Posts about shell

Gone Fishing

This weekend I explored the Fish Shell (a modern interactive Unix shell). I've been dabbling with it for a while, particularly enjoying its interactive features: command suggestions, the TAB-completion menu, the fact that it Just Works™ out of the box, and understands commands and options by groking their man-pages.

I've wanted to port a few of my bash functions which I've been missing: my ssh-pass to load SSH keys onto the Agent's keyring with passphrase supplied by pass, and an alias to get my 1password passphrase from pass as well. Also some directory navigation shortcuts that I've used since my university days. I figured these would be a good introduction to how fish's scripting works, and I was right

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Essentials to make Windows almost bareable

Okay, so I hate working in Windows, but on my employer's equipment at least, I must live with it. After having had this machine replaced twice (faulty Dell hardware) and rebuilt more times than I can remember (Windows BSODs), for a total of at least 3 system migrations this past year, I thought I'd better keep a list of what free software to install on top of Windows, and what adjustments to make, so that at least I don't feel like I'm wearing a straight jacket. Here goes:

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Setting up multiple Java VMs under Cygwin

It is useful to have different versions of the JVM installed, for a number of reasons:

  • Different optimisation features from different JVM implementations
  • Different language features from different JVM versions
  • Java classes compiled with “Tiger” won't run in “Mantis”…

It is also useful to be able to quickly switch between installed JREs/JDKs depending on the task at hand.

If I'm hacking in Linux, the JPackage project provides a much nicer solution to this problem, and the Linux distro' I'm using (SUSE 10.0) uses JPackage. It'd be nice if there was an update-alternatives for Cygwin, but since there isn't I've come up with this hack.

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