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Archive for the 'Writing' Category

Build a Better Tabbar

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Thanks to Amit Patel for posting the eLisp to give tabbar for emacs a prettier, more tab-like appearance, plus screenshots.

See my Tabbar post for how to set up Tabbar itself.

Journal Crack

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

I could spend all of November just researching my NaNo novel, and now that I’ve discovered the Boston Public Library has online JSTOR access I may do just that. I think JSTOR will let you search and read the first page of articles even without access.

And yes, I really do need to know about A Sequence of Vowel Shifts in Phoenician and Other Languages in order to meet today’s NaNo quota. Really.

Botwulf’s Stone

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

I followed a NaNo forum post to this article on inventing your own naming language, and discovered to my surprise that the origin of the name “Boston” is Botwulf’s Stone. Who knew?

Technical Difficulties

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

No, not here at Jemima’s Chevron. After our migrant summer, ficml.org is back up for good. No, it’s NaNoWriMo difficulties that have the spinning Safari spinner (not the rainbow pizza pie, but the daisy spinner on the tab) spinning in vain.

The load of new novelists is always an early-November stress on the NaNo back end. Maybe Google will buy them out and devote some high-powered servers to the cause of updating one’s word count every 15 minutes…

Nanoween

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Two hours remain until National Novel Writing Month. It’s not too late to sign up! I’ll be off to a frightfully unprepared start as usual this year. My characters don’t even have names yet…

For The Snark

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Miss Snark is damn mad about a scam artist scamming an ISP into taking down a list of scam artists. Jim Hines recommends a google-bombing in response, so here’s the appropriate link to the scam artist from SFWA’s Top Twenty list: Barbara Bauer.

All’s fair in love and snark…

Update: Follow the fun with the Barbara Bauer Technorati tag.

March Emacs

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

I downloaded the latest Carbon Emacs for MacOS X, with about as little success as I had last time. I think it’s time to roll my own again…

You May Already Be A Winner

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Another year, another NaNo, another graphic to prove my insanity:

2005 Winner!

The novel went pretty well, partly because I ignored everything else for most of the month. But looking over it now, I think I see a short story in there waiting to be freed from the mounds of manure with which I padded my word count nightly. I’ll save the plot and one subplot for a novella, and try to get the novel thing right next November…again.

Emacs Again

Sunday, November 13th, 2005

I knew it was a bad idea to upgrade my OS during NaNoWriMo, since every sub-point release tends to do bad things to Emacs. So instead of waiting for December, I waited for the weekend. The Mac is up to 10.4.3 and emacs is now the Nov. 05 Carbon Emacs Package. It’s slow and flaky, but good enough for NaNo use.

[Update] I cleaned most of the crud out of the site-lisp directory inside the package, and that sped emacs up a lot. I kept the mac, psgml and html stuff, plus subdirs.el. The files site-start.el, site-start.elc, and site-start.d/carbon-emacs-builtin-aspell.el are vital; don’t delete them or stuff will break when you least expect it.

The real location of site-lisp is inside the Emacs.app package (control-click and choose Show Package Contents) in Contents/Resources/share/emacs/22.0.50/site-lisp.

[Update #2] Canned Emacs slowed to a crawl, so in the end I gave up, checked the emacs project out from savannah.org again, and built my own emacs. There was only one problem: no more mac-command-key-is-meta variable. I’ve become so addicted to Emacs with my special mac-ified command key shortcuts that the real Emacs was completely unusable.

Fortunately, a bit of googling showed me the new way to make the command key alt and the alt key meta:

(setq mac-command-modifier 'alt)
(setq mac-option-modifier 'meta)

Other allowed options are ‘ctrl and ‘hyper. I confess, I don’t know what hyper is.

My First NaNo Dilemma

Monday, October 31st, 2005

It’s that time of year again, when the sun grows cold and the little madfen write novels. My dilemma is: do I start at the crack of midnight, or do I get a good night’s sleep for the last time in the foreseeable future?