ezyang’s blog

the arc of software bends towards understanding


Ubuntu Oneiric upgrade (Thinkpad/Xmonad)

I upgraded from Ubuntu Natty Narwhal to Oneiric Ocelot (11.10) today. Lots of things broke. In order: “Could not calculate the upgrade.” No indication of what the error might be; in my case, the error ended up being old orphan OpenAFS kernel modules (for whom no kernel modules existed). I also took the opportunity to […]

  • November 24, 2011

A new vision for Mendeley

I use Mendeley because it lets me easily search for papers I care about. Unfortunately, that seems to be all Mendeley has been doing for me... and that’s a damn shame. Maybe it’s because I’m an undergraduate, still dipping my toe into an ocean of academic research. Mendeley was aimed at practicing researchers, but not […]

  • July 6, 2011

Multi-monitor xmobar placement on Gnome

This post describes how to change which monitor xmobar shows up on in a multi-monitor setup. This had always been an annoyance for me, since on an initial switch to multi-monitor, xmobar would be living on the correct monitor, but if I ever restarted XMonad thereafter, it would migrate to my other monitor, much to […]

  • June 24, 2011

Mailbox: Advice for a sup first-timer

What is the Mailbox? It's a selection of interesting email conversations from my mailbox, which I can use in place of writing original content when I’m feeling lazy. I got the idea from Matt Might, who has a set of wonderful suggestions for low-cost academic blogging. From: Brent Yorgey I see you are a contributor […]

  • April 16, 2011

Android 2.x Sensor Simulator

OpenIntents has a nifty application called SensorSimulator which allows you feed an Android application accelerometer, orientation and temperature sensor data. Unfortunately, it doesn't work well on the newer Android 2.x series of devices. In particular: The mocked API presented to the user is different from the true API. This is due in part to the […]

  • February 11, 2011

A suggestion for indent/php.vim

To: John Wellesz First off, I'd like to thank you for authoring the php.vim indentation plugin. Recent experiences with some other indentation plugins made me realize how annoying editing can be without a good indentation plugin, and php.vim mostly has served me well over the years. However, I do have a suggestion for the default […]

  • February 9, 2011

Tension of patch and tree version control

This post is not meant as a rag on Darcs, just a observation of the difference between two philosophies of version control. Also, I’m a bit new to Darcs, so there might be some factual inaccuracies. Please let me know about them! At some point, I would like to write a Darcs for Git users […]

  • September 20, 2010

Embracing Windows

Some things come round full circle. As a high schooler, I was a real Windows enthusiast. A budding programmer, I accumulated a complete development environment out of necessity, a mix of Cygwin, handwritten batch scripts, PuTTY, LogMeIn, a homegrown set of PHP build scripts and Notepad++. I was so devoted to the cause I even […]

  • September 6, 2010

Annotating slides

A little trick for your toolbox: after you’ve generated your slide deck and printed it out to PDF, you might want to annotate the slides with comments. These is a good idea for several reasons: If you’ve constructed your slides to be text light, they might be optimized for presentation but not for reading later […]

  • September 3, 2010

Upgrading to Ubuntu Lucid

Now that term is over, I finally went an upgraded my laptop to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, Lucid Lynx. The process went substantially more smoothly than Karmic went, but there were still a few hiccups. Etckeeper. As always, you should set AVOID_COMMIT_BEFORE_INSTALL to 0 before attempting a release upgrade, since etckeeper hooks will be invoked multiple […]

  • May 21, 2010