Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Vim folds

I've been a long-time Vim user. To the extent that I have a customized calendar syntax and keybindings written for it, I often do filesystem management operations (rename a bunch of oddly-named files to unified format), and so forth within the editor.

People accuse emacs of being the kitchen sink, but you can do pretty much the same stuff within Vim, it just starts up faster, has a different set of keybindings, and has that whole "Mode" thing going on.

Regardless, I've started using folds in Vim, and it's a really really useful feature. I've known about it for a long time, but never really saw the point. Now I do... it allows you to get rid of all the irrelevant context and focus on the meat of whatever you're doing. Makes paper writing much easier; you can fold each section and see the outline, or collapse everything except for the section you're working on and the abstract. Handy.

Monday, August 21, 2006

CSE Building "rooted"

There have been a rash of thefts from the CSE building over the last several months. Laptops, computers, even our couch disappeared. Today, somebody stole an HP PDA. Not just any PDA-- the PDA that is used to program the building's electronic locks.

In other words, (1) We can't change access controls to the building any more and (2) for all practical purposes, somebody now has complete access and control of the doors to the most `secure' parts of the building (e.g. machine/equipment rooms with millions of dollars of stuff in them).

All this because they wanted to save a few bucks by not installing a centralized system, and because one admin didn't lock her door. This is the admin whose job it was to walk around to every one of the 40+ doors and recode them every single time any access changed (e.g. a person joined department, left department, etc).


Whoever stole it certainly knew how to attack the weakest part of the security system.

Friday, August 18, 2006

CVS's "Move away * it is in the way"

I used to have this problem with CVS: I could work in it, update it (cvs update) and so forth, but if I ever wanted to refresh the directories (cvs update -d) I'd get millions of "Move away [filename], it is in the way" messages.

The problem was that I had a trailing slash on the end of the directory name in the CVS/Root files. e.g. This fails:


But this works:


Bah. Yet another reason I need to investigate subversion.