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Monday, September 26, 2011

First Emacs Pretest Out

From the emacs-dev list, here's the announcement of what will eventually be 24.1.  To see what's new check here.  Thanks to Eli Zaretskii for pointing it out.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Getting python-mode completion to work in Emacs

If you have issues with getting python-mode completion to work in the Windows port of Emacs, this post might be of help.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A beta launch that may end in failure for google+

I believe google+ is headed for an also ran status against Facebook.   I wish I were wrong but I don't see anything dramatic that would cause people to come to google+ in droves.  (Well, they could, if Zuckerberg says something silly about users' intelligence and privacy again)

I think the biggest mistake was to launch google+ without a complete superset of features of facebook  plus the things google wanted. 

Think about it, if the experience is not seamless and does not do it the way facebook users think it should, why would they shift? Unequivocally, their target is facebook users and not new users.  if it's going to woo them, the system had better be complete for them to use it like before and better.  Unlike Gmail, which was in beta for quite some time where features were slowly added/removed before removing the covers, google+ should have been compelling in all respects to sway facebook users from the get go.

Apart from circles and privacy thingy(which sort of backfired with their 'real names' banning fiasco), what exactly is compelling about google+?  On the other hand, if they had apps on facebook(why not?), Ipads, Android phones, Google Apps, Wallet and Merchant services all tied together at the google+ launch, maybe they'd have had a better chance. Currently, curiosity will drive things for a while but most users would drift back to facebook because that's where their friends are and most importantly, facebook does put in the same features as google+, probably the next month or so.  All the less reason to switch to google+.

I don't see how they can improve unless they give some feature to clone the current facebook user data and import into google+ with the least disruption to the user(I mean, the  facebook user allows for some sort of 'import' to their google+ account).  Or just buy Ebay with its Paypal system and turn it into one huge noisy marketplace.

An individual datapoint:  I'm on google+ but not in facebook (where I probably won't register) but all my friends and colleagues are on facebook.  Apart from a few who created their ids(I suspect, just to lock in their name profile in google+), pretty much no activity happens in my google+ account.

Which is saying something about me, my circle or google+ ! :-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The State of Desktop Search

Everyone might be talking about the cloud buzz and all that but there are still a significant lot carrying around laptops and desktops with monstrous hard disks. The Register paper has an interesting article on local search  in the light of Google's dropping support and EOL'ing of Google Desktop software.  The author bemoans the lack of good alternatives or rather the options one has,(if one was not happy with Google Desktop) that at present don't seem to be good enough for the task at hand.

It's not pretty.

We get 2TB HDDs for about $100 and given the hoarder mentality that makes people fill it faster and faster compared to the earlier HDDs, we have a big problem.  An insane amount of file clutter and no good methods to find the document with a specific text, photo or information.

On the XP machine that I use, the local search interface is....well...sad and could do with a dedicated tool to help users search.  A bit strange that Microsoft does not seem to have anything to address this. hmmm...though I vaguely remember seeing some papers on semantic filesystems and other stuff by Microsoft back in the days when NTFS was being hyped about.

The unix find, locate, slocate, rlocate  custom built scripts seem to be what passes for cutting edge for rooting through your HDDs; makes you look victorious in the smugly, sad, nerdy way. Which, truth be told, is what I end up doing when I'm not working with Microsoft files.

I looked up a few pieces of software mentioned in the forums but it all seemed a bit much while a few posters in that forum carped, "organise the stuff beforehand".

Very helpful, that.

What do you use to root through your hard disk?

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 2 TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive STAC2000100 (Black)Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 3.0/2.0 Ultra Portable External Hard Drive (Black)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Land of Lisp music video

Well, I never thought I'd see this sort of thing.  Via Tassilo Horn on Emacs-dev, here's a Lisp Music video.

Sample lyric line ' I eat parentheses for breakfast'.  :-)

Practical Common LispANSI Common LISP