Posts tagged ‘unix’

Two simple things

There’s a time for powerful, complex programs and there’s a time for simple little utilities. I had two reminders this week that speedy little programs have a power of their own. I was on the phone with a client on Tuesday, discussing the failure of a piece of equipment back in 2011. We had a…


Dropbox/bin

It’s so easy to see the inefficiencies in someone else’s workflows, but so hard to see them in your own. When you do finally root out some clumsiness in your setup—no matter how small—and replace it with a more streamlined system, it’s a cause for celebration. This is a small celebratory post. I’ve kept my…


Shellhead

One of the nice things about having a plain text archive of all my posts on my local machine is that I can learn more about my writing through the standard Unix toolset. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out the best tool for the job. As I said last night, I now have…


Info man

This is not a post about a superhero librarian. Last week, as I was trying to figure out what the -s option to the sort command really means, I ran into a problem that drove me crazy during my Linux years but which I thought I’d left behind when I switched back to the Mac.…


Unshelled

I’ve spent the last couple of posts dissecting a shell script, one of my most popular posts is about shell scripting, and yet I really hate shell scripting. I was thinking about this last night as I added updates to this small rewrite of Marco Arment’s feed subscriber counting script. Then this morning a tweet…


Many happy returns

I keep getting tripped up by a historical quirk in BBEdit.1 It’s something that regular BBEdit users probably don’t think twice about, but it catches me every time. I’m hoping that by writing about it here, I’ll train myself to think before typing. You know about the line endings problem, right? Those of us who…


Dating myself

One of the things I like about TextExpander is the flexibility with which it can create date and time values. I used to think that some of that flexibility wasn’t available using the standard Unix/C strftime codes, but last week I learned I was wrong about that. The date/time formatting feature of TextExpander that stood…


Base64

The other day I asked a new coworker to send me his vCard. I had an entry in my Address Book for him, but I wanted to make sure I had all his contact info. As I imported it into Address Book, I noticed that the various parts of his name were screwed up, so…


Fortunate tweets

Earlier this month I read a couple of things that made a connection in my head and turned into this little program. As best I can tell, it has absolutely no value other than to give me something to do while sitting in airports and on planes. A perfect project for the week between Christmas…


More shell, less egg

My TextExpander/shell script post of last week reminded me of Doug McIlroy and some unfinished business from back in October. So let’s talk about shell scripts and Unix again. In the comments to my October post about the early Unix developers and what good writers they were, Bill Cheswick mentioned Doug McIlroy, and said it…