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ct (2477)

ct
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http://cthompson.com/

Journal of ct (2477)

Sunday July 21, 2002
07:18 PM

A damn useful machine.

[ #6525 ]
So far, I'm loving the iBook, and OSX. I installed all sorts of fun stuff. Office X, JEdit. A friend recommended the amazing Liteswitch and Windowshade, both are running and make OSX just that much better. I'm still looking for a decent IRC client, right now using AthenaIRC, but I'm not thrilled. I've got XFree and xchat installed, but after all these native OSX apps, XChat is just flat ugly, and until my cash reserves heal enough to buy more ram, I'm only at 256megs. Running XFree just to run XChat seems a bit crazy. And to make matters worse, I can't stand ircII.

Two things have really bugged me so far.

First, I downloaded, compiled, and installed perl 5.8.0 into /usr/local, leaving the stock perl in /usr. This works fine, except 5.8.0 complains about locale.

[ct@eve ~]% perl -v
perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
        LC_ALL = (unset),
        LANG = "en_US"
    are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").

I can set LC_ALL to "C", but trying to set it to en_US makes perl complain. Sure enough, there's no "en" directory in /usr/share/locale. Where this is a real problem is that I run Glucose Software's WeatherPop in my menu bar. This has a small perl component which actually retrieves the weather data, and it won't run with the 5.8.0 perl, it pops up the warning above. Since I havent got a clue how to set an env variable for the whole session, I'm stuck. I've got the old perl back in /usr/bin/perl for now, and that makes weatherpop happy. (91F Partly Cloudy.)

The other piece is that Terminal.app is really causing me grief. I'll admit, I've been spoiled by Konsole, which I ran constantly in linux/kde3, my desktop before I "Switched". I run ALOT of terminals on many boxes. At least six boxes I'm on daily. I like having a graphical menu of possible ssh destinations. Under Konsole, I'd saved a bunch of session files, each running a different "ssh hostname".

I tried the same thing under OSX, a folder in my home dir copied to the dock, filled with a bunch of saved Terminal.app session files. It works, sort of. Hold down the mouse button on the folder in the dock, a menu pops up above it listing all the .term files. Select, and boom. Except that if you don't already have a terminal loaded, it will load two. One off localhost, one to execute your command.

I asked a friend what he did, as I knew he had even more machines than I did. He said "If you can get Terminal to not run two terminals from a .term, let me know."

So, I throw those two out to the OSX gurus. How do I set LC_ALL for the whole session, and how do I double click a foo.term in the finder and have it run JUST THAT terminal?

As to all the people who responded to Matts' iBook question "Why not an iBook?", I'd like to counterpoint.

My biggest whine about the macs has always been "One Mouse Button". That is, until I used one. I really have never missed the other button, the GUI just doesn't need it. The rare cases it does, it's a simple option-click, or ctrl-click. Sure, a nice three button wheel mouse would be nice, but it's not been a showstopper yet.

As to the keyboard, I really don't know what people complain about. I've seen alot of comments about "non-standard" key layouts. In three days, I've got ctrl option and command in muscle memory, so I really don't know what specifically it is that pissed people off.

And as to the price, I paid $1799USD, + $99 for the Airport card. I'm about to spend around $110 for a 512meg SODIMM. I don't think those prices are way out of line. Granted, the TiBooks are quite a bit more, up to $3100, but for what you get, and for how well they work, I wouldn't feel any buyer's remorse, if I had that kind of cash, that is.

So far, this is the most useful system I've ever owned, bar none.

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  • As to not opening a new extra window, did you try Terminal->Preferences...->Startup->"When Terminal starts:"->"Do nothing"?

    And you can set session-wide environmental variables. Look at ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist. Here's part of mine:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist SYSTEM "file://localhost/System/Library/DTDs/PropertyList.dtd">
    <plist version="0.9">
    <dict>
        <key>CVS_RSH</key>
        <string>ssh</string>

    • Spectacular.

      You just managed to solve the two things that were annoying me the most. I did both of those things and they work as advertised. Thanks a bunch.