Using Komodo from the command line

Anybody who ends up talking about coding with me will likely know that I really like using Komodo IDE. Since just before Christmas I've been using and setting up my new MacBook Air. I took a little different approach with this machine for several reasons. One of the main drivers being the smaller (256GB) "disk" drive. This lead me to build this machine up from scratch, using my cloud applications like Dropbox, rather than copying things from another disk.

One application I've gone back and forth on bringing to the new laptop is BBedit. A long-time BBedit user it has had a home on every machine I've had for decades. However in looking at how I use it the main thing I found was I used it because the command line script made it really easy to launch a GUI editor from the command line. Sure for a lot of things I just use VIM but sometimes I want something more of a Mac application.

Wouldn't it be great if I could just use Komodo IDE for this instead? Why yes it would! So a few minutes later I added these lines to the .bash_profile on my little machine.

alias komodo="open -a 'Komodo IDE'"
alias kedit="open -a 'Komodo IDE'"

Benefits from the OS X 10.6.4 update

Apple Mail ApplicationMurphy's law and it's corollaries dictate that not only will things that can go wrong will go wrong, but they will do so at the least possible convenient time. Thus it was that at the end of April as I was getting ready to transition to a few months of full-time travel Apple's Mail app decided to head south. The main symptom was an incredible use of memory. I could launch Mail and a short time later not only would all 8GB of RAM in my machine be swallowed up but it would be using 20GB more on disk for swap space. All and all a totally unusable situation.

More fun with mount points

Last fall I wrote about a mistake from years past where goofing up mount points on a filesystem could really cause some interesting side-effects. Well quite by accident I stumbled into a fun new way to blow up a system while working on yesterday's problems.

First a bit of background for those who are not familiar with UNIX style mount points. Before a disk is mounted on a UNIX system the place it will be mounted looks like a plain old directory. On OS X these directories are collected in /Volumes so there will be a set of directories here representing the various disks and the disks themselves will be mounted on top of these directories. So with disks named Ranch and Barn the directory looks like /Volumes/Ranch and /Volumes/Barn. It is with these directories that SuperDuper was off and running to replicate Ranch to Barn.

Great tools from Omni Group now Free

Omni DazzleSometimes it is hard to know which thought would be a better lead. There is the great news today that the great folks over at The Omni Group have decided to make several of their titles freeware. On the other hand the personally notable part of this is how procrastination paid off. Last weekend I spent quite a bit of time putting together some screencasts (they're not yet published which is a story for another day) and found how great OmniDazzle is for creating screencasts. There is plenty of extra fun stuff that isn't all that useful in it, but there are a few features for highlighting things on the screen that are supremely beautiful. So while I was quite thrilled with OmniDazzle I hadn't quite managed to get the laptop and wallet together for the necessary routine to make the purchase.

IP over Firewire sneaks back into Leopard

Some time back I was lamenting that IP over Firewire didn't seem to be working in Leopard. I routinely use IP over firewire in the data center to have out-of-band communications (backup, heartbeat etc) between servers. With an early version of Leopard (10.5 or 10.5.1) it wasn't working at all. Today I was getting back to checking for possible work-arounds. Fortunately before digging in too far I decided to try it and low and behold it works just like it used to.

Communication is the key to customer support or why to avoid G-Tech

At the end of June I ordered a [amazon title B000YQWQ4I]. I've had the previous version of the drive for a couple of years and it just rocks. They are a little more expensive than other drives but it's loaded with features from a great heat sink, leather carrying case and a triple interface. The goal was to get it before the July 4th weekend and get some data loaded for the OSCON trip later in the month. Everything looked good and the drive arrived a day earlier than scheduled. Things were busy but I plugged it in a couple of times and then finally sat down to load it up. This was the third time I'd used the drive. When I came back to the computer the drive wasn't responding. After rebooting the computer didn't see the drive. Using several computers verified that the drive was in fact dead. Plug in any of the three interfaces and it wouldn't spin up. The light was on but the drive wasn't spinning for anything.

So on July 8 I went to the G-Technology website and created a ticket. Late the following day I got an email with return instructions and the following information about what to expect:

As soon as we receive the drive, we will diagnose the problem and either
repair it or send you out a replacement.
Turn around time is estimated at
a) Ok To Erase: five to ten working days after we check in your drive or
b) Save Data drives require ten to fifteen working days after we check in
your drive for service.


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