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Random thoughts on scripting languages

Posted on 06 October 2010 by Demian Turner

Interesting presentation [pdf] from Brian Kernighan

scripting languages

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How to fix hang on open new tab

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Demian Turner

For once google returned an effective answer to solve a bizarre problem.  Do you have the problem that takes ages before a prompt shows up when you open a new tab?  So did I – here’s the fix:

sudo rm -f /private/var/log/asl/*

via Shannon Hicks

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Browse a Linux Filesystem in the Finder

Posted on 29 March 2007 by Demian Turner

Thanks to Gina Trapani for this hot tip – you can now do on your Mac what is very easy to do on Linux, mount a remote filesystem and browse files in the Finder as you could in Nautilus.

This is thanks to software developed by Google, read the article for setup instructions.

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PHP Gets a Respectable Shell At Last

Posted on 07 May 2006 by Demian Turner

This story was covered recently at, but if you don’t aggregate that, make sure you don’t miss this gem: PHP now has a shell!

I remember this being promised and blogged about around a year ago, but it doesn’t seem to have materialized until now. If you’ve used the Python interactive shell, you immediately notice how PHP’s equivalent is the poor relation.

Thanks to Jan Kneschke this is no longer the case. A very nice program he’s written, PHP 5 only, you can download the files here and here.

For the last few years I’ve been trying to build the considerable patience required to use the default shell available in PHP. If you have any parse errors, it dies, and of course you have to keep typing "<?php" everytime you re-fire it up.

Jan’s version is a considerable improvement, and although it doesn’t yet handle up-arrow for previous LOC or back-arrow in case you type your parentheses first and want to fill in the variables after, it’s a welcome relief to work with. I’m sure it will delay the capitulation when you give up and create a stupid file and request it in a browser just to test some little PHP detail.

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VMware and FC4

Posted on 07 September 2005 by Demian Turner

UPDATE: there’s a new patch available, existing link updated (May 28, 2006)

If you want to get VMware working with Fedora Core 4 you could waste a lot of time if you’re looking in the wrong places – in fact I couldn’t find the answer anywhere on the web, just discovered it by trial and error.

The bottom line is this:

  • forget about using VMware 5
  • using VMware 4.5.2 it’s possible, I installed the rpm then applied the following patch
  • then run and override the compiler defaults by specifying the current version of gcc, 4.0.1, instead of 4.0.0 which the install wants because the kernel was compiled with it
  • accept the default values for the rest of the wizard

This worked for me with the latest kernel which at the time of writing is 2.6.12-1.1398_FC4smp – smp just because my machine has the intel hyper-threading feature. Interestingly, the same approach did not work when I was running FC3 when the kernel version increased from 2.6.11.x to 2.6.12.x.

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Auto-complete for PEAR commandline

Posted on 04 June 2005 by Demian Turner

First of all let me reiterate that if you’re not taking advantage of the PEAR commandline installer you’re missing out on one of the best aspects of PHP.

Now, thanks to Tobias, using PEAR at the commandline has become easier than every with auto-complete enabled:

I always wanted to have the PEAR commands get auto completed on my bash. Here is how it works:

complete -W "`pear 2>&1 | awk '{ORS=" "} /[a-zA-Z-]+  / {print $1}'`" -f pear

Simply run the command in your shell and/or add it to e.g. your
.bashrc. You will have autocompletion for all PEAR Installer commands
and for filenames in parallel.

With this tweak enabled, and the imminent arrival of a more powerful commandline environment (a la Python), PHP is becoming really fun to use. I suppose another exciting addition would be .phpc files or compiled PHP files, also like Python, but given Zend’s position in the ‘performance suite’ market I guess this is unlikely to happen – shame.

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Fedora Core 3 Kernel Update to 2.6.11-1.14_FC3 Kills VMware

Posted on 18 April 2005 by Demian Turner

Like many Core 3 users, you may have found that the latest kernel update blew away your VMware installation, especially if you’re running 4.5.2. There is a fix, apply this patch to repair the problem:

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Visual Diffs and Merge on Linux

Posted on 26 February 2005 by Demian Turner

Having recently moved to Linux only on my laptop, the one tool I was having trouble replacing was Winmerge, the recommended visual diff/merge app for Tortoise users and popular SourceForge project. On the advice of Andrew, I checked out Meld – a similar Linux tool. Wow, no looking back.

The one hitch I had was installing from src – usually this is not a problem but in this case I ran into quite a deep dependency tree of Gnome libs. However, the RPM from Fedora Core 2 works fine on Core 3 – give it try.

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