Sunday, March 27, 2005

Miss Direction

Shuffled things around on the disk a bit more; specifically, moved the MP3 files out of my home directory (to /MP3 to be precise). This illustrated a neat feature of the Mac filesystem—iTunes could still find all of the files, without having to re-import them. Presumably the Finder keeps track with some kind of redirection feature, although I can't see evidence of this at the Unix command prompt level.

I've also got my Palm handheld syncing to the Powerbook; just installing the software that came with the handheld worked OK, but to get it to sync with the MacOS iCal and AddressBook programs, I also needed to download iSync and the iSync Palm conduit

Next up for getting things installed is another installer package, this time the Fink 0.7.1 package management utilities plus a Mac GUI wrapper called FinkCommander 0.5.3 for them. Fink seems to install stuff under /sw. Once that was on board, the key packages I was after were the guile and clisp-maxima packages, so that I could get some old projects up and running again (hence the installation of clisp-maxima rather than clisp, although I did need to ln -s /sw/bin/clisp-maxima /sw/bin/clisp). With the package dependencies, I ended up with 31 packages installed via Fink, and I needed to add -I/sw/include to my makefiles.

I also got fed up of only having a terminal version of Emacs available, so I downloaded a Mac GUI version The main problem that I've had with this so far is that the emacsserver/emacsclient stuff isn't working.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Where did I put that key?

The MP3 files finished transferring overnight, so I've imported them into iTunes. The default setup would make copies of the file (in ~/Music/iTunes), but that can be turned off (iTunes, Preferences, Advanced, clear "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library").

The other brief puzzle that needed a quick google to sort out was how to get a hash mark from the keyboard ("hash"/UK = "pound"/US = "octothorp"/pedantic). The "UK" keyboard on the machine isn't really a proper UK keyboard—it's basically a US keyboard with an English pound sign where the hash would be (shift-3). For example, shift-2 gives @ and the double quote key is on shift-single quote (at the right hand side of the keyboard). Anyway, the secret is Alt-3.

Overall, I think it's going to take me a while to get used to a completely different keyboard. Not having the Control key in the bottom left is odd, and I've still not found an equivalent of the Delete and Insert keys.

The other slightly worrying aspect of the keyboard is that the Control and Fn keys seem to catch occasionally; I'll have to keep an eye on that and see if it persists.

Also started in on installing a bunch of extra things.

Getting TeX set up was the next task. The first step was to install an installer, namely i-Installer 2.69.0; with this installed, I could pull down a bunch of things from "Gerben's i-Directory @ TUG" (which seems to be

  • tex (with the full, 2004 stable variant)
  • xfig and its dependency Xaw3d
  • ghostscript-8
  • gv
  • ImageMagick and its dependencies libwmf and freetype2

This set up the teTeX distribution under /usr/local/teTeX, and basically worked immediately. The only wrinkle I had to tweak by hand was the installation of a font of my own, which involved:

  cd /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.tetex/fonts/source/public
  ln -s /Users/dmd/text/dmdbb
  cd /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.tetex
  vi ls-R 
and adding the dmdbb directory into that file.

Friday, March 25, 2005

New toy

Well, I could resist no longer. I trundled along to the Apple store on Regent Street and bought myself a 15" Powerbook with all the trimmings. I didn't actually want the enhanced graphics card, but the retail operation didn't carry all the possible permutations and I definitely wanted the version with the bigger (100Gb) hard disk and extra (1Gb) memory. The extended warranty is insanely expensive, but there's not really any choice—knowing my luck with such things, if I risked it and didn't get the warranty, the machine would pack up at precisely 13 months old.

Anyway, I've decided to keep some sort of track of what I'm installing and configuring on the machine to make it comfortable for me as a long-time Linux user. The main point of this is that if I have to start again from scratch for some reason, the whole process will be easier to repeat; however, there's a chance that some nugget of information here might be useful for somebody else in a similar situation.

The initial setup seemed pretty smooth, and I transferred across all of the files from my Windows box and my Linux box. Transferring the MP3 collection took a little longer, though—35Gb takes a while to move over a 10Mb LAN—so I left that running overnight.

The first thing I installed was the Xcode package package from the OS DVD-ROM that came with the machine, in preparation for some development activity.