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Category Archives: howto

Python’s imp module is a bit of a bear, but thanks to the groundwork in this thread, I got it straitened out. Here’s some lightly tested sample code.


import imp
# the path variable is optional, but possibly necessary
tmp = imp.find_module("module", ["relative/path", "/absolute/path"])
try:
# the names of the two constants do not seem to matter
  module = imp.load_module("name", tmp[0], "path", tmp[2])
finally:
  tmp[0].close()
module.thing

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If emacs isn’t your thing, or you prefer a modern IDE (read: GUI) for development, I recommend IntelliJ IDEA.  An open-source, community edition was just released, and it is definitely worth giving a spin – I’ve been a fan since I first tried it a couple of years ago.

Being at a university where the first language taught is Java, but transferring from an institution where C++ was dominant was a bit of a pain.  IntelliJ got me through my Java-based courses.  I tried and managed with Eclipse and NetBeans for the first semester – but we were given a significant initial framework.

Enough of my praise for IntelliJ.  Let’s get started!
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More than anything, this post succinctly describes how to get up and running with Clojure + Emacs. Virtually no thinking is required if you are working from a default install of Ubuntu, and not much more is required for any linux distro – you just need to know how to use your package manager.

Furthermore, if any of these steps would cause you trouble (deleting .emacs* comes to mind), you probably already know how to handle it.
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WARNING: This blog post was posted at approximately 3 AM. As a result, it is not very well defined. Had I been thinking, I would have been more to the point. As it is, I may repost more info about the Seagate HD when it is successfully RMAd.

One of my hard drives is making sounds that indicate that it could fail at any time; In order to prevent any losses, I ordered a new drive. I spent a while copying all of my data from one drive to the next (I generally have 2 drives in my computer at a given time; the drive closer to failure contains data that is broadly available online, so losses should be minimal if anything happens, while my personal data is semiannually burned to disc and regularly synced to my brother’s computer). At any rate, I finished the migration, and started updating my install on the new drive.

The next morning I got up and found that my computer was making a horribly disturbing sound. The update process had blocked on a prompt for my acceptance of a license agreement. Read More »

I’ve been using fluxbox for a year or two, but I’ve decided to give another WM a shot for a while.  However, just because I am trying something out doesn’t mean that I want to change my usual bindings.

I’ve been using gnome for a day or so now.  Instead of rebinding all of my application startup keys, I’ve mostly been using ALT+F2 to launch whatever I want, which is pretty effective.

Anyway, to get to the point, Gnome’s default resizing operation is ALT+Middle click as opposed to ALT+Right click (ALT+Left click is move, which is pretty standard).  Read More »

Well, I recently decided to taste some aloe (vera, not any of the more toxic species). I found it to be quite bitter. However, upon further experimentation, I discovered a few things… but first, I’ll describe the 4 main components, from my perspective.

Components
First off, we have the exterior (just in case you have trouble identifying this, I’ll give you a hint: it’s the green stuff).
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The Bloomington Caves can be approached from Ivins or Bloomington.  The Ivins path is longer (if you start from St. George proper), but the roads are a bit better.

Update: I’d follow the directions through Ivins on your first time out, but instead of backtracking to return home, try going home through Bloomington (going towards Bloomington the many little forks are much less confusing, as you can see Bloomington in the distance) to get a feel for it.

Update: Tim has kindly provided a highlighted map for the Bloomington approach.

Tim's highlighted map

About the Caves

The Bloomington Caves are the fifth largest caves in Utah, with a length of 1.3 miles.  They are fairly well mapped.  There are some parts of the caves where it is possible to be injured due to long, steep slopes, but it is easy to have fun while avoiding those places. If you feel cautious about safety, I’d choose the north entrance.  However, a map is posted by the south entrance, so you may want to take a look over there just the same.

As an aside; in consideration of everyone, please carry out what you carry in.

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I recently had some problems getting VLC to scale properly with DVDs.  I added the xv flag and that fixed it…

That’s pretty easy, but I didn’t find it anywhere.  Hopefully this will be of some help to some soul like me, but hopefully not the future me.

To state in more general terms; if VLC is compiled with the wrong options, it will not be able to scale dvd video properly.