM without having multiple windows open to look at multiple files at the same time (or perhaps to look at the same file in two different locations). These commands are ultra useful to size the windows to an appropriate width and height for the given task.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Periodically VIM - gf (Goto File)

[Periodically VIM is my regular VIM tips and discoveries section, inspired by what was Daily VIM]

The Tip: gf will open the file name underneath the cursor.

Usage: Place your cursor on a piece of text or with a piece of text highlighted in visual mode where the text represents the path to a file name. use the command gf to open the file in the current buffer, ctrl-w f to open the file in a new window, or ctrl-w gf to open the file in a new tab.

What Is It Good For?: Fairly often, files will contain references to other files. Use this to quickly open those files without relying on having NERDTree running or by going to command mode to open the file.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Periodically VIM - V (line base visual mode)

[Periodically VIM is my regular VIM tips and discoveries section, inspired by what was Daily VIM]

The Tip: V puts you in visual mode but works line-by-line instead of character by character.

Usage: With your cursor anywhere on a line or if you are already in character by character visual mode via v, type V and you'll be placed in visual mode on a line by line basis.

What Is It Good For?: If you need to select blocks of text for a whole line, to perform an action against that block and you didn't start at the beginning of the line, this is a useful, one-stroke way to select that whole line or lines in visual mode.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Periodically VIM - iw (inner word)

[Periodically VIM is my regular VIM tips and discoveries section, inspired by what was Daily VIM]

The Tip: iw can be used either in Visual Mode or after an operator to select or perform an operation on the entire word, regardless of where your cursor is within the word.

Usage: For visual mode, place your cursor on a word and hit the keystrokes viw or just iw if you were already in visual mode and selecting a block of text. For other commands, just place your cursor on a word and use the keystrokes Xiw, where X in this case is the operation you want. E.g.: diw deletes the word your cursor is presently under.

What Is It Good For?: Save yourself some of the keystrokes you'd make hitting h and l to move to the beginning of the word before performing an operation on it and just type your operation followed by iw.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Too Much Emphasis

I took a step back yesterday - in a good way. This post may sound hypocritical... and if it does, well just deal with it.

Yesterday morning, 4/29/2010, I woke up fully aware that my spouse's current TMobile contract for which she has a clamshell just expired and that we'd have to eventually get her another phone and plan. I was also fully aware that Verizon, my favorite carrier out of the two I've had (AT&T being the other), was releasing the HTC Incredible on this day which is the latest and greatest Android based phone.

I have an iPhone. I bought it last year when my Verizon plan was done and Verizon had no hope of delivering a smartphone that was worth a damn in my eyes - obviously well before the Droid came out.

I like my iPhone.

I also am annoyed a small bit by certain things on the iPhone. One of the many small annoyances is that one of the apps I use frequently, Food Scanner, actually turns off my music player to operate. Talk about lack of multitasking! It did this to me while I was scanning the label of my turkey sausage and oatmeal during breakfast. "Man, I wouldn't have this problem on Android, would I", I thought to myself.

Right there, I decided I was going to go check out the Incredible that day as my potentially future phone with plans to give my spouse the iPhone 3GS as a hand-me-down.

I arrive at the pretty much empty Verizon store that afternoon and started having the sales rep show me the floor model of the Incredible. I was actually a bit underwhelmed but not for the reasons you think. I was underwhelmed by its complexity. The entire time I was using I was thinking to myself "am I in the market for a phone or a minature laptop". The reality of it all is that I was in the market for a phone, and the Incredible was just incredibly too much for that purpose. The iPhone, in my view, is basically a PDA with internet / phone capability. The Incredible felt like someone trying to shove a laptop in to a form factor that actually seemed smaller/lighter than the iPhone.

That's a great thing actually! But it's not great for me. I like minimalism. There's too much emphasis on what our phones ought to do for us. I just want a phone + pda that can entertain me now and then and give me a convergence of all of the little gadgets that I might want to carry around in my pocket. What I don't want is something that has the look and feel of a laptop to me - and that's what the Droid OS on the Incredible felt like. Further, I'm happy with what I have right now. - my current phone suits my needs and there's no need to go chase the next big thing.