C'mon y'all

I feel really disconnected from what is going on in the States in terms of politics, society and pop culture. I'm too busy to read enough news to make up for the sort of cultural osmosis that happens around the watercooler in the culture you live and work in. I do read when I can (Some people would say a lot), and the news is strange.

I hear that Americans don't want good healthcare after all apparently. Hopefully Obama will give them hell tonight, but I'm preparing to be underwhelmed. He doesn't seem to be able to recognize when leadership means using your supermajorities to actually get something done. Schade (a pity). People worked their butts off for this, and the Dems who want change seem to be allowing themselves to be faced down by the anti-change Dems, lobbyists, Reps, the corporate media, and those poor saps who these last four can hoodwink, rile up and/or terrify. My father said a year ago that it would get worse before it got better, and I didn't believe him at the time.

In my humble opinion, its time to realize that the struggle for a better world is going to demand marches and hollering and persuasion and vigils and reflection on a massive scale. We need to stop delegating change five days a week to people who only have the backbone that we give them. You can't reward the disgraceful circus that this has become by backing down or every other positive initiative will be run through the same gauntlet. Americans will get very comfortable with public healthcare when they have it, and no one will be able to take it away -- that is what is scaring the corporate interests to death. The hell with compromise. Fire up the arm twisting, tote a bullhorn to the bullypulpit, let's hit the streets and write the letters, let's get 60 votes and move on to the other issues. C'mon America, I was enjoying bragging to Europeans about how the country has turned around in the last two years and y'all are getting off on the wrong foot? Lets go!

No polished screenruler on linux?

One disabling problem with each promising project:

kruler - bug in vertical mode - counts the window decoration as part of the length in pixels, not cool. bug report

screenruler - version in ubuntu repos still doesn't show a tooltip with the measurement, you have to count the little black lines (!). Supposedly a tooltip has been added, but no one has bothered to package it apparently. Have checked debian sid, ubuntu karmic and jaunty.

Gwibber on Debian Sid

Sure would be nice if there were packages... but until then... I've condensed this post by florijan into the following:

# installing depends & version control
sudo aptitude install bzr python-webkit python-dbus python-gtk2 python-notify python-simplejson python-egenix-mxdatetime python-distutils-extra python-feedparser python-mako python-imaging

# check out source with bzr
bzr branch lp:gwibber

# cd into dir where bzr put source / setup files
cd gwibber

# run setup script
sudo python setup.py install

Doesn't appear to add gwibber to the gnome menu by default, so you can launch gwibber from a terminal by typing gwibber, or do the same from alt+F2 prompt. Also, you can add a launcher to the panel that will run this command.

[thanks to clivewagenaar for pointing out python-imaging is also a dependency]

And they say emacs isn't userfriendly....

Actually, mostly it's not, but this really was a pleasant surprise today:

1. I type in really long key combination and get it right this time.
2. Emacs performs appropriate function
3. Emacs says "did you know there is this (really short) key combination for that?"

I think that's a first for me in any piece of software.

Testing out org-mode

* TODO Get stuff done
* TODO Get it done now!
* TODO Stop, typing, do it!!!!

cron context

Also, remember that cron doesn't run in your context even if it is your own personal crontab running. This means you need to be explicit about everything!

For instance, are you writing to a file? Cron doesn't know what directory you are in, cause it runs all alone! You need to specify a full (absolute) path in your cron command or in the script that in launches.
echo "hey, I just ran" >> my-script-log
echo "hey, I just ran" >> /home/myuser/logs/my-script-log
Info: I have found that if you don't specify an absolute path, cron assumes you are in your home directory, and will execute commands there, sometimes even if your script lives elsewhere (!) If you want actions to take place the same dir as your script, make your script specify the current dir by using ./myfile rather than myfile.

Likewise, are you launching a program? Cron may run with a different path than you, so specify the full path.

Finally, stuff that interacts with your visual and audio output won't go where you expect it to because cron is running in the background and not in your context. Witness the example of the zenity command that pops up a notification box.

Works when you type it but not when cron runs it:
zenity --info --text "hey, I just ran"
Tell zenity which display to send the popup to (cron doesn't know!):
DISPLAY=:0.0 /usr/bin/zenity --info --text "hey, I just ran"
Info:You can find which display you are using by running:

Cron not running? Remove spaces and dots!

If you've set your scripts to run with cron, and they are not running, the likelihood is that you've set them to run at the wrong time. If you check, and you are definitely running them at the right time, make sure that your commands don't have script names with underscores or dots in them. This sillyness is a limitation of the run-parts script that cron uses.

I first found this here : http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/56#comment_17